Sunday, May 31, 2009
Our intimacy, fellowship, and friendship with the Almighty, El Elyon, will get us through this life with shouts of victory through Him when we reach the other side.
His glory and honor will shine upon us for all to see. Thus, He in us, we as One, will have an impact upon the lost and dying around us. May He be glorified in our life.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
This blog is not about my Mother, but about each of us. Like her, each of us will go through this before we enter His Presence as she, and all before us have done. Some may enter into His Presence through a great calamity that may occur in our nation that is under Divine judgment; some may enter His Presence by what is called the Rapture; the great taking away mentioned in Scripture - none the less, all Believers will be presented to the Father of all things, the Father who holds our very breath in His hands.
The great One who will present us is Christ. (Jude 24)
We now look upon these things as being very distant, but they are upon us; as sure as we are now writing and reading, this day will be manifest and very apparent. Every eye shall see Him. (Revelation 1:7)
Presently, this should be the object of our faith-soon it shall be the object of our senses. Either to our unspeakable joy and exhilaration, or to our consternation and great sorrow. Which will it be? The choice is ours to make. He has set before us eternal life or eternal death. He says to chose life!
Sincere Believers will be presented by Christ to the Father of all things. This great and awesome and fearful God will look upon us, individually. Some of us as brands saved from the fire; some as faithful servants who gave their all for Him. We only get one chance at this thing called life.
What will be our condition in our hour of presentation? 1 Peter 1:8 says, " Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls." Philippians 2:12 says to work our our salvation with fear and trembling..."
Scripture assures us that we were given to Christ by God, chosen from the foundation of the world. What have I done regarding this "chosenness"? I will give an account. Will I love Him even to the death? Have I allowed the world and its ways to creep into my spirit? These are questions and examinations I need to exercise daily. An excellent example of this spiritual concept and truth is the fire pan and altar the Priests of old performed in the Temple period. Daily cleaning had to take place so offerings were made in purity and cleanliness to God. We must do the same with the altar in our hearts; a daily cleaning and purging from the sin of the world and the sin that so easily besets us.
The day of accounting is upon us. Each day counts from here on out. We must not be lulled to sleep and slumber.
While I was pondering these thoughts this morning I was reminded of years ago, while at the ocean on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, I had been drinking and relaxing while on vacation. I got on a small plastic raft and got into the ocean to escape the heat of the afternoon. I soon dozed off into a slumber laying on the raft in the waters. The sound and motion of the waves put me to sleep. After what must have been a very long time I was startled awake and realized that I have drifted a long distance from the shoreline. The people that were so close now looked like little ants scurrying on the beach. I looked behind me and there was a gigantic wave that had formed right behind me and before I knew what was happening I was thrown from the plastic raft and was tumbling along the bottom of the sea and rising back up in the crest of the wave, gasping for air!
This is how the day of presentation before the Father may be for most; totally unexpected and much too late to change anything! The world can lull us to sleep without our even knowing it if we do not guard our hearts and minds. The cares of this world are like the mighty waves that forced me to the ocean floor. If I had kept my feet firmly planted on shore my safety would not have been an issue.
There is total security in Christ. There is great confidence, joy and peace in Christ. Jesus said in John 6:36-40 that all the Father have given Him shall come to Him. All who come to Him He will in no wise cast out. He came down from Heaven not to do His own will but the will of the One who sent Him. And this was the Father's will, that all whom He has given Him not one should be lost but should be raised up at the last day.
In John 17 in His great prayers to the Father, Christ says that He keeps us by His Name; those the Father gave and gives Him, He lost none, except the son of perdition. He went back to the Father that we might have His joy fulfilled in ourselves. He gave us the Father's words and we are not of this world, even though we are in this world; just as He was not of this world, although He was in this world. The world hated Him, it will hate us likewise.
We are sanctified by His truth; His word is truth. He was sanctified for our sakes so we could also be set apart. He says also in John 17 that He did not do this just for the sake of those who were with Him then, but for all who would come after them; that is us! His desire is that we may be one with Him, just as He is One with the Father. He in us and we in Him; just as He is in the Father. What awesome words!
On THAT DAY, we will be presented faultless before His presence with exceeding joy. He has declared us to the father and the love which the Father had for Jesus is upon us because Jesus is in us.
In what I call the Grand Finally, Jesus will present everything to the Father so that the Father will be recognized as All in All. 1 Corinthians 15:22-28 says ~
" For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at His coming."
" Then cometh the end, when He (Jesus) shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet."
" The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For He (the Father) hath put all things under His feet. But when He saith all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He is excepted, which did put all things under Him. And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him (the Father) that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all..."
That the Father may be all in all!
We must be of good cheer! We will be presented faultless before the Presence of His glory because of our Great Redeemer. There will be no sin, no sorrow, only perfection of holiness in Him. The God who will do this is worthy to have all glory, dedication, surrender, majesty, dominion and power, now and forevermore!
Friday, May 29, 2009
Their prayers, praise and requests were very important to Him to be recorded for all to read throughout the ages. The prayers of Daniel, Abraham, King David, Jeremiah, John and Paul, to name a few must have been like a sweet incense as they made their way to His Throne. The multitudes seen by John the Revelator on the isle of Patmos in his visions of Heaven were all singing the same song; the song of the Lamb, and the song of Moses. We, like they, have the same story of redemption, the same issues of life, and the same One that we all have access to through the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary's tree.
