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Sunday, January 31, 2021

Ezra 1:2

Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.

For further study - Ezra 1:1-11

One hundred and fifty years before the fact, the ancient Jewish Prophet Isaiah, inspired by God, pre-wrote history by recording the prophecy of a world leader named Cyrus who would come to power and allow the Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild their Temple, Isaiah 44:28.

Cyrus was the King that God raised up as leader of the Medo-Persian Empire who defeated the Babylonian Empire. As he came to power, the command went forth from his palace to allow the Jews to return to Jerusalem to re-build their Temple, verse 2.

In fact, Cyrus even helped raise the funds to re-build the Temple, verse 4, and he provided the vessels for the Temple, vessels which Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the Temple and carried to Babylon during the Jewish captivity, verse 7 (II Chronicles 36:18).

The book of Ezra is mainly a book of history. It records the events that happened as the Jews made their way out of the Babylonian captivity, after 70 years, back to their homeland with the opportunity to not only rebuild their Temple but their nation as well.

This record of a biblical prophecy being fulfilled is a basis upon which we can conclude that all additional biblical prophecy remaining to be fulfilled will in fact be fulfilled. There are a number of prophecies to be fulfilled before the return to earth by Jesus Christ will take place.

However, there is not one prophecy that must be fulfilled before the Rapture will happen, not one. All the prophecies, written by the Jewish Prophets of the events of the last days, are the prophecies that are almost at the point of fulfillment.

All prophecies yet to be fulfilled will only begin to come to pass after the Christians leave this world at the Rapture. The Rapture is an event that can happen at any moment. What we must do is keep looking up.

PRAYER THOUGHT: With the reality that the Rapture could happen at any moment, Lord help me to live pure and productive as I await His shout for me to join Him in the air.
Saturday, January 30, 2021

II Chronicles 36:21

To fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill threescore and ten years.

For further study –II Chronicles 36:1-21

As we come to II Chronicles 36 we see the record of the third wave into Jerusalem by King Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonian army to destroy the Jewish Temple, devastate the city of Jerusalem and to take a number of Jews into the Babylonian captivity.

This is done to fulfill the prophecies of Jeremiah that I will deal with in a moment. I would have you notice the activities of this siege on Jerusalem. Verse 7 of our devotional reading sums it up in one verse. There are more details in verses 18 through 20.

All the vessels of the Temple, with the exception of the "ark of the covenant", II Chronicles 35:3, were taken into Babylon and placed in Nebuchadnezzar’s temples, verse 7. The Babylonian Army then burned the Temple down, broke down the walls of Jerusalem, burned all the palaces in Jerusalem, verse 19.

Verse 20
 states that those Jews still alive in Jerusalem will be taken back to Babylon, to remain there until 70 years had been accomplished. The purpose for this was to fulfill the prophecies of Jeremiah.

As mentioned earlier, these prophecies were given to illustrate God’s judgment on the Jews for not following His command as it relates to the land that He had given them. The command in question is found in Leviticus 25:4, the land of the Jewish people was to be given a rest, no crops grown on it, every seven years.

The Jews were disobedient to the Lord and did not give the land its Sabbaths and thus the Lord would do it for them, He would take the Jews out of their land and give the land its Sabbaths. Jeremiah would prophecy how this would happen.

Jeremiah 25:11 and 29:10 would foretell that Jerusalem would be desolate for seventy years and thus giving the land its Sabbaths. The Jews had not rested the land for 490 years, 490 divided by seven is seventy, the amount of years that Jerusalem was desolate.

There is a very interesting Biblical principle found in this historic event. We must be obedient to the Lord or He may well do what He must to make us follow His command. I’ve found that the sooner I learned this lesson the easier it has been for me.

Verse 21 in our devotional says that all of these things happened so that the "word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah" would be fulfilled. All of the prophecies of God’s word will be fulfilled.

