9th week 6th day: Watch the Temple

Luke 21:36Today’s New Testament reading is the focal point of worship: My Temple. Jesus addresses the holiness (setting apart from worldliness) issue. Note that He stopped everyone from using the Temple as a market place. The definition of a marketplace: an open space where a market is formerly held in a town. The arena of competitive or commercial dealings; the world of trade. When we imagine our bodies being the Temple of the Lord (Holy Spirit), and we have turned it into a marketplace, we should see the incongruity. How does Jesus judge whether the holy place is being used correctly? He uses the criteria of prayer. Is the  place being used for prayers for all nations? If not, it becomes a den of thieves. A marketplace. Note how Jesus judges the marketplace. He calls it a den of thieves. 

And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.”

Mark 11:15-17 New Living Translation (NLT) Jesus Clears the Temple

15 When they arrived back in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people buying and selling animals for sacrifices. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves,16 and he stopped everyone from using the Temple as a marketplace.[a] 17 He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”[b]

Footnotes:

  1. 11:16 Or from carrying merchandise through the Temple.
  2. 11:17 Isa 56:7; Jer 7:11.
The following verses are quoted from the Holy Bible New King James Version.

Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—

[ Serving for God’s Glory ] But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.
Today’s reading: Psalm 34:11-22; Leviticus 27:14-Numbers 1:54; Mark 11:1-26; Proverbs 10:23

end times witnessing: always humble, gentle, patient, love.

be transformed
be transformed by the renewal of our mind

How shall we love one another in the body of Christ? Today’s prayer is taken from the book of Ephesians chapter four. Paul is in prison for his preaching and witnessing for the risen Jesus Christ. And he is led by the Holy Spirit to write this letter to the churches to fortify them and equip them to face the continuing persecutions from the enemy’s agents-Paul was once an enemy agent too. He hated Jesus and killed Christians. But Jesus has revealed Himself to Paul and Paul was totally transformed from that reality encounter with the risen Son of God, Jesus Christ.

Key message: Be like Christ. Be joined to the Lord Jesus, one Spirit with Him.

Summary of Paul’s letter (prayer for churches/Christians who are called by God)

Live a life worthy of our calling:

Keep united: in the Holy Spirit.

Be Christ-centered 

Let the Hole Spirit transform us: our attitude, behavior, actions. 

Ephesians 4 New Living Translation (NLT) Unity in the Body

Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.

5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all.

However, he has given each one of us a special gift[a] through the generosity of Christ. That is why the Scriptures say,

“When he ascended to the heights, he led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to his people.”[b]

Notice that it says “he ascended.” This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world.[c] 10 And the same one who descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might fill the entire universe with himself.

11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.

14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

Living as Children of Light

17 With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19 They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.

20 But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. 21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like Godtruly righteous and holy.

25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. 26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.”[d] Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. 29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own,[e] guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Footnotes:

  • 4:7 Greek a grace.
  • 4:8 Ps 68:18.
  • 4:9 Some manuscripts read to the lower parts of the earth.
  • 4:26 Ps 4:4.
  • 4:30 Or has put his seal on you.

end of footnotes

Three perfect storms in Bible (1) The Overcomers

Jonah's storm
Jonah’s storm

What are the three storms recorded in the Bible that still impact our lives today?  What are the common key(s) of overcoming the storms? Reading afresh the respective story of the storms encountered by Jonah, Jesus, and the apostle Paul (in chronological order), we shall find the amazing answers to overcoming the storm of FEAR. We shall read in three parts (in three days in chronological sequence). The first story is about the supernatural encounter of prophet Jonah.

JONAH’S STORM (quoted in parts from Jonah chapters 1-2; boldness of some verses added by this watchman; my notes are in italics).

THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME: in all three instances the Word of God is a significant deciding factor. In the case of Jonah and Paul they could hear God’s word (speaking to them in their spirit). God wants the ones who can hear Him to pay attention, believe and take action.  In the case of Jonah he chose not to listen even when he had heard clearly and specifically. He knew the consequences of his own decision against God’s decision about the lives of others at stake. He braved his own little body and soul (‘rightly’ constrained by his love and loyalty to his own nation, which had suffered thousands of years due to jealousy, hate, persecutions and oppression through recurring cruel conquests by enemy nations which surrounded her) against the foreseeable great personal storm to no avail. Why? Because God’s Word has spoken. God speaks of His mercy and wants to forgive and He gives an appointed time for them to repent, turn away from their wickedness and believe in the holy God, so that they may also be included in His Kingdom reserved for the Redeemed. God shows to even those who hate Him that He is a gracious and merciful God. But He has set a time frame for their repentance as shown in the case of the city of Nineveh.

ON THE QUESTION OF OVERCOMING FEAR: Jonah slept during the storm which threatened the lives of others as well as his on-board the same ship. Why? Was he oblivious of the big problem? From his conversation with others and with God, there was no question that he knew God. Knowing God is a key to overcoming fear. He was angry but fearless. The ship did not sink. God had not finished with him yet. Jonah knew it was a matter of time before he had to face God and not hide. From beginning to end of this episode Jonah was in the presence of a living God. And he knew this. 

KEY TO OVERCOME STORM: He prayed. And God heard his prayer.

After Jonah obeyed and preached to the city of Nineveh (modern-day Mosul, Iraq), because of the repentance of the king and all his people, it was given a respite from destruction. The Book of Jonah depicted events from the reign of the Hebrew King Jeroboam II (786-746 BC). While, in The Book of Jonah, the city is spared the wrath of God, other references to Nineveh in the Bible (The Books of Nahum and Zephaniah, among them) predict the destruction of the city by God’s will because they reverted to their wickedness against God’s people. In 612 BC the city of Nineveh was sacked and burned by the allied forces of the Persians, Medes, Babylonians, and others who then divided the region between them. The area was sparsely populated thereafter and, slowly, the ancient ruins became buried in earth.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Bible verses from Jonah chapters 1-2 (in parts)

1:1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah …, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.” But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He …found a ship going to Tarshish; …to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. But the Lord sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was about to be broken up. Then the mariners were afraid; and every man cried out to his god, [a]But Jonah had gone down into the lowest parts of the ship, had lain down, and was fast asleep. So the captain came to him, and said to him, “What do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God; …” So he said to them, “I am a Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.

10 Then the men were exceedingly afraid, and said to him, “Why have you done this?” …What shall we do to you that the sea may be calm for us?”—for the sea was growing more tempestuous. 12 And he said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea; …” 15 .. and the sea ceased from its raging. ..

17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. 2:1 Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the fish’s belly. And he said: “I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction, And He answered me…Salvation is of the Lord.” 10 So the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

today’s prayer: Let God’s favor override

God's favorToday we see God through a prayer. Joshua has served God since young as an apprentice and later a successor to Moses. Like his teacher/trainer, he has always stayed close to God, hearing God and praying to God. When Moses took a break, Joshua continued to stay at the Tent of Meeting where God met with them. What has his prayer revealed? God is God. The Omnipotent Creator over natural scientific law, including the law that governs the planets and universes. God’s favor in answer to his prayer overrides all else.

Joshua 10:1-15 New Living Translation (NLT) Israel Defeats the Southern Armies

BACKGROUND (quoted in parts)

Adoni-zedek, king of Jerusalem, heard that Joshua had captured and completely destroyed[a] Ai and killed its king, just as he had destroyed the town of Jericho and killed its king. He also learned that the Gibeonites had made peace with Israel and were now their allies. He and his people became very afraid when they heard all this …So King Adoni-zedek of Jerusalem sent messengers to several other kings…“Come and help me destroy Gibeon,” he urged them, “for they have made peace with Joshua and the people of Israel.” So these five Amorite kings combined their armies for a united attack. They moved all their troops into place and attacked Gibeon.

