What Do You
Do YOU SEE the hurting people around YOU?
What do YOU
Do you STOP to help those
Who ARE HURTING, or do YOU STEP OVER
DO YOU RESPOND to their PLEAS?
Open your Eyes to the people AROUND YOU?
Self exaltation and Pride is never
Drowning in over a YEAR
Grueling, daily, SLOW, Family SUFFERING,
I LABOR FULL TIME
Putting GOD FIRST before MY FAMILY as
The consequences of this PAIN,
BEING FORCED for MONTHS and MONTHS
To LIE about
As I SUFFER through unbearable amounts
Complete WILLFUL IGNORANCE
NO Answers to every question for MY FAMILY
Why I AM investing my FULL TIME into This
Instead of FAMIlY and INCOME, for OVER a YEAR
THIS KIND, JESUS LOVING
Won’t acknowledge that
Not only Involved, but FULLY Responsible
This Journey of Witnessing Christ,
as THEY continue to
Meeting ALL of THEIR OWN
(For a grueling 70 MORE weeks of sermons BUILT off MY MINISTERING)
AND Each of these
GIVE HONOR to the HOLY Kingdom Queen
PROMOTING their OWN
Public Image and Reputation
While Consistently and Ruthlessly Degrading
As she ABUSES
”Position” of “Leadership Authority”
Situations and People
in order to
Keep her Humanly, Self Prescribed Position
What is Gods Authority
Gods Righteous Position
LIVING Human Being’s
Opportunity to Experience and HEAR
Which is Not for the Goodwill of others, but for her own
self gratification and faulty idea of what is
When control isn’t in her Favor, And life doesn’t Go HER WAY,
With Irrelevant, Humiliating, Underserved, Punishment
In ORDER to SUSTAIN
Her Crafted Public Image
In attempts to
coerce people into submitting to them
out of Fear of
This is WHY NO ONE will
They LIVE in FEAR of BEING
To blackmail and public extortion
DUE to The Abuse
Ungodly, Self Exalting, Prideful
In its clearest
most precise biblical definition,
HURT anyone that THEY BELIEVE
Of this WORLDLY Perspective
God Ordained Authority”
of which has ZERO to do with
Gods TRUE Word,
Cleverly masqueraded under
The Name of Jesus
Gospel All While
Discipling, Shepherding and Supporting
Gods Revealed Will and Mission
Resources, ability, and Time
That I AM
FULLY qualified, FULLY knowledgeable for,
ONLY ONE WAY
ONLY ONE TRUTH
I have FULLY Carried ALL theWEIGHT
NO compensation, NO acknowledgment,
While degradingly GIVEN exceeding
“Parenting,” “Moral,” “Christian Family” “Marriage”
and “Biblical Advice”
To SECURE a Strong Biblical Foundation
I AM suffocating in CARRYING the
Get criticized about everything NON BIBLICAL such as
House Cleaning, Cooking Meal Plans,
and the Sinful effects of
Eating pizza and Microwaved French Fries
While YOU PREACH about
Taking care of
“widows and orphans”
She will use up ANY people, resources or
SERMON TIME to
Uphold HER Public “Reputation,”
Likewise USING the SAME MEASURE to
Falsely Slander mine
Willful Ignorance is RECKLESSLY
A Pillar of Salt,
SALT into Bleeding Wounds,
Not ONCE humbling herself to Self Examination, learning,
Growing further in knowledge or
Most Critically for the Well-being of others,
Bearing Fruits of Repentance,
But KICKING Back EACH and EVERY TIME
She DESPISES the
Word of God
If I weren’t SLAVING for GODS WILL,
FULL TIME For YOU people to
OPEN your EYES to The TRUTH of GODS WORD
Then I would be in a more ideal position in
prioritizing the Care of MY FAMILY,
YOU do YOURS
By Bringing in INCOME to PAY for
My child's PainsStakingly
COSTLY DYSLEXIA SCHOOLING
So that HE can
LEARN to READ
While YOU SPEND Ridiculous amounts of
Gods finances And Gods Ordained Resources on
Flights, outfits, fancy things, food catering, private investigators,
And Appeasing the Queen to keep a
Clean Carved Image
what comes with learning how to read?
Reading the Bible!
What comes with that?
My Parents, who should be retired, step in daily to
help with my children, because
I’m bringing in NO income for Slaving in
YOUR Redemption AND Education and DIRECTION
My KIDS Miss out, while you GLORIFY your
Kids ministries and supporting special needs to
transport to all of your
“no sinners allowed”
My husband 100% financially supports us
while I slave for YOU ALL and the self righteous
IDOLS receive FULL
HONOR for Spreading a heretical
which is clearly harmful in
YET, Wont Correctly APPLY the
WORD of GOD
And desires for a future generation to continue
While WE get LIES and humiliation
Gods Given Resources and Finances
are of course
FIRST designated to Publicly Honor
“Honored “Biblical Pastors” Chosen Ministry,”
“Honor is Due”
Whatever that means.. as if Human Beings are
Gods and dictators of plantations
(All while not qualified to minister Gods Word)
To designate all Funds
(While Taxing whatever Feels Right for Air Flights and everything else unrelated to Gods Will)
to the Ministry of “Future Leaders” who are
Biblical Doctrine and Shutting the Door in Peoples Faces,
In order to Go Into the World
“Gospel of Jesus Christ”
a secular financial system that doesn’t
Teach Sound Biblical
And Preaching People
“Remove this internet”
which is their
LIFE GIVING WORD of GOD
Simply because she exalts herself
TRUE, biblical correction and guidance,
how many kind warnings
Gracious forgiving there have been
months and months
HOW will the LOST
EVER KNOW CHRIST?
Without even lifting their eyes to even
consider if they are
And are too self righteous to humble themselves
As they insist they “deserve” our “honor”
whatever the H that is…. for a ‘
regardless of who they trample, or of what
Gods Truth says
People will degrade you, slander you,
gossip about you, judge you, persecute you,
dehumanize you and without any
Ignore your cries, reject you, cut you off
and discard you to the waste-side
They will elevate themselves above
The law of god and human legal system
Not hold themselves accountable and
Every call and email
They will LIE to your parents, sweep it under the rug
There will be NO apology, truth, or acknowledgement
They will NOT confront their mistakes
They will Step OVER everyone to Preach the law
To “Grow” in “Godly Character” And become a Godly
Leader World Changer
Climbing up the ladder
of their Man Made
Kingdom Institution in order to
“Name of Jesus”
I will of course need to get
clean and baptized
Before I can enter the presence
Perhaps THEY WILL exploit your personal
share and exploit personal information
that occurred in the
PRIVACY of your own home, gossip about you,
about everyone else’s sins and
NOT acknowledge HER own
You will visit, call and email several times and
Simply, politely Ask to speak to the lead pastor,
but will be
Dismissed several times,
more than you can count.
What kind of Jesus Preaching Church
won’t allow you to
Email or Speak with the Pastors?
