Yes, You Know Jesus…but does it feel like Something’s Missing?

Have you ever found that, in some cases, certain words or phrases pertaining to Christianity don’t quite ‘sit right’ with you?

…or maybe I should say, that I’ve found that to be true…!

We enter into Christ more or less clueless. We are blinded by Light! and thrilled! imbibing joyously, zealously, what we are told. Our hungry infant spirit, newly quickened, can’t get enough. Like newborns in the natural, though, we too drool, drip & create messes wherever we are…

The mind of Christ & the Spirit of God are certainly at work, guarding & guiding our intakes of spiritual truth, and the processing of it. Which might explain the many times something I’ve heard – maybe someone’s ‘drooling’ – didn’t feel quite right…in some cases, even up until the present. Along the way, I’ve agreed & amen’d to the general chorus, or maybe withheld verbal assent because privately…hmmm…I wasn’t sure so I didn’t challenge, but some issues I’ve always doubted, or was unconvinced. In some cases, I don’t know if I even realized I was…not on board.

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As a new believer, it seemed that every time I turned around, that ‘Four Spiritual Laws’ booklet was turning up. Declaring myself ‘born-again’ & that Jesus was my Lord & Savior was more or less…what everyone was saying. Expected?

At some point I began to think that such literature & statements may not really be the best approach. I believe that every set of circumstances is tailor-made, in a sense, and requires sensitivity in the Spirit, if one wants to have Christ shown forth. At that point I myself abandoned ‘Four Spiritual Laws’ & became much more discerning in my use of the ‘born-again’ label. Proffering the ‘my personal Lord & Savior’ phrase seemed even inappropriate somehow, at times.

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Most of these…glitches…I’ve held in my heart, until a moment when the Lord may come, revealing & uncovering. It is a joyful, grateful moment indeed! when I finally ‘see’ that I was not wrong!! and why I felt the way I did. (Because I suspect that there is a rebel & a revolutionary yet in me that never quite burst forth…there is always the possibility that it’s me who is in error, yet rebelling… )

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Along with the types of doubtfulness already mentioned, have you ever felt in general that something is missing?

You heartily accept & believe in Jesus Christ, His cross & His blood. No doubt there…not a smidgen. But…there is a fulness of which you sense that you are not partaking…maybe?

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…so all this preamble is leading to the priesthood…

“Faithfulness to God is defined by faithfulness to the (New) Covenant & the priesthood” (10:36) *

“If Christians would…relate to Jesus Christ as Lord & Priest forever, Christians might learn the New Covenant & their own priesthood.” (about 28:00)*

 

(*“Bring Forth the Topstone”, pt.2 – Rev. Wayne Monbleau audio, www.lovinggraceradio.net Monthly Meditation – Feb.2018 )

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Newly saved, I learned of Jesus Christ as our High Priest. It wasn’t that I’d never heard about that – and for sure I accepted that teaching. But to me, it seemed ethereal, distant…something Jesus was still doing, taking care of business for all of us who believed, ‘up there’ in heavenly places. I was much more impacted by Him as my Lord & Savior, though; that relationship seemed so much more immediate & accessible. And this approach to Jesus Christ is understandable. We learn & grow by degrees, here a little, there a little, faith upon faith, from glory to glory. But as I am finding out, I was missing a big piece of the whole reality.

In the above-mentioned audio message, Wayne Monbleau made a statement concerning Jesus as our personal Savior. It pricked me. Troubled me a little. As I continued to listen, new meanings emerged from old Scriptures that I thought I understood…

Nowhere in the Bible will you find the term ‘personal Savior’. (Don’t freak out, I’m not saying Jesus doesn’t save individual people personally.) But Wayne presents a strong Biblical case for seeing Jesus primarily in another light – that of our High Priest. And seeing ourselves as “…“men from every tribe & tongue & people & nation, and You have made them to be a kingdom and priests unto our God.” (Revelation 5:9)

He asserts that most of the Body doesn’t recognize this fact, nor live & operate within it. I have to confess that though I think I have, and sometimes do minister to the Lord – I think that’s what I’m doing – I do not experience myself as a priest unto God. But now, the shape of my whole picture is beginning to shift. The ‘pause’ button has been pressed, and I am contemplating a whole new, other reality: the priesthood. I have begun…just begun…stepping out into an eternal action. Entering into His gates with thanksgiving, following through into His courts with praise.

Ministering to the Lord

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My reality for so long has not been this priest mentality, and so I’m finding I easily slip out of it. But my times are in His hands…I try not to allow my relationship with God to become works-based…but because His word declares the priesthood, even though I often seem to be elsewhere! I believe it is real, and that it changes things.

