I have long loved this wonderful testimony of heroic zeal towards God. I speak of the legendary "forty good soldiers of Sebaste." Whenever I read this old story (below) my eyes fill with tears as I envision these forty beautiful souls demonstrating so gloriously their jealousy and love of Christ. If you listen close you can still hear the echo of their song played out from the lives of today's sons. This is the account of the "forty good soldiers of Sebaste."
"Forty great soldiers from Cappadocia in Rome’s vaunted twelfth legion shared Paul’s jealousy for God some two hundred fifty years after his death. Licinius was reigning over the eastern portion of the empire but was sensing an increasing military threat from the west. He became more and more repressive in his policies, particularly toward Christians. To solidify his strength, he called on his armies to demonstrate their support by offering a sacrifice to the pagan gods.

Most of the legion stationed at Sebaste, a city south of the Black Sea, dutifully complied, but the forty Cappadocians, all Christians, respectfully declined. For more than a week they were placed under guard, where they sang and prayed together continually. Their captain pleaded with them: "Of all the soldiers who serve the emperor, none are more loved by us and more needed right now. Do not turn our love into hatred. It lies in you whether to be loved or hated. If it rests with us, they replied, we have made our choice. We shall devote our love to our God.

It was sundown when they were stripped and escorted shivering to the middle of a frozen lake with guards stationed along the shore. A heated Roman bathhouse stood ready at the shore for any of them who were prepared to renounce their faith in Christ and offer a pagan sacrifice. Their jailer stood by with arms folded, watching, as a bitter winter wind whipped across the ice. But through the whistling wind the soldiers could be heard singing:

Forty good soldiers for Christ!
We shall not depart from You as long as You give us life.
We shall call upon Your Name whom all creation praises:
Fire and hail, snow and wind and storm.
On You we have hoped and we were not ashamed!

As midnight approached, their song grew more feeble. Then a strange thing happened. One of the forty staggered toward shore, fell to his knees and began crawling toward the bathhouse. Thirty-nine good soldiers for Christ! came the weakening, trembling song from the distance. The jailer watched the man enter the bathhouse and emerge quickly, apparently overcome by the heat, then collapse on the ground and expire. The other guards could not believe what they saw next. The jailer wrenched off his armor and coat, dashed to the edge of the lake, lifted his right hand and cried, Forty good soldiers for Christ! then disappeared over the ice into the darkness.

All forty were dead by the next day, but it was the jailer who caught the captain’s notice as their bodies were being carted away. What is he doing there? he demanded. One of the guards replied, We cannot understand it, Captain. Ever since those Christians came under his care, we noticed something different about him. The martyrs of Sebaste were jealous for the name of their God, and it had a profound impact on that jailer who looked on."

Richard Strauss

Lord help us to know it is not about numbers. It is not about crowds. It's the remnant of each age that is called to divvy up what others count dear. It's only a handful out of each generation that gives all, to gain Your All. There is no more than one to a city and of a family two. We honor what You have done in these most precious of sons and saints.

Out of the age a remnant
Out of each generation a handful
Out of Rome's twelfth legion there were forty
Out of a city one and of a family two

In His Sweet Lord Jesus,



Were We Not All Dwarfs?

God controls the timing of every event.
He also controls how things turn out. Eccl.9:11


Solomon had drifted far from God in his own life before he wrote the book of Ecclesiastes. He offers his "wisdom"......from a man who has lost his moorings but still holds onto there is a God..... a God who doesn't do much intervening in the affairs of men.
And yet somewhere in his darkness he was able to say the above........amazing, how God never leaves or forsakes us..........and Solomon was there when Christ the Messiah preached to those in the grave!

On another forum I visit I have heard some of the most incredible statements. Some I used to believe myself. Jack has gained my admiration in his ability to answer by the spirit and his tenacity to hold forth why he believes what he believes. So much of what he shares will shut down a debate on doctrine. Not because they believe but because they are dumbfounded and have no answers outside the traditions of men. Truly the traditions of men have made the word of God of NO EFFECT, in so many lives.

The Lord reminded me about a book C.S. Lewis wrote in his Narnia series.

One part of "The Last Battle" keeps coming back to me. For those not familiar with Lewis's Narnia you might miss a little, in my recounting but I hope I can summarize the essence of this excerpt.

In the story an ape comes across an lion's skin and convinces a silly donkey to put it over himself in an attempt to deceive the inhabitants of Narnia. This counterfeit lion only shows itself in the dark of night from the door of a stable to hide what could be seen in the full day. The people believe it is actually the return of the real, Ashlan. A number of creatures have been thrown into the stable believing they are going to their deaths. Once inside the stable they find a doorway into a beautiful land......Queen Lucy is trying to get the Dwarf's to see the door.

