Friday, April 28, 2017


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Something very intriguing has been developing all through our study and deeper look throughout Psalm 119. As initially mentioned, each portion has a subhead with a letter of the Hebrew Alphabet. It is no accident that Verses 1-8, for instances are headed by A (Aleph) which is one of the Names of the Word Who became flesh - Aleph (Alpha in Greek). In the previous portion from Psalm 119:121-128, the subheading is AYIN, which means Eye.

Through this "Eye", we observe the verses calling for the Lord to return to not just instruct, illuminate and inspire us with His Words, Commands and Statutes, but we observe that the insight gained therein, leads to a call for final Divine Intervention against God's enemies. This is also coming, one day soon. However, in the past, God has also judged those who hate Him and His people. We see this in the judgment of famine, drought and pestilence.

Now in the next portion of Psalm 119 today, we see the heading with the letter "PE" which means Mouth. The verses are proclaiming several things we are well served, if we observe:
Psalm 119:129-136
129   Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul observes them.
130   The unfolding of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.
131   I opened my mouth wide and panted, for I longed for Your commandments.
132   Turn to me and be gracious to me, after Your manner with those who love Your name.
133   Establish my footsteps in Your word, and do not let any iniquity have dominion over me.
134   Redeem me from the oppression of man, that I may keep Your precepts.
135   Make Your face shine upon Your servant, and teach me Your statutes.
136   My eyes shed streams of water, because they do not keep Your law.

Verse 129: What are the testimonies of the Lord and why are they wonderful? Anyone who has truly been born-again and plunged all into the Bible, will know not just the story of Creation (Genesis chapters 1 and 2; Job chapters 38-41) but the many direct, dramatic and even deadly actions from the Heavens which showed God's Power, Presence, Provision and more. From the Parting of the Red Sea for millions to cross on dry land to the immediate destruction of the Egyptian army...from the provision of all manner of quail to feed these same people in the desert to water from rocks....from God withholding rain from rebel Israel in the days of Ahab and Jezebel to Nehemiah and the rebuilding of Jerusalem....from Jesus being raised from the dead after being killed on a Cross and buried to Peter and Paul raising the dead and healing many...and so much more. From all of this, we see why the Bible is not just the Oracles of God, but the Chronicles of God's Mighty Hand in Action. If all the actions, instructions and events surrounding God were all written down, there would not be enough libraries to contain all the books under heaven.

For this reason, by staying FOCUSED on Who the Word of God reveals and teaches about, we cannot avoid understanding it once our minds are lit up by it (verse 130)! The Eyes of our Hearts have been opened as the song by Paul Baloche goes (Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord), hence the letter Ayin (Part 16). But the true man, woman or child of God cannot and SHOULD not stop there!

First, we are duty bound to proclaim with our mouth (verse 131). In fact Salvation comes when we "confess with our MOUTHS and believe in our HEARTS, that Jesus IS Lord! So we already have to proclaim Him to be in His Kingdom for eternity. Secondly, many Christians do not know the gospel nough to clearly share the Truth and Love of God with others and those neglect this command to proclaim. If the Christian's desire and heart truly seeks after the Lord and His Goodness, we would not just know and see all His Attributes and Testimonies in His Word, but would have at least a modicum of spiritual wisdom to share and teach. Francis of Assisi is misquoted as saying "preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary use words". Although he did not actually say that, many Christians now use this to mean "Lifestyle Evangelism" is "the stuff". Francis actually said something to the effect of "let your deeds match your words", but even so, he was implying you have to use words!

So-called "Lifestyle Evangelism" never brought anyone to Christ or to their salvation! All that does is show "what a good person you and I are, compared to the other guy. They can SEE Christ in us by our actions. But what we really should wish the world to see in us is Transformation. It should be obvious to everyone, who have even come into contact with us for ten seconds, that there is something about us, which they should know. This something needs to be a life changed by the Holy Spirit, the Evidence of a life saved by Jesus Christ.

There are action points listed in this passage which will help lead us toward this end, so that we can accomplish what we are called to - teach/disciple/tell the world about Jesus. Here the are: 
- Verse 132 (turn, regard, look with favor and look my way, even for a brief moment that Your Glory will light up my life and Your Love for me will shine through me, oh Lord).
- Verse 133 (let me remain firmly grounded in Truth, so that no lie of the enemy will sway me, even for one second....and even if we get blind-sided as often happens, the sin and corruption of the dying world, will be swiftly swatted away).
- Verse 134 (deliver/protect/get me out of the way of evil men and women who not only do not have my interest at heart, but seek the destruction of the testimonies of the people of God - Christians).
- Verse 135 (continue to regard Your people with favor, oh God even as You correct/discipline/instruct and guide us to the Wisdom of Your Holy Word).