Psalm 20:5-9 ministered to me this day: (personalized)
" I will rejoice in Thy salvation,
and in the Name of my God.
I will set up my banners:
the LORD fulfil all of my petitions. "
" Now know I that the LORD saveth His annointed:
He will hear me from His holy Heaven
with saving strength of His right hand. "
" Some trust in chariots and some in horses;
but I will remember the Name of the LORD my God.
They are brought down and fallen;
but I am risen and stand upright. "
" Save LORD - let the King hear me when I call. "
God has said that without faith it is impossible to please Him. If I do not have a full understanding of what faith is, how can I hope to please Him? Faith is something He wants me to have; He would not desire that I have something that He will not provide if I yield myself totally to receive what He has to give.
That is the difficult part; setting aside the sin that so easily encompass me; mostly the sin of unbelief. Not unbelief in Him, but unbelief that He will do for me what He has done for others. The enemy says I am different; I sinned away my day of grace - I will not get answers to my petitions for I am inferior or not accepted in the Beloved - or the sins I inherited hold me back from a full understanding of Him. And on and on...
But the Spirit of God softly speaks that He is no respecter of persons. What He does for one He will do for another. He has a sea called Forgetfulness into which He casts our sins, both present and long past. The sea is named Forgetfulness! Why do I get my fishing gear at times and go-a-fishing for something in the past? What foolishness!
I know that over the past several weeks God has led me to an author named Matthew Henry. I have read and studied his thoughts on Hebrews 11 and 12:1,2. The reason I love this man's opinion so much is that he wrote in the 1600's when Britain was in great turmoil both politically and religiously; as are we today in the United States. The Church in Britain in his day was demanding that minister's swear allegiance to the Church of England; the state church. There were those who did so, and there were some who rebelled and refused. It had gotten so bad that ministers were being forced to choose sides or suffer the consequences. Matthew Henry refused; concentrating only on his studies. He tried to minister to both sides.
No electricity, radio, television, or Internet. Neighbors were miles away. True fellowship and friends were real and to be cherished. No drive through restaurants or diners, no cars or public transportation, no airlines, air conditioning and heat. No distractions! Only the Word of God and interpretation as the Spirit led. I think in this atmosphere a human being is much more receptive to hearing the Spirit; a place of solitude and quietness. The Prophets and Christ Himself are witness to this. They could hear the "still small Voice".
Here are the thoughts that ministered to me. Some of them I pondered for days at a time. Just one thought would minister to me and I could go no further for awhile before I could entertain taking on another thought before working it out in my spirit. I will put the thoughts in bullet form: Enjoy!!
* And the Scripture was fulfilled which saith Abraham believed God and it was imputed to him for righteousness; he was called the friend of God. Believed means - persuasion - conviction - reliance - to put trust with.
* The just shall live by his faith. This means - a firmness - security - that God is the great I AM. If this is settled in our soul, God calls this the righteousness of faith. (Romans 4:13)
* Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1) For by it (faith) the elders received a good report. ( this passage has always confused me. The Spirit has spoken to my spirit thus to open this fact up to me- MATTHEW HENRY said - Faith demonstrates to the eye of the mind the reality of those things that cannot be discerned by the eye of the body. It is a spiritual exercise.
* We have a natural eye where we see with our body, but we also possess a spiritual eye that sees into the spiritual aspects of our existence. The eye of our spirit. This is where faith lives, grows, thrives and minister's to God.
* Faith is a firm persuasion and expectation that God will perform all that He has promised us in Christ. Am I in Christ? Yes, by faith I am. So the promises of God are here for me as I trust that God will do what He says He will do. Learning the ways and desires of God through study of Scripture in of utmost importance.
* This persuasion (conviction) should be so strong that it gives the soul a kind of possession and present fruition of those things. It gives us a subsistence in the soul, by the first fruits and foretastes of them.
* Christ dwells in our soul be faith.
* Faith sets to its soul the seal that God is true.
* Faith is designed to serve the Believer instead of our sight, and to be to the soul all that the senses are to the body.
* One of the first articles of faith is that God by His Word created the worlds not out of matter that already was in existence, but out of matter that He spoke into being and created from nothing!
* God, who creates and calls things that are not, as though they were, and He calls them into being.
* Those that come to God must believe (faith) that He is, and that He is a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
* Acceptance with God is a peculiar and distinguishing favor. For example; Adam's son Cain was the elder brother, but with God, Abel had preference over Cain. It is not seniority of birth, but grace that makes men and women truly honorable. ( I also think of Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau...)
* It is owing to the sovereign free grace of God that in the same family one is taken and another left, one loved and the other hated.
* Those who walk by faith walk with God in a sinful world and are pleasing to Him, and He will give them marks of His favor, and put honor upon them.
* Good examples will either convert sinners or condemn them. There is something very convincing in a life of strict holiness and regard to God.
* The trials of faith often occur when we are in the imperfection of our present state. (This is how growth in our faith occurs. )
* Faith has a strong eye - it can see promises from afar off.
* Faith sets its seal that God is true; and thereby settles and satisfies the soul.
