- Jeremiah 7:16
- Jeremiah 3:17
- Jeremiah 1:5
- Isaiah 65:17
- Isaiah 63:4
- Isaiah 51:11
- Isaiah 45:18
- Isaiah 14:1
- Isaiah 9:6
- Isaiah 6:8
- Isaiah 4:5
- Isaiah 2:2
- Song of Solomon 4:16
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- Song of Solomon 2:9
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- Proverbs 23:31
- Proverbs 21:30
- Proverbs 15:3
- Proverbs 1:7
- Psalm 139:14
- Psalm 132:13
- Psalm 83:1
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- Psalm 19:9
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Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.
The time of the writing of this passage is around 600 years before the birth of Jesus Christ during the days of King Josiah, King of Judah. Daniel and his three Hebrew companions had already been taken into Babylon to be trained as "counselors" in the court of King Nebuchadnezzar.
Jeremiah, the prophet, receives a message from the Lord, verse 1, a warning to pass along to the Jewish people. The Prophet was to stand at the gate of the Temple complex and to warn all that came up to the Temple to worship.
God's spokesman, Jeremiah, was to tell the Jewish people to amend their ways, in other words, to "get their hearts right with God or else face judgment." The judgment from the Lord was to start at the "house of the Lord," the Temple. The Lord had Jeremiah remind the people of Israel of the judgment that took place at Shiloh, some 500 years earlier, I Samuel 3 & 4.
You might remember that Shiloh was the headquarters for the children of Israel when they came into the Promise Land under the leadership of Joshua. It is also where they erected the Tabernacle, to house the Ark of the Covenant.
God told Jeremiah to warn the Jews that it could happen again if they didn't get right with Him. Our extended reading for today details the "sins of the people" against the Lord in Shiloh and in the days of Jeremiah's ministry. This was the lifestyle of those coming to the Temple, to supposedly worship the Lord.
Let me give you some background on the "Queen of Heaven" from extra-Biblical material. The "Queen of Heaven" was the title of the wife of Nimrod, Semiramis, Genesis 11. Nimrod, who built a city, Babylon, Genesis 11:4, also established a religion. This religion was a "mother-son cult" where the mother, Semiramis, and the son, Tammuz, were co-equal recipients of worship.
That worship consisted of serving "cakes" in honor of this false religion established in Babylon. It also involved the parents painting hard-boiled eggs and hiding them for the children to find on their special "holy day" for the "Queen of Heaven" called "Ishtar."
Remember, God told Jeremiah not to pray for those who worship like this. The "mother-son cult," with worship of the "Queen of Heaven," was headquartered in Babylon until the fall of the Babylonian Empire in 539 BC.
The false Babylonian religion moved it's headquarters then to Pergamus in Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey, until the fall of the Roman Empire when it moved to the "seven-hilled city" of Rome, Italy, where it is today and where it will continue to be during the first half of the Tribulation Period, Revelation 17.
God's judgment will come even to those who supposedly worship Him. As we look at our world today we see a similar scenario, as was described for the last days. Judgment must begin at the "house of the Lord." We are living in the "last days."
PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for the warning of judgment for sin. Help me to be pure before you in these last days.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.
Jeremiah, the "weeping prophet," the one chosen by God in eternity past to be a prophet, Jeremiah 1:5, is selected to call a backsliding Judah to repentance. As you read our extended reading today it will remind you of Hosea who the Lord had to take for himself a "wife of whoredom."
Hosea's wife Gomer would continue in her adulterous ways and Hosea would go find her in the street, bring her back home and clean her up to be his wife.
The Lord is addressing the Jews, through Jeremiah, as His wife, Jeremiah 3:14, and calling them to repent, turn from their backsliding and return to service. That message given then, for the backsliding Jews, is appropriate for all of us as well, for today.
In the passage of our devotional reading for today there are three profound prophetic passages that I want you to notice.
Jeremiah 3:16 speaks of a time when there will be no need for the "Ark of the Covenant" and in fact the Jews will even forget the Ark. The Ark was the piece of Temple furniture in the Holy of holies. The Ark was where the "mercy seat" was located. It was where once a year on Yom Kippur the High Priest would enter to make atonement for the Jewish people for the one year, ahead.
