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