082314, Jesus Cleanses The Temple,

John 2:12-17 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

12 After this he went down to Caper′na-um, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples; and there they stayed for a few days.

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers at their business. 15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all, with the sheep and oxen, out of the temple; and he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; you shall not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for thy house will consume me.”
Please allow me to continue my thoughts about the temple of God, and the churches that we attend. And, since we who have been born again are temples of God’s Holy Spirit, the homes where we reside should also be considered as being holy places where God’s Spirit dwells. (Post 082214, A House Of Prayer) (John 14:20;1 Corinthians 6:19-20). If, neither our churches, nor our homes, are holy places, we are in serious spiritual trouble.

John 14:20 New King James Version (NKJV)

20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20New King James Version (NKJV)

19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

The following paragraphs that are marked by * are taken from Post 082214, and are relevant to this post. The dates that are shown for the two temple cleansing events are taken from the Scofield Study Bible.

* Scripture records two instances of Jesus finding a lack of reverence for God’s Temple. John 2:13-21 tells of the first instance, which took place in the year of 30 A.D. In 082214, we discussed the events of 33 A.D., which are shown in Matthew 21:12-13. In Matthew’s account, we see that Jesus went into “temple of God,” immediately after his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, as his final days of life were unwinding. The temples of God are identified as being, Solomon’s Temple, Zerubbabel’s Temple, Herod’s Temple, The Tribulation Temple, and The Millennial Temple. A temple of God is first and foremost a sanctuary and a symbolic dwelling place for God. The temple was established for the honor and glory of God, and for worship, adoration, praise, and prayer.

* When Jesus entered the temple, he passed through a large gate that led to a series of courts. One of the most outermost courts was the court of the Gentiles. It was there, as opposed to the temple itself, that Jesus came upon people who were exchanging currency and were selling animals. (Matthew 21:12-13).

The following 082314 post relates to the first time that Jesus cleansed the Temple in Jerusalem in 30 A.D., and is taken from John 2:12-25.

This event of the cleansing of the temple occurred early in the ministry of Jesus. His first recorded miracle, which took place at the wedding in Cana, where Jesus turned water into wine, had happened only a few days earlier. After leaving Cana, Jesus went to Jerusalem to observe the feast of Passover.

It is easy to understand that when Jesus went to Jerusalem for Passover, that He was very disturbed to the point of His cleansing the temple. He saw merchants selling livestock in the temple, so He drove the livestock out. He saw the money changers, so He turned over their tables. It probably wasn’t very long until the same events of sacrilege appeared again.

In verse 14, we read the words, “in the temple.” If the acts of commerce that were taking place inside of the temple had been taking place outside of the temple, Jesus probably would have done nothing. We need to remember the purpose of God’s House, which are worship, prayer, and things of worship. Things that are not of God or worship, or are disruptive, or make you forget that you are in God’s house … such things have no place in the House of God.

The reason for the livestock and money changers being in Jerusalem were valid. Jews who were traveling from out of town would have had a great deal of difficulty in carrying their livestock with them for the required animal sacrifices. It was easier for them to purchase the animals once they arrived at Jerusalem. There was also a temple tax that the Jews had to pay. The money changers were able to exchange foreign coins for those that would be acceptable for the temple tax.

The booths for the animal sales, and for the coin exchanges, had previously been set up across the Kidron Valley, on the slopes of the Mount of Olives; that was an acceptable distance from the temple. However, for the sake of convenience, the outer court of the temple and the court of the Gentiles, had been changed from a place of worship and prayer into a place of business. When Jesus walked into the temple, the House of God, and saw that it was being used for something other than which it had been spiritually designed, He placed a whip in His hand and began to act appropriately.

The actions that Jesus took of driving the animals out of the temple, as well as kicking over the tables of the merchants and scattering their coins, was a real attention-getter. But, it was not a fit of fury or rage. His actions were a zeal for the activity that the temple was designed to take place, which was the worship of God.

