Yom Teruah: Call To Repentance and Day of Shouting

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

7-new-moon-shofar

Yom Teruah is the first of the three Fall feasts of the Lord. Yom Teruah means, “the day (yom) of blowing or shouting (teruah)”. It is also referred to as Rosh HaShanah (meaning Head of the Year) and the Feast of Trumpets. The Jews claim that before the time of Moses and Mount Sinai this was known as the beginning (head) of the year. The Jews also consider this as the time when the creation of the world took place, specifically Adam and Eve (Mark Biltz’s Blood Moons, pg 82, 152). It is also the day when Noah stepped out of the ark onto dry ground (Mark Biltz’s Blood Moons, pg 36). They also claim that this is the head of the civil new year, while the religious new year begins in the month of Abib/Nisan in the spring (around our March). In 2 Kings 8:2 it is referred to as “the month of Ethaniam, which is the seventh month.” Ethanim means to be permanent, and since it is a plural word it probably referred to the holidays of the month rather than the month itself. However, this month on most Jewish modern calendars is called Tishri, though it is never called this in Scripture. Tishri is instead yet another adopted Babylonian name. That being said, God does not observe this as the head of the a year, nor does He recognize a “civil” year, but rather, calls it the seventh month. It is important to go with what God has said in His Spirit-inspired word, and not with the opinion of those who adopted the Babylonian mystical view of the calendar.

It says in Numbers 29:1, “And in the seventh month, and the first day of the month ye shall have an holy convocation [dress rehearsal]; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day [yom] of blowing [teruah] the trumpets unto you.”

The Shofar

On this day the shofar is blown 100 times. The Jews have established four different types of sounds emitted from the shofar on Yom Teruah, but God does not specify any of them in the Bible. God just refers to it as a day of blowing, which infers many times. Nevertheless, tradition has it that the three/four different sounds have names: Tekia (one long blast to get everyone to wake up), Shevarim (compared to the sound of weeping), Teruah (staccato sounds followed by a long blast that is urgent), Tekiah haGedolah (one very long blast, also referred to “the Last Trump.” Truly, from a Biblical standpoint, the name is Teruah, and that sound is urgent and demands attention.

The Shout

Before continuing, it must be said that Numbers 29:1 does not have the word trumpets or shofars in it, nor does Leviticus 23:24. The translators must have assumed that one is blowing something, and so they inserted a word in English that is not literally there in the Hebrew. At best the word would merely be implied. It is important to note that elsewhere in Scripture this word “Teruah” is a majority of the time translated as “shouts” of joy, joyful sounds, shouts of war, cries of alarm, war cries, and battle cries. Teruah is also used of trumpets in a handful of other instances signaling war or alarm, such as in Numbers 31:6.

The Timing

Now when does Yom Teruah begin? It’s always been said that no one knows exactly when. Why? Because this festival is based on the New Moon which is very difficult to detect, and there is only a small window of time that it can be seen. Throughout history it took two credible witnesses to declare the time when the sliver of the moon appears. Thus, this feast is known as the day when “no one knows the day or the hour” it begins. But, once the sighting time of the New Moon is agreed upon by two witnesses, the feast day officially begins. Even though modern calendars predict the new moon accurately, God’s way is for two witnesses to spot it and officially declare it.

Day of Repentance or Shouting:

What is the point of Yom Teruah? It is called a “memorial,” and is a call to remember God. And when we remember God, our sin comes to light. So, the obvious result of remembering God is repentance. It is a call for God’s people who’ve not already searched their hearts and fallen on their faces before God, to do so then. This is all preparation for Yom Kippur that follows, which is known as the Day of Atonement and/or Judgment. Remember, this is not a call to those who do not know God to repent. This is a call to believers to repent before a holy God, as seen in Joel 2. It pictures a day of deep remorse and overwhelming alarm and gut wrenching weeping.

7-repentance

Oddly enough though, its name does not merely refer to calls to repentance, but shouts of joy. It is an enigma, for while one camp of believers may be weeping at calls of alarm in the light of remembering a holy God, the other camp is shouting war cries of victory. How strange to have so much difference in one word. Perhaps its other names by which it has been referred can shed some light on this: Day of Judgment, Day of Remembrance, The Wedding Ceremony, the Last Trump, and the Coronation of Messiah. So, if you’ve already repented and sought the Lord, then this holiday is a day of rejoicing and shouting for joy!

Not Yet Fulfilled:

Jesus fulfilled the four spring feasts at His first coming. Will He not fulfill fulfill the last three feasts at His second coming? After all, “no one knows the day or the hour” this feast day will arrive. It is possible that Jesus could return at this time. Actually, it is inevitable that Jesus’ return is immanent. Indeed, it will come as a thief in the night.

It does appear to me, that this Yom Teruah, is at least in part being fulfilled. Incredibly as the Church calls out to God desperately in repentance and as many are coming to salvation and as worship protests are held across America from Los Angeles to Portland to Seattle to Chicago and New York, and repentance events across the nation are held such as Jonathan Cahn’s The Return, Franklin Graham’s Prayer March, Pastor Jack Hibb’s week of prayer and fasting, and Pastor Dana Coverstone’s call to daily prayer, Joel 1-2 and the essence of Yom Teruah is coming to pass! We are seeing it unfold right in front of us. I know that many have thought that Jesus would return on Yom Teruah because of the trumpets that sound this day, but the passages regarding the Yom Teruah do not even mention trumpets, but rather, shouting and remembrance. And Christians are remembering. We are shouting out war cries in the heavenlies as we pray. We are slicing and dicing the enemy with the Word of the living God! We are realizing that our nation of America is sinking like the Titanic. We are seeing how far we have fallen, and we have fallen far. But, God! God is greater, and God’s will is being done. And Christians are awakening to the Teruah blast–the sound of alarm– and are via repentance and prayer keeping Yom Teruah –God’s holiday– even if they do not know it. We are seeing its fulfillment! Fully or in part? God knows!

Food for Thought:

Could this be when the 2 witnesses appear of Revelation 11? After all, it takes two witnesses to confirm that this holiday can begin. Could this be when God sends His Son to go and get His Bride? After all, it is the day that no man knows. If He does indeed come for His Bride on that unknown day, surprising all as a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 4:16-chapter 5), then it would definitely be a call for great alarm as portrayed in Joel 2. Could this be when they sound the trumpet in Zion, sound the alarm in God’s holy mountain, calling all to repentance because they missed the Day, and they know it? After all, would this not cause the greatest weeping, the deepest repentance, the most overwhelming alarm? We’ll see!

I will leave you with those thoughts at this time. My thoughts on this are still developing. My blessings to you all as you prepare for the SOON return of the King!!!

Sources:

Mark Biltz’s book, Blood Moons, check out this link: http://shop.elshaddaiministries.us/Blood-Moons_c17.htm

Perry Stone, Jr., “The Rapture Revelation: A Special Teaching Syllabus,” from the video set, “The Rapture Revelation.”

“8643: Teruah,” word study, https://biblehub.com/hebrew/8643.htm

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible

The Complete Words Study Dictionary: Old Testament

“Why Babylonian Names for Jewish Months?” https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/987524/jewish/Why-Babylonian-Names-for-Jewish-Months.htm

Definitions of different names associate with Yom Teruah are presented in this article and the hope that we will be raptured during the present Yom Teruah…we’ll see! https://raptureandendtimes.com/2020/03/12/rapture-2020-the-feast-of-trumpets/?fbclid=IwAR3D6BtUpyxEqHva9aRraJeZA4XE5kEp6DAQAlVycKpyUOzyrwCNO5Qd91s

Yom Teruah – “Day of Blowing Trumpets”

Living Out Yom Kippur

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Day of Atonement: High Priest Enters the Holy of Holies (Pinterest)

We are in a very special time of year. Aside from the fact that it is the changing of the seasons, and the crisp feeling of autumn is in the air, it is a time of God’s holidays. Now, there are seven holidays all together that are holy to the Lord. In Leviticus 23:1 it says that, “The Lord spoke . . . saying, “Speak to the people . . . and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the Lord that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts.”” These are not like our American holidays, for these holidays were set a part by the Lord. In the Hebrew language “feast” actually means “an appointment, a fixed time.” And when God calls them “holy convocations,” convocation actually means “a rehearsal.” Therefore, all of God’s holidays are God-ordained, divine appointments set by God on His calendar as dress rehearsals and foreshadowings that would be or will be fulfilled by Jesus.

Leviticus 23:26-29 speaks of the second, God-ordained, autumn feast called Yom Kippur, Yom meaning “Day” and Kippur meaning “Atonement.” “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people.” Furthermore, it is the ONLY day of the year that the High Priest enters the Holy of Holies (Leviticus 16 and Hebrews 9).

