Tag: Jerusalem and Israel

a watchman’s random rambling account of fresh direction and ministry: watchman commissioned

Joel 2:28The second day of fresh encounter with God. After a prolonged period of physical (including body and mind)engagements in the world, this watchman has been challenged twice (during recent prayer sessions with two others)to be still and rest in the presence of God rather than continuing the restlessness which perhaps had associated with the call of the seemingly never ending flow of “good works” needing to be completed. Yesterday some 2017 teachings (urging emptying of selves and allowing the Lord’s Presence/Spirit to fill) from Heidi Baker were watched and listened as led by the Spirit of the Lord. By faith this watchman responded to Heidi’s calling to leap/jump into the deep river as in Ezekiel 47:5 a river so deep that one must swim, and Revelation 22:1 a pure river of water of life. “More”, “Increase”. These are the words relevant to the watchman to remove stagnation. “Will you empty yourself and let go of your most loved?” “Lord, you know I still cannot… But You can! Help me Lord!” Galatians 2:20 is the repeated automatic verse response in the watchman. “Let go at the cross.” For this watchman, “Scripture is not simply a book to be read and studied, but it is an invitation into a lifestyle of supernatural engagement.” (Randy Clark) The application action is a faith in action.

A leap into the higher space (an unseen zone in the spirit) means an associated fall (jump) into a deep unknown almost simultaneously. In the spirit it is an instant movement. A commitment by faith accompanied by an action (including responding through verbal utterances as in this case, an agreement with the verbal call/challenge/invitation by the anointing) is just as binding as putting a signature to a contract or covenant.

After the end of the session, it was midnight and the watchman asked the Lord to give confirmation by His words (and/or signs/visions/dreams). The words came in three sets:

1. Through opening the Bible: The Lord’s instruction to Moses to the priests to live their lives before God and pursue a spiritual closeness to the holy God who is the God of the living and not of the dead:
Leviticus 21:1 The priest is holy to his God. “None shall defile himself for the dead among his people.” 21:6 “They shall..not profane the name of their God, for they offer the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and the bread of their God; therefore they shall be holy.” 21:8 “For I, the Lord, who sanctify you, am holy.”

2. Through hearing “Read Joel 2:20” in the early hours of this 20th day of this month: A positive encouragement -The Lord’s promise of restoration to Israel!
“But I will remove far from you the northern army,
And will drive him away into a barren and desolate land,…” (NKJV)
Joel 2:20 New Living Translation (NLT)
I will drive away these armies from the north.
I will send them into the parched wastelands.
Those in the front will be driven into the Dead Sea,
and those at the rear into the Mediterranean.[a]
The stench of their rotting bodies will rise over the land.”
Surely the Lord has done great things!
Footnotes:
2:20 Hebrew into the eastern sea, . . . into the western sea.

Reading Joel 2:18-27, we know the Lord’s assurance of what He will do to preserve the land for Israel, to accomplish His purpose: “Then you will know that I am among my people Israel,
that I am the Lord your God, and there is no other.
Never again will my people be disgraced.”
The Lord also gave His promise of pouring out His Spirit in Joel 2:28-32
“Then, after doing all those things,
I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy…”

3. This morning the watchman received the third set of words by opening the Bible: Job 38
JOB 38 STARTED WITH THE LORD TELLING JOB ABOUT KNOWLEDGE OF HIM THROUGH HIS CREATION AND THEIR OPERATION. It is amazing to read about natural elements and living creatures (animals and birds) having the ability to listen to God and obey. The natural elements perform tasks, have characters, and can listen to God’s words (communication), are bound by visible and invisible forms like door, boundary, limits, bars, and obey God’s instructions. Even light and darkness have their separate dwellings. Morning and dawn know their places. Stars in heaven can sing together. God takes the bother to talk about the characteristics of wild goats, deer, wild donkeys, wild ox, ostrich, horse, hawk and eagle.

The first verse is a reminder to all who counsel others about God: Your words must be based on your knowledge of God. Words must contain accurate knowledge which gives light in counsel.

Finally, the watchman looked through FaceBook and discovered Rick Joyner talking about “Being a watchman”: “Looking out what the Holy Spirit is about to do. Looking out for leaders, neighbors, and cities etc. and sound the alarm.”

