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PSALM 25

ALEPH PART FOUR

“Unto thee, O Lord,
do I lift up my soul”
Psalm 25:1

ALEPH.* In this Acrostic Psalm (see Part Two) David is setting forth the posture of one who through the experiences of life has come to a place of total reliance upon his God for the keeping of his soul. Gone are the self-reliance and the zeal of his youth. The aged man has now learned the value and the truth of the Lord as his shepherd. The fickle soul of man must ever be lifted up unto God for safe-keeping. The purpose of all our experiences in life brings us to the ALEPH of God; He is the Saviour and the Keeper of our very lives. These are more than mere words and must be accompanied by brokenness of spirit and gratitude of heart. This is not something uttered in a special moment of prayer but the very position from which His elect face the reality of life. It is here that the truth of Him makes the deep and lasting impressions of grace; a grace which has wrought upon an individual the need to abide and trust in God alone.

“Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul” is the cry of the human heart reaching out unto Him who alone is worthy and able to satisfy the desire of every man. It may be the faint whisper of one weighed down with the afflictions and circumstances of life or the sigh of the weary seeking rest. His throne is one of grace for us to find the succor of God in time of need. Grace and power flow from the heart of the One who so loved us that He offered Himself in our stead to be our answer for the sin, the rebellion and the ignorance of our utter hopelessness. The lifting up of our soul unto Him is the revelation of a faith rooted and grounded in the knowledge that He hears us and cares for us. As children we have placed our well-being in the hands of men, our beliefs or our own strengths but with the passing of time we are brought to the power of this one truth: “Unto Thee, O Lord”. The journey into Him has brought us through the disappointment of trusting in other things and especially trusting in ourselves. As a child “weaned from his mother” (Ps. 131:2) so are we weaned from our dependency upon other things.

This is the ALEPH of our deportment of life in God. Through the mountain top experiences and down to the dark and dreary days of discouragement the pilgrim of faith has been brought to this abiding temperament of heart…

“Unto thee, O Lord,
do I lift up my soul”
Psalm 25:1

NOTES ON PSALM 25

PSALM 25 is an Acrostic Psalm where each verse begins with an orderly sequence of the Hebrew Alphabet (Verse One Starts with the letter ALEPH)

*ALEPH: Historically Aleph means oxen; thousand; teaching; master…Divinity ‘Master of the universe.’ The Divine ‘One’ revealing Himself throughout the plurality of Creation. It is the first of all the Hebrew letters and is the representation of God’s Oneness and Power. **ALEPH is a unified graphic depiction of Him in relation to His Work, His Power and His Relationship to creation. Its upper right section consists of the Hebrew letter yod, the first letter in the Name of God (YHWH). A second yod in the Aleph’s lower left segment implies the Creator with and in His creation. The central diagonal connecting column is the vau, a Hebrew letter signifying transformation and change. Aleph thus reveals God’s primary intention of bringing forth man in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26) whereas creation is merely the beginning of His work and purpose. The design of this letter communicates Him as the Father/Creator of all things with the intent to bring about the wonder of transformation and change via relationship in and through the Living Word, Jesus Christ.

ALEPH is revealed in Ezekiel’s vision of the four living creatures as the Ox which imparts to us the sacrificial nature of the heart of Jesus our Saviour. These four faces as seen by Ezekiel reveal His Character in the beauty and wonder of the Son. Ezekiel’s setting forth of these four living creatures is one as having the appearance of a man. There is only One in heaven whom God is interested in revealing and honoring: The Man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5).

“Also out of the midst thereof
came the likeness of four living creatures.
And this was their appearance;
they had the likeness of a man”
Ezekiel 1:5

Jesus in His discourse with the religious men of His day declared,

“Search the scriptures;
for in them ye think ye have eternal life:
and they are they which testify of me”
John 5:39

The four-fold Gospel of Jesus bears witness to these faces.

Matthew ——————– Lion
Mark ———————– Ox
Luke ———————– Man
John ———————– Eagle
(To be addressed in a later writing.)

