Friday, September 13, 2013

Enter Those Gates With Praise

And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
Revelation 21:21

How many of each type of animal was taken on the ark?  They went two by two, right!  Everyone knows that.  This was often a question that my mother would ask me as a child.  However, the answer is two for each kind of unclean animal only.  The clean animals were loaded on the single means of salvation in groups of 7.  See for yourself, Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.”  Genesis 7:2

Her point was that we often have the tendency to focus on the bad, the unclean, and the awful while ignoring was is just, true, and good.  It is often that way with the study of biblical prophecy.  Don’t get me wrong—we must pay attention to the serious warnings of prophecy, but we often forget that the future holds bright promises for the child of God.  Though the night of tribulation will come upon the world, hold on servant of the LORD because joy comes in the morning.  His story has a wonderful ending.

When Jesus returns it will be a new beginning.  All things will be made new and righteousness and holiness will be the order of the day.  Longevity of life will be restored and all men, women, and children will see Christ ruling from His capital city of Jerusalem.  Those who enter this glorious kingdom will know true joy and happiness as the world has never known before.  The Prince of Peace will extend that peace from the City of Peace.  Ironic isn’t it?  The name of Jesus Christ and Jerusalem evoke such different responses today.

After the millennial reign of Christ there will be a brief evil interlude followed by the makings of a new heavens and a new earth wherein righteousness and purity dwells forever; furthermore, nothing unclean will ever enter there.  The New Jerusalem will descend and be the abode of the saints from all ages.  The city will have twelve layers in the walls and twelve gates.  Each layer and each gate will be named for an Israeli tribe and an apostle respectively. Each gate will be made of a pearl.  Why a pearl?

Pearls are formed when an irritant gets between the soft tissue of an oyster and its shell.  As a defense mechanism the Almighty Creator programmed the creature to produce a substance called nacre that surrounds the irritating particle.  In time the buildup of this material forms a protective barrier around the sand, and it is a visible yet beautiful reminder of the pain that once inflicted the oyster.

In the same way, those gates will be a constant reminder to the saints entering and exiting that city of Messiah Jesus' sacrificial, atoning death at the cross.  The only works of humanity that will be seen in that day are the scars from the cross that are on the body of Jesus. That cross produced grace that surrounded the life of each believer creating something new from what once was an irritant to God's holiness and justice.  The beauty of the pearl will remind us of the beauty of Calvary where God Almighty dealt a death blow to sin forever.  Surely, each step in and out of those gates by every blood washed saint will erupt with a loud shout of praise to the one and only Savior that gave us complete access to the presence of God.  Let's start now as we consider the power of the cross and the grace that surrounds each one of us--HALLELUJAH!!!!!

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Revelation 21:5

Friday, September 6, 2013


When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient* for them, that every one of them may take a little. 

John 6:5-7

Recently, I finished a book on the significance of numbers in the scripture by EW Bullinger*.  One note on the number 200 was interesting as this seems to be a number that relates to the concept of insufficiency.  In the verses above we see Jesus about to perform the miracle of feeding the masses with the 5 barley loaves and 2 fish of a young boy.  Phillip had already surmised correctly when he said, "Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them."  Such is the bread of life, the Word of God itself.  Men's thought, ideas, opinions, and philosophies will always leave a starving soul.  Jesus, however, the very bread that came down from Heaven, is more than enough to meet our needs.  Look intently into His word with prayer if your spiritually hungry and not to the machinations of men and you will be ever full.  

So many today are also caught up with another insufficient notion heard in pulpits worldwide, the gospel of greed.  It is certain that riches and wealth will never bring satisfaction in this life.  Yet, hundreds spend hundreds looking for the latest "secret" of success from "scripture" that will assure them ease and comfort despite what Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:6, "
And having food and raiment let us be therewith content."  They also send hundreds hoping for a hundredfold blessing promised by a man within a certain time frame--foolishness!  If one even hints at the words of Jesus in Matthew 6 about life being much more than the pursuit of things they become quite indignant.  Listen to the words of sorrowful Achan as he realizes that 200 shekels of silver and 50 shekels of gold were worthless to cover the cost of his sin, "When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it (Joshua 7:21)." This world's goods and money are not sufficient to bring joy.  Only Jesus brings joy!

"But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him. And when he polled his head, (for it was at every year's end that he polled it: because the hair was heavy on him, therefore he polled it:) he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels after the king's weight (2 Samuel 14:25-26)."  It seems that Absalom found out the hard way that charisma, charming looks, and a magnetic personality are not sufficient when attempting to work with God's people. Those who spend all of their "ministry" attempting to get attention for themselves are like one in the bridal chamber trying to draw the bride's attention away from the groom.  Most take a dim view of such a thing.  Only Jesus deserves the glory and the attention.  Humble men and women of GOD will make sure He gets the glory!

Micah learned much like Absalom and Achan that there is no sufficiency in mere religion.  Using an idol created with 200 shekels of silver, he eventually led the tribes of Dan and Ephraim away from the LORD.  "Yet he restored the money unto his mother; and his mother took two hundred shekels of silver, and gave them to the founder, who made thereof a graven image and a molten image: and they were in the house of Micah (Judges 17:4)."  Being religious will not get you to God--only Jesus gets us into Heaven!  He is the ONLY way.  Not sure?  While there will be some from the tribes of Dan and Ephraim saved, look for the names of the tribes in Revelation 7.  They are conspicuously missing.  Don't be led astray and lose out as they did.