Your parents will call and speak with
Emily several times she will lie to them
She will tell my father that they don’t even know me
or what I’m talking about
And that I am misinterpreting scripture and it’s
not inline with their church mission or values
I will come and ask to speak with Emily and ask her
very respectfully to speak with the lead pastor
and she will very
degradingly and disrespectfully
“HE has an obligation to SERVE
(degrading look at me)
THEN his family, THEN his church!”
there was NO Way I would
To “speak” with the Church Pastor
Wait, so No
Simple Email, or conversation? Just an Email?
SHE has been PUT in a “POSITION of LEADERSHIP”
How dare I ASK that!
How dare I insert my inquiry into HER important,
distinguished, designated, Christian leadership Role.
She had earlier in a “biblical Study Group”
informed me I didn’t have
“the holy spirit”
and very likely couldn’t serve
on a missions trip two years ago because
The Honored Queen
was very particular about having the
Because if you
“don’t have the HOLY SPIRIT, The SPIRIT “can’t MOVE”
Emily’s Words Verbatim
In TRUTH, your Flesh is against My Spirt,
however your Christian leadership position dismisses me
from serving because “You are not against me”
Yes you Are. You are fighting the Truth.
”Prayed over” me…praying
that the spirit would “move”… so KIND!!
And when I did get baptized at this church,
This same good ol’ Christian Leader Emily, a
“personal Servant of the Queen’ (apparently)
Moved ME into a different line so that
I was No longer in the “lead pastors line”
that I chose to stand in, and yet again, could not meet him
Later Christian Leader Emily informed me,
I could No longer “Serve” on their “Church's Creative TEAM”
And was Removed from
their Chat groups and Church Directory
And that there were
“other churches” I could go to;
I was Bizarrely, unwillingly bombarded and blindsided
Three to ONE with “Church leaders”
and given No Explanation to WHY I couldn’t SERVE and
of my Questions were Answered, but were
“Soon eager to Pray for the power of Jesus to heal me”
Enlighten ME with “scripture passages”
After they continually LIED To MY FAMILY,
I was forced to go to
A professional to get a full medical evaluation
(Which of course I’m sane and wasted time and money on this)
Because clearly I’m lying,
As Emily and the CHURCH are Clearly
righteous, honest, fair, respectful,
GODLY people who
Jesus for the community
So, I agree with this pastor,
People are miserable,
lady in the Tahoe,
And I’m not sure what
“Someone” Put Her Through,
Not just for Me
But all loved ones in my Life,
We lost our dog and
My children lost many opportunities
While you Recline and Ridicule
share innocent strangers
personal and extremely private
with your own family members simply
to ruthlessly lever your own advantage at
the pure expense
of degrading and humiliating others
Thats what YOU do,
you are a
And abuse that position
controlling your husband
Oppose his clear and obvious
“WE are DIFFERENT.”
So don’t let anyone tell you that you are “
you are not
and perhaps one day, you will take that
“FIRST step to GROW” Alongside
Be all that you were created to be, because
“Its never too late”
“Reach your Full potential”…
And then… “maybe”
Will “let me”.“Touch”
Time Will Tell
But it Sure sounds like you’ve
Fruits of Kindness;
Is nothing but harmful when
YOU “SHOULD” KNOW This,
Loving Kindness corrects people, and you’ve
dismissed and rejected over a year
A False form of Kindness is merely a FACADEm
A Wolf disguised as a
A well groomed Sheep that recklessly follows
Its Manner Courses
A BLIND GUIDE that can’t see, hear, or discern
The blatant Voice of God
which is precisely the KIND of leader
Infects any GRAIN of Integrity
Spreading Further Harm,
Precisely as a
Plague or Disease…
So… Is it TIME
For you to get an evaluation?
I Will Drive
Do you need a Prayer Support Group?
I will intercede
Some Water? A Cleansing?
I can COME UP with a SERMON for that
Perhaps ill illegally spy on you,
then judge you,
then persecute you,
And when you plead for help,
and your dad calls,
I will lie to him
because my Public Image is
More Important than you,
The world needs Jesus, you
Like a GOOD ole, SOUTHern KIND of Fun, TIME?
Laboring DOWN LOW,
I can Confidently say,
The View is Much More
PEACEFUL UP NORTH
FIRST, before Ascending
Gospel PEACE TRAIN,
Do you need an
Public Honor Declaration
To properly minister
To Bring people to know
The Saving Light of Christ our Savior?
COME, Get Baptized,
Where you can take your
REACH UP and GROW
Perhaps, one day,
SHOOT for the STARS
Have You Repented?
When Paul told the Philippian jailer
what he must do to be saved,
he was referring to the jailer’s eternal destiny
Jesus equated being
kingdom of God
What are we saved from?
In the True
doctrine of salvation, we are
from “wrath,” that is,
God’s judgment of sin
(Romans 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:9).
Our sin has
separated us from God,
consequence of sin is
Biblical salvation refers to our
consequence of sin
and therefore involves
Removal of sin
We are saved from
The power and
penalty of SIN
Who does the saving?
Only God can
remove sin and deliver us from sin’s penalty
(2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:5)
How does God save?
Knowing Jesus Christ
The cross and subsequent
our salvation through
Condemnation Breeds Death
(Romans 5:10; Ephesians 1:7).
gift of God
(Ephesians 2:5, 8)
and is only
faith in Jesus Christ
How do we receive salvation?
We are saved by faith.
First, we must HEAR
Then, we must
trust the Lord Jesus
changing of mind
and calling on the name of the Lord
(Romans 10:9-10, 13).
the deliverance, by the
grace of God,
that is granted to those who
accept by faith
God’s conditions of repentance
Faith in the Lord Jesus
is available in
(John 14:6; Acts 4:12)
and is dependent on
provision and assurance.
In 1 Corinthians 10:31,
Paul instructs the Corinthian believers,
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do,
to the glory of God
In this verse, Paul is speaking to believers in the
Greek city of Corinth under the Roman Empire.
In 1 Corinthians 10, Paul addresses the topic of
how the Corinthian Christians were to relate to idolatry
around them in a polytheistic Greco-Roman society.
In all they did, even eat and drink, they were to glorify God.
In the time of Paul, much of the
meat sold in Corinthian markets had been
ritually sacrificed to idols.
Temples were hubs
of social and economic activity
as well as worship,
so eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols could be
seen as partaking in idolatry.
In 1 Corinthians 10:14, Paul says,
Therefore, my beloved, flee from
Paul then compares taking part
In an idolatrous feast
to taking part
eating meat from idols
one to the idols,
partaking in the bread
wine of communion
the believer with
The Corinthian believers were to take care to
separate themselves from
sinful aspects of their culture:
You cannot drink
cup of the LORD
cup of demons too;
you cannot have
a part in both
The Lord’s Table
the table of demons
(1 Corinthians 10:21).
Paul acknowledges that
Not Real Gods
(1 Corinthians 10:19–20).