**“The original pictograph for this letter is a picture of an ox head (ox head did not paste) representing strength and power from the work performed by the animal. This pictograph also represents a chief or other leader. When two oxen are yoked together for pulling a wagon or plow, the older and more experienced one leads the other. Within the clan, tribe or family the chief or father is seen as the elder who is yoked *** to the others as the leader and teacher.

The Modern name for this letter is aleph and corresponds to the Greek name alpha and the Arabic name aleph. The various meanings of this root are oxen, yoke and learn. Each of these meanings is related to the meanings of the pictograph . The root (אלף) is an adopted root from the parent root אל (el), written as in the original script, meaning, strength, power and chief and is the probable original name of the pictograph .” (The Hebrew Alphabet by Jeff A. Benner) http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/alphabet_letters_aleph.html

*** It is in this understanding of the yoke represented by this letter where we are afforded the beauty of Jesus’ invitation to us “to take His yoke” upon us (Matthew 11:29). It is in our being “yoked” with Him that we come to know His Ways and His Heart. Change can only be wrought in us via relationship with Him. While the religious desire intellectual knowledge (as revealed in Eve reaching for the “tree of knowledge”) the true in heart know that it is only in us partaking of the “Tree of Life” that His Life becomes ours.

We would also like to acknowledge the contributions from the following sources:

Alfred Jones, “Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names”
Jeff A. Benner “The Hebrew Alphabet”
Hebrew Today website
Aleph – Wikpedia website
Andrew Jukes – “Types in Genesis” and “The Names of God”
B. E. Crowley
C.R. Oliver
Rabbi Michael L. Munk -- “The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet” (Mesorah Publications)
Abiram Publication – www.abiram-publications.com
Jeremy Aranoff – “Torah, The Quintessential Blueprint”

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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In the Beginning God…

Part 2

All life begins with God. Without Him nothing exists materially or spiritually. He is the beginning and in Him life is filled with endless beginnings. He is ever making all things new. The glory of creation is always giving way to new wonders and countless beauties. Every sunset has its own glow and signature. Every plant, every creature has a uniqueness which, though it belongs to a certain species, has something distinct about it. No two things are the same. The creator can never be exhausted in His creativity. From birth there is always the first step, the first word, the first moment of conscious thought. At each step of the journey into the expanse of His world we become more aware that we are eternal creatures moving toward a call; the apprehension of a mystery that can only be known in Christ. He is the Word by which we were begotten in the fullness of His time and will. In the mystery of this relationship His thoughts, words, ideas and omniscient care may seem intangible yet somehow there is an inner knowing that He is near.

Relationship is by its nature a mystery. While religious men consider God in abstract terms and religious concepts, something unfathomable transpires in those who touch the hem of His Holiness, Love and Power. It is at times unsettling, more than any mere human is able to comprehend, yet there is a fragrance within the wonder of it all that draws His own near. Isaiah in Chapter 6, caught up to the very presence of God, was immediately struck with God’s glory and the contrast of His own dreadful condition. Yet in the face of such contradiction and terror, He hears God speaking within the Holy Trinity: “Whom will WE send, who will go for US?” There must have been an unspoken love shrouded within that dreaded Holy Place that enabled Isaiah to whisper, “Here am I, send me…” It is in these intimate moments where we catch glimpses of the new beginnings in God. Though Isaiah had already prophesied mightily for five chapters, infallible words from God, we can rest assured he was not the same man after the seeing of Him. So it is with us; when we truly see Him we can never be the same and that ever increasing light leads to deeper places and growth in the knowledge of Him.

“But the path of the just is as the shining light,
that shineth more and more unto the perfect day”
Proverbs 4:18

The light of Him is the life of Him. While many consider light to be the ability to understand certain doctrines and teachings, or to hold scriptures in the intellect, true light is the revelation of His light to us with the intent that it shine through us.