The very next prophecy to be fulfilled will be the Rapture. There are no prophecies that must be fulfilled before the Rapture. All other prophecies, yet to be fulfilled, will be fulfilled after the Rapture. That makes this a unique time in history for all alive today.

The Rapture could happen at any moment, even today. Even so come, Lord Jesus.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for the promise of the Rapture of the Church. Thank you Lord for fulfilled prophecy in the past that guarantees prophecy will be fulfilled in the future. Help me to live ready for the Rapture, as if it will be today.
Friday, January 29, 2021

II Chronicles 35:3

And said unto the Levities that taught all Israel, which were holy unto the Lord, Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build.

For further study – II Chronicles 35:1-19

As we come to II Chronicles 35 we have waded through 27 chapters of II Chronicles since our last devotional in chapter 7. These chapters contain the "Biblical history" of the activities of the leaders of the Jewish people including Hezekiah.

In this history we learn how the Lord takes care of His people protecting them from themselves as well as the Assyrians who when they attacked Judah "the angel of the Lord", a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus, killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers and ran the Assyrian leader, back to his own land. In his homeland, the Assyrian leader, who tried to destroy Judah was killed by his own people, II Kings 19:35-37.

As you have time to read this very interesting "history lesson" you will see that the Lord raises up a great king for Judah, King Josiah. Josiah would bring reform to the religious element of Jewish life, repair the Temple and forewarn the Jews of the captivity that was coming.

With insight into the "times in which they were living" the king made preparations for the Passover and at the same time had the "ark of the covenant" removed from the "Holy of holies" and placed in a secure location, II Chronicles 35:3

I’ll get to that story in a moment, but first please notice that this was the time for the Passover. Josiah would prepare for a very large Passover, which would use 30,000 lambs and 3,000 bulls, verse 7 of our devotional for today.

The text tells us "neither did all the kings of Israel keep such a Passover as Josiah kept", verse 18. Remember, the Passover is one of the seven feast days that the Jewish people keep on an annual basis as commanded by the Lord.

Now back to the "ark of the covenant" and the fact that it was removed from the Holy of holies in the Temple. Josiah had the Levities to remove the Ark and to place it in the "house", verse 3. Remember, the "ark of the covenant" had been placed in the Temple, I Kings 8, when Solomon had finished building the Temple.

Josiah was having the Levities, the ones dedicated to moving the ark, to move it from the Holy of holies to the "house". This word for "house" is "bayith" in the Hebrew and it does mean "house".

However, there are additional meanings for this word, like, "secret secluded hiding place".
Josiah had the Levities place the ark underneath the Temple in a place that King Solomon had prepared to protect the "ark". The ark never left the area, going especially to Ethiopia, or any place else.

On one of my DVD’s, "Ready to Rebuild Revisited", I speak with two Jewish Rabbi’s that went to the location of the ark back in 1982, and they told me they know exactly where it is and it can be brought out and placed again in the Temple when the next Jewish temple stands in Jerusalem.

By the way, all preparations have been made to build the next temple with the training of the priest, the implements for the temple made and in storage and of course the ark ready to be put in the Temple. All that is left is to build the Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

There is only one prophecy that must be fulfilled before the process can begin to build the next Temple and that is the Rapture of the Church. Since the building of the Temple is so close, you have to know that the Rapture is very close also. It could even happen today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for allowing me to be alive in this day, just before the Rapture. Help me this day to live as if the Rapture will happen today.
Thursday, January 28, 2021

