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Examining the Remnant

After the incredible power that the Lord displayed at Mount Carmel through Elijah in 1 Kings 18 with the killing of 450 prophets of Baal, Jezebel threatened Elijah that his life was now in jeopardy because of these prophets of Baal. In response, Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. In 1 Kings 19:14, he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” He was not able to discern the 7,000 who “have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him (verse 18).” Paul quoted this in Romans 11:4-5 in reference to the remnant, those that return or remain, speaking of those who would be overcomers, spiritual Israel.

The term is often used to identify the Hebrew people who remain firm in their faith despite significant life challenges and threats. They continue to trust in the Lord despite all obstacles. Consider Isaiah 10:20-23, a prophecy of the return of the House of Israel from Assyrian captivity:

“Now in that day, the remnant of Israel, and those of the house of Jacob who have escaped, will never again rely on the one who struck them but will truly rely on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. For though your people, O Israel, maybe like the sand of the sea, only a remnant within them will return; a destruction is determined, overflowing with righteousness. For a complete destruction, one that is decreed, the Lord God of hosts will execute in the midst of the whole land.”

No Other Gods

The Book of Isaiah starts with a complete indictment of the spiritual condition of Israel (see Isaiah 1:4-7), concluding that “unless the Lord of hosts had left us a few survivors, we would be like Sodom, we would be like Gomorrah” (verse 9). Like Elijah before him, only a few would commit themselves to the Lord’s righteousness and not succumb to idolatry. Isn’t this a foundational principle of one’s relationship with God? The first two of the ten commandments say, “You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol or any likeness of what is in heaven above, on the earth beneath, or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God” (Exodus 20:3-5). Idolatry can take on many different forms, not just the creation of idols for worship.

In Isaiah 37, King Hezekiah seeks Isaiah in light of Assyria’s attack against Jerusalem, the Southern Kingdom. Isaiah assures the king, “Behold, I will put a spirit in him so that he will hear a rumor and return to his own land. And I will make him fall by the sword in his own land” (verse 7). Although Jerusalem was surrounded by the enemy so that the people could not work the fields for food sources, God had a provision:

“Then this shall be the sign for you: you will eat this year what grows of itself, in the second year what springs from the same, and in the third year, sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward. For out of Jerusalem will go forth a remnant and out of Mount Zion survivors. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. Therefore, thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria, ‘He will not come to this city or shoot an arrow there, and he will not come before it with a shield or throw up a siege ramp against it.’” (Isaiah 37:30-34) 

Be Fruitful

The Lord promised He would provide food even when the people could not work the fields in the first and second years, and then, they could sow, reap, plant, and eat their fruit. When the remnant would take root downward and bear fruit upward, He was teaching them the spiritual principle that would allow them to survive against any obstacles. Psalm 1:2-3 speaks to this principle in light of the believer’s attitude toward the Word of God, “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and His law, he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.”

In Jeremiah 17:7-8, the Lord addresses the one who trusts in the Lord, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.”

Fruitfulness has always been the Lord’s priority in His relationship with His people; the believer’s willingness to trust God and prioritize His Word are vehicles to spirituality.

“But I will leave among you a humble and lowly people, and they will take refuge in the name of the Lord. The remnant of Israel will do no wrong and tell no lies, nor will a deceitful tongue be found in their mouths; for they will feed and lie down with no one to make them tremble. Shout for joy, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away His judgments against you; He has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; You will fear disaster no more.” (Zephaniah 3:12-15)

Kingdom Age

Through the prophet Zephaniah, God prophesied a coming restoration of Israel, to be fulfilled in the Kingdom Age, the 1,000-year reign of the Messiah. In it, the Lord further defined the remnant as a humble and lowly people, and they will take refuge in the name of the Lord. They live by God’s standards and lie down with no one to make them tremble. The ultimate victory over every enemy, including their sin nature, is found when the Lord, the King of Israel, is in your midst; You will fear disaster no more.

“Then it will happen on that day that the Lord will again recover the second time with His hand the remnant of His people, who will remain from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And He will lift up a standard for the nations and assemble the banished ones of Israel and will gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. Then the jealousy of Ephraim [Northern Kingdom] will depart, and those who harass Judah [Southern Kingdom] will be cut off; Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, and Judah will not harass Ephraim. They will swoop down on the slopes of the Philistines on the west; together, they will plunder the sons of the east; they will possess Edom and Moab, and the sons of Ammon will be subject to them. And the Lord will utterly destroy the tongue of the Sea of Egypt, and He will wave His hand over the River with His scorching wind, and He will strike it into seven streams and make men walk over dry-shod. And there will be a highway [mesillah – a major roadway, a key travel route] from Assyria for the remnant of His people who will be left, just as there was for Israel in the day that they came up out of the land of Egypt.” (Isaiah 11:11-16)

When Isaiah refers to recovery the second time, he is not referring to the return from Assyrian captivity, but rather the second recovery to take place in the Millennial Reign of Messiah. This passage refers to the return of both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms to their Messiah. None of each kingdom’s enemies during their first return will be able to interrupt their passage. Even rivers and streams, which would otherwise be an obstacle, will be dried up to make men walk over dry-shod. The highway will be a major roadway, a key travel route to bring the remnant under the dominion of their God to walk in His righteousness. Isaiah 35:8-10 tells us it is a Highway of Holiness:

