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In True Righteousness

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015, 4:18 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “My Heart’s Desire.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Ephesians 4 (Selected vv. ESV).

Worthy of the Calling (vv. 1-6)

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

We, as followers of Jesus Christ, are being urged here to live a life worthy of our calling - The reason? Each one of us who is in Christ Jesus, by God’s grace through faith, has been called of God to belong to Jesus Christ, to be God’s holy people, and according to God’s purpose. We are called to one hope, which is faith in Jesus Christ, and to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. We are also called into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are called to live in the grace of Christ, to be free in Christ from slavery to sin, and called to the hope of our heavenly dwelling. We are also called to eternal life, and to a holy life; called out of darkness into his wonderful light, and called to suffer for doing good and to endure it. And, we are called to live God-empowered godly lives, to be faithful followers of Christ, and we are called to peace (with/of God).

So, what does it mean to live a life worthy of our calling? I believe it means to be and to do what God has called us to. So, this would mean that, by God’s grace and in the power and working of his Spirit within us we should be separate (unlike; different) from the sinful world around us, in our thoughts, actions, words, values and philosophies, and we should be set apart to God and to his service, and to be like him in living holy (upright, godly and self-controlled) lives, pleasing unto him. And, we should be humble – not thinking too highly or too lowly of ourselves. In other words, our thoughts should not be so much self-focused, but we should be thinking about how we can love God and love others with his love. As well, we should exercise patience with one another, bearing with one another in love.

Tossed To and Fro (vv. 11-16)

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

The Lord Jesus has given me a picture here, I believe, of children (the immature) being tossed back and forth by every wind of doctrine (belief), by the cunning, craftiness and deceitful scheming of humans.

First of all, he put in mind the song “Hallelujah,” which was sung in the animated movie “Shrek.” I looked up the lyrics. They are quite interesting, and they vary, depending upon the site listing the lyrics. What I got from reading these lyrics is that this is a message about religious (particularly Christian) hypocrisy, but in the context of nations and governments, and the people who live within those nations, I believe. The lyrics paint a picture of those who knew God or who claimed to know God but who sinned greatly against God, perhaps while his praise was still on their lips (the hallelujahs). It also paints a picture of those who “do” for God, but not out of obedience, but out of self-effort. And, then there are references to war, to a victory march, and a marble arch, which is a symbol of victory in battle, particularly in reference to the conquering of an emperor in order to succeed him in position of power and rule. And, then the author of the lyrics questioned the existence of God, because all he had ever learned about “love” was how to kill your enemies. He surmises, thus that there are both “broken/cold” and “holy” hallelujahs (praises to God).

What I got from this, with regard to my nation, the USA, is that this is a picture of a nation which claims to be a Christian nation, which has “In God We Trust” printed on its pagan symbols, and which claims solidarity under one God in its salute to its pagan flag. In reality, the USA has been a syncretistic nation (government) from the get-go. Our leaders use the name of God, but it is not the one true God for whom they reserve their undivided loyalties. They are like the shepherds of Ezekiel 34 who feed only themselves, and it doesn’t matter who gets hurt in the process. Many claim to know God, but they don’t know him at all. Just look at our government’s symbols, buildings, statues, etc. They are pagan, and many of them are modeled after Greek, Roman and Egyptian gods and goddesses. As well, the layout of our capital has its roots in Satanic and masonic (freemasonry) symbols. Our flag is a symbol of war and victory in war, and our nation is built on the bloodshed of innocents. And, then we try to tell others we are “Christian” and that they should accept our “Jesus.”

The government of the USA is not what we think it is. It is one thing on paper, or from outward show, but it is another thing entirely, in reality. There is no such thing as left and right. They all work for the same people. Most of these wars (both sides) were funded by the same people. “Terrorists” are funded by the very same people who say they oppose them, and so many of these “uprisings” and conflicts in various nations, which resulted in kings and kingdoms being conquered and the “international community” coming to the “rescue,” were and are not what they appear on the surface to be. They were mostly all orchestrated by the same people who really run the US government and most all governments worldwide. Some names for them are freemasons, the illuminati, the New World Order, the Trilateral Commission, the United Nations, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Bilderberg Group, etc. And, they don’t serve the One True God, either.

