Sunday, 16 September 2012
You ask what am I on about?
We are talking about at what stage of the end game have we reached here. The first, second and third trumpets have blown. On this day - Rosh Hashanah, the start of the blowing of the Shofar. The trumpets are blowing. People are bitter. Raging against those who want to harm the name of the their God. Wormwood.
(Revelation 8) The third trumpet blew. (a long time ago) In the 6thC, Wormwood has fallen, has rooted and has festered. Devised by the one who wanted to be worshipped more than God himself, a third of the world's population is now embittered in its 'sweet taste'. It draws people in and spits them back out, to spread its bitterness throughout the ends of the world. It's mission is to embitter the planet. There are rules and practices. There is the talk of sweetness and light, but underneath , behind the talk is dark and destroying. Many have died in this cause. Have died for being in the way, because the cause doesn't care for the individual, rather for the power; have died for disobeying the rules; have died to further the cause
Soon the fourth trumpet will blow. It stands to reason that the third of the world affected by the great fallen star will be affected by the fourth trumpet. The darkening of the sun, the moon and the stars. There will be a third less light.
The dark destroying bitter herb of Wormwood will destroy the light of the stars, the sun and the moon in that region too. All other religions (which they represent) will become dumb. Banned. The triumphing Wormwood will cause other religions to scarper, and face destruction. There will be no Christian light of love and reason in those lands. There will be no other sense of religion such as Buddhism or Sikhism or Hinduism in these lands. The light will darken and the bitterness will increase.
The fifth trumpet will blow when the time is ready. The great Satan himself, feeding off the embittered peoples around him will open the great abyss and the smoke from it will darken the sun and the remaining light. The world will not care for religions. They may even be banned. The forces of commerce will govern the way. The wolrd economies are changing. Rich becoming poor. Poor becoming rich. Where before the rich fed off the poor, so they are turning tables. The wealth is almost now governed by those who eat of the bitter herb and they will become richer and more powerful in due time. They think they will govern. Armies will be sent fourth from these lands to devour the other nations. Who will be able to stand up against them?
They will be able to torture the other peoples (but not eradicate them). They will change the other judicial processes and laws to match their own. They will change the way people worship and change the daily calendars. They will cause them to only trade with those who show the right mark. The mark which respects their own and their bitter herb. The "mark of the beast", Revelation 13 v 18 calls it. It's already spread wide and far. You don't need to look hard to find it. But there will be a time when all those who wish to get on in the world will have to carry it.
Wednesday, 7 March 2012
- The singing / worship has ceased.
- The praise has stopped.
- There is a collective pause. Selah.
- No creation is being created.
- No answered prayers – “my God why have you forsaken me?”
- No new babies
- No more animals
- No new trees, shrubs, plants
- The earth will become a wilderness in which no intervention from God becomes intervention from man against each other.
Sunday, 23 October 2011
Many, many, many. Sail boat on the horizon
People gone, pigs are snorting. Blazing sun.
Rocks, stones, twigs, shells. Rough waves.
Fishes swimming. Throwing rocks. Killing fish. Boat
Fish tastes good. Want some more. Boat
Rocks, smashing, splashing, whacking. Strong wind
Dull sounds, cracking sounds, sharp sounds. Splashing. Wave over legs.
Running, jumping, leaping. Hide. Boat is nearer.
Where to go? Cave. Cliffs. People. Pigs.
Wind, waves, rain, dark clouds, Boat.
Hearing grunting, shouting, screeching, snorting.
Looking around at the tops of the cliffs. People. Pigs. Fish. Waves. Boat.
Oars moving. Battling wind and waves. Men.
My place, my cave, my stones, my head, my fish. Men.
Screeching, grunting, cowering, pointing, thundering. Rain
No, they will not command. They cannot command. I will fight. Hand, nails. Stone.
Fight, kick, punch, shout, curse. Sun.
Boat. Waves. Oars. Men
Stone. Whack. Splash. Shouts
Men. Water. Running.
Caves. Dark. Hide. Stones
Crunching, grunting, shouting, running. Feet
Curses, Stones, God?
God? Fierce. Destroy. Kill.
Faces swirling. Stones flying. Arms flinging. Sky.
Clouds. Rain, wind. Face. Hair
No. Turn. Twist. Arms. Strong men.
Blazing Sun. Son. God. Squirm. Pigs.
Laugh, cower, stones. Rolling. Pigs
Striking, flailing. Arguing. Cursing. Shouting. Gnawing. Biting. Son.
Floating. Sky. Wind. Waves. Grass. Mud. Pigs.
Pigs. Grunting. Running. Squeeking. Charging.
Waves, Sea, Water, Fish.
Quiet. Eery. Calm. Still
Son. Glory. Free.
Saturday, 29 May 2010
Monday, 16 July 2007
The world is tense, waiting out a summer in anticipation of events of perhaps biblical proportions. There is Iran, Palestine, Israel, Fatah, Hezbollah, Afghanistan, Iraq, Eqypt, all poised as though chess pieces awaiting their instructions to move, to take, to try to checkmate the opposition.
Why is Britain coming under attack? Spiritually because we have left God's side. The Government is in support of Palestinians maintaining their own identity and their own state along the Gaza strip and the west bank. We have negated our support for Israel and therefore have negated the blessing from God. We are open to attack because God is relinquishing his protection on Britain. During the empirical days, God was in the hearts of many who travelled, hence setting up christian outposts in far off lands and spreading not only the use of English around the world, but the gospel along with it. Britain was a country of tremendous influence and it supported the Israelies after the war, to gain their own independent state back from those who had occupied the traditional land of Canaan. Now though, it seems Israel have gone too far and are selfish and don't want to allow the Palestinian state any land. Palestines = Philistines. Yep the same old enemy King David fought.
The set is poised in slow motion. Armies will descend at a blink of a cursor upon Israel when the instruction is given. The Quartet are seated on their thrones. Tony Blair is their envoy, and cries peace, yet the wolves circle the sheep pen. The stage is set for the Lord to come and show everyone who actually is LORD and KING over all. The battle of Ezekiel 38 is about to begin. Can you not hear the rumblings and the thumping sound of many troops?
Be on your guard. Keep watch. Don't sleep. For the world will change in the blink of an eye and where will you be? Be sure to stay on the Lord's side for there you will find refuge through all that is to come.
Friday, 6 July 2007
Could mean the two religions Judaism and Islam. Islam started at a much later date, yet seems perhaps to be more popular and is rising in popularity and gaining more attention around the world.
The Ram is a beast (a power or authority) and is butting westward, northward and southward. The principle areas of the two religions spread in these directions. Little of the two religions spread east.
Then along bound a male goat from the west, which jumped without touching the ground, i.e. it had no religious basis. The goat magnified itself exceedingly after hitting the ram and shattering the two horns and striking it to the ground.
The goat appears stronger. There is great emphasis on the ram and the religions, yet in terms of world economics and politics, we all are aware that the USA is by greater than all the countries combined of Islam and Judaism. America is set up its constitution based on christian principles, but that has largely been steamrollered over by successive generations who simply play lip service to those principles whilst in government. Another big horn not set up through religion, is the UN and its might and strength to provide needs for each country and stamp its authority in the name of peacekeeping.
The large horn is broken as the goat grows in strength. In its place four horns appear.
It is intriguing that there is currently a powerful group in the world. Not the G8 countries. No religion or religious groups but rather a geo-political group based on the cultures of the west. This group known as "The Quartet" consists of USA, UN, EU and Russia. It is this group which presides powerfully over every other nation and group on the earth today.
Out from one of the horns another, smaller horn grew, exceedingly great, towards the east and the Beautiful Land of Israel.
This horn came from small beginnings but quickly grew very popular and then magnified itself greater to trample down the very host of heaven and to be equal to God himself.