As is the case with all implements of the Temple and every activity of the Temple they were a prototype of Jesus to come. The Ark was the model of Him to come. Of course when you have the "real thing", Jesus Christ seated on His throne in the Holy of holies of the Temple you no longer need the model.
Jeremiah 3:17 reminds us that the throne of our Lord will be in Jerusalem. One day the Jews will turn to the Messiah Jesus Christ who will sit on that throne. He will be their God and they will be His people, in Jerusalem.
The last verse I want you to look at is Jeremiah 3:18 which speaks of the time when there will be no longer "two houses for the Jewish people," Judah and Israel, but only one. I must remind you that there today is only one Jewish state, Israel. There are members of all twelve tribes in today's Israel. This has been the case since they returned to the land as recorded in Ezra 1, 2 and 6.
The ancient prophet Ezekiel foretold of a day in the future when there would be again two Jewish states in the Middle East, that's Ezekiel 37:15-23 (See my audio study "Ezekiel: Retribution or Restoration," which is available at www.prophecybookstore.com). This passage in Jeremiah speaks to the unification of these two Jewish states at a time in the future.
I suggest that in the near future, in all three cases, no more Ark, Jesus on His throne in Jerusalem and one Jewish state from two Jewish States, all of these prophecies will be fulfilled.
The stage is set for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled. The next event in prophecy is when the Lord will call us to meet Him in the air at the Rapture. It is so exciting to think that the Rapture could happen today.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to stay in your Word Lord and close to You, so I won't backslide.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to stay in your Word Lord and close to You, so I won't backslide.
Monday, November 28, 2016
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
I love this first chapter of Jeremiah. It is the record of Jeremiah's call to be a "prophet to the nations of the world." It is God assuring Jeremiah that He can take one who is not a public speaker and give him the words to say. The Lord encourages Jeremiah to not be afraid, that He, the Lord, will deliver him and give him what to speak.
In fact, God set Jeremiah as a prophet among the nations, and a prophet to the nations. The truth is that God did this for Jeremiah before he was born. But wait, verse 5 says God set Jeremiah aside, not only before he was born but, before he was even formed in his mother's womb. In fact, Jeremiah was "chosen" in the mind of God in "eternity past," verse 5.
Jeremiah 1:5 not only gives us background in the forming of the prophet but also is the evidence of when "life" begins, the big question today as it relates to abortion. Life does not begin at birth or even at conception. Life begins in the "mind of God" in eternity past. Now that settles the question.
In a later devotional we will look at other prophetic texts in this awesome book. We will learn of judgments pronounced against the Jewish people and the enemies of the Jewish people. We will find out what will happen to the Jewish people in the last days, just prior to the Lord's return.
If you would like to read ahead, read Jeremiah 31 and 50-51 where you will read about the nation of Israel in the last days and the fate of the country of Iraq. I will have more on those prophetic passages at a later time (see my audio study on Jeremiah).
By the way, Daniel read Jeremiah and was able to determine where he was in God's time by the word of God, Daniel 9:2. You can read the word of God to know the times we're living in today.
A study of God’s prophetic word will help us to know how close we are to the "shout" from Jesus to join Him "in the air" at the Rapture. Let me encourage you to keep looking up, the Rapture could be today.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Lord, help me to study Your Word and teach me to recognize, in these last days, how close we are to the Rapture. Help me to live in light of that knowledge.
Sunday, November 27, 2016
For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
The key verse for our devotion for today may sound to you like a passage out of the book of Revelation, and you would be correct. However, the teaching of "new heavens and a new earth" is not original to the book of Revelation.
Actually, the ancient Jewish Prophet Isaiah was the first to mention such an idea. Of course we see the thought first mentioned in our key verse, but in the next chapter of his prophetic book, Isaiah also brings the subject to our attention, Isaiah 66:22.
This passage of Isaiah is looking at the blessings that God has planned for Israel, the Jewish people, in the Kingdom that is yet to come, but also in eternity future. Verses 17 through 19 are looking at the situation in eternity future. Verses 20 to 25 are looking at the Kingdom period as well as eternity future.
Verse 20 speaks of the birth of children in the Kingdom who will be "children" until one hundred years of age. By the way, these children will be born to those, in physical bodies, who trust in Jesus Christ during the Tribulation Period and enter the Kingdom.
At one hundred these "children" must receive Jesus as their Saviour or they will be "accursed" and sent to "hades" to await their sentencing into the eternal "Lake of Fire" at the Great White Throne, Revelation 20:11-15.
