Monday, January 27, 2014

What are the lessons we can draw from Peter’s denial(s)? 532-2 - 13 - 5

John 13:37-38, “Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.”

Although Peter was an exemplary apostle in many ways, I can’t help but compare him to Paul. Initially both were reluctant followers of Jesus. However, after Saul/Paul was blinded by a vision of Jesus on the road to Damascus and later cured he was totally committed to sharing the Good News. There is a theory that Paul spent three years in the Arabian Desert being taught by Jesus one-on-one. Paul was not at all timid in proclaiming the death and resurrection of Jesus and did not wait for permission from the church in Jerusalem to preach the message to the Gentiles. Peter seems to have hung back and all too often looking for approval from his fellow early church leaders. That said, Paul is a subject for another time. So back to Peter.

We learned early on that Peter was very outspoken and as CM says “Would often shoot from the hip.” He did showed great courage in his attempt to walk on water and then lost faith necessitating been given a hand by Jesus himself.
At the time of the arrest of Jesus Peter sliced off the ear of a slave, perhaps an act of bravado rather than true bravery. After Jesus was taken away Peter had time to be more analytic and less than courageous. As Jesus had predicted, Peter denied knowing Jesus three times before the cock crowed twice. Here Peter was thinking in the flesh rather that in his spirit.

After the resurrection and the later impartation of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Peter became a much convicted apostle capable of performing miracles; even Peter’s shadow could heal. The passage I like so well is from Acts 3:6, “Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.”

From Peter we learn that our human nature and the will to survive can cause us to fall from grace. The really good news is that repentance brings forgiveness. Shortly before the assumption of Jesus to heaven He shared breakfast with the disciples. Jesus allowed Peter to overcome his fall from grace. John 21:17, “He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Three denials of Jesus followed by three affirmations, truly, there is great hope for all of us who are repentant sinners.

A Little OT - What part of this lesson spoke to you the most? Why? 532-2 - 13 - 7

Oops, this post should have been added last week.

I’ve been sick for days so while in bed I decided to once more watch the miniseries “Jesus of Nazareth.” This brought to mind last year’s Resurrection Sunday fellowship service when Pastor Bruce talked about “The Seven Sayings of Jesus on the Cross.” I was inspired to look into some of the prophecies that were fulfilled while Jesus hung on the cross; just as relevant now as last year and just as relevant as nearly 2000 years ago! 

# 1.
Luke 23:34, “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”

Numbers 15:26, “And it shall be forgiven all the congregation of the children of Israel, and the stranger that sojourneth among them; seeing all the people were in ignorance.”

Psalm 22:18, “They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.”

Luke 23:43, “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

Isaiah 40:3, “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”

John 1:29, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

Relationship: John 19:26-27, “When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

Psalm 69:8 “I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children.”

Matthew 27:46, “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

Psalm 22:1, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?”

John 19:28, “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.”

Psaml 69:20, “Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.”

John 19:30, “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost."

Psalm 69:21 They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

#7 Triumph: Luke 23:46, “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.”

Psalm 31:5, “Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.”

Why did Pharaoh Necho believe God was on his side? How could Necho claim to have heard from the mouth of God? 512 - 16 - 3

This discussion question goes close hand in glove with DQ#4. “Why did Josiah persist in pursuing Necho? Is there a spiritual lesson behind this event?”

To prevent King Manasseh from destroying the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat Pharaoh Necho was entrusted with their care and protection. Whether the actual sacred items were delivered to him or a facsimile has been bandied about for thousands of years. Pharaoh Necho was not Egyptian, rather he was Ethiopian, the very people rumored to be fulfilling the trust of protection of the genuine and sacred items. It is the belief of the Ethiopians that these will be turned over to the Messiah when He comes to earth to reign.

It is thought that Josiah wanted the Ark of the Covenant and Mercy Seat returned to Jerusalem. 2 Chronicles 35:20, “After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Charchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him.”

However, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob apparently, spoke to Pharaoh Necho through the Ark, saying that the Ark was to stay in Ethiopia. 2 Chronicles 35:22, “Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo.”

I can readily understand why Pharaoh Necho believed that the God of Israel was on his side. By confronting Pharaoh Necho King Josiah was going against the dictates of God and was fatally wounded.