Out from "The Quartet" there streams a man who has had small, humble beginnings. A religious man by all accounts. He became the leader of his country and successfully became popular over the 10 years of his lead. Now, rising on the crest of that popularity, he has been assigned by "The Quartet" to be an envoy to the middle east regions, particularly, Israel and Palestine and other countries and interests with in the area in a bid to draw out a peace agreement which is acceptable and workable on all sides. He did it for Northern Ireland, surely he can do it for this region.
The man's name is Tony Blair. He came from humble beginnings, and now is a famous and proven world statesman.
It would be interesting to monitor his conduct within the confines of his position in negotiating for peace and a solution to the conflict and whether he has a belief in a greater ambition, to not only match the flair and power of the US president but to match the flair and power of God himself?
We know the antichrist will come from out of the church, will start humbly but gain enormous power and respect of the peoples of the earth and then before they are aware will make policy decisions which would have immediate and worldwide ramifications.
When people are claiming peace in the world there is actually the beginnings of great tribulation.
Saturday, 26 May 2007
Gen 37 v 3 Jacob loved his son Joseph more than all his sons.
Matt 3 v 17 God spoke from the heavens saying “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.”
Gen 37 v 14 Joseph lived in Hebron (a place of fellowship). He was sent by his Father to Shechem to see after the welfare of his brothers.
Philippians 2 v 5-7 Although he existed in the presence of God, humbled himself in the form of a bond servant and took on the likeness of man.
John 3 v 16. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. Jesus grew up in a place of fellowship with his father and was sent by his father to see after the welfare of his brothers.
Gen 37 v 2 Joseph brought back a bad report about his brothers to his father. His brothers hated him.
John 15 v 18 Jesus testified to his father about the sins of his brothers & they hated him.
Gen 37 v 5 Joseph had a dream and revealed to his brothers the exalted position he would receive & his brothers hated him even more.
Matt 24 v 30-31 They will see the son of man coming in the sky in power and glory and all the tribes of the earth will have sorrow and they will hate him.
Gen 37 v 18 His brothers plotted against him to put him to death
Matt 26 v 15 Jesus brothers plotted against him to put him to death,
Gen 37 v 26 – 28 Judah sold Joseph for 20 pieces of silver.
Matt 26 v 15 Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
Gen 39 Joseph tempted to the utmost and endured.
Matt 4 v 11 Jesus tempted to the utmost and endured.
Gen 39 v 13 -18 Joseph accused falsely
Matt 26 v 59-65 Chief priest tried to claim false testimony from Jesus in order to put him to death.
Gen 39 v 20 Joseph sentenced and condemned along with two criminals.
Mark 15 v 27-28 Jesus condemned along with two criminals.
Gen 40 v 20 – 22 One criminal lived, one criminal died.
Luke 23 v 39-43 One criminal ‘lived’ (in paradise), one criminal died.
Joseph was betrayed in to the hands of the Gentiles. God took this betrayal, turned it on its head so Joseph could save the world.
Jesus was betrayed into the hands of Gentiles. God took this betrayal and turned it on its head so Jesus could save all Israel and all the world.
Gen 41 v 14 Joseph taken from the dungeon, a place of death and raised by the King to a place of glory, in one day; in one instance.
Eph 1 v 19-20 Jesus raised from the dead and seated at the right hand of the God in heavenly places.
Gen 41 v 45 Joseph takes a gentile bride after his exaltation and went forth over the land. He has a new name which means “God speaks, he lives”.
Eph 5 v 23-32 Jesus takes a gentile bride (the church) after his exaltation.
Gen 41 v 42-44 Pharoah took off his signet ring and gave it to Joseph as well as garments of fine linen and a gold necklace and proclaimed second over all Egypt. Every knee bowed to Joseph and he was given all the power and the glory.
Matt 28 v 18 “All authority has been given to Jesus in heaven and on earth”
Gen 47 v 25 Joseph saved lives. He was acknowledged as saviour and ruler.
Philippians 2 v 10-11 Jesus acknowledged to be saviour and ruler.
Gen 41 v 55-57 The whole world had to get their bread from Joseph. There is no other way for people to be saved.
John 6 v 35 Jesus says he is the bread of life.
Acts 4 v 12 There is no other name except Jesus for people to be saved.
Gen 47 v 24-25 Joseph gave all honour to Pharoah and all rule of the land and people and gives him all power, rule and authority.
1 Co 15 v 24 Jesus delivers the Kingdom to God the Father and gives him all power, rule and authority.
Gen 43 v 33 Joseph is aware of the past, sinful history of his brothers.
John 2 v 24-25 Jesus knew what was in men.
Joseph’s brothers did not recognise him at their first coming, but only at their second coming.
Gen 45 Joseph wept and made himself known to them. His brothers wept also.
During the first coming, Joseph uses the Egyptian officials (gentiles) to give bread to his brothers. Only during the second coming does he send the Egyptians away and reveals his true identity.
Zech 12 v 10 They will mourn for him like a son. Brothers didn’t recognise Jesus at the first coming, but will do so at the second coming and they will weep. They realise the one they have betrayed is the exalted one. The Son of Joseph is the Son of David; The suffering servant is the conquering King. When the peoples repent he’ll forgive them.
Jesus us now using gentiles (Christians) to give spiritual food (the bread of life) to his brothers (the Jews). A time will come when he will reveal himself to his brothers.
Gen 37 v 3 Joseph is Jacob’s son in old age; a root out of dry ground.
Isa 53 v 2 He grew up as a root out of dry ground.
Gen 37 v 7 Was told that one day he will rule.
Matt 26 v 64 Jesus said to him, "You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you shall see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN."
Gen 37 v 19 The dreamer comes
Mark 3 v 21 Jesus has lost his senses; is a dreamer.
Gen 37 v 17 Joseph went willingly after his brothers.
Heb 10 v 9 Jesus willingly does the will of God.
Gen 37 v 18 His brothers conspired against him to slay him
Luke 23 v 21 They called out “crucify him”
Gen 37 v 23 They stripped Joseph of his coat
Matt 27 v 28 they stripped Jesus of his cloak
Gen 37 v 24 Joseph thrown into a pit
Matt 12 v 40 Jesus will be 3 days and 3 nights in the earth
Gen 37 v 32 They took Joseph’s coat to show he is no longer in the pit.
John 20 v 5 They looked at Jesus’ buriel linen to prove Jesus no longer in the grave.
Gen 39 v 1 -2 Joseph did as a servant would
Luke 26 v 24 Jesus did as a servant would.
Gen 39 v 3 the Lord made everything Joseph did prosper.
Isa 53 v 10 and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
Gen 40 v 13 Joseph promised deliverance to a condemned man. Joseph foretold the future accurately
Luke 23 v 43 Jesus promised deliverance to a condemned man, as he does to those who repent. Jesus foretold the future accurately.
Gen 41 v 39 Joseph is regarded a great counsellor.
Isa 9 v 6 Jesus shall be called a wonderful counsellor
Gen 40 v 23 Joseph is forgotten by those he helped.
Luke 17 v 17-18 Jesus forgotten by those he helped
Gen 41 v 46 Joseph is 30 years old when he began his work
Luke 3 v 23 Jesus us 30 years old when he began his work
Gen 41 v 55 It is told of Joseph “Do whatever he tells you”
John 2 v 5 It is told of Jesus “Do whatever he tells you”
Gen 41 v 42 & Gen 42 v 8 Joseph adorned in garments of Egyptian royalty. He became unrecognisable to his brothers.
After the 1st Century, Jesus made King of gentiles. It is forgotten he was made King of Jews and he became unrecognisable to his brothers.
Gen 41 v 45 Joseph given a new name
Jesus was given a new name . A greek name Jesus and not Yeshua.
Friday, 4 May 2007
What's a Sabbath?
Actually the controversy exists largely among gentile believers. Most Jews familiar with their religion figured it out long ago. But to a gentile ignorant of the Jewish calendar, the phrase in John 19:31 identifying the day after the Crucifixion as a special Sabbath meant that Jesus had to have been crucified on a Friday, because even gentiles know that the Jewish Sabbath is Saturday. Many otherwise competent resources (such as the Study Bible I use) make that mistake. And everyone agrees that He rose again on Sunday. There isn't any way you can put three days and three nights between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning. Hence the controversy.
