God is a Consuming Fire – 9-26-22

“For our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:29 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Hebrews chapter 12 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

The Race of Faith

12 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the [a]author and [b]finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The Discipline of God

For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:

“My son, do not despise the [c]chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”

If[d] you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no [e]chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Renew Your Spiritual Vitality

12 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.

14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; 16 lest there be any fornicator or [f]profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. 17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.

The Glorious Company

18 For you have not come [g]to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and [h]darkness and tempest, 19 and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. 20 (For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned [i]or shot with an arrow.” 21 And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”)

22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the [j]general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.

Hear the Heavenly Voice

25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I [k]shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” 27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we [l]may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.

Footnotes

  1. Hebrews 12:2 originator
  2. Hebrews 12:2 perfecter
  3. Hebrews 12:5 discipline
  4. Hebrews 12:7 NU, M It is for discipline that you endure; God
  5. Hebrews 12:11 discipline
  6. Hebrews 12:16 godless
  7. Hebrews 12:18 NU to that which
  8. Hebrews 12:18 NU gloom
  9. Hebrews 12:20 NU, M omit the rest of v. 20.
  10. Hebrews 12:23 festal gathering
  11. Hebrews 12:26 NU will shake
  12. Hebrews 12:28 M omits may

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Ephesians 1:7- 

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

We’ll finish the book of Hebrews this week and we study the book of Titus – and wrap up this quarter, so that we might begin next week and the 4th quarter with the final (of the four) gospels, the Gospel according to John.
So why don’t we complete the book of Hebrews with daily corporate repentance and humility from us so we may better know Jesus as fully man and fully God and fall more in love with Him every day.
Dear God, I am sorry for being filled with any and all unrighteousness, and/or sexual immorality, and/or wickedness, and/or covetousness, and/or maliciousness, and/or envy, murder, and strife, and/or deceit and evil-mindedness, and/or being a whisperers and  backbiters, and/or haters of God, and/or violent, and/or proud and boasting, and/or inventors of evil things, and/or disobedient to parents, and/or undiscerning, and/or untrustworthy, and/or unloving, and/or unforgiving, and/or unmerciful, and/or for practicing such things are deserving of death. Please forgive me for those things I did even though I knew better. And please forgive me for those things You count as sin, that I am unaware of and have not learned yet – and open my eyes to see them as sins so I can stop participating in them. Please wash me with the Blood of Jesus. Cleanse me and help me turn from my evil ways. And send a fresh filling of your anointing to break the yokes and help me destroy the roots with a mindful effort and focus on You, and fall in love with You in a new and deeper way. I desire to lay down my life for You, Lord Jesus, as You sacrificed Yourself for me. Help me to die to self and pour myself out as an offering. Give me more grace to trust You and accept Your will for my life and not my will. In the name of Jesus we pray ~amen

This book spends the majority of its time teaching us about Jesus through faith and fulfilled prophesies – Now comes the challenge. It is a challenge I think all of us are up to taking on. If we do accept this challenge the dark and terrible days before us, planned by the enemy, will instead find us at peace and enveloped in God’s love, provisions and protection. The challenge starts with: Will you Know Him? Not just head knowledge of Him, but in a real personal relationship with Him. Then it moved into: will you believe Him and love Him? and today – if you really believe this – it is time to do it. It is time to live it. It is time to be like Esther and say I am in this plan and if I die, I die!

This challenge is a call to surrender all and trust Him. Can you do it? I truly believe if the prophecies come true, it will be our only way of survival.

1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,”

Surrender whatever weighs us down. Surrender every burden, problem, situation, person, and every aspect of our lives. Let us lay down and surrender all our sinful ways, the sins that easily ensnare us, and the sins we keep hidden. Full and complete trust and surrender. This is the call on YOUR life today. Yes, you! You specifically. God is talking to a few of us today. But I am sure some of you have been hearing this in a still small voice inside or this is confirming the word of someone else. It is time. Actually it is long past due as time is running out and we have only heaven to lose if we do not take on the calling 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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

For two years you all have heard me say, that like Peter when he walked on water – we must look at Jesus and not take our eyes off of Him. Do not look left or right. Do not look down. Do not spend time being entertained by those who deny Jesus is the Son of God while they point to anything and everything, but Jesus.
Jesus knew that the cross was going to be bad. Really bad. But he also knew that His sacrifice was going to be amazing and that His resurrection was going to be Epic. He endured that hardest thing for the joy of what was to come from it. Jesus showed us the great price – and the great reward.

For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.”

The author is warning the first century church that the bloodshed, jailings and abuse of Christians was not going to stop. He said it without saying it, but teaching them how to be encouraged as it gets worse. Here is the parallel and the principle you and I need to hide in our hearts – perilous times will come, Jesus said in Matthew, and so far we are seeing very perilous birth pangs and are looking at the worst yet to come. Rumors of a civil coupe in China and their president Xi Jinping being captured made its way around the internet over the weekend. There are wars and literally rumors of wars. The times are progressing and prophesy is being fulfilled. Most modern first world nations have been sheltered from persecution and honestly believe it will never happen to them, to you and me.
I want to prepare you that they could come, it is prophesied as perilous and we see in the first century many died to spread the gospel. Why not us? Our pride makes us exempt? So if and when these times come upon us, it will be rapid and there will be little time to prepare you. Let us pray we never need these lesson, but let us also be prepared for anything.
Consider Jesus. Our Lord, himself endured hostilities – and death. This should prevent us from becoming weary and discouraged. Because if He endured it, so can we. Verse 4 goes on to say, look, you are still alive, you have resisted death while striving against sin. So much of the spiritual battle is the Lords and when we move in His flow, He fights the battles. Our real and great battle is against our own flesh and its hell-bent desire to sin.
Like we read, recently in 2 Timothy, about finishing well. Let’s accept the challenge to fix our heart and mind to finish well.

And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”

And our Father in His perfect Sovereignty will also chasten and discipline His children. I’ll be honest, I fear being disciplined by God. I grew up in a home of punishment, beatings, verbal abuse and codependent inconsistencies. You never knew if getting caught meant a talking to or a frying pan swinging at you. So when bad things happened to me and Christians said, ‘God is punishing you’ I believed them. But the wrath of God is NOT the same as His chastisements and disciplines. The Lord has only ever rebuked me gently and lovingly and I can only say that by looking back and see when I was wrong and needed to get back on track. I remember one time a song came on the radio and my heart was so convicted over something I did. I no longer remember what I did – but I remember pulling the car over and sobbing because I was caught, rebuked, in trouble and the Lord did it with a hug and a beautiful song. Best of all the song was about forgiveness. God is the perfect parent, loving and tender.

If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.”

Sometimes God’s correction is more painful, yes. But that is for those of us with hardening hearts. If God is not correcting you, then woe to you. Woe. Because you are not a son or daughter.

Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?”

Written to the Hebrew, men and women who had grown up under parents who believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Many of them had kind and loving fathers and loving discipline, and hold much respect for their parents.
I grew up with a mother and step father who believed in Jesus and were deeply flawed and victims of abuse and demonic influences and therefore were unable to provide level headed discipline and quite frankly – I do not believe either has ever learned what love really is. And my father was unsaved and selfish and his care went as far as himself. He did love us, but having also been abused, he was standoffish to guard himself. I am not alone with having poor influences in relation to love.
I have made prayerful and thoughtful inquires with the spirit on the topic of love and respect for these deeply flawed humans. I have learned to forgive and love and keep space enough to not permit further abuse. I tried many distances and found most were too close and if in words reach, words can be thrown like punches, and I am not a punching bag. So I carefully navigate these things while respecting the fact that these people did the best they could with what they have. They have obviously done some things right. Knowing I am not alone in this brokenness – It is hard for many of us to understand and know the love of God and respect him in the way scripture is written. I love the loving Daddy whose courts I can burst into crying for help at any time. But the stern and disciplined father, still worries and scares me. Even though I know, it is in love and I’d rather have it than the wrath from refusing to be disciplined later.

10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

It is a good thing and joy comes in the morning. Like the day in the car, where I balled my eyes out and repented and felt such a deep cut into my heart. It was terrible and painful – but the love came and once I got through all the emotions of the process, the guilt and shame, I was able to experience such joy I laughed and cried at the same time. I grew and healed quite a bit that day.

Knowing the difference between wrath/punishment and discipline will be critical for holding onto the cross in perilous times. These problems are coming regardless of if you were good or bad or whatever. So learn the difference now, so you’ll know which is which.

12 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.”

And once we know, and we are healed, we must work at bringing others up to speed. What good is a church body that is sitting around lame and feeble in wound of despair and unable to pursue His purpose for us?
If you are sick today – I speak this verse into your life: Whatsoever is bent in you, let it be straightened in the name of Jesus. Whatsoever is weak and hanging in you, let it be filled with the strength of the Light of Jesus, right now. Whatsoever is feeble, become strong in the power of His might! Whatsoever is a cooked or unseen path or unknown future – May the Lord layout the plans at your feet, revealing a straight path, in the name of Jesus. Whatsoever in your life is lame and dislocated – may the Lord, right now, bring it all back together and stitch it up and give it strength in the name of Jesus. AND whatsoever is in need of healing in you – BE HEALED in the NAME OF JESUS! Heavenly Father, please let us start off this new year in strength, power and healing! As the times become more perilous, let us live in the peace of your shelter, prospering on the right path, and fulfilling your plan for our lives. In the name of Jesus we pray – AMEN!

