A Corner, Nail, Bow & Ruler

The men ran their line, measuring and remeasuring, to insure the corners remained square as they prepared for raising a cabin at our youth camp. They knew from experience if the corners were not square the building materials would not fit together easily. The nails would even be put under undue pressure. For the building to remain strong it needed to be done right. The Lord gave us good leaders to direct the work. It’s been a time of encouragement preparing for the time our camps will be open again.

Zechariah, a contemporary of Haggai, prophesied to the remnant in Jerusalem. He encouraged them to complete the temple for their coming Messiah.

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” Zechariah 9:9

The gospel of Matthew, in chapter 21, verses 2-5, related the event.

“then sent Jesus two disciples, saying unto them, Go into the village…ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me…All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, TELL YE THE DAUGHTER OF SION, BEHOLD, THY KING COMETH UNTO THEE, MEEK, AND SITTING UPON AN ASS, AND A COLT THE FOAL OF AN ASS.”

Zechariah’s words of encouragement gave them hope for the future as he described the One to come. The tribe of Judah held the promise of the coming King.

“Out of him came forth the corner,

out of him the nail,

out of him the battle bow,

out of him every oppressor together.”

Zechariah 10:4.

Jesus, the Stone which is the corner:

“For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.” Zechariah 3:9

“THIS IS THE STONE,

WHICH WAS SET AT NOUGHT OF YOU BUILDERS,

WHICH IS BECOME THE HEAD OF THE CORNER.”

Acts 4:11

“And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not:

behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda,

the Root of David,

hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals…

And I beheld…

a Lamb as it had been slain,

having seven horns and seven eyes,

which are the seven Spirits of God

sent forth into all the earth.”

Revelation 5:5-6. *

Jesus is the nail that brings and holds all things together.

“For by him were all things created,

that are in heaven, and that are in earth,

visible and invisible,

whether they  be thrones, or dominions,

or principalities, or powers:

all things were created by him,

and for him:

And he is before all things,

and by him all things consist.”

Colossians 1:16,17*

Jesus is the battle bow. He alone has the strength to defeat every enemy. He wants us to know…

“what is the exceeding greatness of his power

to us-ward who believe,

according to the working of his mighty power,

Which he wrought in Christ,

when he raised him from the dead,

and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

Far above all principality, and power, and might,

and dominion, and every name that is named,

not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

And hath put all things under his feet

and gave him to be the head

over all things to the church, which is his body,

the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”

Ephesians 1:19-23.

Jesus is our strength, our armor against all enemies.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,

but against principalities, against powers,

against the rulers of the darkness of this world,

against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God,

that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day,

and having done all, to stand.”

Ephesians 6:12,13.

Death remains the final enemy. It will know defeat.

“Then cometh the end,

when he shall have delivered up the kingdom

to God, even the Father;

when he shall have put down

all rule and all authority and power.

For he must reign,

till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”

1 Corinthians 15:24-26.

“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.

This is the second death.”

Revelation 20:14

Jesus is ruler over all. For He is the One who,

“hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written,

KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

Revelation 19:16. *

Hopefully, the building and maintenance done at our camp will last for this next generation to enjoy and serve the Lord in, should He not come sooner. It’s been encouraging to see the work progress in hopes of a full camp next summer.

Many today, look for the Lord’s imminent return. It could be. But until then take courage if your life is founded on the Chief Cornerstone with a hope that is nailed in the sure gospel of Christ. Keep walking daily in the strength of the Lord, so as to know victory. Know Jesus is your King, your Lord and follow Him. He is our corner, our nail, our bow, our ruler.


 

*For more on the Cornerstone visit my blog, “A Precious Stone,” from August 24; on the nail visit my blog, “Only One Nail Will Do” March 25;For more on our King, visit my blog, “The Servant King” from August 14.

Greater Still

books on the table
Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

My husband’s mom could out cook anyone I know. Her fried chicken cooked in heart stopping lard, chicken and dumplings, and one of my favorites, brownie pudding cause my mouth to water just thinking about them. For my youngest son, her sweet juicy blackberry cobbler remains his favorite. These fond memories raise one problem. Tom’s mom cooked without recipes, which leaves us trying to duplicate the original according to our memory of taste. No matter what we try the memory wins over our efforts every time. It can get discouraging and even cause a person to quit trying.

Haggai faced a similar dilemma when a remnant of Jews returned to Jerusalem from Babylonian captivity. Enthusiasm reigned when the work on the temple began, but then we hear the Lord saying,

“This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD’S house should be built.” Haggai 1:2.