Chapter 13-The Dwarfs Refused To Be Taken In

Pg. 164.....
I hope Tash ate the Dwarfs too, said Eustace, Little swine!
No, he didn't, said Lucy, And don't be horrid. They're still here. And I've tried and tried to make friends with them but it's no use."

Friends with them! cried Eustance. If you knew how those Dwarfs have been behaving!

Oh, Stop Eustace, said Lucy. Do come and see them. King Tirian, perhaps you could do something with them.

I can feel no great love for Dwarfs today, said Tirian, Yet at your asking Lady, I would do a greater thing than this.

Lucy led the way and soon they could all see the Dwarfs. They had a very odd look. They weren't strolling about or enjoying themselves, although the cords with which they had been tied seemed to have vanished. Nor were they lying down and having a rest. They were sitting very close together in a little circle facing one another. They never looked round or took any notice of the humans till Lucy and Tirian were almost near enough to touch them. Then the Dwarfs all cocked their heads as if they couldn't see anyone but were listening hard and trying to guess by the sound what was happening.

Look out! said one of them in a surly voice. Mind where you are going. Don't walk into our faces!

All right! said Eustace indignantly. We're not blind. We've got eyes in our heads.

They must be darn good ones if you can see in here, said the same Dwarf whose name was Diggle.

In where? asked Edmund. Why you bone-head, in here of course, said Diggle. In this pitch-black, poky, smelly little hole of a stable. Are you blind? said Tirian. Ain't we all blind in the dark! said Diggle.

But it isn't dark, you poor stupid Dwarfs, said Lucy, Can't you see? Look up! Look round! Can't you see the sky and the trees and the flowers? Can't you see me?

How in the name of all Humbug can I see what ain't there? And how can I see you any more than you can see me in this pitch darkness?

But I can see you, said Lucy, I'll prove I can see you. You've got a pipe in your mouth.

Anyone that knows the smell of baccy could tell that, said Diggle!

Oh the poor things! This is dreadful, said Lucy. Then she had and idea. She stooped and picked some wild violets.

Listen Dwarf, she said, Even if your eyes are wrong perhaps your nose is all right: can you smell that? She leaned across and held the fresh, damp flowers to Diggle's ugly nose. But she had to jump back quickly in order to avoid a blow from his hard little fist.

None of that! he shouted. How dare you! What do you mean by shoving a lot of filthy stable litter in my face? There was a thistle in it too. And who are you, anyway?

Earth-man, said Tirian, she is the Queen Lucy, sent by Ashlan out of the deep past. And it is for her sake alone that I, Tirian your lawful King, do not cut all your heads from your shoulders, proved and twice-proved traitors that you are.

Well if that doesn't beat everything, exclaimed Diggle. How can you go on talking all that rot? Your wonderful Lion didn't come and help you, did he? Thought not. And now even now, when you've been beaten and shoved into this black hole, just the same as the rest of us, you're still at your old game. Starting a new lie! Trying to make us believe we're none of us shut up, and it ain't dark, and heaven knows what.

There is no black hole, save in your own fancy, fool, cried Tirian, Come out of it. And, leaning forward, he caught Diggle by the belt and the hood and swung him right out of the circle of Dwarfs. But the moment Tirian put him down, Diggle darted back to his place among the others, rubbing his nose and howling: Ow! Ow! What d'you do that for! Banging my face against the wall. You've nearly broken my nose.

Oh dear! said Lucy. What are we to do for them?................

Ashlan, said Lucy through her tears, could you-will-you do something for these poor Dwarfs?

Dearest, said Aslan, I will show you both what I can do. He came close to the Dwarfs and gave a low growl: low, but it set the air shaking, But the Dwarfs said to one another, Hear That? That's the gang at the other end of the stable. They do it with a machine of some kind. Don't take any notice, they won't take us in again!

Ashlan raised his head and shook his mane. Instantly a glorious feast appeared on the Dwarfs' knees: pies and trifles and ices, and each Dwarf had a goblet of good wine in his right hand. But wasn't much use. They began eating and drinking greedily enough, but it was clear they couldn't taste it properly. They thought they were eating and drinking only the sort of things you might find in a stable. One said he was trying to eat hay and another said he had got a bit of an old turnip and a third said he had found a raw cabbage leaf. And they raised golden goblets of rich red wine to their lips and said, We're drinking dirty water out of a trough that a donkey's been at!...........Well at any rate we haven't let anyone take us in! The Dwarfs are for the Dwarfs!...............