Pharaoh Necho believed that the voice issuing from the Ark was “from the mouth of God.” I wonder if this was a life changer for him, as it certainly would have been for me. 

What was so confusing for the Ethiopian Treasurer? How does today’s Jew interpret the passage that gave the Ethiopian treasurer so much trouble? 512 - 16 - 6

Sometimes it seems that the Bible is just a snapshot in time, a rather two-dimensional image of what should be at least four. Just enough information to really wet the appetite and cause us to dig deeper. This discussion question ties directly into two others in this session dealing with Pharaoh Necho and Jonah; events from hundreds of years earlier.

In Acts 8:26 Philip was called to witness to the man known as the Ethiopian eunuch. As a eunuch this Ethiopian would keep himself pure and be qualified to handle/ care for sacred articles. He was in Jerusalem representing the Ethiopian Queen Candace. He apparently had charge of her treasures and it has been theorized these could include the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat. For 2400 years Ethiopians have had the legend that they are holding something extraordinary that is to be presented to the Messiah upon his appearance. Perhaps 2000 years ago the rumor had reached Ethiopia that the Messiah was in Jerusalem and Queen Candace dispatched the eunuch to confirm His presence before bringing the sacred objects to Him.

Imagine the confusion on the part of the eunuch when he arrived in Jerusalem and found out that the man rumored to be the Messiah had been crucified. The eunuch was reading from Isaiah 53 when Phillips was transported to witness to him of Jesus. Perhaps Philip told him how the crucifixion of Jesus played out verse by verse with the prophecies in Isaiah 53. As a result the eunuch was baptized and went back to Ethiopia no doubt to continue with the protection of their most holy trust.

So how does today’s Jew interpret the passage that gave the Ethiopian treasurer so much trouble? I gave a Jewish friend a list of all the Old Testament prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus and all I got was a rolling of the eyes. Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear should be able to understand the correlation between Isaiah 53 and the passion of Christ. In addition, Psalm 22 could have been dictated at the foot of the cross. With blindness proclaimed by Jesus against the Jews 2000 years ago, perhaps it’s understandable that either there will be a rolling of the eyes or just a total rejection of these verses. Perhaps denial is far easier to bear than the knowledge that your ancestors had a part in the death of the long awaited Messiah. 

Added Later:

In his article on the rapture ready website "Dual Covenant Theology" Daymond Duck writes:

"Are the Jews saved under one covenant and the Gentiles saved under another or is Jesus the only way to be saved? Are the Jews saved under the everlasting covenant God made with Abraham or do they have to believe in Jesus (Genesis 17:7-8)? The answer seems clear to me, but some Christians have heard someone they respect say today’s Jews are saved even though they haven’t accepted Jesus as their Messiah. That confuses many people and the controversy just won’t go away.

I find his conclusion to be rather discouraging as he doesn't seem to hold out hope for Jews who are in unbelief today, however, at the second coming the remnant will become believers. All well and good for the remnant, but what about the 6 million human beings murdered in the Holocaust. Those below the age of accountability, most likely are with the Lord but what about the others. I realize it's for God to sort out but I pray that he is merciful.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Week One of Revival in Quartzsite, AZ, oh that it should spread worldwide 532-2 - 12 - 8

A little off topic but perhaps in line with DQ# 1. Give examples of “true worship” from your life.

Joel 2:28, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

Even with my rather intensive studies with KI, I felt that I was being somewhat spiritually lazy. I was very comfortable in a local Baptist church with a loving church family. Although the majority of the women at church are either married or widowed, the church made no real distinction in its treatment of this twice divorced woman.

That said, I was feeling just too comfortable. In keeping with Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths" I have been led to the local Assembly of God Church. I started attending the Assembly of God Church with good friends and got caught up in the wonderful, passionate and on fire for Jesus people I met there.

January is revival time in Quartzsite, AZ. A few nights ago as I sat under the tutelage of a pastor filled with a zest for Jesus and in the presence of people speaking in tongues, I asked myself “What am I doing here,” then I remember that I asked to be lead to a more proactive church and boy did I get it. Coming from a conservative Protestant background Pentecostal is somewhat disquieting to me. However, it resonates with me. Jesus said that he must go so that the comforter could come, yes Holy Spirit come!

