A watchman who tries to hear God

Romans 5-5
Romans 5:5 Hope does not disappoint

The watchman has lately been increasingly prompted and deeply impressed in his spirit to spend more quality time with God, seeking God for Himself and not what He can do. So this morning he dusted the floor, took out the thin mat which he had tucked away for quite sometime in the closet since moving to this house.

After spending an hour or so in praying mostly in tongue and reading aloud God’s words at brief intervals, he finally settled down at one spot and leaned his back against the wall underneath a window. Then he heard in his spirit this, “You have done enough talking. Now it’s my turn.” So he listened.

“First, this woman (a sister whom another house-mate is ministering to) was already healed; she will live and not die. Healing is not your ministry. Secondly, cooking ministry is not your calling (he has been cooking for the two). It will be taken care of. Thirdly, I have taken care of your family (in another State going through some significant changes and from whom he has just returned after a visit.)”

“What is my calling then?” He asked.

“You must now focus on completing the First Year Bible College study this year.” (He has started the course but paused half way.) “You will be upgraded to another level next year.”

“What is my calling then?”

“You are being equipped. Finish your equipping as scheduled.”

The watchman knows this is again a confirmation of what he has been impressed in his spirit sometime ago about his calling. Distractions are major weaknesses of his family. Their minds and hearts hardly stay still. His are no exceptions. But this time he has purposed in his heart and mind to hear the Lord. And the Lord does not disappoint.

Romans 5:5 New King James Version (NKJV)
5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all.

scott-in-indiaAll hail the power of Jesus’ Name! Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all.
Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all.

Let highborn seraphs tune the lyre, and as they tune it, fall
Before His face Who tunes their choir, and crown Him Lord of all.
Before His face Who tunes their choir, and crown Him Lord of all.

Crown Him, ye morning stars of light, who fixed this floating ball;
Now hail the strength of Israel’s might, and crown Him Lord of all.
Now hail the strength of Israel’s might, and crown Him Lord of all.

Crown Him, ye martyrs of your God, who from His altar call;
Extol the Stem of Jesse’s Rod, and crown Him Lord of all.
Extol the Stem of Jesse’s Rod, and crown Him Lord of all.

Ye seed of Israel’s chosen race, ye ransomed from the fall,
Hail Him Who saves you by His grace, and crown Him Lord of all.
Hail Him Who saves you by His grace, and crown Him Lord of all.

Hail Him, ye heirs of David’s line, whom David Lord did call,
The God incarnate, Man divine, and crown Him Lord of all,
The God incarnate, Man divine, and crown Him Lord of all.

Sinners, whose love can ne’er forget the wormwood and the gall,
Go spread your trophies at His feet, and crown Him Lord of all.
Go spread your trophies at His feet, and crown Him Lord of all.

Let every tribe and every tongue before Him prostrate fall
And shout in universal song the crownèd Lord of all.
And shout in universal song the crownèd Lord of all.

[John Rippon add­ed this verse in 1787]

O that, with yonder sacred throng, we at His feet may fall,
Join in the everlasting song, and crown Him Lord of all,
Join in the everlasting song, and crown Him Lord of all!
Words: Ed­ward Per­ro­net. The first stan­za ap­peared anon­y­mous­ly in The Gos­pel Mag­a­zine, No­vem­ber 1779. In April 1780, the same mag­a­zine pub­lished eight vers­es ti­tled, “On the Re­sur­rect­ion, the Lord Is King.” It re­sur­faced half a doz­en years later, again anon­y­mous­ly, ac­comp­an­ied by an acros­tic po­em whose let­ters spelled out “Ed­ward Per­ro­net.”

