Sunday, March 30, 2008
Our society despises walking according to the dictates of a holy God; "to much trouble" or it "takes too long to achieve results" and "that is just your opinion" when one points to Scripture which gives direction.
When we purchase a home, we want an immedaite $50,000 line of credit. When we go through the drive through, we want our sandwich ready before we give our order. When we commit to fight a war we want it to be won and withdraw in one month or less.When we go to church we want a 20 minute ditty that will make us feel good and get us through the week. When we feel ill we want a drug immediately to ease the discomfort.
Scripture says " Those who WAIT UPON THE LORD shall renew their strength, they will mount up on wings as eagles..." Society says "WAIT?" I want it NOW!
It has been established before the earth was created that nothing comes immediately, nothing of substance, anyway.Gold is not mined from the earth as a wedding ring or a necklace; it goes through a process of digging, refining, burning, selection and great smelting.Precious jewels come from deep within the earth where it has been formed over the ages, some estimate millions of years.
Proverbs 17:3 says " The refining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts. " Yet we want to be "precious stones" in the signet ring of our Father in heaven? No refining, no heat, no smothering in the elements, no refining process? It will not happen. We want to be a precious stone NOW!
He is God; He changes NOT. Western culture is crumbling down around us. For a small bowl of instant gratification we have dispised our birthright and inheritance. Those who know the ways of God and who submit themselves to His ways will shine as the stars in this time of turmoil.
We must allow Him to work His graces in us so we can perhaps rescue the multitudes the enemy is seeking to destroy for all eternity. We must point to the Son of God and pray that He extends His forgiveness to the masses who will be in total confusion and dispair.
As King David of old chose his method of judgment; either war, or pestilence, or let God chose, David chose God because He shows mercy in judgment. Our Father is not willing that any should perish, but that ALL should come to eternal life.
Over over 300 million Americans will be devestated by judgment from the Almighty. As they awake from the deep darkness and stupor with which our society of merchantizers and marketers have seduced them, they will have a decision to make quickly; either chose God or destruction.
God loved Jacob but hated Esau's spirit of instant gratification. God, give us Jacob's spirit! A spirit willing to wrestle and fight even an angel, for the spiritual inheritance You have promised us through our forefathers.
Dear Father, work your graces deep within my soul and in judgment, remember mercy.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
In the United States of America I fear that we have fallen far from the foundation of the gospel. The violence in our cities and schools is beyond comprehension. Over 40 million babies have been taken from the warmth of their mothers womb and thrown out with the everyday trash.
In my soul I feel that we are in the condition of Israel in the Prophet Micah's day. Micah prophetically reveals the condition and the judgment of nations that fall from God's grace.
In chapter 3 he speaks of priests that teach only for pay; prophets prophecy only for money. Yet they lean on the LORD and say, "is not the LORD among us? No harm can come upon us for we are speaking in His name. The result from the heavens is a nation that is plowed like a field, the capital city, the holy city becomes a heap of ruin and the mountain of the religious establishment will be like bare hills of the forest. No produce, no fruit.
Twenty four hours a day on religious television stations throughout this nation the prophets and priests preach prosperity and peace. Things have not changed since the days of Micah.
Christians fleeing persecution in Kenya are sleeping in trees as they flee their villages. Believers are being burned inside of their churches in Africa as tribal violence spreads across the nations.
Christians are tortured and murdered, entire families in Pakistan, Gaza, Indonesia and China.
Islamic nations forbid even the mention of the name of Jesus or for a person to posses a Bible.
And we preach prosperity while our brothers and sisters pay the ultimate price?
Here are the dear ones God holds in His loving hands. Micah 4 also speaks of a people that from a worldly perspective are outcasts and afflicted of God. He promises that these precious souls, the lame, afflicted and outcasts will become a strong nation. The LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion. Not briefly, but from now on, even forevermore.
True Believers all over the world are in pain. We are crying aloud and our counsellors perish. Pangs have overtaken us as a woman in travail. In Micah 4:10-13 this way of God is explained in depth. He says to be in pain, and labor to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail. For now we will go forth out of our place and even though we have been in Babylon we shall be delivered. In Babylon, this worldly system, the LORD will redeem us from our enemies.
Although many gather against us and try to defile us daily with false religious practices and venom against all true Believers they do not know the thoughts of the LORD. Neither do they understand His counsel.
The day is coming when all who have a heart for Him will arise and thresh through the wickedness of this perverse generation. No matter how weary we become at times, the day approaches when He will make our horn (strength) as iron and our hoofs of brass. We will beat in pieces those who oppose God. He Himself will set aside and consecrate our gain and substance in this effort for His Kingdom.
We shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD our God; and we shall abide; for now shall He be great unto the ends of the earth.
The culmination of our efforts as we allow Him to work through us is given in Micah 4:1,2 -
"Now it shall come to pass in the latter days (that is us!) that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established on top of the mountains and shall be exalted above the hills, and people shall flow to it. Many nations shall come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, He will teach us HIS WAYS and we shall walk in His paths."
During the times and seasons when we feel like the lame and outcast, He is in total control. Remember, our future has never been brighter. Look up, for our redemption is nearer than it was even one hour ago!
Sunday, March 23, 2008
This week at home and work I find myself singing old Christmas carols. It is March, spring is here, and I am singing Christmas carols? These old hymns that celebrate the birth of Christ should be sung year round. He is my Protector, my strong Rock, my High Tower. It is because of Him that I will soon have the ability to skip over every mountain in my life.