Therefore, it is acceptable to
eat anything sold in the meat market
without raising questions of conscience
(verse 25; cf. 1 Timothy 4:4–5)
In 1 Corinthians 10:23–30,
Paul builds an argument to his conclusion in verse 31.
Eat the Meat
To idols without qualms,
Idols are False
All good things come from
however, they also need to consider whether
doing so will
the conscience and
Faith of Others:
“No one should seek their own good, but the good of others”
Some Christians may feel tempted
To the patterns of the world through
eating the meat
feel they are still
participating in idolatry,
and their conscience
Because of this, Paul advises discernment and deference.
As believers eat and DRINK they
To the Glory of God;
that is, they must eat and drink
in a way
that will not cause problems
This leads to Paul’s concluding statement,
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do,
do all to the
Glory of God
Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to
The church of God,
just as I try
everyone in everything I do,
not seeking my own advantage,
that of many,
that they may be saved
(1 Corinthians 10:31–33)
More succinctly, in 1 Corinthians 8:13, Paul explains,
food makes my brother stumble,
I will never eat meat,
lest I make my brother stumble.”
So, when Paul talks about eating and drinking
glory of God
In Matthew 21:44, Jesus says,
He who falls on this
will be broken to pieces,
but he on whom it falls
will be crushed
The key to understanding this statement lies in the context
of the verse and the
larger conversation Jesus was having.
Jesus was teaching in the
when the chief priests and elders
approached Him and demanded
to know the
In response, Jesus asked them about
John the Baptist--
was he a prophet of God or not?
The religious leaders,
fearing the people’s response,
refused to reveal their
true opinion on the matter
refused to reveal
In doing so,
Jesus made it clear
Jewish leaders themselves
Jesus then related
In the first, Jesus told of two sons who were
told by their father to go work in the vineyard.
The first son initially refused
but later changed his mind and went to work.
The second son
promised to work,
but he never
went to the vineyard
this to the religious leaders of Israel,
who were like the second son--
they expressed agreement with
the Father but,
in the final analysis, were disobedient.
The sinners who responded to John the Baptist’s
message were like the
they seemed unlikely candidates for heaven,
but they repented
will enter the kingdom
In the second parable, Jesus tells of a
at harvest time, sent some servants
to his vineyard to collect the fruit.
However, the farmers who were
tending the vineyard were a
and when the servants arrived,
the farmers beat some of them and killed others.
sent his own son
collect the fruit,
expecting that the
would show him
But the farmers treated the son worst of all, throwing him out of the vineyard and killing him (Matthew 21:33-39).
Jesus then asks a question: "When the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?" (Matthew 21:40). The chief priests and elders respond, "He will bring those wretches to a wretched end" (Matthew 21:41). Jesus then presses His point home with a quotation from Psalm 118: "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes" (Matthew 21:42). After a warning that the religious leaders will not inherit the kingdom (Matthew 21:43), we come to the statement in question, which is the culmination of a series of dire pronouncements aimed at the chief priests and elders.
Jesus begins with a question about John the Baptist in Matthew 21:25, but by the end of the conversation, Jesus is plainly speaking of Himself, referring to a "father" sending his "son" who was killed (Matthew 21:37). He then immediately quotes a Messianic prophecy (Matthew 21:42), in effect claiming to be the long-awaited Messiah. The progression is logical: a rejection of John leads one naturally to a rejection of Christ, to whom John pointed
(John 1:29, 3:30).
The stone which "the builders rejected" in verse 42 is Jesus. Although rejected, He nevertheless becomes the "chief cornerstone" (NKJV). See also Acts 4:11; Ephesians 2:20; and 1 Peter 2:6-8. The builders’ rejection of the stone is a reference to Christ’s crucifixion. The Lord’s choice of the stone to be the cornerstone is a reference to Christ’s resurrection. God chose His Son, despised and rejected by the world, to be the foundation of His church (1 Corinthians 3:11). "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation" (Isaiah 28:16).
Now, there are consequences for coming into contact with a stone. If you trip over the edge of a rock and fall on it, you may break some bones. If a large enough rock falls on top of you, you may be killed. Jesus uses these truths to deliver a warning to the Jewish leaders.
The stone in verse 44 is also Jesus. In saying that those who fall on this stone "will be broken to pieces," Jesus is warning against opposing Him. Defying Jesus is like beating one’s head against a solid rock—a foolish action. In saying that those upon whom the stone falls "will be crushed," Jesus is warning against ignoring Him or trivializing Him. Apathy towards Jesus is like standing in the way of a falling rock—another foolish action. "I am here to do God’s work," Jesus essentially says. "The foundation for the church will be laid. It is unwise to oppose Me because God’s work is not inconsequential."
Rejection of the Savior
Unfortunately, many do reject Him.
”He will be a
that causes men
stumble and a rock
makes them fall"
judgment so severe
that the only thing
will be dust
The prophet Daniel gives a similar picture of the Messiah, likening Him to a rock "cut out, but not by human hands," which smashes into the nations of the world and completely obliterates them
Matthew 21:44 is a call to faith, an appeal to open one’s eyes and see that Jesus is indeed the Son of God sent into the world. The verse is also a strict warning against rejecting Jesus Christ. He is the sure Rock of salvation for those who believe, but an immovable stumbling stone for those who do not.
In the New Testament, the glory of God is revealed in His Son, Jesus Christ: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Jesus came as “a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of [God’s] people Israel” (Luke 2:32). The miracles that Jesus did were “signs through which he revealed his glory” (John 2:11). In Christ, the glory of God is meekly veiled, approachable, and knowable. He promises to return some day “on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory”
Isaiah 43:7 says that
God saved Israel for
in the redeemed will
God’s grace and power and
The natural world also exhibits God’s glory,
revealed to all men, no matter their race, heritage, or location.
As Psalm 19:1–4 says,
“The heavens declare
The glory of God;
work of his hands
Day after day they
pour forth speech;
night after night they
They have no speech, they use
no sound is heard from them.
voice goes out into all the earth,
to the ends of the world.”
Psalm 73:24 calls heaven
Sometimes Christians speak of death as being
“received unto glory,”
a phrase borrowed from this psalm. When the Christian dies,
he or she will be taken into
God’s glory and majesty
In that place,
His glory will be seen clearly:
“For now we see
reflection as in a mirror;
shall see face to face”
(1 Corinthians 13:12).
In the future
glory of God will be manifest:
“The city does not need the sun or the moon
to shine on it,
glory of God gives it
Lamb is its lamp”
God will not
give His glory to another
(Isaiah 42:8; cf. Exodus 34:14).
Yet this is the
very thing that people
try to steal
Scripture indicts all
“Although they claimed to be wise,
fools and exchanged the
of the immortal
for images made to
a mortal human being
birds and animals and
Only God is eternal, and
and eternal attributes
love, etc., are
not to be exchanged
anything in this world.
The Bible teaches the
importance and appropriateness
churches providing financial support
to Christian ministers who
admirably serve their congregations
. In 1 Timothy 5:18, the apostle Paul cites two passages to
back up his claim that
honor and care
them from becoming
overworked and underpaid
that will LEAD to
Famine and drought!