These four verses will lead to an ongoing dynamic and sweet relational abiding in Truth and the Wonder of Holy God. They also are a plea which places the responsibility on the Holy Spirit to light up the inner being of the Christian so that our spiritual eyes will be wide open, and remain this way. It is only when the Eyes of our Hearts are open, that we can then proclaim what we know to be true - the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Monday, April 24, 2017


 When things go wrong, as they most certainly do on a regular basis, we are always tempted to ask "Where is (was) God?". The unsaved ask this question all the time. When a tidal wave hits and hundreds or thousands lose their lives? "Where was God". When a massive earthquake devastates Haiti and over 100,000 poor Haitians perish in this natural disaster, some ask "Where was God?"....and so on.

Even the most godly and observant and biblically sound Christians can ask that same question. Is it the right thing to do when we question God like this? It is. Christianity is the only thinking man's Faith system. We do know He controls everything as He is sovereign and we do not. In Luke 13:3-5, we see that the Tower of Siloam had collapsed and 18 people tragically dies in this accident. This is similar to a major construction accident today, anywhere in the world, of tragic proportions. This tragedy was reported to Jesus as reported in this Gospel passage.

The response of Jesus must have stunned a lot of people. Here is the brief account and Jesus' unexpected answer: "No, I tell you. But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam collapsed on them: Do you think that they were more sinful than all the others living in Jerusalem? No, I tell you. But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:3-5)

There is a sobering and scary message from the Keeper of the Gates of Heaven here who said twice in three verses "unless you repent, YOU TOO WILL PERISH"! The key to understanding tragedy is this - we have to be ready to leave this life at a moment's notice. We must life a repentant lifestyle, always at peace with God. We must ask God to forgive ALL our sins (and He will, if we are really seeking forgiveness). We must have the peace and knowledge of His presence in our lives, which leads to salvation and being born again.
Psalm 119:121-128
121   I have done justice and righteousness;  do not leave me to my oppressors.
122   Be surety for Your servant for good; do not let the arrogant oppress me.
123   My eyes fail with longing for Your salvation and for Your righteous word.
124   Deal with Your servant according to Your lovingkindness and teach me Your statutes.
125   I am Your servant; give me understanding, that I may know Your testimonies.
126   It is time for the Lord to act, for they have broken Your law.
127   Therefore I love Your commandments above gold, yes, above fine gold.
128   Therefore I esteem right all Your precepts concerning everything, I hate every false way.
Psalm 119:121 is about the believer who has followed Christ and Micah 6:8, which tells us to do justice and walk righteously before our God. This is a person who is ready to stand before God once he/she passes from this life. However, this believer also seeks natural (or earthly) justice from those who relentlessly persecute.

This is absolutely in order. To ask for angelic protection is sound as each believer does have a guardian angel. This is what the author is praying for in this portion of Psalm 119.  During the many Israeli/Arab wars of the late 1960's-early 1970's, some former Arab soldiers reported on the Trinity Broadcasting Network that they had several Israeli soldiers cornered and outnumbered about twenty to one, on the side of a mountain. There was no natural way for the Israeli soldiers to come out alive from this strategic box. EXCEPT THIS - the now Christian Arab former enemies reported that when they got closer to where they thought they would capture their Jewish enemies, they saw huge 12-20 foot tall beings dressed in white with swords drawn....causing them to turn and run in the other direction!

Watch this video clip from a message I gave where we know from Scripture that "the angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him and He delivers them (Psalm 34:7). God does answer our pleas for help. He is our "surety" in these times of oppression and persecution (Psalm 119:122). But the key is to stay grounded in His Holy Word and constantly stay at the Feet of the Master seeking knowledge and wisdom from Him (Verse 123).

There are times when the tribulation is drawn out. In the recent past, several western pastors and missionaries have been captured and tortured in several Middle Eastern countries and even North Korea.  These are righteous people who risked everything for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, yet their payment was prison, torture and even death. Is God dealing with them (Verse 124) in His Mercy? When you look at the bigger picture, He most certainly is! 

Is it easier for us in the comfortable west to speak like this? Yes it is, but we also have our challenges.  In the increasing number of persecuted lands – from atheist China to the major Islamic and Buddhist countries, what is being done to the people of God is obvious. In western Countries from Europe to the UK to North America, the persecution is more subtle but just as deadly to the spread of the Gospel. In order for the persecuted anywhere, to keep the fire and passion going, we do need to rely more on the Word of God and His Promises. In the Middle East and Asia, God has been showing Himself in increasingly tangible ways to encourage His people, and not just in His Word. Most Christians on the run have no copy of the Bible and no way to get one. When this is the case, cry out to Him as in Verse 125.

Revelation 6:9-10 shows what is coming down the pike with those who are killed during the Great Tribulation (after the Rapture of the Church, when those killed for converting to Christianity during the worldwide reign of anti-Christ are under the Altar of God, asking "how much longer"). Persecuted Christians from various times in the last 2000 years, from the Roman persecution have been asking the same question many ask today- "How Much Longer"?  The answer is this- when all the world has heard the Gospel. Each day is one day closer. Our responsibility is to hate, despise and stay far from every shack or mansion which contains heresy, apostasy and misdirection. Conversely, we hold on to the Truth found in ALL 66 books of Scripture and every word of every verse of every chapter on every page of the Good Book (verses 127-128). Amen. How much longer? It could be, until we first see Him Face to face! As for those in Verse 126- leave that up to The King!