And Ashlan said, You see Lucy, they have chosen cunning instead of belief. Their prison is only in their own minds, yet they are in the prison; and so afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out.

Life has become darker in both religion and the world.....The day to day contact I have with both has at times deeply grieved me. Last month I woke up with the words shut the door. And with the Lord's help, I am shutting the door on past events in my life. The greatest joy these days is in knowing my life is in his hands...and that his arm is not short concerning all of creation..........After all I was once a Dwarf............and my father had mercy on me.



Prepare the way of the Lord....what does that mean?

See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the LORD Almighty.(Malachi 3:1)

This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: "A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.' "(Matthew 3:3)

For all the talk of THE MANY....and by the many I am referring to those who love to talk of their knowledge and understanding of the Elijah/John company, who will usher in the restoration of all things before the coming of the Lord.....I have found that these ‘many’ actually have no clue nor understanding as to what the REAL Elijah/John company looks like or sounds like.....they have no clue, as to what “PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD” means.

What does ‘prepare the way of the Lord’ mean? Well, let me ask another question ....who is THE WAY?

Where is THIS WAY to be found?

What direction would this messenger that is THE LORD’S MESSENGER be pointing to? Would the direction be towards the the world and worldly the timing of current events and biblical prophecy.....OR would the direction that the Lord’s messenger be pointing to, be the KINGDOM WITHIN?

This is a new season that the Lord has brought HIS FEW into and that is of preparing THE WAY.... and this preparation is of a Heavenly nature.... it is not looking at the world or discussing the things of the world....but this is very much a HIDDEN preparation.....a time where the HOLY CHAMBERLAIN is beckoning all HIS ESTHER’S to come into the bride chamber and receive her beauty treatments. These beauty treatments are so that she will be without spot and wrinkle.... so that she will be from the pollution of this world and its system.
These precious anointing oils that the Bride is being bathed in right now consist of
truth, nobility, righteousness, purity, loveliness, admirability, excellence and praiseworthiness.
How do I know the quality of these Heavenly essential OILS? They are revealed to us in the book of Phillipians...”Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Phil. 4:8). These oils are the fragrance of our beloved Lord. “Like the fragrance of thy precious oils, Oil poured out, is thy name, For this cause, virgins love thee.” (Song of Songs 1:3). He is the OIL.

I am grieved by ministers that mix the earthly with the heavenly. I am grieved by ministers that gaze and focus on those things that are below AND those things that are above thus creating BLURRY VISION for the body of Christ. One cannot gaze at BOTH at the same time.... The focus, the PURE FOCUS can only be when we are LOOKING UP....when we are gazing at those things above. Many of these ministers have been given various gifts and talents that have been used in the lives of the precious BRIDE COMPANY.....and unfortunately many of the Lord’s precious flock have decided to camp out and stay put with these under-shepherds instead of understanding that the season has changed and the cloud is moving.....and so the Lord has allowed the test to distinguish who are the wise virgins and who are the foolish ones. For the test is this.....there comes a time in the virgin’s life where she has to make a decision.....and this is to either camp out with those that have been a blessing to her and have taught her many things in her sojourn up Mt. Zion or to break camp and MOVE WITH THE CLOUD......this test will come to all those that travel on to KNOW THE LORD.

This test will also come to the under-shepherds as well. I have been a witness as to the test that the Lord has sent to one particular under-shepherd. This minister has been given a glorious understanding of the divine law and the restoration of all things. It has been eye-opening to me to watch the test of the Lord unfold and be administered to this under-shepherd, for this is someone that I have been richly blessed by. I honor the time that this minister has put into the study of the scriptures. I honor the Lord within this minister’s life. The Lord loves this son too....and wants to provoke him to stop looking and talking of those things below but to LOOK UP and be watchful for thy redemption is drawing near. What I have found so very interesting is that this same individual and many others that eat from the same table love to talk about the Elijah/John company. They love to talk of this company that will be used to bring about the restoration of all things before the great day of the Lord and YET when the Lord’s CHARIOT OF FIRE showed up to bring forth the REVEALING, that YES!, indeed the DAY HAS COME....the day of the INWARD PREPARATION....those of the many did not have eyes to see.....but those of the few did.

This was a profound test....and all of Heaven was a witness to it. It was a very sobering day. My heart ached as I listened to false humility and a lack of discernment by THE MANY and especially by this beloved minister. Once again I witnessed that the prophets OF THE LORD are still stoned today....with words....and the words usually consist of these.....’stop the criticism of an elder’.....’pull out the splinter in your eye before you pull out the plank in another’s’......’we must stay in unity’.....’strife is not of the Lord’.....etc.

