Saturday, August 31, 2013

666 - Revelation 13:18

Revelation 13:18 NIV 
This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.

In John's vision let us look at the sixth part of each three of the seven series that portray history. The son of disobedience will appear in these last days and fall before the sword of The Lord, for He has given us His word. 

There is much debate on what this number means. It could be informative in several ways, but in the end we've got his number and he is destined to fail. 

Sixth Seal
The earth is shaken and every mountain was removed from its place.
Heaven recedes and the islands flee. 
Darkness prevails and blood flows. 
The mighty of the earth seek refuge in the earth to shield them from the wrath of God. 

Sixth trumpet
The wind at the river Euphrates is released. 
An army is loosed upon the world. They speak words of darkness and have the sting of death. It is Satan's army. They gather for the last battle. 

Sixth Bowl
Satan is released for a little while. The beast and false prophet join him for the last battle against God.   We have a hint of how this will go.  It is the "the great day of God Almighty".  From the mouth of all three of these creatures come a flood that will wash away all those not in the ark of The Lord. 

Revelation 6:12-17
I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.
 Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”

Revelation 9:13-21
The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the four horns of the golden altar that is before God. It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. The number of the mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand. I heard their number.
 The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this:Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury.
 The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.

Revelation 16:12-16
The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. Then I saw three impure spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are demonic spirits that perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.
 “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.”
 Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.

Friday, August 30, 2013

His Wealth - Luke15:11-12

Luke 15:11-12 NASB 
The Prodigal Son
 And He said, “A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me. ’ So he divided his wealth between them.

The word translated here as "wealth" comes from the Greek  word: βίος * bios * bee'-os * A primary word; life, that is, (literally) the present state of existence; by implication the means of livelihood: - good, life, living

The share of our Father's wealth that falls to us is our flesh. He longs for man to return to Him to claim his inheritance as a son of God. He lets us go, but will run to meet us when we return. 

We come to our senses when we give ear to the calling of the Father. He comes near when we turn to Him. 

We will be clothed in the finest robe of light and receive His name as ours. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Knowledge - 1Corinthians 8:1-3

1 Corinthians 8:1-3 ESV 
 Now concerning food offered to idols:we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.

The idea of knowledge can be confusing. The same word is used for things of different meaning.  One type of knowledge is knowing facts, or perceived facts.  This is the knowledge that can lead us away from God if we do not have another type of knowledge, and that of knowing God.

The serpent tempted Eve with the prospect of knowledge independent of God. That idea has been and is the fall of man.  Knowledge without the light of God is to remain in the darkness.  It is walking in the valley of the shadow of death. 

Knowing God does not mean knowing about Him. It is a personal intimate relationship with Him.  It is entering the light of His presence, of joining with that light and becoming children of the light. 

This is made possible when the Holy Spirit lifts and seals us in the light. Nothing could be more knowing than when our spirit joins with His. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I Will Restore - Jeremiah 49:36-39

Jeremiah 49:36-39 ESV 
And I will bring upon Elam the four winds from the four quarters of heaven. And I will scatter them to all those winds, and there shall be no nation to which those driven out of Elam shall not come. I will terrify Elam before their enemies and before those who seek their life. I will bring disaster upon them, my fierce anger, declares the Lord. I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them, and I will set my throne in Elam and destroy their king and officials, declares the Lord.
 “But in the latter days I will restore the fortunes of Elam, declares the Lord.”

John uses this same imagery in Revelation. Four angels hold back the wind of destruction on earth until they are unleashed in the last days.  The Lord disciplines in His anger and wrath, but discipline is given to those He loves. 

The nations will be consumed, but they shall be restored.  No longer will they be deceived by Satan, but shall worship The Lord and stream to the New Jerusalem to do so. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Foolish In The World - 1Corinthians 1:26-31

1 Corinthians 1:26-31 ESV 
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

There was not much to boast of in those that heard God call out. Nothing that stood out according to the world, but there was a heart that caught the attention of The Lord. There was an ear that could hear the word of God that was not dulled by the comforts and pride of those rich and blinded by the gifts of the world. 

