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The Party’s That-away!!!

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“Truth & Dare” is retiring, but the party’s not over. Hooray !!!  We’ve made our last new post here. It will still serve for an archive site. But, we invite you now to head on over to our new site for great posts of information, illumination, and inspiration. If you haven’t already joined us there, from now on we’ll be on WordPress at: newjosephblog.wordpress.com.

Or, you can join us on Facebook at:   https://www.facebook.com/TheNameMostHigh/

Also, on our group page:   https://www.facebook.com/groups/HighPraiseWordCenter/

You can even submit a post yourself for publishing on our group page, and join in the mutual encouragement and edification. Everything at these sites is for the growth and advance of Christ’s children and His kingdom. So, what are you waiting for??  Head on over!!!

We’ll meet you there.

Looking for Somebody?; or, Not I, Said the Cat !!!

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By Joseph Diop

Copyright © 2017 by Joseph Diop

“’Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle!’ And she began thinking over all the children she knew that were of the same age as herself, to see if she could have been changed for any of them…” (She lists her friends and decides that she is not either of them)… “Who am I then? TELL ME THAT FIRST, and then, if I like being that person, I’ll come up: if not, I’ll stay down here till I’m somebody else” –but, oh dear!’ [she] cried, with a sudden burst of tears… (Having been first stretched tall like a giant, then suddenly shrunk to the size of a mustard seed)…`I wish I hadn’t cried so much!’ [she] said, as she swam about, trying to find her way out. `I shall be punished for it now, I suppose, by being drowned in my own tears!’”

The foregoing quote is from, “Alice in Wonderland,” the popular novel by Lewis Carroll, published in 1865. Though it is classed as “nonsense literature,” what it treats here is anything but nonsense. For it attempts to address the age-old question, “Just who or what am I?” The Bible itself first raises this most fundamental of all issues, when it asks,

“What is man, that You are mindful of him? and the son of man, that You visit him?” (Psalm 8:4).

The inability of people to come to a satisfactory understanding here, however, does accounts for all the insane, nonsensical, sad, and desperate behavior in the world. For, without being able to answer this question, man is truly lost.

My wife had a divine vision one day. She saw this generation of young people on horses galloping down the freeway in a massive gang. They filled the highway, and were headed fast together on their way. My wife asked, “Where are they going, Lord?” God said, “They don’t know. They are just going.” Isn’t that sad? But, without knowing who or what they are, they (and we all) are like a vehicle without a destination, a tool with no job to do, a representative with no commissioning authority, and an individual with no purpose. Trying to come to know who we are by comparing ourselves to others, is as vain, futile, and depressing as Alice learned it is. We either loom huge like giants, and in our minds are bigger than life. Or else, we seem as tiny and insignificant as specks. Looking at others makes our minds play tricks on us, and puts us on carnal footing as infirm and unsafe as quicksand. But, God gave us the sure and eternal answer early on in the very first chapter of the first book of the Bible. Like Alice requested, “Tell me that first.”

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion…” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:26,27.   Amen.

Did you catch it? “Man” is the one and only creature on earth created in the image and likeness of God. Wow!! What a legacy!!  Brothers and sisters, we are the only beings on earth created to show the rest of the creation what God is really like!! I heard a word from God one day. God said, “You can sum it up this way, ‘Man is a MANifestation of God.’”  That’s no play on words. That is just words playing their role to make plain and clear the glory of God. Man was created to be a MANIFESTATION of God. That is what we are. And, as importantly is the who. Jesus quoted it.

“I have said, Ye are gods; and ALL OF YOU ARE CHILDREN OF THE MOST HIGH.” Psalm 82:6

God’s children we are, made to manifest his glory, showing forth his power, and being filled with His love. One day, as I was in the Spirit, God just literally downloaded the following chart into my mind. As God’s children, we are beings of a seven-fold nature, each facet of our being playing a specific and vital role.

