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  1. jeremiah1five

    Kingdom of God

    When I first was born-again and received knowledge that I was a son of God and that I was ALWAYS a son of God I used to believe just as the majority of those in Christendom that the kingdom of God was an actual kingdom with a king, (with a realm or location, with subjects, a royal court, a castle or mansion, etc.), all the fixings of what we all commonly know in this earth as a kingdom. But I was wrong. We were wrong. Christendom was wrong and still is. Matthew 12:28 (KJV) 28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Luke 11:20 (KJV) 20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you. Question: What is Jesus Christ doing? Answer: Jesus Christ is casting out 'devils.' Jesus Christ is, in effect, saying that He is the kingdom of God. A kingdom OF GOD that has come 'unto you.' This 'kingdom' is not the same as the kingdom of heaven. This kingdom (of heaven) does have a king, a realm, a court, subject, etc. Luke 17:20-21 (KJV) 20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. The apostle Paul adds to this truth when he says: Romans 14:17 (KJV) 17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. The kingdom of God is Christ. Christ is within 'you.' Christ is righteousness, peace, and joy... all the deific attributes of Christ Himself. And flesh has inherited Christ as Promised by God to His people Israel, and spiritual Israel. And this is our inheritance as named souls that were contemplated by God in Trinity in His Mind BEFORE He created heaven earth and man. His Elect people were written in a 'book' of life of the lamb slain from [BEFORE] the foundation (creation) of the world (Rev. 13:8). 1 Corinthians 15:50 (KJV) 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. The unsaved cannot inherit the kingdom of God who is Christ: John 14:17 (KJV) 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. The unsaved who are not named in the book of life of the lamb slain... a.k.a., the world, CANNOT RECEIVE Christ. No way, no how. So, there are two groups of people on the planet, always has been: those in Covenant with God, and those not in Covenant with God. Righteousness = The Father Peace = the Son, the Prince of Peace Joy = the Holy Spirit. Go figure.
  2. I was trying to look for a video somebody had taken when they had been on holiday to Israel, I noticed that George has posted some videos from his drones from Israel but sorry , it wasn't George, it was somebody else and I can't find that video anymore. I didn't get a chance to watch it when I first came across it.
  3. KiwiChristian


    GOD HAS NOT CAST AWAY HIS PEOPLE ISRAEL Romans 11:1,2 Many groups in Christendom think that God has permanently cast away Israel, and that Israel has no part in any of God’s plans for the future. Whenever they see a passage on Israel, they read it as applying to the church. They think that the church has inherited all the Old Testament promises to Israel. When Israel became a nation in May 1948, they see no relevance for modern day Israel in the events surrounding the second coming of Christ. However, even a casual study of eschatology (second coming of Christ) will reveal that Israel is closely connected to the events of Christ’s return. Groups denying any future for Israel include Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Roman Catholics, Muslims and Amillennarians (including many Anglicans, Presbyterians, Baptists, Uniting and Congregational churches) as well as Calvinists. These groups regard themselves as the God favoured remnant (Revelation 12:17) taking the place of Israel, as “prophesied” by their false prophets. The Thomson Chain Reference Bible mistakenly applies references concerning Israel to the Church. It overlooks the Ethnic Division principle of interpreting Scripture where God gives three ethnic divisions of mankind as Jew, Gentile and Church. “Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God.” 1 Cor. 10:32. This means that to correctly understand any Scripture, we must first ask “To whom is this passage referring? Is it spoken to or about Jews, or Gentiles or the Church? Let a passage referring to Jews, teach what it says about Jews, without putting a foreign meaning on it. There are more than 130 clear Bible passages which teach that Jesus Christ will return in person to rescue and convert the nation of Israel, and to rule on the earth from Jerusalem as King of the Jews, with Israel being the chief nation on earth. Ask if the following 211 verses teach that Israel has a future in God’s plans, in these 107 passages. 1. PAUL TEACHES ISRAEL’S FUTURE CONVERSION. Romans 11 i) Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. v.1 ii) God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. v.2 iii) Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid. v.11 iv) If their fall be the riches of the world, how much more their fullness? v.12 v) If the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? (a resurrection of believers). v.15 vi) How much more shall these (Jews), which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? v.24 vii) Blindness IN PART is happened to Israel, UNTIL the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. (Rapture). v.25 viii) And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. v.26 ix) For this is my covenant with them (Israel) when I shall take away their sins. v.27 x) As concerning the gospel, they (Jews) are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election (of Israel), they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes (patriarchs). v.28 2. JESUS CHRIST TAUGHT ISRAEL’S FUTURE CONVERSION. i) Ye (Israel) shall not see me henceforth, TILL ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord. Matthew 23:37-39. ii) Now learn a parable of the fig tree (national Israel as in Joel 1:6-7); When his branch is yet tender and putteth forth leaves, (Israel becoming a nation in 1948) ye know that summer (Christ’s return) is near. Matthew 24:32. iii) Christ shall rule my people Israel (in the Millennium). Matthew 2:6. iv) Christ promised judgment on this wicked generation, not on Israel’s future generations forever. -The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation and shall condemn it. 41 -The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it. 42 -Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation. Matthew 12:41,42,45. -All these things shall come upon this generation. Matthew 23:36. v) Jesus prophesied that future Israel will receive the Antichrist as their Messiah. “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not (as Messiah): if another shall come in his own name (Antichrist), him ye will receive.” John 5:43. vi) Jesus prophesied that His disciples, in the regeneration (millennium) will judge the 12 tribes of Israel. “Ye which have followed me (the disciples), in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Matthew 19:28. 3. MOSES said that GOD WILL NOT FORSAKE or DESTROY ISRAEL, or FORGET THE COVENANT OF THY FATHERS. When thou (Israel) art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice: (For the Lord thy God is a merciful God) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he swore unto them. Deuteronomy 4:30-31. 4. The PALESTINIAN COVENANT PROMISES 7 THINGS FOR ISRAEL in Deut. 30:1-10. i) Dispersion for disobedience. v.1 “Thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, where the Lord thy God hath driven thee.” ii) Future repentance of Israel while in dispersion. v.2 iii) The return of the Lord. v.3 “The Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion on thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations . . .” iv) Restoration to the land. v.5 “The Lord thy God will bring thee into the land which thy Father’s possessed, and thou shalt possess it: and he will do thee good . . .” v) National conversion. v.6 “The Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart and soul. . .” vi) Judgment of Israel’s oppressors. v.7 “The Lord thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies. . .” vii) National prosperity. v.9 “The Lord thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand.” 5. MOSES PROPHESIED a FUTURE TROUBLE for ISRAEL and a GOOD LATTER END. 1) Evil will befall you in the latter days (Tribulation). Deuteronomy 31:29. 2) O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end! How should one chase a thousand. . . Deuteronomy 32:29,30. 6. The DAVIDIC COVENANT is UNBREAKABLE.“My Covenant Will I Not Break”.Ps89:34 I will not lie unto David. v.35 His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before me. v.36 It shall be established forever. v.37 The seed of David is the nation Israel who will endure forever. Some say that God has broken His covenant with David (Israel) because of Israel’s disobedience. However, Psalm 89:34 clearly states that God will not break His covenant with David, nor with His seed Israel. 7. ISAIAH TAUGHT ISRAEL’S REGATHERING TO THE LAND, THEIR CONVERSION and that GOD WOULD NOT FORGET THEM. 1. Isaiah 2:1-4 states-in the last days Judah, Jerusalem and the Lord’s house will be exalted: i) All nations shall flow unto it. ii) Many people will say, Let us go to the house of the God of Jacob. iii) He will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths. iv) Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. v) He shall judge among the nations. vi) Christ shall rebuke many people. vii) They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks. viii) Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. ix) Neither shall they learn war anymore. O house of Jacob, come let us walk in the light of the Lord. 2. In that day, the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob….shall stay upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. Isaiah 10:20. The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God. v.21. 3. Israel’s remnant will be regathered a second time. The Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, and from the islands of the sea. Isaiah 11:11-12. He (Christ) shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. 4. God will choose Jacob and Israel, and set them in their own land. Isaiah 14:1. 5. The land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt. This prophecy is fulfilled today because Israel’s military has defeated Egypt in every war since 1948. Isaiah 19:17. 6. Egypt, Assyria and Israel will become God’s people. The Lord of Hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance. Isaiah 19:25. 7. The Lord shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously. Isaiah 24:23. 8. Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit. Isaiah 27:6. 9. Ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel . . . and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem. Isaiah 27:12-13. 10. The light of the sun shall be sevenfold . . . in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound. Isaiah 30:26. 11. As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over He will preserve it. Isaiah 31:5. Jews dwelling at Jerusalem will be defended, delivered and preserved by Jesus Christ at His return to earth. 12. O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me. Isaiah 44:21. 13. God promises that: “I will not forget Israel.” “But Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet I will not forget thee.” Isaiah 49:14-15. 14. God will comfort and redeem Jerusalem. “Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.” Isaiah 52:9. This will happen when Christ returns to rescue Jews at Jerusalem from the Antichrist. They will be comforted and redeemed. 15. God has only temporarily forsaken Israel. Isaiah 54:7,8,10. For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. v.7. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer. v.8. My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed. v.10. 16. God’s covenant with Zion and Jacob is forever. The Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. This is my covenant with them, . . saith the Lord, from henceforth and forever. Isaiah 59:20-21. 17. Wealthy Jews from overseas will return by air and sea to Israel at the start of the Millennium. Who are these that fly as a cloud? v.8. Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee. v.9. The sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee.” v.10. The nation and Kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted (by drought). Isaiah 60:8,9,10,12. At the start of the millennium, Jews will return to Israel by aeroplane (v.8) and by ship (v.9) from the isles, maybe from England, the United States and South Africa where there are many wealthy Jews, bringing their silver and gold with them. The Lord will glorify Israel after His return. Gentiles will help rebuild Jerusalem (v.10). God’s favour will rest on Israel (v.10). Zechariah 14:16-19 describe how Israel’s enemies will be destroyed in the millennium, under Christ’s rule. (v.12). 18. Jerusalem shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken. Isaiah 62:12. 19. Israel’s return to the land in 1948 will be so quick, that it will be like a woman giving birth before labour pains. Isaiah 66:8-20. (v.8 Shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her. Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river. . . v.10,12. As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. v.13. They (Gentiles) shall bring all your brethren (Jews) for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations . . . to Jerusalem. v.20. 20. The Jewish nation (seed) and their name shall remain forever. For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. Isaiah 66:22. 8. JEREMIAH TAUGHT THAT ISRAEL AS A NATION WOULD BE SAVED, REGATHERED and BLESSED WITH AN EVERLASTING COVENANT WITH GOD. 1. God will regather Judah and Israel from the land of the north (Russia) to the land of Israel. Jeremiah 3:17-18. At the time (millennium) shall they call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem: neither shall they (Jews) walk anymore after the imagination of their evil heart. v.17. In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers. v.18. 2. God will regather, save, feed, protect and provide for Israel. I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; they shall be fruitful and increase. v.3. I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord. v.4. In his days (Christ’s 1000 year rule) Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely. v.6. The Lord liveth, which brought Israel out of the north country, and from all countries where I had driven them, they shall dwell in their own land. v.8. Jeremiah 23:3-8. 3. Israel will be saved out of the Tribulation to serve God. It is the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it. v.7. I will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him. v.8. They shall serve the Lord their God, and David their King, whom I will raise up unto them. v.9. O Israel, I will save thee from afar . . . and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid. v.10. For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee . . . yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure. v.11. I will punish all that oppress them. v.20. Ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. v.22. Jeremiah 30:7-22. 4. God will regather, build, plant and make a new covenant with Israel and Judah. Jeremiah 31:10,28,31,36,37. He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him. v.10. I will watch over them (Israel), to build, and to plant. v.28. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah. v.31. If those ordinances (sun and moon) depart from before me saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever. v.36. If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord. v.37. 