The watchman’s encounter with God’s reality in the physical realm

On 30th August 2013, while I was listening to the Spirit vs the flesh -the power of the Gospel, I encountered the spectacular shower of golden rays in my kitchen from the spiritual realm which manifested in the physical realm. It was not a vision. Because I used my mobile phone and video recorded the phenomena in visual and sound.

After that I let my house group and my family members watch it and confirmed.

Today I came across the teaching below: “Basics of Righteousness 8 of 8: Spirit vs. Flesh” on YouTube, which is the same as what I have recorded in my CD in 2013 and was listening to when the supernatural encounter happened –Spirit vs the flesh -the power of the Gospel. I would like to share with you this truth which set me and many others on the right track.

If you ask me to use one phrase to describe the most important thing in my life, I will say this without hesitation, “Our God is real and the Bible is real!”

Watch “Basics of Righteousness 8 of 8: Spirit vs. Flesh. Chinese subtitles.” on YouTube

10th week 2nd day: LOOK

bare stonesToday’s word received in my spirit from the One Year Bible Reading of 10th week 2nd day is: LOOK. The word means different things to Jesus. He teaches us how not to look and how to look. In the passage from Mark 13, one typical disciple looks at the mega church and marvels at its grandeur: the magnificent building, the impressive building materials, multi-million dollars high-tech audio-visual-theatre-auditorium all purpose entertainment system,  equipments, hardwares, multi-purpose functional and conventional halls, cafes, restaurants, shops, consumer-commercial outlets, gyms, game arcades, and above all the breath-taking mega size. He even asks Jesus to look and admire them. The incongruity of the way the disciples look at and interpret Jesus’ mission on earth continues. They look at the wrong things: political and material positions and possessions. Power in the wrong realm and for the wrong agenda. The summary: The disciples look at the world that people bring into churches/the Temple of God. Jesus has warned churches about this worldliness in His stern letters to the seven churches in the last book of the Bible: the Revelation (chapters 1-3).

What does Jesus look at and want His followers to look at? Here is the contrast between what the disciples look at and what Jesus looks at:  (My notes are in bold italics.)

Disciples: look at the world and continue to be attracted by the things of the world. 

As Jesus was leaving the Temple that day, one of his disciples said, “Teacher, look at these magnificent buildings! Look at the impressive stones in the walls.”

Jesus looks at the eternal destruction of things and souls. 

Jesus replied, “Yes, look at these great buildings. But they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”

Disciples: look at physical signs to counter their unbelief in the spiritual.

Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives across the valley from the Temple. Peter, James, John, and Andrew came to him privately and asked him, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will show us that these things are about to be fulfilled?”

Jesus looks at the deceptions of the physical. He warns that they will certainly see plenty of physical signs but it does not help them one bit and will add to their further anxiety and fear, just like the people of the world. 

Jesus replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’[b] They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in many parts of the world, as well as famines. But this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.

Jesus advises His followers: When we see physical signs we should remember the spiritual agenda behind the signs. The only effective and pertinent help we have is from the Lord, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ Himself. Not from the physical realm. 

When these things begin to happen, watch out! You will be handed over to the local councils and beaten in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me.[c] 10 For the Good News must first be preached to all nations.[d] 11 But when you are arrested and stand trial, don’t worry in advance about what to say. Just say what God tells you at that time, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit.

Jesus’ last words on this passage: The physical signs will be depressive and heart-breaking for many. Even Christians. Endurance with the help and enablement from the Holy Spirit will see us through even the hardest time. 

12 “A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. 13 And everyone will hate you because you are my followers.[e] But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

Footnotes:

  1. 12:42 Greek two lepta, which is a kodrantes [i.e., a quadrans].
  2. 13:6 Greek claiming, ‘I am.’
  3. 13:9 Or But this will be your testimony against them.
  4. 13:10 Or all peoples.
  5. 13:13 Greek on account of my name.

 

Today’s Bible reading: Psalm 35:19-28; Numbers 6:1-7:89; Mark 12:38-13:13; Proverbs 10:27-28

10th week 1st day: a distance of difference

distance from truth

There is a difference between what Jesus says and what a man hears. It is a hard issue. A heart issue. Here is today’s example. In today’s Bible reading, in Mark 12, Jesus talks about the reality of God and of the words of God which become life and spirit to those who hear, believe, receive as their own possessions and practice (John 6:63). He teaches that God is living and is over and above all the lives, time and history that human know of.

