Musing On the Mercy Seat

My current readings find me in Exodus. 

More recently, I have been in Exodus 25, which discusses the items of the Tabernacle. 
And I am curious. Exodus 25 discusses the construction of the Mercy Seat that goes on top of the Ark of the Covenant. 

The Mercy Seat. 
What a curious name for something that pertains so readily to an object known as being the symbol of the Law of Moses, which,  in the minds of many, has nothing to do with mercy. 
I wonder if it is so-called because the L-rd really wanted us to grasp that the concept of mercy really was a critical part of the dispensation of His law to Israel. 

Put another way, just as the exposition of the Beatitudes could be summed up in the Tenth Commandment, to beware of and keep far from even those thoughts that lead to unrighteous desire; so also the Law was really meant to convey a Mercy that the Pharisees and Saducees neglected to also skillfully exposit. 

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An Exhortation

The Bible never says that anyone will ever ask you a question about anything. Not “why should I let you into my kingdom?”. Not ” what have you done?”. Not ,”did you acknowledge me before men?”. Not, “did you do this or that or anything else?”.

It only says that He will judge, and he will do it well. It will not be our job to present any sort of case before Him who judges righteously.

Rather, all of ourselves will be laid bare before Him and He will do what He always does. He will judge, and He will do that correctly. He will handle everything, and He will consider whether you obeyed what He told you to do.

And in that day, there will be no Q and A on His part. No goofy questions that preachers like to use to manipulate you and me into the kingdom. No inane stuff about whether or not you were a Marine or a Soldier. Nothing embodied in these goofy and inane pictures that try to manipulate us into sharing them in order to demonstrate our lack of shame for Him. None. Of. That.

Just you, your life, and He who authorized that life.

The kicker is, what did you do with the life Jesus gave you? Was the direction of your life, mistakes and all, obedience to what He has told us plainly, or was it disobedience?

Mind you, every single thing He ever told you and me, not just in Scripture, but by the Holy Spirit, was told to us and shared with us for exactly the same reason fathers impart wisdom to their children: Tenderest, unfailing, loyal, abiding affection for us.

Father wants the best for you, and He hardwired you to walk in his enjoyment, his pleasure, His love.

The question today, while it is still called “Today” (Hebrews 4), is, “are you ultimately walking according to the design of the manufacturer, or you attempting to modify the perfection He has wrought by making it “better in your own eyes” ?

He knows, adores, and gives what is best.

You cannot improve on that design with control, or connivance, or hypocrisy, or addiction, or homosex, or avarice, or theft, or fornication, or adultery, or simony, or policy change, or amendments, or anything else that changes the outside circumstances while leaving you in the same broken and sinful state.

You must always, ultimately, continually change. We are constantly on the move, by degrees, either from glory to glory, or from death to death. That is part of Father’s design in us.

You will not ever be the same person from day to day.

And He has a “no-eye-has-seen” series of moments of encounter in store for you.

So, go and search out Jesus, and when you find Jesus, remember that NO ONE KNOWS JESUS BETTER THAN HOLY SPIRIT. So, if you want to get to know Jesus, get real intimate with Holy Spirit.

He is, after all, the Revealer of Scriptures. By Holy Spirit do you get to know what is in the Scriptures, and what they teach about the Word of God, Jesus, and the Father of lights, the Father.

The only way we are able to interact with the Father and the Word of God is by Holy Spirit. He is the One given and sent.

So get to know Him really well, and He will run you on a crash course as to your identity, your makeup, your giftings, and the things that really will make you come alive. Better than that bottle, habit, addiction, or sinful lifestyle.

Be blessed.

My Working Definition of Arrogance

“Arrogance… I hate”

-Proverbs 8:13-

Four dynamics that Wisdom, the Lord, hates. Pride, arrogance, the way of evil, and perverted speech.

Arrogance…thinking you know and understand well enough to not need any help in a situation and that you view and treat anyone offering help, understanding, or counsel as inferior or worthless. This destroys the body’s interconnectedness (1 Cor. 12:21-26).

The Paraclete’s Hammer

Proverbs 8:2 and the Test of Vindication: Are Your Hands Behind Your Back?

“for my mouth will utter truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips.” -Proverbs 8:7 (ESV)-

Wisdom utters truth, not lies (Proverbs 8:7 above).

But these true utterances are done with prudence and discretion, in such a way that finessing, manipulation, or attempts to control a situation with fleshly, soulish, or even spiritual means to ensure a positive outcome for the one engaged in the situation.

Jesus (Matthew 10:16) invites finesse, manipulation, and control to die (Proverbs 3:5-6, Mark 8:34-35). By wisdom are the simple and foolish made wise.

Are your hands behind your back?