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God’s gold standard for the nations of the world

JerusalemMatthew 25:31-46 The Son of Man Will Judge the Nations on how they have treated His brethren (Israel).

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.”

Who are the brethren of the King? The Jews.
Romans 9:3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh,
Romans 10:1 [ Israel Needs the Gospel ] Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.

CHAPTER 20: BEWARE OF THE JERUSALEM SERPENT WELL; DUNG/REFUSE GATE

relevant today!

AAAJ watchman

Religion Blogs

Nehemiah 2:13 “And I went out by night through the Valley Gate to the Serpent Well and the  Dung Gate, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down and its gates which were burned with fire.”

Lately, the watchman is interested in why many Christians are weak, succumbs to sickness and live in defeat and fears. He reads that the Dung Gate describes how in practice the defilement in our bodies and minds should be rooted out and burn. Through the Dung Gate, trashes were taken out of Jerusalem, to a valley of Hinnom, where smelly, rotten and disease infested trashes were burnt. The Dung Gate spiritual meaning is that sin, like trashes, could defile and destroy our physical and mental being and must be cast out and burn.

Jesus described about how a person could be defiled in Mark 7:21-23, “For from within, out of…

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true prophets: what Jesus has warned

Jesus is still speaking today. He has urged the people of God to repent or perish. Repentance means turning away from sin and turning to God, back to the best plan God has for your life. What Jesus has warned has come true in history after Jesus, is coming true today, and will complete in the reality of this world until the end.
Questions to ask:
Who is Jesus talking to today? Am I in this message from Jesus (God Himself)? What shall I do today about my own life? It is every man to himself now. No church or religious organization can save anyone. Everyone must face Jesus today and make each own decision on the way ahead.
“Today when you hear His voice, don’t harden your hearts.” (Hebrews 4:7)
List of headings and brief summary from chapter 13 from the book of Luke.
1. Repent or Perish: God wants to save. Jesus was speaking salvation to Jerusalem two thousand years ago. Many had perished since. What He had prophesied about the destruction of the city and the subsequent desolation, and the salvation of many gentiles, from the east and the west, from the north and the south, had come true. But His prophetic message is still ongoing as many are perishing and many are being saved.
2. Barren fig tree: God wants fruits that last. Jesus was speaking of living a productive lifestyle and bearing evidence of salvation. God is the planter. Jesus has spoken of a timeframe. Heed the time today.
3. A Spirit of Infirmity: God heals. Jesus has shown this by healing a woman and set her free from bondage. He has done this miracle on s Sabbath day (like our Lord’s day today). Sunday is a day we have set for God and do God’s will. God’s will in this incident was to destroy the bondage of the devil, set free and heal.
4. Jesus speaks of the kingdom of God. Like a tiny almost invisible unnoticeable mustard seed, it will grow and thrive until it is visible to all. Similarly like a little bit of unnoticeable leaven it will have multiplying effect until the evidence of it manifests to all. The positive outcome (new life) is evident to all and cannot be hidden.
5. Strive to enter through the narrow gate. Jesus way is the only way. Actually many try to seek and find salvation and eternal life in heaven. It means people do acknowledge an afterlife and wish that they can go to a place with no suffering. Heed what Jesus has said today if you are among the many who seek.
6. Jesus Laments over Jerusalem.

Luke 13 New King James Version (NKJV)
Warning: Repent or Perish
13 There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
Warning: be fruitful or be cut down -The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree
6 He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ 8 But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 9 And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that[a] you can cut it down.’”
God heals and sets free: woman healed of a spirit of infirmity
10 Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11 And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. 12 But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” 13 And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
14 But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.”
15 The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite![b] Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? 16 So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” 17 And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.
Kingdom of God: The Parable of the Mustard Seed
18 Then He said, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? 19 It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and put in his garden; and it grew and became a large[c]tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches.”
Kingdom of God: The Parable of the Leaven
20 And again He said, “To what shall I liken the kingdom of God? 21 It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures[d] of meal till it was all leavened.”
Who will be saved? Only through Jesus -The Narrow Way
22 And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. 23 Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?”
And He said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ 26 then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ 27 But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ 28 There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out.29 They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God. 30 And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last.”
31 On that very day[e] some Pharisees came, saying to Him, “Get out and depart from here, for Herod wants to kill You.”
32 And He said to them, “Go, tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.’ 33 Nevertheless I must journey today, tomorrow, and the day following; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem.
Jesus Laments over Jerusalem
34 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing! 35 See! Your house is left to you desolate; and assuredly,[f] I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”[g]
Footnotes:
a. Luke 13:9 NU-Text reads And if it bears fruit after that, well. But if not, you can cut it down.
b. Luke 13:15 NU-Text and M-Text read Hypocrites.
c. Luke 13:19 NU-Text omits large.
d. Luke 13:21 Greek sata, approximately two pecks in all
e. Luke 13:31 NU-Text reads In that very hour.
f. Luke 13:35 NU-Text and M-Text omit assuredly.
g. Luke 13:35 Psalm 118:26