After the temple foundation had been laid, 16 years passed with nothing more done. The size or  beauty of this second temple held no comparison with the grand memories of Solomon’s elaborate gold filled temple. It left the people discouraged and apathetic.

The Lord instructed Haggai to speak to Zerubbabel, the governor, Joshua, the high priest, and to the remnant that returned.

“Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? And how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing…

Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel…

and be strong, O Joshua…

and be strong all ye people…

and work:

For I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts…

my spirit remaineth among you;

fear ye not.”

Haggai 2:3,4,5

The people looked at the building forgetting what truly made the first temple grand. That temple and this one would be nothing if the Lord did not dwell among them. He reminds them,

“The silver is mine, and the gold is mine,

saith the LORD of hosts.

The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former,

saith the LORD of hosts:

and in this place will I give peace,

saith the LORD of hosts.”

Haggai 2:8,9

The Lord didn’t need the silver and gold but the house did need His glory. He promises this temple would be greater than Solomon’s.

Jesus is the glory that filled the temple, that made it greater than Solomon’s.

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,

(and we behold his glory,

the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,)

full of grace and truth…

And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart.

And was transfigured before them:

and his face did shine as the sun,

and his raiment was white as the light…

For he received from God the Father honour and glory,

when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory,

This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased…

For God,

who commanded the light to shine out of darkness,

hath shined in our hearts,

to give the light of the knowledge

of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

(John 1:14;Matthew 17:1,2;2Peter 1:17;2Corinthians 4:6)

The majority of the people missed the glory among them in Jesus’ day. His glory not only filled the temple each time He set foot in it, but it filled every step He took, was manifested in every miracle, and finally revealed in His death, resurrection, and ascension.

The Romans destroyed Herod’s temple in 70 A.D. An eternal temple is in the process of being built. It proves to be the most glorious.

In Christ’s first coming the chief cornerstone was laid.

“…it is contained in the scripture, BEHOLD, I LAY IN SION, A CHIEF CORNER STONE, ELECT, PRECIOUS: AND HE THAT BELIEVETH ON HIM SHALL NOT BE CONFOUNDED.” 1 Peter 2:6

Jesus is the,

“living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious.” 1 Peter 2:4

Those who believe on Jesus are the living stones used in building this temple.

  • “Ye, also, as lively stones,
  • are built up a spiritual house,
  • and holy priesthood,
  • to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5

The foundation was laid through the apostles and prophets.

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets,

Jesus Christ himself

being the chief corner stone;

In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth

unto an holy temple in the Lord;

In whom ye also are builded together

for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

Ephesians 2:19-22

As our chief cornerstone the Lord Jesus brings His glory into each living stone chosen. He is in our midst. Take courage. The Lord of glory is here among His people. He is building His temple, filling it with His glory. Apart from Him there is only an empty structure. He is the temple and we are His building material. For we are filled with His glory.

“And the glory which thou gavest me

I have given them;

that they may be one,

even as we are one:”

John 17:22

Jesus is the eternal temple John saw in Revelation 21:22,23.

“And I saw no temple therein:

for the Lord God Almighty

and the Lamb

are the temple of it.

And the city had no need of the sun,

neither of the moon, to shine in it:

for the glory of God did lighten it,

and the Lamb

is the light thereof.”

And we are invited to bask in His glory. What a wonder. A greater than Solomon is among us. Be careful not to miss Him.

Better Than New

Better Than New

For my eighth grade graduation my Granny spent hours restoring an old cedar chest marred with layers of varnish and paint into a beautiful hope chest with hearts in the wood grain.

Judah’s image as God’s people was marred. God used His prophet Zephaniah to uncover Judah’s idolatry, disobedience,  treachery, and violence and promised a work of restoration for them that would leave them singing.

“Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel: be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem…The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more…

The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty;

he will save,

he will rejoice over thee with joy;

he will rest in his love,

he will joy over thee with singing.”

Zephaniah 3:14,15, 17

Not only does Israel have the sure hope of restoration but so do all people who put their trust in Jesus Christ.

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18

We were born sinners under the sentence of death both body and soul. But both body and soul will be restored to what we lost when sin entered the world. This body of flesh born in weakness will be restored to a glorious body like our Lords.

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:

but we know that, when he shall appear,

we shall be like him;

for we shall see him as he is.

And every man that hath this hope in him

purifieth himself,

even as he is pure.”

1John 3:2,3

“So also is the resurrection of the dead.

