Monday, February 26, 2018

Our daily bread 529-1 - 5 - 4

Matthew 6:11, “Give us this day our daily bread.”
Here I acknowledge my dependence on God for both spiritual and physical. daily food.
God originally placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the garden of plenty. After the fall, Adam and his descendants lost the perfection of Eden.
Genesis 3:19, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
Genesis 14:18, “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.”
A theophany, a pre-incarnate visit by Jesus? Included are the elements of the Lord's table. 1 Corinthians 11:24-25, “24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.”
Genesis 49:20, “Out of Asher (H836) his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.”
Asher, H836, happy; Asher, a son of Jacob, and the tribe descended from him, with its territory; also a place in Palestine to be straight, especially to be level, right, happy); figuratively to go forward, be honest, prosper, called blessed, go, guide, lead, relieve.
Exodus 13:3, “And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten.”
Leaven is to puff up, often used figuratively as sin.
Exodus 16:4, “Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.”
Malachi 1:7, “Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.”
Here the priests were bringing the Lord defiled offerings rather than first fruits. Like Cain they acted as if less than the best was good enough for the Lord. When we approach the Lord's table we must first examine ourselves, that we are not doing it “unworthily,” 1 Corinthians 11:29, “For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.” 
John 6:51, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
Many of the people misunderstood what Jesus meant as he was speaking allegorically and not of his actual physical flesh.
Matthew 4:3-4, “3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
Like the rock, bread appears many times throughout the Bible, often an equivalence to Jesus. Jesus, our living water and bread of live on whom is the solid rock of our foundation.

Salvation, a beginning 529-1 - 5 - 5

Matthew 6:19-21, “19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
These words by Jesus really resonate with me. About 30 years ago I thought it would be fun to try buying and selling jewelry weekends. It wasn't that I needed the money, as I had a very good job. What started out as a hobby became a near consuming passion. Over the years I have purchased dozens of pieces of Native American crafted jewelry, hundreds of strands of beads and turquoise nuggets plus kilos of sterling silver findings. I’ve incorporated the strands of beads into hundreds of items of jewelry. I often say I do not own my inventory, it owns me.
I have both a winter and a summer home in Arizona. Both are very unpretentious and very economical. My property tax on my northern home runs less than 50 dollars a year. Every time I drive back and forth between homes I drag boxes of jewelry with me. It is like the legendary albatross around my neck or to quote the Sufi, it's my ton of cabbage.
While jewelry is not susceptible to moth or rust, pieces are too often stolen. Over the ensuing decades I know that my true treasure is not in jewelry nor in beads. My true treasury is my relationship with Jesus.
Receiving salvation through Christ Jesus is not the climax, but the beginning. Now that I have salvation, what have you done for with it?
My mission field is primarily the Internet and that It is my desire to become a very effective Christian apologist. Here I will extend this to doing my part to fulfill the great commission assigned to us by Jesus. Matthew 28:19-20, “19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

Saturday, February 24, 2018

I'm saved so what am I doing with it? 543 - 1 - 4

My love, respect and awe of God is central to my life. I am passionate about bringing people into the Kingdom. Time is short and so many are rushing though the wide gate. Matthew 7:13-14, “13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
Sadly, many are heading through the wide gate due to false teachings. Many religious leaders are promoting a more universal and less Biblical approach to religion as foretold nearly 2000 years ago in 2 Timothy, “will not endure sound doctrine; having itching ears, turn away from the truth, and turn to fables.” I often counter misinformation, however and to quote CM, “The only barrier to truth is the presumption that you already have it.”  
I seek to be a productive Christian Apologist with the Internet is my primary mission field. Facebook provides fertile ground. When I read some of the comments made by unbelievers I cringe, and think have they no fear of God, what of their eternal destination? I have a blog devoted to the Word of God that has a small but worldwide readership. Currently I have more page-views from Russia than the United States.
We are in the days of Isaiah 5:20, “Woe (H1945) unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” 
Woe, H1945, an interjection meaning alas! It is used in lamenting a person's death, It is used in prophetic announcements of judgment or threats.
[The Complete Word Study Dictionary]
This is the fourth of the six woes in Isaiah 5 and concerns those who distort moral distinctions, denying the difference between good and evil, when good is called bad and bad is called good; abortion and homosexuality being prime examples.
That the Bible is the inspired Word of God is undeniable based on many fulfilled prophecies. There too often is bitterness aimed by unbelievers at believers; thankfully I have “The whole armour of God.”
180 degrees removed the unbelievers are those It caught up in “works,” for example members of the Catholic Church. Works denigrate Jesus’ death on the cross as not being enough, so I ask What part of “It is finished” is not clear? Here I’m very concerned as I have many Catholic friends and family. Indoctrination is so complete that I can do little more than pray.
Death can happen in a split second and if unsaved there is no changing one’s eternal destination. Nevertheless, God knows our heart, so I pray that many will cry out to Jesus with their last breath.