“In him was life;
and the life was the light of men”
John 1:4

The only light we have is the life of Him ruling and reigning within us. It is in the holding of Him we have life. When one wanders from Him the life and the light fades into darkness and futility. The life never leaves the Son for He Himself is the light. People speak of getting saved as an event that occurred at one point in time failing to realize that eternal life is not something a person gets by complying with a statement of faith, it is the very life of Jesus living and abiding within us. He who has the Son has Life; He who has not the Son has not life; a very simple statement yet one that is far reaching in its eternal implications. Eternal Life is not something we hope to get when we die rather it is ours by having Him present tense in our life by relationship. It is here the true believer experiences the continual life of new beginnings. His word, His ways, our seeing of Him is ever increasing, calling us to higher and deeper places of knowing Him. This is not a static religious concept; it is the way of His life within us. To many the way becomes dreary and filled with uneventful meetings, prayers and discussions but to those who hold His life dear within their hearts, life here is but the womb of greater things. We see new songs being sung in the heavens; new creations do new things.

“And they sing as a new song before the throne”
Revelation 14:3

Not just anyone can sing this new song. It is a song reserved for those who follow the lamb wherever He goes. It is for those who are free from the systems of men and walk in a way that pleases Him. The true things of God are not to be had by claiming promises; they are ours as we come to abide in Him.

“For all the promises of God in him are yea,
and in him Amen”
2 Corinthians 1:20

All of God’s promises are in the Son and as I grow in relationship with Him they become mine. Just as the life and the fruitfulness of the branch can only be known by abiding in the true vine there are attributes of God which can only be mine by being in Him. It is here that the revolutionary walk of identification and love is known. There is a fountain which ever flows in the Spirit. The psalmist says there is a river which makes glad the city of God. It is a river which has no beginning for it flows from the very throne of God Himself. It flows with the intent that men might walk into it, drink of it and wash themselves clean. Those who separate themselves from others find themselves outside of the flow and the wonder of His life. Jesus walked with the common people, He ate their simple food and He understood the plight of every man. Just as in the parables, the normal things of life become vehicles to convey God’s heart and truth. This is where we will find Him still teaching, still instructing us in heavenly things if we have eyes to see and ears to hear and comply with His whispers. Relationship implies the sharing of personal and intimate things, and we need to be close enough and still enough to have that privilege.

It is here we find those new beginnings with each step we take into the mystery of knowing Him. Abraham went out not knowing where he was going for he had caught a glimpse of the ONE who is the way, the truth and the life. For many it is much more comfortable to linger in things of the past than to take that first step. Fear holds men and women where faith falters. They die to spiritual things and new beginnings are a thing of the past. Life has become a series of days filled with rote and stagnant activities.

But to those who hold Him dear within the very recesses of their hearts He remains precious, living and true. It is in these ones that fellowship is a most desired and coveted thing. As each member beholds Him and shines that forth into the lives of their brothers and sisters we see the manifold work of new beginnings within each life; a Body that beats with His heart for one another!

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Heart of a Priest

Part 7

Grace and Truth

“Who comforteth us in all our tribulation,
that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble,
by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
2 Corinthians 1:4

The New Testament truth concerning the priesthood is in stark contrast to that of the Old Testament. In the Old Testament one was part of the priesthood by virtue of birth (with certain qualifications being met); in the New Covenant, we are made kings and priests as our hearts cooperate with the dealings of God in our lives. It is no longer a position but a call whereby the individual becomes a priest by growing in the virtues of our Lord Jesus Christ. As His Nature is imparted into our lives there is growth and a transformative work. No longer are we left powerless; His Life residing in our hearts brings change regardless of our age. It is here that we are afforded much grace. Much more than mere statements or religious doctrines, Truth is a life; nothing less than the Life of Jesus being held by faith within the core of our hearts. Living truth is in itself the expression of grace. We must submit to the working of His Way into our lives. No priest can be true if there is a diminishing of God’s Holy Word, His Call or His hatred of sin. True priests are unwavering in the ministration of truth.

Truth will never violate grace and grace will never violate truth. Jesus in dealing with the woman taken in adultery was moved with great compassion toward her. He spoke to the “religious elite” of His day concerning their own issues and then turned to the woman who was before Him and spoke the gracious words “neither do I condemn you”. Such unmerited grace! The Gospel today is full of this powerful truth, however, the complete words of Jesus are often left out of the sermons for He goes on to say “Go and sin no more”! This is Living Truth where grace and holiness meet.

