Paul’s Ambassadorship: Rule of law

Today I have done a simple diagram. Let us read this new wine revealed in new wineskin. I am awed that we can actually apply this simple rule of law to every practical aspect of our lives, as ambassadors for Christ, representing the Kingdom of God.

2 Corinthians 5:11-21

2 Corinthians 5:11-21 New King James Version (NKJV)

11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.

Be Reconciled to God

12 For we do not commend ourselves again to you, but give you opportunity to boast on our behalf, that you may have an answer for those who boast in appearance and not in heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; or if we are of sound mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not [a]imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Corinthians 5:19 reckoning
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When will Jesus come and how will we know it’s Him?

Matthew 24:44

A Christian trend emerges lately, that is, inviting ‘speakers’ to speak on end time matters. In a recent extreme case, a man turned up suddenly and claims that he is Christ and some Christians believe him and follow him to call on all their Christian networks to enlist followers! You may think it ridiculous but it is happening at the doorstep of churches. Unprepared Christians are like sheep lured into following the fake ‘christ’. I believe it’s time to read what Jesus said about end times in answer to His disciples’ questions.

How will He appear and how will we know it’s Jesus? Jesus said that when He comes He will be seen by the whole world all at once. “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” (Matthew 24:30)

Obviously, everybody in the world will see Him all at once and know He is the Christ.

Let us reread Matthew 24, in which Lord Jesus answered His disciples about the His return. We can see a few key points: 1. Don’t believe those who claim to be Christ; 2. When Jesus Christ returns, people all over the world can see at the same time and know that He is the Christ. 3. No one can know in advance when Christ will come. 4. When Christ appears (verse 37-41), it will be a normal day, with people living and working as usual, because no one could know in advance that He will return that day and moment. So Jesus warned Christians: Be ready to see the Lord. 5. Scripture 45-51 specifically warns those responsible for feeding Christians spiritually (such as church pastors, etc.) to pastor and feed them faithfully and with integrity, rather than being a hypocrite whose fate will be terrible.

In sum, no one can predict when Jesus is coming. His advice to His believers is just this: Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Matthew 24:44)

Bible Verses: Matthew 24:3-44 New King James Version (NKJV)

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. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for [a]all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, [b]pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

The Great Tribulation

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. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 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 [c]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. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.

The Coming of the Son of Man

29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His [d]elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

The Parable of the Fig Tree

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 [e]it 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.

No One Knows the Day or Hour

36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of [f]heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what [g]hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what [h]hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 24:6 NU omits all
  2. Matthew 24:7 NU omits pestilences
  3. Matthew 24:22 chosen ones’
  4. Matthew 24:31 chosen ones
  5. Matthew 24:33 Or He
  6. Matthew 24:36 NU adds nor the Son
  7. Matthew 24:42 NU day
  8. Matthew 24:43 Lit. watch of the night

Mark 1333: truth and integrity matter

Mark 1333Today I am sad to be reminded how human mind can be so limited that we tend to forget the big picture when the enemy lures us to pick on the nitty gritty of stuff he displays with a fanfare, dangling like a carrot in front of the donkey’s nose. I really cannot believe my ears when I watch the current campaign of a popular young (in age comparatively) yet veteran (in terms of two decades of being an elected representative) politician who represents hope and justice in a small nation. He performs well and I fully agree with the pertinent economic and legal issues he raises about his country’s political scene.

But he made a slip when he commented on the election of the greatest nation in the world. I am disappointed that he did not do a thorough study (being an obviously brilliant oratorial lawyer) on the other nation before he passed that comment on the final choice of the presidential candidate. No doubt he intended to make the point that every vote mattered as around 40% did not vote. He omitted to mention the fact that 62,979,636 voters had voted for the winning candidate. He also erred in making the presumption that the 40% dormant votes could have been in favor of another candidate!

I pray we all become more responsible and careful with our words. Globally. I have readers from nearly all the nations of the world who have internet access and those who read the downloaded articles sent to them by their loved ones. I do not presume to know all but I maintain my belief that the truth and each individual’s integrity matter. In my seven decades of life on earth I have come to the conviction and conclusion that each word we speak really matters. A person’s word may not influence others but it does speak to oneself and could inadvertently lead one to believing in deceptions that harm oneself and even stumble others. I do agree with the young politician that every vote counts. So it is time to register your vote and turn out to vote with the care that it may mean a life and death matter to you and your loved ones, and the survival of your people and nation.

