Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Companionship of Jesus Christ

The Companionship of Jesus Christ

by Bob D.


Did you ever stop to think about the loss of true companionship we have with God in this world? This, with so many different churches, half conversations, opinions and depression can add up to so much sorrow. God does not want this for His children.

In Heaven we will have unhindered fellowship with Jesus Christ.Our friendship with Him will not be disconnected in any way. This is just one reason we should be looking forward to the rapture. There are many motives for this anticipation.

When we understand how loyal our Savior Jesus Christ is to us, our pursuit of having a friendship with Him will be a natural common outflow in our lives. As we draw close to God, He will personally reveal his love to us."

" Ye are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command you. (15) Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth: but I have called you friends: for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." John 15:14-15.

Our Savior's love for us will become more and more evident because of our obedience toward Jesus Christ. Obedience before God and friendship with God are synomous with one another. They fit together perfect.

Throughout the annals of eternity our friendship and holy reverence for God will be perfectly balanced. Remember the Bible does not say Jesus is our pal. The Bible says through our obedience Jesus Christ will be our friend. God is God and we are not, but it comforts me to know that Jesus Christ desires to have a friendship with people. I have even more peace in my spirit to understand that Jesus Christ desires a friendship with me.

The real meaning of relationships and friendships will be so natural for us to pursue without resistance in Heaven. We will definitely be in our real home. He longs for His children to be with Him.This is our Savior's companionship for us.

We should be feeling that friendship here on earth.If I don't, I'm going to ask for it in prayer. I cannot live without the presence of Jesus in my spirit. If I have a bad day and don't include the Lord, I will always be empty all day. If that ever happens we need to get back into the yoke of Jesus Christ.

If our heart is empty it could be because we are prolonging a friendship with God. Companionship is available to us anytime, but if we refuse to pursue it anxiety or some other emotion will probably lie dormant in our spirit. God will seem distant. That fear and anxiety more than likely will lead into sin.

Jesus Christ is living inside of our hearts if we accepted Him as our Savior.It is our job to pursue fellowship with Him.

I am persuaded that we have to approach this biblical principle correctly and be relaxed as we allow the Holy Spirit to work through our spirit.

If we have an earthly friend we need to look at him or her. If we desire to experience the friendship of God, we have to keep our focus on Him.

That sweet fellowship with Jesus Christ will interrupt the bad and produce good fruit. The expression of true friendship with God will cultivate deep feelings of holy affection for Jesus Christ.

"I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep my precepts." Psalm 119:63. This is what Jesus said in John 15:14-15. Proper fear for God is reverence for who He is. If we are faithful before God, He will answer us in His own time. A quiet touch in our soul, a word of knowledge or an insight that only the Holy Spirit can point out.This is the start of a holy fear for God which will lead into a friendship. This is what the Bible teaches.

As God conforms us to the image of his Son through our faithfulness,then the Holy Spirit will deepen our reverence for God. If we do not feel the companionship of Jesus Christ, He may be waiting for us to search Him out. We will never be able to impress God. We were saved by the grace of God. Grace is the unmerited favor of God. Impression is merit. For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works lest any man should boast." Eph 2: 8-9.

Striking a balance between pursuing God and understanding that we cannot impress Him will be a difficult challenge. Jesus Christ is performing His good work in us."Being confident of this very thing,that He which has began a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6.

Trying to keep the precepts of God can be hard. Faith with a searching spirit pleases God. Intelligence or even our opinions can set us back when drawing close to God.


The truth of the matter is we cannot do anything apart from Jesus Christ if we want to glorify God. The good news is God chooses to do it this way to test us, so that we will truly understand we deep down need Him through our failures.If our approach is to do it God's way, I believe a smile is on our Savior's face because of our obedience. We will have a tranquil peace and joy in our hearts. That is when the connection of true Godly fellowship begins to take place. Jesus is coming soon to take His true children home. Then we will really be able to say, " Glory to God in the highest."


Bob D.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

HOW TO DEAL WITH TRAGEDY AND TRAUMA

Dealing with tragedy and trauma

When a terrible tragedy or prolonged suffering occurs in our lives, or to those around us, we all go through a lot of questioning, grieving and trying to understand this terrible situation. The issues and needs that are brought to the surface by a tragedy are far-reaching and can dredge up old hurts and traumas that were not adequately dealt with in our past history. These fragments of old memories then can mix together with fragments of new memories, cause confusion and inability of cope, depression and a whole range of emotional problems. Sometimes it is only with the help of a professional Christian grief-counsellor and a long period of therapy sessions that all these problems can be dealt with adequately, and the healing process can begin. But there are also things that we can do to cooperate with God in our own healing process.

The main thing to keep in mind is that...

GOD ALLOWED THIS TO HAPPEN, HE LIMITS THE PAIN, THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE IS FOR YOUR BENEFIT HIS GOAL IS TO MAKE YOU MORE LIKE CHRIST GOD IS ALWAYS IN CONTROL

His reasons only He really knows. If we can focus in this perspective, it will help us to keep from despairing, as if the world is out of control and we are all helpless victims waiting for the ship to sink.

James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

1 Pet 5:6-11 6: Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. 11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

So let's take a look at some things to keep in mind when we are faced with an otherwise overwhelming tragedy.

GOD ALLOWED THIS TO HAPPEN

For some scriptural insight on this matter, we can investigate what happened in the life of Job. If you look in the first chapter of Job, God is bragging on Job before all the assembled "sons of God" including Satan, who apparently gets to sit in on these meetings....

Job 1:8 8: And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth[H=withdraws from] evil?

At this point, Satan begins to bring hypothetical accusations against Job, and desires to have evil things happen to Him, so that Job's character will be defaced. Notice here, that God, in His wisdom and for His Own Purposes, allows Satan to do certain of these things to Job that he desired to do. Among the possible reasons God allows these things to happen to Job are to verify Job's character, help Job to deepen his faith, to force him to reconsider his priorities of life, and to help Job to know God in a personal way instead of just a shallow or religious way.

But even though God allows these things into Job's life to test him, The Lord sets limits on Satan as to how far he can go to bring evil into Job's life. It is here that we may replace our own name in the story of Job. For as bad as it may seem at first, it is the ultimate character and the presence of Christ in each one of us, that is being "verifed" by tragedies and times of suffering. As Paul has written,

1 Cor 10:13 KJV There hath no temptation[Grk=adversity, testing] taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

And so we must understand that things that happen to us don't happen in a vacuum, in an an out-of-control universe, willy-nilly, completely by accident, unsupervised, with no-one to care or stop them...

GOD IS ALWAYS IN CONTROL!!!

WE MUST ALWAYS SEE THE LARGER PICTURE We may not like what is happening, it may be hurtful, harmful, traumatic, disgusting, tragic, destructive...all these things and more, but God always puts a limit on them, and has a purpose for allowing them to happen. And that purpose always is that ultimately as we go through the trauma and learn how to deal with it, we will come out the other side stronger and more Christ-like, having a new desire for purity and Godliness, and having new equipment to minister to the needs of others who are going through the same problems.