Friday, February 23, 2018

character, integrity and conduct 529-1 - 4 - 1

CM says that the difference between character and integrity is that integrity equals belief plus discipline and refers to It the vertebrae of the soul.  Character adds wisdom to integrity and is what you are when no one is looking. Character always comes before conduct, because what we are determines what we do.
Unpacking the above, Solomon comes to mind. God chose Solomon to build His temple rather than King David. 1 Chronicles 28:3 “But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood.” 
Before his death King David warned Solomon, 1 Chronicles 28:9  “And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off forever.”
When asked what he wanted, Solomon choose wisdom. 1 Kings 4:29-30, “29 And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore. 30 And Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt.” 
Solomon built the Temple. 2 Chronicles 5:14, “So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.” The shanika glory filled the temple.
Solomon started out well, Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Before his death Solomon had 700 wives and 300 columbines several of which lead him into idolatry. After his death, the kingdom was divided. First the Northern Kingdom fell and later the Southern Kingdom went into captivity. By this time the Shanika glory had departed the temple. Ezekiel 10:18, “Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims.”
The history of the divided kingdoms is a study in kings of good character and those who chased after other gods.
Given a choice between character and integrity, I would choose integrity. Character comes before conduct and lessons learned from the kings of Israel, their conduct often evidences poor character.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Book of Psalms, a wonderful study 515-2 - 24 - 8

Let’s end this wonderful study of the Psalms with praise! Let everything Praise the Lord and that includes the musical instruments of David’s time.
Psalm 150:1, “Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.” 
Sanctuary, H6944, a sacred place or thing; consecrated, dedicated, hallowed, holiness
Many of the Psalms have been put to contemporary melodies; these I often listen to as I sleep.
The first lines of the Sanctuary Praise song:
“Lord prepare me, to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true
And with thanksgiving, I'll be a living, sanctuary, oh for you”
Psalm 150:2, “Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.”
I’ve been friends with a great guy who is caring, loyal, is a great cook, and knows car and home repairs. However, he is not on fire for Jesus and pretty much tolerates my enthusiastic love for Jesus. So much as I care for him, this is a bridge too far. 2 Corinthians 6:14, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”
Psalm 150:3, “Praise him with the sound of the trumpet (H7782) : praise him with the psaltery (H5035) and harp (H3658).”
Trumpet, H7782, a cornet or curved horn: - trumpet.
 Psaltery, H5035 Brown-driver Briggs Definition: 2) harp, lute, guitar, musical instrument
Harp, H3658, to twang; a harp.
Someone pointed out that if you say the last names of our POTUS and VPOTUS it sounds almost like Trumpet.
Psalm 150:4, “Praise him with the timbrel (H8596) and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.”
Timbrel, H8596, to drum, that is, play on the tambourine.
Psalm 150:5, “Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.”
Cymbals, H6767, a clatter, whirring (of wings); a cricket; vibration); to tinkle,  quiver, tingle.
Psalm 150:6, “Let everything that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.”
As long as I have breath, I will sing praises unto the Lord.
What a joyful Psalm to end with. As I looked up the various instruments listed I remembered the rhythm bands of kindergarten. We would happily parade around the classroom making a joyous noise. 