II Chronicles 7:14

 If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

For further study - II Chronicles 7:1-22
As we come to II Chronicles 7 you will notice the similarities between this passage and the passages in I Kings 8 & 9. However there are some differences that we will look at in our devotional reading for today.
The chapter begins with the record of the end of King Solomon's prayer, the fire coming down from heaven and consuming the burnt offering and sacrifices. These events are the same as what is recorded in I Kings 8 , "the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord", verse 1.
The children of Israel witnessed this happening and when they did they bowed before the Lord to worship Him, giving testimony that His mercy "endureth forever". What a great promise that is for us, even today.
As I read through the record of King Solomon and the priest and all the people offering sacrifices before the Lord to honor Him, I am reminded of Romans 12:1 where Paul's exhortation is for each of us to offer our bodies as a "living sacrifice" unto the Lord. That's what we must do today.
In the Romans passage, notice the next verse, verse 2. Paul says "be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind". That transformation takes place as we study His word and let it conform us to His image.
It's that same exhortation that Jesus Christ gives to King Solomon. In a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus unto the King, verse 12, Jesus warns the King that he and the people of his kingdom must honor, obey and praise the Lord or they will be disciplined, punished.
The punishment would be the Temple being destroyed, Solomon would lose his kingdom and the children of Israel would be taken out of the Land. Bible history tells us that all three of these things did happen.
King Solomon went after "other gods", the children of Israel were taken out of the land and the Temple was destroyed. However, there is a great promise to the Jewish people found in this passage, it's verse 14.
I know that American Christians have applied this verse to themselves and their nation but the technical interpretation of this passage is for the Jewish people.
The Jews must call upon the Lord, humble themselves and pray, seeking His face. They must turn from their wicked ways, then the Lord will hear in heaven and the Jews will hear from heaven as He forgives their sins and heals their land.
Though this promise and prophecy is in its beginning stages today, the Jews must follow through and the Lord will fulfill His promise and prophecy.
By the way, the Lord has chosen the place of Solomon's sacrifice and Temple for His own, verse 12, a dwelling place in the future where He will dwell among His people forever. That promise and prophecy will be fulfilled also, seemingly in the near future.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me Lord, to humble myself, call upon You, seeking Your face and turn from wicked ways.
Wednesday, January 27, 2021

lI Chronicles 6:6

But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel.

For further study - II Chronicles 6:1-11

Our extended reading for today is found in II Chronicles 6. In the first 11 verses, the record of the sermon that King Solomon gave at the dedication of the first Jewish Temple. After 7 years, Solomon's men had finished building the Temple in Jerusalem and as we saw in our last devotional reading in II Chronicles, King Solomon had brought the Ark of the Covenant into the Holy of Holies and the "Glory of the Lord" had filled the "house of the Lord", II Chronicles 5:14.

As Solomon preached that "dedication day", he honored the Lord and his father, King David. King Solomon was so honored that he had been the one chosen by the Lord to build the temple. The king realized that the Temple would one day be the "house of habitation" for the Lord, forever, verse 2.

In addition to the Temple being where God would dwell among His people forever, the Temple must be in the city of Jerusalem, Psalm 132:13-14. Verse 4 of our reading reveals the partial fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant, II Samuel 7.

In this passage the Lord promised King David that his son would build the Temple in Jerusalem and that one of David's sons would sit on the throne forever. That last promise in II Samuel 7, that one of David’s "sons" would sit on the throne of King David, in the future, will actually be fulfilled by Jesus Christ at His Second Coming.

However, the first step in fulfilling the covenant given to David was being fulfilled on that day as testified to by King Solomon. The Lord, since the Exodus from Egypt, had not to that point chosen any city in the Promised Land to build a house, worship center, and had not chosen a man to be ruler over His people.

Solomon reveals in his sermon that the Lord had chosen Jerusalem for His permanent Temple and King David, Solomon's father, to be the "co-regent" with Christ at that Temple in Jerusalem, forever.

Almost 500 years after King Solomon's sermon, the prophet Ezekiel wrote that King David would rule from the Temple in Jerusalem, alongside Jesus, forever, Ezekiel 34:23-24 and Ezekiel 37:24-25.

The fulfillment of Solomon's prophecy revealed in his sermon and the prophecy of Ezekiel will take place during the 1,000 - year Millennial Kingdom, yet future. This fulfillment takes place after the Rapture, the Tribulation, the Battle of Armageddon and when Jesus rules and reigns from His Temple in Jerusalem, forever.