2 Cor 1:3-5 3:Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

WE ARE REQUIRED TO ENDURE IT Let me emphasize for a moment, a phrase in the previous verse:

4: Who comforteth us IN all our tribulation,

Unfortunately, as with any traumatic experience, we have to go through it. Since it is God's will that allowed this to happen to us in the first place, and God designed and limited the testing for His own purposes, we have to experience it and to feel the pain, to have our lives and our minds scrambled...we have to cry, pray, ask why, get angry, feel abused, feel confused, experience loss and lostness...lose sleep, feel like the heavens are as brass, mistakenly feel that God has abandoned us or doesn't care about us, or that we could have done more, or "if only I had done such and such", or "I am inadequate", and a million possible other feelings and terrors might go through our minds during times like this. And all this with the ultimate goal that we will be purified like gold is purified, in the fires that will burn away that which is impure and meaningless, so that the brightness of Christ will glisten in us that much more brightly.

Job 23:10 But God knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

It is this harsh refining process that ultimately creates new riches in our lives, by tearing away the veneer of human self-confidence, worldliness, pride, secret unconfessed sins, arrogance, complacency, misdirected life-goals, materialism, all of which our flesh enjoys. These habits and attitudes tend to accumulate secretly and un-noticed in our hearts when everything is going well. But God hates all of them and wants to remove them from our lives, because they are obscuring the inner light of Christ from shining through our lives to those around us.

God wants us to recognize how much these things obscure the life of Christ within us. He wants us to crumble into a heap of self-abhorance and humility, one of complete dependence on the mercy and grace of God. He wants us to realize that inside each one of us is the ability to commit any disgusting sin that we abhor in others, that it is true that when we point a finger at someone else, 3 fingers are pointing back at ourselves. But always remember, one finger is still left in this example, to point up to God, the way of escape, the refuge from sin and the source of all holiness.

As it is recorded in Job, after all the suffering and self-examination that Job went through, he finally turns to God and admits...

Job 42:1-6 1: Then Job answered the LORD, and said, 2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. 3 Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that which I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. 4 Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. 5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. 6 Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

Job confesses that the experience of God that he had previously, was superficial...even though it was enough for God to proclaim him as "a good man who fears God and will have nothing to do with evil". After going through all the trauma and suffering and pain, he describes his former spiritual experience as if he only had second-hand knowledge about God before. His was a superficial experience, one based on the teachings and testimonies of others. But now his experinece of God is real, as if face to face, person to person.

And now his estimation of his own self has also changed...he sees the Holiness and Omnipotence of God, and his own loathesome sinfulness by comparison. Much like Isaiah's experience, when he was confronted with the Holiness of God..

Isa 6:1-5 1: In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. 4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

WHAT DO WE DO IN THE MEANTIME First of all, don't blame, criticise, accuse, other people, or even ourselves. Realize that just because bad things are happening to you or a loved one, it may NOT mean that there is some sin lurking in the person's life who is undergoing suffering. As in the story of Job, his so-called friends, rather than actually comforting him, end up accusing him of some hidden sin or flaw that brought on his suffering. The fact that God disapproved of these false accusations was clearly shown as God admonished them for their lack of understanding and compassion with these words:

Job 42:7 And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite(one of the false accusers), My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.

Rather view a time of tragedy or suffering as a "wake-up call" for yourself, and for all of those involved. Even though we may have been growing in prosperity or worldly maturity, God may be calling us to start growing inwardly, spiritually, in dimensions of holiness, committment and service. Oftentimes, the means of this growth is the pathway of suffering.

Job 1:20-22 20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, 21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. 22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

ALLOW YOURSELF TO GRIEVE Job's first response was to cry out in grief, but then to immediately fall down on the ground in worship, and focus his attention on God. He took an attitude of submission to the sovereign will of God. He sat in silence for 7 days, saying nothing, meditating and rehearsing all the traumatic events that had just befallen him. I suggest that in the midst of a traumatic experience or tragedy, we must focus our attention as never before on the Person of God...in repentence, and humble submission, seeking a new relationship of closeness to Jesus Christ, calling out to Him for mercy.

TALK IT OUT

Job 7:11 Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.

Job's next set of responses was to talk and reminisce within a circle of his trusted friends his feelings, doubts, loss, sadness. Even though his friends didnt really "get it", and they accused him falsely of sins he never committed, He talked over everything. He complained about everything, cursed his own existence, and his own troubles. He expressed all the deep despair and hopelessness that was in his heart...verse after verse, chapter upon chapter...putting into words all the pain and anguish that was inside his own heart...not hiding it or bottling it up. He put it into words and sentences his pain and grief, where he could look at them and ventilate them, where others could share in the pain of his trauma.

Here is another suggestion to anyone affected by a terrible tragedy...seek out a trusted friend or a very few friends, or cousellors at church or other professionals, and ventilate all your pent up pain, frustration, anger...all of it. Or go to a private place and talk outloud and verbally to God. Try to concentrate on your own reaction to all of this rather than on the tragedy itself. You cannot find any verse in all of the Book of Job where Job says, "O, my little children, killed by a mighty wind from God", or any other reference to the actual losses he suffered, but everything was a ventilation of his own emotional response to it, good and bad; because that is apparently where the real injury lies, in the thoughts and doubts and responses of the heart to a tragedy. And apparently that is where the healing lies also, and not in concentrating on or remembering the traumatic event itself, but in dealing with the response that you had to it.

RE-FOCUS YOUR ATTENTION ON THE SOVEREIGNTY AND GOODNESS OF GOD

Eventually Job got back to focusing on God, and recognizing the sovereignty of God from His creation and His goodness. It is then that the real healing and re- ordering of his life took place. Having talked to himself, his friends, and his wife, he eventually got to talking TO God, not just ABOUT God. It is this place that God wants us to arrive...face to face with God, in submission and worship.

Exo 33:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.

Judg 6:22 And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the LORD, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord GOD! for because I have seen an angel of the LORD face to face.

1 Cor 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

May you never have to go through a deep spirit-wrenching tragedy. But if you must, may your focus be on the Living God who who gives this gracious invitation by Jesus Christ to all those who suffer tragedies or are worn out by the circumstances of life:

1 Pet 1:3-9 3; Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice , though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

Accept this kind and gracious invitation from the Lord Jesus Christ:

Mat 11:28-29 28: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. {29} Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Agape
Zelma

Monday, May 18, 2009

MEDITATING ON THE WORD OF GOD

Meditating on the Word of God

Josh 1:8
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth;
but thou shalt meditate therein day and night,
that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein:
for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous,
and then thou shalt have good success.

