Isaiah 28

I often find myself drawn back to Isaiah 28. There’s all sorts of revelation within this one great chapter – from God breaking out, to the Babylonians breaking in, to Judah’s religious house of cards breaking down. I’ve written about parts and pieces and principles of this chapter in the past. I am at it again. That is safe for us, myself included.

Isaiah was prophesying prior to the Babylonian invasion. Things sort of seemed OK on one level, but the Lord sees things differently than we do, and He was graciously, though quite firmly, warning His people of upcoming troubles, initiated by Him. Although pertinent to the day in which it was written, because some of this chapter has never been fully-filled (“whole earth” mention, which coordinates with many other chapters and books in both testaments), we would do well to consider it as yet to fully occur (not one jot or tittle not occurring, says our Lord). Also we do well to consider how God operated in the past as a marker of how He will always operate, regardless of the Testament period in which we find ourselves. Paul certainly thought so: 1 Cor 10:1-11.

A good thing to remember – in Malachi – so clearly in the Old Testament, God sets forth that He never changes, and that even within the context of what we might consider the severity of the Mosaic covenant, His mercy was what kept His people from being consumed:
Malachi 3:6
“For I am the Lord, I do not change;
Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.

1 Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, Whose glorious beauty is a fading flower
Which is at the head of the verdant valleys,
To those who are overcome with wine!

(Both religiously as well as literally, Israel was in a drunken stupor)
2 Behold, the Lord has a mighty and strong one, (one appointed for a purpose of God’s judgment, Babylon)
Like a tempest of hail and a destroying storm,
Like a flood of mighty waters overflowing,
Who will bring them down to the earth with His hand.
(it was God’s intended judgment purpose that was to occur)
3 The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim,
Will be trampled underfoot;
4 And the glorious beauty is a fading flower
Which is at the head of the verdant valley,
Like the first fruit before the summer,
(a delicacy was the early fig crop, often devoured as a special treat – in like manner the Babylonians would actually enjoy their destruction of Judah)
Which an observer sees;
He eats it up while it is still in his hand.
5 In that day the Lord of hosts will be
For a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty
To the remnant of His people,

(In the midst of the worst of times, God would glorify those who were His, and who stood for His righteousness)
6 For a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment,
And for strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.

(in many ways, turning back the battle at the gate pertained to taking a stand against the religiosity and sin of the people of God. The Babylonians actually were not going to be turned back at the gate)
7 But they also have erred through wine,
And through intoxicating drink are out of the way;
The priest and the prophet have erred through intoxicating drink,
They are swallowed up by wine,
They are out of the way through intoxicating drink;
They err in vision, they stumble in judgment.

(still functioning in their offices, those who should have been righteous leaders were failing, falling, humiliated and degraded)
8 For all tables are full of vomit and filth;
No place is clean.

(next is the huge question, revealing an eternal truth we all would do well to understand – the progression of God as the divine Instructor of all things, who will only do things the right way)
9 “Whom will he teach knowledge?
And whom will he make to understand the message?
Those just weaned from milk?
Those just drawn from the breasts?

(answer: absolutely not. Confirmation can be found in Hebrews 6 – the ones who had allowed themselves, perhaps by disuse or neglect, to be dulled backwards into a state of immaturity, were unfit in their present state to go on to higher education)

(and here’s a MUST. It simply has to be this way. There are no shortcuts in the Kingdom)
10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept,
Line upon line, line upon line,
Here a little, there a little.”

(11 is an interesting verse, prophesying of a strange-speaking people who would be invading a disobedient nation. There is divine irony in that Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:21 clearly reflects back to this one verse to describe the sign of tongues being spoken out by saints – a similar “strange-speaking” sign of one kingdom – the kingdom of God – invading another disobedient kingdom – the kingdom of this disobedient world. No wonder the religious spirit would want tongues relegated to, at most, backroom ministry).

11 For with stammering lips and another tongue
He will speak to this people,
12 To whom He said, “This is the rest with which
You may cause the weary to rest,”
And, “This is the refreshing”;
Yet they would not hear.

(the rest and the refreshing would be, and is only, in obedience and compliance to the Spirit. Disobedience = wickedness = no rest. There is Sabbath, ceasing from one’s works and picking up the works of the Kingdom)

(nonetheless, the MUST of line upon line, which was intended to instruct progressively, remains in place, but sadly the progression was to become a breaking down as opposed to a building up, because of choices of the people)
13 But the word of the Lord was to them,
“Precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
Line upon line, line upon line,
Here a little, there a little,”
That they might go and fall backward, and be broken
And snared and caught.

(judgment is particularly harsh on those in leadership, who have convinced themselves that their plans, in contradiction with God’s plans, would keep them secure)
14 Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scornful men,
Who rule this people who are in Jerusalem,
15 Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death,
And with Sheol we are in agreement.
When the overflowing scourge passes through,
It will not come to us,
For we have made lies our refuge,
And under falsehood we have hidden ourselves.”

(God in His mercy tells them – and us – that in His mercy He has established a cornerstone of truth, a bedrock of Kingdom reality, and whether or not that stone is our foundation or for our crushing, is up to us)
16 Therefore thus says the Lord God:
“Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation,
A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation;
Whoever believes will not act hastily.
17 Also I will make justice the measuring line,
And righteousness the plummet;
The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
And the waters will overflow the hiding place.
18 Your covenant with death will be annulled,
And your agreement with Sheol will not stand;
When the overflowing scourge passes through,
Then you will be trampled down by it.

(the judgment of God will be complete, and will be thorough)
19 As often as it goes out it will take you;
For morning by morning it will pass over,
And by day and by night;
It will be a terror just to understand the report.”

(life will purposely be made uncomfortable. It won’t fit right, by divine design)
20 For the bed is too short to stretch out on,
And the covering so narrow that one cannot wrap himself in it.

(the reference here is to God breaking in. 2 Samuel 5 and 6 has David proclaiming God as Baal Perazim – the Lord of break-ins/breakthroughs. On one hand, God had broken in and defeated the attacking Philistines [2 Sam 5]. Shortly afterward [2 Sam 6] David understood that the death of Uzzah [in mishandling the sacred ark] was also an act of a God who takes things seriously, even breaking in on the sin of His people).

21 For the Lord will rise up as at Mount Perazim,
He will be angry as in the Valley of Gibeon—
That He may do His work, His awesome work,
And bring to pass His act, His unusual act.
22 Now therefore, do not be mockers,
Lest your bonds be made strong;

(interesting prophecy. “even upon the whole earth” is a phrase pointing to something bigger and more widespread that Nebuchadnezzar invading Jerusalem – and if that is the case, then the warning re not mocking may well be directed to the church and its propensity for happy-times-gospel and the writing off the warnings of last-days judgment, including judgment even beginning at the house of God)
Peter said it this way:
1 Peter 4:17
17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?

Isaiah 28:22B
For I have heard from the Lord God of hosts,
A destruction determined even upon the whole earth.

(23 through the conclusion of the chapter speaks on many levels – from God using the natural to demonstrate principles of the supernatural, to the truth that for some crops to be harvested they truly must be broken down carefully and thoroughly and most finely. God’s Spirit will accomplish His purposes, and we would do well to observe and learn and understand the work our God is doing, at this time, on earth. It will be thorough, it will be yield its harvest. It will be good)
23 Give ear and hear my voice,
Listen and hear my speech.
24 Does the plowman keep plowing all day to sow?
Does he keep turning his soil and breaking the clods?
25 When he has leveled its surface,
Does he not sow the black cummin
And scatter the cummin,
Plant the wheat in rows,
The barley in the appointed place,
And the spelt in its place?
26 For He instructs him in right judgment,
His God teaches him.
27 For the black cummin is not threshed with a threshing sledge,
Nor is a cartwheel rolled over the cummin;
But the black cummin is beaten out with a stick,
And the cummin with a rod.
28 Bread flour must be ground;
Therefore he does not thresh it forever,
Break it with his cartwheel,
Or crush it with his horsemen.
29 This also comes from the Lord of hosts,
Who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance.