All of these arguments SOUND GOOD....but are not OF the truth....the Spirit of Truth will never compromise. The message of ELIJAH is this.....”PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD”.....prepare INWARD.....prepare by waiting on listening to obeying looking for being enjoying Him communing with embracing His YIELDING TO HIS WORKMANSHIP.

It is by this preparation, this inward preparation that THE THE LORD WILL COME TO HIS TEMPLE....that He will have a temple that is ready....that is CLEAN.....for no unclean thing will enter the Kingdom.....and His fullness will be given.....this is the promised land.....the glorified body.....the true heavenly garment.....the WEDDING GOWN FROM ABOVE.

The Lord wants HIS BODY/HIS BRIDE to be prepared.....and He has His ministers, His HOLY CHAMBERLAINS that minister to only Him that He will send to those virgin’s that are still camping out.... these chamberlains are those that know the Kings’s likes and dislikes....they know His tastes. Some of these virgin’s are still camping out at Passover....others are camping out at Pentecost....then there are those that have heard the feast of trumpets, but are still camping out at BETHEL. Bethel is the place/house that has become VERY COMFORTABLE for them.....for this is the place where usually their beloved earthly teacher is residing....and this is the place where they have learned many deep and profound kingdom truths....but just as Abraham they too must LEAVE THEIR FATHER’S HOUSEHOLD and go to a place I will show you.....a place of the UNKNOWN.....the feast of Tabernacles.

The journey of the Feast of Tabernacles begins at Jordan....the place of descending....this is the place of dying to all that you have known to come into all that you have not known. This is the INWARD JOURNEY. This is the place that David knew of....
"David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind, that are hated of David's soul, he shall be chief and captain. Wherefore they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house. So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David. And David built round about from Millo and inward.” (2Sam. 5:8-9)

David is our pattern for today....of showing us how to get INTO the city of traveling/descending into the gutters....these gutters were the underground water conduit’s that flowed beneath the men of David went into the pipes/tunnels of the water spouts their journey ended right in the center of Jerusalem....for they were able to capture the CITY OF ZION from within. HalleluYah!

This is our same pattern for victory today. Our Lord is our forerunner and has shown us the dying to self and embracing our cross. We must continue this journey back upstream by leaving this world and all that it contains to possess our inheritance. Our inheritance is UNION. To be one with our Father, our Lord, our Spirit. We are His inheritance and He is ours.

Let us set our faces as flint for this glorious journey. Let us not be distracted by the noise of the world, the events of the world, for we have a wedding to attend. Let us be READY for our wedding! It is the time of the PREPARATION....the anointing of the Holy OIL....the storing up of the oil is WITHIN....the bathing of the oil in spirit, soul, and body.

Blessed is He who comes in the NAME OF THE LORD!

All His love to you my precious Sonshine family,


THE CROSS ..... "God Suffers Himself"

Addressing the mystery of Christ and Cross:
Through that Cross also, there is the reconciliation of things in the heaven. We call to mind again the picture of angels desiring to look into these things. As they did so they became conscious of the profoundest depth of the mystery in the hour when Jesus died. It was the mystery of which we spoke before, that of the death of a pure and sinless and therefore deathless Being. Personally, I can have no doubt about the literal accuracy of the Bible story that in the hour of that death the sun darkened. My wonder sometimes is that it ever shone again.

Speaking of the atonement:
"It is not a problem as between God and man. It is not a problem as between God and the angels. It is a problem between God and Himself. It is answered in the Cross."

Every once in awhile, God will take me on a journey through the world wide web and show me a most splendid writing of which He will say, "this is Truth ......... this is deep Truth." Such is this recently discovered message I share with you today. This author and saint of God was blessed to see deep within God and realize a portion of the unfathomable mystery of Christ and the Cross. Dear gentle reader, I pray you sense the most holy anointing that runs through this glorious account of the Cross.

The Bible and The Cross

"Through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His Cross; through Him, I say, whether things upon earth or things in the heavens." (Col.1:20).

The sphere of reconciliation is declared-- "all things...upon earth or things in the heavens." Describing the glory of Christ in creation the apostle declares-- "In Him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth." But when he tells of reconciliation, it is in the opposite order: "things on earth and things in the heavens." The creative order was that of heavens first-- the reconciling order, of earth first. It is not for us to discuss now as to whether this planet of ours is indeed the center of the universe. It is certain there are far reaching stretches of creation of which we know nothing. It is enough at the moment to recognize the fact that, for the purpose of our apprehension of the meaning of life we are compelled to deal with the universe as circling about the earth on which we live. Recognizing necessity, the apostle shows that reconciliation begins here and later affects the heavens. That which demands reconciliation is here, but that which is here exerts its influence to the utmost bound of the creation of God. Heb. 9:23 and context.

