"I have heard the taunting of Moab And the revilings of the sons of Ammon, With which they have taunted My people And become arrogant against their territory.Zephaniah 2:8(NASB)
The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 NIV)
The whole thought of God, running right through this letter, is spiritual fullness; and any religion – even Christianity – mixing and confusing soul and spirit, the sentient and the spiritual (as did the Christian-Judaism and as does organized Christianity) is doomed to the destiny of Judaism. If we draw upon the soul resources of people to build up Christianity, instead of recognizing that “all things are out from God” – that all must first come from Him and have its first point of contact with man in his spirit, which, being renewed and made anew, becomes the vessel and vehicle of all divine things for ever after – no matter how immense may be our structure, it is going to crash when the great "shaking" comes. Christianity now is very largely a built-up thing with many Jewish features in it; i.e., outward orders, forms, vestments, titles, buildings and rigidly fixed boundaries of apprehension of truth. Viewed from a heavenly standpoint, it is all so much nonsense, child's play; albeit so seriously regarded by its children.
It is important to recognize that this letter was addressed to a people who – for a long period – had held the position nationally of a people whom God had taken out of the world unto Himself. It seeks to explain their nature and history in the light of Christ and true spiritual Christianity. It shows that even such a people may make their separation earthly and earthbound, and that for doing so they have been “overthrown,” and will – even as Christians – be overthrown again if they repeat in Christianity what their fathers did in Judaism. There is something here much more than typology interpreted and the interpretation accepted as to salvation from sin and judgment; it is the essential and indispensable heavenly relatedness and life of the Lord's people as inwardly detached from the natural life even in a religious sense.
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. § Having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession.
Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” § Whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.
We walk by faith, not by sight. § Do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.
When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.” § I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.
“Woe is me, for I am undone! . . . My eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged.” § I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, and like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.
If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
Rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh" (Phil. 3:3).
There are two ways in which God reveals to us the true condition of the natural man. The first is via the Word: "In me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing" (Rom. 7:18). The second is via experience: years of struggle with the constant sinfulness and failure of that old nature. If we were more willing to face up to the incorrigibility of the Adamic life within, it might not take us so long to be freed from its domination.
"It is quite possible for every one of us to have a perfectly good conscience. A happy state to be in! Have you a good conscience? Are you under accusation, under condemnation? Are you fretting and worrying about the badness of your own heart? That means that you have not the answer of a good conscience to God. What is the matter? You are still looking for something from nature, from the old man. You had better give it up, as that is the only way out; repudiate it.
"Tell yourself and tell the accuser once for all that in you, that is, in your flesh, dwelleth no good thing, and you never expect to find anything. The enemy knows it, and yet he is trying to get you on an impossible quest for something he knows you will never find, and that is how he worries you. Years of it! Then why not come onto the Lord's ground and out-maneuver him? Let us settle it that we can never expect to find any good in our old nature. All our good is in another, even our Lord Jesus. It is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:2)." -T. A-S.
"Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty with which Christ hath made us free" (Gal. 5:1).
“Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint.” Proverbs 29:18
There is a difference between an ideal and a vision. An ideal has no moral inspiration; a vision has. The people who give themselves over to ideals rarely do anything. A man's conception of Deity may be used to justify his deliberate neglect of his duty. Jonah argued that because God was a God of justice and of mercy, therefore everything would be all right. I may have a right conception of God, and that may be the very reason why I do not do my duty. But wherever there is vision, there is also a life of rectitude because the vision imparts moral incentive.
Ideals may lull to ruin. Take stock of yourself spiritually and see whether you have ideals only or if you have vision. "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for?"
"Where there is no vision. . . ." When once we lose sight of God, we begin to be reckless, we cast off certain restraints, we cast off praying, we cast off the vision of God in little things, and begin to act on our own initiative. If we are eating what we have out of our own hand, doing things on our own initiative without expecting God to come in, we are on the downward path, we have lost the vision. Is our attitude to-day an attitude that springs from our vision of God? Are we expecting God to do greater things than He has ever done? Is there a freshness and vigour in our spiritual outook?
.. and I am His…”
Song of Solomon 2:16
I am His for He created me. I am His for He redeemed me. I am His, twice over: made and paid for. I am His by creation and I am His by redemption. I am His by right and I am His by purchased when I was lost. I am His body, soul and spirit. I am His by the ransom of His precious blood. I am His by the conquest of the Spirit.
I am His by my own free choice – for when I was lost He could redeem me no other way, for I was dead in trespasses and sins. I was dead in my perverse wickedness, and haughty pride. But He lifted me out of the miry clay and raised me up out of the putrid filth and scum of my life – and clothed me in righteousness and put a ring on my finger, and hope in my heart.
I am not my own. I was bought with an incredible price – for we read: You are bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body. 1Cor.6:20. I am His body and soul and spirit, and we read: now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1Thess.5:23
I am His entirely; wholly; completely – exclusively. I am His eternally; irrevocably; unalterably – bindingly. I am my Beloved’s and He is mine. He cares for me and comforts me – defends me and feeds me and protects me. He also instructs me and He exercises me. He corrects me and He trains me. He chose me and loved me and gave Himself for me.
No one in the earth below or in the heavens above has a power over me – except as He permits for my eventual benefit and for myread more
Paul wrote to the Corinthians and told them: to watch and stand fast in the faith – Be brave. Be strong. 1 Cor.16:13. Be steadfast, and be unmovable.. and always give yourselves fully in the work of the Lord. 1 Cor.15:58
While Timothy was told: Don’t let any dishonourable word fall from your mouth. Speak that which is good and edifying, and minister grace to those that hear you – And preach the Word. 2Tim.4:2
The Christians at Ephesus were told: Put away all bitterness, and wrath. Put away all anger, and clamour. Put off any former ways of life or conduct. Put away all evil-speaking and any malice – Oh, and don’t let any foul or abusive language come out of your mouth. Let all bitterness, and evil speaking and anger be put away from you. Ah! and don’t give the devil a foothold or an opportunity. Eph.4:27
Let all your things be done with love. Do all things in lowliness and meekness. Be long-suffering and forbearing with one another -in love – Oh, and endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace – and love each other. Eph.4:3 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind – daily. Be angry, but don’t sin, and let not the sun go down while you are still angry. Eph.4:26. Be tender-hearted. Be forgiving one to another. Be filled with the Holy Spirit Eph.5:18 And give to him that is in need. Oh – and grieve not the holy Spirit of God – and be ye kind one to another. Eph.4:32
While the Thessalonians were told: Don’t quench the Holy Spirit and don’t grieve the Holy Spirit of God. Despise not prophesying. Test and prove all things. Hold fast that which is good and abstain from all appearance of evil. 1Thess.5:22. And don’t be anxious about anything. Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Let your requests be made known unto God.. and don’t worry about anything. Pray aboutread more