A Heart of Thanksgiving

“I will bless you, oh, Lord. I will bless you, oh, Lord. With a heart of Thanksgiving, I will bless you, oh, Lord” (Charlie LaBlanc, songwriter).

A Heart of Thanksgiving is a heart that blesses; a heart that pours out to God and to others. A Heart of Thanksgiving is a heart full of praise to the Lord. This heart enjoys the Presence of God and enters into communion with Him with holy hands raised in adoration, worship and praise because this heart gives expression to the gratitude dwelling within.

A Heart of Thanksgiving is a heart that pours out blessings to everyone: friends, foes, and even to those unknown. There is no ill will in this heart, no hate, no bitterness, no envy, jealousy, or suspicion. This heart pours out love, mercy, forgiveness, kindness, and grace.

“Oh, give thanks unto the LORD, for He is good; for His mercy endures forever” (Psalms 107:1).

In our day, as in the days of old, the Heart of Thanksgiving is constant, continuous, everlasting, and forever filled with a song of praise and blessing to the Lord. This heart knows what the Lord has done. This heart acknowledges the grace, mercy, kindness and love of God in the Son. The response to such love is an ever-flowing stream of blessing to God Who gave the eternal sacrifice, Atonement and offering for the Redemption and Salvation of this heart that was lost and now is found.

The Heart of Thanksgiving is in a continuous relationship, fellowship and communion with the Lord. The affection, affinity, and attraction to the perfection of beauty is a bond that is sealed with unbreakable oneness in a divine union which unites the twain into one heart and spirit.

There is a longing in this Heart of Thanksgiving for more: more intimacy, more communion, more koinonia in fellowship and togetherness. This heart longs for the abiding Presence to always be in preeminence; to lead to green pastures, still waters and the restoration of the soul. This Heart is healed, whole, full to overflowing, effervescent; filled and springing up to eternal life.

The Heart of Thanksgiving does bless the Lord for He delights in her. His delight is manifested in His song sung over her and His banner of love above (cf. Zephaniah 3:17; Song of Songs 2:4).

“I will bless Thee, Oh, Lord. With my heart of Thanksgiving, I will bless Thee, Oh, Lord.

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Divine Intervention

“And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon Peter, and a light shone in the prison; and the angel smote Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, ‘Rise quickly’; then Peter’s chains fell off his hands” (Acts 12:7).

It is a mystery how God dramatically intervenes in certain circumstances in the lives of the saints and does nothing at other times to prevent the death of His servants. Just days before the miraculous deliverance of the Apostle Peter, the Apostle James, brother of John, had been slain by the sword at the command of Herod, the King.

Divine intervention is a sovereign act of God and an area of faith that one must simply trust, honor, and praise the majesty of our God and King. The Scriptures are filled with stories of deliverance and sacrifice; from Job, the Psalms, the Acts of the Apostles and Genesis, we see the work of Angels delivering some from certain death and destruction, and the heartfelt sacrifice of others.

The writer to the Hebrews addresses this area of faith and delineates the contrast in poetic language that stirs the soul:

“Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions; quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance that they might obtain a better resurrection; others had trial of cruel mocking, and scourging. Yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword; they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented–of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts, and in mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. These all obtained a good report through faith, but received not the promises” (Hebrews 11:33-39).

The Apostle Peter was both the subject and object of divine intervention. Earlier an angel had appeared to the Centurion, Cornelius and told him, “Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter; he lodges with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the seaside; this Peter will tell you what you are to do” (Acts 10:5-6). Through the direct divine intervention of God, the Gospel was about to be taken to the Gentiles.

The calling of the Apostle Paul was a direct result of the divine intervention of Christ, as Paul journeyed to Damascus from Jerusalem. In Damascus was a disciple named Ananias. He had a divine intervention, seeing the Lord in a vision, Who told him to “go to the street called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold he is praying. He has seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him that he might receive his sight” (Acts 10:11-12).