“A highway will be there, a roadway, and it will be called the Highway [derek – a traveled pathway] of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, but it will be for him who walks that way, and fools will not wander on it. No lion will be there, nor will any vicious beast go up on it; these will not be found there. But the redeemed will walk there, And the ransomed of the Lord will return and come with joyful shouting to Zion, with everlasting joy upon their heads. They will find gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”

Across Every Generation

God’s plan is for the remnant of God to be represented in each generation as a means of fully manifesting His righteousness to anyone in search of a righteous God. During the captivities, the remnant was represented by Esther, Mordecai, Ezekiel, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, to name a few. Each one, in their way, faced the challenge of an authority who wished to supplant the lordship of Yahweh. In Ezekiel 6:8-10, “However, I will leave a remnant, for you will have those who escaped the sword among the nations when you are scattered among the countries. Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations to which they will be carried captive, how I have been hurt by their adulterous hearts which turned away from Me, and by their eyes which played the harlot after their idols; and they will loathe themselves in their sight for the evils which they have committed, for all their abominations. Then they will know that I am the Lord; I have not said in vain that I would inflict this disaster on them.”

When David was first anointed King, he was 30 years old, and it took place at Hebron; Jerusalem was still under the control of the Jebusites. It was the Lord’s intention that David would ultimately reign from Jerusalem and not Hebron. Hebron means “association” or “affiliation,” a reference to one’s horizontal relationship to others. On the other hand, Jerusalem represents the presence of God, a vertical relationship to Him. In 2 Samuel 5:5, At Hebron, he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem, he reigned thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah. Yahweh’s authority over all of Israel takes place at Jerusalem. The believer’s relationship with God begins at Jerusalem where His presence is experienced. He is a jealous God.

“At that time,” declares the Lord, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people.” Thus says the Lord, “The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness—Israel when it went to find its rest.” The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have drawn you with lovingkindness.” (Jeremiah 31:1-3)

Scriptures to Pray for the Narcissist in Your Life


Being in a relationship with a narcissist is challenging and emotionally exhausting. Narcissists have an unreasonably high sense of their own importance. They constantly need and seek attention and admiration. They often display an inability to grasp or care about the feelings of others. However, behind a mask of extreme confidence, their self-worth is weak, and the slightest criticism or correction upsets them.

If this is your reality, you might feel alone, insignificant, unloved, and even as though you are constantly maneuvering every situation to diffuse some level of tension. Know your heavenly Father is your refuge, your tower of strength and your firm foundation. If you’ve been wondering how to pray for a narcissist, we offer these prayers as a starting point. Let us pray!

Prayers for Narcissists

For You have been a refuge for me, A tower of strength against the enemy. Let me dwell in Your tent forever; Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. (Psalms 61:3-4)

1. Lord, I do not want to falsely label my loved one/spouse as a narcissist. Help me to see them clearly, as You do, with grace and love. But I desperately need Your help and I know that he/she does too. Only in Your presence is true peace to be found and I trust in Your promises.

The Lord gives strength to his people, and the Lord blesses his people with peace. (Psalm 29:11)

  1. Lord, I pray that ___________’s eyes will be opened. Shine Your light on the areas of darkness so that he/she may become aware of the sin and his/her deep need for saving.

Open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me. (Acts 26:18)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

  1. Jesus, You taught us about humility. But pride says, “You don’t need a Savior.” I pray that ________________ will come to realize and admit their pride before it leads to utter destruction.

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)

Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. (1 Corinthians 3:18)

  1. Kindle in him/her an unexpected compassion, an open heart that really sees the needs of others.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. (Colossians 3:12)

  1. I ask that ___________ will find self-worth in You, Lord, and not constantly seek the approval and admiration of others. I know that if we find our identity in Your love and acceptance, we are free and at peace. Let him/her grasp that you have chosen him/her.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. (John 15:16)

  1. God, I acknowledge that we were created with a ‘God-shaped hole’ that only you can satisfy. I pray that ___________ might experience Your unconditional love and grace, despite his/her sins.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

  1. Lord, although we do not need to be defined by our genes or our past circumstances (because You have overcome the world), we know that we easily get snared into certain behavior patterns as a result of trauma, rejection, or neglect, if we haven’t brought it all to Your feet. Please erase the debilitating effects of any negative childhood or other circumstances from his/her life. Set him/her free to be renewed in Your image.

Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Lastly, for you, living with a narcissist: Reach out to fellow believers, ask for support, and pray together.

Also, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about something and pray for it, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. This is true because if two or three people come together in my name, I am there with them. (Matthew 18:19-20)


How Can a Good God Condemn People to Hell?

Recently, during an exchange on social media, I encountered a question that is often asked when discussing the divine nature of God: “Why would a loving God condemn morally good people to eternal punishment in hell?” It was obvious from the context that the morally good people were not Christians. This question is not new, yet it resonates deeply in a world where notions of justice and morality are interpreted through the lens of modern thought.

The question seems to reduce God’s attributes to His loving nature. God is love they say, as they impress into this nature a requirement for Him to love His created beings unconditionally. After all, John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world”. Wouldn’t this loving God want to gather all humans, who are made in His image, into heaven after they pass from this life? To do otherwise would not be what a loving God would do.