I would like for you to imagine that you had gone to your place of worship on a Sunday morning, or on any other day of the week. And, when you went into the sanctuary to pray you were not able to place your thoughts on God because of the loud and continuous sounds of the bleating of sheep and goats. That was exactly what was going on when Jesus walked into the temple in Jerusalem. Those holy grounds that had been set apart for the worship of God had become a scene of chaos. In an effort to meet the physical needs of the traveling Jews, the ability of the people to effectively worship God, and have an intimate time of prayer, had been greatly impaired.

In any church setting, it is important for people to fellowship. But, as the time of worship nears, it is time for God’s people to prepare their hearts for the time of worship that will follow. We need to understand that when we come together for worship of God, we need to consider the place that we meet to be holy ground. It is a time for prayer. It is a place for worship. Consider this thought. Take your animals, and anything else that is not of worship, across the street. We need to remember that we are in God’s House, and it is a serious thing to get in the way of worshiping God.

With the teaching of Jesus fresh in our minds, we should ask ourselves how we might be found using our places of worship in ways that are like “the bleating of sheep and oxen.” We need to consider the ways that we may be bringing into our sanctuaries things that are not of worship, prayer, and things of God. A lot of territory can be covered as we consider this matter. In order for us to visualize the reality of the teaching, we will have to “get honest” with ourselves. A lack of total honesty will do nothing but mask that which may be an obvious “bleating of sheep and oxen.”

Consider the description of myself that I wrote in the previous post, 082214, A House Of Prayer. Remember the statement that I made about not having an ax to grind; that statement is unchanged. If I were to be the approving official for allowing groups of people to meet in a church sanctuary, I definitely would not permit access to the following groups. I will use the acronyms that the groups use for their own use. Since you have computers, your can check out the groups. So, here it goes. I would not allow LGBT, NARAL, KKK, NAMBLA, NOW, Labor Unions Planned Parenthood, or Democrat Party meetings. I spend a lot of time watching news broadcasts and listening to news reports. In my opinion, each of the above mentioned groups have demonstrated either a history of filth of language, or a violence of speech. Why should we have a group using our sanctuaries to promote same-sex marriage, violence against other people, or the ending of the lives of unborn babies? A well known church allowed a “pro choice” group to meet in its church building. The reason that was given was,”they needed someplace to meet.” No! They don’t need to meet in a building that is called a church. The congressman that represents my town is a Democrat. The two senators who represent my state are Republicans. I have almost daily phone calls to all three of those offices. All of those people know how I feel about the things that are affecting God’s people, such as abortion and same-sex marriage, and other un-Godly things that our government is trying to force upon God’s people. We have good conversations. The people that I speak with are cordial to me, just as I am to them.

Let’s carry this discussion a bit closer to home. A pastor, who was many years my senior, once told me about the times that he would be preparing his congregation for the remembrance of the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus. During some of those times, there would be women sitting on the front pew of the church who were “showing their glory.” There have been times when I have seen younger women wearing short and tightly fitting shorts that were not appropriate for cutting grass. Consider how we would dress if we were asked to attend a formal dinner. We should ask ourselves if we would dress more nicely for a meeting with a president, governor, or a member of congress, than we would for worship in God’s House. Women need to remember that men are attracted to them. Women who dress in a way that creates a distraction in the eyes of a man should reconsider the way that they dress in church, and out of church. Let’s not stop there. The vulgar music that is heard blaring from car “sound systems” is very disrespectful to those who are forced to listen to that “noise.” Young men who persist in wearing their pants below their underwear are equally disrespectful; they need to grow up!

Much of this post may be confusing to those people who have not been born again. Consider the following scriptures.

1 Corinthians 1:18 New King James Version (NKJV)

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 2:14 New King James Version (NKJV)

14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

These two scriptures tell us that if a person has not been born again, many of the things that I have written are meaningless to that person. If you are such a person, I invite you to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior; He will do the rest.

John 3:16-18 New King James Version (NKJV)

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

For those of us who have been born again, “the field is white unto harvest.”

John 4:35 New King James Version (NKJV)

35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!

Consider the following verses that relate to holiness.

1 Peter 1:16 New King James Version (NKJV)

16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

Philippians 4:8 Living Bible (TLB)

8 And now, brothers, as I close this letter, let me say this one more thing: Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about.