Also, please notice, that verses 21 to 25 also speak of this period on the earth known as the "Kingdom" when all will be focused on the "holy mountain" of the Lord, verse 25, where the Messiah, Jesus Christ will be located as He rules and reigns from His Temple. The "holy mountain" is the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Daniel 9:16.
The first three verses of our devotional passage for today are referring to the time after the Kingdom, as we move into "eternity future" with the "new heavens and the new earth." Notice that the heavens and the earth are not "refurbished", but instead are "created," verse 17.
This old earth, and the heavens, will be destroyed, II Peter 3:10, and the Lord will create "new heavens and a new earth" because the original have been "cursed" by Satan and his evil angels.
This process all begins with the next main event in God’s plan for the future, the Rapture. With our world today moving so quickly towards the "end times" scenario found in God’s Word, the Rapture could happen today.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for the "look into the future," even into "eternity future." Please help me to use this knowledge of Your plan for what’s ahead, in my life on this earth in the present, to live for You.
Saturday, November 26, 2016
For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.
In order to understand the harshness of this passage in Isaiah 63 you need to know some of the background of the passage.
In our key verse, verse 4, Isaiah has recorded the prophetic words of the Lord, revealing, before the fact, what the Lord will say in the day described by our devotional passage for today.
Isaiah asked two questions, the first in verse 1, "Who is he that cometh from Edom, from Bozrah?" This is the geographical location of Petra in southern Jordan. To this question the Lord responds with, "I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save".
This prophetic account is what will happen after the Lord goes to the Jezreel Valley at the time of the "Battle of Armageddon." After all the enemies are destroyed by Jesus Christ, He makes the trip to Petra, traveling the 176 miles predicted by John in Revelation 14:19-20.
The blood rises as high as the "horse bridles" for that trip. The blood comes from the bodies of the hundreds of millions of men who die on the "battle field". This will be a terrible time in history.
By the way, it is 176 miles from Megiddo in the Jezreel Valley to the entrance of Petra, the place "prepared by God" to protect the Jewish people in the last three and a half years in the Tribulation Period, Revelation 12:6.
This is the end time scenario of this terrible time of the end and the death of those who follow Satan instead of Jesus. It is a time when some of our loved ones may well be there because they have never trusted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
What we should do, now that we understand these prophetic truths, is warn our loved ones, and in fact everybody, of this terrible time of judgment ahead and invite them to trust in Jesus Christ today before it's eternally too late.
We should not just study this for knowledge but for that which will motivate us to warn others of the coming time of judgment, and then lead them to Jesus Christ.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me Lord to learn so that I can warn the lost before it's eternally too late.
Friday, November 25, 2016
Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.
This chapter in the prophetic book of Isaiah is like a "songbook" that contains great songs with lyrics, made up of Bible doctrine.
Our key verse is a prime example. Read slowly verse 11 and you can almost hear the melody that has been assigned to these words. In fact, the words of the verse speak of "singing and joy" as the way those that have been redeemed will return to Zion, to Jerusalem.
Notice the "joy", it is "everlasting joy", joy that is forever. This is not "happiness" which is based upon "happenings" but instead "joy" that comes from the Lord. When you have "Godly joy", joy that comes from the Lord, "sorrow and mourning" shall flee away.
The One that gives us that "joy" along with a "song" for us to sing is the Creator of all things, verses 13 & 15. He is the "Lord thy maker". "The One who stretched forth the heavens and laid the foundations for the earth, the One who divided the seas."
As the Creator, He can give us a song to sing and "everlasting joy". The Creator is the same One who will protect His people, verses 16 & 23. The phrase "cup of trembling" is speaking of those who are "intoxicated with power", the ones the Lord will bring back to reality through judgment.
Before we leave this passage, look back to verse 3 and let me explain the "truth" found in this passage. This verse is speaking of the most sacred piece of real estate in the world, "Eden, the Garden of the Lord".
The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is the original sight of the "Garden of Eden". (See my audio series, "Return to Eden".) This fact has been known by all Orthodox Jewish academic scholarship from the "beginning," 5,777 years ago.
Judaism believes that the original Garden of Eden is on the location of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem today. God's Word says that this is where all joy, gladness, thanksgiving, and the "voice of melody," singing, emanates from in our old world.