As week one of revival in Quartzsite Arizona comes to a close, I am thrilled with what I’ve experienced.

Even at 101 my mother continues to have a very sharp mind. So she asked me something to the effect are many people falling down in church. Such is the reputation of Pentecostal in general and was to me in my limited understanding of it. Always a very analytical person I’m beginning to realize that speaking in tongues helps me to silence that internal critic that is my usual companion in spiritual matters.

Speakers this week’s week were Charles E. Sivley and Chris Klock both lifelong Pentecostals. Their teachings have been very beneficial and are filling a need in my soul. I have often felt that I had a word of wisdom for someone or that I should offer to lay hands on them but was always too timid to risk their rejection. I am learning to step out in boldness.

Now is the time for revival, the harvest is there but the workers are few. I am so thankful that I am privileged to be part of it.

Added Later:

 After Friday night's revival/ Camp Meeting I was driving home and noticed cars parked along the road as well as in a parking lot. As I came to the stop sign, I realized the cars were parked by one of the local bars. So many people were getting charged up in the spirit, the problem is that it was probably 80 or 90 proof rather than the super proof of the Holy Spirit.

Tonight starts week two at the Assembly of God Church and I'll be there metaphorically lighting my one little candle rather than cursing the darkness.

Added even later:

Last Friday night I set aside my pride and arrogance and asked for healing for a very aggressive case of bronchitis and asthma. This condition developed about five days earlier and even with medication was getting worse. I was having great difficulty breathing, an attack by the devil or a very forceful nudge from the Holy Spirit? I went forward. I was asked by the evangelical Chris Klock if I believed that I could be healed by Jesus and I said absolutely without a doubt. The rest is rather hazy as I don't even remember being touched other than on my arm and possibly lightly on the forehead. No one was more surprised than I was and now I understand the expression slain by the spirit. I'm still coughing, but my lungs are definitely clearing.

Thank you for your healing Jesus and may I someday be used as a conduit for your healing just as Chris Klock was a conduit of healing for me last night.

Why was the captivity in Babylon exactly 70 years? What lessons are there here and what does this tell you about God? 512 - 15 - 6

Daniel 9:2, "In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem."

God is jealous of his creation as awesomely spelled out in Romans Chapter one. God gave man stewardship over the earth and to the Jews specifically. God the Jews to let the land rest one out of every seven years. For 490 years. Israel had rejected this commandment so 490 years divided by 7 equaled 70 years due “to finish the transgression.”

Daniel realized that the seventy years of the desolations of Jerusalem were coming to an end. He fasted and prayed for 21 days and was presented with a vision of the Angel Gabriel. Daniel 9:24, "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy."

Israel was and is and always will be God’s chosen people. Through the centuries the Jews fell out of favor with God numerous times and had some very ungodly Kings. The northern kingdom fell and was dispersed. God had an eternal covenant with King David, so that although the southern kingdom of Judah fell to the Babylonians, it was only for the above stated period of time. It could be said that the Kings in the Davidic line of Judah tried God’s patience on so many occasions. Many kings rejected the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and took the country into idolatry. The southern kingdom had the benefit of the prophets, but ignored them and eventually were conquered. As promised in the very awesome Daniel 9:26, the walls of Jerusalem would be rebuilt.

We have a very patient and righteous God who will forgive our transgressions if we repent. However, there is a caveat, we will suffer for our transgressions. As I’ve said a number of times, it is my belief that God is dropping the hedge of protection that He’s had around the United States. We are imploding economically in our morals are nearly nonexistent. The time of revival is now as we can nearly hear, the cry of the Messiah to come hither.

Why is Israel “blinded”? For how long? 532-2 - 12 - 6

Luke 19:41, " As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.” Jesus most certainly held the Jewish people responsible for knowing the time of their visitation and less than 40 years later the temple was destroyed and the people were dispersed.

The Jewish leadership was without excuse as they had the prophets. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem in fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” to the very day prophesied in Daniel 9:25, the Pharisees told him to “rebuke thy disciples.” Jesus replied, “I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.”

Romans 11:25 speaks to how long the blindness would last. “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.”

