Psalm 51 Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

  1. The background to this Psalm most expositors agree is found in 2 Samuel chapter 11, the account of King David’s adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah.
  2. This is a penitential song, a plea by David for forgiveness to God due to his sinful behavior. He is asking for mercy, and this based on the steadfast and sure love of God. He is convinced that God will “blot out my transgressions.”
  3. David is so very aware of his transgressions, in fact, his sin is on his mind and heart continually. He honestly acknowledges his sin and admits God is just in His judgment of him.
  4. He knows his sin must be cleansed, blotted out, forgiven. He pleads for God to “create in me a clean heart” and to “restore to me the joy of your salvation.”         
  5. We are drawn now to the finished work of Jesus on the cross, that sacrifice for sin, whereby our sin may be removed, forgiven, forever erased.
  6. We are like King David, the chosen one of God, the one from whom the Messiah would come. Jesus makes it clear in Matthew 5: 27-28, we are not unlike David and his sinning.
  7. Why is this story about the great King of Israel in the Scripture? Why was it not edited out? Because expositors point out that if this could happen to David it could happen to anyone. And we find in this story the consequences of sin and how it can bring chaos and misery into our lives.
  8. It is also a story of grace and mercy and love—all coming from our God. There is forgiveness and renewed joy and thanksgiving.
  9. Over the centuries great numbers of us Christians have found hope from this incredible Psalm.

Why Are You Cast Down, O My Soul?

Psalm 42 and 43

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

  1. This from a person, perhaps a Levite, living near Mt. Herman, who is prevented by illness from travelling to the Temple in Jerusalem that he might worship in God’s presence. It is probable that the two Psalms were one and we see that in the Hebrew Bible there is no title for Psalm 43. The present title was added at some point.
  2. The Oxford Annotated Bible states that the two Psalms are “a prayer for healing in preparation for a pilgrimage.”
  3. There are three stanzas (metrical units): Psalm 43:1–5, 42:6–11, and Psalm 43–1-5.
  4. The author is deeply distressed with the reality that he will not “appear before God.” Others chide him that his illness, that which prevents his attendance at the Temple, is his personal fault.
  5. He remembers former times when with great joy and praise he was in the great procession of pilgrims as they entered into the presence of God in the Temple.
  6. Thus, he is “cast down” yet he has hope that once again he will bring praise to God, whom he calls “my salvation and my God.”
  7. His lament and his hope are both present with him, but foremost is his “hope in God” that he shall again praise Him.
  8. Here we can identify with this pilgrim who presses on, not deterred by others nor his present circumstances. He knows there is salvation in no one or nothing else.


Psalm 32:1-11

Blessed are the Forgiven

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.         This Psalm of David is the testimony of a forgiven sinner, one whose transgression is forgiven and whose sin is covered.

2.         Prior to the psalmist’s confession of sin, his life was miserable with groaning all the day long.

3.         Day after day, night after night, David cries as God’s hand was upon him. Then we find the musical note Selah, which may mean a choir or a musician is heard.

4.         But then, in deep despair, sin is confessed; the Psalmist now ceases to cover his sin but lays his life open.

5.         Upon confession, the Psalmist is forgiven of his sin. And the choir or a musician is heard, underscoring the mercy received, which results in praising God who is gracious and forgiving.

6.         The forgiven Psalmist now becomes a preacher and calls out to all to make prayers of confession so that they may be protected from the dangers of their sins.

7.         Indeed, God is a hiding place, One who brings deliverance. The Psalmist can hear that now God will teach and counsel those who have been forgiven of their sin.

8.         The Psalmist admonishes other to no longer be stubborn, like a horse or mule that knows not the grace of God.

9.         The Psalmist knows that great is the pain and suffering of those who rebel against their God. In great contrast is the steadfast love God gives to those who trust In Him.

10.       Since these things are a clear reality, be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, even shout for joy.                                        

An invitation to a class on Exorcism (If you are interested, email me, and I will send you the link Sunday morning-kentphilpott@comcast.net