* Those mentioned in Hebrews 11 - ( i.e. Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Joseph, Jacob, etc) embraced the promises - made the promises present and loved them - faith has a long arm.
* The supports of Abraham's faith must be very great, suitable to the greatness of the trial. For example, Abraham accounted that God was able to raise Isaac up from the dead after he was offered as a sacrifice. He had to settle this into his mind.
* His faith was supported by the sense he had of the mighty power of God. He reasoned thus with himself and so he resolved all of his doubts. It is our duty to be reasoning down our doubts and fears, by the consideration of the Almighty power of God.
* Moses forsook Egypt (the world) by faith; not fearing the wrath of the king. Moses endured as seeing Him that was invisible. He bore up with invincible courage under all danger; and endured all the fatigue of his employment, which was very great.
* Moses did this by seeing the invisible God! The God with which we have to do is an invisible God - He is invisible to the senses; to the eye of the body. The things of God are spiritually observed. By faith we may see the invisible God!
* We may be fully assured of His existence, His providence and of His gracious and powerful Presence with us. Such sight will enable Believers to endure to the end.
* The grace of faith ( a gift from Christ, He gives as He sees fit) will help us through all the dangers we meet with in our way to heaven.
* God loves to do things, great things, by small and contemptible means, that His own arm may be made bare.
* When God has some great thing to do for His people - He will raise up great and strong faith in them.
* Our race must be run with patience and perseverance. There will be need of patience to encounter the difficulties that lie in our way, of perseverance to resist all temptations to desist or turn aside.
* Faith and Patience are the conquering graces; and therefore must be always cultivated and used in lively exercise.
* How? Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith ( Hebrews 12:2)
* People were continually contradicting Jesus and crossing upon His great designs; and though He could have easily both confuted and confounded them, and He sometimes gave them a specimen of His great power, yet He endured their evil manners with great patience.
I would like to wrap my study up with this beautiful poem also in Matthew Henry's commentary on Hebrews 11. It give a very apt picture of what our mindset should be. May it remain in my spirit and soul unto the great and glorious day of His return!
" They are strangers, as saints, whose home is Heaven;
they are pilgrims as they are traveling towards their home, though often meanly and slowly.
Their acknowledgement of this their condition: they are not ashamed to admit it.
Their lips and their lives confess their present condition.
They expected little from the world, they cared not to engage it much.
They endeavored to lay aside every weight, to gird up the loins of their minds to mind their way, to keep company and pace with their fellow travelers, looking for difficulties and bearing them and longing to get home.
Hereby they declare plainly that they sought another country, Heaven, their own country.
There spiritual birth is from there, there are their best relations. And their inheritance.
This country they seek;
their designs are for it,
their desires are after it,
their discourse is about it.
They diligently endeavour to clear up their title to it,
to have their conversation in it and to come to the enjoyment of it."
- Have a restful, reflective Sabbath; thinking upon God. -
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Our fathers and mothers of faith mentioned in Hebrews 11 have this witness, this testimony; they believed God and it was accounted to them as righteousness. It has been recorded for all of eternity that these were faithful and true in believing that God was and is who He says He is; the Great I AM.
This weekend the nation in which we live celebrates the memory of those who have paid the ultimate price. We remember their sacrifice on our behalf. As Believers we also have those who blazed a trail before us; a trail of faith, stability in the midst of great trial and opposition, and successfully finished the race that was set before them. The finish line was crossed successfully!
What was their mindset? What was their goal, their desire, their purpose in life? Verses 14 through 16 of Hebrews 11 gives a snapshot ~
" These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. "
They sought a heavenly country; Abraham sought a city whose foundations were laid by God. They were unwavering in their pursuit of this city. They did not consider returning to the place from which they came; I am sure they had opportunity to do so because of the great trials and temptations they suffered in their travels on this troubled planet.
There is nothing unpatriotic about seeking another country; a heavenly one. Believers are citizens of another nation, an eternal nation that will never suffer recession, depression, violence and sin. Our belief, actions and desires to be found worthy of this heavenly Kingdom established by God makes us model citizens on the earth. We visit the sick, feed the hungry, pray for rain and protection from storms (which also gives protection to those around us!).
Model citizens of the highest order! We do not steal, murder, hate or commit random acts of violence. According to the Word of God, we are distinguished by our love. Our fruits are righteousness and peace.
As we remember our fellow citizens in the United States of America who paid the price for our freedom, let us likewise remember our fathers and mothers of the faith who have been given as examples and as witnesses to this great journey God has allowed us to participate in.
Honor and remembrance of these; Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Deborah, Gideon, King David, Samuel, Paul, Stephen, Isaac, Jacob (Israel), Jeremiah, Isaiah, Nahum, Amos, Jonah, Peter, Daniel and a multitude of others. And our ultimate remembrance of Christ and His suffering, His example, and His faithfulness to the Father's will-over and above His own will.
Just as the Children of Israel were instructed to gather 12 stones from the dry river bed as a remembrance of the deliverance of God when they crossed over on dry ground, we also should remember the great cloud of Witnesses who give us courage, faith and an example of how to complete our individual race successfully.
Our faith overcomes the world!
God IS Who He says He is;
and we are His children!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
It seems from personal experience at the point when my affairs are being smothered with dense, putrid smoke He appears on the scene to offer guidance, strength for the battle that ensues, and ultimate victory because of Him, not because of my actions in the fleshly, natural man.