One thing that has long weighed on my heart is the eternal destination of the millions of Jews who died in the Holocaust not having accepted Jesus as their Messiah and were of the age of accountability. Would the people in the 20th century be held accountable for the blindness that was pronounced on their ancestors nearly 2000 years ago? Would they be condemned to the lake of fire for what might be considered a generational curse?

I have a Messianic Jewish friend who is concerned about her parents who remained firm in their conviction that Jesus was not the Messiah at the time of their deaths. She hopes that her parents are is the presence of Jesus rather than the alternative. She found some assurance in Scripture that there was/is a second chance/ judgment. Matthew 19:27-28, “Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

Added later from another post:

In his article on the rapture ready website "Dual Covenant Theology" Daymond Duck writes:

"Are the Jews saved under one covenant and the Gentiles saved under another or is Jesus the only way to be saved? Are the Jews saved under the everlasting covenant God made with Abraham or do they have to believe in Jesus (Genesis 17:7-8)? The answer seems clear to me, but some Christians have heard someone they respect say today’s Jews are saved even though they haven’t accepted Jesus as their Messiah. That confuses many people and the controversy just won’t go away.

I find his conclusion to be rather discouraging as he doesn't seem to hold out hope for Jews who are in unbelief today, however, at the second coming the remnant will become believers. All well and good for the remnant, but what about the 6 million human beings murdered in the Holocaust. Those below the age of accountability, most likely are with the Lord but what about the others. I realize it's for God to sort out but I pray that he is merciful.

Why the Blood Curse on Jeconiah? How did God get around this? 512 -15 - 5

Always a favorite discussion question is one dealing with the blood curse on King Jeconiah, a descendant of King David through his son Solomon. King Jeconiah, also called Coniah and Jehoiachin, promoted idol worship incurring great disfavor with our righteous God. So God pronounced a blood curse on the line of Jeconiah, Jeremiah 22:30, “Thus saith the Lord, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.” So no Messiah could come from a male in the line of David as there was now a blood curse pronounced on the only males left in the direct royal line.

God had had an alternative plan and set in motion an event that would have great important at a later date. Centuries before the blood curse was pronounced on the seed of Jeconiah there is the story of the daughters of Zelophehad. These sisters had no brother for their father to leave his goods and property to. So they petitioned Moses Numbers 27: 4, “Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family, because he hath no son? Give unto us therefore a possession among the brethren of our father.” Moses took their petition before the Lord. And the Lord said, Numbers 27: 8, “And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter.” When the daughter married her father would adopt his son-in-law as his son.

This Levitate marriage was codified in Deuteronomy 25:5-6, “If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her. And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.”

So the petition of the daughters of Zelophehad solved the future problem of the blood curse on Jeconiah and all his sons. Jesus’ mother Mary had no brother so her father could adopt her husband Joseph. Joseph was in the line of King David via Solomon thus under the blood curse. Mary was in the line of Kind David through his son Nathan. Mary was the biological mother of Jesus born of her “seed” as predicted thousands of years before in the Garden of Eden.

One of the many patterns In the Bible is the Scarlet Thread that starts in Genesis with the seed of the woman. Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Summarize what you learned from each of the two Lazarus’s.532-2 - 11 - 6

Lazarus was a close friend of Jesus as were his sisters Martha and Mary. Although Jesus knew that he would be restoring Lazarus to life, John 11:35, “Jesus wept.”
With thanks to CM, Lazarus was dead and defeated as he laid in his tomb constricted by the binding of his grave clothes. This would be an equivalence to those in unbelief. After Lazarus was called forth from his tomb by Jesus he was dangerous to the temple elites. When we became believers, we became soldiers in God’s Army and as the hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers” goes we are marching as to war. So we are dangerous to the status quo, which is becoming more immoral with each passing day. One day we will dine with Jesus in the marriage feast just as Lazarus dined with Jesus.

We are told very little about the other Lazarus other than that he was possibly disabled and sat at the gate of the rich man's home. Dogs licked Lazarus wounds as he sought just the crumbs from the rich man's table. The rich man and his wife and concubines must have passed Lazarus often without giving alms or even a scrap of food to him.

