CROSSROADS OF LIFE – PART ONE / ELIJAH TO THE BAPTIZER

To anyone who plans to read this: This is not a finished article.  I only published it for the sake of printing it.

 

We must remember that Bible prophecy is rarely fulfilled the exact way that we the people might expect. This was the case before and during the time of Yahushua, and it will more than likely continue to be this way until His return.

 

But one thing we can always trust is that when it comes to eschatology, God reveals all that we need to know about what to expect in the future. Before He reveals anything in His word, He reveals the hidden things to a certain people.

 

Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets.

 

Yahushua did the same thing. He spoke in parables so that His followers would seek Him, to find the understanding.

 

Matthew 13:35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.

 

He also said something similar: For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad. ~ Luke 8:17

 

So in this sense, I tend to think that I am like a detective, looking at all the clues to help build a case of hidden truth, yet a truth revealed in plain sight. We just gotta search it out.

 

Proverbs 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.

 

For example, almost 500 years prior to Yahushua’s arrival on the earth, the prophet Malachi issued the word of the Lord saying, Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” ~ Malachi 4:5-6

 

John the Baptist was asked a question by the priests and Levites from Jerusalem:

 

And they asked him, “What then? Art thou Elias?” And he saith, “I am not”. “Art thou that prophet?” And he answered, “No.” ~ John 1:21

 

They had asked John one question, two different ways and twice John told them that he was not Elias/ Elijah. The reason they were asking is because of the prophecy by Malachi.

 

So my question is, was this prophecy fulfilled? Let’s read the words that our Messiah spoke:

 

Matthew 11:14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.

 

Yahushua publicly identified John the Baptist as Elijah who was to come. So when John the Baptist was asked, I wonder why he said no and yet Yahushua said yes.

 

Others during Yahushua’s own ministry, thought that He might be Elijah but He wasn’t. Here we have Yahushua who was speaking in His own time, that John the Baptist was the one who the prophets spoke about that was to come. We must take Yahushua at His word.

 

But we clearly have written testimony that John the Baptist said he was not Elijah. That’s because he wasn’t. He was John. If they had asked John if he had the same spirit as that which Elijah had, he might have said, “yes”.

 

The prophet Malachi’s words may not have come to pass in a litteral sense but they were fulfilled in a spiritual sense, which must have been intended.

 

John the Baptist was indeed the forerunner for the Lord’s arrival. We know through reading the scriptures that Elijah came in the form of John the Baptist.

 

In chapter one of Luke’s letter to Theophilus, Luke begins to tell the story of John the Baptist. I am using only two verses to get to my point.

 

Luke 1:13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.

 

In this passage, the angel is talking to Zechariah, telling him that His Son John the Baptist, will lead many people in Israel to turn back to the Lord their God.

 

Luke 1:17 And he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

 

John the Baptizer would minister to the people, before the arrival of the Lord. He would come in the ‘Spirit and Power’; the same type of mantle that Elijah had.

 

Because of this spirit and power upon John, parents would be more thoughtful of their children and the folks in this particular generation who then disobeyed God, would begin to think as they ought to. In this way, John was preparing a people to be ready for The LORD.

 

This is the fulfillment of the words spoken by Malachi. “And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

 

We have another prophecy that most folks believe to be about John the Baptist.

 

Isaiah 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of יהוה, make straight in the desert a highway for our Elohim.

 

The reason we believe this is because this is exactly what John did. He was the forerunner to Christ.

 

Matthew also recorded Yahushua speaking about Elijah coming on the scene but then goes on to say that he had already come.

 

Matthew 17:10-12 And His disciples asked Him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?

 

The disciples had just seen a vision of Elijah up on the high mountain. Now they were asking Yahushua why the scribes say that Elijah must come first.

 

11 And Yahushua answered and said unto them, EliYah truly shall first come, and restore all things.

12 But I say unto you, That EliYah is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.

 

First Yahushua said that EliYah truly shall first come, and restore all things.

 

We know that John came in the spirit and power of Elijah so his mission was to revive the decay in the family unit and turn the hearts of mankind toward repentance. In any case, John’s mission was to fulfil the prophecy spoken of by the prophet Elijah and prepare a people to receive the truth that Yahushua would soon begin to teach.

 

Just like the spirit of the prophet Elijah preceeded the Messiah’s first coming in the human body of John, he also came in power like that of Elijah, with a powerful voice speaking things that would cause fathers hearts to tender once again to their children and children’s hearts also to tender toward their fathers. Forgiveness is a very powerful thing and so is repentance.

 

During Elijah’s ministry, he condemned sin and tried to point the people to turn back to Elohim. That’s the same ministry that John the Baptist had. So the teachers of the law [scribes], also taught what the prophets had said so this is why the fella’s asked Yahushua about this.

 

But notice what else Yahushua said. He said that EliYah had come already but they had done unto him whatsoever they listed and that in the same like manner,He would also suffer of them. John was beheaded and Yahushua was crucified.

 

Nevertheless, Yahushua has said twice now that Elijah had already come.

 

When I think of a great and dreadful day, I think of the crucifixion. Not only had John the Baptist come in the spirit and power of Elijah, he was seen in the Spirit by Peter, John and James on the Mount of Transfiguration. He truly had come in the Spirit and the power.

 

The prophets of old saw Messiah’s day at a distance, and their vision was yet to come; but John saw that day dawn. While the prophets prophesied about Yahushua, John physically pointed to Him.

 

As a priest in the lineage of His Father Zacharias, John the Baptist even declared that Yahushua was indeed the Lamb of God. He examined Yahushua just as he would a lamb prepared for sacrifice. He found Him suitable to be the Lamb of God that would not only be sacrificed, but He would take away the sin of the world.

 

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

 

So for this part of Malachi’s prophecy, it has already been fulfilled in John. As Yahushua Himself pointed out saying, And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.” Yahushua has verified that Elias has come and that we the reader, should receive this truth.

 

There may be another appearance yet to appear before the return of Christ but I am not so sure. The Israelites are still waiting for their Messiah because they did not recognize Him when He was here the first time. The prophet Malachi said the Elijah would come. Malachi never said anything about Elijah coming by Spirit and power, just that he would come. I suppose Elijah himself could come because we have no record of him dying and it is appointed to every man to die once.

 

In Judism every Passover, the seder table is set with an extra place to welcome Elijah the Prophet. If that culture of people were not willing to accept Yahushua, perhaps they have not received the truth that Elias has already come, just as Yahushua spoke.

 

Yahushua said that they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed.

 

When the disciples could not reconcile what Christ said about Elijah, with what they had heard out of the Old Testament, they asked Him to explain it to them. We do the same thing. When we don’t understand something, we ask the Holy Spirit to reveal it to us.

 

The last thing that Yahushua says on this subject is in verse 15: He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

 

How hard of hearing are do we have to be to miss the fact that Yahushua said that Elijah has already come?

 

When I read these words, it seems like a secret code to tell me to pay close attention to what I have just read. These are things which require our serious consideration, and therefore we should heed this warning.

 

The things of God are of great and common concern. Yahushua is saying that every one that has ears to hear any thing, aught to be concerned to hear this. It’s almost seems to me that God requires that we rightly use the ears that He has given us and to use the thing in between them to reason. He does not want us ignorant of the truth.

 

Bible prophecy is rarely what we think and we can not build a scenario of it, just to suit our own purpose. The Bible is truth and we are to search here a little and there a little to find the answers that we seek.

 

Psalms 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

 

Proverbs 16:16 How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!

 

In any case, both John and Messiah’s message were not accepted.

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OVERCOMING FEAR

Psalms 55:4-5 My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me.