14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;”

Our challenge and call in this chapter is to take this walk with the Lord seriously. If we really believe what we say we believe, let us walk this out together – holding each other up in our moments of weakness. Let us not let any cause for bitterness, trouble, defilement or the slippery slope into full out losing your salvation.

16 lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. 17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.

Ah, the author was thinking the same way I was thinking.
Listen I believe this, you believe this – let us put our denominations aside for a moment and stand in unity as the People of the Kingdom of God and get through this together.
The Lord God is terrifying (in the right way) and as much as we would fall on our faces in fear in his presence, He is on OUR side! We are not just in this together, but also joined by angels.

18 For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, 19 and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. 20 (For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.” 21 And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”)
22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 
23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.”

We are concluding the feast of trumpets – they are sounding. It is still the century of the mouth and words are being spoken – Jesus is the word. God is coming in judgment to shake everything that can be shaken – but we have peace in the fear of the Lord. Have you stood in the storm – in the tempest and saw the fire and begged for it to fill you and not burn you? Have you stood in the blackness and darkness and have you seen the orange and yellow flashes of lightening behind the rolling clouds? Have you been touched by the mist of water from the latter rains? No man or beast can endure, even Moses fell on his face trembling. But we are not just chosen children of God – but we are Holy Spirit filled temples of God and when we remain humble the bold fire and this storm swells within us! We walk here on earth surrounded by a company of angels! I cannot come to Mount Zion or to the city of my Living God – but He has established me as a temple. I am judged and found faithful. Yes, even in my struggles and humanity and failures – I am faithful. Full of faith! I believe in repenting and humility and in all that my sovereign God can do! I AM COUNTED AS FAITHFUL IN HIM. and that is counted as righteousness! And therefore I am sprinkled in the blood of the Lamb! Hallelujah!

25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” 27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.”

Have I not been saying for two years we are about to be shook! We are in the great shaking. But DO NOT SHAKE! You are in a company of angels and God has a plan for you! Hang on to the horns of the altar and give yourself wholly to him with a fresh new commitment and do not be shaken. Stand therefore and having done all, stand.

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”

Grace. Hallelujah! Grace! – Grace that actionable transformative power that makes us new. Put down the old dead man and walk in that newness this year.

29 For our God is a consuming fire.”

And I receive that fire.   

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace. Walk in wisdom.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

Rosh Hashanah (supplemental post 9-25-22)

Shana tova!  I greet you on this head of the year. L’shana tova tikateyvu, or “May you be written [in the Book of Life] for a good year.” 

I have decided to take today to add a supplemental post, to give us a moment to think about the Lord’s high holy days, like today.

“and they will level you to the ground, and throw down your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” Luke 19:44 NKJV
Here in Luke we see Jesus, Himself, pronouncing a curse on Jerusalem (or speaking a tragic prophesy over them). The reason is because they did NOT recognize the hour, they were not wise watchmen, they knew the Torah, Psalms and the Prophets yet they failed to recognize their Messiah.

In Ecclesiastes we are told that everything has a season, appointed by God himself. (Ecc. 3:1-8)  

And throughout the Bible we are told to be watchmen – watching and praying for the Kingdom of heaven: Ezekiel 33, Ezekiel 3:17, Isaiah 62:6, Isaiah 52:8, Habakkuk 2:1-20, Jeremiah 51:12, Jeremiah 31:6, Proverbs 8:34 and so many more.

What does this have to do with a “Jewish” holiday, that we do not really understand and since we are Christian, we do not need to know?

We are adopted under Abraham – His God is our God and HE is the creator of all. And HE, God, set this date in place saying THIS is the day I created the heavens and the earth and this is MY head of the year. This is not a Jewish Holiday it is a holy day set apart by God Himself.
The Bible is filled with calculation to prepare for Jesus’s birth and arrival (as well as calculations for many other prophesies). When using the Lord’s calendar the number of days in the book of Daniel (70 times 7 in Daniel 9:24-27) can be calculated to the exact date of when Jesus, riding on a donkey, made a triumphal entry into Jerusalem and began passion week.  That is only ONE example of how knowing the Lord’s calendar means understanding the scriptures and prophesy better. There are way too many to write them all out. The point is – we NEED to understand and know Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 – because God has designed seasons and times for things and we should be flowing in the spirit, in time with the Lord.

When we get to heaven we cannot bring our man made calendar with us. We cannot be so proud to think the days as ordained by God do not matter to us. If you look at this season of Holy days, and see the ways in which God asks us to commemorate them he is preparing us for a year of abundant blessing. Ones that cannot be unleashed without making the proper steps.

First we have Yom teruah, the “Day of Shouting and Trumpets” – a viable translation from Hebrew into English for the old Hebrew words for the head of the year. Like the seventh day of marching around Jericho in Joshua chapter 6, the year starts with a loud yell and the trumpets sound. We serve a LOUD and MIGHTY God who inhabits the loud praises of His people.  So we begin with a bang or noise and worship – this is also called the Feast of Trumpets. We read and remember creation and humble ourselves as the dust that we are and came from – God’s breath in our lungs moves through us to blow the trumpets and God’s breath in our lungs is given so we can worship. We ask nothing but pour ourselves out as an offering, giving thanksgiving for all that HE has done and has promised to do. And we spend 2 days enveloped in worship. This is also a symbol of the second coming of Christ!

Second, 10 days later is the Day of Atonement. And again I have Christians say to me, we are not under atonement so this does not apply to me. But after humble worship and self-sacrifice – a day of fasting and repenting of our sins will do us GOOD. We should be doing it daily, but on this day it should be a corporate fast and prayer, like the one in Jeremiah:
“if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV
Have you noticed how it lines up with the election cycles in MANY countries around the world. We need humble repentance before these elections cycles change the guards. We need to be praying fervently for the peace of Jerusalem and the peace of our nations as we lay prostrate on our faces.

Remember God is not concerned with who is in office, leadership or who thinks they run the place. God is only concerned with our hearts. If our hearts are contrite and repentant – filled with love and the desire to be obedient, then we will lead a peaceable life and have easy leaders. But if we are stiff necked with pride and a hardened heart, we will have tyrannical leaders, who are working to destroy us.

If you want to be political or not – persecution will come. Everything that can be shaken is being shaken. So grab onto the horns of the altar and pray that God gives you the ability to hang on. If you know the signs of the times as described in the Bible – you know this. It is not some prophesy that I say as if God gave me, and me alone some crazy download that only I know. God gave us example after example of these things.

Next is the Feast of Tabernacles – Sukkot. A remembrance of the wilderness and the lesson to relinquish pride and be less stiff neck and soften our hearts in obedience.  But we are to commemorate with tabernacles. Tents to dwell in are called tabernacles. God’s first tabernacle was the Garden of Eden and His second was in that wilderness with His children under a tent. And in October when this feast comes around, we are to remember The Tabernacle. Which became the temple – and later WE became the temple. And so we recognize and honor the Lord in His season, strengthening the visual symbolism of the temple and how we must behave holy, because God is holy and dwells within us.

So in just over a month 3 of the high holy days happen, leading up to earth’s political days, which are usually riffled with problems and hard times. But after going through the lessons and humility God sets before us during this time (like worship, humility, unity, family, offerings, sacrifices and finances) it is followed by the fall harvest and blessings and abundance – and it rolls through the death of winter into the heaps of blessings in the spring time – new life and resurrection.  

“for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’” Acts 17:28 NKJV

We are supposed to live IN HIM. Dwell in the secret place (Psalm 119). And walk in the Spirit. We cannot flow in our own timing and in the timing of the Lord.

This is the importance of The Lord’s Holidays to us Christians; to those of us who long to resect and honor Him and know His timing. This is for those of us who long to obey and be good watchmen under the Issachar anointing.

So today – the head of the new year let us blow our trumpets and worship HE who has created the year. Let us know when we live and that we are made for such a time as this! And it is high time we made the call to repentance and to the obedience of the Lord!

“Blow 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 is coming, For it is at hand” Joel 2:1 NKJV

WEEKEND READING – 9-25-22

What is your beloved More than another beloved, O fairest among women? What is your beloved More than another beloved, That you so charge us?” Song of Solomon 5:9 NKJV

The main female character in this play (yes, this book is written as a play) is asked to describe the man she loves. It always makes me give pause and think. I love my Lord, God. How would I describe Him if I had to? Would it be dripping with loving words and tender descriptions found from an intimate relationship and heart knowledge of who He is? Or would I give head knowledge of Him – in a matter of fact way, with chapter and verse of what is said about Him. Yes – I ponder the deep and sweet, tender things about loving someone so indescribably amazing.  

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Song of Solomon chapter 5 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV).  

The Bride Praises the Bridegroom

The Beloved

I have come to my garden, my sister, my spouse;
I have gathered my myrrh with my spice;
I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey;
I have drunk my wine with my milk.

(To His Friends)

Eat, O friends!
Drink, yes, drink deeply,
O beloved ones!

The Shulamite’s Troubled Evening

The Shulamite

I sleep, but my heart is awake;
It is the voice of my beloved!
He knocks, saying,
“Open for me, my sister, [a]my love,
My dove, my perfect one;
For my head is covered with dew,
My [b]locks with the drops of the night.”