Some may ask,”What do you mean, David, are my hands behind my back?”

Let me explain.

Are you trying to use your finite resources and ingenuity to fix a situation so that it comes out in your favor?  Or are you letting God work on your behalf and defend you?

If your hands remain behind your back and you are refusing to take the bait to defend yourself, God will step in, in His timing, and work on your behalf.  He will put His hands into a situation and work.  However, If you attempt to defend yourself and put your hands into the situation in order to fix it, God will step back and let you “handle” the situation, and He will put His hands behind His back.

So, whose hands are behind the back? Yours or His?

Whose hands are stronger? Yours or His?

Whose hands are more capable of fixing a situation? Yours or HIs?

Who do you want at work in a situation, even if the timing makes you uncomfortable? You or Him?

Put another way. Do we depend on our own resources, or do we depend on what Father give us a solution to work with, either in the form of a finished product, or raw materials with which to build?

He will make everything beautiful in its time (Ecclesiastes 3:11), but you must give Father time to work.

This is one of the tests that believers must endure.

The test on waiting on vindication.

The Paraclete’s Hammer

Some Observations

The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention’s President, Russell Moore, wrote a stellar piece in response to the SCOTUS decision on gay marriage in Obergefell V. Hodges recently.  In it, he enumerated why the Church should neither cave to the powers that be, nor panic with respect to the decision made.

You can view that article here.

Concerning all the activity this week, I have some observations.

1) No matter how people choose to marry, or how elected officials choose to recognize the right to marry, marriage is an institution that God set up with certain parameters, and no one can actually change those parameters. The kingdom recognizes only those marriages between a husband and a wife, as consistent interpretation of Scripture details.

2) Any setup that violates the design is a farce, and is not recognized, no matter the codification of laws or the orders of the state.

3) Those who choose to walk in a violation of that Principle of Design–whether homosexual practice, fornication, adultery, or pornography–do not know what they are doing and are stumbling around in darkness, sadly.  

4) As a result of this lack of knowledge, refusal of knowledge, or willful violation of the principles set down by the Father, they have opened the doors to greater bondage.  It was the Father who set all of these principles down out of love, so that we would walk in liberty, free of bondage, deception, and offense.  

5) Moreover, to consider another nuance of this discussion, perhaps some large portion of those people who walk these various sinful lifestyles out, do so out of abuse by parents, or members of either the same or opposite sex.

6) As a result of those areas of wounding or trauma, the victims described in #5 require prayers for healing or deliverance, instead of words spoken out of due season against them. And, where the church has failed in this area, it ought to repent.

7) There is a place for us as the Church to pray for release of those in sexual bondages of all kinds, whether through trauma or choice.  Moreover, we also should pray for the deception to roll back from their eyes.  

8) Moreover, we as the Church should minister to the sexually compromised variously in tender affection, love, and with the truth nonetheless, AFTER we fled our youthful passions; pursued righteousness, faith, love, peace, and purity; and have thoroughly bathed them in prayer, that they might be freed, after the manner described in 2 Timothy 2:22-26.  Credibility for ministry comes following personal sanctification.  NOTE: Please do not heckle me if you are a Christian about the impossibility of sanctification.  God would not tell us to walk in something (Matthew 5:48) and then not give us the resources (He gave us Himself, what is a little bit of personal holiness?) to help us attain that progression (Matthew 6:33).

9) We are ministers of love, grace, holiness, truth, righteousness, faith, and a really great path, that does happen to be narrow.  Let us do this well.

10) The Constitution and SCOTUS butchering of the same are not going to change hearts.  Lowering a flag is not going to change a heart.  Only the Lord can do that.  But, he is capable of softening a heart.  So, let’s work at cultivating more of the Fruit of the Spirit, and walking in more of the principles of the Lord found in Scripture, though not at the expense of realizing the depth of what has taken place in the SCOTUS decision.  They have usurped authority that was not theirs to take.  Our responsibility is to discern what has just happened, and to really grasp hold of what the Spirit is saying in this hour, including the shift that has just taken place in the Spirit realm.

It is time, Church. It is time for us to fight that the sexually-bound might be redeemed and returned to Him, healed and restored, and repentant.  They need us to walk in our identity, and the fullness of the authority Christ has died for us to possess, in order for them to walk in liberty and out of the deception so completely foisted upon them.  Remember, the enemy has sold the gay/adulterous/fornicating/porn-addicted community a Ship-High-In-Transit bill of goods.

It is time for us to pray for liberation.  

That means it is time to walk in liberation, and to begin to strap on some armor and a sword on our side, and enter into His presence, abide in Him by the cool waters (Psalm 23, Psalm 91) as the sheep of His pasture, and let Him come among us, and transform us into His majestic horses fit for battle (Zechariah 10:3).