Thursday, April 20, 2017


If there is one thing God hates, it is a two-faced, double-minded hypocrite. Jesus Himself reserved some of His harshest preaching against religious leaders who led double lives, not just in practicing sin constantly, but in their belief systems. One of the hardest sermons ever preached was against the priests and religious leaders of Jerusalem in Matthew Chapter 23.  Many will say that was then and this is now.

Well, the head of the Christian Church in Jerusalem, appointed by Christ Himself was Jesus’ own half-brother – James. Here is what he (James) says in James 1: 6-8 “But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways"This admonishment is for believers NOW as well as then. So what about the future?

Like everything we do and believe, there must be a Scriptural basis. To emphasize  how serious God is about whom He lets into Heaven, He describes who will NOT be on His side in Revelation 3:15-16 (‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth), if they do not change their ways. Unfortunately most are destined to never repent and put their trust and faith in the Savior and will suffer the loss of rebels, on That Day. 
Psalm 119:113-120
113   I hate those who are double-minded, but I love Your law.
114   You are my hiding place and my shield; I wait for Your word.
115   Depart from me, evildoers, that I may observe the commandments of my God.
116   Sustain me according to Your word, that I may live; and do not let me be ashamed of my hope.
117   Uphold me that I may be safe, that I may have regard for Your statutes continually.
118   You have rejected all those who wander from Your statutes, for their deceitfulness is useless.
119   You have removed all the wicked of the earth like dross; therefore I love Your testimonies.
120   My flesh trembles for fear of You, and I am afraid of Your judgments.
This is what the Lord is talking about in Psalm 119:113 – divided loyalties. Unfortunately, too many who are called Christians try to walk in both the culture of the day, as tempting as flashy as it is, and the world of Christ. Oil and water do not  mix. The Oil of the Holy Spirit is as diametrically opposed to the vanishing vapor of fleeting pleasures of this world, even if those good things in life are not in and of themselves, sinful. However, if they take priority in daily life, while one’s walk of faith is limited to one hour on Sunday, well then, Houston we have several problems. These are problems which become almost impossible to fix, due to vanity, pride and sheer ignorance. For such as these, their reward is in the now, because eternal separation awaits them (verse 115).

A telling verse for those who kidding them is verse 118, which says "You have rejected all those who wander from Your statutes, for their deceitfulness is useless".  This is deadly serious stuff.  People go away into eternal separation not for the things they do but for what they believe. The Word of God – the Scriptures – is both easy to understand and EXTREMELY clear as to what those beliefs are and should be. 

One of the most educated men to ever live was Saul of Tarsus. He was not only a sophisticated Roman citizen, well-versed in the letters of the day (The Greek Classics like Aristotle, Socrates etc.) but he was the ace student of the most likeable and honorable of Jewish Rabbis in all history – Gamaliel, the grandson of modern Judaic thought – Hillel. Still, with all his academic and other props, the Apostle said one thing which should be the dividing line for each person who aspires to ascend into Heaven, when this fleeting life is over. 

Saul, now the Apostle Paul, after the Road to Damascus dramatic conversion, said the following from 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 "And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God".

We know what Saving Faith is NOT. We know it is not one of double-mindedness which labors under the delusion of both trying to fool God and the deluded person. We know the ultimate end of this person, who has never known the True and Risen Christ (verses 115 and 118-120). What we do need to reinforce in ourselves daily and to share with anyone who will listen, because their eternity depends on it, is the following:

-  Examine yourself (and myself) daily not to see if we are saved, but to see if we’re more grounded in the Faith TODAY than we were yesterday

-  Love and I mean, really LOVE the Bible. Love not just what is written in it, but it’s dirty wrinkled pages and the feel of the special paper it is printed on which has that sweet swishing sound as you turn it’s well-read pages. Love the feel of the leather (real of fake) as you draw this Book of Life closer to your heart! Earlier in this psalm, we see the man of God say that the Words and Laws of God are like honey to the taste. Why can’t we be like this? This way of thinking brings delight to a loving God, Who delights in giving great favor to those who honor Him.

-  Don’t just love the Word, but do what it says. Even if it takes you out of your own selfish comfort zone. There is nothing in the world which anyone owns, which was not given to them by God. He owns everything….and not just the cattle on ten thousand hills. Still, modern day Christians are the most materialistic and self-righteous at the same time. They mouth the right words and even read the bible, but their Christian walk does not reflect their talk. Some even refuse to give back to the Lord and act like Cain who made basically, no worthy offering to the Lord. The Lord of the Universe does not need our money, our resources, our anything. What He needs, from those who say they belong to Him, is our OBEDIENCE. Otherwise we are just like the wicked, in Christian clothing.

-  Fear the Lord. Scripture tells us that the Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Knowledge. Well, we had better use this knowledge to have a healthy fear, reverence and awe-inspired respect for Him because what is coming down the pike against the wicked, the lost and those billions in other religions who rejected Jesus Christ as Savior is so terrifying that it should cause every Christian to bow down in gratitude every single day. Verse 119 of Psalm 119 is no joke, wish or curse. 