Psalm 68 says~
" Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered: let them that hate Him flee before Him.
As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God. "
As He continues to do what is necessary to advance His kingdom here on this troublesome planet, both He and we will face greater opposition as the day of Redemption of all things draws nearer at a much quickened pace. The smoke among the nations, the great darkness prophesied that will fall upon all of mankind is driven away from those who seek, honor and acknowledge He who controls all events.
His force that drives away the smoke of deception and despair in our lives scatters the enemy. The great heat that melts the wax that is hardening is an enemy of the forces of darkness. His forces, His ways that put the enemy to flight draws His children closer to Him!
This passage of Scripture in Psalm 68 says that~
" BUT, let the righteous be glad;
let them rejoice before God:
yea, let them EXCEEDINGLY REJOICE."
" Sing unto God,
sing praises to His Name:
extol Him that rideth upon the heavens by His Name JAH,
and rejoice before Him."
The forces that drive away the deception in our lives, our nation, and the community of nations on planet earth should cause us to sing, rejoice, extol Him! We must not fear, but praise and sing.
We are facing the climax of the ages when, as prophesied, those who are righteous will be righteous still, those who are evil will be evil still. The final day of decision is fast approaching when the night comes when no man can work; the final line of rescue is being cast and decisions made by the multitudes will be the one last decision they will ever make.
It is a time of intercession and prayer for those we love who do not know the LORD. He who hears our prayers is faithful and true. He is not willing that any should perish but that ALL should come to eternal life in Him. I firmly believe that the prayers of my Grandparents and Parents when I was a child were what finally, after much resistance, brought me back to the fold. Because of their intercession, the Great Shepherd left the 99 sheep to seek out the one lost sheep.
He has not changed. He will do the same on behalf of our prayer and intercession for family members and friends. The time of the nations has past. He will now reveal Himself through the nation of Israel. The final tally of the gentiles is being taken and Israel will be first and forefront in His dealings with planet earth. The forces He uses to drive away the smoke of deception that is so prevalent today, the great heat that melts hardened wax and the forces that oppose Him must not cause consternation or anxiety on our part.
As the Psalmist says, these forces draw Believers closer to Him! They must produce hymns, praise and exhortation of Him!
His means, His ways do justify the end.
We know what the end is;
A renewed planet earth where righteousness dwells.
His very Person will reside here and He will reverse the curse upon the planet and what His original purpose was for mankind and earth will finally be established.
Believers await this day with great anticipation. We await our new bodies likened unto His glorious Body. Do not fear! Do not be dismayed. He is our God, our Father, the great Saviour of mankind.
Update from Asher IntraterMay 20, 2009
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Obama and Netanyahu
The Obama and Netanyahu meetings ended inconclusively, which is all that could be expected at this time. The United States position seems to be changing from one of staunch ally of Israel to one of neutral moderator between Israel and the Islamic nations. In other words, no nation in the world right now is declaring itself as an ally of Israel. This presents a challenge to the international body of Messiah, those who are true believers in Yeshua (Jesus) and the God of the Bible. They are the only ones who can remain loyal to the biblical covenants.
The essence of Netanyahu's position is this: Israel is in favor of continuing peace talks, but they must be based on real give and take, not just on concessions from Israel's side.
One of the slogans of international pressure on Israel is "Land for Peace": Israel should give up more land in exchange for peace with the Islamic nations. The total land area of the Middle East is 5,200,000 square miles. Israel's land area is 8,000 square miles. The claim that the key to peace is for the group with 8 thousand square miles to give up land to the group with 5 million square miles doesn't make sense to me.
The Earth will be Filled with His GloryHere are 5 biblical promises that one day all the earth will be filled with the glory of God:
Numbers 14:21 – All the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LordIsaiah 6:3 – The whole earth is full of His glory Isaiah 11:9 – The earth will be full of the knowledge of the LordHab. 2:14 – The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LordPsalm 72:19 – Let the whole earth be filled with His Glory
Recently I had a dream in which I saw the beginning of planet earth being filled with the presence of God. The elements of nature – trees and rivers and mountains – all came to life. Biblical Paradise is a restored Garden of Eden.
Romans 8:19-21 – The creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
The spirit of a human is connected to his soul, and his soul is connected to his body. The body of man was originally taken from the earth; so there is a connection between the physical body of man and the land of planet earth. After a person dies, his spirit and soul leave his body, and his body returns to the earth to decay.
Therefore the resurrection of the human race is also connected to the restoration of the earth. The dead bodies of all humans are in the earth. At the resurrection, the power of God will fill those bodies and they will come back to life in a new and glorious form (or unto eternal punishment). The same glory power that fills the earth to resurrect the dead will at the same time fill the earth to transform nature back to its original form.
The earth and the bodies of men are linked in covenant and in material. When man sinned, his body lost its glory, and planet earth fell into corruption. When the children of God are given their new glorified bodies (Philippians 3:21; I Corinthians 15:35-49), so will nature be restored to its glory. The coming kingdom of God includes a "regeneration" of the earth (Matthew 19:28; Revelation 21-22). Both the resurrection and the regeneration are part of the "new creation" (II Corinthians 5:17; Revelation 21:5).This promise of the glory of God filling the earth is connected to the current conflict over who owns the land of Israel. The enormous international attention to this tiny bit of land is obsessive and makes no sense for strictly political reasons. There are spiritual roots to the conflict.
