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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Bible League letter

Middle East - Muslim seeker meets her creator

Lina’s life was over, or so she believed. Before giving up all hope, she decided to try finding God.
“For the last 40 years, my life was miserable,” Lina says. “I never experienced happiness.”

Lina had lived in despair for so long that nothing mattered to her anymore. She had lost important relationships and was filled with loneliness. Living in a patriarchal society and a culture that often treats women disrespectfully just added to her pain.

“I was at a point where I seriously wanted to end my life,” Lina continues. “Then one day, a lady from Bible League came to our village. When she stayed, continuing to work and minister here, I was surprised. She started a new church, a Christian church. When I heard about this church, I decided to go there and try her God before I died.”

One evening, Lina visited one of the larger houses in her village. When she entered she saw a group of men and women studying together. Some of them were holding a large book and when they noticed her, they invited her to join them. They were studying the Bible. She had heard about the Bible but had never seen one before. In fact, she had never even met a Christian.

“That night was a great night for me,” Lina says. “I met my Creator. For the first time in my life, great joy came and touched my heart. Soon, I gave my life to Jesus. He changed my whole life. Praise God! Thank you Bible League. I appreciate your ministry.”

Last year, more than 44,000 people in the Middle East participated in a Bible League Project Philip Bible study and as a result 13,239 became Christians and joined a local church plant. Praise God!
To provide much-needed Bibles and Bible studies that our Bible League workers can use to reach out to Muslim seekers please consider making a donation.

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At times I feel like King David when he said that if it were not for his afflictions he would go astray. Is it possible that God, in His desire to draw ever nearer to us that He allows affliction to bring that about?

When going through very difficult periods I have spoken to God, "I do not need this to desire You"! And, during very good times when things seem to be going very well I find myself purchasing truck loads of mulch and top soil and spending all day, from sun up to sun down enjoying the outside yard. I keep having feelings that "it time to spend some time with Me" but I usually say "as soon as I finish this section of the yard, and as soon as I water the new evergreen plants, and as soon as I fill the bird feeders...!"

Today I feel very, very tired. Here I am, using this Sabbath not to spread more mulch or topsoil, but I have been praying and spending time reading the Bible. Could it be that I feel bad so I would take this time to commune with God? Does God use common circumstances in our lives, even the way we feel, to draw us to Him?

I was reading today in the Book of Isaiah, chapter 7 where the King of Judah, Ahaz was being tormented by the king of Syria and his cohorts. They were harassing Jerusalem, not being able to outright overthrow it, but still causing great harm to King Ahaz and the inhabitants. All eyes were on the trouble they were in. They were in much distress and dismay.

One man, Isaiah heard a word from God. He told the king of Judah (Jerusalem) to "Take heed, (pay attention!), and be quiet, fear not, neither be fainted hearted for the two tails of these smoking firebrands (king of Syria and his crew), for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria and of the son of Remaliah..."
Thus says the LORD God, what they plan shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass. The seige ended.

Iranian Focus Ministry-Rev. Reza Safa

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pray For Israel

Tomorrow (Friday) there is supposed to be a march on Israel by a massive mobilazation of Palestinians, Syrians, Egyptians and other groups of Muslim supports. The leadership of Israel needs our prayers for protection, wisdom and guidance.

I was reading today of a day long ago when a king of Israel in the book of Kings was facing dire straights. Women had even agreed to cook their babies so they could survive! The king heard of this and rent his clothes, cast ashes on his head and cried out to God. It looked totally hopeless. Totally. It could not possibly get worse than this.

And, a large Syrian invasion force had gathered to wipe out Israel once and for all. How could God possibly handle this situation? What were they to do? Four lepers had gathered together and decided that they were going to die anyway, so why not go into the camp of the Syrians and surrender themselves; perhaps they would have pity upon them and at least they would get a morsel of food before they died.

As they entered the Syrian encampment no one was there! They traveled to the end of the camp and still, not a Syrian soldier in sight. What happened to the massive army? God sent a sound of a mighty army, with the sound of a host of horses, armies and a massive invasion force; the Syrian's thought the king of Israel had rented the assistance of the armies of Egypt and the Hittites! The Syrians fled for their lives!

