Blood Blessings: Why Blood? (Ephesians 1:7)

(Ephesians 1:7) We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace

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In understanding the why of the “through His blood” we need to look at the phrase “without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin”. This phrase is quoted in Hebrews 9:22 in reference to the blood of Jesus Christ, but first appears in Leviticus 17:11, although differently worded. Why did God require the shedding of blood in order to remit sin? Because of the value of blood it was necessary to clean what was tainted by sin. The value of blood is determined by what God has contained in blood.

(If you have not read Blood Blessings #1″ please click the following link…

Leviticus 17:11 reveals that the life of man is in His blood. This means that the physical principal of life is contained in the blood. Given common medical knowledge and as previously stated, blood carries all that is necessary for our physical life to every part of the body. The Hebrew phrasing reveals further, that the very soul of man, or that which makes him an individual made in the image of God, is contained in the blood. Therefore, not only is blood a physical reality, but it is also an essential spiritual reality.

From medicine we understand that as blood leaves the body, so does life ebb out of that body, because God placed the principal of life in the blood. This is instructive, for Adam’s sin introduced into the blood (physical/spiritual life) the destructive power of sin, which then flowed throughout the whole spirit, soul, and body. In lieu of this reality let us consider that to God the value of the blood is tallied by the value of the life, if righteous or unrighteous. Therefore, for those born after Adam and with his passed down sin nature, we can understand the truth of Rom. 3:23

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

For this reason Christ’s shed blood has preeminent value for dealing with the sin of all men. Therefore, when God foresaw our fall into unrighteousness (before creation), in the fullness of time brought forth Christ (Galatians 4:4-7), whose perfect life and blood is of perfect value to atone for sin.

God did this “in the fullness of time”, because His plan needed to unfold—as men needed to grasp their sinful state and their desperate need for the blood sufficient to cleanse their account before the Holy God. We see a form of blood sacrifice for sin offering as far back as Genesis 4 (Genesis 3:21 if we count the coats of skin from God). Job, the oldest dated O.T. book begins with the protagonist, making sin offering not only for himself, but his entire family. When encountering Abraham in Genesis 22, where he was called upon to sacrifice his only son, we understand this was the sin offering.

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Later on, in exodus, YWHW institutionalized the blood sacrifice for the atonement on sin, through the law of God. The law revealed to men their sin (Romans 7:7). It also revealed their need for blood to cover their sin. In considering God’s eternal plan for Christ’s blood, and how from the fall he instituted blood sacrifice to atone for sin, we can understand why most world religions have some half-baked way to atone for sins, with and without a form of blood. As all men from Cain, they want to appease God their way, but He only accepts Jesus’ blood.

Therefore, even the spotless blood of an animal could be sufficient for all the damage of sin. This is why the Jews, who rejected Christ, missed the point.

(Hebrews 10:4) For it is not possible that blood of bulls and goats could take away sin.

The O.T. sacrifices were to point to the one who would come to not only remove sin, guilt and its effects, but use the blood as a means to purchase us as special possessions. If they had only regarded Job who lived before the law was written, and sacrificed by faith in the One who would come.

(Job 19:25-27) For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at the last day on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, Whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me.

Job’s faith was not in the blood of the animals He sacrificed, being the element to deal with his sin, it was in the One the animal blood pointed to and what His blood would accomplish.

(Hebrews 9:11-12)But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with a greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.


The Most Holy Place is in reference to the Holy of Holies, in the temple of god, but not the temple of God built with human hands. Christ entered the Most Holy Place in heaven, of which the earthbound temple was a mere type. He went in, with His own blood, blood sufficient for the task—blood representing only perfectly righteous Human life—blood first spilled on the alter God chose before the foundation of the world—the cursed tree, the Roman cross. Marvel with me at the eternality of the shed blood of Christ and the alter God chose and prophesied about over 900 years before Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection (Psalm 22:6-8, 16-18).

But I am a worm and no man; a reproach of men and despised of the people. All those who see Me ridicule Me; They shoot out the lip, they shake their head, saying, “He trusted in the LORD, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him”

For dogs have surrounded Me; The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet. I can count all my bones. They look at Me and stare at Me. They divide My garments among them, and cast lots for My clothing.

How could David have know about Jesus’ blood flowing from pierced hands, not to mention the exact words of the mockers, as well as the condition of the bloodletting, which was emaciation through blood loss “I can count all my bones”. Yet David begins another eternal prophetic revelation in verse 14.

“I am poured out like water and all my bones are out of joint’ My heart is like wax; it has melted within Me”.

When considering this passage in light of John 19:33-34 and 36-37, we can worship God with greater awe and hearts full of faith.

“But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out… for these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, ‘Not one of His bones would be broken.’ And again another Scripture says “They shall look upon Him whom they have pierced’.  


The second prophecy was written in Zechariah 12:10, and John’s description of the water and blood is a bonafide medical condition called pericardial effusion—His heart became like wax, and melted within the midst of Him. Therefore the last sight of the Christ was water and blood. Be assured every drop of His holy all sufficient blood was counted on our behalf. Next time, we will consider the blessing of the blood in “We have redemption, through His blood…”. Until then, worship the LORD as you marvel in the eternal power of His blood.

Posted in Ephesians 1:7, Hebrews 9:11-12, Hebrews 9:22, Leviticus 17:11, the blood of Jesus, The Blood of the Cross, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blood Blessings (Ephesians 1:7)

(Ephesians 1:7) In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.