True prophets: Zephaniah One

2014-11-12 22.30.46Zephaniah prophesied around B.C. 641-610, during the reign of King Josiah of Judah. In the short three chapters of this book, he faithfully warned of the day of judgement against the idolatry practices of those in Jerusalem and Judah, following pagan customs, participating in pagan worship ceremonies. He also warned of the judgement against many other nations. Finally he prophesied of the Messianic future.
Key verses:
Zephaniah 3:9 “Then I will purify the speech of all people,
    so that everyone can worship the Lord together.” 
Seek the Lord, all who are humble, and follow his commands. Seek to do what is right and to live humbly. Perhaps even yet the Lord will protect you— protect you from his anger on that day of destruction.

Those who are left will be the lowly and humble, for it is they who trust in the name of the Lord.
Zephaniah 1 New Living Translation (NLT)

The Lord gave this message to Zephaniah when Josiah son of Amon was king of Judah. Zephaniah was the son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah.

Coming Judgment against Judah

“I will sweep away everything
    from the face of the earth,” says the Lord.
“I will sweep away people and animals alike.
    I will sweep away the birds of the sky and the fish in the sea.
I will reduce the wicked to heaps of rubble,[a]
    and I will wipe humanity from the face of the earth,” says theLord.
“I will crush Judah and Jerusalem with my fist
    and destroy every last trace of their Baal worship.
I will put an end to all the idolatrous priests,
    so that even the memory of them will disappear.
For they go up to their roofs
    and bow down to the sun, moon, and stars.
They claim to follow the Lord,
    but then they worship Molech,[b] too.
And I will destroy those who used to worship me
    but now no longer do.
They no longer ask for the Lord’s guidance
    or seek my blessings.”

Stand in silence in the presence of the Sovereign Lord,
    for the awesome day of the Lord’s judgment is near.
The Lord has prepared his people for a great slaughter
    and has chosen their executioners.[c]
“On that day of judgment,”
    says the Lord,
“I will punish the leaders and princes of Judah
    and all those following pagan customs.
Yes, I will punish those who participate in pagan worship ceremonies,
    and those who fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit.

10 “On that day,” says the Lord,
    “a cry of alarm will come from the Fish Gate
and echo throughout the New Quarter of the city.[d]
    And a great crash will sound from the hills.
11 Wail in sorrow, all you who live in the market area,[e]
    for all the merchants and traders will be destroyed.

12 “I will search with lanterns in Jerusalem’s darkest corners
    to punish those who sit complacent in their sins.
They think the Lord will do nothing to them,
    either good or bad.
13 So their property will be plundered,
    their homes will be ransacked.
They will build new homes
    but never live in them.
They will plant vineyards
    but never drink wine from them.

14 “That terrible day of the Lord is near.
    Swiftly it comes—
a day of bitter tears,
    a day when even strong men will cry out.
15 It will be a day when the Lord’s anger is poured out—
    a day of terrible distress and anguish,
a day of ruin and desolation,
    a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and blackness,
16     a day of trumpet calls and battle cries.
Down go the walled cities
    and the strongest battlements!

17 “Because you have sinned against the Lord,
    I will make you grope around like the blind.
Your blood will be poured into the dust,
    and your bodies will lie rotting on the ground.”