Consider the aspect of revival in the following video that is presented by Robin Mark. We need revival in our nation, churches, and our homes, or we may not have a nation that allows freedom of worship and other freedoms with which we have become accustomed. Consider Isaiah 60:1

Isaiah 60:1 Living Bible (TLB)

1 Arise, my people! Let your light shine for all the nations to see! For the glory of the Lord is streaming from you.

Revival – Robin Mark
I Hear The Voice Of One Crying

References: St. Andrews’s Expositional Commentary, John, R.C. Sproul – Author; The Reformation Study Bible, R.C. Sproul – General Editor; Scofield Study Bible; Mac Arthur Study Bible; Holman Christian Standard Bible; Ryrie Study Bible; Key Word Hebrew-Greek Study Bible; The Pulpit Commentary, Isaiah; Zola Levitt Video Teachings Of The Temples; Jimmy De Young’s Daily Devotionals, Ezra; Bible Gateway.com

Comments are appreciated, and are great sources of encouragement. In order to protect the privacy of bloggers who comment on my posts, no such comments will be shown on my blog. If you would like to have a private response from me, please put your email address in your comment. That data will not be shown anywhere in my blog. Please let me caution all bloggers to protect their privacy. That is why I have removed my community of bloggers and comments from bloggers from my blog.

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082214, A House Of Prayer

A House Of Prayer

Matthew 21:12-13 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all those who sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who sold doves,
13 and said unto them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called the house of prayer,’ but ye have made it a den of thieves.”

As a child, my family lived in the states of Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana. My father was a merchant seaman and was a member of the Seafarers International Union. All of my family voted for candidates of the Democrat party. If at all possible, my father would not buy a product that was not union made. I remember when he would go to the local union hall and check for job openings. There were times when he would get hired on ships that would be gone for months at a time. I can remember when he walked picket lines in support of his union. He was a representative of his union and would encourage non-union company employees to organize a union. My father was a very honest man. Whenever he said something, it was the truth. As you read the remainder of this post, please understand that I have no ax to grind, other than the ax of truth.

During my growing up years, church was important to me. During times of worship, there was a great deal of reverence and respect for the place that we called “church.” Family funerals were times of remembrance for whomever had left this life. We prayed and cried, and thanked God for the life of the one who had now gone to be with Him. The pastor would tell us about the life of our deceased relative and would also remind us of that person’s life in Christ. A song was selected that would give honor to our Lord Jesus. The pastor would invite anyone who might not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior to make that decision.

Scripture records two instances of Jesus finding a lack of reverence for God’s Temple. John 2:13-21 tells of the first instance, which took place in the year of 30 A.D. We will discuss the events of 33 A.D., which are shown in Matthew 21:12-13. In Matthew’s account, we see that Jesus went into “temple of God,” immediately after his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, as his final days of life were unwinding. The temples of God are identified as being, Solomon’s Temple, Zerubbabel’s Temple, Herod’s Temple, The Tribulation Temple, and The Millennial Temple. A temple of God is first and foremost a sanctuary and a symbolic dwelling place for God. The temple was established for the honor and glory of God, and for worship, adoration, praise, and prayer.

When Jesus entered the temple, he passed through a large gate that led to a series of courts. One of the most outermost courts was the court of the Gentiles. It was there, as opposed to the temple itself, that Jesus came upon people who were exchanging currency and were selling animals.

It was when Jesus had arrived at Jerusalem that the city had just started Passover, which was a week-long celebration. There were many foreigners in Jerusalem for Passover. They needed to exchange their own currency for the authorized coin that would be used for paying the temple tax; the money changers were present to meet that need. There were also those who had gone to Jerusalem to make burnt offerings. Many of them would take their animals for the sacrifice. Those who were poor would sacrifice doves. That is why Jesus found men selling doves in the court of the Gentiles.