The first is “
Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain”
The second is “The laborer is worthy of his hire”
In the first instance, Paul cites Deuteronomy 25:4.
He reasons that, if God in His law expressed concern for
to be fed and cared for,
church members ought to show
them with a decent wage.
It’s good to feed the
Its Better to Feed Your
Paul’s second reference, “
The laborer is worthy of his hire”
“The laborer deserves his wages”
is most likely a recitation of
deserves his wages”
(Luke 10:7, ESV).
Jesus said this to His disciples when
He sent them ahead of
Him as “laborers into his harvest”
(Luke 10:2, ESV),
encouraging them to
hospitality and food from
people who would
Significantly, 1 Timothy 5:18 calls the
Gospel of Luke
In 1 Timothy 5:17, Paul explains further:
“The elders who direct the affairs
of the church well are
worthy of double honor,
especially those whose
work is preaching and teaching.”
A study of the term double honor
reveals that it refers
to both respect and remuneration.
The phrase emphasizes generosity.
Paul expects the
provide reasonable pay
a job well done, and
to do so indicates a
shortage of respect and honor
one’s spiritual leaders.
In the Old Testament,
The priests and Levites
who ministered in worship
community of believers
so that they
“could devote themselves
the Law of the LORD”
(2 Chronicles 31:4; cf. 1 Corinthians 9:13).
Thus, it stands to reason in
The New Testament
that those who
devote their lives
work of the gospel
should likewise be
To the church in Galatia, Paul wrote,
“Those who are
Word of God
should provide for their
good things with them”
(Galatians 6:6, NLT).
He informed the believers in Corinth,
“In the same way,
ordered that those who
should be supported
Those who benefit from it”
(1 Corinthians 9:14, NLT)
It’s true that Paul earned his own living,
supporting his ministry work through
(Acts 18:3; 1 Corinthians 9:3–18; 1 Thessalonians 2:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:8).
But Paul explained in detail that his case was
an exception for a particular purpose
(1 Corinthians 9:4–27).
It’s interesting to note that neither of Paul’s scriptural parallels
is particularly complimentary.
He first compares Christian ministers
to oxen, beasts of burden.
Second, he likens them to farmhands.
Paul’s illustrations are
not to demean but to stress that
The gospel ministry
Those who serve well
paid a fair wage
Just as it is right
feed their livestock
worthy of their hire,
proper and essential
local church to provide adequate
to its dedicated
To glorify God
honor Him with praise
God is glorious; that is,
He is great and magnificent--
He is exceptionally
grand in His nature and deeds.
“Full of splendor and majesty
is his work
” (Psalm 111:3, ESV).
When we glorify Him, we acknowledge
His greatness and splendor and
laud Him for it.
When we “give Him glory,”
the world is told to do
in Revelation 14:7,
we direct our praise,
adoration, thanksgiving, and worship
who alone is worthy.
Scripture makes our
to glorify God evident from
cover to cover.
First Chronicles 16:17–36 presents a
giving glory to God
As Asaph is installed
as the chief minister
before the ark of God,
instructs him in the method of worship:
• give praise to the Lord
• proclaim the greatness of God’s name
• tell the whole world what God has done
(verses 8–9, 24)
• sing to the Lord
(verses 9, 23)
• glory, or exult, in His name
• rejoice in Him
• seek out the Lord and trust in His power (verse 11) • remember all the Lord’s mighty deeds (verse 12) • ascribe glory and strength to Him because it is His due (verses 28–29). To ascribe is to think of as belonging, as a quality or characteristic; thus, we regard the Lord as possessing glory and strength.
• bring an offering to God (verse 29). In Asaph’s time, the offerings were in accordance with the Law of Moses;
we are “to offer [our] bodies
as a living sacrifice,
holy and pleasing to God--
this is [our]
true and proper worship”
• worship the Lord
• give thanks to God for His goodness and love
• cry out to God for deliverance
El Elyon, the Most High God,
is the possessor of all
true majesty and resplendence.
Glory is His
by virtue of His nature,
and He rightfully
refuses to share it with others:
“I am the Lord; that is my name!
not yield my glory
to another or my praise
By virtue of who God is, we have an obligation to glorify God at all times
(1 Corinthians 10:31).
Those who refuse to
face severe judgment,
as witnessed by the example
of Herod usurping
God’s glory in
We can, of course, glorify God with
our words of praise and thanksgiving.
We can also glorify God
through our works of service for Him. Jesus said, “
Let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your Father in heaven”
Bearing fruit for the
kingdom of God
brings glory to Him
Even in our manner of death,
we can glorify God
(see John 21:19).
To glorify God
is to extol His attributes, praise His works,
trust His name, and
obey His Word.
He is holy, faithful, merciful, gracious, loving,
majestic, sovereign, powerful, and omniscient--
and that’s just for starters.
His works are wonderful, wise, marvelous, and fearfully complex.
His Word is “perfect . . . trustworthy . . . right . . .
radiant . . . pure . . . firm . . . precious”
is astonishing, timely, and near.
No matter how loudly or widely
we proclaim the glory of God,
He is worthy of more.
In the refrain of her 1875 hymn,
“To God Be the Glory,”
exhorts us to do what is right
by extolling the Lord for
all His work:
“O come to the Father through
Jesus the Son
and give him
great things he has done!”
(Logos) in John 1
referring to Jesus
Jesus is the total Message
everything that God
wants to communicate to man.
The first chapter of John
gives us a glimpse
inside the Father/Son relationship
came to earth in human form.
He preexisted with the Father
He was involved
creation of everything
and He is the
"light of all mankind"
The Word (Jesus)
all that is God
(Colossians 1:19; 2:9; John 14:9).
But God the Father is Spirit. He is invisible to the human eye. The message of love and redemption that God spoke through the prophets had gone unheeded for centuries (Ezekiel 22:26; Matthew 23:37). People found it easy to disregard the message of an invisible God and continued in their sin and rebellion.
So the Message became flesh,
took on human form,
and came to dwell among us
Matthew 1:23; Romans 8:3; Philippians 2:5–11
The Greeks used the word logos to refer to
one’s “mind,” “reason,” or “wisdom.”
John used this Greek concept to communicate the fact that Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity, is the self-expression of God to the world. In the Old Testament, the word of God brought the universe into existence (Psalm 33:6) and saved the needy (Psalm 107:20). In chapter 1 of his Gospel, John is appealing to both Jew and Gentile to receive the eternal Christ.
Jesus told a parable in Luke 20:9–16 to explain why the Word had to become flesh. “A man planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time. At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed. He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out.
“Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. ‘This is the heir,’ they said. ‘Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.”
In this parable, Jesus was reminding the Jewish leaders that they had rejected the prophets and were now rejecting the Son. The Logos, the Word of God, was now going to be offered to everyone, not just the Jews (John 10:16; Galatians 2:28; Colossians 3:11). Because the Word became flesh, we have a high priest who is able to empathize with our weaknesses, one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet He did not sin (Hebrews 4:15).