This is what God chose because that is the open door of one who has room for God, and not just for himself. 

Because we are in Jesus Christ, we can boast in The Lord.

Monday, August 26, 2013

What The Spirit Says - Revelation 2:7

Revelation 2:7 ESV 
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. ’

From the letter of Ephesus, we see Jesus beginning the letter and the Spirit having the last word. The other letters in Revelation have the same seamless pattern.  Jesus speaks to a particular church and the Spirit speaks to the churches. The Spirit might be in view when Jesus refers to the angels of the churches. It is the Spirit that guides us into all truth and reveals the word of God. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Prepared Beforehand - Ephesians 2:10

Ephesians 2:10 ESV 
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

God predestined the grace of the path He would provide that would lead to salvation.  He predestined the life of Christ made available to us. This is the breath God breathes into the clay of man. This is the seed planted in the garden of our earth and will result in a harvest to the glory of God. 

The end was seen from the beginning.  

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Question - 1Kings 19:11-13

1 Kings 19:11-13 ESV 
And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

The Lord did not appear in mighty displays of nature but in a low whisper. It is the same with us. The Lord passes by and we experience Him in the Spirit. 

He calls to us in our darkness and when we come to entrance of that cave we are exposed to the light of God's presence.  It is there we can hear a word from God.  We can hear His voice in our darkness, but we must turn to Him to begin to hear what He is saying.  It usually begins with a question.  How we answer is up to us. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

It Is Written - 1Corinthians 1:18-19

1 Corinthians 1:18-19
 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,
 “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

A word can make a difference, especially when it comes from The Lord. It can be taken differently, even when its meaning is the same. 

Denying what took place on the cross is to enter the camp of the perishing. The wisdom of man is not the wisdom of God. The wisdom and power of God can be found in His word, for it is written. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sown In The Heart - Matthew 13:18-19

Matthew 13:18-19
 “ Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.

There is but one path. The seed of that word has been sown.  It is sown along that road we call life. It is sown in the heart of man, a quiet, but persistent, voice which can be overpowered by the noise of the world. 

Within this word is true life. He who spoke the word can help with its understanding. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

As Yesterday - Psalms 90:4

Psalms 90:4 ESV 
For a thousand years in your sight
are but as yesterday when it is past,
or as a watch in the night.

The Hebrew word for watch seems to imply more than a simple passage of time.  It may speak of an observation and adherence to the commandments of The Lord.  Blessed are those who wait for His return. 

It seems we are waiting a long time in the night, in the valley of the shadow of death, for the return of The Lord.  It seems long right now, but this will be forgotten once the morning star rises to bring an end to the night. Our trials will seem as yesterday when we view eternity stretched out before us. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Its Stump - Isaiah 6:13

Isaiah 6:13 NASB 
“Yet there will be a tenth portion in it,
And it will again be subject to burning,
Like a terebinth or an oak
Whose stump remains when it is felled.
The holy seed is its stump.”

John the Baptist would tell the leaders that the axe was already at the tree with Jesus about to appear. He was the holy seed of Israel. He was the stump that remained and the stone of stumbling that would become the cornerstone of the new temple. 

That stump will blossom again and the grafted branches of the Gentiles will grow amidst those that originally adorned the tree. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

I Will Sow - Jeremiah 31:27

Jeremiah 31:27 ESV  
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and the seed of beast.

Israel will be a seed for prosperity and the eternal plan of God.  They will again serve as priests and servants of the most high. The Garden is restored and the earth at last will be fruitful and multiply as God intended. 

The seed will not fall in a stoney place, but the word will find the soil of the heart and there take root.

Jeremiah 9:25-26
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will punish all those who are circumcised merely in the flesh— Egypt, Judah, Edom, the sons of Ammon, Moab, and all who dwell in the desert who cut the corners of their hair, for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in heart.”