I have taken off my robe;
How can I put it on again?
I have washed my feet;
How can I [c]defile them?
My beloved put his hand
By the [d]latch of the door,
And my heart yearned for him.
I arose to open for my beloved,
And my hands dripped with myrrh,
My fingers with liquid myrrh,
On the handles of the lock.

I opened for my beloved,
But my beloved had turned away and was gone.
My [e]heart leaped up when he spoke.
I sought him, but I could not find him;
I called him, but he gave me no answer.
The watchmen who went about the city found me.
They struck me, they wounded me;
The keepers of the walls
Took my veil away from me.
I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
If you find my beloved,
That you tell him I am lovesick!

The Daughters of Jerusalem

What is your beloved
More than another beloved,
O fairest among women?
What is your beloved
More than another beloved,
That you so [f]charge us?

The Shulamite

10 My beloved is white and ruddy,
[g]Chief among ten thousand.
11 His head is like the finest gold;
His locks are wavy,
And black as a raven.
12 His eyes are like doves
By the rivers of waters,
Washed with milk,
And [h]fitly set.
13 His cheeks are like a bed of spices,
Banks of scented herbs.
His lips are lilies,
Dripping liquid myrrh.

14 His hands are rods of gold
Set with beryl.
His body is carved ivory
Inlaid with sapphires.
15 His legs are pillars of marble
Set on bases of fine gold.
His countenance is like Lebanon,
Excellent as the cedars.
16 His mouth is most sweet,
Yes, he is altogether lovely.
This is my beloved,
And this is my friend,
O daughters of Jerusalem!

Footnotes

  1. Song of Solomon 5:2 my companion, friend
  2. Song of Solomon 5:2 curls or hair
  3. Song of Solomon 5:3 dirty
  4. Song of Solomon 5:4 opening
  5. Song of Solomon 5:6 Lit. soul
  6. Song of Solomon 5:9 adjure
  7. Song of Solomon 5:10 Distinguished
  8. Song of Solomon 5:12 sitting in a setting

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Ephesians 1:7

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace”

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

WEEKEND READING – 9-24-22

Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates With pleasant fruits, Fragrant henna with spikenard, Spikenard and saffron, Calamus and cinnamon, With all trees of frankincense, Myrrh and aloes, With all the chief spices— A fountain of gardens, A well of living waters, And streams from Lebanon.” Song of Solomon 4:13-15 NKJV

Some of the wisdom hidden in this book revealing a spicy love affair is the fact that we are loved by God. Not in a perverse, inappropriate or sexual nature – but our relationship is loving, exciting, and passionate. For example, with this opening verse and in today’s reading we see how God feels about us when we produce fruit. It makes His heart swell and He falls more and more in love with us letting His living water swell up within us like a fountain to produce more fruit!
Knowing His great and intimate love for us will help us love Him more and draw closer to Him.

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

WELCOME to our weekend reading, where we are going through all 5 of the wisdom books! During the week we have been studying the book of Hebrews, which we will return to on Monday. Please have a blessed weekend.

Today’s reading is the Book of Song of Solomon chapter 4 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV).  

The Bridegroom Praises the Bride

The Beloved

Behold, you are fair, my love!
Behold, you are fair!
You have dove’s eyes behind your veil.
Your hair is like a flock of goats,
Going down from Mount Gilead.
Your teeth are like a flock of shorn sheep
Which have come up from the washing,
Every one of which bears twins,
And none is [a]barren among them.
Your lips are like a strand of scarlet,
And your mouth is lovely.
Your temples behind your veil
Are like a piece of pomegranate.
Your neck is like the tower of David,
Built for an armory,
On which hang a thousand [b]bucklers,
All shields of mighty men.
Your two breasts are like two fawns,
Twins of a gazelle,
Which feed among the lilies.

Until the day breaks
And the shadows flee away,
I will go my way to the mountain of myrrh
And to the hill of frankincense.

You are all fair, my love,
And there is no spot in you.
Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse,
With me from Lebanon.
Look from the top of Amana,
From the top of Senir and Hermon,
From the lions’ dens,
From the mountains of the leopards.

You have ravished my heart,
My sister, my spouse;
You have ravished my heart
With one look of your eyes,
With one link of your necklace.
10 How fair is your love,
My sister, my spouse!
How much better than wine is your love,
And the [c]scent of your perfumes
Than all spices!
11 Your lips, O my spouse,
Drip as the honeycomb;
Honey and milk are under your tongue;
And the fragrance of your garments
Is like the fragrance of Lebanon.

12 A garden [d]enclosed
Is my sister, my spouse,
A spring shut up,
A fountain sealed.
13 Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates
With pleasant fruits,
Fragrant henna with spikenard,
14 Spikenard and saffron,
Calamus and cinnamon,
With all trees of frankincense,
Myrrh and aloes,
With all the chief spices—
15 A fountain of gardens,
A well of living waters,
And streams from Lebanon.

The Shulamite

16 Awake, O north wind,
And come, O south!
Blow upon my garden,
That its spices may flow out.
Let my beloved come to his garden
And eat its pleasant fruits.

Footnotes
a.Song of Solomon 4:2 bereaved
b.
Song of Solomon 4:4 Small shields
c.Song of Solomon 4:10 fragrance
d.Song of Solomon 4:12 locked or barred

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Ephesians 1:7

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace”

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

Jesus, I Believe He Is – 9-23-22

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.Hebrews 11:6 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Hebrews chapter 11 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

By Faith We Understand

11 Now faith is the [a]substance of things hoped for, the [b]evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.

By faith we understand that the [c]worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

Faith at the Dawn of History

By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.

By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

Faithful Abraham

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she[d] bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.

The Heavenly Hope

13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off [e]were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

The Faith of the Patriarchs

17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 [f]of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,” 19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.

20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.

21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.

22 By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones.

The Faith of Moses

23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.

24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the [g]passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the [h]reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures [i]in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.

27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.

By Faith They Overcame

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. 31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who [j]did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.

32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again.

Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 36 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, [k]were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— 38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.

39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.

Footnotes

  1. Hebrews 11:1 realization
  2. Hebrews 11:1 Or confidence
  3. Hebrews 11:3 Or ages, Gr. aiones, aeons
  4. Hebrews 11:11 NU omits she bore a child
  5. Hebrews 11:13 NU, M omit were assured of them
  6. Hebrews 11:18 to
  7. Hebrews 11:25 temporary
  8. Hebrews 11:26 reviling because of
  9. Hebrews 11:26 NU, M of
  10. Hebrews 11:31 were disobedient
  11. Hebrews 11:37 NU omits were tempted

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Ephesians 1:7- 

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

And we’ll finish the week with our prayer of humility and repentance. Please personalize it and make it into your own words, if you’d like. It is important to mean it – but it is even more important to believe it. Believe that we ae forgiven. You may be thinking that if we are forgiven, then why are we praying it daily? Well, because we have hidden sins – we even hide sins from ourselves and justify them as not wrong. We all do it. Praying over each of these areas, gives God the opportunity to reveal to us the areas we need to repent in, and what we need to work on. We are all, also, still growing in our walks with the Lord and based on where we are coming from and going we all have different convictions.
Let me use this example: A man who has never had an issue with overdrinking, no family history of alcoholism and has had an occasional drink but is not a drunkard, can go into a bar, order a beer, drink it slow throughout the night and witness to and evangelize in the bar.  However, someone who was an alcoholic or raised by one might find going to a bar to be a sin or having one drink to be a sin. And someone with a religious spirit would say that preaching Jesus in the den of sinner is also a sin, lol.
Anyway – we are at different places and God may be working something through in you and these things take time. Therefore, besides getting clean to study holy things – we can work on growing out of sins as God reveals and works in us. As long as we believe and stay open to the process.

Dear God, I am sorry for being filled with any and all unrighteousness, and/or sexual immorality, and/or wickedness, and/or covetousness, and/or maliciousness, and/or envy, murder, and strife, and/or deceit and evil-mindedness, and/or being a whisperers and  backbiters, and/or haters of God, and/or violent, and/or proud and boasting, and/or inventors of evil things, and/or disobedient to parents, and/or undiscerning, and/or untrustworthy, and/or unloving, and/or unforgiving, and/or unmerciful, and/or for practicing such things are deserving of death. Please forgive me for those things I did even though I knew better. And please forgive me for those things You count as sin, that I am unaware of and have not learned yet – and open my eyes to see them as sins so I can stop participating in them. Please wash me with the Blood of Jesus. Cleanse me and help me turn from my evil ways. And send a fresh filling of your anointing to break the yokes and help me destroy the roots with a mindful effort and focus on You, and fall in love with You in a new and deeper way. I desire to lay down my life for You, Lord Jesus, as You sacrificed Yourself for me. Help me to die to self and pour myself out as an offering. Give me more grace to trust You and accept Your will for my life and not my will. In the name of Jesus we pray ~amen

Hebrews chapter 11 is often called the Faith Hall of Fame. As a child, I remember talking to God about this chapter saying I want my name written in the Faith Hall of Fame in heaven. I innocently and eagerly wanting to please God did not calculate the price. Now my prayer is one of gratitude as He works the growth of faith in me and I pray that I am able to pay the price that I have signed up for.