The Bible verses that I received today are from Jesus in Mark 13:33-37, “Be on your guard [constantly alert], and watch and pray; for you do not know when the time will come.
It is like a man [already] going on a journey; when he leaves home, he puts his servants in charge, each with his particular task, and he gives orders to the doorkeeper to be constantly alert and on the watch.
Therefore watch (give strict attention, be cautious and alert), for you do not know when the Master of the house is coming—in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrowing, or in the morning—
[Watch, I say] lest He come suddenly and unexpectedly and find you asleep.
And what I say to you I say to everybody: Watch (give strict attention, be cautious, active, and alert)!

a fifty percent perspective

a portraitIt’s common to wonder what causes someone to be a sociopath as we watch in disbelief as the sociopath lies, manipulates, harms, and feels no empathy for anyone. Trying to teach empathy and emotion to a sociopath is like trying to teach a cellphone to cook a pizza. If it sounds ridiculous to teach a phone to cook a pizza, it’s because it is. A phone isn’t wired to cook, and it’s not bothered by this fact. Likewise, a sociopath’s brain isn’t wired to feel empathy or other emotions, and like the phone, the sociopath isn’t bothered about it.

Quoted from an answer in Quora about dating a sociopath: She will lie about almost everything, and if you ever call her out on it, she will deny it vehemently…to the point where you start to question yourself and your own memory.
She will create a LOT of drama. She will…

View original post 1,678 more words

A personal prayer

We need to be beware of the spirit that twists other’s words and distorts their original meaning and purpose. We pray for discerning spiritual gift so we know and can be accurate and clear in sending and receiving communication especially with people close to us and our coworkers.
In Jesus name we command clarity and accuracy in our thoughts and words spoken and otherwise in all forms of communication for ourselves and our family and loved ones and even our nation. Amen
Philippians 4:8
[ Meditate on These Things ] Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

three kings of Persia (3)

favour-grace-and-mercyThe third king of Persia who made a significant impact on God’s people was Artaxerxes I (Longimanus) who reigned during the period 465-424BC.(Ezr.7:1,21-26; Ne.2:1-8) He appointed Ezra as the secretary of state for Jewish affairs (in today’s language). He trusted and favored Ezra so much that he gave him everything he asked for. He wanted to beautify the Temple of God in Jerusalem and also make sure the priests and Levites there were carrying the worship correctly. So he listened to Ezra’s advice and sent Ezra to Jerusalem in 458BC with all the resources Ezra needed. He paid for all expenses to re-establish the proper Temple worship and sacrifices. He also gave Ezra authority to ensure compulsory religious education of the people of God (teaching them the Law of Moses) and their due compliance with the Law. He decreed that those who refuse to obey the Law of Ezra’s God and the law of the king would be punished immediately, “either by death, punishment, confiscation of goods or imprisonment.” He honored God and favored God’s servants-gave those who served God tax free status!

Here is a prayer of Ezra, praising God for the favor from God and from the king:
Ezra 7:27-28 New Living Translation (NLT)
Ezra Praises the Lord
27 Praise the Lord, the God of our ancestors, who made the king want to beautify the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem! 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.

Thirteen years later, the same Persian king listened to another trusted Jewish official in his court, Nehemiah, allowed him to go back to Jerusalem in 445BC to re-build the wall of Jerusalem so the enemies would not be able to continue to harass the people of Israel and interrupt the Temple worship.