Divine intervention is a reality in our day, as well. It is a mystery of faith, prayer, fasting, meditations, worship, and humble service. But, indeed, a reality it is for those who believe. In dreams, visions, angelic visitations, voices both audible and in the still small whisper; in signs and wonders, both natural and spiritual, God is miraculously and divinely intervening in our lives. You probably have your own story to share. But if, by chance, there is no intervention; no deliverance and you are left to wonder; take courage, there is a promise yet to be fulfilled, there is a resurrection unto life, and there is eternity waiting just beyond the veil.

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Divine Presence and Holy Faith

“. . .Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20b).

There are many ways to experience the Divine Presence of Christ Jesus. Divine Presence may be experienced at any time in any place. There is a reason for this; and that reason is Divine Presence is constant and continuous in the life of the believer. Divine Presence is an abiding Presence. Jesus said it plainly in our familiar text. It is so familiar we overlook what was said, “I am with you always. . .”

We have a misperception about Divine Presence and our most holy faith. We believe we will bring the Divine Presence into our midst when we produce it by our acts of faith. We invite the Divine Presence to come into the Sanctuary, into our Assembly, into our prayer meeting, our Bible Study, our altar. The fact is Divine Presence is in the believer continually. Jesus said, “If a man love Me, he will keep My words; and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him” (John 14:23). Divine Presence abides, lives, takes up residence in us who believe.

So, the reality is the Divine Presence is an abiding Presence and is waiting for us. Patiently waiting for us to express our most holy faith in Him. Then we will experience the manifestation of Divine Presence abiding within, as He moves in our Sanctuaries, our Assemblies, our prayer meetings, Bible Studies and at our altars. This is clearly evident in the Scriptures:

In the Gospel of John, Chapter 11 we have the incident of the resurrection of Lazarus, brother to Martha and Mary of Bethany. Jesus was there ready to raise His friend, Lazarus, from the dead. Before He did so, He had to see faith. He tried to encourage this faith when He said to Martha, “Thy brother shall rise again” (John 11:23). Martha agreed and said, “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life; he that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet, shall he live; and whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this? Martha said unto Him, Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, Who has come into the world” (John 11:23-27). The Divine Presence of Christ was there to do a miraculous thing, but waited for the faith of Martha to do it. As Jesus moved forward telling the people to remove the stone from the tomb, Martha revolted over her concern that the dead body of her brother would stink. “Jesus said to her, ‘Said I not unto you that if you would believe, you would see the glory of God'”? (John 11:40). The ever patient Jesus waited until the right moment when all was in order and faith was in place for the miracle to happen when He spoke those powerful words, “Lazarus, come forth”! (John 11:43b)

Can we hinder Divine Presence from doing miraculous things? Yes, as we see from Matthew’s Gospel when Jesus returned to His home area and taught the people in the synagogues; but as Matthew writes: “He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief” (Matthew 13:58).

Brothers and Sister in Christ, let us have faith. Let us continually believe for the Lord has given us His solemn promise, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). Divine Presence is always with us, abiding in us; let us believe to see the glory of God revealed in our day.

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The Mystery of the Four Winds

“Daniel spoke and said, I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven strove upon the great sea” (Daniel 7:2).

There are in Scriptures prophetic words shrouded in mystery and hidden from us until they are searched out and found to be profound truths from the mind of God revealed to us by the Holy Spirit. The Prophet, Daniel, wrote of them in his visions in the night.

In his visions the four winds of heaven strove upon the great sea. Daniel continues to tell us that out of the striving upon the waters “four great beasts came up from the sea diverse one from another” (Daniel 7:3). In prophetic language the sea represents peoples, or nations and beasts represent governments, or kingdoms. So, we see in Daniel’s visions that the winds of heaven blew upon the nations and out from the tempest came forth four world powers.

Of course, with the benefit of hindsight we now know that these kingdoms represented by various animals (beasts) were the Babylonian, Persian, Grecian (Alexander the Great) and the Roman empires. Isn’t it wonderful to know that the God of Heaven sends His winds (breath) upon the peoples, nations of the earth and establishes His plans for the history of mankind. I think we can trust Him in all things for He definitely knows what His is doing (cf. Daniel 7:4-8).