Muslims claim that the Holy Land belongs to Islam. The Bible contains clear and irrevocable covenants that this land was given by God to the Jewish people (Genesis 12:7; 13:15; 15:18; 17:8; 26:3; 28:13; 35:12).Yet most Jews and Christians alike miss the importance of these covenants. The promises were not given primarily for the Jewish people to have a place to live (although that certainly is included). The purpose of the covenants concerning the land of Israel is to start the process of reclaiming planet earth for the children of God. Abraham and his family were the first true believers. God cut covenants with Abraham and his family to give him the land of Israel. This established the legal claim of ownership of the whole planet for the rest of the community of faith as well.
When the planet comes back under full ownership of the children of God, then the earth will be restored to glory. Both Islamic Jihad and Secular Humanism are opposed to God's claim of possession of this planet, and therefore are opposed to any consideration of the biblical covenants concerning the land of Israel. We believe in the biblical covenants concerning the land of Israel, and in the promise of ownership of planet earth by the children of God, and in the prophecies of the whole earth being filled with the glory of God.
Please PRAY for our ongoing ministry in Israel of indigenous evangelism, planting Messianic congregations, the discipleship training center, prophetic praise and prayer watches in Hebrew, and financial aid for the needy.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
I fear that the U.S. government will threaten Israel with retaliation and a cut off of aid if additional lands are not surrendered to the Palestinian Authority, negotiations for surrender of the Golan Heights, and a cessation of building and expansion in Jerusalem. Pressure like this is a death sentence for our nation as far as God is concerned. He has declared that He will cut into pieces anyone who divides His Land.
I have been reading news reports and commentaries from all over the world and it looks as if this is what may very well be waiting in the wings of the White House for tomorrows meetings.
While in prayer this afternoon regarding the meetings tomorrow I requested of God that He put the American negotiators in total confusion; that they would end up contradicting themselves, be exposed to the world of their deceit in regard to Israeli issues and compromises demanded, and that generally Prime Minister Netanyahu would have a forehead like iron and not back down in the midst of severe pressure, probably unlike anything he has experienced. God can do this!
I asked God to give me a word for my request in this regard. I was led to Isaiah 44:25,26 where He says~
" He frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad;
that turneth wise men backward,
and maketh their knowledge foolish;
That confirmeth the word of His servant,
and performeth the counsel of His messengers;
that saith to Jerusalem,
Thou shalt be inhabited;
and to the cities of Judah,
Ye shall be built,
and I will raise up the decayed places thereof:"
The United States is lying when they promise protection for Israel; we cannot even win a war after 8 years in Afghanistan and we are bogged down in a dirty affair in Iraq. We are beholden to Arab oil and indebted to oil rich, capital rich nations from the Mideast. We will do nothing to lift a finger to assist Israel if faced with retaliation from Arab nations.
Our wisdom, prognosticators, and predictions of peace with terrorists who do every thing possible to bring about Israel's defeat will be exposed. We are truly a nation with an emperor that has no clothes. If we pressure Israel tomorrow and after the meetings when the real decisions are enforced, we will face the dire consequences this summer, I do believe. In the way of storms, earthquakes and from the heavens. Like Babylon of old, the hand writing is starting to appear on the wall of the palace and the message is not going to be favorable.
Pray for wisdom, fortitude, vision and Godly counsel for the leaders of Israel. May those who love Jerusalem, the city of the great King be protected from the coming storms.
Friday, May 15, 2009
" Trust in Him at all times;
pour out your heart before Him,
He is a Refuge. "
The God of Israel is our Father. He looks upon the inhabitants of the earth to find those who believe what He has said.
No matter the trial or temptation,
No matter the uncertainty of life's road or circumstance,
We have ONE that we can run to. Under the shadow of His wings we find
rest and solace for our soul.
He who has promised is faithful and true; these are two of His given Names in the Bible, Faithful and True.
We have to put our entire soul and body into this belief, steadfast and sure, an anchor of the soul, that He is who He says He is. And we are in Him who He says we are!
We are His children, the sheep of His pasture. He is the good shepherd. When we stray in unbelief or doubt, He is there by His Spirit to lead us back to His fields. He is King of the earth, master of the universe, the universe cannot contain His Presence. He is much too big for that. His mercies and compassions are renewed on a daily basis; just as sure as the sun rises in the heavens, He is aware of our circumstance.
He who has started a good work in us will complete it.
Fear not, for He is with us. Do NOT be dismayed, for HE IS our God!
Oh the riches and measureless love and compassions of our Father!
Sunday, May 10, 2009
" To be like Jesus,
to be like Jesus-
All I ask,
to be like Him;
All through life's journey,
from earth to glory,
All I ask,
to be like Him..."
I was humming the song in my mind while working in the yard this week. Then I asked myself, what am I singing; examine the words of what you are asking for. Almost immediately the passage, the prophecy of Christ's life in Isaiah 53 came to mind .
* There is no beauty in Him that any should desire Him.
* He was not only despised, but totally rejected of men; the society in which He was born.
