Christian based commentaries and observations.

Quote of Note

Billy Graham's Prayer For Our Nation

: 'Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance.
We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done.

We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.

We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.

We have killed our unborn and called it choice.

We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem.

We have abused power and called it politics.

We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition.

We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.

We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and Set us free.
: Amen!'

Who is Jesus


Sunday, April 13, 2008

America in the Tribulation

If you have studied anything at all involving Biblical End Times Prophecy then you cannot but help think that we are caught in that event horizon, increasing speed, headed down the vortex. Have you ever thought of how particularly bad it will be for America. Jesus said the the end would be like a "woman in labor". Those birth pains get closer together and more intense. Doesn't it seem like the news media is reporting diaster events in waves the last few years. Doesn't it seem like the diasters are getting more intense.
There is a principle in the Bible that does not bode well for America: the greater the revalation of God's glory the greater and swifter the judgement. Think of the those who had great revelations of God's glory and therefore the greatest evidence to know that he is God, worthy of all obedience and worship. There was:
Adam and Eve - they knew God and walked with him in the Garden. Their sin resulted in immediate knowledge of impending death, and banishment from idyllic life. They saw all sorts of evils and strife enter into humanity (their children and grand children, because of them).
Korah and his followers(Numbers chap 16)- Here were men who witnessed all of the miracles of the Exodus from Egypt and the pillar of cloud by day, the pillar of fire by night. They saw the manna and the quail. They saw the Tabernacle and its dedication where the "Glory of the Lord" came down and filled the place, and the priest could not stand to minister. The result of their rebellion was to be swallowed up by the ground and fall into the Abyss. The judgement was immediate and severe.
Achan (Joshua chap7)- he kept some of the plunder from Jericho. As a result 36 men died trying to take Ai, and Achan was later stoned.
Judas Iscariot - he saw daily the Lord Jesus, the miracles and heard the revelation of Jesus teaching. At his betrail Satan entered him. He had no peace, hung himself (Matt 27;5), he burst open and all his intestines spilled out (Acts 1:18)
Ananias and Sapphira (Acts chap 5)They saw the glory of Pentacost, the miracles, and the growth of the Church. They lied about a gift to the Holy Spirit and fell dead!

Now the Plymouth Pilgrims established a foothold America on the desire to worship God in the way they saw right. Their Coming to America was not unlike the Crossing of the Jordan river into the Promised Land by the Jews, or the escape by Noah and his family. They helped by Indians that could have simply killed them all. Later Jamestown was founded by an order from the Queen to establish a colony and "evangelize" the Indians. It is impossible to study early American history all the way up to the Presidency of George Washington and not see the miraculous hand of God in creating this nation. There after the U.S. has been blessed with wealth and power beyond any nation on Earth. How many songs have been written about the Glory the God has bestowed on America.
Which is better miracles or blessing? They are both a gift of God and evidence of God's Glory. A miracle is and immediate fix to a pressing problem and does give a revelation of God's glory but, if you are in blessing you don't need the miracle. If you are in a land flowing with milk and honey you don't need manna and quail falling from the sky? This has been the glory of God for America, it has been miracles in establishment and blessing in sustenance.
Now almost a majority of America has failed to take the time to see and remember God's glory and rejected him. Our society resembles those that God destroyed in the Old Testament and that of Pagan Rome. Imagine the judgement that will take place in America when the Church has been removed and the Tribulation has begun. At Korah's rebellion God commanded Moses to, "separate himself from the Assembly of the people" , Moses interceded for the people and told them to, "separate themselves from the tents of Korah and his followers". Then the ground opened up and swallowed the rebellious. This nation is being divided in many aspects and issues but all of the division seems to relate to one's stance on morality. The wheat and the tares are easily distinguishable now. Isn't the coming Rapture like the separation before the judgement?
Imagine the best and kindest 50,000,000 people taken out of our population. A high percentage of the military, a higher pecentage of the farmers families, any government offical, judge, or law officer that has ethics to do faith in God, etc. The chaos and upheaval will be greater here than anywhere else.
This American generation is pampered and narcissist. When the shortages, famines, anarchy, and economic collapse come they will suffer more than those who are used to poverty. Those who have grown up in this blessed land and seen the best of God's glory will have the hardest and most severe time in the Tribulation. Not only will the hand of God be against them but also the hand of man. The World hates us. They will not change their attitude instantaneously just because the Christians are gone.
The first thing I see is an ecomonic colapse. Imagine what the Stock market will do when 5o million people and their economic contribution evaporates into thin air. The banking industry will also take a hit when 10 million or more families are not their to pay their mortgages, credit cards, and car payments. Retail takes another hit, as well as property values and rents (think 10,000,000 or more vacant houses!!!). The whole ecomonomic situation spirals downward at blazing speed. The rest of the world, with lower population losses, is not hit as hard and moves in like sharks to kill the wounded prey. The euro takes over completely and the dollar is worthless with inflation escalating into triple digits and greater. The supply of foreign goods dries up instantly and there are shortages.
What an anarchy this will create in the streets. If there aren't enough troops to restore order foreign troops will be brought in. America will once again be a colony of Europe and serve it. America will be quickly stripped bare and left to die naked in the streets!!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Uncover His Feet

Uncover his Feet

RU 3:1 One day Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, "My daughter, should I not try to find a home for you, where you will be well provided for? 2 Is not Boaz, with whose servant girls you have been, a kinsman of ours? Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. 3 Wash and perfume yourself, and put on your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don't let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do."