Monday, February 19, 2018

No pit so deep 515-2 - 23 - 4

Psalm 142:1-2, “1 I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication. 2 I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble.”
David was being pursued by his enemies and had been deserted by his friends. He is hiding in a cave and praying aloud and sounding forsaken. He cries and pours out his complaint before the Lord, a simple telling of his trouble and grief.
Psalm 142:3-4, “3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me. 4 I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.” 
“No man cared for my soul” cries out the depth of David’s pain of rejection.
Psalm 142:5-6, “5 I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living. 6 Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.”
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.”
Psalm 142:7, “Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.”
Like David, Betsie Ten Boom never lost her faith even in a Nazi concentration camp. As Betsie was dying she whispered to her sister Corrie, "Must tell people what we have learned here. We must tell them that there is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still. They will listen to us, Corrie, because we have been here.”
I stared at her wasted form. “But when will all this happen, Betsie!” “Now. Right away. Oh, very soon! By the first of the year, Corrie, we will be out of prison!”
[Boom, Corrie Ten; Elizabeth Sherrill; John Sherrill. The Hiding Place]
Betsie Ten Boom was right, they were both out of prison by the first of the year, Betsie through going home to be with the Lord and her Sister Corrie was released due to a clerical error. Corrie went on to be a very effective speaker.
Psalm 146:1, “Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul.” Double praise, very strong devotion on the part of the Psalmist who believes in the existence of his soul. I often listen to Praise and Worship music and it does play to something deep within; my soul?
Psalm 146:2, “While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.” While I’m in this incarnation I will praise the Lord and after I drop my tent, I will praise Him throughout eternity.
Psalm 146:3-4, “3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.” 4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.”
Psalm 2:1-4, :1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, 3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. 4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. 
Princes, POTUS, come and go, nevertheless the Lord is forevermore, and I will trust in the Lord. That said, in my opinion God has provided our country with a President for such a time as this. 
Psalm 146:5, “Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:” My hope is in the Lord who said “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
Psalm 6, “Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth forever:” God the Creator is Omnipotent and unchanging.
Psalm 146:7, “Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners:” Although I’m just passing through I’m provided for and better than food is the living water. Even prison could not keep out the love and judgment of God.
Psalm 146:8-9, “8 The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous: 9 The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down. 
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind be it physical or spiritually and relieves those who are bowed down with burdens, the widows, and the orphans. The Lord loves the righteous and brings down the wicked.
Psalm 146:10, “The LORD shall reign forever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD.” The Lord shall reign throughout eternity and I will be will Him. 1 Corinthians 2:9, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The four James of scripture 543 - 1 - 2

1. James, the son of Zebedee; brother of John known as the beloved disciple. The brothers were known as sons of thunder. He is commonly called James the Greater to distinguish him from James, the son of Alpheus, who is called James the Less. (James #2) He was the first martyred of the apostles by the order of Herod. His brother John was tortured but not martyred and lived to an old age and authored The Book of John,The Epistles of John and The Book of Revelation.
2. James, the son Alpheus (Alphaeus?), brother of Judas (not Iscariot). Rather confusing, Matthew 10:3, “Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;” During the Crucifixion, Mark 15:40, “There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;” Also, Matthew 27:56, “Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children.”
3. James, the father of Judas, not of Iscariot who betrayed Jesus. And my confusion continues with Luke 6:16, “And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.” Act 1:13, “And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.” 
4. James, the brother of Jesus who wrote The Epistle of James. There are several passages naming Jesus’ siblings including Mark 3:31, "There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him."
Matthew 13:55-56, "55 Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? 56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?" See also Mark 6:3
Joh 2:12, "After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days." 
Mathew 12:46-47, “46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. 47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.”
Matthew 12:48, “But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?” Jesus said, “whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”
Mary of course knew who Jesus was, but His brothers and sisters likely were embarrassed by Him, Psalm 69:8, “I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children.”
Jesus had siblings born to His mother Mary and step-father Joseph after the birth of Jesus. Catholics claim that the siblings of Jesus were His cousins. The Catholic doctrine cannot tolerate a no longer virgin, virgin Mary, a virgin Mary who is possibly to be elevated to co-creator. There have been several movies made concerning the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus but not one mention siblings. Very politically incorrect.
There were four James in scripture including the brother of Jesus who after the resurrection became a believer and wrote a book of the Bible, The Epistle of James