(Yes the Lord of hosts – our great God identified by His warrior name “King of the universe and Commander of the armies of heaven, is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance. To whom will He teach knowledge, we were asked earlier).

Teach us, Oh Lord.

All Scripture NKJV.

Posted in End Times Related, Everything, Fear of the Lord, Free Will, Holy Spirit, Israel, New Testament, Obedience, Old Testament, Righteousness, Testing, Tribulation, Understanding & Knowing God, Wisdom | Leave a comment

Intentional and Steadfast Living – Per 2 Peter


2 Peter presents a perfect framework for a discourse re steadfastness and intentionality, two components of our Christian walks that are critical to our success, particularly as we find ourselves, I believe, heading towards the imminent the conclusion of this age.

Peter, because of his public outspokenness and then clear denial of Christ at the crucifixion, has become the eternally-recorded bible poster-child for stumbling – and then, by God’s grace and an infusion of the Holy Spirit, at this stage of his walk models restoration, maturity and successful living.

When he wrote this letter, by virtue of decades of having walked it out, he was most qualified to write to the saints about maturing, seasoning, and making it successfully.

My old self believes (though not for personal agenda) – and also believes the scripture confirm – that Peter models the credibility of eldership requiring years and even decades of being (granted, in our imperfect human condition) “IN THE PROGRAM OF GOD”. Every “OLDER” is not an ELDER, but I feel strongly to be a biblical ELDER you ought to be OLDER. There is a testimony of years that cannot be short-circuited. TIME: you can spend it, but you really can’t buy it at a discount.

Peter frames this message within (I and many others, believe) a glorious “time-understanding” revelation regarding end-times activity and prophesy and timing.

SPEAKING OF TIME – As this writing was originally a Sunday AM message, time didn’t permit the reading of the entire three chapters that AM, but we’ll jump in and around most all of the 3 chapter letter, for our purposes.

Peter starts off assuring us that ALL THINGS pertaining to godliness are already on the table and available to us, and accessible to us – I believe – to the degree that we press into the fullness, making both room and time for God to have his way in our lives:

2 Peter 1
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,
3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

And now Peter admonishes us to diligence in allowing a divine kingdom process to be revealed and accomplished in us:
5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,
6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,
7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.

We’re saved by raw faith. That leads us into a conviction and desire for truth (virtue) and subsequently into the Word, which enlightens us through knowledge that there’s things to do, as well as things to avoid. From that place, self-control (a fruit of the spirit) ought to be engaged, and for how long? Perseverance. For as long as we’re here. The target is godliness, but it doesn’t stop there, it continues to loving the imperfect ones around us, and then eventually/hopefully, we’ve learned to love completely.

Notable is Peter progressively ordering our maturing as saints with GODLINESS listed ahead of BROTHERLY KINDNESS, him understanding that it’s easier to love perfect-GOD – than it is to love and be kind, and speak kindly to – our imperfect brethren

8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; (SAYS NOW-I-GET-IT PETER)
11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


THEN HE TELLS US THAT BONAFIDE PROPHETIC WORDS ARE never from the will of men, but from the will of God, and that ALL scripture is for ALL THE PEOPLE, ALL THE TIME – and anything other than that is potentially cult-like in intent. Ask the Mormons or Jehovah Witnesses, or some rabbis – or even some Protestant churches, who think you have to be a certain “LEVEL” to read or be taught certain truths (and even, in some cases, certain funky doctrines that are even truths!)

19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed (He had been an eye-witness to prophetic fulfillment and then holds US accountable to respect that affirmed truth), which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;
20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,
21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

REMEMBER – This is Peter’s final letter to the saints – so mark well what he felt was important for the church to know – EXACTLY what Paul felt was important for the church to know: there will be an INTERNAL ASSAULT against SCRIPTURAL TRUTH.


Acts 20:29-30
29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.

Now PETER says the same thing:
2 Peter 2
1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even (to the point of) denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.

This is precisely what PAUL told the church in Ephesus (as well as told Timothy in his last letter to his spiritual son) – troublesome teachings will come into the church, sometimes in ignorance and sometimes even w evil intent:
Acts 20:29-30
29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.


2 PETER 2:13
….They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you

This is not intended to invoke a witch-hunt in any church or organization, but rather to encourage us to dig into the word of God and to weigh all teachings, to avoid UNINTENDED as well as INTENTIONAL ERROR.

A. An awareness to avoid being drawn away from truth by enticing words and teachings; AND
B. The jeopardy of such fall-out even escalating to the degree of total ruin.

18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error.
19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.
20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.
21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.

2 Peter 3
1 Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder),
2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior,
3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts,
4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”


7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

NOW A KEY REVELATORY VERSE – clearly couched within the context of second-coming activity
8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

CONSIDER: IF the verse 8 timing-hint of Peter is correct – “a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day” – and if we then consider the season in which we find ourselves as respecters and students of biblical timing – we then can’t help but calculate where we might be in this grand equation.
REMEMBER: Peter just told us the scoffers would say: “AH – LIFE GOES ON AS IT ALWAYS DOES” – so we would do well to not blow off the things spoken of in scripture and to some early degree occurring on earth around us.

The Hebraic calendar has been assaulted, and manhandled by man, over the millenniums, we are nonetheless CLOSE if not exactly accurate re CREATION DATING. The Hebrew year right now is understood and agreed to be 5777. (AND YOU CAN SEE WHY OUR ADVERSARY would want to undermine everything-biblical in propagating contra-biblical theories of “OLD EARTH” (millions of years for creation) and “SUPER-GRACE-GOD” who would never REALLY COME back in flaming fire. Satan’s goal is to distract us from biblical truth, so that we would unarmed, unprepared, and also even OFFENDED when our Lord comes back WHEN and AS the scriptures tell us things will take place.

IF the 1000 years = 1 day formula is accurate, then certain other prophetic revelations suddenly fit into place.
Revelation 20:4-6 – speaking of those who refused to succumb to a prevailing wicked world order, some of which will be martyred (beheaded) for their refusal to go along w the crowd:
4…..And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

That extra 1,000 years would have the redeemed of God living through the SEVENTH-CREATION-DAY – the SABBATH DAY – w our Lord ruling on earth, prior to the complete conclusion of life as we know it, when we then enter the eternal state with Jesus and God.

Suddenly the context of SIX DAYS being primarily under the auspices of MAN, followed by a SEVENTH DAY under the auspices of GOD, parallels the Jewish week beginning on Sunday and ending on the Sabbath day of rest. I, along w many others, believe this is a critical component to understanding the end-times plan and timing.

10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

And now the great rhetorical question is presented – a question intended to prompt us towards intimacy, holiness and intentionality (which, I believe, is precisely what ALL scriptural truth ought to always lead us to – and not simply present itself as more religious information-overload:
11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;
15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you,
16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.

(THE BOOBY TRAPPED BIBLE – loaded w potential explosive power by our great and jealous God, so the proud, the willfully ignorant, the defiant, the contentious, and even the religiously obsessed, IF THEY SO CHOOSE, can dip into the VOLATILE SCRIPTURES and come up w all sorts of DANGEROUS SILLINESS).
This is why Paul told Timothy (and us):
2 Timothy 2:15
15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Peter 3
17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;
18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

All that Peter has written here, and all that is pointed to in the way of God’s timing for the Lord’s return and the destruction of everything wicked, along w the timely REBIRTH OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL (which clearly appears to us as an end-times marker) all converge to point to exciting times ahead – in which case Peter’s rhetorical question bears most-weighty consideration:
2 Peter 3 (AGAIN)
11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?

