Do you have a pure heart? Jesus told us…
…The words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you. 19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. 20 These are what defile you…Matthew 15:18-20a NLT
If our hearts defile us, then how do we get a pure heart? Ah, that’s where the Lord Strong and Mighty comes in. Let’s dig in…
A psalm of David.
1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.
The world and all its people belong to him.
2 For he laid the earth’s foundation on the seas
and built it on the ocean depths.
3 Who may climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?
4 Only those whose hands and hearts are pure,
who do not worship idols
and never tell lies.
5 They will receive the Lord’s blessing
and have a right relationship with God their savior.
6 Such people may seek you
and worship in your presence, O God of Jacob. Interlude (pause and ponder)
7 Open up, ancient gates!Psalm 24 NLT
Open up, ancient doors,
and let the King of glory enter.
8 Who is the King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty;
the Lord, invincible in battle.
9 Open up, ancient gates!
Open up, ancient doors,
and let the King of glory enter.
10 Who is the King of glory?
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies—
he is the King of glory.
Points to Ponder
- This psalm was sung by the Israelites on their way to the temple to worship, present their sacrifices and receive atonement.
- First, they praise God by acknowledging that the world belongs to Him. He holds the world in His hands — yes, as the old folk song says. God is in control. No matter what the world leaders say. Furthermore, YOU belong to God. He made you in His image!
- Next, the people ask, “Who may stand in His Holy Place?” That’s a great question! Too bad most world religions have tried to figure this out only to come to wrong conclusions.
- The answer — and the truth — are in the next line, “Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols, and never tell lies.” Well, that rules out all the pagan religions including Roman Catholicism and the Eastern Orthodox.
- Which brings us to another question — who is pure enough to get into Heaven? Nobody — by themselves, that is. Only THROUGH JESUS!
- After that, the people who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, will be blessed and have a right relationship with Him.
- When we are born again, we get the gift of the Holy Spirit and we can seek Him in our hearts, which have been purified and sanctified by the Spirit. He is with us 24/7. And we can worship Him anywhere.
The King of Glory
Who is the King of Glory? Jesus! What ancient gates is David talking about? Let’s cover a bit of history and then get into the prophetic.
Though King David dreamed up the temple plans, it was his son, Solomon, who built it. Moreover, God’s Glory was with the people in Jerusalem. As long as they followed the Law, they were blessed. However, it started with Solomon. He married too many pagan wives who brought their pagan, idolatrous worship into Israel. Thus, people, being as they are, started bowing down to fake gods and useless idols. This angered God and separated the people from God. What idols do YOU worship that are separating you from God.
Consequently, God sent prophet, after prophet, after prophet to warn the people and set them straight, but they didn’t listen. Finally, God’s judgment fell on the Israelites and they were conquered by the Assyrians first, then the Babylonians, who carried them away into exile for 70 years.
At that point, the temple and the whole city of Jerusalem was destroyed. It was a sad time for the exiled Israelites. In the Book of Ezekiel, God gives the prophet several visions. First, he sees God’s glory leaving the temple at its destruction. Nevertheless, God doesn’t leave them hopless. God’s Glory will return to a brand new temple in the future.
The Eastern (Golden) Gate
“Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter.” (v.7)
Ezekiel saw this in a vision…
4 And the glory of the Lord came into the Temple through the east gateway.Ezekiel 43:4 NLT
Later on in chapter 47 Ezekiel tells us more in his vision
2 The man brought me outside the wall through the north gateway and led me around to the eastern entrance. There I could see the water flowing out through the south side of the east gateway.Ezekiel 47:2 NLT
Here’s the problem. Today, in Jerusalem, the Eastern Gate is walled up…
Closed by the Muslims in 810, reopened in 1102 by the Crusaders, it was walled up by Saladin after regaining Jerusalem in 1187. Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent rebuilt it together with the city walls, but walled it up in 1541, and it stayed that way.Wikipedia
See, it seems the Muslims believe Ezekiel’s prophecy that Jesus will enter Jerusalem, in all His glory, through the Eastern Gate. So they closed it up. Seriously, like a brick wall would stop Jesus! Which brings us to the prophetic…
Jesus’ Second Coming
In the Book of Revelation, John describes how He saw Jesus coming back to earth…
11 Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. 12 His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself. 13 He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses. 15 From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress. 16 On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords.Revelation 19:11-16 NLT
The question is… where will YOU be?
Watching Him come at you or part of His army riding behind Him?
That’s where having clean hands and a pure heart come in. If you’ve accepted that Jesus died once and for all taking every single one of your sins away forever, then you’ll be “in that number”, “dressed in the finest of pure white linen”.
How to Pray Psalm 24
Praying the psalms back to God is simply putting the psalm in your own words. Get a journal and write them down. Each one will serve as a prayer for whatever circumstance you’re in. Here’s a sample in my words…
The earth is Yours, Lord, and everything in it! The world and all its people belong to You! You laid the earth’s foundation on the seas and built it on the ocean depths.
Lord, thank You for creating me in Your image! Help me to be holy like You are holy so I can be worthy to stand in Your holy place. Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies, are the ones who will receive Your blessing and have a right relationship with You, Lord, my savior. Forgive me of all my sins. I seek you and worship in your presence, O my Lord, Jesus.
Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter. You are the King of glory! The Lord, strong and mighty; the Lord, invincible in battle. The Lord of Heaven’s Armies — You are the King of glory!
Come, Jesus Come! I pray this in Jesus’ might name, Amen.Paraphrase of Psalm 24 by Giselle Aguiar
25 Its gates will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there.Revelation 21:25 NLT
There will be no more enemies to invade and Jesus will be with us for all eternity.
Again, I ask… Where will YOU be?
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, feel His Shalom — a peace that surpasses all understanding, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180-degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him. When you ask Jesus to forgive you He will. ALL your sins will be wiped clean — past, present, and future! And All means ALL!
- Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the gift of Holy Spirit in your heart.