Lift Up a Standard

Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 3:43 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “I Do Not Seal My Lips.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 62 (NASB).

For Zion’s Sake (vv. 1-5)

For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet,
Until her righteousness goes forth like brightness,
And her salvation like a torch that is burning.
The nations will see your righteousness,
And all kings your glory;
And you will be called by a new name
Which the mouth of the Lord will designate.
You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,
And a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
It will no longer be said to you, “Forsaken,”
Nor to your land will it any longer be said, “Desolate”;
But you will be called, “My delight is in her,”
And your land, “Married”;
For the Lord delights in you,
And to Him your land will be married.
For as a young man marries a virgin,
So your sons will marry you;
And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
So your God will rejoice over you.

Today Zion, or Jerusalem, in reference to representing God’s holy people, must be regarded as the church, the bride of Christ, his temple. The church is not in one physical location, but is spread throughout the earth. The church is also not a building, or an institution of human-making, but it is a living organism, the body of Christ, comprised of all who have put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of their lives.

The church (Christ’s body) is presently under much oppression and persecution throughout much of the world, but it is also under much deception and captivity, of a different kind, in other parts of the world, particularly here in America. While in some nations Christians are being hunted down and killed for their faith in Jesus Christ, here in America the church, for the most part, is under a veil of deception, and both groups are suffering at the hands of the same enemy, which is Satan, but it is also the US government (and military or privatized forces) and their allies.

God has allowed, and he will allow evil to reign for a period of time, but there is a time coming when he will judge those evil doers. He will bring them to trial, and he will exact their punishment due them. Until then, we must be patient and wait on the Lord. We must not fear what evil men (or women) might do to us. And, we must pray for their salvation, in hopes that they will be turned from their evil ways to follow after our Lord Jesus Christ.

While evil is still allowed to reign on the earth, God is also working in human hearts to bring them to faith in Jesus Christ or to revive the hearts of his wandering saints. He is not slow in keeping his promises, but he is patient, not willing that any should perish (die in their sins), but that all should come to repentance. And, repentance involves forsaking sin and turning of heart and mind away from darkness, and coming into God’s wonderful light, i.e. to his truth and to his righteousness, via the working of the Holy Spirit.

When we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, he becomes our husband and we become his bride, but it is more in the sense of the Old Testament Jewish marriages. When the agreement was made between the groom and the bride, with the bride’s parents, that they should be married, they were considered married, even though the marriage was not consummated until much later. First the groom had to go prepare a home for them, like Jesus has gone to heaven to prepare a place for us. When the groom had the house ready, then the wedding took place. When Jesus returns for us, his bride, one day, then the wedding banquet will take place.

Yet, there is another aspect to this, which has to do with what was mentioned earlier with regard to all the evil that is now allowed to exist, and all the persecution and deception of Christians that is allowed to presently exist, and that is that, when God exacts punishment on our perpetrators, while we might feel as though we are forsaken now, and we are by some human beings, we will no longer be forsaken. He will rescue us from our oppression and he will take us home to be with him forever. Yet, we can be rescued now, though not physically, but spiritually, as we trust in our Lord and we don’t allow what humans do to us to get the best of us.

Appointed Watchmen (vv. 6-9)

On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen;
All day and all night they will never keep silent.
You who remind the Lord, take no rest for yourselves;
And give Him no rest until He establishes
And makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
The Lord has sworn by His right hand and by His strong arm,
“I will never again give your grain as food for your enemies;
Nor will foreigners drink your new wine for which you have labored.”
But those who garner it will eat it and praise the Lord;
And those who gather it will drink it in the courts of My sanctuary.

While evil still reigns on this earth, and until the Lord Jesus takes us home to be with him forever, the gospel must go forth, but the church must also be warned, encouraged, comforted and confronted with her sins. So, God has appointed certain men (and women) to be his watchmen (and women). Their responsibility is primarily to confront sin in sinful humans, in particular among his wandering saints, to warn of the dangers of sin, rebellion and deception, to caution against false teaching, to forewarn of divine discipline (correction) or judgment, to call for repentance, and to promise hope and healing for the repentant. The goal of all of this is the salvation of human lives and the revival of the spiritually adulterous and idolatrous church.