Or is it? This conversation serves as a relevant backdrop for a broader conversation about the nature of God—a theme central to Christian theology. Our understanding of God is in err if we focus too narrowly on His love, inadvertently neglecting His other attributes. A comprehensive understanding of God requires acknowledging all of His attributes embodied in His character. This includes His justice, righteousness, and sovereignty, which are as integral to His nature as His love and mercy.

Let’s delve into a study of the attributes of God as they harmonious coexistence within His character, particularly as they relate to the concept of eternal judgment. It’s crucial to recognize that God’s actions are not limited to human interpretations of goodness but are deeply rooted in His whole character. This article aims to shed light on this intricate intersection of God’s love, justice, and sovereignty, guiding us through a theological understanding of why a good God would permit humans to be eternally separation from Himself.

The Multifaceted Nature of God

Understanding God in Christian theology requires recognizing His nature as a blend of diverse yet harmonious attributes each of which is equal and perfect in their own way. The Bible offers a profound insight into these attributes, revealing a God who is both complex and coherent in His character.

God’s eternal nature is foundational, as Psalm 90:2 articulates His existence is from everlasting to everlasting. This concept of infinitude frames our understanding of God’s other attributes.

Holiness is another key attribute, setting God apart as supremely pure and distinct from creation. Isaiah 6:3 vividly describes this holiness, highlighting God’s transcendence. All He is and all He does is holy.

Omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence are also central to God’s nature. His omnipotence is evident in Jeremiah 32:17, which acknowledges His supreme power. Psalm 139:1-4 reflects His omniscience, revealing a deep, personal knowledge of individuals. Jeremiah 23:24 asserts God’s omnipresence, declaring His universal presence.

God’s attribute of love is well known and often cited, but just as important is His attribute of justice. While these two sound like opposites and seem to be in conflict they are in fact expressions of His singular, unified nature. They exist in harmony and complement each other.  The scripture 1 John 4:8 describes God as embodying love, a fundamental aspect that defines His relationship with humanity. This divine love, however, is not separate from His sense of justice. As shown in Romans 2:5-6, God’s judgment is rooted in righteousness, ensuring that His love does not negate the need for justice.

This unity of love and justice in God’s character is crucial to understanding His actions and decisions. His love offers grace and mercy, inviting humanity into a relationship with Him. Yet, His justice upholds moral order, addressing sin and wrongdoing. Both attributes stem from the same divine essence, demonstrating that God’s love is just and His justice is loving. They exist in harmony with all of God’s attributes.

Arthur W. Pink, in “The Attributes of God,” underscores this harmony of attributes. He suggests that understanding God’s character requires seeing His attributes not as contradictory but as complementary. Pink’s perspective helps us appreciate how attributes like sovereignty, love, and justice can coexist without conflict.

Each attribute of God complements and enriches the others, offering a comprehensive picture of a God who is loving, just, sovereign, righteous, merciful and much more. This holistic understanding is pivotal for grasping complex issues such as eternal judgment.

The Concept of Justice and Holiness in God’s Nature

The holiness of God is a fundamental aspect of His nature, which has a profound impact on the relationship between Him and humanity. In the Bible, God’s holiness is highlighted as a fundamental attribute, as seen in Leviticus 19:2, where God commands His people, “Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.” This holiness is not merely moral purity but a distinct otherness that sets God apart from all creation. It is this holiness that illuminates human sinfulness and imperfection, as depicted in Isaiah 6:5, where the prophet Isaiah, confronted with God’s holiness (Isaiah 6:3), becomes acutely aware of his own sin and the sin of his people.

Isaiah 6:5: “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”

The implications of God’s holiness for human sin and righteousness are significant. Since God is holy, He cannot tolerate sin, a theme echoed throughout Scripture. Habakkuk 1:13 states, “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.”

This intolerance towards sin is not a result of vindictiveness but stems from God’s inherent holiness. Mixing one with the other is not possible. Holiness simply cannot abide sin. Therefore, human sin and unrighteousness stand in stark contrast to God’s holy nature, creating a fundamental divide between humanity and God.

God’s justice, intrinsically linked to His holiness, necessitates a response to sin and unrighteousness. In Romans 6:23, it is declared: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Paul has encapsulated the justice of God here—a justice that requires the consequences of sin to be addressed. Divine justice ensures that unrighteousness does not go unpunished, as emphasized in Romans 2:8, which states, “But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.”

The holiness and justice of God are central to understanding His nature and His dealings with humanity. While His holiness reveals the chasm sin created between humans and God, His justice provides a means for bridging that gap as we will explorer shortly.

The Human Condition and the Illusion of Moral Goodness

The concept of total depravity of man in theology paints a vivid picture of the human condition. It says that every aspect of human nature is tainted by sin. As a result, it is impossible for individuals to achieve true goodness on their own. Even what appears as moral living when done outside of God is futilely depraved.  We can see this idea explained in Jeremiah 17:9, which states, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Here we have the inherent corruption within human nature, underscoring the inability to attain righteousness independently of divine intervention.

Romans 3:23 further expounds on this theme: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

The Apostle Paul asserts that every person is a sinner and thus incapable of meeting God’s standard of holiness on their own. This universal sinfulness separates humans from God, making divine intervention essential for redemption and moral goodness.

The Bible also addresses the issue of self-righteousness, which is often mistaken for true righteousness. In a civilized society we would call this moral and upright living. Not cheating on taxes, following the rules and treating people fairly.  Isaiah 64:6 sets this thinking on end where it states: “All our righteous acts are like filthy rags.”