5. God will regather Israel as His people, save them, bless them, and make an everlasting covenant with them. Jeremiah 32:37-42. I will gather them out of all countries . . . I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely. v.37. They shall be my people, and I will be their God. v.38. I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me forever. v.39. I will make an everlasting covenant with them . . . they shall not depart from me. v.40. I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly. v.41. As I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so I will bring upon them all the good that I have promised them. v.42. Ten promises here show that God has a great future for Israel, in Jeremiah 32:37-42. 6. God will save Israel and Judah, they will dwell safely, and the Davidic covenant is as permanent as day and night. Jeremiah 33:14-22. I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. v.14. In those days, and at that time, I will cause the Branch of righteousness (Christ) to grow up unto David; he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. v.15. In those days shall Judah be saved and Jerusalem shall dwell safely. v.16. If ye can break my covenant of the day and my covenant of the night.... v.20. Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne. v.21. As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of tbe sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant . . . v.22. 7. I will not make a full end of thee (Israel), but correct thee in measure; Jeremiah 46:28. 8. Jacob and Israel (the rod of his inheritance). Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy Kingdoms. Jeremiah 51:19,20. This will only be fulfilled at Christ’s return. 9. EZEKIEL PREDICTED A REMNANT OF ISRAEL WOULD BE SAVED IN THE LATTER DAYS. 1. Yet will I leave a remnant that ye may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations, when ye shall be scattered through the countries. Ezekiel 6:8 2. Israel to be regathered and be saved. Ezekiel 11:17,19,20. I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. v.17. I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh. v.19. They shall be my people, and I will be their God. v.20. 3. That the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people and I may be their God. Ezekiel 14:11. 4. I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant. Ezekiel 16:60. Then thou shalt remember thy ways and be ashamed. v.61. 5. I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: Ezekiel 20:37,38,42,43. I will purge out from among you the rebels. v.38. Ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel. v.42. There shall ye remember your ways…and loathe yourselves. v.43. Israel will be disciplined, purged, saved, regathered and repent. 6. God will regather and save Israel to dwell safely. Ezekiel 28:25,26. When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to Jacob. v.25. They shall dwell safely . . . they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despise them round about them; and they shall know that I am the Lord their God. v.26. These events have never happened before. They can only refer to a future regathering and blessing of Israel. 7. I will gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land. Ezekiel 34:13,24,25,28. I the Lord will be their God and my servant David a prince among them. v.24. I will make with them a covenant of peace. v.25. They shall dwell safely and none shall make them afraid. v.28. 8. I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. v.24. Then I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean. v.25. A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you. 26. I will put my spirit within you. v.27. Ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers: Ye shall be my people and I will be your God. v.28. I will save you from all your uncleanness. v.29. I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them. v.37. Ezekiel 36:24,25,26,27,28,29,37. 9. The valley of dry bones. Ezekiel 37:11,12,14,21-27. These bones are the whole house of Israel. v.11. Behold, O my people, I will open your graves and bring you into the land of Israel. v.12. I shall put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it. v.14. I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen…and bring them into their own land. v.21. I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel. v.22. I will save them out of all their dwelling places, where they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so they shall be my people, and I will be their God. v.23. David my servant shall be king over them. v.24. They shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob. v.25. I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them. I will set my sanctuary in the midst of them forevermore. v.26. My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. v.27. 10. Russia will invade regathered Israel in the latter days. Ezekiel 38:8-16. In the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, . . . it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. v.8. In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely. v.14. Thou shalt come up against my people of Israel… it shall be in the latter days. v.16. 11. Israel in the land will be saved after Russia’s defeat. Ezekiel 39:7-29. I will make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel. I will not let them pollute my holy name any more. The heathen shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel. v.7. They that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire, and burn the weapons . . . seven years. v.9. The house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God from that day and forward.v.22. The heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity. v.23. I will have mercy upon the whole house of Israel. v.25. I have poured out my Spirit upon the house of Israel. v.29. 12. The Shekinah glory cloud will fill the Millennial Temple. The glory of the God of Israel came into the house by the way of the east. Ezekiel 43:2,4,5. 13. Levites shall serve in the Millennial Temple. Ezekiel 44:10,11. The Levites that are gone away far from me, when Israel went astray . . yet they shall be ministers in my sanctuary, having charge at the gates of the house they shall slay the burnt offering. 14. The rest of the land shall they give to the house of Israel according to their tribes. Ezekiel 45:8. 15. The gates of the city shall be after the names of the tribes of Israel. Ezekiel 48:31. Naphtali Asher Gad Simeon 4500 Reuben Issachar 4500 4500 Judah Zebulun 4500 Levi Dan Benjamin Joseph 10. DANIEL STATES that the ARCHANGEL MICHAEL STILL REPRESENTS ISRAEL IN the TRIBULATION, and that ISRAEL WILL BE DELIVERED. At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy (Daniel’s) people (Israel): and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was...at that time thy people (Israel) shall be delivered. Daniel 12:1. 11. HOSEA TEACHES ISRAEL’S CONVERSION IN THE LATTER DAYS. Hosea 2:18-20,23. 1. Israel, the adulterous wife will be restored. 2:14-23. In that day I will make a covenant for them. v.18. I will make them to lie down safely. v.18. I will betroth thee unto me forever . . . in righteousness, in judgment, in loving kindness, in mercies, in faithfulness. v.19,20. Thou shalt know the Lord. v.20. I will say to them which were not my people, “Thou art my people” and they shall say, “Thou art my God”. v.23. 2. The children of Israel shall abide many days (the church age) without a king, without a prince, without a sacrifice, without an image (idols), without an ephod (priesthood), and without teraphim (Divination device). v.4. Afterward shall the children of Israel return (to the land) and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days. v.5. Hosea 3:4,5. For about 2500 years Israel has not had a king. After the Church age, Israel will return, seek God and be saved. This has partly happened since 1948. 3. Christ returns to heaven until the Jews seek Him. I (Jesus Christ) will go and return to my place (heaven at His ascension), till they (Jews) acknowledge their offence (of crucifying Christ), and seek my face: in their affliction (the 7 year Tribulation) they (the Jews) will seek me (Jesus Christ) early. Hosea 5:15. Jews talking: Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn (God’s discipline of Israel), and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. Hosea 6:1. After two days (maybe about 2000 years) will he revive us (Israel gets converted at Christ’s return): in the third day (maybe from 2000 AD to 3000 AD) he will raise us up (Israel converted nationally), and we shall live in his sight” (for 1000 years). Hosea 6:2. This agrees well with Israel now returning to the land after 2000 years. If Christ returns soon, Israel will be saved and live under Christ’s rule for 1000 years (Revelation 20:1-9). 4. Israel will be converted. Hosea 14:4,5,6. I will heal their backsliding, I will love them (Israel) freely: for mine anger is turned away from him (in the Millennium). v.4. I will be as the dew unto Israel. v.5. His branches shall spread. v.6. 12. JOEL TEACHES THE CONVERSION OF ISRAEL. 1. Then will the Lord be jealous for his land, and pity his people. Joel 2:18. I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen. v.19. I will remove far off from you the northern army (Russia). v.20. I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten. v.25. Ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: my people shall never be ashamed. v.27. Joel 2:18,19,20,25,27. 2. I will gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. Joel 3:2. Today the nations are parting “my land Israel” amongst the Arabs in exchange for peace. God will judge and punish those nations who pressure Israel to give up parts of her land. 3. The Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.Joel 3:16. Judah shall dwell forever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: ..the Lord dwelleth in Zion. Joel 3:20,21. 13. AMOS TEACHES the REGATHERING and BLESSING OF ISRAEL. 1. In that day I will raise up the Tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old. v.11. • That they (Israel) may possess the remnant of Edom (man), and of all the heathen, which are called by my name. v.12. • I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them. v.14. • I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God. v.15. Amos 9:11,12,14,15. 14. MICAH TEACHES THAT ISRAEL WILL BE THE MIGHTIEST NATION IN THE MILLENNIUM. 1. The remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. Micah 5:8. 2. The nations shall see and be confounded at all their might: they shall lay their hand upon their mouth. Micah 7:16. 3. He will turn again, he will have compassion on us. Micah 7:19. 4. Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old. Micah 7:20. 15. ZEPHANIAH TEACHES THAT ISRAEL WILL BE SAVED 1. The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth . . . none shall make them afraid. 3:13. 2. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more. 3:15. 3. I will get them (Israel) praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. 3:19. 4. At that time I will bring you again, even in the time that I gather you. 3:20. 16. ZECHARIAH TEACHES THAT ISRAEL WILL BE RESTORED 1. He that toucheth you (Israel) touches the apple of God’s eye. 2:8. 2. The Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again. 2:12. 3. The man whose name is THE BRANCH; . . . He shall build the temple of the Lord; he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne. 6:12,13. 4. I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth. 8:3. 5. I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country; I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness. 8:7,8. 6. As ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing. 8:13. 7. In those days, ten men shall take hold of the skirt of a Jew, saying we will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you. 8:23. 8. The Lord of hosts shall defend them. 9:15. The Lord their God shall save them in that day. 9:16. 9. I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph . . . they shall be as though I had not cast them off. 10:6. 10. Israel will be converted when Christ returns. I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all people. 12:2. I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people. All that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces. 12:3. In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem. v.8. I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. v.9. I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplications: they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him v.10. Zechariah 12:2,3,8,9,10. 11. When Antichrist invades Jerusalem, two-thirds of Israel will die. In all the land, two parts shall be cut off and die, but the third part will be left. v.8. I will bring the third part through the fire . . . . they shall call on my name and I will hear them: I will say, it is my people: they shall say, the Lord is my God. Zechariah 13:8,9. Question for Amillennialists: Will two-thirds of the church be killed? (No). 12. Events of Armageddon. Zechariah 14. I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle. v.2. The Lord shall go forth, and fight against those nations. v.3. His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives. v.4. The Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. v.5. The Lord shall be King over all the earth. v.9. Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited. v.11. This shall be the plague that the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. v.12. Judah shall fight at Jerusalem. v.14. Zechariah 14:2-5,9,11,12,14. Conclusion: From the 211 verses above, it is clearly seen that in the context of Christ returning to earth, God still cares for Israel. The Bible teaches unmistakably that Israel will return to the land in a state of unbelief, and while facing destruction from the Antichrist, Christ will return in person to rescue and convert Israel. Hence in Christ’s earthly kingdom, Israel will be the chief nation on earth. So we conclude this study in full agreement with the Apostle Paul who said in Romans 11:2, “God hath not cast away His people which He forenew.” To think that God has cast away His people Israel is to disagree with 15 writers of Scripture. Summary: Romans 11:1, “God hath not cast away his people” (2),11, “their fullness” (12), “receiving of them” (15), “Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until” (24,25), “they are beloved” (28). Deut.4:31, “he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant.” Isaiah 11:11 “Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people.” Isaiah 14:1 “Lord will have mercy on Jacob, & will yet choose Israel, & set them in their own land” Isaiah 19:17 “land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt.” “Blessed be Egypt,..Assyria,..Israel”(25) Isaiah 54:7,8,10 “for a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.” Jeremiah 3:17,18 “In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel,…” Jeremiah 30:7,11,22 “time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.(7) I will be your God”. Jeremiah 31:37 “If heaven above can be measured, & the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 32:42 “As I have brought all this great evil upon this people,so will I bring upon them all the good” Jeremiah 46:28 “I will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee in measure;” Daniel 12:1 “shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people” Hosea 3:4,5 “The children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, sacrifice,.Afterward shall the children of Israel return, & seek the Lord…in the latter days.” “In the third day he will raise us up.” (6:2). Amos 9: 11-15 “I will raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen; I will build it as in the days of old;” Zechariah 10:6 “I will strengthen the house of Judah,& Joseph..they shall be as though I had not cast them off. Ezekiel 28:25,26; 36:24-29,37; 37:11-14,21-27; 39:7,9,22-29. poured out my Spirit on the house of Is.
