the costly mistake made by a good king

2 Kings 20:14Hezekiah was a good king of the southern kingdom of Judah. He became king at 25 years old and reigned 29 years in Jerusalem. He did what was right in the eyes of God. He removed idol worshipping from his people. He trusted and held fast to the Lord God and kept His commandments. The Lord was with him, prospered him and subdued the enemies of Judah. When he was near death due to sickness, the Lord answered his plea and granted him an extended life-span of fifteen years. But King Hezekiah made one fatal mistake after that. He lacked wisdom, alertness, political discernment and even common sense over this matter of dealing with foreigners. He welcomed the envoys from the ambitious Babylonian king. He opened his treasury and showed these Babylonian foreigners all his treasures, riches and military strength. Of course, the rest is history. The Babylonians came with their brutal and vicious military might, slaughtered the people of Judah and destroyed the kingdom of Judah. The descendants of king Hezekiah were captured to Babylon just as the prophet Isaiah had prophesied.

2 Kings 20: 12-18 The Babylonian Envoys
12 At that time Berodach-Baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that Hezekiah had been sick. 13 And Hezekiah was attentive to them, and showed them all the house of his treasures—the silver and gold, the spices and precious ointment, and all his armory—all that was found among his treasures. There was nothing in his house or in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them.

14 Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say, and from where did they come to you?”

So Hezekiah said, “They came from a far country, from Babylon.”

15 And he said, “What have they seen in your house?”

So Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them.”

16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord: 17 ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,’ says the Lord. 18 ‘And they shall take away some of your sons who will descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’”

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to them I will give authority over all the nations

Revelation 2:26Today’s message: To them I will give authority over all the nations! Revelation 2:26-27Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

26 And he who overcomes (is victorious) and who obeys My commands to the [very] end [doing the works that please Me], I will give him authority and power over the nations;
27 And he shall rule them with a sceptre (rod) of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, and [his power over them shall be] like that which I Myself have received from My Father;

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Revelation 2Revelation 2:26

“And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power ove the nations-“
The Message to the Church in Ephesus
“Write this letter to the angel[a] of the church in Ephesus. This is the message from the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand, the one who walks among the seven gold lampstands:

2 “I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. 3 You have patiently suffered for me without quitting.

4 “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first![b] 5 Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to…

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A great warrior (who would be king)’s prayer

psalm 18:32I am led to post this whole psalm 18 today to encourage the one who may be discouraged right now because of the series of bad news just as what David had faced after he was anointed to become the new king of Israel and was viciously pursued and persecuted by king Saul who tried to hang on to his failed kingship.

Psalm 18 (NKJV)
God the Sovereign Savior
A Psalm of David the servant of the Lord, who spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. And he said:

18 I will love You, O Lord, my strength.
2
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.

4
The pangs of death surrounded me,
And the floods of ungodliness made me afraid.
5
The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me;
The snares of death confronted me.
6
In my distress I called upon the Lord,
And cried out to my God;
He heard my voice from His temple,
And my cry came before Him, even to His ears.

7
Then the earth shook and trembled;
The foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken,
Because He was angry.
8
Smoke went up from His nostrils,
And devouring fire from His mouth;
Coals were kindled by it.
9
He bowed the heavens also, and came down
With darkness under His feet.
10
And He rode upon a cherub, and flew;
He flew upon the wings of the wind.
11
He made darkness His secret place;
His canopy around Him was dark waters
And thick clouds of the skies.
12
From the brightness before Him,
His thick clouds passed with hailstones and coals of fire.

13
The Lord thundered from heaven,
And the Most High uttered His voice,
Hailstones and coals of fire.[a]
14
He sent out His arrows and scattered the foe,
Lightnings in abundance, and He vanquished them.
15
Then the channels of the sea were seen,
The foundations of the world were uncovered
At Your rebuke, O Lord,
At the blast of the breath of Your nostrils.

16
He sent from above, He took me;
He drew me out of many waters.
17
He delivered me from my strong enemy,
From those who hated me,
For they were too strong for me.
18
They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
But the Lord was my support.
19
He also brought me out into a broad place;
He delivered me because He delighted in me.