The Law and does a Christian have to keep the Law

Galatians 4:3-5, “3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: 4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”
A very short and concise statement of the purpose of the Law follows:
“Judaism was physical, external, and temporal; Christianity is spiritual, internal, and permanent. These externals were a form of bondage to the children.”
[Believer’s Bible Commentary]
As Martin Luther “repeated his prayers on the Lateran staircase, the words of the prophet Habakkuk came suddenly to his mind: ‘The just shall live by faith.’ Thereupon he ceased his prayers, returned to Wittenberg, and took this as the chief foundation of all his doctrine. Luther himself said of this text, ‘Before those words broke upon my mind I hated God and was angry with him because not content with frightening us sinners by the law and by the miseries of life, he still further increased our torture by the gospel. But when, by the Spirit of God, I understood those words – “The just shall live by faith!” “The just shall live by faith!” – then I felt born again like a new man; I entered through the open doors into the very Paradise of God. Habakkuk 2:4, “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.”’
Habakkuk 2:4, “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.”
This verse contains an antithesis. Lifted, puffed up, haughty applied to those in power at the time of Habakkuk. The just sought righteousness and to be obedience leading a holy life. Paul used “the just” in three of his epistles.
How are we justified? Romans 1:17, “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”
How shall we live? Galatians 3:11, “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.”
We stay in faith by not turning away from Christ. Hebrews 10:38, “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”
Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Jesus had not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets, but to fulfill them. Jesus insisted that not one jot or one tittle would pass from the law until it was completely fulfilled.
Galatians 4:6-7, “6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”
I’m saved by grace and not under the Law, nevertheless, obedience should follow including the Ten Commandments. Further we are to “Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you.”

God is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. 515-2 - 23 - 3

God is omniscient, God has all knowledge. God is omnipresent, God is everywhere present. God is omnipotent, God is all-powerful.
Psalm 139:1-2, “1 O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. 2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.”
God is omniscient, God has all knowledge There is nothing He does not know. Matthew 10:30, “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” 
Psalm 139:5-6, “5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.” 
God's infinite knowledge boggles my mind, however, God put the cookies on the bottom shelf through Isaiah 55:8-9, “8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Psalm 139:7-8, “7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.” 
God is omnipresent as well. He is in all places at the same time. God is our Creator God, separate and distinct from His creation. Are we so foolish as to think we can evade the Holy Spirit, that knot in the stomach that tells me to change course. Can I hide from the presence of the Lord? What of a 21th Century Tower of Babel to heaven; could I elude God there? Absolutely no. Job 34:21, “For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings.”
Psalm 139:19-20 “19 Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. 20 For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.”
Here David is calling on the omnipotent, the all-powerful God to slay God adversaries who also are David’s enemies.
God is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Psalms that are songs of Degree 515-2 - 22 - 3

Psalm 126:1, “When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.” 
King Cyrus had decreed that the captives could return to their land and provided funds for rebuilding the temple. After 70 years in exile imagine the surprise of those who were not aware of Jeremiah 25:11, “And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.” Likely they were walking around in a near trance.
Psalm 126:2, “Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.” Even the heathens realized the power of God.
A 180 degree turn from the sorrow in Psalm 137. Psalm 137:1-4, “1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. 2 We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. 3 For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. 4 How shall we sing the LORD'S song in a strange land? 
I can identify with Psalm 137 as today there is a growing darkness in our world, a feeling for me of being out of place. Of course, Satan has the title deed to planet Earth, so it is to be expected. We are very much in the days of Isaiah 5:20, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” 
Psalm 126:3, “The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.” The grateful exiles gave God the credit for their deliverance from captivity.”
Psalm 126:5-6, “5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” 6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”
Although free, the returning captivities would face hardships. The temple was destroyed, there would be no immediate harvest and the city of Jerusalem was in ruins.
Psalm 127:1, “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” Here I recalled Paul, 1 Corinthians 15:14, “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.”
Throughout the Bible Jesus is analogous to a rock and/ or the cornerstone of our spiritual life. Both Luke 6:48 and Matthew 7:24-25 speak to a house built upon a rock, the floods came, and the wind blew and beat upon the house, but it stood just as our faith does when it is built on a risen Jesus, our precious corner stone, our sure foundation.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Your grace is enough 529-1 - 3 - 6

