Archive for March, 2013


The King’s Remnant

 

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Just as our Lord and King, Jesus Christ, the Son of David- is a King in Exile, He also has a people – a remnant living in exile as well.    This Remnant can be compared to the 13th tribe of the House of Isreal- that hidden tribe that was set apart from the other 12 tribes and required special preperation before the Lord.    

During Jesus’s ministry on this Earth, there were always the multitudes who followed Him and sought Him out wherever He went.   They sought Him for the loaves and fishes, for the miracles, and signs of wonders.   They loved hearing His awesome messages that they couldnt hear from the pharisees and scribes.    Jesus loved the multitudes yet He knew that they were not ready to follow Him in a deeper measure. 

When Jesus climbed the mountains- there were certain ones who chose to keep following Jesus higher and higher until He came to the peak of the mountain.  It was to this remnant of followers that He shared the Beatitudes.-   a precious series of teachings directly linked with the Kingdom of God.  The multitudes were not ready to hear such teachings.  The remnant who was willing to follow Him all the way up the mount was.

In every age, God has a Remnant.  This remnant is not aware of themselves as being included in this catagory.   Their only focus is Jesus Christ, Himself, in thier lives. They live only for Him.  There are also multitudes in every age as well.  They follow Jesus up to a point, but basically only serve Him for how good He makes them feel, or what He can do for them.  For a time, all of us are in this catagory and it takes a real response to the Holy Spirit to pull us out of this to a higher level of following after Jesus–  not for His gifts any longer, but for Himself.– to follow Him for Himself and to come to that place in spirit where we finally give up all rights to ourselves.    

Peter– one of Jesus’s close disciples , did not immediately come to this point in his life.   For all of Jesus’s ministry, Peter followed Jesus on his own terms and though he loved Jesus, his love was not yet a mature unselfish love.     It was later that Peter came to this point in his life-after Jesus was  ressurrected, and after he had denied the Lord three times during Jesus’s capture by the Sanhedrin.    In John 21:  we see a very intimate scene between Jesus and Peter.  Jesus had been raised from the dead, and  He and His disciples had just finished breakfast when He presented Peter with some questions.

“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”  He said to Peter.   “Yes, Lord, you know that I love You.”, He replied.   Then Jesus replied, “Feed My lambs”.   Then a second time, Jesus asked Peter, “Simon, Son of John, do you love Me?”  He said to him, “Yes, Lord:  you know that I love you.”  He said to him then, ‘Tend My sheep”.   Then a third time, Jesus asked Him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”   And by this time, Peter was getting a bit afflicted at the repeated questions, so he replied, “Lord, you know everything;  yhou know that I love you.”  Then Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep”  “Truly , truly, I say to you , when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would;  but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands and another will gird you and carry you where you do not    wish to go.”  Then He said. “Follow Me.”     Peter had denied Jesus three times, and now Jesus was asking Him three times if he loved him.    Jesus was leading Peter to a deeper level of love where he would no longer embrace all rights to himself, but allow the Lord to lead him where by nature, he would not choose to follow.   He did die as a martyr for the Lord, but this even goes beyond his martyrdom-  and indicates the death of his self-life he would allow the Holy Spirit to accomplish in him, so that He would no longer think as unredeemed man thinks, but have the mind of Christ.    He would no longer fall in satan’s traps and say things like He said to Jesus before His crucifixion, like “Lord this will never happen to you!”  -and then the Lord had to rebuke him.    He would grow beyond that level to a higher level of love and unity with Jesus.

In 1 Kings 6: 7, we read how the stones for the Lord’s temple were prepared.   “When the house was built, it was with stone prepared at the quarry;  so that neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron was heard in the temple, while it was being built.”     These stones were cut exactly to fit and size at the quarry before being brought to the temple.  They were then fitted quietly in their alloted space in the temple without any attention or fanfare.   These stones represent the Lord’s Remnant-   They , like Peter, are being prepared quietly by the Holy Spirit, without any attention or fanfare and after their cutting and refining process, they will be fitted into the Lord’s House- His Temple and Invisible Church in the spot designated for them.  Each living stone- each person allowing the Lord to prepare them spiritually- will be given thier own distinct area and responsiblity within our King’s Body-  one in which they will have been prepared beforehand.   