By the way, the Rapture could happen today, which would signal the time of fulfillment for the other prophecies spoken of and yet to be fulfilled.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Even so come Lord Jesus and help me to live in that expectancy today.
Tuesday, January 26, 2021

II Chronicles 5:14

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

For further reading - II Chronicles 5:1-14

Solomon spent seven years building the First Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, I Kings 6:38Verse 1 of our reading for today tells us Solomon and those who worked for those seven years were now finished.

This permanent worship center for the Jewish people was now set to house the "Ark of the Covenant", which had been standing in the temporary "transportable worship center", the Tabernacle in Jerusalem where King David had brought it.

Prior to King Solomon placing the Ark in the Holy of Holies it had rested in a Tabernacle that King David provided for this very sacred piece of Temple furniture. The Tabernacle, housing the Ark, was erected by David in the City of David, Zion and also known as Jerusalem, the original site to the south of the Temple Mount.

This account of moving the Ark from the Tabernacle to the Temple took place during the "Feast of Tabernacles" that was being celebrated in Jerusalem at the time, verse 3.

This is thrilling to read, the account of what happened as the priest brought the Ark into the Holy of Holies of the newly built Temple, verses 11-14. The "Glory of the Lord" rested on the "Mercy Seat" of the Ark, between the outstretched wings of the cherubim atop the Ark. It was the presence of the Lord, on the Ark, that caused such a blessing to the priests and the rest of the workers in and around the Temple.

The Ark was a "prototype", a model of the "One to come", Jesus Himself. In Jeremiah, the ancient Jewish prophet tells that in a coming Temple - the one Jesus will build and rule and reign from, Zechariah 6:12-13, in that Temple there will be no Ark of the Covenant, Jeremiah 3:16.

In the Temple the Messiah Jesus will build at the end of the Tribulation there will be no Ark. The reason is that the Ark is the model of Him to come. When you have the real thing, you no longer need the model.

However, in the next Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the "Tribulation Temple", there will be a need for the Ark. Those preparing for the next Temple know exactly where the Ark is located today, under the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount, II Chronicles 35:3

The Ark is ready to be taken into the Holy of Holies in the Tribulation Temple - that is how close we are to that Temple, which will be erected on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Remember, the Rapture, Jesus calling us to join Him in the heavenlies, happens before that Tribulation Temple is built.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me this day to live as if the Rapture will happen today, because it may well happen today.
Monday, January 25, 2021

II Chronicles 3:1

Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the Lord appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

For further study - II Chronicles 2:1-18

The last six chapters of I Chronicles record how King David gathered the materials, the manpower and the monies for building the Temple. King David would not be the one to build the Temple, but his son Solomon would fulfill the first installment of the Davidic Covenant, II Samuel 7

The promise God made to King David was that his son would build the Temple in Jerusalem after his deathII Samuel 7:12-13. Our devotional passage for today records, at least, the near-term fulfillment of that prophecy. The promise to David was also a prophecy that will be fulfilled, in the long-term, by Jesus Christ, Zechariah 6:12.

Notice the location where Solomon built the Temple, Mount Moriah, verse 1. This was the same location where Abraham offered his son Isaac, Genesis 22:2. It is also the piece of real estate that King David had purchased, with cash money, the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, I Chronicles 21:18-30.

That sacred piece of land is today occupied by the Muslim building, the "Dome of the Rock". One day it will be where the next Jewish Temple stands. Those preparing to rebuild the Temple believe God will remove the Dome of the Rock to make way for the rebuilding of the Temple.

These religious Jews preparing to erect that next Temple have prepared everything for the operation of the next Temple. There are thousands of Jewish men, who say they are of the tribe of Levi, who are studying the "priestly duties" so that they can operate the next Temple.

They have the "priestly garments", all of the "implements" for operating the Temple, even the "harps" are pretty much ready for the Levites to play when the Temple is in place.