Where the Lord began all things, the Temple Mount, He will return there in the last days. It will be the restored "Garden of Eden" on the location of the Creator's Kingdom headquarters, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Islam’s continuing effort to explain away the Jewish presence on the Temple Mount, at anytime in history, and it’s effort to keep Jews off the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is evidence Bible prophecy is moving closer to being fulfilled.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for the Word of God that explains current events in light of Biblical prophecy.
Thursday, November 24, 2016
For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.
I hope you have some time to spend in this forty-fifth chapter of Isaiah. This is an excellent chapter of God's prophetic Word that reveals prophetic events that will happen, some of them only 150 years after they were given.
Other prophecies contained within the verses of this chapter will be fulfilled in the future, certainly future from Isaiah's day but also future from today.
The chapter also confirms that God is the creator of all things, which gives Him the authority to reveal the future, the Creator can tell you what His creation will face at a future date.
There is no way I can point out everything I would like for you to see in this devotional reading for today. I'll hit some "high points" but please spend a good amount of time reaping a harvest of great truths from what I do not cover.
I must bring to your attention the name "Cyrus", verse 1. This is the man, Cyrus, the leader of the Medo-Persian Empire, that allowed Zerubabbel and fifty thousand Jews to return to Jerusalem after the Babylonian Captivity. They returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple by permission of Cyrus and with funding from Cyrus as well.
This is a message from the one and only true God, through His spokesman, the Prophet Isaiah. God makes a commitment to save and give an everlasting salvation to the Jewish people, verses 17, 22 and 25. This is a prophecy that is yet to be fulfilled. Current events indicate we are in the process of moving toward the fulfillment of that prophecy.
Let me conclude my thoughts with verse 19, what a blessing this chapter is to the Jewish people, the "technical recipients" of these promises. It is also a blessing to us who are Christians who receive a "spiritual blessing" from these truths.
But you know, of course, that the entire book of Isaiah, in fact, the entire 66 books of the Bible are the spiritual "milk and meat" that we need on a daily basis. That's why the statement that God made about not speaking in "secret" is so good.
We all have His Word available to us so that we can receive the blessings from our time of reading and study of it. Dear Friend, join me as we "feast" on the "Word of God".
PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord, for Your Word that You have spoken openly to me and all who will read it. It is a blessing Lord, to have the Creator of all things communicate with me daily.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.
What a powerful passage of scripture this is that we will use as our extended reading for our devotions today. There are several directions we could go in this passage; thus let me take each pathway, for a moment, in each direction.
The Prophet Isaiah reveals the promise of the Lord for the Jewish people and assures them of a special time ahead. When the Lord refers to "Jacob" in verse 1, He is actually speaking about not only Jacob, but His twelve sons that became the twelve tribes of the Jewish people, the "twelve tribes of Israel."
The Lord promised to have "mercy" on Jacob, the nation of "Israel". The Lord had chosen these people in the past, Deuteronomy 7:6-8, and will "yet choose Israel" and "set them in their own land".
It really doesn't matter what the rest of the world may say about the land, God will set His chosen "Israel", the Jews of today, back in the land of their forefathers, the land He has given them for the future, as well. From the sidelines we today can see the Lord beginning that process, the process that will move to completion after the Rapture and culminate at His Second Coming.
Verses 4-6 reveal a prophecy that will focus on "Babylon", and the "King of Babylon". This prophecy, according to the context of the passage, is at a time yet to take place, in the future.
Notice that verse 7 speaks of a time when "the whole earth is at rest and is quiet and they will break forth with singing". This is describing the "Kingdom" that Jesus will set up at His Second Coming.
"Babylon" will be a major focus in our world, as will the "King of Babylon", who the Lord will deal with before He sets up His Kingdom. The "King of Babylon" in this text is referring to the "Antichrist" who rules the world the last three and one-half years of the "terrible Tribulation" yet to come, from Babylon, Revelation 18, which is modern-day Iraq.
We are seemingly living in the days that are quickly approaching this prophetic scenario. One final thought before we leave this passage, verses 12-14 reveal to the reader the five "I wills" of Lucifer, the most prominent of all angels created.
Lucifer became Satan when he exercised his "free will" and basically rebelled against the Lord, as you can tell by reading these verses. Please notice the last "I will" in verse 13, "I will sit also upon the Mount of the Congregation, in the sides of the North".