  4. As a quick disclaimer: I have seen your replies and clearly some of you have a heart for God. Others, spend far too much time listening to the doctrines of demons. Know this, unless they block me I will not quit. I write for a world that is filled with people with a heart like mine; one that has learned to err on the side of mercy. Have a great day basking in the love of Jesus Christ our soon coming King. Now, on with the post. Having addressed who or what Gog could be in my previous post, we now look at the directive given to Ezekiel to prophecy against Gog (from a great distance, and through time,) about what God's plan is, for the last days. Ezekiel 38:3 NASB and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. Eugene Peterson's “The Message” gives us this, “Be warned, Gog. I am against you. Ezekiel 38:4 CJB I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with all your army, horses and horsemen, all completely equipped, a great horde with breastplates and shields, all wielding swords. Why would verse four be immensely significant in the Jewish mind? If you think back to the story of Jonah you remember that Jonah was asked to prophesy against Nineveh and tell them their days were numbered. While that might seem appropriate, especially if you had an intense hatred for the Ninevehites and wanted them dead because they were sadistically cruel and bloody people. But Jonah also knew something about God that most of us miss, and that was that God's nature was one of mercy. The other thing that Jonah understood was that the Ninevehites were a part of the Assyrian nation, just as Gog is, and they had the nasty habit of dragging their victims back to their lands by putting hooks in their mouths, among other places. “I will turn you around.” Another piece of insight for you. Having recently gone to the beach to be with family, I took an ice chest of cold drinks. I dragged that chest from the car, across the beach sand, and now, later in the day, I was dragging it back again. By the time I got to the stairs that lead up to the car, I was exhausted. I could feel the full weight of the ice chest as I went up the first step. Suddenly it got lighter. I actually thought I was going to turn around and see an angel. What I saw was the long-haired young man whom I had just passed carrying a skateboard. My wife, who was about 22 meters behind me, saw the skateboarder and internally had said, Lord, that would be great if that young man helped my husband. With that, the young man stopped, turned, and began to help me without saying a word. You see, God has ways of his will without a word being exchanged; and, the young man, he probably thought it was his great idea. “and bring you out with all your army, horses and horsemen, all completely equipped, a great horde with breastplates and shields, all wielding swords.” In one of my posts on Ezekiel 38, I went into great detail about the people of that region, the Scythians. One of their claims to fame is that they were skillful horsemen and deadly with weapons as they rode. Would Ezekiel have known that? It is highly possible as the line of descendants that produced these people existed long before Ezekiel did and he would have learned this through oral history. At this point, I only wish to say, that someone attempted to challenge my previous assertions about Gog, saying, Gog was Satan. Based upon verse four alone is that probable? Not likely seeing as 1Chronicles 5:4 shows us the lineage of a man named Gog, a descendant of Reuben – the disinherited son of Jacob, but then, Ezekiel's prophecy and the actual occurrence of these events spans well over two thousand years and no one lives that long. The only other thing that has credence is a demonic spirit/ fallen angel that carries that name. In this battle coming against Israel, who are the players? Ezekiel 38:5-6 NASB Persia, Ethiopia and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet; 6) Gomer with all its troops; Beth-togarmah from the remote parts of the north with all its troops-many peoples with you. Persia – Modern day Iran Ethiopia – At one time Ethiopia was known as Cush. Put - Put is the Libyans. While Qaddafi may have been a wild man, since his removal the nation has turned into a violent Muslim nation. Gomer - Sits squarely in modern day Turkey. Beth-togarmah - This was territory from which the Medes emanated. It is the region in which the Armenians resided. At one point in time, the Assyrian nations bordered Beth-togarmah, and it is the Caucasus region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. While Russia has dominated these people at times they seem to be independent of Russia while maintaining civil war amongst themselves. There is a strong clue embedded within the verse that says, “in the far reaches of the north, with all its troops-many peoples are with you." Again, this is the Scythian region and one of their claims to fame was Genghis Khan. Ezekiel 38:7 CJB Prepare yourself, get ready, you and all your crowd gathered around you; and take charge of them. Consider something here. Ezekiel is writing this while he is in Babylonian captivity; which for him, began around 570 B.C. Now, over 2570 years later, God is finally bringing this collection of assailants together for a horrendous battle. A battle, that for Israel, will look impossible. Many will add another war in here, the Psalm 83 war. Some even insert it before the events that Ezekiel lays out before us. Psalms 83:3-8 ISV They plot against your people and conspire against your cherished ones. 4) They say, "Let us go and erase them as a nation so the name of Israel will not be remembered anymore." 5) Indeed, they shrewdly planned together, forming an alliance against you— 6) the tents of Edom, the Ishmaelites, Moab, the Hagrites, 7) Gebal, Ammon, Amalek, Philistia, and the inhabitants of Tyre. 😎 Even Assyria joined them to strengthen the descendants of Lot. Interlude. Psalm 83 has similarities to what we see in Ezekiel 38 and 39, but what I don't see is Cush, and Put – Egypt and Libya. I am not sure those nations can be excluded as the descendants traveled extensively. Ezekiel 38:8 CJB After many days have passed, you will be mustered for service; in later years you will invade the land which has been brought back from the sword, gathered out of many peoples, the mountains of Isra'el. They had been lying in ruins for a long time, but now Isra'el has been extracted from the peoples and all of them are living there securely. “After many days have passed,” Far too many read this and think it merely means weeks later. This phrase, like “the prince that shall come,” that is defined for us in Daniel 9:26, has several encroachments into history. The problem is, these intrusions are spread across thousands of years. Many is the Hebrew word rab meaning much, many, numerous, and abundance, among others. Verse eight is clearly a description of Israel. Ezekiel 38:9 CJB You will come up like a storm, you will be like a cloud covering the land—you and all your troops, and many other peoples with you.' “You will come up like a storm,” Sudden and overwhelming. Are all storms sudden? No, in many cases people will say, this is storm weather and it always starts like this. So, the implication is that we have a strong probability of knowing when this will come. Just today (6/29/2018), through the MEMRI website, I learned of a Middle Eastern newspaper that leans heavily toward Erdoğan, publishing an article calling for the Muslim of the world to gather in Jihad against Israel (this article was published in Dec of 2017 – not that long ago. An aspect of the article was a map which showed Israel surrounded on every side with army tanks. Surrounded on every side sounds very much like Ezekiel's words. “you will be like a cloud covering the land.” - Clouds are formed by thousands of drops of water. We are told that the number seems innumerable. “you and all your troops, and many other peoples with you.” - These are people of a like mind – Muslims may not be unified in “religion” but they all seem to understand the idea of Jihad. Ezekiel 38:10-12 CJB "Adonai Elohim says: 'When that day comes, thoughts will well up in your mind, and you will devise a sinister scheme. 11) You will say, "I am going to invade this land of unwalled villages; I will take by surprise these people who are at peace, living securely, all in places without walls, bars or gates. 12) I will seize the spoil and take the plunder." You will attack the former ruins that are now inhabited and come against the people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and other wealth and are living in the central parts of the land. “ When that day comes,” - Question, does God do anything at random? The answer is NO, as everything is part of a precise and well thought out plan; a plan which includes giving man a free will and the opportunity to choose life or death. Regardless of the optional qualities, the plan is still in place and intact. So, is it possible that God would leave the option for Gog to design and plan out “his” own destiny? Not a chance and verse ten is no different, as “that day” is entirely in God's hands, and, a part of God's plan. Another consideration is the terminology “that day.” The phrase is attributed to several events; one of which is the return of Jesus as the warring and conquering Messiah, who also fights a bloody battle in the Jezreel Valley; there is the great white throne judgment and the entirety of the seven-years of God's wrath upon the earth. Are any of those events what we are looking at here? I do not believe so as there are always other events associated, which we do not see here. “thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil plan,” - The Hebrew word for thoughts is dāḇār and literally means words. I could read this when that day comes, words will pop into your head, you are going to think this is your sinister scheme, but in reality, you will be doing what I have planned all along. Mind is the Hebrew word lēḇāḇ and also means heart. In God's understanding, the heart and the mind are one in the same. Devise is from the Hebrew word châshab and means to weave, fabricate, or plot. “You will say, "I am going to invade this land of unwalled villages; I will take by surprise these people who are at peace, living securely, all in places without walls, bars or gates. 12) I will seize the spoil and take the plunder.” The context of Deuteronomy 3:5 is applied to Israel's conquer of Og, the King of Bashan. Having destroyed Og's fortified cities they were never rebuilt by Israel. It also demonstrates that cities were typically fortresses; this is not what you see in Israel today. Deuteronomy 3:3-6 NASB "All these were cities fortified with high walls, gates, and bars, besides a great many unwalled towns. Zechariah 2:4 NASB and said to him, "Run, speak to that young man, saying, 'Jerusalem will be inhabited without walls because of the multitude of men and cattle within it. I like the way the ISV version translates Ezekiel 38:12, “the people … who live at the center of the world's attention.” Currently, all the world seems to be looking at Israel, once again. Whether Israel is at the center of the world or not is debatable, but God is making that nation the center of attention. And, although we have not covered the verse yet, it sums up the reason behind all this tumult. Ezekiel 38:16 ERV...I will bring you to fight against my land. Then, Gog, the nations will learn how powerful I am! They will learn to respect me and know that I am holy.