 

David’s heart is so anguished, he almost sounds haunted. Isn’t this the same David whose heart is after God?

 

The voice of the enemy and the oppression of the wicked are haunting David.

 

What haunts the heart is something that is hidden. So what is it Father? What is haunting my heart?

 

David was overwhelmed. We carry such a weight of guilt that we become overwhelmed too. When we are offended, we get stuck on the offense. Maybe I should get in the defensive position. David said that the threats of the wicked oppressed him.

 

All the tenants that have taken up space in our lives do not leave when we have turned our lives over to God. Some of them, especially those hanging around since our childhood, or even those beginning in the womb stay with us for many years, even into adulthood.

 

Knowing as a child that I was not wanted, and hearing that all throughout my childhood, I think has damaged me. I am often asking my husband, “Do you love me?” , or “Do you still love me?” I think this insecurity stems from the knowing that my mother never wanted any of her children from my sister Martha on down.

 

Fear only operates effectively by the element of surprise.

 

The reason stuff keeps defeating me is because stuff keeps surprising me. All the guilt and hopelessness I have been living with has always been there but now I’ve got something to hit back with when something comes up. I have a sound mind and not the Spirit of fear. I think learning more scripture regarding fear like I did in my study of anxiety, is in order.

 

Psalms 55:6 And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.

 

We need to be prepared to fight back by exposing what is hidden. We can’t escape it. We can’t run from it. We need to unmask the hopelessness and guilt of it.

 

What is fear?

 

 

God wants to shine His light into our heart. Father, show me, expose what is hidden in my heart. My greatest fear is my greatest strength and that is why the enemy comes at me from a hidden position, showing up when I least expect him. Crouching like a lion.

 

I need to always expect that he is there but remember that fear doesn’t have me anymore. As for me, I trust in God.

 

I shall expect it and expose it. We live with the disadvantages that were handed to us but we don’t have to dwell on them and give them life. We gotta get a word from God and start singing a new song. Yahushua is LORD.

 

♪He is LORD. He is LORD. He is risen from the dead and He is LORD. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, that Jesus Christ is LORD.♫

 

We are told to fear nothing but fear itself. Fear is the enemy and therefore fear… is a liar. Fear tears away at our ability to resist and our strength is beaten down. While we are all stuck in fear, what is the enemy accomplishing?

 

His goal is to separate us from the love of God. But nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. ~ Roman’s 8:39

 

We have to claim truth when we are being bound by the stronghold of fear. Otherwise it will secretly gnaw away at us all. The enemy is at enmity with God and doesn’t want to be alone. The more folks he can tear down, the more he can break them away from reality, and the reality that God is real.

 

Being alone is a fear all it’s own. It is a hopeless feeling but it is real. But Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. I am never alone.

 

What makes a heart haunted is what is hidden. What is haunting my heart? Fear. Fear of what? Is it a threat that no-one can love me since my own mother couldn’t or chose not to? That’s a lie. God loves me.

 

Right now, the enemy is on a leash. I belong to God and like Job, I am thinking that the enemy must request a sifting from God like he did when he requested to sift both Job and Peter. But what was his response? To Job it was yes but you cannot kill him and to Peter it must have been a yes too because Yahushua said,

 

 

Life is a sobering journey and none of us make it unscathed. Many of us have hurts from the past that just need to be forgiven. These hurts affect the way we think and the decisions that we have to make. We don’t need to continue to bleed because we want to hold on to our broken pride. Forgiveness brings freedom. Forgiveness makes room in the heart for love to grow. Isn’t that what we all really yearn for anyway, just to be loved?

 

So does God really give His hardest battles to His strongest soldiers and we are strong soldiers in the making?

 

Can we be on our way to holiness and yet haunted at the same time by a strap of fear? Yes, of course we can. David was a man after the heart of God.

 

In Psalm 23 he is claiming the rod and staff as his comfort even though he is walking through the valley of the shadow of death. We can compare the confidence over fear in Psalm 27 to the terror and horror in this Psalm of chapter 55. In this Psalm, David is stricken by great fear.

 

Psalms 55:5-6 Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me. And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.

 

David thought that maybe he could fly away, escape it somehow. But the problem is that even though we have a loving changed relationship, we still have a heart that betrays us.

 

We simply cannot escape something that we carry with us every where we go. Somewhere along the way we either gotta un-pack the baggage or throw it down all together. We can’t chase fear or escape it, but we can expect it and expose it.

 

What comes along with fear?

 

 

So, who am I?

In Christ I am not condemmed.

~ Roman’s 8:1

 

In Christ I am justified.

~ Roman’s 3:22

 

In Christ I am buried in baptism.

~ Colossians 2:12

 

In Christ I am content.

~ Hebrews 13:5-6

 

In Christ I am brought near.

~ Ephesians 3:13

 

In Christ I am an adopted child.

~ Galatians 4:6-7

 

In Christ I am alive.

~ Ephesians 2:4-6

 

In Christ I am weak but live by the power of God. ~ 2nd Corinthians 13:4

 

In Christ I am a new creation.

~ 2nd Corinthians 5:17

 

In Christ I am established with other believers. ~ 2nd Corinthians 1:21-22

 

In Christ I am filled and free.

~1st John 4:13

 

In Christ I am a recipient of the Spirit. ~Galatians 3:13-14

 

Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

 

Our spiritual strength comes from being strengthened by His might for the work and duty to which we are the called so that the inner man can be moved by the Spirit to know and possess all that Yahwey has for us.

 

 

We are human. We sin, then we are prompted by the Spirit to confess that sin and we repent. We are not enslaved to the enemy, and we do not have to stay in his territory. We need to heed the warnings and steer clear of anything that might tempt us and always pray: “Lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil”. We can call upon the Spirit to strengthen us.

 

1st John 5:18 We know that whosoever is born of יהוה sinneth not; but he that is begotten of יהוה keepeth himself, and that wicked one [enemy] toucheth him not.

 

How does one ‘keep himself’?

 

 

Keep on believing no matter what comes.

 

Keep moving forward in ‘all’ belief.

 

The Eternal One, The One Who always exsisted, loved the creation that He made; the world. He also then created the people in the world and loved them so much that He gave His one and only Son on their behalf. So, as a result, everyone who believes in the Son may not die. Instead, they will always have a chance to live an eternal life. He didn’t send His Son to condemn the ungodly multitude in the world but that they ‘might be’ saved through Him.

 

It is up to each of us as individuals to be transformed by the renewing of our own mind by exercising the Power of the Holy Spirit with-in to guide, teach us and lead us into all truth. [Roman’s 12:2, Psalm 25:5] We need to know the truth because truth sets us free.

 

When I hear the voice of reason, I need to pay attention. Paying attention is like putting a down payment on what I believe and then cashing in on the benefits. ~ Eudora

 

Living in the power of God, knowing scripture well enough to quote it under attack, just like Yahushua did in the wilderness when He was tempted; is how we overcome fear.

 

 

Greater is He that is in me, than He that is in the world.

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Seven Miles To Emmaus

If we knew all the things that would tell us the exact understanding of the scriptures, perhaps they wouldn’t be so puzzling or perplexing, maybe even a bit more profitable. But then again it wouldn’t be our own journey, would it?

Let’s talk a walk though the passages of time in the story that Luke shares about a walk to a distant village named Emmas, which was about sixty stadia from Jerusalem; a seven mile journey, reckoned to be about two hours’ walk from Jerusalem.

Often times when I read this letter that Luke wrote to his friend Theophilus, I wonder about this man, this physician who was also a traveling companion with Paul. Luke was not an eye witness to the things of Jesus, yet he writes enough detail that we can grasp that he was no doubt intrigued by our Messiah.