The practice of exchanging currencies and providing animals for the religious ceremonies began with a good purpose in view. It was a service for those who were from out of town, especially for those who were poor, so that they could take care of their obligations. But, that procedure became greatly exploited. In order for travelers to exchange their currency for the local currency, there was a six percent exchange rate. If anyone did not have the exact change, they would have to pay another six per cent fee to resolve the problem. Then, they would have to buy the animals. The cost of a dove inside of the temple complex was fifty times more costly than it was on the street. Jesus was clearly displeased about such unfair practices when He said that the temple had been turned into a “den of thieves.”

There was more than one reason that Jesus was not happy about the situation in the temple. He was also upset because the temple’s function as a “house of prayer” was being set aside and being disturbed. In today’s church, we think of the basic, and most significant, function of our church building as being a place where we can meet and hear the Word of God proclaimed. But, remember also that Jesus did not call the temple a “house of preaching,” but a “house of prayer.” God’s people should go to “His house” for worship, teaching, and also for prayer. Our churches are not the only places for us to pray, but such sanctuaries need to be known as “houses of prayer.”

When Jesus saw the unholy practices of the money changers and animal merchants, and when He saw that God’s house of prayer was being used for other practices, He took quick and decisive action. He made a whip out of cords and drove out the merchants. He kicked over the tables of the money changers, while scattering their coins across the temple pavement. He knocked over the seats of those who were selling doves, sending the birds flying everywhere. This was a time of chaos. In the middle of it, while filled with righteous indignation, He was the Son of God; He was God.

Consider what this account of John tells us about Jesus. It tells us that He was not only capable of feeling anger, but also demonstrating anger. But, His anger was His Holy wrath. If ever there was a man who had the right to be angry, it was Jesus. He was witnessing the desecration of God’s house, His Father’s house.

The aspect of holiness in God’s house is something that is greatly forgotten when it comes to funerals of high profile political figures. Senator Paul Wellstone, Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks, Michael Brown, and Elizabeth Edwards were aligned to the Democrat Party. When you view the video recordings of their funerals, with the exception of the memorial service for Elizabeth Edwards, it is easy to see that the respective planners of those funerals forgot that they were in God’s House, and instead of giving honor and praise to our Lord and Savior Jesus, they were turned those funerals into pep rallies for the Democrat Party. In the case of Elizabeth Edwards, her memorial service was held at a Methodist church in Raleigh, North Carolina. The service was viewed around the world. Politicians and dignitaries were present. As opposed to the way that the other named memorial services were conducted, the pastor told the story of Elizabeth Edwards, and of her faith in Jesus as her Lord and Savior. He told of the struggles that she had to endure after the death of her son, and how it affected her relationship with God. But, he also told about how she dealt with that that tragedy and regained a close relationship with Jesus. With all that Elizabeth Edwards had to deal with, as it related to her deceased son, and her husband; who was an attorney, former U.S. Senator, Vice Presidential and Presidential hopeful, and who had been unfaithful to her; she finally had her day. That day allowed the whole world to be told the salvation story that is available through Jesus. There were no speeches of anger and hate; there was only a message of the love of God and of forgiveness. That Methodist church in Raleigh, North Carolina was truly a house of prayer.

Let me tell you about another funeral. A friend of mine, who is known as “Pastor Ed,” performed the memorial service for another friend of mine, who was lovingly known as “Sister Mary.” In that memorial service, Pastor Ed told about the life that Sister Mary had lived. He talked about the many benevolent things that she had done during her life; he also told about her relationship with Jesus. Then, he invited anybody who might not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior to make that decision for an eternal life of joy with God, as opposed to having an eternal life of torment with Satan. Pastor Ed made sure that his congregation was in a house of prayer.

It is very sad that pastors of some churches allow such hallowed times as funerals to be turned into political events. Let us, who know Jesus as our Lord and Savior, be voices of reason. Let us not be counted with the crowd of people who take away from the holiness that should be present during the time of memory of those who have departed this life. We, who know Jesus as our Lord and Savior, are given scriptural direction for our life, as it relates to our relationship with God; we can’t straddle the fence.

1 Peter 1:16 New King James Version (NKJV)

16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

Philippians 4:8 Living Bible (TLB)

8 And now, brothers, as I close this letter, let me say this one more thing: Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about.