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PART 2

 

(The above-quoted audio message, “Bring Forth the Topstone”, is a monthly mediation teaching that I receive in CD form as a monthly partner with Loving Grace Ministries, and as a result this message may not be accessible to my readers. Therefore, I am going to try to re-cap one aspect of this teaching that impacted me with delight. Here goes…)

 

“…not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.”  (Zechariah 4:6}

I have always been stirred deeply by this Scripture. In times of group prayer or testifying, it has often been a boldly declared pillar of faith. Well…yes…

The next verse, though, wasn’t quite so clear to me. It resonated vaguely, but, uh…I never understood exactly what was being said. I was missing the connections. As it seems to be turning out, there is an underlying, very practical truth resident within these statements. We already know it but may not realize we do…

“Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel, thou shalt become a plain: and he shalt bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.” (v.7)

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Historically, Zerubbabel led the bulk of the Jews exiled to Babylon (by Nebuchadnezzar) back to Israel. Once home again, rebuilding of the temple is begun under his continued leadership. Opposition halts its progress. The temple foundation then lies dormant for 15 years.

The Holy Spirit gets in the mix, and the people resume work on the temple, Zerubbabel still leading the charge.

…so we might see the connection here, of this problem of finally re-motivating the people to build and supervising of the building process. to ‘O great mountain’. And you might get the idea that, with God’s help & power, Zerubbabel will knock it out, maybe shouting in triumph, declaring the grace of God as he places/brings forth the final headstone/topstone in the temple! Makes sense to me…

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Except…what’s this about a headstone, or topstone? (I’ve seen the term ‘cornerstone’ & ‘capstone’ used also. Not sure but I think these terms can be used interchangeably, at least in a general principle way.)

“The stone which the builders refused has become the headstone of the corner” (Psalm 118:22)

In his audio teaching, Rev. Monbleau explains a little bit about a topstone, as used in an arch. It is placed in the strategic position of bearing the stress & weight of the structure. It is critical. The entire cohesiveness of the arch depends on the topstone.Jesus cornerstone 2

Sound like Jesus?

…who also was refused/rejected by many in His time, and crucified…and is still refused by many today.

But because of these similarities, we can attribute spiritual meaning to these verses in Zechariah. We are not just being taught Bible history – something deeper is going on here. It isn’t just about faith in God providing Zerubbabel with the fortitude & means needed to overcome & rebuild the temple, either. It is about the topstone.

The Hebrew word for ‘stone’ in Psalm 118 above, includes the concept of High Priest. Our Lord and High Priest Jesus Christ is seen in this imagery of Zerubbabel’s day. Zerubbabel & his workers kept working until the were able to place the topstone. Rev. Monbleau likens this process to our own seeking out of Jesus as our High Priest, in any mountainous obstacle we face. As we continue to seek & search for our High Priest, Wayne asserts that the obstacles will lessen & flatten out – they will become as a plain before Zerubbabel (you).

Our High Priest came forth because of the grace of God. What He accomplished for us was made so because of the grace of God.

As your mountains become plains, your heart will shout “Grace!”

~~~

 

 Cornerstone, Hillsong Live 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Break Every Chain

 

Divine lightnings from above broke a chain on cloudy sky

Powerful music for intercession.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not as the World Gives…

Jesus contrasted the natures of His peace versus the peace given by the world in John 14:27.  My understanding of the difference is, Jesus leaves His peace with us. The world will eventually withdraw its peace.  You can never absolutely count on it…

Today someone likes me, we have a good rapport…but maybe next time I see that person, expecting acceptance with a smile! instead I get brushed off, not even eye contact. In fact, it might seem like deliberate avoidance of eye contact. This kind of thing, though minor, will trouble me. I will notice it & feel small. Over-sensitive or not, I will be bothered by it.

Magnify an incident like this many times, magnify it a hundred times! and we might have an overview of how it is in the world. For multitudes of reasons, our boats will be anything from rocked to shipwrecked! The capriciousness of stability in worldly relationships & situations often does NOT lend itself to peace.

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In Old Testament Scriptures, we have seen God referred to as a Rock. Fortress. Those words testify to a powerfully solid, reliable, enduring One. I want that kind of peace. We all know by now, whether through the Word of God or just life itself, that the world doesn’t give this.

I need something within me that remains.

…so you’re thinking, well yes, of course that would be Christ in you, the hope of glory or something similar. Absolutely. But let me be more specific, bringing it home to where the rubber meets the road.

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Has it ever really hit you that the actual righteousness of Jesus Christ is within you?  (1 Corinthians 1:30)

What can stand against that?

Nothing can change that!

My incomprehension, forgetfulness or unbelief will rob me of the conscious awareness of such joyful protection…but none of these things alters its reality. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today & forever…

Nothing can change that!