Right now, here in America, although this may take place in other countries, too, the church has mostly chosen to partner with the US government as 501c3 not-for-profit corporations. This brings the church under the headship of the US government, so the church is in an adulterous relationship with the government, and God is not pleased.

Since they have turned the church into businesses of human-making (institutional churches), they have also adopted many of the patterns of the world in trying to attract the world to the “church.” So, they market the “church” just like the world does any other business. So, “worship services” often turn into large stage productions to entertain the world, and pastors turn into actors and clowns to entertain, as well, and the “bible” becomes the teachings of mere humans, and the gospel is being diluted to where it no longer calls the sinner to repentance, but it entertains him, instead.

I believe God wants to revive his adulterous church, and that he is calling her to come out of “Babylon” so that she does not share in her sins or in her punishment. Basically, he is calling his church (the living organism) to come out from under the influence and headship of the institutional church, which is married to the US government. He is also calling her to come out from underneath worldly influences, marketing schemes, a diluted gospel, etc., and to return to HIM as her only love and husband. And, he will revive, renew and restore her to a right (correct) relationship with HIM.

Remove the Stones (vv. 10-12)

Go through, go through the gates,
Clear the way for the people;
Build up, build up the highway,
Remove the stones, lift up a standard over the peoples.
Behold, the Lord has proclaimed to the end of the earth,
Say to the daughter of Zion, “Lo, your salvation comes;
Behold His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.”
And they will call them, “The holy people,
The redeemed of the Lord”;
And you will be called, “Sought out, a city not forsaken.”

So, part of the responsibility of his watchmen (and women) is to clear the way for the people of God to return to the Lord or for the people of this world to come to faith in Jesus Christ. This involves pointing out to the people the many ways in which they are presently being deceived and the many ways they have fallen under the trap of the devil once more, so that their eyes might be opened, that they would see, that they would turn from their sins back to God, so God would then heal and restore them.

Yet, not only must the negative be pointed out, but the positive, as well. Not only must sins be addressed, and the people of God be told what must be put out of their lives, but they must be taught what must be put on in their lives in place of what was removed. Even though we are now under grace, God still has a standard that he requires we must follow. His grace, which brings salvation, teaches us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Tit. 2:11-14). Jesus died, not just so we could escape eternal punishment, and not just so we could go to heaven when we leave this earth, but so we might die to sin and live to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24).

God’s grace, in other words, is not free license to continue sinning against God without guilt and without remorse. In fact, his Word teaches us that if we continue in sin (make a practice of sinning), there is no sacrifice for sins, we don’t know God, we don’t love God, and we don’t have the promise of eternal life with God. If we want to have eternal life with God, we must forsake our lives of sin and we must be born again of the Spirit of God and we must put on his righteousness – all in the power and working of the Spirit of God at work in our lives in turning us from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that we might receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ (See: Acts 26:16-18).

I Do Not Seal My Lips / An Original Work / January 13, 2014

Based off Psalms 37, 40

Do not fear when evil man
Has success in all their plans,
For like grass they’ll wither soon.
They’ll be cut off from the land.

Trust in the Lord and He’ll give you peace.
Find your delight in Him through all stress.
All of your ways commit unto Him.
All your desires from Him He’ll fulfill.

Wait for the Lord; keep His way.
Delight in His Word always.
He’ll be with you to the end;
Life eternal found in Him.

I waited patiently for my Lord.
He turned to me, and He heard my cry.
He set my feet on the Solid Rock.
He gave to me a firm place to stand.

Blessed are we, who trust the Lord,
Who do not turn to false gods.
Our desire’s to do God’s will.
His word is within our hearts.

I will proclaim salvation to man.
You put a new song now in my mouth.
I’ll not withhold your love and your grace.
I’ll speak forevermore of your truth.

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