Isaiah 7:10-11, “10 Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying, 11 Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.” 
Isaiah 7:12, “But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD.”
Do we fail to test the Lord out of fear or out of pride? Fear that we will annoy God, or pride of doing it ourselves.
Isaiah 7:13, “And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary (H3811) my God also?”
Weary, H3811, to be frustrated, trying their patience, impatient at doing something, It refers to physical exhaustion but it also indicates wearing oneself out even in religious efforts.
Here it is possible to pickup on God’s impatience with Ahaz. God provided Ahaz with a sign, the coming of Messiah.
Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” 
Luke 6:38, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete (measured) withal it shall be measured to you again.”
A Bosom is the gathered fold of the wide upper garment, bound together with the girdle, and thus forming a pouch. Reminds me of the aprons with several pockets vendors wear at markets to hold their cash and/ or their goods.
As an aside, Ruth 3:15, “Also he said, Bring the vail that thou hast upon thee, and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and she went into the city.” The six measures of barley served two purposes. Boaz proclaimed his love of Ruth and as a code to Naomi that he would act on his feelings.
Isaiah 53:5, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” This verse is often quoted in the expectation of healing. In my opinion this is sometimes used to bully someone into claiming a healing that hasn’t occurred.
One of the Bible Studies I attend is using a book on authority from which comes this quote:
“They were all right until they got home, and after two or three weeks, their healing was gone. Why did they lose it? Because they didn’t know their authority. They didn’t know how to hold onto what they had, so they didn’t try to exercise authority themselves; or, if they said anything, they said the wrong thing.
I’ve seen polio victims completely healed—their feet and legs straightened out—and in 10 days’ time they lost their healing.”
[The Believers Authority- Legacy Edition by Kenneth E. Hagin]]
As a polio survivor with a rather deformed hand I was offended. If my hand isn’t healed, is the fault with me?
Mark 3:5, “And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.” The hardness of their (Pharisees) hearts was because they condemned healing on the Sabbath.  
Should I quote Mark 3:5 and test Jesus to restore my hand? No, perhaps it is somewhat akin to Paul’s “thorn in the flesh.” 2 Corinthians 12:9, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee…” Yes Lord Jesus, your grace is very sufficient!

Monday, February 12, 2018

The importance of having a savings account of scripture 529-1 - 3 - 5

The major lesson learned from Jesus’ encounter with the devil was my need to have a store of scripture at readiness to counter temptations as our Messiah had to repudiate the three temptations by Satan.
Luke 4:2, “Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.”
First temptation, Luke 4:3,"And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread." Here the devil was appealing to the flesh, to Jesus' physical well-being.
Luke 4:4, "And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God." The Word is far more fulfilling than bread, it fills that inborn need for God.
Second temptation, Luke 4:5-7, the devil petitions Jesus with power and glory if Jesus “therefore wilt worship me.” This is a valid temptation as the devil holds the title deed to our fallen world.
Luke 4:8, “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." God, not the devil, is to be worshiped.
Third temptation, Luke 4:9-11, here the devil is trying to get Jesus to manipulate God, to put God "to the test" by saving Him (Jesus) from a deadly fall.
Luke 4:12, “And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”
Several years ago while in Spiritual Disciplines SD501, we were asked “Why is it important to ‘make deposits’? What biblical passages have served you well over the past few months?” Since that time, I have maintained a file on my computer desktop of often quoted verses including the words Sola Scriptura. These deposits of verses are a great help to me and I often draw against this account.
Years ago, there was a special on TV dealing with the POW in Vietnam and their sharing of remembered Scripture. The POWs would pass verses around printed on whatever came to hand. Their savings account of scripture helped them through horrific years in Hanoi Hilton.
It is not just in debate when my savings account of scripture is literally a “God send,” I often need that little quiet voice of remembrance. 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