So let's get it straight. Sabbath means holy day. There is one every Saturday in Israel, but there are also several during the year that are date specific. That means they are always observed on a specific calendar date, regardless of the day. They're like our Christmas. It always comes on the 25th of December no matter what day of the week that happens to be.
The special Sabbath John referred to is the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and it's a date specific holy day; always observed on the 15th of the month they call Nisan, which corresponds to March/April on our calendar. So the first thing we learn is that the special Sabbath mentioned in John 19:31 wasn't a Saturday.
In fact there are three special Sabbaths in the month of Nisan alone; Passover on the 14th, the Feast of Unleavened Bread which begins on the 15th and runs through the 22nd, and the Feast of First Fruits on the Sunday morning following Passover. All have both a historical and prophetic purpose and like all days in the Jewish calendar they begin at sundown, following the pattern of Genesis 1. (This also confuses Gentiles since our day begins at midnight.)
The Passover Lamb
But it gets still more complex. The next issue we have to address is the sequence of events in the week we call Holy Week. Jesus came to fulfill the prophecies of the Passover Lamb. Here's what that means. In Exodus 12 where the Passover was ordained, God told the Israelites to select a lamb on the 10th day of the month and inspect it for defects until the 14th. This means through the end of the 13th. Then at twilight they were to slaughter and roast it, eating it that same evening. Using some of its blood they were to paint their door posts red to protect them from the plague coming upon Egypt at midnight.
Following our calendar, these events would have all occurred on the night of the 13th but for the Jews the 14th began at twilight, when the sun set, and so it was already the 14th when they killed and consumed the Passover lamb.
The only day Jesus ever allowed the people to hail Him as King was on the day we call Palm Sunday. He did this to fulfill the selection process for the Passover Lamb. When the officials told Him to quiet His disciples, He said that if they became quiet, the very stones would cry out (Luke 19:40). For this was the day ordained in history. It was the day He officially became the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world. It was 483 years to the day from the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, spoken of by Daniel the Prophet. (Daniel 9:25) A little while after the officials spoke with Him, He condemned Jerusalem to utter destruction because they did not recognize the day of His visitation (Luke 19:41-44) As we'll see it was the 10th day of the month.
The next three days were filled with the most aggressive debate and confrontation with the officials in His entire ministry, beginning with the Temple Cleansing. He was being inspected for any doctrinal spot or blemish that would disqualify Him as the Lamb of God. They found none.
Some years before the birth of Jesus the Passover celebration had been changed and in the Lord's time called for a brief ritual meal of lamb, unleavened bread, and bitter herbs (horseradish) to begin the 14th followed by a great and leisurely festival meal on the 15th, when the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins. This tradition is still followed today.
The 14th became known as Preparation Day (Mark 15:42, Luke 23:54, John 19:31), because on it they made ready for the great feast day beginning at sundown. Matthew identifies the day after the Crucifixion as the day after Preparation Day (27:62) so all four Gospels agree. Jesus died on Preparation day, the 14th of their month Nisan, which is Passover. He ate the ritual meal with His disciples in the Upper Room, and then was arrested, tried, convicted, and put to death; all on Passover. He had to be, in order to fulfill the prophecies of the Passover Lamb.
So just like the Lord had commanded in Exodus 12, He was selected on the 10th, inspected on the 11th, 12th, and 13th, and executed on the 14th of Nisan.
How Do We Know This?
A little over 100 years ago a believer named Robert Anderson was head of Scotland Yard's investigative division. He became intrigued by the three days and three nights issue and enlisted the help of the London Royal Observatory to investigate the problem since astronomers can locate the exact position of the planets and stars on any date in history. Since Passover always falls on the 14th, and since the Jewish calendar is lunar (moon) rather than solar (sun) oriented, there is always a full moon on Passover. This fulfills Genesis 1:14.
Plotting the course of the Sun and Moon they documented the day and date of every full moon. The Royal Observatory discovered that the first Palm Sunday was the 10th of Nisan. Passover, the 14th, was therefore a Thursday and Resurrection Morning was also a Sunday, the 17th. From Thursday to Sunday there are three days and three nights. Here's how it works. It's a little confusing to our way of thinking but read carefully and you'll see that it makes sense.
As I've said, He had to die on Passover to fulfill the prophecy. Early that Thursday morning the Jewish leadership decided to kill Him. His fate was sealed. (Matt. 27:1 By law He had to be off the cross and in the ground before sundown. (He actually died about 3 PM and was laid in the tomb immediately.) So Thursday was day one. Because in Jewish reckoning the night precedes the day, at sundown it became Friday the 15th, night one, and the special Sabbath John mentioned began. At sunrise it was Friday day, day two. The next sundown brought Saturday night the 16th, night two, and the regular Sabbath began. As of sunrise it was Saturday day, day three. At sundown on Saturday it became Sunday night the 17th, night three, and before sunrise Jesus rose from the tomb. Three days and three nights. When the women arrived to anoint His body at sunrise, He was already gone.
So in the week Jesus died two Sabbaths that permitted no work were observed back to back: The Feast of Unleavened Bread on Friday the 15th, and the regular weekly Sabbath on Saturday the 16th. In Matthew 28:1 we read that at dawn on the first day of the week (Sunday the 17th) the women who were close to Jesus went to look at the tomb. Luke 24:1 tells us they were going to anoint His body for burial. The two Sabbaths had prevented them from doing so earlier. But He wasn't there. He had risen. Being the Sunday after Passover, at the Jewish Temple it was Feast of First Fruits. At the Empty Tomb it was Resurrection Morning.
Some argue that this view doesn't permit three full days and three full nights in the tomb but that's not what the Scripture says. It simply says three days and three nights. If you move his death up to Wednesday like some teach to get three full days you violate the Passover Lamb prophecies. The Thursday date is the only one that will accommodate both the Passover Lamb and the three day three night prophecies. Selah 4/8/07
Saturday, 14 April 2007
A hand grabbed me from behind, covering my mouth and chin, forcing me backwards and away from the lip of the well. My cupped hands of icy cold fresh water jerking and spilling its rich contents over my feet.
“Your slurping will wake up the whole camp” Adi whispered hurriedly. “We’ve got to go”.
I looked around at the shapes of the tents stretched along the northern limits of the small town, illuminated by the weakening beams of the waning moonlight. Philistines. I was ready to kill them all right now, but ‘right now’ was not the right time. God had his own times and reasons. They were all asleep. How easy it would be. A thrust here, a thrust there and there would be much weeping in the Philistine towns that day.
“Come on Adi. We can slaughter them now” I gestured with my hands thrusting my sword into the soft ground
“No. Let the King decide. He doesn’t even know we’re here. What if it went wrong. His blood would be on our hands.”
I sighed. By the time the King found out, they could all be dead and we would be victorious. He would understand. The man was under the same pressure. He had already tried more than three times to get rid of them, but this new group was not the main front and would only stir up ten times more trouble. This was but a small garrison. Perhaps fifteen hundred men. Placed only as a back up.
Eleazar was guarding the pitcher, crouching down on the gravelly slope waiting for me to join him in carrying it.
The pitcher was better than we had hoped for. It was large and strong and well balanced. Found alongside one of the tents near the well it would serve us better than the pot we had brought along, so we swapped it. It looked new. Mainly brown with swirling decorations of differing colours, ochre, turquoise, mauve and scarlet. The colours set the pattern interlinking them in a fascinating method where by the design resembled that of running deer through a mountainous landscape, but were all blurred as if looking through the eye of the deer itself.
The pitcher was heavy but with two of us carrying it, we found it would be easier.
“Try not to spill a drop” Eleazar warned me. “This is for the King”
Adi remarked on the weight. “Each is to carry the pitcher for two hours.”
