Drinking the Cup of Wine, Top to Bottom!

Psalm 75:8-10:

[8]   For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine foams and is red, well mixed; and He pours out from it, and all the wicked of the earth must drain it and drink its dregs.

[9]   BUT I will declare and rejoice forever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.

[10] All the horns of the ungodly also will I cut off [says the Lord], but the horns of the [uncompromisingly] righteous shall be exalted.

JOHN 3:16:

For God so greatly LOVED and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life  (Amplified Bible).

Most people recognize this Bible verse.  I remember a few years back when watching a football game on television, in the end zone crowds, someone would hold up a banner reading….JOHN 3:16.

I’m not sure why so much attention is given to John 3:16 and not so much to John 3:36:

“And he who believes in (has faith in, clings to, relies on) the Son has (now possesses) eternal life.  BUT whoever disobeys (is unbelieving toward, refuses to trust in, disregards, is not subject to) the Son will never see (experience) life, but [instead] the WRATH OF GOD abides on him; His indignation hangs over him continually.]”

Here is one idea.  It is much more palpable and sweet to discuss God’s LOVE and MERCY for sinners.  We appreciate sermons on heaven and what it might be like, but we don’t want our minds to dwell on HELL, at least not very long.

BUT what we need to get straight in our thinking about who GOD is…where there is LOVE, FORGIVENESS, and MERCY….there’s also anger and judgement.

I am not, in this POST, going to write for your reading all the aspects of hell.  But I am going to give some healthy attention to the judgement nature of GOD.

Psalm 75:8:  “For in the hand of the Lord there is a CUP…”

There are some 32 cups mentioned in the Bible, and 12 of these are symbolic:

4 deal with GOD’s JUDGEMENT…

4 deal with BLESSING and FELLOWSHIP…

And the others deal with…

REWARD or PUNISHMENT to those who side with the enemy (the devil).

Personally, I like to hang my hat, so to speak, on the idea that GOD is a GOD of LOVE, GOD is LOVE (1 John 4:8).  He would rather SAVE than JUDGE.

But to prove His love and mercy, He demands and carries out justice against sin.

THREE OF THE CUPS:

CUP OF WRATH
CUP OF WRATH

The CUP of WRATH:  “Upon the wicked He will rain quick burning coals or snares; fire, brimstone, and a [dreadful] scorching wind shall be the portion of their CUP”  (Psalm 11:6 AMP).

In my spirit, I’ve often asked in conversational prayer the question,  “With all that is going on around us Lord, what would cause Your judgement to be poured out on the disobedient, the ungodly?”  And as I patiently waited for answer, I was prompted by this thought; “when the innocent come under attack, God always responds”–when babies are killed by the millions in the name of abortion, GOD will respond!  When the aged are a “problem to society” and euthanasia becomes a solution, GOD will respond!

What is the SIGN of a Wicked Generation? 

Is it Drugs?  Is it Gang Violence?  Homosexuality, perversion?  It begins when the sign of a people, moving toward judgment of GOD has no ability to defend themselves.

GOD will pour out the Cup of Wrath–

If we listen carefully, we just might hear the blinded mob from Sodom and Gomorrah crying out from the pit of Hell,  “America Repent!”  

GOD IS a GOD of JUDGEMENT! 

His WRATH on Display:

God is a just God,   And God is angry with the wicked every day. ~ Psalm 7:11, NKJV

The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.  Then He rebukes them in His anger and terrifies them in His wrath ~ Psalm 2:4, NIV.

Arouse yourself, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, who have drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of His wrath, who have drunk the cup of intoxication and staggering to the dregs. ~ Isaiah 51:17, AMP.

Then I took the cup from the Lord’s hand, and made all the nations drink, to whom the Lord sent me. ~ Jeremiah 25:17, NAS.

…to make her drain the cup of His furious wrath and indignation. ~ Revelation 16:19 b.  AMP.

And the RECIPIENTS of God’s Wrath:

For God’s [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against ALL UNGODLINESS and UNRIGHTEOUSNESS of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative. ~ Romans 1:18, AMP.

Though they are fully aware of God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them themselves but approve and applaud others who practice them. ~ Romans 1:32.

The Cup of SALVATION:  “I will lift up the cup of salvation and deliverance and call on the name of the Lord”  (Psalm 116:13).

The BLESSINGS Salvation brings…

Assurance –  (John 6:37-40).

Joy – (Matt. 18:13; John 1:45).

Seasons of Refreshment – (Acts 3:19).

SALVATION CAUSES…

Heavenly beings to stand in amazement – (Ephesians 3:10-12).