Jesus said in John 4:24, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."  This is a message those in the current worship craze need to understand.  Some people pick churches out too shallowly.  They are just looking for "the fire" or some sort of thrill.  It doesn't matter that there is death in the pot (false doctrine) just as long as the worship is hopping they assume that God is pleased.  Ask Amos what God thinks of worship that is for personal pleasure and not directed towards that Lord and His glory (Amos 5).  The Book of Ezra records that a mass choir of 200 men and women sang and led worship, yet this was not sufficient to bring the presence of the LORD. "Beside their servants and their maids, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and there were among them two hundred singing men and singing women (Ezra 2:65)."  Worship that is not directed by the Word of God and centered on God through the person of Jesus Christ is worthless.  Worship for the mere sake of having a good time is even deadly.  It is certain that we cannot worship God through the senses, but worship must be in Spirit and truth. The Spirit works through the truth of the Word of GOD that HE authored!  That Word always points to our only intercessor, Jesus Christ. What good will worship do without being coupled with a prayerful relationship with Christ?  Will worship and a compromised relationship please God?

In every instance, Jesus is the sufficient one.  He is sufficient to meet our every need and can even bring joy when we lack what this world has to offer.  Christ is the centerpiece of worship and the only way to God.  Anyone attempting to access the Father through any other means or method will certainly find that their attempts are insufficient.  Seek Jesus through the Word!  He is all you need and He is truly Soon2Come!

*highlights added

*Number in Scripture:

Its Supernatural Design and Spiritual Significance

E. W. Bullinger 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Stop Feeding The Homeless!! Why?

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Revelation 13:16-17

Do you remember this old post from 2012 called What Will You Eat?  Here are the first three paragraphs:

"We know that you are hungry", says the bureaucrat.  He adds, "Just allow us to insert this implant and you can eat tonight. Don't you care about the needs of your family?  Surely, you  love your husband?" He continues asking, "How else will you care for them? Look, your husband has already sworn allegiance and worship to our great leader, won't you?"  Finally, he adds a measure of doubt and blasphemy united, "Apparently, your God has abandoned you, so how else will you survive?"
This scene will soon play out worldwide as many will seek to fulfill temporary need with a decision of eternal consequence.  What will you do should you be here then?   What will you eat?  Where will you live?  What employment will you find?  All options will be totally controlled by the reigning new world order. Thankfully, there is another table spread with a heavenly dinner awaiting those wise enough to escape the nightmare to come.  You have an invitation today to choose that banquet, the marriage supper of the Lamb, rather than starve while risking eternal damnation.  
As the first 3.5 years of the Tribulation begin, apocalyptic devastation will be unsealed.  The Earth's supply of food and water will vanish,  animals everywhere will die, crops will fail, rains will cease as droughts prevail, lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams will dry up, and it will become nearly impossible to live without making the fateful choice.  The horses of the Apocalypse bring war, starvation, disease, and death following close behind.   Can't you hear their approach now? Men and women will either sell their soul for a mess of pottage, or willingly decide to trust Christ yet face near certain martyrdom. "

So why the rev
iew? Remember, there are several things that will accompany the fulfillment of the verses above.  They are:
1.Universal surveillance
2.A means to make a traceable mark
3.United world government—Government as God
4.One international monetary unit
5.Complete control of all food and water
6.A means to make the evil seem good and good seem evil—A way to make the mark appealing
7.  A universal faith system

Let's take a moment and focus on developments for number 5 which focuses around the control of food and water.  First, take the time to research the control of the food industry by mega-corporations.  Also, research global governance of water as well as laws in states prohibiting rainwater collection and storage.  You may be surprised at what you find!  Some of this information is in the link above, in other articles on this site, or readily available in a plethora of other sites.  

One question that seems to be in the process of being settled is what to do with the poor, starving, and homeless members of society who will be unable to feed themselves due to being homeless and/or unemployed?  Compassionate individuals would want to help them and provide for their needs as is possible as it is the reasonable thing to do.  But what if this became illegal?  With the church gone at the time of the mark's implementation, this basic humanitarian assistance will be illegal and could lead to your arrest.  Take note of two recent sets of news articles.

First, it is currently illegal in many places now to feed the homeless.  Add to this a recent crackdown on those assisting the poor and you can see we are getting closer to the total control needed for the implementation of the mark.
N.C. Police Threaten to Arrest Church Group For Feeding the Homeless - ABC News

It Is Illegal To Feed The Homeless In Cities All Over The United States

There seems to be a means to solve the problem also being prepared.  Simply lock them up!  Several cities are pursuing laws for locking the homeless in shelters where they cannot leave of their own free will.