At the close of one of the most soul-soothing passages in all the Bible, King David triumphantly announced, “Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever”
Being in God’s presence meant everything to David. Since he shared such a close relationship with the Lord, David could picture himself as a permanent resident in God’s house, basking in His constant goodness, love, and care every day. And because death held the promise of eternal life in God’s heavenly kingdom, David looked forward to the intimate and never-ending fellowship of dwelling in the house of the Lord forever.
The word dwell in Psalm 23:6 means “to inhabit or live.” The house of the Lord is a term often referring to the tabernacle, the temple, or the place of worship (as in Psalm 122:1).
But here in Psalm 23:6
the phrase speaks explicitly
of “a dwelling house, palace, or
local residence of a deity.”
The presence of God is the believer’s true home (Psalm 42:1–4; 84:1–4). “Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house,” declared David in Psalm 65:4. And again in Psalm 27:4, we read of David’s passionate and singular pursuit: “One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple” (Psalm 27:4). To dwell in the house of the Lord forever was David’s deepest longing. Scripture says he was a man after God’s own heart
(Acts 13:22; 1 Samuel 13:14).
Like David, the apostle Paul was sure that nothing in this life, not even death itself, could separate him from the loving presence of God: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”
To dwell in the house of the Lord forever also suggests living with an attitude of heart that expresses constant praise and worship. In Psalm 34:1, David exclaimed, “I will praise the LORD at all times. I will constantly speak his praises” (NLT).
Another psalmist declared,
“What joy for those who
can live in your house,
always singing your praises”
(Psalm 84:4, NLT).
According to Psalm 84:10, one day spent worshiping in God’s house is better than a thousand anywhere else. The verse continues: “I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked” (NLT). “Praise the LORD!” says another psalm. “Let all that I am praise the LORD. I will praise the LORD as long as I live. I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath” (Psalm 146:1–2, NLT).
The good things that God provides for us in this life are merely a foretaste of what awaits us in heaven (1 Corinthians 2:9; Isaiah 64:4). A glorious future day is coming when all the redeemed of the Lord will gather around the Lord’s table in His eternal house (Isaiah 25:6–9; Matthew 22:1–14; Luke 13:29–30; Revelation 19:9; 21:2–4). In heaven, as we dwell in the house of the Lord forever, we will enjoy full, uninterrupted communion with God (1 Corinthians 13:12).
Psalm 22 is a prophetic psalm of David presenting Jesus Christ as the Savior who laid down His life. The psalm begins by portraying the rejection and abandonment Christ suffered on the cross (Psalm 22:1–2; cf. Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34). Yet, immediately, the suffering Messiah makes a strong declaration of trust in God: “But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel” (Psalm 22:3, KJV).
As the bearer of humanity’s sins, Christ was destined to experience untold pain and anguish (Isaiah 53:4–6, 10; 2 Corinthians 5:21). In the seemingly endless silence in which God does not answer—perhaps the worst moment of torment Christ would ever know—the Son reminds Himself of God’s sovereign position: “Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel” (Psalm 22:3, ESV). The word enthroned here describes the circumstance of sitting, remaining, or dwelling somewhere. (The phrasing God inhabits the praise of His people comes from the King James Version of Psalm 22:3.)
When the Messiah declared, “God inhabits the praise of His people” in Psalm 22:3, He expressed His absolute trust in God. No matter what was happening at that moment or how alone He felt, the Messiah knew that God was present and in control, ruling over His hour of greatest need (see 1 Peter 2:23). God the Father had not abandoned Him. God was working out His sovereign plan, and the Messiah would soon be delivered (see Psalm 22:4–5).
Many examples of God’s enthronement exist in Scripture. The psalmist urged, “Sing praises to the Lord, who sits enthroned in Zion! Tell among the peoples his deeds!” (Psalm 9:11, ESV; see also Psalm 29:10; 102:12). “Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high” (Psalm 113:5). When Isaiah saw the Lord “high and exalted, seated on a throne” over all creation in heaven and earth “and the train of his robe filled the temple” (Isaiah 6:1–6), the prophet was utterly undone by God’s presence.
The idea behind God inhabiting the praise of His people could be that God’s throne—His dwelling place—was the tabernacle, the place where praise was continually offered to Him. In Psalm 22, the Messiah in His suffering remembers the place and people of praise. He is not among those congregants, but He expresses with confidence that their praises are appropriate. Even in the extremity of His distress, the Messiah trusts that God is holy and worthy of praise.
Heaven is a place where God is surrounded by praise, and it is described in the Bible as God’s temple (Psalm 11:4; Habakkuk 2:20). Yet the ultimate dwelling place for God is with His people: “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God” (Revelation 21:3; see also Revelation 21:22). Jesus Christ revealed that He is the Lord’s temple (John 2:19–21), and God’s presence now inhabits His body—the church (1 Corinthians 3:16–17).
Scripture repeatedly affirms that individual believers are “the temple of the living God” and “temples of the Holy Spirit” where God’s presence dwells (1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16). The whole church “is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord . . . built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit,” explains the apostle Paul in Ephesians 2:21–22. The church fits together like “living stones” being built into “a spiritual house” that offers “spiritual sacrifices” of praise to God
(1 Peter 2:5).
The writer of Hebrews counsels, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name” (Hebrews 13:15). The apostle Peter explains, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).
God still inhabits
praises of His people
No matter what our circumstances, we know that God is holy and does all things right. We can worship the Lord even in our distress.
Second Peter 3:18 tells us to “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.” To grow in grace is to mature as a Christian. We are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8–9), and we mature and are sanctified by grace alone. We know that grace is a blessing that we don’t deserve. It is God’s grace that justifies us, sanctifies us, and eventually glorifies us in heaven. The sanctification process, becoming more like Christ, is synonymous with growing in grace.
We grow in grace by reading God’s Word and letting it “dwell in us richly” (Colossians 3:16) and by praying. Those actions by themselves don’t mature us, but God uses these spiritual disciplines to help us grow. Therefore, maturing in our Christian life is not about what we do, but about what God does in us, by His grace. Understanding and applying God’s grace in our lives is important. We are not to impair it by being proud, because God says that He resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). Grace is that attribute of God that enables us to break free of our sinful nature and follow Him. It gives us strength and protects us. Without God’s grace, His favor, we would be hopelessly lost in this world. The more grace we have and ask God for, the more mature as Christians we will be.
To grow in grace does not mean gaining more grace from God. God’s grace never increases; it is infinite, it cannot be more, and according to the nature of God, it could never be less. He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him should be saved (John 3:16). How much more grace could there possibly be than that? But to grow in grace is to grow in our understanding of what Jesus did and to grow in our appreciation of the grace we have been given. The more we learn about Jesus, the more we will appreciate all He has done, and the more we appreciate His love and sacrifice for us, the more we will perceive the never-ending grace of God.
