"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


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Wednesday, December 27, 2023


: The whole of GOD’s creation has been marred, tainted, deformed – in some respects even the heavenlies. In order to bring things back to what GOD intends, He is in the process of renewing everything – starting with human hearts.

Those who are born again are part of the new creation, representing a new human race, based upon the last Adam (the LORD Jesus) – as opposed to the first Adam, on whom the old human race is founded. The new human race will inherit all things through the last Adam; the old human race will remain under the curse of the first Adam and incur judgment and perdition. Those of the old race have the hope of redemption still, where they can be translated from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of GOD’s dear Son (COL 1:13).

We of the new creation are having our minds renewed, and one day (LORD, soon, please!) our bodies will be made new – eventually along with the New Earth and the New Heavens – with the New Jerusalem descending down into this everlastingly glorious, beautiful world!

To think that there is coming a day when not only evil will not exist, but it will also never come into our remembrance! Adam and Eve were innocent before the Fall, but they were corruptible (that is, able to be corrupted via yielding to temptation to sin). In our glorified state, we will be incorruptible (1 COR 15:42-58; 1 PET 1:23) – meaning not only will we not decay or degrade, but that, unlike our First Parents, we will be incapable of corruption! Thank You LORD!

Sin nature will no longer dwell in us, nor will we be able to fall into sin! Holiness will last forever and ever in an everlastingly new creation, and GOD and His saints and angels will literally “live happily ever after”! That’s no fairy tale!

And yet, we are still in process, just as the Jewish people were still in process of being sanctified in the days of Nehemiah. Jerusalem the city has been restored, the people of Jerusalem are on the way to restoration!

1 Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, in sackcloth, and with dust on their heads. 2 Then those of Israelite lineage separated themselves from all foreigners; and they stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. 3 And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the LORD their God for one -fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the LORD their God

For six hours they heard the reading of the Word of the LORD spoken to them; for another six hours they then spoke to GOD in prayers of repentance (note the sackcloth and ashes, symbolic gestures of mourning). All of this was solemnized in the practice of fasting, showing their earnest hearts to GOD.

This was Yom Kippur – the Day of atonement, a day of mourning and seeking GOD in repentance from sin. At the beginning of the life of every believer where one realizes the magnitude of offense at the sum total of sins committed against our Holy GOD and this strikes grief into our broken hearts, “godly sorrow that leads to repentance to salvation” (2 COR 7:10). There are some who think that once done, all done, no more need for repentance; and while we repent once to receive salvation, the life of a believer is marked by a regular flow of repentance – not for salvation (again), but because of salvation.

Confession of sin is agreeing with GOD regarding our sin: that it is heinous, reprehensible, offensive and just plain wrong! It is akin to repentance in this respect:
1 JOHN 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness
May we never trivialize the Cross of Christ and the highest price paid for the forgiveness of our sins! There are some who profess to know Christ who have a flippant attitude towards sin and GOD’s grace:
“It’s OK if we sin, that’s what grace is for!” and so they continue in sin that grace may abound, and they think they’re right in doing so!

Apparently, they have never read:
ROMANS 6:1-4
1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life
GOD’s grace is amply provided for the forgiveness of sin, that is certainly true; but salvation in Christ saves us not only from sin, but from sinning. Any temptation we face, GOD has made The Way of escape (1 COR 10:13; JOHN 14:6):

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need

“…grace to help in time of need.” That has many applications, but one such crucial application is when we need help warding off temptation. Grace is there to forgive us our sin, but also to fortify us against sin!

For the latter six hours, the people of Israel confessed and worshiped GOD!

What is worship?

The Gospel Coalition (with which I am not always in agreement) says,
“Worship is our response, both personal and corporate, to GOD for Who He is, and what He has done; expressed in and by the things we say and the way we live.”
Worship must always be done in “spirit and truth”, that is, according to the direction that the Holy Spirit takes us in, and in compliance to all the Word of GOD.

I have noted in my personal thoughts that worship is the act of giving to GOD all that He is worthy of, in response to what He has given to us.

We give to GOD our hearts, our minds, our bodies, our labor, our time, our finances, our song, our prayers; also our marriage, our family, our ministry, etc. We give to GOD all of this and more in accordance to the Father’s giving heart in giving us His Son, the LORD Jesus Christ!

Worship isn’t a Sunday church activity (only), but a daily practice that flows continuously like a river. Such a life is an abundant one (JOHN 10:10-11, 28; 7:37-39).

To “believe GOD” is in itself an act of worship and obedience (ROM 4:3; 1 SAM 15:22).

Alan Redpath in his book, VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN SERVICE, Commentary on the book of Nehemiah, listed four principles of revival pertaining to Chapter Nine here:
1) Brokenheartedness (vs. 1-2). “If you avoid in your present Christian life a daily humiliation before GOD, you will soon become hardhearted, cold and indifferent to the things of GOD.”