As things I am used to fall apart in the natural sense, God is bringing a heavenly mindset to the fore. Daily I am reminded as I read and watch the news of possible calamities that my citizenship is NOT HERE! I am a sojourner, a traveler, a heavenly representative to the lost and dying.
In my humanity forces array themselves against everything that speaks of or worship and praise to the Creator. This is the battleground. I am reminded often that no flesh shall glory in the presence of God. It is my duty to allow these powers that be to destroy my fleshly mindset; then I can concentrate and magnify the spiritual man; eventually to His likeness.
The road is always steep and fraught with danger. Without Him there is no hope. But I have the promises of the Spirit of God speaking through the Apostle Paul -
Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which in in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This verse pretty well covers all of the bases!
Ephesians 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord; in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.
These powers that be have to be going crazy as they see the forgiveness, grace and mercy God bestows on His children here on earth. He has an eternal purpose for each of us; it is all in Christ Jesus. Our boldness, access to the throne and confidence is by faith in Him.
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. ( heavenly, spiritual realms)
Christ has already defeated these powers that be. The Father left them here to sharpen my senses, purify and put the fleshly man to death, and to become a chaste virgin for His soon to return Son. A Bride without spot or wrinkle. Washed in the blood of the Lamb.
He is a refiner of His sons and daughters. As I pass through this school of Christ He forever interceeds on my behalf.
He is able to keep me from falling, and to present me faultless before the presence of His glory. Why? Where do I get this confidence? Because He said He would!
He is not surprised by anything. He knows the beginning from the end. Consider -
Colossians 1:16 For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him.
Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Our victory is in Jesus - Our Savior forever -
Thursday, March 20, 2008
At one time the great Prophet Jeremiah, who preached before kings and princes cursed the very day he was born. In graphic language he cursed the day his mother bore him. He cursed the man who brought the glad tidings to his father that a son had been born. He prayed for that man to be cursed like the cities which the LORD overthrew. He wished that he was slain in the womb and that the womb might have been his grave. His birth had brought nothing but labor and sorrow and his days were consumed with shame. (Jeremiah 20:14-18)
When Jeremiah spoke to the people what the LORD was saying to him, he was mocked and made a derision daily. The people taunted him and said that they also would help him spread the word that fear was on every side. Everything Jeremiah spoke of was only gloom and doom.
In the midst of these feelings, deep down in his being Jeremiah proclaimed that the LORD was a mighty, awesome One. He knew his persecutors would fall and not succeed. A seed was planted deep in his soul, so deep, that even in the midst of his misery he could proclaim; "Sing to the LORD! Praise the LORD! For He has delivered the life of the poor from the hand of evil doers."
Then, again, feelings arise in his being and he reasons that he will no longer make mention of God's name. He would no longer speak of Him. But, God's words were in his heart as a burning fire shut up in his bones and he grew weary of holding it back, and he could not.
God continued to induce him and Jeremiah was again persuaded because God was stronger than his feelings and decision to be quiet. He said that God induced him and he was persuaded, even though he was in derision daily to cry out "violence and plunder"! He could not be silenced.
King David had times of like persuasion in difficulties he faced. In Psalm 77 David cries "Will the LORD cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more? Has His mercy ceased forever? Has His promise failed forevermore? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has His anger shut up His tender mercies?"
We, like the founding fathers of our faith, go through seasons and questions such as these. But deep down in our soul something wells up inside, flowing from somewhere deep where only God resides, where we begin to cry in our anquish; " I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High. I will remember the works of the LORD; surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all Your works and talk of your deeds." (Psalm 77)
In the midst of these feelings, like Jeremiah we can cry "Sing to the LORD! Praise the LORD!
For He has delivered the life of the poor from the hand of evil doers." (also Jeremiah 20)
When, like King David, in our haste we feel cut off from before His eyes, we can rest assured that "nevertheless, He hears the voice of our supplications when we cry out to Him." (Psalm 22)
In the midst of these seasons of seeming betrayal, loneliness, and depression, we defeat the enemy of our souls when we "love the LORD; for He preserves the faithful and fully repays the proud person. Be of good courage and He shall strengthen our heart, all those who hope in the LORD." (Psalm 31)
He will NEVER leave us or FORSAKE His children.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
These two columns were the first structures seen when entering the Temple complex.
The name JACHIN means:
* It will be firm - It will be fitted - It will be sure - It will be established - It will succeed and prosper
The meaning of the name BOAZ is uncertain. BOAZ first mention in the Bible is of a man of great wealth during a period of famine in Israel. RUTH, from MOAB refused to leave NAOMI with the cry "your people shall be my people and your God shall be my God." Boaz and Ruth are direct descendents of King David and Yeshua.
The significance of the names of these columns point to the present and future Kingdom of God on earth. Those among the nations who recognize the God of Israel as the one true Creator of all things are directly linked, in a way that is not fully understood by most, into the root of His dealings with mankind. Your God will be my God. Your people will be my people.
After the destruction of the temple by Babylon, a future temple is described by Ezekiel. It also has two columns but they are not made of the same substance. They are of wood, not a metal.
The significance to me of this description of the latter temple is that wood grows from the earth an is a living substance. It takes of the nutrients offered by the earth, suffers through great storms, fires, and infestations throughout its life. Much like mankind its character is formed by its environment.
A tree is also totally dependant upon light and warmth from the sun; a source it has no control over provides a climate and warmth. We also are totally dependant upon a source of strength, warmth and growth from a Source beyond our control. We are totally dependant upon our Father in Heaven and His Son living in us and interceeding on our behalf for our growth and maturity.
