a grandma’s testimony

The watchman was recently given the opportunity to meet an elderly intercessor grandma in late 70s. Her own mother died when she was a baby and she was raised by her grandparents until she was old enough to attend elementary school. She encountered Jesus and the awesome love of God when she was a young girl filled with hunger and hurt. The experience transformed her. She forgave those who inflicted the hurt. She rose above the past and emerged a victorious overcomer! When she spoke of her first encounter with Jesus and how God has loved her so much to send Him to die for her, her eyes turned red and teary.

One thing that struck the watchman was this godly woman’s firm faith and love for God. She has walked closely with Jesus for over 60 years. She is still filled with passion for souls and her greatest and first love Jesus. She declares that all she wants to do is to share the Gospel with those who are still lost. She has done this one thing over the last 60 years and is still going strong. She has many spiritual children and grandchildren. She has raised her own godly children too.

When asked how she had walked so intimately close with the Lord, she said,

“I hungered for His words after I was Spirit-filled, so I read the Bible. When I read the words of God, I believe they are real and I practice them. The more I read and believe and practice the more real they become to me. The more they become alive to me, the closer I experience God.” She then shared some of her own and others’ divine healing examples and the power of the Holy Spirit in the words of God she proclaimed when she encountered any form of injuries or sicknesses. I could perceive that she is filled with the Spirit of the Lord and she lives the life of the citizen of the Kingdom of God. She uses the Sword of the Spirit. What a godly grandma!

Another thing that stood out was that while evangelizing, she had her own successful and fruit-bearing tent-making profession until retirement. She raised a godly family and ministered to her ‘unbelieving’ (for many years until conversion) husband too. She said her key word is, ‘hold fast’ to her confession of Jesus as her number one! To equip herself in the words of God she took a part-time course for three years and graduated with honors.

She shared an example of how she practices God’s words, “After I read the teaching on tithing, I decided and started tithing. I earned a monthly wage of $350 then and I tithed $35. After that my income increased and I continued to tithe. By the time I earned $2000-$3000 I tithed $200-300 comfortably. After I retired I asked the Lord to give me a monthly income so that I could continue to tithe and the Lord has done that. The sum of money I receive monthly from my children is at the level which affords an unchanged amount of tithe.”

Prior to saying goodbye, she held our hands and blessed all of us who were present. The watchman perceived the blessing flowing with the power of the Lord in her and the Bible verses she pronounced with such strength and conviction came alive.

a godly business woman LydiaWatchman’s end notes: I have been shown more and more of these old guards of the faith in recent years. Many have walked with Jesus over 50 years. what is the message for me? ‘Hold fast and press forward’.

watchman’s 3 am discourse : So let’s stop condemning each other

no condemnationThe conflicts within churches and between churches usually concern matters that the Lord Jesus has foreseen and adequately prepared Christians to overcome. One thing that causes many conflicts is ‘not knowing’ God enough. The watchman has traveled further and deeper in his spiritual walk and found that this rift between believers is indeed getting wider like pieces of driftwood being tossed apart in a raging ocean.

A common cause of differences is the issues of practicing Biblical truth. Healing is one of the most frequent subjects. The contiuum of belief and practice of divine healing ranges from Christians who allow pastors and other church members to pray for their sicknesses to be healed through the medical doctors’ or hospitals’ treatments, medicines, and surgeries etc to those who believe in actively appropriating/taking divine healing by proclaiming and thereby receiving the word of God – “By Jesus’ stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5) or “By Whose stripes you were healed” (as declared in 1 Peter 2:24).

The extreme end of the belief continuum does not need to take any form of medicine or surgeries. The patients proclaim the words of healing and are healed. There are schools of thoughts that teach that the medical system is evil due to its origins and associations with pagan gods of healing etc. On the other hand, there are those who say that God uses the good doctors to do the healing or treatment by giving them wisdom from above.