Yom Kippur is the most solemn day of God’s feasts and is the holiest of His holy days, and is the final day of what are called “the Days of Awe” (which are 10 days sandwiched between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur). It is and has historically been a day of fasting and prayer. However, it is not merely a Jewish holiday. It is God’s holiday, and therefore applies to Christians today.

We are all called to humble ourselves before our holy God, to prepare our hearts, to set our eyes on Him. On this day of Yom Kippur, may we as Christians take seriously the call to afflict our souls, to humble ourselves before our God, to confess our own individual sins and to pray for God to clean house in His Church. He is coming again soon for a Bride without spot and without wrinkle (Ephesians 5:27), but there are a lot of spots and wrinkles. In Revelation chapters 2-3 He is calling His Church to repent and to seek Him with fasting and prayer.

This has been happening recently, as Christians around America and the world have sought the Lord in just this way. Over 50,000 gathered in Washington D.C. yesterday for “Prayer March 2020,” and even more tens of thousands gathered for “The Return.” The Prayer March was televised on TBN, and The Return was simulcast in 30,000 churches in America and around the world. Incredibly, this happened at the tail end of the Days of Awe, and included repentance, prayer and fasting. It it precious when God’s people keep God’s holidays on the holiday!

Though many adhere to fasting on Yom Kippur, the Bible does not specifically mention “fasting” physically on this day. Truly, the fast that God requires of us as Christians is not necessarily a physical one, but is something deeper as found in Isaiah 58. In Isaiah 58:3-10 we read of the Jews who were keeping Yom Kippur by fasting, but God was not pleased with them at all because the fast He requires is not simply a bodily one, but is one wherein our hearts are changed and our actions follow. Let us take seriously what the following scriptures say and take them to heart until they become faith in action. Jesus is returning soon. Let’s live with eternity in mind!

Isaiah 58 reads, “3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’ [referring to Yom Kippur] “In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, And exploit all your laborers.4 Indeed you fast for strife and debate, And to strike with the fist of wickedness. You will not fast as you do this day, To make your voice heard on high.5 Is it a fast that I have chosen, A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, And to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast, And an acceptable day to the Lord?6 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke?7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh?8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ “If you take away the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,10 If you extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul, Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday.”

I John 3:16-18 agrees wholeheartedly with Isaiah 58:16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”

And James 2:15-17 agrees with both Isaiah 58 and I John 3:“15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

Let us as Christians therefore, keep Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, in the way that God requires: with a change of heart toward our brothers and sisters in Jesus. Let us humble ourselves and repent; let us chose to love one another; let us build each other up as the Day of the Lord draws near. Indeed, let us live out John 13:34-35 which reads, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

Clarity Amidst Confusion: What God Is Saying to the Church

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

White Rock Pier in White Rock, B.C. (personal pic)

Do you wonder what the Bible says about BLM, the Abraham Accord, and the COVID 19 pandemic/the vaccine? Have you heard from one too many sides and been left confused about things? Are you wondering what the truth actually is?

Please know, it is Satan who is the author of this confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), and with this confusion he desires to steal, kill, and ultimately destroy you and the body of Christ (John 10:10). But God via this confusion is pulling us back to the authority of His word, back to the simplicity of the Gospel. For, God’s word is truth (John 17:17); Jesus is truth (John 14:6); and Jesus promised that His Spirit would lead us into all truth (John 16:13). And the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10). Thus, He desires to lead us into an understanding of His word-even Bible prophecy-, and through that lens He will make clear to us what is happening all around us right now.

I pray that things are made more clear through the word of the living God, and that you are blessed by this timely, Biblical message by Pastor J.D. Farag. May the truth truly set you free! (John 8:32)

Blessings,

Holy Light Ministries

Joel and Yom Teruah: Fulfillment and Call to Repentance

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It appears to me, that this past Yom Teruah of September 18-20th (because it has always been two days) and these Days of Awe that we are in right now (the Days of Awe are the 10 days that fall between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur) are at least in part fulfilling the Biblical book of Joel. Incredibly as the Church calls out to God desperately in repentance and as many are coming to salvation and as worship protests are held across America from Los Angeles to Portland to Seattle to Chicago and New York, as persecution intensifies, and repentance events across the nation are held such as Jonathan Cahn’s The Return, Franklin Graham’s Prayer March, Pastor Jack Hibb’s week of prayer and fasting, and Pastor Dana Coverstone’s call to daily prayer, Joel 1-2 and the essence of Yom Teruah is indeed coming to pass!

Yes, Joel 1-2 is coming to pass as well. For one, Joel 2:28-32 began to come to pass in Acts 2. And now Joel 1 and 2:1-2; 12-17 and 28-32 as well. Let’s look at it briefly together.

Joel 1 also speaks of a horrendous plague of locusts, drought, fires, invasion, and great devastation. The locusts are described as those that eat everything, and indeed, such a plague has descended upon Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, the likes of which has never been seen before now. This year they bred rapidly and traveled swiftly across long distances causing extreme devastation. The situation is described as “dire”, and it is warned that upwards to 300,000 may die because of this overwhelming consumption of crops. Here in America the wine crops of California’s Bay area may be devastated as well because of the fires, and other crops throughout California will also be affected. Acres and acres and miles and miles of Midwest crops have been wiped out by the derecho, an inland hurricane; flooding has drowned the produce of the South, powerful hurricanes continue to ravage the South and Southeast and strange dust plumes miles wide crossed the Atlantic to settle on American soil. And unbeknownst to many Americans, the military of other nations are present here in America already, ready to take charge when all-out chaos breaks loose very soon. And the Church has been affected monetarily, for tithing initially was down, and in the coming economic crisis ahead, everyone will hurt. And joy is waning, though many try to return to normal. For returning to normal is only a mirage that will never be reached. And though there are some unemployed now, most Americans are not hurting financially or feeling deprived in their food supplies yet, but with the locust plagues and food crises around the world, as well as the flooding, hurricanes, fires, inland hurricanes and early snows of 2020, as well as the deliberate destruction of food, the United States will be affected sooner than we know.

We are seeing the book of Joel unfold right in front of us. I know that some Christians thought that Jesus would return on Yom Teruah because of the trumpets that sound on that day, but the Biblical passages regarding Yom Teruah do not even mention trumpets, but rather, shouting and remembrance. And Christians are remembering. And we are shouting out war cries in the heavenlies as we pray. We are slicing and dicing the enemy with the Word of the living God! We are realizing that our nation of America is sinking like the Titanic. We are seeing how far we have fallen, and we have fallen far. But, God! God is greater, and God’s will is being done. And Christians are awakening to the Teruah blast–the sound of alarm– and are via repentance and prayer keeping Yom Teruah –God’s holiday– even if they do not know it. We are seeing its fulfillment! Fully or in part? God knows!

Pastor Jessip told CBN News, “We’re in a real Nineveh moment. It’s a critical situation in the nation. And much like Jonah went into Nineveh and said, ‘You have 40 days and then it’s all over’ – listen, we are at that juncture right now in America. We have 40 days and all we know could be over. And so we need God to hear the cries of the righteous remnant.” [The Return is] not intended as some spectator event, and Jessip added, “This is not a presentation, a concert or a glorified prayer meeting. This is a sacred, solemn assembly – as per Joel 2 – where we come, the Church comes, and we bow before a holy God in reverent fear.” http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/2020/september/the-return-and-prayer-march-arrive-time-rsquo-s-come-for-the-church-in-a-wicked-world-to-repent-and-return-it-to-god

And truly as Yom Kippur draws nearer, more and more are repenting and seeking God’s face, and He is hearing and answering. I pray that you will link up online with The Return to participate via Live Stream. There are “nearly 30,000 churches across America that are simulcasting this event,” Jessip stated. “This will be, I’m being told, the largest ever in Christendom broadcast simulcast.” To watch and participate Live beginning at 6pm-9pm Eastern time on Friday and 9am-9pm Eastern on Saturday, use this link https://thereturn.org/ or any CBN website, youtube, or on facebook.

Also, please participate with the Prayer March of Franklin Graham that will be aired on FOX news, Saturday September 26th at Noon.

Let’s not forget there is a restraining power in a solemn assembly (“The Restraining Power of a Solemn Assembly,” https://holylight4u.wordpress.com/2020/07/24/the-restraining-power-of-a-solemn-assembly/). For God silences the enemy and the avenger and establishes/ordains strength through the foolish things of this world, such as babes and sucklings….and Christians who pray and praise! (“Psalm 8: Childlike Faith Silencing Evil,” https://holylight4u.wordpress.com/2020/08/12/psalm-8-childlike-faith-silencing-evil/).

If you are reading this after Saturday, please, still take this to heart and repent and seek the face of God while there is still time. For indeed, “who knows if He will turn and relent and leave a blessing behind Him…” Joel 2:14.

This is not about elections nor can it be fixed by elections. This is about repentance. This is about God’s people waking up. This is about warfare prayer. This is about that extra oil spoken of in Matthew 25. This is a call to holiness, without which we will not see the Lord (Hebrews 11). This is our last call, our final warning of the final game. The two minute warning has passed…..we’ve entered sudden death. This is it. Let’s not treat this lightly. Let’s play or shall I say “pray” for all we’re worth. The time is now.

Sources

“Isaiah 24: The Shaking of the World,” https://holylight4u.wordpress.com/2020/08/24/isaiah-24-the-shaking-of-the-world/

“A Plague Amid Pandemic: East Africa, West Asia Combat Surging Locust Outbreak,” June 22, 2020, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/plague-amid-pandemic-east-africa-west-asia-combat-surging-locust-n1231669

“Bible Coming to Life? Locusts ‘Plague’ Middle East, Asia, Africa,” February 2020, https://www.jpost.com/International/Bible-coming-to-life-Locusts-plague-Middle-East-Asia-Africa-618182

“Unbelievably Large Swarm of Locusts Threatens Middle East,” March 18, 2020, https://weather.com/science/environment/news/2020-03-18-swarm-of-locusts-threatens-middle-east

“Bay Area Wildfires Might Crush 2020’s Wine Crop,” August 26, 2020, https://sf.eater.com/2020/8/26/21402531/bondage-a-go-go-wine-wildfires-napa-chinatown

“The Time is at Hand: And There Will Be Signs,” https://holylight4u.wordpress.com/2020/07/16/the-time-is-at-hand-and-there-will-be-signs/comment-page-1/

“Russian Troops in America Confirmed,” https://www.petition2congress.com/ctas/russian-troops-in-america-confirmed

“U.N. Troops in America Doing Martial Law Drills,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7SIRm3BuuU&feature=share

“Chicago Mayor and Police Blocking Sean Feucht Let Us Worship,” persecution in America, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_jR5qsLmxo&feature=share

“Police Arrest Christians in Idaho as They Sing Hymns,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWGC7mNNcyM&feature=share

“Christian Persecution in America Has Arrived,” https://holylight4u.wordpress.com/2020/07/21/christian-persecution-in-america-has-arrived/

The Shout of the KING is Among Us

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

pic from againstdoubt.com (Joshua and the Battle of Jericho)

Okay Church! We have a part to play right now, and it’s not to roll over and play dead or to be oblivious or to pretend that nothing is happening! This time right now is just like the time when the children of Israel marched around Jericho. Just as the Israelites had been commissioned to march around Jericho once a day for six days and then seven times on the seventh day followed by the blowing of the seven trumpets accompanied by great shouts, even so, we as Christians are called to warfare prayer right now. We are called to march and keep on marching, to press on and press in even when we don’t know how it’s going to help nor understand its significance. The Lord says we are wrestling against “the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). And yet, the battle belongs to the Lord (2 Chronicles 20:15), and we are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds (2 Corinthians 10). Jesus gave us authority in His name and said that we would trample on serpents and scorpions (Matthew 10 and Luke 10).

There is great warfare right now in America and the world. Persecution and martyrdom is dramatically on the rise from Eritrea to China to Nigeria to Ethiopia to Australia and even here in the United States of America (sources below). In California, Pastor Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills has called his congregation to a week of fasting and prayer for California and the nation. And Pastor Dana Coverstone of Kentucky has called on America’s churches to pray harder than they’ve ever prayed and in agreement in the month of September specifically (https://holylight4u.wordpress.com/2020/07/22/pastor-coverstones-dream-of-a-solemn-september-assembly-arise-my-bride/), and is co-leading a two days of prayer/fasting event beginning tonight in Austin, Texas. We are living in unprecedented times, which calls for unprecedented prayer.

Often Christians will helplessly say, “I guess all I can do is pray.” We never seem to get it through our heads that prayer is powerful. It is our part to play, just like marching was the Israelite’s part to play. They could have said, “I guess all we can do is march;” “I guess all we can do is blow our seven trumpets even though seven is not a lot.” “I guess all we can do is shout with our weak voices.” All they could do?!!!! Do we not know how important our part to play is? Do we not understand the power of obedience? Have we believed the deception of the devil that we have nothing to give and that prayer is weak and unimportant? Did you know that when we avoid prayer or are too busy to pray, we are missing out on the important role God has for us to play and the incredible rush of victory that comes with it.

Seriously, GET UP CHRISTIAN. Get up in your spirit. Jesus said, when you see all these things begin to come to pass, to get up! Rise up, and lift up your eyes! So, arise in your spirit. This is your hour to shine. Arise and shine, for your light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you! (Isaiah 60:1). Get up from your crouching, defensive position, your position of defeat and weakness, and rise to an offensive position on the battlefield of the Lord! Now is the time to charge! No weapon formed against you will prosper and every tongue that rises against you in judgement YOU shall condemn!!! (Isaiah 54:17). This is your heritage. Get your holy dander up! Pick up that sword of the Spirit and use it!!!

I speak to the battle weary, the physically weary. Rise up! Fight on! Press on! Do not be weary in well doing, for in the end you will reap a harvest if you faint not (Galatians 6:9). Persist. You can do all things IN Christ who strengthens you! (Philippians 4:13).

To those who are afraid of what is coming, Fear Not! Christ has overcome the world, and we have too by faith! (John 16:33; 1 John 5:4). Those who seek to save their lives will lose their lives (Luke 17:33). So, do not seek to preserve your life. Surrender all to the Savior. Choose to trust, and remember the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but are mighty through God! God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). “1 The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. 3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident” (Psalm 27:1-3).

12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it,” (Matthew 11:12). This is a passage that most read over quickly, and if they were to say a thing about its meaning they would consider it in a negative light. So, let’s briefly take a look at it.

The word for “subjected to violence” biazo (#971), is all about pressing in and “laying hold of something with positive aggressiveness” to seek it with intensity and zeal. This word is only used twice in the New Testament and is always positive. The Greek word for a “violent” person is of one who shows “positive assertiveness; used of the believer living in faith (“God’s inworked persuasions”) guiding and empowering them to act forcefully.” And what are these eagerly assertive ones putting all of their energy into? Snatching the Kingdom. They are snatching quickly and forcefully and openly. They word is harpazo (#726), which is the word for rapture.

Truly this is a powerful, overlooked passage, and it is time that we understand it. It appears that Jesus is teaching us that the Kingdom is obtained by those who pursue it eagerly, zealously, with great effort, and energetically. It is not for the timid, the distracted, the faint of heart, nor the laze fair (easy come, easy go). The way that many pursue pleasure and vacations and sports is the way we are to pursue the heavenly Kingdom.

The children of Israel who had just crossed Jordan, like Caleb and Joshua, were men and woman of zeal and energy who pursued the Promise Land in faith that God would keep His promise, that He would fight for them, that He would do what He said. The Promise Land was not free. God did not do all the work for the Israelites. He wanted them to stand in faith and in agreement with His plan to go up and take the land and visit judgment on those living in Canaan whose cup of iniquity was full (Genesis 15:16). And so Joshua, Caleb and other mighty men of valor marched in unquestioning faith.

Will we march in faith around these walls of Jericho in our lives, in our locked up churches, in our locked down states, in our crumbling, depraved nation, in the looming new world order? Are we doing our part by praying in zealous, relentless faith?

One day a great war will break out in heaven. Indeed, it could be happening as I write. It’s timing one cannot tell. Revelation 12 relates this, “7 Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” Satan will finally be thrust out, and all those principalities and powers we’ve been wrestling with in spiritual hand-to-hand combat will be thrust out too. As they are being forcefully expelled, we are forcefully entering in. Can you see it? The picture is one of incredible precision and perfect timing. They are expelled; we are entering!

So, just like when watching your favorite team in the last seconds of the game when the score is tied and your team steals the ball, rise to your feet and shout!!!! For God in all His glory has risen from His throne, and the angels are clad in battle gear with flashing swords clashing. Time to shout, Bride! It’s time to arise!!! The shout of the King is among us!!!!

May we with this in mind, zealously press in to the Kingdom, pray without ceasing and with great fervor, and with every fiber of our being forcefully advance like the Israelites into the Promise Land. Our part may seem small, but do not despise small beginnings (Zechariah 4:10). Just get to marching, shout when it’s time, and see the walls come a tumbling down! This is not political. This is spiritual. We are not defeated! The war is already won! But we must march. We must shout. So, pray with me; pray in the thick of the battle; pray, pray, pray. And, remember, our God has given us the victory!!!

If we have already repented and wept between the porch and the alter (Joel 1-2), then it is time to shout! Let out a shout, Body and Bride of Christ! “…The LORD their God is with them; the shout of the King is among them,” Numbers 23:21b. Indeed, when God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:35). Hallelujah!!!!!

“We Are Able to Go Up and Take the Country”
“The Shout of the King” Hillsong

Sources:

Biblehub, #973 biastes, https://biblehub.com/greek/973.htm

“Why Must the Violent Take It By Force,” http://gloriouschurch.com/Questions-Answers-Details.asp?QuestID=3395 (this author has an interesting take on the Matthew 11:12 passage).

“Christian Persecution in America Has Arrived,” https://holylight4u.wordpress.com/2020/07/21/christian-persecution-in-america-has-arrived/

“Hundreds of Ethiopian Christians Killed in ‘Targeted Genocide’ Since June,” https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/2020/september/report-500-ethiopian-christians-killed-in-targeted-genocide-by-muslim-extremists-since-june

“Christians in India See Dramatic Increase of Attacks in 2020,” https://www.christianpost.com/news/christians-in-india-see-dramatic-increase-of-attacks-in-2020.html

“Incidents of Christian Persecution Spike as India Emerges from Lockdown,” https://www.persecution.org/2020/06/26/incidents-christian-persecution-spike-india-emerges-lockdown/

“Chinese Government Orders Low Income Families to Abandon Their Christian Faith or Lose Financial Aid,” https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2020/july/chinese-government-orders-low-income-families-to-abandon-their-christian-faith-or-lose-financial-aid

“Chinese Christian Families Flee China Amid Crackdown: ‘No Longer Safe for Us’,” https://www.foxnews.com/world/china-christian-church-crackdown-safe

“Christianity Crackdown: Fury as 250 Crosses Torn Down from Churches and Pastor Threatened,” https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1297067/christianity-news-china-crosses-removed-from-churches-Christian-persecution

“Nigeria Facing Systemic, Planned, Calculated Genocide of Christians,” https://cruxnow.com/uncategorized/2020/06/nigeria-facing-systematic-planned-calculated-genocide-of-christians/

Kingdom Currency

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

There is a lot of talk these days about the dollar collapsing, the economies of the world collapsing, and in what we are to invest. There are those who invest in “bugging” out bags full of survival gear. There are those who invest in special water purification systems, rooms full of freeze-dried food, fuel of some kind and a multiplicity of necessities. There are those who invest in silver and gold. There are those who invest in Bitcoin. There are those who invest in Omani Currency. There are those who invest in Faraday bags, generators, and the like. And really, if you feel led by the Lord to do this, like you had a dream and He spoke to you, then by all means, do it. Perhaps you just think it is good stewardship to do so. And really, it is not a bad thing to be prepared for a disaster. After all, there are enough happening these days.

But, I want to remind you of something not being talked about at all. And I mean, not at all. Unless of course it is talked about in a negative way and by those who are just trying to take your money like a dishonest used car salesman or an ambulance chasing lawyer. To what am I referring? God’s Kingdom.

Jesus in Matthew 6 says, “19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light [speaking of generosity]. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness [speaking of a miser]. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

Now there are a lot of people who would beg to differ with this statement. But, since Jesus is God, I think it’s wiser to believe Him than what some man has taught or what our own preconceptions might be. So, let’s take off our “worldly-wise” glasses and take a look at this through “Kingdom” eyes.

In Luke 12 and Luke 16 Jesus explains this important topic via a rich man and a sly steward. The rich man of Luke 12 decides to build bigger barns and take his ease, but has no idea that death is about to overtake him. This is akin to having billions saved away and/or invested, and you feel safe and secure in that. And though we have lawyers and trust funds and wills, they had wills back in Jesus’ day too. The point was not that no one would get his vast wealth or that strangers would. More than likely his children would inherit it. The point was that the rich man would not get to enjoy it for himself, for his life would be required of him. Indeed, the attitude of this rich man is not the attitude that God wants of believers, for God calls him a fool (Luke 12:20). The attitude He wants in us is as follows in Luke 12:22-32.

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? 27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. 32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.”

We are not pagans, and should not be worrying about anything, necessity or otherwise, disaster or no disaster, economic collapse or no collapse. Instead, Jesus wants us pursuing the Kingdom.

The sly steward of Luke 16 busied himself with dishonesty and embezzlement until he was suspected by his master. It was then that he decided to make friends with his master’s debtors by having the debtors readjust the books so that they owed less. In this selfish act of kindness, he slyly made friends of all those who owed his master so that when his master eventually audited him and fired him, he would have friends who would take him in. In other words, the money we make here on earth is not for our benefit, but we are to use it for the benefit of others. Ephesians 4:28 says regarding this very thing, “Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.” Think about that statement. We, as Christians, are to make money not to save it nor simply to spend it on ourselves for our own pleasure or security, but rather, are to make money in order to share with those in need. After all Luke 17 says, “33 Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it.” So why are we so concerned about living? Why are we selfishly consumed with our own needs and pleasures?

When we look at the early church of Acts in chapter after chapter, they were selling things they owned in order to give to other Christians who needed things more than they did. They were living by faith in a God who taught them to pray, “Give us this day our DAILY bread.” And God provided for their every need according to His riches in glory (Philippians 4:19), and Paul attested to God’s generous provision through His people (Philippians 4:15-19). Thus, because they knew that God would supply, they invested in each other not bigger barns. They are our examples, living testaments of this truth.

I just want to encourage you today. No matter what your reason is for prepping, investing in gold or some other type of currency, building bomb shelters, selling your home and moving etc., please consider the words of Jesus. We are Kingdom people, not pagans. We are Christians whose treasure is laid up in heaven, and that treasure is in heaven because of our monetary investment in others. Remember, I’m not talking about the shysters on t.v. who just want your money. I’m talking real ministries and real needs.

So, please, when thinking about how best to invest your money, consider investing in other believers today. Find a ministry that is preaching the unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ, providing for and defending the widow and the orphan, and standing firm and steadfast in the faith in these dark times. Or perhaps that need is closer to home. And don’t give expecting anything in return (Luke 6:35). Just give. “38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Like Jesus said in Matthew 6, “19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Please, let Jesus’ timeless truth sink in. Reflect on it. Meditate upon it. Remember, there is a Kingdom currency in the world to come, with an eternal value that will not fade with time. Now is when we accrue that currency, and we do so by investing our money in the lives of others. Invest in others now and you invest in eternity. Let’s not be fools like the rich man with bigger barns, but instead let us be rich toward God (Luke 12:20-21) and make friends with others for eternity.

Words of Warning from Ex-32nd Degree Freemason

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

Below are two videos put out by Tony Koretz of the youtube channel Aminutetomidnite. The message being presented is by ex-32nd degree Freemason named Jeremy. The reason I am sharing these here is because what Jeremy shares coincides with Pastor Coverstone’s dreams in many ways. Though I am not a big proponent of storing food etc., –after all, when Jesus spoke of the last days in Matthew 24, Luke 17 and 21, and Mark 13, He never mentions storing up food like Joseph– I do agree with Jeremy that having something on hand is indeed wisdom. I appreciate Jeremy’s encouragement for Christians to not fear, that our God is bigger and will do amazing things on behalf of His people in the coming days and months, and I appreciate Jeremy’s apparent love for Jesus, even unto death. I also am deeply grateful for Tony’s wife Holly’s words of encouragement through Acts 16 at the end of the second video (the one from September).

His words of warning come from sources who are still a part of the Freemasons. These Freemason sources are not still his friends, but because of a long history and favors they owed him, they agreed to share information. Jeremy’s warning pertains to their plans that have been, are and will be unfolding concerning COVID-19, the insidious nature of the vaccine being produced, the real purpose behind the protests/riots, the collapse of the economy, the evil unfolding in Australia and New Zealand, a nuclear event or events that will look “natural” (like an asteroid), the staged assassination attempt of the president, the elites moving literally underground, a private military, and ultimately the demise of America’s system of government as well as the political parties, etc.

Please, feel free to take a listen for yourself and see what you think. And more importantly, take all of this to the Lord in prayer. Please, pray for Jeremy too, and for other ex-secret society people whose lives are literally on the line for simply leaving the organization and even more so for sharing information about the organization. Please, also remember Tony and Holly Koretz in your prayers as well.

Blessings in Christ,

Holy Light Ministries

Pastor Coverstone’s Dream of Lady Liberty

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This article is regarding the September 8, 2020 dream of Pastor Coverstone. It is the dream about the Statue of Liberty, whom he refers to as Lady Liberty. The link is found below.

In his dream, the Statue of Liberty is struck by lightning, hit in the face with debris, and then mercilessly attacked and murdered by greedy mercenaries who are paid in silver. Throughout the attack she defends the Declaration of Independence and her torch with all her might, losing three spikes in her crown, and eventually falling to her knees. In her defiance–her eyes were ablaze with defiance–, she calls for help from those whom she had helped in the past, but none came to assist or defend her. After an intense struggle, the mercenaries overpower her, lop off her torch hand, cover her mouth, tie her other hand behind her back, and drag her out to sea where they ram her twice and drown her. It is a violent dream of a violent death of Lady Liberty. And the closing scene depicts flashing lightning and an ever darkening storm brooding over the harbor ready to unleash its fury.

Pastor Coverstone was deeply distressed by this dream, more so than all of his other dreams, because of what this symbolizes: the death of America. Just like most of us, he felt that America would always be here; that our kids and grandkids would grow up in a free nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. This dream, however, spells the demise of America, and all the goodness and godliness for which she used to stand.

As a patriotic American, it is easy to root for Lady Liberty as she fights and wrestles and stands valiantly to the end. That fight and self-reliance is truly American in every sense of the word.

Nevertheless, as I listened, I noted two very troubling things that are more troubling than her violent death. Did any of you notice it too? Did any of you hear it too? So, what troubled me more? Her defiance and the fact that she did not cry out to God. Why is that more troubling? She was defiant as opposed to repentant, which is demonstrated in the fact that she did not call out to God for help, but instead called out to other nations. She did not repent, which is demonstrated in the fact that she stood proudly and fought in her own strength, not God’s. She called out to other nations for help and not God. And when the filth of the nation that she protects hit her in the face, it caused her to topple.

Before I continue, I must say this. America is a miracle. This nation is a miracle. Without God’s blessing, we would not have ever been a nation. I have studied American history since my youth, and stand in awe of this nation’s history. I love our founding, our founding fathers and mothers, our precious heritage. It is because of God, that America was born. Alexis de Tocqueville said that America’s goodness was the cause of her greatness, and her goodness was rooted in her churches. When she would cease to be good, she would cease to be great. In other words, America’s demise would come when she would forget God, and for no other reason and at no other time.

This Coverstone dream undeniably, more so than any of the other dreams, is all about God’s judgment of America. Why? Unrepentant defiance and unrepentant reliance herself and on other nations instead of God. God hates this. He hated it in Israel, and He hates it still. Israel was sent into captivity for it, the land was devastated and many were killed by the sword and famine because of it. All you need do is read the Bible to see how God handles it when His own people forget Him. Nothing else could take out America, but God.

And indeed, America and the American Church has forgotten the very God that birthed them and protected them and empowered them. For years they have been consumed with consumerism, vacationing and greed and pleasure seeking while the blood of the unborn cried out, while science and doctors played God, while marriage was defiled by premarital sex and homosexuality and other types of demonic orgies, and while violence plagued our minds and hearts via movies and tv shows. Oh, but Americans have cried “don’t touch our golden calf! Don’t tell me what do or what to watch or not to watch or what to think or how to feel! Don’t you dare to judge me!” And Such words rang from sea to shining sea and from church to church around the nation. So, because America defiantly refused the judgment of God’s word over their lives, the judgment of God is about to be poured out on this nation.

Do we doubt that God does things like this? Do we really think that He is a sugar daddy in the sky that will wink at sin forever? Do you think that He doesn’t care? Do we think that He doesn’t see? Have we forgotten the holiness and justice of God?

Here are just a few instances when actually God sold His own people, His own nation in to the hands of evil. Did you get that? He SOLD them!!!!!!!!

Judges 2:14-15, “14And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel. So He delivered them into the hands of plunderers who despoiled them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. 15Wherever they went out, the hand of the Lord was against them for calamity, as the Lord had said, and as the Lord had sworn to them. And they were greatly distressed.”

First Samuel 12:9, “9And when they forgot the Lord their God, He sold them into the hand of Sisera, commander of the army of Hazor, into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab; and they fought against them.”

Jeremiah 34:1-3, “1The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army, all the kingdoms of the earth under his dominion, and all the people, fought against Jerusalem and all its cities, saying, 2“Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: ‘Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah and tell him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire. 3And you shall not escape from his hand, but shall surely be taken and delivered into his hand; your eyes shall see the eyes of the king of Babylon, he shall speak with you face[a] to face, and you shall go to Babylon.’ ” ’

And this was not a surprise. God did not just spring judgment on Israel. He always warns first. He always calls to repentance first. Israel had promised to follow Him and abide by His covenant, and they had broken it. In Deuteronomy 28 God made sure they knew and understood the consequences of turning from Him and the covenant that they swore to follow, in order to walk in their own ways instead of in His ways.

God’s message through these dreams is not a feel good message, nor is it a mere slap on the hand. This is not about storing up food so that we can endure in the mountains or be left alone in our homes. This is not about buying a gun so that we can kill something for food or so that we can go down fighting. What is coming to America very swiftly and very soon is not just a warning this time. For years, God has given the nation of America warning after warning after warning already, including the harbingers that Jonathan Cahn laid out in his books The Harbinger and The Harbinger II and others. The warnings have been sent via prophets such as David Wilkerson of Times Square Church in New York, and are being spoken even now in churches like Jimmy Swaggart’s church Family Worship Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. And most powerfully, the warnings have been sent in God’s word into every household of America. But, America has not listened. America has not repented. America has not called on God. America has not wept between the porch and the altar. But instead, America hardened her heart, grew more stubborn in her ways while clutching tightly to freedom and her rights, and pursued happiness instead of God. America forgot God, and thus, America is ripe for judgment.

God is in the storm of this dream. Indeed, when it comes to pestilence and storms, God is in the whirlwind (Job 28:1), and God said, “When I…send pestilence…” (2 Chronicles 7:13), God sent the plagues of Egypt (Exodus), He touches the earth and it melts (Amos 9), “He covers His hands with lightning, And commands it to strike,” (Job 36:32), and God sent a plague to Israel and wiped out 70,000 men (2 Samuel 24), He is the Lord of the weather (Job 26, 36-38), “His brightness was like the light; He had rays flashing from His hand, and there His power was hidden,” (Habakkuk 3:4), He stirs up the stormy wind (Psalm 107:25), and His glory thunders (Psalm 29:3), and list goes on indefinitely. Is not Jesus the same yesterday, today and forever? (Hebrews 13). Behold He is God and changes not (Malachi 3:6).

The meaning of this dream is stark. The meaning of this dream is clear. And the only way out of it for America is to remember God and repent like wicked Nineveh in the book of Jonah. Repentance and a returning to God is America’s only hope.

At Home “In” Christ

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Painting by artist Randy Van Beek

When you hear the word peace, of what do you think? When I hear the word peace, I think of softness, stillness and gentleness, like a warm summer breeze that tousles the branches in the trees and spreads the fragrance of freshly cut hay. When you hear the word home, what do you picture in your mind? Is it the place where you grew up? Is it a person? Is it your comfy chair, a crackling fire and a warm drink? Is is ocean surf at your feet, warm sandy beaches, and a frosty glass with something yummy in it?

In reality, both peace and home are something a bit different. To begin with, the peace of God is not all that soft, but rather, is a force to be reckoned with, that overwhelms and overcomes the wind and the waves, even the violence and intricate tactics of an enemy seeking to destroy us. God’s Word says that the enemy roams about like a lion, zealously seeking whom he may devour – which literally means to “drink down, swallow up” (1 Peter 5:8). He desires to stealthily steal us, sacrificially kill us on his altar and to violently and completely annihilate us, as if we never had existed (John 10:10). We are essentially born spiritually blind on a battlefield, and babies on battlefields don’t mix so well. We cannot see the battlefield much less the enemy waiting to pounce upon us. And how he attacks most effectively, even since our childhood, is in our minds.

This is where God’s peace comes in to play. Our Jehovah Shalom, the LORD of peace, the Prince of Peace has given us peace that is our protection against Satan’s battle plan of extermination in our minds. Satan comes against us with selfish pride, anxiety and fear based on very real circumstances, but God’s peace is greater if we “abide.” And where we abide is our safe place, our secure place, our soft place to fall….our home.

In” Christ

There is an often overlooked word in the passage of Philippians 4:7. Actually, it is an overlooked word throughout the New Testament. It is a word that I just read over time and time and time again. It’s a simple, two lettered word. A preposition actually. Do any of you remember what a preposition is? Well, in Greek “The original or core meaning of…prepositions often indicates DIRECTION.” (“Prepositions and Prefixes,” https://ancientgreek.pressbooks.com/chapter/13/) In other words, a preposition determines if a person is moving away from something, toward something, into something, on top of something or under something.

In Philippians 4:7, the overlooked preposition is the word “in”. In some translations the word is translated as “through.” Although, when I studied the Greek this past weekend I cannot figure out where the translators got the word “through.” For, the Greek word does not mean to go “through” something, but rather that you are “in” something. After all, the Greek word means “in”. It carries with it “…the primary idea of rest…[of] remaining in place.” (The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament, 579). This preposition “in” is also found in the well-known passage of Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things [in] Christ who strengthens me.”

This little word is vitally important, for without it, we would not have this peace. It is only when we are “in” Christ that we are empowered to do “all”. It is only when we are “in” Christ that we are powerfully protected by the peace of God that boggles the mind. For it is only when we are “in” that we are at rest, that we are at home.

I Want To Go Home”

As an former employee of a health care facility, I had to watch certain training videos online every month called Relias training. In one of those training videos, the topic of residents being homesick was addressed. Often in nursing care facilities, residents will miss home and become depressed and sometimes even angry and desperate, especially those with dementia. But going home doesn’t necessarily mean what one might think it means. Sometimes, the resident with dementia thinks they are 17 years old again, and home to them is the large old house they grew up in on the farm. Other times, they are still 32 years old and married with small children living in a certain house in a little town. At other times, home to them is not a place but is a person like their husband or wife or their mother or children or even their pets or cows if they were a dairy farmer.

It was then that the narrator of the Relias video asked a question concerning what the phrase “I want to go home” means. When someone says “I want to go home” it can mean a variety of different things to different people as seen above.

What does home mean to you? When you think about going home, what does it look like to you? What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “home”?

Some who say this may be referring to feelings like security or safety or acceptance, others may think of home as a certain place, like where they grew up or where they raised their children, others may think of it as a place where their things are, like their favorite chair or a fireplace, and still others may think of it as a person.

Grafting

Regarding a place to call home, John 15:1-11 gives us a beautiful picture of a vine and branches.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”

To “abide” means just that, “to abide, to dwell, to remain, or live.” When in relation to a person, it means to remain with that person, to be united with them, to be “one with him in heart, mind, and will.”

Jesus in this passage uses an agricultural word picture when He states that He is the vine, and God the Father is the husbandman/gardener. In Israel a lot of pruning, cutting and grafting was done to olive trees, but also other fruit trees. There were branches that were not producing, so they would be cut away. Others simply needed pruning to encourage production. Still others required grafting. In the book of Romans, Paul even talks about how the Gentiles were “grafted in” to the vine of Christ. Since this word picture is so important, I did a little reading on the grafting of trees.

It is amazing how one can take a small twig of one fruit tree and make it part of another tree. Basically, one whittles down the end of the twig into a point, and a cut is made in the bark of the trunk of another fruit tree. It is into this cut that the little sharpened twig is wedged and then wrapped up tight with plastic tape. Within a short period of time the little twig becomes an actual part of the fruit tree. It’s incredible how through grafting, there can even be three different types of apples growing from one tree. So long as the fruit is from the same family, grafting can be accomplished. One can even have apricots, peaches and almonds grafted together into one tree because they are all a part of the same family. And thus, the one tree becomes the “abiding” place or the abode of the different fruits. It is now their home.

Whether the original branches or the grafted branches, they are to abide in the tree, to find their strength in its life, their sustenance in its sap, their stability in its roots, their home in its soil. Even so, we are to find our home “in” Christ. So that no matter where we are, who we are with, what financial status we are in, or what location in which we reside, whether a five-star hotel, a straw hut, a mansion, a cockroach infested hovel, a war torn landscape, a prison, the Poor House, the White House, or a care center, we will be secure, we will be at home, because our home is in Christ.

Conclusion

We conclude today with a quote from the book Tramp for the Lord by Corrie ten Boom. Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch woman, who, along with her family helped many Jews to escape from Holland after the Nazis invaded during WWII. She and her family were imprisoned in a concentration camp because of this, and all of her family died in concentration camps except for Corrie who went on to become a traveling evangelist and author of The Hiding Place. In the sequel to The Hiding Place called Tramp for the Lord, Corrie ten Boom drives home the point that Christ is our home no matter where we are, when she writes,

“Betsie and I walked to the square where roll call was being held in the concentration camp. It was still early, before dawn. The head of our barracks was so cruel that she had sent us out into the very cold outdoors a full hour too early.

Betsie’s hand was in mine. We went to the square by a different way from the rest of our barracks-mates. We were three as we walked with the Lord and talked with Him. Betsie spoke. Then I talked. Then the Lord spoke. How? I do not know. But both of us understood…

The brilliant early morning stars were our only light. The cold winter air was so clear. We could faintly see the outlines of the barracks, the crematorium, the gas chamber, and the towers where the guards were standing with loaded machine guns.

“Isn’t this a bit of heaven!” Betsie had said. “And, Lord, this is a small foretaste. One day we will see You face-to-face, but thank You that even now You are giving us the joy of walking and talking with You.”

Heaven in the midst of hell. Light in the midst of darkness. What security!”

(Tramp for the Lord, pg 30)

Ah, what security we have in Christ when He is our home. This brings to mind the song, “His Eye Is On The Sparrow,” written by Civilla D. Martin in 1905/6. While she and her husband were ministering in New York, they developed a close friendship with a couple by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle. Mrs. Doolittle was a bed-ridden invalid of 20 years, and Mr. Doolittle wheeled himself to and from work in his wheelchair. After observing the cheerful behavior and kindness expressed to everyone through this couple, Mr. Doolittle wondered aloud about what their secret was. To that the Doolittles responded, “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.” Inspired by these words, Civilla Martin penned the words you are about to read. May the Lord greatly bless you with these timeless lyrics of contentment and security and absolute peace.

"Why should I feel discouraged? Why should the shadows come? 
Why should my heart be lonely and long for heaven and home, 
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He: 
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. 

"Let not your heart be troubled," His tender word I hear, 
and resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears; 
though by the path He leadeth but one step I may see: 
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. 

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise, 
when song gives place to sighing, when hope within me dies; 
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free: 
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me." 

One more hymn of the same time period that my heart begins to sing as I think on abiding in Christ is one by the name of “Under His Wings,” written by William Cushing. William Cushing had been a pastor who permanently lost his voice when he was in his forties. In spite of this horrific set back, he continued praising the Lord and wrote over 300 hymns, which have blessed countless people, including me and now hopefully you.

Under His wings I am safely abiding;
  Though the night deepens and tempests are wild,
Still I can trust Him, I know He will keep me;
  He has redeemed me, and I am His child.

Chorus: 
Under His wings, under His wings,
  Who from His love can sever?
Under His wings my soul shall abide,
    Safely abide forever.

Under His wings—what a refuge in sorrow!
  How the heart yearningly turns to His rest!
Often when earth has no balm for my healing,
  There I find comfort, and there I am blest.

Under His wings—oh, what precious enjoyment!
  There will I hide till life’s trials are o’er;
Sheltered, protected, no evil can harm me;
  Resting in Jesus I’m safe evermore.

So, no matter what comes in this life, even in the next few months, please, in the words of Philippians 4:6-7, “6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds [in] Christ Jesus.”

Jesus wants us to abide in Him. Why? That His joy might remain in us, and our joy might be full. Are you lacking joy today? Are you lacking peace? It’s time to abide. And if you don’t know how, ask Him. He’ll show you! And from now on, I sincerely pray, that if you are ever asked about who or what or where home is to you, that you’ll say Jesus.

Abiding in Christ,

Holy Light Ministries

Sources and Word Study:

Studies of the word “In”

The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament

#1722 en “in”; means “In…by any place or thing, with the primary idea of rest…means remaining in place” (pg 579).

“Prepositions and Prefixes,” https://ancientgreek.pressbooks.com/chapter/13/

“Appendix 3: Prepositions,” https://www.motorera.com/greek/lessons/appendix3.html

Sources on the word “Abide”

The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament

#3306 meno, “Abide”; “To remain, abide, dwell or live” (pg 959).

“Of the relation in which one person or thing stands with another, chiefly in John’s writings; thus to remain in or with someone, i.e., to be and remain united with him, one with him in heart, mind, and will…” (pg 959).