There was enough food for the entire nation of Israel. God had delivered them! Even though they were being punished for the sins they had committed, when the king donned sack cloth and ashes and cried out in repentance, God heard their cry and delivered them.

I am praying that this weekend, as the forces gather once again against Israel, that God would send confusion and dissent into the camps of those arrayed today against Israel.

God hears! God answers true repentance. God will act on behalf of His people. When we sin and fall short God will hear our cry and deliver us. He hears the prayers of His people.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

PRAYER-International Christian Embassy-Jerusalem

News from ICEJ USA
About Us Aid Projects Sign-up Forward
Caught up in the Spirit of Prayer!
Isaiah 62 Prayer Campaign for Wednesday March 28th, 2012

ICEJ Int'l Director - Juha Ketola
Dear John Randall,
I love to pray. I love to pray corporately. And I love to pray individually. We pray for God's blessing on our lives, the healing of loved ones, and the salvation of the lost. Our everyday life has many needs that make us turn to God in prayer. Rightly so, for near the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches us to ask, to seek, and to knock. And he promises those who do will receive, will find, and will discover an open door (Matthew 7:7-8). Anyone can pray - even someone who is not familiar with the Bible or has no spiritual experiences with God can ask for His help (Psalm 50:15).

MArch 2012 Prayer Points

Prayers for Israel
  • Protection - Pray that God would bless and protect Israel and the Jewish people around the world as they observe Passover in coming weeks, in light of the recent deadly assault on a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, and warnings of more terror threats over Pessach.
  • Passover - Pray that Israel as a people would move closer to their promised national redemption during this Passover season.
Prayers for the Middle East
  • Syria - Pray that the world leaders would come to agreement on a way for quickly ending the bloodshed in Syria.
  • Iran - Pray that the international community would be united in exerting maximum pressure on Tehran to abandon its dangerous quest for nuclear weapons.
  • Arab Spring - Pray that the minority Christian communities throughout the Middle East would be protected from the rise of radical Islamist forces, and that their churches would experience revival and the wonderful presence of the Lord like never before.
Prayers for the work of the ICEJ
  • Feast of Tabernacles - Pray that God would direct and bless the planning and preparations for the 2012 Feast of Tabernacles celebration.
  • National Branches - Pray that the ICEJ's national branches worldwide would have greater inroads into churches in their respective nations to stand with and support Israel through the Christian Embassy.
  • Impact in Israel - Pray that the ICEJ staff in Jerusalem will be able to impact more fully the people of Israel with our message of comfort and support this Passover season.
Download the full text of the March prayer letter:
Isaiah 62' prayer guide for March 2012 »

Not the Place but His Presence

But a whole new dimension opens up in prayer when one comes to know Jesus personally and His Holy Spirit comes to live inside us. Fellowship with God is then being established and the child of God starts to enjoy His divine presence in life. And to enjoy this new and intimate relationship with God in prayer, you do not need a particular physical place or building. Jesus declared to the Samaritan woman that "an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father... But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth" (John 4:20-24). Jesus teaches us that we can pray anywhere because His divine presence is everywhere. One day I felt the presence of Jesus with me so strongly that as I entered a restaurant alone, I asked for a table for two. It was like He was sitting across from me, so rich was the fellowship.
Rev. Malcolm Hedding
Listen to Malcolm Hedding on Moody Radio
In the Market with Janet Parshall

Today - Tuesday March 27th between 6-7pm EST
On the recent 'Christ at the Checkpoint' Conference in Bethlehem
His Spirit in Prayer
Being in God's presence has an incredible result. It is in His presence that we can find a spirit of prayer coming upon us. The spirit of prayer aids you in praying according to His will, because it is the Spirit of God praying through you. Paul echoes this sentiment when he says that "...the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God" (Romans 8:26-27). Sometimes we pray without words, with deep sighs, sometimes with intelligent words and sometimes using the supernatural prayer language promised by Jesus for those who believe (Mark.16:17).
As we enter into the Passover season, I want to encourage all of us to fully join ourselves with the Isaiah 62 Prayer Campaign and particularly our special monthly day of prayer and fasting on Wednesday, the 28th of March. For as we do, we will enter into His divine presence, and a spirit of prayer will come over us, enabling us to pray according to His will.