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With the phrase “through His blood”, we discover the key to unlocking the manifold blessing of the cross of Christ. Far too often, although we sing about Jesus shed blood and “plead the blood” in prayer, we miss the depth of its ongoing power as a means of revelation and grace. The shedding of Christ’s blood was necessary for the atonement of the sins of fallen man, but is the element all heaven, earth, and creation has waited for since the fall of man in the Garden (read Romans 8:21-23). The blood of Jesus is the most beautiful thing in this universe outside of the presence of God Himself, among His redeemed children.

Blood is a marvelous creation, concerning its purpose and manner in the body, because it carries ever needed things to all parts of the body. With great amazement we could spend hours speaking of its properties and qualities as it flows through the body. But let it become visible through an open wound and many a man gets SQUEAMISH at its dark red flow. This is because blood belongs in the body, not outside of it. Blood seen means there is a problem and one that can lead to death.

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It is quite similar when dealing with the blood of Jesus. Many an unbeliever will discuss the merits of Jesus’ teaching, even pronouncing His life and actions as singularly unique; but begin to discuss Christ’s shed blood and many will become spiritually squeamish. The reason for their “squeamish” response is that they find Jesus’ blood was shed to deal with their sin and that led to His death. Their squeamishness comes from a very uncomfortable grief, and sadly even in many professing Christians who know their sins against God, were the blows making every sector of Jesus’ holy frame weep red and swell purple with bruises unbroken.

In addition to the “squeamish” crowd, there are many who get “SCREAMISH” at the mention of the shed blood of Jesus Christ. These men love their darkness and worldliness rather than light. They love the pleasure of sin and the temporary relief of drinking in worldly escapes, rather than to deal with the sin that separates them from God.  Mentioning the blood of Jesus to these lost men is like the unwelcome awakening of a person from a drug induced haze, where the reality of their life and pain comes rushing back. Talk of the blood of Jesus reveals the practice and thinking of those separated from Christ, as warped. The blood of Christ also reveals God’s righteous judgment coming upon their souls.

The “SCREAMISH” will attempt to stifle blood talk, as they would rather pretend there is no judgment, sin and sing “go in’ down, party time, my friends are gonna be their too”, from AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell”; as they turn eternal punishment into some desirable pagan party spot. God have mercy on them.

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The “SCREAMISH” are not only lost men who violently opposed talk of Christ’s blood. The SCREAMISH are also those fallen angels and demonic minions who inspire the lost to hate the blood of Christ. To these malevolent rebellors, the blood of the cross of Christ signifies their own approaching end in the lake of fire. The blood of Christ also proclaims the end of their stolen dominion over humanity. This is why they fight against preaching concerning the blood of Jesus, and scatter to the four winds when the blood of Christ is spoken of in the power of the Spirit of God.

The blood of Jesus is the necessary element God chose to right the wrong perpetrated in the fall of mankind and was His plan before the foundation of the world (I Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 13:8). Through the blood of Jesus, we attain four wonderful blessings in Christ

  1. We are bought
  2. We are off the Hook
  3. We attain true peace
  4. We are brought.

We will find that the four above blood blessings are the foundation and power of our sanctified life, as we follow Jesus Christ, but why did God choose blood in the first place? This question we will explore in my next post.

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Posted in Ephesians 1:7, the blood of Jesus, The Blood of the Cross, through His blood, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Why Walk on Eggshells with the Wicked?

Image result for walking on eggshellsI am not one to use this platform to argue political view points, as I do not believe that is the calling of men of God, or Christians in general. Yet, men of God and Christians are supposed to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Ephesians 5:11). In light of this truth, let me attempt to do just that. I only request the reader refuse knee jerk reactions to what I have written, and deny the impulse to paint me as one who does not understand the world of geopolitical things.

More than I care to admit, I do understand that dark plane of humanity. Despite geopolitical realities, followers of Christ must refuse to justify fellowship with political entities within that dark plane. We must refuse hope, that those forces will represent our interests according to our world view. Consider the cohort of American pastors privy to the president as “spirutual advisers”.

One of the most vocal of the presidents supporters, declared a while ago he did not want a president that embodied the Sermon on the Mount. Wow! That statement is simply stupifyingly amazing! This pastor of a very large mega church does not want a president that is humble, mourns over sin, is meek (exercising power under God’s leading and control), who seeks to be righteous, is merciful, desires to be pure in heart, and has character producing peace. In other words, this pastor would rather have the spirit of Antichrist influencing the president.


Sorry if that seems harsh, but, alas it is true. Now I am not suggesting a president needs to be a walking, talking Jesus machine. But for a pastor to not desire a leader who is, at the very least, desiring the characteristics of Christ (as outlined in the Sermon on the Mount), is simply outrageous. Why is this man and others walking on eggshells with the wicked? Is it because he and others have proclaimed the president as converted and born again? Possibly, but where is the proverbial proof in the pudding (or more biblical, where is the fruit of repentance).

Just this last week the president admitted to knowing about a $130,000 payment to a porn actress, for the purpose of buying her silence concerning their “alleged affair”. His admission came after he “shucked and jived” concerning the affair and knowledge of the payment. Why is it that his grouping of “spiritual advisers” are not advising him to tell the truth, own up to his sin in true repentance and seek to work at building real trust with the American public he was elected to serve? Because those spiritual advisers care little for the man, so long as he gives them a bone or two, as they uncomfortably dance around his darkness and walk on eggshells with the wicked.