This conception of the world at once lifts it and our theme into highest dignity and vastest importance. If we can grasp it, it will deliver us from all mean thinking about our own lives, our own sin, our own redemption.

The sphere of reconciliation is first that of "things on earth." That is not, however, the phrase which startles us most, but "things in the heavens." This all-inclusive term has reference first to angels-- intelligences described elsewhere as "thrones, dominions, principalities, powers." These are included in the reconciliation Christ wrought on His cross.

The conception is a remarkable recognition of the cosmic unity of the universe. Man is seen at the center. Beyond are the far-reaching realms which he is incapable of understanding during his earth-life. At the center of all things Paul sees the CROSS. He declares that by that cross God reconciles all things (lit. "The all") unto Himself. Yet the phrase "things in the heavens" takes us one startling step further. The sphere of reconciliation is not only man,-- not only the created beings in the heavens above him,-- it is that of the very Being of God. Remember the words of the Psalmist-- "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other." Omitting for a moment the fact that they have met and kissed, let us consider them separately. They all exist in the nature of God. If we reverently think of God as apart from the mystery of evil, we recognize the perfect harmony of these: mercy, the tenderness bending over in love: truth; which is uprightness, stable, and builds: righteousness, which is a straight line without deviation; peace, which is absolute safety. All these coexist in the nature of God.
The introduction into the universe of the principle of sin breaks up the harmony of these and there is the necessity of reconciling within the very being of God. He is a God of truth. In His universe a being violates truth. How is it possible for Him to bend in tenderness and love over such a one whose action threatens the stability of the universe? God is the God of righteousness of that which cannot deviate from absolute rectitude. The introduction into the presence of essential righteousness of that which contradicts it must make peace impossible. It is not by the caprice of a God who is a despot, but because of the necessity of the essential facts of His Being, that, the moment sin existed in the universe there was need for reconciliation, if mercy and truth, righteousness and peace, were to meet and kiss each other.

The consideration of the suggested sphere of reconciliation leads immediately to our second line of thought,-- that of the nature of reconciliation. This is expressed in the words "unto Himself," or more literally, with reference to Himself. Here again we begin on the lowest level-- "things on earth." What is the nature of the reconciliation necessary to the restoration of order? Fallen man misrepresents God, and "science governs nature." The results? Chaos, instead of cosmos. In the words of the prayer Jesus gave to His disciples, the supreme thing is that His name be hallowed, His kingdom come, His will be done on earth as in heaven. The reconciliation here is restoration to the government of God. The healing of the wound, the closing of the breach, the gathering into one of all that has been scattered. (Eph. 1:10).

What, then, is the reconciliation necessary for the heavens? Peter says "the angels desire to peer into the sufferings of Christ and the glory to follow." Bending over the world, they saw sin and suffering culminating in the experience of Christ. We must ever think of angels as finite; of all the principalities and powers, as limited. While loyal to the government of God, serving with perfect satisfaction, they watch the processes among men without foreknowledge of the issue. Their peering into these things was in the nature of inquiry. I am not suggesting there was even incipient rebellion in these high places. There was surely an expectation that there would be some explanation of the mystery of that which they recognize as a rupture in the nature of God, resulting from the presence of sin in the universe. Angels need an answer to their inquiry.

Again, reverently, we take a further step. Reconciliation, in order to completeness, must be such that, in the BEING of God there shall be possible the continued activity of Mercy and Truth, Righteousness and Peace, so that violence be done to none.

All this leads us finally to the consideration of the supply of the reconciliation which is revealed in His words, "Peace through the blood of His Cross." The Gnostic teachers were suggesting the necessity for the inter-mediation of angels. They were declaring the need for ascetic practices, urging voluntary humility, and even the worship of angels. Paul, recognizing the necessity for reconciliation, not merely as between man and God, but throughout the universe, in the heavens as well as the earth, declares that it is provided in "the blood of His Cross."

In this connection it is necessary to repeat a warning and utter a solemn protest against the idea that when we speak of the Cross, we refer only to a Roman gibbet, and to the death of a Man thereon. If He of the Cross were Man only, then all this writing of the Apostle is not only foolish, but vile dreaming, mirage, and nightmare; a delusion and a snare. On the other hand, if He of the Cross be the Image of the Invisible God, the original Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, the Firstborn out of the mystery of death into life, then in the presence of His Cross I begin to tremble, and yet to believe the declaration that through that Cross He reconciles all things (ta panta-- the universe) unto Himself upon the earth and in the heavens.