The men of Gibeon quickly sent messengers to Joshua at his camp in Gilgal. ..

THE WAR

So Joshua and his entire army, including his best warriors, left Gilgal and set out for Gibeon. “Do not be afraid of them,” the Lord said to Joshua, “for I have given you victory over them. Not a single one of them will be able to stand up to you.”

Joshua traveled all night from Gilgal and took the Amorite armies by surprise. 10 The Lord threw them into a panic, and the Israelites slaughtered great numbers … 11 As the Amorites retreated down the road from Beth-horon, the Lord destroyed them with a terrible hailstorm from heaven that continued until they reached Azekah. The hail killed more of the enemy than the Israelites killed with the sword.

THE PRAYER

12 On the day the Lord gave the Israelites victory over the Amorites, Joshua prayed to the Lord in front of all the people of Israel. He said,

“Let the sun stand still over Gibeon,
    and the moon over the valley of Aijalon.”

13 So the sun stood still and the moon stayed in place until the nation of Israel had defeated its enemies.

Is this event not recorded in The Book of Jashar[b]? The sun stayed in the middle of the sky, and it did not set as on a normal day.[c] 14 There has never been a day like this one before or since, when the Lord answered such a prayer. Surely the Lord fought for Israel that day!

15 Then Joshua and the Israelite army returned to their camp at Gilgal.

Footnotes:

  1. 10:1 The Hebrew term used here refers to the complete consecration of things or people to the Lord, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering; also in 10:28, 35, 37, 39, 40.
  2. 10:13a Or The Book of the Upright.
  3. 10:13b Or did not set for about a whole day.

fire pot and flaming torch

zech12-6My dear brethren in a tormented and besieged country:

In that day.your lives will be changed. I pray today that day will become today. Because time is nearer than some may imagine (that eternity will never come) So I pray the prophecy of Zechariah comes to pass.

I pray you become firepot in a woodpile, and like a flaming torch among sheaves, consuming all the surrounding adversities and adversaries. I pray that Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place—Jerusalem.

 In that day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the Lord before them. In that day the Lord will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

And the Lord will pour on you the Spirit of grace and supplication; then you will look on Me whom you pierced. Yes, you will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.

I pray that the promise of the Lord as prophesied in the book of Zechariah come to pass: “On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.

Shalom from your Gentile friend, W.

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

Genesis 15:17-18 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

17 After the sun had set and there was thick darkness, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch appeared, which passed between these animal parts. 18 That day Adonai made a covenant with Avram: “I have given this land to your descendants — from the Vadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates River —

Zecharyah 12:6-14 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

In Yom HaHu will I make the Aluphei Yehudah like a fire pot in the woods, and like a torch of eish in the omer (sheaves); and they shall devour kol haAm round about, on the right hand and on the left; and Yerushalayim shall be inhabited again in her own site, even in Yerushalayim.

Hashem also shall save the oholei Yehudah (tents of Yehudah) first, that the glory of the Bais Dovid and the glory of the inhabitants of Yerushalayim do not magnify themselves against Yehudah.

In Yom Hahu shall Hashem defend the inhabitants of Yerushalayim; and he that is feeble among them in Yom Hahu shall be like Dovid; and the Bais Dovid shall be like Elohim, like the Malach Hashem before them.

And it shall come to pass in Yom Hahu, that I will seek to destroy kol HaGoyim that attack Yerushalayim.

10 And I will pour upon the Bais Dovid, and upon the inhabitants of Yerushalayim, the Ruach (Spirit) of Chen (grace) and of Tachanunim (supplications for favor); and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced [dakar, “pierce through” cf. Yeshayah 53:5; Targum HaShivim Tehillim 22:17], and they shall mourn for Him (Moshiach) as one mourneth for his yachid (only son), and shall grieve in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his bechor (firstborn).