The four winds also represent four directions and locations in the heavens and earth; i.e., north, south, east and west. It is comforting to know that wherever we may be sent, in all directions and in all locations, God knows where we are and can surely find us when He gathers us together in Christ in one body, in one Spirit. Christ prophesied that at the end of the age, at His coming in the clouds with His holy angels, “He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:31). At the sound of the trumpet, the signal for rally and gathering, used throughout the Scriptures, the angels shall rally and gather the saints from the most distant locations and from all directions in the heavens to the great Day of the Lord. Oh, what a day that will be!

The four winds are blowing in our day, in this generation. Jesus told us that prior to His return “there shall be signs in the sun and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring. . .and when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:25,28). When the “sea and the waves are roaring” then the beasts arise to take control, to gain power, to go forth and conquer. We are in just such a time; so be prepared for “wars and rumors of wars” be prepared for “famines and pestilences, earthquakes. . .and the beginning of sorrows” (cf. Matthew 24:6,7b). Be prepared for the return of the Messiah, Jesus, the Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Lamb of God, our Redeemer.

The four winds are blowing as it was in the days of Ezekiel, who prophesied “unto the wind, prophesy and say to the wind, ‘Thus says the Lord God, Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain that they may live'” (Ezekiel 37:9). Oh, Holy Spirit, come as a mighty wind as you did at Pentecost; oh, breath of the Almighty breathe into the nostrils of your people and bring life to your saints in this generation. Revive us again and make for yourself a people ready for the Lord. May your saints in the East, in the West, in the North and in the South rally and rejoice together at the Trumpet sound.

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Press Toward the Mark

“. . .forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things that are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13b-14).

Press: (Gr. Dioko): To pursue, given to

Mark: (Gr. Skopos): A goal; to look out as a sentry or scout

In our day we need visionaries, who look forward, who pursue the future with purpose and intent. We need apostolic voices that know where and to whom they are being sent. We need prophetic voices that “speak to men to edification, exhortation and comfort” (cf. I Corinthians 14:3). Voices that can forecast, warn, direct, encourage, embolden to pursue, to move forward, advance with the certainty of a scout who has seen the land, knows the terrain and can lead to victory.

Too many today are moving forward looking backward. The Apostle had great success in missions, great victories in establishing churches, great acclaim and praise; but in the present he chose to “forget those things which are behind. . .”, he chose to “reach forth unto those things that are before”. That is the mind of an Apostle. That is the mind of Christ.

“Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the Cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

We have a “high calling of God in Christ Jesus”. The prize that awaits is for those who will continue to pursue, who are given to the pursuit, who are driven to the goal and will not quit; who will finish in the strength of the Finisher. There is a beginning and there is an ending. The prize is given at the ending. Do not quit, do not drop out, do not look back, but keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith”.

We need to reach. We need to stretch and be stretched. Pursuing the prize will test our faith, it will “press out of measure, above strength, insomuch that” you may “despair even of life” (cf. II Corinthians 1:8). That is language from the Apostle who pressed through, who persevered, who knew he was in a fight in his “high calling of God”.

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (II Timothy 4:7). That is what the Apostle said at the end. May that also be our confession by God’s grace.

“Jesus said, ‘No man having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God'” (Luke 9:62).

Does this speak to you? Does this challenge you? It speaks to me and challenges me. I hear the words of Caleb at 84 years old saying, “Give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day” (Joshua 14:12). These words Caleb spoke when as yet the Anakims were still there and had to be defeated. And by the hand of the Lord they were defeated and Caleb received that mountain as an inheritance with the blessing of Joshua (cf. Joshua 14:13).

Press on, pursue, give yourself to your calling. The prize awaits at the end to the faithful.

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Secrets Revealed

“What I tell you in darkness, that speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, that preach upon the housetops” (Matthew 10:27).