Peter also confirms that we need to grow in our knowledge of Jesus and to have that intimate relationship with Him because the more we know of Him, the more of Him will be seen in our lives. Paul said in Colossians 3:1–4: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
The Scriptures contain all the knowledge we will ever need to learn of God, His Son, and His Spirit, at least in this life. God`s desire for those He has saved is their sanctification and transformation. He wants us to become more holy like Himself. He wants to transform us into the image of His Son. The way to do this is by meditating on the Scriptures and applying their principles to our lives as we yield to the conviction and power of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. Then we will prove 2 Corinthians 3:18: “We, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord.”
Ephesians 5:22–25 speaks of the relationship between husband and wife and includes the teaching of Jesus as head of the church:
“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
In this passage, wives are to submit to their husbands as the church submits to Christ, and husbands are to sacrificially love their wives in the way Christ was willing to die for the church. In this context, Jesus is called the “head of the church, his body.” He is also called its Savior.
What does it mean to be the head of the church? Both Colossians 1 and Ephesians 5 emphasize the leadership of Christ and His power. In Colossians, Christ is head because He holds all things together. In Ephesians, Christ is head because He is Savior.
The implications of this teaching are profound. First, church leaders are to surrender ultimate leadership to the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the One who leads and determines the teachings and practices of the church. Church members are to follow Christ first and earthly leaders second, as those leaders emulate Christ (see 1 Corinthians 11:1 and 1 Peter 5:3–4).
Second, the love Jesus has for the church is expressed in His desire that we also love the church. The church is not a building or organization but a group of people who know and worship Jesus. Christians are taught, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24–25). Regular connection with other believers honors the Lord, encourages us personally as believers, and allows us to encourage and serve others.
While every church will have its own local leaders, the ultimate leader of any church is the Lord Jesus. He said, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18, emphasis added); it belongs to Him. He is the head of the body and the only One with the power to adequately lead and love the church.
The phrase “the Body of Christ” is a common New Testament metaphor for the Church (all those who are truly saved). The Church is called “one body in Christ” in Romans 12:5, “one body” in 1 Corinthians 10:17, “the body of Christ” in 1 Corinthians 12:27 and Ephesians 4:12, and “the body” in Hebrews 13:3. The Church is clearly equated with “the body” of Christ in Ephesians 5:23 and Colossians 1:24.
When Christ entered our world, He took on a physical body “prepared” for Him (Hebrews 10:5; Philippians 2:7). Through His physical body, Jesus demonstrated the love of God clearly, tangibly, and boldly—especially through His sacrificial death on the cross (Romans 5:8). After His bodily ascension, Christ continues His work in the world through those He has redeemed—the Church now demonstrates the love of God clearly, tangibly, and boldly. In this way, the Church functions as “the Body of Christ.”
The Church may be called the Body of Christ because of these facts:
1) Members of the Body of Christ are joined to Christ in salvation (Ephesians 4:15-16).
2) Members of the Body of Christ follow Christ as their Head (Ephesians 1:22-23).
3) Members of the Body of Christ are the physical representation of Christ in this world. The Church is the organism through which Christ manifests His life to the world today.
4) Members of the Body of Christ are indwelt by the Holy Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9).
5) Members of the Body of Christ possess a diversity of gifts suited to particular functions (1 Corinthians 12:4-31). “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ” (verse 12).
6) Members of the Body of Christ share a common bond with all other Christians, regardless of background, race, or ministry. “There should be no division in the body, but . . . its parts should have equal concern for each other” (1 Corinthians 12:25).
7) Members of the Body of Christ are secure in their salvation (John 10:28-30). For a Christian to lose his salvation, God would have to perform an “amputation” on the Body of Christ!
8) Members of the Body of Christ partake of Christ’s death and resurrection (Colossians 2:12).
9) Members of the Body of Christ share Christ’s inheritance (Romans 8:17).
10) Members of the Body of Christ receive the gift of Christ’s righteousness (Romans 5:17).
In the wilderness of Judea, John the Baptist began his ministry of preparing Israel to receive her Messiah, Jesus Christ. Enormous crowds went to hear John (Matthew 3:5) as he traveled through the region “preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Luke 3:3). Many people received John’s message, confessed their sins, and were baptized (Matthew 3:6; Mark 1:5). These baptisms stirred up such a commotion that the Pharisees and Sadducees went out to investigate. Aware of their insincerity of heart, John said, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:7–8).
John spoke severely, challenging these religious leaders’ spiritual pride and hypocrisy head-on. They needed to know that God’s judgment for sin was coming. Baptism is an outward symbol of true heart change. John’s baptism was a “baptism of repentance.” Repentance is the act of changing one’s mind that results in a change of actions. Sincere repentance involves turning away from sin both in thought and action. When the crowds came to John for baptism, they were showing their repentance and identifying with a new life. The Phariseesand Sadducees were detached observers at John’s baptism. They claimed to have repented of their sins—sins they eagerly pointed out in others—yet they lived as sinners, all the while denying their own guilt.
The religious leaders of John’s day had refused to submit themselves to God. They thought they were good enough by way of association with Abraham through their Jewish heritage (see Matthew 3:9; John 8:39). But their religious rituals and spiritual “pedigree” were not enough to please God. The only way for sinners to enter a relationship with God is through genuine repentance and faith. These religious leaders should have been setting an example and taking the lead. Instead, they lived in self-righteous, hypocritical denial of their spiritual condition.
John the Baptist warned, “The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matthew 3:10). The tree represents Israel. If Israel did not repent, it would be cut down and destroyed (see Luke 13:6–10). Only those who genuinely repented and began to produce good fruit would be prepared for the coming of Jesus Christ.
Luke’s gospel gives further insight into what it means to produce fruit in keeping with repentance. John told the people, “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones’” (Luke 3:8, NLT). John’s baptism of repentance was meant to be the start of a brand new, continuous life of producing fruit in keeping with righteousness. Our family tree won’t earn us a place in heaven or give us an automatic claim to God’s promises. John told the Sadducees and Pharisees who took pride in their lineage to take a more humble view: just as God had made Adam from the dust of the ground, God could raise up children of Abraham from the stones of the wilderness.
At John’s preaching, the people began to ask, “What should we do?” (Luke 3:10). In other words, “What is the fruit in keeping with repentance?” “John answered, ‘Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same’” (Luke 3:11). He told the tax collectors in the crowd, “Don’t collect any more than you are required to” (verse 13). He told the soldiers, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay” (verse 14). Such actions were the “fruit” of repentance in that they showed the genuineness of the change of heart.
When the apostle Paul began his preaching ministry, he, too, spoke of good deeds as proof of genuine repentance: “I preached first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that all must repent of their sins and turn to God—and prove they have changed by the good things they do” (Acts 26:20, NLT).
The believer’s spiritual life and growth are often compared to a fruit-bearing tree in Scripture. Just as fruit production is proof of life and health in a tree, so are good actions the evidence of spiritual life in Jesus Christ and the presence of God’s Spirit dwelling within a person. Jesus said, “A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions” (Matthew 7:17–20, NLT).