Note the conversation between Jesus and the well-schooled scribe (learned and recognized scholarly authority on the Law of Moses). See the difference between what Jesus says about loving God in a personal relationship through His words, and the interpretation of the scribe who places the command of God at a distance from him. 

Jesus says, “you”, “your”. The scribe replies, “the”. I have seen countless such distancing examples. Yet many Christians cannot understand why they cannot hear God. Why they cannot have a close relationship with God. The difference is the distancing of oneself when one receive the words of God. God is a personal God, and not a God in the distance, nor a God in history. He is not the God of a neighbor. He is my God. He is your God.

(The Scriptures are quoted from the Holy Bible NKJV unless otherwise noted.)

24…“Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly mistaken.”

28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving[b] that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”

29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.[c]This is the first commandment.[d] 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[e] There is no other commandment greater than these.”

32 So the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. 33 And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul,[f] and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

34 Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

But after that no one dared question Him.

Today’s reading from the Holy Bible: Mark 12:18-37; Numbers 4:1-5:31; Proverbs 10:26; Psalm 35:11-18

19th week 3rd day: prophetic warning

prophetic signA jump to 19th week 3rd day. The focus for Sunday (March 6, 2016) is “WHO THE REAL GOD IS.” The real God sits on His throne. The false god falls and breaks apart in the presence of the real God. Here is a detailed account of the event happened among the enemies of Israel, the Philistines. They witnessed the downfall and breaking apart of their own god before the HOLY LIVING GOD of Israel. Many of their people died/suffered an outburst of deadly epidemic plague -tumors (acute cancer).  The Philistines leaders witnessed the reality of this God of Israel.

It is no coincidence that today’s Psalm and Proverb both confirm this passage in 1 Samuel 5-6 about the greatness and might of God’s holy presence. He cannot tolerate the presence of evil. 

Proverbs 14:32a When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down..

1 Samuel 5-6:13 New Living Translation (NLT) The Ark in Philistia

After the Philistines captured the Ark of God, they took it from the battleground at Ebenezer to the town of Ashdod. They carried the Ark of God into the temple of Dagon and placed it beside an idol of Dagon. But when the citizens of Ashdod went to see it the next morning, Dagon had fallen with his face to the ground in front of the Ark of the Lord! So they took Dagon and put him in his place again. But the next morning the same thing happened—Dagon had fallen face down before the Ark of the Lord again. This time his head and hands had broken off and were lying in the doorway. Only the trunk of his body was left intact. That is why to this day neither the priests of Dagon nor anyone who enters the temple of Dagon in Ashdod will step on its threshold.

Then the Lord’s heavy hand struck the people of Ashdod and the nearby villages with a plague of tumors.[a] When the people realized what was happening, they cried out, “We can’t keep the Ark of the God of Israel here any longer! He is against us! We will all be destroyed along with Dagon, our god.”So they called together the rulers of the Philistine towns and asked, “What should we do with the Ark of the God of Israel?”

The rulers discussed it and replied, “Move it to the town of Gath.” So they moved the Ark of the God of Israel to Gath. But when the Ark arrived at Gath, the Lord’s heavy hand fell on its men, young and old; he struck them with a plague of tumors, and there was a great panic.

10 So they sent the Ark of God to the town of Ekron, but when the people of Ekron saw it coming they cried out, “They are bringing the Ark of the God of Israel here to kill us, too!” 11 The people summoned the Philistine rulers again and begged them, “Please send the Ark of the God of Israel back to its own country, or it[b] will kill us all.” For the deadly plague from God had already begun, and great fear was sweeping across the town. 12 Those who didn’t die were afflicted with tumors; and the cry from the town rose to heaven.

The Philistines Return the Ark

The Ark of the Lord remained in Philistine territory seven months in all.Then the Philistines called in their priests and diviners and asked them, “What should we do about the Ark of the Lord? Tell us how to return it to its own country.”

“Send the Ark of the God of Israel back with a gift,” they were told. “Send a guilt offering so the plague will stop. Then, if you are healed, you will know it was his hand that caused the plague.”

“What sort of guilt offering should we send?” they asked.

And they were told, “Since the plague has struck both you and your five rulers, make five gold tumors and five gold rats, just like those that have ravaged your land. Make these things to show honor to the God of Israel. Perhaps then he will stop afflicting you, your gods, and your land. Don’t be stubborn and rebellious as Pharaoh and the Egyptians were. By the time God was finished with them, they were eager to let Israel go.