18 Your silver and gold will not save you
    on that day of the Lord’s anger.
For the whole land will be devoured
    by the fire of his jealousy.
He will make a terrifying end
    of all the people on earth.[f]

Footnotes:

  1. 1:3 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  2. 1:5 Hebrew Malcam, a variant spelling of Molech; or it could possibly mean their king.
  3. 1:7 Hebrew has prepared a sacrifice and sanctified his guests.
  4. 1:10 Or the Second Quarter, a newer section of Jerusalem. Hebrew reads the Mishneh.
  5. 1:11 Or in the valley, a lower section of Jerusalem. Hebrew reads the Maktesh.
  6. 1:18 Or the people living in the land.

Some Bible passages on the value of being humble in the eyes of God:

Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer.
So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.
Prophecy of Jesus being humble: 
[ Zion’s Coming King ] Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey— riding on a donkey’s colt.
What Jesus says about being humble
God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.

Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

True prophets: God speaks through king David

King David was a poet prophet, a king, a courageous and brilliant military man. But David was also a musician and a composer.  He wrote poetry (psalms) that are usually sung. When we read his psalms we can find that he prophesied about the Messiah and many prophecies through David and others (related confirmations) have already come true, in Jesus Christ (Messiah): Psalm 22:16-18; Psalm 2:7-9; Acts 13:33; Psalm 2:9; Revelation 2:27; Hebrews 2:8; Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:27; Psalm 22:16-18; John 19:25; Psalm 22:1; Psalm 41:9; John 13:18; Psalm 69:9; John 2:15-17; Psalm 69:21; Matthew 27:48; Psalm 110:1; Matthew 22:44; Psalm 110:4;  Hebrews 7:17; Psalm 118:22; Matthew 21:42; Psalm 118:26; Matthew 21:9;

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Psalm 110 New King James Version (NKJV)

Announcement of the Messiah’s Reign

A Psalm of David.

110 The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”
The Lord shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion.
Rule in the midst of Your enemies!

Your people shall be volunteers
In the day of Your power;
In the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning,
You have the dew of Your youth.
The Lord has sworn
And will not relent,
“You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek.”

The Lord is at Your right hand;
He shall execute kings in the day of His wrath.
He shall judge among the nations,
He shall fill the places with dead bodies,
He shall execute the heads of many countries.
He shall drink of the brook by the wayside;
Therefore He shall lift up the head.

david

True Prophets: Ezekiel and the Holy Spirit

ezekiel and wife goodbye

Prophet Ezekiel (born 622-prophesied until 570 BC),born into a priesthood (Kohen) lineage, received prophecies regarding the destruction of Jerusalem (which came true during his lifetime), the future restoration to the land of Israel and the Millennial Temple visions, or the Third Temple. As recorded in the first chapter, he personally encountered God, and was called by God at 30 years old, and saw spectacular visions of heavenly realms, including the third temple.

As part of his role as a prophetic sign, he lost his beloved wife when he was 34…and despite his deep sorrow which he was not allowed to express in the usual religious or human rituals, he has remained faithful and continued to pass on God’s messages in words and symbols/physical signs to a rebellious people (nation). But the theme of Ezekiel’s prophecy centers on the works of the Holy Spirit on prophets and prophecies.

Bonuses: River of healing (47:1-12)

Warning to prince, Levites and priests: 44:6-8 (as quoted below, at the end of this post)

Ezekiel 1

22 Spread out above them was a surface like the sky, glittering like crystal. 23 Beneath this surface the wings of each living being stretched out to touch the others’ wings, and each had two wings covering its body. 24 As they flew, their wings sounded to me like waves crashing against the shore or like the voice of the Almighty[e] or like the shouting of a mighty army. When they stopped, they let down their wings. 25 As they stood with wings lowered, a voice spoke from beyond the crystal surface above them.

26 Above this surface was something that looked like a throne made of blue lapis lazuli. And on this throne high above was a figure whose appearance resembled a man.27 From what appeared to be his waist up, he looked like gleaming amber, flickering like a fire. And from his waist down, he looked like a burning flame, shining with splendor.28 All around him was a glowing halo, like a rainbow shining in the clouds on a rainy day. This is what the glory of the Lord looked like to me. When I saw it, I fell face down on the ground, and I heard someone’s voice speaking to me.

Ezekiel and the Holy Spirit:

Ezekiel 2:2

The Spirit came into me as he spoke, and he set me on my feet. I listened carefully to his words.

Ezekiel 3:12

Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard a loud rumbling sound behind me. (May the glory of the Lord be praised in his place!)