The watchman will not go into any argument of any ‘schools’ of thoughts. Based on personal encounter and experience of God, he has concluded that knowing how great God is matters to every believer. Seeing people groups struggle to make a living in the poorest nations of the world, makes him understand what physical differences mean. Often we take education and various amenities and resources  for modern civilized living for granted in our own ‘world’. In reality many people do not know what we are talking about. Some would only believe in a tangible pill like a pain-killer to stop his pain, or stitches to stop his torn flesh from being torn and bleed further, open wounds from being infected etc.  Some treat medicines as if they are poisons. Some take medicines regularly with every meal as if they are food. Some even take food as if they are medicines. All sorts of new theories have come forth claiming the ‘healing’ effects of all sorts of ‘food’. There is no end to any argument on the issues of what ‘heals’ in the natural world. Many make big money by claiming all sorts of ‘healing’ claims.

Does God condemn such ‘weak’ faith when some people seek healing from God through the natural system and provisions? The watchman asked. The answer is NO. God is not like man. We just cannot put God in a box and claim that that is God. We do know God’s will concerning healing. God’s will is to heal. Because He declares to the Israelite that He is The Lord who Heals them. He also declares to the psalmist that He sent His words and healed them. Lastly He speaks through Prophet Isaiah and Apostle Peter that by His (Jesus’) stripes we are (were) healed. God’s purpose is to heal and give abundant life (John 10:10). Abundant life does not include sickness. Sickness is not from God. God gives good and perfect gifts. (James 1:17)

When we (I mean those who want to resolve the conflicts between the believers in the continuum of belief in divine healing) ponder on the differences, we need to know God and His nature. How do we know God? The key is we know God through understanding the Bible as led by the Holy Spirit.

The Bible is all about God’s telling the believers about Him and His plans for those who read His words.

The Holy Spirit teaches the believers all things about God, what Jesus has said, and about the believers’ future. These are the promises given by Jesus to His followers in His last teachings before crucifixion. The teachings about what the Holy Spirit will do are recorded in John 14-16. Apostle John writes to a variety of Christians over the continuum of belief. In 1 John he reminds of them of the nature of God too. He speaks of an important key to know God that every believer has: “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.” (NKJV 1 John 2:20)

1 John 2:27 New Living Translation (NLT)

27 But you have received the Holy Spirit,[a] and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit[b] teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.

Footnotes:

  1. 2:27a Greek the anointing from him.
  2. 2:27b Greek the anointing.

Today we read Romans to hear God’s voice. The boldness of some verses are added by this watchman.

Romans 14

 Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them. Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive his approval.

In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God. For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves. If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and rose again for this very purpose—to be Lord both of the living and of the dead.

10 So why do you condemn another believer[a]? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For the Scriptures say,

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bend to me,
    and every tongue will declare allegiance to God.[b]’”

12 Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. 13 So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.

14 I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. 15 And if another believer is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don’t let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. 16 Then you will not be criticized for doing something you believe is good. 17 For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. 19 So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.

20 Don’t tear apart the work of God over what you eat. Remember, all foods are acceptable, but it is wrong to eat something if it makes another person stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another believer to stumble.[c] 22 You may believe there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right. 23 But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.[d]

Romans 15 

We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. For even Christ didn’t live to please himself. As the Scriptures say, “The insults of those who insult you, O God, have fallen on me.”[e] Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.

May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory. Remember that Christ came as a servant to the Jews[f] to show that God is true to the promises he made to their ancestors. He also came so that the Gentiles might give glory to God for his mercies to them. That is what the psalmist meant when he wrote:

“For this, I will praise you among the Gentiles;
    I will sing praises to your name.”[g]

10 And in another place it is written,

“Rejoice with his people,
    you Gentiles.”[h]

11 And yet again,

“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles.
    Praise him, all you people of the earth.”[i]

12 And in another place Isaiah said,

“The heir to David’s throne[j] will come,
    and he will rule over the Gentiles.
They will place their hope on him.”[k]

13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

14 I am fully convinced, my dear brothers and sisters,[l] that you are full of goodness. You know these things so well you can teach each other all about them. 15 Even so, I have been bold enough to write about some of these points, knowing that all you need is this reminder. For by God’s grace, 16 I am a special messenger from Christ Jesus to you Gentiles. I bring you the Good News so that I might present you as an acceptable offering to God, made holy by the Holy Spirit. 17 So I have reason to be enthusiastic about all Christ Jesus has done through me in my service to God. 18 Yet I dare not boast about anything except what Christ has done through me, bringing the Gentiles to God by my message and by the way I worked among them. 19 They were convinced by the power of miraculous signs and wonders and by the power of God’s Spirit.[m] In this way, I have fully presented the Good News of Christ from Jerusalem all the way to Illyricum.[n]

20 My ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has never been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else. 21 I have been following the plan spoken of in the Scriptures, where it says,

“Those who have never been told about him will see,
    and those who have never heard of him will understand.”[o]

from now on: everyone is defined

20150517 defined by ChristColossians 3:9-14The Message (MSG)

9-11 Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.