Consider the aspect of holiness of worship in the following video that is presented by Paul Wilbur. Draw close to our Lord Jesus.

For Your Name Is Holy – I Enter The Holy Of Holies

References: St. Andrews’s Expositional Commentaries, Matthew and John, R.C. Sproul – Author; The Reformation Study Bible, R.C. Sproul – General Editor; Scofield Study Bible; Mac Arthur Study Bible; Holman Christian Standard Bible; Ryrie Study Bible; Key Word Hebrew-Greek Study Bible; The Pulpit Commentary, Isaiah; Zola Levitt Video Teachings Of The Temples; Jimmy De Young’s Daily Devotionals, Ezra; Bible Gateway.com

Comments are appreciated, and are great sources of encouragement. In order to protect the privacy of bloggers who comment on my posts, no such comments will be shown on my blog. If you would like to have a private response from me, please put your email address in your comment. That data will not be shown anywhere in my blog. Please let me caution all bloggers to protect their privacy. That is why I have removed my community of bloggers and comments from bloggers from my blog.

082114, Thoughts Of Appreciation

It was just a few days ago that I received my copy of “The Georgia Sheriff,” which tells of events of the Georgia Sheriff’s Association, of which I am a proud Honorary Member. In this post, I would like to share my appreciation for the brave men and women of the various law enforcement agencies who serve our nation.

As a child, my father was a merchant seaman. He was gone for long periods of time, sometimes up to a six months. It was very easy for people to determine that my house was one without a man living there. I can remember a number of times when someone would be prowling around the house, where my mother, and younger brother and sister, and I lived. My mother never hesitated to call the local police department for someone to come and make sure that we were safe. I can remember these things happening from the time that I was eight years old, in Georgia, to when I was fourteen years old, when we were living in Louisiana. I was always glad to see the police officers arriving and walking around our yard, with their large flash lights scanning the dark areas. I can also remember a time when my wife and I were living in a restored house in a down town area. While we were asleep in bed, late one night, someone broke the window that was positioned above our bed. I called the local police department. Very quickly a crew of police officers arrived and made sure that we were safe. As when I was a child, the dark yard was checked by the officers with their large flash lights, scanning the area to ensure that no potential threat remained for us. I will never forget how the police officers always acted so quickly, professionally, and politely, to make sure my family and I were safe.

It was January, 1991. My grandmother had died. She had suffered a stroke and never recovered from it. I can remember the conversation that I had with my brother (now deceased) and my sister, as we were discussing our grandmother’s life. I told them that there was nothing for us to be sad about; after all, “Big Mama” was now with Jesus. The day of the funeral arrived. I can very vividly remember the funeral service at Sipple’s Mortuary in Savannah, Ga. The pastor was very assuring of my grandmother’s new home that was with Jesus and that her new life would be much better than the one that she had just recently left. When the service was over, and all of us began following Big Mama’s coffin as it was being rolled to the hearse, reality began to set into my mind. I began to realize that I would never see my grandmother again, until I would meet her in Heaven. The pain of losing her began to grip me in a way that I had never thought would be possible. As I was walking to the family car, a big and wonderful pastor friend, Brother Dave, saw me. He could tell the pain that I was feeling. He walked up to me and put his big arms around me and held me tightly, and prayed. That meant more to me than anyone could ever have imagined. I can remember the funeral procession leaving the parking lot. There were about thee Savannah police cars that began escorting us through the busy traffic of Abercorn Street, DeRenne Avenue, and Lynes Parkway. When we left the Savannah city limits, police cars of the Chatham County Police Department began escorting us on Interstate 16; we continued our procession to the cemetery where my grandmother would be buried in Statesboro, Ga. As we entered Effingham County, Sheriff’s Deputies of that county began escorting us. When we entered Bryan County, its Sheriff’s deputies took over the escort until we entered Bulloch County and were met by deputies of the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Department. They began escorting us, and continued until we reached the city limits of Statesboro. Then, we began to be escorted by a number of cars of the Statesboro Police Department. All along the way, from where we exited Interstate 16, until the time that we entered into the Eastside Cemetery, oncoming cars would see the blue flashing lights of the police cars and would pull over onto the shoulder of the road. When we began our turn into the cemetery, I noticed that a police officer had blocked traffic from all directions, was standing outside of his car “at attention,” and was holding his hat over his heart, and maintained that posture until after the hearse and family car had passed him. You can not imagine how grateful I felt; and, how thankful I was for all of the police officers and sheriff’s deputies that had made sure that our funeral procession made it safely to the cemetery. It is often that I remember the respect that was shown by that very special Statesboro police officer who had his hat over his heart; I will never forget his kindness.

