Archive for March, 2012

Knocked Off the Throne

March 31, 2012

We have talked about the throne representing one’s rulership over a kingdom. Let me remind you that the Hebrew word for throne is kicce’(kis·sā’).  Kicce’ means  seat (of honour), throne, seat, stool, authority or power. The Greek word for throne is thronos (thro’-nos) which means a throne seat a) a chair of state having a footstool b) assigned in the NT to kings, hence, kingly power or royalty 1) metaph. to God, the governor of the world 2) to the Messiah, Christ, the partner and assistant in the divine administration a) hence divine power belonging to Christ.

Everyone of us has been given a throne by God. We have been given authority and rule. While we aspire to rule over people, territory or resources worthy of a king,  The greatest rule that God has given us is our lives. We have the opportunity to be kings of our lives, but that is not what we really should aspire to do. While God gives us this choice, a wise king makes decision that benefit his kingdom the most. Christ being King of our lives will benefit us the most. We have to be willing to serve and worship the right King in order for our rule to continue.

Let’s look at the Word for an example that parallels our lives. In 1 Kings 11, we see God taking a portion of Solomon’s kingdom from him and giving it to Jeroboam. God has always had the same standard for man to rule either in his own life or in dominion over whatever God gives from position, prestige or power. The standard is for us to worship Him alone. When we fail to meet that expectation, God begins to reduce our reign if not displace it altogether. Let’s see.

28 Now Jeroboam was a man of standing, and when Solomon saw how well the young man did his work, he put him in charge of the whole labor force of the house of Joseph. 29 About that time Jeroboam was going out of Jerusalem, and Ahijah the prophet of Shiloh met him on the way, wearing a new cloak. The two of them were alone out in the country, 30 and Ahijah took hold of the new cloak he was wearing and tore it into twelve pieces. 31 Then he said to Jeroboam, “Take ten pieces for yourself, for this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘See, I am going to tear the kingdom out of Solomon’s hand and give you ten tribes. 32 But for the sake of my servant David and the city of Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, he will have one tribe. 33 I will do this because they have forsaken me and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Molech the god of the Ammonites, and have not walked in my ways, nor done what is right in my eyes, nor kept my statutes and laws as David, Solomon’s father, did.  34 “‘But I will not take the whole kingdom out of Solomon’s hand; I have made him ruler all the days of his life for the sake of David my servant, whom I chose and who observed my commands and statutes. 35 I will take the kingdom from his son’s hands and give you ten tribes. 36 I will give one tribe to his son so that David my servant may always have a lamp before me in Jerusalem, the city where I chose to put my Name. 37 However, as for you, I will take you, and you will rule over all that your heart desires; you will be king over Israel. 38 If you do whatever I command you and walk in my ways and do what is right in my eyes by keeping my statutes and commands, as David my servant did, I will be with you. I will build you a dynasty as enduring as the one I built for David and will give Israel to you. 39 I will humble David’s descendants because of this, but not forever.

We see that God tore a large portion of the kingdom out of Solomon’s hand because He was unfaithful to God. He got Knocked Off the Throne because he failed to worship God as God alone. He promised to be with Jeroboam if he was to do whatever God commanded and walked in God’s ways doing what is right in God’s eyes, not his own. If so, God promised to be with him. If you want to really be encouraged. Search the Word for all the phrases where God says I was with Him or God was with him.  Every time the man was prosperous and successful.

Have you been Knocked Off the Throne? If so, humble yourself before the Almighty God that He might restore some of your rule. If you have not been Knocked Off the Throne, keep worshiping and serving God as God alone in order for you to be prosperous and successful.

The Throne of Judgment and Hope

March 30, 2012

We have explored various concepts about the Throne of God. We know it will last forever. We know that Christ has been seated on the throne after His service and sacrifice for mankind. We know that Christ has been appointed as the judge of who sits on the throne. Let’s see another aspect about the throne today. The Throne of Judgment and Hope represents the dichotomy between thought and action.