12-14 So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

3 am: HOLD FAST

Put on the Armor of GodToday’s word: “HOLD FAST TO THE WORDS OF GOD.”

“I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.

3 am revelation: YOU ARE NOT DEFINED BY WHAT YOU BUILD

what you build revealsRecently the spiritual watchman was invited to visit some impressive ‘monumental’ churches. The main attraction is always the hardware: the building, the stadium with multilayer seating arrangements, the podium, the stage, the sound system, the lighting, the screens for projection of video, power-point or other presentation formats, the display of colours often created by lighting, the live performance of the ‘worship and praise’ teams etc.

The watchman pondered on the sights splashed and displayed by these city churches. The churches are booming with cheerful, modern, educated and well to do people. Yet he pondered and asked the Lord what it meant when he closed his eyes and did not see the white light from heaven.

The answer he perceived in his spirit was: there is a lack of the words of God. Where is the Armour of God? The Sword of the Spirit?

There were Bible applications in all the mobile smart phones and i pads and notebooks that the people were holding in their hands. There was no lack of words. There were words projected and clearly displayed on screen. How could there be no word? But the answer was loud and clear. No Word.

Then Last night when he finally completed an assignment he commenced almost six months ago,  he saw a picture with this declaration:

YOU ARE NOT DEFINED BY WHAT YOU BUILD,

YOU ARE REVEALED BY IT.

Our building reveals us. Definition is easy as often it is a group of words describing something we can see in the physical.People are obsessed with definition, even churches. But the Lord asks for revelation.

Revelation means: a surprising and previously unknown fact that has been disclosed to others.

it also means: the divine or supernatural disclosure to humans of something relating to human existence.
Revelation comes from above. Not what the physical realm can show us. God is a God of Revelation. He shows us things beyond what our human mind can perceive. God sees revelation. He sees the spiritual reality and value of our individual human activity, and He is especially concerned with our ‘building’ in our lifetime on earth.

Here are the some buildings that the Holy Spirit found worth recording in the Bible:
“The walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 6:15), the temple of Jerusalem (Ezra 6:15), David’s buying the land to build an altar: 1 Chronicles 21:24 “I will surely buy it for the full price, for I will not take what is yours for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings with that which costs me nothing.”
1 Chronicles 22:10 “He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son, and I will be His Father,” Said the Lord about His temple.
1 Corinthians 3:9-13 “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s fields, you are God’s building,”…..”For no other foundation can anyone lay other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” ..”Each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.”
It is our attitude for building, with whom and for Whom we build that matter to God.”

Application: What am I building? Where is my building going to end up? Ashes? Shinning like pure gold?

wake-up call: teaching and receiving

wake up!
wake up!

It was a time when the apostles and disciples of Jesus waited at the upper room for the Holy Spirit out-pour on them. On the Pentecostal Day it happened. What does this mean to a Christian today? Was it a part of the church history? Or is it a present day expectation too?

Today the spiritual watchman went with friends to a beautiful new church. this was his first visit. As the musicians played their music and the singers sang their songs on the stage flooded with a rotation of different colours of lights, he listened in his spirit, sang and prayed in the spirit. He wanted to see the brilliant, white light which he had seen in previous times when his spirit aligned with the Lord’s Spirit. As he prayed, and drew real close to the Lord, he saw the colour in his mind changed gradually from darkness (regardless of the beautiful colourful light beams that modern technology was displaying) to light. But it was not the bright white light he expected in his spirit.

Here was the conversation he had in the spirit:

“Lord, why am I not seeing the white light?”

“Because there is no word.”

“But there must be words. This is a thriving church.”

“Not enough word.”