In my opinion, Luke wants Theophilus to know all the things that he had heard about Yahushua, who in this story had reportedly risen from the dead on this very day.

The only other author of any book or letter in the New Testament that would make mention of this particular story would be Mark, so I will add it, when it seems appropriate.

13 -16 Now that very day two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking to each other about all the things that had happened. While they were talking and debating these things, Jesus Himself approached and began to accompany them but their eyes were kept from recognizing Him.

 These two fella’s on their way to Emmaus were disciples who had no doubt followed Yahushua. Maybe they were a bit fearful and just wanted to get away from Jerusalem after the crucifixion. Maybe this two hour walk to this nearby village gave them more freedom to think about and discuss what had just happened in Jerusalem. After all, the holy days had recently ended and maybe they were just on their way home to Emmaus.

In any case, we will discover in this story that earlier on this particular day, the two men had learned that the tomb where Yahushua had been lain, was found empty. Maybe these two fella’s were reasoning with themselves about the probabilities of Christ’s resurrection.

As they were walking along, a fella whom they didn’t recognize, joined them. This shouldn’t surprise us because:

For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them. ~ Matthew 18:20

And: A threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Right here is one of Mark’s mention of this seven mile journey:

Mark 16:12 After that He appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.

Since Mark makes mention that Jesus appeared in another form, we might conclude that His external appearance had somehow changed. Laying in a tomb for three days and nights, bound in clean linen cloth covered in oil and spices might have had something to do with it. What we do know is that Jesus was in a newly resurrected body now. But these two fella’s didn’t know this yet but they were about to make their own discovery of this amazing truth. In any circumstance, His grace joined to walk with them unseen.

We as His disciples aught to always be prepared for a visitation from Yahushua. While we are awaiting His return, He might decide to join alongside of us when we are out and about too.

In the beginning of my journey, that is exactly what He did. He walked with me every day for about three months. I would read something in the Bible that would make me upset or I would just take a break from reading and go for a walk up the road and back. As I walked, I always felt His close presence.

Sometimes if I was puzzled or curious about what I had just read, I would ask Him questions. Sometimes I was so hurt over what I had read because I discovered that I have been lied to about a lot of things. This upset me and I would ask Him why.

Sometimes I would get the answers right then, sometimes I would get them later on as I continued reading or studying the Bible. Even to this day, I still ask questions after I read passages that stir my inquisitive nature.

17-18 Then He said to them, “What are these matters you are discussing so intently as you walk along?” And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered Him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that have happened there in these days?”

We learn here that one of the fella’s on this seven mile journey was named Cleopas. We will also learn throughout this passage that he was one of those that were associated with the eleven.

Yahushua’s first question to them concerned their present sadness. Isn’t that just like Him to notice their countenance or what was bringing about a burden?

Maybe you’ve had those days too when you’ve been befuddled about something or you just feel sad. He always seems to meet us right where we are in the moment.

Sometimes I’ll be reading and just become overwhelmed with great joy or great sadness too. Sometimes the joy I feel when I come up on something I’ve read and gotten an answer to prayer or snatched an answer to a question or just delighted in the joy of what I’ve read.

Sometimes there is sadness, because I’ve been convicted about something or I’ve realized, wow I didn’t know that and said I am sorry because something came as a big surprise to me. Knowing I have hurt Him makes me sad.

And they stood looking sad. They had a countenance of one who was gloomy or mournful. Jesus asked the two men, what ya’ll talkin about?

Cleopas, one of the two disciples who were going to Emmaus on the day of the resurrection said to Him seriously, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that have happened there in these days?”

Sounds to me as if this was the talk of the town and they thought it He should have known. Funny huh? He knows our every thought and He asks what they are talking about, knowing all along they are discussing what had just happened to Him.

This part of His question amuses me. It also convinces me that He wants to know what we ‘think’. Just like the time when Yahushua was with His disciples along the coasts of Caesarea Philippi when He asked His disciples, saying, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” It often appears to me that He wants to be engaged in every bit of our life. I am also reminded when the LORD said, “It is not good that man should be alone.”

19-21 He said to them, “What things?”

To which they replied,

“The things concerning Jesus the Nazarene, a man who, with His powerful deeds and words, proved to be a prophet before God and all the people; and how our chief priests and rulers handed Him over to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. But we had hoped that He was the One who was going to redeem Israel. Not only this, but it is now the third day since these things happened.

  Cleopas seems to be disappointed that this powerful man from Nazareth who had healed the sick, the lame and the blind and had proved to be a prophet before God and all the people had just been crucified and wasn’t who they thought He was going to be. His expectations of being liberated from the evils of every kind had been dashed and here it was the third day and still nothing because they had killed Him. Perhaps they were down trodden because they had lost all hope.

I’ve been here before too. Haven’t we all? For some of us, our faith seems to be tested through the weakness of our faith, especially when we loose someone we dearly love.

Out of the abundance of his heart, Cleopas goes on to tell about the tragic death that Yahushua suffered at the hands of the chief priests and rulers. Sometimes just talking about these types of things with others helps us in our own grieving process.

Yahuahua had asked, “What things?” He had already moved past the suffering, past the cross, into His glory. Why would He look behind; with all that lay before Him?

Cleopas continues his answer to Yahushua’s question.

22-24 “Furthermore, some women of our group amazed us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find His body, they came back and said they had seen a vision of angels, who said He was alive. Then some of those who were with us went to the tomb, and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Him.”

Cleopas is telling Yahushua that he and his traveling companion are part of the same ‘group’ belonging to that of both Miriam and the other Miriam from Magdala, who found the stone rolled away from the empty tomb. Cleopas feels confused by what the women said they had witnessed at the tomb. He said that some of their friends went there themselves and they reported that they didn’t see Jesus either. So they were puzzled.

Mark 16:9-12 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven devils. And they, when they had heard that He was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not. After that He appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.

   Here these fellas are talking about other men who never saw Yahushua at the sepulchre because He had risen. If one did not know about the prophecies of resurrection, this would have been very confusing. I think I would be right there with them, trying to figure out what happened to His body? If I had not studied the prophecies, how would I know?

So He said to them, “You foolish people how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Wasn’t it necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and enter into His glory?”

Why couldn’t they believe the prophecies? Jesus knew that they were aware of them, otherwise He wouldn’t have said this. I think He was saying that they wern’t confirmed in their faith to believe.

I tend to believe the prophecies but not always understand them. Sometimes they have supposed dual dating. Sometimes it’s hard to decide if they are literal and of course the timing of many of them yet to be fulfilled or are on a need to know or when it happens you will understand kind of bases. I tend to be content just learning the signs that we are told to be aware of and even then, some are obscure.

Yahushua told these two men that ‘these things’ had to happen and that the Messiah had to suffer before He would enter into His glory; the same glory that He had before the world was.

Nonetheless, foolishness is bound in our hearts and we might often forget the things we have learned and have to re-learn them again.

This question of the Master to His disciples is perhaps a certain reason why we aught to be aware of the signs of His return, lest we be caught un-aware and challenged in our own faith or belief.

References: Isaiah 53, Daniel 9

27-29 Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He interpreted to them the things written about Himself in all the scriptures. So they approached the village where they were going. He acted as though He wanted to go farther, but they urged Him, “Stay with us, because it is getting toward evening and the day is almost done.” So He went in to stay with them.

He walked along side of them for these seven miles, teaching them the things spoken by the prophets that would happen to Him, showing that the sufferings He had now gone through were defeated. It sounds to me that if we do not believe Moses and the prophets, we are incurable to learn any truth of Him or maybe even the new beginning on the horizon to come. Afterall, the prophets speak of His return and our future too. If we do not know the signs, we might be one of the elect that is fooled.