20
The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness;
According to the cleanness of my hands
He has recompensed me.
21
For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
And have not wickedly departed from my God.
22
For all His judgments were before me,
And I did not put away His statutes from me.
23
I was also blameless before Him,
And I kept myself from my iniquity.
24
Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness,
According to the cleanness of my hands in His sight.

25
With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful;
With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless;
26
With the pure You will show Yourself pure;
And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd.
27
For You will save the humble people,
But will bring down haughty looks.

28
For You will light my lamp;
The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.
29
For by You I can run against a troop,
By my God I can leap over a wall.
30
As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the Lord is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

31
For who is God, except the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?
32
It is God who arms me with strength,
And makes my way perfect.
33
He makes my feet like the feet of deer,
And sets me on my high places.
34
He teaches my hands to make war,
So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

35
You have also given me the shield of Your salvation;
Your right hand has held me up,
Your gentleness has made me great.
36
You enlarged my path under me,
So my feet did not slip.

37
I have pursued my enemies and overtaken them;
Neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed.
38
I have wounded them,
So that they could not rise;
They have fallen under my feet.
39
For You have armed me with strength for the battle;
You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.
40
You have also given me the necks of my enemies,
So that I destroyed those who hated me.
41
They cried out, but there was none to save;
Even to the Lord, but He did not answer them.
42
Then I beat them as fine as the dust before the wind;
I cast them out like dirt in the streets.

43
You have delivered me from the strivings of the people;
You have made me the head of the nations;
A people I have not known shall serve me.
44
As soon as they hear of me they obey me;
The foreigners submit to me.
45
The foreigners fade away,
And come frightened from their hideouts.

46
The Lord lives!
Blessed be my Rock!
Let the God of my salvation be exalted.
47
It is God who avenges me,
And subdues the peoples under me;
48
He delivers me from my enemies.
You also lift me up above those who rise against me;
You have delivered me from the violent man.
49
Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles,
And sing praises to Your name.

50
Great deliverance He gives to His king,
And shows mercy to His anointed,
To David and his descendants forevermore.

Hebrews 12:12
AMPC
So then, brace up and reinvigorate and set right your slackened and weakened and drooping hands and strengthen your feeble and palsied and tottering knees,

Zechariah 5: warning of wickedness (reblogged)

(Note: Jesus warns of how one will open a door to the evil one by one’s mouth!)Zechariah 5

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We arrive at Zechariah 5 seeing the visions of prophet Zechariah: a flying scroll and a ‘woman’ personifying wickedness. We shall read the first part: see what God means by wickedness, as shown in the vision of the flying scroll.

Summary: (verses 1-4)

God sees wickedness in the land. He wants His prophets (messengers) to see too and issue warnings.

Wickedness includes: stealing; swearing falsely using God’s name.

God wants HIs people to know He takes action against wickedness; Consequences of wickedness: “I am sending this curse into the house of every thief and into the house of everyone who swears falsely using My Name.”

No house will escape. Note: there is no differentiation between thieves. God uses one description: thief. (Jesus warns of the motives of thief, in John 10:10)

  1. The curses are written in heaven and voluminous. Zechariah saw a scroll measuring 30 feet long and 15…

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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.

proof by fruit: today I bless this woman

proverbs 4:2324EngI find it hard to make some Christians understand the importance of fruit. One person keeps saying Christians are supposed to be the underdog and bullied and trampled upon by the society in every aspect of life! I am trying to encourage her to read Andrew Wommack’s “You’ve already Got It!” which shows how the Bible clearly says that God is on our side and and has already given us all resources by grace, and the power (Holy Spirit) to appropriate them and live an abundant and well life in this life too! But we need to know the spiritual keys (God’s words) to unlock them! (My interpretation of what Andrew teaches). Anyway I told this woman this: “Guard your heart! Guard your mouth! See the fruit! Jesus asks for fruit that can be seen!” Fruit is tangible and can be seen no matter how knowledgeable about the Bible and how spiritual we say we are. Real treasure can only come from the store of rich treasure (God’s good words) we have in our heart.

Coincidentally, here is a small incident that happened in the marketplace today with another woman to prove that fruit can be seen and blessing can be tangible.