SALVATION CHANGES THINGS…

Not just behavior but… (Romans 6:17-18).

SALVATION GIVES YOU…

A position of authority – (Luke 15:22-24).

An Abundant life…”I came that they [YOU] may have and enjoy life, and have it in ABUNDANCE (to the FULL, till it OVERFLOWS)”  (John 10:10 AMP).

Salvation gives you the PRIVILEGE of being chosen and appointed by GOD Himself ~ (1 Thess. 5:9; 2 Thess. 2:13).

SALVATION MAKES ONE WHOLE...Gives meaning.

“If we are being put on trial [here] today and examined concerning a good deed done to benefit a feeble (helpless) cripple, by what means this man has been restored to health”  (Acts 4:9).

Opens one;s eyes – (John 9:1-7).

Saves and hides a multitude of sins – (James 5:19-20).

Saves one to the “uttermost”  [completely, perfectly, finally, and for all time and eternity] – (Hebrews 7:25).

The Cup of BLESSING:

Psalm 16:5:  “The Lord is my chosen and assigned portion,  my cup;  You hold and maintain my lot.”

Psalm 23:5:  “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  You anoint my head with oil; my [brimming] cup runs over.”

1 Corinthians 10:16:  “The cup of blessing [of wine at the Lord’s Supper] upon which we ask [God’s] blessing, does it not mean [that drinking it] we participate in and share a fellowship (a communion) in the blood of Christ  (the Messiah)? “ 

So there you have it.  THREE CUPS mentioned in God’s Word and the significance they have to all mankind.

BIBLICAL WINE DESCRIPTIONS AND THEIR MEANING:

Several years ago, my wife and I traveled to Central Texas to visit family and get my 98-year-old dad resettled in an assisted care facility.  And while we were there,  my niece’s husband Marc, took us to his place of employment at Inwood Estates Winery where they make wine from Texas grown grapes.

Texas Thanksgiving  trip 2010 Diannes camera 101

Marc took us all on a tour through the winery, explaining technical terms to wine making (storage at the right temperature, aging, color, fermentation process, etc.).  At the end of the tour, we all enjoyed a sampling from a wine storage tank.

And the wine is RED–Psalm 75:8–

The Hebrew word used here -chamar-may mean either to “boil up,” or to be red; from the idea of boiling or becoming heated.

The Septuagint (GREEK translation of the Old Testament); “and He pours out from it and all the earth must drain it”–describing that He draws it off, as is done with wine.

The true picture being revealed here is probably the fermentation process; that the meaning may be, the WRATH of GOD seems to boil, fermenting the liquor.

It’s full of mixture–verse 8–“well mixed”.

It was quite common in wine making of old, to mixed the wine with spices, increasing its strength…or as we might say, drugged.  This was done frequently to increase the intoxicating quality of the WINE presented.

So the Psalmist is giving us the idea of the WRATH of GOD, being poured out like WINE, whose strength or power of intoxication was increased in effect by DRUGS.

And He pours it out of a CUP, in order that His enemies may drink it, then stagger under the demonstration of HIS WRATH; as men stagger and pass out under the influence of spiced or drugged wine.

BUT the dregs–the “lees”–the settling s–

The “dregs”– is what remains after the WINE is racked off (Isaiah 25:6).  This would contain the strongest part of the mixture, the idea being, they would drink the WRATH OF GOD from the top to the very bottom of the glass.  To the very last drop!

Drinking from Wineskin        The Montreal Gazette

“drain it” or “wring them out” (AMP & KJV):

In Biblical times, WINE was poured out and kept in skins.  The picture, they would ring out these skins to get out “ALL” that was in them, leaving nothing remaining.  Then DRINK…not merely the WINE, but the “dregs”, the “lee”…all that there was!

Who are the “they s” in the verse?

All the Wicked of the Earth–

WICKED PEOPLE everywhere.  The expression, “The Wrath of God” is not confined to one nation, or one people, but where ever wicked people are found, He will punish them.

God is just in His dealings… to ALL PEOPLE.

Who are “ALL PEOPLE” the psalmist talking about?

The reference isn’t talking about Christian “backsliders”; believers who don’t go to church every week, drink a glass of wine, slip on spiritual banana peels on occasions.  Asaph [A Psalm of Asaph] is referring to the unrighteous, the non-believers, the ungodly in the world.

GOD “EXALTS” THE RIGHTEOUS  (Verse 9-10):

“…the righteous shall be exalted.”

Notice the language here.  It is the testimony of the singer (Asaph).  He is making a VOW…to testify forever…what God has done!  He is singing with JOY in the midst of what’s going on around him–“When the earth totters, and all the inhabitants of it, it is I Who will poise and keep steady its pillars.  Selah  [pause, and calmly think of that]!”  (Psalm 75:3).  