When they got to the edge of the village, they didn’t want to let Him go so they invited Him in since the day was almost done. They must have enjoyed His company. He was teaching them perhaps things they had not known before. So He went with them.

In order for Him to come along side of us or dwell with us, He must be invited, otherwise He will continue on His way. Since He had not yet ascended at this point, He did have other sheep to tend too. But because He was invited, He joined them.

What a delight it will be when He will sit down with all of us and tell us things we do not know of. Even more fun will be the learning of truth; the things that we think we know. To see Him smile at our ignorance will be amusing. I can almost hear the laughter now.

One thing I must note is that Yahushua taught them beginning at Moses. He did not tell them to look for John the apostle and see what he would teach them.  John was  still alive living in Jerusalem and could have. But He didn’t. He taught them, starting from the beginning.

30-31  When He had taken His place at the table with them, He took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. At this point their eyes were opened and they recognized Him. Then He vanished out of their sight.

Wow, it wasn’t until He broke the bread that they actually had their eyes opened. Having their eyes open meant that they recognized Him. Was it a certain gesture in the way they had seen Him break bread before? Was it a casual glance that He gave them? Did they see His nail scarred hands? Was it perhaps the blessing with such authority that they had heard at another time?

And then, just like that; He was gone.

This is one of the saddest parts of my own journey when He let me know that He was going away and that someone else would come to teach me. But eventually my sadness turned to joy once I learned that He would be Christ in me, the hope of glory and that by His Spirit, I would be taught all that He wanted me to know.

In any case, He was gone. Was this His way once again of bringing glory to the Father?

This reminds me of Dusty’s journey in and out of prison. He see’s Him, but in a little while loses sight of Him again. It also reminds me of myself when I walk along life’s path and invite Him into all the details and then every once in awhile, I realize that I have forgotten to verbally request His attention to a matter.

But, He is always there waiting and willing to come and join us and guide us with His eye. All we have to do is ask and He will supply our need, so that His Father in heaven be glorified.

32-35 They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us while He was speaking with us on the road, while He was explaining the scriptures to us?” So they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem. They found the eleven and those with them gathered together and saying, “The Lord has really risen, and has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how they recognized Him when He broke the bread. 

Our hearts do burn when He speaks to us. When we read the scriptures and something opens up, it reminds me of the branding of cattle and how the heat leaves a permanent scar because of the branding iron that was applied. I know for me, there are times in my reading where my heart is set on fire and next thing I know, I am consumed with fire and begin to seek Him to share the details or show me the setting of the table, so to speak.

Little else in this world settles my soul than the knowing that our Father is constantly guiding us and watching over our loved ones and both our brothers and sisters in foreign lands. Not because I want Him too, but because I ask Him too.

These disciples get up and make their way back to Jerusalem to meet up again with their brothers and sisters they had left that very morning. They had a private conference so to speak with the Son of man who had now risen from the grave and they couldn’t wait another minute to share the news.

Earlier when they had bid Him to stay with them, they said that the day was far spent. But now because the fountain of knowledge and the foundation of faith had walked with them for seven miles, they couldn’t wait to walk back those seven miles. I bet they had a bit of a skip in that journey, one I am certain they never forgot.

When they got back to Jerusalem, they found the eleven and those with them gathered together and saying, “The Lord has really risen, and has appeared to Simon!”

The eleven back in Jerusalem had already gotten the news from Simon Peter himself or perhaps someone that had spoken to Simon. We can only imagine what that conversation might have been like. The last time Peter had seen Jesus, He went away crying.

Luke 22:61-62 And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny Me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.

  I think it was very tender of Yahushua to let the angels know to be sure and tell Peter about how His Master had been resurrected. He was very fond of Peter to remember him in such a way as to send word by the presence of angelic beings. [Mark 16:5-7]

Then the two coming back from Emmaus told what had happened on the road, and how they recognized Him when He broke the bread.

It was the breaking of the bread that caused the veil to be lifted from their eyes. They knew Him. They knew right then that they had walked with Him all that way and that He had risen, just as the prophets had said. Oh how their hearts must have pounded with such excitement.

Now they would finish out their days learning that He would set the whole world free from oppression, free from the evils that bound them and would one day deliver them into the Kingdom to come. Now they would learn that the God of all creation would give the promise of eternal life to whosoever believed in Him.

They told their story of what had transpired on their journey. This is what we all do because this is our journey to be shared. This is our testimony of faith that continues to grow. As we go through out our days, we communicate the observations and experiences and our discovery of truth that builds our faith which motivates us to keep moving forward.

Did you know that the city of Emmaus has never been found? There are many disputes about it but no proof has been discovered yet as to where the city was originally. All I can tell you is that it must have had “warm baths” because that is the definition of the Hebrew word Emmaous.

And that’s the thing. I rather like it this way because we can all lay claim to our own journey, just like these seven miles to Emmaus.

I took a photo of this painting by Fritz von Uhde. It is called Meeting on the road to Emmaus. I found it at Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository.

I found a photo of a fella who has taken subsequent photos on his annual visits to Jerusalem but he hasn’t been able to get the city to recognize that it would add to tourism value if they would try to maintain this Roman road, this seven miles to Emmaus, a destination un-known.

Posted in Endurance, FAITH | Leave a comment

The Wee Little Man

Have you ever let your profession serve you with an attitude of greed? Have you ever gone out of your way to elevate yourself in a crowd? Have you ever gone out on a limb, just to see someone you really wanted to see? Have you ever thought more highly of yourself than you aught?

Luke 19:1 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.

 The combination of the two words ‘passed through’ in the Greek is dee-er’-khom-ahee meaning to travel the road which leads ‘through’ a place, go, pass, travel through a region. Yahushua was passing through Jericho.

Have you ever gone out on a limb for Yahushua? Have you ever asked Yahwey to break your heart, for what breaks His?

I’ve experienced forgiveness and I know how good that feels. When we open up our hearts to receive His lovingkindness or when we forgive someone who has hurt us deeply, we know how good that feels too. It’s a healing experience.

Luke tells the reader in verse one that Yahushua was passing through Jericho. There was a man that lived there that badly wanted to see Yahushua and yet he had no idea that this was Yahushua’s final trip to pass through Jericho.

Luke 19:2 And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.

This brief story in the gospel of Luke is a story about a chief tax collector working under the rulers of the Roman Empire.

Zacchaeus lived in Jericho, a customs station on a major trade route. This allowed him to collect the taxes in the region where he lived. Zacchaeus was a wealthy man, but he gained his wealth by defrauding his own people.

Israelites that undertook the office to collect taxes for the Roman rulers were the most despised people in the Israelite communities. They were thought of as traders to their own people. Not only were they serving the oppressive rulers, but they found it easy to abuse the system by exploitation, adding to the top and then skimming off that same top.

Matthew 5:46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans [Tax collectors] do the same?

It was widely known that the tax collectors more often than not were already receiving their reward by taking it on the sly, lining their own pockets for profit.

Maybe Zacchaeus was hated by members of his own family or close relatives that lived there in Jericho. He wasn’t just a tax collector, he was a chief tax collector so he had been at this profession for quite some time. Maybe he had compromised a bunch of relationships on his way to the top.

Loving only those who love us really doesn’t teach us anything. The real lesson comes when we love the unlovable, just like Yahwey loves us. We will learn in this story that even a tax collector can be forgiven.

If Zacchaeus had been caught by the Roman rulers for collecting more than he ought, who knows what could have happened to him. And of course, who knows, perhaps this was how the rulers expected him to earn his own income by adding a burden to the taxes already owed.

Exodus 22: 3 If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.