“But these are leaders who love Jesus and are Jesus-focused.”

“Not enough word.”

Silence.

This is not the first time he heard, “Not enough word.” The sermon that followed the worship was a teaching of the Old Testament. Well presented with multimedia. The audience was asked to participate in the reading of the Bible verses on the screen. Why is there still not enough of God’s words? What does this mean?

He recalled that Jesus has clearly explained, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing.The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63) For several months the watchman has been engaged in a very time consuming assignment and has spent practically all his waking time working on it. He suffers from lack of sleep and rest in the Lord. When he ponders over this morning’s encounter, he realizes that he too suffers from lack of the words in his spirit. The dryness creeps in and saps his spiritual strength. It has happened over a period of a few weeks! Jesus taught His disciples to pray this, “Give us today our daily bread.” The watchman has starved himself by not asking for his daily bread (the word) from the Lord. In recent months the watchman has stopped teaching the words due to people being too busy to listen. After a few reminders that they just could not spare their time he made an exit bow. When he stopped teaching, he has stopped feeding.

Why? What is the connection between teaching and receiving? While teaching others daily, he finds that he is growing daily as he too fervently devours the words of God. While giving, he is receiving. The measure he uses to give others the words of God, is the same measure the Lord uses to give him his nourishment, often overflowing…

This is the conclusion the spiritual watchman received today.

2009 March Day 22-24 Enter by the narrow gate

In March 2009, the watchman decided to live the Bible and learn to apply in daily practical living the words of God. It was indeed an eye opening journey. Although it was meant for spiritual novice, the watchman has received glimpses of how the Kingdom of God may be lived on earth and the will of God be done on earth as in heaven.

3 am class: watching by the Spirit

Sometimes the watchman receives a message at midnight. It has not been an easy season due to the weather. As this is an arid land and it has not rained for months even the deep wells are drying up too. At night it cools down slightly and people try to sleep and rest after a really hot and tiring day. So, what important words the Lord wants to say when a person is kept wide awake at midnight and carries the first watch for the time 12-3am?
This is the message today. Romans 7 and Romans 8, the contrast between walking by the Spirit of God (Christ) and walking by one’s own flesh (physical and mental efforts). I shall use a table to present the summarized points taken from Romans 7 and Romans :1-27. Please read the two chapters yourselves. I included verses from both KJV Bible and NLT Bible.

Romans78

5 am lesson: Jesus gave His life for what?

grace-of-god-that-covers-your-sins1Jesus gave His life in order to rescue us from this evil world. He did it because it is God’s will. No one can earn his own salvation from sins and the evil of this world. God’s grace is unmerited favour. People who do not want Jesus are not pleased with free unmerited gift from God. But Jesus says, enter through the narrow gate or perish.

Galatians 1

May God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ[b] give you grace and peace. Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.

10 Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.

12 I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ.[d]

15 But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace. Then it pleased him 16 to reveal his Son to me[e] so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles.

Galatians 2

Even that question came up only because of some so-called believers there—false ones, really[b]—who were secretly brought in. ..They wanted to enslave us and force us to follow their Jewish regulations. But we refused to give in to them for a single moment. We wanted to preserve the truth of the gospel message for you.

15 “You and I are Jews by birth, not ‘sinners’ like the Gentiles. 16 Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.”[d]

19 For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. 20 My old self has been crucified with Christ.[e] It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.

birthday to remember: in the beginning

woman praising God

Everyone has a beginning. The beginning is good.

Genesis 1-2:2 New International Version (NIV)

The Beginning

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

Chapter two

1Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.

how to live Romans 12:2

do not follow the custom and pattern of the world but be transformed by the renewal of our mind: be filled with the Holy Spirit and the Word of God
do not follow the custom and pattern of the world but be transformed by the renewal of our mind: be filled with the Holy Spirit and the Word of God

In the beginning people were created not to become drunkard.

The first Bible warning against alcoholic drink is from Genesis chapter 9. After the flood that wiped out every living things (except those in the ark) on earth, Noah enjoyed bounty harvest (of vineyard) on earth. But in celebration of such a good life, he got drunk and slept in nakedness. The consequence: His youngest son committed sin and his descendants had to suffer the penalty of a curse by Noah.

