Wednesday, December 30, 2015, 4:45 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “He Keeps Me Singing.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Matthew 12:14-21 (NASB). But the Pharisees went out and conspired against Him, as to how they might destroy Him. But Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. Many followed Him, and He healed them all, and warned them not to tell who He was. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: “Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen; My Beloved in whom My soul is well-pleased; I will put My Spirit upon Him, And He shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles. “He will not quarrel, nor cry out; Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. “A battered reed He will not break off, And a smoldering wick He will not put out, Until He leads justice to victory. “And in His name the Gentiles will hope.” God’s Righteousness Jesus Christ is God the Son, the second person of our triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He left his throne in heaven, came to earth, and “although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:6-7). When he was on this earth, he was fully God, yet fully man. He suffered like we suffer, and was tempted in like manner as we are also tempted, yet he was without sin. During his years of ministry on the earth, he healed the sick and afflicted, raised the dead, comforted the sorrowful, encouraged the fearful, and delivered people from demons. He also preached the whole counsel of God (Ac. 20:27), i.e. the full gospel message. He confronted sin in sinful humans, warned of judgment, and called the people to repentance and to faith in him. Jesus taught the righteousness of God. He trained us to be humble and contrite in spirit, to show others the mercy of God, to be pure in heart, and how to live at peace with others, as much as is within our ability to do so, without compromising our faith and convictions, and without following after the norms of society, or giving way to sinful practices. He showed us, as well, how to endure and respond to persecution because of our faith and testimonies for Jesus Christ, and to rejoice when people revile us, for we are sharing in the fellowship of his sufferings. He explained to us how to live and to preserve his word and to share the truth of the gospel with the people of this world so that they could know him, too. Although Jesus showed compassion toward the lost and the hurting, he strongly accused many of the religious leaders of false humility, hypocrisy, and of lack of love and mercy towards others; of appearing clean on the outside, but of being full of wickedness on the inside. He condemned pride and arrogance, yet he commended child-like faith. As well, he instructed us that God’s grace to us does not mean that we are now free to live however we want or that we no longer have to obey his commandments, yet he summarized the commandments of God into two: 1) Love God, and 2) Love others (Matt. 22:37-39). Jesus Christ was and is absolutely perfect in heart, mind, attitude, and in behavior. Thus, his motives in doing what he did were also absolutely pure and righteous. He was not in it for the fame and fortune. He was not a circus performer who went around just trying to draw attention to himself. What he did, he did because he loves us, and for no other reason. He was completely humble and selfless, thinking primarily of our salvation from sin. He was and is patient, loving, merciful and gracious to those who are seeking him in truth, and he teaches us gently concerning the kinds of things we must put off, and the kinds of things we must put on, i.e. he teaches us how to live the Christian life, holy and pleasing to God. They Conspire The religious leaders of his day, though, did not like him. They were jealous of him and his popularity among the people, and felt threatened that their own positions of power and influence were in jeopardy because of this man and his teachings. They also didn’t like it that he claimed to be God, which he was and is. So, they went on a campaign to destroy him and his ministry, trying to discredit him and his followers wherever possible. Then they plotted his death, which they eventually carried out. Yet, Jesus did not resist them when they sent soldiers to arrest him, but humbled himself, and became obedient to death on a cross (Phil. 2:8). It was necessary, though, for him to die, for when he died he took upon himself the sins of the entire world, i.e. God “made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Co. 5:21). Through faith in Jesus Christ, via repentance, Christ’s righteousness is credited to our accounts. When we believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, his Holy Spirit comes to live within us to lead, counsel, teach, guide, convict, urge, nudge, encourage, comfort, empower, and strengthen us in our walks of faith in Christ Jesus, our Lord. We walk no longer after our sinful flesh, as we did when we did not believe, but by the Spirit we now walk according to the Spirit, putting to death the deeds of our sinful flesh so that we might have eternal life with God in heaven (Luke 9:23-25; John 6:35-66; Ro. 6:1-23; Ro. 8:1-14). Yet, when we are walking according to the Spirit, and no longer according to our sinful flesh, the world will