When I read this for the first time with more than just a passing interest, I was doing a study on the women of the Bible. I wanted a deeper more intimate understanding of what it meant to be “the bride of Christ”. So, I studied the brides of the Bible; Eve, Sarah, David’s Abigail and Bath-Sheba, Proverbs Chap 31, Ester, and Ruth.
Now I believe that scripture speaks to us at different levels. The ancient Jews would get a word from prophet or man of God and study it to see what it meant for the Jews, past, present, and future. Thus, when Jesus spoke, in matt 9:7, he mocked the Pharisees saying, “..but go and learn what this means…”. We know that there are three parts of Man made in the image, likeness, and glory, of the triune God. It seems that scripture speaks to all three parts of man. It is as if when God speaks all three parts are speaking at once in unison, at three different levels. As for the Jews remember he is unchanging, Past present and future, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Now remember that at Pentecost each man heard the “Good News” each in his own language. I think it is the same today that God speaks to each man through his word. The unifying criteria is that all scripture and all understandings must be congruent with all other scripture. It is the rule of non-contradiction. I believe it with all my heart. And can argue it to the death. Scripture is like fine poetry. You have to study the author and know something about him, know the meaning of his symbolism and the times he lived in. Then you can begin to see what he saw when he wrote, and understand what he was trying to say. That is “If” he is a “good” poet and stays in character. Your God is unwavering : he always stays in character. The more we know him, and get a brighter glimpse of him, the greater the revelation of his word.
Now I spoke of 6 dimensions of scripture: past, present, future, body, soul, and spirit. In the Bible the number 7 is a number of completion. In 2 Co chap3, Paul talks about Moses and the veil, how he had to cover his face with a veil to hide the reflected glory of the Lord from the people. In verse 18 he says,“ But we all, with open (uncovered) face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are all being changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
See we have not yet been made perfect and don’t see fully, in the mirror, the image of Christ staring back at us. That will not take place until we see him face to face. In the mean time layers of the veil are being pealed away “from glory to glory“. But then, when we see him we shall see all and know all. I believe that seeing the Living Word, in full revelation, is the seventh dimension of scripture! When we are there in his presence looking into his face, THAT we be a revelation.
Now back to Ruth..

RU 1:1 In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. 2 The man's name was Elimelech, his wife's name Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.

RU 1:3 Now Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. 4 They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, 5 both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.

RU 1:6 When she heard in Moab that the LORD had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, Naomi and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. 7 With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah.

RU 1:8 Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go back, each of you, to your mother's home. May the LORD show kindness to you, as you have shown to your dead and to me. 9 May the LORD grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband."
Then she kissed them and they wept aloud 10 and said to her, "We will go back with you to your people."

RU 1:11 But Naomi said, "Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands? 12 Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me--even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons-- 13 would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has gone out against me!"

RU 1:14 At this they wept again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-by, but Ruth clung to her.

RU 1:15 "Look," said Naomi, "your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her."

RU 1:16 But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me." 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.
From that passage we should notice that there was something about Character Naomi, her husband, and Sons, that spoke so strongly to Ruth that she was won over to God and the Jewish people. She insisted on leaving her own people and home land to be with them. Isn’t that how a “living witness” is supposed to work: a beacon of light in a dark world pointing the way to the one true God!

Notice also, in verse 1, there was a great famine in the Land. Elimelech “went to live for a while in Moab” Now the Jews were not supposed to do this and they were not supposed to marry foreign wives. Naomi correctly ascertains that, “God’s hand had gone out against her” She purposes to go back to where she belongs. After hearing that God “had visited his people and provided food for them. (One has to wonder if this was a reenactment of the manna and the quail. ) God provides for his people in the place that they are supposed to be.
Look no farther than the example of Elijah. Elijah was told twice to go to a certain place and he would be provided for THERE

1KI 17:2 Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: 3 "Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. 4 You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you THERE."

1KI 17:5 So he did what the LORD had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.

1KI 17:7 Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. 8 Then the word of the LORD came to him: 9 "Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay THERE. I have commanded a widow in THAT PLACE to supply you with food."
Are you in the right place? Are your needs , spiritual and physical, being provided for, or are you being told to “go there”?