* He was a man of sorrows
* He was acquainted with grief.
* Society hid from Him.
* He was not only despised but He was not esteemed.
* He not only bore His own grief, but the grief of others.
* He carried others sorrows in addition to His own.
* He was looked upon as being stricken, smitten by God and afflicted.
* He was wounded not for His transgressions, but because of others sins.
* He was bruised for others.
* He was oppressed, afflicted, yet said nothing in His own defense.
* He was led as a dumb lamb to not only be sheared (made naked, exposed) but to be
* After being slaughtered He made His grave with the wicked (He died as one who was
wicked, although there was no sin in Him.
And I sang in church, and in my yard the request TO BE LIKE JESUS? Yes, I want to be like Him, but I do not want to go through what He went through. Is it possible to be like someone but not go through their experiences, life processes, learning and obedience's?
From a worldly perspective, can one become a member of the US Army Special Forces without going through boot camp and extensive training? Can one advance in the US Navy without learning how to swim? Can one earn a doctorate's degree without going to college? Is the heavenly process, the eternal different? Why have we been convinced that it is? Who has bewitched us? How could I have uttered the words TO BE LIKE JESUS without knowing in my heart that it is impossible unless I can identify and participate in the sufferings of Christ! To join in what the Apostle Paul called the " fellowship of His sufferings..."
Who set it up this way? Isaiah 53 says that " It pleased God to put Jesus to grief. Jesus would make His soul an offering for others sins; not His own, but others sins. It pleased God to bruise His Son. All for us...
He was wounded for our transgressions, not His transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities, not His iniquities. He was cut off from the land of the living and yet, did not open His mouth.
Am I willing to submit to this same process on behalf of friends, family, my community and nation? Do I submit or run from the poor, needy, oppressed, enslaved, and captives? Is not the same God of Jesus the same One that I claim to be my Father? Does He demand a different mindset of other "sons of God" of which we are, than of our example who is Christ?
How could Christ do this? One who was without sin to become sin!
Hebrews 12:2 says..."for the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame, and He is now set down at the right had of the throne of God." He still intercedes for those the Father has given Him. He came from heaven above, sinless, spotless and fulfilled all of the prophecy given in Isaiah 53, every last drop from the cup, given to Him by the Father. He did not come to condemn, as I am so apt to do daily to others. He came to save the world.
When we feel rejected, shamed, despised, forsaken, we are in excellent company. The Saviour of mankind, the Redeemer of planet earth suffered the same. We must look unto Jesus, the Author and the Finisher of our faith. He who has started a good work in us will finish it!
As a footnote, I advise all to examine what we are saying, and singing, and thinking! It is being recorded in the heavens! Do not be surprised and think it strange that difficulties, trials and travails happen to us daily, it has happened to all who love and seek and adore God.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Stephen is one of my heroes. The traditional site of his burial is Bet Jamal, 35 kilometers outside of Jerusalem. For 3 years our family lived adjacent to that property. Stephen attained a remarkable degree of Christ-likeness. His short life is a worthy model for us to meditate on and an example for us to follow.
Character and Charisma
God calls us to walk in both the fruit and the gifts of the Spirit (Galatians 5; I Corinthians 12). We should have both moral character and divine charisma. Stephen was included in the first deacons, described as "men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business (Acts 6:3)." It goes on to say that Stephen "full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs (Acts 6:8)."
Humility and Boldness
We are called to walked in humility before God (Micah 6:8), yet at the same time to "speak God's word with all boldness (Acts 4:29)." Not many people have the grace to do both. Stephen served tables in humility as a waiter in his congregation (Acts 6:2). Yet he also rebuked with all boldness the top religious leaders of his day, calling them to their face, "stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart (Acts7:51)."
Conformed to the Cross
Our discipleship leads us to be conformed to Yeshua in every way, including that of His death (Philippians 3:10). Stephen was not only the first martyr, his dying moment was similar to that of Yeshua. As they stoned him, he cried out saying, "Lord Yeshua, receive my spirit (Acts 7:59);" which is parallel to Yeshua's cry, "Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit (Psalm 31:5, Luke 23:46)."
Stephen's last words were to forgive those sinning against him: "Lord, do not hold this sin against them (Acts 7:60)." In this He was conformed to Yeshua's prayer on the cross, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do (Luke 23:34)."
Conformed to His Glory
We are called not only to be conformed to Yeshua in His death, but also in His glory (Romans 8:17, 29-30). I try to meditate every day on Yeshua as He was crucified and as He was glorified. It seems paradoxical to combine those two images because they seem so different, even opposite. Yet Stephen managed to achieve both those two images (of suffering and of glorification) at the same time.
Right before he was stoned, his accusers looked at him and "saw his face as the face of an angel (Acts 6:15)." When Yeshua was seen in His glorified form, John described that "His face was shining like the sun (Revelation 1:16)." That Stephen was able to reach the pinnacle of Yeshua's crucifixion and His glorification at the same moment is one of the most remarkable achievements in human history.
Hebraic and Greek
Stephen was Jewish but his name was Greek. He was one of those called upon to settle the dispute between the early Hebrew-speaking and Greek-speaking Messianic believers (Acts 6:1). Apparently he spoke both. His bi-cultural ability was a key factor. The apostle Paul was also fully bi-cultural, whereas the apostle Peter was primarily of the local Hebraic culture. Western Christianity developed along the line of Greek European culture. Today many Christians are rediscovering their Jewish roots as well (Romans 11:15-33).