This is how men lose their anointing. Rather than being like Daniel, among pagan kings, speaking and living the truth without regard of consequence, they are simply another political lobby sucking up; looking for some possibility of favor. President Trump needs the Daniel model for his owns soul’s sake, as does our nation. Yet it most likely will continue as it is, while the voice of prophet is silenced among the corridors of power. But alas, this is the way of our government. I will include two examples of this below, not to cast aspersions, but to call you to prayer for true righteousness in each situation.


This past week brought about the release of three American citizens, of North Korean decent, being detained in that nation. It was relayed through the media, that the release of these men, was sort of a precondition of the up coming talks between Kim Jong Un and President Trump. In lieu of their release, which I rejoice in, what is the U. S. doing for the 30,000 (or more) North Korean Christians, still in captivity being tortured in the most barbaric ways? Why is not the most powerful nation on earth, demanding the release of them all, as a precondition? Are the president’s “spiritual advisers” suggesting their release as a precondition?

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One might say my questions are naive, but are they really? Would not a brutal wicked regime, wanting to engender trust, by showing true change in their disposition, by releasing their own brutally tortured citizens? If they are truly interest and not playing games… Absolutely!

The greater questions is why would anyone trust this nation honor any new agreement, when they continue to wickedly oppress and starve their own citizens? The truth is they cannot be trusted, but the U.S. will walk on eggshells with the wicked, in order to hopefully accomplish some form of their goals. My hope is that the President’s “spiritual advisers”, will pray and suggest a condition that is on behalf of those being destroyed daily, by the warped ideology of the North Korean government.

We followers of Jesus ought to press the “spiritual advisers” to speak boldly and prophetically on behalf of all Christians, not just the ones who are U.S. citizens. This truth cannot be understated, for all Christian lives are precious, whether in the U.S or outside. Consider the case of American pastor Andrew Brunson, imprisoned in Turkey for over two years without a fair trial, for no other purpose than political capital. Why has he yet to be released? Because the U.S. NATO alliance with Turkey, is more expedient to the U.S. government, than the freedom of its own falsely accused citizens. Why can’t our nation secure the release of one of our own innocent civilians imprisoned in an ally nation?

Because the U.S. is dance with darkness and walking on eggshells with the wicked. America is protecting an Islamic cleric (Fethullah Gülen), who was believed to be part of a coup attempt, which led to the false imprisonment of Andrew Brunson (Turkish tit’ for tat’). Turkey wants an exchange, the U.S. refuses to turn this man over. Why? Because his views are more in line with U.S. political policy. Therefore, an American citizen is being falsely imprisoned, with little hope of being released. We must stop whitewashing ugly facts and seek and pray that these policies end, or the United States shows itself no better than the despots it seeks to work with and through.


In another article found in the Christian post, we read of a most despicable crime against God and those created in His image. The link to the article follows (Hundreds of Dead Newborn Girls Dumped in Garbage Piles in Pakistan).

Over 300 dead baby girls were discovered on a trash heap in Pakistan, where boys are wanted more than girls. To a kill a baby girl is justified in this Muslim nation state. I literally wept when I read how two of these precious baby girls were killed and we can be sure that the number of babies slaughtered for the same reason numbers in the ten to hundred thousands in Pakistan; a brutal Muslim nation. Yet the U.S. dances with the darkness and walks on eggshells with the wicked. Should we expect anything less when in America hundreds of thousands of babies are killed each year, through government stipend abortions?

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In addition, let us remember that Pakistan, imprisons tens of thousands of Christians, for simply practicing their faith. One of those still imprisoned is Asia Bibi imprisoned for nine years and sentenced to death, for merely drinking from a fountain reserved for Muslims only.  In addition, let us not forget the thousands of Christians martyred over the last year, by Muslim mobs, never prosecuted by the Pakistani government. Once more our national government dances with darkness, while walking on eggshells with the wicked. Is it possible, we Christians are beginning to see that the United States is like all nations; a drop in the bucket (Isaiah 40:15).

Is it possible we will begin to entertain a more biblical worldview, that in the last days,all nations are aligned against God and His Christ (Psalm 2)? Is it possible we will see that our true nation is eternal in the heavens and coming with Christ upon His return (Hebrews 11:13-16; 12:18-24)?

Only when we choose those spiritual realites, can we walk as true servants of Christ, fit to “spiritually advise” the president. Until that time and when our true calling is displayed in the white house, those who are called “spiritual advisers” are at best a religious posse living off the prestige gained, by being around the powerful. At worst, they have sold their unction, for the purpose of gaining protection and provision, until another comes along making better promises.

Pray for those who have been given access to the corridors of power, that in trust of God, they will rise to the prophetic occasion of our day, regardless of the consequence.

Pray for our brothers and sisters in North Korea, as its more likely they will be left, forgotten and further tortured, after the “peace talks”  have concluded.

Pray for the beautiful bride of Christ in Pakistan, that God would endue her with power, love and endurance in the Holy Spirit, as persecution will only increase against their holy love for Christ. Pray for Asia Bibi; that our God and Father will strengthen her from within by His Spirit.

Pray that the United States would be truly remarkable and refuse to dance with darkness and walk on eggshells with the wicked for political expediency. Pray that president Trump will truly find godly sorrow, working repentance, leading to salvation (II Corinthians 7:10).

Pray and seek the Lord for yourself, for the purpose of preparing your heart for the times of persecution ordained for us (II Timothy 3:12). Pray that in those times to come, we will refuse the temptation to dance with darkness and walk on eggshells with the wicked.