“Mercy and truth are met together;
righteousness and peace have kissed each other”
Psalm 85:10

“For the law was given by Moses,
but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ”
John 1:17

These expressions are only known in those who have tasted of His judgements and His grace to such an extent that the two are one in word and in deed.

“And hath made* us kings and priests
unto God and his Father”
Revelation 1:6

The unity of these ministrations is evidence that one has walked with God. The imprint of His holiness breaks our hearts. The Word of reconciliation to our brothers and sisters and those who do not yet know Him can only be borne by those in whom beats the heart of a priest.

Many years ago, while teaching a class on electricity and attempting to explain the basics of electrons and molecular concepts, I got thinking about salt. Salt is composed of two elements: sodium and chloride. We are called to be salt in this world, to minister him in every phase of our lives. Salt, like truth, is composed of two elements each of which are poisonous; but combined in God’s wisdom salt becomes indispensable to us. It heals, it preserves and it generally makes things more palatable. Religious ideas of grace or holiness are also deadly. Grace without holiness or holiness without grace will destroy the very fabric of a man’s soul. However, combined in the life of the Son they are the means of my salvation and of those around me.

Men and women who bear this living truth know full well the horrors of who they are apart from Him but in the piercing revelation of His light they cannot help but preach righteousness. Isaiah beheld God (Isaiah 6) and was instantly aware of his own condition (as well as all other men) yet he was a flaming expression of God’s truth and holiness. Those who have seen God cannot preach any other Gospel. They cannot make room for compromise within their own hearts or in the lives of those around them. He who is Holy has called us to be holy.

The garments of the High Priest in the Old Testament were white linen with the colors of Blue, Purple and Red woven in. Each of these colors speak of the wondrous virtues of our Great High Priest which become ours as we walk with Him. The Blue speaks of His Holiness and the Red speaks of Grace and Mercy (Redemption). The royal colour Purple is the result of the blue and the red mingled together (mercy and truth combined into one expression)  to reveal the attributes of Our King.

These things cannot be learned by books or teachings. They become ours through the medium of obedience to our Great High Priest. It must be by the Spirit and through the Spirit until we so live in Him that they are expressed through us IN the Holy Spirit. This is the making of the heart of a true priest of God.

*Note: See Heart of a Priest Part 5 Greek Meaning

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Truth and Travail

“And Adam knew Eve his wife;
and she conceived…”
Genesis 4:1

Travail is the fruit of conception. While many may know the teachings and scriptures of God’s Word the travail of the mystery is lacking. Conception is the fruit of relationship; deep, intimate relationship. It is a sharing that goes beyond the casual relationship, beyond the confines of religious prayer meetings and Sunday services. It is an affair of the heart where intimacy and love is known between the Bride and the Bridegroom. While a man may have many friends and acquaintances, there is something far deeper and more profound in the relationship with his wife. From that intimacy we see conception, travail and the birth of something new. There is the wonder of a new creation, a separate being which is the expression of the love shared. This natural expression is simply the revelation of something deeper, purer and holy in God’s wisdom (Ephesians 5:31-32) concerning His purposes in the earth.

“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary:
for thou hast found favour with God.
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb,
and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS”
Luke 1:30-31

This purpose is for all who have received Him into their lives; the bringing forth of the Son in all of His Glory, humility, grace and wisdom. Just as a woman cannot conceive by her own will so it is in the Spirit. Conception is the fruit and wonder of relationship. It is not of the work of men but the result of intimacy with God in the Spirit. Those who do not know the stirring and moving of God deep within their hearts will never experience the conception and travail of His Spirit. While many are content with the forms and appearances of religion there is something deep at work within those who have conceived of the wonder of “another life” growing within the womb of their spirit.

Mary’s life was the means of the very incarnation of God. In the wisdom and glory of God, by means of the Holy Spirit, “…the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us”. In like manner that same transaction between God and man has been occurring for centuries in those who yield to the purpose and Lordship of the Holy Spirit. The expression of every individual will be in proportion to the depth of relationship between them and their God. What each of us do with the sowers seed, the given talents and the “pounds” spoken of in the parables, determines the fruit of our lives. The interaction between every believer and God is not determined by what one knows but by how one loves and obeys Him.