God has indeed called us to “such a time as this” – and to live our lives w an awareness of His timing, and His purposes. Being IN THE WORD and IN THE SPIRIT and IN HIS WILL becomes more critical now than ever.
THAT is our success, in the middle of an increasingly more-shaking world.

Our call is to understand that it is GOD who is shaking things up, and that any upheaval on earth has to be allowed by Him, who is sovereign over all:
Isaiah 45:7
7 I form the light and create darkness,
I make peace and create calamity;
I, the Lord, do all these things.’

The writer of Hebrews presents us with the escalated accountability that comes along with escalated intimacy and availability of revelation:

Hebrews 12:25-29
25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven,
26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.”
27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
29 For our God is a consuming fire.

Much of this discourse is not popular church doctrine, although it is ALL taken from the NEW TESTAMENT. Any journey back into the OLD TESTAMENT, will only confirm and flesh-out these truths. In fact, the writers of the NEW TESTAMENT likely would be in wonderment that the NT saints are for the most part so ignorant of the OLD TESTAMENT roots – which in many ways is the FOUNDATION FOR THE ENTIRE STORY OF GOD.

All that has been written is written NOT to freak out the saints, but to PREPARE the saints, that we might be found in Him, as the writer of Hebrews tells us: INTENTIONALLY AND STEADFASTLY KINGDOM-LIVING:
Hebrews 10:23-25
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.


ASIDE: when you get to study the book of Revelation, something that has revealed itself to me recently is that TRUMPETS, throughout all scripture, are ALWAYS INTENDED to make sufficient noise for all around to be made aware. Those SEVEN TRUMPETS of Revelation have not yet sounded. Stay tuned though. Meanwhile, what the discerning and praying and studying saints of God are currently sensing in their spirits are the early rumblings of troubling that our God, in His great mercy, told us would happen as the conclusion of this age gets closer.

SO HERE WE ARE – “revelated”, encouraged, warned, and admonished by the now-seasoned fisherman that there’s a DAY COMING and a LIFE TO LEAD – progressively and intentionally making decisions to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior – a knowledge that will lead us to great grace and sufficient peace to neither act hastily or wastefully, but instead SUCCESSFULLY, looking forward to our reward – life with God, knowing Him and we are now known by Him.

Can we commit to that? I want that. Yes, Lord.

all scripture NKJV

Posted in Apocalypse, Creation, End Times Related, Everything, False Teachers, Holiness, New Testament, Understanding & Knowing God | Leave a comment

Your giants are for His glory

2 Samuel 21
18 Now it happened afterward that there was again a battle with the Philistines at Gob. Then Sibbechai the Hushathite killed Saph, who was one of the sons of the giant.
19 Again there was war at Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaare-Oregim the Bethlehemite killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam.
20 Yet again there was war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; and he also was born to the giant.
21 So when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea, David’s brother, killed him.
22 These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.

The “giant-thing” has become analogous with most things too big, too threatening, or too impossible for us to logically envision overcoming or conquering on our own. Serious illness. Financial valleys. Recurring sin. Damaged or destroyed relationships. Fill in your own Goliath if you like: ___________________.

The scriptures offer us numerous accounts of the existence of actual giants, their threat, and their demise. The question then might be, why should they be part of God’s plan in the first place? The answer can also be found in scriptural account, particularly 2 Samuel 22, which in large part is Psalm 18.

2 Sam offers a robust revelation of “why giants”.

2 Samuel 22
David is victorious, and he purposes to not simply move forward, but to stop and give thanks. That would be EXAMPLE AND PURPOSE #1.
1 Then David spoke to the Lord the words of this song, on the day when the Lord had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.

2 And he said: “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
3 The God of my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation,
My stronghold and my refuge;
My Savior, You save me from violence.

PURPOSE 2: Faith in God’s faithfulness has David committing to call upon God again, when the next giant in his life shows up.

4 I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.

PURPOSE 3: The testimonial recount. Good for him. Good for us.
5 “When the waves of death surrounded me,
The floods of ungodliness made me afraid.
6 The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me;
The snares of death confronted me.

PURPOSE 4: The example of HOW he called to God – including audibly with his voice.
7 In my distress I called upon the Lord,
And cried out to my God;
He heard my voice from His temple,
And my cry entered His ears.

PURPOSE 5: He is a God of response.
Note the supernatural imagery, even though earlier we’re told David’s men were successful in battle – the revelation being the critical component of heavenly dynamics behind all our victories, even the ones we ourselves might appear to accomplish.

8 “Then the earth shook and trembled;
The foundations of heaven quaked and were shaken,
Because He was angry.
9 Smoke went up from His nostrils,
And devouring fire from His mouth;
Coals were kindled by it.
10 He bowed the heavens also, and came down
With darkness under His feet.
11 He rode upon a cherub, and flew;
And He was seen upon the wings of the wind.
12 He made darkness canopies around Him,
Dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.
13 From the brightness before Him
Coals of fire were kindled.

14 “The Lord thundered from heaven,
And the Most High uttered His voice.
15 He sent out arrows and scattered them;
Lightning bolts, and He vanquished them.
16 Then the channels of the sea were seen,
The foundations of the world were uncovered,
At the rebuke of the Lord,
At the blast of the breath of His nostrils.
17 “He sent from above, He took me,
He drew me out of many waters.

PURPOSE 6: To God be the glory.
18 He delivered me from my strong enemy,
From those who hated me;
For they were too strong for me.

(David recognized his limitations. Giants help us do that).

19 They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
But the Lord was my support.
20 He also brought me out into a broad place;
He delivered me because He delighted in me.

(God’s DELIGHT in us is a great motivator for His deliverance – and meanwhile, below, we’re also shown that our alignment with his righteous commandments plays a significant role as well).

Consider this “formula for success” in Psalm 50, well-confirmed in this study:
Psalm 50
14 Offer to God thanksgiving,
And pay your vows to the Most High.
15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”

Back to 2 Samuel 22
21 “The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness;
According to the cleanness of my hands
He has recompensed me.
22 For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
And have not wickedly departed from my God.
23 For all His judgments were before me;
And as for His statutes, I did not depart from them.
24 I was also blameless before Him,
And I kept myself from my iniquity.

(Verse 25 reiterates verse 21. We’re not to forget this requirement, over which we have charge. David knew for certain that much trouble can come upon us if/when we’re out of God’s will and plans).

25 Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness,
According to my cleanness in His eyes.

PURPOSE 7: we’re presented a glorious revelation as to how the Lord deals with mankind – often in like manner to our own ways.
26 “With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful;
With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless;
27 With the pure You will show Yourself pure;
And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd.
(Note the Lord is never devious in return, but He’s always smarter than the devious).

28 You will save the humble people;
But Your eyes are on the haughty, that You may bring them down.

PURPOSE 8: praise and faith arise.
29 “For You are my lamp, O Lord;
The Lord shall enlighten my darkness.
30 For by You I can run against a troop;
By my God I can leap over a wall.
31 As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the Lord is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
32 “For who is God, except the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?
33 God is my strength and power,
And He makes my way perfect.
34 He makes my feet like the feet of deer,
And sets me on my high places.