There is Biblical evidence that the Antichrist is alive and on earth ready to appear. Remember, that all preparations have been made for the Temple to be rebuilt. There is only one thing that must happen before the Jews get all of the land God promised them, Babylon is dealt with and Satan, in the person of Antichrist will be worshiped in Jerusalem.
That one thing is the Rapture of the Church when Jesus Christ calls us all into the heavenlies to be with Him forevermore. That could happen at any moment, keep looking up.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Lord, help me to live today as if today is when that Rapture will take place.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Of the seventeen prophets whose writings are found in the Old Testament canon, "Isaiah" is known as the chief of the "writing prophets", and justly so.
Isaiah is writing about 750 years before the birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The prophet reveals, predicting more than any other prophet, the activities and events in the life, on earth, of the coming Messiah.
In this prophetic book, the Messiah in his "person" and "sufferings", and the blessing of the Gentiles through Him, are in full view, or should I say "full vision".
The seventeen prophets have unique ministries during the times before the exile in Babylon, during the Babylonian Captivity, and after the exile. Isaiah was chosen to do his prophetic ministry during the time leading up to the exile.
Some aspects of Isaiah’s prophetic ministry would be focused on what would happen to the Jews before they were carried away into the Babylonian Captivity.
Isaiah would focus his prophecies on the people of Judah, two of the twelve tribes that stayed in the south of Israel, at Jerusalem, when the division of the twelve tribes of Israel took place, as recorded in I Kings 11.
The Assyrians had defeated the "ten tribes", in the north, known as Israel, and these enemies of the Jewish people were now considering advancing south into Judah to defeat the "two southern tribes", Judah and Benjamin.
It is in this context that we come to our devotional passage for today. Isaiah was warning the Jews that the Assyrians would advance to the south and bring to an end the Jewish people and any semblance of a Jewish nation.
Couched among these prophecies of impending danger, Isaiah writes two verses that bring "hope", verses 6 and 7. These are two very "power-packed" verses foretelling the birth of the One who would take on His shoulders the government of not only the Jewish people, but of all "humankind".
Jesus would come as a "son", born into this world to bring "true peace". In fact, the only time in history of "real peace" will be when the "Prince of Peace" comes to set up His everlasting Kingdom, as He rules and reigns from His Temple in Jerusalem.
To confirm the Lord's promise to King David, the "Davidic Covenant", Isaiah reports that the fulfillment of the "Davidic Covenant" is to be confirmed with this "newborn son". During any season of the year it is so refreshing to once again read these very special promises knowing that, "the zeal of the Lord of host will perform this", verse 7.
The Lord God did keep His absolute promise of a "Son to be born unto us", verse 6. Everybody is talking about peace these days, but the only "peace" we will ever have in this world is centered in the person of Jesus Christ who is the "Prince of Peace".
As we remember, and yearly celebrate the first coming of this "Prince of Peace", we now await His return to set up His long promised Kingdom and in truth take the government of this world upon His shoulders.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank You, Lord, for the best "gift" ever, the "Prince of Peace" who was born unto us and will rule over us one day, forever.
Monday, November 21, 2016
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
This chapter from the prophecy of Isaiah introduces us to a type of the "angelic bodies" that the Lord created on the first day of Creation between the creation of the heavens and the earth, Job 38:4-7. These creatures are "Seraphim", different from the "Cherubim" of Ezekiel 1.
Angels play a key role in our daily lives that we may not realize. Hebrews 1:14 reveals they are "ministering spirits" to those who know Jesus as Lord and Savior. Matthew 18:10 says they protect the little children. Luke 16:22 says that angels will accompany us at death and take us into the presence of the Lord. Revelation 22:9 reveals to us that angels are "fellow servants" with us as we together serve the Lord.
There is much more we could write about angels, but we'll save that for another time. Notice how the angels honor the Lord as they cry out to the Lord saying, "holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts".
I love that next phrase, "the whole earth is full of His glory". This echoes the statement of Psalm 19 and extends the location of His glory also into the heavenlies.
I love that next phrase, "the whole earth is full of His glory". This echoes the statement of Psalm 19 and extends the location of His glory also into the heavenlies.
Verse 5 reveals Isaiah the prophet as the man he really was, a man of unclean lips and undone. The reason he recognized who he was, was due to the fact that he had seen the King, the Lord of Hosts, a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ. The result of this face-to-face meeting with Jesus was that Isaiah was made to see who he was and what he must do.