Through that Cross there is first the reconciliation of things upon the earth. This is established first by the creation of peace with God in the case of man, and then in the peace of God throughout the order over which redeemed man reigns. The process is a slow one as mortals count time. The travail is an agony, the conflict is unto death, but the victory is assured; and that victory is the reconciliation of all things upon the earth, first of man to God, and then of the whole creation to man in that peace of God which issues from the establishment of His throne, and the right relation thereto of all the kingdom.

Through that Cross also, there is the reconciliation of things in the heaven. We call to mind again the picture of angels desiring to look into these things. As they did so they became conscious of the profoundest depth of the mystery in the hour when Jesus died. It was the mystery of which we spoke before, that of the death of a pure and sinless and therefore deathless Being. Personally, I can have no doubt about the literal accuracy of the Bible story that in the hour of that death the sun darkened. My wonder sometimes is that it ever shone again. The angels saw in the mystery a revelation. They knew the person whom they saw die, and recognized that the death of the Christ must have some profound significance in the economy of God. Through the death of the Lord they beheld man reconciled to God. They saw salvation provided for the sinner in his losing from his sins. They saw the resultant cooperation of the saints as, conformed to His dying, they came to living knowledge of Himself, shared the power of His Resurrection, and entered into the fellowship of His sufferings. They saw these saints bearing through to lower reaches of God’s creation the renewing forces which had remade their own lives.

What effect, think you, had that working out into visibility of the passion and power of the love of God upon the watching angels? It was for them a new unveiling of God. In that Cross they saw Him as they had never seen Him. The essential Light of Deity shone whiter, for holiness was vindicated as never before. The essential Love of Deity shone redder, for compassion was manifested more perfectly. The essential Life of Deity was realized more fully, for all its values were revealed more absolutely. I can imagine that, as the Lord Jesus Christ died, and all the issues of His dying were revealed to them, angels borrowed the song of the Psalmist, and chanted to the measure of their own perfect music:
"Mercy and truth are met together;
Righteousness and peace have kissed each other."

Reverently we come to the last fact in our consideration of this supply of reconciliation. Over two hundred years ago John Leland, a Baptist minister of Massachusetts, preached a sermon which he entitled "The Jarrings of Heaven Reconciled by the Blood of the Cross," in which he attempted to set forth a picture of the high courts of heaven and of the conflict within the very nature of God as the result of the presence of sin in the universe. The sermon may accurately be described as highly imaginative, but that is not a condemnation. There are matters so high that we can never hope to reach them save by the exercise of imagination.

We speak of law and love, of truth and grace, of justice and mercy, and so long as sin does not exist there is no controversy between any of these. If there be no sin, law and love are never out of harmony with grace or each other; truth and grace go ever hand in hand; justice and mercy sing a common anthem. If the law be broken, what is love to do? If truth be violated, how can grace operate? In the presence of crime, how can justice and mercy meet? This is the problem of problems. It is not a problem as between God and man. It is not a problem as between God and the angels. It is a problem between God and Himself. It is answered in the Cross. "God was in Christ," from eternity, in the days of human manifestation, and surely also in the hour of the Cross. Thus, by the way of all the suffering consequent upon the conflict within His own nature, He found the way of reconciliation. By suffering wrought out into human history and in the sight of all the ages, through the Cross, He demonstrated that love meets law as it suffers and fulfills it; grace satisfies the demand of truth of meeting all the issues of its violating; and mercy can operate on the basis of justice, not because God has smitten and afflicted other than Himself, but because, in a mystery which baffles and bruises the intellect as it attempts to encompass it, God has gathered the whole into His own heart, and suffered to reconcile all things (the universe) unto Himself.

Thus, as Christ is the Centre, Source and Goal of the universe, His Cross is the centre, source and goal of reconciliation. The Ephesians letter is the complement of the Colossians. In that the Apostle teaches that through the Church the wisdom of God is manifested to principalities and powers in the heavenly places. Christ and His ransomed people are to exercise a ministry beyond that of today which is initial and preparatory, through all the coming ages. That ministry is to be that of an unveiling of the profoundest thing in the heart of God; the love which, operating through self-abandonment and sacrifice, ransomed, redeemed, and remade lost humanity. The angels will hear the music of love as they have never heard it, as the ransomed sing, "the old, old story of Jesus and His love." Sons of the morning are they, unfallen intelligences who have never known the misery of sin or its pollution; but they will hush their high anthems while the ransomed sing----
"He loved us, and gave Himself for us."