I recommend EVERYONE reads Isaiah Chapter 63 to flesh out what will be happening on earth, at the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. On His promised return this time, He is not the Baby in the Bethlehem manger, but the perishing world will see Him as He really is. What they will see is the Vengeance of our God against all His remaining enemies and the armies of this one-world government, post- Rapture. When He cuts the eastern sky with His White Horse (Revelation 19:11-19) and the armies of Heaven, Psalm 119:119 will be just beginning. Do not be like one of those, left behind, who will face His Wrath! Do not be double-minded. Two faces are NOT better than one. CLICK HERE TO READ ISAIAH 63 AND THE HOLY SPIRIT TELLING US WHAT WILL HAPPEN POST REVELATION 19:11-19. 

Monday, April 17, 2017


"Your Word is a Lamp to my feet and a Light to my path"
Psalm 119:105 (above) is one of those verses we see Christian apparel marketers or bumper sticker creators maximize in their usage. There is nothing wrong with this because the words therein, are perfectly true and should be worn on both one’s sleeves or on a ball cap. Two things are happening here which are directly related to each other as our portion in the land of the living. 

First of all, a lamp is a fixed unit which sends out light when fueled by an agent and a wick. The fuel could be oil, gas or even battery/electric powered. The wick is the means by which the fuel shoots the light which illumines atmosphere around the lamp as long as the fuel lasts. 

Secondly, the other thing happening is "the path" which the lamp lights up. In the Christian life, the Pathway we are on, in this journey of life is our full time Christian walk, until we graduate up to Heaven. The Lamp, the Word of God here, is fueled by the Holy Spirit. The good thing is this fuel never runs out, as opposed to the lamps and bright lights made by man. There is a supernatural sources which never runs dry. The wick is still the Holy Spirit who is both fuel and source of Light. This wick is similar to the "Pillar of Cloud" which led the Israelites out of Egypt by day and the "Pillar of Fire" which then led them by night through the desert etc. for forty years. Those "Pillars" lit up the pathway for God's Chosen Nation just as the Word of God lights up our hearts, minds, bodies and souls NOW. This modern day pillar is what we MUST saturate our very beings with so we can fulfill God's Law and purpose. His Law, remember, is to love Him with all our hearts, minds, souls and strength (bodies).

The purity and quality of the supernatural fuel never changes. This lamp is not a flashlight which is weak and runs out of battery. This Lamp is burns bright within our soul because the very Power of God is its fuel. It need not have any recharging. We are the ones who need recharging. It needs not have a wick or a filament to burn bright. The Holy Spirit releases more and more lumens to make the picture more high definition so we can grasp the Wonder and Work of God being done in our lives. 

This Lamp is not just a torch which burns bright and then is extinguished, but it guides us like a Pillar of Fire through the Pathways, Highways, Byways and yes – the Deserts of Life, until we reach the Promised Land. That is the Lamp we are talking about in this verse.
Psalm 119:105-112
105   Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
106   I have sworn and I will confirm it, that I will keep Your righteous ordinances.
107   I am exceedingly afflicted; revive me, O Lord, according to Your word.
108   O accept the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord, and teach me Your ordinances.
109   My life is continually in my hand, yet I do not forget Your law.
110   The wicked have laid a snare for me, yet I have not gone astray from Your precepts.
111   I have inherited Your testimonies forever, for they are the joy of my heart.

112   I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes forever, even to the end.
Everything else flows from this. Unlike rebel Israel in the desert for forty years during the Exodus, we, who are called by His Name, are to react just as in verses 106 and 108. We understand completely and have a full grasp of the meaning of our Salvation. To that end, the Word and us have become One. As we study the progression of the previous 100 verses, the Word of God is now honey to the taste and supernatural food which forever satisfies (verse 106). To that end, we are duty bound to praise and worship Him (verse 108). While the request is made for acceptance of that offering, it will be received as it was done in righteousness.

There is a huge caveat. The Lamp has to be fuel with the fire of the Holy Spirit Who installs in us, the very Spirit of Christ to both accept, process, embed and then TREASURE all His Words in our own heart. This process leads to such hope, peace, joy and contentment that we above all the rest, are the people mentioned in Hebrews Chapter 4:9. These are the blessed ones who have rest because we are the people of God. His Word confirms that we, indeed are. 

This Rest spoken of and promised by the Lord Himself is crucial, if we desire to persevere through the many valleys which life takes us through. Verse 107 speaks of the suffering of most of God’s people. From the underground churches where up to 300 million Christians worship under constant daily threat of violence and worse. Verse 107 speaks of Christians in the Middle East or Central Africa or Asia, under duress…and so on. Verse 109 speaks directly of our condition in times like these. For many, life does hang in the balance, whether it is a serious health issue or as in some parts of the world, bodily harm and persecution await Christians, from the enemies of the one True God (as previously mentioned). But even in those times, we can rest and rely on His promises, being boldly determined to keep every single decree and statute of the Word of God – until the End (verse 112).  This is the nature of the fulfilled Christian man or woman of God. 