11 In Yom Hahu shall there be a great mourning in Yerushalayim, as the mourning of Hadad-rimmon in the valley of Megiddon.

12 And ha’aretz shall mourn, all mishpochot apart; the mishpachat Bais Dovid apart, and their wives apart; the mishpachat Bais Natan apart, and their wives apart; [Shmuel Bais 5:14]

13 The mishpachat Bais Levi apart, and their wives apart; the mishpachat Shimei apart, and their wives apart; [Bamidbar 3:17-18,21]

14 All the mishpochot that remain, all mishpochot apart, and their wives apart.

Zechariah 13:1 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

13 When that day comes, a spring will be opened up for the house of David and the people living in Yerushalayim to cleanse them from sin and impurity.

Blessed Shanah Tovah 2015

Joshua 6 Jericho march…In the seventh month, on the first of the month, there shall be a sabbath for you, a remembrance with shofar blasts, a holy convocation. -Leviticus 16:24

Rosh Hashanah occurs on the first and second days of Tishri. In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means, literally, “head of the year” or “first of the year.” Rosh Hashanah is commonly known as the Jewish New Year.

The name “Rosh Hashanah” is not used in the Bible to discuss this holiday. The Bible refers to the holiday as Yom Ha-Zikkaron (the day of remembrance) or Yom Teruah (the day of the sounding of the shofar). The holiday is instituted in Leviticus 23:24-25.

Shofar: Click to hear it blow!The shofar is a ram’s horn which is blown somewhat like a trumpet. No work is permitted on Rosh Hashanah. Much of the day is spent in synagogue. Another popular observance during this holiday is eating apples dipped in honey, a symbol of our wish for a sweet new year. Religious services for the holiday focus on the concept of G-d’s sovereignty.

“The Jewish new year is not just a time to renew our resolve to lose another fifteen pounds. Rather, it’s the time when our fate stands in the balance as G‑d reviews our past year and decides whether or not to renew our lease on His planet. As such, Jewish greetings for this time of year (the Jewish New Year is in the fall) reflect our prayers for a good, sweet year up ahead.

The catch-all greeting you can use for the entire season is “Shanah tovah” (שנה טובה), which means “Good year.” The word “u’metuka” (ומתוקה), and sweet, is sometimes appended to the end.

Here are some other greetings that you may hear:

Before Rosh Hashanah, people wish each other “Ketivah v’chatima tovah”(כתיבה וחתימה טובה) “A good inscription and sealing [in the Book of Life].” On Rosh Hashanah eve, as we return from synagogue service, it is traditional to greet one another with “Leshana tovah tikatev v’tichatem” (לשנה טובה תכתב ותחתם). When greeting a female, this is modified to“Leshana tovah tikatevee v’tichatemee” (לשנה טובה תכתבי ותחתמי). This means, “May you be written and sealed for a good year.”

From noon on Rosh Hashanah, when our fates are already written, until Yom Kippur, when our fates for the coming year are to be sealed, we wish each other “Gemar chatima tovah” (גמר חתימה טובה), “A good final sealing.”

Now for the Yiddish version: The standard wish is for “A gut gebentsht yohr,” “A good and blessed year” (א גוט געבענטשט יאהר). And since tradition tells us that our fate is not really sealed until Hoshanah Rabba, the customary salutation for that day is “A gutten kvittl” (א גוט’ן קוויטל), “A good inscription.”

No matter what we say, the main thing is to wish each other a good, sweet year with all our heart – because that is what G‑d values the most.”

(Read more: http://www.chabad.org/holidays/JewishNewYear/template_cdo/aid/174683/jewish/New-Year-Greetings-Explained.htm)

Rosh Hashanah will occur on the following days of the secular calendar: Jewish Year 5776: sunset September 13, 2015 – nightfall September 15, 2015.