“Now build a new cart, and find two cows that have just given birth to calves. Make sure the cows have never been yoked to a cart. Hitch the cows to the cart, but shut their calves away from them in a pen. Put the Ark of the Lord on the cart, and beside it place a chest containing the gold rats and gold tumors you are sending as a guilt offering. Then let the cows go wherever they want.If they cross the border of our land and go to Beth-shemesh, we will know it was the Lord who brought this great disaster upon us. If they don’t, we will know it was not his hand that caused the plague. It came simply by chance.”

10 So these instructions were carried out. Two cows were hitched to the cart, and their newborn calves were shut up in a pen. 11 Then the Ark of the Lordand the chest containing the gold rats and gold tumors were placed on the cart. 12 And sure enough, without veering off in other directions, the cows went straight along the road toward Beth-shemesh, lowing as they went. The Philistine rulers followed them as far as the border of Beth-shemesh.

13 The people of Beth-shemesh were harvesting wheat in the valley, and when they saw the Ark, they were overjoyed!

Psalm 68 For the choir director: A song. A psalm of David.

Rise up, O God, and scatter your enemies.
    Let those who hate God run for their lives.
Blow them away like smoke.
    Melt them like wax in a fire.
    Let the wicked perish in the presence of God.
But let the godly rejoice.
    Let them be glad in God’s presence.
    Let them be filled with joy.
Sing praises to God and to his name!
    Sing loud praises to him who rides the clouds.[a]
His name is the Lord
    rejoice in his presence!

Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—
    this is God, whose dwelling is holy.
God places the lonely in families;
    he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.
But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

Footnotes:

  1. 68:4 Or rides through the deserts.

Today’s reading: Psalm 68:1-6; 1 Samuel 5:1-7:17; John 6:1-21; Proverbs 14:32-33

taking Holy Communion (4)

20160127_144830 copyThis morning while taking Holy Communion I opened my Bible and the Lord spoke through Exodus 24, 25 and 26.

The key word is the “pattern” (standard that denotes setting apart for holiness) of God.

All Scriptures are quoted from the Holy Bible New Living Translation (NLT) unless otherwise noted.

Exodus 25: 40 “Be sure that you make everything according to the pattern I have shown you here on the mountain.

Exodus 26: 30 “Set up this Tabernacle according to the pattern you were shown on the mountain.

When did God give this pattern? After He has established the Covenant in blood with His people:

Exodus 24:8 

Then Moses took the blood from the basins and splattered it over the people, declaring, “Look, this blood confirms the covenant the Lord has made with you in giving you these instructions.”

Where did God give this holy  pattern? To whom He has given the pattern? It is notable that God did not choose to give to just anyone His pattern. He narrowed down His choice from the whole congregation to a group of elites (appointed religious leaders and tribal hereditary leaders) who were called to climb the mountain to commemorate the Covenant and were allowed to eat the ceremonial meal, to two (Moses and his successor Joshua), and and finally chose only one man -Moses.

Exodus 24:1 

24 Then the Lord instructed Moses: “Come up here to me, and bring along Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of Israel’s elders. All of you must worship from a distance. 

Then Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel climbed up the mountain. 11 …these nobles…In fact, they ate a covenant meal, eating and drinking in His presence!

12 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain. Stay there, and I will give you the tablets of stone on which I have inscribed the instructions and commands so you can teach the people.” 13 So Moses and his assistant Joshua set out, and Moses climbed up the mountain of God.

15 Then Moses climbed up the mountain, and the cloud covered it. 16 And the glory of the Lord settled down on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from inside the cloud. 17 To the Israelites at the foot of the mountain, the glory of the Lord appeared at the summit like a consuming fire. 18 Then Moses disappeared into the cloud as he climbed higher up the mountain. He remained on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

Why Moses? Moses was a man of faith. He saw the future (Jesus the Messiah King and Priest)

It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.

Hebrews 3:2 For he was faithful to God, who appointed him, just as Moses served faithfully when he was entrusted with God’s entire house.

Hebrews 3:5 Moses was certainly faithful in God’s house as a servant. His work was an illustration of the truths God would reveal later.

They serve in a system of worship that is only a copy, a shadow of the real one in heaven. For when Moses was getting ready to build the Tabernacle, God gave him this warning: “Be sure that you make everything according to the pattern I have shown you here on the mountain.”

end times witnessing: a doctor’s attitude

20160130_074620 copy
Be Resilient: as Jesus is so are we in this world.