Friday, April 14, 2017


The final hours of the Lord Jesus Christ, during His brief thirty three (33) years on earth were some of the most horrible any human being could ever face, far less the sinless Son of God! There were six, yes 6, illegal trials conducted against God Himself in the flesh, by sinful men in the ultimate act of false arrest, malfeasance, corruption and more. Due to the distasteful nature of these acts, speedy "justice" was the order of the night.

The reason the religious and political leaders of Jerusalem moved so fast to frame, condemn and execute Jesus in such a short period of time was multi-fold. They had already come to the conclusion after Palm Sunday that many of their own people or "the world", as they said, "had gone after Him". They recognized the popularity of the loveable, kind and powerful Prophet Jesus and dared not risk prolonging their persecution of Him. What they had to do, in addition to the betrayal by Jesus, was do their dirty deeds quickly and in secret.

This was also their only opportunity to take down this Man, Who had threatened their world order. Jesus had basically gone after their rackets, which they had going INSIDE the Temple compounds. Every high temple official associated with two  main families, dealt super dishonestly with the unsuspecting millions their fellow citizens who were just obeying God by showing up in Jerusalem for the Passover! They would make both the New York and Chicago mobs green with envy, because this same religious hierarchy owned the franchises which gouged temple worshipers at the money changer tables AND were skimming money off the top. Each one of them, from the former High Priest Annas to the current one, Caiaphas, had their hands in the cookie jar. They were the Jerusalem deep state and the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate was their accomplice.

It is with this in mind, we come to the actual result of the Six Illegal Trials and the decision to both release Barabbas and replace him on the Cross with Jesus. The Old Testament describes to the finest detail, the results of the beatings of the Lord to His final Words on the Cross. We know His Seven Statements from the Cross from the Gospels. What most Christians are not aware of, is that Holy Spirit Himself had two men of God, write those same words, for the most part, down in the Scriptures!  Without further comment, the Prophesy concerning the Suffering Savior is now presented in brief. We do this so that the world may know that while evil men thought they were getting one over on folks by secretly framing and killing the Messiah, what they actually did was fulfill Prophesy!  

God Himself prophesied what was going to happen to Jesus after the flogging.
a. He was unrecognizable:
ISAIAH 52:13-15 (written 700 plus years before it happened!)
13   Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.
14   Just as many were astonished at you, so His visage was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men;
15   So shall He sprinkle  many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; for what had not been told them they shall see, and what they had not heard they shall consider.

God Himself told us why He sent God the Son, to be the Passover Lamb for all the sins, of all mankind, for all time
b. He was the Sacrifice:
ISAIAH 53:1-9a (written 700 plus years before it occurred in Jerusalem)
1   Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2   For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.
3   He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4   Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.

5   But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
6   All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7   He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,  so He opened not His mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment,  and who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
9 And they made His grave with the wicked - but with the rich at His death.

c.  What He actually did and said on the Cross:
PSALM 22:1-2 and PSALM 22: 6-18 - all written by King David over 1000 years earlier, the EXACT WORDS OF CHRIST FROM THE CROSS:
Psalm 22:1-2
1   My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning?
2   O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear;  and in the night season, and am not silent.

Psalm 22:6-18:
6   But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised by the people.
7   All those who see Me ridicule Me; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,  He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him; l us help Him past. deliver Him, since He delights in House !”
9   But You are He who took Me out of the womb; You made Me trust while on My mother’s breasts.
10  I was cast upon You from birth. From My mother’s womb You have been My God.
11  Be not far from Me, for trouble is near; for there is none to help.
12  Many bulls have surrounded Me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me.

13  They gape at Me with their mouths, Like a raging and roaring lion. AND I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; it has melted within Me.
15  My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death.
16  For dogs have surrounded Me; the congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet;
17  I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me.
18 They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.

The vivid descriptions of the physical trauma which the Lord went through is stunning. Psalm 22 represents a view of the events recorded in the Gospels, down to the mocking by the pharisees etc. in accurate detail....all written 1000 years before it occurred! What a mighty God we serve.

As we read these relevant portions of Psalm 22 and the Isaiah 52-53 chapters, may we be fully aware of what our Lord had to endure, so that you and I may have eternal life. This should be a prime cause of celebration, to the Praise and Glory of His Name. amen. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017


On the day which some call “Maundy Thursday”,  a series of significant events occurred which brought a new paradigm and way of thinking to those who aspire to be both leaders and servants of the Lord.  It was Passover, just as it is now, in 2017 around Good Friday. On the biblical calendar (which is different from the Julian calendar we used in today’s world – the one created by Julius Caesar), Passover is always on 14 Nisan 5777 (not the automaker Nissan, but Nisan – which was April 10th 2017 this year). Jesus had sent Peter and the disciples ahead to prepare the Upper Room for the Passover Seder.

The Passover Seder is much like what some of us, who are versed in these things, have done in various venues for years, with all the required elements. Except when Jesus is doing the Passover remembrance, it is the real deal! He is not just the actual Passover Lamb Himself, metaphorically speaking, but it was Christ Who led the Exodus out of Egypt all the way from when He met Moses on Mt. Sinai in the Burning Bush...and created the original Passover at that time.