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Posted in dancing with the devil, Ephesians 5:11, II Timothy 3:12, persecution, Uncategorized, waling on eggshells | Leave a comment

“Hey Mountain, Get Outta My Way!” (#2)

Mark 11:22-24 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore, I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

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Mark 11:22-24 reveals three critical elements in our walk of faith, concerning prayer. The first we discussed in my last post: that of having the faith of God. Simply put, this means we think, are moved and act, according to what God sees and declares through His word, rather than what we see with our eyes. For the Christian, this not a theological principal as much as a practical necessity, encountered as we live are led by the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:14; Galatians 2:20).

To have faith is to see our world and circumstances, from God’s point of view. Without His perspective, which is to “walk by faith and not by sight”, it is impossible to please God or receive anything from Him (Hebrews 11:6). If you have not read the first post in this series, please click the link below for further discussion on having “God’s faith”.


Not only is faith an essential characteristic in our relationship to God in prayer, so is refusing doubt.


In our physical life there are many things which can become debilitating to a person. This simply means to cause them such weakness that they cannot function as normal; to a certain degree their life becomes limited by the onset of some affliction. To the person of faith, doubt is dangerously debilitating. The reason doubt is so dangerous is that it is not unbelief, which by definition is to profess “I believe” while walking contrary to that profession. To understand unbelief better, prayerfully meditate on Hebrews 3:6 through Hebrews 4:7.

Unbelief is a terrible condition to remain in, yet doubt is more debilitating to the person who desires to walk in faith with Christ, because it takes no position at all, but rather tortures the individual into paralysis, rendering them unable to walk in faith or unbelief. Consider Jesus’ words following “have God’s faith”. In verse 23 Jesus declares “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart

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The word doubt is a prevalent and powerful challenge to our faith, as it means “to judge between the two”, in the Greek language of the New Testament. Further this means judging or choosing between God’s will (As his word declares and He sees) or the natural impossibility which appears to hinder God’s will. This is a practical and heated battle. God’s will presents itself in a supernatural breakthrough, deliverance or provision from God’s treasury of love; guaranteed by the promises of His word.  Doubt, on the other hand presents itself in rational questions such as, “what if it does not come to pass”, or “these are the reasons it can not happen”, or “What if God has it in for me”, or “the obstacles are so massive”.

It is a battle, worthy of what Paul wrote in Galatians, where under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit he penned, “walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh, for the flesh wars against the Spirit and the Spirit wars against the flesh; and these two are contrary to one another, so that you do not do what you want to do” (Galatians 5:16-17).

Therefore, not only can doubt paralyze us into in-action, it also creates a growing insensitivity to our yielding to God’s faith by the Spirit, the longer we allow it to influence us. In this wavering, it feels as we are on the sea, one moment solidly trusting God, the next feeling as though head over-heels in a riptide (James 1:5-8). The reason doubt is so effective in debilitating us, is that it comes from rational though arising from what we see and being interpreted by what we have previously experienced. The problem is this “stink ‘in think ‘in”, specifically excludes what God has done to re-write our experience filter.

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Therefore, doubt, which is tied to our natural cynicism, is often closer to our heart than we care to admit. The only way to have power in prayer, as well as in the practical and supernatural manner of our faith, is to “DENY’ ourselves our normal, rational and intellectual patterns of thought, in regard to being automatic. This must be done as a matter of regular practice, when we are not even walking through circumstances that appear as mountains of hindrance (Romans 12:2). Consider God’s practical instruction for Proverbs 3:5-7

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes…”

In order to overcome the festering nature of doubt, we must deny it when the going gets toughest, rather than wallow in wimpy, whiny, “pity party” behavior. In the moments or seasons (doubt can be heavy tool of temptation from the enemy of our souls); we must cling to faith (God’s sight), deny doubt, and also “believe”. Though it may seem a distinction without a difference between “faith” and “believe”, there is both a complimentary relationship, as well as a distinct difference.


(Mark 11:24) Therefore, I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

Now “faith” is to see things as God sees them. The word “believe” means to walk by what God sees. Faith is orientated in understanding God’s truth (what He sees) and affirming it with profession, the word “believe” means to take actions according to the faith of God in us. Further, “faith” is hearing and confirming it’s your truth, where “believe” declares, “because it’s my truth, I will walk toward the end of receiving it”. This means we refuse to give into doubt, and believe no matter how long the delay.

To “believe” is where we rely on what God says as the only possible solution, hold to it regardless, preparing for the time it is fulfilled. Having the faith of God in prayer takes both “faith” and “believe”, which should be no surprise (James 1:22). Perhaps an example is in order. Consider the life and manner of ministry of George Müller.

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George Müller was a prolific evangelist and preached at Bethesda Chapel, in Bristol England, from 1832 until his death of 1898. In 1836, Müller and his wife began ministry to orphans, by bringing 30 orphaned girls into his home. Until His death, they opened five more orphan houses and took care of up to 2000 children a year; a total of over 10,000 in his life time. One might think that with such a financial burden, Müller’s evangelism efforts would have suffered, him needing to spend significant time in fundraising, yet that was never the case!  Our brother never once asked for aid, took an offering, or sought to secure a stream of income from anyone. Yet the orphans never went hungry or naked or without shelter, in fact no orphans were better cared for. Consider the impossibility of this provision.