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If you can accept it, then you will see that we have purpose galore. If you can believe it, then you can receive that as your destiny. If you can put on this truth, then you will be robed for battle with the devil’s minions, whenever they try to fill you with either pride and high-mindedness, or either discouragement and depression. Knowing the truth about who and what we are is the “first thing” that we must embrace, if we are to become fully what we were created to be in the first place  –  EXACT  MANIFESTATIONS OF GOD — HIS  BELOVED  CHILDREN  IN THE  WORLD.

 

 

 

 

 

A Father’s Guarantee

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“Behold, what amazing love the Father has lavished upon us…” 1John 3:1

A “blessing” is a good word spoken by the mouth of God, which causes His glory to be manifest in our lives. That good word guarantees us all-encompassing health, success, and prosperity, along with His peace. (Because of His purpose to grow us up into the image of his Son, Jesus Christ, that blessing cannot at all times and under all circumstances be interpreted and reduced down to mean “having lots of money and stuff”).  Considering its glory and effect, nothing else in this world is to be coveted more than God’s blessing.   Selah. Maranatha. Amen.

 

Light ‘Em Up; or, The Fire Next Time !!!

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By Joseph Diop

Copyright © 2017 by Joseph Diop

“Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?”  (Jeremiah 23:29).  If you really want to be changed into Christ’s image, then just get into God’s word day by day. You’ll have the hammer of God in your soul, and the fire of God in your spirit. You cannot help but to be changed. The word itself will break up all that needs to be broken up, and burn up all that needs to be burned up.  Fight for establishing a regular time in the word every morning. It will be like a beachhead for your war on the devil, and like a high place for gaining a tactical advantage on evil. It will be a sure weapon and faithful ally. The scripture says,

“Sanctify them through thy truth. The word is truth” (John 17:17). If you really want to be separated from your sin, then the word will do the trick. It is God’s sanctifying agent. A good acronym for TRUTH is:

The * Right * Understanding [of] * THings

If you want to get your mind right, then fill it full of God’s word. When you understand the word, you understand God’s perspective on things, and you understand His will and purpose for your life. There’s nothing more powerful in this world than a man or a woman with a divine purpose active in their life. And, as you grow strong in the Lord, He will speak of you this way:

14 “Wherefore thus saith the Lord, because you speak this word, I will make my word in thy mouth fire and this people wood, and it shall consume them…  20 Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms… 5 They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord, and the weapons of his indignation…” (Jeremiah 5:14; 51:20; Isaiah 13:5).

Do you know the principle behind having visions of the Lord? The principle is this: “What you see is what you get.” Well, I have had a vision of the Lord, and that vision was awesome, fiery, and mind-rending. In it, I saw a vision of Christ Jesus the Lord, and he was… “The Eternal Word which proceedeth out of the mouth of God – Consuming Fire !!!”  So, I can promise you that it is true. If you get filled with the word, then the Lord one day will transform you into a fiery, spiritual weapon in his arsenal for his warfare on the world, the flesh, and the devil. He will purge you, sanctify you, and refine you yourself, first of all. Then, He will turn around and use you to do the same in the lives of others. The word promises,

In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left… (Zechariah 12:6).

So, get ready. The fireworks are about to begin!!!

 

Come Unto Me; or, “In the Fire, Alone !!!”

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By Joseph Diop

Copyright © 2011 by Joseph Diop

 

I had just been jotting down some ideas that were flowing out of my heart in the presence of the Holy Spirit one evening. I was sort of conversing in my heart with the Spirit about the preeminence and the pricelessness of unlimited love between the heart of God and the heart of His worshipper. I got all the way down to the end of the second paragraph, before I realized that what I was writing was actually a song.

 

All my Spirit-filled life, I have regularly been challenged by a spiritually lackadaisical world on the point of finding something called “balance,” where my love and devotion to God are concerned. But thank God, by his grace, my heart could never be moved from its path. No matter how seemingly ‘prudent’ the objection to my spiritual obsession, I knew that all I was really trying to do in life is to give God nothing more or less than what He had asked for, which was that I  Love the Lord my God with ALL my heart, with ALL my soul, with ALL my mind, and with ALL my strength  (Mark 12:30). And in my simple mind, you don’t need a cup, a scale, or any other kind of device to measure out “ALL.”  All is all. And, if all means all, then how much do you WANT to hold back? All you need to do to render “all” is just turn the vessel upside down and pour out every last bit of it to the very last drop. Simple, right!? And hey, this is God’s recipe for what he considers acceptable love—not mine.