Are you ready?

Humility and holiness are the bedrock for this fight.

The Paraclete’s Hammer.

G-d Doesn’t Want An Apology…

I posted earlier a thread yesterday on Facebook and it generated a bit of a stir.

The comment goes something like this.

“G-d isn’t looking for an apology. He is looking for a relationship.”

I have been think a lot recently about what is available to us under the New Covenant. More than just mere theology and good doctrine and Scripture, etc.

What is available.

Consider the following:

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” From 1 Corinthians 2:9.

Well the post on Facebook generated quite a stir, even though it isn’t inherently controversial. Thought-provoking, maybe. Controversial, doubtful. But that is just my perception.

So after thinking about it, I wrote the following that I think is really worth repeating. It really sets the ethos of where I am with the L-rd:

“Hey, guys.

“It occurs to me that y’all may have missed the point of my post.

“So, let me do a little expansion.

“If I reduce my walk with the L-rd to nothing beyond an “I’m sorry” and never connect with Him for any purpose ever again, then what have I really done?

“On the other hand, if I give Him my heart and say, “take it. It is yours”. Then what have I done?

“You see, reducing repentance to a mere apology is neither Biblical nor warranted; nor is it what a relationship-desiring G-d who is Father to sons, Husband to brides, and Counselor to the afflicted.

“Repentance-from the Greek metanoia, meaning roughly, ” I change the way I process knowledge”. 

“We can move, in conversion, from carnal and soulish ways of accruing knowledge into a spiritual mode of gaining knowledge, if we are willing. This spiritual means of processing and discerning knowledge is called revelation.

“The problem is, so many of us do not readily move into this because we are used to the old soulish ways of processing information. We look for natural apprehension without looking for spiritual reception.

“That whole “no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and it has not entered into the mind of man the things that G-d has prepared” thing? G-d has THAT ready for us, if we are willing to walk in it, if we want it. Spiritual things are not naturally discerned. Again, from Scripture.

“So, that implies a process, not moment. Apologies cost us only moment. Real repentance is a process, and it is part of that interaction we call a relationship.

“Moreover, “belief” is not merely mental assent, but it implies growth in obedience (see John 3:36 in the ESV for your literal translation of that concept).

“Now, if you come to a lover (See Song of Solomon for the exposition of G-d’s emotions toward us, His bride) and merely offer an apology, and then walk away, when they would rather have the messy process of a relationship and all that that entails, then you are going to leave them woefully dissatisfied. My wife and I had an exchange similar to this this evening.

“The point is, He really is not looking for mere apology. Between the two, He is INFINITELY more concerned about a relationship, considering the fact that He is in LOVE with us.

“Sadly, most people won’t spend the time it takes to really get a revelation of what this tender affection means. They will jump on the bandwagon of rattling off an apology and then walk away from the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

“When they do this, and refuse to engage in a relationship, then a Love that is deeper than the ocean and higher than the mountains goes ungiven, and emotions that are more intense than anything you or I have ever experienced go unfelt.

“And the Father, Son and Holy Spirit cry out for a relationship that is no mere apology.

“The problem is that we settle. Israel settled for the desert. Israel settled for not knowing the L-rd (Judges). Eli settled. Ahab settled. Manasseh settled. 

“Moses, on the other hand did not settle, saw G-d’s glory, and Moses and David were the best of what was available…under the old covenant. And they are the foundation of the basement floor for what is available to us under the New Covenant.

“But again, we settle. We settle for crumbs of information when G-d has prepared a table, full of the knowledge of His glory, before us in the presence of our enemies, that our cup might run over. G-d has available to us a walk and an adventure that far outstrip any of the prophets of the Old Testament.

“But it really is our choice if we want to walk in that, or kvetch about the little details.

“What does He have for you and what do you really want?

“Bill Johnson was right. Jesus didn’t die on a cross just so we could go to church once a week and tithe.”

It isn’t perfect. I know y’all can get hung up on the exegesis of 1 Corinthians 2:9 or any other number of factors, but it is a fair representation of where I am.

Thanks for sharing.

Be blessed

Theparacleteshammer

Romans 1:19-21

For what can be known about G-d is plain to them, because G-d has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived…. So they are without excuse.  For although they knew G-d

-Romans 1:19-21a-
(parts removed for the sake of emphasis)

Knowledge about G-d based on revelation of Him through creation in v. 19 is equated with knowing G-d in v. 21. So, it seems to me from this passage that it is possible to have adequate revelation about G-d apart from Scripture to be held accountable for our response to that revelation.

So, my question to you, dear readers, is “is this revelation enough to move towards salvation?”. It seems that it is, at least from the reading here.

Curious as to your reactions.