It is sown in corruption: it is raised in incorruption:

It is sown in dishonour: it is raised in glory:

It is sown in weakness: it is raised in power;

It is sown a natural body: it is raised a spiritual body…

And as we have borne the image of the earthy,

we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.”

1 Corinthians 15:42-44,49

Before the body receives its restoration the spirit must be restored from its sinful state to its holy state. God created us in His image. Our spirit bore His likeness. Sin marred that image.

Jesus Christ came to restore God’s image in us. Jesus…

“came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name;

which were born,

not of blood,

nor of the will of the flesh,

nor of the will of man,

but of God…

Verily, verily, I say unto thee,

Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,

he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh;

and that which is born of the spirit is spirit.

Marvel not that I said unto thee,

Ye must be born again.”

John 1:11-13;3:5-7

When born of the water, the cleansing of the Word of God, and the Spirit, we then bear the Spirit of God in us as He conforms us to that image.

“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son…Romans 8:29;

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord,

are changed into the same image from glory to glory,

even as by the Spirit of the Lord…

2 Corinthians 3:18

And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

And that ye put on the new man,

which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness…

Ephesians 4:23,24;

And the glory which thou gavest me

I have given them;

that they may be one, even as we are one.

I in them, and thou in me,

that they may be made perfect in one…”

John 17:22,23.

Then there is the final restoration when all things are made new. Not only new but better for there will be no sin to enter into it. This too, comes through the work of Christ.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ,

he is a new creature;

old things are passed away;

behold, all things are become new

2Corinthians 5:17

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind…Isaiah 65:17;

“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth:

for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away;

and there was no more sea.

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem,

coming down from God out of heaven,

prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying,

Behold,

the tabernacle of God is with men,

and he will dwell with them,

and they shall be his people,

and God himself shall be with them,

and be their God.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes;

and there shall be no more death,

neither sorrow, nor crying,

neither shall there by any more pain:

for the former things are passed away.

And he that sat upon the throne said,

Behold,

I make all things new.

And he said unto me,

Write:

for these words are true and faithful.

And he said unto me,

It is done.

I am Alpha and Omega,

the beginning and the end.

I will give unto him that is athirst

of the fountain of the water of life freely.”

Revelation 21:1-6.

Yes, The Lord will sing over Israel and us, who are His. All glory to God.

Are you drinking of the water of life? Jesus still offers it to you yet today. It restores your spirit to all God created you to be.

How Long?

If you could ask God any question about what’s happening in our world today, what would it be?

The prophet Habakkuk had a burden and he did not fear asking God about it. As you read the next few verses see if you notice a parallel with Habakkuk’s nation of Judah and our own, your own wherever you live.

“Oh LORD, how long shall I cry,

and thou wilt not hear!

Even cry out unto thee of violence,

and thou wilt not save!”

Hab. 1:2

Ever feel like the Lord simply isn’t hearing your prayers? Habakkuk did, yet he went to God again. The sin of Judah was too great for this prophet to watch without God intervening.

“Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance?

  • For spoiling and violence are before me:
  • and there are that raise up strife and contention.
  • Therefore the law is slacked,
  • and judgment doth never go forth:
  • for the wicked doth compass about the righteous;
  • therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.” Hab. 1:3,4

God did reply to Habakkuk but His answer brought another question. For Habakkuk couldn’t understand why God would use a nation more evil than Judah to judge her. The Lord reassured him, the evil nation would be judged as well. God will right all wrongs in His time.

“For the vision is for an appointed time,

but at the end it shall speak, and not lie:

though it tarry, wait for it;

because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him;

but the just shall live by his faith.”

Hab. 2:3,4

The Lord promised judgment would fall on evil, on the proud. He, also promised the just would live by his faith. Salvation would come.

“Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people,

even for salvation with thine anointed;

thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked,

by discovering the foundation unto the neck.”

Hab. 3:13

Judah would cry to the Lord after taken into captivity. They wanted saved from their enemies. Their greatest enemies were not the nations around them but their own sin. They needed salvation not for a time but for an eternity. One would come.

Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people…

“And she shall bring forth a  son,

and thou shalt call his name

JESUS:

for he shall save his people from their sins…

and he called his name

JESUS.”

Matthew 2:21,25

This same Jesus would,

woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked,

“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman,

and between thy seed and her seed;

it shall bruise thy head,

and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

Genesis 3:15

The head spoken of here is the serpent in the garden, Satan himself.

 “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”  Revelation 12:9

Before salvation could come the enemy had to be bound. Jesus said,

“No man can enter into a strong man’s house,

and spoil his goods,

except he will first bind the strong man;

and then he will spoil his house.”