hate us as they hated Jesus, and thus they will conspire against us, too, as they are doing right now. They will try to discredit us, or to get us to jump ship and to follow the ways of the world again, or to discourage and dishearten us. They will persecute us, falsely accuse us, try to destroy our witness, or else they will plot our deaths, as well. The Lord Jesus continues to show me the many ways in which this is taking place in our world today. I believe that, if we are observant, and if we are paying attention, that we can see most of this, if not all of it taking place. We have leaders both within our governments and within the gatherings of the church, including within the false church, who are teaching a false, diluted gospel absent of true repentance and faithful obedience to Jesus Christ. As well, they are verbally, even from the pulpits, chiding those who hold to the tenets of the Christian faith and practice, as taught by Jesus and his NT apostles. I have even had pastors tell me they were warned against people with “strong convictions” or that they were taught to “filter out” those who did “not fit,” and they offered to help me, in these cases, to “find a better fit.” Many are discouraging people from bringing Bibles to gatherings, and will try to get the people to get their teaching from the pastor only. I had one pastor tell me that I was to let him be God’s voice to me. He is not the only one like this, though, sadly enough. Many pastors are being trained to filter out those who have strong convictions with regard to the tenets of the Christian faith, and to target the people of the world who have little knowledge of God’s word. Mysticism is even being taught and promoted in many church gatherings as a way of finding one’s “true self.” Many congregations are leaning away from the old time gospel and are going to something that is more agreeable to all people, regardless of walks of life or religious affiliation. I believe it will soon become illegal to preach the gospel, because, it will be considered a hate crime to tell people they are sinners, and that without God they are headed for hell, but that Jesus died on the cross for their sins so they can be forgiven and have the hope of eternal life, and that they need to repent of their sins and believe in Jesus if they want to be set free from slavery to sin and to spend eternity with God in heaven. Justice to Victory I live in America, so we have not yet had the severe persecution other followers of Christ have experienced throughout the world, though it is coming to America, too. The signs are everywhere. Many of our governments here in the west are convincing the people that ISIS is our enemy, and that they are the ones murdering Christians abroad. Yet, the Lord has been showing me otherwise. I believe, and many internet articles support, that the US government, in coordination with the New World Order “Beast,” is ISIS, i.e. we are the true terrorists of the world who are going throughout the world conquering nations and peoples, confiscating property not our own, and stealing other nations’ natural resources, as well as we are the ones, via our hired killers, who are murdering followers of Christ, and soon this will be happening in America, too. The same Modus Operandi they used in many other nations they are now using here, as well, so this is where it is all headed. I believe that the world right now is under the judgment of God, but more specifically the church which is living in adultery against her Lord. I believe God is using the US government and the New World Order “Beast” as his divine instruments of judgment against the church and the nations, but that one day they will be judged, too. As well, I believe that scripture teaches us that through judgment the adulterous church will be revived, and that many people will flock to faith in Jesus Christ before our Lord returns for his bride. In this way God is also showing mercy, because he knows what it will take to get his church revived and taking the gospel to the ends of the earth, and for the people of the nations of the world to hear the gospel message, to accept it, and to be saved from their sins. Our Lord is very patient, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. And, that is why he will take us through this period of divine correction and discipline, in order to purify us, yet we are not to be afraid, for he will never leave us or forsake us. For those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose, he will work out all things for our good. We just have to trust him, and rest in his love. He Keeps Me Singing / Luther B. Bridgers There's within my heart a melody Jesus whispers sweet and low: Fear not, I am with thee, peace, be still, In all of life's ebb and flow. All my life was wrecked by sin and strife, Discord filled my heart with pain; Jesus swept across the broken strings, Stirred the slumbering chords again. Though sometimes he leads through waters deep, Trials fall across the way, Though sometimes the path seems rough and steep, See his footprints all the way. Soon he's coming back to welcome me Far beyond the starry sky; I shall wing my flight to worlds unknown; I shall reign with him on high. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Sweetest name I know, Fills my every longing, Keeps me singing as I go.