“We write so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.” This is the writer’s attitude of Dr. Luke. He writes with a specific focused goal in his mind. He wants to communicate the facts he has personally observed and carefully researched and investigated, in an orderly manner, clearly and accurately. This is how we write too when we talk about the matters of God. I have observed and researched healthcare prevention and treatment and have worked with friends who are in the medical line and my perception of the dedicated ones is that they are serious and very cautious about what they have learned and practiced in their line of profession. A doctor has told me that it is because they have to deal with life and death issue. Life and death issue is the line where we cannot afford to be casual and/or untruthful. This is the issue that our Lord Jesus has dealt with while on earth and taught His disciples to do the same. Luke has followed closely the disciples of Jesus. This is the tenth year of my personal blogging, from an individual Christian viewpoint, learning to communicate what I have personally observed, encountered, researched and investigated. Last night I was led to read the introductions of Luke in Luke 1:1-4, and Acts 1:1-5. How relevant this guide and goal for me is. The Lord has spoken again to me and I know I still have a long way to go. I pray that I shall be faithful and focused.

Luke 1:1-4 New Living Translation (NLT)

Introduction
1 Many people have set out to write accounts about the events that have been fulfilled among us. 2 They used the eyewitness reports circulating among us from the early disciples.[a] 3 Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write a careful account for you, most honorable Theophilus, 4 so you can be certain of the truth of everything you were taught.

Footnotes:

1:2 Greek from those who from the beginning were servants of the word.

Acts 1:1-3 New Living Translation (NLT)

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

In my first book[a] I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit. 3 During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.

4 Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. 5 John baptized with[b] water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

Footnotes:

1:1 The reference is to the Gospel of Luke.
1:5 Or in; also in 1:5b.

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

The Biblical baby name Luke is Hebrew in origin and its meaning is bringer of light, morning.

Luke is pronounced loo-k.

Luke was a physician in Rome and an early convert to Christianity. He befriended Paul, and was his companion during his many evangelical journeys and even imprisonment. Luke wrote one of the four gospels describing the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Luke is also called Lucas in the Bible.

Biblical reference for the name Luke:
2 Corinthians 13:14; Colossians 4:14; 2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 1:24; Book of Luke; Acts of Apostles
Strong’s Bible Concordance G3065

end times witnessing: always humble, gentle, patient, love.

be transformed
be transformed by the renewal of our mind

How shall we love one another in the body of Christ? Today’s prayer is taken from the book of Ephesians chapter four. Paul is in prison for his preaching and witnessing for the risen Jesus Christ. And he is led by the Holy Spirit to write this letter to the churches to fortify them and equip them to face the continuing persecutions from the enemy’s agents-Paul was once an enemy agent too. He hated Jesus and killed Christians. But Jesus has revealed Himself to Paul and Paul was totally transformed from that reality encounter with the risen Son of God, Jesus Christ.

Key message: Be like Christ. Be joined to the Lord Jesus, one Spirit with Him.

Summary of Paul’s letter (prayer for churches/Christians who are called by God)

Live a life worthy of our calling:

Keep united: in the Holy Spirit.

Be Christ-centered 

Let the Hole Spirit transform us: our attitude, behavior, actions. 

Ephesians 4 New Living Translation (NLT) Unity in the Body

Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.

5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all.

However, he has given each one of us a special gift[a] through the generosity of Christ. That is why the Scriptures say,

“When he ascended to the heights, he led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to his people.”[b]

Notice that it says “he ascended.” This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world.[c] 10 And the same one who descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might fill the entire universe with himself.

11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.

14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

Living as Children of Light

17 With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19 They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.

20 But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. 21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like Godtruly righteous and holy.

25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. 26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.”[d] Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. 29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own,[e] guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Footnotes:

  • 4:7 Greek a grace.
  • 4:8 Ps 68:18.
  • 4:9 Some manuscripts read to the lower parts of the earth.
  • 4:26 Ps 4:4.
  • 4:30 Or has put his seal on you.

end of footnotes

End Times Conversation with Jesus: The meek will inherit the land.

Philippians 4-19 LDeclares the Lord Jesus Christ. “The meek will inherit the land.” There are many examples in the Bible. We read some examples today. Bible verses are quoted in parts with boldness and italics added. Unless otherwise noted, the verses are quoted from NKJV.

Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek,
    For they shall inherit the earth.