He has promised that if our faith fails not we will also become pillars in His temple. Pillars in the eternal house of God. Where He finally dwells with mankind. I believe this is His hearts desire, to finally have a people to whom He can be a Father in the way He desires.
We can take great comfort that as we enter His heavenly temple in prayer, thanksgiving, and intercession we spiritually walk past the pillar JACHIN which is firm, fitted and sure, and the pillar BOAZ which represents His dealings with mankind on earth to always have a witness among famine, disaster and want.
These wooden pillars in the temple Ezekiel envisioned represent the process of successfully weathering the storms, both spiritual and physical here on earth.
As He shakes everything that can be shaken in these troubled days, as we enter into His presence on a daily basis, the pillars we walk past in our spirit do not move! In this is our confidence!
Sunday, March 9, 2008
ANCIENT AND PRESENT DAY BABYLON?
The Prophet Jeremiah paints a graphic picture of the total destruction of the ancient Babylonian Empire. God raised up this fierce nation of warriors to punish Israel for her sins. He said that King Nebuchadnezzar was His rod of punishment. When Babylon accomplished His pleasure God sent a destroying wind against her. The Book of Daniel explains in detail the splendor of this kingdom; the head of gold, greater than all of the kingdoms of the earth. Jeremiah describes her destruction.
What brings great consternation on one hand and great comfort on the other is that God has said repeatedly that He changes not; what He did yesterday He will do tomorrow. His blessings, His judgment, His ways do not change. The methods are basically the same throughout human history.
In that regard, the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ written by John describes a Babylon that arises in the last of days. In many respects, this modern Babylon can be none other than the United States of America. I feel that statistics provided later in this paper, from none other than the US Government, will attest to the fact that we are already under severe judgment from the Almighty.
First, a little Biblical background regarding God’s revealed way of operation. Ecclesiastes 3 says to everything there is a season, a period to be born, die, plant, harvest, kill, heal, breakdown, build up, weep, laugh, mourn, dance, cast away stones, to gather stones, embrace, to refrain from embracing, time to get and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and time to sew, a time to be quiet and a time to speak, a time to love and time to hate, a time of war and a time of peace.
These, times and seasons apply to nations as well as individuals.
Ancient Babylon’s time of success and prosperity was fulfilled. God’s purpose for her existence was complete. In judgment her young men were not spared, nor her armies. In Babylon’s streets they were thrust through with the sword. The LORD of hosts destroyed her broad walls (defenses). They were utterly broken down, burned with fire as the people worked in vain and grew weary of defending her.
She became drunk, her princes, her captains, her rulers and her mighty men. They slept a perpetual sleep, unable to awake. This spirit of stupor and drunkenness came from God. Jeremiah 51 gives graphic detail of her destruction.
Babylon was surrounded by three fortified walls thick enough in places for chariots to pass each other. Its size may have encompassed 385 to 480 furlongs (60 miles). Her ruins, according to the writings of St. Jerome (347-420 B.C.E.) who said, “Though the ruins of Babylon’s walls could be seen, the ground enclosed by them was a forest of wild beasts.” Total desolation. How the mighty have fallen! The reason?
Jeremiah 51:24-33 -
“And they shall take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but thou shalt be desolate forever saith the LORD. Set ye up a standard in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations against her, call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashchenaz; appoint a captain against her; cause the horses to come up as he rough caterpillars.”
“Prepare against her the nations with the kings of the Medes, the captains thereof, and all the rulers thereof, and all the land of his dominion. And the land shall tremble and sorrow; for every purpose of the LORD shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon desolate without an inhabitant.”
“The mighty men of Babylon have forborne to fight, they have remained in their holds; their might hath failed, they became as women; they have burned her dwelling places; her bars are broken. One post shall run to meet another and one messenger to meet another, to show the king of Babylon that his city is taken at one end.”
“And that the passages are stopped, and the reeds they have burned with fire and the men of war are frightened. For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor, it is time to thresh her; yet a little while and the time of her harvest is come.”
This scenario gives background of how God judges what Daniel called the head of gold in relation to all nations of the earth; both past and present. As the book of the Exodus explains how the Egyptian Kingdom faded from the scene when it was time for Pharaoh to release the children of Israel, Jeremiah 51 describes the reason for Babylon’s demise.
Here we are in 2008. In the turbulent 1980’s Jews in Russia began a Refusnik Movement demanding emigration to Israel. After many events the wall of separation in Eastern Europe fell; in one evening, The USSR; a mighty enemy of freedom collapsed on itself and is now comprised of several smaller nations.
We know the recent history of World War Two and the destruction of the German Nazi Empire. Cities fire bombed into oblivion. Only because of the intervention of the Marshall Plan initiated by the United States were they rebuilt.
One superpower remains on planet earth. She has created more wealth, prosperity, fought more wars, defended more people; spread her culture to the ends of the earth than any other nation in modern history. The United States of America has sent men to the moon and explored the depths of the oceans, land, and space. No other nation in the history of mankind has had such influence over the nations of the world. Our culture, music, clothing, institutions, influence, and way of life are a dream for billions of the planets citizens.
The United States successfully fought two world wars and defeated the powers of fascism and communism. We have expanded even to the moon and other planets in science and explorations. We were the first nation to recognize the State of Israel that came from the ashes of the Holocaust in Europe.
The United States of America has military bases in Great Britain, Japan, Turkey, Spain, Germany, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the U.A.E., Qatar, Afghanistan and forces in many other countries. What other nation qualifies as modern day Babylon with such worldwide influence and reach?