It is on the basis and the very essence of His Life within us (conception) that we are being born again as His nature is imparted and augmented in the human heart. This is the interaction of God in man. It is not the result of someone uttering a prescribed prayer or statement; it is the result of receiving the very person of Christ Himself into the human heart.

“But as many as received him,
to them gave he power to become the sons of God,
even to them that believe on his name”
John 1:12

The power to become sons is on the basis of receiving Him. The human egg within a woman must receive the life of the man in order for conception to occur. This is the Holy Truth of His Life within us. May God open our eyes to the miracle and wonder of His birth within us. It is “not by might, nor by power but by His Spirit” that these things are true.

The validity of conception is revealed by the changes wrought within the life of a believer because of another life living within. Religious conformity will never accomplish the revolutionary power of change that only comes by the transforming life of the Son.

“And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind”
Romans 12:2

Religion is about conforming to a teaching or a prescribed mode of behavior. Living truth is about transformation whereby we are changed from the fallen Adam into the “express image” of God Himself.

The power and truth of this is portrayed in the heavens concerning this day. The Bride of Christ is with child, crying out and travailing in birth, in pain, to bring forth this Holy expression in the earth (Romans 8:19-23). Those of His Bride know this travail. The religious cannot understand such things for it can only be known through the impelling force of being with child.

“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered”
Revelation 12:1-2

(To be continued in Part Two)

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Unity  

The Natural State of All Things In God

Unity is the natural order of anything which pertains to God in the Spiritual world. Where God rules, Unity is. It is not something to be attained by works rather it is the natural state of anything that is submissive to God’s Spirit. Jesus prayed that we may be ONE as He and His Father are. Jesus did not strive to be ONE with His Father for that ONENESS is who they are. If we are in Him the natural expression is UNITY. It is the Lie and the desire of self that prevents that which is in heaven to be so in the earth. Men do not want to give up their positions, their churches, fellowships, ministries or their very selves in order to see God’s end in the earth: the ONE Body. Unity is the fruit of the heart of Jesus and the whole purpose of salvation is expressed in us “being transformed, by the renewing of our minds” until we are freed from the fallen nature into the mind of Christ. (Read each verse in the same Spirit which inspired it).

2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Philippians 2:2-8

How can we read this and not feel the piercing of His Holy conviction? How do we reconcile the thing we see in the land today with such deep and powerful words? We see every day, everywhere the contradiction of this within the household of faith. Men and women ostracizing others, declaring this is our church, our beliefs, our teacher (pastor, evangelist, prophet or apostle). This is not the language of the New Testament nor of the Spirit of God! It grieves God’s heart for such things to even be spoken. Yet many of God’s people feel no pangs of sorrow, no grief of soul and are even comfortable with the arrangement.

“The prophets prophesy falsely,
and the priests bear rule by their means;
and my people love to have it so…”
Jeremiah 5:31

This is nothing new for where there is no change within the human heart there will always be this comfortable arrangement. Jeremiah precedes this verse with a telling description of the environment which is conducive to this horror.

“Now hear this, O foolish people, even you without heart, who have eyes and do not see. who have ears and do not hear. Do you not fear Me, declares Jehovah? Will you not tremble before My face, that I have placed the sand as the boundary for the sea by a never ending decree, so that it cannot cross over it? And though they toss themselves, yet they cannot prevail; though its waves roar, yet they cannot cross over it. But to this people there is a revolting and a rebellious heart; they have turned, and are gone. And they do not say in their heart, let us now fear Jehovah our God who gives both the former and the latter rain in its season; He keeps for us the appointed weeks of the harvest. Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withheld good from you. For among My people are found wicked ones. They lie in wait, as one who sets snares. They set a trap, they catch men. Like a cage full of birds, so their houses are full of treachery. On account of this they have become great and grown rich. They have become fat; they shine. Yes, they pass over the deeds of the evil; they do not plead the cause, the cause of the orphan, that they may prosper. And they do not vindicate the right of the needy. Shall I not visit for these things, declares Jehovah? Shall not My soul be avenged on such a nation as this? An astounding and horrible thing has happened in the land. The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their hands; and My people love it so…”
Jeremiah 5:23-31(LITV)

The reason things do not change is because His people are comfortable with the status quo. The preachers preach a comfortable gospel, the people pay them to do so, there is no conviction, reproof or exhortation in the land. We are not pressed to forsake our carnal ways and the way of the world..