Ezekiel 36:11
And I will multiply on you man and beast, and they shall multiply and be fruitful. And I will cause you to be inhabited as in your former times, and will do more good to you than ever before. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

Hosea 2:23
and I will sow her for myself in the land.
And I will have mercy on No Mercy,
and I will say to Not My People, ‘You are my people’;
and he shall say, ‘You are my God. ’”

Psalms 22:30-31
Posterity shall serve him;
it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;
 they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn,
that he has done it.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

They Stood At A Distance Exodus 20:18

Exodus 20:18 NASB
All the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance.

They could not stand before The Lord. God had yet to allow the fellowship to come, for the people were not ready.  They had not been cleansed by the word of The Lord. 

They stood at a distance and were glad of it. The fire that had descended on that mountain was bright and hot and loud and fearsome. 

 Later, the fire of the Holy Spirit would descend on the believers at the Day of Pentecost.  The distance would grow smaller as The Lord drew near.  We can now stand in His presence. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

On Both Levels

To make sense of most things, we have to put it into words, for that is the language of thought. 

There are some things we can't express, though they are as real as anything else. 

The language of the heart is beyond words. 

We experience God on both levels. 

Find Rest - Matthew 11:28-30

Matthew 11:28-30 NASB 
“ Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy- laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Jesus calls to all that suffer, who are weary. Though we all bear the yoke of sin, there are many who have not grown tired of its weight. It has grown comfortable and we don't know any better, or we have grown to like it. 

Only when we begin to grow weary are we able to hear His call.  We begin to see His riches only when we feel our poverty. It is then we become willing to trade the yoke of sin for His rest. 

We learn rest and peace from Him.  It is the yoke of freedom. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Held Fast - 1Kings 11:1-2

1 Kings 11:1-2 NIV 
 King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love.

Even a wise man can succumb to the pleasure of flesh. 

You don't have to be wise to obey God, but it is the wisest thing you can do. 

The wisdom of the world is but a vapor when one considers the wisdom of God. 

Be aware of who or what you are holding on to. 

Serpent's Food - Isaiah 65:25

Isaiah 65:25 NASB 
The wolf and the lamb will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox; and dust will be the serpent’s food. They will do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain,” says the Lord.

Dust may be the unrepentant man, one who does not rest on God's holy mountain. That dust becomes the bread of the serpent. The man who returns to the dust without the grace of Jesus becomes food for destruction. 

One who seeks refuge on God's mountain will not participate in evil or harm. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

With Him - John 11:11-16

John 11:11-16 ESV 
After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

The words of Thomas express a thought relevant to the present, but which hints at the larger objective of the mission of Jesus. In just a few words, Thomas expresses the essence of God's plan. 

He would die for us that we would die with Him, and thus live with Him. 
He would pay the penalty for sin that we could pass from death to life. 
This life He had in mind from the beginning, that we would be with Him. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Jesus Alone - Mark 9:1-8

Mark 9:1-8 NASB 
 And Jesus was saying to them, “ Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.”
 Six days later, Jesus *took with Him Peter and James and John, and *brought them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His garments became radiant and exceedingly white, as no launderer on earth can whiten them. Elijah appeared to them along with Moses; and they were talking with Jesus. Peter *said to Jesus, “ Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” For he did not know what to answer; for they became terrified. Then a cloud formed, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “ This is My beloved Son, listen to Him!” All at once they looked around and saw no one with them anymore, except Jesus alone.

Peter, John, and James did get to see the kingdom of heaven before their very eyes as they witnessed the transfiguration of The Lord. 

The reference to six days may point us back to the sixth day of creation when man was created. A new man is in the world. 

Jesus took the form of heavenly attributes that will become our inheritance. For a moment we are given a glimpse of the new creature we have become. We breathe the breath of life that is the the Spirit of God. That life was breathed into the nostrils of mankind when Jesus became one of us. We are being transformed and transfigured as we believe. We no longer walk solely on the earth, but our feet carry us in the kingdom of heaven. 