These shepherds of the people (in the government and in the church), who feed only themselves (See: Ez. 34), misuse, trick, abuse and deceive those underneath them in authority, i.e. those who are ordinary citizens of nations and ordinary people within the institution of church. This New World Order (Beast) creates scenarios within nations, such as uprisings, factions, riots, and prejudice or bigotry, to distract, to deceive, and to incite the people of nations to turn on one another. And, it is working. They fake so many things that it is difficult to discern what is real and what is fake these days.

They are like the guy who first knocked the squirrels out of the tree and then he went in to save them, only they are not saving anyone but themselves. It is all an act, and so many, many people are taking the bait, hook, line and sinker. All this is a set-up for the “savior” (false) who will come on the scene to “rescue” us and to bring us into world “peace,” but it is a false peace, and it is a trap, because the only “peace” they want is cooperation with the “beast” and submission to its authority, and rejection of Jesus Christ and the true gospel of salvation. That is why they are presently working so hard to build a case against “religious extremists” and they are working hard to solve that problem through persecution of “extremists” and forced unity, tolerance and acceptance of all religions rolled into one.

In True Righteousness (vv. 17-24)

Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ! — assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

The “Gentiles” is a general term denoting “nations or peoples,” i.e. the unsaved. If we are in Christ, by God’s grace, through faith - and this is speaking to those who have been sealed by the Holy Spirit for the “day of redemption” (See: v. 30) - we should no longer live like the sinful world around us. I believe not walking in the ways of “nations or peoples” is to include not allowing ourselves to be deceived by accepting their lies. We should not be senseless, ignorant, gullible, and vulnerable to being deceived, but we should test everything we read, hear and see in prayer, in the study of God’s Word, and in surrender to the will of God. Yet, so many who call themselves Christians will put their hands over their ears when you even suggest that the USA government is not what it appears to be and when you urge them to take these matters before God in prayer. And, in return, they might even accuse you of being a heretic, too, just because you told them the truth.

On another level, i.e. within the institution of church, we also have false shepherds of the people who feed only themselves and who are propagating a false gospel. And, when you try to tell some people that there is more to the gospel than what they have been taught, they will, as well, put their hands over their ears and will refuse to listen. I believe that is why we also have a qualifier here which says, “…assuming you have heard about him and were taught in him the truth in Jesus,” because not all are being taught the truth, and so not all believe the truth. So, I believe that true Christians and those who believe they are Christians, but who are not, are being addressed here. This false gospel teaches faith in Jesus Christ absent of repentance, submission and surrender to Jesus Christ. It promotes free license to continue in sin, and teaches that salvation is guaranteed no matter what.

Yet, that is not the gospel according to Jesus and the apostles. That is not the truth in Christ Jesus which the early Christians were taught, which is that we must put off our old self, which belongs to our former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of our minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:20-24). God’s grace is not free license to continue in sin, but it teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, godly and upright lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Tit. 2:11-14). Jesus Christ died on that cross that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24), and he died that we might not live any longer for ourselves but for him who gave his life for us (2 Co. 5:15). The righteous requirements of the law are met in us who do not walk after the flesh, but who walk after the Spirit, and who continually put to death, by the Spirit, the deeds of the flesh. If we walk by the Spirit, we will live, but if we continue in sin and we walk (conduct our lives) according to the flesh, we will die (Ro. 8:3-14).

My Heart’s Desire / An Original Work / June 29, 2013
Based off Rm. 10; Lu. 9:23-26; Ep. 4:20-24

Loved Ones, Oh, my heart’s desire
Is that you might come to Jesus.
Many appear zealous for God,
But they do not trust in Him.
They have not submitted to the One
Who saved them from their sins;
Not forsaken their sins,
Nor have they obeyed their King.

The word of the Lord is near you:
The word of faith we’re proclaiming:
That you must confess your faith
In Jesus as your Lord and King:
Believe in Him as your Lord,
And follow Him where’er He leads.
Share the gospel; be a witness,
And meet others’ needs.

Beautiful are the feet of those
Who bring the good news of Jesus:
Anyone who would come to Him
Must deny himself today;
Die to sin and self, and
Let the Spirit transform you in heart;
Put on your new self in Jesus,
Yielding to the cross.