“The Bible speaks of Rosh Hashanah as occurring on the first day of the seventh month. The first month of the Jewish calendar is Nissan, occurring in March and April. Why, then, does the Jewish “new year” occur in Tishri, the seventh month? Judaism has several different “new years,” Nissan 1 is the new year for the purpose of counting the reign of kings and months on the calendar, Elul 1 (in August) is the new year for the tithing of animals, Shevat 15 (in February) is the new year for trees (determining when first fruits can be eaten, etc.), and Tishri 1 (Rosh Hashanah) is the new year for years (when we increase the year number. Sabbatical and Jubilee years begin at this time).” (Read more: http://www.jewfaq.org/holiday2.htm)

Leviticus 23:24-25 New King James Version (NKJV)

24 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.’”

Biblical events of blowing of the trumpets and the victories of God’s people thereof:

Then seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord went on continually and blew with the trumpets. And the armed men went before them. But the rear guard came after the ark of the Lord, while the priests continued blowing the trumpets.

20 So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.

Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers—they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing—and they cried, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!”
21 And every man stood in his place all around the camp; and the whole army ran and cried out and fled. 22 When the three hundred blew the trumpets, the Lord set every man’s sword against his companion throughout the whole camp; and the army fled to Beth Acacia,[a] toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel Meholah, by Tabbath.
blowing of trumpts

more invincible weapon: more praise !

Praise is truly the weapon for today. When we praise God, we are raised to His presence. He is worthy of all praises. The book of psalms is full of praises. When kings and priests and the congregations (the people of God) praised God as recorded in the history of Israel, their enemies dreaded, were confused, self=destructed, and whatever who were not destroyed fled..

This is the power of God’s presence. His glory. His holiness. His God-ship. All these come upon us as we praise. The power of praise can be experienced even by worshiping together in one accord, joined to the Lord, one Spirit with Him! I have found some resources on this subject and I personally have found them useful.

Click this link to: teachings on the power of praise and how to praise God. (Andrew Wommack)

quote: “Praise causes our faith to abound by keeping our minds stayed on the answer instead of the problem. Praise causes Satan to flee because he can’t stand true worship of God. Praise actually ministers unto God. This series will explain how praise affects the devil, God, and us. Praise is God’s antidote to fear and the pessimism of the world.”

Click this link to : Here are teachings on happiness (Andrew Wommack)

Quote from: Paul’s Secrets To Happiness By Andrew Wommack
“Are you truly happy? Selah (pause and think on that for a moment). That’s a huge question. For most Christians, if they’re honest, they’d have to admit that their happiness is very conditional. It’s sad, but it’s true. Circumstances control most people’s happiness. But that’s the problem: True joy and happiness don’t come from circumstances.

The Apostle Paul gave us a great example of this. He had a vision from God that he was supposed to go minister to the people in Macedonia.

And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. [10] And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.

Acts 16:9-10

Even though Paul and his companion Silas had a divine mandate from God to go and minister there, everything didn’t go perfectly. Within just a few days, they were beaten and thrown in the worst part of the prison with their feet and hands in stocks (Acts 16:16-24).

But look at Paul and Silas’s response to this:

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

Acts 16:25

This is awesome!…” Read more from this link: http://www.awmi.net/extra/article/pauls_secrets
AW happiness

The way in the whirlwind

The watchman heard four times within twelve hours. The message is from Nahum. A sister in Christ who continued to manifest symptoms even after she was healed, has received twice the same verse Nahum 1:9, “affliction will not rise up the second time.” This message was received by two different persons: through a Bible teacher teaching the Holy Spirit lesson received by the watchman her; it was also received by someone for the same sister thousands of miles away, through another teaching on healing. In fact the two messages crossed each other through mobile phone communication at the same time! Awesome!