He’s always and at all times training and raising up an army. Read Psalm 110. They’re volunteers in the day of His power.
Interestingly, many of the verses below at first might seem to apply only to David’s time, David’s kingdom, and David’s age. But they’re for all times. And if you’re a student of eschatology (end times) suddenly these verses begin fleshing out the ultimate and final challenges and conflicts – a time when our Lord tells us many hearts will fail for fear (Luke 21).

1 Peter 1:10. 1 Cor 10:1. The Old Testament was written for us, the New Testament believer, that we might be strong and successful in Him, in those times.

35 He teaches my hands to make war,
So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
36 “You have also given me the shield of Your salvation;
Your gentleness has made me great.
37 You enlarged my path under me;
So my feet did not slip.
38 “I have pursued my enemies and destroyed them;
Neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed.
39 And I have destroyed them and wounded them,
So that they could not rise;
They have fallen under my feet.
40 For You have armed me with strength for the battle;
You have subdued under me those who rose against me.
41 You have also given me the necks of my enemies,
So that I destroyed those who hated me.

KThey looked, but there was none to save;
Even to the Lord, but He did not answer them.
43 Then I beat them as fine as the dust of the earth;
I trod them like dirt in the streets,
And I spread them out.
44 “You have also delivered me from the strivings of my people;
You have kept me as the head of the nations.
A people I have not known shall serve me.
45 The foreigners submit to me;
As soon as they hear, they obey me.
46 The foreigners fade away,
And come frightened from their hideouts.

PURPOSE 10 – yet more praise.
47 “The Lord lives!
Blessed be my Rock!
Let God be exalted,
The Rock of my salvation!
48 It is God who avenges me,
And subdues the peoples under me;
49 He delivers me from my enemies.
You also lift me up above those who rise against me;
You have delivered me from the violent man.

(This confirms and supports Psalm 67 – the saints praise, the Lord blesses, the people tremble).

50 Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles,
And sing praises to Your name.
51 He is the tower of salvation to His king,
And shows mercy to His anointed,
To David and his descendants forevermore
(The conclusion includes the eternal date-stamp. This show-of-mercy is an always/forever heritage for all who’ve come into the family of faith, for all generations. That would be us. Praise the Lord!).

The glory of our great God comes into this fallen world through the gates of His saints (Ps 24). Our successful lives, in Him, is the presentation and demonstration of hope and mercy to a lost and dying world.

Your giants are for His glory.
Want some more proof?
Earlier, God had created Goliath for David.

All scripture NKJV

Posted in End Times Related, Everything, Faith, Holiness, Righteousness, Suffering, Testing, Understanding & Knowing God | Leave a comment

The Passover Mandate: Without An Expiration Date

It is without question that the crucifixion plan was designed before the foundation of the world, and that Jesus was born, lived, died, and resurrected, according to God’s perfect timing. Daniel’s prophecies, as well as history, confirm all the above.

The clear perfection of God’s time and timing therefore presents to Christians both an invitation and a challenge to prayerfully consider their attitude and response to Old Testament verses that appear time-date-stamped with words like “forever”, or “all generations”, or “from this time forth and forevermore”. It’s of course easy to embrace the eternal PROMISES, but what about the eternal DIRECTIVES, such as this one in regard to observance of the Passover:

Exodus 12:12-14, 16-17
12 “For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.
13 Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
14 ‘So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.

17 On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them; but that which everyone must eat—that only may be prepared by you.
17 So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance.

Lest any Gentile believer in Jesus be deluded into thinking they were NOT of the household of Abraham, Paul tells us this:
Ephesians 2:19
Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

Colossians 3:11
where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.

It would seem logical and appropriate that the believing Church, in embracing the blessings and promises of son/daughter-ship with God, would also embrace the eternal admonitions and mandates as they appear in scripture.

I am personally inclined to believe Jesus proclaiming: “Do this in remembrance of Me” encompasses but also extends beyond Communion and foot-washing to a gentle reminder of the Exodus 12:14 mandate re the everlasting ordinance of Passover observance. He surely and personally modeled that observance.

That special celebratory holiday was/is to serve as a perpetual reminder of God’s supernatural deliverance from impossible oppression. Praying into this, I believe the minimization or absence of Passover observance may steal from us some of the confidence our great God intends us to walk in as the challenging end of this age comes upon us.

Intentional alignment with the fullness of the Word is to our benefit. Convenience or Inconvenience really ought not be a factor. Jesus modeled for us a life of inconvenience, for Kingdom cause.

God’s timing is perfect. Mine, sadly, is not. This should have been published weeks prior to this current Passover season. Meanwhile I believe God honors our response at all times. Prayerfully discovering what one’s personal observance might be, wants to be a product of prayer and study of the Word. The scriptures above are a reasonable start. As a Jew, I can say part of the challenge is also not getting “too Jewish” in our observances. Some of the “traditions” of Passover are literally just that: traditions. Some of those traditions are good. Some are religious baggage. But without scriptural controversy, what is written appears to point to intentional observance, forever, by all who would call themselves children of God. And there will be next Passover. I can humbly assure you our precious Lord will not return in the next twelve months. The parts of the eschatological puzzle are coming together quickly, but it won’t be that quick.

All Scripture NKJV

Posted in Apocalypse, Communion, End Times Related, Old Testament | Leave a comment

Discovered: The Secret Place

19 Oh, how great is Your goodness,
Which You have laid up for those who fear You,
Which You have prepared for those who trust in You
In the presence of the sons of men!
20 You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence
From the plots of man;
You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion
From the strife of tongues.
(Psalms 31:19-20. NKJV)

Do you see what David is revealing to us in this Psalm?
He had been shown, by God, a secret place that was hidden and reserved for those who would accept the invitation to lay down their own wills and agendas and bear the mantle of a visible ambassador of the invisible Kingdom of God.

WANTED: Salt of the earth. Apply here.

David, in his desperately wild worship-intimacy with God, in his hunger for the “one thing” of God’s presence, had discovered some place secret that was available to everyone, but hidden from most. David had discovered the secret pavilion where God’s presence dwelt. Tabernacle at its finest.

In the public place of highly visible trust is a secret place with God.

Posted in Anointing, Everything, Faith, Fear of the Lord, Free Will, God's Word, Personal Relationship, Psalms, Understanding & Knowing God, Worship | Leave a comment

Co-Incidence: Genesis 24

I often say “coincidences” are coordinated incidences initiated by our sovereign God. I have seen this confirmed time and again in my own life. More importantly, I see it confirmed by the account of scripture. These are not simply “card-tricks-by-God” to demo His capabilities, control, or handiwork. This has to do with the glorious and critical nature of Kingdom-planning, Kingdom-timing and Kingdom-progression.

Solomon told us there’s a time for every purpose under heaven (Ecc. 3) and then proceeded to cite a laundry-list of weighty polar-opposites (speech and silence, war and peace, birth and death, etc.) to drive this point home: in order for us to be effective for God we must be in His purposes, in His timing, in the Spirit. Confirming this, Paul speaks of being in the Spirit so that we might redeem the time, because the days are evil.

Ephesians 5:15-18
15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,
16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,

Do you see a theme here?
Understanding what the will of the Lord may be for a particular situation transcends simply recognizing holy vs. unholy. It should mature to a wisdom of timing-anointing. A “holy” or “kosher” decision or action may still not be the will of the Lord, when it is out of time. We want to get this right. I’ve spoken and written about this many times, yet I feel the imminent conclusion of this age warrants yet another mention. A great biblical example (bible examples incite and ignite faith) is the account in Genesis 24. Remember: we’re looking way-early into the birthing of the people of covenant. Elderly-Abraham and elderly-Sarah finally/miraculously receive Isaac, their son of promise (albeit after the messy situation of Ishmael), and now Isaac needed an appropriate wife for the bloodline of covenant promise to proliferate.