Mark 4:27

Jesus regained what was given to mankind and lost in creation when He entered this world, bound the strong man, and spoiled his house, a house ruled by fear.

“Forasmuch then

as the children are partakers of flesh and blood,

he (Jesus,added for clarification) also himself

likewise took part of the same;

that through death

he might destroy him that had the power of death,

that is the devil.”

Hebrews 2:14.

Know this our greatest enemy is not our government, those who disagree with us, any virus, or catastrophe that comes to the earth. It is Satan. The good news: he has been defeated and can only rule in our lives as we give him permission.

Our salvation has come in the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It will be completed in His return.

We don’t have to fear these things. We, who are of Christ, are the just and live by our faith in Him. He is our salvation both now and for all eternity. He is our strength. Let us,

“Finally, my brethren,

be strong in the Lord,

and in the power of his might.”

Ephesians 6:10

And let’s say with Habakkuk,

Although the fig tree shall not blossom,

neither shall fruit be in the vines;

the labour of the olive shall fail,

and the fields shall yield no meat;

the flock shall be cut off from the fold,

and there shall be no herd in the stalls:

Yet

I will rejoice in the LORD,

I will joy in the God of my salvation.

The LORD God is my strength,

and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet,

and he will make me to walk upon mine high places…”

Hab. 3:17-19.

Do you believe it? Rejoice.

Beautiful Feet

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

“Behold upon the mountains the feet of him

that bringeth good tidings,

that publisheth peace!

O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows:

for the wicked shall no more pass through thee;

he is utterly cut off.”

Nahum 1:15.

Listening to the news and looking at the world around us peace appears to have disappeared. Judah must have felt the same way as Nineveh had long forgotten the revival of Jonah’s day. Returning to their old ways promised the wrath of God to fall on them. But in the meantime, Judah had no peace.

Today wickedness flourishes again. Many grow disheartened by the turmoil of this world. But we who are in Christ Jesus have heard the good tidings that publish peace. You won’t find it authored in the newspapers or hear it on the evening news.

It’s revealed in the word of God, ushered in by the infant, Jesus.

“And the angel said unto them,

Fear not:

for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy,

which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour,

which is Christ the Lord…

Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace,

good will toward men.”

Luke 2:10-11,14.

Isaiah spoke of this peace hundreds of years before its advent into our world.

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him

that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace;

that bringeth good tidings of good,

that publisheth salvation;

that saith unto Zion,

Thy God reigneth!”

Isaiah 52:7

We receive peace with God through Christ when we believe in His saving work on the cross. There is no peace apart from God.

“Therefore being justified by faith,

we have peace with God

through our Lord Jesus Christ:

By whom also we have access by faith

into this grace wherein we stand,

and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

Romans 5:1-2.

Followers of Christ have a peace the world cannot have because we know the author and finisher of our faith. He brought us into faith and He will carry us through to the end.

“let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

looking unto Jesus

the author and finisher of our faith;

who for the joy that was set before him

endured the cross, despising the shame,

and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:1b-2.

Nahum’s prophecy for Judah’s peace rested on believing the word of God. Nineveh would be destroyed.

“The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble;

and he knoweth them that trust in him.

But with an overrunning flood

he will make an utter end of the place* thereof,

and darkness shall pursue his enemies…

for the wicked shall no more pass through thee;

he is utterly cut off.”

Nahum 1:7-8,15b.

The prophet Zechariah tells us of another day coming when our Lord will stand with beautiful feet on a mountain bringing a sword against His enemies as He ushers in everlasting peace.

“Then shall the LORD go forth,

and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.

And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives,

which is before Jerusalem on the east,

and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof

toward the east and toward the west,

and there shall be a very great valley;

and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north,

and half of it toward the south.”

Zechariah 14:3-4.

“And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword,

that with it he should smite the nations

…his…name…KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS…

and I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies,

gathered together to make war

against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.

And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet

that wrought miracles before him,

with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast,

and them that worshipped his image.

These both were cast alive into ta lake of fire burning with brimstone.

And the remnant were slain

with the sword of him that sat upon the horse,

which sword proceeded out of his mouth:

and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”

Revelation 19:15-21.

Until that day the last enemies of the Lord are defeated, we wait in hope, in peace, knowing the word of the Lord is true. But in the waiting we need to walk with beautiful feet proclaiming the gospel of peace.

“FOR WHOSOEVER

SHALL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD

SHALL BE SAVED.