1 Tim 4:15
Meditate upon these things;
give thyself wholly to them;
that thy profiting may appear to all.

BIBLICAL MEDITATION = The act of deeply thinking about, praying about, and pondering a Biblical teaching or verse, perhaps recalling it to mind and pondering upon it, and applying the lesson to one’s own life. The meditation of a righteous person contemplates God or Biblical spiritual truths.

1 Tim 4:15-16
15: Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
16: Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine;
continue in them:
for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

BIBLICAL MEDITATION, encourages you to fill your mind with the Word of God and the teachings of Jesus Christ, and to recall these truths throughout the day in prayer and submission to the Holy Spirit. By doing this you will be allowing the Holy Spirit to cause you to grow to maturity and usefulness in your Christian life.
John 14:26
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name,
he shall teach you all things,
and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Josh 1:8-9
8: This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth;
but thou shalt meditate therein day and night,
that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein:
for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
9: Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed:
for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Psa 1:1-2
1: Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,
nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2: But his delight is in the law of the LORD;
and in his law doth he meditate day and night.


BIBLE VERSES RELATING TO BIBLICAL MEDITATION
Psa 19:12-14
12: Who can understand his errors?
cleanse thou me from secret faults.
13: Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me:
then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
14: Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight,
O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

Psa 63:1-8
A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.
1: O God, thou art my God;
early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee,
my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;
2: To see thy power and thy glory, such as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.
3: Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.
4: Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.
5: My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness;
and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:
6: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.
7: Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.
8: My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.

Psa 77:11-14
14: I will remember the works of the LORD:
surely I will remember thy wonders of old.
12: I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.
13: Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary:
who is so great a God as our God?
14: Thou art the God that doest wonders:
thou hast declared thy strength among the people.

Psa 119:9-16
9: Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?
by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
10: With my whole heart have I sought thee:
O let me not wander from thy commandments.
11: Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
12: Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.
13: With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth.
14: I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.
15: I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.
16: I will delight myself in thy statutes:
I will not forget thy word.

BIBLICAL MEDITATION AND WORSHIP
Thus meditation by God’s people is a reverent act of worship. Through it they commune with God and are thereby spiritually renewed and uplifted .

Psa 104:33-35
33: I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live:
I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
34: My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.
35: Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more.
Bless thou the LORD, O my soul. Praise ye the LORD.

Most references to meditation occur in the Old Testament, especially in the Psalms. The Hebrew words for meditation primarily were derived from the Hebrew word "hagah", which literally means "to utter in a low sound." The word is used to denote the growling of a lion (Isa. 31:4) as well as many instances of "meditate" Therefore it has been suggested that, in ancient Hebrew meditation, Scripture frequently was recited in a low murmur as one pondered its meaning and personal application.

Isa 31:4a
For thus hath the LORD spoken unto me,
Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey...

In Psa 19:14, an intensified form of "hagah" ,is "Higgaion", and is defined in Strong's dictionary this way:
"a murmuring sound, i.e. a musical notation (prob. similar to the modern affettuoso, to indicate solemnity of movement); by impl. a machination:--device, meditation, solemn sound.

Psa 1:1-2
1: Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,
nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2: But his delight is in the law of the LORD;
and in his law doth he meditate{H=hagah} day and night.

Psa 143:5-8
5: I remember the days of old; I meditate{H=hagah} on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.
6: I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah.
7: Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit faileth:
hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.
8: Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust:
cause me to know the way wherein I should walk;
for I lift up my soul unto thee.

The second root word (siyach) has the basic meaning of "to be occupied with," or "concerned about." or "to ponder" or "to converse with thyself". Thus meditation is the repetitious going over and over of a matter in one’s mind because it is the chief concern of life. The constant recollection of God’s past deeds by the hearing of Scripture and repetition of thought produce confidence in God.

Job 7:11
Therefore I will not refrain my mouth;
I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;
I will complain{H=siyach} in the bitterness of my soul.

Psa 77:6
I call to remembrance my song in the night:
I commune{H=siyach} with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.

Psa 77:11-12
11: I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.
12: I will meditate{H=siyach} also of all thy work,
and talk of thy doings.



INTENSELY SEEK THE TREASURES OF THE WORD
Prov 2:1-5
1: My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;
2: So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
3: Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
4: If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
5: Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

DELIGHT YOURSELF IN THE TREASURES OF THE WORD

Psa 119:47-48
47: And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.
48: My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved;
and I will meditate in thy statutes.

LET THE WORD TAKE UP RESIDENCE IN YOUR HEART

Col 3:16-17
16: Let the word of Christ dwell (G=to occupy a house) in you richly in all wisdom;
teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
17: And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

APPLY THE TEACHINGS OF THE WORD TO YOUR LIFE

1 Tim 4:15-16
15: Meditate upon these things;
give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
16: Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them:
for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

PRAY FOR UNDERSTANDING AS YOU STUDY THE WORD

Psa 119:73-80
73: Thy hands have made me and fashioned me:
give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.
74: They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word.
75: I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.
76: Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.
77: Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live:
for thy law is my delight.
78: Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause:
but I will meditate in thy precepts.
79: Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies.
80: Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.

MEDITATE ON THE WORD CONTINUALLY THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY

(Psa 119:97-104
97: O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
98: Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies:
for they are ever with me.
99: I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.
100: I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.
101: I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.
102: I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.
103: How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104: Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

MEDITATE ON THE WORD IN TIMES OF PERSECUTION

Psa 143:1-11 A Psalm of David.
1: Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications:
in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.
2: And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.
3: For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground;
he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead.
4: Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate.
5: I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works;
I muse on the work of thy hands.
6: I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah.
7: Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit faileth:
hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.
8: Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust:
cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.
9: Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me.
10: Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God:
thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
11: Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name's sake:
for thy righteousness' sake bring my soul out of trouble.

BIBLICAL MEDITATION IN THE NEW TESTAMENT: BIBLICAL MEDITATION AND CHRISTIAN SERVICE

Paul advised Timothy to meditate on the matters about which Paul had written Him (1 Tim. 4:15). The greek word, melatao, means "to revolve things around in your mind". In this passage, meditation on spiritual principles is linked to action in Christian service. Meditation is an important part of the Christian’s relationship with Christ.

1Ti 4:8-16
8: For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things,
having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
9: This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.
10: For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God,
who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
11: These things command and teach.
12: Let no man despise thy youth;
but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
13: Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
14: Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy,
with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
15: Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them;
that thy profiting may appear to all.
16: Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them:
for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
God Bless you as you ponder these things.
In Christ
<><
Craig and Zelma

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Was there life before Adam?

Was there life before Adam?

Is there two floods described in the Bible?

Are there contradictions in the Bible? In the very first book? In the very first chapter? In the very first two verses? If so, wouldn’t that make the entire Bible a joke?

Does God make mistakes? No, He knows all.

Pslm 139:4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.

Would God create fossils just to fool us? Or would He write something to confuse us? God forbid.