The structure of today’s chapter is first a definition of what faith is. Then the history of faith throughout the Old Testament. And then how, through faith, they overcame. Paul has spoken about Faith in many of our readings so far this year – ‘by grace, through faith’ (Eph. 2:8), our ‘faith being counted as righteousness’ (Rom. 4:3), ‘walk by faith not sight’ (2 Cor. 5:7), ‘faith comes by hearing’ (Rom. 10:17), ‘righteous live by faith’ (Rom. 1:17) and many more. Faith is what makes us first question and then believe the word of God – it opens the door to God’s revelation. It is not an area of our lives that we put in a box for Sunday mornings or pull out in a moment of crisis – it is an action, a way of living, a gift from God in differing measures, but in us all to grow and use and live in.

1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Hope and faith are not the same thing. Believing and faith are not the same thing. But if you took hope and believe and put them in a blender with a jolt of God’s electricity – you have faith. We can’t see what we believe and we hope of things revealed to us in the spirit, not with our human eyes. Faith, being actionable has the ability to fix our minds into a stubborn unwavering state.
I had mentioned to a lady that I was not vaccinated against covid. After realizing I had other vaccines in my life, but just not (in her words) “the most important one” was just more than she could handle. The lighthearted conversation spiraled out of control. I prayed and found only fear in her and realized it was her own faith in the effectiveness of this vaccine that was holding her together and keeping her form falling apart in fear. My heart broke for her. But there is NO power of earth I can use against a fixed mind that is locked in place by human faith. Literally she need a revelation from God. I planted a seed and quietly said a prayer for her – that was all she would receive from an unvaccinated person – who might kill her just by standing within the magic 6 foot space. God will keep working on her.
My point is that faith is powerful. It can stop God or it can propel Him and His will on earth. We just seldom look at faith in the secular as well as in biblical application.

For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

The elders believed – and then the author brings it back to the very beginning. Words which have no tangible visual – took nothing and framed in something. Which is very much an action of faith. You and I are to believe the Bible and any words God gives you and is confirmed and speak it out and frame in what God is going to make happen. How it was in the beginning is how it still is. A very good argument for teaching creation – because belief if fundamental to our relationship with God.

By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.”

Let me be honest, bringing an excellent gift, offering, and/or sacrifice can cost you your life. Just ask Abel, when you get to heaven. None the less – a pure hearted offering is righteousness – it is faith. It is an action of faith.

By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, absolutely impossible. For when we come to God, we must believe that He is. There is no point is we do not even believe that He is. And we MUST believe that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. The reward is greater than the price.

By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”

Noah built an arch for things unseen. What are we to build for the unseen?

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”

Sometimes He sends us out not knowing. Not always a fun thing to set out on. But trusting God is critical – especially in the season we are approaching. Take action to obey quickly – that act of faith without knowing will be counted righteousness. I have a friend who heard God say she needs to fast and not knowing how to prepare and how to fast and without figuring out which kind of fast to do. She just stops eating and thinks she is going to make it 40 days with no prep. Quickly, she finds herself struggling. Not in mindset – but she was not prepared for her body’s reactions and she was not armed with a plan to handle them. She heard and acted and thought after. She jumped and in mid-air she asked how high. Her zealousness and faith is counted as righteousness and so grace covers her. She prayerfully realized she needed a liquid fast and gives herself one glass of liquid soup (no chunks) a day to help her blood sugar and protein levels. As an active mother and school teacher, who is not the picture of health, she needed to have help. Next time, she will prepare. Anyway, the point is she acted and then God gave the grace. He said go without giving her instructions and she went and then he provided education on fasting. The point is we need faith like Abraham and my friend.

11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.

We always talk about being adopted under Abraham’s promise – But our adopted Mother also makes it to the Faith Hall of Fame!!! Great are the multitude of her children! You and I are blessed under her faith!

13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”

What if you and I never see the fulfillment of God’s promise in our lifetime? What if we are never elevated and what if we are never anyone? What if our success would be our destruction so God keeps us small? What if small and hidden is who God called you to be? What if He called you for something you will never see even serving Him and in His perfect plan – like all of these “hall of famers”?

14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”

Staying focused on His Kingdom come. Seek ye first God – not his promises, not the blessings, and not what He can do for you. Seek God and all these things will be added to you.

17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,” 19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.
20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.
22 By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones.
23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.
24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.
27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.”

Listen none of them had an easy life. You do not need great faith with an easy life. I think it is time we realized Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for the same things we are teaching in our public schools and we should expect perilous times coming, quickly. We can and should pray for them to be held back, but also have our faith prepared for it. Knowing how to have faith in God will be the ONLY means of survival at some point, just like these first century church Christians to whom this was written. They knew the perils and the cost of being a Christian could mean death. We are heading into a world so similar – unless we humble ourselves and God saves our land. But it doesn’t seem enough people are ready to yet.
Like the three Hebrew boys I have spoken of often from the Book of Daniel – they said ‘our God is able, but even if He doesn’t save us we shall not bow’. And God did not save them and they were thrown into the fire to meet Jesus

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. 31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.”

God always included the women. Women of faith can accomplish great things. It needs to be said. We all know that the men reading this can, but women need reminding. The enemy’s first attack targeted a woman – he has had it out for us since the beginning. Misinterpretation of scriptures saying I and my sisters must be silent – and I speak back at it and say: Get behind me Satan.
God has called us all to speak and the enemy cannot stop what God has ordained. Who are we to tell God he is wrong.

32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again.
Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 36 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— 38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.
39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.”

Throughout time the human struggle or as Paul calls it – suffering, has been a way of life. Even the Minor Prophets paid the price of serving God. This chapter pulls out those costs well – but let us not forget that it was through FAITH that they overcame and through faith they were saved. It was never about the promise in which they believed in, or the fight of faith to get it, or the fact that they received violent counter attacks from the enemy instead of actually receiving their promise.
It reminds me of some of the first posts I shared here. Many of you did not read them, finding me later on, which is fine – they mark a hope, faith, and an unseen thing. You see, I had wandered away from God for a few years… not a far trip – but far enough to have ruined my life and the lives of my family. I repented and grew in the Lord. And God tore down my foundations and rebuilt them, solid. Then God told me to start this blog. So as I started it I wrote out all those prayer requested and things I was asking God for. Situation that were such a mess from my sin and in the time between me returning and the time of me writing they were still a broken mess. Sigh. I really made a mess. Well. 2 and a half years later and guess what? God has not fixed a single one of those messes. Nope I have not seen my promises – even though I have scriptures that show these are promises that God does have for us. Not one, yet. And I can confidently say HE HAS NEVER FAILED ME! I know in whom I believe and He is faithful who promises. They may come to pass long after I leave earth. But He is faithful.
And now, my life is blessed spiritually and God provides food, and I may not have all of the financial provisions I need to end this month – but in all this time I have never missed a bill and all payments were made in full and on time. He hasn’t failed me. He will not fail me.

It is one thing to know if in your head. Apply it to your heart and have faith. But more importantly have that real relationship with Him so you know Him. Because if you get to know Him, you know He won’t fail you.
Now, this month, my provisions will be supernatural and amazing. I feel He wants me to get others praying and invested in seeing this through. With being sick again (although I am getting better now) – I haven’t made a single sale this month, until today (just in time for gas in my car). So this is a big ask to get a month’s worth of bill money in a week. AND this month the bills are a bit higher. So please join me in praying and looking forward to the testimony of how God pulls this off. I do not know if whatever is going on, with blocking the promise, is such a big fight that it needs more prayers or if God is just trying to build the faith of more people.  But I feel we can all be encouraged by whatever miracle He does to make ends meet. It is HIS reputation on the line – but I am not worries about putting it on the line. I know in whom I believe and He is able. And even if he doesn’t, I will still serve Him.   

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace. Walk in wisdom.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

Jesus, Through Whom All Promises are Fulfilled – 9-22-22

“But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.” Hebrews 10:12-13 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Hebrews chapter 10 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

Animal Sacrifices Insufficient

10 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once [a]purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.

Christ’s Death Fulfills God’s Will

Therefore, when He came into the world, He said:

“Sacrifice and offering You did not desire,
But a body You have prepared for Me.
In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin
You had no pleasure.
Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—
In the volume of the book it is written of Me—
To do Your will, O God.’ ”

Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, [b]O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10 By that will we have been [c]sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Christ’s Death Perfects the Sanctified

11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being [d]sanctified.

15 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,

16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” 17 then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” 18 Now where there is [e]remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.

Hold Fast Your Confession

19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness[f] to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

The Just Live by Faith

26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” [g]says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

32 But recall the former days in which, after you were [h]illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: 33 partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; 34 for you had compassion on [i]me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your [j]goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves [k]in heaven. 35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:

37 “For yet a little while,
And He[l] who is coming will come and will not [m]tarry.
38 Now the[n] just shall live by faith;
But if anyone draws back,
My soul has no pleasure in him.”

39 But we are not of those who draw back to [o]perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.

Footnotes

  1. Hebrews 10:2 cleansed
  2. Hebrews 10:9 NU, M omit O God
  3. Hebrews 10:10 set apart
  4. Hebrews 10:14 set apart
  5. Hebrews 10:18 forgiveness
  6. Hebrews 10:19 confidence
  7. Hebrews 10:30 NU omits says the Lord
  8. Hebrews 10:32 enlightened
  9. Hebrews 10:34 NU the prisoners instead of me in my chains
  10. Hebrews 10:34 possessions
  11. Hebrews 10:34 NU omits in heaven
  12. Hebrews 10:37 Or that which
  13. Hebrews 10:37 delay
  14. Hebrews 10:38 NU My just one
  15. Hebrews 10:39 destruction

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Ephesians 1:7- 

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

Let us begin again today with our prayer of humility and repentance. Please feel free to personalize it and make it into your own words, if you’d like.
As we are moving out of the portion of Hebrews that teaches us about Jesus, we are still discussing very holy topics which deserve humility and reverence. So it is in respect to our fear of the Lord that we continue to ask for cleansing before we dwell on these holy things.