The main issue is again, Israel. In 2008 we find our government pushing what is diplomatically called the Road Map to Peace. We are willing participants in the carving up of the Land of Israel, the creation of a Palestinian State and the probable division of Jerusalem, the City of the Great King. Israel has again become the lynchpin for the judgment of a great nation who defiles what God has declared concerning His people, Israel.
Given this context, there is a modern day Babylon mentioned in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 18. The Ancient has past, the new has appeared. She boasts in her heart that she, and she alone sits as a queen, she is no widow. She is in charge of her affairs and will never see sorrow. She is boastful, full of pride and arrogance. The kings of the earth commit fornication with her. The merchants of the earth wax rich through the abundance of her delicacies. Likewise, at her judgment they will drink of the wrath of her fornication.
“The forces of ancient Babylon were God’s weapon of war, tools in His hand with which He broke in pieces and knocked down nations and kingdoms. Some were intoxicated by her pleasures and debauched by her; others were intoxicated with her terror and destroyed by her. Babylon was God’s battle ax. Now, Babylon itself must fall. The rod itself will now be thrown into the fire.” (Matthew Henry Commentary)
This modern Babylonian system uses devious dealings and diplomacy to appease Israel’s enemies. She will be destroyed in like manner. The forces being appeased will turn on this nation and attack in many ways. The handwriting is on the wall. It has started with the oil blackmail, terrorism, and our financial dependence on their hundreds of billions in loans; our own money being loaned back to us by the Arab oil cartel nations.
HAS JUDGMENT ALREADY STARTED?
Consider these facts for what is called a Christian nation. Reach your own conclusion:
* The defense budget for fiscal 2008 is 450 billion dollars, for 2009 - 466 billion dollars, and for 2010 - 484 billion dollars. If we are a Christian nation is this a sign that we no longer have His protection? Is the threat that great? Yes, it is.
* One out of every ten American citizens is incarcerated. (Bureau of Justice/National Corrections Reporting Program)
* There were 1,750,000 arrests for drug use last year.
* In 2005 U.S. residents 12 years of age or older experienced 23 million violent and property victimizations. (National Crime Victimization Survey)
* There were 49,000 attempted car jackings.
* Just in the month of December 2007 the trade deficit was 711 Billion dollars.
* The national debt as of March 5, 2008 is over 9 Trillion dollars.
* 8% of the homes owned by American citizens are late in payment of mortgages. They face possible foreclosure in the near future.
* 40 million babies killed by abortion since Roe vs. Wade
One nation under God?
There are sign posts given time and again for nations under judgment. They are listed in Deuteronomy 28. These events come in stages and quicken as time passes:
SIGN POSTS OF JUDGMENT BEGINNING AND PROGRESSING
* Cities, fields, produce, and stores are cursed
* Children and your flock (possessions) are cursed
* You will be cursed when you go in and come out
* All you try to do will be drawn in curses (U.S. Foreign Policy?)
* Vexation and rebuke until final destruction occurs.
* Pestilence and disease will cling to you.
* You will be struck with consumption; fever, and inflammation.
* Burning and the sword, with blasting and mildew; these will pursue you.
* The heavens will become brass and the earth as iron.
* Enemies will smite you and you will flee seven ways.
* Your carcass will be meat to the fowls of the air and the beasts of the earth.
* You will be smitten with madness, blindness, and astonishment of heart.
* You will grope at noonday as the blind grope in darkness.
* You will not prosper but be only oppressed and spoiled forever, no man will save you.
* You will marry and another lie with her.
* You will build a house and not live there, plant a vineyard but not gather grapes.
* Your strength and possessions will be destroyed before your eyes.
* Your livelihood (employment) will be violently taken away.
* Your children will be given to other people.
* You become astonishment, proverb and a byword among the nations where you are scattered.
God will render unto Babylon all of the evil they have done to Zion-the forced division of the Land of Israel, the compromise with terrorists in Gaza, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, the U.A.E., Turkey and many others whose goal is the destruction of Israel. These evils will be brought on those who perpetuate evil and deceit against His people.
A recent example, the forced withdraw initiated by the United States of Jews from communities in Gaza, Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the division of Jerusalem. This will result in like measure of violence and the evacuation of areas of the United States under judgment. Consider Katrina-after the evacuation of communities in Gaza. New Orleans and the Gulf Coast were under water and hundreds of thousands of Americans were the evacuees almost one week later!
The coming storms, fires, earthquakes, war, violence and social upheaval will be unprecedented in our history if we do not change course and policy and have a long season of national repentance for the evils our society allows. If not, God Himself is against this destroying mountain, this modern Babylonian spirit. Not a stone or anything of substance will remain.
“God has wind and rain at His disposal. If He speaks the word, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens fed by vapors out of the earth. Lightening and rain seem contrary of each other; yet they are produced together. And the wind which seems arbitrary in its motions, for we know not from whence it comes, is brought out of His treasures.” (Matthew Henry)
Jeremiah 51:13 speaks prophetically today, “O thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures, thine end is come and the measure of your greed.”
Our national sins have reached to the heavens and God remembers our iniquities. He will reward us double according to our works. In the same measure we have glorified ourselves and lived deliciously, we will be tormented in like measure. The things of which we boasted, our wealth, military, financial markets and prosperity will be the areas in which our downfall occurs.
IN ONE DAY, shall plagues, death, mourning and famine strike terror. Babylon will be utterly destroyed with fire. For strong is the LORD God who judges her.
THE RESULT OF NON REPENTANCE
* You will eat the flesh of your own body, the flesh of your sons and daughters when you are in distress.