Riches through righteous activity is not condemned, rather the love of money is as it often leads to gains though unrighteousness, greed and self-indulgence.
Lazarus died and was in paradise in the bosom of Abraham. Later the rich man died and suffering the torments of Hades, he asked Abraham to send Lazarus to him with a drop of water to cool his tongue. Jesus tells us that there's a chasm between the two men that could never be crossed. Also, the rich man wanted Lazarus to be sent to his brothers to warn them about the anguish of Hades. He was told that his brothers have Moses and the prophets and still do not believe so they would not believe Lazarus.
Perhaps there is something analogy between the treatment of Lazarus and that of Jesus. While Jesus wasn't a beggar at the gate he stands at the door and knocks only to be rejected. Luke 9:58, "And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head."

Jesus and his disciples went forth without script and were fed and often sheltered by believers. Those believers are now likely in paradise and not sharing the agony of the rich man.

Believers are born twice and die once. Unbelievers are born once in die twice. As believers, we are born into this life and then are born-again into our relationship with Jesus. We die once and to quote Paul, "To be absent from the body is to be present with Jesus." Unbelievers are born once into this world and died the first time. After the millennium they will be judged at the White Throne Judgment, the second death. 

Several major negatives occurred during Hezekiah’s receiving an extension of his life. Is there any significance to us today? 512 - 14 -4

Hezekiah was one of the five outstanding Kings, who ruled in the southern kingdom. 2 Chronicles 29:2And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done.” In the book of Kings. It is said that after Hezekiah was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. He tore down the high places, cleansed the temple, broke the bronze serpent which had become an idol and again did what was right in the eyes of God. Hezekiah even tried to get the northern kingdom to take part in a Passover celebration with the southern kingdom. Some of the northern inhabitants did come south, but many ridiculed Hezekiah.

The righteous King Hezekiah and the southern kingdom had a miraculous deliverance from the Assyrians. Although heavily outnumbered, Hezekiah rested in the assurance that He who fought with them was greater than the Assyrians. I have a grandniece who sings in what is called the “Cherub Choir” at her church. I mentioned to my brother that the cherubs were not as pictured, fat little babies with wings, but they were a force to be reckoned with as the Assyrians found out.

Later Hezekiah was told to get his affairs in order, as he was soon to pass away. There was great intercession to the Lord to spare Hezekiah and he was granted another 15 years of life. I’m currently reading a book written by Dr. David Jeremiah titled “What Are You Afraid Of” in which he includes a chapter on the fear of disease. Dr. Jeremiah refers to Isaiah 103:1-3 as a reminder that upon recovering from illness we must first thank Jehovah-Rophe, The Lord who heals us.

During the 15 years of extended life granted Hezekiah he lost favor with God as he became more obsessed wealth. He made the mistake of showing his treasures to a group from Babylon. Years later when the Babylonians would attack Judah they had a roadmap to the treasures. Isaiah foretold God's judgment on the nation, Isaiah 39:6-7, “Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be carried to Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the LORD. And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” Such was the fate of the righteous Daniel.

The 15 year extension of life granted Hezekiah accomplish two things, the continuance of the Davidic Dynasty and the birth of the wicked Manasseh. Manasseh reigned for 55 years and lead the people back into idolatry. While his father Hezekiah had cleanse the temple, Manasseh desecrated it.

From Hezekiah we learn to be careful what we wish for. The demand for unearned entitlements gifted the United States with our current administration.

What did it mean to the people of the Old Testament to “sanctify” themselves? What does it mean to be “stiff-necked?” What modern-day application of these do you see? 512 - 14 - 7

Job 1:1, “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.” Disaster after disaster befell Job, nevertheless, he never lost his faith in God and grew in his sanctification.

Abraham and Sarah stumbled in their absolute faith in God and as a result, the Middle East is still sharply divided between the two sons of Abraham. That said, Abraham and Sarah had great faith in God throughout their life and Abraham was called a friend of God.

This is a little off topic, however, it offers interesting insight into Israel specifically and the religious world in general. Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri died several years ago and left a note to be read one year after his death. It has been argued whether or not he actually named Jesus as the Messiah or not. He did state that the then Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon, would die prior to the Messiah coming forth.

Author Carl Gallups in his book "The Rabbi Who Found Messiah: The Story of Yitzhak Kaduri and His Prophecies of the End" pointed out that the flood did not occur until "after all the men who walked in the ways of the Lord had been removed." The flood occurred after the death of Methuselah, a righteous man whose name translates, “When he is dead it shall be sent.” Mr. Gallups suggests that since "Methuselah’s death indicated the coming literal flood of judgment so might Ariel Sharon’s death signify the coming flood of judgment upon an unrepentant world; or the redemption of the righteous in Christ!"