Under Torah, Zacchaeus could have been sold because of his thievery if he didn’t have enough funds to make a full restitution. I am confident that the Israelites living in Jericho knew Zacchaeus was guilty of violating Torah and perhaps this is why they thought so badly of him.

Exodus 22:1 If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.

A mans earnings were certainly essential wern’t they. If a man stole what was another mans essential, and showed no pity, he would be required to pay it back four fold.

Luke 19:3-4 And he sought to see Jesus who He was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see Him: for He was to pass that way.

Because of the press, the entourage around this fella who was passing through Jericho, Zacchaeus couldn’t see who this fella was and since he was short in stature, he knew that if he was going to get a glimpse of this man, he was going to have to run out ahead of them, give himself enough time to climb up in a nearby tree that he knew this fella would pass by on his way through.

The passage tells us twice in verses three and four that Zacchaeus wanted to ‘see’ Yahushua. It makes me wonder, what he thought he would see and why did Zacchaeus so desperately want to see who He was. Maybe he was just curious what all the fuss was about. Did he want to make sure that this man had paid his taxes? Maybe Zacchaeus heard who was coming and wanted to get a birds eye view of the man he might have heard so many stories about.

Maybe the fella passing through Jericho was famous. Perhaps the reason he climbed up in the tree was because he wanted to be seen by Yahushua too. In all that crowd, since he was a short fella, if he had not climbed the tree, he might not have been seen.

Maybe money and influence are not enough. Maybe Zacchaeus was determined because there was something missing in his life. We really do not know why Zacchaeus wanted to see who was passing through Jericho but we do know that after meeting Yahushua, this mans life is transformed.

When I originally read this passage, it was the fact that Luke mentioned a sycomore tree that first caught my interest.

And why did the Holy Spirit reveal to the reader that it was a sycomore tree? Why not just say that Zacchaeus climbed up into a tree. Was this really a Sycomore tree or was the tree named such for symbolic purpose?

I think what I learned was both fascinating and useful to development of the story.

The Sycamore tree is the height of an elm, and it bears fruit directly on the trunk and boughs. The yellowish fruit has black spots and smells like an ordinary fig, but doesn’t taste near as good as a fig. The book that I read about of its fruit, used the word inferior. It’s almost like this tree bore the kind of fruit that was like an imposter to the more tasty fig.

The large trunk parts into 5 or 6 stout branches not far from the ground, and once planted usually stands firm. Zacchaeus wouldn’t have to climb to awfully high to see above the crowd that surrounded Yahushua.

In the Greek, the Sicamore tree is sukomōraia. (Phonetic: soo-kom-o-rah’-yah)

If we compare this word to the root word for sukaminos (Phonetic: soo-kam’-ee-nos), we find it was called a sycamine tree, having the form and foliage of the mulberry, but fruit resembling the fig. If we look at sukaminos in its Hebrew origin, the sycamine tree is an imitation of a sycamore or fig tree.

The wood from the Sycamore tree is often used for temples and the building structure of auditoriums as well as for making mummy chests or coffins found in perfect condition after more than three thousand years. So it’s a really strong and hard wood.

The book of Amos mentions the Sycomore tree:

Amos 7:14-15 Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit: And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto My people Israel.

This quotation refers to an event which occurred while Amos attended sheep and watched over the important orchards where Sycamore fig trees were planted. When Amos gathered the figs, he would ‘pinch’ them. It is a process necessary to ripen the sycamore figs.

The Psalms has a brief mention of the Sycomore tree too:

Psalms 78:47 He destroyed their vines with hail, and their sycomore trees with frost.

This is only one part of the many things that the God of Israel did to show His power to the children of Israel.

He did all kinds of things to Egypt, turning the rivers to blood so that no one could drink from the streams. He sent swarms of flies to pester the Egyptians and He sent frogs to make a mockery of their idols. And then He did this, He let worms and grasshoppers to devour their crops and He destroyed their grapevines and their fig trees. But the children of Israel continued to rebel and made God sad, as they kept on testing Him.

But the most fascinating thing I learned is the Hebrew word for Sycamore. That word is ‘Shickma‘ which means ‘redemption’ or “regeneration.” I believe this sheds some light on this story, showing the change that was about to come.

Luke 19:5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.

Yahushua looked up. He knew exactly who He was looking for. He had been sent to the find the sheep from the lost house of Israel.

When Yahushua looked up and saw Zacchaeus up in the tree as He was walking along the road, He called on Zacchaeus to ‘come down’ from where he had lofted himself in the sycomore tree. Then He invited Himself to his house.

I find it quite unusual that Yahushua invited Himself to his home. This is not what I have always been told about Yahushua. I have always been told that He was a gentleman and would not impose Himself on us without us inviting Him in. But Yahushua made the first move. It reminds me of the scripture that says,

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. (John 15:18)

The people sure seemed like they didn’t like Zacchaeus. It also reminds me of the time that Yahushua first visited me when I felt un-loved. He made this first move then too.

Sometimes we think we are so un-lovable and we tell ourselves that we could care less. But that is not realistic thinking is it? It’s very painful to think that those you love so much could care less if you lived or died. It’s a very lonesome feeling.

Luke 19:6 And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.

Many of us are missing something from our lives just like Zacchaeus had to know that something was missing from his life. Maybe he wanted more than his stash of wealth. Maybe all that wealth left him so lonely, knowing that deep in his heart all he really needed was someone to love him and show loving kindness to him.

Luke tells the reader that Zacchaeus ‘made haste, and came down, and received Him joyfully’.  I remember the day that I discovered that Yahushua loved me. I was so delighted, I was literally spinning around in our living room.

 Of course Zacchaeus would eagerly come down and joyfully receive this man of great stature and obvious fame to his house. And didn’t he look good today and all those others look like fools. He was important after all. This fella passing through Jericho that everyone was making such a fuss over was coming to his house.

This is the same thing that happens to us when we first receive Yahushua to live in our heart, our house. We come down from our lofty selves with humility and we receive Him with great anticipation and joy.

I remember being stunned and delighted and then I began to weep because I couldn’t believe that He would love me so much, that He would come to our home when I was feeling so desperate and alone, just to let me know that He loved me and cared about me.

Here I was a lost sheep and He found me in all that horrible messed up confused state of mind, knowing that all I wanted was to die and to get out from all of that great pain. And all He wanted was to just share His love with me because somehow, He saw potential in me too.

Luke 19:7 And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, “That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.”

Who are the ‘they’ in this text? I can only assume they were the press, the casual collection of peoples that were following Yahushua.

Who ever ‘they’ were, they were complaining amongst themselves because Yahushua was going to be a guest in the home of a sinner. A sinner is person that is not free from sin. Arn’t we all? We have free will to make the choices that we do. We are quite capable of sin but with the help of the Holy Spirit, more often than not, we make the right choices.

Who ever ‘they’ were, ‘they’ were certainly judging but who exactly were they making this judgment against? Yahushua for going or Zacchaeus just for being who he was?

And who was Zacchaeus? The towns people referred to Him as a ‘sinner’ even though Zakchaios means pure in the Greek. His name stems from the Hebrew name of Zakkay which means means ‘pure or righteous’, innocent. Up until this point, this fella sure wasn’t living up to his name was he?

Because we read that this fella is small in stature, one can assume that most people would look down on him and they surely did but it probably wasn’t because of his stature.

Those who murmured about Yahushua going to the house of a sinner might have looked down on Zacchaeus but it sounds to me that Yahushua knew exactly where Zacchaeus was and the potential of this wee little man.

When Yahushua looked up, He found Zacchaeus hanging out in a Sycamore tree; clutching on the branches of this curious tree that combines the characteristics of both a fig and a mulberry and yet a tree that symbolizes repentance.