* Those that hold you dear to themselves shall be evil toward you, they will not share nor will you share with them.
* The LORD will make your plagues wonderful and of long continuance, even the plagues of Egypt until you are destroyed.
* As the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good for obedience, so He will rejoice over you to destroy you and bring you to naught.
* You will never have rest, never be at ease.
* You will have a trembling heart, failing eyes and sorrow of mind.
* Your life will hang in doubt, you will fear day and night.
* You will have no assurance of your life.
* In the morning you will say, would to God that it was evening, and in the evening would to God that it was morning; for the fear in your heart and because of what you see.
* You will have children but not enjoy them; they shall go into captivity (drugs, jail, and addiction)
* The stranger (20 million thus far in the U.S.?) within your borders will rise above you very high and you will come down very low. He will lend to you but you will not lend to him. He will be the head and you will be the tail.
* All of these curses will come upon you and pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed; because you did not listen to the LORD your God.
* You will serve your enemies which the LORD shall send upon you in hunger, in thirst and nakedness and in what of all things.
* You will have an iron about your neck until you are destroyed.
* A nation from afar from the end of the earth that does not regard the old or young will eat the fruit of your wealth until you are destroyed and then leave you nothing.
* All of your defenses will come down and the strength you depended upon will fail.
This is a covenant of judgment upon a nation that rejects God. It is as sure as the covenant of promises of blessings for obedience and our personal covenant from God of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ.
What other nation since ancient Babylon has produced merchants of gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, fine linen, purple and silk and scarlet, precious rare woods, vessels of wood, brass, iron and marble; cinnamon, odors, perfumes, ointments, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat and animals and chariots (weapons) and has enslaved the souls of men by her enticements that Revelation 18 speaks of?
Though she mounts up to heaven and though she should fortify the height of her strength, yet God will send spoilers to her. In her judgment all of the fruits and delicacies the merchants souls lusted after are gone with Babylon’s destruction. All things dainty and goodly have departed and no longer exist. They will never again be found in such abundance. At her destruction these merchants (businessmen) stand afar off because her torment is so great. They cry “Alas! Alas! That great city, that mighty city, in one hour your judgment has come.” They weep and mourn because no one is left to buy their merchandise.
THE SCENE IN THE HEAVENS
The scene in the heavens is given of a mighty angel taking up a great stone, like a great millstone and casting it into the sea.
He proclaims, “With this violence shall the great city of Babylon be thrown down and shall be found no more. The voice of harpers, musicians, and of pipes and trumpeters shall be heard no longer. No craftsman, no matter of craft shall be found. The sound of the millstone (factories, industry) shall no more be heard. No voice of the bridegroom or bride, no candle shining, no vision of hope. The great men of the earth, the merchandisers, the advertisers, the sorceries by whom the nations were deceived shall be heard no more. This system that is stained with the lifeblood of the prophets and saints and all that were slain upon the earth ceases to exist.”
Those who traded with her by sea will stand afar off and watch the smoke of her burning. They cry, “What city is like this great city”? “Alas! That great city that was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet and decked with precious stone and pearls! In one hour your riches cease to exist.” They cast dust on their heads and cry, weep, and mourn at her destruction. In one hour their riches and future goes up in smoke.
God says her cities are desolate, dry and a wilderness where no man dwells or passes by. She will become astonishment to other nations. The inhabitants will become drunk and sleep a perpetual sleep, unable to awaken.
Babylon has been a golden cup in the God’s hands. He has made the nations of the earth drink and become drunk and full of madness. Her judgment has reached into the heavens. The LORD has risen up the spirit of the Medes (Persia, Iran, Iraq, and Islam). Babylon shines her armaments, gathers her weapons and sets up a strong standard in her boundaries in an attempt to make her borders strong. But, there are ambushes in waiting, for the LORD has devised this and done so as He spoke against Babylon’s inhabitants. He is the Prince of the kings of the earth! He has His way. (Rev. 1:5)
She becomes a habitation of devils, the hold of every foul spirit and a cage for every unclean bird.
A great voice is heard in heaven. Many people cry “Alleluia, Salvation, and glory and honor and power unto the LORD our God. For true and righteous are His judgments for He has judged the great whore that corrupted the earth and He has avenged the life of His prophets. And Babylon’s smoke rose up forever and ever.”
“Rejoice over her, thou heaven and you holy Apostles and Prophets; for God has avenged you on her.”
This rejoicing is over the destruction of the last great worldly system that captivates the body, soul and spirit of men, women, and children. The captivity is the never ending desire for wealth, health, profit, pleasure at the expense of others.
Half of the world populations live on less than 1 dollar a day. Millions starve and living in refugee camps around the world with no place to call their own. Slave labor in Third World countries try to produce the merchandize to fill the belly of this beastly world system at bargain basement prices and wages to match. Children labor from sun up to sun down in slums around the world in Indonesia, China, Pakistan, and India.
WHAT OF ISRAEL?
God has spoken to the four winds to regather His people to their land. As in Germany and Europe in the early 1900’s, most refused to go. Under much duress, persecution and death many Holocaust survivors returned to their ancient land, Israel.
There are as many Jews living in the United States of America as live in Israel. As the events above unfold the demographics will change quickly. God has declared they will return to Israel where He will reveal Himself as the God of Israel. The last obstacle to this is the success and acceptance of Jews living in America. The destruction and total collapse will be the reason for the remaining Jews to flee to their homeland.