1Cor 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

So let’s look at creation. Here the Word says that God (Myhla 'elohiym plural, but that’s another study) Himself did the creating. Yet it says the earth was without form and void. It also says the God moved upon the waters, not land.

Gen 1:1-2 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (KJV)

form, and void whwt, (tohu, ) and whwb, (bohu.) The Hebrews use them when they designate anything empty and confused, or vain, and worth nothing. Again, God doesn’t create confusion.

Here the Word says it wasn't created in vain or in confusion.

Isaiah 45:18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I [am] the LORD; and [there is] none else. (KJV)

Here the angels shout for joy over the creation. Would they shout for joy over a formless and void world?

Job 38:4-7 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?declare, if thou hast understanding. 5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? 6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; 7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? . (KJV)

Now let us look at a perished world. All of the world perished in the flood described by Peter, but in Noah's flood Noah and his family, along with all of the animals, didn't. A contradiction? No.

2 Peter 3:5-6 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: (KJV)

When did this happen? Between Gen 1:1 and Gen 1:2. We don’t know exactly when the first flood occurred, but we do know when it ended, Gen 1:6. Notice God caused the waters to separate and form land. He spoke and it was.

Gen 1:6-7 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which [were] under the firmament from the waters which [were] above the firmament: and it was so. (KJV)

But in Noah’s flood the waters gradually subside.

Gen 8:5 And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen. (KJV)

Again, is God mistaken or did He write to confuse us? No. These must be two different happenings. He removed the water twice. So we see two different destructive floods.

Some say that God only created a water filled earth in Gen 1:1, but what is the definition of earth? Look at Gen 1:10

Gen 1:10 And God called the dry land Earth

Let us also take a close look at a the little word “was”; in the Hebrew hyh hayah can and is translated became in Gen 19:16 (Noah’s wife became a pillar of salt or Noah’s wife was a pillar of salt). Now when we read Gen 1:2 in the same light, it becomes consistent.

Modified Genesis 1:1-2 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth "became" without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Modified KJV)

Now let us look at God’s command to Adam and to Noah to replenish the earth. Notice, the very same command; in fact the same Hebrew word alm (maw-lay').

Gen 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Gen 9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

Some say that God really told Adam to plenish or fill rather than refill the earth. But if He used the same exact word for Noah and there was a population prior to Noah, wouldn’t God be confusing us if He purposely used the same word, in the same context, to mean two different things?

If there was life before Adam, why doesn’t God give a full description? The answer can be found in Gen 5:1.

Gen 5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;

hdlwt (dah to-led-aw') = descendants, results, proceedings, generations, genealogies

The Bible was only written to, and was intended for only Adam's genealogy or family lineage.

Who were these pre-Adamic creatures?

The Word gives us a possible hint.

Luke 10:17-18 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. 18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

Were was satan before he fell? On the earth. Ezekiel in Ezek 28:12 is addressing the king of Tyrus. However this verse and the following verses describe someone far more powerful, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty than this king of Tyrus.

Ezekiel 28:12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.

Verse 13 says that this individual was in the Garden of Eden, and every precious stone was in his possession; and he was prepared this way when he was created. Who was in the Garden of Eden? It certainly was not the king of Tyrus!

Ezekiel 28:13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone [was] thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.

Verse 14 states that this angelic being was the anointed "cherub that covereth", which could mean a very high rank of rulership in the government of God.

Ezekiel 28:14 Thou [art] the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee [so]: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

In verse 16, it states that something happened that caused this perfect angel to sin. It was by the multitude of his merchandise" that filled him with violence.

Ezekiel 28:16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

"Merchandise" is an interesting word as you can see by it's meaning. hlkr (rek-ool-law') = merchandise, traffic, trade

This angel was involved in a lot of "traffic" and "trade". Who did this angel have all this traffic and trade with? Interesting, isn’t it?

In verse 17 it states that pride entered in his heart because of his beauty, and he lost his wisdom by his "brightness".

Ezekiel 28:17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.

God said, "I will lay thee before kings". When did these kings have their rule, and who were these kings?

When satan sinned, what did he want? To rise up into heaven, God’s abode, above the clouds. Therefore he was on the earth. In fact, there was a congregation that he wanted. A congregation without beings?

Isaiah 14:13-14 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

I’ll close with Jeremiah 4:23-28 as he is allowed to look back to Gen 1:2.

Jer 4:23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger. For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end. For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.

Notice; there were mountains, hills, birds, cities and it was fruitful. Interesting, isn’t it?

In Conclusion

The Heavenly Father wants his children to know about this spiritual rebellion, and the destructive effects this had on the physical creation so that they can be better "armed" so to speak. All of God's children are involved with actual "spiritual warfare" whether they like it or not, or even whether they realize it or not. To ignore this fact does not make it go away! The principalities and powers of fallen angels are still here, and these fallen angelic rulers do not want to give up their dominion to God's children. Read and study Eph. 6:12-17.

Remember, the Bible was written to Adam’s descendants; you.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

THE PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF PENTECOST ?

The partial fulfillment of Pentecost?

Notice I put a ? after the title of this article.

The first three feast days were fulfilled by Jesus Christ Himself (Passover, Unleavened Bread and Firstfruits). The forth feast day (Pentecost) was not fulfilled by Jesus Christ. It was fulfilled by the Third Person of the Trinity (The Holy Spirit).

This subject is a more complicated than I thought because I never talked to anyone that has a total grasp on the 7 feast days for Israel. It even becomes more difficult when I look into how they (were) or (are) going to be fulfilled.
He went on to say that according to Jeremiah 5:24 God is going to cause the Jewish people to fulfill their own Holy days so they will turn to Jesus Christ. Some were fulfilled (Israel) and others remain for a future fulfillment (Israel). This verse says, "Neither say they in their heart, let us now fear the Lord our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in His season: He reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest."

The Holy Spirit was referring to Israel but what about the Church (body of Christ; Christians)? If most Christians that understand biblical prophecy believe that Israel and the Church have different prophetic programs than why wouldn't we believe that God will fulfill the feast days for His Church and then accomplish them for Israel? Some Christians may be asking, "Why would this be important for me?"

The purpose of this summary is not to talk about this particular aspect of the future fulfillments for Israel regarding the feast days. In this article that I am writing, only the fulfillments for the Church will be explored, so we can get more of a grasp on the purpose for Pentecost. What does this particular feast day (Pentecost) mean for Christians around the world regarding the birth of the Church (Acts chapter 2) and their possible resurrection rapture?
I would rather focus on our own salvation and resurrection since I believe we are so close to the rapture of the Church. I will be using the word possible and perhaps quite a bit because I don't want to come across dogmatic.

What I liked about this writing is th author had the courage to really look into the Scriptures and say something different that I believe is the truth. He answered a question about a year ago. I even lost the printout but I remember the main points.