Dear God, I am sorry for being filled with any and all unrighteousness, and/or sexual immorality, and/or wickedness, and/or covetousness, and/or maliciousness, and/or envy, murder, and strife, and/or deceit and evil-mindedness, and/or being a whisperers and  backbiters, and/or haters of God, and/or violent, and/or proud and boasting, and/or inventors of evil things, and/or disobedient to parents, and/or undiscerning, and/or untrustworthy, and/or unloving, and/or unforgiving, and/or unmerciful, and/or for practicing such things are deserving of death. Please forgive me for those things I did even though I knew better. And please forgive me for those things You count as sin, that I am unaware of and have not learned yet – and open my eyes to see them as sins so I can stop participating in them. Please wash me with the Blood of Jesus. Cleanse me and help me turn from my evil ways. And send a fresh filling of your anointing to break the yokes and help me destroy the roots with a mindful effort and focus on You, and fall in love with You in a new and deeper way. I desire to lay down my life for You, Lord Jesus, as You sacrificed Yourself for me. Help me to die to self and pour myself out as an offering. Give me more grace to trust You and accept Your will for my life and not my will. In the name of Jesus we pray ~amen

I know and recognize that the entire Bible is holy and we should also show respect and reverence. It may just be because of the season and the sounds of the trumpets crying out in the spirit, that God is shaking everything that can be shaken. We need to be humble and recognize His Holiness as well as understand that we too will be shaken and fail if we are not completely submitted to His safety, His will and in obedience to His direction. None of us like to fail – May God hold onto us as tightly as we hold onto Him during this season.

You see we cannot even hold on to Him, without His help. Our sacrifices (self-sacrifice, death to self, surrender of dreams and will, and pouring ourselves out to God) cannot even happen in fullness without His end of the promise.
I have had this song stuck in my head for a week now and I cannot pour it out of my heart in worship enough to express to God how every much I NEED him! The song is ‘Lord I Need You’ and I am ever so needy. My cousin says faith based belief systems are a crutch. OK. But I need a wheelchair! I need to be completely scooped up and not leaning on Him like a crutch, but wholly dependent upon him in all things. Lord I need YOU!

Here is the song for your reference: Link to YouTube.

Before I get too sidetracked, let’s dig into today’s scriptures, with God’s help.

1For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.”

The yearly reminder of our sins is the very season we are in. First because Yom Kippur is quickly approaching. Second, because it is a season of judgment and shaking. Both are calling for our repentance and humility just to make it through this season. You all must be sick of me saying it – and I am not sure why others are not watching and praying and seeing these things and saying them! Repent, because the Kingdom of Heaven is LITERALLY at hand!

In every other season of my life it is easy to understand that Jesus, the perfect sacrifice has cleansed us and we do not need or have God reminding us of our sins yearly. Although often the accuser has reminded me of mine and I am sure he has reminded you of yours. The accusations and the Lord’s convicting call to His children are what are motivating the delivering of the 5 perfect red heifers in preparation of a sacrifice. I pray the Lord does not hold it against them as sin – but through it reveals His son in the hearts of those involved. But these things are prophetic and must come to pass. None the less it is a globally felt season for repentance and longing for atonement. The hearts of the Lord’s children are turning back to the Father! We all are learning how much we need Him.

Therefore, when He came into the world, He said:
“Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come – In the volume of the book it is written of Me – To do Your will, O God.’ ”

It was never about the blood of an animal or killing sheep and cows. God does not find pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices. If we bring our tithes and offerings into His house, then the Lord takes pleasure in that and blesses us. If we sacrifice ourselves and submit to obedience and His will, then the Lord takes pleasure in that. But He created life and He is a God of life – Jesus is life. He takes no pleasure in death.
God set things up as a symbolic gesture that if we understood and had a softened heart, would create change in our hearts. God only cares about the state of our hearts.

Jesus came to do God’s will – and therefore he was not a pleasurable sacrifice, but an effective one that is capable to cutting to the quick of a heart and transforming it.

Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

Jesus’s sacrifice is sufficient. If we screw up and sin – we do not need another sacrifice. It was full enough to cover all of mankind’s sins from Eve to me and into the end of time. I came to Christ and I initially repented and began to be transformed. But I was still in bondage to things and needed deliverance. I was freed through more repentance and renouncement of evil ties and my bondage was released. But I learned I still had selfish wants and desires – and I learned to repent of them and let God continue to change me. I continued to learn and grow. I realized that the example Jesus gave us on how to pray includes daily repentance. And I learned to make it a lifestyle and beg forgiveness every time I mess up. We are justified and working out our sanctification in Christ, who’s death perfects us.

11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.”

On perfect sacrifice – that was all we needed. We pray and talk to Jesus and in Holy Mercy we feel Jesus is close to us here on earth curled up in our prayer closets with us holding and comforting us. But HE is sitting at the right hand of the Father. He is pure like we are not. He is able to sit there and bring our intimate cries to our daddy to Him and transfer back to us the Father’s love and comfort.
And mixed in with all this intense spiritual process to perfect us is the reminder of the old prophesy:
“The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” Psalm 110:1 NKJV
If you want to dig deeper here – go look up in the gospels where Jesus Himself references this verse and pull out how it all connects.
Also to those still leaning towards this book being written by Paul, consider this: Paul never quoted scriptures correctly. He was raised in a Greek area and learned the Greek version of the Torah. (To us is would be like us reading the New King James and someone reading the American Children’s Easy reading Bible.) Paul’s choice was based on location, not personal choice. So all of his references to the Old Testament do not read exactly. While the scriptures written in this book do quote the Hebrew Torah (from which we translated the Old Testament) exactly.

So why is there a reference to this spiritual war that rages around us and attacks us when we are weak? Because this is the heart of that very war. Satan and his angels were cast out of heaven for attempting to overthrow God. Just because satan wanted to be worshiped. God created satan and these angels, so in mercy He sent them to earth. They are pretty mad at God, especially since God seems to love these new creatures called humans. Having to watch this gave that old snake the idea that if he can corrupt and destroy the things God loves – it will hurt God. And the snake tempts Eve and the curse of death falls over the earth and mankind handed dominion over to the enemy. Satan’s punishment is eternal hell fire designed to torture and hurt being much stronger than humans. And this is where the battle for our souls begins. Satan wants to drag as many humans with him to hell. He doesn’t like or care for humans and doesn’t even want to be around us – but he wants to hurt God by destroying these creatures that God calls children.
Now, heaven is a clean and pure place – especially in the sanctuary (as we read earlier this week). We cannot get to heaven covered in unrepentant sin and rebellion to God’s will. Sin cannot be in heaven. This is why satan fell out of heaven. (I am sure he HATES that he still has to attend the outer courts for permission to try to sabotage God. And I am sure he takes liberties God has not approved and God has to shut them down.) Anyway, that is the endgame. Everything and anything to get you to NOT serve God and miss out on heaven. This is why the lukewarm church is such an effective tool for satan to bring in complacency and carelessness that slides people away with them thinking they are safe and secure.

It is enough to make us all think for a moment – have I been deceived. Am I ok? Well, if you read and prayed the repentance pray today, at the beginning of this discussion, then you are safe and saved – blood bought and going to heaven.

15 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,
16 
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” 17 then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” 18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.”

Besides repenting anytime you question your salvation you can talk with the spirit who bears witness. You can memorize and cling to these verses on God putting this in your heart, your hunger and longing for Him, you’re studying and getting the word in your mind, and the best part: “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” 
Some of you may remember last year when we studied David’s life in chronological order. That man was a handful. And by knowing the whole story, we can understand that David had a problem with women. He killed for a few of them. He had affairs with them. He had a lot of wives. He even died in bed with a young naked girl (although not in a sinful act). But God still called him a man after his own heart. David was under atonement and not forgiveness, like you and I.
Imagine we had the same sin struggle. We repent and come to God and find forgiveness. Then we slip up and fall into bed with someone. We can (like David did) repent humbly and quickly – and it is forgotten. Done. Over. Stop beating yourself up. Then if you do it again, and again repent, again you find forgiveness. And if you call out to God and say you have a problem in this area, he won’t know what you are talking about – it is forgotten. But He will take your word for it and help you receive deliverance from Him.

You see once we are saved the enemy, who knows our weaknesses tries to steal your salvation, kill you, and destroy your testimony so you cannot bring others to Christ. Jesus warned us to hold on to our salvation, Paul told us to fight for our salvation and now this author echoes the war cry to hold fast to it.

19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,”

Earlier we washed in that blood then we came in boldly to study and learn more about our Lord!

20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,”

Referring to the veil that separated man and God in the temple – comparing it to the flesh of Jesus. When Jesus died the veil tore. Jesus was also torn. Making the way for us to have a more direct access to God – without having to go through a fallible man.

21 and having a High Priest over the house of God,”

We are summing up all these parts here and it is all coming together.