 

But anyway, as the years rolled by and life experiences and relationships marched onward, that same old chorus of complaints kept being leveled at me, like a broken record. And in my own narrow focus on my own life and duty to God, it was many years before I could really decipher just what was really behind all that scorn. The Lord eventually set my soul at ease by enabling me to recognize that it was just the world’s way of reacting against and resisting the conviction that the zeal of my spirit was imposing upon them. But even to this day, I am so sick and tired of hearing those same old tired mantras from the zombie army of lukewarm ‘Christians.’

 

Don’t rock your own boat.

Let God ‘bless’ you. You deserve it.

Don’t be so heavenly-minded that you’re no earthly good.

You need to be “balanced out.”

(And, my all-time favorite):  It don’t take ALL that.

 

I got Spirit-filled when I was fourteen years old, so I have had to listen to all these same old sad songs from “the church in the wilderness” (Acts 7:38) now for forty years. And while the Spirit of holy zeal itself has its own good code of divine discretion, it is never given over to mere creeds of self-preservation, like the carnal-minded are. That crowd is always looking for some way of dousing the flames of the single-minded saints with reproaches that try to appeal to the spirit of wisdom, but are in fact nothing more than smoke screens for their own spiritual compromise, cowardice, carnality, and complacency.

 

(And over the years, my life has borne the markings of God’s fiery flames of purification. Season in and season out, an awesome, fearful display of smoke has billowed up from my life as my God has consumed me – spirit, soul, and body. At times, my life has seemed to be nothing more than “a proverb and a by-word” to every Tom, Dick, and Harry passing by. “Where no oxen are, the crib is clean [i.e., not messy]: but much increase comes by the strength of the ox” (Proverbs 14:4, brackets mine). But, I have deeply and intimately known the Lord, as He has known me, and has wrought in me His good plan and purpose – ever making, shaping, and molding me into the image and likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ. And, time alone (in the will and purpose of God) will tell the story and confirm to the world if I be a charlatan, a fool, or indeed a saint. But, in the meantime and between time, I will worship the Lord, and render all praise to Him with my heart and with my mouth.)

 

Anyway, since God calls for every bit of our love and being to be His, if we try to “measure that out” and “balance that out” with other things and interests of this world, God ain’t going to like that. But, when God finds a heart whose love for him is uncontested, unmitigated, unquenchable, and unparalleled, then He will mortgage all heaven and earth, and give that individual the world itself to possess or to dispose of at their own holy whim. Does the scripture not say?: “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth that he may show himself strong on behalf of them whose heart is perfect towards Him”  (2Chronicles 16:9).  Anyway, that is the opinion of one “fool for Christ.”

 

If God be willing, on tomorrow I will share with you my song – in lyrics only. I call it, the Song of Satisfaction. And all those of you on this “strait and narrow” path of love, faith, and service to God will recognize the heart, soul, and spirit of the song. So until then, the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

 

Same Grace in a New Place

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Beginning on May 1, 2017, we will begin publishing exclusively at a new blog site, Christian Covenant Community Clarion.  That address is newjosephblog.wordpress.com. At that time, we will have published our last message over “Truth & Dare.”

So, we hope to see you there !!!

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not…; or, Am I a ‘Son’ ???

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By Joseph Diop

Copyright © 2017 by Joseph Diop

 

Life can be very scary and uncertain sometimes. It can be very puzzling, especially in terms of our interplay with the LORD God our Father. All the drama, the intrigue, and the suspense of life can be summed up in the fact that we have a very sovereign God, who controls all things, and who seems to like to deal with and work through us creatures who are weak, frail, and finite. Sometimes we find that we are not even in control of the one thing we are always supposed to be in control of – our own behavior. Sometimes, we find ourselves in need of praying that prayer King David taught us, when he was fingered by the prophet Nathan for adultery and murder,

 

Behold, I was shaped in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me… 11Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Psalm 51:5,11

 

So, the question is, at what point can a Christian know that his soul is secure and that he/she is bound for heaven in the end, no matter what? How do we escape that uneasy, unwelcome, and troubling feeling of eternal UNCERTAINTY, considering all our stumbling, misdeeds, shortfalls, and let’s be plain, all our sinfulness? By virtue of our own rotten human nature, no matter how hard we try, at times we just get tangled, twisted, and tossed about by sin. This was certainly Paul’s experience (Romans 7:7-25).  So, let’s look very briefly at this issue from the two distinct points of view – God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility.