The total cost for all the orphans needs in 1870 was £100,000 British pounds.  When calculating this expense, according to today’s economics, the amount equals £11,000,000 British pounds or $16,000,000 U.S dollars. To George Müller this amount was not a mountain but a promise from God. He believed that where God had called, God would provide, even if the amount is the size of Mt. Everest. He had God faith and refused to work, beg, or borrow to provide for what he believed God had ordained He minister. He trusted “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). He believed God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20).

Müller and his team taught the orphan’s to trust God’s mercy and faithfulness, through teaching them to see situations as God sees them (God faith)—refuse doubt no matter how pressing or impossible the mountain—and by teaching them to believe by staying on their knees until God gave what was promised. How wonderful!!!

To even suggest we consider George Müller’s pattern in our day, which is the pattern of Mark 11:22-24, can bring the wrath of the American Christian world upon the speaker. Today we get serious about prayer after we attempt fundraising through newsletters, golf-outings, bake sales, coupon book pushing, bizarre’s, craft shows, arm twisting, badgering, pleading, and appealing through guilt. If we gain our goal, it must have been “God’s will” and if we don’t it must mean people are stingy. Sadly it reveals how far from the truth we have grown. It is quite sad how little we trust our Father to whom “nothing is too difficult” (Jeremiah 32:27).

Let us remember that Jesus’ words in our passage, where spoken in front of the Mt. of Olives, a literal mountain. Jesus was not speaking allegorically, but practically and miraculously. Our lives ought to have the fragrance of the miraculous, rather than stale air of human rationality and ingenuity. We don’t need better solutions, but more submission to “God faith”. We do not need rabbit trails around our mountains, but to walk right up to them believing they’ll move when we declare “Mountain, get out of my way”. In that moment we will understand, God’s power did the impossible, as we partnered with Him in belief.

Are we yielding to doubt or are we walking in belief, expecting to receive from God and holding on until we do? May we all learn to move mountains with God’s faith in us!!!

Posted in doubt, Faith, James 1:5-8, Mark 11:22-24, prayer and faith, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Hey Mountain, Get Outta My Way! (#1)

Mark 11:22-24 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore, I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

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Jesus admonition in verses 22-24 was in response to Peter’s astonishment over a withered fig tree. The dead fig tree, alive on the previous day, had died after Jesus had cursed it.  Jesus cursed the tree because it was full of leaves (should have had fruit), with no fruit for Him to eat. A short time later, Jesus cursed the sham of religion Jewish Temple life had become in verses 15-17. Despite the deep theological connections and truth in the cursed fig tree and error filled Jewish religion of the day, when questioned Jesus did not deal with the implications of things consigned to die. He dealt with the living reality of faith in prayer, and its unlimited miraculous possibilities.

We need not exercise much thought to honestly conclude that most Christians in America, struggle to pray effectively. This means praying with answers that resemble the miraculous possibilities Jesus speaks of in Mark 11:22-24. In order to pray as God intends, according to Jesus instructions we must have faith—ignore doubt—and receive by believing. As simple as this pattern sounds, prayer is one of the more difficult Christian essentials. Therefore, our efforts to pray often leave us confused, frstrated and at times depressed.


Before we discuss the necessity of faith, in relation to prayer, it is important to look at faith from a biblical perspective, because many treat “faith” as if it is wishful thinking, or like blindly shooting an arrow hoping it gets somewhere near its target. Faith is neither of these two, but it is the very foundation of our Christian life; as well the bedrock of our prayer relationship to God.

Without faith in Christ’s finished work with all its necessary implications, salvation would be impossible (Ephesians 2:8-10), as both Old and New Testaments conclude that “the just live by faith”.

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Let’s drill down a bit further into faith Looking into Hebrews 11:1, where we read “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. Simply put, we hope for God’s promises from His revealed word. Secondly, we have confidence we will see these things, even though they are not yet physically present. Faith is spiritual sight, to see the unseen reality of God’s will, while it has yet appeared in our present. In light of this, let’s take another look at verse 22, where Jesus says “Have faith in God”. In the Greek language, in which it was written, we have a more sufficient understanding, as the phrase means “Have the faith of God” or “Have God-faith”. What this means in relation to faith, is to see things as God sees them. Faith is seeing all things visible and invisible as God’s sees them.

In hearing this our collective flesh responds with “Say What?”, “How is this possible?”, “God is God and we are not!!!”. How are we to see with God’s sight, or have God’s faith? Before we panic, let’s understand having God’s faith (sight) is less difficult than we think. God gives each follower a measure of us faith (Romans 12:3).

We rejoice understanding that our faith to believe in Jesus Person and work comes from God, as He gives us faith to see the truth. This gift begins before we are saved by grace, by placing our faith in Christ, for the natural man can’t see or understand the things of God (II Corinthians 2:14). This is what John Wesley referred to as “prevenient grace”, for as we enter the kingdom through repentance and faith, we begin to learn to walk by faith (God’s sight) rather than our sight. In this the choices we learn to yield to what God sees. We train ourselves to see by His sight by feeding on His word (Romans 10:17).

The practical outlay of “have the faith of God” in our lives, leads us to choose what God reveals to us in prayer about our circumstances and His way of operating within them. Consider a mountain in our way, concerning a certain real-life need. Natural site would dicatee thoughts of, do I have a way around it, over it or through it. We may start looking for alternative routes, or if we get desperate, some form of dynamite to blow the mountain up. Sadly, if we find no way to do these above actions, and God does not get us what we think we need, we may give up and settle, or walk backwards to an easier time.