Genesis 24:1-52
1 Now Abraham was old, well advanced in age; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.
2 So Abraham said to the oldest (“old” connoting age and experience and earned trust) servant of his house, who ruled over all that he had, “Please, put your hand under my thigh (you can search this site to read about “under thigh” promises and vows. Hint: “testimony”),
3 and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell;
4 but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”

LONG NOTE: Gen 15:1-2, in mentioning Eliezer as the head servant of Abraham’s household, lends credence to the theory that the same Eliezer from Damascus was indeed the servant mentioned in chapter 24. Abraham (in 15:1-2) had presumed Eliezer would be the logical heir to his life, to his fortune and even to his God-promise, since Abraham at that time was childless. Eliezer surely saw the miracle of Isaac’s birth and surely recognized that that divine event had precluded his own potential inheritance, and yet Eliezer remained a trustworthy servant, and therefore a blessed man.

5 And the servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I take your son back to the land from which you came?”
6 But Abraham said to him, “Beware that you do not take my son back there.
7 The Lord God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my family, and who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, ‘To your descendants I give this land,’ He will send His angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there.
8 And if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be released from this oath; only do not take my son back there.”
9 So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter.
10 Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, for all his master’s goods were in his hand. And he arose and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor.
11 And he made his camels kneel down outside the city by a well of water at evening time, the time when women go out to draw water.

Although in the next verse Eliezer of Damascus honors his master Abraham by referring to God as his master’s God, it is obvious the Syrian had his own established relationship with the Lord.
12 Then he said, “O Lord God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham.
13 Behold, here I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water.
14 Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’—let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. And by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.”

15 And it happened, before he had finished speaking, that behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with her pitcher on her shoulder.
16 Now the young woman was very beautiful to behold, a virgin; no man had known her. And she went down to the well, filled her pitcher, and came up.
17 And the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me drink a little water from your pitcher.”
18 So she said, “Drink, my lord.” Then she quickly let her pitcher down to her hand, and gave him a drink.
19 And when she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.”

(Bingo! She responds perfectly)
20 Then she quickly emptied her pitcher into the trough, ran back to the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels.

(Wise Eliezer still says nothing proclamatory).
21 And the man, wondering at her, remained silent so as to know whether the Lord had made his journey prosperous or not.

(Apparently the lengthy camel-drinking event was sufficient time for Eliezer to process the amazing coincidence)
22 So it was, when the camels had finished drinking, that the man took a golden nose ring weighing half a shekel, and two bracelets for her wrists weighing ten shekels of gold,
23 and said, “Whose daughter are you? Tell me, please, is there room in your father’s house for us to lodge?”
24 So she said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel, Milcah’s son, whom she bore to Nahor.”

Amazing! Rebekah was of the younger generation – not Isaac’s generation. Rebekah was the daughter of Bethuel, not Nahor. Bethuel was Isaac’s first cousin. This was not about scripture affirming cradle-robbing – in this case so Isaac could marry a young babe. This was about Isaac having been born so late in Abraham’s life that effectively Isaac was closer to Rebekah’s age than Rebekah’s dad’s age. How perfect is God’s provision? How perfect is God’s timing?

25 Moreover she said to him, “We have both straw and feed enough, and room to lodge.”

Skip to v35 – Rebekah’s brother Laban is on the scene and hears the well story. Eliezer and his men and camels are greeted into the dwelling of Nahor.

(Eliezer takes the time to recount the critical back-story)
35 The Lord has blessed my master greatly, and he has become great; and He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys.
36 And Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master when she was old; and to him he has given all that he has.
37 Now my master made me swear, saying, ‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell;
38 but you shall go to my father’s house and to my family, and take a wife for my son.’
39 And I said to my master, ‘Perhaps the woman will not follow me.’
40 But he said to me, ‘The Lord, before whom I walk, will send His angel with you and prosper your way; and you shall take a wife for my son from my family and from my father’s house.
41 You will be clear from this oath when you arrive among my family; for if they will not give her to you, then you will be released from my oath.’
42 “And this day I came to the well and said, ‘O Lord God of my master Abraham, if You will now prosper the way in which I go,
43 behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass that when the virgin comes out to draw water, and I say to her, “Please give me a little water from your pitcher to drink,”
44 and she says to me, “Drink, and I will draw for your camels also,”—let her be the woman whom the Lord has appointed for my master’s son.’
45 “But before I had finished speaking in my heart, there was Rebekah, coming out with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down to the well and drew water. And I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’
46 And she made haste and let her pitcher down from her shoulder, and said, ‘Drink, and I will give your camels a drink also.’ So I drank, and she gave the camels a drink also.
47 Then I asked her, and said, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ And she said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.’ So I put the nose ring on her nose and the bracelets on her wrists.
48 And I bowed my head and worshiped the Lord, and blessed the Lord God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the way of truth to take the daughter of my master’s brother for his son.
49 Now if you will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me. And if not, tell me, that I may turn to the right hand or to the left.”
50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, “The thing comes from the Lord; we cannot speak to you either bad or good. 51 Here is Rebekah before you; take her and go, and let her be your master’s son’s wife, as the Lord has spoken.”
52 And it came to pass, when Abraham’s servant heard their words, that he worshiped the Lord, bowing himself to the earth.

How great is our God?
And how great a mess a begrudging prayerless servant, or a convenient but wrong Canaanite wife, or the wrong well, or, or, or, or, could have been – but instead, by His grace, and with the faithful participation of virtually all parties involved, this story turns out gloriously.

OUR TAKEAWAY: God can, and indeed desires to, coordinate all the incidences of our lives. Co-ordinated incidences are truly PLAN A, and I humbly contend the closer we advance to the conclusion of this age, the more of these incidences we ought to be looking for, praying in, and walking in. This is the season for the revelation of the sons of God. The creation groans, and it’s not groaning as it awaits the revelation of more dead religion, it is groaning as it awaits the revealing of the Spirit-led, divinely anointed sons and daughters of the soon and coming King. That would be us. Will you receive that?

We’ve been born for such a time as this – to be in the Spirit, understanding His will, redeeming the time, doing great exploits.

Ephesians 5:15-18
15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,
16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,

What a formula for spiritual success: Filled with the Spirit, building ourselves up praying in the Holy Spirit. No wonder there’s such warfare against these truths, sadly even in many churches. And yet God will have His people, and His will on earth will be accomplished in and through those who intentionally walk in His ways.

All scripture NKJV

Posted in Anointing, Apocalypse, End Times Related, Everything, Faith, God's Word, Holy Spirit, Old Testament, Personal Relationship, Prayer, Timing | Leave a comment

SYNECDOCHE – NOT a city in upstate NY

syn·ec·do·che\sə-ˈnek-də-(ˌ)kē\ – noun
MERRIAM WEBSTER defines “synecdoche” as: a figure of speech by which a part is put for the whole (as fifty sail for fifty ships), the whole for a part (as society for high society), the species for the genus (as cutthroat for assassin), the genus for the species (as a creature for a man), or the name of the material for the thing made (as boards for stage)

This helps clarify and enlighten some verses of scripture that some might be inclined or convinced by others to write off as necessarily historical and therefore disqualified to YET occur, because the equipment, setting, or other phraseology appears too ancient and out of date – an example being found in this intense end-of-age prophecy by young Zechariah:

Zechariah 12:2-4
2 “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem.
3 And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.
4 In that day,” says the Lord, “I will strike every horse with confusion, and its rider with madness; I will open My eyes on the house of Judah, and will strike every horse of the peoples with blindness.