A voice will cry out of heaven as in ancient Babylon, “Come out of her My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, that you do not receive her plagues.” Flee Babylon-deliver. Save yourself, for this is the time of the LORD’S vengeance. (Revelation 18:4)
You Israelites, who have escaped the sword of the Chaldeans (Babylonian’s), your oppressors, and of the Persians their destroyers, now that the year of release has come, go away, stand not still, hasten to your own country again, however you may be comfortably settled in Babylon, for Babylon is not your rest, but CANAAN is.
This massive and final evacuation of Jews from the remaining nations to Israel sets the final stage for the great battle of the LORD. They are all gathered to the land of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob so God can reveal Himself as their God.
Babylon’s destruction is of utmost importance to God’s people. As a result of her fall they will return to their land.
Micah 4:11-13 says -
“Now as many nations are gathered against thee, that say let Israel be defiled and let our eyes look upon Zion. But they know not the thoughts of the LORD, neither understands His counsel: for He shall gather the nations as sheaves into the floor. “
“Arise and thresh, O Daughter of Zion, for I will make your strength as iron, and your feet as brass, and you shall beat in pieces many people. All will be consecrated to the LORD of the whole earth.”
WHAT OF BELIEVERS IN BABYLON?
Psalm 102:13-16 -
“Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion:
For the time to favor her, yea, the set time has come.”
“For Thy servants take pleasure in her stones,
And favor the dust thereof.”
The great test during the coming troubles is not the trouble, but our faith. Faith will be put to the test.
May we be like the men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what to do.
(1 Chronicles 12:32)
Tens of millions wondering in the valley of decision will be led by the Spirit to our homes and places of employment. Our prayers on behalf of the ones God sends across our path will decide where they spend eternity. The false gods of religion and materialism will be exposed by the climatic events about to unfold.
Our Father has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. The King of the universe who created all things knew the day of our birth, the day in which He placed us, and the people we would influence.
When judgment fell upon Jerusalem in days of old, He instructed an angel to go throughout the city and put a mark on the one’s who believed in Him. They were saved from the destruction. They were preserved as His special treasure. Before the Exodus from Egypt, as the plagues and angel of death passed through the nation, the blood of a lamb saved the Children of Israel and those who were in their dwelling places.
We have a much more precious blood to cover us. The blood of God’s Son, Yeshua Messiah. We can plead His blood over our household during this time of the end of all things as we know them. He is faithful and just. He has promised to not lose one that has been given to Him.
His blood is our assurance!
His blood is our salvation!
His blood is the basis of our faith!
His blood will never lose its power!
Saturday, March 8, 2008
THE THRONE OF GOD
ISAIAH 66:1- “Thus saith the LORD, the heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool; where is the house that ye build unto Me? And where is the place of My rest? “
Where is God’s Abode? By His grace and mercy we will be there one day. Jesus told His followers that He must go back to the Father to prepare a place for us; so that where He is, there we may be also.
King David thought of a dwelling place for God over three thousand years ago. In 1 Chronicles 28:2 David said “…hear me, my brethren, and my people. As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready the building.”
David gathered the materials, his son Solomon built the structure. At the completion of the First Temple Solomon prayed “But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? Behold heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee; how much less this house I have built.” (II Chronicles 6:18)
Before the construction Solomon said “who is able to build Him a house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain Him… Who am I then, that I should build Him a house, save only to burn sacrifice before Him.” (II Chronicles 2:6) Deuteronomy 10:14 says “Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.”
David also said “the heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.” and “To Him that rideth upon the heaven of heavens, which were of old; lo, He doth send out His voice, and that a mighty voice. “ also “Our God is in the heavens; He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased.” (Psalm 19:1 - Psalm 68:33 - Psalm 102:25)
The heaven of heavens of heavens in II Chronicles 6:18 is reinforced in my mind by reading findings of NASA from the adventures of the HUBBLE SPACECRAFT as it travels through deep space. The Hubble has photographed some of our Milky Way, the galaxy where earth is located. It is estimated the Milky Way, where earth is located, contains 100 billion stars.
Our sun is located 24,000 light years from the center of the Milky Way - One light year equals over 6 Trillion miles traveled a year. In this context, there are of thousands of galaxies floating through lonely (?) regions of the universe.
In this context consider II Chronicles 2:6 “But who is able to build Him a house, seeing the heaven, and heaven of heavens cannot contain Him…?”
Job 9:5-9 says “Which (God) removeth the mountains and they know not: which overturned them in His anger. Which shaketh the earth out of her place and the pillars thereof tremble. Which commandeth the sun and it riseth not; and sealeth up the stars. Which also speaketh out from the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea. Which maketh Arcturus, Orion and Pleiades (constellations in the sky visible from earth) and the chambers of the south.”
How great is our God?
The earth and the sky are the first heaven; Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Hebrews 1:10 “And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of Thine hands: they shall perish; but Thou remains; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment…”
It is unknown how many galaxies are in the universe. The HUBBLE photographed one galaxy 56 million light years from planet earth. Each galaxy contains large systems of stars, typically containing several million to some trillion stars. Psalm 147:4, 5 says “He telleth the number of stars; He calleth them all by name. Great is our LORD and of great power; His understanding is infinite.”
The Apostle Paul talks of being caught up to the third heaven (II Corinthians 12:2). Scripture speaks of heaven of heavens of heavens. The universe is beyond measure. God is in control of all. His throne is over all. Deuteronomy 10:14 says “Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.”
What a Creator! What a Father! It is beyond comprehension.
King David prayed in Psalm 139:7 “Where shall I go from Thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from Thy Presence? If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me.”
When Christ rose from the dead Ephesians 1:20 says the Father set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places. What is the atmosphere there? “Glory and honor are in His presence; strength and gladness are in His place.” (1 Kings 8 26, 27).