On a side note, there were eight Mulberry Trees in the mountains of Sinai but there are only six still around. They are there to provide fruit for everyone who passes by, and these trees are still very popular at a certain time of the year.

Luke 19:8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.”

Yahushua never asked Zacchaeus about his sin. He never even hinted at it.

Luke records that Zacchaeus stood. In the midst, standing there before his guest, he weighed himself in the balance. He stood before a king and didn’t even know it.

A long time ago, Yahwey spoke through the mouth of the prophet Hosea : For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of Elohim more than burnt offerings. ~ Hosea 6:6

Here in this story, Yahushua never said a word about the physical steps or the outward signs of obedience that Zacchaeus needed to take.

But we must keep in mind that when Yahwey said that He desired mercy and not sacrifice, He never said that He did not want the sacrifice. Why would He? He would have never instructed that there were to be sacrificial offerings in the flesh of animals if He did not require them. He still required them. He just requires the other MORE. He still does.

And what is mercy? Goodness, kindness, faithfulness and favor towards one another. Yahwey always did desire goodness, lovingkindness and faithfulness because that’s the kind of God we serve. That is who He is. This is the knowledge of Elohim that He desired along side of His mercy.

Yahwey wants us to recognize Him and the glory of who He is. He wants us to see Him, the way that He sees us… made in His image. Just like Zacchaeus wanted to see who this man was, Yahushua wanted to be seen for who He is too. He represents the God of all creation. God desires that we recognize Him more than what we have to offer.

Truly, we have nothing to offer except that we lay down ourselves as a living sacrifice.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

 Yahushua’ mercy was demonstrated by showing His favor on Zacchaeus and not saying a single thing except to come down and be quick about it because I am on My way to your house. There isn’t much time left when the day of salvation has come.

His goodness and lovingkindness was in the mere fact that He was going to the house of a man that others showed disdain for.

What exactly did Zacchaeus vow?

“Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.”

Zacchaeus volunteered to impose upon himself to pay back the fourfold required by Torah for the violation of the law, according to the acts that he had committed.

Not only that, but Zacchaeus promises to take half of his own belongings that he no doubt purchased with his exploits of skimming off the top. Now, he had a change of heart and was going to give all that to the poor.

While the two of them visited, Zacchaeus vowed to make amends to those that he had violated and promised to pay back four fold. This was basically his way of paying penance and thus fulfilling the law that required a man who stole showing no pity, to fully repent acknowledging his heartless behavior.

All those years of swindling had caught up to Zacchaeus and now his heart yearned for a change. Repentance had come and so had Salvation come to be received joyfully.

Luke 19: 9-10 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

 We learn in this passage that Zacchaeus was one of the lost sheep from the house of Israel that Yahushua had been sent to find. Yahushua, which means ‘salvation’, had invited Himself to Zacchaeus’s house.

After meeting Yahushua, this mans whole life is transformed. Yahushua responded by saying that “today, salvation has come to this house.” Surely, salvation had come and not just passed Zacchaeus by. Salvation had stopped and recognized this wee little man.

Luke’s theme in this passage is that sinners who display a penitent heart are more worthy than the self professing pious persons who called Zacchaeus a sinner. They didn’t lift a finger to help Zacchaeus turn from his chosen profession and stop stealing more than he was supposed to collect; but Yahushua did.

 

The message in this passage is simple but yet so hard for so many people to grasp about the whole of what is written in the Bible.  The love and forgiveness given to mankind is from a God who loves His creation and only wants to become the Father to a family who will love Him and one another and to reap the rewards of His tender affection.

 

Yahushua showed the love of God to everyone He met. We should all make haste and come down from our lofty places and do the same. If we are to re-present Yahushua, then we too must receive Yahushua joyfully and turn from our wicked lifestyle and follow Him, so that He can abide in our house, [Our heart] and that we may abide in Him too, thereby becoming the family of God.

 

John 15:4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me.

Here was this short man, a lost sheep, hanging out in the branches of a Sycomore tree, waiting to see a man who would bring salvation, not only to his home, but to all the world.

 

 Jeremiah 50:6 “My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have allow them to go astray. They have wandered around in the mountains. They have roamed from one mountain and hill to another. They have forgotten their resting place.

 

Zacchaeus did come down from the tree and his life was changed from that day forward. Zacchaeus truly was one of the lost sheep, a descendant of Abraham; but he was lost no more. He had found his resting place in Salvation.

Zacchaeus was now placed under Yahwey’s care and set aside for the glory of the LORD. Now He would bear the fruit of the One who stopped by, long enough to recognize him.

 

Psalms 27:4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in His temple.

 

Like Zacchaeus, salvation will come to us and our house once we arise from the grave. We will enter the kingdom of God, ready to begin the eternal life in the house of the LORD.

 

Just how badly do you want to see the Creator of all things? Are you willing to repent and acknowledge His mercy and lovingkindness. He wants to get to know you in ways that will astound you. He loves you and wants ‘you’ to get to know and love Him too.

 

Remember what Yahushua said?

 

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. ~ John 15:18

 

Think about that for a minute. The man who died to save all humanity knows what it feels like to be hated. He wants us to know that.

 

He wants us to know what that feels like because then we will know the difference between good and evil. Hate is evil.

 

 There is NOTHING we could ever do to make anyone love us… but He loves the world so much that He was willing to die even for those who hate Him.

 

That’s the God that I serve. That’s the beauty of the LORD that I behold – Pure, Righteous, Loving and Kind.

On a side note: This year is the birthday of Jericho.  I could not find a confirmed age of its city since its rebirth, but there is an ancient Sycamore Tree in the city that is about to be the star attraction of the city of Jericho.

 

 

 

Posted in "SCRIPTURE THOUGHTS", REPENTANCE | Leave a comment

Is There A Problem With Alcohol?

I began this morning to study the word cockatrice. This is the first verse in the Bible where that word is mentioned. My study took on a whole new life of its own. You would have to read the whole chapter to see why it went into alcohol.

Proverbs 23:32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. {an…: or, a cockatrice}

Some folks say, “All things in moderation.” Well, yes that is fine but if one cannot recognize that there is a problem, they do not know when to quit.

Alcohol hurts the body in many respects. It impairs the rigour of the mind, creating a harshness when dealing with people. Alcohol wastes the reputation, wounds the conscience, and, without repentance, will destroy the soul. The acute miseries resulting from drunkenness can be compared with the temptation to drink more. And then there is the day after when most folks wake up and really regret what they have done to themselves but rarely think about what they might have said or done to others.

Alcohol works much like a poison in the veins. It is like getting bitten by a serpent who renders a disease that is hard to cure.

Song of Solomon 7:9 And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.

Yep you have probably already heard that when one is intoxicated, the intoxicated one tends to flow pretty heavily from the mouth, revealing things they might not otherwise reveal when sober.

When drinking aged wine or alcohol, one tends to be comforted and edified at first because it really does dull the senses.

It occurred to me to write the following poem:

The Pooretry of Alcohol by Eudora

Those who intend to drink more than they ought are only fools creating their own sorrow. The exchange of woes come, cannot be taken back when we awaken on the marrow.

The flood gates of contention, rise to the occasion; yet passion and drunkenness frays. The eyes grow unruly and deceive the true beauty; leaving us with that red eyed gaze.

Scurrilous language exchanged, cutting deep; causing pain. Our conscience seared, we have lost it. Stupefied, compromised, we cannot control and all virtue is no longer fit.

Alcohol is oil to the fire of lust. The tongue speaks strange things we cannot trust. Mental ability is all incoherent. Words contrary to reason, no matter what season, is perverse and with no deterrent.