Music: Cor­o­na­tion, Ol­iv­er Hold­en; first ap­peared in his Un­ion Har­mo­ny or Un­i­ver­sal Col­lect­ion of Sac­red Mu­sic (Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts: 1793) (MI­DI, score). Al­ter­nate tunes:

Diadem, James El­lor, 1838 (MI­DI, score)
Miles Lane, Wil­liam Shrub­sole, 1779 (MI­DI, score)
[Oliver Holden (1765-1844)]

One of the most dra­ma­tic in­stanc­es of [this hymn’s] use was found in the ex­per­i­ence of the Rev. E. P. Scott in In­dia. His friends had urged him not to ven­ture near a cer­tain bar­bar­ous in­land tribe, whom he wished to evan­gel­ize. But he went forth with high cour­age, ne­ver wa­ver­ing in his du­ty, and trust­ing in God to pro­tect him. When at last he reached their coun­try among the hills, he came up­on a com­pa­ny of these sav­ag­es. Im­me­di­ate­ly they sur­round­ed him, point­ing their spears at him with threat­en­ing scowls. He had no­thing in his hand but his vi­o­lin; and so, clos­ing his eyes, he be­gan to play and sing, “All Hail the Pow­er of Je­sus’ Name.” When at last he opened his eyes he ex­pect­ed to be killed in­stant­ly. But his life had been spared through the sing­ing of the hymn. Their spears had dropped, and they re­ceived him first with cur­i­o­si­ty and in­ter­est, and then lat­er with ea­gern­ess, as he told them the gos­pel sto­ry and won their hearts to the will of Je­sus Christ. (Quoted from online source)
Here is a video of the hymn and this little story:
https://youtu.be/Z24MNyfZlRk

Lord, while they curse, may you bless

may you blessKing David’s depression: Psalm 109 study on verbal abuses:
King David expresses the mental and emotional anguish of a person oppressed by verbal abuses. The weapons they use are words. Lies and slanders. Accusations. Hate crimes. This is done by people whom David has considered his friends. They have turned against him for no legitimate reasons.

How does David defend himself against such verbal abuses? David prays.

My God, whom I praise, do not remain silent, for people who are wicked and deceitful have opened their mouths against me; they have spoken against me with lying tongues. With words of hatred they surround me; they attack me without cause. In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer. They repay me evil for good, and hatred for my friendship. (1-5)

In 1-5, 16-19 We read that the enemy was wicked, deceitful, and spoke against David with lying tongues. The wicked never thought of doing kindness, hounded to death the poor, needy, brokenhearted, loved to pronounce curses and never blessed.

David asks the Lord to do to his enemy what the enemy does to others. In 8-20 David prays against his enemy. He cannot stop his accuser from smearing him with verbal abuses and wrongful accusations, so he turns to God for help.

Appoint someone evil to oppose my enemy; let an accuser stand at his right hand. When he is tried, let him be found guilty, and may his prayers condemn him. (6-7) May this be the Lord’s payment to my accusers, to those who speak evil of me.” (20)

David speaks of how the accuser’s verbal abuses do hurt him, and how his mental anguish has affected and caused sicknesses and suffering to his physical body.

But you, Sovereign Lord, help me for your name’s sake; out of the goodness of your love, deliver me. For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. I fade away like an evening shadow; I am shaken off like a locust. My knees give way from fasting; my body is thin and gaunt. I am an object of scorn to my accusers; when they see me, they shake their heads. (21-25)

David knows and believes that God can turn the curses from his enemy into blessing. The enemy’s curses will no longer have any effect on him. Instead God will vindicate him.

Help me, Lord my God; save me according to your unfailing love. Let them know that it is your hand, that you, Lord, have done it. While they curse, may you bless; may those who attack me be put to shame, but may your servant rejoice. May my accusers be clothed with disgrace and wrapped in shame as in a cloak. (26-29)

David knows one truth: God is always on his side. If God is for us who can be against us? This is David’s key to success. He overcomes his depression by his re-focus on God and no longer on the enemy. He witnesses God and not the enemy.

With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord; in the great throng of worshippers I will praise him. For he stands at the right hand of the needy, to save the lives from those who would condemn them. (30-31)

David is a man of God. Here is another example of his declaration of his unwavering conviction and faith in God: “Give us aid against the enemy, for human help is worthless. With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.” (Psalm 108:12-13)

Romans 8:31-33

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.