  5. I was asked by my pastor why I study eschatology (end times events.) Ignoring the negativity of a challenge like this, I find that "end times events" are tied in with almost everything I read in scripture. Ezekiel 38 and 39 is such an event, as it speaks of a horrific situation that may happen at any minute. Try opening a conversation about what you find in Ezekiel 38 and 39 and the eyes of your audience will glaze over and you can watch them begin to look at their watches, wondering if there isn't somewhere else they need to go. There are reasons behind this lack of interest, and they stem from confusion; a lack of understanding; the inability of the speaker to put flesh and blood on the characters; and, the worst part is that there is a veil over the eyes and ears of the hearer so that they cannot comprehend. Along with those factors, there is a multitude of answers as to who the players are and when this event will take place. Ambiguity plays a role in the disinterest because an honest dissertation of an end-times scenario will typically put you in the ballpark, perhaps even provide the audience with the team name, but at this point, I am not sure we specifically say who the main characters are. Furthermore, two simple sentences can inspire books of commentary. I am going to try and condense but still give you an understanding of this prophecy. An introduction to Ezekiel: He was a priest, the son of a priest, and he was taken captive into Babylon. Already, you should be thinking, odds are not in his favor. Ezekiel was one of the few that give us precise dates. According to Dr. John Gill's commentary, chapter 38 gives an account of "an enemy of the Jews, under the name of Gog, that shall invade their land, and disturb their peace after they are settled in it;" J. Vernon McGee, in his commentary, demonstrates some classic old-school thinking as he tells us the theme of Ezekiel 38 is Russia's invasion of Israel. McGee is making his case for Gog to be Russia. I happen to think McGee's assessment is wrong and we should not be focused on the Russian President Putin. You have to keep in mind what was going on in the world that would have inspired the McGee's particular emphasis on Russia in his commentary. For example, The United States was deeply entrenched in the Korean war; the Vietnam conflict, with the cold war with Russia waiting just around the corner. I too assumed that Russia would be one of the major players (and no doubt they are, but we are trying to think biblically while paying attention to the context.) as we lived with the verified threat of Russian missiles 90 miles off our coast in Cuba - a Russian ally, as children. The Summarized Bible commentary conveys that “God does not only see those who are now the enemies of His people, but foresees those who will be so in the last days, and lets them know by His Word that He is against them, and will make their movements to serve His own purposes.” I know, every generation has had those that have said, "we are in the last days," and I would tell you that they were right. Now how would I come to the understanding that every generation comprehended that we are in the last days? Daniel chapter 9, spells out a seventy-week decree against Israel. Sixty-nine of those weeks have been fulfilled. The seventieth week of years (7years) has been on hold for over 2000 years. Therefore, we, the church, have been in the last days for over 2000 years. Peter, on the day of Pentecost, filled with Holy Spirit, preached to the thousands milling about the streets of Jerusalem that day. An aspect of what Peter said came from Joel chapter 2 which speaks about the time of God's wrath which the seventieth year portrays. However, within that period, people are acting out in the power of the Holy Spirit as the prophets of old did. Peter said this part of Joel's prophecy had been fulfilled in your hearing. What did he say? We are living in the last days. Since the last days seems to be very focused on the seven-years of wrath, are we, at the moment, living in the seventieth week? No, and that will not come until the church is removed from the earth. 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8 The NASB opens our look into Ezekiel 38 with: Prophecy Against Gog Ezekiel 38:1-2 NASB And the word of the LORD came to me saying, 2) "Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him Note how the passage provided has no appropriate punctuation at the end. That is because the thought continues and we will pursue that shortly. But for the moment let's dissect the verses. “Son of man,” Is there any question as to whom the Lord is talking? The answer is Ezekiel. “set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him,” Okay, what just happened? Ezekiel was told to prophesy against two entities: Gog; this person also happens to be the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. And, the land of Magog; If Ezekiel is told to prophesy against him, and "him" includes the land, then we should be considering the possibility that this is: A nation? A people group? A demonic operation that controls a people group? As I try to understand, I turn my attention to my concordances and look up the word Gog. BDB Definition: Gog = “mountain” - A Reubenite, the son of Shemaiah (1 Ch 5:4); The prophetic prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and Magog (Read Ezekiel 32) Strong's concordance merely adds Gog, the name of an Israelite. The KJC keeps us in Ezekiel with one exception: 1 Chronicles 5:1-4 MKJV And the sons of Reuben, the first-born of Israel (for he was the first-born; but since he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph the son of Israel, and the genealogy is not to be counted according to the birthright; 2) For Judah prevailed among his brothers, and from him came the chief ruler, but the birthright was Joseph's); 3) the sons of Reuben the first-born of Israel: Hanoch, and Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. 4) The sons of Joel: Shemaiah his son, Gog his son, and Shimei, his son. The dishonor carried by the family due to Reuben's indiscretion, which excluded them from any rights of birth, surely plays a role in all of this. The Word Study Dictionary tells us this about Gog: He is pictured as a great enemy against God's people. Ezekiel 38:9 NASB "You will go up, you will come like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your troops, and many peoples with you." He is from the land of Magog or possibly "from the land of Gog." Gog. i.e., mountain, in reference to the Caucasus mountains, the chief seat of the Scythian people. Note: Rather, "Gog (the prince) of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal." The Ultimate Cross-Reference Treasury The Lord sets Himself against Gog (Eze_38:2). Gog will lead a coalition of nations against God's people who are then dwelling securely in the land of Israel (Eze_38:14-16). With the addition of the words, God's people who are then dwelling securely in ...Israel. They have turned this so that we are looking at the church and not Israel, which is incorrect. But God, in fact, will bring Gog forth and will destroy him and his people. Ezekiel 39:1-2; Ezekiel 38:19-23 The Lord spoke about this through other prophets (Eze_38:17-18). Ezekiel 38:17 MKJV So says the Lord Jehovah: Are you he of whom I have spoken in former days, by the hand of My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied in those days and years that I would bring you against them? The multitudes of Gog will be buried in the Valley of Hamon Gog, that is, "multitudes of Gog" (Eze_39:11), Ezekiel 39:11 CJB " 'When that day comes, I will give Gog a place there in Isra'el for graves, the Travelers' Valley, east of the sea; and it will block the travelers' passage. There they will bury Gog and all his horde, and they will rename it the Valley of Hamon-Gog [horde of Gog]. The Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature informs us that: They are the name of a mixed race dwelling in the extreme north, comprehended by the Greeks under the name of the Scythians; (2.) to the center and representative of their race, i.e. their king (Ezekiel 38:39). Gog comes forth from the distant north (Eze_38:15-23; Eze_39:2), ... And, if you are stickler for history - Interpreters have given very different explanations of the terms Gog and Magog; but they have generally understood them as symbolical expressions for the heathen nations of Asia, or more particularly for the Scythians, a vague knowledge of whom seems to have reached the Jews in Palestine about that period. Thus Josephus (Ant. 1:6, 3) has dropped the Hebrew word Magog, and rendered it by Σκύθαι; See attachment - Classic Bible Maps, The World as known to the Hebrews Of the maps, I looked at to better understand this ancient classic version shows me more and divergent details than any other map, as it points out Gog and Magog, and where they were located. I have also provided a link to Wikipedia which continues to fill in the blanks in understanding and prophecy with highly detailed information about the Scythians. Because of the quantity of information found there, which all seems important, I am only going to suggest that the interested pursue that there. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scythians] As you read the information, consider where Gog might come from. It may help you to understand more clearly how the Turkish "president" Recep Tayyip Erdoğan might best fill the role of Gog. Just for the fun of it, I searched the internet to find out if Genghis Khan could have been a Scythian. The Headline read, “Not Just Genghis Khan - Scythians Show Genetic Blending With Europe 2,000 Years Ago.” http://www.science20.com/news_articles/not_just_genghis_khan_scythians_show_genetic_blending_europe_2000_years_ago-96314 Here is was I gather so far. Gog, from the disinherited family line of Reuben, moves North and becomes a nomadic mounted and warring nation known as the Scythians. They ranged into China, Siberia, Egypt, Asia Minor and as far south as the Northern African nations, however, they seem to be centrally located around Turkey and the Caspian Sea. They are heavily influenced and integrated by the surrounding nations such as Persia, Syria, and the Caucasus regions. They conquered Nineveh, the Assyrians, and the Medes. Having relations as violent as Genghis Khan one can assume that slaughter was their general theme. This is the people that God sees as one of Israel's few remaining thorns in the flesh.
  6. Iran Fires Rockets Into Golan Heights From Syria From NY Times: (more) https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/09/world/middleeast/israel-iran-attack.html
  7. I introduced a section within my first post in this series, as one of the most unbelievable scenarios you could read. In that section you have Rebekah and Jacob pulling off the deception of a lifetime, as Isaac is tricked into believing that Jacob was Esau merely by strapping a piece of sheepskin on Jacob's arm. I have to ask, have you ever seen sheep? They exceed the hair of man about 100 to one. While most would have run for their lives but not Jacob; and, I cannot give you any good reason why? As you see in Genesis 28:6-7, Isaac, after the deception, has instructed Jacob not to take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. After hearing this Jacob leaves toward Haran in order to comply and his mother goes with him. What just happened? Watch what Esau does. Genesis 28:6-7 NASB Now Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Paddan-aram to take to himself a wife from there, and that when he blessed him he charged him, saying, "You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan," 7) and that Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother and had gone to Paddan-aram. This is the first time I noticed this aspect of the story. Note how it says, “and that Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother and had gone to Paddan-aram.” When you think about the reality of the situation and how furious Isaac should have been at Rebekah, then it makes all the sense in the world for her to with Jacob. Besides that, she may need to make the introductions and marriage arrangements for this favorite of sons. Esau, on the other hand, seeing how irritated his mother became about the women he married, (This is the same mother who deceived Isaac his father, and helped to cheat him out of his rightful inheritance,) went out and found himself a few more. Genesis 28:8-9 NASB So Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan displeased his father Isaac; 9) and Esau went to Ishmael, and married, besides the wives that he had, Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham's son, the sister of Nebaioth. This next section focuses entirely on a dream that Jacob had. Indeed, it was a very vivid dream, in a manner similar to the dream that Abram had, it was as close to reality as you can come. You have to wonder how much understanding Jacob had about God, or where he got that understanding. The only thing we see is Isaac praying to the Lord in chapter 25. Isaac, being the son of Abraham, I can understand how and where he learned of the Lord, but the apparent influence on Jacob is not seen. Genesis 25:21-23 NASB Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22) But the children struggled together within her; and she said, "If it is so, why then am I this way?" So she went to inquire of the LORD. 23) The LORD said to her, "Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples will be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger." Jacob's Dream - Genesis 28:10-22 But first Jacob has to kneel before his father, apparently at his father's demand. Genesis 28:1 NASB So Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and charged him, and said to him, "You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. This is the second time Jacob has been blessed, however, Isaac is well aware of the deceitful methods that were used on him. Without going any farther, I already see a prime example of the nature and character of God, as Isaac overlooks the “sin” and bestows a purposeful blessing upon Jacob. Blessed is the Hebrew word bāraḵ: A verb meaning to bless, kneel, salute, or greet. The verb derives from the noun knee and perhaps suggests the bending of the knee in blessing. Would we expect to see Isaac kneeling before Jacob at this point? Not a chance, so it is Jacob, this time with intention, kneeling before his father. Do you think it is possible that Isaac could bring some punishment upon this son? No, and again, this is an example of God's grace, as we too, caught in our sins, deserved punishment, but what happened? The Son Jesus took all punishment on our behalf. I am well aware that I have no key character, in this scenario, that takes the punishment for Jacob. What I do see, is Jacob suffering abuse, at not only the hand of Laban but his own sons when we get to them. Pay attention to what Isaac tells Jacob. Perspective: The flood has come and gone, and, with it, should have been the giants and the evil and violence that were associated not just with them, but people in general. And, secondly, this has taken place before Moses and prior to the law. Is that what happened? Not exactly, for men still had the right to choose how they would live, and the giants returned. Genesis 6:4 tells us that afterward, they showed up again. After what? The flood. “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.” Genesis 6:4 NASB Two pieces of evidence for giants after the flood comes from Numbers 13:33 and 2Samuel 21:16, both of which speak of giants still permeating the land. Canaan was one of those places and we learn of it when Israel sent 12 men to spy out the Land of Canaan. “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan.” Do a word search and the first place Canaan shows up is in Genesis 9. Genesis 9:18-27 NASB Now the sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem and Ham and Japheth; and Ham was the father of Canaan. 19) These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated. 20) Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. 21) He drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent. 22) Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. 23) But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father's nakedness. 24) When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him. 25) So he said, "Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brothers." 26) He also said, "Blessed be the LORD, The God of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant. 27) "May God enlarge Japheth, And let him dwell in the tents of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant." Notice how Canaan is pointed out as the son of Ham; this is not a favorable distinction. Genesis 28:2 NASB "Arise, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother's father; and from there take to yourself a wife from the daughters of Laban your mother's brother. The town of Bethuel gained it's origins in a man, as was the case with every city. Genesis 22:20-23 NASB Now it came about after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, "Behold, Milcah also has borne children to your brother Nahor: 21) Uz his firstborn and Buz his brother and Kemuel the father of Aram 22) and Chesed and Hazo and Pildash and Jidlaph and Bethuel." 23) Bethuel became the father of Rebekah; these eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham's brother. So here is your ancestry moment, It was told, Abraham: Milcah also has borne children to your brother Nahor Uz his firstborn and Buz his brother and Kemuel the father of Aram 22) and Chesed and Hazo and Pildash and Jidlaph and Bethuel." Kemuel produces a son Aram. Note the similarities to Paddan-aram! The son to be born to Nahor is Bethuel. Bethuel became the father of Rebekah Rebekah is the wife of Isaac, the mother of Esau and Jacob. This also means that Bethuel became the father of Laban. Jacob, still kneeling before his father Isaac, receives all these instructions and blessings; as though what he stole was not enough. Genesis 28:3-5 NASB "May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. 4) "May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham." 5) Then Isaac sent Jacob away, and he went to Paddan-aram to Laban, son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau. “ May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples.” “May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham.” What were the blessings of Abraham? Genesis 12:1-3 NASB Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father's house, To the land which I will show you; 2) And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; 3) And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed." Genesis 17:6-8 NASB "I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you. 7) "I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. 8) "I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God." I will make you a great nation I will bless you and make your name great I will bless those that bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. In you, all the families of the earth will be blessed. I will make you exceedingly fruitful and I will make nations of you kings will come forth from you I will establish my covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you … for an everlasting covenant. Be a God to you and to your descendants. And, I will give you and your descendants … all the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession. So, tell me, is this what you say to someone who has just deceived you? And yet, this is exactly what Isaac just did. “May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham.” Genesis 28:10-11 NASB Then Jacob departed from Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11) He came to a certain place and spent the night there because the sun had set; and he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place. Haran, isn't that the place where Abram was and God told him to go to a land that He would show him? Yes, it is. But it is also the place where so many things will take place, and now Jacob is going there to find himself a wife. Fortunately, Jacob has his mommy with him to make the introductions; although we are not told that, it works for the moment. Genesis 11:26-31 NASB Terah lived seventy years, and became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. 27) Now these are the records of the generations of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran; and Haran became the father of Lot. 28) Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans. 29) Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. The name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah and Iscah. 30) Sarai was barren; she had no child. 31) Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife; and they went out together from Ur of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan; and they went as far as Haran, and settled there. Note this: “Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife; and they went out together from Ur of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan; and they went as far as Haran, and settled there. It seems God has His hands in everything, doesn't it? “He came to a certain place and spent the night there because the sun had set;” Genesis 28:19 NASB He called the name of that place Bethel; however, previously the name of the city had been Luz. “And he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place.” Genesis 28:18-22 NASB So Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on its top. 19) He called the name of that place Bethel; however, previously the name of the city had been Luz. 20) Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear, 21) and I return to my father's house in safety, then the LORD will be my God. 22) "This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God's house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You." God's house? This statement is immensely significant, and so is this, “and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.” Without any motivation of “law,” Jacob has made a commitment to tithe.