This powerful metaphor illustrates the inadequacy of human efforts at achieving righteousness. The phrase “filthy rags” implies that even the best moral actions of humans are tainted by sin and fall short of God’s standards.

In the New Testament, the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14 provides a clear contrast between self-righteousness and humility before God. The Pharisee boasts about his own righteous deeds, while the tax collector humbly acknowledges his sinfulness. Jesus commends the tax collector’s attitude, teaching that self-righteousness is not only inadequate but also objectionable in God’s eyes.

The apostle Paul’s own transformation, detailed in Philippians 3:4-9, further illustrates this point. Paul initially prided himself on his righteousness under the law, yet he later regarded these as worthless compared to the righteousness gained through faith in Christ. This shift highlights the distinction between human righteousness, which is inherently flawed, and divine righteousness, which is perfect and attainable only through faith in Jesus Christ and doing His will.

The human condition is characterized by total depravity. Even when we think we are doing good it is tainted by our sinfulness. Personal, moral goodness is an illusion. There is no good in humanity which underscores the need for divine intervention for true righteousness. Biblical teachings consistently reveal that human attempts at self-righteousness are insufficient and emphasize the necessity of God’s grace for genuine moral and spiritual transformation.

The Finality of Divine Judgment and the Role of Free Will

The concept of free will in theology is pivotal in understanding the nature of divine judgment. Free will allows individuals to make choices, including the ultimate decision to accept or reject God. This freedom, however, carries profound eternal consequences. In Deuteronomy 30:19, Moses is speaking to the people as he commends them to follow God.

“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”

Moses tells the people that God sets before them life and death, blessings and curses, urging them to choose life. God urges us to choose life also. This choice obviously implies a voluntary decision to follow God or to turn away, each with its own set of eternal outcomes.

The New Testament continues this theme, particularly in the teachings of Jesus. In John 3:16-18, Jesus speaks of belief in Him as the path to eternal life, while unbelief leads to condemnation.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

These verses underscore the role of individual choice in determining one’s eternal destiny. The decision to accept or reject Christ is not merely a temporal one; it bears eternal significance, leading to either salvation or condemnation in this life and the life to come.  Here is the thing—once the last breath is drawn the lot becomes set. There are no more opportunities for changing your mind.

The irrevocability of divine judgment post-death is a consistent theme in the teachings of Paul. Hebrews 9:27 states: “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” We see here clearly the finality of God’s judgment following death. There is no second chance or opportunity for reconsideration once this judgment has been passed.  For this reason, there is emphasis on the urgency and seriousness of making a decision about Christ in this lifetime.

The role of free will in theology is integral in understanding divine judgment. It underscores the responsibility and consequence of human choices in relation to God, His holiness and justice.  Free will requires the person exercising it to make a conscious decision to embrace Christ and the message of His salvation or to ignore or reject it.

The Necessity of Christ’s Sacrifice and Grace

Christ’s sacrifice as a core tenet of theology cannot be overstated. This sacrifice represents the confluence of divine justice and mercy. According to Romans 3:23-25, all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory, but are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. This passage highlights how Jesus’ death on the cross was a demonstration of God’s justice, as it satisfied the need for punishment of sin for all of mankind, and of His mercy, as it offered forgiveness and reconciliation of mankind to God.

The significance of Christ’s sacrifice is further emphasized in 1 Peter 2:24, where it is states: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” Presented here is the incomparable truth that Jesus bore the consequences of sin, offering a path to righteousness that is unattainable through any human effort. It underscores the necessity of the cross as the means by which God’s justice and mercy are made manifest.

Paul is clear in his writings that we cannot save ourselves regardless of what kinds of good things we do. He says that salvation through works is a dead end rather it is a salvation by grace through faith in Christ which saves. Ephesians 2:8-9 declares: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”

This foundational principle distinguishes Christianity from other belief systems that advocate earning divine favor through human effort. It asserts that salvation is a free gift from God, accessible not through human merit but through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

This doctrine of grace over works is further reinforced in Titus 3:5, which states that God saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. This mercy is accessed through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, again emphasizing that it is not human works but divine grace that brings salvation.

We are required to trust through faith to attain this salvation. This means that it is incumbent upon the person to choose to embrace salvation. It might be a free gift, but if the gift is not accepted and unwrapped it has no effect on the person receiving it.


We have come full circle now as we ask the question again:

How can a good God condemn people to Hell?

We have established the attributes of God, and it is certain that one of those attributes is His goodness. His goodness is just one of many of His attributes such as holiness, justice, love, and sovereignty. These attributes define the character of God and as such do not exist in isolation but in perfect harmony within His person. Holiness and goodness define the absolute perfection of God.  His holiness cannot abide unholiness.

The human condition, because of the fall of man in the Garden, is marked by total depravity. We are completely and totally unable to achieve any righteousness on our own.  Our sinful nature results in our corruption and unholiness. Even when attempting to do good, self-righteousness is found to be inadequate to cover the stains of sin. The Bible, from Old Testament to New Testament, consistently points to this truth, emphasizing our need for a savior.

God knew this from before the foundation of the world was laid (Rev 13:8) and formulated a rescue plan for mankind. He would send His own son to live the perfect life we could not live (fulfilling the law) pay the price we could not pay. God sacrificed His own Son on a cross so that we could be reconciled to Him. Jesus rose again on the third day as death could not hold the living and true God. Those who trust in him through faith will be adopted into His household and made children of the living God!