The Seed for the Kingdom of Heaven

good soil for seedChapter 13 in Matthew is today’s Bible reading. Jesus speaks in parables. He speaks of sowing the words of God like sowing seeds on various grounds (good and bad soil). He is speaking of the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven. In reading the two subjects together and the previous chapters in Matthew, we know that Jesus is sowing the seeds of the Kingdom of God while teaching the large crowd who follow Him to hear Him and to be healed. The message today is “The Kingdom of Heaven”. Jesus is speaking and teaching the same message to a large crowd of varying heart conditions like the soils He talks about. In this passage, Jesus differentiates those who are listening and to whom He will give more understanding, and those who are not listening. The difference is in the word “listening”. By listening to Jesus, they will see the truth and receive. Jesus has taught and done many miraculous signs, but not all listen or see with understanding of the Kingdom of Heaven message Jesus is preaching authoritatively and powerful demonstrating by His supernatural ministry on earth. Unless one understands how it operates one cannot receive the Kingdom of Heaven and become a part of it.

One alarming thing that Jesus has pointed out is that the audience has control over whether they hear or not hear. See or not see. He explains why they cannot hear or see. “For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes-so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to Me and let Me heal them.” (Matthew 13:15) This statement clearly places the responsibility on an audience because he can close his ears and eyes by hardening his own heart and thereby misses out the Kingdom of Heaven. Frightening. 

Bible verses are quoted from the Holy Bible NLT. (Boldness added)

Matthew 13:1-15 New Living Translation (NLT) Parable of the Farmer Scattering Seed

Later that same day Jesus left the house and sat beside the lake. A large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat there and taught as the people stood on the shore. He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one:

“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow.But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

10 His disciples came and asked him, “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?”

11 He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets[a] of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. 12 To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. 13 That is why I use these parables,

For they look, but they don’t really see.
    They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand.

14 This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah that says,

‘When you hear what I say,
    you will not understand.
When you see what I do,
    you will not comprehend.
15 For the hearts of these people are hardened,
    and their ears cannot hear,
and they have closed their eyes—
    so their eyes cannot see,
and their ears cannot hear,
    and their hearts cannot understand,
and they cannot turn to me
    and let me heal them.[b]

Footnotes:

  1. 13:11 Greek the mysteries.
  2. 13:14-15 Isa 6:9-10 (Greek version).

as the Holy Spirit says: do not harden your hearts

Redeemer of IsraelDo not give up hope. Do not harden your heart.

Hebrews 3 New International Version (NIV)

Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,”[a] bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future. But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.

Warning Against Unbelief

So, as the Holy Spirit says:

“Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion,
    during the time of testing in the wilderness,
where your ancestors tested and tried me,
    though for forty years they saw what I did.
10 That is why I was angry with that generation;
    I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,
    and they have not known my ways.’
11 So I declared on oath in my anger,
    ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”[b]

12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. 15 As has just been said:

“Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts
    as you did in the rebellion.”[c]

16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

Footnotes:

  1. Hebrews 3:5 Num. 12:7
  2. Hebrews 3:11 Psalm 95:7-11
  3. Hebrews 3:15 Psalm 95:7,8

a private discourse with Jesus about the end

Jesus gave a lengthy discourse on the mount of Olives when His disciples came to Him privately and asked Him about end of the world and sign of His coming. It was His last discourse before going to the cross. At the end of His discourse, He warned of this following event which would surely take place when He comes at the end.

Matthew 25:31-46 (boldness added)

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy[a] angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, in as much as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ (NIV: 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’) through a child's eyes

41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

44 “Then they also will answer Him,[b] saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Do this, knowing the time: Put on the full armor of God

armorofgod2

This watchman received in spirit that this is the sign: put on your full armor of God.