John 3:17-18 says “17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John explains the thought and action. Those who acted believed in the name of God’s one and only Son; the who did not believe just thought about it if that. The Throne of Judgment and Hope represents the two categories that man will be separated into when he faces judgement because of his throughout or action. Hebrews 9:27-28 tells us “27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” The two categories of people are conveyed in this text too. The first group are those whom Christ will bring salvation upon His second coming. Let’s be clear though, when you die, you face Christ your fate of spending eternity with the Father and Him or to spend eternity with the wicked one, satan. This is why Christ has The Throne of Judgment and Hope. 

Isaiah proclaimed this same thing centuries ago in chapter 66.

1 This is what the LORD says:

   “Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool.
Where is the house you will build for me?
Where will my resting place be?
2 Has not my hand made all these things,
and so they came into being?”
declares the LORD.

   “This is the one I esteem:
he who is humble and contrite in spirit,
and trembles at my word.
3 But whoever sacrifices a bull
is like one who kills a man,
and whoever offers a lamb,
like one who breaks a dog’s neck;
whoever makes a grain offering
is like one who presents pig’s blood,
and whoever burns memorial incense,
like one who worships an idol.
They have chosen their own ways,
and their souls delight in their abominations;
4 so I also will choose harsh treatment for them
and will bring upon them what they dread.
For when I called, no one answered,
when I spoke, no one listened.
They did evil in my sight
and chose what displeases me.”

Not to get too far from my point, Isaiah gave the people the Word of God in this text to denounce man’s dependence on himself rather than God. The Jews of that time reveled in the temple which God allowed to be taken from them twice by the Chaldeans and Romans. The point was that man thought he was doing something for God by building a temple, but God was clear from the beginning that He was bigger than that and what could man make for Him since Heaven was His throne and earth His footstool. Lest man miss the point, God, through Isaiah, made it clear. Here is what God said he valued:

“This is the one I esteem:
he who is humble and contrite in spirit,
and trembles at my word.

About this, Matthew Henry said, “He [God] has a heaven and earth of his own making, and a temple of man’s making; but he overlooks them all, that he may look with favour to him that is poor in spirit, humble and serious, self-abasing and self-denying, whose heart is truly contrite for sin, penitent for it, and in pain to get it pardoned, and who trembles at God’s word, not as Felix did, with a transient qualm that was over when the sermon was done, but with an habitual awe of God’s majesty and purity and an habitual dread of his justice and wrath. Such a heart is a living temple for God; he dwells there, and it is the place of his rest; it is like heaven and earth, his throne and his footstool.

The habitual justice is for those who believed, and the habitual wrath is for those who did not believe in God’s one and only Son as we are told in John 3:17-18. Now, I hope that you see Throne of Judgment and Hope and choose wisely in what you will believe.

Two Thrones of Service

March 28, 2012

For several days now, we have been talking about the throne of God and those that, if possible, rival His throne. The only other throne that I have mentioned was your very own. That was a little deceptive though as there are really Two Thrones of Service – God’s and satan’s. If you are not serving God, then you are serving satan. In Deuteronomy 28:14, God says, “Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.” Implicit in that statement is that you are serving other gods if you are not serving Jehovah. What other gods are there? Isaiah answers that for us in chapter 45. In verse 5, God says, ” I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God.” To deny God is to serve satan. Titus says it this way:”15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.”

While there are Two thrones of Service, only God’s really matters, because it is Christ who will judge the living and the dead. Those who believe (serve His throne) in Him receive forgiveness of sins through His name. (Acts 1). Conversely, he who does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3)   Ligonier Ministries purports that unbelief is not the only basis for condemnation, but it constitutes the climax of rebellion by resisting even God’s gracious offer of salvation in Christ. Jesus comes into a world that is already condemned because of its rejection of God’s self-revelation. John 3 tells us that those who do not believe in Christ stand condemned already. Paul tells us that the prize of their condemnation is God’s wrath. Read Romans 1:18-32 to see the full measure of their unbelief.