Who is the “I” referring to?  Not Asaph, but JESUS!  Remembering who is in control of what’s going on, certainly brings JOY to my singing!

The word DECLARE in verse 9, means to make oneself conspicuous of the message heard.

John the Baptist was very conspicuous; in his diet of bugs and honey; he wore a leather suit and his MESSAGE was simple and consistent. Because of whom he was, what he did, the world stirred.  Roman kings and religious priests came to him, confessing and repenting of their sin.

Cutting Off the Horns…(Verse 10).

Now the next phrase is really important.  God is going to break or cut off the horns of the wicked.  In my detective work this week, the description given certainly grabbed my attention.

I found in research, that dehorning animals is a tough process and it’s much easier to accomplish when the animal is very small.  Waiting until it’s older, the job is more difficult and risky to the life of the animal.  The animal has to be immobilized, holding the head very carefully.

Now on a younger animal that’s just beginning to grow horn buds, a hot iron is pressed around the buds, and the skin and cells are singed.  With the older animal the horns are carefully cut away and then cauterizing the exposed blood vessels.  Have you got a vivid picture with expression on your face?  I did while researching the process and the Spirit wants to make things clear to the reader.

So the term of DEHORNING is used in verse 10 because it is the ending of the wild nature of the people we are entrusted.  It means they will have to TRUST their care-giver for protection and not to be able to use deadly force on others.  It means that they will have to submit and not fight their shepherd.

On the other hand, the RIGHTEOUS will have their horns EXALTED.  If they have horns, they can keep them because they will be given the responsibilities of watching the flock.  When the horns grow, they are honored.  This demonstrates what’s happening in our lives today.

“WE GIVE praise and thanks to You, O God, we praise and give thanks; Your wondrous works declare the Your Name is near and they who invoke Your Name rehears Your wonders”  (Psalm 75:1 AMP).

Connecting the Dots: The Resurrection and Ascension of Christ

He is not here!
He is not here!

THE TIMING OF THE RESURRECTION & CHRIST’S ASCENSION:

Harmonizing Biblical stories of the Resurrection of Christ Jesus and His post-resurrection appearances and all the events that took place that day has proven a challenge for many Bible scholars.  So in saying, as a Word Detective, I am going to investigate the Four Gospels and search for the biblical truths of Christ’s Ascension.  So grab your Bibles, and let’s get started.  And by the way, this isn’t a light read.

Harmonizing the Biblical Stories–

Bible skeptics love to take potshots at the Gospel stories; try to discredit the Scripture as in-breathed of God, therefore ‘one cannot rely upon the Bible.’

An important reminder.  God could have all four Gospel writers record all the events exactly the same way, but would that prove anything?

Four Aspects Presented by Four Writers:

All four Gospel writers were under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, depicting the four aspects of the Life of Jesus while here on earth.

Matthew – Writes his gospel with a view of Jesus as King.

Mark –  Shows Jesus as a Suffering Servant of God.

Luke – Depicts the Humanity of Christ.

John – Views Jesus’ Divinity.

Putting ALL the events in chronological order: (Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:1-2; Luke 24:1,10; John 20:1)

The Three Women at the Tomb–

Not less than 3 women go to the tomb that early morning, including Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome.  There is the possibility they don’t go as a group but as two separate groups, meeting at the tomb at slightly different times.  Take note that Mary Magdalene is especially singled out by all the Gospel writers on the resurrection day.

Making their way to the tomb, an angel of God descends from heaven–rolls the stone away–the earth quakes–the guards faint– and the said angel, sits on the stone (Matthew 28:2-4).

Arriving at the Tomb…

1.  Mary Magdalene finds it empty and runs to tell the disciples (John 20:1-2).  The other women mentioned remain behind.

2.  An angel shows them the empty tomb, telling them JESUS CHRIST has risen from the dead!  “Go and tell” – (Matt. 28:5-7; Mark 16:2-8; Luke 24:1-8).

Happenstance doesn’t occur in the Bible– Old Testament or New Testament.  

There are many points of comparison in Scripture showing the Holy of Holies is prophetic of the EMPTY TOMB.

FOR EXAMPLE:

Cherubim covering the Mercy Seat of The Ark of the Covenant
Cherubim covering the Mercy Seat of The Ark of the Covenant

1.  The Holy of Holies contained the Ark of the Covenant– the Presence of God, while the empty tomb contained the body of Christ Jesus.