Ezekiel 3:14

The Spirit lifted me up and took me away. I went in bitterness and turmoil, but the Lord’s hold on me was strong.

Ezekiel 3:24

Then the Spirit came into me and set me on my feet. He spoke to me and said, “Go to your house and shut yourself in.

Ezekiel 8:3

He reached out what seemed to be a hand and took me by the hair. Then the Spirit lifted me up into the sky and transported me to Jerusalem in a vision from God. I was taken to the north gate of the inner courtyard of the Temple, where there is a large idol that has made the Lord very jealous.

Ezekiel 11:1

Judgment on Israel’s Leaders ] Then the Spirit lifted me and brought me to the east gateway of the Lord’s Temple, where I saw twenty-five prominent men of the city. Among them were Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, who were leaders among the people.

Ezekiel 11:2

The Spirit said to me, “Son of man, these are the men who are planning evil and giving wicked counsel in this city.

Ezekiel 11:5

Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and he told me to say, “This is what the Lord says to the people of Israel: I know what you are saying, for I know every thought that comes into your minds.

Ezekiel 11:19

And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart,

Ezekiel 11:24

Afterward the Spirit of God carried me back again to Babylonia, to the people in exile there. And so ended the vision of my visit to Jerusalem.

Ezekiel 18:31

Put all your rebellion behind you, and find yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O people of Israel?

Ezekiel 36:26

And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.

Ezekiel 36:27

And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.

Ezekiel 37:1

A Valley of Dry Bones ] The Lord took hold of me, and I was carried away by the Spirit of the Lord to a valley filled with bones.

Ezekiel 37:14

I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live again and return home to your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken, and I have done what I said. Yes, the Lord has spoken!’”

Ezekiel 39:29

And I will never again turn my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit upon the people of Israel. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”

Ezekiel 43:5

Then the Spirit took me up and brought me into the inner courtyard, and the glory of the Lord filled the Temple.

Ezekiel 2:2

The Spirit came into me as he spoke, and he set me on my feet. I listened carefully to his words.

Ezekiel 3:12

Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard a loud rumbling sound behind me. (May the glory of the Lord be praised in his place!)

Ezekiel 3:14

The Spirit lifted me up and took me away. I went in bitterness and turmoil, but the Lord’s hold on me was strong.

Ezekiel 3:24

Then the Spirit came into me and set me on my feet. He spoke to me and said, “Go to your house and shut yourself in.

Ezekiel 8:3

He reached out what seemed to be a hand and took me by the hair. Then the Spirit lifted me up into the sky and transported me to Jerusalem in a vision from God. I was taken to the north gate of the inner courtyard of the Temple, where there is a large idol that has made the Lord very jealous.

Ezekiel 11:1

Judgment on Israel’s Leaders ] Then the Spirit lifted me and brought me to the east gateway of the Lord’s Temple, where I saw twenty-five prominent men of the city. Among them were Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, who were leaders among the people.

Ezekiel 11:2

The Spirit said to me, “Son of man, these are the men who are planning evil and giving wicked counsel in this city.

Ezekiel 11:5

Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and he told me to say, “This is what the Lord says to the people of Israel: I know what you are saying, for I know every thought that comes into your minds.

Ezekiel 11:19

And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart,

Ezekiel 11:24

Afterward the Spirit of God carried me back again to Babylonia, to the people in exile there. And so ended the vision of my visit to Jerusalem.

Ezekiel 18:31

Put all your rebellion behind you, and find yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O people of Israel?

Ezekiel 36:26

And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.

Ezekiel 36:27

And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.

Ezekiel 37:1

A Valley of Dry Bones ] The Lord took hold of me, and I was carried away by the Spirit of the Lord to a valley filled with bones.

Ezekiel 37:14

I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live again and return home to your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken, and I have done what I said. Yes, the Lord has spoken!’”

Ezekiel 39:29

And I will never again turn my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit upon the people of Israel. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”

Ezekiel 43:5

Then the Spirit took me up and brought me into the inner courtyard, and the glory of the Lord filled the Temple.

A warning to churches (Christians) today: worship in the spirit (joined to the Lord’s Spirit) and truth (Biblical) only

congregation: People with their hearts for God only.

leaders of worship and words: Those anointed by God only.