Consider, as vast as the heavens of heavens are, Jesus comes to earth to die for us. The gentleness of the Creator of this vast universe says - “ Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” (Revelation 3:21)
Our God, who created His throne in the heavens and whose kingdom ruleth over all, living by His Spirit in our heart! To those who overcome in this world, the great King will say unto them on His right hand, “ Come ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34)
When will this magnificent event occur? Presently, God is in the process of making Christ’s enemies His footstool. (Acts 2:35). We who are in Christ, and He in us, are in the process of doing this as we yield and let Him work through us.
Our battles are in the heavenlies. We do not wrestle against our fellow man, our enemies are principalities and powers of darkness revealing their evil deeds and rebellion through unbelievers. These rebellious principalities and powers of darkness are no match for the Spirit of God. We can pull down their strongholds; “ For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (fleshly) but mighty through God for the pulling down of strong holds.” (II Corinthians 10:4).
Jesus settled these issues when He made a spectacle of them in His resurrection.
The earth will be His footstool, as the Father promised. A footstool in STRONG’S CONCORDANCE of the Bible is defined as “when one forces another into bondage, or when one treads upon or brings something under subjection.” God is in the process of doing this through His Spirit, working in us, against the principalities and powers of darkness, deception, and evil in this present world. It all goes back to Creation in the Garden of Eden with the failure of Adam and Eve.
The heavens and earth as we know them lay in wait for destruction. We await a new heaven and earth. Earth and heaven were defiled by Satan and a third of the angels during the rebellion in Heaven. This is our current warfare. Jesus called Satan the prince of the air; the atmosphere surrounding planet earth is defiled. His evil spirits are the ones who entice and tempt men to evil and rebellion against God.
The Book of Job gives a scene of Satan appearing before God to accuse. He is the Accuser of the Brethren. (Job 1:6-8). Revelation 12:10 speaks of Satan being cast to earth - “ And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ; for the Accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.”
Heaven and earth are corrupted by the evils of violence, accusation, and rebellion. Both will be renewed. John’s Revelation of Jesus Christ says, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”
II Peter 3:10,12,13 speaks of the day when both are replaced - “ But the day of the LORD will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with great heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” Heaven and earth suffer violence. God hates violence.
In Matthew 11:12 Jesus said that from the days of John the Baptist until now “the kingdom of heaven suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.” The heavens also will be cleansed.
An all consuming fire will destroy heaven and earth. Deuteronomy 4:24 says, “For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire; even a jealous God.” Deuteronomy 9:3 says “Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God is He which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire He shall destroy them, and He shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD hath said unto thee.”
Heaven is His throne. The thousands of galaxies, the trillions of stars, the hundreds of thousands of light years with out end! Jesus says the Father’s house has many mansions, rooms, dwelling places for those who are loyal to His Kingdom. His house is beyond measure or human comprehension. I don’t think the HUBBLE Spacecraft has even photographed the outside of His dwelling place yet!
Those who overcome this present world receive a kingdom that cannot be moved. Let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire. As we also have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly (I Corinthians 15:49).
When I look up into the heavens on a cloudless night, I rest assured, with confidence, that the One who created this vast, immeasurable, beautiful universe is myr Father!
He lives in me! His Spirit dwells in me!
He has promised to never leave me nor forsake me!
The King of Glory who created this vast immesurable universe is so involved that He even sees a sparrow fall from the sky! Even the hair on our head is numbered; He saw us while we were in the womb, before our first breath. What a Father we have!
He will keep the immeasurable universe operating like a time piece, He is able to keep us from stumbling, and He will present us faultless before the presence of His Glory!
HE HAS PROMISED!
Monday, March 3, 2008
David feigned madness in the enemy camp of the Philistines while running from Saul. He was even rejected by the rulers of the Philistines! The enemy did not even want him around; much less his brethren.
His own son, Absolom turned against him. David had to flee Jerusalem with his household to save his own life.
How do my troubles and issues measure up against this man David? My troubles, aches, pains and disappointments pale in comparison. I have serious issues, troubles and problems that seem insurmountable quite often.
What was the end result of David's issues during his life? The most beautiful book of psalms, prayers, and worship literature ever put to pen. These psalms are a result of his life experiences; both pleasant and bad. All events and circumstances influenced his mindset in the same way as the events and circumstances influence mine.
There were times when he cried "God, where are you?" "Why have you forsaken me?" or "What have I done to deserve this, I have been faithful?"
I ask the same questions.
But what is of most importance is what the conclusion of my events, circumstances, and trials are. God has made promises to those who believe in Him. They are as true and sure as the sun coming up tomorrow morning. I have to daily remind myself, in whatever circumstance, that His promises are true; they are for me as sure as they were for King David.
The eventual result when looking back on dire circumstances of the past during times of praise for deliverance, even while in the fires, I would have to say like King David-
For THOU ART MY LAMP, O LORD;
AND THE LORD WILL LIGHTEN MY DARKNESS.
For BY THEE I HAVE RUN THROUGH A TROOP;
BY MY GOD HAVE I LEAPED OVER A WALL.
HE MAKETH MY FEET LIKE HINDS' (deer) FEET
AND SETTETH ME UPON MY HIGH PLACES. (2 Samuel 11:29,34)
Think of this verse, pick it apart-
* Why would we need a lamp unless we have experienced darkness?
* Why would we need to run through a troop unless we were surrounded, at times?
* Why would we need feet like deer feet, which give them the ability to prance over the
hills and obstacles in they meet along their way?