2.  The Veil covered the entrance of the Holy of Holies and the Stone covered the opening of the Tomb.

3.  Worshipers were not allowed to enter the Holy of Holies, and the tomb was guarded by Roman soldiers.

4.  The Veil covered the Holy of Holies–JESUS’ body was covered in a shroud (Matt. 27:59).

5.  Blood was sprinkled on the Mercy Seat and on the worshipers in the temple for forgiveness of sins–the BLOOD poured out of JESUS on the Cross and then in the tomb for the forgiveness of sins once and for all (Past, Present, and Future).

6.  Two carved Cherubim (angels) faced the empty space above the Ark of the Covenant, covering it with their wings, while TWO ANGELS greeted the women at the empty tomb.

Left Alone Weeping…

Mary Magdalene returns to the scene and stoops down looking into the tomb.  She sees two angels sitting where JESUS had lain, one at the head and the other at the feet.

They question her, she replies and as she turns around, she sees JESUS, thinking that He is the gardener, pleading with Him for the Body of Jesus.

JESUS then calls her by name and suddenly…Mary recognizes Him.  She responds and reaches out to touch JESUS, cling to Him, who quickly cautions her saying,

John 20:16-18:

[16]  Mary!  Turning around she said to Him in Hebrew,  Rabboni!–which means Teacher or Master.

[17]  Jesus said to her,  Do not cling to Me [do not hold Me], for I have not yet ascended to the Father.  But go to My brethren and tell them, I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.

[18]  Away came Mary Magdalene, bringing the disciples news (word) that she had seen the Lord and that He had said these things to her.

The Bible Verse Most Believers Have Overlooked (John 20:17):

They missed this “ascension” of Christ in which He must first present Himself pleasing before the Father.

Most Christians believe that there is only one ascension of Christ, and that it took place right after He spent 40 days with His disciples following His resurrection (Acts 1:1-5, 9).  However, John’s Gospel clearly points out Jesus’ own words–-He must not be touched with human hands until He goes up to see His Father, our Father, His God, our God.

WHY?  The Book of Leviticus Chapter 16 gives answer:

On that given day, it was the one day of the year the high priest was allowed to offer a blood sacrifice in the Holy of Holies; sprinkle the sacrificial blood of a lamb before the presence of Yahweh, covering the sin of the people.  The high priest was the only one who could do it!

The Day of Atonement–

Yes, alone and unassisted, the ATONEMENT had to be made by the solitary high priest (Lev. 16:17).

As a High Priest, JESUS laid down His life as the represented Passover Lamb.  He was the SACRIFICE.  He took His own BLOOD and He went up (“ascended”) in to the Holy Presence of God, where He presented it before His Father, after which He came back out to where He first entered in.

HOW LONG DID THIS TAKE?

How long did it take for JESUS our Lord to ascend and come back down?  It didn’t take very long, not even minutes.  When Aaron the high priest took the blood of the sacrificial lamb into the Holy of Holies, he certainly didn’t dilly-dally in that place.  He sprinkled the blood on the Mercy Seat and came right back out.  That was why small bells were attached to the rim of the high priest’s garment.  Outside the Holy of Holies, you could hear the bells as the priest moved about.  No bell-ringing? The priest wasn’t found worthy in the sacrifice and was struck dead.  The other priest could then drag him out by his feet.

JESUS, as the High Priest:

As a High Priest, JESUS laid down His life as the Passover Lamb.  He was the SACRIFICE…He took His own blood and went up in to the Holy Presence of God and presented it before His Father, after which He came back out to where He first entered in.

How long did this take for JESUS our Lord to ascend and come back down?  Didn’t take long, not even minutes.

The Revelation…

Now, with this revelation in hand, let’s continue to look at the events as follows:

1.  Mary Magdalene–goes off to tell the disciples she has seen the Lord (Mark 16:9), and Christ goes up (ascends) to His Father, His God.  And then comes right back down again.

2.  The Guards–having raised themselves, report the empty tomb scenario to the authorities, who then bribe the guards to say that the disciples have stolen the body of JESUS  (Matthew 28:11-15).

3.  JESUS meets the women–on their way to tell the disciples the NEWS the angel has given them.  JESUS greets them, and they draw near and hold His feet, worshiping Him.

*[Note:  JESUS could now be touched].

4.  JESUS comforts them, and reaffirms the instructions the angel has given them (Matthew 28:8-10).

 It is at this time, the Old Testament saints resurrect and many go into the city of Jerusalem and appear to many (not all) of the disciples  (Matthew 27:52-53). 

* [A Note about Matthew 27:50-54]:

The word “and” appears often in the New Testament.  This conjunction can sometimes confuse readers, because of the way Scriptures were translated; marked off into verses for the ease of locating particular words and phrases.