“He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep" 515-2 - 22 - 1

Psalm 121:1-4, “1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. 2 My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. 3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. 4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.”
Things are heating up in the Mideast between Israel and her enemies. I thought the order of prophetic fulfillment would be:
First, Isaiah 17:1, “The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.”
Second, Psalm 83:1-5, “The language is obviously that of besieged Israel, calling on God to break His silence and to act decisively. Although the people are pleading for their own safety and preservation, they present their case as if it were God's cause as much as their own: "Your enemies . . . those who hate You . . . Your people . . . Your sheltered ones . . . They form a confederacy against You." They will not let Him forget that Israel's enemies are His enemies.”
[Believer’s Bible Commentary]
“1. Hezbollah, Syria, Hamas and the Palestinians along with the Egyptians, Saudis, and Jordanians are identified in a distinctly different Israeli War prophecy described in Psalm 83. The Psalm lists ten entirely separate members not included among the Ezekiel 38: 1-6 invaders. Thus, it is probable they are not the “many peoples with thee” in Ezekiel 38:6 but are “many peoples distinct from thee” not listed in Ezekiel 38 among the invaders.”
[Salus, Bill. PSALM 83, The Missing Prophecy Revealed - How Israel Becomes the Next Mideast Superpower]
Mr. Salus refers to the above as the “Inner Ring of countries,” countries that share a border with Israel. Once these countries are brought down, Israel can live in “unwalled villages.”
Third, Ezekiel 38. The Jews will be dwelling securely in unwalled villages when attack by “Outer Ring of countries,” including Gog the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, thought to be the ancient names from which come Russia, Moscow, and Tobolsk. Plus, Persia (Iran), Ethiopia, Gomer (Germany?) and Libya.
God will destroy these enemies of God's people in fulfillment of His promise, Isaiah 54:17, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.”
Whatever the order of the fulfillment of prophesies, lines are being drawn. Just one example:
Turkey to host Syria summit with Russia, Iran
“Turkish and Russian leaders agreed on Thursday to hold a trilateral meeting with Iran on Syria, in Istanbul.
No information was provided on the exact date of the summit.
Russia had already hosted a similar summit with Turkey and Iran in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in November.”
Earlier today an Iranian drone penetrated Israeli airspace and was taken out by an Israeli AH-64 Apache helicopter. Also, 12 Iranian targets in Syria were attacked and destroyed. A few dozen anti-aircraft missiles were fired at Israeli fighter jets and an Israeli F-16 was hit and made it to Galilee before it crashed. Both pilots ejected and survived.
God is in control and “He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.”

Thursday, February 8, 2018

King Herod and the Magi 529-1 - 2 - 5

The father of Herod (Herod the Great) was an Edomite, a descendant of Esau, of an Idumean family. During the Maccabean wars, the Edomites were conquered by the Jews and forced to convert to Judaism. Herod the Great was Rome appointed King of Judea and, as a counterfeit Jew, his rule was rather tenuous.
Herod was a great builder, a tyrant, and a man who would murdered his own family if he thought his monarchy was threaten. The Roman Emperor Augustus said of him, "It is better to be Herod's dog than one of his children."
Herod was in power at the time of the birth of Jesus; enter wise men from the east. These wise men from the east were the Magi, a priestly caste of magistrates who came with an extensive entourage. They were both priest and political counselor vested with the authority to appoint kings. They were looking for the new born King of the Jews, so Herod likely felt his sovereignty was in peril.
Matthew 2:2-3, “2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. 3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.”
Herod’s minions knew of Micah 5:2, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
That the Magi departed without returning to inform Herod of the baby’s whereabouts played to his obsession. An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.”
Hosea 11:1, “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt” fulfilled, Matthew 2:15, "And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son."
Although the wise men are usually pictured as visiting Jesus as a newborn, it was a year or two later. Herod was so obsessed by the thought of a challenge to his reign that he ordered the murder of all the children that were in Bethlehem from two years old and under.
Matthew 2:18, “In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.” In his paranoia Herod caused the fulfillment of prophecy, Jeremiah 31:15, “Thus saith the Lord; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.”
King Herod attempts to protect his kingship resulted in the fulfillment of prophecy. 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Vain thoughts or God's Law 515- - 21 - 5

Psalm 119:113, “I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love.”
CM asked, “How much time do you spend reading the newspaper, or reading trash, in comparison to the time that you spend reading the Bible? Your diet of the Word?”
I couldn’t help but remember all the nonsense covered concerning the Kardashian sisters that seemed to occupy the mindlessness of many. It seems that no political or world crisis could compare to what these sisters were wearing, seeing or whatever. Then there the many false flags raised as well as fake news virtual on the Internet.
I was prepared to point out no time spent on tedious news such as the Kardashian sisters, some time spent countering Online fake news and using the Internet as a mission field. Then there are verses that come to mind dealing with what I give importance to, thoughts of God or to “imaginations.”
Isaiah 26:3, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
Proverbs 23:7, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.”
2 Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” 
Vain is described in the dictionary as empty, useless, devoid of meaning, or scripturally put, not profitable. In short, thoughts that do not produce anything of value, are vain.
Drawing again on Merriam-Webster, a conjunction is “an uninflected linguistic form that joins together sentences, clauses, phrases, or words Some common conjunctions are "and," "but," and "although." So, in Psalm 119:113 the word “but” is a conjunction that rather splits this short verse two parts which I gather renders vain thoughts and God’s law mutually exclusive.
“119:113 Moffat translates this verse, "I hate men who are half and half. I love thy law." Double-minded people are for God one minute and for the world the next. They can speak out of both corners of their mouth and are traitors to the law of God.”
[Believer’s Bible Commentary]
I work at keeping every thought captive and stayed on God. Most nights I sleep while listening to Gospel music, audio Bible or CM’s commentaries.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Pride 515-2 - 21 - 3