South Carolina City Takes Steps to Evict Homeless From Downtown -
Columbia SC to exile its homeless- MSN Money

Notice carefully this paragraph from the above MSN article and let it sink in.
The Columbia City Council unanimously approved the plan, creating special police patrols that would enforce "quality of life" laws involving loitering, public urination and other crimes not necessarily restricted to the homeless population. Those officers would then offer the homeless a choice: Go to jail for their homelessness or be shuffled to a 240-bed, 24-hour shelter on the outskirts of town, *which they wouldn't be allowed to easily leave."  * highlights are mine

With all of the news of a prophetic Middle East War and preparations for implementing the mark, it is time to make a decision for Christ.  He is certainly about to call His church home, and you would not want to be here afterwards!  Hurry and choose Christ as He is certainly Soon2Come!

Friday, August 23, 2013

See the Door

For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Matthew 5:18

Jesus understood one important piece of information that moderns need to also understand, the Bible is the inerrant and infallible word of GOD breathed and written by the Holy Spirit!  Every page is saturated with meaning and all of it reveals Christ and His cross of redemption over and over again. Jesus even mentioned that the punctuation marks were filled with meaning and purpose.  The Old Testament has many interesting things that students of the Word have pointed out for years that also show how important continual study and prayer is, and they seem to add verification to the words of the LORD (not that what He says needs verification). The Word is so amazing that we need to constantly be taking it to heart and allowing it to be applied to our lives with divine assistance.

An example might be the use of the Hebrew word  v'et 10 times in Esther 9 while listing the sons of Haman who were hanged for their father's plot to kill the Jews.  This word is a word of replication or repeat and it gives the idea that another 10 would be hanged.  Maybe that is why in verse 13 Esther asks for the sons to be hanged a day later after they were dead. Was another group of ten being referred to?  Strangely enough, three of the letters in the names of the sons of Haman have always been written smaller than the others around and scribes were careful to make sure they were always recorded that way though no one knew why. Even stranger is the fact that if these three numbers were changed to a date, it would correspond to the Gregorian year, 1946.  In 1946 exactly 10 Nazi war criminals were hanged after the Nuremberg trials for crimes against the Jewish people.  In a strange irony, Julius Streicher, one of the criminals executed, cried out, "Heil Hitler" followed by "Purim Fest 1946!"  Funny that he should reference a book where 10 enemies of Israel were hanged and that establishes the holiday of Purim as a result.  By the way, 11 were to be hanged but Goring killed himself the day before so only 10 were hung.  This is easily verified so take some time to research it.

At this point I need to add a disclaimer.  The coming of Christ for His church is an imminent event.  No one knows when it will be or what day it will take place.  There are many guesses as to when but that is what they are--guesses.  We know that we are near that day as many signs are being fulfilled that point to the fulfillment of events in the 7 years following this blessed event, but there are no prophecies needed to occur before Christ calls His church home.  It could be today or thirty years from now (though I doubt it).  As I go on, I don't want anyone to claim that I am predicting that Jesus must come back in a certain year.  Live your life everyday as if He is going to come today and plan as if He won't be back in your lifetime.

The Jewish New Year is upon us as it starts with Rosh Hashanah.  The upcoming year on a Jewish calendar is the year 5774.  Jewish letters also serve as numbers.  The letters for the new year approaching will be "ayin dalet".  This is an interesting word to say the least.

Most know that the Shema is a very important statement to Israel and it is quoted often.  It is the well known declaration, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD..." from Deuteronomy 6:4.  Did you know that there are two letters that have always been written larger in this sentence and preserved for us today?  They are the letters ayin dalet mentioned above.  Together, they form the word "witness".  It is as if God is saying that His sovereign witness of who He is should bring us to a place of entire devotion.  This word "ed" in Hebrew reminds us of that God is also a witness to the condition of our heart.  One may state they love Him while their heart is far from Him, but nothing escapes the witness of the Holy One.

The most ancient forms of Hebrew letters were pictographs.  Jesus, for instance, often is referred to as the Aleph Tav (Alpha and Omega in Greek).  In their oldest form the Aleph was an ox head and the Tav looked just like a Christian cross.  Christ is the sacrifice on the cross is He not?  Also there were idiomatic ideas behind ayin dalet?  The letter ayin was originally an eye (it sort of even sounds like "eye").  This lends itself well to the idea of a witness as its idiomatically means to see or experience.  Dalet was a pictograph with an idiomatic meaning of a door or path.  Interesting! 

Will this new year coming be the year of witnessing the coming of Christ for His saints?  May it be the year where we experience Christ as never before?  Could the church see heaven's door open as we meet our blessed Savior.  I hope so, don't you?  However, even if it is 50 years from now live each day with the witness of Christ in your life as Heaven's door is opened to you by His all sufficient atoning sacrifice.  One day He will come for us.  Yet know, He is Soon2Come.

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:16

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

From Chaos To Christ's Perfection

"And on the fifteenth day of the seventh month ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work, and ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: And ye shall offer a burnt offering, a sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD; thirteen young bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year; they shall be without blemish:...And on the seventh day seven bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year without blemish:"

Numbers 29:12-13, 32

The last of the annual feasts of Israel is the Feast of Tabernacles, or Succot.  It begins on the 15th day of the Tishrei and runs for seven days.  During this time the children of Israel celebrate by living in small booths or tent like structures as they may have lived in during their 40 year journey in the wilderness.  They were not alone during these travels as the LORD himself, in the cloud and in the pillar of fire, was living with them and guided them.  It is this fact that reminds us of a far greater time for Israel, indeed for all humanity.  There is coming a day when the LORD Jesus Christ will tabernacle among men again permanently.  As the spring feasts pointed to work Christ did at His first coming, the fall feasts point to what He will do when He returns.  There is a message in the number of bullocks sacrificed for us that is so encouraging!  Jesus will set all that is chaotic in this world back to perfection!