The second warning against alcoholic drink is the tragic story of Lot who was made drunk and committed incest and gave birth to two cursed people (Moab and Ammon) by his two foolish daughters from Sodom.

The third warning against alcoholic drink is the Mosaic Law that allows long suffering parents to bring their drunkard and glutton rebellious son before the Israelite elders to sentence him to death to purge this evil from among the people!

Excessive food and drink open a door to evil: sin and death.
Genesis 9:21 (Noah)
One day he drank some wine he had made, and he became drunk and lay naked inside his tent.
Genesis 19:32-33 (Lot and daughters)
Come, let’s get him drunk with wine, and then we will have sex with him…
Deuteronomy 21:19-21 (the law)
19 In such a case, the father and mother must take the son to the elders, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious and refuses to obey. He is a glutton and a drunkard.’…purge this evil from among you, and all Israel will hear about it and be afraid.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The effect of alcohol cannot be underestimated. Half its effect is enough to cause death and total destruction.

Judges 16:25 (the death of the Philistines) Half drunk by now, the people demanded, “Bring out Samson so he can amuse us…3000 men and women on the roof who were watching as Samson amused them… 29 Then Samson .. prayed, “Let me die with the Philistines.” And the temple crashed down on the Philistine rulers and all the people. So he killed more people when he died than he had during his entire lifetime.
1 Samuel 25:36-38 (Nabal’s death)
36 When Abigail arrived home, she found that Nabal was throwing a big party and was celebrating like a king. He was very drunk…In the morning…sober…his wife told him what had happened. As a result he had a stroke, and he lay paralyzed on his bed like a stone. 38 About ten days later, the Lord struck him, and he died.
2 Samuel 13:28 (Amnon’s death)
Absalom told his men, “Wait until Amnon gets drunk; then at my signal, kill him!!”

Proverbs 23:19-21 (a father’s warning to his son: the destructive power of excessive food, alcohol drink, and sleep causes a man go off the right course of godliness and thus become poor!)
19 My child, listen and be wise:
Keep your heart on the right course.
20 Do not carouse with drunkards
or feast with gluttons,
21 for they are on their way to poverty,
and too much sleep clothes them in rags.

Isaiah 56:11-12 (drink and food and party can never satisfy)
11 Like greedy dogs, they are never satisfied.
They are ignorant shepherds,
all following their own path
and intent on personal gain.
12 “Come,” they say, “let’s get some wine and have a party.
Let’s all get drunk.
Then tomorrow we’ll do it again
and have an even bigger party!”

Jesus warns Christians against alcoholic drinks and parties
Matthew 24:48-51
48 But what if the servant is evil and thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ 49 and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? 50 The master will return unannounced and unexpected, 51 and he will cut the servant to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

How not to succumb to the temptation of alcoholic drinks, excessive food and partying? By the power of the words of God and the Holy Spirit.
Let us read Apostle Paul’s teaching:
Ephesians 5:1-20 New Living Translation (NLT)
Living in the Light
1 Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, ..
3 Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you…7 Don’t participate in the things these people do…
10 Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. 11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them…14 for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said,
“Awake, O sleeper,
rise up from the dead,
and Christ will give you light.”
Living by the Spirit’s Power
15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. 18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 12:1-2
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Ezekiel 43 Let them study its plan: the Temple

speak word like Jesus

The pattern of the Temple.

Ezekiel 43:1-12New Living Translation (NLT)

After this, the man brought me back around to the east gateway. Suddenly, the glory of the God of Israel appeared from the east. The sound of his coming was like the roar of rushing waters, and the whole landscape shone with his glory. This vision was just like the others I had seen, first by the Kebar River and then when he came[a] to destroy Jerusalem. I fell face down on the ground. And the glory of the Lord came into the Temple through the east gateway.

Then the Spirit took me up and brought me into the inner courtyard, and the glory of the Lord filled the Temple. And I heard someone speaking to me from within the Temple, while the man who had been measuring stood beside me. The Lord said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place where I will rest my feet. I will live here forever among the people of Israel. They and their kings will not defile my holy name any longer by their adulterous worship of other gods or by honoring the relics of their kings who have died.[b] They put their idol altars right next to mine with only a wall between them and me. They defiled my holy name by such detestable sin, so I consumed them in my anger. Now let them stop worshiping other gods and honoring the relics of their kings, and I will live among them forever.