Ezekiel 44:6-8 New Living Translation (NLT)

And give these rebels, the people of Israel, this message from the Sovereign Lord: O people of Israel, enough of your detestable sins! You have brought uncircumcised foreigners into my sanctuary—people who have no heart for God. In this way, you defiled my Temple even as you offered me my food, the fat and blood of sacrifices. In addition to all your other detestable sins, you have broken my covenant. Instead of safeguarding my sacred rituals, you have hired foreigners to take charge of my sanctuary.

True Prophets: Hosea one

What does true love mean? This is the theme of the prophecies in the book of Hosea.

Reading Hosea takes patience and spiritual understanding. Otherwise a ‘proper’ Christian will be shocked at some of the actions by faith that God has asked prophet Hosea to do to send His messages to two groups of people (nations) whom God has loved. Hosea is a faithful and godly prophet. He even married a prostitute when he was asked by God to do so as a symbol and sign together with his children, as God spoke of His continuous lovingkindness and undeserved favor for Israel, described as an unfaithful, ungrateful wife, who does not know what true love means. Prophet Hosea has displayed the true love that only when compelled by God’s love can any man ever live out.

Key verses from the book:

Hosea 14:8-9 New Living Translation (NLT)

“O Israel,[a] stay away from idols!
    I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you.
I am like a tree that is always green;
    all your fruit comes from me.”

Let those who are wise understand these things.
    Let those with discernment listen carefully.
The paths of the Lord are true and right,
    and righteous people live by walking in them.
    But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.

Today’s reading: Hosea 1 New Living Translation (NLT)

The Lord gave this message to Hosea son of Beeri during the years when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah, and Jeroboam son of Jehoash[a] was king of Israel.

Hosea’s Wife and Children

When the Lord first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, he said to him, “Go and marry a prostitute,[b] so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution. This will illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute by turning against the Lord and worshiping other gods.”

So Hosea married Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she became pregnant and gave Hosea a son. And the Lord said, “Name the child Jezreel, for I am about to punish King Jehu’s dynasty to avenge the murders he committed at Jezreel. In fact, I will bring an end to Israel’s independence. I will break its military power in the Jezreel Valley.”

Soon Gomer became pregnant again and gave birth to a daughter. And the Lord said to Hosea, “Name your daughter Lo-ruhamah—‘Not loved’—for I will no longer show love to the people of Israel or forgive them. But I will show love to the people of Judah. I will free them from their enemies—not with weapons and armies or horses and charioteers, but by my power as the Lord their God.”

After Gomer had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she again became pregnant and gave birth to a second son. And the Lord said, “Name him Lo-ammi—‘Not my people’—for Israel is not my people, and I am not their God.

10 [c]“Yet the time will come when Israel’s people will be like the sands of the seashore—too many to count! Then, at the place where they were told, ‘You are not my people,’ it will be said, ‘You are children of the living God.’ 11 Then the people of Judah and Israel will unite together. They will choose one leader for themselves, and they will return from exile together. What a day that will be—the day of Jezreel[d]—when God will again plant his people in his land.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:1 Hebrew Joash, a variant spelling of Jehoash.
  2. 1:2 Or a promiscuous woman.
  3. 1:10 Verses 1:10-11 are numbered 2:1-2 in Hebrew text.
  4. 1:11 Jezreel means “God plants.”

 flowers in the sun

True prophets: Micah one

Prophet Micah prophesied for over forty years during the period of at least three kings from approximately 737–696 BC . He mainly passed on God’s messages to Judah. He prophesied the destruction of Samaria and Judah, both of which had come true later.

His famous prophecy on the birth of the Messiah, in a little town called, Bethlehem had come true too. Similar to the other faithful prophets of God, no-one heeded his warnings and laments during his lifetime. He also showed his human side of character. He heard the bad news from God and he lamented. But he also heard the Good News. Prophets can be heavy reading but we read hope and Good News too! On hindsight we know many of the prophecies have come true and many more are coming true even right now.