At the time that Jesus returns, the world is in absolute chaos and rebellion.  The unholy trio had drawn all humanity to the land of Israel to make one last attempt at the final solution--but He fails miserably again!  Jesus returns and fights as in the day of battle first rescuing the Jews hidden in the territory of Edom and then He marches against the rebels at the infamous Valley of Megiddo--Armageddon.  This may be why the number of bulls that were offered on the first day of Tabernacles is 13.  This feast is a shadow of the beginning of the reign of Christ for a thousand years and a celebration of His presence among Israel and the world.

Using the idea of first mention, the first time that 13 is encountered in the Bible is during a rebellion.  Genesis 14:4 says, "Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled."  The second time that the number is used is when the age of Ishmael was given at the time that God promised and named Isaac.  God wanted there to be no confusion as to who was Abraham's only son of covenant, so He said, "But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year (Genesis 17:21)."   Jesus, after His return to save Israel, immediately begins to counteract the rebellion of man and to set all things straight!  It takes the presence of Jesus to tame rebellion whether it is in the heart of an individual or in the heart of all humanity.

As the feast of tabernacles progresses the number of bullocks is reduced daily by one.  On the last day only 7 are sacrificed.  Most know that 7 is the number of spiritual perfection as its use in scripture is evident.  Its first use is in Genesis 2, a use that speaks volumes.  "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made (Genesis 2:1-3)."  What started out in seeming chaos (And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.) ended with perfection and rest.  This is what our LORD will do again.  His arrival sees the end of all of the sorrow, chaos, and confusion that are all around us even now.  In moments, the world will be transformed by His mighty power to a place of perfection, peace, and rest.  Literally, it is the LORD's sabbath!  "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God (Hebrews 4:9)".

Each day seems to bring a bit more heartache.  The hearts of many are groaning as the world's rebellion against the rule of the LORD grows.  Godlessness is at an all time high to the point that the love of many is waxing cold even as Jesus warned.  With the forcing of wickedness upon us from unjust government and immoral judges, things don't seem to be getting better.  There are many who are in fear of what tomorrow holds whether it is an economic meltdown, world war, disaster, or plague.  Maybe you have that sense of fear and helplessness?  Take it to Christ now!  You need not wait until His return.  He can tame the fear and confusion you sense now if you will simply call on Him for salvation.  Consequently, He will also take you out of here before the dreaded days ahead when the unholy trio of the Antichrist, False Prophet, and Satan are given free reign for we have a promise of deliverance.  Call on Jesus now and let Him--the one and only Savior--take you from this place of rebellion to that place of perfection.  All we have to do is cease our own personal rebellion and His presence begins the process.  He still saves and the blood He shed at the cross is still all powerful to deliver!  Call now!  He is surely Soon2Come.

Here is your promise of escape!

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Redemption Songs

"And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever."
Revelation 5:13

A very interesting pattern appears as the songs of Revelation 4 and 5 are compared.  In order to do the comparison, let's look at who is singing and what the theme of the song seems to be as we identify each outburst of worship.  

1.  Revelation 4:8 "And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come."

     A.  Who is singing?  Angels
     B.  What is their focus?  God the holy and eternal one

2.  Revelation 4:10-11 "The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."  

     A.  Who is singing?  Angels and the 24 elders
     B.  What is their focus?  God the Creator who is worthy of praise

3.  Revelation 5:8-10 "And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

     A.  Who is singing?  Angels, the 24 elders who are offering the prayers of the saints
     B.  What is their focus?  Christ, the Lamb of God has redeemed us

4.  Revelation 5:11-12 "And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing."

     A.  Who is singing?  The angels, the 24 elders, and an innumerable host of those redeemed
     B.  What is their focus?  Christ, who by His sacrifice, is worthy of exaltation

5. Revelation 5:13 "And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever. "

     A.  Who is singing?  Every creature in the universe
     B.  What is their theme? Jesus Christ is LORD reigning forever!      C.  He is then worshiped forever by the 24 elders

Overall, these songs are spelling out the Revelation of Jesus Christ and God's plan for the ages.  We start with a brief picture of God worshiped in eternity by the angels.  Yet, notice the angel's description.  They are the face of a lion, ox, man, and eagle.  These are the shadows of the gospels.  More on this later.

From there we are joined by the 24 elders as representatives of creation and God the creator is honored and praised.  However, things change at the beginning of chapter 5 as we see an interruption to the worship of God.  What has happened?  The creation has fallen from God and no redeemer who can reconcile God and man can be found.  What a tragedy!  John is seen weeping in Heaven at this time as he considers this tragic scenario.  However, he doesn't weep long nor are the prayers of those who would seek God's righteousness ignored.  Christ our King has prevailed as the imperishable lamb of God!