Setting off from the Adullam’s cave, it had taken us just over two and a half hours to reach the well, having covered the distance at a fair pace, over the low hills which ran above the vale of Elah and the main road. The ground was rough with patches of gorse, outcrops of broken rocks and a few trees. We planned to return the same way, however, with the pitcher and its precious cargo, the two and half hours will stretch perhaps until dawn, increasing our chances of being spotted by advance lookouts.
“I am aware of your concerns Shammah,” Adi argued in return “I propose we cut back half way along the sides of the valley, rather than over the tops of the hills. That way, we won’t be on the road neither exposed on the hilltops. There’s more gorse and loose rocks, but we can do it.”
I’m glad Adi had it all planned out. Now all we had to do was sneak across the valley, out of Bethlehem and up into the gorse. The guards stationed on lookout on the edge of camp were visible in the moonlight. Then one turned and looked east. We slinked silently alongside the tents of the sleeping soldiers, their snores and grunts rising over the town as a crescendo of voices baying in another language, intermingling and revealing secrets no other could understand. One man slept with his head right against the side of the tent, its outline perfectly formed in the tent wall. I drew my sword, itching to pierce the man’s brain through his eyes.
“Put that away” whispered Eleazar “someone will see the glint of metal”
I looked at him in disgust, as he did me, but then I smiled and returned the sword to the scabbard.
Suddenly there was movement in the corner of the camp. A guard was seen. He seemed to suddenly jump up and down. He turned away and began to relieve himself. Now was our chance. We raced as quietly as we could, carrying the pitcher past the edge of the camp and across the rocks and reeds, skipping across the shallow brook which ran along the centre of the valley.
The half moon was sinking down towards the horizon, it’s light penetrating very little of the dark gloom surrounding the valleys. It was a good night to be not seen. Quickly we made our way through gorse about waist high and over disjointed and broken rocks, the leather sandals slapping lightly on the flat faces of the rocks. The gradient and slope of the hills to the south of the valley of Rephraim made it hard work to carry the pitcher without tilting it too much, as one of us, in this instance, me, had to walk lower than the other and therefore I had to hold the pitcher higher up with my left arm.
After an hour of traveling Adi called for a short break and we gladly set the pitcher down and lay flat. My left arm and shoulder ached with the effort of carrying the pitcher.
“Where are we?” asked Eleazar
“We’re not as far as I had hoped” replied Adi. “It’s going to take us much longer to get back to the cave than what it took to get to Bethlehem.”
“There is still some hours of darkness left” I remarked.
“That’s true. By daybreak we should be not that far from the cave”
“Why don’t we try further down in the valley? Perhaps the terrain is more marked out. We can hide, if someone comes along”
“There are always soldiers about. This garrison in Bethlehem is in need of constant supply and news from Gath. Although not the main route through to Bethlehem, I reckon this valley gives a better and quicker chance for soldiers to get by unnoticed.
“We will certainly take longer to return to the cave if we walk directly in the valley below. I remember there being an elbow further along. We can look at skipping over the top of the hill there, cutting out the elbow and helping us be quicker!”
“Come on, let’s go. Shammah. You can be on guard this hour” Adi directed. I nodded, simply pleased not to be carrying the pitcher.
Scouting out in front of the other two, I was cautious to peer ahead for any sign of danger. Suddenly I heard footsteps. Lots of footsteps. And the clinking of armour as they walked, chatting loudly, laughing and joking as though they were on an afternoon stroll without there being a regard to danger around them. I ran back and told the other two to stop and hide. We cowered in the gorse bushes and looked down upon six soldiers who were walking along the bottom of the valley, kicking up stones and dust and chatting as if on a leisurely walk and not taking much notice of their surroundings. Behind them was a carriage, pulled by a donkey, loaded up and covered. Three more soldiers walked behind the carriage, cursing the slow stumblings of the donkey who was finding the going difficult in the dark.
As they passed, I gestured to Adi and Eleazar to get going. I stayed routed to the spot to see if there were any others I had missed. Satisfied that the company had just ten soldiers, I set off to catch the others up. They were good, because I couldn’t hear them until I was really close. Unfortunately for them, and also good for me though, was that they couldn’t hear me. I crept behind them smiling for they did not realise it. It would be fun to scare them. Mind you, trained soldiers who kill with ease will perhaps not scare and before I know it, I would be thrust through without them realising who I may be. Then they would have to carry the water pitcher by themselves for the rest of the way.
Suddenly, my thoughts were broken. There was a rush of movement in the gorse, in front of me, but behind Adi and Eleazar. I dived down to the undergrowth and Adi hearing something picked up speed to an area ahead where they could place the pitcher without it toppling and turned to confront their attacker. Although the gorse and brush moved, there did not appear to be anyone there. Then there was a quick glint of steal from Eleazar who had jumped further down the hill. He returned triumphantly, having speared a coney.
“Shammah, are you afraid of a little critter?” laughed Eleazar, holding up his prize.
I shook my head and blushed, glad that the darkness hid my face.
“We must have disturbed its sleep” Adi said smiling. “Come on let’s go. We’ve still got half a nights journey ahead of us”
“That’s an unclean animal. You can’t eat that” I cried, alarmed at Eleazar for tucking it into his cloak.
“You can if you’re starving. Besides this isn’t as unclean as those Philistine filth and we’ve all been through their camp tonight, so whether or not we touch unclean things does not make any difference now, for we all are not allowed anywhere near the Tabernacle for at least seven days.” Argued Eleazar
“Or in your case, seven months” joked Adi.
“Do you think the King will mind?” I asked
“Nah. Living in a cave with all them critters makes him about as unclean as anyone else”
The moon was hidden behind the hills. The valley was in darkness. We arrived at the elbow and decided to cut across along the top of the hills into the next valley which led to the cave. Along the way we disturbed more coneys. The hillside must have been full of them. Small, dark animals with little bushy tails, able to skip along at least twice as fast as a man could run, their eyes shining brightly even in the dim moonlight. Perhaps they could see better than us.
The gorse eased away until we were walking across the bare hilltop. I was carrying the pitcher again and Eleazar was ‘resting’, keeping lookout and ensuring we were going in the right direction and there were no holes to fall down. I remembered walking along this ridge on the way to Bethlehem at the beginning of the night. It seemed days ago. The softer ground and sight undulations made for pleasant walking and in the daytime, the hilltop afforded good views of the Valley of Elah stretching away into Philistine and to the great western sea beyond.
The sky was now showing an indigo hue. Daybreak would not be long. Once dawn appeared, the Philistines would notice the missing pitcher and begin a search. Hopefully, they will blame each other and not be aware of any outside influence. The guards on watch would be questioned. As far as I am aware, we were not spotted either entering the camp or leaving it. The guards, clever and accustomed as they are, can not see all areas at once.
The guards at the cave of Adullam had it easier for there were limited entrances to the valley and there was even a couple stationed on the other side of the valley where some parties may not notice them. They signaled using reflected light from their swords or sometimes using smoke.
The King had been at the cave for nearly half a year and the Philistines were becoming a menace, looking for him in all the major townships in the region. They had, as far as I am aware, no knowledge of the cave system at Adullam.
As they marched across the land, he was almost on top of them. A swift slingshot would certainly cause a Philistine some damage and concern as they marched along the valley nearby. Just as their champion had found out a few years ago, the story now a legend in the whole of Judah, I am sure he had not seen the stone that hit him until just a few centimetres from his head where there was no time to turn to avoid it. Even my victories against the Philistines paled in comparison, for once protecting a field of lentils from two hundred of the filth, does not compare to killing a Philistine champion with one sure shot and causing their entire army of tough soldiers to flee.
Two further hours passed and I was back on watch duty. The sun was now beginning to rise over the eastern mountains behind us.
“Not far now” Adi said as matter of fact.
“No. Perhaps only another hour.” I replied. “I can see the advance guard over on the other side of the valley”.