~~~

“…let the peace of God rule in your hearts…”

(Colossians 3:15)

Alpha Peace

Christmas 2016…some Gifts aren’t Tangible

 

 

In years past, I’ve written articles relating to this Christmas time of year, or re-published  ones previously written to mark the holiday season.

(https://godhistoryandyou.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/about-that-christmas-tree/ https://godhistoryandyou.wordpress.com/2008/12/19/on-the-giving-of-gifts-etc-at-christmas/)

christmas-tree-fireplace This year – for me personally, it is a landmark holiday season – but my Christmas time post might not even include that much about the actual holiday. Maybe nothing…we’ll see…I’m not sure where I’m going with this…

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In the comments section of one of Lana Vawser’s recent prophetic posts (https://lanavawser.com/2016/12/anxiety-attacks-attempting-to-come-upon-the-writers-and-pioneers/) concerning anxiety, someone explained that Jesus had shown her, in a dream/vision, to simply worship Him when anxiety strikes. Turn your back on the adversary, the enemy of your soul. My anxiety levels at that time were unusually high, almost at an unprecedented level, so I began practicing spur-of-the moment worship. When numbing, immobilizing fear gripped me, when my stomach began crunching from dread or anxiety, I began stopping whatever I was doing, wherever I was, and entering into my own ‘compressed’ version of bowing down before Him. I usually could not concentrate very well in these tormented moments, so I kept it simple. Very simple. And I don’t know that I worshipped Jesus so much as said “I worship You, Jesus.”

But it worked.

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Why this is happening now, in the way that it is, and not years ago during so many times of prayer & supplication, intrigues me. What is different?

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The Scriptures speak of all things being put under His feet. ( Jesus’ feet, that is.)  And the glory, the power, and the kingdoms belonging to Him. Do you want to keep some things out from under His feet & instead keep them under yours? Ya want some of that power for yourself? So maybe you aren’t willing to yield it all up…I am now sure I was not willing. And I cannot say if I even recognized that.

What I can say is, in declaring “I worship You, Jesus” out loud (even if softly) & in public places that were not churches or Bible studies – I FELT myself yielding things up. I FELT myself ‘coming under’ Him in a way I never had before. I FELT & I SAW Jesus covering me, and all that I was yielding. HE is the Possessor of heaven & earth, and all that is herein. HE is your Champion. He is gracious. He’s got your back…

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Merry Christmas!

 

christmas-star_2

Wise Men still Seek Him

 

Things God says….vs. the Shadowy Powers-that-Be behind the Scenes

“…be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…”

(Romans 12:2)

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The depth & scope of this kind of renewal should rock your world, if you understand the absolute need for it.

On its surface, this exhortation seems to be saying that we need to learn to think differently, in order to escape becoming a ‘bad person’. But the impact of one’s mind eventually NOT being renewed, can be fuel for so much worse than that.

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According to this Scripture, people are either ‘conformed’ or ‘transformed’. I would suggest that either one or the other is eventually going to tip the scales. I would also suggest that we are probably constantly being conformed, without even realizing it. So that just as LifeLock@ safeguards a person’s data identity in cyberspace, we need Someone to constantly safeguard our true life & identity in spiritual space – in Christ.

That which is formed in the spirit will often manifest in the temporal, visible real – either as something good, something apparently good, or something evil. So that to which we are conformed is critical, at the deepest & most minute level, because it may reproduce in various ways & forms, and in same cases exponentially. (I am talking globally here.)

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…so the world/earth is inhabited by people, the same people who are being conformed or transformed as we speak. It stands to reason, then, that our environments will be influenced accordingly.

United-Nations-Public-Domain-460x233

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“If a ruler hearkens to lies, all his servants are wicked.” (Proverbs 29:12)

 

…so suppose that there is in place a president or a prime minister who ‘hearkens to lies’ – because throughout their life, they were ‘conformed’. This does not bode well for the climate thus created by his staff & subordinates, according to the above Scripture. Unless there is present within that group some who were ‘transformed by the renewing of {their} mind’, who will question & challenge narratives & agendas…the rest of us are going to be fed false, unhealthy information and subjected to detrimental (possibly in the extreme) laws & those things which result from these laws.

At least some of the time.