After this, those who love Him, the Redeemed, sing a song of praise and proclaim Jesus to be worshiped above all.  He is the Ascended, Exalted, and Glorified sole Redeemer of Mt. Calvary.  

Finally, all creation joins in as the crowd has steadily built to include every knee, even those under the earth, as every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is LORD.  This is the crescendo of praise as all join in.  Won't it be glorious to see satan bow and confess Jesus Christ as LORD and King.  It's coming!  but only the redeemed will be left to sing His praise for eternity.  Christ Wins!  He is the Amen and last word!  Glory to the LAMB who is a LION!  Of course what began in eternity ends in eternity.  Remember the angels of the 1st song?  God purposed salvation before the foundation of the earth.  And Christ the eternal one has brought that plan to fruition!

5 songs--the number and story of grace!  Blessings

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Are You Rapture Ready?

And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel.
2 Kings 2:1-2
The story of Elijah's translation is chock full of meaning.  It is one of those uplifting portions of scripture that remind us of the catching away of the bride of Christ as this is the second "catching away" found in the Bible (Enoch being the first).  In short, this is also a picture of the twofold coming of Christ in that Elisha comes back across the Jordan doubly anointed.  These men comprise the shadow of Christ's prophetic ministry being two-fold (Aaron and Eleazar at Aaron's death type Christ's two-fold priestly ministry while David and Solomon type His ministry as King of Kings. In each case, the second one had a greater ministry.)  You think Jesus was greatly anointed in His first appearance, just wait until He returns as the Lion of Judah.  Sorry!  Getting excited!!  This very real story of the rapture of Elijah should inspire us all, but did you notice what the prophet did before the event?  He visited 4 places:  Gilgal, Bethel, Jericho, and Jordan.  Why?  He was showing us that He was ready to go at a moments notice!

2 Kings 2:1 as shown above tells us that as Elijah perceived the coming of the LORD for him was near, he went to Gilgal.  This was the place of fulfilled promise!  A lot of great things happened to the nation of Israel here. It was the first place they encountered when they came into the land of promise as they entered by the miracle of the Jordan being rolled back.  Gilgal means "a rolling away," so we read this,"And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day."  How far did the waters roll back?  Joshua 3:16 says all the way to Adam.  Jesus is our Gilgal!  His atoning sacrifice, which we trust alone, rolled our sin away all the way back to Adam.  Bless the Lamb!!

You see, Gilgal was the place where the Jordan was dried.  For those who simply trust Jesus by faith, death's power has been dried up.  This is where the nation renewed the covenant by circumcising all of the men who had been born in the wilderness.  This seems to be the place where people break down, but our reasonable response to such a gracious act as the atoning death of Christ should be to wholly offer ourselves that God may glorified in our lives.  Next, the manna dried up as they began to eat the fruit of the land at Gilgal.  This speaks of obtaining the promises of God and feeding on them.  Finally, at Gilgal, Joshua had 12 stones placed as a memorial of God's fulfilled promises.  Elijah may have even visited this very place as a reminder of the grace of God that makes us ready for the rapture.  Have you experienced this place of promise in Christ?

Elijah then went from Gilgal to Bethel.  This is the place of relationship.  The first time we encounter Bethel in scripture is when the LORD appears to Abraham, the friend of God, in Genesis 12 and gives the promises of being a great nation through whom all of the earth will be blessed.   This is where Abraham returns to offer sacrifice after his sojourn in Egypt during the famine.  Bethel, which means "house of God" is also the place the Jacob dedicates his life to God when he sees the ladder into Heaven.  Bethel speaks of dwelling with GOD in an ongoing abiding relationship.  It, then, seems significant that Elijah took time to visit this place of relationship as God prepared him for his departure.  These pictures are  literally the  promises concerning the cross of Christ from which we obtain salvation and through which we receive a relationship with God, like Abraham, by faith.There is nothing more important in this life than your personal relationship with God in Christ.  Have you accepted Him and entered into His house?

Jericho is the next stop.  This is the place of a walk of faith and witness.  For 7 days the people marched around this city looking at how seemingly impregnable and foreboding its walls were.  But on that 7th day after that 7th silent march around Jericho, they let out a victory shout of faith and the LORD brought the walls crashing down.  Faith in the promises of God brought the victory.  However, this is not the only event of note here as faith always brings the presence of Christ as a witness.  Where?  There was a woman in this town whose life was less than a stellar example of righteousness.  However, the witness of the Israelites began to tug at her heart. Hebrews 11:31 gives us the specifics, "By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace."  It is certain that a walk of faith always brings a witness to a lost world.  Also, it is important to note that Jesus as a man is a direct descendant of Rahab.  He was there saving even the worst by grace through faith!  Elijah surely reviewed his walk of faith to prepare for Heaven.

The prophet then went to Jordan--the place of death.  The funny thing about salvation is that in order to escape death we must die.  What?  Listen to Jesus from Luke 9:24, "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it."  Elijah's last stop came to the very place the journey started, the Jordan.  Gilgal was on the banks of Jordan.  Jordan, which means "descender" is that place where we die to self and raise in newness of life by faith.

Are you ready for the LORD's return?  Accept His pardon by faith and begin a relationship with Christ.  Walk daily by faith as you die to self.  Simply trust the LORD to do what you yourself cannot do.  Trust the Savior Jesus so that when He does come soon, you too will go to be with Him.  Remember, He is Soon2Come.  