This means: having the full alertness and consciousness of the mighty presence of God and His Word, Spirit-filled and Spirit-led at all times. Listening to audio Bible and reading at the same time is one way of keeping focused on God and matters of God, just as our Lord and Savior Jesus has commanded. (John 15:7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.)

Ephesians 6 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak…

23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.

Romans 13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

11 Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. 12 The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

Luke 11 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

20 But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed. 22 But when someone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied and distributes his plunder. 23 He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.

1 John 4:4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

John 16:33 [Full Chapter] These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. | Full Chapter |
He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.

Resurrection truth: by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name

I am led in my spirit to quote chapter 20 of John instead of continuing with Matthew today. Here is the account of what happened that day when Jesus was raised from the dead. who were the eye witnesses and how they each responded. Note the contrasts between one woman and the other disciples. Some were still walking by sight and seeing the physical. But one woman saw differently. She persisted in her belief and saw Jesus! However, our God is merciful. No matter how you have responded before, today, by believing in Him you will have life by the power of His name !

John 20

New Living Translation (NLT)  (The boldness of letters were added by this blogger)

The Resurrection

20 Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn’t go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed— for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead. 10 Then they went home.

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

11 Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. 12 She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her.

“Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”

14 She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. 15 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?”

She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”

16 “Mary!” Jesus said.

She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”).

17 “Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

18 Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message.

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19 That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! 21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”

26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”

28 My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.

29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

Purpose of the Book

30 The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.

easter-lily-Christ-risen

Journey on: how did Abraham move house?

A very old TV movie in which Abraham’s life was depicted as a moving story of one called man’s determination by faith to believe in an unseen God emerged as this watchman unpacked the household stuff and re-assembled the DVD player and TV connection. He tried to find something to test out the connection and came upon this movie which was on top of the packed DVDs. He ended up watching nearly the whole story, up to the point of the birth of Isaac.

He found himself tearing when it came to the part when Abraham knelt down and cried out to the unseen God who spoke to him the first time after he had been seeking a God who could talk to him and let him know He is God. God actually spoke to him one day.

He was awed. So was this watchman. God told him to move out and move on. He did. The exact words from God as recorded were as follows:

Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3)

This watchman used to think it only took just simple faith and obedience. Pack and leave. That easy.

But recent moving from one house to another only two streets away was a major project. It was not easy at all. The fact that each household resident simply pack his or her own stuff and moved them did not make life easier for everyone else. There are just too many things, stuff, many choices, decisions to make. everyone was told that they could not accommodate 100% of the stuff so everyone has to forego some stuff. But on the days of moving, they decided to carry whatever they could and packed the much more compact house into a used goods jumble sale storehouse. All the spaces, in and out, were packed with stuff. There was no way anyone could walk in the dark anywhere without stumbling over any stuff. Very good for hide and seek and treasure hunting too.

The dog scored top marks as she was good with obstacle race…But the humans really suffered until someone could not stand the besiege anymore and started to dig out a way.

How did Abraham move house? He lived in a developed modern city and had accumulated considerable wealth. He took his whole household (including servants and workers and personal ‘armies’) with him, their wives and children, goods, cattle, and stuff too. It was estimated that he could have been travelling with at least over a thousand people plus livestock and goods. So, how did he move house?

What about his emotional and soul ties with those he left behind. There were more than stuff. It was a heart and mind issue, parting with anything or anyone one cares. Abraham left behind his close family (his father’s house), even his country. he could not have possibly carried all the stuff the thousands of men, women and children had treasured. Neither could he have brought with him the love, friendship, comradeship which his kinsmen had given him all his life until the time he left them behind.

How did he do it? This watchman asked.

Can anyone tell him?

For the watchman it was a practical case of choice and no-choice. One has choice over many things, even thoughts and emotions (sentiments). But the physical limitations reduce choices to mere practicality.

For an end time focused watchman, the choices in practice are very limited. When he was born again many years ago he received in his spirit two crucial sets of verses. He treasured them all his life, not knowing how important they have always been and shall be for end times survival.