A way of fighting back against this system of manipulation is the renewing of your mind. Learning a different way of evaluating events, and overhauling one’s priorities & values, is a crucial weapon in this battle. Maybe THE only weapon that will yield the kind of lasting change needed in our world today.

…and make no mistake, this starts with you.

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I want to relate these ideas to globalisation.

According to David Icke, author of ‘Alice in Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster’, the powers behind the scenes find it relatively easy to essentially control what happens in our world. They only need to implement a few ‘key structures’. The first, says Icke, is to ‘impose the ‘norms’, what is considered right and wrong, possible or impossible, sane or insane, good or bad. Most of the people will follow those ‘norms’ without question…” (Enter: the media, advertising, ‘education’, certain religious practices…you get the picture…) Once a conditioning of the masses has taken place, peer pressure does the rest “…Facebook and almost every other major social media platform are turning hundreds of millions of people into a literal “herd” or “hive” mentality, otherwise known as “Groupthink”…” explains Michael DePinto, attorney & contributing writer on The Last Great Stand.

The imposition of the norm is then followed up by making it ‘very unpleasant’ for those who dare to buck the system. This unpleasantness can run the gamut from ridicule to ostracization and beyond.

“The most effective way to do this is to ensure that it is…a crime to be different.”

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In addition to the ‘Groupthink’ agenda working to establish behavior-controlling norms, there also exists an agenda working to control our emotions. It is reported that Facebook “can basically make you feel whatever it wants you to” and   “Facebook wanted to see if it could spread feelings (“e.g., depression, happiness”) like the NIH spreads pathogens among monkeys.”

(…now that’s not a recipe for mental health distress, is it?)

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…so we can get an idea of how devious conditioning could take root & spread, even worldwide. Elements that may not have our best interests as their goal could certainly be behind such actions, seeking to more easily shape and thus control populations & world agendas. Agendas that result in our detriment to their ‘increase’, i.e., power & money.

To some this logic may seem outlandish. Not to me.

…and so it seems imperative that we be at least aware of this possibility, and safeguard against it. Safeguard against being unwittingly sucked into the maelstrom of manipulations & opinions, and become shaped accordingly, to our loss. There are many paths and many ways that can be taken in this life, but you want to find & take the right One.