  8. What is it that makes us decide to trust and believe, not just God, but people? Everything we do as followers of Christ is wrapped around faith, the essence of trust and belief. However, there is added disincentive in the story of Rahab in that these two men who may have entered her house under false pretenses, have now enlightened her that they are spies; that her life is now in danger from the spies and the guards of Jericho. They point out that her only reasonable choice is to hide them, and she does. For us, there is a sudden awareness that her faith in this unknown god and her desire to be rescued by Him has become challenged. What does this added incentive do to your belief system? Ponder once again what Rahab tells the two Israeli spies. Joshua 2:9-10 NASB and said to the men, "I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you. 10) "For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. At first, it is deeply personal as she says, “ I know that the LORD has given you the land and that the terror of you has fallen on us,” This paragraph has belief and fear written all over it. While I, Rahab, know that the Almighty has his hand on you, there is a profound and genuine concern on the part of the entire city for their safety, lives, and mine as well. Joshua 2:11 NASB "When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. Does fear promote belief? I know it does not work for me. I may, under duress, comply out of concern for the safety of my family and myself, but I will never come to admire and possibly love you, as Rahab did. The reality is that God's most significant impact on our faith is through signs. The idea that God is okay with that, comes from the verse where she recaps the two notable stories of which the people Jericho were aware. “We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed.” It is rapidly becoming evident that Rahab is a smart woman. You don't last long in such a business without the skills of a spy yourself, and she, therefore, strikes a bargain. Joshua 2:12-13 NASB "Now therefore, please swear to me by the LORD, since I have dealt kindly with you, that you also will deal kindly with my father's household, and give me a pledge of truth, 13) and spare my father and my mother and my brothers and my sisters, with all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death." The men hear her out and respond with the words she needs to hear. Joshua 2:14 NASB So the men said to her, "Our life for yours if you do not tell this business of ours; and it shall come about when the LORD gives us the land that we will deal kindly and faithfully with you." Having received a promise of protection, and trusting their word, she provides them with a way of escape. I am going to do something peculiar here, and verse 15 last because I cannot see any practicality to her shouting additional instructions to the men as they rappel down the wall from her window. Joshua 2:15-21 NASB 16) She said to them, "Go to the hill country, so that the pursuers will not happen upon you, and hide yourselves there for three days until the pursuers return. Then afterward you may go on your way." 17) The men said to her, "We shall be free from this oath to you which you have made us swear, 18) unless, when we come into the land, you tie this cord of scarlet thread in the window through which you let us down, and gather to yourself into the house your father and your mother and your brothers and all your father's household. 19) "It shall come about that anyone who goes out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we shall be free; but anyone who is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head if a hand is laid on him. 20) "But if you tell this business of ours, then we shall be free from the oath which you have made us swear." 15) Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall so that she was living on the wall. 21) She said, "According to your words, so be it." So she sent them away, and they departed, and she tied the scarlet cord in the window. The bargaining is completed. Rahab lets them out through a window and uses the same scarlet cord to signal Israel's troops that hers is a safe house. Suddenly it occurs to me. While the scarlet color may have been associated with her profession, it now represented that scarlet blood that saves us all. Few realize what took place. Consider also the tremendous significance, as Jesus was three days and nights in death, so to the scarlet rope hung from that window. Our redemption through Jesus was signaled all throughout this book we call the Bible, and today, I saw it. What would have happened had the townsfolk of Jericho saw that cord suddenly hanging there? With the armed militia out chasing the spies, did the town now feel safe? I doubt it. The city may have gone on lock-down. How did this rope go unnoticed? That can only be God. Did Rahab and her family demonstrate a strong faith in this God of Israel, and were therefore saved? We don't know any of that. Rahab took a chance and pitched her case, knowing full well that they could turn against her. If what she says is true, then the people within Jericho comprehend the threat that Israel poses. Finding out that two Israeli spies have infiltrated the city just raises the threat level exponentially. The result of the increased threat level is that the family, which may have treated her as an outcast, hurriedly gathered survival supplies and joined Rahab in her home. Joshua 2:23-24 NASB Then the two men returned and came down from the hill country and crossed over and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and they related to him all that had happened to them. 24) They said to Joshua, "Surely the LORD has given all the land into our hands; moreover, all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before us." Safely back at camp, they related all that had happened. What a story. Oh, and by-the-way Joshua, there is one more thing you might find interesting - “Surely the LORD has given all the land into our hands; moreover, all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before us.” At least that is what Rahab told us. Melted – is the Hebrew word moog, meaning to melt; literally (to soften, flow down, disappear), or figuratively (to fear, faint). Since this is a character study on Rahab, I am going to bypass much of the detail involved in the attack on Jericho. It is admittedly fascinating to learn how Jericho's walls fell. Having seen pictures of the archaeological digs at Jericho, it becomes apparent that they went straight down into the ground. Except for one spot, that portion that Rahab lived in. Joshua 6:20 The NASB states that the wall fell flat. What does that mean? The Hebrew word is taḥaṯ: A preposition meaning under, beneath; in place of. It indicates a position below or underneath some other reference point.” Word Study Dictionary. While the word flat is indeed an option, how do you explain under, beneath or a position below, especially when the passage goes on to say that every man walked straight ahead? We don't return to Jericho in the book of Joshua until chapter six. In the meantime, circumcisions have been performed, and Israel has passed through the Jordan on dry land, just as they did the Red Sea. This time they placed a large mound of stones to commemorate God's goodness and what a coincidence that a large mound of stones has been located in the Sea of Galilee. I suppose the obvious thing to consider here, is that much time has passed and that scarlet cord is probably still hanging out that window. Joshua 6:21-23 NASB They utterly destroyed everything in the city, both man, and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword. 22) Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, "Go into the harlot's house and bring the woman and all she has out of there, as you have sworn to her." 23) So the young men who were spies went in and brought out Rahab and her father and her mother and her brothers and all she had; they also brought out all her relatives and placed them outside the camp of Israel. How befitting that the young men who made the agreement should go and gather Rahab and her family. “Rahab and her father and her mother and her brothers and all she had; they also brought out all her relatives and placed them outside the camp of Israel.” Albert Barnes commentary states, “These words literally “made to rest outside the camp of Israel” - indicate that being still in their paganism, they were separated from the camp of the Lord. This was only for a time. They desired, and eventually obtained, admission to the covenant of the chosen people of God.” Another instance where we have no details. We know nothing about paganism, but it is probably safe to assume. Since Rahab seems to have a faith in this God she knows little about, we shall see her come to understanding and acceptance. Joshua 6:25 NASB However, Rahab the harlot and her father's household and all she had, Joshua spared; and she has lived in the midst of Israel to this day, for she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho. And everyone lived happily ever after, well, I would hope so. Sadly we live in reality, but there are three other passages I want you to see. In spelling out the Jewish heritage of Jesus, the gospel of Matthew includes Rahab. Matthew 1:5 NASB Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. Boaz, if you remember, owned the land in which Ruth had been directed to work by Naomi, her mother in law. Boaz buys the right to marry Ruth, and they produced a child named Obed, and Obed became the father of Jesse, the father of David. Rahab is found in Hebrews 11 because of her faith. Hebrews 11:31 NASB By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient after she had welcomed the spies in peace. And lastly, as an example of how faith works, we have the writings of James. James 2:24-25 NASB You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25) In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? Understanding the ramifications, Rahab accepted the spies, protected them, and sent them safely on their way. So, Rahab then becomes an example for us, of faith and how it works.