Here they are. They are really the keys to success in digging your way out of any besiege amidst the mountain of stuff (physical, mental and emotional, and spiritual)!

Galatians 2:20

New King James Version (NKJV)

20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Colossians 3:1-3

New King James Version (NKJV)

Not Carnality but Christ

3 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

How did Abraham move house? He was not crossing two streets but crossing an entire nation and many more to possess the land (the ground) that God had promised and given in the spiritual realm.

The same principle applies: He died the moment God called him. Death makes an overcomer in Christ.

(a final note: The movie part well en-acted by Richard Harris, is worth watching again. Feel the pain of death when you watch it. Once you have died to self, you enter the serene and sure place of rest that Jesus has promised. Matt.11:28-30)

Abraham's death of self
Abraham’s death of self

Who are the righteous?

What does it mean to be the righteous? Who are the righteous? How do we stand even now over a lot of global issues which impact the heavenly realm’s record? How shall we stand as Christians in further crucial and decisive moments which are forthcoming? Today we read history which tells us one of its definitions in God’s dictionary. This watchman wishes to give thanks for the readily available valuable information published that gives Christians some ideas at least of what had happened and what could happen in future in the end days, which are already here in many parts of the world. Are we to be classified as the sheep or the goats by Jesus? (Matthew 25:31-46)

Please read with soul searching of self. We are the ordinary people. We will be called to take a stand when the right moment comes. Some had passed the test and gone on to stand with the martyrs. Many had failed. Why did Christians fail? Perhaps each can receive each own answer today.

About the righteous (Excerpts quoted from the YAD VASHEM as follows. The boldness of certain phrases are added by this blogger to highlight my own perceptions of importance):

Attitudes towards the Jews during  the Holocaust mostly ranged from   indifference to hostility. The mainstream  watched as their former   neighbors were rounded up and killed; some collaborated  with the   perpetrators; many benefited from the expropriation of the Jews    property.

In a world of total moral collapse there was a small minority who   mustered  extraordinary courage to uphold human values. These were the   Righteous Among  the Nations. They stand in stark contrast to the   mainstream of indifference and  hostility that prevailed during the   Holocaust. Contrary to the general trend,  these rescuers regarded the   Jews as fellow human beings who came within the  bounds of their   universe of obligation.

Most rescuers started off as  bystanders. In many cases   this happened when they were confronted with the  deportation or the   killing of the Jews. Some had stood by in the early stages  of   persecution, when the rights of Jews were restricted and their property    confiscated, but there was a point when they decided to act, a boundary   they  were not willing to cross. Unlike others, they did not fall into a   pattern of  acquiescing to the escalating measures against the Jews.

In many cases it was the Jews who  turned to the non-Jew   for help. It was not only the rescuers who demonstrated  resourcefulness   and courage, but also the Jews who fought for their survival.  Wolfgang   Benz, who did extensive research on rescue of Jews during the    Holocaust claims that when listening to rescue stories, the rescued   persons may  seem to be only objects for care and charity, however “the   attempt to survive  in illegality was before anything else a   self-assertion and an act of Jewish  resistance against the Nazi regime.   Only few were successful in this  resistance”.

Faced with Jews knocking on their  door, bystanders were   faced with the need to make an instant decision. This was  usually an   instinctive human gesture, taken on the spur of the moment and only    then to be followed by a moral choice. Often it was a gradual process,   with the  rescuers becoming increasingly involved in helping the   persecuted Jews.  Agreeing to hide someone during a raid or roundup – to   provide shelter for a  day or two until something else could be found –   would evolve into a rescue  that lasted months and years.