The two world views – Hebraic and Greek – are important to understand the full counsel of God (Acts 20:27; Acts 1:6, 8; Ephesians 2:11-3:6; Revelation 7:4, 9). Although Stephen spoke Greek, his message to the Hebrew religious leaders (Acts 7:2-33) is perhaps the most extensive presentation of the gospel in its Jewish historical context in the Bible.
Witness and Martyrdom
The word "martyr" in the original means "witness, testimony, evidence". Paul witnessed the death of Stephen; it was a powerful testimony for him, part of what eventually led him to faith (Acts 22:20). There is some hint that much of the reward for Paul's preaching will go back to Stephen (I Corinthians 9:16).
We will all die one way or the other (if the Lord tarries). The question is not whether you will die, but how you will die, and what will you give your life for. Sometimes I say that my "career goal" is to die preaching the gospel as Stephen did.
In the resurrection, we will all receive reward, good or bad, for what we have done in this life (II Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:12). Not everyone will receive the same level of resurrection; some will be better, some less (Philippians 3:11; Hebrews 11:35; Revelation 20:4-6).
There is a pre-destined number of people who will give their lives unto death before Yeshua returns (Revelation 6:11). We don't know what the last number will be; however we do know who has the number ONE.
Pope Benedictus XVI is scheduled to be in Israel next week. His visit could mark an historic turning point in relations between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people.
Pray for him to be a positive witness of Jesus to Israel. Most Jews and Arabs of the Middle East do not see any difference between Catholics, Protestants and Evangelicals. To the people here, the Pope is a Christian; the most visible example of Christianity in the world. His visit will receive wide local coverage in the media, and will influence, for better or worse, how Jews think of both Jesus and Christianity.
Pray for a positive attitude among Catholics toward Israel. As much of the world is turning toward anti-Semitism, through liberal secular humanism or through Islamic Jihad, the direction of the Catholic Church is still hanging in the balance. With enough prayer, the Catholic Church could be an important bulwark against the tide of Jihad and terrorism.
Pray for revival, repentance and restoration among the nearly one billion people who refer to themselves as Catholics in the world today.
Please PRAY for our ongoing ministry in Israel of indigenous evangelism, planting Messianic congregations, the discipleship training center, prophetic praise and prayer watches in Hebrew, and financial aid for the needy.Visit us online at: www.revive-israel.org
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Wednesday, May 6, 2009
It is human nature to pick a mentor, an idol, one to emulate, it seems. Human nature, not Godly nature...The great money men of our day, and days gone by, have been researched and sought after throughout the history of our society; the Rockefeller's, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Allen Greenspan and the like. People of faith seek after the likes of King David, Jeremiah, Isaiah and the Apostle Paul.
But when we reach the end of the trail, as we all are destined to do, how much energy has been expended seeking, searching, and desiring to be like the One who gave His all for us? He has said that all who desire to live Godly will suffer persecution. He foretold of the day in which we are living; He described these days as perilous.
The human side of me wants to be satisfied with my check book, my retirement, my job, my associates, my health and such. What of the real Randy?
Is true satisfaction with these things? FORGET IT!
Let us examine ourselves with honesty - How are we faring? At times it seems we only can tread water. Sometimes we strut around in victory as if we have it all figured out; as if we have arrived. We castigate those of the faith that seem to be lagging behind. How easy it is to forget that just yesterday we were stuck in the mud ourselves. If not for the mercies of our Heavenly Father, none of us stand a chance.
Where do we find satisfaction? Is it possible to really "arrive" while we are restrained in this body of flesh and bone; nothing more than dirt formed from earth with the breath of God in us?
In one of his prayers, King David seems to wrap up our final destination and long sought after state of satisfaction in one hidden verse. It is~
" I WILL BE SATISFIED WHEN I AWAKE WITH THY LIKENESS! "
This is our goal; From here comes our true satisfaction. To awake in our eternal bodies, likened unto His glorious Body. To fellowship, worship and adore Him while actually seeing Him! What a day that will be, when our Jesus we shall see. He said that all that the Father has given Him are His; He has not, and will not lose one!
That is you and I. This is our source of satisfaction!
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Over the past three months both of my vehicles have broken down. This is not a sob story; these things happen to all of us; it is to be expected from time to time. The costs for repair have been exorbitant, over 2500 dollars. In another concern, there are two, (now three!) children from North Carolina whom their mother considers my wife and myself to be their God parents (whatever that means!) They are from, in my opinion, a very troubled, unstable, ungodly home environment.
When they stay here, as they did for Spring Break just a couple of weeks ago, our home, our animals, our peaceful environment is disrupted. I do not like disruption! On the last weekend they were here, a 6 year old little girl, her 15 year old brother, their friend who tagged along for the ride, who is a nice little girl of maybe 14, had a diabetic attack. Her sugar count was over 600 on a Friday evening. She had been eating what she should not be eating (like I do all of the time!) We rushed her to the emergency room and there was nothing they could do for her. The City hospital here in town called every hospital within the closest 100 miles and finally one out side of Washington D.C. was able to take the little girl in.