Thus for all the universe and for the ultimate ages, every proceeding in beauty from the Being of God, the Cross will abide the supreme revelation of God, through which all creation will come to an understanding of His holiness and His love, the deepest and truest thing of His being.

What a theme for imagination, which, nevertheless, is utterly incapable of encompassing all the glorious truth! We dream of the birth of ceaseless ages, of new creations, springing like fresh mornings from His wisdom and His might (ability); and as in unfailing procession they appear, Christ and His ransomed Church will sing to them the song of redemption, and while they know the might and majesty of God in the wonder of their life, they will only come to a true apprehension of His heart as we tell them that He loved us, and "loosed us from our sins by His blood."

"In the Cross of Christ I glory,
Towering o’er the wrecks of time.
All the light of sacred story
Gathers around it head sublime."

If by that Cross all things in the heavens are to be reconciled, and infinite peace is to follow, I dare trust it, notwithstanding all my sin and all my weakness. By the way of that Cross I am reconciled to God, and through it I find rest, infinite, eternal, undying. At last my rest shall be rest with the WHOLE CREATION, for the cosmic order will be restored through the mystery of God’s suffering as revealed in the Cross.

G. Campbell Morgan


THE ECONOMICS OF A SON ....... "Embracing Jesus as the Scapegoat " (part 2)

We begin this second message in this series with the same introduction as the first for it lays out our purpose in sharing our thoughts of our precious Jesus as the "scapegoat." We are backtracking a bit with this proceeding message, as we look at the dynamics which bring about a need for a scapegoat. I pray you will find this writing enlightening and when meshed with our first message you might begin to see the steps we are building. Lord willing we will finally cap this series by revealing Christ's Sacrificial Atonement as few know of it.

If you would like you can read our first message of this series before starting this one, or even vice versa. The link to our opening message:

Is there anything more beneficial in our walk, than to grow in our comprehension of the price Jesus paid at Calvary. I think not. So I am excited to share two or three blogs that have been rolling around in me for some months. They do have to do with the Cross of Christ, and in particular Jesus as the world's scapegoat. I pray you will come to love Him even more so, as you see and understand Jesus, as an innocent outcast bearing all of man's angst, abuse and sin. What an amazing God we serve and what a precious gift we find in His Son.

Two children are playing peaceably in the sand box. One of the children notices the shiny red truck set against the corner. He crawls to retrieve the just noticed object. The second child sees the first child retrieve the red truck. The second child immediately breaks out with a desire for this same shiny truck. Next, all hell breaks lose in the sandbox.The red truck held no import until noticed and posseseed by one of the children.

The serpent was clever, more clever than any wild animal God had made. He spoke to the Woman, "do I understand that God told you not to eat from any tree in the garden?"

The Woman said to the serpent, "Not at all. We can eat from the trees in the garden. It's only the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, 'Don't eat from it."

The serpent tells the Woman, "God knows that the moment you eat from that tree, you'll see what's really going on. You'll be just like God. Like Him you will know everything."

She took and ate the fruit ............

What are we looking at with regard to these two accounts? One is Biblical and takes us back to the very genesis of man and the other with the children, I dare say, takes place hundreds of times each and every day. Is this "action-reaction" common to all men? Is this an example of the nature man, in which he was created? I believe so, and there is a term used to capsulate such behaviour. The term is "mimetic desire" or even better said "mimetic rivalry" and this descriptive term is as old as Plato and Aristotle. "Mimetic" is the adjective taken from "mimesis" which is a philosophical term with a wide range of meaning. In this message I am are going to use the meaning of the terms in the following ways:

* mimesis = an imitation
* mimetic desire = humans copy their desires from other people
* mimetic rivalry = rivalry is formed when the same object is desired by two or more humans

All of human life is based around necessary acquisitions (food, water, shelter etc.) as well as unnecessary acquisitions. There is conflict that arises out of a core human trait that says, "you got it, I want it and you want it, I want it also." So it is with our previous accounts of the children, both wanting the red truck and Eve desiring what God has. Conflict occurs whenever one person sees another person possessing an object or attempting to acquire some object. Those around the holder of the object, will imitate and also begin to desire that object. They will even attempt to acquire the object themselves, by either hook or crook. "Imitation" is an aspect of behaviour that not only affects learning but also desire. And imitated desire (mimetic desire) is a cause of conflict. If any two men desire the same thing, which nevertheless both cannot enjoy, the two become enemies.