While waiting for my takeaway from an oriental food stall, I overheard a conversation at another food stall between the solo food seller (a woman) and an older man who appeared to be one of her regular customers, from what I heard in their conversation. The woman looked like any ordinary food seller manning a small chicken rice stall. She appeared middle-aged. What interested me was what she told the older man.

“Look, you claim you are not judging others or saying bad things about others, but you are talking about people behind their back! You mention names. We are taught not to say things behind others’ back, no matter how pure you claim your motive is. Stop it! I don’t want to listen and be a part of this! Don’t tell me or anyone about others! It is not right. It will harm you. Look at the state you are in! Stop!” Compared to this energetic woman the man indeed seemed less fit or well. He struggled to even sit down. He listened to her and finally shut up and nodded.

After I paid for my food I drove off and my spirit was prompted to lead me into a blessing prayer for this woman who was brave enough to speak the truth to help out that poor man. I blessed her with health, wellness, and prosperity in all she puts her hands to do. Today she will receive. This is a woman who has faith in God’s words and practices them in her daily life. She is wise to guard her heart and her mouth. She refuses to join in the gossip. She has got it-The secret to prosperity. She was faith-filled and godly in her own simple way. I marvel at how God blesses the small people.

Proverbs 4:23-24 Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.
Put away from you a deceitful mouth,
And put perverse lips far from you.

A prayer inspired by the Holy Spirit

O Lord, take ________into your great pavilion. Lead him/her/them, direct him/ her/ them, preserve him/her/them, strengthen him/her/ them, uphold him/ her/ them by your mighty power. Let the peace that passes understanding, the joy of the Lord, the comfort of the Holy Spirit, be with him/her/them always. In Jesus name we pray. Amen. –Smith Wigglesworth

Financial Freedom: the Joseph Way

More and more individuals are called today to serve the Lord on a voluntary basis and have often to rely on his/her own savings or income from investments. I believe there is an urgent need for this group to learn the Joseph way. The key is to be able to know what is ahead and hear God’s instructions on what to invest.

Genesis 41:33Lately I received this reminder and again today to learn from Joseph’s testimony. There is no doubt Joseph had close relationship with God and could hear God.

Genesis 41 recorded how Joseph rose to financial power. Briefly, one night the powerful Egyptian Pharaoh (king) had two dreams that caused his spirit to be troubled and no one could interpret his dreams. He knew of Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams through his chief butler. He immediately summoned Joseph to be brought out of the dungeon to him.

Joseph not only accurately predicted the forthcoming economic boom, its subsequent global famine crisis and their timing, he also presented an immediate financial strategy and action plan to the king as a solution. It was remarkable that Joseph prophesied that God would give Pharaoh a favourable answer even before he knew what Pharaoh had dreamed of! He also knew the solutions beforehand. The king rightly recognized Joseph’s worth!

Let us read some of the Bible verses and see this spiritual yet financially proficient man in supernatural action:

Joseph’s Strategic Action 1: Before Joseph knew what the dreams were, Joseph confidently gave a prophecy of good news to the king. How could he be sure of the positive outcome? Amazing. Joseph was a man of God. God told him what was to happen.

Verse 15 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it; and I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream and interpret it.

Verse 16 Joseph answered Pharaoh, It is not in me; God [not I] will give Pharaoh a [favourable] answer of peace….

Joseph’s Strategic Action 2: After Pharaoh told him the dreams, Joseph gave his interpretation, and advice on an economic/financial strategy and action plan to solve the future crisis and take advantage of the crisis.

He states the problem and its size ahead: 25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, The [two] dreams are one; God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do…29 Take note! Seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt are coming. 30 Then there will come seven years of hunger and famine, …for it will be very woefully severe. 32 That the dream was sent twice to Pharaoh and in two forms indicates that this thing which God will very soon bring to pass is fully prepared and established by God.