The ashamed speak nonsense while the body becomes intense with rolling waves of uncommonly quiet. Then up comes the judgment, in a consistence of dog poop as the head yearns to rest for the night.

The swaying, the terrors are all laid before us, persistent and mischief at best. The morning is the worst because on comes the thirst because we’ve given into this test.

O the precious the hours which one throws away, every one of which will be brought to account on that great day. When we awaken to His grace, and look into His face and give account for our alcoholic ways.

Note: When one is controlled by alcohol, one ought to take heed and take control of the environment where alcohol presents itself.

Perhaps attending special occasions at the tail end, rather than the beginning; so that time only allows for one drink, lest one be overcome by the temptation to drink more.

Hope this tip is helpful. Happy Holidaze…. 🙂

Posted in My Poems and Yours | Leave a comment

One Law For All Nations ~ by Eudora

Deuteronomy 31:9-13 And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and unto all the elders of Israel. And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles, When all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which He shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law: And that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.

Every seven years in the year of release, the law was to be read aloud so that all Israel and those strangers in the camp dwelling with the Israelites would hear the Torah read to them. In this way, the Instructions would be shared and handed down with every generation.

Every seven years, those that had already heard Torah could review it and be reminded and those that had not heard it would now hear the Instructions of Hashem so that they could observe to do all the words of this law.

Their faith would be built upon the hearing of the law being read aloud. By delivering a copy both to the priests and the elders, the Torah would be entrusted to their care and custody, so that it could be guarded and not be lost.

In the New Testament, once the council had met together long after Yahushua had come and gone having been resurrected; Luke wrote that, ‘For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day.’ ~ Acts 15:21

The idea here is that the Gentiles would be encouraged to attend Sabbath gatherings in the synagogues so that they could hear the Torah being read from the scrolls in every city, just like they had been read Torah every seven years during the Feast of Tabernacles when all Israel came to appear before the LORD.

It is the will of God that all people should acquaint themselves with His word. It is a rule to all, and therefore should be read to all. It is His Law that was given unto Moses to share with all who lived in the camp and read aloud for their hearing every seven years.

The law itself is an expression of God’s grace. But the fullness of the law was not revealed until Yahushua came. He is the extension of God’s law, which is grace and truth. Ergo the scripture : John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

In the year that the land rested, is when the Torah was read aloud. Israel and those sojourning with them were suppose to hear and then ‘do’ the law according to God’s command and obey it.

A stranger was a temporary inhabitant, a newcomer lacking inherited rights, a foreigner. The word stranger in this text is the Hebrew word gêr, pronounced ‘gare’.

This annual event was a means to reflect His glory and draw all the nations to worship the one, true Hashem. By doing so at the Feast of Tabernacles, they would make the reading and hearing of the Law a pleasure and thereby the matter of their rejoicing.  

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear Elohim, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

This is not the whole duty of a Jew. This is the reason Yahushua had to fulfill the Torah. Torah is Yahwey’s Instruction for man. It was Yahushua’s duty as a man, not as a Jew. It is the duty of all man to do the same, following in the same path as Yahushua.

The word Torah comes from the word Yarah which means to aim for, direction or take aim, or mark, like an arrow aiming for a mark. 

What is the purpose of the Law?

Deuteronomy 4:5-8 Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as יהוה my Elohim commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath Elohim so nigh unto them, as יהוה our Elohim is in all things that we call upon him for?

The idea was that once the gêr had learned the Torah while abiding in the land, if he or she moved on, they would continue to observe the instructions of the God of Israel the rest of their days, thereby sharing it where ever they traveled in other nations.

Elohim’s purposes for the law was to run His government, to keep law and order, punish criminals, fund the welfare program, support the government officials [The priests, the sons of Levi], provide maintenance for the government buildings, for health and prosperity both personal and national, for shadows of good things to come, for agricultural enhancement and for remembrance of sin.

 The law was never designed to forgive anyone of their sin. Yahwey set His nation up with these very wise laws. If Israel obeyed Elohim’s laws, other nations would have looked at their health and prosperity and known that Israel was following the true Elohim.

Deuteronomy 4:40 Thou shalt keep therefore His statutes, and His commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the earth, which יהוה thy Elohim giveth thee, for ever.

FOREVER still means forever.

We must learn, that we may fear God, that is, that we may be duly affected with divine things; and must fear God, that we may observe and do the words of His law; for in vain do we pretend to fear Him if we do not obey Him.

Leviticus 23:40 And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.

This verse explains that the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles is spent building the sukkah and the how to of building a sukkah to live in for the seven days. This teaches us that Yah provides for all of our needs. He planted the trees to be used in the building of the sukkah on the third day of creation.

The rest of the seven days of this week is to be spent in rejoicing. This is just the one explanation of how Yahwey wants His people to celebrate and keep His feasts, this one being the Feast of Tabernacles.

Leviticus 23:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of יהוה, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are My feasts.

They are ‘His’ feasts, not the Jewish feasts. The Instructions of how to celebrate the feasts were given to the Israelites. All the feast days are part of the Law that was read aloud to all the Israelites and the gêr in the camp, every seven years.

Genesis 1:14 And Elohim said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

Seasons is a Hebrew word translated from moade, meaning an appointed time or place.Yahwey’s seasons have been written for a long time. These are His appointments that He wants His people to keep.

Do you want to be at the wedding of Messiah? Then why wouldn’t you want to be at the dress rehersal? This is why you might be seeing or hearing about Gentiles [gêr] celebrating and observing the Feasts in your community. These people have learned this truth and have become Torah observant.

The body of Christ the Messiah [church] is supposed to be provoking the Israelites to jealousy. When we begin to celebrate God’s Holy Days, the Israelites see us observing and celebrating His goodness in His appointed seasons provokes them because they think that these holy days are only for them; the Israelites. They have been taught wrongly, just like the gêr have been wrongly taught that the holy days are not for the Gentiles.

When the church celebrates only Paganism, we only provoke the Israelites to anger and confusion.

Yahushua did not ask us to celebrate His birth or His death. Yahwey didn’t either. But we have all been called to ‘do’ His law.

Exodus 12:49 One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.

This is where the word Torah comes from. It is the Hebrew word for ‘law’.The word ‘law’ in this text is from the Hebrew H8451

One [H259] law [H8451] shall be to him that is homeborn [H249], and unto the stranger [H1616] that sojourneth [H1481] among [H8432]] you.

Original word is : תּרה תּורה

Transliteration: tôrâh. Phonetically pronounced : to-raw

It is God’s law, direction, instruction (human or divine), body of prophetic teaching, instruction in Messianic age, body of priestly direction or instruction, body of legal directives, law of the burnt offering, codes of law, custom, manner of the Deuteronomic or often referred to as the Mosaic Law.

There is one law for the homeborn [ezrâch, the native Israelite born in the land] and the very same law for the stranger [gêr] that temporarily lived in the land with the Israelites, assembled with them or dwelled with the Israelites.

Revelation 22:14 Blessed are they that ‘do’ [poieō] His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

We have to make ourselves ready, to prepare, to do something out of something.》poieō

Without our works, our faith is dead so it is evident that we must use the law of faith. We must put our faith into action.

Yahushua said to strive to enter in the straight gait. Why?

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 

Not many people are willing to walk in obedience to the whole truth of the word of God. This is why ‘few’ find the straight gait because the way to the straight gait is a road less traveled.

One of the most important ideas found in the New Testament is that God expects His people to obey Him, and this is what is meant by the Greek word that appears in most translations as righteousness.