Proverbs 6:16-19, “16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud (H7311) look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” 
H7311, proud, to rise, rise up, be high, be lofty, be exalted, to exalt oneself, magnify oneself, to be rotten, be wormy
A proud look is first on God’s hate list; because of pride Satan sought to rise above God. Lucifer fell from heaven and took a third of the angels with him.
Even King David was not without the sin of pride. God had ordered a census taken when Israeli was in the wilderness. Later King David had a census taken without direction from God; his pride in taking a census was not without consequences for his people. The census suggested that King David was relying more on military capabilities than on God’s power. Not only was David taking pride in the numbers, he was trusting numbers instead of trusting God.
After the census was finished, King David was convicted of his sin and he cried out to God for forgiveness. God sent the prophet Gad to him, offering any one of three punishments. King David selected the third, three days of pestilence or plague.
Through his pride King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon spent seven years as a wild beast. Daniel 4:30-31, “30 The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? 31 While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.”
I’m just a lowly sinner but I share the sin of pride with kings. Now that sounds like pride. A few years ago, I was attending Sunday Evening church service. These evening services can be rather informal with some give and take. Pastor asked, “What sin does God hate the most?” I proudly said “Pride” but pastor didn’t hear me. Pastor asked again, “What sin God does hate the most?” This time several of us said “Pride” and Pastor looked at another member of the congregation and said, “That’s right.” My first impulse was to say that I was the first to answer correctly. Oops, pride once again raising its ugly head.
Pride often takes the form of my having to prove my point, to win arguments. Too often I’m judgmental and critical of others. I resist being prideful but even that sounds like a prideful statement.  

Jesus both Mashiach ben Joseph and Mashiach ben David 529-1 - 2 - 1

Israel is looking for two Messiahs: Mashiach ben Joseph and Mashiach ben David. After much suffering, Messiah ben Joseph eventually dies as a sacrifice of atonement and then ultimately rises from the dead. He is called the suffering Messiah. Mashiach ben David will ultimately appear and rule and reign from Jerusalem, a King David.
There was one Messiah. Jesus came first as the suffering servant, the Mashiach ben Joseph and will return as Mashiach ben David. One renounced rabbi may have sided with there being one Messiah.
“I have seen the Messiah! And I know who He is— I know His name. I know where He is. I know when He is coming. Furthermore, you will know these things as well— one year after my death. —Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri
The above is not an exact quote from the venerated late Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri; however, it paraphrases a collection of documented declarations he made in the final years and even the final days of his life.”
[The Rabbi Who Found Messiah: The Story of Yitzhak Kaduri and His Prophecies of the Endtime by Carl Gallups]
Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri died several years ago and left a note to be read one year after his death. The note is in code of sorts, but it has been argued that the rabbi said that the name of Messiah is Yehoshua. Yehoshua and Yeshua are, basically the same name, derived from the same Hebrew root of the word salvation translate directly to English as Joshua. Both the rabbi's son and grandson repudiated the possibility that the old Rabbi was referring to Jesus as the Messiah.
And so, the argument goes on, nevertheless Jesus cleared it up in Luke 4:18-19 by quoting in part from Isaiah 61:1-2, “1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn” Jesus stopped at the comma before “and the day of vengeance of our God.” That will be accomplished at the second coming of Jesus as the Mashiach ben David.
Psalm 40:6-7, “6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. 7 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me.” Jesus was quoted by Paul as confirmation, Hebrews 10:6-7, “6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. 7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.”
44 Messianic Prophecies Fulfilled by Jesus Christ
353 Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ
Most assuredly, Jesus was the Mashiach ben Joseph and will return as the Mashiach ben David accompanied by his Church.