So, what about those who are just really good? Do you really have to trust in God? Can’t you just live a wholesome and upright life and in the end God will say, “Well, look at you.  You did great! Come on into Heaven.”?

The answer is NO. Sorry, it does not work that way.

“So, you are telling me God is just going to let all those people who were really good and fed the poor and helped the sick and gave to United Way go to Hell?” you ask.

Yes, that is what a just God must do. Remember, He is just and holy and unless you have wrapped yourself in the blood of Jesus and claimed redemption through trust and faith then you are unholy, and a just God cannot accept you.

This is what Jesus said about those who are headed to Hell and those who will be saved in Matthew 7:13-14:

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

If you do not enter through the narrow gate you are bound for destruction. God lets us choose. That is the purpose of free will. He will honor our choice. Either way the finality of divine judgment is just that—final. The eternal implications of our choices and the inescapable nature of God’s judgment post-death are inseparable.

In grappling with the complex issue of eternal judgment, it is crucial to understand the full character of God. A one-dimensional view of God as only loving or only just does not suffice. Instead, we must recognize the depth and breadth of His nature. Understanding God’s holiness, justice, love, and sovereignty in their entirety provides a more comprehensive perspective on why a good God allows eternal separation from Himself.

References and further reading:

Tozer, A. W. (1961). The Knowledge of the Holy.
Sproul, R. C. (1985) The Holiness of God.
Packer, J. I. (1973) Knowing God.
Pink, A. W. (2006). The Attributes of God.
Lewis, C. S. (1952) Mere Christianity.

I am Brad Moore. I live in Kentucky USA with my wife. We have three grown kids and are anxiously awaiting news that a grand might be on the way…  I have been a Christian most of my life, coming to Christ at 5. I struggled with a serious misunderstanding of salvation through my young teens feeling that I was a complete failure for God and praying for salvation over and over. Around 17 I learned the marvelous truth of Christ’s saving work. All I needed was faith to trust and He did the rest! Amen. I was baptized in the Snoqualmie River in Washington state at 17. Today I am a Sunday School teacher, Deacon and a Gideon. I love to teach and write about what God has done and will do.


Note: I offered this article to https://levaire.com/ as a guest post on 11/16/2023.

Abiding in Him: The Journey of Sanctification


Alas, sinful nation, people weighed down with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, sons who act corruptly! They have abandoned the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they have turned away from Him. Where will you be stricken again as you continue in your rebellion? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint. From the sole of the foot, even to the head, there is nothing sound in it, only bruises, welts, and raw wounds, not pressed out or bandaged nor softened with oil. Your land is desolate; your cities are burned with fire; your fields— strangers are devouring them in your presence; it is desolation, as overthrown by strangers. (Isaiah 1:4-7)

Isaiah begins his writing with a complete indictment of His covenant nation for their consistent breaching of the Mosaic Covenant and yet God offered His complete forgiveness to those who would repent but judgment to those who continued to rebel. The Lord is prophesying to His people about their current condition and fate. This condition is an illustration of the effect of sin on any nation, even God’s people. The Law of Moses was introduced to provide a foundation for His nation to find God’s perfect justice, leading to His righteousness.

The ultimate conclusion is found in verses 18-20,

“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool. “If you consent and obey, you will eat the best of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.”

Truly, the mouth of the Lord has spoken. The Lord is pointing to the coming Messiah and the victory over sin that is the believer’s when he is willing to walk with his God in obedience. Needless to say, Israel remained rebellious and paid the price.

The Law of Nature

The Apostle Paul defines for us in Romans 5:13 that before the Law, although sin was present in the world, sin is not imputed to each man. Instead, as Romans 2:14-15 illuminates,

for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature, do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves, their thoughts accusing or else excusing them).

Romans 1:20 confirms that the Lord’s invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse. Creation testifies to the law of nature, which reveals the righteousness of God to any man who wishes to live according to that righteousness.

Isaiah 30:15 tells us that man’s solution is repentance and rest: For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said, “In repentance and rest you will be saved, in quietness and trust [confidence] is your strength.” But you were not willing. Israel failed to submit to the righteousness of God (Romans 10:3).

The Work of Righteousness

Until the Spirit is poured out upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fertile field, and the fertile field is considered as a forest. Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness will abide in the fertile field. And the work of righteousness will be peace, and the service of righteousness, quietness, and confidence forever. Then my people will live in a peaceful habitation, and in secure dwellings, and in undisturbed resting places. (Isaiah 32:15-18)

The Lord’s solution to Isaiah’s condition is delivered to Isaiah in Isaiah 32. The chapter starts in verse 1 with a reference to a king who would reign righteously and princes justly. He is speaking of the coming Messiah who would rule the earth for 1,000 years under a new covenant. He was also referring to a time when the Holy Spirit is poured out, and everything is changed. Israel’s deserts will be fertile, and with justice and righteousness will come peace and quietness and security for the redeemed. This peace will not be the result of man’s efforts but the work of righteousness itself and found resident in the new covenant. Then my people will live in a peaceful habitation, and in secure dwellings, and in undisturbed resting places. A new relationship with God can produce a righteous life and a peaceful habitation.