In the book of Revelations 14:1-5, we read of this Remnant again-    “Then I looked, and lo, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with Him 144,000 who had His name and His father’s name written on thier foreheads.   And I heard a voice from Heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder;  the voice I heard was like the sound of harpers playing on their harps., and they sing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the Elders.  No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had  been redeemed from the earth. It is those who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are chaste.  It is these who follow the Lamb wherever He goes;  these have been redeemed from mankind as first fruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are spotless.”

This 144,000 is not a literal number of only 144,000, but represents an amount known only to God.   We recall how in the Old Testament, Isaiah cried out to the Lord how only he was serving the Lord- not one person in Isreal was responding.   The Lord encouraged him that He had a remnant unknown to Isaiah who was faithful to the Lord.    In every age, the Lord has a remnant, and this remnant allows the Lord to make them spotless- to take away all guile and lies within them.   Their song to the Lord is the song of the Bride-  the song of a soul who rejoices in sufferings and tribulations so that they can have Christ.   they have the name of Jesus and the Father on their foreheads. This means that they have come beyond the point of thinking with thier own ways of thnking- but allowed themselves to have the mind of Christ in place of their own attitudes and values.    They have allowed the Lord to make them a seperated people from all that would keep them from ascending higher with the Lord.  They are chaste- not necessarily because they never married and had children, but because they denied themselves the values, goals and desires of this World, so that the would have total room to make the Lord the only love in thier hearts.  

May we all allow the Lord to bring us to this condition where we can soley belong to Him and give up all rights to ourselves–becoming His bondslave of Love in this present life- so that we can be His special Remnant- His first fruits with the the special responsiblities He has pre-destined for us.

May Jesus , our King in Exile be Praised.

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Genesis 22

 

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In the book of Genesis, we read where Abraham, along with two of his young men and Isaac travel to  Moriah and go to a mountain that the Heavenly Father will reveal to him, where he was to sacrifice his son, Isaac as a burnt offering to God.   Abraham was shown the mountain on the third day of their journey.  He lifted his eyes and the Holy Spirit revealed to his heart the mountain that he saw afar off.    He told his young men, “stay here with the ass”  I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.”

He with Isaac climbed the mountain and he took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac, his son while he took in his hand the fire and knife.      The scriptures read, “So they went both of them together...”The Holy Spirit reveals something between the lines with those words in scripture which we will later see.

Upon arriving at the peak of the mountain, Isaac asks his father, “My father!”  “Here am I., my son” Abraham replies.  “Behold, the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”   Abraham replies, “God will provide Himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.”  So they went both of them together.”

Again, the scriptures repeat “So they went both of them together” and this is significant.    Isaac and Abraham were united together in  spirit- they climbed the mountain together and as we continue to read, we will notice how it is confirmed to Isaac what he already knows in his heart- that he will be the sacrifice upon that mountain in Moriah.   Nevertheless, we don’t read that Isaac resists, laments or runs off.   He is united to his father because he is also united with God and because of this reverence for God,  he submits to God’s will just as his father submitted.   They were “together”- united in spirit.     Abraham was ready to slay his son with the knife until the Heavenly Father stopped him.  “Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him;  for now I know that you fear God, seeing that you did not withhold your son- your Only son,from Me.”  God emphasizes, ‘your ONLY son”.

Centuries later Another in Whom Isaac resembles is also united with His Father– His Only Son Who willingly lays down His life unto deaths– even the death of the cross.   He is the Lamb of God that the Father has provided.   Abraham’s words were very  prophetic, He had no idea the import of what His reply would prophecy.   It cost both this future Son and His Father, but unselfish Love does not count the cost.  Both Father and Son are united in Spirit just as Isaac and Abraham were.The incident at Moriah holds more prophetic foreshadowings.    We read how Isaac told his father, “Behold, the fire and the wood..”    Abraham even had Isaac carry the wood up that mountain. (verse 6), which Isaac did willingly.     Even in this, we see ahead into the future as Jesus carries the wood of the cross up the rocky road leading to Golgatha- where He would be slain as the Lamb of God.   The Fire is also provided as the baptism of fire Jesus underwent prior to and throughout His mission of sacrifice.  This fire is also the Love that would consume Him as He foresaw the Fruit that would result after He- His Father’s Grain of Wheat, would fall to the ground and die.   As the soldier’s spear pierced His heart, we recall the knife that Abraham held.
It was Love that held Jesus on that cross.  As son of God, He could have come down from that cross at any time-especially after the sarcastic jeers screamed at Him to “come down from that cross if you are really the Son of God”.     He endured to the end to complete His Father’s sacrifice of Love.   Such Love of the Ultimate Father and Son!    Flashing back centuries prior, we read how the Heavenly Father promises Abraham that because he did not withhold his only son, that his future descendents shall possess the gates of their enemies and by them, all the nations of the Earth shall be blessed.       Little did Abraham conceive how this has come to pass in spirit.     Those who receive Jesus- the Lamb of God  into their hearts are  Abraham’s descendents in spirit- and as they become united with God, their spiritual enemies cannot harm them.    All those who are in the presence of a true child of God are blessed as they become channels of God’s love, mercy and compassion wherever the Father places them.  They become the “salt of the Earth” that purifies and enhances wherever they are through God’s Holy Spirit within them.  They, too, like Jesus- God’s Isaac-  will also fall to the ground as a grain of wheat,and  produce fruit for God’s Kingdom.