I believe the Church started on Pentecost in Acts chapter 2. Why? Jesus Christ did not fulfill the birth of the Church on Pentecost. The Holy Spirit fulfilled this feast day (Pentecost) for a possible complete future fulfillment ultimately to be accomplished by Jesus Christ Himself!

This fulfillment may not take place until the rapture of the Church. For example, if one looks at the biblical meaning of the number 14, salvation is always in connection with the rapture and resurrection of our bodies.

(1) Passover was fulfilled at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ----------Fulfillment by Jesus Christ Himself.

(2) Unleavened Bread was fulfilled when Jesus Christ was buried for 3 days----------Fulfillment by Jesus Christ Himself.

(3) Firstfruits was fulfilled when Jesus Christ rose from the dead----------Fulfillment by Jesus Christ Himself.

(4) Pentecost was fulfilled in Acts chapter 2 when the Holy Spirit came down upon the newly born Church----------Fulfillment by the Holy Spirit Himself.

(5) Rosh Ha-Shannah was fulfilled when Jesus Christ was born on Rosh Ha-Shannah. In Luke 2:8-14 the angels started to sing----------Fulfillment by Jesus Christ Himself.

(6) Yom Kippur or the day of atonement was fulfilled because in Hebrews chapters 9 and 10 our High Priest who is Jesus Christ entered into,"The holiest of all" for our sins through His blood----------Fulfillment by Jesus Christ Himself.

(7) The feast of Tabernacles was fulfilled because Jesus Christ tabernacled with people for 33 years when He walked on the earth."And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us"...John 1:14."And dwelt among us"(Tabernacled) is a fulfillment of Tabernacles----------Fulfillment by Jesus Christ Himself.

Jesus Christ did not fulfill all the feast days through His Church. The Holy Spirit fulfilled Pentecost. This is where the Bible gets really interesting because it involves our rapture and resurrection.

The Bible says,"For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only He who now letteth will let, until He be taken out of the way." 2nd Thes. 2:7. This verse is explaining and describing the rapture."He" is the Holy Spirit."He" (the Holy Spirit) indwells the body of Christ; Church. When Jesus Christ raptures His Church this is exactly what will happen.

(1) The newly born Church started on Pentecost in Acts chapter 2----------Pentecost.

(2) The Church age (dispensation of grace) will end when the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way. 2nd Thes. 2:7-----------Pentecost? Notice I put a ?

(3) Jesus Christ will rapture His Church. This ends the Church age and happens in connection with the Holy Spirit being taken away--------Pentecost? Once again I used a ?

Notice this whole transaction is THREE FOLD. Remember I used the example of the biblical number and meaning of 14. The number 14 (Salvation) and 3 (Rapture and Resurrection) are always used in connection with one another. What good is salvation without the rapture and resurrection of our bodies? This is why I called this article,"The partial fulfillment of Pentecost?" These three fulfillments might have to take place around this general area of Pentecost.This feast day could be THREE FOLD (Salvation,Rapture and Resurrection). Jesus Christ has yet to fulfill this feast day for His Church! Only time will tell if He will.

This feast day could be in reserve for the end of the Church Age. Remember the rapture and resurrection completes our salvation. The original birth of the Church on Pentecost represented salvation but this might have to be completed through our rapture and resurrection around or at a future Pentecost. When do you suppose Jesus Christ will culminate His plan for His Church?

I can not tell you that the rapture will happen on Pentecost this year. I can not be dogmatic that the rapture will happen on a future Pentecost because end time biblical prophecy is not an exact science. God always seems to leave a little room for doubt but look at the clues and evidence. While we are at it take a look at the possibilities for a 2009 rapture.

Jesus Christ "might" still have to fulfill Pentecost. I believe the Bible is showing us a model that it will have to be in connection with the Holy Spirit being taken out of the way which is the rapture of the Church.

I still believe that nobody knows when the true Pentecost takes place. I have another article in connection with this article called, "Twenty little known facts about Pentecost." I explain why it is difficult to pinpoint an exact day for Pentecost. I don't even mention the 24 time zones around the world. If Jesus Christ were to come tonight would you go up in the rapture? I believe we are very close to our blessed hope!

Bob D.

Monday, May 11, 2009

TWENTY LITTLE KNOWN FACTS ABOUT PENTECOST

Bob D (5 May 2009)
"Twenty little known facts about Pentecost"


Twenty little known facts about Pentecost

My purpose for writing this summary as I reviewed many different articles and books regarding the subject of Pentecost is to show readers that the rapture of the Church could happen right around this time frame without setting a date. I hope that I can mention facts that have not been dealt with regarding this particular feast day and our possible departure to heaven. Perhaps I can take a principle that has already been discussed and go one step deeper and shed some new light on this subject. Before I start, let me just say this is one of the most incredible truths in Scripture that I have ever researched in my life.

(1) I might as well start with the issue that is a little defensive to people that look into this subject." But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no nor the angels of heaven, but my Father only." Matthew 24:36. It is my personal opinion that nobody knows the day or the hour of the rapture. Let me just say how I feel about this issue. I would not look for an exact date. In fact I think we should be ready at any moment for the rapture because there is so much we don't even know. I do believe Jesus comes across with a clear point in Luke chapter 12 that we should be ready at all times for the rapture. Luke 12:35-40. I am writing this article because there is more to the subject of Pentecost than meets the eye. There is something very biblically distinct about this feast/festival day. Did you know that Shavuot (Pentecost) was viewed upon as a floating date? When God constructed this, it was the only festival where the date could not be fixed. This feast day drifted back and forth( Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday).I heard but I am not sure that after 70 a.d Sivan 6 officially became the fixed date for Pentecost (Shavuot). If the feast day was changed after 70 a.d., can we really say Sivan 6 is the correct date?

(2) Some people refer to Pentecost as the feast day for dispensational change.

(1) Innocence (Creation).
(2) Conscience (The Fall).
(3) Human government (The Flood).
(4) Promise (Tower of Babel).
(5) Law (Exodus).
(6) Church age (When the Holy Spirit was given to the Church in Acts chapter 2).
(7) Kingdom age (The rapture of the Church and the following events).

Biblical history attests to the fact that dispensation number 3 (human government) changed on Shavuot which is found in Genesis chapter 8. It seems as if dispensation number 5 changed on Pentecost (Law) which is found in Exodus chapter 19. Dispensation number 6 (age of grace) changed on Pentecost which is found in Acts chapter 2. Although the dispensation of Promise (Towel of Babel) does not give a date, Genesis 11:7 says, "Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." We know the age of grace started with Pentecost. "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." Acts 2:4. Here we see that the dispensation of Promise had one thing in common with the dispensation of Grace.That would be unknown tongues speaking at the same time.I think it is pretty clear that Promise ( Tower of Babel ) also changed on Pentecost. We see a pattern of dispensational changes taking place on Pentecost.It is possible that the first two dispensations (Innocence and Conscience) changed in a 24 hour time frame on Shavuot (Pentecost) but proving this is another thing. I tend to believe that all 6 dispensations in the past changed on Shavuot (Pentecost).The dispensation that we are living in now ends with the rapture of the Church. This age of grace might change in the Pentecost area. History tends to repeat itself.