 

First, realize that God is sovereign in the affairs of salvation, as we dealt with in the previous article, “Pen Me In in the End…” http://wp.me/p4eK9Z-Bs.  And, God is faithful. There is a doctrine floating around in the Christian camp called “Eternal Security,” which attempts to offer Christians escape from the pressures of uncertainty by reducing God’s part down to this simplistic formula, “Once Saved, Always Saved.” That statement falls short of the volume of the teachings of scripture however, simply because it does not start at the right point in the process. (So, the apostle Paul said, “Work out your own salvation with FEAR AND TREMBLING” Philippians 2:12.  Therefore, that sense of uneasiness is not a dirty thing. It’s essential to the process. Scripture says, “The FEAR of the Lord is clean, enduring forever” Psalm 19:9). The scripture places the point of certainty much earlier in the process.

 

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to HIS PURPOSE. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. Romans 28-30

 

So, the actual links in the process of salvation are:

 

GOD’S PURPOSE (1) → God’s foreknowledge (2) → God’s predestination (3) → God’s call (i.e., the preaching of the gospel) (4) → God’s justification (what we refer to as, getting “saved”) (5) → and, God’s glorification, which is the end result of the process (6).

 

The problem with “Eternal Security” as it is commonly presented, is that it presents the “salvation” of man, step five (5), as the root and foundation of the process and of our assurance, when there are four (4) earlier steps that are most decisive to the outcome. And, all those steps lie totally out of the scope of human knowledge or temporal confirmation. They fall wholly within the domain of God’s sovereignty and control, which we shall sum up under the heading of God’s “election.” And, that is why Peter said,

 

And beside this, giving ALL DILIGENCE, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge… But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to MAKE YOUR [OWN] CALLING AND ELECTION SURE: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (1Peter 1:5-11 brackets mine)

 

So now secondly, we must realize that we are forever responsible to be DILIGENT as far as our soul’s ultimate salvation is concerned. At no point can we escape the drama of it all, by just taking our eternity for granted. God alone sees the end from the beginning, and knows what souls shall make it from the start of our salvation unto the end. Ultimately, in the realm of time to which we are confined, our assurance is a rooted in the hope and faith of the believing heart. Of that root system, Hebrews says,

 

“Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil [of eternity]” (Hebrews 6:19, brackets mine).  Furthermore, Paul explains,

 

1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.  Romans 5:1-5

 

Ultimately then, assurance of salvation is negotiated between the individual human heart and the Spirit of God. It is a function of the enduring hope and faith of the heart, sustained and grown throughout time. That faith is maintained through grace by God’s eternal love, the bestowal and receipt of which is the very “PURPOSE” (Romans 8:28) for which we were created. That ‘purpose,’ as you recall, was step one (#1) of our salvation process. You may be sure that if you can CONNECT AT THE HEART LEVEL WITH THE LOVE OF GOD, and maintain that connection throughout all the many ups and downs of life, then YOU WILL most definitely BE SAVED.

 

The love of God will never, ever let you down. As 1Corinthians 13:8 assures us, “Love never fails.” Like King David, even in the most desperate of times, when we are utterly guilty and stained before God, that love connection in our hearts will make us come out with the most gracious prayers and supplications. Those, God will always recognize as being consistent with his own eternal grace and purpose. God will respond with downloads of the abundance of his steadfast love, and your heart will grow yet to another level of capacity to always believe in His faithfulness. May you be filled with grace, peace, and assurance as you grow and produce fruit in our heavenly Father’s love. Selah. Maranatha. Amen.