Some of the end-of-age haters of Israel may indeed come as actual riders on actual horses, but description of ancient weapons and rudimentary means of transportation ought not be so literally clung to as time-framed markers to cause us to quickly write off yet-to-occur events. Synecdoche, folks. The Middle Eastern writers of scripture utilized this bonafide literary tool.

The very most intense conflicts prophesied at the conclusion of this age are, well, at the conclusion of this age. Stay tuned, and take heart: your daily intimacy with and obedience to the Lord is your very best preparation and assurance of eternal success.

Further in the same chapter Zechariah tells us more about these great and upcoming events (in fact confirming the timeframe for the entire chapter):

Zechariah 12:10
10 “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.

This reveals tremendous promise re Israel finally beholding the Pierced One, finally and in great numbers understanding the plan of salvation they for the most part originally rejected, and at that time grieving both for their national act of Messiah-rejection as well as for the suffering they unnecessarily underwent for 2,000 years. God’s great grace will accomplish and reveal amazing things in those upcoming days, both in Israel and in the world.

The following supports and seamlessly coordinates with the above – both in subject matter and in timeframe. If you require confirmation of the timing of Ezekiel 39 – this is revealed to us just prior to the peephole revelation by Ezekiel (chapters 40 and beyond) into the NEXT age. Chapter 39 is about the conclusion of THIS PRESENT age.

Ezekiel 39:21-29
21 “I will set My glory among the nations; all the nations shall see My judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them.
22 So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God from that day forward.
23 The Gentiles shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity; because they were unfaithful to Me, therefore I hid My face from them. I gave them into the hand of their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. 24 According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I have dealt with them, and hidden My face from them.” ’
25 “Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Now I will bring back the captives of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name— 26 after they have borne their shame, and all their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, when they dwelt safely in their own land and no one made them afraid.
27 When I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations,
28 then they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive any longer.
29 And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,’ says the Lord God.”

All Scripture NKJV

BTW #2/FYI #1: The city in upstate New York is “Schenectady” – and that name is derived from a Mohawk word skahnéhtati meaning “beyond the pines”.

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this is a subscription test – really

Hi Subscribers (there’s lots of you!)
Apologies for the inconvenience of a test-post, but folks (myself included) have not been receiving recent posts.
HOPEFULLY this test post is coming to you, in which case all ought to be well and working.
If you do indeed get this, I would recommend you go to the site and read the TIMELY RE-POST: THE OUTHOUSE INCIDENT.

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On Feb 5, 2014 (nearly three years ago) I posted a writing called THE OUTHOUSE INCIDENT. It is reposted at the end of this writing, for your convenience. I did touch on the wording of the original post just a little, only for clarification purposes. Functionally, it is word for word as posted 2/5/14.

I stated this in that post:
“Learning the Kingdom dynamics of ruling and reigning, authority and power, accountability and position, will become more critical, both as this age accelerates toward its conclusion, and as the next age comes upon us.”

FAST FORWARD TO NOW – the election season and one day after President Trump’s Inauguration:

A. The saints, often in a spiritual hurry to identify and label all that’s happening on earth, and to liken, by way of reference, one current event to another historic one (and one person to another) can be quick to apply to someone a “Cyrus anointing”, a “Darius anointing”, a “someone-else anointing”. Enter, Donald Trump, now President of the United States. It admittedly can sound sort of spiritual when someone names an Old Testament bible character and then declares their mantle or anointing as being upon someone right here, right now. But, really?

God has always been and will always be the Creator, and therefore remain and reveal Himself creative. In many ways our quick-comparison of one person to another may satisfy our human desire to sort oranges by size or line up our pencils by height, but in reality it discounts God’s great creative ability and purpose. By divine design, each person is very much his/her own person, with his/her own destiny, own calling, own strengths, own weaknesses. That is our glory – to discover who WE are in God, as opposed to WHO ELSE we might think we are, or who we might think someone else may be.

Add to the equation the radically different times/place/situation component, and the “so-and-so anointing” being on someone else can quickly lose air. I’m sure some bible scholars, in defense of mantle-impartation-naming, may want to bring up the Elijah/Elisha events and that mantle pass-down. That was a unique and bible-noteworthy exception. A prophet-mentor passed down his mantle to his direct prophet-disciple. We’re not talking 2,500 years apart, different continents, different bible ages (OT/NT), heathen king versus elected raised-casual-Methodist businessman, or wicked empire vs our out-of-line covenant nation.

Cyrus II, king of Persia, was called out by name by the Jewish prophet Isaiah, as the one who would release the Jews from their 70-year captivity. Confounding the critics and cynics, Isaiah declared this prophetic plan about 150 years before Cyrus was even born, and around 80 years prior to the Jews even BEGINNING their captivity. Go figure.

Isa 45:1-4
1 “Thus says the LORD to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held– to subdue nations before him and loose the armor of kings, to open before him the double doors, so that the gates will not be shut:
2 ‘I will go before you and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron.
3 I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the LORD, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel.
4 For Jacob My servant’s sake, and Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me.

Granted, Donald Trump has expressed empathy and alignment with Israel, and that is a VERY GOOD THING, both for Israel and for our country. But that does not galvanize the Cyrus anointing. And granted, “Trump” is a notable name for a leader called to overcome some heavy circumstances that have come upon our nation (in large part due to our disobedience to God). But Trump ain’t Cyrus. BTW/FYI: “Cyrus” means “keeper of the furnace”.

God’s sovereign hand was indeed upon Cyrus, the heathen king, for the purposes of God, and for the sake of “Israel My elect” (Isa 45:4, above).

By comparison, America has not been in captivity to another empire. We’ve been free, and in that freedom we’ve foolishly chosen to exercise disobedience and disregard for the ways of righteousness. Those decisions are guaranteed to bring trouble to a nation.

As a covenant nation (since 1620, even before we were “officially” a nation), America is indeed in a very special place of relationship as well as accountability to God. But America is not Israel. Nor is 2017 AD to be mistaken for 539 (or 536) BC.

Pertinent to this writing is our understanding to, and appreciation of, the fact that there’s a time-clock tick, tick, ticking, throughout this age, and, like all “fused” events, this age has a rather explosive end. The prophetic fuse of Daniel’s timing prophecies was already ignited by the time Isaiah was writing about Cyrus.

It is now 2017. The first advent occurred 2,000 years ago – as did the before-spoken crucifixion and resurrection (slain – by plan – “before the foundation of the world” – Rev 8:13). Our nation, and in fact our world, is being actively called to a place of repentance prior to the second advent of Messiah. Our Lord told us in advance that He’d be shaking heaven and earth, the sea and dry land, in a purposely troublesome albeit merciful effort to draw men to Messiah:

Haggai 2:6-7
6 “For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land;
7 and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts.

Two millenniums of grace, during which time the doors of salvation have opened wide for “whosoever will”, remain open right now. And after that, the return of the Righteous Judge.

B. We sadly see a nation, OUR nation, raging and even rioting over the legal election of a President, ranting how unqualified President Trump is, was, and will be. How liberal or progressive (or mature) is that activity?

FIRST – the very concept that our governmental structure provides for an election process is a statement of our freedom. Transitions in most countries are by civil war. Our system has proven workable, for centuries, as long as the citizens abide by the laws of the land.
SECOND, whenever one party is displaced by the other party’s candidate, there will always be disappointment and frustration. THAT is to be understood.

The way many – even in influential positions – have responded in this time and to this election, is a sorry testimony to ignorance, immaturity and most importantly ungodliness. My hope and prayer is that saints will behave as saints during these times, and during all times.