* Why would we need high places, and why would they be so blessed unless we have spent
time in the valley?
Through Him, we have the ability to rise above every obstacle and barrier. It is a battle but He enables us to rise above and conquer all that comes in the way of living for Him.
" For Thou wilt light my candle;
the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.
For by Thee I have run through a troop;
and by my God have I leaped over a wall.
He teacheth my hands to war,
so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.
He maketh my feet like hinds' feet,
and setteth me upon my high places."
"The LORD God is my strength,
and He will make my feet like hinds' feet,
and He will make me to walk upon my high places..."
In His presence is our strength, when we are weak in body.
He makes our feet like hinds' feet, when we are weary in spirit-
When we are in darkness, He is our candle-
When we are surrounded by a troop of problems He will give us power to run through them-
When we come upon a wall He will give strength to jump over it-
Through our battles He strengthens us and gives us arms of iron-
In His Presence is fullness of joy! Glorify God IN THE FIRES. Memorize His promises, I have been going through old hymnals written by men and women, many of whom died in poverty or prison. These songs are going to be important in the coming days.
A good example of this is a hymn by Haratio G. Spafford - 1828-1888. He traveled to England to preach and his wife and two daughters followed some time later. The ship in which they were traveling sunk in a storm and he lost his entire family; while doing God's work. He wrote this hymn a little later as he sailed past the area where his family perished.
Saturday, March 1, 2008
This says we are sanctified through suffering. It puts us into a class where we become the brothers and sisters of Christ. The One who was present at the creation of the world is bringing many sons into glory; through suffering. For this cause He is not ashamed to call us brethren.
Toward the end of His ministry on earth before His crucifixion, which glorified Him for eternity, Jesus said in John 17:11 "And now I am no more in the world but these are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own Name these whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as we are."
Christ's desire before leaving this earth was that Believers be made one with Him and God; as son's of the Father. The same family line; the same family traits. The same DNA.
Do I feel like a son of God? Can I say that I know the Father, for I am from Him, and He has sent me (John 7:29)? Or He that sent me is with me; the Father has not left me alone (John 8:29)?
Do some around me seek to kill me, not only because I have broken their understanding of the Sabbath but because I have also said that God is my Father, making myself equal with God? Am I that far removed from holiness that I am not distingishable from those around me?
Should I, or will I ever reach a point where Christ says to me that from now on He will not call me a servant, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but from now on He will call me His friend; that all things He hears from the Father (and my Father also) He makes known to me?
Am I there yet? If not now, when?
I do not want to give a self fullfilling prophecy but I am honest enough to say that I do not feel that confidence most of the time. Why? Could it be that I am not following His commandment that I have love one for another, just as He loved me? That by this all men will know that I am His disciple, that I have love one for another.
I long to confidently say that I KNOW HIM, FOR I AM FROM HIM, AND HE SENT ME!
But, the process, the ordeals, the pain, the suffering is the cornerstone of that confidence. The human side of me does not want to go through the pain. Why can't I just read a few chapters a day, prayer for a few people I know, and go about my daily business showing up at work and worrying about the balance of my retirement account, a new car next year, and the sun room I want to add to my house? BINGO! I have answered my question of why I am not there yet.
I have placed gods before God. They are not little clay moldings and I do not have a stone altar in my yard. The gods of the 21st Century are more civilized; not as obvious. In this context, I read the heart cry of Jesus to the Father in John 17 - the entire chapter is worth typing because it expresses the pain that Christ felt as He looked into the 21st Century and saw the desire of those who want to serve Him in the midst of this very dark Age in which we live.
These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said,
"Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son may glorify Thee:
as Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him.
And this is life eternal that they might know Thee,
the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.
I have glorified Thee on the earth;
I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do.
And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was. I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world;
Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me;
and they have kept Thy word.
Now they have known that all things whatsoever Thou hast given Me are of Thee
For I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me;
and they have received them,
and have known surely that I came out of Thee,
and they have believed that Thou didst send Me.
I pray for them;
I pray not for the world,
but for them which Thou hast given Me;
for they are Thine.
And all Mine are Thine
and Thine are Mine;
and I am glorified in them.
And now I am no more in the world,
but these are in the world,
and I come to Thee.
Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me,
that they may be one, as we are.
While I was with them in the world,
I kept them in Thy name;
those that Thou gavest Me I have kept,
and noe of them is lost,
but the son of perdition;
that the scripture might be fulfilled.
And now come I to Thee;
and these things I speak in the world,
that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves.
I have given them Thy word;
and the world hath hated them because they are not of the world,
even as I am not of the world.
I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world,
but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world,
even as I am not of the world.
Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth.
As Thou hast sent Me into the world,
even so have I sent them into the world.
And for their sakes, I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word:
That they may all be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me,
and I in Thee,
that they also may be one in Us:
that the world may believe that Thou has sent me.
And the glory which Thou hast given Me I have given them,
that they may be one,
even as We are one.
I in them and Thou in Me,
that they may be made perfect in one;
and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me,
and hast loved them,
as Thou has loved Me.
Father, I will that they also
whom Thou hast given Me,
be with Me where I am;
That they may behold My glory,
which Thou hast given Me;
For Thou lovest Me before the foundation of the world.
O righteous Father,
the world hath not known Thee;
but I have known Thee,
and these have known that Thou hast sent Me.
And I have declared unto them Thy name,
and will declare it;
that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them,
and I in them."
THE HEART CRY OF MESSIAH!
THE LOVE OF GOD. THE LOVE OF CHRIST. THAT WE MAY BE ONE.