May the Lord's wonderful presence be with you always!

Rev. Juha Ketola
ICEJ International Director

Monday, March 26, 2012


“Lord, I have nothing, but You have everything and I need You now. If you do not breathe into my problem, I won’t make it. I can’t do it, but you can, Lord!” Rev. David Wilkerson

Christ became sin for us. A Man without spot or blemish took on the sins of the world, in all its fullness; so much so that the Father had to look away. What a thought! Earlier Christ said "greater love hath no man but that he would lay down his life for his friends..." He is our friend; the best friend we will ever have.

When the Father turned His face from Christ the earth became dark and there was a great earthquake. Christ did not say "why have You forsaken Me" because He needed something to say! He was truly forsaken. He also said that no one would take His life but He would lay it down willingly; according to the plan layed out in eternity past. The burden He bore in the Garden, sweating great drops of blood when He felt everything closing in on Him, I am sure, is beyond our comprehension. He can truly identify with our confusion, pain, doubt and fears.

We do have an advocate with the Father, the Man Christ Jesus. Go to Him and cry out and tell Him the truth; I cannot make it on my own! I am lost without You! I need You now more than ever before!

He hears our heart cry. He will answer. He will never forsake us, even in our darkest hour or our most grievous sin; He is there always ready to help in our time of need, whether great or small.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Our Inheritance

Thoughts by Randy Alcorn - Christian writer

" When an earthly father dies, he bequeaths his estate to his offspring. His children are heirs. To what? To the father's property. If he owns land, they become landowners. If he was a king, they are heirs to his entire kingdom. When an earthly king dies, his firstborn takes his place. Sometimes the new king is surrounded by siblings who are his co-heirs and therefore co-rulers. As heirs, the king's children rule on their father's behalf, even if he still lives. They share in his glory. they go to battle to defend his kingdom, which is also their kingdom. In battle, they share in his sufferings."

" It is the same in our relationship with God. "The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now, if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may share in His glory." (Romans 8:16,17)

" Of course, the King of the universe, God, never dies. But He has delegated sovereignty to His firstborn son, Jesus. Christ, in turn, gladly shares His dominion with the redeemed - His siblings - who are co-heirs of the Father's throne. They will rule with Christ over the Kingdom."

" The right to exercise power comes from ownership. A king owns his kingdom, which consists of land. The extent of his rule is the extent of what he owns. Because God owns the entire universe, the Kingdom that falls into the lap of His heirs, His children, encompasses the entire universe. Christ, the firstborn, is the primary Ruler, but we are called "co-heirs" with Christ." God entrusts us to rule one prime piece of territory - Earth, which He created specifically for us."

" God has not arbitrarily assigned us to rule the earth. It is our land, our kingdom, granted to us by our Father. It is a kingdom once lost by us to a usurping pseudo-king, Satan, but which was won back for us by the mighty valor of Christ, who shed His blood to purchase our freedom - and with it our inheritance, the earth."

"This is the drama of redemption. If we fail to understand our status as God's children and heirs and rulers of the earth, we will fail to comprehend God's redemptive work. But if we do understand our role in God's plan, we will realize  that He would not deliver us from Earth to live forever in a disembodied realm. In fact, the inheritance that God grants us is the very same Earth over which epic battles have been fought since Satan's attack in Eden. Our inheritance is not only physical but also eternal: "The days of the blameless are known to the Lord, and their inheritance will endure forever." (Psalm 37:18)

" Currently, on this earth under the curse, we serve Christ and "share in His sufferings." Why? Because the earth is under siege. It is being claimed by a false king, Satan, and his false princes, the fallen angels. It is being claimed by human kings, rebels who set themselves up against God and violate His standards by declaring their independence from Him. Those who are co-heirs with Christ engage in spiritual warfare to reclaim the hearts of mankind for God's glory. "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6:12) After the final battle is won by Christ, we will rule the earth with Him as co-heirs of His kingdom.