When the Lord said, "Whom shall I send", Isaiah was ready to respond with the statement, "Here am I, send me". We'll look at the new commission given to Isaiah, verses 9-13 at another time. Let's think together of what happened in Isaiah's life that should happen in our lives.
First, Isaiah saw the glory of the Lord, a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus. I don't believe we can see Jesus today; however, we can see His glory as I said, in the heavens and in His creation that is displayed throughout all of the earth, Psalm 19.
We must take time to "stop and smell the roses". On days off, holidays, or vacation time, go spend time in the midst of the creation of the Lord.
Second, the realization of the hand of God in creation and the manifestation of His glory should cause us to be willing to say as the prophet did, "here am I, send me".
Isaiah's message was that Jesus Christ, the Messiah, was coming. The preaching of this message of the Lord's return should be our message. He is coming. Be prepared by trusting Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
In this devotional, as is the case in all of the devotionals, we look at the passage with a prophetic prospective. To understand these passages "prophetically" is our aim, but not our only purpose. Once we have the understanding that Jesus is coming, and possibly very soon, we must endeavor to get that message to others that they might be prepared for His return also. It could be today, we need to get to work.
PRAYER THOUGHT: As I see "Your glory" dear Lord, in the heavens and in other acts of Creation, help me to be ready to go, wherever You may send me.
Sunday, November 20, 2016
And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defense.
The passage chosen today for our devotional reading is actually a vision of the future kingdom of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. This is a vision that God gave to the ancient Jewish prophet Isaiah.
I chose this passage to confront the philosophy that is spreading among many churches and Christians today that we are now living in the kingdom here on earth. This "kingdom now" idea is totally contradictory to God's Word and plan for the Jewish people of the future.
For one thing, most "kingdom now" thinkers believe that the promise of the "kingdom" for the Jews has been negated and those promises now apply to the Church, Christians. That is not only anti-Biblical but it is very anti-Semitic.
Any thinking which says the "kingdom" promised to the Jews when Jesus Christ returns is not literal is saying that all of the covenants that God made with the Jews have been broken and basically the Lord is a liar.
Verse 3 reveals to us that the "Kingdom" headquarters will be Mt Zion, Jerusalem. These two, Zion and Jerusalem, are synonymous terms, they are the same geographical location.
Verse 4 says the time of the Kingdom will be when Messiah, Jesus Christ, has cleansed the Jewish people. That is yet future, after the seven year Tribulation Period.
The word "tabernacle" used in verse 6 is "suca" in Hebrew which is actually a "thatched hut" used by the Israelites during their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness before they entered the Promised Land.
Today during the "Feast of Tabernacles" Jewish people celebrate that "seven-day" Jewish feast by living, sleeping, eating and fellowshipping in a "suca" that they erect at their homes.
Remember Peter wanted to build three tabernacles, "suca's", on the Mount of Transfiguration, Matthew 17:4. Peter thought it was the "Kingdom" period and therefore the fulfillment of the Jewish "Feast of Tabernacles". Thus the three "suca's", would have been one each for Jesus, Moses and Elijah.
The "Kingdom" is yet future, howbeit, the near future. The "Kingdom" is not in operation now. That is a very dangerous theology. When Hitler wanted to set up the "kingdom" he had to slaughter the Jews first.
The promise of the "Kingdom" for the Jews is yet to be fulfilled. Isaiah's "vision of the Kingdom" in our reading for today is a "promise" of that coming Kingdom, in a near by tomorrow.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank You, Lord, for the Biblical basis for understanding the "end times".
Saturday, November 19, 2016
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
Today we move into the prophetic books of the Old Testament, 17 of them in total, and we start with Isaiah. I did write that there are 17 Old Testament prophetic books, but I hasten to remind you that there are many prophetic passages in all 39 books of the Old Testament.
This passage of scripture selected as our key verse today is a glimpse into the "Kingdom to come". This will be the time when Jesus is the "King of Kings" and "Lord of Lords". Jesus will be on His throne in Jerusalem, in the Temple. At that time there will be a "theocratic" government in place and all living on the earth will live under the Lord's rule.