The patriarch’s examples in meekness:
Abraham was a meek man. He believed in the unseen God but he also had doubts. He feared man –the foreign kings. He chose to lie about his relationship with his stunningly beautiful wife Sarah because he feared those kings would kill him for her. (Genesis 12:13; 20:2) He also chose to give in to his ungrateful and unthankful aggressive nephew Lot. He chose to let Lot take all the good lands and only after that he took the leftovers. (13:8-12) He heeded the voice of his wife Sarai and had her Egyptian maid Hagar as a second wife and gave birth to Ishmael who was not the promised covenanted descendent. (Genesis 16:2)

Isaac was a meek man. He chose to lie to the alien king about his true marriage relationship for fear that the king might kill him for his beautiful wife Rebecca. (Genesis 26:7) He also chose to give in to the powerful foreign king’s servant who bullied his own servants and took over the wells he dug. (26:20-21) He allowed the strife between his wife, his two sons, and the wives of his eldest son continue in his household and stay out of it. (25:28-34; 26:34; 27:13; 27:41-46)

Jacob was a meek man. He fled for his life after having cunningly took advantage and cheated his elder brother Esau and stole the blessing reserved for the eldest son. He did not inherit or enjoy the physical wealth of his father. Instead he lived as a fugitive for twenty years: cheated and tricked by his uncle and slaved fourteen years for his love for Rachael, and ended up marrying the woman (Leah) he did not love in addition to Rachael. He also slaved and endured another six years for his uncle’s flocks. The uncle/father-in-law tormented him and changed his wages ten times! (Genesis 31:41) When he finally escaped with his wives, children and possessions, he had to face his elder brother again in fear and anxiety. He gave material gifts and physically humbled before the physically stronger and more powerful aggressive brother. (Genesis 33:8-16)

Joseph was meek. He was bullied and despised by his older brothers, who sold him as a teenager-slave and humbled and worked for powerful master in Egypt. He was then falsely accused by his master’s wife and imprisoned for thirteen years. (Genesis 37:4, 8, 11, 19-28, 36; 39:7-20)

Gideon was meek. He feared the powerful and cruel Midianites who marauded and stripped the land bare. He hid at the bottom of a winepress to thrash grains. He claimed that his clan was the weakest of the tribe of Manasseh, and he was the least in the entire family. He asked the Lord to give him repeated signs to prove that he is really called to rescue Israel. In addition he was still afraid before the battle and the Lord gave him one more sign to assure him of victory. (Judges 6:11, 15, 17, 37, 39; 7:9-15)

David was meek. He ran from the powerful aggressive Saul and his own aggressive son Absalom both of whom were after David’s life. He even fled to the enemy king and pretended madness. (1 Samuel 21:13; 22:1; 2 Samuel 15:12-14, 30)

These men displayed meekness in the eyes of men. Their strength came from the Lord. They trusted in God to vindicate and bless them. They had faith in God. See the following outcome as evidences:

Abraham was richly blessed on earth. The Lord gave him all the lands he could see and walk to claim by faith: “For all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you. ” (Genesis 13:14-18) He was blessed, became great, and was given physical wealth. He lived one hundred and seventy years, and died a good old age full of years and abundance in material riches and possessions. (Genesis 24:35; 25:7-8)

Isaac too prospered physically. During famine time he sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold, and the Lord blessed him. He began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous. (Genesis 26:13-14) He was so blessed in material wealth and farming success that the foreign king said this, “Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we.” Genesis 35:28-29 Isaac lived one hundred and eighty years, full of days.

Jacob too was blessed. He had twelve sons who became the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel. He lived one hundred and forty seven years. He and his descendants dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen, and they had possessions there and grew and multiplied exceedingly. (Genesis 47:27) All the persons who went with Jacob to Egypt, who came from his body, were sixty-six persons in all. And the sons of Joseph born in Egypt were two persons. (46:26-27) by the time the Israelites left Egypt to possess the promised covenanted land, they were numerous. Numbers 1:45-46 “So all who were numbered of the children of Israel, by their fathers’ houses, from twenty years old and above, all who were able to go to war in Israel—all who were numbered were six hundred and three thousand five hundred and fifty. This number excluded the tribe of Levites who were appointed to keep charge of the tabernacle of the Testimony. (1:49-53)