From these Biblical records we can see that king Artaxerxes I knew the two officials well, trusted them, acknowledged their godly wisdom, moral integrity, professional ability and leadership quality. History had proven that king Artaxerxes’ judgment was right in employing and granting favor to these two great men of God! Both men of God were not ambitious or greedy for gains for themselves. They served God faithfully, served the king with integrity,  and capability for the respective task assigned. They truly loved God and loved the people of God. Upon completion of their respective specific assignment they returned to their own previous posts in the Persian Empire working close to the king and continuing to counsel him wisely. In today’s language, this is a win-win situation when both parties work together with integrity, justice, and honor  for one another, sharing the ultimate reverential fear of the Almighty Holy God of Heaven.

a tale of two cities: a choice

Daniel-12.3
make a wise choice like Daniel did

This is the time to mourn. The church must wake up and mourn. I am talking to the church as a whole on earth, not just America, China, Europe, Africa, Asia, Third world or first world. I am calling out to both the traditional evangelical and the Spirit-filled and Bible believing-all who believe the reality and truthfulness of the words of God both Old and New Testament, from Genesis to revelation. This is the time to wake up from narrowness and exclusiveness. Just look at Jesus. The example He set while on earth! Look at the apostles, Peter’s call to the Gentile’s home, Paul’s call to the world of demons (idolatry-infested world), and all the apostles and disciples of the first church who were scattered all over the world before Christianity. No, I am not talking about missionaries going now to the foreign worlds. I am talking about your own home ground your own nation wherever you are if you can read English and this blog. Wake up and stop one thing before you go out and evangelize. Stop your physical mind’s prejudices. Look at Jesus. What He did not do and what He did. Be led by the Holy Spirit as you read.

My spirit urged me to summarize what Jesus did not do:
1. He did not ask a man of other faith to kill anyone (regardless what they believed in or their lifestyle was)in the name of God.
2. He did not condemn anyone except the religious hypocrites who stopped people from coming to Jesus and believing in the Good News Jesus brought to all mankind.
3. Even so, Jesus did not kill or send anyone to kill the hypocrites.
4. He did not condone anyone judging another.
5. He did not agree to using physical force (violence) to resolve injustice within a nation.

A summary of what Jesus did:
1. Jesus came to save sinners and healed the sick.
2. Jesus put forgiveness as number one consideration, even for His enemies.
3. Jesus associated/socialized with sinners.
4. Jesus showed love and compassions.
5. Jesus gave life.

By agreeing with the thieves who came in to steal, kill and destroy lives, the church becomes accomplice to murder. Don’t you ever realize that in the spiritual realm the territorial spirits fight among themselves? Their number one ruler does his own harvest of souls by pitching his subordinates one against another.

You may ask, when the time is so bleak and you need to choose between two imperfect candidates for your national number one, whom should you choose? Didn’t the Bible show you the history of Israel, in the bleakest time when they were besieged by the strongest enemies and their own weakest kings ever? What did God ask prophet Jeremiah do? Jeremiah became the national number one traitor because he gave his countrymen an oracle that they were to choose the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar instead of choosing the Egyptian king Necho II. There was no other option. God told them to choose Nebuchadnezzar. Did Nebuchadnezzar do a good job in finishing off the other enemies of God? He did. On the other hand, Necho II failed in his many attempted negotiations and alliances.

The Israelites refused to listen to the divine oracle and thus suffered defeat and were still taken to Babylon for a season to be cleansed, healed, to recuperate and restore their spiritual strength just as prophesied. These deportations are dated to 597 BC for the first, with others dated at 587/586 BC, and 582/581 BC respectively. After the fall of Babylon to the Persian king Cyrus the Great in 539 BC, exiled Judeans were permitted to return to Jerusalem and Judah of Israel. The temple of Jerusalem and the walls were re-built. Worship of the true God resumed.

This is a record of the history of God. When Christians read God’s history and look at what Jesus did to demonstrate how things in this world are done, we will know what to choose and who to vote for. We shall always align with the plan of God even in the bleakest time in our own history. Look at Jesus and look at the two choices, which do you think is more like Nebuchadnezzar? Who do you think will bring your nation out of its weakling’s position? Who is the strong man? Who will be given the might to defeat the many foes inside and outside? Was Nebuchadnezzar a godly man? Not at the beginning. But in the book of Daniel he finally encountered the reality of the God of Israel, our God. And Nebuchadnezzar turned over a new leaf.

Jesus demonstrated this equally seemingly unusual choice by choosing the chief tax collector, the ungodly rich man Zacchaeus in the land of Israel as his host for a dinner party. The Son of God Himself gave this honor and privilege to a person disliked and even hated by many fellow Jews. In today’s term, a most un-Christian person. What happened after he encountered Jesus? He was transformed and saved. He did lots of good deeds to his fellow countrymen.