Living in Righteousness

This new covenant, as promised to Israel in Jeremiah 31:31-34, is also given to the church in Hebrews 8:10-12 with Jesus, the Messiah as its mediator. Peter understood the importance of Jesus within this new covenant when he said, And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds, you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls (1 Peter 2:24-25). The possibility that a man can live in righteousness is the direct consequence of Jesus’s sacrificial death, so the believer might die to sin. Finding the Shepherd and Guardian of the soul means he has the divine guidance and encouragement necessary to be victorious despite a corrupt world.

Everyone who practices [present active participle – simultaneous occurrence] sin also practices lawlessness [anomia – violation of the law], and sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared to take away sins, and in Him, there is no sin. No one who abides [meno – remain, continue, stand firm, endure] in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin because His seed abides in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God. (1 John 3:4-9)

The New Testament writers have helped to define this principle of sin in practical ways so that we might comprehend its powers. John writes in the above passage that sin is lawlessness (any violation of the law). It is a rejection of God’s standards as revealed to each believer through His Word. In 1 John 5:17, All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death. Not only is sin lawlessness, but it is the opposite of righteousness. By making the statement, in Him there is no sin, John lays the foundation for his conclusion that the one who abides in Christ cannot sin. Practicing sin (continuing to repeat the same action) keeps man from seeing or knowing God experientially. On the other hand, the one who abides in Christ abides with the righteous One and is empowered to practice righteousness. So, what does it mean to abide in Him?

Abide in Me

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me, you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. (John 15:4-10)

The Greek word for “abide” is meno, and its basic meaning is to remain, to continue, to stand firm, or to endure. The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Kittels) gives us the following explanation:

In the New Testament, the word “meno” is an important one relative to the permanence of God in contrast to human and earthly mutability. As the Old Testament says, God is the eternal God whose counsel and word abide forever (Isa 7:7; 14:24; 40:8), whose eternal city will also remain in the new heaven and earth (Zech 14:10; Isa 66:22), and who gives the righteous a share in his enduring (cf. Ps 112:3 Ps 112:9). The New Testament repeats these points. God’s counsel endures (Rom 9:11), his word endures (1 Peter 1:23,25), the new covenant endures (2 Cor 3:11), and faith, hope, and love endure (1 Cor 13:13). In John 12:34, Christ himself remains forever, and in 1:32 the Spirit does not just visit him but remains on him. In the Johannine writings, this becomes a more personal abiding in Christ or in God as the converse of God’s abiding in Christ or Christ in them (cf. John 6:56; 15:4 ff.; 14:10; 1 John 2:6,24,27). In this abiding, eschatological promise is already possession, but the concept of abiding rules out mystical or ecstatic identity.

As Jesus explains in John 15, the one who abides in Him is the one who bears fruit, more fruit, and much fruit. It is a principle that ties each believer to the permanence of God through faith, hope, and love, and the new covenant. As Jesus Christ has proven His commitment to each believer in the Body of Christ through the cross and the abiding Holy Spirit, the believer has an anchor for the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 6:19-20). In John 15:4, Jesus challenges the believer to Abide in Me as the cause, with the effect being that He will abide in us. The strength of the relationship and the resulting fruit are the by-products of the vine’s ability to deliver on its promises and not the believer’s work; for apart from Me, you can do nothing. Just as he learns to put complete trust in the Word of God, the believer discovers that the love between the Father and the Son is the same as the love he receives from His Lord. And the certainty that Jesus will abide in the Father’s love and keep His commandments is the same certainty that the believer can keep the Lord’s commandments.

Put on the New Self

that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. (Ephesians 4:22-24)

The challenge that each believer faces relates to the remaining power and working of the flesh, the sinful and unregenerate self, before salvation.  Paul tells us to lay aside that life (completed action) for the brand-new life through the renewal of the spirit of the mind, an ongoing work of the Holy Spirit as Galatians 5:16 documents: But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. This new life is characterized by both righteousness (character of life) and holiness [hosiotes – related to the keeping of ordinances]. This holiness is a by-product of an intimate fellowship with God and a commitment to the truth.

Highway of Holiness

A highway will be there, a roadway, and it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, but it will be for him who walks that way, and fools will not wander on it. No lion will be there, nor will any vicious beast go up on it; these will not be found there. But the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord will return and come with joyful shouting to Zion, with everlasting joy upon their heads. They will find gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. (Isaiah 35:8-10)

The Jewish relationship with the Messiah in the Kingdom Age is illustrated as a Highway of Holiness. No unclean person or fool will desire to walk on it; no lion or other vicious enemy will be found there. This highway takes each believer into intimacy with God in joyful shouting, as represented by Zion. This new covenant relationship with Jesus as Messiah is characterized by gladness and joy without evidence of sorrow. Abiding in Him is the strength of this highway accomplished by Jesus on the cross 2,000 years ago and available to anyone who chooses to believe in Him.

How Do You Fast for God?


In the Christian life, we all grow to know the importance of Bible study, prayer and worship. But fasting? Fasting is often the sword left on the table. And yet it can be a powerful tool for getting yourself out of the way, for advancing your prayer life and for canceling the calls of the flesh. So, what does Christian fasting look like?