There can be no unity to those who walk in the strategies of the carnal mind, “for the carnal mind is not subject to the law (and reign) of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7-8). Unity will only be known by those who walk, live and dwell in His Spirit. They who insist on their own way, who love the pre-eminence and the control where God’s people meet will never know of the blessing, power and glory of God in our midst.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.
Psalm 133:1-3

The unity brings the anointing, the power and the blessing.

Ω

“The Church, during the apostolic age, did not consist of isolated, independent congregations, but was one body, of which the separate churches were constituent members, each subject to all the rest…”
– Charles Hodge

 Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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The Rise of Evil and God’s Answer

“Daniel spake and said,
I saw in my vision by night, and, behold,
the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.
  And four great beasts came up from the sea,
diverse one from another”
Daniel 7:2

In the midst of all the chaos, perplexity and suffering we see arising in the earth it is essential that God’s people see that these are all a result of the work of heavenly powers. The visions of Daniel and John in the Book of Revelation clearly reveal that these things must be as they are all interwoven into the Revelation of Jesus Christ and the Day of the Lord. Within this unfolding drama we see a period (3 1/2 years, 1260 days, a time times and a half, 42 months)*(see note below) of great suffering and seeming defeat for the saints of God. Jesus Himself was cut off in the middle of the week (3 1/2) as He in total submission yielded Himself to the perfect will of the Father. It is ordained that those who “would follow the Lamb” walk in the same steps in the coming hour that is to try the whole earth. The hour is upon us; in some countries our brothers and sisters are already facing pure evil in this time of great sifting. We hear stories of great suffering and even death for the witness of the Living God in these countries.

“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake:
but he that endureth to the end shall be saved”
Matthew 10:22

“Charity…endureth all things”
1 Corinthians 13:7

This time of great trial is going to come upon all that dwell in the earth. Only those whose names are written in the Book of Life will endure faithfully to the end. The rising up of these evil expressions must be; “for whatsoever is brought to light is made manifest”. In order for God’s righteous judgments to be manifest in the earth He must allow evil its full expression that He may judge it fully. It is for us to endure and overcome these things in our day and in our land. Words will fail, the doctrines and teachings of men will not abide the hour that is upon us. The only thing that will stand is a people filled with the very Love of God. Only Love endures all things, for Love never fails and they who abide in His Love are they who abide in Him. He is our hiding place and if we abide in His love we will also love one another with the same love that is shared between the Father and Son. The oneness which they have is to be our oneness. It is in this pure expression that men will know we are His. Love is the end of God’s purposes and those who dwell in His love dwell in God. It takes very little observation to see the carnality, the selfishness and the hypocrisy of the day we are in.

“If a man say, I love God,
and hateth his brother, he is a liar:
for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen,
how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
1 John 4:20

Love is God’s answer. The storm that will come in all its fury and violence will seek to drive God’s people from love and mercy into its own realm of hatred and evil. It is incumbent upon us today, while it is yet today, to enter into the stronghold of the Risen Christ. It is in Him that our lives are secure; not from martyrdom or suffering but from the weakness of self. It is in Him that we will find the resources to love and shine His life into a world baptized in evil. This love is not some sentimental emotion. It is the very life and nature of God Himself and can only be known through submission and a life of identification. Teachings, sermons, Sunday meetings, prayer meetings (if not salted with obedience and submission to God) and all of men’s religious endeavors will not avail in this hour. Purity of heart, passion and full surrender of our lives into His hands is the only way to enter into this place of peace and safety. He is our salvation and this life must be entered into before the storm breaks out. Men who tarry and slumber in this hour will find great peril awaits those who did not respond to His call in the day of prosperity. We have today to interact with one another in the realm of truth and accountability. This true fellowship of the Spirit can only be known by those who walk in the light as He is in the light. Love is the end and goal of all who seek His Kingdom and His righteousness. It is this Love alone which will endure the day that is upon us.