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

It is clear that the Old Testament scriptures we’re very important to the people in the New Testament. In the book of Matthew, believers knew that there faith in Yahushua the Messiah, was well anchored in the Old Testament scriptures and to help them grow and have faith just like Abraham.

The Kingdom of God is the rule and reign of how God wants things to be on earth, as it is and heaven. The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of heaven are unanimous, they are the same.

When we put His will ‘first’ in our lives, doing the things that He expects of us, then the other things that He desires for us, will fall into place and they will become our desires too.

Yahushua said that the Kingdom of Heaven is it hand. That means that we can reach out and grab it.

Matthew 4:17 From that time Yahushua began to preach, and to say, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

But, what does repent mean? Repentance means a change in decision, a change in direction and a change in dimension.

The physical and visual signs of someone who has repented and changed their direction are signs of compassion, a desire to put others above themselves, a desire to make the world a better place just because of who lives with-in us and not because of who we are, but who we are becoming, in the image of Elohim.

In His miracle ministry, Yahushua proved how present the Kingdom was. He showed signs of compassion and healed people’s needs. He showed that the darkness could be overcome. He showed that a prayer life is an imperative part of reality, in a daily existence.

And Yahushua went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And His fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto Him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and He healed them. ~ Matthew 4:23-24

In the Kingdom of God everything is challenged. Weakness becomes the new strong. The poor in spirit become rich in faith simply because Yahushua overcame the powers of darkness.

Remember that you wear inside of you a LIFE jacket. There will be no place that you will drown ‘if’ you keep your anchor in Yahushua.

Seek His Kingdom and His righteousness. Stop stressing about everything else and make these two things your top priority and everything else will be provided and fall into place.

In prayer, when we seek His kingdom, we are seeking His will because in His kingdom, everything with-in His kingdom, will be done as He desires.

When we pray, this is how we aught to do, is pray for His will in our life. What is it He wants from me? Asking Him, “What do You want to show me?” Or “Father, what are Your needs today?”

We have not because we ask not….

A burden for a city? A burden for a country? A burden for a person in our community? A star? A musician? A prophet or a man who is speaking the word of Yah? A person who is changing the lives of the elderly like Rabbi Estien? My Father will show me on any given day who He wants me to pray for.

Then, as I stand before Him, my troubles or worries or maybe my concerns become smaller and yet He knows all of my needs.

As I walk out His desires in my life, like observing His Holy days and His Torah, I am already seeking His righteousness.

Because I am centered in His Kingdom and righteous will for my life, all my needs are met.

When we give our entire attention to what our Father is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow, our Father will deal with whatever hard things come, whenever they come.

Keeping our mind stayed on Him, will keep us in perfect peace. We do this by continually seeking His kingdom and His righteousness.

The Kingdom of God is not yet fully established yet.

Mark 9:1 And He said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of יהוה come with power.

If we do not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, (with child like faith) we won’t be able to enter the kingdom.

Mark 10:15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of יהוה as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

The mysteries of the kingdom are not meant or given to everyone so that they will understand. To some, they might not ever know.

Luke 8:10 And He said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of יהוה: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

When we see all the signs that have been given to us that speak to the end of all things, as we know it, we can know for a certainty that the Kingdom of God is about to begin it’s spiritural everlasting era. I for one, can hardly wait.

Luke 21:31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of יהוה is nigh at hand.

Luke 22:18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of יהוה shall come.

When Yahushua said these words and I read them, it makes me think of the Passover that we will share with Him in the kingdom.

When the kingdom of God becomes manifest, Yahushua will drink of the vine with us.

SEE John 3:5

I often wonder what people think when they read or hear the following:

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.”

It was Yahushua who said this and His words were recorded by Matthew found in chapter 6:33.

My first thought was, where do I seek His righteousness? But we gotta remember that the New Testament wasn’t written when He said this. He didn’t even say to seek My righteousness. He said to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. So where would one look to seek His righteousness?

There is only one obvious answer.

We can’t amend our laws to make men righteous, we must follow God’s laws

to do that.

Psalms 119:172 My tongue shall speak of Thy word: for all Thy commandments are righteousness.

Yes…. you got it..

A L L Thy commandments are righteousness.

As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about His people from henceforth even for ever. ~ Psalm 125:2

Let Him surround you in perfect peace.

Just as a starting point, have you ever wondered why Yahwey shared the seventh day Sabbath with all creation?

Moreover also I gave them My sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them. ~ Ezekiel 20:12

That word ‘sanctify’ in the Hebrew is ‘qâdash’ pronounced kaw-dash meaning to consecrate, to prepare, dedicate, be hallowed, be holy , be separate, or to be set apart.

Have you ever seen anyone use these two words together;

rûach qâdash or Ruach Ko’desh?

It means the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who teaches us and prepares us to be righteous so that when Yahushua presents us before the Father, we will be holy santified, ready for service in the Kingdom of our great God.

When the Israelites gathered in the seventh year to hear the Torah read to them, they would gather ‘within thy gates’. Both the Israelite homeborn and the gêr were gathered at the entrance of the tabernacle.

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. He gave us His Sabbath as a sign so that when we observe this day every week, setting it aside to be remembered and kept holy, we might know that He is LORD.

It is when I began to observe the seventh day Sabbath, that my life began to become supernaturally changed. My Father became the super in my natural and I began to know Him as LORD over my daily existence.

Gather on Sabbath.

It is a sign between Him and us. I believe that when we do, we are gathering at the entrance of His Kingdom to come when we will tabernacle with Him for all eternity. Your heart will always be where your treasure is.

Posted in The Teachings of God | Leave a comment

The Abundant Sound of Rain

 

1st Kings 18:41 And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.

At the time of this event, there had not been any rain for three and a half years. Everything was brown and dried. There was no vegetation, and I’m sure the animals were looking very thin. If you’ve ever lived in drought, you might have an idea of what they were looking at. You can just imagine how hard it was to live in this era, with harsh famine in the land.

So you can also imagine what Ahab might have been thinking. We haven’t had rain for three and a half years and now you tell me that you hear the sound of rain? And it wasn’t just a mild sound of rain that the prophet Elijah heard; it was a sound of an ‘abundant rain’.

 

 

How did the prophet have the ears of faith for an abundance of rain?

Well let’s look at the first sentence in this same chapter. 1st Kings 18:1 And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.

When He made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder:
~ Job 28:26

Elijah had the word of the LORD that if he would go before the king [Ahab] that He would send rain. So Elijah sent a fellow prophet by the name of Obadiah to have the king come and meet with Elijah.

So Elijah waited and did present himself to Ahab giving him the message that an abundance of rain was about to come even though Ahab had brought all the trouble of the drought upon the land of Israel because they had ignored the commandments of God and bowed themselves to a false God by the name of Baalim. This all happened after Elijah made a fool of a whole bunch of false prophets.

Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.
~ Proverbs 25:14

Ahab did see the rains come that Elijah had boldly prophesied about. But the sound of the abundance of rain was heard by the prophet because he believed in the word and the promise of the LORD.

Have you called upon God, asking Him for a special word? If you did, would you act in bold faith believing in that promise to come? Elijah did and he is really no different that you or me. If God gives us a specific promise, He will deliver on that promise and we can count on it with out wavering.

We just gotta remember that we cannot lean on our own understanding of how we think that promise may reveal itself.

Elijah heard the sound of the abundance of rain before it manifested itself. Are you listening for the sound of God moving His hand upon your life to deliver a promise given to you? Are you watching with an open heart and open eyes to see what He is about to do? Get ready because when the LORD makes a promise…. He will deliver.

Who giveth rain upon the earth, and sendeth waters upon the fields: ~ Job 5:10

Stand in faith, kneel in thankfulness believing in the promise.

Posted in Encouragement | Leave a comment