Elijah and Moses appear before Jesus in the sky while the disciples give witness  from the earth. God speaks to announce His Son. 

We see a transition of sorts between the Old Testament prophets and New Testament apostles as the Father confirms the Son and commands we listen. We may be reminded He is the word of God. 

The prophets disappear, and Jesus remains. Their work is done, but the salvation of man continues. Jesus alone is the answer. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Knowledge Of God - Hosea 6:6-7

Hosea 6:6-7 NIV 
For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.
 As at Adam, they have broken the covenant;
they were unfaithful to me there.

Another way to translate the word translated here as acknowledgement is knowledge.  Having knowledge of God implies a relationship which is implied and informed by marriage. It is a knowing that goes beyond knowing. It is more than being able to speak someone's name.  It is the coming together mind, body, and soul, of an ongoing and intimate relationship. 

It is dying to self, dying to Christ. If this is not done, you might face Christ on that last day and hear Him say, "I never knew you".  Doing things in His name does not replace or compensate for a relationship that does not exist. 

Obedience to God reflects the relationship He seeks. The seed of His word and the sealing of the Holy Spirit enable the one who is born from above. Just as the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary, He hovers over the water of our earth, and within us is born a new creature in the image of Christ. Darkness fades as morning star rises in our hearts. 

Glory to God in the Highest...

דעת daath; from 3045; knowledge:--
concern (1), know (3), knowledge (81), 

Hosea 2:20
I will betroth you in faithfulness,
and you will acknowledge the Lord.

Jeremiah 7:22-25
For when I brought your ancestors out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices, but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you. But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward. From the time your ancestors left Egypt until now, day after day, again and again I sent you my servants the prophets.

1 Samuel 15:22-24
But Samuel replied:
“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has rejected you as king.”
 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the Lord ’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them.

Hosea 4:6
my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.
“Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also reject you as my priests;
because you have ignored the law of your God,
I also will ignore your children.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Will Bring Them Back - Jeremiah 32:36-38

Jeremiah 32:36-38 ESV 
 “Now therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning this city of which you say, ‘It is given into the hand of the king of Babylon by sword, by famine, and by pestilence’: Behold, I will gather them from all the countries to which I drove them in my anger and my wrath and in great indignation. I will bring them back to this place, and I will make them dwell in safety. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.

Jeremiah speaks of God's wrath as signified by sword, famine, and pestilence. 

This judgement is directed toward the city of Jerusalem.  It is a prophesy which connects long ago with what is to come. The same imagery is used of three horseman in Revelation. 

As surely as He drove them from the land, He will bring them back. Despite the pursuit of the woman in Genesis by the dragon, when the day of The Lord is accomplished, they will live in the land in peace. The dragon will be no more. No longer will the nations be deceived. 

God will be their God and our God for He is God. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

He Explained Everything - Mark 4:33-34

Mark 4:33-34 NIV 
With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.

We are not always ready for a word, a teaching, or even the truth. We may be holding on to tradition or the common sense of the world, or holding on to something that we find pleasing.  

We have been given the Holy Spirit Who will lead us into all truth of God, but we must follow His lead. It is a journey begun when we call on His name. It is a journey of many steps that leads to the glory of The Lord. 

John 16:12-15
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

1 Corinthians 3:2
I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready,

Friday, August 9, 2013

Until - Matthew 11:11-14

Matthew 11:11-14 ESV 
Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come.

Jesus tells us John has no peer among those born of woman, yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.  That is because anyone who walks in the kingdom is born from above. 

The kingdom of heaven seems to have suffered violence at the hands of the violent prior to appearance of Jesus.  Jesus came and overcame death and destruction.  He freed the captives and led them home.  Until then the strong man's house remained dark and the people were chained by sin. The peace of Christ has begun to reign.

Jesus goes on to give another reason he is the greatest of the prophets.  Prior to John, prophets prophesied of the one to come.  John announces the arrival of the Messiah. 

The coming of Jesus changed everything. 

Romans 3:21-22
 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: