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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I Kings 9:3

And the LORD said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.

For further study -I Kings 9:1-9

In fulfillment of God's promise to David, II Samuel 7, King David's son Solomon did build the temple, the first permanent dwelling place for the worship of the Jewish people in Jerusalem.

I Kings 5 is the record of Solomon's preparations to build the Temple with the gathering together of the manpower and materials. I Kings 6, Solomon begins the building of the Temple. I Kings 7 is the story of the building of the home of Solomon.

Notice in I Kings 7:1, it took Solomon 13 years to build his house and according to I Kings 6:38 it only took 7 years to build the Temple. Solomon had a very interesting priority. I Kings 8 reveals that Solomon brought the "Ark of the Covenant" into the Temple. What a day that was when the "Glory of the Lord filled the House of the Lord".

As we come to our devotional reading for today, I Kings 9:1-9, we see recorded the second pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus to King Solomon, the first being in Gibeon, I Kings 3:5. The Lord tells the King of Israel that He had heard his prayer and supplication, verse 3. The Lord also said that Solomon's permanent "worship center", the Temple, was to be "hallowed" by Him.

The Lord added that He would put His name there at the Temple, forever, and that His eyes and His heart would be there "perpetually". The Lord then makes a promise and gives a warning to the King.

In verses 4-5 the Lord promises Solomon that if He would walk before Him as his father David had done, and do according to all that the Lord commanded him to do, King Solomon's kingdom would be established forever, as He had promised his father David.

However, there is a "but", verse 6. The Lord tells Solomon that if he or his children turn from following Him, do not keep His commandments and if they follow after other gods, then Israel would be cut off out of the land that He had given the children of Israel.

The Lord also told Solomon the Temple would be destroyed, a result of the children of Israel failing to follow and obey Him. Solomon was told that people of the world would look at Israel as a "proverb and byword".

These worldly people would ask why Israel was not in the land and why was the Temple destroyed. The Lord answers that question in advance, "because the people of Israel forsook the Lord their God", verse 9.

This prophecy that Jesus gave to Solomon was fulfilled, in fact fulfilled, twice. In 586 BC Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Solomon's Temple and took the Jews out of their God-given land. Some seventy years later the Jews returned to the land and built another Temple, Ezra 1-6.

Then, because of additional disobedience, the Lord followed through on His promise again and had the Roman Army destroy the Second Temple and disbursed the Jews out of their land. When God makes a promise, He keeps that promise.

The Lord made another promise, that He would bring the Jews back into the land in the last days and give them another Temple. This scenario found in God's prophetic word is in the process of being played out in our world today.

PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord, to walk before You daily and do that which You direct me to do as I await Your return.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Kings 8:11

So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD.

For further study - I Kings 8:1-11

King Solomon, the third king of Israel, was the one God would have to build the Temple, the first permanent worship center for the Jewish people. You can read how King Solomon prepared to build the Temple and then the actual building of the Temple in I Kings 3-7

The account of Solomon's Temple, up and operating in Jerusalem, is the portion of I Kings that I've selected for today’s devotional reading. This chapter of I Kings is key to understanding the operation of the Temple and its importance in the daily life of the Jewish people.

Until Solomon's Temple the tabernacle, a transportable worship center, was used by the Lord to "dwell among His people", especially during the forty years of wandering in the wilderness and also during the first 350 years of the Jewish people living in the Promised Land.

After the Philistines took the Ark of the Covenant from the Jews they kept the Ark for only seven months, I Samuel 6:1. And then for another 120 years the Ark was at a place about 15 miles west of Jerusalem.

King David brought the Ark to Jerusalem, II Samuel 6, and wanted to build a temple to house the Ark. Because of David's disobedience he was not allowed that honor; however, his son Solomon would be the one to build the temple.

David gathered the manpower, the monies and the materials for Solomon to use in the building of the temple. He even purchased the site where the temple would be erected. David paid cash money for the site of Araunah's threshing floor, II Samuel 24:24, which was on Mt Moriah, II Chronicles 3:1.

King David passed from the earth into paradise and his son Solomon, as promised by the Lord, built the first temple which took him seven years to build this "worship center" for the Jewish people, I Kings 6:38.

With the temple built, Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and the heads of all the tribes of Israel for the dedication of the Temple and the placing of the "Ark of the Covenant", the Shakinah Glory, in the Holy of Holies of this "permanent worship center" of the Jewish people.

King Solomon had the Levites to bring the Ark from the tabernacle that King David had erected to house the Ark until the temple was ready. As the men brought the Ark into the Temple, into the Holy of Holies, the "glory of the Lord" filled the "house of the Lord" so that the priests could not minister.

There would be a second temple built in Jerusalem, after the Babylonian Captivity; however, the "Glory of the Lord" would not be on the Ark of the Covenant because the "Glory" departed the Ark and the Holy of Holies before the Temple was destroyed, Ezekiel 8-11.

The Ark was never again in the Temple, even during the lifetime of Jesus. The location of the Ark is known today and it will be placed in the Temple that stands on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem during the Tribulation Period; however, the "Glory of the Lord" will not be resting on the Ark.

The "Glory of the Lord" manifested in the person of Jesus Christ will once again enter the "House of the Lord" going into the Holy of Holies and He will fill the "House of the Lord" with His glory when He comes back to Jerusalem.

Remember, the Ark will be used in the Tribulation Temple, but Jesus is the "Ark" for His Temple, a Temple where He will rule and reign from during His kingdom.

PRAYER THOT: Even so come, Lord Jesus.
Monday, March 29, 2010

I Kings 2:12

Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was established greatly.

For further study - I Kings 2:1-12

This is the record of the death of one King and the installation of another. It is also the first installment of the promise made to King David. Before we look at these two issues, let's look at King David's charge to his son who was to become "King of Israel".

As David began the charge he used a very picturesque description for his pending death. "I go the way of all the earth", is a statement that shows David was a realist who knew he would soon die and thus the reason for the charge to his son, the "heir apparent".

As I read the "charge", I was reminded of the "charge" Moses gave to Joshua. There are some familiar phrases which are actually good Biblical principles for us to follow as well.

Notice verse 3. David charges Solomon to "walk in the Lord's ways and to keep His statutes", as written in the word of God. The promise for doing this will be that Solomon and each of us also will prosper.

Just this reminder - to "prosper" is not necessarily to be "wealthy". That is not what the Lord has in mind. The Lord's idea of "prosper" is to “fulfill the will of the Lord for our lives and to bring glory to Him”.

Before I look at the first installment of God's promise to King David, notice verse 10. King David, after serving 40 years as King of the Jewish people, dies and is buried in the city of David, which is the city of Jerusalem.

The place of David's burial is the actual location of where the events of what happened in Acts 2 took place. The Day of Pentecost, when the church was born, is at the same spot where King David is buried, Acts 2:29.

Verse 12 tells us that David's son Solomon did indeed ascend to the "throne of his father" and thus fulfilled the first installment of the Davidic Covenant, II Samuel 7:12-13.

This is evidence that God's plan was in force and will be in force in the future as well. The Davidic Covenant will be fulfilled - a King from David's family will be on the throne in the Temple in Jerusalem with a Kingdom that will be forever.

Solomon was the first installment of that promise. The coming Messiah, Jesus Christ will be the ultimate fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant. I believe we are living in the days of that Kingdom, which is yet to come.

The "chain of events" leading up to that "Kingdom Temple" is found in God’s Word. The Rapture, precedes the Tribulation Period, the seven years of judgment on the Earth. At the end of the time of judgment Jesus Christ returns to Earth to set up His Kingdom, with Jesus on the "throne, in the Temple".

Notice that the next event on God’s "agenda of end time events" is the Rapture and it can happen at any time, even today. Keep looking up.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you for keeping Your promises, Lord, to each of us, as You did to King David.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I Kings 1:39

And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon.

For further reading - I Kings 1:28-40

The time is around 3,000 years ago as we come to the record of King David anointing his son Solomon to be king of all of Israel. It almost did not happen this way for another son of David, Adonijah had plotted to seize the kingdom from his stepbrother Solomon.

When their father, King David, learned of the plan he had Bathsheba call a member of the King’s staff to his death bed to make certain Solomon was crowned King. Bathsheba brought Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet to anoint Solomon King of Israel.

It is interesting to note that this prophet Nathan is the same prophet that told King David that he would not be allowed to build the temple. Instead, the Lord would set it up so that the first Temple would be built by David’s son, Solomon.

Nathan also is key in the giving of the Davidic Covenant, II Samuel 7, to David. It was Nathan who helped select Solomon to be the third king of Israel and one of the ones to anoint Solomon.

God had promised David that one of his seed would rule on the throne and also play a key role in the building of the permanent "worship center" of the Lord, the Temple. That promise will ultimately be fulfilled by Jesus Christ who will return to earth and build His Temple, Messiah's Temple, Zechariah 6:12. The Lord Jesus will also reign from that Temple as the King, Zechariah 6:13.

Thus we have seen the first step in the long journey, over the centuries, to Jesus through the Davidic line. But, I want you to notice something else in this passage.

Nathan, the prophet and Zadok , were to bring Solomon to the Gihon River, which is located in the city of David, the original site for Jerusalem. It was at the Gihon that these men would anoint Solomon to be king over Israel.

Maybe you remember where you have heard of that river, the Gihon, before. If not, look back to Genesis 2. The Gihon is one of the rivers mentioned in the reference to the Garden of Eden, Genesis 2:13. In fact, the Gihon is the river, the one river, that flowed out of the Garden of Eden and became four rivers somewhere outside of the Garden, Genesis 2:10.

This text is telling us that, as Jewish scholarship has believed for almost 6,000 years, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is the original site of the Garden of Eden. (See my audio series, Return to Eden)

One of David's seed will rule from a Temple in the original Garden of Eden one day. That one, from David’s seed, is Jesus Christ, the same member of the Godhead that performed the act of "Creation", Colossians 1:16, in the Garden of Eden.

Where Jesus started everything Jesus will rule and reign from forever, the Garden of Eden. By the way, this fact about the Garden of Eden is also believed by the Muslim world as well. That is way the Muslims don’t want the Jews in Jerusalem.

The current events that you see with a focus on the city of Jerusalem are evidence that Jesus is making ready to call all Christians out of this world at the Rapture. The Rapture could happen at any moment. You must make sure that you are ready.

PRAYER THOT: Because I am prepared, help me to be pure and productive as I await His return.
Saturday, March 27, 2010

II Samuel 24:18

And Gad came that day to David, and said unto him, Go up, rear an altar unto the Lord in the threshingfloor of Araunah the Jebusite.

For further study – II Samuel 24:1-25

As we come to the last twelve chapters of II Samuel we see, like I said in the last devotional, that David is just a "man" with the human characteristics to be able to "sin" and fail the Lord with the actions in his life style that are not pleasing to the Lord.

Though David was forgiven of his sins, he did suffer the consequences of these sins, here on the earth in his lifetime. Our sins will be forgiven if we confess them, I John 1:9, but we must remember that there will be consequences for our sins that we must live through, in this lifetime.

II Samuel 13 to 24 is the record of David’s life as a result of his failures in his life. These sins, "adultery and murder" were bad enough but the Lord was concerned about David’s "numbering" of the people of Israel, chapter 24:1-9.

The Lord, through the "seer" Gad, gave David three possible punishments for his sin and he choose the last, which resulted in seventy thousand men, from Dan to Beer-sheba, dying of the "pestilence" sent by God upon Israel, found in our devotional reading in II Samuel 24:15.

Notice that "the angel of the Lord" was next to the "threshing-place" belonging to Araunah the Jebusite, verse 16. When you see the phrase "the angel of the Lord" your speaking of a "pre-incarnate" appearance of Jesus Christ. The text indicates that the Lord was about to destroy Jerusalem, verse 16.

This destruction did not take place because the Lord "repented", took another direction, and instead had David to "buy" the threshing floor, which is the same location that Abraham brought Isaac to offer him in sacrifice, Genesis 22.

It is also the location where King Solomon, David’s son, would build the first Temple, II Chronicles 3:1. Solomon's building of this Temple is the first installment of the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant.

What is so interesting to me is that King David would not take the land as a gift, but insisted that he pay for it with "fifty shekels of silver". That is a large sum of money in today’s money. It is the money paid by a Jewish King.

The real estate that we’re talking about was the location of the first and second Temples and will be the same location for the last two temples, yet to be re-built. This land is the "most sacred location in all of Creation".

The location that King David paid "cash money" for yesterday will be the site for the next two temples, yet to be rebuilt. It is the location today of the "Dome of the Rock" on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

This sacred site, is today controlled by the Muslim "Islamic Trust" and they claim they have the "custodial rights" to this location. Any effort by the Jews to rebuild their Temple there will result in a major conflict in Jerusalem. This is the case even though King David paid "cash money" for the location.

This information is evidence that the stage is being set for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled. The Temple Mount will be the focus of the world as the Lord allows His plan for the future to be played out in our day.

PRAYER THOT: Lord, it is so exciting to watch your plan for the future being played today. It is also evidence that should make everyone of us be alert to the soon return of Jesus Christ. Help me to live in light of this information and be ready for the any moment return of Jesus Christ at the Rapture.
Friday, March 26, 2010

II Samuel 12:13

And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.

For further study - II Samuel 12:1-23

This portion of II Samuel selected for today's devotional reveals a very sad ending to the "double act of sin" that King David committed while serving as King of Israel.

David had lusted over Bathsheba, the wife of one of his "mighty fighting men", Uriah. David was driven so much by his lust for Bathsheba that he had her husband killed. The King then had a child by this other man's wife.

These sins had already taken place, and then the prophet Nathan who tells King David a story of how one man mistreated another. The story made the King angry until Nathan told David that "he was the man". the man who had mistreated the other, verses 1-11.

David's anger changed to sorrow and repentance, verse 13, and the Lord did not kill the King of Israel for these sins right then. However, Nathan told David that his son by Bathsheba would die because of the sin. Notice, verse 12, what David had done secretly, the Lord would reveal openly before all of Israel.

David would pray that his son would not die because of the sins he, David, had committed. But the Lord did take the son. Verse 14 tells us why the Lord took David's son. The sins of King David had given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme Him, and therefore the Lord would take the child.

In no way can one commend David for what he did, murder and adultery. However, David confessed his sins and the Lord forgave the King even though he would have to pay the consequences, his young son would die. There are consequences for sin.

Before we leave this passage please notice the last verse of our extended reading. Though it is not an absolute, the verse seems to say that "babies" at death go directly into the presence of God to be with Him forever.

We know that David will be in heaven, and the verse tells us that his "baby" will be there also, "I shall go to him but he cannot return to me", verse 23.

Though David was forgiven of his sins, he did suffer the consequences of these sins, here on the earth in his lifetime. Our sins will be forgiven if we confess them, I John 1:9, but we must remember that there will be consequences for our sins that we must live through, in this lifetime.

PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord, to stay away from sin, so that I don't give occasion to others to blaspheme You, and thus I will also escape the consequences of sin.
Thursday, March 25, 2010

II Samuel 7:24

For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee for ever: and thou, LORD, art become their God.

For further study - II Samuel 7:18-29

As we once again visit the 7th chapter of II Samuel we look at the last half of the chapter, this visit. The first seventeen verses of II Samuel 7 are the "Davidic Covenant", a promise to King David that one of his descendants will one day sit on the throne in Jerusalem in the Temple and will do so, forever.

The God-man, Jesus Christ, will be that one on the throne of David forever. The last half of this chapter, David acknowledges that the Lord God is a great God and that he, the once lowly shepherd boy, is in awe of who God is and what He has done for David's people.

David as a servant of God, verses 19-21, says "who am I", that You have brought me to this position, King of Israel and this promise, the Davidic Covenant, as it relates to the future.

David realizes that the God of the Jews is "great", that there is none like the Lord God. Then David asks the rhetorical question, "what one nation in the earth is like thy people", verse 23.

The Jewish nation is a nation whom God went out to redeem from among all the peoples of the earth, for a "people to Himself". A nation whom God will give a piece of land, actually a piece of land ten times the size of the land the Jewish nation has today.

David also recognizes that the Lord confirmed to Himself the "people of Israel" to be a people unto Him, forever, verse 24. This statement declares that God has a future plan for the Jewish people. He is not finished with Israel. Israel, the nation and the people, have not been replaced, Biblically, by the "church".

The Lord will, and is today, revealing that plan to His chosen nation. By the way, that word "forever" is "olam" in Hebrew and it means not just during this time, but forever, even into eternity future. The Jewish people will be His chosen nation, forever.

Notice that Jeremiah 33:20-21 says "day and night will cease from being, before the Lord breaks His promise to David". Because God keeps His promise to David and his nation, the Jewish people, we can know for sure He keeps His promise of eternal life for you and for me. If He could break one promise He could break the other. God cannot break either promise.

What we have read for today and thought through is actually the worship and prayers of King David after God gave him the Davidic Covenant. With the promises that God has made to us, as Christians, we should pray and worship Him also. Thank you Lord.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you, thank you, thank you Lord for keeping your promises to me, those promises of salvation and eternal life.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

II Samuel 7:16 -17

And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.

For further study - II Samuel 7:4-17

The promise of a house (Temple), Kingdom and throne for a descendant of King David from the Lord is known as the Davidic Covenant. This is a promise that will only fail if the day and the night are no longer in existence, Jeremiah 33:19-21.

For almost 6,000 years, we have had a night followed by a day - God's promise to David is as true as the next moonlit night or majestic sunrise. The Davidic Covenant will be fulfilled by that member of the linage of King David, the person of Jesus Christ.

The complete fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant is yet future. It will be fulfilled when Jesus Christ returns to the Earth, to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem to set up His Kingdom by building His Temple on the Temple Mount (Zechariah 6:12-13) in Jerusalem.

It is in that Temple, where Jesus will be seated upon His "throne" as the promised descendant of King David. Jesus will rule and reign, forever. This is evidence that we are not now living in "the kingdom period".

The "kingdom" is yet to come, right now Jesus is seated at the "right hand" of His Father in the heavens, Hebrews 1:3, 8:1 and 12:2. One day in the future the Father will give His Son, Jesus, the "kingdom", Daniel 7:13 and 14.

Current events in this present world, in light of Bible Prophecy, seem to indicate that the coming of the Messiah is quickly approaching. The fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant's promise is drawing closer.

One of those current events is the preparation to build another Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and this Temple will be built prior to the "Kingdom Temple" in the Tribulation Period, Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15, I Thessalonians 2:4 and Revelation 11:1.

All the preparations have been made for that Tribulation Temple to be erected in Jerusalem at any time. The only thing that must happen before the next Temple is built is the Rapture, Jesus calling us to be with him in the heavenlies.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for keeping your promises, like the Davidic Covenant, to the Jews, which confirms that You will keep all of Your promises to me.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

II Samuel 6:17

And they brought in the ark OF THE LORD, and set it in his place, in the midst of the tabernacle that David had pitched for it: and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before THE LORD.

For further study - II Samuel 6:1-23

In our previous readings in II Samuel we looked at chapter 5, which was the record of King David capturing the Jebusite stronghold of Jerusalem and making it the political capital of the Jewish people.

We will also look at chapter 7 which records that God made a covenant with King David, the Davidic Covenant, which promises that a descendant of David will sit on the throne in Jerusalem forever.

Now we read from II Samuel 6, which records King David bringing the Ark of the Covenant, that sacred piece of Temple furniture, into the city of Jerusalem. The account reminds us that Uzzah died beside the Ark because when he reached out to stop the Ark from falling from the cart it was being transported on, it angered the Lord, II Samuel 6:7. God also smote the driver of the "new cart", II Samuel 6:3.

The problem was that King David was following the example of the "secular world", the Philistines, by using a "new cart" to transport the Ark. The Manual, (God's Word), said that four Levites were to bare the Ark when it was moved.

Therefore, David would wait three months before he would be able to bring the Ark to Jerusalem. The record tells us that David would transport the Ark the proper way from the home of Obededom up to Jerusalem, II Samuel 6:11.

When all else fails, read and follow the Manual.

David placed the Ark in a "temporary Tabernacle" until it would be placed in the Holy of Holies in the Temple that would be built by David's son Solomon. By this action, David made Jerusalem not only the "political capital" of the Jewish people, but it is their religious, or "spiritual capital" as well.

After having the First Temple built, King Solomon would place the Ark inside the Holy of Holies, II Chronicles 3:1 & 5:1-7. In God's promise to King David, the Lord said that Jerusalem would be the "eternal, spiritual capital" of the Jewish people.

In the Temple that Jesus will build in Jerusalem, Zechariah 6:12, there will be no Ark. Jesus Christ is the Ark in the Holy of Holies. However, in the next Temple to stand on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem there will be this same Ark that King David brought into Jerusalem. The next Temple is a "false temple" built by a "false messiah" - the Antichrist.

The next Temple is ready to go up in Jerusalem, with the Ark ready to be placed in the Temple. The only thing to happen before that is the Rapture of the Church, which could happen today.

PRAYER THOT: Help me, Lord, to live ready for the Rapture.