The original written manuscripts were in Greek, which didn’t separate words, nor used accents and punctuation marks.  Even in Luke 23:44-47, appears misleading in comparison to Matthew 27:30-34.

Nevertheless, the proper readings of the two passages are as follows:

Matthew 27:50-54:  

1.  After JESUS had given up His spirit, an earthquake happens.  At the same time, the VEIL in the Temple in Jerusalem was torn into, top to bottom.

2.  After the RESURRECTION of Christ Jesus (on the 3rd Day), the graves were opened [Remember, there was also an earthquake as an angel descended and rolled away the stone in front of the grave].

3.  THE SAINTS of old resurrected and many of them went into the city of Jerusalem and appeared to many of the Disciples.

Luke 23:44-47:

1.  From about the sixth hour (12:00 PM) until the ninth hour (3:00 PM), there was DARKNESS over the land because the sun was darkened.   2.  The VEIL of the Temple was rent (torn) as JESUS gave up His spirit crying,  “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit”.

3. Mary Magdalene and the other women meet the disciples and relate what they have seen and heard (Mark 16:10-11; Luke 24:9-11; John 20:18).

4.  Later the same day, JESUS appears to Peter (Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5).  

Cleo and a friend in dismay…”JESUS had been crucified…who would redeem us now?”

In the late afternoon of the same day, JESUS meets up with Cleopas and another disciple on the road to the village of Emmaus, a distance of about 7 1/2 miles (12 kilometers) from Jerusalem.

As the day turns to evening, they all sit down at the dinner table.  JESUS breaks the bread, and the disciples suddenly recognize Him.  They immediately return to the city (15 miles round-trip… in one day!), and report the event to the Eleven and others (Luke 24:13-35).

Later that night… 

JESUS appears to the disciples in a closed room…and Thomas the disciple is found missing (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-25).

And again, after 8 days…

JESUS appears again to His disciples in a closed room, but this time, Thomas is present (John 20:26-31).

Following that, and over a period of up to 40 days since His resurrection, JESUS appears a few more times–to seven disciples at the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1-25), and to about 500 disciples in Galilee and to His half-brother James (1 Corinthians 15:6-7).

The Great Commission…

While JESUS is with the disciples, He commissions His disciples, teaches the Scripture and the PROMISE to send the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:16-20; Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:4-5).

The Ascension…

After 40 days, JESUS ascends into Heaven (Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:6-12).  

It becomes quite clear, that as He ascends, He takes the resurrected Old Testament saints up with Him, for they are no longer held in captivity by the Prince of Darkness who has held them in Sheol (not Hell) all that time.

The POWER of the Resurrection…

By the POWER of JESUS’ resurrection from the dead, these saints are now Christ’s captives.

JESUS sets them free into Paradise as He ascends to sit in His Father’s Throne (Ephesians 4:8; Matt. 27:52-53; Rom. 1:4).

JESUSONTHETHRONESURROUNDEDBYANGELS
Sitting on the Throne

There you have it.  READING your Bible is more than just scanning the pages.  It’s a conscious effort to search for the truth with the help of the Holy Spirit in “connecting the dots”.

Carelessness of spirit can happen!

I’ve been reading and studying lately in The Book of Psalms.  Of course, this isn’t the first time I’ve done so, but it had been awhile.

Reading in the PSALMS can be uplifting, encouraging, convicting by the Spirit of God and this study was no exception.  However, the “this time” was more than a casual read, the underlining of verses…it became an eye opener to my spiritual well-being.

My hope for you is… this word study may just bring attention to your the “carelessness of spirit”; while attending Worship Services on Sundays, or whenever we sing and give our praises to Almighty God, all along while pretending we got everything down pat.  After all, we do the same thing–the “same- O, same-O”, when we attend church.  In fact, I’ve heard some people exclaim, while holding a 46 oz. travel mug of coffee, “I can’t sing, so I just ‘lip-sing’ ; no one around me even knows, and besides...the music is too loud anyway.”

I’ve come to learn, while in PUBLIC WORSHIP… is not about me…or you.  It’s not centered on us, but on God.  Though WORSHIP may have some benefits for us, it’s not about us.  It is never based on whether we FEEL like it, whether the music is to our liking, or whether we are pleased with the situation we find ourselves in.