2 Chronicles 30, "Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the LORD, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified forever: and serve the LORD your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you."

Both the rabbi's son and grandson repudiated the possibility that the old Rabbi was referring to Jesus as the Messiah. Was this being stiffnecked, or was there justification?

After reading Mr. Gelb's book I'm confused myself. On one hand, I would like to believe that he was referring to Jesus when he spoke of Yeshua being the Messiah, on the other hand, the note is at best rather confusing. The suggestion has been made that rather than referring to Jesus as the Messiah, It could possibly be the coming Antichrist.

After years in a coma Ariel Sharon is very near death. So there is quite a bit of speculation being bandied about in prophetic circles today. Interestingly enough Sharon's name means “Lion of God” or “Jerusalem” or “Fertile Land” and after forcing the expulsion of Jews from Gaza, Ariel Sharon was demonized.
The Rapture Ready website had an interesting article today, "The Old Rabbi’s Vision" by Cynthia Nuara. Ms. casts serious doubt that the Rabbi’s vision wasof the true Messiah Jesus.

Added Later:

This is more nearly a note to self. "Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary" has been one of my favorite praise and worship songs for years. This discussion question has given me some insight into why the song is so special to me.
"Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary
Pure and holy, tried and ture
With thanksgiving, I'll be a living
Sanctuary for You"

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Profile your own "Four D’s" 532-2 - 1 - 3

Lazarus was:
· Dead
· Defeated and bound in his grave clothes.
· Dangerous after Jesus called his back to life
· Dines with Jesus

Lazarus had been dead for four days and was wrapped in his grave clothes. He had a napkin covering his face as well. The time of even the professional mourners was passed so no one could possibly deny that Lazarus was indeed dead and decomposing. Jesus called Lazarus forth from the grave and told the people to remove his grave clothes. Without the justification afforded us by the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus we would be spiritually dead and defeated and restricted by our own grave clothes. Our grave clothes can take many forms and to me would be anything that distracts from our devotion to God. Loyalty and love for family and friends who are not born again Christians can be draining as can old habits, a form of stifling grave clothes.

The gem shows are underway here in Quartzsite, AZ. I’m already loaded down with inventory, however, I found some very special beads and mineral specimens. Inventory, grave clothes or a good investment? Perhaps both.

After Lazarus was restored to life he was dangerous to the Jewish leadership who sought to kill him. Passover was at hand and one can only imagine the stories that were being passed around Jerusalem. Jesus certainly was not politically correct when it came to voicing his opinion of the Pharisees and was quick to point out their hypocrisy. Jesus walked the desert for three years in homespun and sandals preaching a simple message of salvation. By comparison the temple elites dressed in their Royal regalia and were suffocated by the grave cloths of perpetual rituals.
I’m justified by the blood of Jesus, a free gift not earned but accepted by faith in Jesus. I am working on my sanctification and hopefully becoming dangerous as the hour is late and I find it very difficult to soft-pedal my beliefs around Catholics and Mormon friends. It is easier to talk to a nonbeliever about Jesus than those who think they are Christian, but don’t accept His truth; “It is finished.” The level of apostasy in this country hasn't gotten to the point where to Christians are killed for their beliefs, however, the mention of the word Jesus seems to bring out the worst in many people. If we are true ambassadors for Jesus we will be dangerous to the world owned by the spirit of anti-Christ.

When the blessed hope comes and we are called to be with Jesus we will partake of the wedding dinner with our Lord, the final D

What is your take on 2 Chronicles 25:2? What is the condition of your heart? Who is someone you know who fits this description? 512 - 13 - 3

2 Chronicles 25:2, "And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart."

In her book "Expecting to See Jesus: A Wake-Up Call for God's People" Billy Graham's daughter Anne Graham Lotz refers to a statement made by coach Landry. He said that "during his career he came across many good athletes — but very few great ones. He said the difference between a good athlete and a great one is eighteen inches — the distance from the head to the heart. From his observation based on a lifetime of involvement in sports, he explained that good athletes have exceptional ability and a thorough understanding of the game, but great athletes have heart — a passion to play that drives them to selfless sacrifice, brutally long hours of practice, undivided focus, and ultimately, to achieve extraordinary accomplishments."