“And above all these things put on charity,
which is the bond of perfectness”
Colossians 3:14

* NOTE:
time, times, and a half—(See on Daniel 7:25). Newton, referring this prophecy to the Eastern apostasy, Mohammedanism, remarks that the same period of three and a half years, or 1260 prophetic days, is assigned to it as the Western apostasy of the little horn (Daniel 7:25); and so, says Prideaux, Mohammed began to forge his imposture, retiring to his cave, a.d. 606, the very year that Phocas made the grant to the bishop of Rome, whence he assumed the title, The Universal Pastor; Antichrist thus setting both his feet on Christendom together, the one in the East, and the other in the West. Three and a half is the time of the world power, in which the earthly kingdoms rule over the heavenly [Auberlen]. “Three and a half” represents the idea of spiritual trial; (besides this certain symbolical meaning, there is doubtless an accurate chronological meaning, which is as yet to us uncertain): it is half of “seven,” the complete number, so a semi-perfect state, one of probation. The holy city is trodden by the Gentiles forty-two months (Revelation 11:2), so the exercise of the power of the beast (Revelation 13:5). The two witnesses preach in sackcloth 1260 days, and remained unburied three days and a half: so the woman in the wilderness: also the same for a “time, times, and a half” (Revelation 11:3, 9, 11; 12:6, 14). Forty-two connects the Church with Israel, whose haltings in the wilderness were forty-two (Numbers 33:1-50). The famine and drought on Israel in Elijah’s days were for “three years and six months” (Luke 4:25; James 5:17); there same period as Antiochus’ persecution: so the ministry of the Man of Sorrows, which ceased in the midst of a week (Daniel 9:27) [Wordsworth, Apocalypse]. (JFB Commentary)

“I beheld,
and the same horn made war with the saints,
and prevailed against them;
Until the Ancient of days came,
and judgment was given to the saints of the most High;
and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom”
Daniel 7:21

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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PSALM 25

INTRODUCTION

Continued
Part Two

(See Part One)

AN ACROSTIC PSALM
(*SEE NOTE #1)

Not only is Psalm 25 one of the seven Penitential Psalms it is also one of the nine Acrostic Psalms (Psalm 9, 10, 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, 119 and 145). In the Ancient Hebrew language an Acrostic writing (*see note #2) is one in which the arrangement of the text is structured and constrained according to the Acrostic Law: each verse (or group of verses as in Psalm 119) begins with consecutive letters of the Hebrew Alphabet. Acrostic writings are a structured design according to the intent of the author. It is a type of writing that requires forethought and planning; an expression undertaken with deliberation and intent. As with all of God’s expressions we find in this a revelation of God’s character and being. His Word is never hastily spoken or expressed without the full intent of His thought and heart. God, being who He is, is bound by the wonder of His Glory and Character. It is this unassailable truth that causes all who love Him to worship and praise Him. He is never rash or given to sudden outbursts for He is governed by the constraint of His Own Character. Righteousness, in part, is growing into His likeness concerning this aspect of God. As we grow in this righteousness rage, lust, temptation and other impulses of behavior are now ruled by the wisdom of His Life within our hearts. There is the constraint of the Spirit to bring forth a tempered and measured response to the circumstances we face. An Acrostic inspired writing follows a law of expression to give us insight into this particular facet of God’s Glory.

In this Psalm, though each verse (by pre-design) begins with a consecutive letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the theme flows with a central subject even while it is constricted to a severe style of writing. So is it to be in our own lives; the central purpose of revealing Him is governed by the law of His Life within us. Our growth into Him is to become more like Him in the common flow of everyday life. Growth is revealed in the desire to communicate His words and thoughts into the lives around us. The fear of the Lord causes us to measure our words because we know the things we speak will be weighed in the balances of His Righteousness. As the Proverb declares “the tongue of the wise is health”. Those who love God, and know of this discipline and grace, are always in the grip of being “instant in season and out of season”. The difference between a flood and a river is that the river is channeled and flows within the banks of God’s appointed purpose.