Fruit in keeping with repentance represents the good deeds and changed behaviors that naturally flow from a truly repentant and transformed heart. In James 2:14–26, James teaches extensively on the subject, explaining that “faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless” (verse 17, NLT). James concludes, “Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works (verse 26, NLT).
Paul prays for the Philippians to be “filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:11). He gives examples of good spiritual fruit: “The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22–23, NLT; see also Ephesians 5:9; Colossians 1:10; James 3:17).
The believer’s ability to produce fruit in keeping with repentance depends wholly on our intimate fellowship with Jesus Christ, who said, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:4–5, NLT). The root will naturally produce fruit. Fruit in keeping with repentance is the evidence (as well as a result) of a changed mind, transformed life, and ongoing communion with Jesus.
The new creation is described in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” The word “therefore” refers us back to verses 14-16 where Paul tells us that all believers have died with Christ and no longer live for themselves. Our lives are no longer worldly; they are now spiritual. Our “death” is that of the old sin nature which was nailed to the cross with Christ. It was buried with Him, and just as He was raised up by the Father, so are we raised up to “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). That new person that was raised up is what Paul refers to in 2 Corinthians 5:17 as the “new creation.”
To understand the new creation, first we must grasp that it is in fact a creation, something created by God. John 1:13 tells us that this new birth was brought about by the will of God. We did not inherit the new nature from our parents or decide to re-create ourselves anew. Neither did God simply clean up our old nature; He created something entirely fresh and unique. The new creation is completely new, brought about from nothing, just as the whole universe was created by God ex nihilo, from nothing. Only the Creator could accomplish such a feat.
Second, “old things have passed away.” The “old” refers to everything that is part of our old nature—natural pride, love of sin, reliance on works, and our former opinions, habits and passions. Most significantly, what we loved has passed away, especially the supreme love of self and with it self-righteousness, self-promotion, and self-justification. The new creature looks outwardly toward Christ instead of inwardly toward self. The old things died, nailed to the cross with our sin nature.
Along with the old passing away, “the new has come!” Old, dead things are replaced with new things, full of life and the glory of God. The newborn soul delights in the things of God and abhors the things of the world and the flesh. Our purposes, feelings, desires, and understandings are fresh and different. We see the world differently. The Bible seems to be a new book, and though we may have read it before, there is a beauty about it which we never saw before, and which we wonder at not having perceived. The whole face of nature seems to us to be changed, and we seem to be in a new world. The heavens and the earth are filled with new wonders, and all things seem now to speak forth the praise of God. There are new feelings toward all people—a new kind of love toward family and friends, a new compassion never before felt for enemies, and a new love for all mankind. The things we once loved, we now detest. The sin we once held onto, we now desire to put away forever. We “put off the old man with his deeds” (Colossians 3:9), and put on the “new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24).
What about the Christian who continues to sin? There is a difference between continuing to sin and continuing to live in sin. No one reaches sinless perfection in this life, but the redeemed Christian is being sanctified (made holy) day by day, sinning less and hating it more each time he fails. Yes, we still sin, but unwillingly and less and less frequently as we mature. Our new self hates the sin that still has a hold on us. The difference is that the new creation is no longer a slave to sin, as we formerly were. We are now freed from sin and it no longer has power over us (Romans 6:6-7). Now we are empowered by and for righteousness. We now have the choice to “let sin reign” or to count ourselves “dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11-12). Best of all, now we have the power to choose the latter.
The new creation
is a wondrous thing, formed in
the mind of God and
by His power and for His glory.
The phrase King of glory is found in a series of verses in Psalm 24:
“Lift up your heads, you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
the Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, you gates;
lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is he, this King of glory?
The Lord Almighty--
he is the King of glory”
The Hebrew word translated “glory” in Psalm 24 is kabod, which means “weight,” but it is used figuratively, as in “his argument carries weight” or “the content of that book is weighty.” Kabad carries a connotation of solemnity and power. Calling God the “King of Glory” means He is the most awesome, most powerful king and should be taken seriously.
Using a type of personification known as apostrophe, the psalmist speaks to the “gates” and the “ancient doors,” calling them to attention and commanding them to “be lifted up” or raised to admit the King of glory. However lofty these ancient doors are, they must be loftier still to admit such an august presence as the Lord Himself.
There is a connection to be made between the King of glory in Psalm 24 and the Shekinah glory in Exodus 33. When God gave Moses instructions for building the Ark of the Covenant, He said, “I will appear in the cloud over the atonement cover [mercy seat]” (Leviticus 16:2). The mercy seat was to be seen as God’s glorious “throne” on earth (see 2 Samuel 6:2; Psalm 80:1; 99:1). And it was from the mercy seat that God spoke to Moses: “There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites” (Exodus 25:22).
Psalm 24 pictures the coming of the King of glory in a time of celebration. Given the Hebrew association of the cloud of glory with the Ark of the Covenant, it is quite possible that Psalm 24 was written to commemorate the entrance of the Ark into Jerusalem during David’s time (2 Samuel 6:12–17) or into the temple during Solomon’s time (2 Chronicles 5:7). The King of glory came through the gates of Jerusalem and through the doors of the temple with a great procession as the Ark of the Covenant was brought to its permanent home on Mt. Zion.
Jesus is called “the Lord of glory” in 1 Corinthians 2:8. His entrance into Jerusalem amid the shouts of a jubilant crowd (Matthew 21) could be seen as another fulfillment of Psalm 24. Jesus is the One with “clean hands and a pure heart” who can “ascend the mountain of the Lord” (Psalm 24:3–4). Jesus “will receive blessing from the Lord” (verse 5). Jesus is the “King of glory, the Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle” (verse 8).
In the Gospel of John, Jesus makes seven statements beginning with the words I am. Each of these “I am” proclamations furthers our understanding of Jesus’ ministry in the world. They also link Jesus to the Old Testament revelation of God.
In the Old Testament, God revealed His name to Moses: “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:14). Thus, in Judaism, “I AM” is unquestionably understood as a name for God. Whenever Jesus made an “I am” statement in which He claimed attributes of deity, He was identifying Himself as God.
Here are the seven metaphorical “I am” statements found in John’s gospel:
“I am the bread of life” (John 6:35, 41, 48, 51). In this chapter, Jesus establishes a pattern that continues through John’s gospel—Jesus makes a statement about who He is, and He backs it up with something He does. In this case, Jesus states that He is the bread of life just after He had fed the 5,000 in the wilderness. At the same time, He contrasts what He can do with what Moses had done for their ancestors: “Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die” (verses 49–50).
“I am the light of the world” (John 8:12; 9:5). This second of Jesus’ “I am” statements in John’s gospel comes right before He heals a man born blind. Jesus not only says He is the light; He proves it. Jesus’ words and actions echo Genesis 1:3, “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.”
“I am the door” (John 10:7 and 9, ESV). This “I am” statement stresses that no one can enter the kingdom of heaven by any other means than Christ Himself. Jesus’ words in this passage are couched in the imagery of a sheepfold. He is the one and only way to enter the fold. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber” (verse 1, ESV).