Adi stopped. “We need to send a signal to them, otherwise they’ll prepare an ambush for us”
He lifted his sword high and shaking it performed an intricate pattern of light. We waited watching the other side of the valley. A reflected signal returned. The King will be made aware.
The cave loomed above us. Adi and I were carrying the pitcher and Eleazar reached up to the first mount. People looked out and were curious as to what we were carrying. Eleazar helped us lift the large pitcher up into the safety of the cave system. Looking into the pitcher we had not lost a lot of water on the way. Perhaps just one or two cupfuls.
We were tired but ecstatic for having achieved such an undertaking.
The King stood before us expectantly.
Adi bowed. “Sire, your water.”
“Water? What water?” he asked, confused.
“From Bethlehem” I replied.
“We broke through the Philistine camp and brought you some water from the well which is by the gate. We carried it here for you in this pitcher. A ‘gift’ from the Philistines” Adi said smiling and emphasising the word ‘gift’
Then King David looked at us in despair and sighed, the colour rising in his face. He grabbed the pitcher and tipped it over on the floor allowing the water to spill out. I watched it in horror as it run in small rivulets along the floor of the cave and reached the edge disappearing over the lip, running down over the steps, surprising the people who were sitting below the cave and it flowed down along the path to be swallowed up in the grass and reeds in the valley.
“Be it far from me, O LORD, that I should do this. Shall I drink the blood of the men who went in jeopardy of their lives?” The King said.
We bowed to his greater superiority and looked at the water sinking into the dust of the cave, remembering every detail of our journey to Bethlehem and back to please the King in what he had craved for, but alas, it was not what he had really wanted. He wanted to actually go back and sit at the well and laugh in its vicinity and enjoy the land around it. ‘Let’s rid this land of the Philistines once and for all’.
Saturday, 31 March 2007
Friday, 23 March 2007
Had a plan to create the earth and populate it with people who would worship him as their creator and take delight in his creation of the animals and the plants, the trees, the mountains, hills and seas around them, plus the myriad of stars above. Perhaps also to interact with God on a more personal level and to worship alongside his angels, just as he had a relationship with Adam in the beginning.
God placed man in the Garden of Eden where there was a whole variety of species awaiting his delight and there was the tree of life.
(Then came sin…..and seperation of man and a 1/3 of angels from God. Through sin, God had to readjust his plan, and send his son to die so that man could be reconciled to God once more and the pain of seperation and death would be dealt with once and for all, by binding Satan up and evicting him in to the lake of fire. This plan took man through many phases and many generations, from two people (adam & eve) through to today, where 6 billion people are living on the earth, and over time whoever knows how many have lived and died in the earth, perhaps 10 – 12 billion over the generations).
God planned a definitive time for all things to come to a head, to judge and to overcome the sin that caused his creation to go astray. God gave man time to try to overcome sin themselves but instead are destroying the very planet they live on, and creating technological advances which they claim can match those of God (or even transcend them).
The earth will be laid bare. Bare rock. No green grass, trees, plants, animals, people. A new earth. Seedlings will begin, life begins. Lichens and moss. This spreads, young plants will grow and these will spread. Over time the green grass will be renewed and be fresh and pleasing. This will be the new earth. Heaven, where men will dwell to worship God. On the earth there will be a city. The new Jerusalem, where God will dwell amongst man. The tree of life will be there and men will worship God forever. The city will be 12000 stadia long on each of its four sides – 1500 miles long x 1500 miles = 2.25m sq. miles
The people of God in their new bodies will be forever young, forever worshipping the magnificent creator and praising him for his new creations which he will do for us to take delight in once again and never will there be any more sin or death or all of the evil that is associated with it for God in his glory will be the ultimate for whom we run to when he extends his open arms and walks with us upon the lush green grass in the garden.
2 Kings 22 – 2 Kings 23 v 30
Josiah was King of Judah and whilst King, Hilkiah the Priest of the temple discovered the Book of the Law, which Moses had written (the Torah). He read from the book of the Law and found that many of the practices and the decrees which God wanted them to do were not being carried out. Josiah set out to change that and declared that he and his people would follow the letter of the Law and reconcile themselves and consecrate themselves back to God.
The Lord God however was still angry and burning with fury for their previous practices and the way they had been living and ignoring him, and making him jealous, therefore, despite this turnaround, He still declared that Judah will be overtaken and destroyed.
2 Ki 22 v 15 – 20.
King Josiah however hears the word of the Lord, YET despite knowing what is going to befall Jerusalem and Judah, he still sets out to renew the covenant with God and the people and removed all of the articles made for Baal and Asherah from the temple of the Lord, from the high places around the country and destroyed them all. He also defiled them by burning dead bones on them and ground all of the statues to powder which he scattered over graves (2 Ki 23 v 6).
He slaughtered all of the priests who served Baal and Asherah.
He then declared the words of the Law and covenant over the people and celebrated passover with them, (which had not been celebrated for a long time, perhaps since King David’s time).
Despite all of this the Lord did not turn away the heat of his anger against the people of Judah (2 Ki 23 v 26)
King Josiah knew this, yet still went ahead to destroy the worship of the other gods and destroy the connection to these other gods and slaughtered everything and anything which were connected to these other gods.
He did not waver from this task. He did not say to himself, what is the point, if the Lord is going to destroy Judah anyway. No. He carried on to reconcile his people for the Lord.
Today, we know for a fact that the earth will be destroyed
Will we just sit back and wait for it to happen and not care about how our actions are destroying the environment? (“ it doesn’t matter because the earth will be destroyed anyway, so why should I do anything to help it? What can I do? It’s nature. God is in control of it, so I can’t do anything to help”)
Josiah didn’t think like that. He carried on regardless of what was to happen. He knew that Judah will be destroyed. He knew that the Lord was angry, yet he carried on.
We should carry on doing whatever we can to help save the environment around us, and lobby governments to alter their thinking on environmental issues.
We should carry on looking after the homeless, the sick, the poor and the elderly, because God sees our hearts and knows that what we do is right in his eyes, yet the process and plans to destroy the earth are already in motion. Like an express train, we cannot stop it, yet should do what we can whilst on board to prepare for the great crash, and keep it tidy and clean. Who knows we may even survive it and live on the new earth in full glory, worshipping God.
Sunday, 18 March 2007
As the suitcases move along on the conveyor belt, they become subject to the elements of weather. Sun, rain, dust, stones, hail, snow, frost, ice, cold, heat and wind all take their toll on them. The clasps and locks become rusty, and blocked with dirt. Creatures crawl over them and make their way inside. The treasure of gold and silver become tarnished and would eventually crack and crumble. The creatures live amongst them and cover the treasure in webs and dirt. Outside the suitcases, leaves and dirt pack around the case. Vines entwine around some of the suitcases closing them in even tighter.
Further on along the conveyor belt stands a man. He looks powerful yet acts gently. He holds a set of keys and attempts to open each suitcase in turn. He struggles with many of the cases but does not use force. If they cannot be opened then he would let them go by. He smiles when he finds a suitcase he can open. The man takes delight at the amount of treasure he finds inside. Although tarnished he can see how beautiful it all would be when polished. He grabs his cloth and one by one begins to polish the cups, plates, pans, bowls and other pieces. It takes time but that does not matter. The man walks along beside the suitcase as the conveyor belt glides by, polishing each article, taking delight in the gleaming beauty they each become. Finally, he removes all the creatures and cobwebs out of the case, and shuts the lid but does not lock it so that he is able to look inside the case at any time he wants to.
At the end of the conveyor belt stands another man. This man commands authority. He holds a hammer and chisel and checks each suitcase in turn by opening the locks and lifting the lids. The man uses the hammer and chisel on those suitcases which are rusted shut and entwined. Every suitcase has to be opened. He would often find blackened and tarnished cups or bowls. Plates and other articles may be cracked and broken or even crumbled. Some would be full of creatures and dirt. The man is saddened as he watches these suitcases tumble over the edge. As their contents spill out into the furnace, he reflects on what could have been and looks at the empty spaces on his shelves.