There are relationships that are private, personal, and confidential where things are spoken in trust. The Lord is the best confidante for such a fellowship and communion in times of prayer and meditations. The Lord, however, for His part surprises us when He shares His heart with us in our private relationship with Him. He tells us to do the opposite of keeping His communion with us confidential; He tells us to speak those things “in the light,” in the open; even to preaching them from the housetops!

The Lords loves relationship. This is evident from the beginning when the Lord God “walked in the garden in the cool of the day. . .and the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you’?” (Genesis 3:8a,9). The Lord loves to commune with us in fellowship in the Spirit and share with us the mysteries of the Kingdom, His plans, His heart to comfort, heal, encourage, and build our faith for daily living. He had just such a relationship with Abraham and said, “Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?” (Genesis 18:17). No, the Lord fully disclosed His plans with His friend.

In former times the people had to wait for the word of the Lord from the Prophets, but God “in these last days is speaking to us by His Son” (Hebrews 1:2a). The Son is in all who believe and all who believe can hear His voice and declare those things we hear “in the light” and “from the housetops”. The secrets of the Lord are being revealed through His people for the benefit of all.

The phrase “what you hear in the ear” speaks to me of personal conversation. I see two with heads together speaking in the ear of the other, in low tones, even whispers for privacy and confidentiality. Do you hear the whispers of God in your ear; the zephyrs and wisps of wind from the breath of His mouth, speaking secrets in your ear? Precious words of wisdom, pearls of His counsel, sharing His heart in love and grace, showing you the way to go, the way forward; when to be still and when to move; magnificent instructions from the Almighty. Then the surprise, share this with everyone, shout it from the housetops; publish it, sing it in a song, release it in a poem, preach it from the pulpit, or with a bullhorn in the streets. The last thing He wants you to do is “put it under a bushel, or under a bed” (cf. Mark 4:21). No, “set it on a candlestick that they which enter in may see the light” (cf. Luke 8:16). God wants His secrets revealed to everyone for the benefit of all. Oh, what magnanimous grace!

Are you communing with Lord everyday? Are you hearing His voice in your ear? Are you listening for the sweetest whisper from the Master. Is He touching your heart, making you melt? Wonderful. Now share it with those around you. Somebody needs to hear what the Lord gave you. Do not keep it for yourself. Sow the seed, then see what a harvest will come of it. You are His voice in the earth. The Son is speaking in these last days through you. Go tell it on the Mountains!

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Christ: The Light Revealed

“As I went to Damascus. . .at midday, O king, I saw in the way a Light from Heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them who journeyed with me. When we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking to me, saying ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me’?. . .I said, ‘Who are you, Lord’? He said, ‘I am Jesus Whom you are persecuting'” (Acts 26:12-15; 9:1-8; 22:1-10).

The revelation of Christ in His resurrected and glorified Being is one of Brilliance of Light above the brightness of the sun. The testimony of the Apostles is witness to this truth as they were “eye witnesses of His Majesty” (cf. II Peter 1:16).

The Gospel of Matthew records the pre-resurrection glory of Christ that occurred on the Mount of Transfiguration. “Jesus took Peter, James and John, and brought them into a high mountain apart; and was transfigured before them. His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light. There also appeared to them Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus. . .Then a voice came out of the cloud saying, ‘This is My Beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased; hear Him'” (Matthew 17:1-3,5b).

The Light Revealed was a foundation stone of faith as the Apostles Paul, Peter, John and Matthew attest. In three passages from Acts Paul gives testimony to the road to Damascus experience of seeing the Brilliant Light of Jesus. Matthew records the events on the Mount of Transfiguration, along with Luke; and Peter declares the Messianic prophecies given by the Prophets are confirmed with the transparent eye witness testimony of the Apostles (cf. II Peter 1:19).