Apart from the physical preparations for the meal, the strong undercurrent and tension of the previous few days events in Jerusalem, now packed with up to one million people for the Passover, weighed heavily in the air. Jesus, the Man Who preached peace, love and forgiveness was starting to reassume His eternal title of Divine Judge and had overturned not just the tables, but the same corrupt and evil order who had existed since the time the Magi (the Wise Men) visited Herod looking for the Christ Child. These Magi had seen the Star of Bethlehem in the East and followed it to find the baby Jesus in the Manger. Jerusalem was in uproar, knowing the prophesied Messiah had come to mess up their evil world order and now, 33  years later, nothing had changed. The worldly powers had seen first-hand, what a Righteous God can do. They still did not believe. The question is, if we were alive in Jerusalem, would be part of the uproar against Christ, or would we stand on the sidelines or would we have been all in? These are serious things to ponder, even now! Please do not think modern day Christians are incapable of acting just like some of these folks from Bible times! 

What happened during the meal carries deep significance for us Christians, and Christian leaders, alive today.  The one that is most talked about and emulated, is the actual “Washing of the Feet”.  I have been honored to be asked to be the recipient of this act of selfless humility and service, decades ago while attending a church in Hartford, Connecticut.  It shakes one to the core. It makes you feel completely unworthy and it brings home not just the symbolism of what Jesus – the CREATOR OF THE WORLD – did for this rag tag group of men who would abandon him less than 12 hours later, but what He actually did for us on the Cross.

The Ultimate Life Coach – King Jesus – basically did what He came off the Eternal Throne of Heaven to do. He did the job Himself. But in this act of washing the disciples’ dirty feet, He instituted the only acceptable form of leadership which is fit for the Kingdom of Heaven. Listen to what He said here in John 13:12-17:
12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. 

Jesus surely made these men uncomfortable by this act and they should have been. Just as Jesus shook up the world order for the sons of perdition, He was even more intentional about Kingdom Order for the few who are chosen then, and the many who will be chosen in the Kingdom to come.  When Peter recoiled, as maybe a lot of us would have,  He was told in no uncertain terms, that this is how it was going to be. In our own way of thinking, how would we have reacted to Jesus washing our feet? In a sense He already did. He washed us clean with His Supernatural Blood if we are born again and have accepted His Lordship in our lives!

The other significant event that night was the betrayal.  It was particularly noteworthy that everyone or most of the disciples thought that he was the one who was going to betray the Lord! In a sense, most of them did. They scurried away and headed for the hills as soon as King Jesus was captured by the bad guys, after their crooked treasurer Judas betrayed Jesus. 

All the disciples, from the rambunctious Peter who literally cussed up a blue streak while denying Jesus Christ three times to the fabulous sons of thunder, (minus John who wrote the Book of John), ALL abandoned the Lord. The beloved John the Revelator not only showed up at the Crucifixion, but stood next to Mary, mother of Jesus, James, Jude and other sisters and a brother. He was the only one spared an early death, but not persecution.

In a sense, we have all betrayed Him.  When one sinned – all sinned. There is no difference between Adam, whom God had personally instructed face to Face, standing next to his wife while she negotiated with Satan and then joining her in her sin….and the daily sin we commit, even as Christians. Sin is sin and missing the mark, big time. 

We also miss the mark when we do not stand up for Christ in the marketplace. A person very close to me and a group of new recruits of over 50 men and women stood before the local Colonel at their first military drills.  Out of the blue, the Colonel asked if anyone in the group was a Christian. Only one person put his hand up and it was that person whom I knew very well. Then the Colonel explained the reason he asked. He just wanted to inform them that chaplains were available for Christians and others if they needed.  It was as simple as that and not a call to join the Crusades. Still, while others may have said they were later on, the reluctance to even identify as a Christian in so-called “Christian America” is absolutely stunning.

When we pass on even stating who we are, in the marketplace, alongside our co-workers or even the classroom, because in the world’s opinion it is not the “cool thing” to do, we too run from Christ and hide like His disciples did. We are not saying that any of us would have sold out Jesus to the enemy for 30 pieces of silver or bitcoin. No real Christian would ever do that, but we have all kept silent when Christ has been blasphemed, maligned and/or worse. Most Christians – professing or authentic – are incapable of even explaining one substantial answer for the Hope that is within us, as Scripture prescribes because only 9% of Adults even know the Bible or have a worldview which encompasses the Real God of Heaven. Even less millennials are Biblical literate – 4% and declining (all current George Barna figures).  Within two generations, most young people will be completely lost to the world. There is absolutely no difference between any of this and what the disciples in scattering to the four winds. 