The price that rescuers had to pay  for their action differed   from one country to another. In Eastern Europe, the  Germans executed   not only the people who sheltered Jews, but their entire  family as   well. Notices warning the population against helping the Jews were   posted  everywhere. Generally speaking punishment was less severe in   Western Europe,  although there too the consequences could be formidable   and some of the  Righteous Among the Nations were incarcerated in camps   and killed. Moreover,  seeing the brutal treatment of the Jews and the   determination on the part of  the perpetrators to hunt down every single   Jew, people must have feared that  they would suffer greatly if they   attempted to help the persecuted. In  consequence, rescuers and rescued   lived under constant fear of being caught;  there was always the danger   of denunciation by neighbors or collaborators. This  increased the risk   and made it more difficult for ordinary people to defy the  conventions   and rules. Those who decided to shelter Jews had to sacrifice their    normal lives and to embark upon a clandestine existence – often against   the  accepted norms of the society in which they lived, in fear of their   neighbors  and friends – and to accept a life ruled by dread of   denunciation and capture.

Most rescuers were ordinary people.  Some acted out of   political, ideological or religious convictions; others were  not   idealists, but merely human beings who cared about the people around   them.  In many cases they never planned to become rescuers and were   totally unprepared  for the moment in which they had to make such a   far-reaching decision. They  were ordinary human beings, and it is   precisely their humanity that touches us  and should serve as a model.   So far Yad Vashem recognized Righteous from 44  countries and nationalities; there are Christians from all denominations and  churches, Muslims and agnostics; men and women of all ages; they come   from all  walks of life; highly educated people as well as illiterate   peasants; public  figures as well as people from society’s margins; city   dwellers and farmers  from the remotest corners of Europe; university   professors, teachers,  physicians, clergy, nuns, diplomats, simple   workers, servants, resistance  fighters, policemen, peasants, fishermen,   a zoo director, a circus owner, and  many more.

Scholars have attempted to trace the  characteristics that   these Righteous share and to identify who was more likely  to extend   help to the Jews or to a persecuted person. Some claim that the  Righteous are a diverse group and the only common denominator are the   humanity  and courage they displayed by standing up for their moral   principles.   Samuel P. Oliner and Pearl M. Oliner defined the   altruistic personality. By  comparing and contrasting rescuers and   bystanders during the Holocaust, they  pointed out that those who intervened were distinguished by characteristics  such as empathy and a sense of connection to others. Nehama Tec who also  studied many cases   of Righteous, found a cluster of shared characteristics and  conditions   of separateness, individuality or marginality. The rescuers’    independence enabled them to act against the accepted conventions and   beliefs.

Bystanders were the rule, rescuers  were the exception.   However difficult and frightening, the fact that some found  the courage   to become rescuers demonstrates that some freedom of choice  existed,   and that saving Jews was not beyond the capacity of ordinary people    throughout occupied Europe. The Righteous Among the Nations teach us   that every  person can make a difference.

There were different degrees of  help: some people gave   food to Jews, thrusting an apple into their pocket or  leaving food   where they would pass on their way to work. Others directed Jews  to   people who could help them; some sheltered Jews for one night and told   them  they would have to leave in the morning. Only few assumed the  entire  responsibility for the Jews’ survival. It is mostly the last   group that  qualifies for the title of the Righteous Among the Nations.

Read on : The Righteous Among The Nations  http://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/righteous/about.asp

______________Bible verses: Matthew 25:31-46 (NKJV)

The Son of Man Will Judge the Nations

31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Judgment-of-Sheep-Goats-Fra-Angelico-Wikipedia-Public-Domain

a letter to a brethren – positive ministry in the Holy Spirit

Dear sister in Christ:

I agree with you that the word of God is sufficient to assure us that we have the Holy Spirit and the power of God in us. I am a word person too.

My only concern is we don’t know how to manifest the presence of the might of God as we minister to others. i.e. we are not ministering in the Holy Spirit.

Andrew admitted from below that he actually could discern the presence of God as he was spiritually joined to the Lord, one spirit with the Lord’s Spirit (1 Cor.6:17). I always believe this verse and in fact proclaim daily with the other two disciples. But I also admit that we are not as spiritually discerning or sensitive as Andrew is.