Summary: Look at the divine records.

Leverage: God’s economics and finance

work and seed growA friend sent me a very good and practical teaching on financial breakthrough and the principle of God’s economics. I sum up with this key: “You need to have something to grow or reproduce something of monetary worth.”
Here are some of the practical quotes which I agree and have in fact personally practiced all my working years:
“Deliver yourself from the creditors.”
“Don’t sleep until you are out of debts!”
“Decrease/diminish expenses.”
“Debt is a hindrance to prosperity.”
“God is not into ‘get rich quick’ scheme and He will not rig the lottery to make you rich!”
“Get Something for nothing -like doing two hours work and get six figures income-is ungodly.”
“God blesses your work and rain on your field when you have planted seeds, to prosper you. He will multiply and increase what you have worked on. If you have worked on nothing you will receive nothing. For example, if you work for a fast food place as a cashier He will promote you and you may become the owner. But if you merely receive welfare there is nothing for Him to multiply and increase or promote.” (Deuteronomy 28:11-12)
“There are plenty of creative work ideas that will generate good income.”
“Everyone has something you can do and God will prosper you.” (For examples the two fish and five loaves Jesus blessed and multiplied into thousands.)
“Find your ability and talent that others do not have and work.”
“You ought to be working even though you say you can afford not to. God prospers you to do good work for others.”
“You ought to be increasing and not decreasing (as in retirement).”
“I exert leverage with what I have-talent, ability-”

Bible verses:
2 Kings 4:1-7 New Living Translation (NLT)

Elisha Helps a Poor Widow
4 One day the widow of a member of the group of prophets came to Elisha and cried out, “My husband who served you is dead, and you know how he feared the Lord. But now a creditor has come, threatening to take my two sons as slaves.”

2 “What can I do to help you?” Elisha asked. “Tell me, what do you have in the house?”

“Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil,” she replied.

3 And Elisha said, “Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbors. 4 Then go into your house with your sons and shut the door behind you. Pour olive oil from your flask into the jars, setting each one aside when it is filled.”

5 So she did as she was told. Her sons kept bringing jars to her, and she filled one after another. 6 Soon every container was full to the brim!

“Bring me another jar,” she said to one of her sons.

“There aren’t any more!” he told her. And then the olive oil stopped flowing.

7 When she told the man of God what had happened, he said to her, “Now sell the olive oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on what is left over.”

Other Bible verses: Proverbs 6:2-5; Romans 13:6-8

http://www.awmi.net/audio/audio-teachings/#/awm_1052a_steward.mp3

(In the following blog I shall post my summary of the book “Financial Stewardship“)

Receive from God: More good gifts!

sunset here in RenoThe verses came out this morning when the watchman used his phone to message his loved ones, sharing how he has received God’s super-abundant supernatural blessings to his prayers. He shares that they are to read James today. An hour later he opens the online Bible with the Lord’s prompting with the intention to to get the verses of James for this blog post, behold, the online Bible already shows a quote from James on the same subject. God is awesome and faithful and the watchman hears God.

Quotes from the watchman’s mobile phone chat (5am) with his loved ones (in a family chat group):

“God loves the unlovable. He has good gifts for them too. If they submit to God and resist the devil they will be able to enjoy the good gifts. Good to read James. God is so good to me. Prayers always answered. He does and accomplishes things for me more than I can ask or even dream of. Superabundantly. Like winning the one trillion dolloar heavenly super lottery and more. Nature listens to God. Give yields to the righteous man God has promised to bless richly.” (The watchman also gave a lengthy example of how Isaac sow and reaped rich harvests during a time of widespread famines experienced by others.)

How did Isaac become the righteous man? Was he righteous all the time? Was he human? When we read his history we realize that he has human flaws and weaknesses like his dad Abraham. God chose the meek to inherit the land. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were all the meek. They were given the super-abundant blessings of God. They were men of faith and they took action of faith to obey God regardless of what others said. By faith and faith in action they showed their belief in the unseen God.