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Abraham is a great example of the whole field of faith and prayer. In Genesis 15 (17 and 18 as well), God tells him he’ll have a son from his own body. This son will have descendants beyond numenric measurement, that will bless the entire world (at the time he was 75 years old). Abraham’s mountain was his wife being well beyond child-bearing age. Therefore, his wife concocts a reasonable plan, given the time and culture., Abraham will impregnate his wife’s servant Hagar. It works, but is not God’s plan for the promised son.

Therefore, God tells Abraham much later, as he is around 100 (and his wife 90), you’re still going to have a son from your own body and that of your wife. The only problem was not only was her womb dead, but so was his ability to have children. Can you say “BIG MOUNTAIN”? So, did Abraham (Romans 4:19-20; Hebrews 11:11-12). He obeyed God in obeying God and circumsizing himself and all the males of his house. This action was the seal of his covenant of faith, with God. God was faith and through the birth of isaac, by Sarah’s womb, God miraclulously moved the mountain.

To have the faith of God, for those in Christ, is magnified even more.

(Galatians 2:20) I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 

Here we see “by the faith of the Son of God”, which lines up with Jesus promise to make His and the Father’s home with us (John 14:15, 23). Therefore, when Jesus says, “Have the faith of God”, He is declaring, yield to the My faith in you.

In prayer, this means let Jesus open your eyes to see what He sees (in your circumstances) and ask for what He is asking for, by the Holy Spirit in you (Galatians 4:6-7). This seems simple but may be the reason for so many unanswered prayers and flattened dreams. We often are asking for things we think are needed, because we do not allow time to come into line with God’s point of view concerning direction or supernatural provision. Jesus is revealing that those who exercise God faith, must learn to exercise it in the middle of massive immovable obstacles; for nothing is impossible with God and He specialized in what is beyond human comprehension.

whoever says to this mountain ‘Be removed and cast into the sea”, and does not doubt in his heart…’, ‘it will be done’Therefore, I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

Next time we will dig into the root of doubt and the complimentary nature of “Have the faith of God”, as we “believe” in order to “receive”. Until that time, practice looking at your life and circumstances with the faith of God.

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Posted in Abraham, Sarah and Hagar, Faith, faith and prayer, Hebrews 11:11-12, Mark 11:22-24, say to this moutain, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Heaven is for Real!!! (#3)

Image result for from the river to the ends of the earthAs we discovered in the last article, our eternal dwelling with God will be remarkably different from the current earth, both physically and politically. Revelation 21:1 reveals that all the land will be together, with no sea to divide the nations or people’s. In this we understand there will be no division, as Christ will have finally put down all unrighteousness and reigns from the river to the ends of the earth (Psalm 72). God will have eradicated every vestige of sin and its result: the curse. In so doing, creation will no longer be groaning or travailing, as God makes all things new (I Peter 3:10-13).

John’s attention now shifts to the New Jerusalem, with its remarkable geography.

 (Revelation 21:2-3) Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.

(Revelation 21:16) The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal.

(Revelation 21:23) The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.


New Jerusalem on Earth

Without getting bogged down in debate, we must understand that the New Jerusalem is massive. We must understand that scripture has many passages that are allegorical. With that said, this is not one of them. When God commands someone to measure something and exact dimensions are given, we must refuse the tendency to make allegorical the thing revealed, because of it’s massive size or the implications. There is speculation as to the type of measurement, John uses, whether it is a Greek or Romans “stadia” (furlong is our closest English equivalent). Despite this speculation, the heavenly Jerusalem is massive, bigger than any city we have ever seen or conceived. It’s massive majesty gives credence to God’s word.

(1 Corinthians 2:9) But as it is written: “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.”

Even though, we see this massive and glorious city, we also know it defines the complete and final approach of all that saints, as the bride of Christ, following her Husband to this earth. As we see a glimpse of this in Hebrews 12:18-24, now we see its consummation as Jesus Himself is found dwelling in the midst of His Bride forever.


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From the beginning of God’s original creation of the earth, the sun and moon, and they have been essential to man’s existence. In the new heavens and new earth, both the sun and moon are obsolete. Let us observe the Lamb of God (Jesus Messiah) is not just the light of the New Jerusalem, but He is then the light for the entire new earth (vs. 24). This could likely mean there is no sun or moon, but even if there were, remember the glory of Jesus Christ is brighter than the sun at noon day. Paul encountered that in (Acts 26:12-18).

Jesus is the brightness of God’s glory, and literally the Light of the world (Hebrews 1:3). He lights the new heavens and the new earth, from the new Jerusalem; from the true Temple of God, that Tabernacle not made with human hands or materials. The Temple has physical structure, the bride of Christ dwells in it, surrounding our Savior forever. In our passage we see the marriage metaphor and this is the consummation of our marriage to Christ, after the marriage supper in heaven. Yet here and now we can have more than a foretaste.

As individuals, if we obey the commands of Jesus, He and our Father dwell with us even now (John 14:21, 23). This is only a deposit though, as Christ has more in mind for His glorious indwelling with us.

(Ephesians 3:14-19) For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

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This is the fullness of the Spirit in our life, and on this old dying and cursed earth, it’s as close to heaven as we can get, next to dying in Christ, for absent from the body is present with the Lord. The lack of the fullness of the Spirit of God, is the singular biggest reason we do not long for heaven and the Blessed Hope in our lives. Why you may ask? Because the fullness of the Spirit in us is heaven’s King and Kingdom power, resident in the believer. This is not only for the purpose of glorifying Jesus Christ but is a sort of spiritual GPS leading us home. How many are insensitive to the hope of heaven, who call themselves Christians?  I would venture to say that a Christian who does not long for heaven, does not live a life worthy of their calling in Christ, in being a word of God, power of God, or example witness for Jesus Christ. Those who are have heaven in their heart by the Holy Spirit fullness.