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Lost Something? There Is A Place To Find It!

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Revelation 3:19

In the prior post, Lost Something,  it was noted that of the 7 churches, 5 had received rebuke from the LORD. Also, the concept that there was a sense of progressive steps towards apostasy considered.  Epehesus was seen as unloving.  Pergamos fell into accommodating false doctrine.  Thyratira compromised wholly with worldliness.  Sardis was unable to correctly witness to the world due to their dead spirituality, and Laodicea was terribly apathetic.  Let's look just a bit more at this pattern again.

Ephesus was the church with a heart problem.  Their love for Christ was not center place anymore, yet automaton service for the LORD went on.  There is nothing, NOTHING more important in your life than a loving relationship with God.  How many folks are there that attend church, host Bible studies, or work excessively in the fields, yet they have become like the brother of the prodigal son?  Conversely, those who have a deep passion for Christ just live the Word, no questions.  How fervent is your love?  Is there any sign of a heart problem in your devotion?

Pergamos was the church with the head problem.  They began to corrupt the pure teaching of God's word and replace it with men's opinions.  They already were not listening to the Spirit of God nor the Word of God.  It is certain that those who always wish to change the Bible are already suffering from a heart problem.  This has carried over into a severe head cold.  The whole body is getting ill as the virus of a lack of personal devotion and prayer has set in.  Isn't this the same with human interaction as well?  Close friends know one another and seek to know more, but when that relationship grows distant, then all sorts of bad thoughts follow.  Look to see if you are closely studying and following the word or are there signs of a head problem?

Thyatira was the church with a walk problem.  When the heart is sick and the head is not thinking clearly then one will more than likely begin to reel and stumble about.  Thyatira stumbled so badly that they allowed gross immorality to set in.  This is best heard from the Word.  "Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols (Revelation 2:20)".  It all started with a lack of love and has now descended to evil in the house of GOD!  Look at your walk and see if there are signs of problems.

Sardis was the dead church.  "I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead," Jesus said.  What much more can be said at this point.  One who is sick inside and  out and from top to bottom is in serious shape.

Laodicea is not only dead but they are putrefying.  They smell like the world and Christ is not even welcome.  In the midst of this there is hope.  Nothing the LORD says nor does is done with spite, malice, or ill will.  He always has redemption on His mind.  To all of the erring churches Jesus gave the prescription--repent.  Turn around and head in the right direction!  No wonder the devil hates to hear someone use this word!  Liberal preachers sure would not use it nor see it necessary, and yet Jesus did.  What do the gospels tell us is the first message Jesus preached after He returned in the Power of the Spirit from the wilderness?  "From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 4:17)."  Don't listen to those who say that a repentant life is not necessary.  Listen to Jesus!

In short, the LORD will turn things around for us.  He will heat our heart with ardent love.  You see, 
to be salt and light you need your heart right, your head fed, your walk straight, alive in Christ and zealously burning for the LAMB who died for you. May the LORD bless you!  Remember, He is Soon2Come!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Lost Something?

Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Revelation 2:4

Jesus' letters to the churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3, like all other portions of scripture, are saturated with meaning.  They spoke clear messages to the churches of that day using peculiarities specific to each town addressed.  Also, many have noted that these letters seem to be an outline of church history.  There are warnings involved that can speak to each individual believer at a personal level as well as speak acutely to whole congregations.  It is somewhat interesting to note that the letters containing the 5 rebukes also build on one another in such a way that they can show us why those who leave their first love, Jesus, end up lukewarm over time.  Ironically, these 5 rebukes also align themselves with the 5 things that were not found in the 2nd temple.  Their absence after the return from Babylon is conspicuous in scripture.

Jesus' rebuke to the church in Ephesus is found above--they had left their first love.  What a stunning indictment!  It was as if they were a production machine set to run without any caring or emotion involved.  They were losing the most important aspect of Christianity, a personal loving relationship with the Creator of all.  Had they forgot Jesus' answer to the question of the scribes, "Which is the first commandment of all (Mark 12:28)?"  His answer was definite, "thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment (Mark 12:30)" ?  Like Israel after the return from Babylon, the Ephesians had lost the place of relationship.  It has been well documented that the 2nd temple was missing the Ark of the Covenant and Mercy Seat which was the place where God would graciously meet with His people.  They too were going through with religious devotion without the very foundation of loving GOD at the core.  The LORD does wants us to maintain fervent love in our relationship and not have cold, mundane, and mindless devotion.  Ephesus no longer loved GOD with all that was within them and they needed to repent.

The people of Pergamos had many who were faithful to the LORD even in the face of the enemy, but He upbraided them for allowing some in their midst who were beginning to adhere to false doctrine.  This accommodation of that which is false adds to the idea of leaving your first love.  When closeness to Christ becomes second place it seems that false notions about GOD and His Word shortly follows.  A downhill trend towards lukewarmness has grown to a loss of fervency to a point where things God would not teach, say, or do are tolerated.  Israel also experienced this with the loss of the sacred fire that came down from Heaven as recorded in 2 Chronicles 7:3.  The fire burnt perpetually upon the brazen altar of the 1st temple from that point onward.  When one's love for God wanes and error is accommodated, be sure and know that the fire of the LORD of Truth is missing!  Pergamos no longer maintained truth while rejecting error, so they needed to repent.