PSALM 47:  To the Chief Musician

Unusual and Enthusiastic Expressions – 

VERSE 1:  O CLAP your hands, all you peoples!  Shout to God with the voice of triumph and songs of joy!

nfl_a_seahawksparade_300x200
Associated Press Photo

I find myself watching the 12th Man  parade this morning on local television, celebrating the NFL World Champions, the Seattle Seahawks.  As they proceed , surrounded by the throngs of fans cheering (700,000) uncontrollably for their hometown sport heroes,  for all they’ve accomplished.  It seems like the jubilation will be going on all afternoon.  Are the all the people weirdos? No! Most are sincerely excited, and besides…doesn’t everyone need a hero in their lives at times?

Verses 1-4:

[1]  O CLAP your hands, all you peoples!  Shout to God with the voice of triumph and songs of joy!

[2]  For the Lord Most High excites terror, awe, and dread; He is a great King over all the earth.

[3]  He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet.

[4]  He chose our inheritance for us, the glory and pride of Jacob, whom He loves.  Selah  [pause and calmly think of that]!

We Can See JOY in the True Spirit of Worship–

JOY in God’s character…

JOY in His reign…

JOY in the triumphs of His Word (the GOSPEL)…

“O CLAP YOUR HANDS!”

Such expressions by the casual observer may seem a bit over zealous, but it shouldn’t be hastily censured and condemned, much less ridiculed; because if they come from an upright heart, God will accept the strength of the affection.

[Verse 1]  “Peoples” in the plural here, is used in calling both Jews and Gentiles–all nations.  And “Shout to God” – Jubilate Deo: 

In GOD, and concerning GOD, and in honor of GOD.

GOD doesn’t excite us to carnal JOY.

JOY in His favor, His blessing on His saints.

“The terrors of the Lord” – [Verse 2]:

“For the Lord Most High excites terror, awe, and dread; He is a great King over all the earth.”

When I first came upon the word, “terrors”, I must admit I was puzzled at first.  Being in terror would most likely curb the enthusiasm, the excitement of clapping and shouting.  Can you imagine the effect terror would have on 80,000 football fans, enclosed in a stadium, while there was the treat of terror in the building?

For the Lord most high is Terrible…

Christians celebrate Christ’s ascension–the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus–and He was “highly exalted!”  Then, He became TERRIBLE to His enemies, all power in heaven and earth being committed to Him.   

And then He began to display the excellent Majesty, His universal kingdom for all to see, being crowned King of kings, and Lord of lords.

None can resist His POWER or stand before His vengeance; yet as these terrors are carried out in behalf of His subjects.  All fit reasons for REJOICING!  His Omnipotence is terrible to crush, is almighty to protect!

God’s Omnipotence…

God is “all-powerfulness,” “almighty”, in other words, when God wants something done, it is done!  The apostle Paul wrote of God’s omnipotence--it is the sense that He is “above all,and through all, and in all” (Eph. 4:6).

THE UNUSUAL REIGN OF CHRIST, as it is, and is to be!

The Hope of Victory to the Church – [Verse 3]:

“He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet.”

What shall be subdued?  By whose means?  –  Us.

By whose power? –  His.

When shall it be accomplished and what is the symbol? –  The Ascension (Psalm 47:5).

The final triumph for ALL BELIEVERS in Christ Jesus IS… all enemies are subdued under them in earth, and hell, within and without–gradually at first, then completely.

God’s Willingness – [Verse 4]:

“He chose our inheritance for us, the glory and pride of Jacob, whom He loves.  Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!”

His willingness to choose our inheritance in time and eternity.

His choice is better than ours–the excellency of Jacob.

He will leave us to the consequences of our own choices.

He will help us in obtaining that which He chooses for us by His Spirit.

The Ascension – [Verse 5]:

“God has ascended amid shouting, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.”

It’s publicity, solemnity, triumph, and joy!

Jesus, who went up…

Where He went up…

To what purpose…

With what result…

“O clap your hands people and shout…with the voice of triumph and songs of joy!”

The Importance of Songs of Joy [Verse 6]:

“Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!”

Why do SONG LEADERS in our worship services today, repeat the choruses over and over again?  The same question was probably asked years ago, when the worship leaders would have us sing every verse to a hymn on Sunday mornings.

Repetition can censure at times our slackness– that implies earnestness, frequency, delight and joy in singing, which should characterize the PRAISES offered.

Sing Praises with Understanding – [Verse 7]:

“For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises in a skillful psalm and with understanding.”

How can we make JOY in our hearts to God singing?

According to Psalm 47:7, we must sing with UNDERSTANDING, not by the watches on our wrists but by the WORDS OF THE SONG; we must give our attention to the content more than the music and consider WHAT WE SING as well as HOW WE SING;

“the time may affect the fancy, but it is the matter that affect the heart, and that…God principally sees.”