Key verse on the Messiah is in chapter 5 verse 1-2 (also refer to Mathew 2:3-6)

Micah 1 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

This is the word of Adonai that came to Mikhah the Morashti during the days of Yotam, Achaz and Y’chizkiyah, kings of Y’hudah, which he saw concerning Shomron and Yerushalayim:

Listen, peoples, all of you!
Pay attention, earth, and everything in it!
Adonai Elohim will witness against you,
Adonai, from his holy temple.
For — look! — Adonai is coming out of his place,
coming down to tread on the high places of the land.
Beneath him the mountains will melt,
the valleys split open like wax before fire,
like water poured down a steep slope.
All this is because of the crime of Ya‘akov
and the sins of the house of Isra’el.
What is the crime of Ya‘akov?
Isn’t it Shomron?
And what are the high places of Y’hudah?
Aren’t they Yerushalayim?

“So I will make Shomron a heap in the countryside,
a place for planting vineyards;
I will pour her stones down into the valley,
laying bare her foundations.
All her carved images will be smashed to pieces,
all she earned consumed by fire;
and I will reduce her idols to rubble.
She amassed them from a whore’s wages,
and as a whore’s wages they will be spent again.”

This is why I howl and wail,
why I go barefoot and stripped,
why I howl like the jackals
and mourn like the ostriches.
For her wound cannot be healed,
and now it is coming to Y’hudah as well;
it reaches even to the gate of my people,
to Yerushalayim itself.
10 Don’t tell about it in Gat,
don’t shed any tears.
At Beit-L‘afrah [house of dust]
roll yourself in the dust.
11 Inhabitants of Shafir, pass on your way
in nakedness and shame.
The inhabitants of Tza’anan
have not left yet.
The wailing of Beit-Ha’etzel
will remove from you their support.
12 The inhabitants of Marot
have no hope of anything good;
for Adonai has sent down disaster
to the very gate of Yerushalayim.
13 Harness the chariots to the fastest horses,
inhabitants of Lakhish;
she was the beginning of sin
for the daughter of Tziyon;
for the crimes of Isra’el
are traceable to you.
14 Therefore you must bestow parting gifts
upon Moreshet-Gat.
The houses of Akhziv will disappoint
the kings of Isra’el.
15 Inhabitants of Mareshah,
I have yet to bring you
the one who will [invade and] possess you.
The glory of Isra’el will come to ‘Adulam.

16 Shave the hair from your head as you mourn
for the children who were your delight;
make yourselves as bald as vultures,
for they have gone from you into exile.

Micah 5:1-2 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

 (2) But you, Beit-Lechem near Efrat,
so small among the clans of Y’hudah,
out of you will come forth to me
the future ruler of Isra’el,
whose origins are far in the past,
back in ancient times.
(3) Therefore he will give up [Isra’el]
only until she who is in labor gives birth.
Then the rest of his kinsmen
will return to the people of Isra’el.
(4) He will stand and feed his flock
in the strength of Adonai,
in the majesty of the name
of Adonai his God;
and they will stay put, as he grows great
to the very ends of the earth;
(5) and this will be peace.

Matthew 2:3-6 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

When King Herod heard of this he became very agitated, and so did everyone else in Yerushalayim. He called together all the head cohanim and Torah-teachers of the people and asked them, “Where will the Messiah be born?” “In Beit-Lechem of Y’hudah,” they replied, “because the prophet wrote,

‘And you, Beit-Lechem in the land of Y’hudah,
are by no means the least among the rulers of Y’hudah;
for from you will come a Ruler
who will shepherd my people Isra’el.’”[a]

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 2:6 Micah 5:1(2) Micah 5:2

Isaiah 65 God loves to answer prayers !

conversation with God
conversation with God

After prophet Isaiah prayed (as we have read previously), God answers. In chapter 65, prophet Isaiah recorded the answer. Isaiah saw the forthcoming destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. He repented for the rebellion of God’s people, he pleaded their case as God’s children, God’s pottery, he appealed to God’s own concern for His name, His sanctuary, His holy temple. He ended his prayer in chapter 64 by questioning God, “and all the things of beauty are destroyed.  After all this, Lord, must you still refuse to help us?     Will you continue to be silent and punish us?” (Isaiah walked closely with God. and called God his Father). 

Today we read how God replies him. What does God say?

  1. God is ready to respond even before His people pray. (1)
  2. God has in fact taken the initiative to speak to His people. (1)
  3. He even opens His arms, like a loving father, calling his children to him. (2)
  4. He will preserve a remnant of the people of Israel. (8-9)
  5. He promises prosperity to those who have search for him. (10)
  6. He will  create new heavens and a new earth (17-25)
  7. God also speaks of the things He abhors (2-7; 11-12)

God has revealed the fact that He loves to answer our prayers!