  9. This was part of a series of character studies that I recently posted online. My interest in Rahab started long ago, as I heard the stories, but rarely ever read the story for myself. If you follow my posts, then you would know that I have gone through some dark times. I suspect that the sentence, "train up a child in the way that they should go" played a role in this freedom and understanding that I now have, for I knew that I needed to plant my heart and mind firmly in God's word. Sadly, when I started doing that, I found myself bored and confused; it was difficult to focus, and I kept hearing this voice in my head, saying, I have read this before. Anguished by this lack of motivation I talked bluntly and plainly to God about the situation, and I asked Him to make Himself real to me. I don't remember when my attitude changed, but it was shortly after that prayer. Soon after, I found myself seeing these Bible characters as real, with flesh and blood. Things quickly changed and I could see them struggle just you and I do. Rahab was one of those characters. It has been several years since I last looked at Rahab, but my interest resurfaced recently as our men's group watched and listened to Francis Chan teach on the book of James, a book that references Rahab and her faith. Look at what James had to say about the dear lady. James 2:25 In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? As typical with men, there is the subtle laughter as they try to adjust their thinking to accept the fact God would use someone like a whore. I cannot remember the question asked, but I immediately began talking about this amazing woman and what she did. I then asked, how would I know any of those things, because I read through the Bible; that, and I have studied these characters multiple times as they are integrated into our lives as believers, at every turn. This story of Rahab, like most everything else in scripture, has a background, and for us, that background comes primarily from the camp of Israel. So let's quickly look at that. Moses has died, and the leadership role is now being passed to Joshua. The entire first chapter of Joshua is essentially a directive to be strong, but there is an astounding statement that seems to make them invincible. Joshua 1:3 CJB I am giving you every place you will step on with the sole of your foot, as I said to Moshe (Moses). The connotation is, in battle. Consider how they, through the ten spies, step on the land of Canaan. Did they completely take the land God spoke of? No, and yet, in the long run, God's word is still valid, for the ground has been given to Israel. (Still today, there is bitter disagreement and fighting over this.) Chapter one ends with a uniform agreement on the part of Israel's fighting forces. Joshua 1:17-18 NASB "Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you; only may the LORD your God be with you as He was with Moses. 18) "Anyone who rebels against your command and does not obey your words in all that you command him, shall be put to death; only be strong and courageous." I am not sure how to perceive this. Would the fighting men kill anyone that resisted one of Joshua's directives? The next plan we see is this, Joshua 1:10-11 NASB Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, 11) "Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, saying, 'Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you are to cross this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you, to possess it.'" I always assumed that Jericho was one of the first cities Israel conquered, however, when you look at a map which indicates the traditional path that Israel took into the promise land. The chart shows them traversing north along the Eastern side of the Jordan and then crossing above the Sea of Galilee and then dropping down south on the Western side of the Jordan, into Jericho. As a visual learner, I now have the placement of Jericho square in my thinking, and it is the next stop. Joshua 2:1 NASB Then Joshua the son of Nun sent two men as spies secretly from Shittim, saying, "Go, view the land, especially Jericho." So they went and came into the house of a harlot whose name was Rahab and lodged there. This ugly tale is where we first meet Rahab. Without a doubt, our introduction leaves something to be desired, as she is a harlot. What are the problems with this introduction? We immediately start assigning personality traits, personal habits, and a lack of intelligence and integrity; all of which are things we cannot discern as yet. Let's start dissecting this. “then Joshua the son of Nun sent two men as spies secretly from Shittim, saying, "Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” Jericho was not the only thing on their list. The more they moved through the land, the greater their chances of being seen. The idea that Jericho was the top of Joshua's list was evident. Secretly is the Hebrew word cheresh, and can also mean silently. Webster's dictionary tells us that secretly is defined as: Privately; privily; not openly; without the knowledge of others. “So they went and came into the house of a harlot whose name was Rahab,” You are a stranger, in a strange land, and, you may not speak or read the same language, yet, you come into the house of a harlot. Think about that for a moment. I brought this up before the men that morning. A short time later, one of the men pushed his electronic pad at me. On it, was an etching found in stone, in front of a building that had been dug out of the ashes of Pompeii. It was overtly sexual and easily identifiable. It required no additional explanation, and the implications could easily mean a house of whoredoms. Working from the premise that we have no other information to build this story on, there is NOTHING in scripture that defines how the spies would have known this. If we lack documented, historical information, then all we have is conjecture, and sadly, inference opens the door to Rahab pandering these new men in town. Taking this debauchery one step further; what is there that explains why the two spies were going into her house? I want to believe that they were above self-indulgence, but it cannot be ruled out. You should be thinking along the same lines as I am, about now. While finding a friendly voice in a strange place might be considered a Godsend, the spies still need to investigate, and this would allow them to move about freely for a short time. Quickly, they explained the grave nature of their business and how quickly they could kill her. But then, they are trying to gain an ally and temporary safety. “and lodged there.” Lodge is Hebrew word shâkab and means to lie down (for rest, sexual connection, decease or any other purpose.) The intent is not to pass on more twisted thinking, but to make a point. We have sterilized God's word to the point that we cannot see that these were people, with frailties, just as we all have. If you follow the scriptural text, you will not see judgment coming from God about their actions. However far this went is none of our business, but in our quick judgments and condemnations, we dispatch people, like Judas Iscariot, to hell, while condoning the actions of these men. After all, it was war. Joshua 2:2 MKJV And the king of Jericho was told about it, saying, Behold, men from the sons of Israel came in here tonight, to search out the country. Apparently, someone had seen them and knew where they came from. What was even worse, is that the Israelis had been seen going into Rahab's house on the wall. Joshua 2:3 MKJV And the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, Bring out the men that have come to you, those who have entered into your house. For they have come to search out all the country. The king has sent messengers, probably armed guards, willing to kill. The demand is to bring out the men that come to you. Okay, here is where things get a little confused. Joshua 2:4 CJB However, the woman, after taking the two men and hiding them, replied, "Yes, the men did come to me; but I didn't know where they had come from. Think about what just happened. Messengers, capable of killing you, demand that you bring out the men that came into the home. You want me to believe that the guards just stood outside and waited for her to return? But what if she was aware that this entourage was coming, would she hide them before they started knocking? So, she, knowing that they want these men, hides them and lies about where they are. Her statement, “ Yes, the men did come to me; but I didn't know where they had come from.” To some degree this statement was right It wasn't long before they revealed their mission to her. Consider how she with minimal information, made a life-changing decision to believe the Israeli spies. She continues the deception. Joshua 2:5 CJB “The men left around the time when they shut the gate, when it was dark. Where they went I don't know; but if you chase after them quickly, you will overtake them.” The Israelis were still in the house. Joshua 2:6 CJB Actually she had brought them up to the roof and hidden them under some stalks of flax she had spread out there. Does it make sense that they would merely take her word, No, or why else would she hide them under the flax? Joshua 2:7 CJB The men pursued them all the way to the fords at the Yarden; as soon as the pursuit party had left, the gate was shut. Not finding them, the king's messengers go in pursuit. Joshua 2:8 CJB The two men had not yet lain down when she returned to the roof. As we wandered through the book section at our local warehouse store, I looked at a devotional journal that focused on women of the Bible. Rahab was listed, as she should be, but the author's version of the story was what we come to expect when tradition rules our thinking; as it conflicted with what the Bible says. How easy it is to twist a story. Joshua 2:9-11 NASB and said to the men, "I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you. 10) "For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. 11) "When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. Without this information, we could never adequately understand what transpired that made her heart turn toward the God of Israel. What did she tell us? I know that the LORD has given you the land. This statement is a verbal demonstration of her acceptance. That the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you. We see terminology like this all throughout the Bible. And yet, when you read the biblical stories, you come to find that in reality it means quite a few. The number is significant enough to be on the alert for spies. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt. Consider how many, choose to dispute or deny, the Red Sea crossing. Here is this woman, whom many would disregard, spelling out a common understanding and belief about Israel's passage through the Red Sea, on dry land. What you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, Sihon, and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And lastly, the most impactful statement of all of them. When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. When it comes to making a confession of who God is in your life, this would be it. Having written recently about Jonah, one of the things we learn of, is that Jonah was a sign. Can you see that God's guidance and actions have been signs? Many of you are aware of Rahab already. You may also be mindful that she becomes an integral aspect of the lineage of Jesus, our King. In spite of ugly titles or your bad reputation, the God who knows the beginning from the end will find a way to draw you into the kingdom. You could not convince me that this woman did not have a changed heart; a change we like to call salvation. Soon, the action will get more intense as Israel, following God's directions, marches around the wall. This amazing woman will continue to play a miraculous role.
  10. There are numerous historical, linguistic and archaeological evidences that back up the veracity of the Bible. For example, it is quite easy to walk where Jesus, King David, Solomon, etc. walked in the Bible, and there are often even churches built on the most famous sites. In addition, there are literally thousands of manuscripts from the New Testament that prove our current Bible is accurate. Lastly, the Bible has been proven over and over again archaeologically. In fact, I know of two scholars who went to Israel with the express purpose of disproving the Bible and ended up becoming believers in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
  11. I believe in past weeks the Lord has given me new insights from Psalm 50, on the imminent rapture of those believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior. See Scripture references at end hereof. Psalm 50, with my comments in brackets: 1 (A Psalm of Asaph.) The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. 2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. 3 Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him. [note by Mary: These words remind me of the fire when Elijah was taken up into heaven, II Kings 2:11 ("there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder"). The following verses then tell who it is that He is coming for. Christians are told to "wait for His Son" I Thess. 10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. Jesus promised He will come for us, John 14:18, and this is our blessed hope, and our comfort. 4 He shall call to the heavens above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people. [I Thess. 4:18 states that He shall descend from heaven "with a shout" and that the "dead in Christ" and "we which are alive" shall be separated from others and brought before Him for judgment. This indicates that the time is when God calls out. Judgement of His people is specifically referred to, and a separating of His people is implied and points to to the timing of rewards or lack thereof to Christians (I Cor. 3:11-15, regarding judgment for rewards or loss to believers.] 5 Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. [This again echoes the words of I Thess. 4:18: "caught up together" and the verses indicate who He will gather. Believers accept Christ's death as their sacrifice.] 6 And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah [This emphasizes that the heavens will testify that God keeps His promises and the rapture of Christians through the heavens will reveal this to the world in a marvelous way. Judgment is again referred to.] 7 Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God. [Then we come to the point where the Psalm reveals that there is a message to Israel, to Jews who had not accepted Christ.] 8 I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me. [This possibly suggests that the animal sacrifices are occurring at the time of the rapture.] 9 I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds. 10 For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. 11 I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. 12 If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof. 13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? 14 Offer unto God thanksgiving: and pay thy vows unto the most High: [This is advice to Israel, and indicates that some will realize that Jesus was their Messiah and that they can be thankful for this knowledge, and make a vow to Him. It points to the need of Israel to accept the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus. I believe many will immediately do so.] 15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. [The Lord tells Israel what to do, gives His promise that He will deliver them too, and gives the outcome, that Israel shall glorify their Savior.] 16 But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? [Beginning with this verse, the Lord speaks to the wicked, and tells them they should take His covenant and declare His statutes, and that they have rejected Him and come under the law of sin. Sinners must start with realizing this and that they are in the time of trouble when His wrath is poured out. (Those who deny the imminent pre-tribulation rapture would change the word "wrath" to "wrath after death" when the Scripture indicates that we will be delivered from wrath.] 17 Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. 18 When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and has been partaker with adulterers. 19 Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. 20 Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son. 21 These things has thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. 22 Now consider this ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. 23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God. So the Lord then promises salvation to the one who orders his conversation right, and offers praise, glorifying God. Jesus' Name means salvation, and some of those left behind, not among the gathered people, will receive Him and be saved during the tribulation. *** Scripture references: II Kings 2:11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. In Ezekiel chapter 1, " Ezekiel 1:4 And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, I Thess. 1:10 (wait for His Son from heaven....) I Thess. 4:18 (For the Lord himself shall descend with a shout ....); John 14:3 (I will come again, and receive you unto myself); John 14:18 (... will not leave you comfortless, I will come for you); Titus 2:13 (Looking for that blessed hope); Psalm 27:10 (In the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me.); I Thess. 5:9 (God hath not appointed us to wrath); Romans 5:9 (justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him); Rev. 3:10 (I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation); Heb. 10:19 (come into the holy place through the blood of Jesus); I Cor. 3:11-15 (gold, ... hay, stubble, ... reward ... loss) Psalm 91 (the dragon shalt thou trample under feet); Psalm 34:7 (the angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear Him). Luke 12:32 (Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.)