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Below is a short story –especially for children, but for all children at heart, that depicts the beautiful gentle spirit of our Lord, Jesus Christ- our King in Exile.

LITTLE GREY HANNAH

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In a small Olive grove centuries ago, lived a little mourning dove named Hannah.   Hannah often wished she had white feathers like those holy white doves but this was how she was born.  She and her fellow mourning doves all had gray feathers so they accepted this as their lot in life.

Around noon, Hannah would venture into the human’s villages to gather any stray crumbs that had fallen beneath the merchants carts.  Hannah knew to keep her distance from the humans.  Her parents taught her how to forage for food while keeping alert from the predator.  It was common knowledge among the dove clans that next to eagles and hawks, the human was their largest threat.  Many of Hannah’s kin fell prey to the human’s net and were sold for pennies as bird sacrifices to the human poor.  She shuddered to think of the horror they experienced as her fellow doves were caught, sold- then slaughtered!

After a long day of searching for her food, Hannah returned to the olive groves and roosted on her favorite branch.  Tucking in her soft grey feathers, she snuggled in her nest and marveled at how nice and peaceful it was under the trees as compared to the noisy human villages.  Sometimes, as she nestled on her branch above, she would notice some humans who had entered the groves.  They didn’t seem bothersome and the One who seemed to be their leader was more calm and peaceful than the others.  She liked when He was there as His voice was very calming.   Sometimes she would see Him all alone there looking up into the sky.  “He must be talking to the Creator of All that Is” she thought.   Hannah’s mother had taught her about the Creator—how He made them and all the animals, and even the plants and rocks.  He even made the humans! She couldn’t imagine Him ever creating humans, though.  The Creator is full of Love, but the humans are so cruel!  This Man, though, was different than the other humans.  When she watched Him talking to the Creator, His voice reminded her of the security she felt as a young fledgling, snuggled beneath her mother’s wings.  That was saying a lot for a mourning dove, because otherwise, Hannah felt frightened when she was that close to a human.

One early morning, long before it was time for Hannah to venture into the villages, she noticed that Man again, all alone and kneeling very reverently on the ground.  He was talking to the Creator of All that Is with much love; It was the love of a Son to His Father.    Curiosity got the best of her so she flew to the ground and crept ever so slowly closer and closer to Him as He knelt there in prayer.  “Who is this human?” she pondered.  The closer she got, the less threatened she felt.   “Maybe I can get close enough to see His face!” she thought.   Soon He stopped His conversation with the Creator.  As His head remained bowed down, the very air around Him felt full of love and peace.  She wondered at this as she peeked at Him from a rock that was just a few yards from where He was kneeling.   “He surely is not like the other humans!” she thought.   Slowly He lifted His head and turned His gaze toward her.   She would have gasped and fluttered away except she felt no fear.   He smiled at her and said, “And where have YOU come from, little grey one?” He said to her as He laughed.  His eyes sparkled like the water when the Sun reflects upon it.   Hannah knew in her little dove’s heart that she was looking right into the eyes that reflected the Creator of All that Is—The God that her mother told her about when she was little.  He laughed again and held out His hand to her filled with millet seed.  “This is Heaven!”  “Why, this is even better than having white feathers!”  After Hannah was done eating, the Man gently held her in His hands and gently stroked her grey feathers.  She wished all humans could be like this.  It was like He could read her mind because then He chuckled at her and replied, “One Day , they may, little one!” He said as He gave her a wink.