These are two of the most significant things which occurred in the hours (on the Thursday of Holy Week) leading up to the arrest and six illegal trials of the Lord Jesus.  Both have had significant impact, on not just the church, but has affected each and every authentic follower of Christ. Those who are wise, will rise and learn from this one incredible act of Jesus (washing of the feet) and the betrayal (the acts of men). May we be found wise in His Eyes and may our Lives be continually transformed into HIS Likeness and not the one which reflects this quickly perishing and fleeting age. Amen.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


The final week of Jesus' earthly life and ministry was nothing short of phenomenal and amazing. As He set His eyes to Jerusalem and the Cross on that fateful "Good Friday", a series of events occurred which will never be forgotten in the annals of human history.

From Palm Sunday, when He triumphantly rode into Jerusalem on a borrowed to His cleansing of the Temple and the corruption of the religious leaders of Judaism at the time, to the attempt to entrap Him in His own words by those same leaders, Jesus had one mission in mind. Some of His words, from John Chapter 12, have intrigued me since reading them again on Palm Sunday, but to get to John 12:11, let us read about the anointing of His feet by Mary and what its significance is, according to the Lord. Start here:

12 Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. 2 There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. 3 Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

4 But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, 5 “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.  7 But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. 8 For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.”

9 Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. 10 But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.

Verse 11 says "many Jews went away....and BELIEVED IN JESUS"  and when we read down to verse 19, we see the same corrupt religious leaders double down on their evil, because they only knew one way. This way led them away from repentance and following the narrow way God had (and has prescribed) for all mankind.
John 12: 16-19 says:
16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. 17 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. 18 The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.

That last line from verse 19 has stuck with me for days ..."Look, the WORLD HAS GONE AFTER HIM"! Can this be said of you and I? Are we in constant pursuit, or even half-hearted pursuit to behold, and learn and love God this way? Are our spiritual hearts fixed on Him? Are we ALL IN? 

On the Road to Good Friday, we MUST answer these questions before proceeding, in our own spirits, on to Resurrection Sunday. Let the inner reflection and spiritual self-examination begin now. Amen

Sunday, April 9, 2017


It is more than possible for a new Christian to hurry up and surpass the one "who" taught him/her the ways and wonders of the Lord. It happens all the time. For instance, say a new baby Christian is born (again) and as often happens, this person is immediately more fired up and passionate about the Kingdom and Kingdom work and seems unstoppable. They are an asset to the Body of Christ as long as this energy is directed in a measured and meaningful way.

There was such a man like that in the New Testament. His name was Saul. Later on in his writings, as Paul, he called himself "a Jew of Jews". In other words, he had already surpassed his great teacher - Gamaliel, the famous Jewish Rabbi of Bible days - in both passion, zeal and maybe even the thirst for knowledge. Now as with those whose zeal exceed their knowledge, Gamaliel had more wisdom than Saul when he tried to restrain his student Saul and all the other pharisees from hunting down John and Peter in Acts Chapter 5 (click here)
Psalm 119:97-104
97    O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.
98    Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever mine.
99    I have more insight than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation.
100  I understand more than the aged, because I have observed Your precepts.
101  I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word.
102  I have not turned aside from Your ordinances, for You Yourself have taught me.
103  How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

104  From Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.

This is precisely what is meant by Psalm 119:99, when taken at face value. Saul/Paul WAS more gifted knowledge-wise than Gamiliel, his rabbi. Later on, in the Book of Acts, when he became a Christian after encountering Jesus Christ on the Road to Damascus, he also became a whole lot wiser than all the descendants put together, of the Great Jewish Rabbis from the Exodus to Jesus Christ (about 1500 years). It is also possible that Saul, now Paul, ended up privately witnessing to Gamiliel on one of his many visits back to Jerusalem. But that is another story, as there is no evidence of Gamiliel ever becoming a follower of Christ.

While Psalm 119:97-100...or in fact, this entire portion from verses 97-104 could be about the Apostle Paul and his life's work, it is more about how the Holy Spirit wants us to live and function as Children of the Cross. We are supposed to be become more equipped and wiser in the word than our pastor/teachers. If we spend more time meditating in the Word of God, going to good Bible conferences and walking out our Faith in the market place of ideas, where the rubber meets the road, it is entirely probably to have a complete Christian life than most preachers. Faith in Action- from study to service- will give us an edge over even a seminary president, who may know the entire Bible in Greek, yet could not share the gospel with the girl who cuts his hair, even if his life depended on it! Consider, or think on these things.

Because such a one has solid and growing Faith, which functions mightily with an unction, we instinctively know to stay away from all evil. Not just blatantly evil things like the obvious, but even the things which once captured our attention (Verse 101). Some of the TV programs or movies which we would not dare miss because "we just had to see them" or a series with some popular (yet completely lost) actor or actress which celebrates sin, all of a sudden have absolutely NO appeal to us. This is not only a sign of spiritual growth and becoming sanctified in the Lord, but is also a direct result of the "ordinances" of the Lord (verse 102) taking hold in our spirits and in our lives!