The word MASCHIL is used in the Psalms many times and Psalm 47 is not an exception.  It means to instruct with understanding, denoting a song which enforces some lesson of WISDOM or PIETY; a didactic song or Psalm [BibleStudyTools].

So, with that in mind, we must sing wisely to prevent a “carelessness of spirit” in our Worship & Praise services each week.  If we will sing gratefully, then we will ENJOY what we sing.

In other words, we should SING as we should PRAY:

“The what am I to do? I will PRAY with my spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me], but I will also pray [intelligently] with my mind and understanding;  I will SING with my spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me], but I will SING [intelligently] with my mind and understanding also”  (1 Corinthians 14:15 AMP).

If we don’t understand what we sing, it promotes carelessness of spirit, hardness of heart; and this makes the worship service immaterial and impudent.

THE GATHERING…

Psalm 47:9:

The princes and nobles of the peoples are gathered together, a [united] people for the God of Abraham, for the shields of the earth belong to God; He is highly exalted.

Christ’s GATHERING of the saints together with Him, will be at His second coming; His coming judgment, and His return will be as He ascended…“with the sound of a trumpet” [See 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18].

BUT RELATIVE to the coming of

our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)

and our GATHERING together to [meet] Him…

~ 2 Thessalonians 2:1~

The Covenant Promise Will Be Fulfilled…

“In thee and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” – “to Him shall the gathering of the people be.”

“For the Shields of the Earth Belong to God” [vs. 9]

All te Pomp & Circumstance, the emblems of rank and position, weapons of war,  ALL WILL pay homage and bow down to the King of all.

Those who are the earth’s protectors, the shields of society, derive their might from Him and are His.  ALL principalities and powers will be  subject to Yahweh and His Son, for He is greatly exalted in nature, in power, in character, in glory, NONE to compare with Him.  Oh, the vision of things to come!

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The Blessed Hope!

“Applause, everyone.  Bravo, bravissimo!

Shout God-songs at the top of your lungs.”

Clapping Your Hands In Joy
Clapping Your Hands In Joy

~ Psalm 47:1 The Message Bible ~

Putting Legs On Our Faith

BIBLE STUDY – ACTS 14:9-10; Luke 5; Hebrews 11:1, 33:

Leaping for JOY!
Leaping for JOY!

“He [a crippled man] was listening to Paul as he talked, and [Paul] gazing intently at him and observing that he had FAITH to be healed,  Shouted at him, saying, Stand erect on your feet! And he leaped up and walked.”

FAITH IS THE KEY!

Now a “KEY” is used everyday in our lives.  We carry a set in our pockets, in purses, on a key-chain attached to a belt-loop–all for the purpose of locking something up or unlocking something to get at or in.

FAITH works on the same principle and it becomes the most important element necessary to grow in our Christian walk.

A. W. Tozer said, “FAITH is the vitamin that makes all we take from the bible digestible.”

–We are SAVED by faith…

–We WALK out our salvation by faith…our Christian walk

–We are of the Household of FAITH…

FAITH is the KEY that unlocks the supernatural realm of our natural existence here on earth.  Where you and I are standing right now, in our Christian walk with JESUS, is a direct result of the location and depth of our FAITH.

Our FAITH WALK is a Journey–

I feel sorry for Moses…who spent 40 years wandering in a desert…eating nothing but bread off the ground and occasional bird…and everyday a million people would ask him,  “Are we there yet?”

Romans 12:3 tells us that each of us has been given a measure of faith…what we do with it and how we use it…is up to us!

Two Things Stand Out About “Faith-people”…

FIRST, they feel good about themselves…they KNOW that they’re the way they are because… GOD made them that way!  GOD doesn’t ever make mistakes (fearfully & wonderfully made).

I think most people believe, not what they are that holds them back, but its what they think their not.  Let me give you an illustration to clarify my thoughts.  Since I live in Dairy Country, milk hauling from the local dairies is an everyday occurrence.

Sometime Living in the “Milky-Way”…INADEQUATE! 

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2 COWS were grazing in the pasture, when they saw a milk truck pass by.  On the side of the truck were the words, “Pasteurized, homogenized, standardized, Vitamin A added.”  One cow sighed and said to the other cow, “Makes you feel sort of inadequate, doesn’t it?”

Do you feel at times, somewhat “inadequate” in showing your FAITH?  That there has to be something added to make it really applicable?

FEAR is the EXACT OPPOSITE of FAITH…

FEAR believes the worst–

FAITH believes the absolute best will happen in every situation.  What then does FAITH look like, to us and others, as we come in contact with them in our Christian WALK?