2) Reflection upon GOD’s goodness and faithfulness (NEH 9 as a whole expresses this; esp. vs. 6-15) in light of our constant failures, and stubborn disobedience.

3) Recognition of our own sinfulness (vs. 33). It was their very sinfulness that brought them under subjection to Babylon and are at this point, still servants to the dominion of Persia (vs. 38). Acknowledgement of sin, agreeing with the Holy GOD and His just treatment towards us, is what is needed.

4) Renewal of obedience (NEH 10). This is seen in the tearing away of affiliations with the pagan society that surrounded them, and the restoration of the altar – not just in the city, but in the devotional aspects of every family in their home life.
Then those of Israelite lineage separated themselves from all foreigners…

The Jewish people sanctified (separated themselves) from foreigners whom they had married. GOD wanted to keep the nation pure, unmixed with Gentile lineages with the propensities for idol worship and allegiance to pagan gods. In our own lives there are worldly practices, beliefs, ideas, etc. that are antithetical to the truth of Scripture, and so we must separate these notions, and any personal but erroneous beliefs from our minds, and cleanse them from these impurities (JOHN 17:17-19; EPH 5:26-27; 1 THESS 5:22-24; HEB 13:12).

4 Then Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani stood on the stairs of the Levites and cried out with a loud voice to the LORD their God. 5 And the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said:
"Stand up and bless the LORD your God forever and ever! Blessed be Your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise! 6 You alone are the LORD; You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and everything on it, the seas and all that is in them, and You preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You

This is the response of the people to hearing the Word of the Law. When we use the word “law” here we are not referring solely to the Law of Moses, but “Law” in the general sense, that is, the Word of GOD, the Holy Scriptures of truth. Anytime a Christian takes to heart the Word of GOD, just as we take in a breath of air, by natural necessity there is an exhalation of that air and likewise, we respond to the LORD’s Word.

“Stand up…” ‘standing’ (and “walking”) in Scripture refers to declaring and relying on truth according to “the faith” (1 COR 16:13; 3 JOHN 1:4). Standing in faithfulness and testimony (2 THESS 2:15; 1 TIM 3:15). It is a sign of reverence and respect, as seen here.

The people are called upon to “bless the LORD your GOD forever and ever…”

To think that the LORD would ever be blessed by the praises and worship of such creatures of dust and air as we reveals His humble heart. He Who has before His presence such mighty cherubim and seraphim who are god-like in glory and power, and whose adoration of their Maker is constant, perpetual, never diminishing as they prostrate themselves before their LORD, is attentive to the utterances of us feeble jars of clay! And He is blessed by it! How marvelously gracious and tenderhearted is our Holy, Exalted, Almighty GOD that He should be touched by us in this way!

And we will one day inherit these glorified bodies as mentioned in the introduction, and I have no doubt that our voices will be transformed into instruments to compare with the most magnificent of angelic hosts! Then as now, we shall bless His Holy Name “…forever and ever (and EVER!)”!!

7 "You are the LORD God, Who chose Abram, And brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans, And gave him the name Abraham; 8 You found his heart faithful before You and made a covenant with him To give the land of the Canaanites, The Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, And the Girgashites-To give it to his descendants. You have performed Your words, for You are righteous

Here is the remembrance of GOD’s covenant with Abraham, an unconditional agreement that GOD made with the father of the Jewish nation, wherein the Almighty holds Himself exclusively responsible for fulfilling all of the covenant.

In this remembrance, the Jews in Nehemiah’s day recognized that they were taken out of the land because of their rebellion (something that Nehemiah acknowledged himself in NEH 1:6-10). This man of GOD also acknowledged GOD’s mercy, grace and power in bringing His people back into the land!

Abraham’s covenant still stands today, as does the Davidic and the Land Covenant. The issue isn’t whether or not the Jewish people are worthy of GOD (NO one is!), but it’s GOD’s own reputation that’s at stake if He fails to keep His promise!

Since all the Earth belongs to GOD (PSA 24:1), He is free to give any land to any people He desires: He is SOVEREIGN over His creation! He has granted His land to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the 12 Tribes of Israel.
EZEKIEL 36:22-24
22 "Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name's sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. 23 "And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD," says the Lord GOD, "when I am hallowed in you before their eyes. 24 "For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.
9 "You saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt and heard their cry by the Red Sea. 10 You showed signs and wonders against Pharaoh, Against all his servants, And against all the people of his land. For You knew that they acted proudly against them. So You made a name for Yourself, as it is this day. 11 And You divided the sea before them, So that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; And their persecutors You threw into the deep, As a stone into the mighty waters 12 Moreover You led them by day with a pillar of cloud, And by night with a pillar of fire, To give them light on the road which they should travel. 13 You came down also on Mount Sinai, And spoke with them from heaven, And gave them just ordinances and true laws, Good statutes and commandments. 14 You made known to them Your holy Sabbath, And commanded them precepts, statutes, and laws, By the hand of Moses Your servant.