(3) If the Holy Spirit was given to the Church on Pentecost (Acts chapter 2) then it is possible that the Holy Spirit will be removed on Pentecost (2nd Thes. 2:7). This verse says," For the mystery of inequity doth already work: only He who now letteth will let, until He be taken out of the way."

(4) There is a tradition that some Jewish people stay up all night and petition God for a miracle on Pentecost. They literally look for the sky to open up for a split second but they never know when this will happen.Their belief is, in that moment the Holy Spirit gives them divine power. This ritual has tones of the rapture in what they do on Pentecost. Notice "When" they are doing what they are doing.

(5) There is not an extra Adar month in 2008. This still places Pentecost probably around the beginning of the June area. I phrased that last statement very loose because I don't exactly know when Pentecost is going to occur. Most weddings take place in June.

(6) On Firstfruits notice that the new wheat of the barley harvest was waved before the Lord but there was no leaven in the bread. This represents Jesus Christ rising from the dead in all of His sinless resurrection power.Two loaves of wheat bread with leaven are waved on Pentecost representing the dead in Christ and the living being raptured (1st Thes.4: 16-18) but understand that the baking process killed the leaven (no sin) in the wheat loaves. When Christians are raptured we will be in a sinless state before Jesus Christ. This is another clue that the rapture may happen on or around Pentecost.

(7) Pentecost means 50. Fifty is associated with the Holy Spirit, Jubilee and liberty. Some Jewish scholars won't even attach a meaning to this number. From Firstfruits to Pentecost there are 50 days. This can be found in Leviticus 23:15-17. This Jubilee and liberty sounds like Christians being released at the rapture. What better number in the Bible to describe this joy.

(8) The barley harvest is from Passover to Pentecost. Most end time biblical prophecy experts that understand this type of harvest see this as a type of our dispensation of grace. This particular harvest (barley) ends with Pentecost. The age of grace will end once the rapture of the Church takes place. If this is the case then there is a connection between Pentecost and the rapture of the Church.

(9) Two Rams horns were given to Abraham when God provided this animal after his obedience with Isaac. There is only one heavenly trumpet mentioned in the Old Testament and that was sounded during the law probably with the left horn of the Ram on Shavuot (Pentecost). When the Apostle Paul spoke of the "Last Trump" in 1st Cor. 15:51-52 he may have been referring to the second Ram's horn (the right horn) to call His children home at the rapture. Remember if this is true, the left horn was blown on Shavuot (Pentecost). Will the right horn be blown on the rapture? This is just a thought. I am certainly not dogmatic on this issue. If this is true notice the two Ram's horns and the two different Pentecost time frames might come together. What I am trying to say is, if the left horn was blown on Pentecost then it would stand to reason that the right horn will also be blown on Pentecost. Will this event be the rapture?

(10) Jewish synagogues love the story of Ruth. It is the most popular, especially on Pentecost. Often times there is a strong teaching that the Messiah will arrive on this date. The rapture is pictured in the book of Ruth. When Ruth was on the threshing floor and laid down at the feet of Boaz this represented the rapture. This whole scenario took place on Shavuot (Pentecost).

(11) When Ruth married Boaz one could make a pretty good case that she converted over to Judaism. Once again the dispensation of law started on Shavuot (Pentecost). Grace (Pentecost). Ruth lying at the feet of Boaz (Pentecost). Could it be that law, grace and the rapture/resurrection will come together on Pentecost?

(12) Many Jewish scholars believe that King David was born and died on Pentecost. If this is true God was making a statement. I can not be sure of this but David seemed to be a type of the Church. David was in Ruth's bloodline. If we went from Ruth to David we are in essence starting and ending with Pentecost.

(13) Many Jewish scholars believe that when Israel was the bride of Jehovah, Passover was the courtship of Israel but Shavuot (Pentecost) was the actual marriage. Truths or patterns start from a Jewish origin.This seems to be the way it is with Jesus Christ and His bride from Passover to Pentecost. Passover starts the barley harvest because the first ripe barley is ready on this day but the 50 day count starts with Firstfruits and ends on Pentecost.It is interesting that the Jewish scholars had insight on this subject.

(14) " Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory." Eph. 1:14. Verse 13 says,"The earnest of our salvation" is the Holy Spirit. It seems to me that when we accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Savior the Holy Spirit came into our hearts to reside. It is clear to me that in a manner of speaking the Holy Spirit is our engagement ring. Our wedding is after the rapture of the Church. Weddings seem to take place on Shavuot (Pentecost).

(15) Flavius Josephus once said that a few years before 70 a.d. Priests were following procedure for the temple and they heard a quaking, a noise and a multitude. This unknown said, "Let us remove hense." This happened on Pentecost. "Let us remove hense" sounds like the rapture.

(16) Why is there so much talk about Pentecost this year in 2009? The Pentecost area seems to be the most passionate time for end time prophecy web sites.

(17) There are 7 feast days and Pentecost is the forth. Jesus Christ is always represented by the 4th candlestick. The middle gives light and understanding to the first 3 and the last 3. At the rapture of the Church we will have understanding. It is a time when we will see the Light of the world who is Jesus Christ face to face.

(18) There are 3 Jewish festivals but Pentecost is right in the middle. This speaks of division. People may not want to hear this but the rapture is division. The saved in Jesus Christ will go up and the unsaved will be left behind. In both cases Pentecost is right in the middle (the feasts and the festivals).

(19) Passover is the beginning of the barley harvest but Firstfruits is a type of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Pentecost is the end of the barley harvest ( a type of resurrection and rapture of the New Testament Believers). Can we take this point to a higher level?" But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits: afterward they that are Christ's at His coming." 1st Cor.15 :23. The word "order" intrigues me. Some of the interpretations are interesting. One of the most popular is the Christians that did more for Jesus Christ will be first and the Christians that did less will not be as high when we go up in the rapture. What if the Apostle Paul knew not only the fulfillments of the feast days but also the "Order" in how this barley harvest was going to be fulfilled? What is after Firstfruits? Pentecost! The Apostle Paul knew that the new wheat being waved on Firstfruits represented the resurrection of Jesus Christ. "And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many." Matthew 27:52-53. Do you see what I am trying to observe? The Apostle Paul seemed to know that Firstfruits was already fulfilled in the first part of the barley harvest.Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the third day (Firstfruits) and fulfilled Matthew 27:52-53 by becoming the firstfruits of them that slept. The reason why I say that the Apostle Paul knew this knowledge was because he said he understood what happened."But now is Christ risen from the dead,and became the Firstfruits of them that slept." 1st Cor.15:20.Of course I just quoted the verses in Matthew, but if you have to read this small portion of Scripture again I would strongly advise this because you will see how the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Firstfruits fulfilled the FIRST part of the resurrection in the barley harvest. When Paul used the word "Order" he may have been referring to the feast day after Firstfruits which is Pentecost. Remember the Apostle Paul was born and raised in knowing and living the feast days all the way through to the end. He was required to excel in this area and have a very strong understanding of every little detail regarding Jewish feast and festival days. I think this is a fair question. Was the Apostle Paul speaking of a Pentecost rapture? It is just a question. I am not attempting to answer the question but I think that this is something we should think about.For more understanding on what I am trying to say read point number 6 and compare it to point number 19. Am I just seeing things or is that what the Apostle Paul was trying to portray?