“My heart is inditing a good matter:
I speak of the things which I have made touching the king:
my tongue is the pen of a ready writer
Psalm 45:1

One does not have to read many of the Psalms to know some of the expressions spring from great moments of spontaneous praise while others give expression to deep discouragement and penitence. Here however we find the “constrained” and well thought out theme. As mentioned earlier this is a Psalm of a seasoned Elder, a man of considerable experience with His God, and it reveals the thoughts and state of David’s heart.

God is not rash in dealing with His Own. There is a deliberate and steadied response to our iniquities and sins. There is a fragrance we discover in this Psalm of a Covenant Keeping God; a God who keeps and reveals His purposes and covenant with those who “fear Him” (verse 14). He does not alter His call upon anyone who seeks Him with a pure and right heart. Though great and many are the faltering steps of His Own…He is the Covenant Keeper. How precious are His ways and His thoughts towards us! It is in our dark times of great trial and perplexity that we can call to mind this character of our God who holds us in the firm and steady grip of His own being. Those who are His have this assurance within their own hearts, not on some doctrinal level, but as a living truth that brings security when we are broken and have faltered in our way. If we hold such things as a mere doctrine, we will never know of the sorrow or brokenness of heart that accompanies our transgressions.

“For Your name’s sake, O Jehovah,
even pardon my iniquity for it is great”
Psalm 25:11

It is in seeing Him who is constrained by His own love and purposes that we begin to see in part the power of this truth being developed in our own lives. Things which would have brought unrestrained expressions of anger and bitterness in the past become less and less as we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior. Wisdom and peace become the arbitrators of our heart as we progress in our walk with Him.

“And wisdom and knowledge
shall be the stability of thy times…”
Isaiah 33:6

It is in this stability and knowledge of God’s keeping power that we settle into the Arms of our Everlasting Father.

“Surely I have behaved and quieted myself,
as a child that is weaned of his mother:
my soul is even as a weaned child.
Let Israel hope in the LORD
from henceforth and for ever”
Psalm 131:2-3

NOTE #1: Acrostic (etymology) comes from the French word acrostiche derived from the Latin word acrostichis which is from the Greek word ἀκροστιχίς a compound word of ἄκρος meaning highest point or top, and στίχος meaning verse.

NOTE #2: List of Acrostic writings in the Old Testament

1: Psalm 25 Each Hebrew consonant covers 1 verse.
2: Psalm 34 Each Hebrew consonant covers 1 verse.
3: Psalm 37 Each Hebrew consonant covers 2 verses.
4: Psalm 111 Each Hebrew consonant covers ½ verse.
5: Psalm 112 Each Hebrew consonant covers ½ verse.
6: Psalm 119 Each Hebrew consonant covers 8 verses.
7: Psalm 145 Each Hebrew consonant covers 1 verse.
8: Lam 1- 4 In chapter 1 and 2 each Hebrew consonant covers 1 verse which consists of 3 stanzas. In chapter 3 each consonant covers 3 stanzas/verses, therefore it has 66 verses.
Chapter 4 has 22 verses, each consonant consists of 2 stanzas beginning with that letter of the alphabet.
Chapter 5 has 22 verses, but is not an alphabetic acrostic.
11: Prov 31: 10 –31 Each Hebrew consonant covers 1 verse.
12: Nahum 1: 1- 9 The Aleph covers three lines. There seems to be an interjection of 2 lines before the rest of the consonants, which covers only one verse each. The letter zayin appears in the second position of the line.

“In the common form of acrostic found in Old Testament Poetry, each line or stanza begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet in order. This literary form may have been intended as an aid to memory, but more likely it was a poetic way of saying that a total coverage of the subject was being offered — as we would say, ‘from A to Z.’ Acrostics occur in Psalms 111 and 112, where each letter begins a line; in Psalms 25, 34, and 145, where each letter begins a half-verse; in Psalm 37, Proverbs 31:10-31, and Lamentations 1, 2, and 4, where each letter begins a whole verse; and in Lamentations 3, where each letter begins three verses. Psalm 119 is the most elaborate demonstration of the acrostic method where, in each section of eight verses, the same opening letter is used, and the twenty-two sections of the psalm move through the Hebrew alphabet, letter after letter”. –J.A. Motyer, “Acrostic,” in The New International Dictionary of the Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1987), p. 12.

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