22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”

You and I may think there is a mixed metaphor since thus forth I have said washed in the blood. What these Hebrews know, that is not said, is that everything in the temple is washed with pure water and sprinkled with blood. They do not actually full tubs with blood and dunk things in it. Things are washed in pure water. We are being compared to the holiest thing in the temple and reminded that Jesus tenderly washed us and marked us with His blood. Not a mixed metaphor but another metaphor that means the same thing.

23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”

Hold fast to your confession of faith – hold fast in believing and do not waiver! God is not a man that He should lie and He is faithful who promised. HE IS FAITHFUL! We may fail God – but God cannot fail us. Job lost everything YET, he held onto his faith. He took any worry, doubt, fear, or wavering to God the moment it came to his mind and therefore did not waiver in the comfort of God reminding him of His sovereignty. 

Promised? What did he promise? Well, my friend let’s start with Jesus’s words:
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ” Matthew 4:4 NKJV
Every word – is every single word in the Bible. We can live on it, because in there is the promise of food, clothing, and shelter. We can live on it because in there is how to behave, what to say, how to be. We can live on it because every promise in it is ours. We can live on it because it teaches us to hear Him and obey Him and therefore He guides us to every promise and every blessing, as well as walks with us through the fire. AMEN!
HE WHO PROMISED IS FAITHFUL! Write it down and hang it before you daily! Unfailing. Perfect. Perfecting us.

24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,”

Let me remind you – these are the early days of evil Nero who ruled over the Roman Empire. In these early days He began the governmental persecution against the Christians much like Hitler did in the 1930s to the Jews. The same way President Biden’s Red Speech spoke against Christian Nationals. Nero was mad that the Christian collected money and that was money not going to him and his sinful lifestyle.
These Christians were already being killed and jailed and imprisoned and it was quickly becoming worse. If ever there was a time to remind them – and us now – that we MUST be considerate and encouraging. We must stir up love and good works. Because no one wants to be a street evangelist when it is possible to be jailed. No one wants to speak the truth on social media because they will be banned and censored. Our own Facebook page has been jailed a few times and remain on a shadow ban (meaning it is hard to find the posts because Facebook is intentionally suppressing them).
We believe Paul died in the spring of 64. By July of 64 Nero burned the city of Rome down and blamed the Christians and Jews. In 70 Rome invaded Jerusalem (already an area under their control) and tore down the temple killing Jews and Christians. He took the spoils from the temple and built the colosseum where he killed Christians for sport because they ‘burned down Rome’ although they didn’t. – Let me remind you this book was written between 65 and 70.
Yes, Let us encourage each other – through a pandemic that threaten to destroy us, through the coming turmoil over America’s midterm elections that ripple out over the globe, while natural disasters quicken and while other nations have power shifts and changes that move us closer to the globalist’s agendas. (Not conspiracy theories – things I can prove on these evil leader’s own websites. I am not going over board – the truth is difficult enough.)
Let us consider each other and do God’s work! Even in the face of what is coming.

25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

This came up with that pandemic. Many stayed home and social distanced. I suppose if we did not and we gathered and prayed for healing – we’d be further along in seeing signs and wonders. And please do not tell me Jesus would have social distanced when he laid hands on lepers which was not only forbidden, would have made Him unclean. Jesus was never limited – we need to stop boxing Him in.  
2020 was a practice run. Let’s NOT get it wrong a second time. We shall NOT forsake the assembling of ourselves, as we are commanded. Like Esther said: If I die, I die! But let’s not run out and listen to their science just to hear two years later each of them confessing they were making the whole thing up.

26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

This is not to say we are not covered by grace – you can suffer the wrath of God and in His great mercy still repent and be saved. However the warning is clear.

I think our whole society has become careless with the cross and other holy concepts and precepts. I do think as a whole all of us need to examine ourselves to be careful of be reckless with His holiness.

32 But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: 33 partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; 34 for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven. 35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.”

Our confidence in which the writer speaks is in God. It is God confidence. Not self-confidence. This is critical to note. I have seen preachers puff out their chest and use this verse to permit their hidden pride to shine for a moment: “Look at me. I did so good by serving God!”
A humble brag is still pride. God confidence looks like a messy child crying into the hands their Daddy because they know that only Daddy God can fix it, handle it, and give us peace. And we can walk boldly into His presence because we have learned to be humble little children, innocent and loving – through daily repentance of our sins.

36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: 37 “For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.”

God is never late and when he moves, even after waiting sometimes for the answer if feels like a suddenly and He changes the whole world around us – and usually He does it by changing us!  

38 Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.”

I am living by faith. The month is almost over and I do not have any sales or any money. Actually I have a debt from having to go to the doctor and get medicine after paying for almost a month for healing and it did not come. I know in whom I believe and He is able. And he has promised to meet my needs. And He who promised is faithful. I am living by faith. When you lift me up, pray for the provisions God promised to break through.
When it speaks of drawing back – it is not speaking of the doubt struggle. Or the struggle that comes from faith growing. It is speaking f saying serving God is too much and too hard and I am going back… and for these Hebrews going back means falling back under the temple system and waiting for a savior who already came.
We believe our souls are saved – we believe this word to be truth. We believe in Jesus, our promise keeper. We believe.  

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace. Walk in wisdom.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

Jesus, the Testator of the New Testament – 9-21-22

“For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives” Hebrews 9:16-17 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Hebrews chapter 9 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

The Earthly Sanctuary

Then indeed, even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary. For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the [a]sanctuary; and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.

Limitations of the Earthly Service

Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance; the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience— 10 concerned only with foods and drinks, various [b]washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation.

The Heavenly Sanctuary

11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things [c]to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, [d]sanctifies for the [e]purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without [f]spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

The Mediator’s Death Necessary

16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. 18 Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. 19 For when Moses had spoken every [g]precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.” 21 Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And according to the law almost all things are [h]purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no [i]remission.

Greatness of Christ’s Sacrifice

23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be [j]purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are [k]copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— 26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

Footnotes

  1. Hebrews 9:2 holy place, lit. holies
  2. Hebrews 9:10 Lit. baptisms
  3. Hebrews 9:11 NU that have come
  4. Hebrews 9:13 sets apart
  5. Hebrews 9:13 cleansing
  6. Hebrews 9:14 blemish
  7. Hebrews 9:19 command
  8. Hebrews 9:22 cleansed
  9. Hebrews 9:22 forgiveness
  10. Hebrews 9:23 cleansed
  11. Hebrews 9:24 representations

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:
Ephesians 1:7- 

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

I switched up our prayer of humility and repentance. I was personalizing it and switching it up and so I did so for all of you as well. I am sure if you are praying this every day that you are also not continuing in any of these sins, at least not knowingly. Since the sins of the parents and grandparents are passed down through the generations, as we pray, we should break that curse off of ourselves, repenting of these sins on behalf of our family line and rehousing any attachments to these sins.  The anointing of the Lord will release you and deliver you from these chains. Let God do a work in you today:

Dear God, I am sorry for being filled with any and all unrighteousness, and/or sexual immorality, and/or wickedness, and/or covetousness, and/or maliciousness, and/or envy, murder, and strife, and/or deceit and evil-mindedness, and/or being a whisperers and  backbiters, and/or haters of God, and/or violent, and/or proud and boasting, and/or inventors of evil things, and/or disobedient to parents, and/or undiscerning, and/or untrustworthy, and/or unloving, and/or unforgiving, and/or unmerciful, and/or for practicing such things are deserving of death. Please forgive me for those things I did even though I knew better. And please forgive me for those things You count as sin, that I am unaware of and have not learned yet – and open my eyes to see them as sins so I can stop participating in them. Please wash me with the Blood of Jesus. Cleanse me and help me turn from my evil ways. And send a fresh filling of your anointing to break the yokes and help me destroy the roots with a mindful effort and focus on You, and fall in love with You in a new and deeper way. I desire to lay down my life for You, Lord Jesus, as You sacrificed Yourself for me. Help me to die to self and pour myself out as an offering. Give me more grace to trust You and accept Your will for my life and not my will. In the name of Jesus we pray ~amen

The book of Hebrews was written to a bunch of Jews who had accepted Jesus and the purpose was to provide undeniable proof that Jesus is who He said He was and challenge them to trust the Lord more fully, to persevere.  This audience has attended Hebrew School as a child – they knew the Torah and prophets better than most of us. They knew the structure of the temple and how it mirrored the tabernacle. They could even go to the temple and look around – except into the inner sanctuary. And they knew repentance (and sacrifice) was needed to even go near the outer part of the sanctuary and that they needed the high priest to go into the inner sanctuary on their behalf. You and I must learn these things in order to understand this book. I did not go to Hebrew school as a child and I think most of you did not either.

1 Then indeed, even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary. For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary; and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.”

The reason they cannot speak in detail is because they are holy things. One cannot take holy things lightly. Like when God gives us visions and prophecies and such – do not release them back out carelessly. They are holy things and details do not belong to everyone.

I have always said I wish I could see these things – lost to time. Some say they are kept and hidden. It would be like God to remove them from us so we do not start to worship things instead of Him. He made sure that after Jesus was the perfect sacrifice that the sacrifices ended. He ensured these thing were gone – so we would not seek God in a place, instead seeking Him in our hearts.

Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance;”

As the author kindly reminds the Hebrews of the process, educating those who are not familiar with the process, I wanted to point out 4 words: “sins committed in ignorance”. I always pray asking for forgiveness of all known sins and unknown sins. And I have often been asked about this. Sometimes we have not matured enough in the Lord to understand that something is a sin. It is a growing process and we are ALL learning. And most people accept that answer – But since I am a “give me the chapter and verse” kind of person, occasionally I find people who try to challenge me and as me where in the Bible does it say we can ignorantly sin. Well, here it is.

the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience— 10 concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation.

The clause was grace that covered the multitude of human error that could happen in the old temple system. Duty and fear of God outweighed loving service and changed hearts. Humans to like to perform rituals instead of do self-reflections and changing our hearts. Our first world healthcare system proves that. (not the way it is managed – but the way we approach healing) You see I have been having these terrible headaches. First thing most people do is head to the doctor for a magic pill to heal them. First thing I did was pray for healing. Finally, I had to see a doctor who blew me off thinking I was after a pill and just needed a Tylenol.  This is why the doctor was not first on my list. They said if I keep complaining they can do MRI’s and tests and more tests and so on. But I am in an intimate relationship with the healer. So I went back to Him.
God connected me with a different Doctor and she said I am the picture of health and nothing was wrong. But this doctor is a spirit filled believer and I said: “No. We pray!” and we prayed that God would reveal this. And God did! She laid hands on me and through that felt how hot the area was and upon further investigation she found an infection and got me medications. Well, the healing process is slow and I am still tired and sore – but it is localized and God is working.
The point is – God’s ways are not our ways. We should not get caught up doing it man’s way. Some rituals, or ways, begin as God’s ways. But God doesn’t always do things the same way. He shakes it up. He keeps the enemy on His toes.
I knew I was not supposed to see the first doctor and I was right. I needed to wait on God to lead me to the second. Who has helped, and keep her in prayer because God is working something in her as well! It was God ordained.

There is a worship song that says ‘Lord forgive me when I just go through the motions…’ and it is true today. We get into the religious routine and check off the boxes of the things we need to do and forget the Reason, the Person, the Who – that we do it all for. I created this blog so we would not get caught up with the ritual – I just threw a bunch of those check boxes in one place so we can get them done – but also we can focus on God and let Jesus do a work in us without us focusing on all the things we must do.

11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.”

I say it often – when we see a symbol in the Bible we can ALWAYS pull in from everywhere that symbol is in the Bible for a more full and richer understanding of the text. Tabernacle is one of those symbols and it includes the temple. Pre-Jesus there was one temple. Post-Jesus the temple became two different meanings. One was the future temple described by Ezekiel and the other is Paul explaining to the Corinthians that our Bodies are The Temple! (1 Corinthians 6:19) Our bodies are a greater and more perfect tabernacle. It is true. So stop looking at yourself as flawed and broken. The symbol is a very important one. The tabernacle then temple were the place where God and man could commune – could be together. Now we can be together at all times with His Holy Spirit filling us to overflowing.

The final temple is in heaven. It is not one to come but one that always is. And the author words these symbols in such a way that a Hebrew with lessons from Hebrew School would be connecting all these symbols and understanding the connection and how they are all not referring to a place but they are referring to the communion with God. And it is this (communion between God and man) that is made new by the resurrected Jesus returning to the father’s right hand:

12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”

GLORY! This is good stuff! Yes, I know it is a slowly developing argument that seems repetitious at times. But with each pass and each circle the scope take more ground. We have gone from sacrifice to our consciences being cleaned of dead works to serve The Living God. Finally, having failed to have the correct level of compassion for the sacrifices, we have an understanding of what the cross really means and in that we are given an eternal inheritance.

16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. 18 Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. 19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.” 21 Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.”

Now, when I try to explain Jesus to people who were not raised with any religion – the idea of blood sacrifices and ghosts and people coming back to life and demons fighting us while angles try to rescue us all sound so very absurd. I mean there is even a talking donkey in the Bible. I admit, these thing sound like a weird evil movie and not a good church like thing. This is it should never be about religion, and instead about relationship with God through Jesus, while filled with the Holy Spirit.
But this book was written to a group of people who were just learning they no longer needed to kill an animal for their sins – and this is a difficult change for them as well. They miss the nostalgia and the good feeling of obeying God – and now there is a new command not to because Jesus, the testator of promise has died (and rose again) and through death, not only conquered sin – but gave us a new testament in His blood. So it is important that these Jew understand the atonement law is finished. Since at the time, the temple was still standing and performing sacrifices – it must have been a huge temptation to go back.
But when the temple was destroyed – those without Jesus who practiced these sacrifices were devastated – and they also being God’s children, needed care and support. This letter prepared these Hebrews to be witnesses of Jesus the final sacrifice to the Jews that fled Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple on that horrible day – and bring comfort and salvation.

23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— 26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”

That is a whole LOT – the greatness of what His sacrifice has accomplished! Glory to God!
Verse 28 – Our salvation is for us in Christ when we run the race set before us and live a humble and repentant life dedicated to His service. When Jesus arrived the second time, sinless, “for salvation” doesn’t mean we are waiting for that to happen for us to be able to inherit eternal life. And this is speaking of the second coming not the rapture. The rapture can come right now or at any moment between now and the second coming. And it could be at the second coming, although I like to think it will happen sooner.
The second coming is the Lion of Judah – the Warrior Messiah – the Armageddon winning, demon slaying, riding in on horses on clouds and an army of saints. Yeah. The second coming is what the Jews were expecting is first coming to look like. And since he has already died once and “it is appointed for men to die once”, he will not die during His battle for the earth.  

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace. Walk in wisdom.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

Jesus, Our Mediator and Intercessor – 9-20-22

But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.” Hebrews 8:6 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Hebrews chapter 8 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

The New Priestly Service

Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the [a]sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.

For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.

A New Covenant

For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins [b]and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Footnotes
a.Hebrews 8:2 Lit. holies
b.
Hebrews 8:12 NU omits and their lawless deeds

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Ephesians 1:7- 

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

At this point I feel God is saying we should keep opening with this time of prayer of humility and moment of repentance, as we have every day since we began studying this book. As we long and hunger to learn about and meet with a humble and sinless Jesus and draw close to a Mighty and Holy God – it is good to respect them enough to come before them repented and lowly, as young children eager to learn.   

Dear God, I am sorry for being filled with any and all unrighteousness, and/or sexual immorality, and/or wickedness, and/or covetousness, and/or maliciousness, and/or envy, murder, and strife, and/or deceit and evil-mindedness, and/or being a whisperers and  backbiters, and/or haters of God, and/or violent, and/or proud and boasting, and/or inventors of evil things, and/or disobedient to parents, and/or undiscerning, and/or untrustworthy, and/or unloving, and/or unforgiving, and/or unmerciful, and/or for practicing such things are deserving of death. Please forgive me for those things I did even though I knew better. And please forgive me for those things you count as sin, that I am unaware of and have not learned yet – and open my eyes to see them as sins so I can stop participating in them. Please wash me with the Blood of Jesus. Cleanse me and help me turn from my evil ways. And send a fresh filling of your anointing to break the yokes and help me destroy the roots with a mindful effort and focus on you, and fall in love with you in a new and deeper way. Open my ears to hear you and learn of your plan for my life and why you made me. In the name of Jesus we pray ~amen

I have said it before since we started this study of Hebrews – but I like to repeat myself for those who are just joining us (welcome and please jump right in). I feel we have clumsily taken the concept of daddy God too carelessly. YES, he is our tender daddy who we can run to in times of trouble without formality or cleansing of ourselves in repentance. But we cannot storm into the Holy Throne Room and into His Glory, without respect every single time just to hang out and be disruptive to His sovereign work. He’d kick us out if we even could get that close. But there are guards that keep us from even. And at first we often trick ourselves into thinking we are in His Hoy presence and we chatter away, but God’s presence is far from us.
Nothing separates us from His love and His all-knowing and seeing eyes. But to draw near to Him? We must follow His rule of reverence and respect – and do so because we love Him.
Sometimes we do not feel close to God and wonder why He has pulled back. If you are full of respect and hungrily seeking Him, He pulled back to draw you deeper. But if you are careless and reckless – if you try to approach God with a sense of entitlement – if you seek Him while caught up in a humble bag or with the thought of look at me I am the only one who can approach Him or hear from Him. Then it is possible that you aren’t entering His presence and you are off course. It is possible that you misstepped. And it is time to remember that fear of the Almighty and reverence for His sovereignty. Who are you even to demand something of the most powerful being in the universe? You are counted as one of His children and he has millions and no favorites. So who are you even?! The fact that He even loves us, should wreck us and leave us ugly crying in repentance. Do we understand His sovereign holiness?

Isaiah saw the outer area of God’s Holy presence and yelled out I am an unclean man and fell into deep repentance. And after he was burnt with hot coals for cleansing – he still needed an intercessor, someone to go between him and God.
Understanding this need to an intercessor, someone pure and Holy who can come and go from the holy place, is the foundation in which the author of Hebrews writes today’s chapter.

One side note, before we begin: The Holy Father lives in the Holy of Holies up in heaven. He has a Holy Throne of grace and that is what I speak of. In the book of Job, there is a court room, with a throne set up and there Our Father conducts court. Apparently the Enemy comes to Court to get permission to try us and afflict us – “us” being those who are wearing the blood of the Lamb, meaning are humble and repentant (asking to be washed in Jesus’s blood means to be washed in forgiveness and God forgets our sins). If we are not marked as belonging to God, satan does not need permission to afflict us. But if we are – God is ultimately sovereignly governing these afflictions, making a way for you to draw closer to Him with built up faith and refined to come out repentant of more sins. The point is there is a court room when evil and uncleanness can be in God’s Court room and presence. If someone tells you that demons melt or are destroyed in God’s presence they have been watching too many fairy tales. Demons are fallen angels – angels are made to be in His presence. And so were we, created to fellowship with God – we are talking about going to his intimate place, the place to get after hours prayers answered – not His court room.