If you have noticed, I use the titles of “police officer,” and “sheriff’s deputy.” I don’t say “cop.” That word shows a total local lack of respect for the men and women who put their lives on the lines for the safety of their communities every time that they report to work. Because of my work history, I have known many law enforcement officers. They have been male and female, white and black, and Christian and Jew. Some of them have been family members and personal friends. Some have been members of churches that I have attended. When I lived in St. Louis, which borders Ferguson,Mo, I knew police officers in that area, where “law enforcement” has recently come under fire from various political and news reporting agencies. All of the police officers that I have known, or met, have always been examples of what I would expect such people to be. I can remember back in the late 1970s when there was a heat emergency in the city of St. Louis. Its police officers went into high crime areas with people who were providing fans to elderly, poor, and black residents. Not much is said about acts of benevolence, such as those.

It is very sad that Michael Brown is dead. I was not present when he was shot and killed; neither were the looters, liberal news agencies, the governor of Missouri, or the Reverend from New York; all of whom have cast judgement on the police officer who shot Mr. Brown. Judgement of Officer Wilson should be held until the law runs its course.

From August 1 through August 21, there have been 27 murders in Chicago. Our nation’s attention should be placed on the following cities, and not Ferguson, MO, as it relates to murder. That attention should begin with our President. Our Attorney General should have serious conversations with the governors and mayors of the following cities that are known as the:

Six Cities With Worst Murder Rates In United States:
Detroit, Washington D.C., New Orleans, Richmond, Birmingham, Flint (MI).

If anybody would like to have pictures from the Georgia Sheriff Magazine, please post a comment with your email address. Your post will not be shown. Pictures will be sent to your email address. The following paragraph was included in a letter that I sent that had the photographs attached.

Please let me get back to the Georgia Sheriff magazine. I have attempted to show some things about our local law enforcement officers in a way that might be unknown to many people. As you view the pictures, you will see pictures and comments about law enforcement officers who have given their lives in the line of duty. You will also see pictures of activities of the Georgia Sheriff’s Departments in various activities of local community involvement. I hope that we will all remember that it will be a law enforcement officer who will respond whenever we may have the need to call for someone to come and protect us. Please let me provide a disclaimer. The pictures and articles that are provided were made by using a hand-held camera. I greatly apologize for not doing a better job of providing quality photographs.

082014, Where Are You? Where Will You Be?

All of us know where we are now, but do we know where we will spend eternity? That is a very important question for many people to ask, especially those who we have been seeing on local, national, and international news broadcasts.

Rocks and bricks being thrown through the windows of stores. Looters taking merchandise from those stores. Consider the eternal destiny of those people. Will they be in church on Sunday, thinking that they are fine with God? Let’s consider what God’s Word says about the lifestyles of people who think that they are “okay” with God.

God’s Word says that in order for us to have an eternity with God in heaven we must be born again. That is, we must be born “from above,” and have a new spirit that is as pure as the Spirit of Christ. When that happens, we have the Spirit of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit indwelling our Spirit. The truth of such indwelling is shown by an intimate relationship with God. With such an indwelling, the decisions that we make are influenced by God’s Spirit. We may say that we are okay due to the things that we have done, “in God’s Name,” but if we have not been born again, we are told by our Lord Jesus, “depart from me … I never knew you.” In order for us to indwell God’s Spirit, which is said to be “light,” we must have spirits that are also light. Anyone, who has been born again, has their name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. For those who have not been born again, their eternal destiny will be with Satan in the lake of fire, which is a place of eternal torment. Those of us, who have been born again, will have an eternal place of comfort with God, but only if we have been born again.