Where do you stand? Are you a true believer and follower of Christ or are you following some other god that really does not exist? God has told us in Isaiah 45:5  “I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God.” While there is only one God, it is apparent that there are Two Thrones of Service. Serving a throne ruled by one other than God leads to your demise. Romans 1:18-32 tells you the end for those who fail to serve Thy Throne Oh God. Serve wisely.

Do You Want To Come Before the Throne?

March 27, 2012

In the post There is the Right Way to God, we saw that the only means for man to be declared righteous was provided by God through Christ Jesus.  A couple of verses contained in Romans 3:19-24 clearly conveys that to us: 21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. It is important to understand righteousness as a prerequisite to enter into the presence of God. No unrighteous and ungodly person can come into the presence of God. (Job 13:16)

Since we know that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, what hope doe we have of coming before the throne of God? God keeps telling us that it is through Christ that man has access to the Father and all that the Father affords us. Listen to what Hebrews 4:16 tells us: Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” At what moment in your life does not a plethora of needs exists? We are always in need, but we know there are times that are more urgent than others. When you are facing spiritual, physical, relational, emotional and financial hardships, I believe we all want an audience with God. We cannot have an audience with God if the conditions are not right.

What are the right conditions to come before the throne of God? We have see what lies ahead of verse 16. Listen to the Lord

 14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

We have to have Jesus, the Son of God, as our High Priest. We have to have professed faith in Jesus as the Son of God who died for our sins to give us access to the Father. If so, God himself has told us that we can have confidence in approaching the throne. Confidence of being heard; confidence of not perishing before a holy God as some did under the law; confidence of God understanding that we need Him and He would respond.

Do you want to come before the throne?  Then, you must profess faith in Jesus as the Son of God who saves you from the consequences of your sin and gives you access to present your concerns to the Father. There is the Right Way to God and only Jesus is it.

There is the Right Way to God

March 26, 2012

In Hebrews 1:8, says 8 But about the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.” Verse 9 also tells us that “You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;” It is clear that Christ hates sin or wickedness and loves righteousness. Righteousness in that verse means rectitude or uprightness which is rightness of principle or conduct. This simply means that we can count on Jesus always being and doing what is right as defined by God’s Word. We have already seen that Christ’s throne is eternal where righteousness is the distinguishing characteristic. What is righteousness? Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin”? Proverbs 20:9 None of us.

Proverbs 20:8   tells us that “When a king sits on his throne to judge, he winnows out all evil with his eyes.” Jesus will be able to discern, in fact know, that you were sinful that is unrighteous. As the judge, Jesus knows that we are guilty of lawlessness. We break God’s law over and over again. Since righteousness is the hallmark of His kingdom, we are doomed if we think we can behave well enough to be accepted by God. The kingdom of God is not a meritocracy but a theocracy. In John 14:6, Jesus tell us that “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me.”

The end of our days is coming soon or later. Christ has told us that He is the only means of access to the Father; therefore to heaven. How then can we be the people God wants us to be if we are stained by our sin? Zechariah 4:6 tells us that “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” There is the Right Way to God and there is no other way to God. Righteousness is the way to God. As a believer, my righteousness comes from Christ not from my own merits. The Pharisees attempted to purport that our works or merits would make us righteous. Matthew 5:2o says, “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

About being deemed righteous, Paul says, “19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. 21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:19-24

There is the Right Way to God and Jesus is it. If we are to be considered righteous, we must gain our righteousness from Christ and not our works. Remember, Isaiah tells us that “all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” If we do not want to be swept away by the consequence of our sin, There is the Right Way to God and Christ is it. Follow Jesus to God escaping the doom of those who will stand before God in their own righteousness. That’s not the right way to God.