Key verse: “I will answer them before they even call to me.
    While they are still talking about their needs,
    I will go ahead and answer their prayers!” (24)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Bible verses: Isaiah 65

The Lord says,

I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help.
    I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me.
I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’
    to a nation that did not call on my name.[a]
2 All day long I opened my arms to a rebellious people.[b]
    But they follow their own evil paths
    and their own crooked schemes.
3 All day long they insult me to my face
    by worshiping idols in their sacred gardens.
    They burn incense on pagan altars.
At night they go out among the graves,
    worshiping the dead.
They eat the flesh of pigs
    and make stews with other forbidden foods.
Yet they say to each other,
    ‘Don’t come too close or you will defile me!
    I am holier than you!’
These people are a stench in my nostrils,
    an acrid smell that never goes away.

“Look, my decree is written out[c] in front of me:
    I will not stand silent;
I will repay them in full!
    Yes, I will repay them—
both for their own sins
    and for those of their ancestors,”
    says the Lord.
“For they also burned incense on the mountains
    and insulted me on the hills.
    I will pay them back in full!

“But I will not destroy them all,”
    says the Lord.
“For just as good grapes are found among a cluster of bad ones
    (and someone will say, ‘Don’t throw them all away—
    some of those grapes are good!’),
so I will not destroy all Israel.
    For I still have true servants there.
I will preserve a remnant of the people of Israel[d]
    and of Judah to possess my land.
Those I choose will inherit it,
    and my servants will live there.
10 The plain of Sharon will again be filled with flocks
    for my people who have searched for me,
    and the valley of Achor will be a place to pasture herds.

11 “But because the rest of you have forsaken the Lord
    and have forgotten his Temple,
and because you have prepared feasts to honor the god of Fate
    and have offered mixed wine to the god of Destiny,
12 now I will ‘destine’ you for the sword.
    All of you will bow down before the executioner.
For when I called, you did not answer.
    When I spoke, you did not listen.
You deliberately sinned—before my very eyes—
    and chose to do what you know I despise.”

13 Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“My servants will eat,
    but you will starve.
My servants will drink,
    but you will be thirsty.
My servants will rejoice,
    but you will be sad and ashamed.
14 My servants will sing for joy,
    but you will cry in sorrow and despair.
15 Your name will be a curse word among my people,
    for the Sovereign Lord will destroy you
    and will call his true servants by another name.
16 All who invoke a blessing or take an oath
    will do so by the God of truth.
For I will put aside my anger
    and forget the evil of earlier days.

17 “Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth,
    and no one will even think about the old ones anymore.
18 Be glad; rejoice forever in my creation!
    And look! I will create Jerusalem as a place of happiness.
    Her people will be a source of joy.
19 I will rejoice over Jerusalem
    and delight in my people.
And the sound of weeping and crying
    will be heard in it no more.

20 “No longer will babies die when only a few days old.
    No longer will adults die before they have lived a full life.
No longer will people be considered old at one hundred!
    Only the cursed will die that young!
21 In those days people will live in the houses they build
    and eat the fruit of their own vineyards.
22 Unlike the past, invaders will not take their houses
    and confiscate their vineyards.
For my people will live as long as trees,
    and my chosen ones will have time to enjoy their hard-won gains.
23 They will not work in vain,
    and their children will not be doomed to misfortune.
For they are people blessed by the Lord,
    and their children, too, will be blessed.
24 I will answer them before they even call to me.
    While they are still talking about their needs,
    I will go ahead and answer their prayers!
25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together.
    The lion will eat hay like a cow.
    But the snakes will eat dust.
In those days no one will be hurt or destroyed on my holy mountain.
    I, the Lord, have spoken!”

Footnotes:

  1. 65:1 Or to a nation that did not bear my name.
  2. 65:1-2 Greek version reads I was found by people who were not looking for me. / I showed myself to those who were not asking for me. / All day long I opened my arms to them, / but they were disobedient and rebellious. Compare Rom 10:20-21.
  3. 65:6 Or their sins are written out; Hebrew reads it stands written.
  4. 65:9 Hebrew remnant of Jacob. See note on 14:1.