The Sanhedrin has re-formed and are now making "rulings" as they did 2,000 years ago. Basically, the Jewish people are ready to start construction on the next Temple. They eagerly await the removal of the Islamic structure so they can start the work.

There is only one other thing that must happen before they start the construction of the Temple - the Rapture - when Jesus calls all Christians up to Him in the heavens, which could happen at any minute - let's keep looking up!

PRAYER THOUGHT: Lord, help me to be ready for the Rapture to happen at any moment, which could well be the case with all that is happening for the construction and operation of the next Jewish Temple.
Sunday, January 24, 2021

I Chronicles 23:25

For David said, The LORD God of Israel hath given rest unto his people, that they may dwell in Jerusalem forever

For further study - I Chronicles 23:1-32

I Chronicles 23
the record of what happens at the end of King David's life and at the time he anoints his son Solomon to become King over Israel. You might remember that even though David wanted to build the Temple as a permanent worship center for the Jewish people, God had not allowed him to do so because of disobedience.

As in I Kings, the record is clear in I Chronicles 22 that King David prepared for the building of the Temple by gathering together the monies needed, plus the manpower and materials for the Temple including all the furniture of the Temple, I Chronicles 22:14.

David would also gather the Levites together to set them in "order" so that they might serve in the Temple at an allotted time of the year, as well as the times of the Jewish Feast Days. I Chronicles 24 is the schedule for the priest to serve in the Temple as set forth by King David.

In our extended reading we find some very significant information on the service at the Temple. Verse 3 states that the priests who serve at the Temple begin their "priesthood" at the age of thirty, having studied for twenty-eight years the priestly duties and responsibilities.

The number of Levites serving the Temple in one capacity or another is 38,000, verse 3. And of these, 24,000 of them were to "set forth the work of the house of the Lord", verse 4.

It's interesting to note that 4,000 of the 38,000 were "to praise the Lord" with instruments which King David had made to be used for "praising the Lord". It was the "harp" that King David had made and used to "praise the Lord". He also wrote many of the Psalms by using his harp.

As you read through the entire 23rd chapter of I Chronicles, you'll notice that in verses 7-23 King David sets certain families aside for service in the Temple. This is similar to the divisions of the sons of Aaron into the twenty-four orders to serve at the Temple, as found in I Chronicles 24.

From verses 24-32, David gives further instructions for service at the Temple. Please notice King David's statement in verse 25, it is very prophetic. Because of the Davidic Covenant, the promise from the Lord to David, the aged King of Israel, was that the Jewish people would dwell in Jerusalem, forever.

By the way, the word "forever" means forever, even into eternity future. There, in fact, will be a temple in Jerusalem, forever, Ezekiel 37:26 & 28.

One final word about what King David did to prepare for the first temple, Solomon's Temple. David selected the priest, set the number needed in place and even the four thousand to play the harps.

Today in Jerusalem there are men studying the "priestly duties" so that they can operate the next Temple. Even the harps have been made to use in the next Temple.

The next Temple could be built very soon. The only thing that must happen before the building of the Temple is the Rapture of the Church, and that could happen today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me Lord, to live today as if this is the day that the Rapture will happen.
Saturday, January 23, 2021

I Chronicles 21:24

And King David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost.

For further study - I Chronicles 21:18-30

Our extended devotional reading for today is the account of King David purchasing the "threshing floor" from the Jebusite, to be used as a place for an "altar" upon which David could offer sacrifice.

You might recall that King David had conquered the Jebusite's stronghold known as "Jerusalem" and made it the "political capital" of the Jewish people, II Samuel 5.

In II Samuel 6, David brought the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem and then made Jerusalem the "spiritual capital" of the Jewish people. Jerusalem would be the location where David's son would build the first temple.

The threshing floor that Ornan, the Jebusite, owned was the location that King David wanted as a place of "sacrifice" and the King of Israel was willing to pay "cash money" for that piece of real estate.