“…for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there which go in thereat…” (Matthew 7:13)  (Groupthink? Globalism? World system? New World Order? )

  ~~~

 

Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”. Not a way. THE Way. That way is narrow, but it leads to life (Matthew 7:14).  I have read that there is, in fact, only room for Jesus and you in that narrow Way. This does not mean that a person has to become a monk!  Jesus Himself did pray to the Father, that He did not ask for His people to be taken out of the world (but rather to be protected from the evil one {Groupthink? Globalism? World system? New World Order?} )…so don’t misunderstand the concept of being tight with Jesus Christ! But it behooves any one of us to turn to Him to find and enter the narrow Way that leads to Life, and to the “so great salvation” that is our escape (Hebrews 2:3).

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Jesus, the Way

the Arab Spring, ancient Egypt, & Jesus Christ

 

“And the spirit of Egypt shall fail…”   (Isaiah 18: 3)

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”   (2 Cor.3: 17)

Rising for freedom in Tripoli

As one Arabian country after another began resisting the established rule of tyrants & dictators, and revolution broke out in almost a domino effect, how could we not see the deep & impassioned cry for liberty therein?  Though many have suggested Muslim Brotherhood manipulation – and very possibly there was/is – still, weren’t the consequent eruptions of rebellion, though violent, the result of a desire for the long-withheld  freedom God intended man to have?  Whether these people knew the God in which I believe or not, they knew what they were missing as far as their personal liberty was concerned.  Man was created to grow & function within certain environments, be they emotional, spiritual, environmental or social, and when key elements are missing in any of these environments, one way or another we feel that pain.

Fights erupt, battles are fought, wars are waged for different reasons.  Opposing sides clash in a contest of wills & goals.  It seems to me, though, that all conflicts are fueled to some degree by the universal desire for freedom.  Freedom to live as one chooses, where one chooses – in fact, freedom to choose! – freedom to pursue happiness…now where have we heard that before?  Oh, right, the Declaration of…what?  Independence.

One more time…Independence.

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Enter an adversary.  Or, the Adversary…who will obstruct your plans, your rights.  In whatever way will work for him/her/them, an adversary is out to get you, or what belongs to you, be it possessions, property, relationships, well-being or your life.  Your enemy does not want to let you just live your life, free & unhindered.  Through varied means, your enemy needs to try to control at least part of it.

I submit that the motivation provoking such actions is, essentially, jealousy.  Coveting what one does not have, perhaps thinks they can’t get, and hating the one who can. Needing not to feel that loss or void, they contrive, manipulate & deceive to acquire the elusive prize…from you or someone else.  Or, to put it another way, “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain…”  (James 4:2)

I find it interesting that this section of Scripture houses words such as lust, kill, enmity, and envy, but immediately following these verses we see the appearance of the grace of God.  Hmmm…if we are humble enough to receive His grace, perhaps we will find a way out of the whole lust/murder cycle.

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Isaiah records much concerning Egypt of Old Testament times.  I am not a student of Old Testament history, and so, not knowledgeable of exactly what it all means.  For purposes of this article, let’s just say that ancient Egypt was a powerful, wealthy country, no stranger to wars & battles, and essentially Godless. Big on idols. Probably not a champion of human rights.  And I’m pretty sure slavery didn’t cause  Pharaoh and his crowd to lose any sleep at night.  We would not call the Egypt of that day ‘the good guy’.

Chapter 19 of Isaiah begins with these words “The burden of Egypt.”  I always get this onerous sense of dread whenever the word ‘burden’ shows up in prophetic Scriptures….usually not a harbinger of good things to come! (at least for one of the parties involved!)  So it is here – “…the LORD shall…come into Egypt; and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.”  Note that this reaction is just to His presence – He hasn’t even taken any actions yet.  He just arrived on the scene.  Afterwards of course, chaos ensues.  But my point is that there comes a moment when He arrives. And things begin changing.

Which is what I suspect is the real force behind the Arab Spring.

In this world, in a material/technical or motivational sense, nothing exists apart from some form of impurity or pollution.  That is simply the nature of earthly reality.  But possible Islamic maneuverings aside, before or during, previously or at present (and I really have trouble believing that these maneuverings aren’t an element here, one way or another),  I believe at root, the spirit of liberty that is found in the LORD, and which I believe is the same Spirit that powered the American Revolutionary War, is at work again today, in 2011, in these burdened lands of & around once-ancient Egypt.

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“…God uses the sword for surgery, not anarchy.”  (Eerdman’s Handbook to the Bible, pg.384)

I like the sound of that!  This statement is made as part of a commentary on Chapter 19 of Isaiah, and points us forward in time and history.  Though it has surely seemed impossible in the past, and hard to believe even now, God has plans for ‘Egypt’ that may surprise you.  I know they’ve floored me…let’s move ahead to the end of this chapter.

“In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.”  (v. 24,25)

With God, nothing shall be impossible.

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Victory in Praise

Sometimes, when the Spirit moves me, I feel inspired to ‘wing it’, no notes, no research, not even sure what my point is! but kind of living on a wing and a prayer. I write out of feeling, inspiration and often passion. And here I go…

For starters, I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus. It’s been a relief to rest my mind. And because my computer system is almost antiquated and operates accordingly!, it takes interminably long just to pull up, say, The Washington Post. So I’m not pulling up The Washington Post !
Meaning, I’m not keeping up with current events as I normally would. Reading just the headline…or rather, the part that shows up in my e-mail

So while I’m ‘resting’, I’ve been trying to upgrade my Internet experience. Well, that’s a challenge, when you’ve got dial-up! But…I’ve been persevering, and finally got my new netbook connected to the big I. – only to find my Internet access is ‘Restricted’ to just my ISP’s website. Something odd is going on, and I have my suspicions. This whole process has kept my ‘blogging’ on a back burner lately.

jjj

Our battles are not against flesh & blood, but against principalities & powers, against rulers of darkness. (Ephesians 6:12) I recalled how, when chained in prison, Paul and Silas “…at midnight…prayed, and sang praises unto God…” (Acts 16:25), and how “…immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.” Songs of praise unto the Lord can be very powerful. He Himself inhabits praise (Psalm 22:3), so you’ve got the mighty God bursting forth onto the scene!

The victory of Jesus Christ is complete. I can’t tell you exactly how that works out, in practical ways, for you, where you are in your life. I can only tell you that His victory is complete. When you enter into living praise & worship, in spirit & truth, you know that Yeshua Ha Maschia is crowned with many crowns, you know that we have overcome by the name and the blood of the Lamb of God, and you know that in His name, powers of darkness tremble, and Jericho tumbles to the ground.

Unto the mighty God, the Lamb who sits on the throne, to Jesus Christ the King of Israel.
Let His mercy and His greatness be known throughout the land.

This post inspired by the words & music of “Jerusalem Arise!” (Live Worship with Paul Wilbur from the Land of Israel), Hosanna! Music, Integrity Inc. @1999