This precious moment was soon interrupted as this special Man’s followers barged into the grove with shouts.   “Master, there you are!!, We were looking all over for you!!  We need to get ready NOW, if we are to make it to that wedding in Cana!”  They yelled.  Frightened Hannah flew up to a safe branch but she continued to watch them from above.   “Yes, Yes, Peter, we will go” the Man sighed, “but how few will be ready for the Wedding yet to come?”      The men looked at Him with confusion.  “Come, let us be going then”, He said as He chuckled at their confused expressions.   He got up and the men followed Him out of the grove.

One night many months later as Hannah lay sleeping in her nest, she was rudely awakened by an angry mob of humans carrying torches into the Olive groves.   The mob demanded to know where the Man, her new Friend, was.  Hannah watched with fear at the scene below her.  “Where is He!?!,” The guards demanded.  “I Am He”, Her Friend said with the most Royal calm she had ever heard.   The guards fell to the ground after His reply.  As the guards stumbled to get back up, He replied again, “I told you that I Am He, so if you seek Me, let these men go.”  His followers ran off immediately in fear as He calmly let them seize Him.     Hannah shuddered in her nest.  She couldn’t go back to sleep as she thought how horrible it was that this Man – the first human she loved being around – was taken away.  All that night, Hannah cried her most mournful cry.  The next morning, Hannah was determined to find where they had taken her new Friend.

Leaving the grove, Hannah flew to the nearby villages.  They were strangely empty of humans as though they were   gathered somewhere else- probably where her Friend was!  Hannah’s parents always taught her to stay away from the place the humans call “Jerusalem”.  It was there that her kind were sold for sacrifices, as well as certain other animals.  Still, she faced her fears and flew to the city’s gates.  Crowds of loud and rude humans were leaving the city and lining the rocky road nearby.  Hannah quietly crept between the human’s feet unnoticed as she walked up the stony road.  She noticed drops of blood on the rocks at her feet.   She shuddered as she thought of the blood the slaughtered mourning doves shed when they were killed for the human’s sacrifices.    Was her Friend going to be slaughtered for them, too?,  she feared.  Grief overcame little Hanna, as she impatiently flew over the crowds.  Not too far up the road, she saw Him.   “He is truly being slaughtered!”, she thought with panic.   The other humans had Him nailed to a big wooden thing made from a tree.   She wondered how the trees must have felt , losing their own plant lives to be used in such a manner.  Other humans were also hanging in the same way around Him on butchered trees.    “Besides Jerusalem, This is the other place my mother told us kids to stay away from!” Hanna recalled.   Never having ventured here before, She didn’t believe this place actually existed.  The Dove elders taught the young ones never to fly through this taboo area as it is a place fit for vultures and death- not simple little doves.    Little Hannah was not afraid;  she needed to be near the Human that was too nice to be a human- who told her that one day other humans could also be like Him.  He gave her hope, and it looked like this hope was being taken from her.

Carefully and quietly, Hannah mustered all the bravery she had within her and under the human’s feet, ever so unassumingly walked up to the base of the wood where her Friend hung dying.  She could not bear the pain He was going through and she trembled with grief as drops of His blood fell on her grey feathers.   This time, no longer on a high branch in the olive groves, Hannah found herself under Her Friend on the ground this time, but it was the nearest she could be with Him.   Hannah’s little dove’s soul welled with the deepest grief and mourning.  Trembling there and covered with drops of His blood, little Hannah cried as only mourning doves can cry- for a Friend that was nicer than any human she had ever met- whose eyes sparkled like the Sunlight that dances upon the waters.

As Hannah remained there in her grief, some soldiers took notice of her and kicked her away .    Reluctantly she flew away with  tears only a mourning dove can shed.  As Hannah continued to fly, her grey feathers transformed from grey to white!

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Flying to the water’s edge with great sorrow, she noticed her reflection .  “Could it be?” she wondered with awe as she saw she was no longer grey.   Her Friend’s Blood mysteriously changed her into a little white dove!   It was through His death, His love and blood alone.   Humbled and full of newfound joy and love, Hannah gazed upon the sun reflecting on the waters.   Somehow she just KNEW her Friend would live again, and she would fly to meet Him in her new white Feathers.    “And where have You come from, little white one?” He would say with His soothing laugh .  She would nestle in His nail scarred hands forever!

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