Hello Everyone, Starting this next Sunday, following the morning service, we will have our first class on exorcism, or as we like to refer to it, Deliverance Ministry.
It will be recorded, by Zoom, and anyone may join the Zoom meeting. Hoping that as many as possible will be with us in person.
This is a major effort on our part. It is so crucial to our ministry in this world today. For four decades I have avoided this area, but now no longer. Here is what the class is going to look like.
One, first, we are going over the book, Deliver us from Evil: How Jesus Casts Out Demons Today. There will be a copy for everyone who is present. For those living away from Marin, please go to Amazon.com, type in my name, and then you will find the book. It is inexpensive.
Two, we will be going over the redo of The Deliverance Book, Katie has it almost ready, It will be a “Little Book” and we will make it available to everyone at no cost.
Three, we will be going over my ThM thesis, published by Zonderva n in 1973, A Manual of Demonology and The Occult. Again, we will make this book available. During the 1970s it was printed in other languages, sold lots of copies, and is essential to an understanding of occultism through the ages and now.
Four, for those willing, we will learn to engage in deliverance ministry.
Five, we have two extra copies of Richard Gallagher’s book: Demonic Foes: My Twenty-Five Years As A Psychiatrist Investigating Possessions, Diabolic Attacks, and the Paranormal. It was published on October 6th. Katie and I are going through it now and the extra copies will be available starting this Sunday. He is an MD, specializing in psychiatry, a Roman Catholic, and does he tell the story.
What is this all about?
1. You will be getting an education in a wide variety of areas. This is my job to equip for ministry. And at this  point in our culture, nothing could be of greater significance.
2. If so desired, you will be equipped to do deliverance ministry. It will be of tremendous value to you.
Kent Philpott, Pastor, Miller Avenue Baptist Church, Mill Valley, CA

Psalm 23 The Lord is My Shepherd Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture. 1. This Psalm of David is the most well-known of them all. The “shepherd” in ancient near eastern usage meant lord, leader, or king. David knows who his king/lord/leader is so then he will never be in want for anything else. 2. David’s Lord meets his needs and brings him peace. 3. David’s soul, nephesh in Hebrew, his LORD continually restores his life and vitality, he does not lapse into fear and insecurity. 4. And for “his name’s sake” David is rightly directed. Thus, David lives to honor his holy God. 5. David knows he will “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” yet he will not walk alone. Yes, he will face death, that deep darkness, as we all will, but he knows he is safe in his LORD and so will not fear even that which is evil. 6. Like the shepherd David was, God protects and comforts him. 7. And like a gracious host, which is the second image employed in the Psalm, the first being that of a shepherd, David’s LORD even protects him with his enemies close at hand and present. This host lavishly anoints David’s head and provides more than all he needs. 8. Despite what trauma and drama David will see in his future, yet due to God’s everlasting covenant relationship with him, he will continue to know the deep grace and mercy, which will be his throughout his life. 9. And even more than God’s presence with him in this life, when life is over, he will yet dwell, and forever, in the place where his LORD eternally dwells.

Why Have You Forsaken Me?

                                      Psalm 22:1-18

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.         This is one of the Psalms described as a lament, here David speaks of the treatment he received during his reign as king, with enemies coming at him from many sides.

2.         He begins by shouting out to God, wanting to know why he has been forsaken, even leaving him to the mercy of his enemies.

3.         At the same time David knows that his God is holy and has delivered His people before.

4.         Then David reverts to the distress he is under going. Even his own people attack him with words of mockery and contempt.

5.         Still, God is his God, and who has cared for him even from his birth. He pleads that God not leave him alone at the time of his trouble.

6.         Back again to those who would destroy him and he is under siege, suffering so incredibly that it seems as though his heart is being melted within him.

7.         The onslaught is so terrible it seems like he is dying, and only his fierce enemies are with him in his death throes.

8.         He is as good as dead as those who hate him are dividing up his clothes.

9.         The rest of the Psalm David speaks of vindication and victory, here the focus is on the suffering Messiah of Israel.

10.       The Gospel writers, in Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19, all recognize that the sufferings of Jesus on the cross have been revealed a thousand years previously in this very Psalm. They are aware that so much of the Psalm applies not to King David but to Jesus and His crucifixion.

Psalm 16: You Will Not Abandon My Soul

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.         A “mitkam” of David, and the word has a musical connotation but unknown to us now. But King David is the author of this incredible piece of poetry.

2.         It seems David is under considerable pressure, and this might be at the time when he had to flee from Saul and escape to the Philistines on the Mediterranean coast—former and present enemies of Israel.

3.         His first words, “preserve me” indicates the trouble he is in. And he knows who is His LORD, and that he is safe.

4.         David is aware of the great contrast between those who are the saints or holy ones and those who run after other gods. Though hounded, the “excellent ones” belong to the LORD, and the “sorrows” of the pagans multiply.

5.         Despite it all, David knows he has a “beautiful inheritance” and he receives good counsel and that at night, his heart, or his conscience, instructs him.

6.         Thus David knows he will not be shaken since the LORD is always with him. He will not be shaken.

7.         David had every reason to be down and discouraged, but in his inner being, his heart, he rejoices and does so out loud as the phrase “whole being” is best rendered “tongue.”