As real as the experience of heaven can be in us as individuals, right now, we as a church ought to experience heaven in our midst when we gather together; this too should make our hearts long for our eternal home with Christ (Ephesians 2:19-22).

(Ephesians 2:19-22) Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Wherever two or three or three-hundred are gathered together, ministering Christ and ministering Christ to each other and the lost, we have a wonderful foretaste of heaven. Revelation 2 and 3 speak of a few churches in danger of losing this foretaste, in America we have in most places.


 (Revelation 21:3-4) And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Not only do we see God dwelling in our midst, in the presence of Christ forever, in the new heavens and the new earth, we also encounter God’s holiness in everyone and everything. In this eternal reality there is no more death, sorrow, pain, crying… but only unspeakable joy, joy, joy!!! The reason for a lack of any bad things is because there is no more sin, no more curse. As stated earlier, this happens after the Great White Throne in Revelation 20:11-15. It is at this time God renovates the creation we have now as Peter describes judgment.


(2 Peter 3:10-13) But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

What a Day we look for, when everything we see, all we encounter, and all we do, is settled in righteousness and holiness as God is dwelling with us as He intended. We live in a world where every good thing is challenged daily by the wickedness in humanity or the devil’s minions, or the violent groaning of creation itself. As we attempt to celebrate the goodness of God, we are reminded often hourly of that reality, that heaven is coming, but not yet present. Despite even the blessedness of the Holy Spirit, with Christ enthroned in our hearts with the power of His kingdom, we know there is a day where He takes His eternal throne among us. Jesus present with us is what makes the blessing of eternity heaven.


Today’s renditions of heaven, even in Christian culture, are generally off for one very large omission; Jesus is the center of attention. Many books and sermons seek to stir passion in the individual to look to heaven by describing golden streets, massive gem-like foundations and gates, and many other aspects. The problem with this is not that these things are not present, but that they are not the focus. Many a saint is pining away for the day when they will get to see this person or that person, they have been missing. I certainly understand that human pull, and do not seek to disparage a hurting soul, who misses another human being, yet if our focus is on mere departed humans, we will miss the One who is the reason heaven is heaven.

There is a song called “This Was My Hell” written by the band Disciple. In this song, the singer has a dream where he is in heaven, but Jesus was not there… “This was my Hell, living without you here… Even Heaven is Hell if somehow You were not there”. I agree that without Jesus as the center of attention, heaven would be unbearable.

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Let me declare that heaven wonderful and real, and filled with many awesome and understandable things. Yes, we will be reintroduced to those who were in Christ and passed on before us. This means children, parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters and friends. We will meet for the first time, those who were martyred for Christ and many whom we prayed for and prayed for us. Despite this wonder, there is only One Person we will all be looking for in that great Day. Jesus!!! Heaven is heaven because we get to see and be with Him. PERIOD!!! In fact, it is this truth that guides our walk and empowers our sanctification and perseverance (I John 3:1-3). We get to be with Jesus as the King of kings, the Ancient of Days, the Lamb of God, as described in Revelation 1:10-17; a vision of Christ which caused John to fall face down in weakness and fear. Let that aspect of heaven guide your life and hope. He is coming, behold every eye will see Him.

(Revelation 22:1-5) And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.

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Heaven in Coming Soon!!! (#2)


As we discovered in part #1 of this series, heaven is a reality right now! In the first place heaven is the place of God’s dwelling. In heaven right now, we have Jesus our Savior as our Mediator and High Priest, who intercedes on our behalf. In heaven the spirits of the just., those redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, are being perfected, as they worship and serve our God with His holy angels (Hebrews 12:18-24). Yet as real as heaven is, well in God’s presence, heaven is a reality in the spirit, soul and body of every saint, as Christ the King of heaven is preset within us, as well as us being present in Him in heaven right now (Ephesians 2:4-7). Heaven is a for real!

*(If you have not read part #1 of this series you may want to do so now. Please click the link to do so

Along with the above truth, we understand that scripture declares that the time of Christ’s return is upon us and that after He fulfills God’s plan, God will usher in a new age, where in heaven is the present reality for all men, that trusted in Christ.

As stated briefly in the last post, Christ will return for His church, in what most refer to as the rapture–then God’s wrath will be poured out on the ungodly for a period of time–Christ will then return to put down all rebellion–we will then reign with Christ for 1000 years–Satan will be loosed for a time leading to the last rebellion of Gog and Magog–at the conclusion of Gog and Magog Satan is judged–then the final judgement at the Great White Throne–then we arrive at Revelation 21:1. I realize that the proceeding eschatological outline of events may not line up perfectly with every reader’s view of the end-times.

Please keep in mind, it is a general view, that in some way, hits the major events of Christ’s return, from a majority perceptive. That said, let us look into the major implications of Revelation 21:1, in relation to what heaven will be like from a Biblical perspective.

(Revelation 21:1Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was not more sea.

What does it mean “I saw a new heaven and a new earth”? This has been taken to mean an out of nothing “ex nilo” creation of a new starry heavens and new planet earth, but are accurately, from Greek language, the word “new” means to be completely renovated. This does not mean heaven is God’s “This Old House” show, but we must understand that what God creates, He does not annihilate.