Death Of A Believer

Thoughts from the book HEAVEN, by Randy Alcorn ~

"Every Christian friend that goes before us from this world is a ransomed spirit waiting to welcome us in heaven. There will be the infant of days that we have lost below, through grace to be found above. There is the Christian father, and mother, and wife, and child, and friend, with whom we shall renew holy fellowship of the saints, which was interrupted by death here, but shall be commenced again in the upper sanctuary, and then shall never end."

"There we shall have companionship with the patriarchs and Fathers and saints of the Old and New Testaments, and those of whom the world was not worthy....And there, above all, we shall enjoy and dwell with God the Father, whom we have loved with all our hearts on earth; and with Jesus Christ, our beloved Savior, who has always been to us the chief among ten thousands, and altogether lovely; and with the Holy Spirit, our Sanctifier, and Guide, and Comforter; and shall be filled with all the fullness of the Godhead forever!"

" Life is closing in on us, but we are headed in the right direction. It is a paradox, but true. The further we drop from our earthly peak, the closer we get to heaven."

An admonition from Charles Spurgeon ~ " Christian, meditate much on heaven, it will help you press on, and to forget the toil of the way. This vale of tears is but the pathway to the better country: this world of woe is but the stepping-stone to a world of bliss. And, after death, what comes? What wonderful world will open upon our astonished sight? "

A reflection on the death of a Believer ~

"I'm standing on the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength and I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and the sky come down to mingle with each other. And then I hear someone at my side saying, "There, she's gone."

" Gone where? Gone from my sight, that is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side. And just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her."

" And just at the moment when someone at my side says, "There, she is gone," there are other eyes watching her coming, and there are other voices ready to take up the glad shout, " Here she comes!"

" That is dying"!

Line Upon Line

We all hope in the mercy of the LORD. From the beginning of time mankind realized that there is One who is more powerful than he. All you need to do is look up into the night sky at the thousand of stars and constellations, to hear the roar of the thunder or the strong winds that blow in a storm to realize that Someone created all of this. The Bible says that God has planted within the human heart the realization that there is a God.

Psalm 21 says that the eyes of the LORD are upon those that hope in His mercy: to deliver their soul from death and to keep them alive in famine. The death of a soul is when one totally gives up hope of a future and being kept alive in famine is when others have nothing on which to feed their spirits, we have the Word of God. As the verse says, "the eyes of the LORD are upon us because we hope in His mercy."

Psalm 33 says that our heart will rejoice in Him, because we trust in His holy Name. A name is the revelation of who a person is. A name as used in the Bible was a description of a person's character. If we rejoice in His Name, and rejoice in Him, we have to know His characteristics and have an understanding of His character.

Is it possible to really know God? It is. He said He would be found of those who search for Him with their whole heart. This is not a casual relationship but an all encompassing obsession. For our heart to truly rejoice in Him, we have to know Him. He reveals Himself as our Help and Shield when we are in trouble. We sometimes walk right into trouble and it is of Him so that we get a new revelation of Who He is and just how in control He really is.

I have found that the words of Isaiah have been true in my life. God reveals Himself "precept upon precept, precept upon precept (twice!) line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little." (Isaiah 28)

He is present always. Always in total control. Knowing Him, realizing how much He cares for us, and that He desires our good both in this life and in the next gives great comfort. Be assured, He is an ever present help in time of trouble.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


A beauiful hymn in devotion today~ written by William T. Sleeper, 1819 and George C. Stebbins, 1846-1945

                            ~ JESUS I COME ~

Out of my bondage, sorrow and night,
Jesus, Jesus I come;
Into Thy freedom, gladness and light,
Jesus I come to Thee;

Out of my sickness into Thy health,
Out of my want and into Thy wealth,
Out of my sin and into Thy self,
Jesus I come to Thee.