10 “Son of man, describe to the people of Israel the Temple I have shown you, so they will be ashamed of all their sins. Let them study its plan, 11 and they will be ashamed[c] of what they have done. Describe to them all the specifications of the Temple—including its entrances and exits—and everything else about it. Tell them about its decrees and laws. Write down all these specifications and decrees as they watch so they will be sure to remember and follow them. 12 And this is the basic law of the Temple: absolute holiness! The entire top of the mountain where the Temple is built is holy. Yes, this is the basic law of the Temple.

Footnotes:

  1. 43:3 As in some Hebrew manuscripts and Latin Vulgate; Masoretic Text reads I came.
  2. 43:7 Or kings on their high places.
  3. 43:11 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads if they are ashamed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this Temple made with human hands, and in three days I will build another, made without human hands.’”
The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. “Ha! Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days.
And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
Mark 16 New Living Translation (NLT) Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on Sunday morning,[a] just at sunrise, they went to the tomb.
but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth,[b] who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body.
After Jesus rose from the dead early on Sunday morning, the first person who saw him was Mary Magdalene,
12 Afterward he appeared in a different form to two of his followers who were walking from Jerusalem into the country.
14 Still later he appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating together.
19 When the Lord Jesus had finished talking with them, he was taken up into heaven and sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand.
Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?
God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself,
All who are victorious will become pillars in the Temple of my God, and they will never have to leave it. And I will write on them the name of my God, and they will be citizens in the city of my God—the new Jerusalem that comes down from heaven from my God. And I will also write on them my new name.
I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.

Not Carnality but Christ -be a new creation!

Crosslife's Space:

CHRIST IS OUR REAL LIFE!

The-Family-of-God

Originally posted on AAA Jack's blog (A Watchman on your walls):

Jesus is my real life
The watchman is reminded today of the way we should live in Christ.
Last night during a home prayer meeting one brethren suggested praying for a local Christian group. When the others started praying, the watchman asked the Lord what to pray for and he was shown a terrible verse, which stated that when Israel asked the prophet to pray they did not mean it. They had no intent to obey what God would speak to them through the answer to prayers by the prophet. So there was no need to pray for them! The stern words were sad. How can any Christian meeting come to such a terrible stage? Yet, history showed that the Israel nation sank to that low over again and again. God sent prophets to warn them but they killed the prophets. The same thing happened to the apostles and many…

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Jesus foretells the future to whom? Matthew 24

Often we read the Bible without noticing whom Jesus is talking to. The audience may be the crowd, or the enemy, or the believers: those who want to follow Jesus, or those who already follow Him, or those whom He has called to follow Him and they have responded positively. Of course often He is talking to His first twelve disciples or the 72 whom He calls, disciples too and sends out for short mission trips. Today we read the very important chapter of Matthew 24 in which Jesus foretells the future.

Who are the audience? His disciples. What does He wants His disciples to take heed? What shall  we take heed today? The answers that Jesus has given are:

Be wise, faithful, pay attention, be discerning spiritually, flow in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, see the unseen behind the seen, have the words of God inside, not be troubled by the external adverse circumstances, be separate from them and flee when the time comes to do so, be ready for the return of Jesus, and meanwhile continue to be faithful to feed the brethren in Christ with solid food from the Bible (the word that will not perish).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Bible verses are quoted in parts with added boldness.

Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple.

And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age

Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

And Jesus answered and said to them: Take heed that no one deceives you.

And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled;

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.

15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.

23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.

26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it.

32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it[d] is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

45 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. 47 Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.

a king’s revival call

2 Chronicles 30 revival callOn this Easter Sunday we read an interesting Bible passage from 2 Chronicles 30 concerning a king’s revival call to his people to come to Jerusalem to prepare and celebrate passover’. Be blessed when you read with me.

King Hezekiah now sent word to all Israel and Judah, and he wrote letters of invitation to the people of Ephraim and Manasseh. He asked everyone to come to the Temple of the Lord at Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover of the Lord, the God of Israel. The king, his officials, and all the community of Jerusalem decided to celebrate Passover a month later than usual.[a] They were unable to celebrate it at the prescribed time because not enough priests could be purified by then, and the people had not yet assembled at Jerusalem.