Joseph was greatly blessed and honored. The Lord was with him, showed him mercy and favor and he was a successful man. (Genesis 39:2, 21, 23) God gave him excellent business and administrative acumen and talent to both administer and invest wisely. God also gave him special supernatural spiritual ability to interpret dreams. When he was thirty years old he was given the second highest powerful post in the kingdom of Egypt, serving in the court of the King of Egypt. (41:37-44) He was successful and well respected and honored in his role in having foresight and managing the economy and finance of the nation during a time of widespread famine and crisis. (41:46-57; 47:13-26) His unique high position gave him the opportunity to reconcile with his father and his brothers and save them from famine, thereby carrying out God’s plan for the Israelites to multiply and grow until they become a nation too. Joseph lived one hundred and ten years old and saw his sons’ children to the third generation. (47:5-6, 11-12, 27) His own two sons Ephraim and Manasseh became two large tribes of Israel, inheriting much land when they entered the Promised Land. (Joshua 17:17-18)

God delivered the enemy into Gideon’s hands (Judges 7:9). So Gideon conquered Midian’s kings and delivered Israelites from the Midianites. The men of Israel made him rule over them. He had seventy sons and many wives. He ruled Israel for forty years. He died a good old age. (Judges 8:22, 28, 30-32)

David was greatly and richly blessed. “So David went on and became great, and the Lord God of hosts was with him.” (2 Samuel 5:10) David was thirty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned forty years. (5:4) “So he died in a good old age, full of age, full of days and riches and honor;” (1 Chronicles 29:28)
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Jesus Himself declares He is meek: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly (humble) in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Jesus’ meekness was prophesied about eight hundred years before He came to earth as a man:

In the following passage the Prophet Isaiah (whose ministry took place in 792-686 BC) prophetically described the Messiah. The prophetic words came true in the life history of Jesus: Isaiah 53:2-12
“For He has grown up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised, and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent. So He opened not His mouth. He was taken from prison and judgment. And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken. And they made His grave with the wicked–but with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

The Holy Spirit confirmed this through the apostle Paul in Philippians 2:5-11
Philippians 2:5-11 New Living Translation (NLT)

5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

6 Though he was God,[a]
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges[b];
he took the humble position of a slave[c]
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,[d]
8 he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Footnotes:

2:6 Or Being in the form of God.
2:7a Greek he emptied himself.
2:7b Or the form of a slave.
2:7c Some English translations put this phrase in verse 8.

family of God

The-Family-of-God

Often I see Christians forgetting that their family members are their brothers and sisters in Christ. But they are God’s children and co-heirs with Jesus who is sitting at the right hand of the Father in heaven, interceding for Christians. When we next deal with our family members let us look up and see Jesus watching and interceding for that person, no matter how unlovable he or she may appear to you. She or he is not your enemy. The enemy is outside. You need to take care of your household first according to the Bible. I see open contempt and rude manners which Jesus and God see too. When I open the Bible this morning I read this:
“By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you——…for though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)
Remember: even Jesus who is Christ, sitting at the right hand of God now is humble and gentle. The Bible says, “As He is, so we are in this world.” Are we? If we cannot be humble and gentle to one another as Jesus is to us, how can we claim to own all His riches and wealth and prosperity and success?

Who are your brothers and sisters in Christ? Parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins.

[ Obedience by Faith ] If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.

1 John 4:20-21 NKJV

When family members cannot be united as one just as God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are One, the enemy can come in to steal, kill, and destroy. Why? Because where strife is there are all kinds of evil. Jesus has warned against the division that will cause downfall:

John 17:22  (NKJV) 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:

But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.

 

James 4:1-3 (NKJV) Pride Promotes Strife

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet[a] you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

Footnotes:

  1. James 4:2 NU-Text and M-Text omit Yet.

Romans 13:12-14 (NKJV)

12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

Seeing God: Discourse with Jesus (purpose and power)

Holy Spirit purpose power
See God’s Purpose and Power

God has revealed His purpose and power for us in this New Year’s journey to see God. Three questions are posted here today with answers from Jesus Himself. I have grouped some questions together for the same theme. Please read the passage or chapter for the context of each of the questions. I have taken them from the Gospel recorded by Luke (in NIV unless specifically denoted separately).

Question 6: What did you go out into the wilderness to see? To what, then, shall I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? (Luke 7:24, 31-32) (Read from Luke 7:24-35)

Jesus focuses on the key word ‘seeing’ again. You can only see what you want to see. Seeing takes growing up and maturity. In the Kingdom of God seeing requires a heart for God. Seeing what God sees. What does God see in this context of John the Baptist? Jesus has shown us what God sees: A true prophet, a messenger from God, accomplishing God’s plan faithfully. “’This is the one about whom it is written: “’I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’…

There are three types for seeing: (1) seeing the physical nature as it is, such as, the reed blown and swayed by the wind; (2) seeing man’s impressive worldly accomplishment, such as, display of wealth, social status, and political power (What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight. Luke 16:15); or (3) seeing what God sees in the spiritual realm: His will being carried out just as planned for the salvation of mankind. How do we see what God see? We have two most reliable spiritual guides: the Bible, the Holy Spirit.