Out of my shameful failure and loss,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come.
Into the glorious gain of Thy cross,
Jesus, I come to Thee;

Out of earth's sorrows into Thy balm,
Out of life's storms and into Thy calm,
Out of distress to jubilant psalm,
Jesus I come to Thee.

Out of unrest arrogant pride,
Jesus, I come, Jesus I come;
Into thy blessed will to abide,
Jesus, I come to Thee;

Out of myself to dwell in Thy love,
Out of despair into raptures above,
Upward for aye on wings like a dove,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of the fear and dread of the tomb,
Jesus, I come, Jesus I come;
Into the joy and light of Thy home,
Jesus, I come to Thee;

Out of the depths of ruin untold,
In to the peace of Thy sheltering fold,
Ever Thy glorious face to behold,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Rewarding Effort

Let everything praise the Name of the LORD. For His Name is excellent; His glory is above the earth and heaven. He exalts the strength of His people, of all His saints-even the children of Israel, near unto Him. (Psalm 148:13,14)

There is great reward to those who take the time to praise the LORD. His Name, and His alone is excellent. His glory is even above the heaven. I have always thought that heaven was the highest of the high; but His name is even above heaven! There is no limit.

A benefit to fearing Him is that He exalts the strength of His people-the praise of all His saints. Not some of His saints, but of all His saints. The LORD takes pleasure in those that fear Him; in those that hope in His mercy. (Psalm 147:11)

If we want our strength increased, If we want to give the LORD pleasure, PRAISE HIM!

Second Coming Battle-Asher Intrater

The Second Coming Battle
                                                    ASHER INTRATER

The central event of the end times is the Second Coming of Yeshua (Jesus). That event is real and literal. The clearest two passages in the Scriptures describing the Second Coming are Revelation 19 and Zechariah 14. Revelation 19 gives the heavenly perspective; Zechariah 14 the earthly perspective.

Revelation 19:11-15 describes the heavens open and Yeshua leading the heavenly armies to descend in a battle. Verse 19 states that Yeshua comes to destroy the combined forces of the armies of the nations gathered together on earth. However, it doesn't state where on earth they are gathered. The reason that the location isn't stated in the book of Revelation is that it is already stated in the book of Zechariah.

Zechariah 14:2 – "I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem." When those nations attack, Yeshua will come forth to fight against them, defeat them, and His feet will then stand upon the Mount of Olives.

Zechariah 14:3-4 – "Then YHVH will come forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle; and in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives."

In order for Yeshua to return, Jerusalem must be re-occupied, as Yeshua predicted in (Luke 21:24). There will also be a revival of faith in Israel (Romans 11:26; Zechariah 12:10) and the people of Jerusalem will cry out to invite Yeshua to return (Matthew 23:39). In order for an international attack on Israel to take place, there must be a worldwide organization uniting the nations (such as the UN) and a worldwide religion (such as Islamic extremism) inciting the nations to "wipe Israel off the map."

Although the armies of the nations will believe that they are justified to attack Jerusalem, the attack will be seen by heaven as an attack against Yeshua Himself. (Revelation 19:19 – "I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.") The political, economic and military elements that will comprise this final battle are already in place. The early stages of the battle have already begun.

Yeshua will fight against those who attack Jerusalem, whatever their religious or ethnic background. Every individual person, every national entity, and every religious group will have to decide which side to be on. Neutrality will not be an option. The issue of Jerusalem will become the "stone of offense" (Zechariah 12:3) and the "plumb line" (Amos 7:7) in the hand of the Lord through which to judge the nations.

The Second Coming of Yeshua and the battle over Jerusalem are essentially connected one to another.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Situation Impoves

We have a place of refuge; our refuge is a Person. Evening, morning and at noon, we can pray and cry aloud: and He will hear our voice. As we call upon the LORD, He will save us. (Psalm 55:16,17)

He has committed Himself to our welfare. He is involved in every circumstance that concerns us. We should cast our burdens upon the LORD; He will sustain us: He will never suffer the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22) Many times we will feel moved and shaken in our spirit; but we are secure in Him.