Mrs. Lotz makes an equivalence when it comes to good Christians and great Christians. "While there are many good Christians who have a head knowledge of Scripture, attend church regularly, are familiar with church traditions and rituals, and are comfortable with prayer, group Bible study, and outreach ministries, there are very few who are great." Sounds a little like 2 Chronicles 25:2, "And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart."
To Mrs. Lot, the really great Christians are the ones who are so in love with Jesus that they put him first in their lives and make whatever sacrifices of time, money and desires and are all in for Jesus.

Mark Batterson wrote about being all in his book "All In: You Are One Decision Away From a Totally Different Life." Mr. Batterson tells of missionaries who were told to pack their coffins as they entered the mission field. "Jesus didn’t die to keep us safe. He died to make us dangerous. Faithfulness is not holding the fort. It’s storming the gates of hell. The will of God is not an insurance plan. It’s a daring plan. The complete surrender of your life to the cause of Christ isn’t radical. It’s normal." These would be those who not only did what was/is right in the sight of the Lord and did it with a perfect heart.

I’m privileged to have a very good friend who teaches two weekly Bible studies, one at church and one in a tent in the desert. She is all in with respect to her studies and not only takes an in-depth look at the Bible, she digs in with a backhoe. She lives to serve and is totally given over to the love of the Lord, someone I would classify as a great Christian. As for me, I’m devoted to learning and have a deep love for Jesus and eagerly await his return for his Church. That said, I am not a great Christian, just one working towards sanctification. 

How does paganism manifest itself in our culture today? Is abortion an equivalent? 512 - 13 - 2

One only has to look on the back of a dollar bill to realize that the all-seeing Eye of Horus is above the pyramid; just one example of paganism. There seems to be little awareness of how embedded the Masonic Order is in this country with their strange and pagan rites. As it seems to be with the Mormon faith, the majority of the lower-level Masons are not so attuned to the upper echelon and their rituals. At its most perverse and highest degrees, there is a certain amount of Lucifer worship with the Masons. The Mormon prophet Joseph Smith was quoted as saying that “As man is God once was and that as God is man can become.” In his arrogance, man listens to the beguiling voice of Lucifer that you can be like God.

The gods of old, also known as mighty men of the Bible, represented a mixing of the human race with the fallen Angels. Today the approach is a less obvious as trans-humanism and the singularity point are envisioned. I can remember years ago when we discussed man-print at work. At that time, it dealt with the interface between man and equipment. Everything had to be within easy reach of the pilot in that outdated version of man-print. Today it would be more of a combining of computer and man.
But back to the mundane, money is worshiped by many and we are a very self-centered and materialistic society. Designer bags that cost thousands of dollars, cars with control panels that look like the console of a jet, homes of several thousand square feet for one or two people and the list goes on. Being a capitalist, I certainly don’t begrudge people the money they earn or how they spend it. It’s the love of money and the drive to get it at all costs that is evil.

We worship youth and marginalize the wisdom of the elderly. Our politicians take expensive vacations while much of the population lives below the poverty level.

Even some of the evangelical churches are falling by the wayside as same-sex marriage and abortion are tolerated. The abortionists Dr. Tiller, nicknamed “Dr. Tiller the baby killer”, was shot at church where he was an elder and his wife sang in the choir. This leads me the other part of the question, is there an equivalency between abortion and paganism. I would say no as that I recall that CM said that in some pagan society’s abortion was against their law. Yes, they threw newborns into the fiery furnace, but I suspect far fewer were thrown into the furnace than the 50 million or so babies that have been ripped piecemeal from their mother’s womb or subjected to caustic fluids while still in the womb. The video “The Silent Scream” was such a strong demonstration of the pain felt by the unborn that one abortionists became a pro-life advocate

Added Later:

I finally completed Tom Horn and Cris Putnam's book, "Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope Is Here." The book deals with Malachy who experienced a vision commonly called “The Prophecy of the Popes.” The prophecy is a list of Latin verses predicting each of the Roman Catholic popes from Pope Celestine II to the final pope, “Peter the Roman,” whose reign would end in the destruction of Rome. The pope following Benedict XVI is/was to be the final pontiff, Petrus Romanus or Peter the Roman.