Acts 14:9:

In our referenced Scripture, we see a man crippled in his feet since birth.  He had never taken a step forward in his life, never ran barefoot through the grass, felt the hot heat of beach sand through his toes.  He was just sitting where he had been placed–period!

Have you ever found yourself just sitting, waiting for something to happen–period?  FEAR has you paralyzed!

Many times the reason we have so little FAITH is…we are still sitting in the place where GOD put us long ago.  We are comfortable in our usual seat in church–it’s where we belong!

GOD requires “LEGS ON YOUR FAITH” –

Legs on our PRAISE…Legs on our PRAYER LIFE.  When this happens, we can then move on and on to higher levels.

As a Pastor once said, We need to get up on our feet, move out of our seat and into the street!”

“But, I’m afraid to SHARE my FAITH.”

One man said,  “Our Pastor tells us to go out and witness to others weekly.”

Nothing strikes FEAR into Christians more than SHARING their FAITH to complete strangers.  In fact, it’s gotten so bad for some, they’ve enrolled in a “Witness Relocation Program.”

The Stranger Who Was Listening…

This man described in Acts 14:9-10, LISTENED intently to the apostle Paul as he spoke and when he fastened his eyes on this crippled man, everything else went out of focus except what he perceived in the stranger’s eyes.

FAITH GETS OUR ATTENTION!

Paul saw expectancy and enthusiasm in the crippled man’s eyes.  I love it when I meet someone for the first time, and as we are speaking to one another, I can see their undivided attention, their eyes focusing at me and not looking elsewhere at other distractions.

Paul saw this man running in his spirit–Paul saw a man who was leaping up and down on the inside! Do we really stop and look to see the FAITH in others?

HEALING comes from FAITH in Both Individuals, NOT just one–

EXPAND YOUR PERIMETERS…YOUR COMFORT ZONES,  start to think outside of the box.  When we limit ourselves, we limit the POWER of GOD!

FAITH Knows…

What we see is not all there is…

What we are is not all we will be…

Where we are is not where we will end up!

THE FAITH OF FOUR GOOD FRIENDS – Luke 5:17-20:

The Pharisees and teachers of the Law had gathered from the surrounding cities.  The Bible says that “the power of the Lord was present for Him to heal the sick” (verse 17).

There was an overwhelming crowd surrounding JESUS that day, and it became increasingly difficult for some men to bring their paralyzed friend to be HEALED by JESUS.

Many would simply give up…catch Him the next time He was in the neighborhood…but NOT these four good friends.  They decided to look for another way to get close…an opening.  They decided to go up on the roof, drop their paralyzed friend right into JESUS’ lap.  They put legs on their FAITH.

FAITH TOOK ACTION!
FAITH TOOK ACTION!

 

Scripture says, He saw [their confidence in Him, springing from] their FAITH, He said,  Man, your sins are forgiven you!” (verse 20).  

It seems to me, this man was in such bondage about his past, he couldn’t receive his present.    THEREFORE, the believing FAITH that took the action of a few good friends, brought about a Miracle!

Boy, I hope if I need a healing miracle in my life at any given time, I’ll have a few friends like that.  Or even better, to be a friend to someone else with unwavering resourcefulness.  That’s putting legs on my faith!

So when someone tells you that they are FAITHFUL…or you proclaim to others that you are faithful…how would you explain your FAITHFULNESS?

FAITHFULNESS IS…

“The willingness to take risks that requires FAITH in order to produce fruit.”

FAITH becomes an unquenchable desire!  The Free Dictionary defines the word “unquenchable” as, “Impossible to suppress or destroy”–you just cant get enough of it!

You might say that FAITH looks a lot like a “hail Mary” pass [an American football term] when there is no time remaining on the clock.

FAITH IS DEAD TO DOUBT…

FAITH IS DUMB TO DISCOURAGEMENT…

FAITH IS BLIND TO IMPOSSIBILITIES…

FAITH knows nothing but success in GOD!  “FAITH is not believing that GOD CAN, it’s knowing that GOD WILL!”

Hebrews 11:1 says: 

NOW FAITH is thee assurance (the confirmation, the title-deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses] – Amplified Bible.

Breaking the verse down just a bit:  

The size of the man or woman is more important than the size of the problem:

“Greater is He that is in me than the problem 

that is coming against me.”

FAITH TAKES ACTION!

Hebrews 11:33 tells us, that FAITH subdued, FAITH worked, FAITH obtained and, FAITH stopped the mouth of lions.

What does your FAITH look like right now?  What are the “lions” in your life?

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When you find JESUS, you find the author (creator), finisher (completer) of your FAITH!  Christ in you…the hope of glory!