In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead; We are complete in Him. He is the head of all principality and power. This thought should bring peace to our heart and mind. Philippians 4:6 says, "Be careful (do not worry) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let our requests be made known unto God."

One day very soon we, like John the beloved, will see a new heaven and a new earth. All cares, sin and worries will pass away. We will be residents of the New Jerusalem, that city build without hands; prepared by God for those whom He calls His own.

That's you and me! From that perspective, things are definitely looking up!  

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Song Of Victory!

There is a song of victory that is usually sung at funerals. It was played at my parent's funeral. But the depth of the words goes way beyond the circumstance in which it is usually sung.

Christ is called our Rock, our place of strength in times of trouble. He is the Rock upon which we stand. He is the Rock of Ages. He was the rock for the Prophets; Moses, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is also our the rock upon which we stand.

Notice the song says "rock of ages" plural, as in more than one. We have already had the age of the Law, we are now living in the age of Grace, and there are ages yet to come. The Bible speaks of the ages of eternity. Perhaps there will be an age of revelation when we study the faithfulness of God in our lives during our time here on earth. Perhaps there will be an age in which we relive past events in our life. Maybe we will get to relive the great deliverance's of God for the Children of Israel; the three Hebrew children saved in the furnace of Babylon, Daniel in the lions den, the crossing of the Red Sea, the walls of Jericho falling down! These would be exciting days to relive. God invented time, He could also bend it backwards for us if we ask Him to!

Here are the beautiful words of the song; written in the mid 1700's, but as appropriate today as they when they were penned ~

"Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save from wrath and make me pure."

"Could my tears forever flow,
Could my zeal no languor know,
These for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone:
In my hand no price I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling."

" While I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eyes shall close in death,
When I rise to worlds unknown,
And behold Thee on Thy throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee."

The Rock is a Person! He is ours, we are His!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

First Button - Asher Intrater

First Button

By Asher Intrater
If one buttons up a shirt and starts with the correct button, then all the others will end up in the right place. If one starts with the incorrect button, in the end, all the buttons will be in the wrong place. So what is the "first button" of the Bible?

The whole Bible starts with Genesis 1, in which God creates the physical universe. It is good; and with Man in the Garden of Eden, it is very good. The last chapters of the Bible (Revelation 21-21) describe a new heaven and new earth.

If we do not see physical creation as good, then we will interpret the end of the Bible as un-creating what God created. If we do have the first chapter or "button" correct, then we understand the end of the Bible as a restoration of all things (Acts 3:21), a regeneration (Matthew 19:28), a resurrection of nature (Romans 8:21), and a renewal of the "heavens and earth" as in Noah's days (II Peter 3:5-13).

The Bible ends with God and Man enjoying fellowship in the renewed heaven and earth, with everything in God's plan for both heaven and earth coming together in Messiah Yeshua (Ephesians 1:10, Colossians 1:20).

What about the "first button" of the New Testament? Matthew 1 describes the genealogy of Yeshua, emphasizing His descent from King David. God promised David that his throne would last forever (II Samuel 7:13, 16; Psalm 89:3-4) and increase over the whole earth (Isaiah 9:7; 49:6; Luke 1:32-33).
If we miss the first button of the New Testament, describing Yeshua as the Son of David, then Yeshua will never fulfill His destiny as the King of the Jews (John 19:37); never inherit the nations (Psalm 2:8); never bring peace to the earth (Luke 2:14); and never restore the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6).

The Bible has a consistent and coherent plan from beginning to end. Let's get all the buttons right, from the first to the last. They all fit together in Yeshua (Jesus) who is the Son of God and the Son of David (Romans 1:3-4), the alpha and the omega, the first and the last (Revelation 1:8).

Friday, March 9, 2012

Our Demise

As I go about my duties at work in the evenings I listen to quite a few of the old hymns of the faith. This is one advantage of working by yourself! And I make good use of the time. Many of the old hymns speak of going to see Jesus, looking upon His face, and spending an eternity with loved ones. Well, there is only one way we are going to get there; either by death or rapture.

