City of truth

atlantic-city-234775_640Zechariah 8:3: Thus says the LORD: I have returned to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the LORD of hosts, the holy mountain. (ESV)

The writer of the book of Hebrews describes the church as spiritual mount Zion (Hebrews 12:22-24). Talking about the same thing, Paul said that the earthly Jerusalem (which has the earthly mount Zion) is in bondage together with her children, in a reference to the occupation of Jerusalem by the Romans at that time (Galatians 4:21-31).

But he said the heavenly Jerusalem is free, together with her children. Zion, in a spiritual sense, is called the city of the living God and at this time, there is no place that is worthy of that description greater that heaven, the place of God’s own abode.

As children of God, the bible says that our citizenship is in heaven where Christ is (Philippians 3:20). Before he left the earth Jesus told the disciples that he is going to prepared a place for them so that where he is we will be also, adding that in his father’s house there are many mansions (John 14:1-4). So in the truest sense, Zion is heaven.

And when the Holy Spirit comes to stay in our heart, the light of heaven dawns there, he brings heaven there, and though we are in the world, we are not of the world (John 17:14), we do not share its “genetic” configuration.

Paul said it this way: I died, but nevertheless I live by the grace of Jesus who gave his life for me (Galatians 2:20). To the Colossians, he wrote that we should set out hearts on things in heaven and not earth. On heaven, because that is where Christ, in whom our life is, is (Colossians 3:1-2).

We are not part of this world, we are sojourners (1Peter 2:11), says the bible, we are ambassadors (2Corinthians 5:20). To be sojourners mean we have limited time to stay here before we move to our permanent abode. To be ambassadors means that while we are here we have some tasks to accomplish.

As sojourners, we are enjoined not to love the world nor the things in the world because then the love of the father will not be in us (1John 2:15-17). And it is the love of the Father that pushes us on in the journey as we do not try to be at one with the world. We are on a journey into God.

God, we are told, that dwells in unapproachable light (1Timothy 6:16), and that is a picture of God’s truth, since his truth, his word, is light (Psalm 119:105, 130, John 1:1-5, Isaiah 8:20).

Mount Zion, the house of God, the meeting place of God with Man on the earth, is, therefore, designed to be a place where God’s truth will go forth.

If Zion is where we have the temple of God, and the bible says that we are the temple of God, we are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1Corinthians 3:17, 6:19), it means in an individual sense, we are Zion. We house God, and we, therefore, house his truth, we have the capacity for spiritual enlightenment in the truth of God.

Paul prayed for the church in Ephesus that the eyes of their hearts be enlightened, to know the hope of their calling, the exceeding greatness of the power at work in us which was operational in the Jesus when he was in the grave to raise him up (Ephesians 1:15-18). What we know in truth is the light we walk in.

If God is for truth the devil is called the father of lies (John 8:44). Jesus said that we need to watch out not to be deceived. The devil employed deception to get the first parents to do the wrong thing in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). It was the same tool that the devil used to try to get Jesus to fall into the same trap, but he was victorious (Luke 4:1-13).

We need to have a commitment to truth, to the word of God, even if it is painful (John 17:17). It was painful truth that before Jesus can express his full glory he had to pass through the death of the cross (Luke 22:42). It was painful that before the widow of Zeraphath and her son can be sustained in a time of famine, she was told to serve Elijah first from what was even enough to satisfy them (1Kings 17:9-16).

The truth is as God says it is. Anyone can have their say, they can propound their argument, can arrive at their own judgements, but the counsel of God, his truth, is what will stand (Isaiah 46:10), because it is the standard. We contradict that to our own harm.

The bible says that by faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God (Hebrews 11:3). We were not there when it happened, but because we see it in the word of God, the scriptures, we embrace it the way it is, that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth with his word (Genesis 1:1-3). If we reject that, we have rejected God, we have made him less that he truly is, the great one. Once we reject that first line in the bible, the rest is not good, will not profit you. Put that in mind.

What we understand is what we live by, and that brings the great need for understanding. Paul said that we should not be unwise but need to understand what the will of God is (Ephesians 5:17). And we will gain that understanding if we put our nose in the word of God. God told Joshua that if he wants to have good success that is what he has to do (Joshua 1:8).

If Joshua did not embrace his words, he will not understand his ways and if he does not understand his ways then he will not walk with God from whom victory comes. Victory does not come from our strong-headedness and trying to prove to people that we are always right, that we are all-wise.

Remember that there are two main types of wisdom, the one from God and that which is earthly. We need to walk in the right wisdom, the wisdom from God, which he is willing to give to us, once we ask him (James 1:5, 3:13-18).

There was a kind of wisdom that the devil wanted Eve to walk in the Garden of Eden and she yielded to his suggestion. But that wisdom is founded on a lie. A lie means it is covered up. The ultimate outcome is hidden or falsified and if we are gullible, we can fall into a trap.

While God said, by his wisdom, that eating the wrong fruit will lead to death, the devil said the opposite will happen.

The question now is: whose report will you believe (Isaiah 53:1)? The first steps to take so that we will not be deceived is to be firmly grounded in truth and to make “being continually grounded” a lifelong pursuit. You cannot sit down hoping the devil will leave you alone. You need to stand your ground with the whole armour of God which includes the sword of the Spirit, which is hung on the belt of truth (Ephesians 6:10-18).

You also have your shield of faith which is associated with the word of God (like the belt of truth and the sword of the Spirit), because we are told that faith grows in us when the word grows in us, and we are able to overcome (1John 5:4).

We parry the fiery darts of the enemy which comes in the form of deception, and other forces of satanic machinations are put under check as we defend our city of truth.


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