The LORD spoke to Abraham and told him that his descendants would spend 400 years in a foreign land where they would be persecuted, but from that place He would deliver them from their bondage.

The remarkable book of EXODUS chronicles the mind-boggling events of the deliverance of the people of GOD from the world power of that day. There were ten plagues against Egypt that might seem arbitrary to the casual reader, but in fact each of them was pointed at the ten primary false gods of Egypt and were humbled by the Almighty and True GOD.

Pharaoh in his arrogance, defied the LORD GOD by saying, "Who is the LORD, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, nor will I let Israel go."

And because of that pride, the LORD brought him down low (PROV 16:18; JAMES 4:6). Evil, whether it comes from Satan or man, truly has no hope, only pride, and this it’s destined to fall.

In a way, we can look at the deliverance from Egypt and Pharaoh was a dry run for the real deal event of the tribulation period. Then the paramount of pride will be paraded as the son of perdition takes the reigns of the entire globe and will demand that all worship him as ‘God’.

And just as the Beast (and the false prophet, and Satan himself) will be humbled and escorted to his eternal cell of torment, the saints of GOD of the Old and New Testaments will be delivered from this evil world and meet GOD in His domain and dwell with Him in peace and joy forever.

NEHEMIAH 9:15-17
15 You gave them bread from heaven for their hunger and brought them water out of the rock for their thirst and told them to go in to possess the land which You had sworn to give them. 16 "But they and our fathers acted proudly, hardened their necks, And did not heed Your commandments. 17 They refused to obey, and they were not mindful of Your wonders that You did among them. But they hardened their necks, and in their rebellion they appointed a leader to return to their bondage. But You are God, ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abundant in kindness, and did not forsake them

The time draws near when the Messiah King of Israel will take His rightful place, sitting upon the throne of His father, David (LUKE 1:31-33). Jerusalem, which we see being restored here in NEHEMIAH, will become the world capital and with the Prince of Peace there, it will truly be “the City of Peace”!

But peace will always elude the heart of man, if his heart is hardened against the LORD. Yet, instead of condemning the hard hearted, the gracious and merciful GOD Who is ready to pardon will simply perform a ‘heart transplant’ for His people (See EZEK 36:26).

The people of Israel “were not mindful of [GOD’s] wonders that [He] did among them". Likewise the church must be ever mindful of the Wonder of wonders that the LORD did for us; in assuming bodily form, a human nature – thus becoming a relative of the human race, thus suitable as a kinsman redeemer, who can pay the debt of sin He did not owe for a people who had nothing to pay, due to our spiritual poverty (MATT 5:3)!

GOD’s children might (temporarily) abandon GOD – rebellious sheep are in fact prone to wander, but as He is The Good Shepherd, He will never abandon us nor forsake us (HEB 13:5) but will leave the ninety nine and find the lost sheep and bring them back, rejoicing as He arrives back at the fold.

As I get older and experience how unfaithful I can be, it shows by stark contrast how perfectly and perpetually faithful GOD is to me. It breaks my heart. And His goodness always leads me to repentance (ROM 2:4). He is my Friend Who never fails me, and it ruins me how I fail Him too, too often.

It only makes me long for the day when I can be rid of this rotten sin nature; BUT what I must always remember – victory over sin need not be something to look forward to in “the great By and By”! We do ourselves a disservice if we think our victory is for then, and not now!

Reviewing ROMANS 6,7, and 8 in a Triumphant Trilogy of our life in Christ must be a series of spiritual lessons reviewed on a regular basis! Victory over sin nature is something obtainable here and now – not perfectly, but at the least provisionally.

NEHEMIAH 9:18-20
18 "Even when they made a molded calf for themselves, And said, 'This is your god That brought you up out of Egypt,' And worked great provocations, 19 Yet in Your manifold mercies You did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day, To lead them on the road; Nor the pillar of fire by night, To show them light, And the way they should go. 20 You also gave Your good Spirit to instruct them, And did not withhold Your manna from their mouth, and gave them water for their thirst

Do you see the tender, faithful, valiant heart of GOD being merciful and longsuffering towards these rebellious people? For forty years in the wilderness wanderings (which was a trip that shouldn’t have lasted for more than two weeks!), despite their rebellious attitude, their murmurings, even their false accusations against GOD, He took them by the hand and led them through and into the promised land (JER 31:32)!

I don’t want to follow their example. I don’t want to strive against the Holy Spirit! I want to work in conjunction with the Spirit, cooperate with Christ Jesus my LORD, my Savior, my Best Friend so that He can complete His work in me without my murmuring and rebelling!

It’s as we cooperate with the LORD, willingly die to sin nature, lovingly allow Christ to grow His likeness in me, become sanctified to greater and greater degrees that on that Day of Judgment (of the saints at the Bema Seat) we shall earn great reward and granted higher levels of rule in His Kingdom, not to mention hearing the much coveted words from our LORD’s lips, “Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your LORD!
being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ

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