(20) The one overwhelming tone of Pentecost seems to be a symbol of marriage or a joining together of two into one. This describes the rapture in a perfect way.

There are obviously more points than these 20. When is the true Pentecost? The Jewish calendar may not be as accurate as many people feel it is with the present dates that now exist. I think we are on pretty safe ground to say that Pentecost is sometime at the end of May or the beginning of June. I believe the beginning event is the rapture.Is our blessed hope (rapture) going to happen around Pentecost? Only time will tell.



Bob D.

Friday, May 08, 2009

REBELS WITHOUT A CAUSE

Rebels without a Cause



“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.” Psalm 2:1-5. What has changed since this Psalm was penned? The Heathen continually rage and rebel against the one and only true God.



This is a very important Psalm and quite relevant for our current generation. People have no reason to rage against God yet we see this interesting concept currently embracing the entire world in one form or another. This rage is pointedly focused on the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We who have placed our faith and trust in Jesus Christ know there is no other God. How often do we hear of the heathen raging against the god of Islam? Who rages against the Buddhists god, or the Hindus god, or the god of the New Age folks? Only the one true God, the God of the Holy Bible, God Almighty draws the rage of the heathen.



What possible benefit can be derived from raging against God? It’s sheer vanity this rage against God. It’s useless, it won’t achieve a thing. Furthermore the heathen it seems must always become a horde to stand against God. Apparently they assume that if they become a big enough mob they can withstand God’s Holy judgment. They can put God away by the sheer size and force behind them. How can people be so foolish as to believe such a thing?



The heathen kings and rulers stand in opposition to the Lord and His Anointed. In other words they’re raging against God the Father and God the Son. We know that there is a huge movement afoot to eliminate Christianity from the public sphere and seemingly from the whole world. They may soon get their wish, but it won’t be through their vile raging. The elimination of Christ’s Church from planet earth is on the horizon although the heathen are clueless to God’s plan for His Church (the Rapture). It’s God’s power that will prevail. This vain raging against the Lord by those who are perishing is beyond insanity.



Anyone who thinks they will be better off without God is living their life as a fool. If God were to walk away from mankind, mankind would cease to exist, instantaneously. How foolish can men be? The heathen feel they are under some sort of bondage because they know God exists, and they believe His laws to be a burdensome stone, too many restrictions, the heathen don’t like it. Yet without God and His laws and precepts they wouldn’t be able to stand the bondage that would be placed on them by their fellow man. For further confirmation of this just keep watching what’s happening to the US as Obama and company converts this country into a socialistic, possibly even, a communistic state. The burden will be too great for the average American to bear.



“To a graceless neck the yoke of Christ is intolerable, but to the saved sinner it is easy and light . . . We may judge ourselves by this, do we love that yoke, or do we wish to cast it from us?” Charles Spurgeon



“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh...” Psalm 2:4a. The heathen plot against God and what is God’s reaction to this foolish opposition? He laughs from His throne in Heaven. He sits on His throne in perfect peace. I can just hear God’s reaction to all this foolishness now, “You have chosen unwisely, Oh foolish man, who rages against his Creator?”



“God does not tremble. He does not hide behind a vast celestial rampart, counting the enemy and calculating whether or not he has sufficient force to counter this new challenge to his kingdom. He does not even rise from where he is sitting. He simply 'laughs' at these great imbeciles.”

James Montgomery Boice



What do the heathen think God does as they hurl their rage against Him? Do they suppose He trembles at their railings? Do they suppose they will foil God’s plan for mankind? How absurd, how completely preposterous for man to rage or even attempt to stand against the one true God. God, knowing the fate of these rebellious heathen, takes no pleasure as He watches them rage against Him to their ultimate demise.



The Atheist’s are currently grouping together around the world in an attempt to force God out of the minds of the youth in all of academia. If God were actually a falsehood in their minds, if they hate God so much that they rage against Him, then the question must be asked, “Why stage such a rebellion against something that doesn’t exist?” It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the Atheist’s mind set is flawed. So they rage on.



“...the Lord shall have them in derision.” Psalm 2:4b. God’s opponents will be frustrated and trodden down. He will mock, ridicule, and laugh to scorn the heathen who continually rage and rebel against Him. What can the heathen possibly expect to accomplish through all this foolish raging? How can anyone believe they can foil God’s plans?



“He speaks to them in His wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure” Psalm 2:5. God has every right to distress the heathen and to show them His great displeasure. But God will always allow man ample opportunity to change his mind and repent. God is full of grace and He is longsuffering and is not willing that any should perish. But many will perish because of their hardened hearts. The heathen, in their opposition against God, are actually growing more and more distant from Him through all their raging. We mustn’t think for a moment that God, through His wrath, won’t ultimately act on their stubbiness. He’ll pull no punches at the end. Oh how the Heathen will regret the choice they’ve made for their eternal existence.



“Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.” Psalm 2:6. God has set (established) a King for all people. He wants these foolish, raging kings and rulers of nations to completely understand that He has established His King once and for all. He wants these kings and rulers to know that His King is far greater than they. Kings and rulers of nations oppose the one true God but have no problem at all accepting all the false gods created out of man’s minuscule brains.



“I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.” Psalm 2:7-9. Here we see the Son of God (Jesus the Christ) being recognized by God the Father as His anointed. God has begotten, this day, His Son. Jesus was not created, but begotten. And what does God the Father give His only begotten Son? His inheritance. The heathen and all nations are committed to the Son as an inheritance and the Lord Jesus Christ will rule over and be judge over all people of all nations. “...The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 11:15.



It is simply astonishing to me that so many people can have such a hardened heart, that they are so thoroughly banded together with a most stubborn rage against their creator, that they will end their lives actually hating God. They not only refuse to see the truth but take great pleasure denying it. The heathen are continually kicking against the goad. What kind of a sick created being would continually work at molding minds in direct opposition to God Almighty? There’s one who fell from grace before the creation of this world and is currently doing everything he can to convince a stubborn and stiff necked people they can all become as gods. Satan uses the same lie today to lead people astray as he did in the Garden of Eden to deceive Eve. Many still fall for it.