Seeing God through the preaching, hearing and reading of His words requires positive response and faith in action on our part. The positive response to God comes after a genuine conversion: “All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John.” (Luke 7:29; Matthew 3:5-6)

But another group responded negatively, the Pharisees and the experts of the law. They “rejected God’s purpose for themselves because they were not baptized by John.”(Luke 7:30) Jesus described them like children in the marketplace, mimicking their adults’ mocking, scorning, with contempt for matters they did not understand. Many Pharisees and Sadducees went to where John was baptizing but he saw through their real motive, rebuked them and exposed their unrepentant hearts which disqualified them from being

Question 7: Do you see this woman? Where is your faith? Who touched Me? Who do you say I am? However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth? (Luke 7:44; 8:25; 8:45; 9:20; 18:8)

Jesus focuses on the key word ‘FAITH’ when He asks the above questions. Do you see faith? Do you have faith? Where is your faith? What does faith look like? One thing that stands out is faith must manifest. It can be seen. God can see. The spiritual beings can see. Human can see.

Faith in Jesus brings salvation and healing. An ostracized woman had faith that Jesus came from God, had the power and authority to forgive sins, and was willing to forgive her many sins. So she took an action of faith to approach Him, showered Him her appreciation and reverential love, even at great cost, perhaps the greatest cost of her lifetime. She was forgiven. (Luke 7:44, 47, 50) Another similarly ostracized woman of faith approached Jesus with the same faith, boldness in action, risking being discovered and punished harshly according to their law. She was healed. (Luke 8:45, 48)

In the final analysis, everyone is confronted with the same question: “Who do you think I am?” Salvation and healing do not come cheap. No amount of lip service can bring a person this twin-benefit. Jesus questioned His disciples. “Where is your faith? Who do you think I am?” These are what He is looking for in everyone who wants to follow Him. Without faith in Jesus being the Son of God, the only way to God, no one can go to God. Without faith no one can please God. (Hebrews 11:6)

When Jesus returns he wants to find one thing on earth: Faith. (Luke 18:8) Why? Because before He comes again His believers are required to always pray and not give up (Luke 18:1, 8). During the interval between the time Jesus left earth and His imminent return, His followers will go through storms and squall, boat being swamped, great danger that need faith. That is why Jesus questioned, “Where is your faith?”(Luke 8:22-25) Faith makes things manifest from the unseen realm to the seen realm. (Hebrews 11:3)

Faith is the end time survival key. Faith extinguishes all the flaming arrows from the evil one. (Ephesians 6:16). We need to have the shield of faith as part of the full armor of God on the day of evil. (Ephesians 6:13). Jesus has taught His disciples to put on daily and be prepared for we do not know when it comes. The gospel of Jesus requires faith to receive. The same salvation message was proclaimed but the message some heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who listened to God and obeyed. (Hebrews 4:2)

Question 8: What is written in the Law? How do you read it? You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time? (Luke 10:26, 40, 56)

Law is a highly esteemed and favorite study of the Jewish people because it governs every aspect of their lives. In the time of Jesus, There were scholarly experts and specialists in the Law of Moses. They knew all the fine prints and liked to question and challenge Jesus intellectually. But Jesus was more than well prepared for them than they thought. Jesus knew everything they knew. In addition He knew what they did not know because they had no direct link to God in the spirit. Jesus pointed out the flaw in their reasoning.

The Law of Moses had two parts: the written part and the part they read and understood and receive the power of God. The written part is external. People could read, memorize and recite them. The difficulty is in the reading and understanding internally. Jesus questions: “How do you read it?

There is no real understanding without allowing the words to become life and spirit inside us. (John 6:67)

Jesus pointed out the error of those who tried to interpret God’s truth using the same principle and method they use to interpret physical appearance–natural sciences and philosophy. (Luke 12:56) Reading the Bible is not difficult. But its interpretation requires the Holy Spirit. Jesus said this to the Sadducees who came to challenge Him on the truth of resurrection,

There is no real impact on lives if not accompanied by the power of God. God’s words require interpretation.Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?” (Mark 12:24)

Summary: Through God’s Word, by the power of the Holy Spirit

  1. Seeing that God’s purpose is to save through Jesus and it is a serious matter of either having eternal life with God or eternal damnation with the devil.