Let’s get back to those who have lives of lawlessness. Are they “in Christ?” Are they light or “darkness?” A person’s lifestyle indicates the condition of their spirit, whether it has been born again, or not. For the brick throwers and looters, they need to get serious and consider our Lord’s Words, ” unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3); “depart from me, I never knew you.” (Matthew 7:23)

Consider the scriptures that follow. Consider the song that follows the scriptures.

John 3:3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 14:20 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
20 In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

John 17:3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
3 This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

John 16:7-9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
7 But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 8 And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;

2 Corinthians 5:17 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

Colossians 1:27 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

1 John 1:5 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

Matthew 7:21-23 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

Revelation 20:10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Revelation 20:15 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” … 27 no one …shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Doris Akers wrote the song, Sweet, Sweet Spirit. Her message is very simple, and to the point, about the need for us to be born again. This is a serious situation. There needs to be serious efforts aimed at letting the brick throwers and looters know of their need to come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and to be born again.

Sweet, Sweet Spirit

Comments are appreciated, and are great sources of encouragement. In order to protect the privacy of bloggers who comment on my posts, no such comments will be shown on my blog. If you would like to have a private response from me, please put your email address in your comment. That data will not be shown anywhere in my blog. Please let me caution all bloggers to protect their privacy. That is why I have removed my community of bloggers and comments from bloggers from my blog.

081914, Prophecy Updates

Prophecy Today Devotions
August 20, 2014
Jimmy DeYoung
Thank you for reading my Prophetic Daily Devotionals!

Please visit my website to learn more Bible prophecies being fulfilled in these last days.
Ezra 7:10

For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.

For further study – Ezra 7:1-10

Ezra is the author of the book, by his name, and most likely the author of I and II Chronicles. He is a scribe and will not only record the history of Israel but will serve at the Temple in Jerusalem.

In Ezra 1-6, we see the record of the rebuilding of the second temple by almost 50,000 Jews that came back from the Babylonian captivity when the Babylonian Empire fell. Zerubbabel led these Jews back to their homeland and was the “general contractor” in the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem.

With the Temple up and operating God now calls Ezra the Scribe to journey back to Jerusalem and become the Scribe at the Temple to lead the study of the Word of God. Ezra was well studied, “a ready scribe”, Ezra 7, verse 6, in the “law of Moses”, the Torah, which is the first five books of the Old Testament.

God opened the heart of the Persian king to allow Ezra to return to Jerusalem to do his “priestly duties”. Verse 6 tells us that was the case because the “hand of the Lord his God was upon him” (Ezra).

Our key verse lays out for us Ezra’s approach for teaching the Word of God which is also a great pattern for us to follow. Notice that in verse 10, Ezra “prepared his heart” first. Only a “prepared heart” will seek to know the Word of the Lord. Before Ezra would preach and teach the Word, he would “do it”. Ezra knew he could not teach that which he was not willing to live by for his own life.

The final step in the process was the “teaching”. Many times we put the cart ahead of the horse. We want to teach without first preparing our hearts. As we, I, seek to know the Word we must be living our lives by His Word before we venture out to teach it to anyone. What great principles we can appropriate for our own lives and ministries for today from the book of Ezra.

Before we leave our reading for today, I want you to notice a portion of two verses, verses 6 and 9. Ezra, before he returned to Jerusalem to be the scribe in the newly rebuilt Temple, was living in Babylon.

Ezra 7 is a record of events over 80 years after the fall of the Babylonian Empire, Daniel 5, and the city of Babylon is still standing. Babylon the Empire fell in 539BC but Babylon the city did not fall. Babylon was a thriving city some 80 years after the downfall of the Babylonian Empire.

The significance of this information is that the prophecies of Isaiah 13 and 14, Jeremiah 50 and 51, Revelation 16 and 18 about the destruction of Babylon had not been fulfilled 80 years after the fall of the Babylonian Empire.