Now Naomi and Ruth go back to Judah and there Ruth is allowed to glean the grain that is left behind in a field owned by Boaz. This was provided for in the Laws of Moses . They were allow to pass through the fields one time harvesting and to leave the rest for the poor. Boaz knows that Ruth is Naomi’s daughter -in-law and dumps an extra scoop or two into Ruth’s pouch. Naomi seeing that Ruth has found favor in Boaz’s eyes, and knowing that Boaz is a kinsman gives Ruth some commands. She tells Ruth where to find him and what to do. Each one of these commands is a command of redemption for Ruth, the Jews, the church, and each of us personally. Sometime look at the book of Ester and see how closely Ester’s preparation to go into the King's chambers matches the commands of Naomi to Ruth.

3 Wash and perfume yourself, and put on your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don't let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do."

“ Wash and perfume yourself, and put on your best clothes:
In the Tabernacle and later the Temple there was first the door. It was the only way in. Jesus said, “ I am the way…” Next was the alter of sacrifice. Jesus was the sacrificial Lamb. Then came the “pool” or “Sea” it was where the priests washed off before going into the inner room, and up to the Curtain of the Holy of Holies, where they made intersession for the sins of the people. The Pool was like a mirror it was a place of reflection, of looking at oneself . The thought captured is to reflect on the inner man and see what God sees.
The perfume is to cover the smell of the flesh. A smell the God does not like. It is not the odor that he hates. It is the works and sin of the flesh that “stinketh” to him. For the Priests in the temple the perfume is the burning of incense. For us it is the thanksgivings, prayers and praise that, “are a sweet smell in the nostrils of the Lord” In putting on humility ,giving thanks, praying, and praising, we first suppress the flesh and begin to enter the spirit.
The “best clothes” we can put on is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our “garment of righteousness “

“Go down to the threshing floor…”:
The threshing floor is where the grains are separated from the stalks. It is the final phase of the harvest. It is where the “fruit” is given up. “Wait until he is finished eating and drinking” this is like the ritual of the group fellowship”

“Take note of where he lies down”:
This reminds me of the joke, not so funny, of the man who moved to a new town and needs to find a new church to go to. As he is driving through the town he is praying and sees a beautiful, large church on the corner in the center of town. He asks the Lord, “ is that a good church?” the reply comes back from God, “I don’t know. I’ve never been there”
The one wishing to be redeemed must seek him and take note of where he is. Psalm 27 is a Psalm of David. David became the grandson of Ruth through her redemption by Boaz , it says,”

PS 27:4 One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.

PS 27:5 For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock.
PS 27:6 Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the LORD.

PS 27:7 Hear my voice when I call, O LORD;
be merciful to me and answer me.

PS 27:8 My heart says of you, "Seek his face!"
Your face, LORD, I will seek.

PS 27:9 Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
O God my Savior.

PS 27:10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
the LORD will receive me.

PS 27:11 Teach me your way, O LORD;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.

PS 27:12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
breathing out violence.

PS 27:13 I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.

PS 27:14 Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.

“Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do“:

It was this command that got me going on this whole thing. “Uncover his feet”! Whatever for? What did that mean? My Spirit was telling me that there was something more to this passage, and it would not let me go. I thought, was the cold supposed to wake him up, or what? A few day later on Sunday we were all worshipping when it hit me: the women who uncovered Jesus’ feet.

There was the woman who suffered from moderate hemophilia. She was unclean because of her issue of blood and not even suppose to be in the city. She had spent all she had on doctors. She waited until after the dinner (Matt 9:10). Fought her way through the crowds of people pressing around Jesus, pushed her way down to the bottom edge of his cloak, reached out grabbed hold of it, and caught a glimpse of those beautiful feet. Putting together the accounts, from Matthew chapter 9, and Luke chapter 8, reads like this. (Notice that Jairus also fell at Jesus Feet. His daughter was raised from the dead.)

MT 9:10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples….Luke8:41 Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus' feet, pleading with him to come to his house 42 because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her… Matt 9:21 She said to herself, "If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed."…Luke 8:44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

LK 8:45 "Who touched me?" Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, "Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you."
LK 8:46 But Jesus said, "Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me." LK 8:47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace."…
MT 9:23 When Jesus entered the ruler's (Jairus) house and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd, 24 he said, "Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep." But they laughed at him. 25 After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up.…

Then there was the woman who “had had a sinful life” She washed his feet with her hair. She heard, “took note of” where Jesus “was” “eating”, bought perfume, went and washed the dirt off of those beautiful feet, with her tears and her hair, and anointed them with the perfume.

LK 7:36 Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. 37 When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 38 and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

LK 7:39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is--that she is a sinner."

LK 7:40 Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you."
"Tell me, teacher," he said.

LK 7:41 "Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"

LK 7:43 Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled."
"You have judged correctly," Jesus said.

LK 7:44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven--for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."

LK 7:48 Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."

LK 7:49 The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"

LK 7:50 Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

There were many others who fell at his feet. Like the women who watched at the foot of the cross, they saw the nails and the blood dripping off of those feet. All of us must allow those drops of blood to fall on us to be redeemed. One thing is clear everyone will get a look at those feet. Some will be redeemed some will be crushed but, “Rom 14:11 It is written:

" `As surely as I live,' says the Lord,
`every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'