Whereas Pergamos allowed the teaching of foolishness to start, Thyatira wholly compromised with worldliness.  There was such a lowering of standards that outright sin was tolerated in this church.  When a church loses love for Christ coupled with that which is false being taught, then compromise certainly will follow.  Thyatira looked so much like the godless world around them that they most certainly lost their witness and they ceased being salt and light.  Likewise, the 2nd temple lost something as well, the Glory of the LORD often referred to as the Shekinah Glory.   The cloud of His presence could surely be seen by all even from a distance.  All the way back to the time of the tabernacle when the cloud and fire followed Israel, the glory of the LORD was evident to all, but compromise always compromises the Glory of the LORD.  Pergamos no longer shined brightly to a lost world and they needed to repent.

The next logical step after compromise is corruption:  no fervency of a relationship, to tolerating error, to maintaining sin, to total corruption.  Sardis lost its voice to the world because they acted like the world.  Jesus told them that things had gotten so bad, " that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead."  In similar fashion, the Spirit of Prophecy was said to be missing from the 2nd temple.  Prophecy is much more than just telling what will happen, it is also telling folks what they need to know at that time.  In essence, it is speaking what GOD is speaking.  How could any church speak to a lost world if they were so much like the world that they seemingly are dead?  Sardis lost their ability to communicate the gospel to a lost world through compromise with sin and they needed to repent.

This brings us to the last church in the spiral called apostasy--Laodicea.  Its very name is incriminating as it means "the justice of the people".  They no longer even try to maintain fellowship with God as He directs but make up the rules to suit themselves.  Their apathy towards truth and GOD's word has poisoned them to the point that Jesus says He will vomit them up!  This slippery slope started by simply putting Christ in second place.  It grew to the point that the folks of Laodicea, pleased with themselves, no longer cared what GOD thinks and Jesus is seen outside knocking to gain access.  It was like the 2nd temple that no longer had the Urim and Thummim which were used to discern the will of GOD.  Who wants to learn what GOD wants anyways when apathy sets in?  Maybe this is why the church today cannot seem to settle matters that are clearly already settled in the Bible, things like murder (abortion), perverseness in all of its variant forms, and so on.  Only an apathetic and careless people who want things their way would pervert God's clearly defined statement on marriage.  Laodicea no longer cared about the will of GOD nor cared to discern truth--would they even want to hear the Spirit of the LORD call to them to repent?  How could they hear the knocking of the Redeemer and His concern for a world in rebellion on a collision course with final judgment if all they cared about was themselves?  They truly needed to repent.

Please listen!  Can you hear the loving rap of Christ at the door of your heart?  Do you have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches?  Repentance is not a one time thing--it is a lifestyle lovingly lived at the foot of an old rugged cross!  It is not in a vain attempt to earn salvation but is the reasonable thing to do is view of the overwhelming grace of our LORD as Romans 12:1-2 suggests.  Listen, Jesus Christ is Soon2Come!

  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Revelation 3:22

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Cut Off?

And Judah went up; and the LORD delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand: and they slew of them in Bezek ten thousand men. And they found Adonibezek in Bezek: and they fought against him, and they slew the Canaanites and the Perizzites. But Adonibezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes. And Adonibezek said, Threescore and ten kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my table: as I have done, so God hath requited me. And they brought him to Jerusalem, and there he died.
Judges 1:4-7

I read a news article today that reminded me about one of the events recorded in the Book of Judges, the defeat of Adonibezek.  This king was notorious for capturing his victims and maiming them.  Specifically, he would cut off the big thumbs and toes of those he captured in battle.  From there, the kings were chained under his table.  Imagine going into a royal court and seeing 70 kings chained like animals and eating the scraps falling from the table.  A sight such at that might engender great fear!  This is exactly what Adonibezek did to those kings whose armies he had defeated in battle.  The good news is that the children of Israel, led by Judah, conquered this evil king and brought his own folly upon his head.

So what article made me think of this?
Trial Begins for Christians Arrested for Reading Bible Outside California DMV | Christian News Network

It seems that Adonibezek is still at work in many ways.  Not the one whose demise is found in Judges, but the one whom he shadows.  You see, Adonibezek's name is directly translated into English as "Lord Lightning".  Lord Lightning is still attempting to cut off the great thumbs and toes of mankind as well as chain his victims under the table.  This ex-anointed cherub, also know as the prince of the power of the air as stated in Ephesians 2:2, wants desperately to do just that--cut humanity off from the Word of God and destroy their ability to walk with God.  The fact that the historic man in this scripture tried to attack Israel reminds us that society's adversary the devil will also come against believers and try the same thing.