The revelation of Christ, the Light, was further witnessed by the Apostle John while on the Isle of Patmos when “in the Spirit on the Lord’s day heard a great voice as a trumpet. . .then turning to see the voice, one like the Son of Man clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girded about the paps with a golden girdle; His head and His hair were white like wool, as white as snow; His eyes were as a flame of fire. . .and His countenance was as the sun shining in his strength” (cf. Revelation 1:10-14,16b).

The visions of John concluded with beholding the New Jerusalem describing his vision thusly: “I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a Bride adorned for Her Husband. . .I saw no temple therein, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. The City had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it; for the glory of God did give it light, and the Lamb is the Light thereof” (Revelation 21:2,22-23).

“The Lamb is the Light.” Yes, Christ, the Light is revealed for all to see, even as it was from the beginning. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . .In Him was Life, and the Life is the Light of men” (John 1:1,4).

The very testimony of Jesus declared, “I am the Light of the world, he who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of Life” (John 8:12).

Therefore, let us “walk in the Light as Christ is in the Light” (1 John 1:7a), for as we do, therein will be our fellowship. In the Light of the Lamb we will commune one with another through the Living Word of God, in the Lamb of God and in His Glory; and the blood of Christ will cleanse us continually from all sin.

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Let There Be Light!

“In the beginning Elohiym created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was a desolation and a ruin; and darkness was upon the face of the abyss. And the Spirit of Elohiym moved upon the face of the waters. And Elohiym said, ‘Let there be light’ and there was light” (Genesis 1:1-3).

The inspiration of these first verses of Holy Writ explodes with hope, faith, exhilaration, and ecstatic joy for the glory revealed in the voice of the Almighty.

“For God Who commanded the light to shine out of the darkness, has shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (II Corinthians 4:5).

The Apostle links these two glorious treasures from Scripture and writes by revelation of the Holy Spirit that what was true of the first creation is true of the new creation in Christ. We were a desolation and a ruin from sin, darkness covered our hearts and our spirit was a waste place separated from our Creator and destined for eternal damnation.

“Let there be Light!” Oh, what a glorious command. What love from the depth of the heart of our Heavenly Father. What pity. What compassion. What empathy for Man, springing forth from grace, mercy and love of God for His creation, His children, His sons and daughters, the “offspring of God” (cf. Acts 17:28-29).

“Let there be Light!” Yes, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father Who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). It is time to let our light shine forth in the midst of the darkness, the desolation, the ruin, the waste places, the emptiness of the world. It is time to shine with the light of the Gospel to a desperate world in chaos, in confusion, in fear and anxiety for all that has gone wrong in our day, and in our times.

“Arise, shine for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising” (Isaiah 60:1-3).

“Let there be Light!” Let those glorious words be spoken, yea shouted from the housetops in this generation. There is yet hope for the weary, for the tired, for those who labor in the fields, in the vineyard of the LORD. Rejoice, for indeed, “the light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon” us.

“Then Jesus spoke to them saying, ‘I am the Light of the world; he that follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of Life'” (John 8:12).

“Let there be Light!” Let Jesus be glorified in you this day.

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Clean Hands and Pure Heart

“Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD or who shall stand in His Holy Place? He that has clean hands and a pure heart; who has not lifted up his soul to vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation” (Psalms 24:3-5).

Hill of the Lord: Mount Zion

There is a beauty in the words of Scripture that transcends the mind of man. The effervescence of inspiration overflows the heart and lifts the spirit into the realm of beauty and truth where angels tread and the spirits of the righteous meet to converse in the Spirit of the Living God. Such a thought concerns the matter of clean hands and pure hearts. Let us commune together there.

The Beatitude of our Lord says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). When the heart becomes pure by the cleansing of refining fire and fullers soap (see Malachi 3:2) the eyes of the heart are opened to see God in His Holy Hill, standing in His Holy Place, and we gaze upon and behold the Glory of the Lord.

The Beatific Vision, that unhindered, open and present vision of God, is the ultimate destiny of the redeemed which we obtain by faith and experience from one degree of Glory to another by the Spirit of the Lord (cf. II Corinthians 3:18).