8.         Whatever happens to him, even death from his enemies, he will not be abandoned to Sheol, or the Pit. This is a way of speaking of life eternal away from the Creator God.

9.         Right in the midst of this comes a prophetic word about the resurrection of Jesus, “or let you holy one see corruption.”

10.       Indeed, for David, and for all of us who trust in our LORD, there is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore.”

The Fool Says, There is no God Psalm 14

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

           1.              This Psalm is referred to as a “community lament” and we find this description: “To the Choirmaster. Of David.” The Psalm would be sung in the Temple in Jerusalem, and led by a choir of Levities.

2.              “The Fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” The word fool means someone who has no knowledge, has received no revelation, and is therefore corrupt and in the worst way.

3.              This is the universal condition of all people, which God is completely aware of. Sin blinds the heart and mind and the result is a rejection of all good and a seeking after corruption.

4.              Not that there is no religion, but this is a seeking after supposed freedom and self-care.

5.              The Psalmist is addressing both Jew and Gentile, evildoers who persecute and destroy God’s people. And they “are in great terror.” They are desperate, restless, and have no peace, and blindly hate those who worship Yahweh.

6.              These who hate God and those who worship Him attempt to “shame” the plans of the poor, that is, those who are unable to defend themselves. However, the LORD is still the refuge of those who call upon Him.

7.              Verse 7 is the cry of the Psalmist that the salvation of Israel would appear. This is the forward looking for the arrival of the Messiah.

8.              The promise is that the LORD will redeem and save His people Israel, and here Israel is seen in two ways, both the nation and all those who receive salvation, including the Gentiles.

9.              The Psalmist, seeing in the distant future, the working of God’s salvation, declares rejoicing and gladness.           

Psalm 1

The Way of the Righteous and the Wicked

 Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.       The first song, Psalm 1, for that is the meaning of “psalm,”is essentially a hymn, a poem, or a song of praise to God. The author of the first two Psalms is unknown. This psalm leads off Book One and in this book there are 40 more songs of Praise. In all, there are Five books of songs.

2.       There are 73 songs of David, 11 by the Sons of Korah, 12 by Asaph, 2 by Solomon, 1 by Moses, and for the other 50, no author is stated.

3.       The Hebrew for Psalms is Tehillim, which means “praises.”

4.       Psalms is the best known book of the Wisdom Books, which are Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.

5.       The first word in verse one is translated “Blessed” and it translates something like, “Oh how happy.”

5.       In this Psalm we find a series of contrasts. In verse one we find that the blessed one “walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers.” Then the contrast of verse is that the blessed man (read person) delights in the law of the Lord upon which he and she meditates, or thinks about and focuses on daily.

6.       The next contrast shows the blessed one prospering greatly just like a well watered plant.

7.       However, “the wicked are not so.” These are scattered to the wind.”

8.       The greatest of the contrasts we find in the last two verses. At a time of judgment, the wicked are condemned. Those who merely pretended to be righteous within the congregation will be found out and rejected.

9.         God knows those who belong to Him, those who follow righteousness, but “the way of the wicked will perish.”

Does the Sermon on the Mount describe the process of conversion?

The Process of Conversion as seen in the

Sermon on the Mount — Matthew 5:2–12

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.           The nine, or ten, points of the sermon Jesus gave to His disciples very early on in His ministry has been interpreted as the ordinary means or process of conversion. Let’s see what we think. Each one begins with “Blessed.”

2.           “The poor in spirit,” “those who mourn,” “the meek,” and “those who hunger and thirst for righteousness” — these expressions represent mental and emotional states that someone who under the oppression of sin, guilt, and shame, recognize their need of forgiveness and salvation. And all this due to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit.

3.           This would correspond to the “calling” that we read of in Romans 8:30: “Those whom he predestined he also called…” Then is “justified” meaning born again or saved.

4.           In verse seven we find the word “merciful,” who “shall receive mercy.” Here is a radical change, a conversion. Now instead of guilt and shame, a person has experienced mercy, and it must be the cleansing of sin by means of the shed blood of the crucified Messiah. Having received mercy, one can be merciful to others.

5.           “The pure in heart” — here the “poor in spirit” has now a pure heart, and thus can be in a personal faith relationship with God.

6.           This person who has now experienced forgiveness and enjoys peace with God becomes a peacemaker: this is indeed a radical conversion experience and is common for all in Christ.

7.         Even those who are now experiencing persecution are blessed since it makes evident that theirs is the kingdom of heaven, the desired goal above all others. And in the last verse, Jesus re-emphasizes the fact that for the blessed persecution is coming, just like the prophets before them.