I recently came across a short writing by Jonathan Edwards regarding our demise and the passing of loved ones we know. It is very appropriate for me because of my recent bout with heart problems.

" Every Christian friend that goes before us from this world is a ransomed spirit waiting to welcome us to Heaven. There will be the infant of days that we have lost below, through grace to be found above. There is the Christian father, and mother, and wife, and child, and friend, with whom we shall renew the holy fellowship of the saints, which was interrupted by death here, but shall be commenced again in the upper sanctuary, and then shall never end."

" There we shall have companionship with the Patriarchs and fathers and saints of the Old and New Testaments, and those of whom the world is not worthy...And there, above all, we shall enjoy and dwell with God the Father, whom we have loved with all of our hearts on earth; and with Jesus Christ, our beloved Savior, who has always been to us the chief among ten thousands, and altogether lovely; and with the Holy Spirit, our Sanctifier, and Guide, and Comforter; and shall be filled with all of the fullness of the Godhead forever!"

Do not ever forget, as Believers, the BEST IS AHEAD OF US!

His Habitation

We believe that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit as scripture says. God's desire is to dwell with mankind. From the beginning of human history God came in the cool of the day to commune with Adam in the Garden of Eden. From day one, He was very involved in our existence because He created us in His image. For Him to deny us would be denying Himself.

" But Thou art Holy, O Thou that inhabitest the praise of Israel." (Psalm 22:3) He inhabits our praise! Praise Him more, He stays around longer! Where He dwells there is fullness of joy and healing.

"He is our God (not another) He is our praise. He has done great and terrible things which our eyes have seen." (Deuteronomy 10:21) As we look back over our lives we can remember direct intervention by God on our behalf. The Children of Israel could remember the parting of the Red Sea, the great deliverance from  bondage, water coming out of a rock and angel food falling from the skies. We also have seen water coming from very hard, difficult places. We have feasted on the presence of Christ in our rough places. He always comes through. The more difficult the trial, the greater the deliverance.

" The LORD is my strength and song, He has become my salvation. He is my God and I will prepare for Him a habitation. He is my father's God and I will exalt Him." (Exodus 15:2)

Thank Him for deliverance. Thank Him for always being there, even when we do not feel Him. King David said, "Where can I go from Your presence? If I go to the depths of hell, You are there, if I go to the highest Heaven, You are there." He is always there because He created everything that exists!

"The LORD is my Rock; my Fortress, my Deliverer, my God, my Strength in whom I trust; He is my Buckler (Sustainer) He is the Horn of my salvation and my High Tower. I will call upon the LORD who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.

We are surrounded by enemies; some of  our own making and some very strong spiritual forces of darkness; but God is over and above all. They can go so far, and no farther.

Cry out to Him today. Make it a daily habit to recognize Him, praise Him and worship Him as we go about our daily duties. King David tended sheep and as a small child Christ was raised in a carpenters shop; both working in their trades of the day. We can develop a habit of praise no matter our occupation. It is  good to offer praise to the One great and True God of all creation.

He enjoys our company!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hard Medicine To Swallow!