Similarly Christians become righteous by faith. We have become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

In the book of James the Holy Spirit further reminds Christians that faith can be seen in our daily living. Our living is before God and before others. Often this is where we fail to make the mark. Christians live in the world making a difference. That is our personal testimony that Jesus Christ lives in us today. He is alive. He lives. Our lives manifest that the Son of God lives in us and He destroys the work of the devil. God is the Father of lights. His light shines through the believers-the vessels He has chosen.

5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. (2 Corinthians 4:5-7 NKJV)

James 1 New King James Version (NKJV)  Greeting to the Twelve Tribes
1 James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings.

Profiting from Trials
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

The Perspective of Rich and Poor
9 Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, 10 but the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away. 11 For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits.

Loving God Under Trials
12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. 18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

Qualities Needed in Trials
19 So then,[a] my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

Doers—Not Hearers Only
21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

26 If anyone among you[b] thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

Footnotes:

James 1:19 NU-Text reads Know this or This you know.
James 1:26 NU-Text omits among you.

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.

This general kept winning just as God had promised.

Joshua 6 Jericho marchToday’s word is the Law, reading from Joshua, the successful leader after Moses. Joshua was different from Moses. He fought as a mighty warrior and general in the wilderness and finally led the people and crossed the River Jordan and conquered the Promised Land which was the solid foundation for the nation building of Israel – a new people of God. Joshua was both spiritually and physically powerful in his ministry for God. The Law was his secret weapon – Key Success Factor. He believed and practiced wholeheartedly and kept winning just as God had promised.

Famous saying from Joshua: in Joshua 24:15 Amplified Bible (AMP)

15 If it is unacceptable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

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Joshua 1:7

Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do [everything] in accordance with the entire law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may prosper and be successful wherever you go.In Context
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall read [and meditate on] it day and night, so that you may be careful to do [everything] in accordance with all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will be successful. In Context
just as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the sons of Israel, as it is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, an altar of uncut stones on which no one has wielded an iron tool; and they offered on it burnt offerings to the Lord, and sacrificed peace offerings. In Context
And there, in the presence of the sons of Israel, Joshua wrote on the stones a copy of the Law of Moses which Moses had written. In Context
Then afterward Joshua read all the words of the law, the blessing and curse, according to all that is written in the Book of the Law. In Context
Only be very careful and diligently observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the Lord has commanded you to love the Lord your God and walk in all His ways and keep His commandments and hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul [your very life].” In Context
Be steadfast and very determined to keep and to do everything that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, so that you do not turn aside from it to the right or the left, In Context
Then Joshua said to the people, “You will not be able to serve the Lord [if you serve any other gods], for He is a holy God; He is a jealous God [demanding what is rightfully and uniquely His]. He will not forgive your transgression [of His law] or your sins. In Context
And Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak that was in [the courtyard of] the sanctuary of the Lord. In Context

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Jesus has also affirmed God’s holy and righteous nature as shown in the Law:
Matthew 5:17-20 Amplified Bible (AMP)

17 “Do not think that I came to do away with or undo the [a]Law [of Moses] or the [writings of the] Prophets; I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For I assure you and most solemnly say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke [of the pen] will pass from the Law until all things [which it foreshadows] are accomplished. 19 So whoever breaks one of the least [important] of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least [important] in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever practices and teaches them, he will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

20 “For I say to you that unless your righteousness (uprightness, moral essence) is more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 5:17 I.e. the Pentateuch.

Journy to see God: your own ears will hear Him

God's compassion to youSo the Lord must wait for you to come to him
    so he can show you his love and compassion.
For the Lord is a faithful God.
    Blessed are those who wait for his help.

Blessings for the Lord’s People

18 So the Lord must wait for you to come to him
    so he can show you his love and compassion.
For the Lord is a faithful God.
    Blessed are those who wait for his help.

19 O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem,
    you will weep no more.
He will be gracious if you ask for help.
    He will surely respond to the sound of your cries.
20 Though the Lord gave you adversity for food
    and suffering for drink,
he will still be with you to teach you.
    You will see your teacher with your own eyes.
21 Your own ears will hear him.
    Right behind you a voice will say,
“This is the way you should go,”
    whether to the right or to the left.
22 Then you will destroy all your silver idols
    and your precious gold images.
You will throw them out like filthy rags,
    saying to them, “Good riddance!”