  2. Believing and receiving the power of God as real in our lives.

  3. Taking the bold step of faith in action: believe in Jesus and receive salvation and healing!

Journey to see God: God of unfailing love

We love Him because He first loved us
We love Him because He first loved us

Guess who was the first person recorded in the Bible to describe God as the God of unfailing love? Abraham’s servant.
Genesis 24:12
“O Lord, God of my master, Abraham,” he prayed. “Please give me success today, and show unfailing love to my master, Abraham.
Genesis 24:27
“Praise the Lord, the God of my master, Abraham,” he said. “The Lord has shown unfailing love and faithfulness to my master, for he has led me straight to my master’s relatives.”
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The second man was Moses:
Exodus 15:13
“With your unfailing love you lead the people you have redeemed. In your might, you guide them to your sacred home.
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God described Himself to Moses:
Exodus 20:6
But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.
Exodus 34:6
The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out, “Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.
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Both king David and king Solomon knew:
2 Samuel 22:51
You give great victories to your king; you show unfailing love to your anointed, to David and all his descendants forever.”
1 Kings 8:23
and he prayed, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven above or on the earth below. You keep your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion.
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The leaders of the remnants: The Bible teacher Ezra and Nehemiah, the governor builder of Jerusalem walls also knew and personally experienced:
Ezra 7:28
And praise him for demonstrating such unfailing love to me by honoring me before the king, his council, and all his mighty nobles! I felt encouraged because the gracious hand of the Lord my God was on me. And I gathered some of the leaders of Israel to return with me to Jerusalem.
Nehemiah 1:5
Then I said, “O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands,
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The psalmists (poets) were full of praises for God’s unfailing love. Here are two examples taken from the beginning and the end of psalms:
Psalm 5:7
Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house; I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe.
Psalm 147:11
No, the Lord’s delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.
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The prophets’ testimonies of God’s unfailing love:
Isaiah 63:7
[Praise for Deliverance] I will tell of the Lord’s unfailing love. I will praise the Lord for all he has done. I will rejoice in his great goodness to Israel, which he has granted according to his mercy and love.
Joel 2:13
Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.
Micah 7:18
Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love.
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Finally, the testimony of John the beloved apostle of Jesus Christ:
John 1:14
So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
John 1:17
For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.

John 17:3

And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.

Journey to see God: God of details

Bible plumb-lineAre Bible details important in our lives? The Holy Spirit has revealed to us how particular is our God with Bible details.Here are some examples.

Jesus answered and said to them, “Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God?

And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

[ The Scriptures Opened ] Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”

These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me.”

After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this, and they believed both the Scriptures and what Jesus had said.
And you know that the Scriptures cannot be altered.

During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold.

Luke 1:1-4 New Living Translation (NLT) Introduction (through a medical doctor’s detailed report after thorough investigations)

Many people have set out to write accounts about the events that have been fulfilled among us. They used the eyewitness reports circulating among us from the early disciples.[a] 3 Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write a careful account for you, most honorable Theophilus, so you can be certain of the truth of everything you were taught.

Acts 1:1-3 New Living Translation (NLT) The Promise of the Holy Spirit

In my first book[a] I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit. During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:1 The reference is to the Gospel of Luke.

Luke 24:25-27 New Living Translation (NLT)

25 Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. 26 Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” 27 Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

Luke 24:43-45 New Living Translation (NLT)

43 and he ate it as they watched.

44 Then he said, When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.

Acts 26:21-23 New Living Translation (NLT)

21 Some Jews arrested me in the Temple for preaching this, and they tried to kill me. 22 But God has protected me right up to this present time so I can testify to everyone, from the least to the greatest. I teach nothing except what the prophets and Moses said would happen— 23 that the Messiah would suffer and be the first to rise from the dead, and in this way announce God’s light to Jews and Gentiles alike.”

Acts 28:22-24 New Living Translation (NLT)

22 But we want to hear what you believe, for the only thing we know about this movement is that it is denounced everywhere.” 23 So a time was set, and on that day a large number of people came to Paul’s lodging. He explained and testified about the Kingdom of God and tried to persuade them about Jesus from the Scriptures. Using the law of Moses and the books of the prophets, he spoke to them from morning until evening. 24 Some were persuaded by the things he said, but others did not believe.

Romans 15:3-4 New Living Translation (NLT)

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.”[a] 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.

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture (the Bible)

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.

Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action),