John 15 “Abiding” and Philippians 4:7, 13 “In Christ”

“What It Means To Abide In Christ & How To Do It,” https://www.johnrothra.com/devotionalteaching/christian-living/what-it-means-to-abide-in-christ-how-to-do-it/

The grafting of the trees and the producing of fruit

“Grafting Fruit Trees,” https://ladyleeshome.com/grafting-fruit-trees/

“How Grafting Affects Olive Trees,” https://homeguides.sfgate.com/grafting-affects-olive-trees-56828.html

“Did You Know This About Olive Trees?” https://godinthebeginning.wordpress.com/2017/06/21/did-you-know-this-about-olive-trees/

Psalm 91 word study

The Complete Words Study Dictionary: Old Testament

#3885 liyn or lun, “abide”; “It describes the secure, peaceful rest of one living close to the Lord…” (pg 546).

Commentary on Coverstone’s Dreams

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

seeds of faith pic

Pastor Dana Coverstone has had countless dreams over the last few months. They all are quite dark, dismal, and extremely intense. Like an epic film on the theater screen, they unfold with action and great drama. Nearly every time he relates the scenes of his dreams, he appears very saddened and almost apologetic for the darkness of his dreams. Though they are not sinister in any way, they do contain a great deal of weighty information that is beyond potent for both the dreamer and the one hearing about the dream. He does not attempt to interpret; he merely lays out what was presented. Truly, a lot of what he dreams does not need interpretation, for it appears quite self-explanatory.

That being said, I have found myself very tentative about the near future because of his dreams. After all, they either have or are coming to pass. And though I hope that the Lord will take His bride home soon—for is that not our blessed hope?–He may also allow His bride to go through some tumultuous times. I felt suddenly very uncertain. Not fearful. Actually, yes. Fearful. I get so sick and tired of people saying they are not afraid when everything they say and do means they are indeed afraid. So, yes, I was almost panicked at first. But that transitioned to uncertainty and being deeply troubled.

However, I must share that TODAY God shed His light over Pastor Coverstone’s dreams, and when He did so, I saw them very and incredibly differently. Things became clearer, and color flooded the black and white picture I’d seen before the light. What did I see? Here it is as succinctly as I can put it: Psalm 9.

“(To the chief Musician upon Muthlabben, A Psalm of David.) I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.2 I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.3 When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence.4 For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right.5 Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.6 O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end: and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them.7 But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment.8 And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.9 The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.11 Sing praises to the LORD, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings.12 When he maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them: he forgetteth not the cry of the humble.13 Have mercy upon me, O LORD; consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death:14 That I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation.15 The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken.16 The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah.17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.18 For the needy shall not alway be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.19 Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight.20 Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.”

God has prepared His throne for judgment. What is about to take place in America is God’s judgment. The enemy may think he’s in charge of this, and his puppet secret societies may think they are pulling their own strings, but God is sovereign over all. And via Pastor Coverstone’s dreams, He has revealed that He is “sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat” (Lyrics from “the Battle Hymn of the Republic”). He is remembering the blood of the unborn that has been crying out like the blood of Abel. And those reprobates who think they are invincible and that God has not seen their grave sin, are about to sink into the very pit that they dug for others and are about to fall prey to the trap that they set for the innocent and unsuspecting. They will be snared by the work of their own hands.

This is about to happen to the Democrat party that is drenched in the blood of the unborn, stained by the sex slave trade and pedophilia, and drenched in the foul debauchery of unjust scales, to the violent, godless BLM that does not care at all about the African American community but instead has been all about murder and mayhem and destruction for years, to those leaders who are legally and financially persecuting the churches in America right now, to ministers who have shamed the body of Christ through false doctrine and false prophecies and have blasphemed the name of Christ through word and action. It is these who will soon be judged according to Pastor Coverstone’s dreams. It is these who will fall into their own traps, sink into their own pits, and fall prey to their own schemes.

Does this sound harsh? Please, re-read Psalm 9. For that matter, re-read Psalm 18, Psalm 96, Psalm 98 and Psalm 27, and how about Malachi and Jeremiah and Daniel and Jude and Revelation. Let’s make sure we keep all of this in perspective – A Biblical perspective – God’s perspective.

And right now, God is calling His people to pray for the harvest, for the body of Christ to have a backbone, and for corruption in government and corruption in the Church to be exposed. He wants us to pray in agreement with Him. He does not want us confused; He does not want us questioning what is happening. He wants us informed, empowered and in agreement with what He is about to do. He wants our lights burning and for us to have extra oil so that they do not go out.

Is Jesus coming soon? Yes.

Is His return immanent? Yes.

Will we be going through what Pastor Coverstone saw in his dreams through January? I have no idea!

But again, in keeping our perspective Biblical, if we are here for the unveiling of those dreams, then we will get to stand back and see the judgment of the Lord poured out on putrid, blood-guilty politicians, lying false prophets, deceptive false teachers, and demonically-inspired protestors.

So, let’s not be disheartened at the details of these dreams, for they reveal the judgment and power of God against unrighteousness in various groups of people. He has let us in on His plan just as He always does (Amos 3:7). Therefore, we as Christians are not to be afraid. He is not coming to judge Christians nor will He abandon them. He is the Christian’s refuge! However, through these dreams He is stirring Christians to be prepared. No, not with food and water, although that is not a bad thing to do. I mean to be prepared spiritually, prayerfully, in all holiness and godliness, that we might shine forth like stars to this godless and crooked generation (Philippians 2:15) and that we might be ready for the trumpet of the Lord to sound! (1 Thessalonians 4-5).

I will close with these verses of Psalm 9, “I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.2 I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High…8 And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.9 The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.11 Sing praises to the LORD, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings.”

Rest in this, and keep on singing. And just like Peter when he walked upon the water, as long as he looked at Jesus he was fine (Matthew 14:23-33). As soon as he looked down at the waves tossed about by hostile winds he began to sink. Those waves were there when he wasn’t looking; they are very real waves, very scary waves, very choppy waves, and the wind was very contrary. The same holds true for the dreams of Coverstone; they are real; they are dark and dismal; they have come and are coming to pass. But, when Peter kept his eyes on Jesus all was well. This was not denial. This was all about Peter keeping his eyes on the Ruler of the wind and waves, the very Maker of the sea, on the only One who mattered. And indeed, the same holds true for us now regarding what is coming. We must keep our eyes on Jesus, our coming King, and all will be well. These bad things will not go away, just like the waves didn’t, but Jesus is still the only One who matters, the One who provides for our every need, the One who is our strength, the One who will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5). And when God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31). Truly, our God reigns! His Kingdom come! His will be done on earth as it is in heaven! So be it! Come quickly, Lord Jesus! The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come!”

The Rope of HOPE

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

So much has been unfolding right in front of our vary eyes in just the past six months, that perhaps your mind is spinning. I know mine has been. So much has transpired according to Bible prophecy, that my heart and understanding has had quite a time trying to catch up. How about you? Not only this, but then there is all the tension and concern about what is coming next and if we will still be here to see it and how we can possibly prepare. (If you are even more behind than this and are still confused about what is happening, please check out some of the articles on this website. Here are a few links to get you started: https://holylight4u.wordpress.com/2020/07/10/the-time-is-at-hand-psalm-2-and-where-we-are-right-now/; https://holylight4u.wordpress.com/2020/08/24/isaiah-24-the-shaking-of-the-world/; https://holylight4u.wordpress.com/2020/08/27/upheld-by-the-word-of-his-power/; https://holylight4u.wordpress.com/2020/04/15/days-of-preparation-a-founders-warning-and-modern-day-testimonies/

In the midst of all this insanity of chaos and mayhem in the name of protests, the challenge of kids and online learning from home, financial difficulties, relationship problems, the destruction of world economies, the increase of persecution of Christians worldwide, and the establishment of the new world order, are we still hoping? And if so, in what are you hoping? And what is the definition of hope?

We are going to take a look at two passages of Scripture that are not often looked at together. Joshua 2 and Isaiah 40. In Joshua we read about how Israel sent spies into the well-fortified, fully-stocked city of Jericho who felt completely secure behind its incredible wall, and how a prostitute named Rahab hid those spies when Jericho’s king called for their arrest. She then, after obtaining a promise from them for the protection of herself and her family, directed them to hide for three days in the mountains before returning to their people. In Isaiah we read about the nation of Israel that was resting in its own strength and questioning God’s justice, power and goodness. Through the lens of these two passages we are going view of our frailty, the greatness of our God, and of what our hope in Him truly means. Here is the first passage:

Joshua 2:4-20

And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the country. 4 And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were:5 And it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them.6 But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof.7 And the men pursued after them the way to Jordan unto the fords: and as soon as they which pursued after them were gone out, they shut the gate.8 And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof;9 And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.10 For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.11 And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.12 Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father’s house, and give me a true token:13 And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.14 And the men answered her, Our life for yours, if ye utter not this our business. And it shall be, when the LORD hath given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee.15 Then she let them down by a cord through the window: for her house was upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall. [Rehab let them down by a rope…vs 15. #2256 hebel, “cord, pangs, region, company.” “This word is also used symbolically to speak of the cords of sin and death (2 Samuel 22:6; Psalm. 18:4[5], 5[6]; Proverbs 5:22).”] 16 And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may ye go your way.17 And the men said unto her, We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear.18 Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread [#2339 chut, This is simply the word for a three-fold cord that was twisted] in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father’s household, home unto thee..19 And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood shall be upon his head, and we will be guiltless: and whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood shall be on our head, if any hand be upon him.20 And if thou utter this our business, then we will be quit of thine oath which thou hast made us to swear.21 And she said, According unto your words, so be it. And she sent them away, and they departed: and she bound the scarlet line in the window. [#8615 Tiqvah, This was not merely a cord. This word can also mean hope, something that is longed for. For it was in this scarlet cord the Rehab’s hope was twisted.]