This plan for keeping the Passover seemed right to the king and all the people. So they sent a proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba in the south to Dan in the north, inviting everyone to come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover of the Lord, the God of Israel. The people had not been celebrating it in great numbers as required in the Law.

At the king’s command, runners were sent throughout Israel and Judah. They carried letters that said:

“O people of Israel, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel,[b] so that he will return to the few of us who have survived the conquest of the Assyrian kings. Do not be like your ancestors and relatives who abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and became an object of derision, as you yourselves can see. Do not be stubborn, as they were, but submit yourselves to the Lord. Come to his Temple, which he has set apart as holy forever. Worship the Lord your God so that his fierce anger will turn away from you.

“For if you return to the Lord, your relatives and your children will be treated mercifully by their captors, and they will be able to return to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and merciful. If you return to him, he will not continue to turn his face from you.”

Celebration of Passover

10 The runners went from town to town throughout Ephraim and Manasseh and as far as the territory of Zebulun. But most of the people just laughed at the runners and made fun of them. 11 However, some people from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and went to Jerusalem.

12 At the same time, God’s hand was on the people in the land of Judah, giving them all one heart to obey the orders of the king and his officials, who were following the word of the Lord. 13 So a huge crowd assembled at Jerusalem in midspring[c] to celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread. 14 They set to work and removed the pagan altars from Jerusalem. They took away all the incense altars and threw them into the Kidron Valley.

15 On the fourteenth day of the second month, one month later than usual,[d] the people slaughtered the Passover lamb. This shamed the priests and Levites, so they purified themselves and brought burnt offerings to the Temple of the Lord. 16 Then they took their places at the Temple as prescribed in the Law of Moses, the man of God. The Levites brought the sacrificial blood to the priests, who then sprinkled it on the altar.

17 Since many of the people had not purified themselves, the Levites had to slaughter their Passover lamb for them, to set them apart for the Lord. 18 Most of those who came from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun had not purified themselves. But King Hezekiah prayed for them, and they were allowed to eat the Passover meal anyway, even though this was contrary to the requirements of the Law. For Hezekiah said, “May the Lord, who is good, pardon those 19 who decide to follow the Lord, the God of their ancestors, even though they are not properly cleansed for the ceremony.” 20 And the Lord listened to Hezekiah’s prayer and healed the people.

21 So the people of Israel who were present in Jerusalem joyously celebrated the Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days. Each day the Levites and priests sang to the Lord, accompanied by loud instruments.[e] 22 Hezekiah encouraged all the Levites regarding the skill they displayed as they served the Lord. The celebration continued for seven days. Peace offerings were sacrificed, and the people gave thanks to the Lord, the God of their ancestors.

23 The entire assembly then decided to continue the festival another seven days, so they celebrated joyfully for another week. 24 King Hezekiah gave the people 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep and goats for offerings, and the officials donated 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep and goats. Meanwhile, many more priests purified themselves.

25 The entire assembly of Judah rejoiced, including the priests, the Levites, all who came from the land of Israel, the foreigners who came to the festival, and all those who lived in Judah. 26 There was great joy in the city, for Jerusalem had not seen a celebration like this one since the days of Solomon, King David’s son. 27 Then the priests and Levites stood and blessed the people, and God heard their prayer from his holy dwelling in heaven.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~New Testament Bible verses

Jesus says in Matthew 26:28 for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.

And he said to them, “This is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice for many.
He has been merciful to our ancestors by remembering his sacred covenant
the covenant he swore with an oath to our ancestor Abraham.
After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.
In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it.”
You are the children of those prophets, and you are included in the covenant God promised to your ancestors. For God said to Abraham, ‘Through your descendants all the families on earth will be blessed.’
And this is my covenant with them, that I will take away their sins.”
[ Ministers of the New Covenant ] But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume.
He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.
[ The Glory of the New Covenant ] The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away.
2 Corinthians 3:14-17 New Living Translation (NLT)

14 But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. 15 Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand.

16 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.