  I have been looking over some notes from the past few years when I was going through great difficulty regarding an entire range of issues. I "stumbled upon" these few composed by Matthew Henry in his Bible Commentary written hundreds of years ago. I realize that the troubles we go through are not new to mankind, even if they are new to us. One thing we must always remember, and never forget, God is in total control, even when things from our perspective seem to spin out of control! I have been in many personal "tornado's" but looking back on those times I can see God's finger print through the whole thing. Here are the notes as I recorded them ~
The power God has over those He raises up-He controls and restrains them. King David pleads (pSALM 17:9) " LORD, they are Thy sword; and will any father suffer his sword to be drawn against his own children?"
My thoughts - Think through this statement! David is accusing God of child abuse! I have done this many, many times when I was going through something I did not understand. It has seemed that I was under direct attack and everything I was, everything I stood for was crumbling under my feet; and it was. The Stone that the builders rejected, the Stone that will one day crush the image the Prophet Daniel saw in his vision of the last days had turned itself against me! How could this be?
Think it through~
Matthew Henry thoughts continue ~
"This is the reason why we should patiently bear the injuries of men, they are but the instruments of the trouble (it comes originally from God, to those whose will we are bound to submit), so it is an encouragement to us to hope both that their wrath shall praise Him and that the remainder thereof He will restrain (we will bear no more than we are able if we continue to lean upon Him through the process). We must realize that they are God's sword, which He can manage as He pleases. This sword cannot move without Him, and He will sheath it when it has done its work.
verse 14 says, " They are Thy hand, by which Thou dost chastize Thy people and make them feel Thy displeasure." David expects deliverance from God's hand because from God's hand the touble came., The same hand that wounds and heals. For example, David asks, "Where do I go from Thy Presence, O LORD?" He is everywhere and in every situation. The ends of the earth? You are there-the depths of hell? You are there. No place exists where He is not present.
" God will use events, people, trails and circumstances to purge us. After allowing these things to "do their work" in us, and on us, there may be only a remnant of our former self left; but it will be Godly and wholly acceptable unto God."
"Whatever the event, whatever the trouble, if we are His we will be purified and the seeming scourge will last no longer than is necessary. "
My thoughts - King David, having by prayer committed himself and his cause to God, and being sure of his protection, his heart was fixed, and he was easy. And it shall come to pass in that day (when the trial is past) that our burden shall be taken away from off of our shoulder, and the yoke will be removed from our neck, it will be totally destroyed beause of the Annointing; the Holy Spirit has done the necessary work and we committed all things to God in the trial and tribulation. We have been changed through the process.
In this context, I remember one of the last stays I had in the hospital, I went to see Rev. Cooper, my elderly Minister friend before I went in and he said something very strange, and he does not remember saying it - "This stay is for God, it has nothing to do with you....." I thought what in the world is he talking about? I have never heard of such a thing or concept. But on that stay I witnessed to two Nurses who were seeking the LORD and I met another minister who was, and is still having a very difficult time with health issues of his own. A bond has been established that is impossible in the natural.
I yielded myself to His control (I did not have much choice in the matter!) But I trusted Him and coming through this process I am amazed at how God works. I still have so much to learn and I am sure that I will learn another lesson about God on my last day on this earth; before I finally enter into His presence. Which should be our goal anyway!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

His Thoughts

" I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall you call upon Me, and you shall go and pray to Me, and I will here you. And you shall seek Me, and find Me, when you search for Me with all of your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the LORD." (Jeremiah 29)

It is well worth reading this entire chapter in Jeremiah. Israel was in captivity for disobedience and rebellion. For 70 long years they were held captive by their enemies. Likewise, we who have rebelled against God always fall captive in some way or another. We are always under the influence of something or another. Born in sin and iniquity because of Adam's fall.

But the second and last Adam, Jesus Christ, through His sinless life, sacrifice, death and Resurrection has regained our rightful place on earth and for all of eternity if we are in Him. He turns away our captivity; He sets us free! He regathers us and renews our spirit, soul and body. He will bring us again to our rightful place where we belong as creations of the Most High God.

Now, when we are afraid, we can trust in Him. He is our high tower, the Rock upon which we stand; our shield and buckler. As we pour our heart at all times, He is a Refuge in times of storm.
 (Psalm 62:8)

Now, in the midst of our battles we can shout from the top of the mountains (that which seems impossible and impenetrable) and give glory unto the LORD because He goes forth like a mighty warrior on our behalf, like a man of war, He will prevail against His enemies, which are also the enemy of His children. Our victory is by faith; not by sight.

In a great battle in the days of King Johoshaphat it speaks of singing and praising God; as soon as they did this, the LORD set ambushes against their enemies. Our victory strategy is the same; in this manner the principalities and powers arrayed against us are defeated because of our praise to God. This moves and changes our lives and has great effect in the heavens.

Our God is a mighty warrior. His thoughts toward us are good thoughts. He has an expected end for all of His children and that end is forever being in His Presence, enjoying His protection and being effective warriors for Him while we can on this earth.