Though the Edenic directive was to “subdue the earth” (Gen 1:28), too often we are subdued by it through patterns that have been sold to us as normal. Yet, Jesus didn’t say to His followers “if you fast” but “when” (Mt 6:16-18). Important: Fasting is not transactional. We don’t fast to move God; we fast to move ourselves out of the way. Like prayer and worship, fasting is one of our weapons of spiritual warfare and intercession. As fasting may be unfamiliar to some, here are a few ways to engage.

What to Add During Your Fast

Fasting isn’t only about removing. During your fast, you are encouraged to increase your personal prayer, Bible study and worship. Take time to be in God’s Presence and bare your heart to Him. Our Father delights in your willingness to carve out time to pursue relationship with Him. Heaven is excited about your pursuit and submission. Yielded hearts will be met well in this space.

5 Ways to Fast

Fast from screens, social media, secular music, world news (beginner)

We consume a lot these days, and much of our media diet can be from a world that’s passing away. You may find taking a hiatus from one or more of these sources challenging yet liberating. Use your new-found free time to commune with your Father.

Fast from vices (beginner to intermediate)

Coffee, tea, soda pop, chocolate, processed sugars, carbs, alcohol, tobacco and other substances can become habitual or addictive. More, the physical dependency they create in us strengthens the call of our flesh, opening us to further bondage or illness. (Rom 8:5+)

Daniel fast (beginner to intermediate)

Including fasting from vices, Daniel’s fast (Dan 1:12,16) removed all meat and is largely considered to have been a diet of vegetables. Though eating vegan is a fast for some but a lifestyle for others, this fast can be a fine first step toward preparing your body for entering a water-only fast.

Intermittent fasting (beginner to intermediate)

Intermittent fasting involves widening the gap between meals. For instance, a daily time-restricted intermittent fast may mean you stop eating all foods at 8PM and don’t eat again until 1PM the next day. Intermittent fasting may also include alternating days (fast one day, eat normally the next, fast one day, etc.)

Water fast (one to three days, intermediate)*

Whereas a Daniel fast is selective (removing some foods while allowing others), a water-only fast may be partial (intentionally skipping meals) or complete (no caloric intake at all.)

9 Tips on How to Water Fast

There are many physical and spiritual health benefits to water fasting, however there are a few things to know before jumping into a short water fast:

  1. Flipping the switch; By the end of your first day of water fasting, your body will begin entering a state called ketosis as it moves from burning glucose to burning fat. This is like switching between an electrical wall outlet (AC) to battery power (DC). You will usually have less stamina during a water fast, especially if you go longer than a few days; plan less activity.
  2. Hunger; The first few days of a water fast tend to be the toughest. This is when habitual hunger is at its strongest. Relax; you’re not starving. On an extended fast, real hunger from starvation takes several weeks to set in.
  3. Detox; As the work of constant digestion subsides, your body’s detoxification processes ramp up. Symptoms may include withdrawal headaches, coldness, nausea, fatigue, brain fog, irritability, body odor and bad breath. Get more rest, take breaks, bathe daily and remember the mints and gum.
  4. Water; Depending on your body weight, consider drinking 1½ to 3 liters (a half to full gallon) of water per day. Try to stay within this range. Not enough water can lead to dehydration and too much water can flush too many electrolytes. And, speaking of electrolytes…
  5. Salt; “Water-only” is a misnomer; without consuming trace minerals and salt, your fasting experience will be rough and shortened. DO NOT limit yourself to PURIFIED water during a water fast; it will drain vital electrolytes from your body, making you nauseous, light-headed or worse. Municipal tap water can be noxious due to chlorine, fluoride and other additives. Spring water with salt is better. The human body needs 2-4 grams (about 2 tsps) of salt each day. Normally, we get enough salt through our food, but during a water fast, you need to supplement. (Recommendation: Add Himalayan pink salt for the additional trace minerals.)
  6. Energy; Expect to have reduced energy during your fast (maybe 60-80% your normal levels.) Days two and three can be the hardest days, as your body is still switching over to battery power and you may be battling habitual hunger. Usually this switch-over process completes by day four and you start feeling better. Take time to lay down when you begin feeling fatigued.
  7. Heartburn; You would think heartburn wouldn’t happen during a fast because you’re not eating anything. Alas, the smells, and sometimes even the thought of food, may trigger stomach acid production and usher in heartburn.
  8. Commit; If you’re in a multi-day water-only fast, don’t consume calories again until you break your fast. Introducing random calories can create a glucose rollercoaster, undermine your ketonic stasis, kickstart hunger and potentially damage organs like the liver and kidneys.
  9. Breaking your water fast (refeeding); If you water fast for more than a couple days, you will want to break your fast gently. A good rule is to break the fast for the same duration as your actual fast. For example, if you water fasted for three days, you take three days to break your fast; if you fasted for 14 days, you take 14 more days to break your fast, etc. For breaking a three-day water-only fast, the danger of damage from poor refeeding isn’t high; you’ll probably survive even if that slice of pepperoni pizza makes you sick. Binging after weeks of not eating is fairly guaranteed to kill you, however. Refeeding after a three-day water fast may look like:
    • Day 1: Soups and juices
    • Day 2: Soft veggies and fruits
    • Day 3: Full vegan plus fish
    • Day 4: Back to normal eating

(*Warning: Some folks should not water fast without medical supervision, such as those with gout, diabetes (types 1 and 2) or eating disorders. Children and pregnant women should not water fast. Consult your doctor if you have concerns.)

