Wednesday, April 30, 2014

But The Beginning - Matthew 24:6-8

Matthew 24:6-8 ESV 
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.

We live in a time when wars and rumors of wars are all around us. The red horse in Revelation was unleashed some time ago, making peace impossible. The earth is shaking with the unending violence of the the human heart without God. 

Jesus says this is not the end, but the beginning that leads to the end. We live in the last days. 

He does not leave us alone in this fury, for He is always with us. The sound and fury will pass and The Lord will return to establish justice and righteousness. Peace will then reign. 

Isaiah 26:20-21
Come, my people, enter your chambers,
and shut your doors behind you;
hide yourselves for a little while
until the fury has passed by.
 For behold, the Lord is coming out from his place
to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity,
and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it,
and will no more cover its slain.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Leads You Astray - Matthew 24:4-5

Matthew 24:4-5 ESV 
And Jesus answered them, “ See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘ I am the Christ, ’ and they will lead many astray.

The first response to the question of the disciples warns of deception. Back in the Garden of Eden it was deception by which Satan brought sin into the world. He has not changed his ways from then on. It is a proven strategy that draws men to their death. The goal is to lead us anywhere and anyway other than the way of God. 

Many will come and many will be led astray, for the road to destruction is wide. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

When Will These Things Be - Matthew 24:3

Matthew 24:3 ESV 
 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “ Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

From the Mount of Olives Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. From the Mount of Olives Jesus left the earth for His triumphal ascension into heaven. He will descend on that same Mount when He comes again. 

His disciples ask about His second coming and the end of the age. In Hebrews 9:28 we are told Christ appeared at the end of the ages to conquer sin and death. It would seem the end of the age has begun from God's viewpoint. Christ came and continues to come as the body of Christ grows. When the fullness of that body is accomplished, He will return to join with the transformed body of Christ, raised just as His first body rose from the tomb long ago. It could be any time now. 

Hebrews 9:26-28
for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Thrown Down - Matthew 24:1-2

Matthew 24:1-2 ESV 
 Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

Just as God had already departed from the temple, Jesus leaves as well. When his disciples drew His attention to the temple buildings, His answer reflected God's view and judgement on His old dwelling place. The old temple would be destroyed, making way for a new temple which would be the body of Christ. The old stones are thrown down and new stones are raised to replace the old temple. It is built from the living stones of the saved into the new dwelling place of God. 

He turns these stones into the bread of life, for He is the cornerstone and we will be like Him. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

With Fruit - Isaiah 27:6

Isaiah 27:6 ESV 
In days to come Jacob shall take root,
Israel shall blossom and put forth shoots
and fill the whole world with fruit.

In Revelation we see this in the sealing of the twelve tribes of Israel. Then a multitude appears in heaven without number. This is the fruit God sought from the beginning from the house of Israel. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Power Of The Horses - Revelation 9:18-19

Revelation 9:18-19 ESV 
By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulfur coming out of their mouths. For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails, for their tails are like serpents with heads, and by means of them they wound.

The image of these strange horses might be more understood in light of the passage from Isaiah shown below. The head of the horses may symbolize the leaders in that day who breathe the fire and smoke of Satan that reeks of sulfur, the scent of his kingdom.  

The serpents in the tail may symbolize the false prophets which continue speaking the lies of the great serpent Satan. 

Death is the business and work of these soldiers of rebellion. 

Isaiah 9:14-16
So the Lord cut off from Israel head and tail,
palm branch and reed in one day—
 the elder and honored man is the head,
and the prophet who teaches lies is the tail;
 for those who guide this people have been leading them astray,
and those who are guided by them are swallowed up.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Their Bodies Shall Rise - Isaiah 26:19

Isaiah 26:19 ESV 
Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise.
You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy!
For your dew is a dew of light,
and the earth will give birth to the dead.

Isaiah is speaking directly to Israel, but indirectly to the body of Christ. Though our bodies lie in the earth, they will rise to join our spirits already awakened from the dead. 

The rain from heaven, the very light of the word, has given birth to the dead.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Veil - Isaiah 25:7

Isaiah 25:7 ESV 
And he will swallow up on this mountain
the covering that is cast over all peoples,
 the veil that is spread over all nations.

The veil separates mankind from the Holy of Holies, the presence of God. It is torn to admit believers of His word, but remains whole for the rest who reject the one way to access God. This includes Israel to this day. 

There is a day coming when at last they will see, hear, and understand. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Swallow Up Death Forever - Isaiah 25:8

Isaiah 25:8 ESV 
He will swallow up death forever;
and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
 for the Lord has spoken.

Christ swallows the cursed cup of our sins in order to conquer death forever. This is the cup He prayed that might be taken from Him before He was seized by the authorities. 

He emptied that bitter cup and refilled it with the wine of the new covenant. 

No more tears will fall
There's no need at all
When the trials that face us come to an end 

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Consuming Fire - Deuteronomy 4:24

Deuteronomy 4:24 ESV 
For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

Everyone goes through the fire of life. We are either refined or destroyed in this process. This is the furnace of our testing. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

He Has Risen - Matthew 28:5-6

Matthew 28:5-6 ESV 
But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.

Christ rose from the dead. This is the gospel. The question is whether He has risen in your life. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Turn And Be Healed - Isaiah 6:9-10

Isaiah 6:9-10 ESV 
And he said, “Go, and say to this people:
 “‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
keep on seeing, but do not perceive. ’
 Make the heart of this people dull,
and their ears heavy,
and blind their eyes;
 lest they see with their eyes,
and hear with their ears,
and understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.”

Isaiah is given the word to say to this rebellious house. God describes the heart of those who continue to reject Him. He speaks to them knowing Israel will turn a deaf ear to the grace and mercy of God. 