Every nation on the face of this planet has their fair share of heathens who continually rage and rebel against God. Why? What is there to gain from such rebellious actions? Our gain is in Christ, our hope is in Christ, and our very lives are upheld by Jesus Christ. Nations rage against God’s anointed and for the most part they never come to a realization that Jesus is for all intents and purposes their blanket of security. How utterly foolish can people be? Jesus will break them apart and destroy their lives like smashing clay pots, simply by His appearing. The first time Jesus came into this world He came as a suffering servant, the next time He sets foot on planet earth He will come as a conquering hero. His Second coming will not be pretty but it will be awesome.



What does God want from these heathen? Simply put, He wants a relationship with them, each of them, individually. He wants them to acknowledge Him for who He is. There is a horrible consequence in rebelling against God. God does not wish for anyone to experience the awful end that awaits the foolish Christ rejecting world of raging heathens. As the heathen rage and rebel, God does everything He can to convince them of the futility of their actions; sooner or later there will be finality to those actions. The finality is they’ve either repented of their rebellion or they’ve completely given themselves over to the enemy and they are perishing.



Forgiveness is available from God to everyone who asks; there is no hesitation or shortage of grace on His part as hearts are softened and people repent of their evil ways. Our part is to come to Jesus with humility and loving submission, and to receive the forgiveness He offers by faith. Those who place their trust in God’s Son, Jesus the Christ, for their salvation are blessed for all eternity; those who continue to the end in their rebellious rage are without excuse. Where do you stand?



God bless you all,



Ron Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

All scripture use is from the KJV

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

LIVING IN BETH-EL

Living in Beth-el.

In Genesis 12:1 God commanded Abram to leave Haran which was a stop in his journey to Canaan. This was a defining point In Abram's life.He was becoming more submissive to God. In like manner when we Christians become more surrendered with our call from God, it is inevitable we will become more obedient toward God. The two are synonymous with one another. The Bible says, "And hereby we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments." 1st John 2:3.

The call from God was vertical. That is, it came right down from heaven to Abram. The command was horizontal to leave Haran (he had to physically move from one place to another).God gave Abram 6 promises.

The 6 promises were given to Abram when he was still in Haran. Remember this place (Haran) represented incomplete obedience.Of course this place was not God's complete will for Abram's life.

God gave Abram the seventh promise when He reached Canaan in full obedience to finish what He had in mind for Abram and his descendants. It is of great comfort to me to know that my Savior Jesus Christ is perfect, precise in all His dealings with the universe and me. I believe the seventh promise represents or symbolizes our rapture into heaven. Canaan is a type of Paradise.

Genesis 12:1-3 is really written in the form of a cross. It starts out with the command of God (the vertical part of the cross) then the horizontal call and promises are given to Abram (the horizontal part of the cross).

" For such a high priest became us,who is harmless,undefiled,separate from sinners,and made higher than the heavens." Hebrews 7:26.Jesus Christ really does understand what we go through and it is comforting to know that according to the Bible we are not even suppose to carry our burdens. Our Savior took our place.

If we are too spiritual with not enough humanity in our ministry then the vertical part of the cross is represented but not the horizontal. If we have too much humanity and no devotion to God then only the horizontal part of the cross is represented.If we incorporate both into our lives then both the vertical and horizontal portions of the cross will be seen in our life.

Too much of one without the other will never work.The evidence is to be seen on the cross. Abram received a vertical command from God and then the focus was on the horizontal (His call and the promises that were given to Him).

This is a pivotal point to keep in mind. Abram departed in verse 4. He was drawn to obey God by faith.

Abram was drawn to pursue the will of God for his life. The Bible says in 1 John 4:10, "Herein is love,not that we loved God,but that He loved us,and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." Abram saw this love and was very convicted to go to Canaan.There was no hesitation.

Unless we see the love of God through His Son Jesus Christ we will not be led to do anything for God.The reason why he was drawn in his spirit is because the love of God was so compelling at this point. He would not have even dreamed of disobeying God.This had more to do with God working in Abram's life than him trying to accomplish this obedience on his own. In the book of Ephesians the Apostle Paul emphasizes what God did for us in the first three chapters, then he wrote about our responsibility to God.

Verse 5 speaks of their arrival in Canaan.Of course they only finally arrived in the promised land because of the grace of God. In like manner we will be raptured into heaven before His wrath because of this reason.

In verses 6 and 7 the Bible says Abram arrived in a place called Sichem. It is not until verse 7 that the Lord appeared to Abram and gave him the seventh promise. "Unto thy seed will I give this land." God did not give the 7th promise to Abram until he finally arrived in Canaan or the Promised Land.

No matter where we are spiritually, it should at the very least comfort us a little to know that God is in perfect control. Christians are about to go home with Jesus Christ to Paradise in the rapture.

As God was working in Abram's life, he felt compelled to make the initiative to worship his Savior.The evidence is in verse 8." And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Beth-el, and pitched his tent,having Beth-el on the west,and Hai on the east: and there he built an alter unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord."

Beth-el is a place noted in the Old Testament where the people of God met the Lord. This is the place where Jacob first became conscience of God. Jesus Christ even challenged him to go back because He desires us to be drawn to Him.

Our Savior challenged the church of Ephesus to do the same. The church of Ephesus at one point obviously had their personal Beth-el.They met with God regularly and felt His love; however,they lost it because the Bible says, "Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee,because thou hast left thy first love." Revelation 2:4.

The reason why they left their first love can be found in the pattern and steps of the life of Abram. God sometimes allows heavy trials in our lives. In simple terms it is to refine our faith but it goes much deeper than sifting our spirit. When the church of Ephesus went through these same types of hardships, they forget about their personal Beth-el.They lost their first love.

In verse 8 Abram was driven to draw close to God; however,he had every reason to pursue this high calling at that point in his life. What happens when our life goes sour? I don't know where you are in life but God does desire us to go to Beth-el because that is where He will renew our spirit.

This is our challenge. The subject of Beth-el separates the two themes in Genesis Chapter 12. The first half of this chapter (God was at work in Abram and he stepped out in faith). The second half of the chapter (trouble).

Think about what this means for our lives. We can go forward in good times to Beth-el or we can go back in bad times to Beth-el. I am thoroughly convinced the choice is up to us. I believe we are just about to be raptured into heaven to meet Jesus Christ.

We should all have our personal beth-el on earth because this is where we meet Jesus Christ in an intimate way. Our blessed hope or rapture into heaven will be the beginning of a perfect relationship with Jesus Christ in His love for all eternity.

If any unbelievers are reading this article, it is my yearning that you will experience the grace of God here on earth and for all eternity. Make that all important decision to accept Jesus Christ into your heart today and yield to His love everyday. Allow Him to work through you by reading the Bible and praying. When we do this our heart becomes open and God is able to manifest His peace and joy in our spirit. This is our Beth-el before God.


Bob D.