Hopefully, these ideas have gotten you thinking about how you might approach your next (your first?) fast. Yes, of course you can fast longer than three days (or three weeks) but if you’re just starting out with fasting, hopefully these tips have helped you understand what you might experience during your fasting journey.

What Does It Mean to Have a Consecrated Life?


In Exodus 19:10-11, the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow and let them wash their garments; and let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. The Hebrew word for consecrate is qadash and it means to set apart as holy. Yahweh wanted the people to be prepared for the perfect justice of God as represented by His Law by setting themselves apart. This would allow them to draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water (Hebrews 10:22). It means the believer can approach the Lord on His terms.

“Cry loudly, do not hold back; raise your voice like a trumpet, and declare to My people their transgression and to the house of Jacob their sins. “Yet they seek Me day by day and delight to know My ways, as a nation that has done righteousness and has not forsaken the ordinance of their God. They ask Me for just decisions, they delight in the nearness of God. ‘Why have we fasted, and You do not see? Why have we humbled ourselves [anah – denied ourselves] and You do not notice?’ Behold, on the day of your fast you find your desire and drive hard all your workers. “Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist. You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high. “Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble [anah – deny] himself? Is it for bowing one’s head like a reed and for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed? Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the Lord? “Is this not the fast which I choose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke [motah – forces that oppress God’s people], and to let the oppressed go free and break every yoke? “Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into the house; when you see the naked, to cover him; and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? “Then your light will break out like the dawn, and your recovery will speedily spring forth; and your righteousness will go before you; the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. “Then you will call [qara – summon], and the Lord will answer; you will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you remove the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness, And if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday. “And the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail. “Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; you will raise up the age-old foundations; and you will be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets in which to dwell. (Isaiah 58:1-12)

The Truth About Fasting

Isaiah 58 addresses the principle of fasting (Hebrew sum, to “cover” the mouth; Greek nesteuo, to “abstain”) and the lamentation of the people that they were faithful in fasting and other religious duties and God was not acknowledging or responding to their cries. It is interesting to note that fasting was not a religious requirement of the Law of Moses but introduced after the return from captivity. The only reference to the principle from Mt. Sinai is found in Leviticus 23:27 in relation to the Day of Atonement when it says you shall humble your souls [anah – deny yourselves] and present an offering by fire to the Lord. This word is repeated in the above passage as the people boast of their religious works and self-denial so that the Lord will answer their petitions. In the process, the Lord was exposing their unrighteousness, as verse 4 highlights, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist. God was revealing to them that their religious activities would be worthless apart from an interest in caring for others. James 1:27 says it this way, Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

This principle was communicated to the people by other prophets, as well. In Micah 6:6-8,

With what shall I come to the Lord and bow myself before the God on high? Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings, with yearling calves? Does the Lord take delight in thousands of rams, in ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I present my firstborn for my rebellious acts, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice [bring justice to those who have experienced injustice], to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Weightier Provisions

These verses tell us that religious activity is no substitute for the believer’s interest in caring for others’ needs and having a walk before God, with humility. Jesus exposed this same issue to the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23:23 when He said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.” The prophet Isaiah highlighted the matter in Isaiah 29:13 when the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote.” The issues that separate the believer from His God are always a matter of the heart.

So much of church activity today is preoccupied with religious activities (i.e., fasting) and other programs that are intended to bring the believer closer to God, but Scripture says it will not produce the expected results apart from a full heart commitment, a consecrated life. Isaiah 58:6, above, addresses the principle of yokes that bind the people into wickedness, forces that oppress God’s people. The solution is found in Verse 7, dividing your bread with the hungry and inviting the homeless into the house, etc. The promise is that your righteousness will go before you; the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard (Verse 8). As a result, the Lord will say, Here I am.

Belonging to the Lord

The consecrated life recognizes that he is no longer his own, he was bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) and that his life now belongs to the Lord. It means that he is available to be used by God for any purpose, especially when others’ needs become apparent. Isaiah characterizes this life in relation to the Jew’s attitude toward the Sabbath in Isaiah 58:13-14,

“If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and honor it,  desisting from your own ways, from seeking your own pleasure and speaking your own word, Then you will take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

When we treat each day as the Jews recognize the Sabbath, as holy unto the Lord, we embrace the consecrated life. The governing attitude is the turning of the foot (i.e., walk) from doing one’s own pleasures, desisting from your own ways, from seeking your own pleasure. According to Exodus 31:13, when the Jew honors the Lord by observing the Sabbath, the Lord is sanctifying him, making him ride on the heights of the earth. This means that when he gives himself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday (Isaiah 58:10). It reminds me of a quote by a famous Jewish Rabbi:

Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, the first Chief Rabbi of Israel and one of the most influential rabbis of the 20th century. Rabbi Kook wrote, “Every person is required to know that there is a candle burning inside of him, and his light isn’t like anyone else’s light, and there is no one who doesn’t possess a light. Every single person is required to understand that it is his obligation to work on revealing his light, and to make it into a great torch, shedding light on the whole world.”

A Watered Garden

The Lord also promised that a consecrated life is one that receives His guidance and is satisfied in scorched places; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail (Isaiah 58:12). Jeremiah 17:7-8 tells us that the one who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord, “For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.” The consecrated life is an acknowledgment of the Lord’s commitment to the believer and is evidenced by fruitfulness and a life filled with His riches.

34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ (Matthew 25:34-40)