Tag: Perilous Times

the real birthday of the King

freedom from bondage
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  John 8:32

This morning I was woken at 3am and I asked the Lord how Christians are to avoid being drawn into the perilous time this season. Again I was told a specific and also a general avoidance. The general and generic advice is: Depart and be separate from the pagans’ celebrations of their idols. In simple Bible words: Do not conform to the world or its way. Be transformed by the renewal of your mind. Do not love the world or the love of the Father is not in you. Abide in Jesus and let the Word of God abide in us. Be joined to the Lord and one Spirit with the Lord. Be led by the Spirit as sons of God are led by the Spirit. Know the truth. Only the Truth sets people free.

John 8:31-32 New International Version (NIV)

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

1 Corinthians 10:14-22 New International Version (NIV)

Idol Feasts and the Lord’s Supper

14 Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.

18 Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? 19 Do I mean then that food sacrificed to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. 22 Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 New International Version (NIV)

Warning Against Idolatry

14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial[a]? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

“I will live with them
    and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.”[b]

17 Therefore,

“Come out from them
    and be separate,
says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
    and I will receive you.”[c]

18 And,

“I will be a Father to you,
    and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”[d]

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Corinthians 6:15 Greek Beliar, a variant of Belial
  2. 2 Corinthians 6:16 Lev. 26:12; Jer. 32:38; Ezek. 37:27
  3. 2 Corinthians 6:17 Isaiah 52:11; Ezek. 20:34,41
  4. 2 Corinthians 6:18 2 Samuel 7:14; 7:8

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

The real birthday of the King

Jesus was not born on December 25. I recommend that we all read the Bible and pray that the Lord gives us discernment and understanding. We must teach our children the truth. This following article gives a good Biblical calculation by a Messianic Jew on the actual date which should be in September-October during the Jewish Feast of the Tabernacle. The first day of this feast falls on September 28th this year.

Messiahmas? On the Birth Date of Jesus of Nazareth

http://www.ldolphin.org/xmas.html

 

 

 

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Three perfect storms (3): “Prepared”!

Tropical-like_cyclone1
Mediterranean Sea tropical-like-cyclone November 2014

“Prepared” is the only word today to counter the unexpected. This seems paradoxical. How can one be prepared if what will come is unexpected? In the three perfect storm scenarios we study, one key common denominator is the preparedness of the three protagonists involved: Jesus, Apostle Paul and Prophet Jonah. Today we read Paul’s experience at sea, encountering a hurricane and shipwreck.**

HOW DID APOSTLE PAUL RIDE THE STORM? Like the other two examples we have read, he was well prepared in the Word of God and in the Spirit, remained calm, with the peace of Jesus in him, and even offered authoritative and accurate prophetic advice to the Roman Imperial centurion who was in charge. He did not have to worry or respond to the threatening storm. He continued his usual normal life of staying in the presence of God, praying and listening to the Lord’s instructions.

Take note of the change of attitude of the centurion. Paul was proven correct on his earlier prediction of the danger at sea. The centurion decided to listen to him after Paul was proven right -the life threatening storm arrived and hit them with the disastrous impact just as Paul had predicted. Finally, the whole ship-load of 276 men on board reached land safely despite the loss of the ship and the life boats too. Where did Paul acquire such accurate discernment and ability to do (say) the right thing at the right time?