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?

As it is written,

HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THEM

THAT PREACH THE GOSPEL OF PEACE,

AND BRING GLAD TIDINGS OF GOOD THINGS!”

Romans 10:13-15.

Do you have the God of peace with you? Read Philippians 4:6-9. Meditate on these things.


*Speaking of Nineveh

 

That’s A Long Time

Do you ever feel like time is spinning out of control? Maybe it’s being cut short? The Bible speaks of a period when time will be cut short by the advance of eternity. Have you ever wondered how long eternity is? Our finite thinking cannot comprehend the reality of time being no more. Walking with Jesus in the book of Micah our path takes us to the familiar little town of Bethlehem were the eternal walks in time.

“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel…” Micah 5:2

We follow the kings who followed the star, who found the child King of the Jews in Bethlehem, each Christmas. But rarely do we hear the latter part of this verse to find out this child King is more than an ordinary king.

“whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”

When grown the child King made His identity clear.

“Jesus said unto them,

Verily, verily, I say unto you,

Before Abraham was,

I am.”

John 8:58.

When Moses asked God for His name,

“God said unto Moses,

I AM THAT I AM…”

Exodus 3:14.

Jesus is the name God the Father gave to Him when He became flesh and lived among men, when He walked in time.

“Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived of her is of the Holy Ghost.

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name

JESUS:

for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20-21.

He is also known as the Word of God who existed in the beginning before time began.

“In the beginning was the Word,

and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.”

John 1:1,2.

He is the Creator.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth…

All things were made by him;

and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

Genesis 1:1;John 1:3.

He is,

“Jesus Christ

the same yesterday, and to day,

and for ever.”

Hebrews 13:8.

The first time Jesus came, He came to take away our sin problem. His only crown a crown of thorns. His throne a cross. He died a criminal’s death to be raised the King eternal.

“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many;

and unto them that look for him

shall he appear the second time

without sin unto salvation.”

Hebrews 9:28.

He told the apostle John,

“I am Alpha and Omega,

the beginning and the ending,

saith the Lord,

which is, and which was, and which is to come,

the Almighty…

I am he that liveth, and was dead,

behold,

I am alive for evermore,Amen:

and have the keys of hell and of death.”

Revelation 1:8,18.

The day approaches when,

“the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying,

THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD

ARE BECOME THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD,

AND OF HIS CHRIST;

AND HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER…

Revelation 11;15;

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse;

and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True,

and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

His eyes were as a flame of fire,

and on his head were many crowns;

and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood:

and his name is called

The Word of God.”

Revelation 11:15; 19:11-13.

He is as Micah said, the One,

“whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”

And He is coming again to take His rightful throne. The only question left: Will you be among those He has made priests and kings to reign with Him forever, or will you be among those whom the Lord says,

“Depart from me, ye cursed,

into everlasting fire

prepared for the devil and his angels.”

Matthew 25:41.

God So Loved

picture courtesy of Pintrest

“For God so loved the world…”

Beginning with Abraham, God revealed His plan to bring all people, not just Israel, to himself one generation after the other.

“and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

Genesis 12:3.

God chose Israel to be the avenue of His blessing on all. The book of Jonah unwraps the truth of God’s love and mercy for all people in a most unusual way.

“Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah.

And Jonah was in the belly of the fish

three days and three nights.”

Jonah 1:17.

Jesus likened his own death to Jonah’s* experience. Keep in mind Jesus does not call Jonah’s account a parable but in truth an event. So in truth if you believe Jonah is a myth, how does that translate into what you believe about Jesus death and resurrection?

“For as Jonas was three days and three nights

in the whale’s belly;

so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights

in the heart of the earth.”

Matthew 12:40

In Jewish culture at that time any portion of a day(24 hour period which includes the night) is spoken of as a day. Even as I might say, “I spent the day with my friend,” but was there only 4 or 5 hours. The phrase is a figure of speech. The important issue remains in what Jesus said about His own death and resurrection.

“And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them,

The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men:

And they shall kill him,

and the third day he shall be raised again…”

Matthew 17:22,23.

Even as Jonah was not held by the fish…

“And the LORD spake unto the fish,

and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.”

Jonah 2:10.

Death could not hold our Lord.

“And the angel answered and said unto the women,

Fear not ye:

for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

He is not here:

for he is risen, as he said.

Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”

Matthew 28:5-6

As Jonah went to his grave to learn obedience…

And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.

So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh ,

according to the word of the LORD…

And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey,

and he cried, and said,

Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.”

Jonah 3:1-4.

As did Jesus.

“And being found in fashion as a man,

he humbled himself,

and became obedient unto death,

even the death of the cross.”

Philippians 2:8.

When Jonah obeyed many, a whole city came to salvation. Some estimate 600,000 filled Nineveh.

  • “So the people of Nineveh believed God,
  • and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth,
  • from the greatest of them even to the least of them…
  • let man and beast be covered with sackcloth,
  • and cry mightily unto God:
  • yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands…
  • And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way;
  • and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not…

Why? Because God is…

“a gracious God, and merciful…”

Jonah3:5,8;4:2

God desires mercy rather than judgment. In His mercy He placed our judgment on His Son.

Jesus’ obedience brings many…many more to salvation than even in Jonah’s day.

“For if through the offence of one many be dead,

much more the grace of God,

and the gift by grace,

which is by one man, Jesus Christ,

hath abounded unto many…

For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners,

so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”

Romans 5:15,19.

Why did God do this thing?

“For God so loved the world,[that is you and me],

that he gave his only begotten Son,

that whosoever believeth in him

should not perish,

but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his Son into the world

to condemn the world;

but that the world through him might be saved.”

John 3:16,17.

Just before Jesus’ crucifixion He told his disciples…

“because I live, ye shall live also.”

John 14:19.

  • Do you know the risen living Savior?
  • Do you believe He died to take your sentence of death because of sin?
  • Do you believe He rose again and lives so you can live eternally with Him?
  • How you answer these questions determines your path of life today and into eternity

Please, share in the comments if you have questions or if you want to receive Jesus gift of forgiveness and life.



*Jonah is translated Jonas in the KJV.

When Justice Prevails

There once was a man, an evil man.

“What would you do if someone tried to do this to your family?” asked the evil man.

“I’d shoot him dead.” replied the one he spoke to.

The conversation ended and evil went into the house where much evil lived. Here evil sold his girls into the hands of more evil, as his son was made to witness.

Many would ask, “Where is God? How can He allow this to go on?”

God says, “thou shalt be cut off forever.”

One day the evil man was arrested, thrown in jail, and forgotten for 60 days. Justice moved slowly. The court failed to charged evil and released him. That very day evil walked the road to find his children. Before he made it ½ mile, evil dropped dead, cut off forever. Justice prevailed.

Like this account, many children suffer today from sex trafficking, physical, sexual, and mental abuse in their own homes by those who are supposed to love them. It is easy to wonder where is God?

When God’s children suffer unspeakable persecution around the world at the hands of evil, where is God?

Through the prophet Obadiah, God pronounces judgment on the evil nation of Edom for their persecution of their brother nation, Judah. When they should have been helping Judah, Edom joined in the victories of their enemies, treating them cruelly. God spoke these words:

  • “Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen:
  • thou art greatly despised.
  • The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high;
  • that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?

Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle,

and though thou set thy nest among the stars,

thence will I bring thee down,

saith the LORD.” (2-4)

“For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee,

and thou shalt be cut off for ever.” (10)

Justice is promised and hope given.

“But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness;

and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.

And the house of Jacob shall be a fire,

and the house of Joseph a flame,

and the house of Esau for stubble,

and they shall kindle in them, and devour them;

and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau;

for the LORD hath spoken it.” (17-18)

Esau, Edom had passed the line of no return. The Lord offers the nation no hope, no place to be found in the coming kingdom. Christ will completely avenge His children Israel, even as He avenges the His persecuted children.

The words God spoke through Obadiah ring true today when Jesus says,

“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me,

it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck,

and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea…

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones;

for I say unto you,

That in heaven their angels

do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”

Matthew 18:6,10

For the persecuted and suffering in Thessalonica Paul encourges them to hang in there when he says;

“for your patience and faith

in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:

which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God,

that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God,

for which ye also suffer:

Seeing it is a righteous thing with God

to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;

And to you who are troubled rest with us,

when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed

from heaven with his mighty angels,

In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God,

and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

who shall be punished with everlasting destruction

from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

when he shall come to be glorified in his saints,

and to be admired in all them that believe…”

2Thessalonians 1:4-10

The test arises when we are tempted to take our own vengeance. When our children played pranks on me, I teased them with a smirk and said, “You’ll never know when, nor how, but I will pay you back.” Most of the time the threat was the payback. But the Lord assures us, He will have His day against evil. It’s not a threat but a promise.