Clean hands and purity of heart is a holy estate created by the Spirit of God in the believer as we gently yield to the washing of water by the Word; that working of the Spirit that sanctifies and cleanses the hands and heart and presents us to the Lord without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but rather that we become entirely holy and without blemish before the Lord in love (cf. Ephesians 5:26-27).

Christ Jesus, the forerunner of our faith (cf. Hebrews 6:20) has ascended into the Hill of the Lord for us and we have come unto Him in the Holy Mount (cf. Hebrews 12:24) having received the sprinkling of His blood that has perfected us in spirit, and has cleansed our hands and hearts to qualify us to receive the blessing from the Judge of all and by Whom we stand justified by faith and have been given free access to His Holy Presence in the Most Holy Place. We stand before Him without condemnation, wrath or doubting (cf. I Timothy 2:8), lifting holy hands in worship to His Majesty as our Sovereign Head.

Oh, let us worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness (cf. Psalms 29:2; 96:9); for there is nothing more beautiful in either heaven or earth. With clean hands and pure hearts may we see Him Who is the Desire of all Nations and may the Glory of the Lord be revealed in the House of the Lord, Whose House are we (cf. Haggai 2:7; Hebrews 3:6).

Yes, Saints of God, salvation has come to us from the Lord of Glory. Let us worship Him with clean hands and pure hearts. Let us ascend to the Hill of the Lord and present an offering of praise to our God and King for Who He is, and all that He has done.

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Oh, Generation of Vipers

“When John the Baptist saw the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, John said unto them, ‘O generation of vipers, who warned you to flee the wrath to come'”? (Matthew 3:7).

There was a special generation after many years in Israel without prophets and the word of the Lord; in that generation there arose from among the people two righteous souls; namely, the Prophet, John the Baptist, and the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. What a generation that was in shaping the history of the world.

Generation: (Gr. Gennema from Gennao): Offspring, produce, fruit, procreation of the parent

Two righteous, sent of God into the world in a generation of vipers; into a world of apostate religion, an Idumean king on the throne in Jerusalem, appointed by Roman rule under a Caesar who considered himself a god. In this world the religious leaders were corrupt, the king was living in adultery and the Romans ruled with ruthless authority.

Two righteous, whose earthly lives were ended with beheading and crucifixion. The vipers strike with vicious revenge upon those who dare to challenge them. “O generation of vipers, how can you being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). Sayings like that do not stir repentance, but retribution. “You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell”? (Matthew 23:33). Challenging this system with words of rebuke speak truth to power, but the consequences may be fatal.

Two righteous, in the midst of their generation changed the world. The Prophet baptized the people unto repentance; and the Messiah’s sacrificial death ushered in the Kingdom of God.

In this Kingdom the leaders serve in holy reverence to the King, Who rules with a Scepter of Righteousness, and is the Son of God (see Hebrews 1:8). He speaks to the vipers in His wrath and rules over them in His sore displeasure (cf. Psalms 2:5). This King commands with authority and all are subject to Him.

“This is the generation of them that seek Him, that seek Thy face, O Jacob. Selah” (Psalms 24:6).

We now are the new generation with new fruit, new offspring, new produce. We have a Gospel to share with the Nations. We have Truth to speak to power. We have the authority of Christ (cf. Matthew 28:18). We have been given the power of the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:8). This new generation must now contend with the vipers of our day and overcome them. “To him who overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne, even as I also overcame, and am now seated with My Father in His Throne” (Revelation 3:21). “He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be His God, and He shall by My son” (Revelation 21:7).

In the vision given the Apostle John there was a great dragon, the old serpent, called the Devil and Satan “who deceived the whole world and he was cast out” (Revelation 12:9). This viper, called the “accuser of the Brethren” was cast down. “Then John heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now is come salvation and strength, and the Kingdom of our God and the Power of His Christ'” (Revelation 12:10).

“And they overcame (the Viper) by the Blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death” (Revelation 12:11).

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