Some of the suitcases which reach the end of the conveyor belt look cleaner. The man opens them easily as the locks and clasps have been well oiled by the man who polished the treasure. He gasps as the gleaming gold and silver dazzle and laughs in delight at the treasure he finds. He picks them out of the case and carefully places them on the shelf where they catch the strong sunlight, which makes them shine and glimmer even more brightly. The empty cases tumble over the edge of the conveyor belt but God is not worried. God beholds the far more important, gleaming cups, plates, pans bowls and arranges them to shine from every angle.
What does your treasure look like? Is it tarnished or gleaming? Will you allow Jesus to make you clean again?
Thursday, 8 March 2007
I couldn't stay. Racked by guilt and fear, i wanted to run away. Anywhere but here, however the crowd drew closer and was thousands thick. I never even realised there were so many people in the world let alone all being in one place at the same time. Stones were being thrown from far away and crashing against the man made mountain. I took a breath, turned to face the crowd, saw a small gap and ran as fast as i could, but the gap was closing. Almost at the same a boulder, hurled by a giant of a man, bounded towards me at great speed through the same gap. I stopped just short of being injured by the full force of the boulder which rolled past my feet to stop at the edge of the growing mountain.
A man stood close by who was fumbling with the tie of his sack, yet i saw it was clearly open. He was embarrassed to want to reach in and grab a stone. As i watched him, he spotted me. I walked towards him.
'you having difficulty with your sack?'
'none of your business' he replied.
He was dressed in a nicely tailored business suit and his mannerisms suggested an affluent upbringing, yet here he stood with a dirty leather sack, full to bursting with rocks and stones.
'it's already open' i said, looking inside, spying the contents. I was intrigued. Some of the stones were rocks, rough hewn with sharp edges, yet some glistened like jewels.
'what are these?' i ask in surprise.
The man looked sheepishly into his bag.
'I've carried them for years. They're my favourite stones. I've worked on them a bit each day and now, see how they shine. They are like diamonds and costly jewels. They are all precious.'
I nodded in agreement with him, then asked 'what about the rough rocks?'
'leave them alone', the man shouted defensively, 'i've only just put them in my bag. They're mine. I need to work on them so they shine like the others.'
I looked at him. He was glad of his burden.
'are you proud of your achievements and how you have acquired your stones.'
'yes' the man shouted above the din of the crashing stones on the mountain. 'what about yours?' he asked.
I felt myself turn red with embarrassment and contemplated the bulky rocks jutting through my own sack. The sack is heavy and ideally I wanted to throw the whole lot at the mountain, but i have carried it all my life and now i couldn't even consider the thought of losing it.
The stones in my sack are precious. They are mine and I have earned them. They hold precious memories, some I don't even wish to recall any longer, yet they hold the very fabric of my life, all of them have interconnected meanings; gained from perfecting the previous ones. As a child my sack was small, containing nothing more than a few pebbles, yet they were not enough. I wanted what my parents had, what the others in my village were carrying. I didn't know the weight or the colour of the stones, yet their sacks were larger and everyone carried them with pride. To gain more pebbles, I would learn to fight. I quickly realised that life was easier if I told a few white lies and hid a few truths. As I grew, I developed my character out of learning from others how they told lies, stole food and tools and were dishonest with their neighbours for their own personal gain. I copied them, wanting to be like them. I found that each time I told a lie a pebble would slip into my bag. Each time I stole food from my neigbour a large pebble chinked down onto the others. My parents would clip my ear, but I would walk away proud, for my bag was filling with pebbles and becoming larger. Growing older into my teens, I found a gem of a stone. Rough hewn at first, I learned to work on it until it shone, yet the stone also grew in size as I polished it. I had fun polishing the stone; a devious trick which shocked my parents to the core when they eventually discovered my callousness.
Through school and wanting to please my friends, I told them I was rich and was due to inherit a large fortune. I would bring in items of wealth claiming I had bought them with my share of the fortune whereas I had stolen them from another town and had hidden them in a hole until I needed to impress my friends. I stole a large cache of money and went on spending sprees with my friends, ,showering them with gifts. I had girls following me thinking I was in love with them and they with me, yet all they wanted was more gifts of money and jewellry.
The stone in my bag glinted with colours depending on the light of the day. The rough hewn stone of a lie became a gem of a lifestyle, and this stone attracted other stones and the whole fabric of my character was built up.
The man in the crowd looked at me expectantly.
'Are you going to accuse me of not throwing my stones?' he asked
'no' I repled. 'I don't want to throw mine away either. I want to leave and hide' I said, eyeing the crowds, trying to find an escape route.
As I looked at people, they looked at me, their faces sad and lifeless. Some others still held on to their sacks. Perhaps we should get together, form a group and in solidarity declare a rebellion for not wanting to lose our precious gems, but time was fast diminishing. I glanced at the time. Forty minutes to go.
'You need to cast your stones upon the mountain' The voice came from inside. I turned around looking for someone who may have uttered those words but there was no one sincere in their gaze. The man next to me also heard the voice.
'I'm not throwing my stones away. Never.'
'Why are you here?' the voice asked
I had no explanation. I couldn't remember purposely travelling here.
'Where are we?' I asked
'Golgotha' came the reply
Golgotha. The name conjures up images surreal to the present and haunting of the past, just as Armageddon portrays images of a future, yet may have been in the past, for now time was fast approaching its end and I stood on the very brink of existence surrounded by the population of the world watching a growing mountain, as heavy rocks still filled the air and the sounds of smashing rocks still reverberated around the site
The man next to me relented a little. Grabbing two stones out of his sack he threw them. I watched them carreen into the pile and were lost amongst the others.
'Those two were a token gesture. They were valuable to me, yet look, I can no longer see them. They are insignificant amongst all the others' he cried.
'I didn't realise how people had so many stones. How corrupt they all must be. Everyone. Not just a few, but everyone on the entire planet had stones and stories and life experiences all tied into their sacks.
I dug through mine looking for some stones I didn't like. Finding two, I held them in my hands. 'Should I throw them?'
'It's up to you, but you know it's inevitable'
'It's not'. They were heavy. I dropped them to the ground. There. That will do. As I let them go, a force of unexplained power lifted them and shot them fast high into the mountain, causing them to split into myriad pieces as they hit.
'go on. You can let them all go now.' The voice said.
I stood still. I didn't need to throw them. I just needed to let them out of my hand. Simply, give them up in my mind and the power of the mountain would draw them away.
I became frustrated. I wanted to leave the stones on the ground in front of me, yet each time i let one drop, it would fly fast into the mountain. I shouted out in anger.
Out of the corner of my eye i noticed people watching me for a response. The sky was suddenly lighter and the sound of crashing rocks has diminished. Less than one minute to go.
'Cast your stone' the voice called out, 'obey me, just as you used to. You need to trust me once again. I've always been true to you'.
I looked into my sack, now light and empty except for one last rock, highly polished into a multi-coloured layered gem. I could never let this stone go. I couldn't surrender. I couldn't trust, yet i knew, even as time and life ebbed away, that i would have to. This is my life, my secret, my character and ego. It seemed everyone is staring at me, urging me to let the rock fly, yet i closed the sack and held the neck tightly in my hands.
Seconds raced by, counting down to zero. Voices raised and shouting. The whole world beckoning to me to let go. I have the very last stone. If they have cast all of their stones onto the mountain, surely there is no problem with me letting go of mine, yet pride stood strong. Everyone would see my secret. Did it matter any longer. My sack became suddenly heavy, weighted down as if by a thousand stones. I opened the sack. Holding the polished gem in my hand, i contemplated its design. Uniquely formed, i am glad to have made it, yet now perhaps it is time to let it go, for time was now no more.
Raising my arm, i drew my hand back and flung the gem as hard as i could. Everyone watched as the stone flew in an arc high and straight. It landed directly on top of the high mountain and the collision reverberated around the world.
