Stretch the Borders of Life
At that time, this song
will be sung in the country of Judah:
We have a strong city, Salvation City,
built and fortified with salvation.
Throw wide the gates
so good and true people can enter.
People with their minds set on you,
you keep completely whole,
Steady on their feet,
because they keep at it and don’t quit.
Depend on God and keep at it
because in the Lord God you have a sure thing.
Those who lived high and mighty
he knocked off their high horse.
He used the city built on the hill
as fill for the marshes.
All the exploited and outcast peoples
build their lives on the reclaimed land.
The path of right-living people is level.
The Leveler evens the road for the right-living.
We’re in no hurry, God. We’re content to linger
in the path sign-posted with your decisions.
Who you are and what you’ve done
are all we’ll ever want.
Through the night my soul longs for you.
Deep from within me my spirit reaches out to you.
When your decisions are on public display,
everyone learns how to live right.
If the wicked are shown grace,
they don’t seem to get it.
In the land of right living, they persist in wrong living,
blind to the splendor of God.
You hold your hand up high, God,
but they don’t see it.
Open their eyes to what you do,
to see your zealous love for your people.
Shame them. Light a fire under them.
Get the attention of these enemies of yours.
God, order a peaceful and whole life for us
because everything we’ve done, you’ve done for us.
O God, our God, we’ve had other masters rule us,
but you’re the only Master we’ve ever known.
The dead don’t talk,
ghosts don’t walk,
Because you’ve said, “Enough—that’s all for you,”
and wiped them off the books.
But the living you make larger than life.
The more life you give, the more glory you display,
and stretch the borders to accommodate more living!
O God, they begged you for help when they were in trouble,
when your discipline was so heavy
they could barely whisper a prayer.
Like a woman having a baby,
writhing in distress, screaming her pain
as the baby is being born,
That’s how we were because of you, O God.
We were pregnant full-term.
We writhed in labor but bore no baby.
We gave birth to wind.
Nothing came of our labor.
We produced nothing living.
We couldn’t save the world.
But friends, your dead will live,
your corpses will get to their feet.
All you dead and buried,
wake up! Sing!
Your dew is morning dew
catching the first rays of sun,
The earth bursting with life,
giving birth to the dead.
Come, my people, go home
and shut yourselves in.
Go into seclusion for a while
until the punishing wrath is past,
Because God is sure to come from his place
to punish the wrong of the people on earth.
Earth itself will point out the bloodstains;
it will show where the murdered have been hidden away.
Faith in What We Don’t See
The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.
By faith, we see the world called into existence by God’s word, what we see created by what we don’t see.
By an act of faith, Abel brought a better sacrifice to God than Cain. It was what he believed, not what he brought, that made the difference. That’s what God noticed and approved as righteous. After all these centuries, that belief continues to catch our notice.
By an act of faith, Enoch skipped death completely. “They looked all over and couldn’t find him because God had taken him.” We know on the basis of reliable testimony that before he was taken “he pleased God.” It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.
By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn’t see, and acted on what he was told. The result? His family was saved. His act of faith drew a sharp line between the evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world. As a result, Noah became intimate with God.
By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going. By an act of faith he lived in the country promised him, lived as a stranger camping in tents. Isaac and Jacob did the same, living under the same promise. Abraham did it by keeping his eye on an unseen city with real, eternal foundations—the City designed and built by God.
By faith, barren Sarah was able to become pregnant, old woman as she was at the time, because she believed the One who made a promise would do what he said. That’s how it happened that from one man’s dead and shriveled loins there are now people numbering into the millions.
Each one of these people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world. People who live this way make it plain that they are looking for their true home. If they were homesick for the old country, they could have gone back any time they wanted. But they were after a far better country than that—heaven country. You can see why God is so proud of them, and has a City waiting for them.
By faith, Abraham, at the time of testing, offered Isaac back to God. Acting in faith, he was as ready to return the promised son, his only son, as he had been to receive him—and this after he had already been told, “Your descendants shall come from Isaac.” Abraham figured that if God wanted to, he could raise the dead. In a sense, that’s what happened when he received Isaac back, alive from off the altar.
By an act of faith, Isaac reached into the future as he blessed Jacob and Esau.
By an act of faith, Jacob on his deathbed blessed each of Joseph’s sons in turn, blessing them with God’s blessing, not his own—as he bowed worshipfully upon his staff.
By an act of faith, Joseph, while dying, prophesied the exodus of Israel, and made arrangements for his own burial.
By an act of faith, Moses’ parents hid him away for three months after his birth. They saw the child’s beauty, and they braved the king’s decree.