That is why we need to learn from his teaching and even his school experience, the practical ministering parts with brethren who are Holy Spirit filled and Holy Spirit empowered. We can grow that way in our walk in the Holy Spirit.

Heidi said, we can only give what we have: “If we are not full of Him we have nothing to offer to anyone else.” (https://kzlam36.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/heidi-bakers-testimony-and-quotes/)

As we minister we actually must impart the same : walking according to the Spirit, living in the power of the Holy Spirit, whether it’s healing or just conducting each own daily life.

We can only impart what we have already encountered. we need to encounter Jesus (in the Holy Spirit) in our spirit man. (The testimonies of their lives are what these men and women of faith have been teaching and imparting)!

Please watch or listen to the Positive Ministry of the Holy Spirit first and do nothing else. The fresh revelation is here. My spirit said you need to listen afresh too! You can watch or listen to the teaching at the following websites: http://www.awmi.net/tv/2006/week40 ; http://www.awmi.net/extra/audio/1020

Love, brethren in Christ, watchman

_______________Excerpts from Andrew Wommack’s article (describing his own encounter with God’s presence in the Spirit)

One year at our annual Charis Bible College Expand Your Vision Weekend, as I was worshiping the Lord, I just knew in my heart that the Lord had entered the room. I didn’t feel it, I just knew it. I knew He had walked into the auditorium through the left front doors and right up in front of the stage. He stood there next to me for a moment, then He turned and started down the middle aisle and toward the back of the room.

I know the Lord promised He would always be with us and, in fact, lives within us. But there was a tangible manifestation of His presence. Very simply put, I believe what we call the anointing is just a manifestation of what is already true in the spirit realm. The Lord is always with us, but His presence isn’t always tangibly manifest. This time it was.

The presence of the Lord was so real, I opened my eyes to look and see if I could see Him. Within moments, people began to drop to their knees and worship the Lord in the same sequence that I had sensed Him walking through the room. People were rejoicing and sobbing out loud. It was a powerful time of being in the manifest presence of the Lord.

But here is the thing that was so special to me: I didn’t physically see or feel anything extraordinary. I didn’t need to. I knew it by faith. By the Spirit, I knew what was happening before I opened my eyes and saw any confirmation of the Lord moving through the meeting and touching people. I was just as satisfied to know these things by the Spirit as if I had been physically overwhelmed and pinned to the floor under the power of the Holy Spirit.

As the meeting continued, there were many people touched by the manifest presence of the Lord. It was one of those times that people want to build three tabernacles and just camp there (Matt. 17:4). Although I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, I’ve come to the place where faith when God’s presence is not manifest is just as real as the special times when feeling confirms what faith believes. (http://www.awmi.net/extra/article/walking_faith)

“Walking by faith” MP3 download: http://www.awmi.net/extra/audio/1046

  1. The Reality Of Faith
  2. Walking By Faith
  3. How To Overcome Doubt
  4. The End Of Self Is The Beginning Of God

Excerpts from The Positive Ministry of the Holy Spirit:

The Holy Spirit should be your best friend. He was sent here to encourage you and constantly assure you of God’s love. He is the most important and most powerful person in your life. If you haven’t been thinking correctly about the Holy Spirit, it’s time to change your thinking.

You will never be able to relate to God correctly until you understand this positive ministry of the Holy Spirit. My new and expanded series, The Positive Ministry of the Holy Spirit, will help you make this change in your thinking. The Holy Spirit is the great Comforter, but His positive ministry goes far beyond that. If you want power in your life, you’ll have to know and understand what I teach in this series.” Andrew Wommack (http://www.awmi.net/extra/article/positive_ministry )

Download mp3 below to listen: (note added by this blogger: listen to the last two first; very important for us!)

http://www.awmi.net/extra/audio/1020

  1. The Comforter
  2. The Sin Of Unbelief
  3. Righteousness & Judgment
  4. Depending On The Spirit
  5. God’s Love Revealed
Romans 5:5
Romans 5:5 – the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us!