The destruction of Babylon foretold in Revelation 16:17-21 is a yet future event that will be fulfilled at the end of the Tribulation period. In fact, the destruction of Babylon is the last thing the Lord Jesus Christ does before he comes back to the earth, Zechariah 14:4.

By the way, Biblical Babylon is located in Iraq on the shores of the Euphrates River today. It is the place where Antichrist will rule and reign over a “one world economic, political, governmental system” in the last three and a half years of the Tribulation period. The stage is being set for these Bible prophecies to be fulfilled.

Before these prophecies are fulfilled the Rapture will take place and we will leave this earth to go be with Jesus in the heavens. Current events that are taking place in Iraq, Biblical Babylon, are indeed setting the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled, and I believe in the near future.

PRAYER THOT: As I understand current events in light of Biblical prophecy, help me, Lord, to live in light of Your soon return.

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081814, I Will Serve Thee

Conflict, confusion, and crime are gripping our nation, and the world. Believers in Christ must be voices of reason during these fragile times. If the world would be “about the Father’s business,” lawlessness would not be taking control of our cities. We, as believers in Christ, must be busy serving God. Our witness must be seen by the unbelievers of the world. We are now seeing how a world that does not know Christ as Lord and Savior is creating such great chaos.

Luke 2:49New King James Version (NKJV)

49 And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

Deuteronomy 4:1-8Living Bible (TLB)

4 “And now, O Israel, listen carefully to these laws I teach you, and obey them if you want to live and enter into and possess the land given you by the Lord God of your ancestors. 2 Do not add other laws or subtract from these; just obey them, for they are from the Lord your God. 3 You have seen what the Lord did to you at Baalpeor, where he destroyed many people for worshiping idols. 4 But all of you who were faithful to the Lord your God are still alive today.
5 “These are the laws for you to obey when you arrive in the land where you will live. They are from the Lord our God. He has given them to me to pass on to you. 6 If you obey them, they will give you a reputation for wisdom and intelligence. When the surrounding nations hear these laws, they will exclaim, ‘What other nation is as wise and prudent as Israel!’ 7 For what other nation, great or small, has God among them, as the Lord our God is here among us whenever we call upon him? 8 And what nation, no matter how great, has laws as fair as these I am giving you today?

Deuteronomy 10:12-13New English Translation (NET Bible)

An Exhortation to Love Both God and People

12 Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you except to revere him, to obey all his commandments, to love him, to serve him with all your mind and being,13 and to keep the Lord’s commandments and statutes that I am giving you today for your own good?

Consider the Presence of God in our lives. Consider the worshipful attitude that can be obtained as we listen to the music of worship and praise that is sung by Glen Payne, George Younce (both of whom are now with the Lord), and the Cathedrals. The group sang this beautiful song in 1987. The words and message of the song are still true today, twenty-seven years later.

I Will Serve Thee

Comments are appreciated, and are great sources of encouragement. In order to protect the privacy of bloggers who comment on my posts, no such comments will be shown on my blog. If you would like to have a private response from me, please put your email address in your comment. That data will not be shown anywhere in my blog. Please let me caution all bloggers to protect their privacy. That is why I have removed my community of bloggers and comments from bloggers from my blog.

Blog Post 081714, Search Me O God

In today’s world there is great conflict and confusion, even within families that call themselves Christians. No other words are needed.

Proverbs 6:16-1921st Century King James Version (KJ21)

16 These six things doth the Lord hate, yea, seven are an abomination unto Him:

17 a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,

18 a heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,

19 a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Consider the Presence of God in our lives. Consider the worshipful attitude that can be obtained as we listen to the music of worship that is sung by Glen Payne and George Younce, both of whom are now with the Lord. They were members of the famous gospel group which was known as The Cathedrals.

Search Me O God
Comments are appreciated, and are great sources of encouragement. In order to protect the privacy of bloggers who comment on my posts, no such comments will be shown on my blog. If you would like to have a private response from me, please put your email address in your comment. That data will not be shown anywhere in my blog. Please let me caution all bloggers to protect their privacy. That is why I have removed my community of bloggers and comments from bloggers from my blog.