Later in the morning the watchman posted Bible verses spoken by Jesus Himself on end times and how foundations will be shaken by natural elements; he also found and posted in the same blog some old pictures depicting the scale of such devastations. In the afternoon he watched a movie without knowing the contents while waiting for his laptop computer to be reinstalled by the vendor. The movie was called, “Into the storm”. He received a shock when he watched and saw that it was about the tornado (hurricane) and its powerful devastating power and impact on earth. The screen and sound displayed the formidable forces of the natural elements to the full.

At the end of the day while driving home, he asked the Lord and his spirit received the book, Nahum. He read, especially this verse, “…the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.” (Nahum 1:3)

Summary of today’s message: twice good news of 1:9 for an individual who is suffering. Twice bad news of 1:3 for the ‘world’ or system of the world. For those who have not watched the movie, read Nahum and see glimpses of the scale of the invisible natural forces that could not be stopped.

Here are some old photos. The pictures speak.

fire tornado God is real lightning-volcano-puyehu2 tornado lightning and fire

For this reason: a prayer for you

For a small group of believers (of all ages, grandmas, mothers, children, infant, evangelist, pastor, house wives…), praying fervently last Friday night, thirsting to know the Lord personally,  receiving His every blessing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, praying for the filling of the Holy Spirit, for healing and deliverance just as in the times of the first Apostolic church in the book of Acts, this is my prayer. I unknowingly had prayed these verses in the midst of the moving of the Lord’s Spirit, as led by the Spirit that evening. Here is the complete prayer from the apostle Paul, for all of you again. The Lord has indeed sent His Word and healed. Yes, you all said amen to the pastor’s prophetic utterance in his closing prayer, that henceforth you would not read the Word the same, worship the same, and or pray the same, for you would all be Spirit led. Amen again.

Ephesians 3

14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

1peter4-8b

watchman’s notes: watch and pray reality check

When the Lord Jesus spoke to the disciples about end times, He emphasized one thing: watch and pray.

The watchman has experienced this very important reality. Either we watch and pray or we miss out functioning faithfully in certain important life and death issue being progressed in the spiritual realm, which would manifest and impact the physical realm of human existence on earth.

In two recent major ‘disastrous’ events, the watchman was alerted in the spirit but due to physical tiredness (e.g. long hours of travel and without sleep), there was no alertness in the spirit. Therefore, there was no effective preventive intercession. No prayer in those crucial moments.

Please note I am not saying that we are imperative to moving all mountains or valleys. But we are called to be faithful. We are given spiritual gifts to function appropriately in our respective calling. We have committed to our Lord’s command to watch and pray. I have heard a testimony that the Lord called many to pray and intercede for one evangelist and not one responded. He died from a hornet’s sting. The son testified this after he heard from more than twenty people who told him that they heard the Lord calling them to pray for his father but they did not. They did not respond because at that time the evangelist was well and healthy and was not in danger. They presumed that they heard the Lord wrongly.

This presumptuous mistake is common among us. For example, we normally would look for signs like, is a bad storm or  earthquake looming near the horizon? When there is fine weather or no signs of anything abnormal in the natural we would assume nothing would happen and so we pray a short official prayer and go back to sleep. Most times watchmen and intercessors never know the result of their prayers as they are called to pray preventive prayers. When their prayers work, nothing would happen. So they would not know whether they have prayed correctly or not.

Of course those who pray for the much needed rain and suitable weather and or other natural resources to be provided can see their results. However, like Elijah, many have to pray many times before the rain comes, or seeing the symptoms of sickness gone completely. They can never be sure of whether such positive outcomes are attributable to their fervent prayers.

So, being a watchman and intercessor is not an enviable profession. No one pays us. No one rewards us. Not many believe we are called.

On the other hand, the called and faithful one always knows. It is like salvation. The one saved by faith hears the Gospel of Jesus, believes, and knows he or she is saved. Likewise, the Bible says those born again are born of the Holy Spirit. How do we know we have the Holy Spirit? The Bible says so. We believe the Word of God. We walk by faith and not by sight. We are led by the Spirit and not by flesh. Watchman too.

