Copyright © 2012 Robert B. Thompson. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
We have come to the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish feast of The Blowing of Trumpets, referred to today as Rosh Hashanah (the head of the year). The Jews celebrate Rosh Hashanah as New Year’s Day. Rosh Hashanah is in the fifth month of the religious year, which begins with Passover, but it is in the first month of the civil year, the month of Tishri.
The seven feasts of the Lord are all representative of epochs in the spiritual plan of redemption. To Christians, this means that we are entering a special period in the plan of redemption. It is the period in which the Lord Jesus Christ, the “Lord, strong and mighty in battle,” comes to the Christian who is keeping His commands.
This is not the world-wide coming of Christ, neither is it an unscriptural “rapture.” It is a personal coming to prepare the believer for the final two works of redemption that follow immediately. We can see this personal coming in the Gospel of John:
Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him. (John 14:21)
The Lord Jesus today is standing on Mount Zion with His Firstfruits. He is declaring war on His enemies, beginning with those of His Body who are crying out continually, “Not my will but Yours be done.”
Notice the difference between the twenty-third Psalm and the twenty-fourth Psalm. In the twenty-third Psalm, the Lord is our gentle Shepherd who is guiding us through the troubles of life. But in the twenty-fourth Psalm, He is the King of Glory. Up to the present hour, the Lord Jesus has been our Shepherd guiding us with a heavenly calling. But in the twenty-fourth Psalm, the accent is on the earth. It is the beginning of the civil year, the beginning of the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; (Psalm 24:1)
Notice the accent on the earth and the world. Perhaps we always have associated God with Heaven, and our destiny as being eternal life in Heaven. But God created the earth, and man to live on it and govern it. The inheritance of Jesus, and those who are co-heirs with Him, is the nations and the farthest reaches of the earth.
Today the earth is overrun with demons and wickedness of all sorts. Since the earth and its peoples are our inheritance and part of our land of promise, the Lord Jesus has come to help us drive Satan from what rightfully belongs to us.
This is a new thought to us, as we always have supposed that Jesus has come to bring us to Heaven. But Heaven is not our inheritance; the nations of the earth and the earth itself are our inheritance. Therefore, the Lord Jesus has come to help us redeem what belongs to us.
For he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters. (Psalm 24:2)
The seas and the waters are not a solid foundation. This may be why Abraham was seeking a city that has foundations, the city of God that is to come to the earth.
Christ is our Foundation. When we do what He has commanded, we are building our life on a rock. Then we cannot be shaken and removed no matter what comes to pass on the earth.
Claiming we are “saved by grace” is not the same as keeping the commandments of Christ and His Apostles. That is the great error of our times.
Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? (Psalm 24:3)
The “hill of the Lord” is Mount Zion. Mount Zion is in Heaven today. It is the city of the living God. It is the Church of the Firstborn. If we are true disciples of Jesus, we already are standing with the Lamb on Mount Zion, being prepared to drive Satan and all of his works from the creation of God. But who may stand with the Lamb in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. (Psalm 24:4)
The massive, tragic error of our day is the teaching that we no longer must have clean hands and a pure heart. We can lift up our soul to an idol and swear by what is false and still stand with the Lamb in His holy place. All we must do is “accept Christ,” and the condition of our hands, heart, and soul do not matter. We automatically are righteous and holy in God’s sight and qualified to stand on Zion with the Lord. This is such a tremendous deception that one wonders if it ever will be removed from Christian thinking.
At the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age, Satan will be released from the Bottomless Pit. He will go forth to deceive the nations who have been governed in righteousness by the saints throughout this period. Perhaps he will reintroduce the lawless-grace error and cause the nations to rebel against God, just as the Christians rebel today when we tell them they must bear the fruit of righteous behavior if they are to remain in Christ.
We never could calculate the damage that has been done to the Christian churches by the teaching that we can stand in the holy place with our Lord and still yield to our sinful nature because we have been “saved by grace”.
He will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God his Savior. (Psalm 24:5)
Who shall receive blessing from the Lord? He who has “accepted Christ”? Not in this context! Rather, he or she who has clean hands and a pure heart. If we have not followed Christ until we have clean hands and a pure heart, we will not be able to stand in the Lord during the days of chaos that are on the horizon of America. America is going to be judged by the Lord because of its sin. And I think the prevailing sin is a direct result of the lawless-grace teaching. It is an abomination!
Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob. Selah. (Psalm 24:6)
One of the central problems of the lawless-grace teaching is that it leads the believer to believe that he can “accept Christ” and then wait to die to go to his mansion in Heaven. There is no “working out your salvation with fear and trembling.”
The true Christian discipleship is one of fervently seeking Christ at all times during the day and into the night. We are to seek to live by the Life of Christ, to have the mind of Christ, as we go about our daily business. To seek Christ this often may seem impossible to the new believer, but it is no more difficult than planning and carrying out our life in our own strength and wisdom. We do not have nearly as much anxiety of mind when we are living in Christ compared with trying to solve the problems of life by our own wisdom and experience.
Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. (Psalm 24:7)
Do you remember the Lord Jesus saying in Revelation, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock”? Well, here it is. There is no King of Glory other than the Lord Jesus. It is of interest that the Lord said this to the church in Laodicea, the worst of the churches. It was the church of the “rights of people.”
The description of the church in Laodicea reminds us of the Christian churches of our day. They are miserable, wretched, poor, blind, and naked. They are not righteous, most of them. They need to buy the “gold” of true faith, the “white clothes” of true righteousness, and the “eye salve” of the spirit of revelation. We are in this condition because of unscriptural teaching!
Who is it that is seeking admittance to our personality? It is the King of Glory, the Lord Jesus Christ.
We never shall have the righteousness of conduct that we desire until the King of Glory is living in us. We cannot bear the fruit of the Spirit by means of our good intentions or our religious efforts. The true godliness and holiness of character, the genuine testimony of God, is produced by Christ and His Spirit working in us.
I cannot emphasize this too strongly. The true Christian salvation is not a religion that people can practice by means of their own wisdom and strength. Rather, it is an invitation to Christ to enter us and perform the works of God in us.
I have an inexpensive wristwatch. It actually is a radio receiver. It receives a signal from an atomic clock in another state. It is accurate to the split second. It is more accurate than wristwatches costing thousands of dollars. Why is it more accurate? Because it does not tell time by its own inner mechanism but by another atomic clock that tells time in a different manner from the springs and wheels of an ordinary wristwatch.
So it is true that the most religious individual in the world cannot equal the godly character attained to by the Christian who has invited the King of Glory to be his or her life. It is Christ in us who desires and performs the righteous works of God.
Invite Christ into your life and ask Him to help you live by His Life. Then you will overcome Satan by the word of your testimony.
Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. (Psalm 24:8)
We are in a new day. The Good Shepherd has brought us to the present hour. Now Moses is being replaced by Joshua. The gentle Shepherd is being replaced by the Lord strong and mighty in battle. Moses belongs to our journey through the wilderness. But now it is time to take possession of our land of promise. Therefore, the Shepherd appears to us as the Commander in Chief. Moses taught us the way of the Lord. The Commander in Chief enters us because we are not able to overcome the evil we are facing. But He is able! Those who are with us are more powerful than those who are against us. Remember that during the dark days that are ahead!
The Lord Jesus is strong and mighty in battle. The demons cry out in fear when He approaches. Let Him fill your personality and His angels will prepare the way before you.
Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. (Psalm 24:9)
There is this about the Lord. He will not enter you unless you ask Him to. You must invite Him in, not once but continually, day and night. “Lord Jesus, I want to think as You are thinking, pray as You are praying, speak as You are speaking, act as You are acting, see as you are seeing, hear as You are hearing.”
There are so many thoughts that compete for our thinking. Paul commanded us to place our attention on things above. We must be diligent to remember to do this throughout the day, and night when we are awake. We keep inviting the Lord Jesus to enter us and live His Life in us, just as He lives His Life in the Apostle Paul, until we can say in truth, “It is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”
Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty — he is the King of glory. Selah. (Psalm 24:10)
No matter how dark the days become, just remember that Christ is in control of this world and all who dwell in it. You cannot stand in your own strength. But He is your Rock and your Fortress. He will be standing when the earth and the heavens pass away.
And you will be standing also, if He is living His Life in you.
(“Psalm Twenty-four”, 3169-1, proofed 20211024)