Who is the Ruler in Your Life

March 24, 2012

Morning guys,
I can’t compose a lengthy spiritual post because I have no Internet other than phone. That’s too much to write on a phone. As I work with students, the question always surfaces as to who are they following. We are always following someone or something, so it’s not a matter of if but who. Meditate on that Jesus is LORD, and as such He is on the throne. Is He the ruler of your life. If Christ is ruler of and ruler in your life, you can expect to receive the blessings afforded to you by the King. If Christ is not ruler of and Lord in your life, you are an ENEMY of the King. Consequently, you can expect, on the day He judges the world, that His judgment of you will not be favorable nor forgiving. Seek the Lord while HE may be found. Who is on your throne?

The Right Ruler on Thy Throne O God

March 23, 2012

In the post Thy Throne Oh God, the notion of Jesus’ throne lasting forever was presented in Hebrews 1:8. Remember the words to the Maranatha song so titled is below.

Thy throne O God
Will last forever
Will last forever

For in Your hand
Are truth and righteousness
You reign with righteousness
Forever, Forever.

Thy Throne O God
Will last forever
Will last forever, forever, forever

You love what’s right,
Despising evil
You have loved righteousness
Therefore your God
Pours gladness over you
A gladness none has known

Within  Hebrews 1:8, there is another distinguishing trait about Christ’s throne/kingdom that should not be overlooked while I continue to gaze at the sovereignty of God. God is in control. Once more listen to what God says:
8 But about the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.  Scepter is defined as 1. a rod or wand borne in the hand as an emblem of regal or imperial power. 2. royal or imperial power or authority; sovereignty. A scepter is a symbol representing the ruling power. The Word tells us the that symbol of Christ’s kingdom is righteousness. Righteousness in this verse means rectitude or  uprightness which is rightness of principle or conduct. This simply means that we can count on Jesus always being and doing what is right as defined by God’s Word.

Isn’t it comforting to know that the Jesus will not abuse His authority and power as so many earthly rulers do. In the context of this chapter, Jesus brings a revelation superior of who God is than that of the prophets of old. The prophets told about God, but Jesus is God and revealed Him in the flesh as God says about Jesus in verse 8 and also by John in John 1:1, by Thomas in John 20:28, and by Paul in Titus 2:13 and 3:4Don’t miss that. Since Jesus is God we know that He is right and therefore righteous. Matthew Henry says, “He has all right, rule, authority, and power, both as the God of nature, grace, and glory, and as Mediator; and so he is fully adequate to all the intents and purposes of his mediatorial kingdom.” In other words, Jesus is right in whatever He does in building and ruling His kingdom. This is why the song says:

You love what’s right,
Despising evil
You have loved righteousness
Therefore your God
Pours gladness over you.
A gladness none has known

As such, let Christ pour gladness over you. Know a righteousness none have ever known but could be known by us because of The Right Ruler on Thy Throne of God.

Thy Throne Oh God

March 22, 2012

Since last Sunday, I have been meditating on God’s Word to me during worship. He told me ” I am on the throne.” It was the salve that I needed for my bruised and battered perspective. About two days ago, the Holy Spirit brought to mind a song that I used in worship while in college. It was a Maranatha Worships song and titled as our post is aptly named: Thy Throne Oh God. Here is the song

There are a number of scriptural references for this song and concept, but I will focus on what God said about Jesus in Hebrews 1:8. It says, ” “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.”

For God to say that about Christ, it is endearing, encouraging and entreating. God is calling us to experience a life with Christ that will last forever. Read the text and listen to the song. Get caught up in the glorious salvation that God offers man through Jesus Christ whose throne will last forever. Be blessed.

Who Is on Your Throne?

March 20, 2012

In the post God is on the Throne, a number of scriptural references were presented to convey that Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of promises made to Abraham and David. I also submitted that God simply told me to rest in the fact that He is on the throne. This means that God is in control or in charge. For the believer, this is an elementary truth yet often forgotten. When life’s circumstances assails you, remember that Christ is on the throne.