They are given over to the inclination of their heart. God will eventually abandon a heart that willfully and continually rejects Him. Such a heart will harden in the deviant and illformed shape it has chosen.

One sealed in the Spirit is not abandoned to that dark end, but God continues to mold and shape our earth. We don the robes of the righteousness of Christ when we believe, but we grow into the mind of Jesus as we walk in His light. Our hearts continue to soften in the presence of love. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Seraphim - Isaiah 6:1-2

Isaiah 6:1-2 ESV 
 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings:with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.

The Hebrew word for seraphim is the same word for the fiery serpents that attacked the Israelites in the desert wilderness in Numbers 24:6. Both creatures are associated with the fire of The Lord.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Like Living Stones - 1Peter 2:4-5

1 Peter 2:4-5 ESV 
As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Like Christ, we become living stones in the holy temple of God, a spiritual house where we worship Him in spirit. 

This is the house of prayer, where those worship God in the way He seeks. It is the spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God, and what the temple sacrifices foreshadowed. 

In Revelation a white stone is promised to the overcomer. This alluding to the righteous state of the believer dressed in white with good deeds and united by the Spirit into the body of Christ. Here is where The Lord dwells. 

Matthew 3:9
And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Endures To The End - Mat 24:11-14

Matthew 24:11-14 ESV 
And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

The parable of the seeds sown in different soils tells us that some will receive the word, but will wither away with the trouble and cares of this world. 

In Revelation, Jesus warns a church whose love has grown cold to return to that love or face rejection. (Rev 2:5)

This passage speaks of the need of one to endure to the end. Salvation seems to be an ongoing process in which we have a part and responsibility. We are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling(Phil 2:12-13) and run the race until the end(2Tim 4:7-8). 

Our love is a thing we do with the help of God. We love God through our obedience of His commands. We are to strive to this end and repent of our failures. He is faithful to finish the good work He has begun. We are to be faithful to let Him have His way. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Finding God - Psalms 19:1-4

Psalms 19:1-4
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
 The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
 Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
 There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
 Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,

God can be found in the smallest elements of creation, but is more visible as we begin to contemplate creation on a larger scale. A coherency of the universe begins to coalesce as we begin to free ourselves of the attachment to the material things available to our senses which hint of that which lies beyond our senses. 

God is beyond our senses and comprehension, yet it is true we can sense His presence. We are created in His image, and it is this part of us that longs for and seeks the presence of God. Not recognizing or denying the reason for this restlessness and awareness of something missing can cause to search elsewhere and find temporary relief in something which distracts and deceives us from the only  true and complete satisfaction. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Test The Spirits - 1John 4:1-4

1 John 4:1-4 NASB 
 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

Everyone has a spirit, but not everyone has The Spirit. A false prophet does not and cannot represent True God. 

Not confessing Jesus Christ is the same as not confessing God, for they are one. The spirit of the antichrist opposes God and is an enemy of God. God says this in His word. This is the spirit of the world. 

We in the body of Christ are assured of our place by the Spirit within that body. Because He has overcome the world, we have overcome the world. We are sealed in His kingdom. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Darkness Of Hate - 1John 2:8-11

1 John 2:8-11 ESV 
At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Hate is a sign of darkness. It is the opposite of love and life. It is the mark of one that does not know God. Where you see hate, there you see the fruit of Satan and is a mark of the beast. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Confidence Before God - 1John 3:21-24

1 John 3:21-24 ESV 
Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.
 This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

If God is greater than our heart, and He is, and we walk with Him, we can be confident that we are in His presence. We know this because we have His Spirit. The kingdom of God is present, for He abides with us. 

We respond to love by loving. This is the mark of God. This is the joy of our salvation. 

Assure Our Heart - 1John 3:19-20

1 John 3:19-20 ESV 
We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things.

Regardless of what we've done, His grace has got us covered. He knows, yet loves us still. 

We can rest in the assurance of His love, for He is faithful. This is the freedom from fear that is given in our salvation.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Fulfilling Of The Law - Romans 13:8-10

Romans 13:8-10 ESV 
 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

As followers of Christ we have a debt to Him that we can never repay because He gave Himself for us. Out of love He gives us love without end. As we receive His love that divine love begins to fill the empty and dry places within our hearts. The more we receive, the more it comes to manifest in our lives. Loving each other as Christ loves us is the natural outcome of that divine love. It fills our cup to overflowing. 

The intent of the law was to lead us to love. Jesus fulfilled the law. The new law of liberty is our living a life of love to God and man. It is in loving we become most like Jesus and therefore like God. In doing so we fulfill the law and God's intent for our lives. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

By The Spirit - Romans 8:13

Romans 8:13 ESV 
For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Death is intimately part of life. Everyone who lives will die. The natural body will age until it no longer functions. That doesn't have to be the end though. We can choose to continue life that never ends. 

The fountain of youth is real, though its waters do not flow from any source on earth. The fountain of eternal life flows with the living waters that originates from God. Drinking that water continues to clean and refresh us as we live in the presence of God. It is by the Spirit this is possible and by the Spirit we live. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Way - Psalms 85:10-13

Psalms 85:10-13 ESV 
Steadfast love and faithfulness meet;
 righteousness and peace kiss each other.
 Faithfulness springs up from the ground,
and righteousness looks down from the sky.
 Yes, the Lord will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
 Righteousness will go before him
and make his footsteps a way.

The love and faithfulness of God produces the same fruit from the earth. The seed of the Word opens and grows in the good soil with the power of righteousness from above. Of the increase there will be no end. 

He goes before us to make a way when there was not a way. Blessed are the feet of the One who walks before us, and blessed are those who follow.