This is why He tells us:

“Dearly beloved,

avenge not yourselves,

but rather give place unto wrath:

for it is written,

VENGEANCE IS MINE;

I WILL REPAY, saith the Lord.

THEREFORE IF THINE ENEMY HUNGER, FEED HIM;

IF HE THIRST, GIVE HIM DRINK;

FOR IN SO DOING

THOU SHALT HEAP COALS OF FIRE ON HIS HEAD.

Be not overcome of evil,

but overcome evil with good.”

Romans 12:19-21.

Not only is Christ our avenger, He is our reward.

“Blessed are they which are persecuted

for righteousness’ sake;

for their’s is the kingdom of heaven…

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad:

for great is your reward in heaven…”

Matthew 5:10,12

We are called to remember men are not the evil one only the conduit for the evil one to  work through. That is why we are called to love our enemies and those who would persecute us. Let’s let the love of Christ overcome the evil. And while we’re at it, let’s remember to pray often for our persecuted brothers and sisters and for the children, even as Paul prayed for the persecuted.

 “Wherefore also we pray always for you,

that our God would count you worthy of this calling,

and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness,

and the work of faith with power:

that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ

may be glorified in you,

and ye in him,

according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12.

Persecution has not come to our country yet, but what if it did? Where will you find strength to stand? Know your God and you have nothing to fear.


Honestly I will be glad when I finish with the minor prophets of judgment. I’m like most people, I want to hear good news. Yet, I know both sides have to be told.

The Just Judge Judged

The sheep farmer prophet, Amos, delivered a message to eight different nations, including Israel and Judah. It began with this phrase.

“Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of (insert the nation) and for four.

The phrase emphasizes each nation being guilty of committing sins on top of sins. Now judgment loomed near, but not without warning. At least five times Amos calls to the people, “Hear ye this word”  or simply, “Hear”.

The nations would bear their judgment for they would not hear.

We expect the world to be judged for it’s unbelief but God’s chosen people?

“For the time is come that judgment must begin

at the house of God:

and if it first begin at us,

what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

And IF THE RIGHTEOUS SCARCELY BE SAVED,

WHERE SHALL THE UNGODLY AND THE SINNER APPEAR?”

1 Peter 4:17,18.

Many today wonder if God’s judgment is just. Are we as a nation under judgment when we suffer catastrophes, nation-wide trials, the cruelties of sinful people? I’m not going to attempt to answer the questions here except to say, what Amos said.

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God,

that I will send a famine in the land,

not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,

but of hearing the words of the LORD…

they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD,

and shall not find it.

In that day  shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.

They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say,

Thy god, O Dan, liveth: and, the manner of Beersheba liveth;

even they shall fall,

and never rise up again.”

Amos 8:14.

Is God just? He gave the nations what they wanted.

But now, let’s make it personal. Where is Jesus in this book of judgment? He is the Just Judge judged for us.

The Just Judge says:

“For the Father judgeth no man,

but hath committed all judgment unto the Son…

and hath given him authority to execute judgment also,

because he is the Son of man.”

John 5:22,27.

When the multitude cried out for Jesus blood, Pilate,

“saw that he could prevail nothing;

but that rather a tumult was made,

he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying,

I am innocent of the blood of this just person:

see ye to it.

Then answered all the people, and said,

His blood be on us, and on our children.”

Matthew 27:24

Peter testified to Jesus through the words of Isaiah saying:

“WHO DID NO SIN,

NEITHER WAS GUILE FOUND IN HIS MOUTH…”

Jesus is the just and the judged who justifies us before the Father.

“All we like sheep have gone astray:

we have turned every one to his own way;

and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all…

He shall see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied;

by his knowledge

shall my righteous servant justify many;

for he shall bear their iniquities.”

Isaiah 53:6,11.

“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins,

the just for the unjust,

that he might bring us to God,

being put to death in the flesh,

but quickened by the Spirit:”

1 Peter 3:18.

We, each, deserved the judgment of death, but the just Judge took our judgement that we be not judged.

“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God:

Being justified freely by his grace

through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation

through faith in his blood,

to declare his righteousness

for the remission of sins that are past,

through the forbearance of God:

to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness:

that he might be just,

and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus…

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith

without the deeds of the law.”

Romans 3:23-26,28.

“Much more then,

being now justified by his blood,

we shall be saved from wrath through him.”

Romans 5:9

Our just Judge has freed us from facing the wrath of God for He took God’s wrath on Himself for us. But this promise is only for those who receive the truth that Jesus is the “just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”

If you do not hear the word of the Lord today, you might want to consider some final words from Amos.

“Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God…”Amos 4:12

If God called you out of this life today, are you prepared to meet Him? Will you stand justified or judged?

“Do You Hear What I Hear?”

You’re right this is  the title of a Christmas song, one of my favorites, in fact. But this time it’s not a song that’s heard. It’s a cry. This time it doesn’t herald the first coming of the Lord Jesus. It sounds an alarm for the plague of locusts Israel suffered under. The locusts have left them with little food and drought has brought their economy to a standstill.*

“The word of the LORD that came to Joel, the son of Pethuel.

Hear this, O elders, and listen,

all inhabitants of the land.

Has anything like this happened in your days

or in your fathers’ days?”

(Joel 1:1-2, NASB)

Does that cry not sound like the cry traveling through our land, throughout the world? But Joel doesn’t stop with what has happened. He gives Israel and us a preview of what’s yet to come.

“Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:

  • for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;
  • A day of darkness and of gloominess,
  • a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains:
  • a great people and a strong;
  • there hath not been ever the like,
  • neither shall be any more after it,
  • even to the years of many generations.” Joel 2:1,2.

Bad news and more bad news. Frightened people. What are we to do?  What Joel told Israel is a good word for God’s people today. You notice I didn’t say the people of the world but the people of the kingdom of God. If we unite as the one Christ has made us to be, the world will see who the Lord is. The hope we have will be a hope they will receive. So, what did Joel say?

  • “Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests:
  • howl, ye ministers of the altar:
  • come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God..
  • Sanctify ye a fast,
  • call a solemn assembly,
  • gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God
  • and cry unto the LORD.
  • Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.” Joel 1:13-15.

Sound a bit drastic? As is said, “drastic times call for drastic measures.” Will the Lord hear the cry of His people? Keep in mind we are not Israel but we are His people.

“Therefore also now, saith the LORD,

turn ye even to me with all your heart,

and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:

And rend your heart, and not your garments,

and turn unto the LORD your God

for he is gracious, and merciful, slow to anger,

and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil…

Gather the people, sanctify the congregation…

Then will the LORD be jealous for his land,

and pity his people.

Yea, the LORD will answer…”

Joel 2:12-13,16,18, 19

Jesus Christ goes before us having opened the throne room to His people.

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the son of God, let us hold fast our profession…Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14,16.

I would say we are in a time of need, wouldn’t you? We have access to the very throne of God. Let’s use it.

Jesus Christ is our path to the full blessing of God. Joel proclaimed His day of blessing.

“And it shall come to pass afterward,

that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh;

and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

your old men shall dream dreams,

your young men shall see visions:

And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids

in those days will I pour out my spirit.”

Joel 2:28-29

Jesus spoke of the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy and the joy it would bring.

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth:

it is expedient for you that I go away:

for if I go not away, the comforter will not come unto you;

but if I depart, I will send him unto you…

Verily, verily, I say unto you,

Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name,

he will give it you.

Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name:

ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”

John 16:7,23,24

Peter testified to that day when the Holy Spirit was first poured out upon them.

“But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice and said unto them…

hearken to my words;

For these are not drunken, as ye suppose,

seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS IN THE LAST DAYS, SAITH GOD, I WILL POUR OUT OF MY SPIRIT UPON ALL FLESH…AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS, THAT WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED.”

(Taken from Acts 2:14-21. The whole prophecy is recorded there.)

In case you think this promise applies only to Israel, Peter clears that mistaken idea when he says,

“For the promise is unto you,

and to your children,

and to all that are afar off,

even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”

Acts 2:39.

Church do you hear what I hear?

“Love worketh no ill to his neighbour:

therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

And that, knowing the time,

that now it is high time to awake out of sleep:

for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

The night is far spent, the day is at hand;

let us therefore cast off the works of darkness,

and let us put on the armour of light.

Let us walk honestly, as in the day;

not in rioting and drunkenness,

not in chambering and wantonness,

not in strife and envying.

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ,

and make not provision for the flesh,

to fulfill the lusts thereof.”

Romans 13:10-14.

God in His wisdom chose for the church to bear His glory to a lost world. It’s high time we come,

“in unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the son of God,

unto a perfect man,

unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ…

speaking the truth in love…”

Ephesians 4:13,15.

For as Joel put it there are,

“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision:

for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.”

Joel 3:14.

Church, do you hear what I hear?

People are crying and don’t know where to turn. We have the answer. We are the voice of the Lord. May we with meekness, respect, and love speak His truth.

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*Information taken from the King James Open Study Bible.