23 Then the Lord will bless you with rain at planting time. There will be wonderful harvests and plenty of pastureland for your livestock. 24 The oxen and donkeys that till the ground will eat good grain, its chaff blown away by the wind. 25 In that day, when your enemies are slaughtered and the towers fall, there will be streams of water flowing down every mountain and hill. 26 The moon will be as bright as the sun, and the sun will be seven times brighter—like the light of seven days in one! So it will be when the Lord begins to heal his people and cure the wounds he gave them.

(Isaiah 30 New Living Translation (NLT))

the man of the Spirit discerns all things

Bible plumb-lineWe read wisdom today.

Kehillah in Corinth I 2Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

When I came to you, Achim b’Moshiach, I did not come preaching and announcing to you the sod Hashem (mystery of G-d) as a ba’al melitzot (rhetorician, fine talker) or in the excellence of chochmah.

For I made the decision not to have da’as of anything among you except Moshiach and nivlato al haEtz (his body –gufa, kerper—on the Tree Boim (Yiddish for tree), DEVARIM 21:23).

And I came to you (Ac 18:1) in weakness (1:25,27) and in yir’at Shomayim and in fear and in much trembling I was with you,

And my speech and my hachrazah (proclamation, kyrygma, preaching) to you of the Besuras HaGeulah of Hashem was not in persuasive words but in the demonstration of the Ruach Hakodesh and the gevurat Hashem (power of G-d—1:17),

That the [orthodox Jewish] emunah (faith) of you may not be in the [Olam Hazeh] “chochmah” of Bnei Adam, but in the gevurat Hashem [1:17].

But we do speak chochmah (wisdom) to the man who is mevugar (mature, grown up), to those with mature ruchaniyut (spirituality in Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach), yet, it is a chochmah (wisdom) not of the Olam Hazeh, neither of the rulers of the Olam Hazeh (Ro 13:3), the ones being brought to naught (1:28). [TEHILLIM 146:4]

But we speak the chochmah of Hashem in a hidden sod (mystery 2:1), which was nigzar merosh (determined from the beginning, preordained, predestined, decided beforehand) by Hashem lifnei yemei haOlam (before the days of eternity) for our kavod (glory, Ro 8:29-30);

A chochmah which not one of the rulers of the Olam Hazeh has known, for, if they had had da’as, they would not have made talui al HaEtz HaKelalat Hashem (being hanged on the Tree of the Curse of G-d- Dt 21:23) the [Moshiach] Adon HaKavod. [Ps 24:7]

But even as it has been written, “Things which no eye has seen and LO SHAMU (“they had not heard”) nor did it come up into the heart of Bnei Adam, the things G-d prepared for the ones who have ahavah for him.” Isa 64:3[4] TARGUM HASHIVIM; Isa 52:15

10 But Hashem has made the hitgalut haSod (the revelation of the mystery) to us of these things through the Ruach Hakodesh; for the Ruach Hakodesh searches all things, even the deep things of G-d.

11 For who of Bnei Adam has da’as of the things of Bnei Adam except the ruach of a man in him? So also the things of G-d no one has known except the Ruach Hashem. [Jer 17:9; Prov 20:27]

12 Now we have not received the ruach of the Olam Hazeh but the Ruach Hakodesh from Hashem, that we may have da’as of the things having been freely given to us by Hashem,

13 Which things also we speak, not in dvarim (words) taught by chochmah haBnei Adam, but in dvarim taught by the Ruach Hakodesh, making midrash [exposition, interpretation] of the things of the Ruach Hakodesh [2:12] by means of the words of the Ruach Hakodesh.

14 But a natural person does not receive the things of the Ruach Hakodesh of Hashem, for they are narrishkait (foolishness 1:21-24) to him, and he is not able to have personal saving da’as of them, because they are discerned in the Ruach Hakodesh.

15 Now the man of the Ruach Hakodesh discerns all things, but, by no one is he discerned.

16 For, “Who has known the mind of Hashem so as to instruct Him” [Isa 40:13 TARGUM HASHIVIM]? But we have the mind of Moshiach. [YESHAYAH 40:13]