You'll notice in our extended reading that the Jebusite, Ornan, wanted to give King David this exact location for the place of this altar that the Jewish King wanted for offering sacrifices. When Ornan offered to give the land to King David, the king refused saying that he would not offer sacrifice unless he paid for this sacrificial site.

Let the record show that King David paid cash money for Ornan's threshing floor, 600 shekels of gold, approximately $222,000 in the present day price for gold. It is important to see that King David did not take this site as a gift but instead paid cash money for the location, which was on the peak of Mount Moriah.

Remember, Mount Moriah is the spot where Abraham offered his son Isaac to the Lord, Genesis 22:2. Mount Moriah is also the location where King Solomon built the first temple, II Chronicles 3:1.

This location, Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, is where the next temple will be built during the Tribulation Period, Daniel 9:27Matthew 24:15II Thessalonians 2:4; and Revelation 11:2.

This sacred spot where the first and second temples stood and where the next two temples will also stand is the piece of real estate that a Jewish King purchased for "cash money".

That should settle the question of ownership of the Temple Mount, but it doesn’t. The Temple Mount will be the "center of controversy" until the Antichrist has a temple built on the spot where Jesus Christ will one day build his millennial Temple prior to the 1,000 year Kingdom.

The only problem for building a Jewish temple today up on the Temple Mount is a gold-domed building, a Muslim religious center; however, the Jewish temple will be built there one day, not too far into the future. That Dome of the Rock must be taken down, and it will be taken down during one of the military attacks on Israel in the Tribulation Period.

All preparations have been made for the next Temple, the "Tribulation Temple". This next Temple will be built after the Rapture takes Christians up into heaven to be with Jesus Christ. That Rapture can happen at any moment, even today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me Lord to recognize the times in which we are living and to look for Your soon return.
Friday, January 22, 2021

I Chronicles 17:9

Also I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more, as at the beginning

For further study -I Chronicles 17:1-27

A look at I Chronicles 13-16 gives one the record of King David in two attempts at bringing the "ark of the covenant" up to Jerusalem. The first time doing the "right thing in the wrong way", chapter 13; and then doing the "right thing in the right way", chapter 15.

As we continue our devotional readings today in I Chronicles, I must mention that in the original Hebrew Canon, First and Second Chronicles were one scroll. In Hebrew, the title of that scroll means, "the words concerning the days".

Jewish tradition says that Ezra was the author of the two books. However, scholarship believes that Ezra may have been the writer but the author is actually unknown and referred to as the "Chronicler".

The two books of history start with Adam, I Chronicles 1:1, and conclude with the "carrying away" of the Jewish people into the Babylonian captivity by King Nebuchadnezzar in II Chronicles 36.

As we come in our reading today to I Chronicles 17, we see the record of David's desire to build the Lord a "permanent place of worship" instead of the "transportable worship center" known as the "Tabernacle".

David had brought the Ark of the Covenant up to Jerusalem and rested it in a tabernacle, I Chronicles 16, and now David approaches the Lord about building the temple. The Lord responded with the Davidic Covenant, which promises that there will be a temple built by David's son, Solomon, as recorded in I Kings.

The record of David's response is worship and prayer, verses 16-27 . David's past sins have been forgiven and the Lord now tells David of the future of his family and house. It is an account worth reading and meditating on as you read it.

Notice two verses in our extended reading, verse 21 and our key verse, verse 9. In David's prayer, he thanks the Lord for his people and his nation whom God has chosen for a special purpose, verse 21. But then, reread our key verse, verse 9.

God makes the promise, in fact, He ordains a place for His "people Israel" to dwell. It will be a place where they will live forever. They will not be removed from this "place" or "wiped off the map", as threatened by the Iranian president Ahmadinejad, and the leadership of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic terrorist organization.

God's promise of a land for the Jewish people is in the process of being totally fulfilled. A Temple in that land with a king, King Jesus, on the throne in that Temple, will be fulfilled and seemingly in the near future.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you, Lord, for being a "promise-keeping" Lord.
Thursday, January 21, 2021

I Chronicles 12:32

And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.