He also states the solution in terms of action plan. The solution actually ensures favour to him: 33 So now let Pharaoh seek out and provide a man discreet, understanding, proficient, and wise and set him over the land of Egypt [as governor]. 34 … let him select and appoint officers over the land, and take one-fifth [of the produce] of the [whole] land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years [year by year]. 35 And let them gather all the food of these good years …36 And that food shall be put in store for the country against the seven years of hunger…

Indeed, the king gave Joseph a positive response according to God’s plan for Joseph to rise:

37 And the plan seemed good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants. 38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, Can we find this man’s equal, a man in whom is the spirit of God? 39 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, Forasmuch as [your] God has shown you all this, there is nobody as intelligent and discreet and understanding and wise as you are. 40 You shall have charge over my house, and all my people shall be governed according to your word [with reverence, submission, and obedience]. Only in matters of the throne will I be greater than you are. 41 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.

Joseph’s Action 3: Implementation of a win-win action plan for the king, his nation and people. In doing so, his own family (his father Jacob and the whole family) was also ensured protection and sustenance.  Other countries too benefited from his wise administration.

…56 When the famine was over all the land, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians; for the famine grew extremely distressing in the land of Egypt. 57 And all countries came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was severe over all [the known] earth.

Chapter 47

…20 And Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field because of the overwhelming severity of the famine upon them. The land became Pharaoh’s,..

23 Then Joseph said to the people, Behold, I have today bought you and your land for Pharaoh. Now here is seed for you, and you shall sow the land.

24 At [harvest time when you reap] the increase, you shall give one-fifth of it to Pharaoh, and four-fifths shall be your own to use for seed for the field and as food for you and those of your households and for your little ones.

25 And they said, You have saved our lives! Let us find favour in the sight of my lord; and we will be Pharaoh’s servants.

26 And Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt—to this day—that Pharaoh should have the fifth part [of the crops]; …

faith pleases God: “Lord, if it is You…”

Matthew 14:28Seeing and believing in the spiritual realm make a difference in exercising faith. Peter walked on water by faith because he saw Jesus walking on water. At that moment he was filled with the faith of the Son of God Himself. Faith is a gift. Jesus acceded to his request:

Matthew 14:28 And Peter answered Him, Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water. 29 He said, Come! So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water, and he came toward Jesus.

Peter saw Jesus with physical eyes. In the burst of excitement and impulse he got out of the boat and walked on water. He may not have done it perfectly but he did it for those moments.

Did Jesus want him to get out and walk on water? Why did Jesus allow him? Because Peter said, “Lord, if it is You.” Jesus is Jesus their Lord. He could not deny this fact.

Jesus walks in the spiritual realm and physical realm with the same power and authority over both realms. Peter saw Him performing supernatural acts in the physical natural realm. When he asked Jesus, his Lord, for the same ability, Jesus gave him. Jesus has said, “Ask, and you shall receive.” Peter asked and received, even the power to operate in the supernatural and spiritual realm! (Matthew 7:7 Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you.)

It took me a long time to understand, believe, and start practicing the amazing supernatural truth about faith in action.

Here is the Bible verse that has spoken to me several times lately.
Hebrews 11:6 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
6 But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].

Fruitfulness: And their fruit shall be for food and their leaves for healing.

Ezekiel 47:12After writing my previous blog on renewal of my prayer and worship life by emulating those missionaries who focus on staying and soaking in the presence of the Lord, I experienced some significant (to me) changes. Here is what happened today.

I had to accompany some guests to a shopping mall for a birthday teen to buy her present. Having waited a long time (like two hours) in some clothes shops, I suggested we walk back to the first one she visited. While waiting on a bench in front of a clothes shop, I noticed a tiny girl in a wheel chair. She seemed tired and making some sounds. Her dad sat next to me. The passers by tried looking in other directions so as not to make his situation more difficult. But I was led in my spirit to start a conversation with him. He told me she is his second daughter, fifteen years old. She has the body and stature of a very young child. He told me she was operated three times, and had chemotherapy for brain tumor at three years old. The treatment affected her bone marrow and stunted her growth. She is now on hormone treatment to help her growth. He told me his three children’s names and their meanings (sun, star, and light). The girl is named after a star. I told him I am a Christian who believes that our God heals, and asked him whether he believes in divine healing and miracles. He said yes. He said he is open to all religions and agreed that I could pray for her. So I shared with him about Jesus and that Jesus saves and heals. Then I prayed for his second daughter. She voluntarily stretched her hands to me and held my hands as I spoke to her, prayed and blessed her.