It will be a time of no war, in fact, people won't ever 'learn of war", verse 4. The soldiers will return to farming, using the farm implements formed out of swords and spears. Finally, "peace" will have come to earth. The "Prince of Peace" will be on His throne in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem will be the central focus of the world. Not only will Jesus be there, He will teach us from there. Each of us will go and gather others to join us as we hurry to the "house of the Lord", the Temple, to hear Him teach.
The Lord will teach His ways from the "mountain of the Lord", another name for the Temple Mount, which will be the location of the Messiah's Temple. As He teaches us, we will go forward to walk in His paths.
There are several applications in this passage, one, His "word" is what we need to learn, as He teaches us, so we can then walk in His paths. This will be a part of the lifestyle of the future, forever.
Another application is that today there will be wars, but one day no more need for military armament, we won't even learn of war anymore. Because the Lord is there, Jerusalem will be the focus of the world, the center of our teaching and thus learning.
Notice the "word" of the Lord will go out and around the world from Jerusalem. It is the "word" that goes out then; therefore, today we should cherish, love, honor and obey His word since that is what we will do forever.
The fact that you are reading this devotional is evidence that you place God’s Word, the Bible, as a priority in what you read and study. This is what will be happening during a thousand year period of time, the Kingdom Period to come, why not start reading and studying the Bible today.
A very practical aspect of reading the Bible is that thirty percent of His Word is "prophetic" and lays out the "last days" scenario that we see unfolding in our world right now. This knowledge of what will happen in the future will give us insight into making decisions presently.
Everyone should decide to be "prepared" for His call to have us join Him in the heavens by being "saved". If one is prepared then He must be "pure" in his daily living and "productive" until He does call us to be with Him in the heavens at the Rapture.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to study your word so I can walk in your paths of preparation, purity and being productive.
Friday, November 18, 2016
Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.
As we come once again to the Song of Solomon or as the book is known in the Hebrew Bible, the Song of Songs, chapter four verse one, we see the Bridegroom speaking. Remember, we must study this book not as an allegory but as a "marriage manual" from the Lord.
Song 3:6-5:1 is a "manual" for the marriage ceremony, which is the second part of a Jewish wedding, following the "engagement" and preceding the "marriage celebration".
One aspect of the marriage ceremony is the "consummation" of the marriage when after being pronounced "husband and wife", the newly married couple have sexual intercourse, which consummates this marriage.
As we read through chapter 4, we see the bridegroom using all of his senses to make love to his new bride, sight, touch, smell and sound. Notice in Song 5:1 the bridegroom encourages the wedding guests, "O friends", to begin the marriage celebration, the marriage has been consummated.
Song 5:2-8:4 in this "marriage manual" is the "how to’s" for the marriage in the days ahead, the continuity of the marriage.
Song 5:2-8:4 in this "marriage manual" is the "how to’s" for the marriage in the days ahead, the continuity of the marriage.
Please allow me to remind you that all Scripture has a "technical interpretation" and/or a "spiritual application". For the technical interpretation we must approach our study of the Bible from a "literal interpretation". Who is the passage speaking to? What is the historic and geographic background and what does the passage mean when taken literally?
A "spiritual application" can allow for us to approach our understanding of any passage from the point of view that we understand what the text is literally saying. However, how can the text be applied to my life and experience.
From the spiritual application of this passage we can see how the Lord Jesus Christ, our Bridegroom, since the "Church" is His bride, how He loves us and will do so forever.
Remember, Revelation 19:7-9 is the prophecy of our marriage to Jesus Christ and the "Marriage Supper of the Lamb", the marriage celebration after the marriage ceremony. The marriage ceremony takes place sometime soon after the Rapture.
By the way, the Rapture could take place at any moment, thus we must make certain we have our "marriage garment" ready for the marriage, Revelation 19:8. That "marriage garment" is our "righteous acts", those works we do in the power of the Lord and for His glory.
At the Judgment Seat of Christ, which takes place in the heavens, right after the Rapture, it is determined by Jesus which of our works, after salvation, are the "righteous acts" that will make up our "wedding garment" for our marriage to Jesus.
The events of today, according to the prophetic scenario found in Bible prophecy, are setting the stage for all of these prophecies to be fulfilled. Remember, the next event on God’s calendar of prophetic events is the Rapture, which could happen today.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank You, Lord, for the promise of marriage to You, forever. Please help me to prepare my "wedding garment" for the soon coming wedding.