For further study - I Chronicles 12:23-38

The author of the two books of the Chronicles, which is one book in the Jewish Bible, traditionally, is Ezra. There is no way that we can be certain on this and many therefore refer to the author as “the chronicler”.

In chapters one through eleven we see a number of genealogies that help us know the families of many of the Bible characters that we read about throughout all the Bible. As we come to I Chronicles 12 we find the family of David, the second king of Israel.

The shepherd boy David grows up, becomes the King of Judah and serves in Hebron for 7 years, II Samuel 5:1-6, before being approached by all the tribes of Israel to be their King. David would then serve as the King of all of Israel for 33 years more in the city of Jerusalem.

The record of the 12 tribes of Israel making David their king in I Chronicles 12 has a very interesting phrase that describes men of one of the tribes - the tribe of Issachar. These were "men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do", verse 32.

That description of the tribe of Issachar should be a principle that guides our daily lives - we can only make proper decisions today when we understand the times in which we are living. Notice, in our key verse, these men "understood the times" and then they knew what to do in the future.

It is possible to understand the times only when we understand God's prophetic scenario found in Bible Prophecy for the last days. Since the Bible is almost one-third prophetic, one out of every three pages, then a complete understanding of all of Scripture is necessary to recognize the times in which we’re living.

God's word tells us we have a "sure word of prophecy", II Peter 1:19, and we should take heed to the prophetic passages of Scriptures and study them in light of the times we find ourselves living in today, II Timothy 2:15.

Every one of us has a worldview that is shaped, and determined by what we watch, hear and read everyday. The old computer adage fits so well right here, "garbage in, garbage out". We must, on a daily basis, put the right information, "Biblical prophecy" into our minds and based upon Biblical truth, make the right decision.

Like the "children of Issachar" we can know the "future", by studying God’s prophetic passages that explain all that will happen in the future. With that knowledge, we too can know what to do in the future.

We will understand, as we watch current events unfolding as foretold in Bible prophecy, that we are living in the last days, just prior to Jesus shouting for us to join Him in the air at the Rapture, which could be today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for your prophetic Word that helps us to know, and understand, the times and thus know what we must be doing as we await Your return.
Wednesday, January 20, 2021

I Chronicles 1:1-4, 34 and 2:1-2

Adam, Sheth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalaleel, Jered, Henoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth... And Abraham begat Isaac. The sons of Isaac; Esau and Israel... These are the sons of Israel; Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, and Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.

For further reading - I Chronicles 1:1 - 2:2

I can just hear you now, not another genealogy to read for our devotion today. I remind you that there is always something, and in fact, sometimes many things that can be learned from reading through genealogies, even though it may be more difficult to do than reading a narrative of events in Biblical history. This particular genealogy goes from Adam to the "twelve sons of Israel", which of course, became the "nation of Israel".

Let me point out several items of interest as it relates to prophecy. Notice the sons of Japheth, I Chronicles 1:5-6. They are Gomer, Magog, Tubal, Meshech, and Togarmah. Now remember, this is 4,500 years ago, right after the flood, that these sons were born to Japheth. These are the names of some of the peoples and the nations that come against Israel, to destroy the Jewish state in the "last days", Ezekiel 38:2-6.

Then, we need to look at the sons of Ham, I Chronicles 1:8-10. Among those mentioned are Cush, modern-day Ethiopia, Sudan, and Somalia. There is Mizraim, modern-day Egypt and Put, the name for today's Libya. 

Verse 10
 tells us that Cush begat Nimrod who became "mighty on the earth". Genesis 10:10 reveals to us that Nimrod had a "kingdom" in Babel, Biblical "Babylon", which is modern day Iraq.

These sons of Ham, whose descendants became the present-day Arab states, were born over 250 years before Abraham, and definitely not to his first son, Ishmael, I Chronicles 1:28 and Genesis 10:10-11:26. Therefore, Abraham, nor his son Ishmael is the father of the Arab world.