By faith, Moses, when grown, refused the privileges of the Egyptian royal house. He chose a hard life with God’s people rather than an opportunistic soft life of sin with the oppressors. He valued suffering in the Messiah’s camp far greater than Egyptian wealth because he was looking ahead, anticipating the payoff. By an act of faith, he turned his heel on Egypt, indifferent to the king’s blind rage. He had his eye on the One no eye can see, and kept right on going. By an act of faith, he kept the Passover Feast and sprinkled Passover blood on each house so that the destroyer of the firstborn wouldn’t touch them.
By an act of faith, Israel walked through the Red Sea on dry ground. The Egyptians tried it and drowned.
By faith, the Israelites marched around the walls of Jericho for seven days, and the walls fell flat.
By an act of faith, Rahab, the Jericho harlot, welcomed the spies and escaped the destruction that came on those who refused to trust God.
I could go on and on, but I’ve run out of time. There are so many more—Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, the prophets. . . . Through acts of faith, they toppled kingdoms, made justice work, took the promises for themselves. They were protected from lions, fires, and sword thrusts, turned disadvantage to advantage, won battles, routed alien armies. Women received their loved ones back from the dead. There were those who, under torture, refused to give in and go free, preferring something better: resurrection. Others braved abuse and whips, and, yes, chains and dungeons. We have stories of those who were stoned, sawed in two, murdered in cold blood; stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins, homeless, friendless, powerless—the world didn’t deserve them!—making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world.
Not one of these people, even though their lives of faith were exemplary, got their hands on what was promised. God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours.
…As I walked back toward the veil I was inspired to cast down these three crowns, at the feet of Christ Jesus:
Behind the veil we three priests talked about many things but the only things that were pertinent, for now, was the discussion with Joel’s witness and the one and only high priest’s, Jesus’, perfection of ‘his better plan for us.’ Then, they prayed over me to go out in our order and my own name. And finally, our Lord Jesus closed us by saying, “today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” Behind the veil I was given another paper from my past and was instructed to roll it up and tie it to the left post of the entrance as I walked out to return below.
As we left the tent I handed the rolled paper to the guards and as they bound it on the left post. It reads, again:
“Abraham’s movement constitutes perhaps the fundamental arrangement that has governed and contested the religious lives of spiritual people from his day until our own.
This arrangement is essential because it forms our common history; but it is presently disintegrating before our very eyes as some of us recognize that God is greater than our desires, but many still insist on serving fallen crafts, or hypocritically seek to please both. In a critical mode of vision and action, we may recognize and differentiate our desires for God from His desires for us; we ought to relinquish the delusion of limited control and gain Glory. To this end… we can never forget the One that paved the opening at the cross, Christ Jesus, who covers our sin for all time, and only momentarily the ubiquitous blasphemy that is the chief obstacle standing in the way of an imminent new way of life.
To all those who rebelliously still wish to talk about “man” as idol… who wish to make themselves the starting point and judge of their attempts to reach up to the Truth… who compulsively self-reference their understanding of Truth back to what pleases them most… who refuse to think without immediately admitting it is they who have imposed their own will and thoughts to their end today, to all those warped and twisted calls to inaction, we must now turn away.
One thing is certain about this perilous state; man’s self-image is neither the oldest nor the most constructed image raised in vain against our Living God. Taking the relatively short chronological sample within a restricted geographical area—the West since Abraham moved— It is certain that the way we imagine ourselves is a recent invention within it.
Self-image cloaks our secrets and relations. Sin prowled so long in the shadows we stitched together and the abyss kept below, but now it gestates in our abusive housekeeping, satanic worthless-ship. In fact, among all created things and their order of relation, our self-image and chief commodity, now communed by the false prophets to give the appearance of life, movement, to the dead. The abomination resurrected, a worship of self-will run riot on terminally lethal fumes… only that one, that which began over a century and half ago and will now come to a close, has made it possible for the sons of perdition and lawlessness in league with those that bank on terror and fear to appear victorious.
If those arrangements built on self-righteousness and their forces of tyranny that rely on comfortable passivity were to disappear as they appeared, if we could throw down our vanities… if some event of which we can at the moment do no more than sense the possibility… were to cause them to crumble… if we could manage the slightest tangential shift in perspective… then we could certainly wager that our lies of self-image and importance would be erased like a face drawn in sand at the edge of the sea. And we would see, if only for an instant, in that parallax our Lord’s undesigned face slip through in return to acknowledge our repentance. That holy glance, however fleeting, would surpass anything we presently recall from our history in rebuttal to Abraham’s faith. We could live in the Holy Spirit and reign with Christ Jesus for our Father in healing over creation for a thousand years.”
As we walked to the edge they all wanted to know if it would be war or peace. Melchizedek told them, “Michael you return to Israel. Chamuel and Uriel you return with Raphael and Stephen. All others to the edge and watch closely, hold and stand. “But that is not our question,” they all asked, “will Nimrod remain for war or will they accept a real Cyrus so we can begin the Lord’s dream immediately?” Jophiel spoke up, “why isn’t Nimrod talking about the wall that isn’t there for us to knock down?” Raphael smiled, “the Medicine has taken hold.”