Rabbi Paul wrote this clear directive to Timothy (and therefore to all saints) during the days of Emperor Nero, as Christians were being dipped in tar and lit up as garden lights for his dinner parties.

1 Tim 2:1-4
1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,
2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Donald Trump is not Cyrus, nor is he called to be Cyrus. He is called to be our President. And we are called to pray, in faith, understanding the times. The issue is not good-leader or bad-leader, who you voted for or who you did not – or even if you had the freedom to vote.

Prayer and godly behavior is our/your faithful obedience to the Word of God. Whether you voted for Donald Trump or not, is moot. How the saints respond and act during increasingly trying times, is intended, by God, to be the testimony-light to the world (in wild contrast to the human-torch martyrs of Nero). We are called to shine brighter and brighter in a darker and darker world.

Additionally, we are being tested by our God re our understanding of, and compliance to, scriptural directives and truth.

When our Lord returns, and He surely will, in flaming fire (II Thess 1:8), all will get straightened out, rectified, rewarded, and recompensed. Peter confirms that divine plan, and puts forth a question (v 11-12) that deserves a living response from each person who would declare themselves a believer:

2 Pet 3:10-12
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?

I humbly believe the anointing on Donald Trump is, uniquely, the Donald Trump anointing. He has been called, like each of us, for such a time as this. His accountability is enormous, being the President of our country. We would do very well to be praying for him to be himself, not calling him names, cursing him, quick-labeling him Cyrus, Darius, or anyone else, and certainly not joining the raging rebellion that would defy leadership changes – even if/when we do not agree with those changes. At the jeopardy of sounding political, I would put forth the proposition that the party currently entrusted to govern our land AT VERY LEAST speaks of their intention to:
A. Support Israel;
B. Protect the unborn (50% of which are female);
C. Defend the God-ordained sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman.
Those three critical matters are indeed critical matters – marked by God as High Priority.
All sin is not equal. There are abominations and specific, iniquitous provocations revealed in the scriptures that will incite God and invoke curses and judgments upon a land.

No man (except our Lord Jesus) is perfect. No political party is without sin and without fault. You might want to circle back in this blog site and read “NOPE AND NOPER, AND GOD” – parts one and deux.

If there is hope for America (I am believing God for that), it will be IF and AS the Church starts living, behaving, and praying, like the Church – preaching and living righteous truth at all times, at all cost. 2 Chron 7:14 starts with an “IF” and points to God’s people, not the other people, who don’t know any better, and have in fact been taken captive by Satan to do his will:

2 Timothy 2:24-26
24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient,
25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,
26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

These verses are functionally unlivable by any Christian who would, even with some kind of good intent, join in the raging work of vocal or physical defiance against an elected government. Let God be our judge, and their judge.

Our conduct, our living Spirit-directed scriptural lives, will have way more eternal impact both upon the destiny of our land and also upon our individual destinies than mantle-declarations coupling ancient emperors to recently elected officials, or raging and rioting protests against the electoral process.

Donald Trump needs to find his own unique place in God, just like each and every praying saint is being challenged to find their own place in God. We are called to be praying for him, and for our nation, and to be keeping our eyes focused upon God – Who is doing a marvelous work in our time. “Marvelous” doesn’t necessarily mean fabulous, or wanted, or celebratory. It means it will cause people to marvel at what’s occurring, and what lies ahead. These are marvelous times.

The post below is about a young man of God, David (who the scriptures assure us will actually rule and reign under Messiah – Ezek 34:23-24) who understood anointings, position, godly response, and God’s sovereignty. We can all learn from this, myself included.

And now the Re-Post: “THE OUTHOUSE INCIDENT”

There was never a greater king in Israel than David, the son of Jesse. Meanwhile, the king prior to David would be in the running for one of the worst. That would be Saul.
Saul had already blown it, time and again, by the time David was anointed (by Samuel) to be king. So the anointing was upon David, and yet the man remaining on the throne was Saul.

In fact, by the time David was anointed by Samuel, God had Saul in His cross-hairs:
1 Sam 16:13-14
13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.
14 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the LORD troubled him.

It would therefore appear pretty obvious as to who was in line to rule, and who was in line for eventual replacement (at best) and destruction (at worst). Still, Saul remained on the throne because God still had some work to do. I believe some of the work still to be done was in David, and was for us to behold, for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world have come.

Learning the Kingdom dynamics of ruling and reigning, authority and power, accountability and position, will become more critical, both as this age accelerates toward its conclusion, and as the next age comes upon us.

Prior to David’s anointing, Samuel’s word to Saul clearly reveals the state of affairs:
1 Sam 15:27-28
27 And as Samuel turned around to go away, Saul seized the edge of his robe, and it tore.
28 So Samuel said to him, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you.

The prophet’s robe was torn in desperation. It was a prophetic act by a desperate man.
Meanwhile, David’s plight/flight continues, as Saul musters his army and he himself goes to hunt down the one who would eventually replace him. Jealousy and desperation are two terrible taskmasters.

1 Sam 24:1-4
1 Now it happened, when Saul had returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, “Take note! David is in the Wilderness of En Gedi.”
2 Then Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel, and went to seek David and his men on the Rocks of the Wild Goats.
3 So he came to the sheepfolds by the road, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to attend to his needs. (David and his men were staying in the recesses of the cave.)
4 Then the men of David said to him, “This is the day of which the LORD said to you, ‘Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, that you may do to him as it seems good to you.’” And David arose and secretly cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.

Are you kidding me? A potty story in the Holy Scriptures?
Amen, and amen.

I believe our great God was, and remains, so intent upon making a divine point abundantly clear, that He orchestrated the affairs of men, at a time and in a place that would leave no wiggle-room for any misunderstanding. This account almost appears as hyperbole, except for the fact that it remains in the timeless canon of Scripture for all generations, for our edification and admonishment.

We are not talking about a king on his golden throne, holding a scepter. We’re presented a desperate king on the “other kind of throne” – actually probably squatting in the dark, doing what one must do. Demeaning, lowly, inglorious. Some privacy please. But God wanted David’s holy response to be publicly proclaimed. So the lights are on and the stadium is full of onlookers, including all students of scripture, for all time. Apologies, Saul.

As “chance might have it”, David and his followers just happen to be hiding in that very cave. David’s men (accurately) looked at this “coordinated incident” as a divine opportunity from the Lord, to take out the one who was eventually going to be taken out by God Himself.

Verse 4, again:
4 Then the men of David said to him, “This is the day of which the LORD said to you, ‘Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, that you may do to him as it seems good to you.’” And David arose and secretly cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.

Unlike desperate-Saul tearing prophet-Samuel’s robe, desperate-David cuts the robe of the king. But David was a man of God. Although these events occurred centuries prior to Daniel’s prophetic revelation of “authority dynamics”, David already knew in his spirit Who was in charge of the heavens and the earth.

Daniel 2:21
21 And He changes the times and the seasons; he removes kings and raises up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.

Meanwhile, back to the cave:
1 Sam 24:5-6
5 Now it happened afterward that David’s heart troubled him because he had cut Saul’s robe.
6 And he said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the LORD’S anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD.”

The New King James bible translates the Hebrew word “masiyah” as “anointed of the Lord”. We would recognize it better as messiah. The anointed one.

As a result of his own intimacy with God, David understood eternal Kingdom principles, and in that understanding recognized that Saul, not yet having been removed by God Himself, still sat in the position of anointing, even though he was not living the lifestyle of anointing. It did not matter to David.

David’s statement (and therefore his theology) was not corrected by God, even though there are many times in Scripture when God in His love, mercy, and accuracy would indeed correct false statements or faulty conclusions made by even His most beloved servants (He corrected Elijah when the prophet bemoaned his being the only righteous one left in Israel – 1 Kings 19:14-18. And He corrected Nathan when the prophet agreed with then-reigning David that David building God a temple would be a good idea – 1 Chron 17:1-5).