“I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11, 14). With this “I am” statement, Jesus portrays His great love and care. He is the One who willingly protects His flock even to the point of death (verses 11 and 15). When Jesus called Himself the good shepherd, He unmistakably took for Himself one of God’s titles in the Old Testament: “The Lord is my shepherd” (Psalm 23:1).
“I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). Jesus made this “I am” statement immediately before raising Lazarus from the dead. Again, we see that Jesus’ teaching was not just empty talk; when He made a claim, He substantiated it with action. He holds “the keys of death and the grave” (Revelation 1:18, NLT). In raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus showed how He can fulfill Yahweh’s promise to ancient Israel: “[God’s] dead shall live; their bodies shall rise” (Isaiah 26:19, ESV). Apart from Jesus, there is neither resurrection nor eternal life.
“I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). This powerful “I am” statement of Christ’s is packed with meaning. Jesus is not merely one way among many ways to God; He is the only way. Scripture said that “The very essence of [God’s] words is truth” (Psalm 119:160, NLT), and here is Jesus proclaiming that He is the truth—confirming His identity as the Word of God (see John 1:1, 14). And Jesus alone is the source of life; He is the Creator and Sustainer of all life and the Giver of eternal life.
“I am the true vine” (John 15:1, 5). The final metaphorical “I am” statement in the Gospel of John emphasizes the sustaining power of Christ. We are the branches, and He is the vine. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit unless it is joined in vital union with the vine, only those who are joined to Christ and receive their power from Him produce fruit in the Christian life.
There are two more “I am” statements of Jesus in the Gospel of John. These are not metaphors; rather, they are declarations of God’s name, as applied by Jesus to Himself. The first instance comes as Jesus responds to a complaint by the Pharisees. “I tell you the truth,” Jesus says, “before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:58). The verbs Jesus uses are in stark contrast with each other: Abraham was, but I am. There is no doubt that the Jews understood Jesus’ claim to be the eternal God incarnate, because they took up stones to kill Him (verse 59).
The second instance of Jesus applying to Himself the name I AM comes in the Garden of Gethsemane. When the mob came to arrest Jesus, He asked them whom they sought. They said, “Jesus of Nazareth,” and Jesus replied, “I am he” (John 18:4–5). Then something strange happened: “When Jesus said, ‘I am he,’ they drew back and fell to the ground” (verse 6). Perhaps explaining the mob’s reaction is the fact that the word he has been provided by our English translators.
Jesus simply said,
Applying God’s covenant name to Himself,
Jesus demonstrated His power over
His foes and showed that
His surrender to them was entirely voluntary
(see John 10:17–18; 19:11).
“And Jesus answered him, “It is said,
‘You shall not
Lord your God to the test.'”
This passage describes one of the three temptations of Jesus after the Spirit led Him into the wilderness for forty days and nights of fasting. In this temptation, the devil took Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple and said to Him in Luke 4:9-11, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’ and” ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'”
Jesus then responds in Luke 4:12 saying,
“It is said,
‘You shall NOT
The Lord your God
to the test.'”
Through this temptation, the devil was trying to force God to fulfil His word as described in scripture by manipulating the situation – in essence, attempting to place a seed of mistrust or questioning God’s word and His faithfulness in the mind of Jesus.
The devil’s statement starts with, “If you are the Son?” then prove it. Will God protect you, as it says in scripture? This was the same cunningness used to deceive Eve in the garden of Eden. Genesis 3:1 says, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”
Jesus responded perfectly by quoting from part of Deuteronomy 6:16 where it says, “You shall not put the LORD your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah.” Likewise, what can we learn from Jesus’ response to the temptation of the devil? Often when people test God, it is due to a “lack” of faith or trust in Him.
Similarly, this was the case with the people of Israel too. They were continually testing God on their journey to the promised land. Some of these instances are when:
- they were trapped between Pharaoh’s army and the Red Sea, they cried out, saying, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have led us out into this wilderness to die? Didn’t we tell you when we were in Egypt to leave us alone so that we could continue serving the Egyptians? It would have been better for us to have died back there than to die here.” (Exodus 14:10-12)
- they complained against Moses at Marah because the water was bitter to drink (Exodus 15:22-24)
- they tested God when He provided them manna to eat but commanded them to collect twice as much before each sabbath due to the sabbath being a day of rest. Yet the people go out and gather the manna, but they find none (Exodus 16:25-30)
- and many more instances throughout their journey to the promised land.
You see, a test rooted in unbelief is unacceptable to God. When you read through scripture, there is one time God invites the Israelites to “test” Him. Malachi 3:10 says, “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”
The difference in this testing is where God commands the Israelites to come in faithful obedience and trust in God and bring their full tithe into the storehouse. When they do that in faith and obedience, then they will see His abundance and faithfulness as promised in His word. In contrast, testing God in unbelief and complaining is unacceptable.
God is faithful in keeping His promises, according to scripture. Still, if we try and manipulate and force God to move by purposely putting ourselves in situations and testing God to keep His word, then this is unacceptable testing of God. You see, this is precisely what the devil was trying to achieve while tempting Jesus.
Friends, in our Christian walk, we may go through tough and trying times. Don’t test the Lord your God from a heart of mistrust, doubt or manipulate the situation for your benefit. Instead, through it all, trust God that He is sovereign and in total control of every single situation. Don’t let your situation guide your thoughts and actions toward God, but let it be your unwavering trust in the word of God and Him. Amen!
Faithfully keep His precepts and His word, and pray that He may increase your faith so that you may glorify Him and bring praise to His name. By doing so, you will be pleasing to Christ and an example to many around you.
Let us close by reading Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
The apostle Paul desires for the Ephesian Christians to know Christ better: “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:19– 21). Furthermore, in 1 Peter 2:6, what Isaiah said centuries before is affirmed in exactly the same words.
Peter says that Jesus, as our cornerstone, is “chosen by God and precious to him” (1 Peter 2:4). The Cornerstone is also reliable, and “the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame” (verse 6).
Unfortunately, not everyone aligns with the cornerstone. Some accept Christ; some reject Him. Jesus is the “stone the builders rejected” (Mark 12:10; cf. Psalm 118:22). When news of the Messiah’s arrival came to the magi in the East, they determined to bring Him gold, frankincense, and myrrh. But when that same news came to King Herod in Jerusalem, his response was to attempt to kill Him. From the very beginning, Jesus was “a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall” (1 Peter 2:8).
How can people reject
God’s chosen, precious cornerstone?
they want to build something
what God is building.
Just as the people building the tower of Babel
rebelled against God and pursued their own project,
those who reject Christ
disregard God’s plan in favor of their own.
Judgment is promised
to all those who reject Christ:
“Anyone who falls on this
will be broken to pieces;
anyone on whom
falls will be crushed”
The Word of John 1:1 is plainly identified
as Jesus in John 1:14:
The Word became flesh
his dwelling among us.
We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son,
who came from the Father,
Full of grace and truth.”