Time stood still. No one moved. Darkness covered the sun; snuffed out as in a candle. I stared straight ahead at the invisible form of the mountain. I knew it was there yet all was hidden and silent. Was this the end? The end of life itself? Would i simply die along with everyone else, glued to their spot in the darkness?
The ground beneath my feet began to shake. A tremor. An earthquake. The shaking became worse and the rumbling sound became louder. People started screaming in fear and shock.
'what if the mountain slips. All those rocks will bury us.' said a woman close by.
Would that be how the end will happen? Buried by our guilt? The tremors became stronger. The darkness making it worse since we couldn't see what was happening. Suddenly the mountain appeared to split. Strong sharp light filtered through fissures in the rock. i held my breath, thinking quickly through the implications of the scene enfolding in front of me. Then, with an almighty noise, like a shout, the mountain broke apart, the light became stronger than the midday sun, and appearing above was a figure emblazoned in light, a sword in his hand, fire in his eyes. Songs of glory surrounded the standing crowds as angels in their thousands praised the risen, living Lord.
I fell on my face on the ground. 'i am guilty, my Lord' i cry in the din.
A hand grabs my shoulder,and pulls me up.
'fear not, my Son, you are forgiven.'
I stand in his glory, fear gone, and praise the mighty risen Lord.
K S WHITE
20 June 2004
Friday, 2 March 2007
The Devil tempts Jesus under the three categories below. The Devil never changes his ploy. These categories have been his ‘M.O.’ from the beginning of time.
This temptation occurred during a time when Jesus was physically weak after being 40 days in the desert without food.
I began also to think of the Israelites while they were in the desert, during those 40 years and the way they were kept from entering the promised land because of their unbelief and disobedience. They had been tempted by the Devil, who deceived them as a people into thinking that God had led them out in to the desert to die, that God was not really interested in them any longer.
During those years, something of the ‘M.O.’ of the Devil came through the accounts in Exodus.
Luke 4:3 “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread”
Adam & Eve
Genesis 3:4 “You will not surely die!”
Exodus 16 & 17
Manna, Quail and Water. The Israelites accused Moses of letting them starve. They were tempted to give up and turn back to Egypt.
Luke 4:9 “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone’”
Adam & Eve
Genesis 3:5 “For God knows that when you eat of the fruit your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Exodus 32. The golden Calf.
The Israelites whilst waiting for Moses to return from visting with the Lord on the top of Mt Sinai, became restless and were tempted into creating a golden calf in order to worship a tangible god, so they could focus on something as being representative of the Lord, rather than believing him without seeing him. The mystery of the Lord without a tangible presence other than the cloud and the pillar of fire, was what the devil played upon their minds to think that without an icon there would be no God.
Luke 4:5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in a instant all the Kingdoms of the world. And he said to him “I will give you all their authority and splendour, for it has been given to me and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours.”
Adam & Eve
Genesis 3:1 “ Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’”
Numbers 22- 24
Balak, King of Moab wanted Balaam, known as a sorceror, to place a curse on the Israelites. Balaam however, was open to the word of the Lord and the Spirit of the Lord was upon him.
The Lord told him not to curse the Israelites because they are a blessed people.
Balaam was tempted in everyway to curse the people of Israel.
The Devil wanted his authority to be placed over the Israelites through the curses from Moab, but the Lord intervened. There was a spiritual battle.
Sunday, 25 February 2007
Let us fix our eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith... Heb 12v2
When we fix and keep our eyes on Jesus we can see the ten Commandments as ten promises, reassuring, not condemning.
#1You shall have No other Gods before me. Exodus 20 v 3
God promises that He alone is the ONLY God and there is none other beside HIM.
Isaiah 42 v 8 I am the Lord; that is my Name! I will not give my Glory to another or praise to Idols.
Isaiah 44 v 18. They (idols) know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so that they cannot see and their minds closed so that they cannot understand.
#2 Ex 20:4 "You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.
Isaiah 44 v 18. They (idols) know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so that they cannot see and their minds closed so that they cannot understand.
Man does not need to have an idol to be able to enjoy and worship God. He need only bring himself in praise and worship and the Holy Spirit opens the way to the father.
John 14:6 Jesus *said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.
#3 Ex 20:7 "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.
Ex 3:14 And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
God promises to punish those who takes his name in vain or who swears false oaths in his name.
Le 19:12 'And you shall not swear falsely by My name, so as to profane the name of your God; I am the LORD.
The Name of the Lord evokes strength and power.
#4 Ex 20:8 "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Leviticus 11:44 ”For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am holy. And you shall not make yourselves unclean with any of the swarming things that swarm on the earth.”
Heb 1:3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high;
1Pe 2:9 But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvellous light;
#5 Ex 20:12 ¶ "Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.
Ro 2:5 -10 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to every man according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honour and peace to every man who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
John 3:27 John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing, unless it has been given him from heaven.
Heb 5:4 And no one takes the honour to himself, but receives it when he is called by God, even as Aaron was.
God likewise shows and bestows honour on us as we believe in him. He will not give honour to anyone who will not receive it from him.
#6 Ex 20:13 "You shall not murder.
John 10:9-10 "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.
God promises not to kill us but give us eternal life if we believe in him.
#7 Ex 20:14 "You shall not commit adultery.
Heb 3:6 but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.
God holds faithful to us because of the covenant of the blood through Jesus Christ our Lord. He will not go and leave us for someone else.
#8 Ex 20:15 "You shall not steal.
God will not steal from us.
1Co 6:15 - 20 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? May it never be! Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a harlot is one body with her? For He says, "THE TWO WILL BECOME ONE FLESH." But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
#9 Ex 20:16 "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.
1Jo 2:27 – 29 And as for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. And now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.
Re 14:4 – 5 These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless.
#10 Ex 20:17 "You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbour."
2Co 11:2 – 3 For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
God does not covet the things that we covet and keeps himself whole for us. He has a Godly jealousy if we go astray and will covet us if we return but shall remain faithful.
Tuesday, 6 February 2007
K.White 17 October 1999
Hebrews 12 v 1 -2
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Let us fix our eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the Throne of God.”
Notice:- “Cloud”, not crowd of witnesses. These witnesses are those who have ran the race before us, have reached the goal and look down with joy and excitement, cheering us on to complete the goal.
I see a man on the track. He’s running his race. He knows his goal, but doesn’t know how fast he’s going or how long he’s got until he can reach the goal. Along the way, he’s hindered by people around him. A dense, seemingly endless crowd of people. None of the people are standing watching the race. Those watching the race are in the clouds above. No, these people are jostling him and each other as they are all attempting to run their own race, to find their own goal, to be the first to reach the ribbon across the end of the track and so as they aiming to be first, they also along the way either intentionally or unintentionally trying to prevent others from running and achieving their goals. So the man running was constantly having to fend off those who either tried to trip him, grab him, or push him over. The man knew where his goal was. He always tried to fix his eyes on Jesus, and not to look either to the left or the right. He had to knock people out of the way. He ignored their cries, because he was in a race, a race to glory. He shook off everything that hindered or entangled him. He went straight as an arrow for Jesus.
Along the way he heard a voice telling him to tell the others around him about the goal he was heading for, about Jesus and that his goal was better than any other. Surely not! He couldn’t stop to tell people. He was in a race. The people about him were intent on their race. But the voice persisted. He was told to slow down, look about him at the people, to hear their cries and frustrations and to point out that the goal he was headed for was by far the better goal and that at the end of the race their pains and frustrations would disappear.
He couldn’t do that. He would have to stop to explain. He would have to realise their pain and maybe even take note of his own pain too. Time was short, he was in a race. He couldn’t stop.
There seemed more people in his way now, going in all directions. He was forced to go slower and he became more annoyed. An old woman grabbed him. She told him she was confused. Had lost her goal and didn’t know the way back to it. He pointed out his goal. Pointed out the eyes of Jesus and told her about that goal, but she didn’t comprehend. She didn’t move and so he went on his way.