My wife rode down in the ambulance with her, we made arraignments for the other two children to stay with our relatives that night, and off we go to care for someone we do not even know. After trips to DC, calls to the children's mother who was busy cursing out the little girl, her doctors and everyone short of me and my wife for troubling her on a weekend which is apparently her party time, the little girl was stabilized and returned to her place, wherever that is, in North Carolina.
I am telling this story of the past three weeks for a reason. At times, when one tries to intervene in a situation like this there is trouble on every side. The personal side of this story is that I have been running thin in the financial department after these unexpected expenses. In today's environment it is not a good thing to fall behind on anything, especially a mortgage payment, of which I am presently. This is embarrassing and unexpected. From a spiritual mindset I think this cannot be from God! One or two mature believers I have spoken to over the past several weeks basically said that I should not introduce such things into my home; it is nothing but heartache and trouble. Like inviting Satan into your house and all of the issues that go with that.
But on the other hand, throughout the week while they were here, sometimes in the morning before I go to work, or in the evening when I would get home, I would sit at my dining room table and read the Bible. The smallest child would go into her bedroom and come to the table with a Children's Bible Story book and ask me to read to her. The other two children would come and listen to the stories about Daniel in the Lion's den (which I can kind of identify with recently), Noah and the Ark and the judgment God sent on the earth because of mankind's wickedness, and the story of Joseph being sold into slavery, even after being promised by God that he would be great in the Kingdom.
As I was examining the new mess I had gotten myself into while riding to the hospital in Washington and was beating myself in the head mentally, these scenes of the kids listening to the stories of God's faithfulness in days gone by came to mind. I remembered that God said that His word WILL NOT return void, it will accomplish what He pleases. I starting praying in the midst of this ordeal that the seed that was planted would fall on good soil and produce fruit for His kingdom as these children are reminded by the Holy Spirit, in their hour of need as they grow and mature.
Over the past several weeks my batteries in my spirit have been running below the red zone. I have not known what to do. I would go the the Word and pray for a special word from God. Most of the time nothing in particular came. There was dead silence from heaven as far as I could tell. I would weep both physically and spiritually thinking that I had reached the limit and that somehow I had displeased God and was being punished. Satan started to bring to my mind the music and thoughts from years ago and remind me of the "comfort" that came from there.
The other day, I think it was yesterday, something came to mind about the life experiences of Joseph. The Bible says that "the Word of the LORD tried him..."
But, I do not want to be tired; I cried! I am beyond that! I have read the promises of God to me and I believe every word! God, I cried, I have asked You a hundred times to give me a new brain, my old one is messed up! Give me a new heart, a new spirit! But the trial continues.
God hears, even our thoughts both for Him and thoughts against Him. Our faith, our unbelief, our fears and our doubts-He hears it all and knows it all. For some strange reason this is the way it works. WE WILL BE TRIED by His word. This is where growth and a deeper faith matures.
Just today, after feeling the acid burn through what was remained of my mental battery, I cried out to God and said I NEED A WORD! Here is what He gave me:
"For I HAVE satiated the weary soul,
and I HAVE replenished every sorrowful soul."
This was the answer! I have been trying to satiate my own weary soul with human wisdom and what I thought. I tried for weeks to replenish my sorrow and tell myself that I was in control and would recover. I am realizing that I will never reach a place where I can do it on my own; no matter how "spiritual" I become or no matter how much I grow and mature in the LORD; it is and has to be ALL HIM. Total dependence upon Him. Anything less than that is an offense to Him.
There are some who will say that one must prepare for an emergency. There are those who say it is foolishness to take in children who are so troubled. There are some who say that Believers must "button down the hatches" of our homes and ride out the storm. They can do that; we will not!
No matter how I have felt during these times of turmoil, God was, is, and will always be a strong tower, a place of comfort and rest. His everlasting arm is still outstretched and available for those who search for Him.
Like Jeremiah did years ago when he heard these words of comfort from God, verse 26 says that, " Upon this I awakened, and beheld (understood), and my sleep was sweet unto me."
The troubles are just beginning. Do we run from them, do we avoid the lion's den at all cost? Do we cower from the mighty waves of the Red Sea that God has brought us to the shores of? As the mountains quake and tremble and lightening's glow, do we send another Moses to the mountaintop to speak to God? Or do we go for ourselves?
When we get to heaven and gaze in amazement at those Brothers and Sisters who have given our all, will there be a place to hide in shame because we risk nothing while here on earth?
There is human wisdom. There are principal tenants of capitalism, our way of life that have been followed and I have probably broken them all.
The heavenly economy is the one I am most concerned about. Jesus looked at the rich young ruler and told him to sell all that he had and follow Him. Was he just kidding? We WILL find out!
As a footnote, my wife and I are preparing to have the children up again this summer! Pray for us; for me that I can keep my composure and peace of God, and for her as she teaches the girls how to bake a cake, sew a garment or make dolls for the children's ward at the hospital here in town, or how young ladies should behave.
For those of you who read this that know my wife and myself, I request that the information in this writing be kept to yourselves. I poured out my heart in an effort to prepare all who may read this of the ways of God at this present time in our personal lives.
If we search for Him with all of our hearts, He will be found!