We, who are in the know, realize it is the serpent in each of us that taunts and tempts man in this way. Mimetic desire torments from infancy to old age and from the very first man to the last..This selfishness and this evil is born of the very vanity and frustration of which we are made. IT IS INGRAINED IN MAN.

Creation was subjected to frustration but not by its own choice. The one who subjected it to frustration did so in the hope. (Rom 8:20 God's Word Trans.)

For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, (Rom 8;20 KJV)

So we have come to see that "mimetic desire" is part of the inherent nature of man. It is a drive that is provoked and defined by the pull of the actions and intentions of the others as they acquire goods. THIS DRIVING DESIRE IS NASTY ....... IT IS EVEN MORE THAN NASTY WHEN MANIFEST IN A GROUP.

Mimetic desire or mimetic rivalry also takes place in the dynamics of the group or even a nation. With hand to open mouth, we witness over and over in history how horrific the results of such a dynamic. We can view in history, where large communities, that would normally be filled with rational and tolerant human beings are transformed into a murderous and irrational people capable of the most horrendous of atrocities. Truly the student of history or even the reader of the daily newspaper looks on such activity aghast with bewilderment and disgust. How is it possible for humans to treat each other so viciously?

Here we can point to an enlarged "mimesis", where the collective enters into the control of the individual. The energizing group overrides the normal emotions, the rationale and the activities of the individual. Strong collective feelings begin to move humans and they begin to act more like sheep following the newly rationalized and accepted behavior. Inner restraints, convictions and morality are thrown to the wind and extremely untypical human actions are excused if not embraced. The humane become the inhumane and the atmosphere about the mob is filled with tension.

........ enter the scapegoat

To be continued,

(sources: Wikipedia, RobertBarron,
René Girard, The Message)



"Earth's crammed with heaven

And every common bush afire with God,

But ONLY HE WHO SEES takes off his shoes,

The rest sit around and pluck blackberries."

I've always liked that little saying above, as it succinctly speaks to those that see and those that couldn't give a hoot. And it is always those that haven't a care or a hoot in hell that make life more than interesting and sometimes damn near unbearable for the seeing saint. But hey, that's the idea isn't it. You actually have to grin when you see how God has set it all up (lol). Most are busy, as all get out, gathering all they can with nary a thought that all the shiny things they gather are corrupt and vaporous at best. Sadly, most that name Christ can be found in the midst of these worldly gatherers of vapor. Then one day they lay on their sick beds all scared to death because life had passed by so fast and no thought has been taken for that which might count in the here after. Yep, there is some kind of blindness out there and blackberries always hide the Burning Bush.

There is a dear soul that wanders around in forum land that goes by the name "FineLinen" and whenever I see his name attached to a message I thrill to read it. So it is with this message I share with you today. I pray with this you might find hope and encouragement in your walk. You are a chosen generation and of the "very few" that can know the holiness or cost of these words.

Is it not strange the long seasons that can elapse on the back-side of the desert? Year by year falls into the great abyss, and at the juncture where we can no longer speak, and the great struggle to do the will of God vanishes into weakness and death, the Bush appears pulsating with Deity. It is there at the azimuth of death and weakness the Living One speaks.

"Take off your shoes from off your feet!"

Holy ground! The place where dust and Divinity meet! It is there in absolute weakness and inability, the Lord manifests Himself as the God that raises the dead. The road into the Tree of Life is by way of the flaming words swirling in every direction. Those who reach for the Tree will suffer the loss of the hand, the fingers, the grasp of all they are! And as the process of the swirling swords of Fire rage upon these ones, great loss is inflicted, for nothing, no one, comes to the other side the same as it enters...Nothing! nothing! nothing!

The great stages of the Living One's glory must be by degrees of doxa. We are changed from one degree of glory to another and another and another! It requires a thought process in the mind of the caterpillar that ultimately leads to the building of a cocoon from which caterpillars become flying objects of grandeur. Yes, caterpillars become butterflies, and dust moves from one road of life into the Divine One, described as "the Living", the "I AM", not the I was, the "I AM."

It is this Heavenly Road that has grasped us, the Heavenly One, the Source leading to the Road, the sustaining Guide of the Road, and the Goal of the Road. All things lead to Him, through Him and for Him! And by Him all things consist. It has taken me over 60 years to go a journey that could have been accomplished in 11 days, but dust and Divinity must meet, the goal is not all the story, the path is of equal value in the I AM! Each of us are on different stages of our Father's drawing hand, some so wrapped up in themselves they cannot see the bush that is aflame and is not devoured. It is just a common bush for many, but

"Earth's crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God; and only he who sees takes off his shoes."