I interceded, “no matter… war over more dead bodies then healing, or peace and healing now. God will be glorified most, either way. He handed them over to their own desires several rotations ago and now the worst pagan darkness ever known hangs pregnant over the land. Things are so bad today no one will be able to cry we didn’t know again, tomorrow. Not on this watch, God didn’t call my wife and I back nor did we leave paradise island, cross 5000 miles of water, fight to hold the middle ground, and jump off the greatest mountian of smoke just to teach Nazis and nimrods lessons in humanity. There is much more to do. Our King declared to offer shalom now. It will be done below. In Truth, it already has been done. And then it is up to them again, only this time if they chose… unwisely, all flesh would see. Heck, we wouldn’t need to do much, after a time all their works crush them under their own temples everytime. So this time, time is our strong ally not Satan’s.” All of us became solemn and we prayed, as we walked, for hard hearts to be broken below.
Melchizedek walked us to the edge and we bantered. He said, “well newbie josser, Beta, you ready?” I responded, “were you, Psi? And more to the point, does it matter because we have orders to follow?” He laughed and said “hey man, no fair, Greek wasn’t a thing back in the day.” Chagrined I said, “yeah, must of been real tough being king in the wasteland where I was an innocent goat left beaten, abused, and within God’s hand of being dead!” He responded, “touche’, but I had to work with a lot of old dirty guys whereas you get to serve for the most lovely event ever.”
At the edge, I said, “yeah, well look at all that crap down there. Either way, it is gonna be a long haul.” And as we turned to descend we looked to the King and He, in turn, pointed above to our Father and all the choirs and creation above asked, “who is like the Lord?!” And the whole patrol cried back, “He is Jesus the Messiah, and there is no other like him!” There was much noise in the heavens.
As we rotated to catch the sphere and glimpse the totality of chaos, the deceived, and demons below, covering the poor and oppressed with all their flith and death worship. The stink began to fill my long nostrils… I looked side to side and said, “take your positions please, so we might stomp on the terror here too.”
As my spirit came to land, my Father explained to me, in private, why there was no blood on the altar above. And He set my face like flint to find the blood. For now, in this moment, the only remaing blood of Jesus is on the true Bride. She is being crushed on earth by the enemy and their deceived foot-soliders. Others are simple in faith and comitted to the Way of Christ. While still others of His most precious gift struggle well reaping in the fields, without enough support from wealthy churches. There are many others across the earth. They are easy to spot. Then she will be lifted up and put on pure cloth, just before her marriage to the Lamb. Finally, I heard the wretched voices of the proud saying, “we have saved this many or that number!” I thought how odd? The only number a child of Jesus remembers is how many “I” didn’t save; that is the only number that haunts us.
So to find peace to sleep, I recalled the most glorious day, by far, that Jesus ever gave me, just 7 years ago. I did not deserve it, I never could have earned such an umerited gift, but Jesus always keeps his promises and this restored my peace by his glorious Grace, like no other ever would or could:
So, from the Glory of Jesus Christ to our glory, we now offer the Glory of Jesus to all by Jesus for the glory of Jesus toward a union with Jesus and all humanity:
I and my war bride are one, now. Together we stand at the Altar upon the Heights, literally. We turn to face all humanity personally, from here. We humble ourselves to one and all. We kneel and bow our heads before you. We extend our hands out and up to you. In our right hand, to your left, is God’s shalom, Life now and forever. Drop your idols and receive union with Jesus Christ. The other way there is only terror and death, don’t go there! We plead, beg, and implore all to move to our right and receive shalom. It is our Glorified Lord’s right hand as well. We are nothing, but Jesus is everything. The Spirit of Christ Jesus is within us for this offering of shalom. We are great sinners. We have failed in epic ways, repeatedly. But we humbled ourselves before the Father and his mighty right hand, the one and only Jesus Christ, in time, lifted us up and called my bride and me back here, to kneel before everyone from here.
EVERYBODY come and seek, repent and return, to the Lord, your true and most high God now, before the time has passed! Please do not misunderstand us, we will do all we might, even unto death for His Glory. But now, only two things are sure: God will be glorified in your obedience or your disobedience, always and forever. And as for us and our house we will obey Him, no other! There is no other! He is like no other in battle for our Father’s glory or His war to rescue it and us all, at His Cross, and now all other spots all about us. Choose wisely, for we are all immeadiately upon a separation of ways, a cataract in the river of Life, or a fork in the road up to Jesus, or not. Choose wisely, while you might!
We sing and weep with these few voices here who only want to serve and witness our Lord’s way. We will never stop:
(next post sundown October 2)