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Monday, April 4, 2011

Christ Alone

From the pen of Pastor Gene Breed of Grace Baptist Church, Jonesboro, GA.

Zechariah 10:4 Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor together.

This is a verse that I welcome into both my heart and mind, to aid me in removing all dependence on religious and social idols! I need to seek first, both the King and his kingdom, as he has commanded his true church. (Matt. 6:33). I need to assure myself that Christ is my only everything! To do less is to tolerate already intrenched idolatries, and also to provide fertile ground in which other subtle distractions may take root!
Christ alone is to be our justification. We cannot rest in the deception of having faith in our faith! We must have faith in Christ alone, by his faith working in us! For that verse that we let fall so freely from our religiously trained lips does say, the faith OF, and not the faith IN the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Gal. 2:20).

This Zechariah verse gives us four, “Out of him,” statements. Therefore to have Christ is to have the sustaining and defining of “the corner stone!” Christ in our hearts, acting himself out in our attitudes, motives and actions, is THE only thing that identifies us as even being within the holy habitation of God. (Eph. 2:20-22). Christ is the rule of measure that identifies just who is within the measure of that organism, called the Church! 

 Revelation 11:1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. 2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

And to have Christ is to have “the nail,” fastened by the Father in a sure place. Therefore that which we lost in the first Adam, which plunged us into God-separating trespasses and sin, shall only be recovered in the last Adam – Christ! That sin is defined by the apostle in another often quoted verse. Our sin was, that we have all come short of the glory! And that really puts us in a very bad position! Because none of our race has any ability to get it back! But listen at the characteristics of our wonderful Nail! 
Isaiah 22:23 And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house. 24 And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father’s house, … 
Zechariah 6:13 Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne:
Out of Christ alone can mankind recover the ability we lost to glorify God! 2 Corin. 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

And out of Christ alone is our “battle bow!” He is our only agent and energy to defeat the remaining corruptions, still dwelling within. For again, the only hope of man’s recovery from his ruined state, and fall into the hands of the dreadful enemy, is the conquering Christ! 
Revelation 6:1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. 2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
And he instructed us that the warfare would not be by carnal weapons. Zechariah 9:10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.
But his bow and his arrows would be his church bringing all nations into submission to him by his gospel warfare through them! Zechariah 9:13 When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man. 14 And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord GOD shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south.
2 Corin. 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
His gospel ministers are truly called his soldiers. 2 Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
Psalm 45:3 Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. 4 And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things. 5 Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; whereby the people fall under thee. 6 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.
The sword of the old economy is seen to be upon his thigh. But that of the New Covenant is seen to be within his mouth, showing it to be his word! Revelation 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
The heads of the other four world wide kingdoms (Nebuchadnezzar, Darius, Alexander, & Caesar), conquered by natural, brute force. But our King of all kings conquers by the effectual power of the gospel! Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

And, lastly, “out of him” shall come every “ruler,” or, every “Exactor.” (KJV reads, “oppressor.”) There is presently no rule over angels, demons, heaven, earth, or hell except from the Head of the fifth and final kingdom! Most think that Christ will only begin to reign in some fancied, future time, after his enemies have been subdued! But that is not what the scriptures state. Listen: 1 Cor. 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. For Christ must now reign in his mediatorial throne, while the gospel is being sent forth, until it has conquered all it is designed to conquer. Then he will continue his uninterrupted reign as God, all in all (1 Cor. 15:28) throughout all eternity!
Daniel 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. 18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.

Pastor Gene Breed
March 30, 2011

Sunday, April 3, 2011

the 93rd day of the year 2011

Psalm 93

The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved. Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.  

The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves.  The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.  

Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O LORD, for ever.

If I might point out a few things from this powerful Psalm:

 The Lord reigns - that is, He is reigning now and not at some future date!

the world also is established that it cannot be moved - All the earth doomdayers (is that a word?) need to read the scriptures, the earth is going no where until God is finished (2 Pet 3:7) with it. Worship Him and not the earth!

Thou art from everlasting - So when the little child asks, "where did God come from?" We can say "from everlasting"! I cannot even wrap my head around this truth.

the floods lift up....the Lord on high is mightier - The nations lift their voices, they raise their fists at Him on the throne and yet, He is mightier. We should all just humbly bow down and submit ourselves to Him and kiss His Son (Ps. 2 & Phil 2:9-10).

Thy testimonies are very sure - Not just sure but very sure! Oh that we would believe His testimonies, Luke wrote, "nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?". Lord I believe, help thou mine unbelief.

holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, for ever - The Lord's house is adorned in holiness. I think of what John the apostle wrote in 1 John 1:5, "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." In essence, before John wrote, "God is love" , he declared that God is holy! How far short I fall of it and yet He makes us (unholy things) holy in the blood of His dear Son. May we be found in the number of them who "follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." After all isn't this why He elected us; "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, THAT we should be holy and without blame before him in love". Blessed be His holy name!