I told her she has a beautiful name and I thanked our God for creating beautiful things like the sun, the stars and light. She brightened up and smiled. By faith I spoke to the body to be restored to God’s original beautiful creation and design.

After that the dad told me he believes this is not a chance meeting. He is not local. He drove from another town with his family today to visit the eldest daughter who studies in a college here. He was waiting for his wife and eldest daughter who were also shopping in the same shop my guests were shopping. The newly renovated and expanded mall is huge and there are many beautiful branded clothes shops. He said he believed God had arranged this meeting. I too believe the same. After coming out of two other more trendy shops for youngsters with empty hands, I suggested to the teen to return to this particular shop as its name came to my mind for no reason. While the birthday girl and her entourage were giving this more classic shop another try I saw this man and his daughter sitting next to me. This is not a chance meeting. I agree.

This incident confirms to me that going to the secret place of the Father in heaven through prayer and worship opens a new realm of spiritual reality on earth. Where I currently reside, people do not normally go around talking to strangers, volunteering to pray for healing. But this watchman has been convicted to do something that makes a difference, regardless of how the gathering crowd may view or comment. What matters is that the Lord has answered prayers. The prayer of the watchman to be led deeper into the Holy Spirit river of healing and wonders, and the cry of a father to help his daughter. He has waited for twelve years for a breakthrough. His waiting has not been in vain. She can walk, but she needs further strengthening, he said. She also attends a normal school. I pray he and his child will continue to walk by faith, love, and hope.

Here is the assurance from our Lord Jesus:
Mark 5:36, 40-42 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
36 [a]Overhearing but ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear; only keep on believing.
40 And they (others) laughed and [a]jeered at Him. But He put them all out, and, taking the child’s father and mother and those who were with Him, He went in where the little girl was lying.
41 Gripping her [firmly] by the hand, He said to her, Talitha cumi—which translated is, Little girl, I say to you, arise [[b]from the sleep of death]!
42 And instantly the girl got up and started walking around—for she was twelve years old. And they were utterly astonished and overcome with amazement.

Footnotes:
Mark 5:36 Some manuscripts so read.
Mark 5:40 G. Abbott-Smith, Manual Greek Lexicon.
Mark 5:41 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.

Hebrews 7:25 AMPC
Therefore He is able also to save to the uttermost (completely, perfectly, finally, and for all time and eternity) those who come to God through Him, since He is always living to make petition to God and intercede with Him and intervene for them.

Ezekiel 47 (Quoted in parts)
8 Then he said to me, These waters pour out toward the eastern region and go down into the Arabah (the Jordan Valley) and on into the Dead Sea. And when they shall enter into the sea [the sea of putrid waters], the waters shall be healed and made fresh.
9 And wherever the double river shall go, every living creature which swarms shall live. And there shall be a very great number of fish, because these waters go there that [the waters of the sea] may be healed and made fresh; and everything shall live wherever the river goes.
12 And on the banks of the river on both its sides, there shall grow all kinds of trees for food; their leaf shall not fade nor shall their fruit fail [to meet the demand]. Each tree shall bring forth new fruit every month, [these supernatural qualities being] because their waters came from out of the sanctuary. And their fruit shall be for food and their leaves for healing.

Journey to see God: vine and branch connection

Jesus is the Vine. Stay connected to Him and be rich in all resources. John 15:5

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He who abides in Me, and I in him, bear much fruit He who abides in Me, and I in him, bear much fruit

The word of the Lord is not easy to carry out. It is not difficult for believers to say they believe in the Bible. But when it comes to application, some hesitate.

But the Lord Jesus clearly stated that only those who obey and keep His words are His disciples. Only those who do the heavenly Father’s will may enter heaven.

So what are we to do when it comes to such important matters? Can we choose not to do the difficult ones?

The promise of God never changes. Neither does His standard. Just look at the way He instructed how the temple of God was to be built. Not one minute detail was missed out.

Just read the command and condition for Joshua to possess the promised land with two million Jews. Joshua was required to make…

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