Looking over my spiritual journey, I am, unfortunately, a slow learner who needs multiple views of the lesson God intends for me to learn. If you know God like I do, that often comes with circumstances that makes you’d learned the lesson on the first opportunity. Nevertheless, God shows His commitment to us, but I digress. The Hebrew word for throne is kicce’ (kis·sā’).  Kicce’ means  seat (of honour), throne, seat, stool, authority or power. The Greek word for throne is thronos (thro’-nos) which means a throne seat a) a chair of state having a footstool b) assigned in the NT to kings, hence, kingly power or royalty 1) metaph. to God, the governor of the world 2) to the Messiah, Christ, the partner and assistant in the divine administration a) hence divine power belonging to Christ.

Who sits in the seat of honor in your life? Who has the chair of state having a footstool in your life? Simply, Who Is on Your Throne? Those are the fundamental questions we all have to answer daily, should I say moment by moment each day. Despite what the skeptics and critics say, God reigns on His throne both now and forever more. Isaiah 45:22-24 says:

 22 “Turn to me and be saved,
all you ends of the earth;
for I am God, and there is no other.
23 By myself I have sworn,
my mouth has uttered in all integrity
a word that will not be revoked:
Before me every knee will bow;
by me every tongue will swear.
24 They will say of me, ‘In the LORD alone
are righteousness and strength.’”
All who have raged against him
will come to him and be put to shame.

In Philippians 2, Paul expounds upon the kingship of Christ and His authority. He says

9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Whether we consent to it or not, Jesus is on the throne granted to Him by God the Father. The question is not whether He will be King but when will you acknowledge Him as King. If you are like me, I made that choice for salvation purposes long ago, but the Christian life is about learning to surrender to his Lordship (Kingship) daily in what I think, say and do. Of those three, the latter two are a function of the first. What comes out of my mouth and what I do are a function of what I think. If I am not surrendering to my will to Christ, it is assured that I am on the throne of my like. Likewise, if you are not, then neither is Christ on the throne of your life. In  1 Chronicles 17:10b-14, God has said of Jesus Christ, “I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever.

Christ’s throne has been established forever, so Who is on Your Throne? If not Christ, surrender now rather than later as every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord.

God is on the Throne

March 19, 2012

The post today will be relatively short because some things don’t require a lot of words. Over the past three days, the posts have connected phrases from familiar songs with eternal biblical truths. In Get Up Offa That ThingI Can See Clearly Now, and You’re Blind, the pivotal,primary and preeminent point is that The Answer Lies in Christ.

For some weeks now as Southwest Christian Fellowship, Pastor Benson has been preaching through Hebrews. I distinctly remember him saying that the point of the text is to show that Christ is better: better Word, better representation of God, better than angels, better high priest, better rest, better in and for everything. As we sang songs in church yesterday,  I heard God speak to me.  I heard I am better a little differently. God simply said to me I AM ON THE THRONE.

The Answer Lies in Christ not only in Hebrews but for our lives too. God simply told me to rest in the fact that He is on the throne. This means that God is in control or in charge. For the believer, this is an elementary truth yet often forgotten. When life’s circumstances assails you, remember that Christ is on the throne. 2 Chronicles 21:7 says, “7 Nevertheless, because of the covenant the LORD had made with David, the LORD was not willing to destroy the house of David. He had promised to maintain a lamp for him and his descendants forever.” It verifies what 1 Chronicles 17:10b-14 says, “I declare to you that the LORD will build a house for you: 11 When your days are over and you go to be with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my love away from him, as I took it away from your predecessor.14 I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever.

Christ is the fulfillment of that promise God made to David.   We see it in Matthew 25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory.” This fulfillment should lead us to exclaim “There is no one like you, O LORD, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears.” 1 Chronicles 17:20  Again in Hebrews 1, the writer says

8 But about the Son he says,

   “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever,
and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.

We are told in Revelation 7 that

9 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:

   “Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”

 11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:

   “Amen!
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.
Amen!”

God is on the Throne. Just remember that He is in control.