“You need to explain. You need to take time with them” the voice raged in his head. “Just like the one who had explained it to you.”
The man was thinking hard now. How could he explain effectively? He thought back to how one day he had met someone who had pointed out Jesus to him, who told him that the goal of heaven was greater than any other, that the prize was greater and the welcome warmer. Whilst thinking of these things he had stopped still. A giant of a man appeared to be barrelling straight towards him from the left. He only had a very short time to think which way to dive before the man would knock him flat, but this giant suddenly stopped right beside him indignant as to why he was directly in his way. The runner thought this was his chance and so he pointed to Jesus and told the giant to fix his eyes on Jesus that there was where the greater prize would be waiting. The man promptly turned and started towards Jesus. The runner had difficulty in keeping up with him. “By the way” he told the giant “tell others about Jesus as well.” As the two headed towards the goal together there seemed to be a surer step, but there were still a lot of people to negotiate. Both began explaining their goal to others. Soon there was a small group who were headed in the same direction with the same purpose. Some though after a while began looking around at other goals and wandering off again, only to be tripped up by other people.
As the group grew, the way seemed to be easier. People began to give way to the group or to give it wide berth for fear of being trampled on. The man began running again. His race was on. The group was happier than others about them. They began to encourage each other to run faster and surer towards the goal.
The man was sprinting now. The weakest in the group seemed to be keeping pace and even to be ahead of him at times. He was spurred on. He ran flat out. The group ahead, his ‘family’ cleared the way for him, allowing him to run freely. He was thrilled at the shear joy of running the race. The group moved off to the left. He wondered why until he realised he could see the ribbon in front of him. He was on the threshold of winning his race, of receiving his prize, the crown of righteousness, of being able to be with Jesus, his friend whom he had known since the time when he first fixed his eyes upon him.
Bolting through the ribbon, he felt the excitement of finishing the race, felt the joy of reaching his goal, and he ran straight into the arms of his friend, Jesus. Jesus said, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”and placed the crown of righteousness on his head. Placed a banner around his shoulders, a medal over his head. Only a few of the group who had ran with him, had ran through the goal. He looked questioningly at Jesus, who pointed downwards. He looked and saw these people, saw the giant and the others, carrying on their race, letting others know about Jesus and the prize, heading towards the goal in their time, heading for Jesus. He was in the clouds. He had joined the witnesses, watching, encouraging, shouting, cheering as people streamed towards the goal of Heaven.
As Timothy had written, he had run his race, fought the good fight, kept the faith and had received the crown of righteousness.
Friday, 2 February 2007
The lake is beautiful, and is surrounded by green fields growing all kinds of crops, being irrigated from the river and the lake. There are beautiful trees, poplars and firs growing up beside the river and the lake. The land is very fruitful.
The lake is held before the precipice by boulders built to keep the water from flowing over the edge. The land below the precipice is arid and dusty. Nothing grows there and there are lots of boulders.
The river is God’s grace and mercy. We benefit from the lake of grace, but we lack from seeing further grace and from the benefit of God’s power because we have placed boulders to dam the river, creating the lake by which we want to live in the beauty of God’s present grace to us.
By building the boulders, we do not see the river tumbling down into the valley below. We miss out seeing the magnificent waterfall. We miss out seeing the magnificence of God’s power. We miss out from receiving fresh grace and mercy. We live from past grace, storing it up for future use to irrigate our lives.
By building boulders, we are preventing God’s grace from reaching our neighbour below us. We keep the grace of God to ourselves. We do not share it. We do not let our neighbour see God’s power at work. We prevent the river of God from touching their lives. We let them wallow in the dusty dirt of their land without water, without sustenance. We keep them from experiencing God’s love and mercy.
Remove the boulders and the river flows down the precipice, flows as waterfall, clearing out a channel into the dry land, directing the water, forcing the water to flow faster into that land, washing and cleansing the land, allowing grass, crops and trees to grow, allowing that land to be fruitful.
Wednesday, 31 January 2007
The water would not only have destroyed the surface of the earth and changed the layout of the forests, deserts, seas, lakes etc. but imagine how heavy the water would have weighed. A bottle of water is heavy. A pool of water is heavier. When water is allowed to flow through unnatural areas it destroys and moves a lot of debris. Floods and Storms create havoc to the land. Rivers erode the land albeit slowly because the weight of the water at any particular point is not that much against the rock, but a pool at the bottom of a waterfall is deep because the water is heavier as it falls and erodes the rocks at the bottom even further.
When the water covered the whole earth the currents streaming through the water would have been tremendously powerful and forceful. The currents could have shaped huge grafts out of the land. The weight of the water upon the earth could have been enough to put pressure on the underlying continental plates and with the force of the currents would have shifted into their present positions. For example, the Indian Sub-continent being perhaps once an island after having broken away from Africa could have been forced Northwards by the weight of the water on it, and the currents churning North from around the Cape of Africa could have pushed the island up into Asia with such a force the two continents locked together and the Himalayas were pushed up.
The other continents could have been shifted into their present positions in a similar fashion. Likewise, internal seas would have been left over after the flood; Caspian Sea, Aral Sea, Sea of Galilee even, the great lakes of North America and even Lake Baikal in Russia, where there is evidence to suggest that sea creatures like Seals and certain fish arrived with the flood waters. If this theory of the shifting of the plates is pliable then it raise a different viewpoint of the age of the earth, as geologists, scientists and geography experts currently believe the plates shifted to their current positions during millions of years, but this does not account of how certain types of creatures are found in same geographic areas on different continents, whose evidence does not suggest their fossils are millions of years old. Even Dinosaurs would well have been around at the time before the flood.
Friday, 26 January 2007
At Beersheba, the oppression of the threat became so great that Elijah went off into the desert and sat under a broom tree. He just wanted to die. He thought God had left him after leaving Mount Carmel. Elijah didn’t care any longer. He wanted to die. He thought he had failed, sinned in some way. If Jezebel caught up with him, then that didn’t matter any longer. He thought God seemed to be no longer interested in him, that he wasn’t answering his prayers. Elijah did not realise that it was the Angel of the Lord who came to him with food and drink, who looked after him during his time in the desert. God did still have his hand on Elijah’s life. God did want to nourish him, help him and be with him, but now it was Elijah who had shut the door.
Elijah needed to find God for himself again. Elijah did not know God was with him, trying to lead him. God had planned Elijah to go on a long journey, hence the nourishment God provided for him. God had prepared for Elijah to go to the desert of Damascus, to anoint Hazael, Jehu and Elisha in their various roles, however, Elijah had lost faith in God and wanted to search him. In his own mind and knowing the history of Israel, he know Moses had met with God and talked with God on Mount Sinai (Mount Horeb), and so in his stupor, he seemingly, aimlessly, walked down the country into the desert of Sinai to Mount Horeb. He took 40 days and nights to reach the mountain. He was looking for God, perhaps everywhere along the way too. He must have been very heavy hearted, trying to avoid people along the way, trying to lift himself out of his depression. In his mind though, he knew he could find and meet with God on this mountain.
Elijah moved from one mountain experience to another, through a tough valley experience along the way.
As Elijah reached the mountain and rested in a cave, he perhaps did start to relax his thoughts, and to open up for the first time in those 40 days, he started to seek God and sure enough, God was there.
Then the Lord, instead of rebuking Elijah outright, educated him further by telling him that God was always with him wherever he was, not just in the dramatic, amazing times, but also in the quiet times, the gentle whispers, like as he had sat under the broom tree. It did not always have to be fire, thunder and lightening.
God lifted Elijah out of his depression, but not callously, however gently, after all, the death threat still stood. God had planned for Elijah to escape by going to Damascus, but now Elijah was 40 days behind schedule. God redirects Elijah’s path, tells him to go and find Hazael, Jehu and Elisha. Elijah has to retrace his steps back up the Country, but now knowing that God is by his side, he must have run back making up lost time, elated because God would be with him always, protecting him and nourishing him spiritually as well as physically.