Sons of God are led by the Spirit of God. The watchmen are required to walk further steps of faith by more focused listening and seeing spiritual reality and act accordingly. Watching and praying in the Spirit. Interceding according to the Word of God as revealed to us at particular moments. Praying and reading the Word until the morning star dawns in our hearts.

The Lord always gives us prompting and confirmation from His words. He does not go against His words. So we always align what we hear with the Bible. What is the will of God? What is God’s nature? What does God really says? Jesus’ ministry on earth showed us how a watchman and intercessor should function. In the New testament, prior to the birth of Jesus, there were two solid examples: Simeon and Anna, a man and a woman, both watching and praying for the prophesied arrival of the Messiah. They knew when He arrived. They saw and discerned among all the thousands of babies this particular One was the One. Prior to Jesus’ ministry, John the Baptist was another solid example of watchman and intercessor.

Watchman must hear, see and discern spiritually. A deaf, blind and dull in heart ‘watchman’ will be of no use in this realm. Let us remind ourselves what Jesus had urged everyone, Mark 13:9 “But watch out for yourselves…37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”

(for those interested to know how a watchman was called and what a watchman did and how he was equipped…please read the book of Ezekiel. You will marvel at how the Lord’s Spirit enabled and empowered him to see, hear, understand and act upon God’s instructions faithfully in great details and accuracy! )

like Jesus - watchman and pray
like Jesus – watchman and pray

walking to the end: one woman stood out

Matthew 26 Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, that He said to His disciples, “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”

Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people assembled … and plotted to take Jesus by trickery and kill Him...

The Anointing at Bethanywoman anointing Jesus

And when Jesus was in Bethany …  a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head12 …she did it for My burial. 13 Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”…

Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. 16 So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him…

Jesus Celebrates Passover with His Disciples

20 When evening had come, He sat down with the twelve. 21 Now as they were eating, He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”

Jesus Institutes the Lord’s Supper

26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins...

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial

31 Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, …32 But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.” 33 Peter answered …34 Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”…

The Prayer in the Garden

36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there…40 Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again, a second time…43 And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time,…

Betrayal and Arrest in Gethsemane

47 And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people… 54 How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?”56 But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.

Jesus Faces the Sanhedrin

57 And those who had laid hold of Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. 58 But Peter followed Him at a distance…

Peter Denies Jesus, and Weeps Bitterly

69 Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, “You also were with Jesus of Galilee.” 70 But he denied it before them all…72 But again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the Man!”…74 Then he began to curse and swear, saying, “I do not know the Man!”

Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly.

psalm 23 and psalm 73: see our Shepherd -God’s unfailing love

During a prayer the intercessor cried out to God, help. help, help many times suddenly. The Lord’s reply came almost instantly after the prayer. The reply is a very crucial word for today’s Christians who cry out to God when you know you just have no other way or word. Here are the Bible verse as led by the Holy Spirit received. Do ask the Lord to help your prayers by inviting the Spirit of intercession to help you pray. You will be helped. God answers prayers.

_____________Bible verses (from NLT Bible):

the first passage is from Matthew 19 (NLT Bible). The crucial verses are: 10-12. The word ‘help‘ appeared in verse 11 Jesus said. ‘Only those whom God helps.’
the Lord then asked the one who prayed to read Psalm 23 (followed by psalm 73).
Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my Shepherd; I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadow; He leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His name.
5 My cup overflowing with blessings..
6 Surely Your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
Psalm 73 (the Lord described the cause of the anguish felt by the intercessor and how He delivered the anguished person)
21 thus I realized my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside.
23 yet i still belong to You; You hold my right hand. (note: this is verse 23, just as Psalm 23!)
24 You guide me to a counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.
25 Whom have I in heaven but You? i desire You more than anything on earth.
26…but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever.
28 …I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter and I will tell everyone all the wonderful things You do.
isaiah53_6