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If you will allow me to wax scientific for a little, we can understand that the amount of matter, or the stuff of creation, remains constant in the created universe. In simpler terms this means from the creation (or as the atheist scientist wrongly states the “big bang”), no new matter has been created and no matter has been destroyed. This has led some scientist to suggest that matter is “eternal”. Yet even though the amount of matter will always remain the same, matter does break down and change forms. We need only consider water, in its three forms, to understand that varying conditions cause the break downs and changes (these facts are revealed in the 2nd law of thermodynamics). What God creates He does not annihilate!

Consider for a moment the doctrine of hell and eternal punishment, which is explicitly laid out in Scripture. Recently the Roman Catholic Pope, was caught privately declaring that hell does not exist, revealing he believes those who are unrepentant simply cease to exist. Even though the Roman Catholic Church has denied he spoke these heretical words, it brings us a good point of revelation. That point… even the unrepentant are resurrection and live forever. Their lives are not annihilated but painfully indestructible. Consider just a few passages such as, Matthew 25:41, John 5:26-29, Revelation 14:11 and Revelation 20:11-15

Let us remember what God creates He does not destroy, whether it is a person who is unregenerate or some physical and see aspect of creation, although they all will be changed. This is the what is referred to when understanding the “new heavens and the new earth, for the first earth has passed away. Interestingly the word for passed away is the same Greek word is II Corinthians 5:17, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation, the creation: old things have passed away; behold all things become new”. In order to fully grasp the imagery of being a “new creation” with our old life before Christ having “passed away”, we need to walk back a chapter.

(2 Corinthians 4:16) Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.

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When referring to the word “perishing” we understand this to mean, similar to a person expiring with a terminal disease. In relation to our sanctification, as we submit to the Holy Spirit, we are renewed in our new creation life, while the “old man” dies a little more, like a person with a terminal disease. We are literally little models of what God will do in the “new heavens and the new earth”. We the crown of God’s creation are the seed in this old heavens and earth. Redemption in Christ, through His blood, was not only to remove the penalty of sin upon our account, but to begin the process of our being made holy practically in this life. God has begun the process, in us, and creation itself is eagerly waiting the full end our salvation when we are with Christ forever.

(Romans 8:19-23) For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

We then are a microcosm of what God is doing even now in creation, as it groans. We, even the redeemed, groan, struggle, pain, as the old man passes away in his influence, as the new man we are in Christ takes His place of sovereignty. The same sin, from Adam, which affected all humanity also infected all creation. This creation will not be annihilated but renovated in powerful Divine movement (Hebrews 1:11-12; Psalm 102:25-28).

(Hebrews 1:11-12) “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain; and they will all grow old like a garment; like a cloak You will fold them up, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will not fail.”

Peter also describes how the curse will be removed from what God has originally created in II Peter.

(2 Peter 3:10-12) But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?

What will this new heaven and more specifically this new earth look like? Although resembling the starry heavens and earth of this original creation, the new will look, well, outstanding, perfect, magnificent, with colors and sites never able to be seen, through eyes untainted with sin. We think we see breathtaking wonders in our time, yet this creation will seem like a cheap Lego set of the Grand Canyon, in comparison God’s new heaven and new earth.

One thing that will be different, as it is specifically noted in Revelation 21:1, is “There will be no more sea”. There is some speculation as to what this means, as some want to minimize this to mean no “Great Sea” or Mediterranean Sea. This is not supported in the scripture, therefore “the will be no more sea means, there will be no seas or oceans dividing the land masses, or continents, as we know them today. This is a literal geographic reality in our eternal home with God, but also carries with it a profound spiritual and governmental meaning.

In the O.T. the phrase “the sea” is often used to refer to the nations of the world, at war with God. We understand the nations in conflict with God, had their beginning in the rebellion at Babel; and their subsequent scattering following the confusion of the languages (Genesis 11:1-9). We find Psalm 2, describing their conflict with God and His solution in Messiah to come.

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(Psalms 2) ​ Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath and distress them in His deep displeasure: “Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion.” “I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You. ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’” Now therefore, be wise, O kings; be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.

Although in Psalm 2 we see the pride of nations in war against God, in the new heaven and the new earth, this conflict is gone and forgotten forever. Consider Isaiah’s report.

(Isaiah 17:12-13) Woe to the multitude of many people who make a noise like the roar of the seas, and to the rushing of nations that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! The nations will rush like the rushing of many waters; but God will rebuke them and they will flee far away and be chased like the chaff of the mountains before the wind, like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.

Yet when we dwell in the new heavens and the new earth, Psalm 72:6-11, declares that although geographic regions will exist, they will have no more national sovereignty, for Christ has redeemed the nations from their rebellion.

(Psalms 72:6-11) He shall come down like rain upon the grass before mowing, like showers that water the earth. In His days the righteous shall flourish, and abundance of peace, until the moon is no more. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. Those who dwell in the wilderness will bow before Him, and His enemies will lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles will bring presents; the kings of Sheba and Seba will offer gifts. Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him.

In the 1000-year reign, Christ rules them with a rod of iron (Psalm 2:7-9). This takes place in Revelation 19. In the new heaven and new earth, the need for the rod of iron, is no longer necessary. In the new heavens and the new earth, we have new and overwhelming physical sights, sounds and experiences, never encountered. We will experience the perfect sovereignty of God, through Jesus Christ. In our next post, we look further into the realities of the New heavens and the new earth.

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