  12. Albert Finch

    Send Judah First

    Numbers 2:9 -- "All that were numbered in the camp of Judah were.......These shall FIRST set forth." Throughout the Old Testament, the Israelites conquered their foes with the ultimate weapon – praise and worship. We know this because of the recorded fact that – of the 12 tribes of Israel – the tribe of Judah was the one that was usually sent first. The very name Judah means "praise" (see Genesis 29:35). The divisions from the tribe of Judah, praising the Most High simply by moving forward together, could shatter the atmosphere of resistance before the warriors from the other 11 tribes even got to the front lines. In the same way, we need to "send Judah first" into our own situations. Are we facing an intimidating foe? Send Judah (praise) up against it first. Are we not sure you can hold the territory you have conquered? Send Judah first. Do we feel weak and worn out and confused? Send Judah first. Lift up the banner of praise! We drop our other garments and weapons by the roadside, and move forward like Judah, giving expression to a heart that is filled with godly confidence, awe, and courage. Praise the Lord! Yes, let's just praise the Lord! Remember, worship always precedes His presence! ALBERT FINCH MINISTRY http://afministry.ning.com
  13. Ephesians 2:1 - "But now in Christ Jesus, you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ." The basic purpose of the cross is more than reconciling us to God; it also brings us back to Himself in the close, intimate relationship that He originally intended to have with men. He wants to bring us near. It is in that place that we find the glory and anointing needed to transform atmospheres on earth. We are called to be the carriers of His glory. Christ in you is the hope of Glory (Colossians 1:27). It is the glory of God that makes that difference. By laying hold of Jesus, we lay hold of the glory of the Holy Spirit allowing Him to manifest in us and through us. Hebrews 10:22 - "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." Romans 8:29 - "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren." Affirmation: AS I REACH FOR CHRISTLIKENESS, MY LOVE FOR GOD BECOMES RICHER, MY WITNESS TO SINNERS MORE POWERFUL, AND MY SECRET LIFE HOLY. 2 Kings 5:10 - "And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean." Observation: AS I DIP IN THE LIVING WATER OF GOD'S WORD AND SUBMERGE MYSELF IN THE ANOINTING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT - THE WORLD WILL SEE AN EVENT THAT TRANSCENDS HUMAN POWER. THEY WILL WONDER AT THE DIVINE INTERVENTION BY GOD INTO MY CIRCUMSTANCES. ALBERT FINCH MINISTRY
  14. Acts 14:22 - "Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God". Just as Israel had to go through a wilderness that was the exact opposite of the land of milk and honey they had been promised in order to get to their inheritance, wetoo, must do the same. For many of us, we have experienced a wilderness while fulfilling God's purpose for our life. We feel lonely, barren, and unfruitful. We have been so dry and thirsty that we find ourselves crying out to God in desperation. Our life is in disorder, and at times we are confused and irritated. God has a purpose for our wilderness -- He does NOT plan for us to stay there! God brought the Israelites out of Egypt for the purpose of not only proving their hearts but also to give them an opening to be delivered from a slavery mentality. John 16:33 - "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." Hebrews 3:1 - "Therefore, holy brethren, who share in a heavenly call, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession." AFFIRMATION: My confession -- the words I constantly speak day-after-day determine all that I will ever receive from God, whether it's salvation, physical healing, peace, or financial prosperity. Walk with Him along paths of trust. The most direct route between point A and point B on your life-journey is the path of unwavering trust in Him. When your faith falters, you choose a trail that meanders and takes you well out of your way. You will get to point B eventually, but you will have lost precious time and energy. As soon as you realize you have wandered from your trust-path, look to Him and whisper, “I trust You, Jesus.” This affirmation will help you get back on track. The farther you roam along paths of unbelief, the harder it is to remember that He is with you. Anxious thoughts branch off in all directions, taking you farther and farther from awareness of His Presence. You need to voice your trust in Him frequently. This simple act of faith will keep you walking along straight paths with Him. Trust in Him with all your heart, and He will make your paths straight. "Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal." - Isaiah 26:4 "Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you." - Psalm 9:10 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." - Proverbs 3:5–6 ALBERT FINCH MINISTRY
  15. Albert Finch

    A Greater Anointing

    Zechariah 4:6,7 - " This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the Lord of hosts. 'Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel, you shall become a plain!'" There is an ANOINTING that God gives to each of us that is for our walk with God. His anointing teaches us all things. This anointing is for the inner life. There are OTHER anointings that we pay a price for. When Jesus was entering into His 3-year stretch of ministry, He went into the desert with fasting and prayer. When He came out He was ready for ministry. In the Book of Acts the 120 in the upper room wait for the promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit. We absolutely cannot accomplish the purposes of God in our own strength. We need the power of the Spirit to blow the mountainous obstacles out of the way. God is after the results that are eternal, not temporal. Our sensitivity to the Spirit is needed to see results. WALKING IN GOD'S PURPOSE FOR OUR LIFE Zechariah 4:10b-12 - "For these seven rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the Lord, which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth." Then I answered and said to him, 'What are these two olive trees – at the right of the lampstand and at its left?' And I further answered and said to him, 'What are these two olive branches that drip into the receptacles of the two gold pipes from which the GOLDEN OIL drains?'" God has bigger plans FOR US that would require a greater anointing of the Spirit. There is golden oil, an anointing of His Presence, that God has to pour out. We cannot settle for less than what originates from Heaven. The golden oil is the purity and anointing of God. Gold is representative of that which is valuable and pure. The oil represents His anointing. When we have lives that carry this pure oil of His Presence, we will walk in places that we have not walked before towards the DESTINY He has prepared for us. ALBERT FINCH MINISTRY
  16. John 3:3 - "Jesus answered and said unto him, 'Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."' Once Israel partook of the Passover their who world changed. They left Egypt immediately to go to a place they had never seen. Likewise, when we partake of the Passover sacrifice of Jesus everything changes -- we are BORN AGAIN into a whole new world. Believing for a manifestation of God's Kingdom in our lives and walking in a Kingdom mindset is vital. Why? Because we were created on purpose for this purpose! We are body and we are spirit; we are born from above. As a spirit being born from above and born again, we're to experience the Heavenly realm with our spiritual senses. You are living by another set of rules. You are living by a superior order. All believers are released into the work of the ministry in the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit. Believe that! "The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb, with a plumb line in His hand. And the Lord asked me, 'What do you see, Amos?' 'A plumb line,' I replied. Then the Lord said, 'Look, I am setting a plumb line among My people Israel;'" - Amos 7:7-8God's plumb line is all-important for discerning His voice. Amid all the noise of the world, we need to be able to distinguish God's voice clearly. God wants you to know what He is saying. Every follower of Jesus receives the gifts of revelation and discernment. Every Believer needs to use them! In fact, without discernment and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, we cannot progress in our use of any of the gifts and callings.We bring God's Word to dwell in the midst of the world as we remain sensitive to the flow of His Spirit. Through our relationship with God, we receive revelation. And as we bring that revelation to the world around us, we incarnate His Word in our very ordinary lives—just as Amos did. No matter what your situation is, or where you've come from, you can receive revelation and grow in spiritual discernment. God wants to use you powerfully as a plumb line of God's Word to everyone around you. Come to Him and rest. Give your mind a break from its habitual judging. You form judgments about this situation, that situation, this person, that person, yourself, even the weather—as if judging were your main function in life. But He created you first and foremost to know Him and to live in rich communion with Him. When you become preoccupied with passing judgment, you usurp His role. Relate to Him as sheep to Shepherd, subject to King, clay to Potter. Allow Him to have His way in your life. Rather than evaluating His ways with you, accept them thankfully. Worship Him as King of kings while walking hand in hand with Me down the path of Life. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” - Matthew 7:1 “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” - John 17:3 "But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?" - Romans 9:20–21 ALBERT FINCH MINISTRY
  17. "...before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as My prophet to the nations." - Jeremiah 1:5 Although Jeremiah was called as a prophet, he still had to participate with action on his calling. God then instructs Jeremiah to "get up and prepare for action." "Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them." - Jeremiah 1:17 In other words, he was not to sit down on the job or make any excuses. He was to get up and go. The call of God does not come with perfect circumstances, but with many challenges to our obedience. There will always be an excuse to not participate with our calling. His Kingdom must come first in our livesbecause God, Himself, is first and our lives are to reflect who He is. John 15:7 - "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you." Some are willing to spend hours in prayer asking for a miracle instead of planting the Word of God in their hearts, which in time would produce the miracle. Prayer is what water and fertilizer are to a seed. They help the Word release its life. But if you haven't planted the seed, it doesn't matter how much water and fertilizer you apply, the soil still won't produce fruit. It's the seed that has life! AFFIRMATION: The creative language of God is demonstrated when I speak forth the creative Word of God in boldness and confidence because it is abiding in my spirit. Relax in His everlasting arms. Your weakness is an opportunity to grow strong in awareness of His Almighty Presence. When your energy fails you, do not look inward and lament the lack you find there. Look to Him and His sufficiency; rejoice in His radiant riches that are abundantly available to help you. Go gently through this day, leaning on Him and enjoying His Presence. Thank Him for your neediness, which is building trust-bonds between you. If you look back on your journey thus far, you can see that days of extreme weakness have been some of your most precious times. Memories of these days are richly interwoven with golden strands of His intimate Presence. "The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemy before you, shall say, Destroy them." - Deuteronomy 33:27 "I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." - Psalm 27:13–14 ALBERT FINCH MINISTRY
  18. Shalom (Peace) to all. Marilyn had said (to wingnut-) in "ERRORS of the POST TRIB. view" under Prophecy/Eschatology: Her short outline provides the information that she divides the children of Israel into two groups: Those who receive the promises given to Israel and those who are NOT included in Israel's inheritance. I believe this division to be rather forced and extremely insulting. Here's why: Notice the ones who are NOT included in Israel's inheritance consist of "Rebellious Israeli people who disobey God" and "Israeli people who come into the Body of Christ." This almost makes the two subcategories on a comparative level. Ironically, many JEWS feel they are synonymous, but should WE feel that way, too? I don't think so. Second, since this is an outline of JUST the children of Israel, she is implicitly making a distinction between the children of Israel and those who are NOT children of Israel, frequently referred to as "Gentiles," suggesting that they have different prospects. She continued in a separate post: (bold-facing mine) Taking her advice, I've started this topic. This topic gets into prophecy and eschatology, but it's deeper than that. So, I decided to open this thread in Doctrinal Questions. If the Moderator feels it would be better placed somewhere else, please feel free to move it. I don't disagree with her basic conclusion that the "elect" refers to Israel (as the "chosen seed") especially in Matthew 24, but I must disagree with the highlighted portion. She concludes that Israel will have the rulership on earth over the nations, and that those who are born again shall have the rulership over the universe. ("Over the UNIVERSE?" That's a HUGE dominion and is probably MUCH greater than we, all those born again, could handle! And, we would be spread very thinly over a VERY GREAT area!) While there is a difference between Gentiles and Israel outside of the Messiah Yeshua` (outside of Christ Jesus), there is NO difference between the two groups WITHIN the Messiah. Essentially, that makes THREE groups of people: 1. The Gentiles outside the Messiah, 2. the children of Israel outside the Messiah, and 3. believers (children of Israel and Gentiles) within the Messiah. Paul describes the last group in Ephesians: Ephesians 2:11-22 11 Wherefore remember, that ye (the Gentile Ephesians to whom Paul was writing) being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ (outside of the Messiah), being aliens from the commonwealth (citizenship) of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God (outside of God) in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus (in the Messiah Yeshua`) ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh (close) by the blood of Christ (the blood of the Messiah). 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain (two) one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off (the Gentile Ephesians), and to them that were nigh (the children of Israel). 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye (the Gentile Ephesians to whom Paul was writing) are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints (the holy ones; that is, the ones consecrated for God), and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself (Yeshua` the Messiah Himself) being the chief corner stone (capstone); 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. KJV The point I'm trying to make is this: When we are made "one new man," we are not putting the Jews (or more generally, the children of Israel) "into the Church," but rather God is accepting the Gentiles into the household of God, Yeshua`s Israel - Yeshua`s Kingdom to come, making them fellowcitizens WITH the saints, the children of Israel, who were consecrated by God for Himself. The "Church," or rather the "churches," are simply groups of people that gather together for the same purpose. The Greek word, ekkleesia, was also used for the town council of Ephesus (interesting coincidence?) in Acts 19, particularly verses 32, 39, and 41. In the KJV, the word chosen to translate this simply called it an "assembly" instead of a "church." However, ekkleesia is also found in Stephen's sermon in Acts 7: Acts 7:2-41 2 And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia (between rivers), before he dwelt in Charran, 3 And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee. 4 Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell. 5 And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he (God) promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child. 6 And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years. 7 And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God: and after that shall they come forth, and serve me in this place. 8 And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs. 9 And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him, 10 And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house. 11 Now there came a dearth (famine) over all the land of Egypt and Chanaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found no sustenance. 12 But when Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt, he sent out our fathers first. 13 And at the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren; and Joseph's kindred was made known unto Pharaoh. 14 Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls. 15 So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he, and our fathers, 16 And were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem. 17 But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt, 18 Till another king arose, which knew not Joseph. 19 The same dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live. 20 In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father's house three months: 21 And when he was cast out, Pharaoh's daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son. 22 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds. 23 And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. 24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian: 25 For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not. 26 And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another? 27 But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? 28 Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday? 29 Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begat two sons. 30 And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush. 31 When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came unto him, 32 Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold. 33 Then said the Lord to him, Put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground. 34 I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt. 35 This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush. 36 He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years. 37 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. 38 This is he, that was in the church (Greek: ekkleesia) in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: 39 To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, 40 Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. 41 And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. KJV Thus, the FIRST "church" was the congregation of the children of Israel that surrounded Mount Sinai when Moses received the "lively oracles" or the "living words" of God to pass on to us. Thus, going back to Ephesians 2 above, the Gentiles who are grafted into the Olive Tree (Romans 11) are "no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints (the holy ones; that is, the ones consecrated for God), and of the household of God." Thus, we who are Gentiles are no longer "aliens from the commonwealth (citizenship) of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God (outside of God) in the world!" There was a song I used to sing as a kid, "Every Promise in the Book is Mine." Its words are... Every promise in the Book is mine, every chapter, every verse, every line, all the blessings of His love divine; every promise in the Book is mine. Later, I used to believe that this was not true, that there were some promises made to Israel that didn't belong to me as a Gentile. Now, I've changed my mind again! As a Gentile who is accepted into the household of God and is now a citizen of Israel, a recipient of the covenants of promise, the promises ARE mine! Through the blood of the Messiah Yeshua`, I am also a member of the tribe of Y'hudah as Yeshua` is! (You are, too.) The bottom line is this: Even believers in the Messiah have a part in the Millennial Kingdom of God here on this earth. We are PART of those who live and reign with Him, and that's not off in "heaven" somewhere; it's right here on this earth before the Millennium ends with the Great White Throne Judgment. When Yeshua` gave His parable (Luke 19:11-28), even we who are the Gentiles who are grafted into His Olive Tree (Romans 11:16-25), are recipients of these evaluations and rewards. Luke 19:11-28 11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. 12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. 14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. 15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. 17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. 18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. 20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: 21 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. 22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: 23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? 24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. 25 (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) 26 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. 27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. (Yeshua` HIMSELF said this! Does this sound out of character for Him? It's NOT! These are HIS words!) 28 And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. KJV So, I find NO difference between the two. To the contrary, I believe that we ALL will participate in the Messiah's Kingdom right here on this earth during the Millennium.