Paul himself gave this answer:And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of powerthat your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:4-5) “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:10)

~~~~~~~~~~~~Acts 27 (NIV) (Quoted in parts; boldness added)
When it was decided that we would sail for Italy, Paul and some other prisoners were handed over 5 When we had sailed across the open sea …, we landed at Myra in Lycia. 6 There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing for Italy and put us on board. 7 We made slow headway for many days and had difficulty arriving off Cnidus. When the wind did not allow us to hold our course

Paul gave his first warning but the leader would not listen

9 Much time had been lost, and sailing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the Day of Atonement*. So Paul warned them, 10 “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.” 11 But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship… the majority decided that we should sail on, …

Paul’s warning came true: the dangerous storm came and hit them

14 Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the Northeaster (Euroclydon), swept down from the island. 15 The ship was caught by the storm … 18 We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard. 19 On the third day, they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.

Paul’s second advice and testimony: prophecy and assurance it will come true

21 After they had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said:Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. 22 But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. 23 Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me 24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.”

Paul’s third advice and warning: This time they listened and believed

27 On the fourteenth night we were still being driven across the Adriatic Sea, … 29 Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight. 30 In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea… 31 Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.” 32 So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it drift away.

Paul’s fourth advice and act of faith: This time they followed

33 Just before dawn Paul urged them all to eat. “For the last fourteen days,” he said, “you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food—you haven’t eaten anything. 34 Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head.” 35 After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat. 36 They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves. 37 Altogether there were 276 of us on board…

Paul’s prediction came true: Everyone reached land safely, not one perished.

39 When daylight came, …But the ship struck a sandbar and ran aground. The bow stuck fast and would not move, and the stern was broken to pieces by the pounding of the surf. 42 The soldiers planned to kill the prisoners to prevent any of them from swimming away and escaping. 43 But the centurion wanted to spare Paul’s life and kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land. 44 The rest were to get there on planks or on other pieces of the ship. In this way everyone reached land safely.

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

*DAY OF ATONEMENT: Occurs in the fall, the tenth day of Tishri. In A.D. 59 this would have been October 5 (Marshall 1980:406).

**The ancients divided the navigational year on the Mediterranean into four periods. Sea travel on the Mediterranean ceased between November 11 and March 10. The dangers of “winter sailing” are: scant daylight, long nights, dense cloud cover, poor visibility and the double raging of winds, showers and snows. Paul, some other prisoners and Paul’s companions (including Luke) were put on a cargo ship sailing to Italy. The ship sailed at this dangerous time and encountered with Euroclydon, a cyclonic tempestuous northeast wind which blows in the Mediterranean, mostly in autumn and winter. The winds may or may not have rain mixed with them and come from the northeast often with a cyclonic circulation. They usually come up quickly, unexpectedly, and intensely. This was the great storm that wrecked their ship around AD 59.

Three perfect storms in Bible (2): key success factors

Zechariah 4-6The key success factors used by Jesus (while on earth as a human), Apostle Paul and Prophet Jonah to overcome the raging storm (adversities and adversaries) around them are: Know God (His Word, His Spirit, His Presence, His Power); know how to access to God through Prayer as led by His Spirit and His Word. To each of these three witnesses of God’s reality in our lives, God is real and living. There is no unbelief and doubt. From the way they conversed with God, listened to Him, prayed (talked) to Him, walking in cool calmness and confidence, we can see that they know God in their daily living, storm or no storm. It is clear that handling of storm, whatever mode it may come, physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual, is in the daily consistent and persistent preparation and not at the last minute when it hits like the hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunami, flood, fire, adversities and disasters in life (career, family, relationship, finance, safety and security etc.) Preparation takes time and there is no short-cut. Jesus-the Son of God took thirty years to prepare.

After looking at the how Prophet Jonah (about 800-750 BC) responded to a storm, today we study how our Lord Jesus (7–2 BC to AD 30–33) handled a storm. We read from Luke 8:22-39 (NKJV) (Bible verses are quoted in parts from Luke 8:22-39; boldness of some verses added; my notes before the verses are in capital letters).

JESUS SPEAKS THE WORD TO DECLARE AND COMMAND: HE KNOWS HIS WORD CARRIES THE POWER AND AUTHORITY OF THE ALMIGHTY GOD, HIS FATHER IN HEAVEN. BECAUSE HE STAYS IN THE FATHER AND DOES THE WORK OF THE FATHER HE KNOWS WHAT IS AHEAD AND DOES NOT WORRY ABOUT THE STORMY AND SEEMINGLY THREATENING CIRCUMSTANCES FROM THE ENEMIES. HE IS ON A MISSION SENT BY THE FATHER. HE KNOWS THE PURPOSE AND OUTCOME OF HIS JOURNEY. HE STAYS IN PEACE. HE MERELY LAUNCHES OUT, CROSSES OVER TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE LAKE, DOES THE WORK-SAVING AND DELIVERING, AND RETURNS IN THE SAME PEACE AND CONFIDENCE HE ALWAYS CARRIES EVEN TO THE FINAL MISSION ON EARTH, THE CROSS. HE SETS A ROLE MODEL FOR HIS DISCIPLES.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched out. 23 But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. 24 And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!”
Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 But He said to them, “Where is your faith?”
And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~26 Then they sailed to the country of the Gadarenes…there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, …“What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!” 29 For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man…
32 Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them. 33 Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned……and (the people) found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. 36 They also who had seen it told them by what means he who had been demon-possessed was healed. 37 Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And He got into the boat and returned.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
SOME PERSONAL NOTES ON OUR WORK ON EARTH: (workplace and marketplace employment and making an independent productive living)

The grand ‘masters’ in the world (of sports or chess or music or politics or any other profession) know this: Preparation through daily long hours of practicing according to the perfect synchronization and execution of every move, based on calculation and prediction of every element (including human) and every factor seen and unseen, submitting the body and soul to the strict discipline of proven success.
An average factory worker knows too if he needs to be continuously employed and earn a decent living for himself and family, he has to be educated and trained for the specific job and role before he can fit in. In today’s increasingly highly developed and competitive technological and global market-driven age, a worker knows too that to ensure continuous employable status he needs more than mere mechanical skill. He also needs to be trainable and upgraded in technological knowledge and skills which become outdated within every five to ten years.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Jesus wants us to be wiser than the people of the world. Christians are not exempted from living a life of highly disciplined preparation in the physical as well as in the spiritual (through training and practicing in the words of God, guidance and empowerment by the Holy Spirit): acquiring knowledge, training and practice that produce a good and meaningful worthy job (bearing good fruits), not only overcoming our personal life’s adversities, fulfilling the abundant-life goals of the Kingdom of God, but also contributing to the well-being of others on earth.
Matthew 7:24
[ Build on the Rock ] “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:
Matthew 10:16
[ Persecutions Are Coming ] “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
Luke 16:8
So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.
1 Thessalonians 4:10-12
10 and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; 11 that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, 12 that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.

Today’s warning message: Who defines law?

In those days…because people had no fear of God, all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes. Those days are here again. History has repeated. Substitute the word ‘Israel’ with anything, any nation, any kingdom on earth.

Judges 21:25 Amplified Bible (AMP)

25 In those days [a] there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.
Footnotes:

Judges 21:25 This statement is made three times in these latter chapters. All was well while Joshua and those who assisted him lived; then gradually came disorder. “What is the meaning of this?… There was no king [or counselor] in Israel because in Israel there was no God. The Lord is King. You cannot have a [true] king if you have not a God. There was no nominal renunciation of God, no public and blatant atheism, no boastful impiety; there was a deadlier heresy—namely, keeping God as a sign but paying no tribute to Him as a King, worshiping Him possibly in outward form but knowing nothing of the subduing and directing power of godliness. That is more to be dreaded than any intellectual difficulty of a theological kind… Dead consciences, prayerless prayers, mechanical formalities—these are the impediments which overturn… the chariots of progress. This was the case in Israel. Where God is, the king is not [merely] a man with a crown on, but a king in the sense of kingliness, sovereignty, authority, rule—the spirit of obligation and responsibility… You find the right monarch where you find the right God” (Joseph Parker, cited by James C. Gray and George M. Adams, Bible Commentary).

What Jesus has warned:

Matthew 23:28 Just so, you also outwardly seem to people to be just and upright but inside you are full of pretense and lawlessness and iniquity.
Matthew 24:12 And the love of the great body of people will grow cold because of the multiplied lawlessness and iniquity,

What the Holy Spirit has urged:
Romans 6:19 I am speaking in familiar human terms because of your natural limitations. For as you yielded your bodily members [and faculties] as servants to impurity and ever increasing lawlessness, so now yield your bodily members [and faculties] once for all as servants to righteousness (right being and doing) [which leads] to sanctification.

Today’s warning of end days:

2 Timothy 3:1-3 Amplified Bible (AMP)
3 But understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear].
2 For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.
3 [They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good.

Lawless650pw

Perilous Times and Perilous Men

Image2 Timothy 3

New King James Version (NKJV)

Perilous Times and Perilous Men

3 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.

The Man of God and the Word of God

10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.