In this story of two spies and Rehab we catch a glimpse of the frailty of humanity, the power of an incredible God who defies all odds, and of the enduring nature of hope. Incredibly, this young woman’s words encouraged the Israelites in what God had called them to do for it says in verse 24 that the two spies said to Joshua “Truly the LORD hath delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us.”

We also see a woman of strong faith in Rahab, for it was not merely a cord that she lowered out of her window. To her it was a symbol of hope. It was her expectation that the Israelites would honor their word to her and her family, that they would deliver her. It was her firm hope that their God would save her and become her God too. And He did! And not only did He deliver her and become her God too, but she also became a great-great-great-great grandmother of Jesus.

Feel free to take a look at some rope making a moment…“How to Make Twine from Fabric Scraps,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=222OWKdWBmU As you can see from this video footage, the making of rope requires a lot of twisting and wrapping and twining and stretching. Basically, a rope needs to be tightly twisted and must be flexible to be of use. This makes it durable and strong. After all, a three-fold cord is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

In the Hebrew language words and letters tell you a colorful story. In our language an A in our alphabet is just that, an A. But, in Hebrew the letter A, called an aleph, is not merely a letter, but has the literal meaning of “ox”. In the original Hebrew, the letter was symbolized, and looked like the head of an ox. Essentially, its definition was the number one or meant the head of something. You see, Hebrew is a picture language. It is a visual and tangible language.

Thus, the word “hope” in the story of Rahab, pictures a rope tightly woven or twisted together with great flexibility so that it cannot break. Hope is not just wishing something good will happen. It is enduring and strong like a good rope.

In Isaiah 40 we read another story, but it is still the same theme of human frailty, God’s power, and the enduring power of hope.

Isaiah 40:6-31

“The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:7 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.9 O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!12 Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance.15 Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.17 All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.18 To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?19 The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains.20 He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved.25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.26 Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.27 Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God? [They were questioning if God even cared or saw them anymore. And so, they had turned to idols for help, and sought their help outside of God. But God says,]28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

They that “wait” upon the LORD…Think about that. Think about waiting and all that it entails.

The word for “wait” here is the same word used in Joshua 2 when Rehab placed the cord outside her window. The word for “wait” is that cord of hope, that is twisted tightly, is stretchy and resilient, made for perseverance and is not easily broken. When we as frail creatures of the Most High God recognize our frailty, we are not run to something or someone else for strength, like Isaiah 40 says the Israelites did when they turned to dumb idols. May we also not be like the young men and boys in this passage who depended on their own strength. Young people always seem to feel that they are invincible, but God reminds us that youthful energy fails and fades too. It is only those who “wait”, are twisted up in hope so much, so intricately entwined in hoping in Him, even grafted into the energy source of His vine, that they will arise effortlessly on wings like an eagle [not like a hummingbird that whirs its wings with great effort, but instead, like an eagle who sores and is upheld by wind currants up high so that they do not have to flap their wings]; run and not grow weary, walk and not faint.

Conclusion

Rahab in Joshua 2 hoped that when God wiped out her city and all its inhabitants, that He would spare her and any family gathered under the cover of the scarlet cord. Her hope was not wishy-washy nor flimsy nor a pipe dream nor even a day dream nor was it wishful thinking. It was not at all what so many consider to be the definition of hope today, for it was solid, firm and unshakable, tightly wound up in undeniable faith that God would do what He said. That was Rahab’s unfailing hope.

The Israelites of Isaiah 40 were called upon by God to not rely on their own strength, no matter how manly, but instead were to “wait” upon the Lord, to be wrapped up, tied up, tangled all up in believing that God would be their strength, their fortress, their help in times of trouble. But, they were too wrapped up in their own abilities and in the abilities of their leaders and help from other nations, that they missed out on standing back to see the Lord’s salvation unfold in their lives. Instead, they had to learn the hard way by eventually going into captivity.

So, what are we as Christians hoping? What are we all tied up, wrapped up, and in what are we invested with every fiber of our being? What do we believe beyond the shadow of a doubt?

To begin with, no matter what you are facing individually or in your marriage or as a family or as a church, God promised that we can do ALL things “in” Christ who strengthens us! (Philippians 4:6-7). And when God says all, He means ALL. But, really the key word here is “in”. We must be rooted and grounded and grafted and be at rest in the vine of Christ in order to have this incredible strength to begin with, and we must remain “abiding in” Him (John 15); we must remain “abiding” beneath the shadow of His wings (Psalm 91). So, are you abiding? Are you at rest inside?

And ultimately, Titus 2:13 says that we, as Christians, are to be “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ…” Jesus is coming back SOON. Is this your blessed hope? Are you longing for His appearing? Or are you too caught up in the cares of this life that you have lost sight of our Savior’s SOON return (Luke 21:36)? Did you know that there is a “crown of righteousness” that will be given to those who “love His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8)?

Let’s not be like those in Jericho who thought they were invincible, for Jericho fell. Let’s not be like the Israelites who turned to idols because they felt that God did not care and had passed over them, for God sent them into Babylonian captivity to discipline them. Instead, let’s be like Rahab who was hopeless without God, but who found true hope in God! So, — when we feel exhausted, when we feel low, when we are discouraged, when we feel we are all out of steam and have nothing left to give, when our marriage is on the rocks, when our kids are out of control, when we lose our job, when we don’t know what to do, when we are overwhelmed — let’s remember we have hope! The wrapped up, tied up, tangled all up in God hope! And it is in this hope in God that we find all the strength that we will ever need! When we hope in God, we will never be put to shame! (Psalm 25:3 and Romans 10:11).

“Wrapped Up /Tied Up/ Tangled Up In Jesus – Grace Brumley–Thanksgiving 2017”

The walls of Jericho:

Sources:

“Grafting Fruit Trees: A Step by Step Picture Tutorial,” https://ladyleeshome.com/grafting-fruit-trees/

“Tikvah Meaning,” http://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Tikvah.html#.XSv9ikdlD3g

“According to the Scriptures,” by Chuck Missler https://khouse.org/articles/2011/985/print/

“The Biblical Meaning of the Word Hope,” by Gerrie Bester, https://www.joydigitalmag.com/words-of-wisdom-post/the-biblical-meaning-of-the-word-hope/

“Tikvah (Hope),” by K. Gallagher, https://graceintorah.net/2013/10/26/tikvah-hope/

“How to Make Twine from Fabric Scraps,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=222OWKdWBmU

“Why Does Braiding Increase Rope Strength?” by Erik Halberstadt, https://www.quora.com/Why-does-braiding-increase-rope-strength

“6960: Kavah,” https://biblehub.com/hebrew/6960.htm

קָוָהverb wait for (probably originally twist, stretch, then of tension of enduring, waiting…also strand of rope”

Give me a token…vs 12.

#226 ot, “sign, miracle, mark, signal,” that “is used most often to describe awe-inspiring events…” pg 29.

Rehab let them down by a rope…vs 15.

#2256 hebel, “cord, pangs, region, company.” “This word is also used symbolically to speak of the cords of sin and death (2 Sam. 22:6; Ps. 18:4[5], 5[6]; Prov. 5:22).”

Rehab placed this outside her window…vs 21

#8615 Tikvah, “cord or line. It refers to a piece of rope or cord made of bright red thread with a tinge of orange…refers to hope, expectation…an attitude of anticipation with the expectation that something will happen” (pg 1243).

Interlinear, https://biblehub.com/interlinear/joshua/2.htm

“The Walls of Jericho Fell Outwards,” http://www.biblestudymanuals.net/jericho.htm

“Joshua and the Battle of Jericho,” youtube video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPAUqmOHUIo (only use a brief bit at the beginning…this video really is anti-Bible).