  19. Soy Richard

    The Hope of Israel

    Would anyone like to talk about the Hope of Israel? The Apostle Paul said: "for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain." I searched this site for this phrase and found nothing. That Paul was prepared to be a captive for this hope is telling. Shouldn't we, too, have the same hope?
  20. Psalm 17:15 -- "As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness." Many read the Scriptures simply to reinforce their current beliefs. Although they read the entire Bible, their mind only sees certain doctrines. Instead of believing what they read, they merely read what they already believe. Rarely do they find new truths in the Word. Baptists see from their perspective, Pentecostals and charismatics each have theirs, while Catholics and other denominations often have a completely different emphasis. The same way the Jews were "baptized into Moses" (1 Corinthians 10:2), so Christians are often baptized into their denomination. When they are fully indoctrinated, their minds have been immersed into a pool of teaching that leaves them more conformed to the image of their sect than to the likeness of Christ. John 8:31,32 --"So Jesus said to those Jews who had believed in Him, ' If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples. And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.'" AFFIRMATIONS: As I study the scriptures I submit my spirit to the leading of the Holy Spirit. I am open to different truths in the Word of God that may conflict with my present understanding. It may not seem that anything good can come out of your Nazareth, but God is not looking at our past; God isn’t looking at our resources, our money, our talents; He is looking for a Bethlehem, a holy place to deliver His will, a humble place to cover His dreams in swaddling clothes and lay them in a manger until they grow and eventually enter the temple on their own. John 1:46 - "Nathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” "And said, Verily I say to you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven." - Matthew 18:3 It is very important that the foundation upon which we stand is "The Rock," our Lord Jesus Christ, and that our life is hidden "in Christ." If our spiritual experience is resting on sand, that is, if we are trusting our own abilities, we will fail when the pressures of life increase. When difficulties affect us and we begin to lose our spiritual direction, if we will become quiet and look to the Lord, we will recognize that beneath our vacillations is a layer of spiritual strength and hope that had been deposited within us through our identification with Jesus in His death and resurrection -- which was CONFIRMED IN THE PEACE that came when He took up His abode within us. We need only to realize that WE ARE A NEW CREATION -- that old things have passed away and our life is hid in Jesus, and that our strength comes from Him. With David, we should be able to say, "The Lord is my light and my salvation..." (Psalm 27:1). If we will meditate on the past victories that we gained by placing our lives in His hands, this will become personally real to us. Paul said, "I press toward the mark..." (Philippians 3:14). This "mark" is our CALLING in Christ. We look past our vacillations to see there is within us a deep inner determination to press through to the place where our responses no longer emerge from our Adamic nature, but from the new creation that we have become. ALBERT FINCH MINISTRY http://afministry.ning.com
  21. Luke 10:38-42 - "As Jesus and his disciples went on their way, he came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed Him in her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat down at the feet of the Lord and listened to His teaching. Martha was upset over all the work she had to do; so she came and said, 'Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to come and help me!' The Lord answered her, 'Martha, Martha! You are worried and troubled over so many things, but just one is needed, Mary has chosen the better part, and it will not be taken away from her." Mary chose to sit at Jesus's feet while Martha chose to work in the kitchen. Mary sought to please Him by being with Him while Martha tried to please Him through service. When Martha became jealous, she asked Jesus to tell Mary to Help her in the kitchen. Most servants want to degrade the role of the "friend" to feel justified in their works-oriented approach to God. Jesus's response is important to remember: "Mary has chosen the better part." Martha was making a meal that Jesus never ordered. Doing more for God is the method servants use to get God's attention that they might increase in favor. A friend has a different focus entirely: they enjoy the favor they have and use it to spend time with their master. To say we need both Marys and Marthas is to miss the point entirely. And it simply isn't true. It has been said that nothing would ever get done if we didn't have any Marthas. That too is a lie. That teaching comes mostly from Marthas who are intimidated by the lifestyle of Marys. Mary wasn't a nonworker. Rather she was beginning to be like her Master, who only did what He saw the Father do (John 5:19). Jesus was talking, so Mary set aside other distractions and sat down to listen. She didn't get caught up in making the food that Jesus didn't order. She was learning that working FROM His presence is much more effective than working FOR His presence. AFFIRMATIONS: AS I SIT AT THE FEET OF JESUS I LABOR FOR THE MEAT THAT HE GIVES ME WHICH ENDURES UNTO EVERLASTING LIFE. I AM BECOMING A PASSENGER IN THE VEHICLE OF HIS WILL, A VEHICLE IN WHICH HE HIMSELF IS BOTH CAPTAIN AND NAVIGATOR. "They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land. - Jeremiah 17:6 No one wants to make another trip through the wilderness. This is not a time to walk in circles. We are to walk with a true goal, aim, and purpose, making the most of each occasion, because we know the time is short (see Ephesians 5:14-17). Paul, the apostle, instructs us to walk purposefully toward one true goal -- God's PURPOSE for our life (see Philippians 3:12-16). There is a rest of faith -- there is a faith that rests in confidence on God. God's promises never fail -- "Faith cometh by hearing and hearing, by the word of God." (Romans 10:17).The Word of God can create a resistless faith (through continually speaking it and meditation) -- a faith that is never daunted, a faith that never gives up, and never fails. May God help us today to get our eyes God has a plan of healing -- it is on the line of perfect confidence in Him. You can never pray "the prayer of faith" if you look at the person who is needing it; there is only one place to look and that is to Jesus.off the conditions and symptoms, no matter how bad they may be, and get them fastened upon Him, and then we shall be able to pray the prayer of faith. ALBERT FINCH MINISTRY
  22. 1 Corinthians 2:10 - "Yet to us God has unveiled and revealed them by and through His Spirit, for the Holy Spirit searches diligently, exploring and examining everything, even sounding the profound and bottomless things of God." In Him our eyes can think - they see with discernment and understanding. The mind of Christ fuses with our vision, revealing what was impossible to be seen by the narrowness of our perception; we see "In front and behind." Our vision also comes from "The center of the Throne". Not only do we see distant spiritual realities but we are close enough to penetrate and search the depths of God himself. Ephesians 2:6 - "And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together in the heavenly sphere in Christ Jesus". Yet, at the same time being near to God also gives us "eyes within" - eyes which monitor the motives that guide self; inner eyes which stand guard against sin. The more our vision opens up, the greater we see God and His Holiness. The slightest sin in our lives becomes significant; we are compelled to live pure before Him. Affirmations: I AM LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT AS OPPOSED TO MY INTELLECT TO BRING FORTH THE PROMISE OF GOD WITHIN ME (MY DESTINY). I AM IN LABOR, INCREASING IN WISDOM, AS JESUS WAS IN HIS TIME OF PREPARATION. Luke 2:52 - "And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and years, and in favor with God and man." Romans 14:17 - "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit." The Kingdom is contained by the presence of the Spirit of God. Releasing the treasure that you carry is the big challenge for the Christian life. We have been called from eternity towards time. What faith means is that we live FROM HEAVEN TOWARDS EARTH. Christianity in its present state is that we live from earth towards heaven. Our focus is to call out to God to fix a problem. Yet He has equipped and assigned us to function in His authority to deal with the problem. Learn to linger with Him. Let Him embrace your tears. Let Him embrace your temple. Let Him become known to you as the 'Embraceable Savior.' He is going to brace you, and brace you, and brace you up. And He is going to erase the fingerprints of man. For man has been sent in for destruction, after destruction. It has not been His hand of destruction. Let Him captivate your mind, your heart, your body, and your soul, until you are so devoured in the knowledge of the goodness and the love of God. He would baptize you today, fresh, and strong, in the fire of the warmth of His love. He would take hearts that have grown cold from pain and rejection, and say, 'Beat again unto life.' Pick up the rhythm of His Spirit. Cast down death, and pain, and begin to jump. Begin to clap. Begin to set your spirit free, to press through, so He can press out of you, and bring forth the report of the Lord. Know that many things will be changed, for He is FOR you, not against you. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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." - Matthew 11:28-30 ALBERT FINCH MINISTRY
  23. "But the men who had gone up with him said, 'We can't attack those people; they are stronger than we are.' And they spread among the Israelites an evil report about the land they had explored. They said, 'The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes and we looked the same to them.'" - Numbers 13:31-33 OBSERVATION: God will often asks us to do something that is bigger than we are. Just because God promises you something, that doesn't mean you won't have adversaries. If God asks you to do something that appears to be difficult, He is also giving you an anointing to overcome it. The Children of Israel, through their unbelief, determined how long they were in the wilderness. God never intended them to stay in the desert for 40 years. Colossians 1:12,13 - "Giving thanks unto the Father ...Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son." Many believers limit God without even realizing it by training their eyes on the limited resources of this world rather than the unlimited riches of God's Kingdom. Their faith fails when they think of the troubled economy on the earth or of the scarcity that surrounds them. The Bible says God has "delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son." To be translated means to be taken out of one place and put into another. In other words, your citizenship is not primarily of this earth...you are first and foremost a citizen of the Kingdom of God. That means this planet doesn't have any right to dictate to you whether your needs are met or not. The Bible says God will meet your needs according to His riches in glory! (Philippians 4:19) AFFIRMATIONS: I wake up to the fact that I've been translated out of a world of poverty into a kingdom of abundance. Heaven's unlimited resources are available to me! 1 Corinthians 13:13 - "So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." The power of love is the greatest power in the universe. It's beyond defeat. It never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8). When you release love into a situation, you have released God into it. When you release love into a situation, Jesus becomes responsible for its success. AFFIRMATION: I release love every moment into every situation, every prayer and every thought until it totally consumes my life. Love strengthens me and casts out every fear that has robbed me of God's greater blessings. ALBERT FINCH MINISTRY
  24. ruck1b

    What were they doing?

    During Israel's bondage in egypt what do you believe they were forced to do? What jobs would they have had to learn?