So what is the big deal about cutting off some one's thumbs?  Believe me, it had a very practical purpose.  Look at the picture above.  What do you suppose would happen if that opposable digit we call a thumb were not there?  You could not hold a sword of course.  That would mean that your enemy would always have an advantage over you.  Doesn't the Bible say that the gospel is hid to those who are lost by the working of Satan?  Of course!  He is effectively hiding the word from the lost so that the gospel will not reach them.  That is the very reason that a man reading a Bible would ever be arrested.    Yet, what about a believer?  There are so many Bible illiterate Christians today that many are not able to hold forth the promises of the Almighty against the enemy.  Rather than boldly wielding the power of the Sword of the Spirit, they give the devil their opinions or the opinions of others.  Take time daily to sharpen the sword.  Should the Bible ever become illegal, and it already is in many places, would you have enough memorized to effectively engage the enemy?

As the thumb assists in holding, the toe assists in balance.  It is near impossible to maintain a balanced walk without your big toe.  Those that Adonibezek maimed were unable to stand, walk, or run into battle; therefore, the removal of their toe also had practical applications as well.  Because most believers do not spend enough time in the Word of God, their walk with the LORD is catywampus.  They swerve from one extreme to another never able to correct their balanced walk with Christ nor are they adequately able to stand in opposition against the devil and his devices.  Maybe that is why Paul noted in Ephesians to have the preparation of the gospel as sandals on our feet?

The end result is sad.  Men and women chained under the liar's table and groveling over tiny morsels.  Christian, that is not you allotment.  You have been called to dine at the table of the Great King, the Lion of Judah.  You are a child of the Most High who needs not grasp for scraps.  Get yourself in the WORD and eat the good things of GOD.  Eat the sweet and the bitter--it is all important.

There are many ways that folks end up chained.  No study or Bible reading, a lack of devotion, confusion brought by contradictory ideas, always something else more important to do (like frivolously wasting time watching the latest TV show while the world around you dies and goes to Hell), or a whole host of other reasons.  Be sure and know that the enemy of your soul has not stopped his attempt to cut you off from the Word.  One of his biggest tricks today is to get believers arguing about the finest of details so that many hearing or seeing these arguments are confused and discouraged 
(like the myriads of negative comments "Bible experts" always seem to post on Facebook when any scripture is given.  They feel the need to argue about everything.  That is more about pride than truth!) .  In this battle,  "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15).

God news!  Jesus wins!  He, Star of the tribe of Judah, already went up first and spoiled Lord Lightening at Mount Calvary!  Be of good cheer, He has over come the enemy and He also is Soon2Come!
And he (Jesus) said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
Luke 10:18-20

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Sun Shall Be Darkened

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Matthew 24:29-30

The Almighty has used the sun to speak to men throughout the ages.  He speaks, in accordance to Psalm 19, through the sun and the heavens that He alone is the creator, savior, and source of life.  One could make a good argument that the sun and the moon are types and shadows of God's relationship to Israel or Christ's relationship with the church.  Whose brilliance causes the church to shine forth the glory of God anyways?  It is certainly not from the church itself.  It is also certain that those calamitous times in church history were of men and not of Jesus!

Do you realize how important the sun is to us all?  Without sunlight, no photosynthesis--without photosynthesis, no food--without food,...enough said!  How did you get to work today or the store last week?  Probably, you used a car which ran on gasoline, a fossil fuel.  The energy from that fuel was stored in antediluvian life forms buried during the flood.  Those life forms also received that energy from the sun.  In a round about way, you went to work or the store on stored sunlight energy found in gas or oil.  As the sun is our primary source of energy, food, and light, so is Christ.  However, Christ is not just primary--He is the one and only source.  I wonder if that is why we have but one sun?

The LORD has also historically used the sun to signal His power.  During the time when God spoke through Moses, He put the sun out for 3 days to show the sun worshiping Egyptians who really was the Omnipotent One. God later spoke to all humanity in the days of Joshua when He caused the sun to stay in place for nearly 24 hours.  He assured a doubting King Hezekiah who was promised healing by the prophet Isaiah.  The sun went backwards 10 degrees on the sun dial as a confirmation of the promise.  When Jesus died upon the cross for our redemption, the Father spoke a clear message when darkness enveloped the world.  Julius Africanus quoted the 1st century historian, Thallus, who recorded the event found in scripture when he wrote, "on the whole world there pressed a fearful darkness, and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down."  However, it is what the sun will say during the Tribulation that is our concern today.  God said that the sun shall be darkened, after exhibiting other anomalies, immediately prior to the return of Jesus.  Could GOD be using the sun now to warn an unsuspecting world that dire days are ahead?   Is He showing the attentive that the Day of Redemption is near?

During those last fateful 7 years before the return of Christ the sun will do unusual things.  Revelation 6:12 says that it will become as black as sackcloth after a massive earthquake rends the planet.  In chapter 8, the sun's light is diminished by 1/3 power.  Later, it becomes so hot that John wrote, "And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory"  (Revelation 16:8-9).  Finally, the sun darkens again prior to the return of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ.

So how could God be speaking to us that these events might be near, even at the door?  Could He be signalling that Jesus Christ is Soon2Come with a news item from NASA  and others such as these few following? Of course, one might argue that solar pole reversals are rather normal, but the idea that the sun may be shutting down is far from normal  (Again, scripture definitively says this will happen).  Also the timing of this event given all that we are seeing is another curious thing to note. 
The Sun's Magnetic Field is about to Flip - NASA Science 
The Weakest Solar Cycle in 100 Years - News Blog -