It would therefore seem reasonable to consider God’s silence in the cave (at David’s proclamation about “messiah Saul”) as being His quiet affirmation of David’s theology.

Further studying the subsequent dialogue between David and Saul, we can see that David clearly understood who he was, who Saul was, who God was, and what would be the eventual outcome to the injustices of life. David was no chump. And yet David chose the very highest ground, and in so choosing postured himself for promotion by God.

1 Samuel 24:8-18
8 David also arose afterward, went out of the cave, and called out to Saul, saying, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed down.
9 And David said to Saul: “Why do you listen to the words of men who say, ‘ Indeed David seeks your harm ’?
10 Look, this day your eyes have seen that the Lord delivered you today into my hand in the cave, and someone urged me to kill you. But my eye spared you, and I said, ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed. ’
11 Moreover, my father, see! Yes, see the corner of your robe in my hand! For in that I cut off the corner of your robe, and did not kill you, know and see that there is neither evil nor rebellion in my hand, and I have not sinned against you. Yet you hunt my life to take it.
12 Let the Lord judge between you and me, and let the Lord avenge me on you. But my hand shall not be against you.
13 As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘ Wickedness proceeds from the wicked. ’ But my hand shall not be against you.
14 After whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom do you pursue? A dead dog? A flea?
15 Therefore let the Lord be judge, and judge between you and me, and see and plead my case, and deliver me out of your hand.”
16 So it was, when David had finished speaking these words to Saul, that Saul said, “ Is this your voice, my son David?” And Saul lifted up his voice and wept.
17 Then he said to David: “You are more righteous than I; for you have rewarded me with good, whereas I have rewarded you with evil.
18 And you have shown this day how you have dealt well with me; for when the Lord delivered me into your hand, you did not kill me.

God’s kindness to Saul, via David, should have led Saul to repentance. Instead, it only led him to regret. Regret being insufficient without the added component of complete turning, Saul was destined to eventual destruction by the hand of the Lord.

Where is all this going to? It is going to the New Testament, to the days of grace, to the intense times in which we live.

The Kingdom principle of God placing sometimes unlikely people into anointed positions, and still sovereignly reigning over it all, continues to mystify many. But it appears to not mystify those closest to the Lord.

Rabbi Paul is a good example. Ananias the high priest was actively opposed to the gospel message, and yet the anointed apostle demonstrated his own David-and-Saul-in-the-cave theology as he stood before a courtroom of ungodly men and repented for basically calling a spade a spade:

Acts 23:1-5
1 Then Paul, looking earnestly at the council, said, “Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.”
2 And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth.
3 Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! For you sit to judge me according to the law, and do you command me to be struck contrary to the law?”
4 And those who stood by said, “Do you revile God’s high priest?”
5 Then Paul said, “I did not know, brethren, that he was the high priest; for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’”

There is a more divine realm than the one in which we physically function daily. Our great God is watching us, testing us, and training us to live by the principles of that divine realm. Those principles include understanding and recognizing our God’s sovereignty over all things. Either He is God of all, or else He is not God at all.

Leaderships come and go. The ones in higher places, with higher callings, have the greater, not the lesser, accountability. The Centurion got it. He told Jesus that he was a man “UNDER authority”, not “IN authority”.

I believe we’re being invited to allow God to be God, and to humbly recognize His jealousy over His bride, the Church. His intent is to put the right people into the right places, for the right times – to grow people, sovereignly as well as experientially, into their own fullness.

He is therefore dealing with us all, wanting to perfect us all. Iron will continue to sharpen iron, with sparks. His timing is not our timing. His desire is for all of us to walk in intimacy, and therefore in success. The exercising of our free will is what will determine our individual success or failure.

Leader or follower, the redeemed are called to be stewards of the greater grace. God is rooting for us all. He wants us all to make it. His desire is that we all live up to our destiny calls.

The warnings put forth towards all (saved or unsaved) who would choose to continue to walk in error, or rebellion, arrogance, or unbridled authority, are clear. And they are severe. An admonition for the saved, the servant of Luke 12 is master over other servants, but acting as a cruel authority.

This is from the lips of our Lord:
Luke 12:45-49
45 “But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk,
46 “the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
47 “And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
48 “But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
49 “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!

God is cooking up something radical these days. The whole creation groans, waiting for the revelation of us (Rom 8:19).

This is why we are told to pray for those in authority. This is why we’re told love covers a multitude of sin. This is why we’re told that the world would know we are His disciples by the love we have one for another.

I believe a radical demonstration of our true faith has and will remain our belief in God’s ability to accomplish His purposes, to prepare His people, and to perfectly coordinate who will be in what position in His church.

The only person who will ever be able to prevent any one of us from realizing our full destiny call, will be ourselves. No man, no ministry, no created being will be able to separate us from the fullness.

We’re invited to have a heart like David.

All scripture NKJV

Posted in Anointing, Apocalypse, End Times Related, Everything, Faith, God's Word, Holiness, Obedience, Old Testament, Personal Relationship, Prophets, Righteousness, Testing, Understanding & Knowing God | Leave a comment

Greetings In The Name Of Jesus.

It’s absolutely wonderful if the name Jesus is sweet to your ears. If it is offensive, or off-putting, I can make no apologies. Y’Shua will work. That’s the original Hebrew, if you like. It was and remains the name of the only begotten Son of God, and someday every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord. So let this be a litmus test for your heart condition. In the privacy of this reading, if this name offends you like no other name offends you, I suggest you question why, and that you do something about it.

If you believe in a God who admires those who would ask Him honest and sincere questions, stop and pray, and ask about this Man called Jesus, whose very name offends you.

If you don’t believe in God, then there ought to be no offense at all. After all, you have chosen to visit this website. Perhaps you should read on, with an open heart and mind.

Some Simple Ground Rules:

1. It is wise for my name not to be on this site, for Kingdom purposes. Nothing fishy, I promise. If comment posting is up and running (I am debating), and if you post  anything (and you know me) please don’t use my name, or my wife’s name, initials, stuff like that. I am truly not that big a deal – that knowing me by name means anything at all. Know Jesus. Ya-da – Hebrew for “knowing” escalates to a level of intimacy akin to Abraham knowing his wife Sarah. Know Jesus.

2. The purpose of this site is a place for my thoughts, teachings, etc. I’ve been asked and encouraged by many folks to start something like this. If commenting does remain in place, know that I am good with discussions, but not with arguing. I appreciate that godly folks can prayerfully read particular scriptures and come away with varying conclusions. I believe some of that has to do with the delightful and mystifying and majestic plans of the Creator, Who creatively anointed His servants to pen His revealed Word. And I do not think differing opinions and conclusions need be confusing, unless such results contradict the personality of God revealed through the entirety of His Word – in which case those opinions are suspect.

That said, I am not interested in opinions about doctrine that have little or no Scripture to support the position. That is a waste of time for all parties. Personally, I’ve had to modify, change, abandon and adjust my doctrines and beliefs over time, as I’ve learned my Bible, and learned by revelation that has coordinated with my learning from the Bible. In the end (and in the beginning and middle as well, for that matter), it really doesn’t matter what you’ve been taught. What matters is what the Word says. We are all personally accountable to discover that. In fact, the only person to whom what you’ve been taught really matters, is the person who taught you. He/she is extremely responsible for that position:

Matt 5:19
19    “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Posted in Everything, God's Word, Jesus, Personal Relationship, Prayer, Understanding & Knowing God | Leave a comment