Such a development is terrific because we fall more in love with not just Abba Father, and the Savior, but His Words - His living breathing Words of Life in every page of the Bible (verse 103). The sweetest therein flows from each page like honey from the honeycomb. We become like beekeepers without all the beekeeper hazmat looking suits on, because the honey of the Word of God only stings if we violate it. Apart from that, it is the sweetener in our tea, the sugar in your coffee! There is nothing more delicious than pure natural honey or a honeycomb purchased directly from the Farmer's Market or one of our local apple orchards. There is nothing more satisfying to the soul, than the truth found in God's Word, in which no false way can be found (verse 104). There is nothing more amazing than being completely committed to Jesus Christ, the Author and Perfecter and Creator all things. Amen.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017


The most wonderful things happen when we praise Yahweh (Jesus) in the storm. We can go from being buffeted by tsunami sized waves one minute, thinking no one cares and it is all over to the very next minute being immediately on dry land. This is exactly what happened in this next portion of Psalm 119 (verses 89-96).

This amazing shift could not happen to the believer unless he or she is fully conscious of the immutability of God, the immovable Sovereignty of His Holy Name and the inerrancy of His Words.  His immutability speaks to the very center of God's Nature - He cannot change. From an unimaginable eternity past, He IS God and will never change. He cannot change. We are the ones who must, in order to line up with His perfect nature. We know He is Sovereign Creator and Ruler of all and most of all. He will never move off His Throne of His Lordship over all. We know His Words will therefore, forever stand (Psalm 119:89-91). You can doubt until you're blue in the face, this will never cease being true!

When He declares what He will do, He does it. When He says what He will not do, it will never happen. He spoke the world into existence (Genesis chapter 1) He set its footings so precise that even one millimeter off, and the globe will cease to exist.  He sustains the Heavens and the earth by the Power of His Spoken Words. 
Psalm 119:89-96
89   Forever, O Lord, Your words settled in heaven.
90   Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations; You established the earth, and it stands.
91   They stand this day according to Your ordinances, for all things are Your servants.
92   If Your law had not been my delight, then I would have perished in my affliction.
93   I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have revived me.
94  I am Yours, save me; for I have sought Your precepts.
95  The wicked wait for me to destroy me; I shall diligently consider Your testimonies.
96  I have seen a limit to all perfection; Your commandment is exceedingly broad.

Search the unfathomable – the very oracles of God – the Bible and more and more is revealed about the Creator and His Creation than we can ever pick up even studying the Bible in depth. (Psalm 119:92)

Seek the Inseparable – the Triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – and They will embrace you and I like when the Angel came down from heaven to tell the great prophet Daniel (Daniel 10:11). God may not send down a live Angel to speak with you directly, but His mercy, grace, favor and love last a lifetime. The more you and I see Him in prayer and worship and the Word, in Spirit and Truth, the more He grants us His Favor, blessings and more…..until our cup runneth over so we can bless someone else with the overflow. (Psalm 119:92-94).

Surrender to the Incorruptible – Only a superior, Holy and all-Powerful being could produce the words of life which rescued you and I when we were in the depths of our despair.  His entire Law Book – the Bible, while not even 10% a compilation of do’s and don’ts, is the high octane fuel which fires the internal combustion the engines of our lives when combined with the Oil of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit alive in us, is the ONLY proof we belong to God eternally – THE ONLY EVIDENCE. When this internal combustion engine of our souls is firing, even on 1 piston, it is enough to confirm the trustworthiness of EVERY single promise and truth in the Bible. Because God cannot and will not sin, His purity and holiness cleanses us by extension (Psalm 119:93)

Separate from the irredeemable – Regardless of the intentions of  countless thousands of evangelists to reach the lost and dying world, the majority will never respond to this free gift and love of the gospel. It seems to simple and easy for them. There are those who wish to do it themselves.  There are those who want the good life right now and “go for all the gustonow because “you can’t take it with you”. Increasingly, the perishing and lost world plot against, persecute and promote hatred against the people of God. Psalm 119:95 calls them “the wicked”, which they are. Our portion in this is to identify the enemies of God and our souls and then stay as far from them as possible in fellowship. If the Lord leads to speak with them about Him, pray without ceasing and obey this command. Pray for their salvation at the same time, while praying their wickedness INTO the very capable Hands of Yahweh.  Knowing how to stay within the parameters allowed, while staying on offense in prayer takes maturity and a certain level of spiritual growth.  It is advisable to just give the matter over to the Lord immediately  and not proceed into the realms of spiritual warfare, against the purveyors of wickedness.
Psalm 1:1-2
1  How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
2  But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.
Soak in His Presence – think of how the Word starts out in Psalm 1:2 (above)
"His delight" – your delight,  my delight – all the delight of all the true followers of Jesus Christ is to  be found in Him!  The truest delight is to be found on “meditating” on His Word all day long.  God is not saying that we walk around speaking in bible verses, 24/7, on this side of Glory and not living it out. What He is saying is His Word is firm. His promises are truth and He has made us completely justified in His sight – that is He remade us 100% from the inside out (just as He said He would in Isaiah 1:18 if we reasoned with Him). Let us just take this and run with it, with full and complete knowledge of our eternal position and security and trust God with the rest.

The matter has been resolved. He is God. He is Sovereign and His promises are "yes and amen". Let the richness of His Word remain embedded, watered, nurtured and growing in our hearts, so that we can continue to live the rich, sinless Christian life with a purpose.