Notice, Abraham also had Isaac, I Chronicles 1:28, who became the father of two boys who became two nations, Genesis 25:19-23. The Lord told Rebekah, the mother of these two boys, that they would struggle throughout all their generations.

Jacob, or Israel as God changed his name, Genesis 32, would have 12 sons, I Chronicles 2:1-2, and they would become the Jewish people, the nation of Israel. This son would carry on the heritage of Abraham and Isaac.

Esau, Jacob's twin brother, would also become a nation. You can trace through the Bible and see that they are the modern-day Palestinians who are in the process of becoming a nation.

Several Jewish prophets, Ezekiel, Malachi and Obadiah, tell of the conflict between these two brothers that will continue until the return of the Lord (See my study, Esau and the Palestinians -

As I stated earlier, we can learn from genealogies. In our reading for today we see the "end times" scenario being laid out for us to study. Bible prophecy will be fulfilled, all in a "genealogy". Bible prophecy will be fulfilled. It is all laid out in the Word for us to study, and "prepare" for it to happen in our day, today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me as I study God's word, all of it even the genealogies, to understand the times we are living in today and to live in light of the truth I will come to know.
Tuesday, January 19, 2021

II Kings 19:34

For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake.

For further study - II Kings 19:1-37

You need to take a moment with me and read all 37 verses of II Kings 19, our devotional reading for today. It is the story of a king’s prayer for the Lord to save the Jewish people and their city of Jerusalem, and how Jesus Christ intercedes to protect both the Jews and the city.

We first need some background. The King of Judah, King Hezekiah, had come to power and there was revival in the land of Judah and among the Jewish people, II Kings 18.

Now around 710 BC, almost 15 years after the Assyrians had captured the ten tribes of Israel in the north, the Assyrians, led by King Sennacherib had come to capture Judah, the two southern tribes, and destroy the city of Jerusalem.

This caused King Hezekiah to humble himself, rent his clothes, cover himself with sackcloth and go into the Temple to pray. Hezekiah sent his servant, Eliakim, to the prophet Isaiah so that the prophet would also beseech the Lord for the protection of the Jews and Jerusalem.

Isaiah's message to King Hezekiah was a prophecy that the Lord would defeat the attacking Assyrian army. King Sennacherib would return home and there die in his own land.

Sennacherib heard the prophecy and determined that he would defy the Lord God of Israel. King Hezekiah heard that the Assyrians were coming and failed to believe the prophecy of Isaiah.

Therefore, he returned to the Temple to once again pray for his people and Jerusalem. The Lord's answer to the King's prayer would come through the prophet Isaiah, again.

This time Isaiah goes into more detail, verses 20-34. The Lord makes the promise to Hezekiah, through the prophet Isaiah, that He would defend the city of Jerusalem and thus the people, the Jewish people.

Verses 35-37 reveal the record of the prophecy fulfilled. That night Jesus Christ fulfilled the prophecy. The "angel of the Lord" is a pre-incarnate appearance by Jesus who that night killed 185,000 of the attacking Assyrians, verse 35.

Then King Sennacherib returned to his capital city of Assyria, Ninevah, and Sennacherib was killed, by the sword of his enemies as Isaiah the prophet had foretold it would happen. This is another proof that Bible prophecy will be fulfilled.

Please notice before we leave this passage that the reason the Lord protected Jerusalem at this time was two-fold. The Lord saved Jerusalem for His own sake, He has chosen Jerusalem to dwell among His people forever, Psalm 132:13-14.

Jesus also saved Jerusalem because of His promise to King David that there would be a Temple in Jerusalem and one of David's descendants would rule on the throne in that Temple, forever. That king forever is "King Jesus".

Prophecy fulfilled in the past is evidence that prophecy yet to be fulfilled will be fulfilled.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for the pages of prophecy in the Bible that help me to understand the times in which I'm living and also alert me to the nearness of Your soon return.