"An Inside Perspective"

February 2004


My dear family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our LORD Jesus Christ!
I am housed in an area called 4-wing. On 4-wing there is what is called 4-up and 4-down. 4-down consists of 44 double-bunk cells, 22 on each side. Similarly, 4-up also consists of 44 double-bunk cells, 22 on each side but the difference is that 4-up is directly on top of the 4-down cells.

My cell on 4-up is number 75 and is almost exactly dead center in the wing. As I am on 4-up my cell overlooks almost all of 4-down. I have an interesting perspective of all that happens there. I can walk over to my cell door, which has open bars, and I can look down to what we call the “flats” and observe all that everybody is doing on 4-down. Most of the time people are not looking up, they are just going about their daily “prison business” without a thought of who may be watching. It is not as though I am trying to “peep” so to speak, it is just the natural view of my cell.

When I look out my cell door bars this is simply what I see. On one hand, from 4-up I can watch men passing pornography books, cigarettes, gambling tickets, drugs, stolen foods, etc., from cell to cell. They are doing what sinners do without a thought of Who is watching. It is written, “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts [and] Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do (answer to). It is not as though God is trying to “peep” so to speak, it is just the natural view of the omniscient God from Heaven.

On the other hand, I also daily see the Christian brothers witnessing, passing bible and tracts, and going to and from Bible studies, services, and prayer meetings, etc. It is written, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

Both are going about their daily business, one is on the “broad road” to hell and the other is on the “narrow road” to Heaven. One is “the savor of death unto death; and the other the savor of life unto life.” For us as Christians some of our work will be shown to be “wood, hay, and stubble” because it was done in the flesh, without faith and from a self-serving motive. Some of our work will also be deemed to be “gold, silver, and precious stones” because it was done “by faith that worketh through love” to the glory of God.

Years ago, 13 to be exact, when I used to own and watch a TV, I remember a sports-castor named Warner Wolf. I don’t know if he is still around anymore or not. When he used to report the sports news, to prove his case, he would always say, “Let’s go to the video.” It was as if he was saying, “All I have said to you is true and here is the proof!” It makes me think of how we will all be judged by the Word of God and the Lord will prove His case by saying, “Let’s go to the video!” It is written, “Every man’s work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work o what sort it is.”

It is needful to remind ourselves that God is always on 4-up and we are always on 4-down. As Christians, we are often out of focus and our eyes are fixed on the horizontal issues of our daily lives forgetting that we are being watched vertically by our thrice Holy God. I don’t want to paint a picture of God in the sky as a Judge with a big stick, yet, I want to maintain the balance with the thought that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Yes--- we are His children. Yes--- we are redeemed by His “precious blood,” and yes—He loves His own with an “everlasting love.” Let us not forget though that “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” and I will add… especially in a state of willful disobedience!

Jesus said, “If you love me keep my commandments.” The sincerity of our love for the Lord will be quickly evidenced by our immediate willing obedience unto Him. Our obedience is always and forever, at once, His highest glory and our highest good.

It is written, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise partook of the same…[and again]… Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren…” You see God the Son had a cell on 4-down for some thirty-three odd years and He knows what it is like to live there, indeed “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Even though He is now returned to 4-up, so to speak, He is coming again to receive unto Himself the faithful of 4-down. It is written, “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we do not have an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

Let us remember as we do our taxes this year and render unto Caesar his due, that there is One who sits high on 4-up. As we live our lives on 4-down, be it speeding to the mall or to our jobs, even in all that we do, let us remember that we will certainly answer to Him who sees all from the Heavenly 4-up.

Joyfully in Jesus,
Love Phillip

"Remember Those In Prison, As if Chained to Them"