And entered Pope Francis who seems to be golly and at ease with diversity. He has gained the love of many throughout the planet and seems to be straying from some of the long-held Catholic doctrine. Interestingly enough, Pope Francis is a Jesuit and the Jesuits have pretty much been the militant branch of the Roman Catholic Church. I am suspicious of the Vatican that has long lusted for control of Jerusalem. These are indeed interesting days in which we are living.

The book also deals with the history of the Roman Catholic Church and the Papacy. Like the Davidic dynasty, there've been a few good popes, but most of them have been horrible. And of course, the Catholic Church does seem to incorporate many pagan rituals, including the worship of icons in their doctrine of transubstantiation. Just in magic rituals in which one is to call down the powers of the directions and/or the pagan gods, the Catholic priest supposedly calls down the real body and blood of Jesus. In my opinion, paganism on steroids.

Other Scriptures Concerning Fasting 512 - 12 - 8

 In my answer to another discussion question. I mentioned the six-day fast proposed by our pastor and one of the examples that he cited, Esther 4:16. In addition he suggested we read passages from both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Daniel 9:3, "And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:"

Daniel knew from the prophet Jeremiah that the 70 years of the captivity in Babylon was coming to an end. Daniel prayed and fasted and waited on the Lord. It took 21 days before the angel Gabriel, likely with the help of the angel Michael, was finally able to break through and appear to Daniel. Through his prayer and supplication, Daniel was given what is perhaps the most astounding prophecy in the Text. Daniel 9:25, "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times."

Jeremiah 36:6, "Therefore go thou, and read in the roll, which thou hast written from my mouth, the words of the Lord in the ears of the people in the Lord's house upon the fasting day: and also thou shalt read them in the ears of all Judah that come out of their cities."

In Jeremiah 36:2 God told Jeremiah to "Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day." God’s word was ignored with very disastrous results.

Matthew 17:19-21, "Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. 
The lesson here appears to be that the disciples could not cast out the demon because they had not done the proper prayer and fasting.
Pastor also cited Isaiah 58:3-7, far too long to include within the 500 word limit. What I gather from these verses here the fast was done both in the wrong manner and for the wrong reasons. Isaiah 58:3-4, “Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.”

Jehoshaphat proclaimed a national fast throughout all of Judah. What were the results? Jesus talks about fasting in terms of when, not if. What are your experiences concerning fasting? 512 - 12 - 7

What a timely question. At the Sunday evening service before Christmas Pastor Bruce of the Assembly of God church in Quartzsite called for a fast from the day after Christmas, until10 PM New Year’s Eve. Then we will meet and share a light snack to break the fast. The suggestion was meant with mixed levels of enthusiasm.

Having been diagnosed as a diabetic a complete fast is not advised and I have already given up my much loved sweets. During Christmas, I was surrounded by candy, cookies, and pie. While the family enjoyed apple pie and other goodies I ate an apple. Just before Christmas I bought a big bag of my favorite sugar-free/ diabetic candy which incidentally still has to be eaten in moderation. So no sugar-free/ diabetic candy for now, my very limited experience with fasting.
But I digress , back to Pastor Bruce and his suggestion of a fast. He referred us to the several Scriptures where fasts were called for and achieved positive results. In the book of Esther we read of her people engaging in a three-day fast after which she was able to approach her husband, the King, with the result that the Jewish population was spared.

Jehoshaphat was one of the great kings of Judah. 2 Chronicles 17:4, “But sought to the Lord God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel.”
Later, 2 Chronicles 20:1-3, "It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle. Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi. And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah."

Jehoshaphat and his people were rewarded by the Lord. 2 Chronicles 20:15, “And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's.

Added later:

Our pastor suggested a six-day fast starting 12/26. He cited Scriptures relating to fasting. Of the five cited, only two seem to meet with positive results. The one he suggested by Isaiah really spoke to me.
Isaiah 58:3-7, "Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord? Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

This seemed to me to be shades of Matthew 23 with Jesus referring to the scribes and Pharisees as hypocrites. So it seems that we should approach a fast as we would our prayer time, with a right attitude of supplication.