Now – because I am not perfect and I can repent and go to sleep and wake up and have a sinful thought and need repentance again, I cannot trust me to remain holy enough in my earthly body and mind, living in this cursed place – to remain holy enough to visit my father in His Holy presence. I need someone to intercede.

1 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.”

BOOM! There it is. Jesus is our High Priest!
God set up, through Moses, a symbolic copy of it all in the Tabernacle system, so that we had something on Earth to see and understand what it is going on in heaven. Next month is the feast of tabernacles. It is a time to remember this holy system and to think about heaven and to Holy reverence God by humbling living in a tent outside during the 7 day long holiday. It is important to note that this month we recall our humble beginnings with the Feast of Trumpets, studying Genesis and specifically the beginning of man. Then God gave us Yom Kippur to repent. First humility, then repentance – so that we can go abide in a tent – a tabernacle – and understand the holiness of God.

For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer.”

This One – is Jesus. He has become our High Priest and our intercessor. But High Priests MUST make sacrifices and gifts. Jesus sacrificed His life and gave us eternal life – what did He give the Father? A means to connect again with His children – the very thing God wanted more than anything and has been trying to achieve since sin first separated Man from God’s presence in the Garden of Eden.

For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”

The author is making reference to the fact that Jesus was not of the house of Aaron and was not an actual high priest here on earth.

But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.”

The author then explains that the ministry of the High Priest on earth is to the Father and in heaven Jesus’s ministry is to us as a mediator of a better covenant. This is also a ministry to the Father – who longs for us and only desires that we long for Him like He longs for us and that we run to Him wanting Him as the Lord of our lives.

For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.”

The “first covenant” is NOT the Abraham covenant of their own land and a people of many nations – it is the Mosaic covenant to rescue the people and bring them into their promised land.
What was the fault with the mosaic covenant? That blood must continually be shed. Once a person had a priest make a sacrifice for their sin, they walked away and sinned again and had to wait for the next sacrifice. The fault is that atonement is not forgiveness. The fault is that a substitute is not the propitiation.

Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—“

Jesus was the last needed sacrifice. As the author wrote, there were still sacrifices being made in the temple. So the author is looking back into the old prophecies and recognizing that these sacrifices must stop. He is almost prophesying the destruction of the temple within a year or so of this letter.

not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord.”

The fault is further explained here – You see, God thought mankind would be compassionate enough that these sacrifices and SEEING how sin causes death would change their hearts. And at first it did, which is why God did that. But man hardened His heart and having raised the lamb, goat or cow to be sacrificed, mankind came to think they were somehow participating and working out their own atonement. When instead they should be broken and humbled and repentant that the blood had to be shed and try to do better. Man slid away from His covenant. We read about the idolatry and blatant rebellion – but there were many who practiced religion and not relationship and made the sacrificed in vain grieving the Lord. Like when you and I muddy up the scriptures and they become a self-help manual full of suggestions instead of a self-sacrificing, death to fleshly desires, and humble submission command and way to eternal life.

10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

This prophecy began to be fulfilled at the cross and put into practice with Peter and Paul reaching out to both Jews and Gentiles and then all the apostles spread the gospel throughout the world.  As of yet – we have not seen everyone come to Christ and know the Lord. But it will happen one day in our heavenly communities – in our new heaven and new earth.

13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.”

Now, let’s discuss my choice of wording when discussing the end of atonement law back in our study of Romans. I essentially said God did not destroy the law, but Jesus fulfilled it – speaking of atonement law. Because the promised land and people to Abraham is a covenant that still stands and we are adopted under it and the civil laws (how to behave to each other) along with the 10 commandments all still stand. And God made a stipulation with the dietary and Sabbath laws with the Jews that they should keep them always, while gentiles come into adoption and do not need to. And the holidays and traditions are not law, but are for the Abrahamic people – you and I included and therefore God’s observances should be reverenced by gentiles and not observed in tradition like the Jews must. All of which is NOT as complicated as we all make it out to be, but not understanding what Paul and other writers called the Law.

Usually “The Law” means the atonement law. Jesus fulfilled the atonement law. I still stand on that. By fulfilling it He made it obsolete. Not destroyed, but no longer in effect. It vanishes away – as the temple is destroyed and almost 2000 years later there still no sacrifice made on that sight. As we discussed yesterday, they sent unblemished cows to Israel for the sacrifices. They can breed them and continue to have more in the future or they can sacrifice them all. But at the time of this writing the practice was ready to vanish away.
The truth remains that Jesus fulfilled it. The only thing we need sacrifice and the temple rebuilt for is the fulfillment of prophecy and signs of the time. So we know our sweet Lamb will be returning soon – this time as a Lion. Meanwhile He is our way to God – our mediator, our best friend and intercessor. When satan stands and accuses us – Jesus tells of our faith and it is counted to us for righteousness.

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace. Walk in wisdom.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

Jesus, Priest Above all Priests – 9-19-22

for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him: “The Lord has sworn And will not relent, ‘You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek’” Hebrews 7:21 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Hebrews chapter 7 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

The King of Righteousness

For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.

Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the [a]spoils. And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham; but he whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. Now beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better. Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives. Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, 10 for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.

Need for a New Priesthood

11 Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? 12 For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law. 13 For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has [b]officiated at the altar.

14 For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning [c]priesthood. 15 And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest 16 who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life. 17 For [d]He testifies:

“You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek.”

18 For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, 19 for the law made nothing [e]perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

Greatness of the New Priest

20 And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath 21 (for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him:

“The Lord has sworn
And will not relent,
‘You are a priest [f]forever
According to the order of Melchizedek’ ”),

22 by so much more Jesus has become a [g]surety of a better covenant.

23 Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. 24 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Therefore He is also able to save [h]to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, [i]harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.

Footnotes

  1. Hebrews 7:4 plunder
  2. Hebrews 7:13 served
  3. Hebrews 7:14 NU priests
  4. Hebrews 7:17 NU it is testified
  5. Hebrews 7:19 complete
  6. Hebrews 7:21 NU ends the quotation after forever.
  7. Hebrews 7:22 guarantee
  8. Hebrews 7:25 completely or forever
  9. Hebrews 7:26 innocent

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:
Ephesians 1:7- 

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

Let us begin today and this week with a prayer of humility and repentance as we have every day since we began studying this book. During this season, days away from the Lord’s New Year and a time of atonement (although for those of us who have experienced the cross it is a time of forgiveness), we must get ourselves humble, lest God humiliate (to make humble) us. Once we think we are humble and repentant enough let us also renounce the sins of our parents, grandparents, and ancestors – that the curse of these sins being passed down will be broken, and not hinder us from further repentance.  

Dear God, I am sorry for being filled with any and all unrighteousness, and/or sexual immorality, and/or wickedness, and/or covetousness, and/or maliciousness, and/or envy, murder, and strife, and/or deceit and evil-mindedness, and/or being a whisperers and  backbiters, and/or haters of God, and/or violent, and/or proud and boasting, and/or inventors of evil things, and/or disobedient to parents, and/or undiscerning, and/or untrustworthy, and/or unloving, and/or unforgiving, and/or unmerciful, and/or for practicing such things are deserving of death. Please forgive me for those things I did even though I knew better. And please forgive me for those things you count as sin, that I am unaware of and have not learned yet – and open my eyes to see them as sins so I can stop participating in them. Please wash me with the Blood of Jesus. Cleanse me and help me turn from my evil ways. And send a fresh filling of your anointing to break the yokes and help me destroy the roots with a mindful effort and focus on you, and fall in love with you in a new and deeper way. Open my ears to hear you and learn of your plan for my life and why you made me. In the name of Jesus we pray ~amen

Laying before God, prostrate and full of tears, touching only the outskirts of His holiness, because as a human I am undone and too filthy for His pure glory. I offer the only thing I have – myself and all that comes with it – as an offering to be burnt up and to die to itself and be free to fulfill His plan. I pour myself out as a drink offering.

Offerings and the temple have been in the news lately, fulfilling more end time prophecy. I understand how the lost children of our Father, our lost brothers and sisters, take such joy in these unblemished pure red heifers (cows) arriving in Israel for a sacrifice, on September 15th. I do understand their need and desire to bring sacrifice and find atonement – but I look at these cows and weep, broke out in praying in the spirit, because they have had the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus their Messiah victorious through the cross. And they can therefore, as we have, laid down our lives for Christ.

Posted on Facebook by Jonathan Feldstein without photo credit
Posted on Facebook by Jonathan Feldstein without photo credit

The second covenant God made with His children, is the Mosaic Law with sacrifices, offerings and law. Many see this as the first and see Jesus’s work through the cross as the second. But the book of Hebrews brings us back to the Abraham Covenant – which was not just a great multitude of children, as we often simplify it to be. You see gentiles (many of you and I) are adopted under the Abraham Covenant and not the Mosaic Law. This first covenant came under the high priest named Melchizedek. Sacrifices and offering were made, but without law – it stemmed from worship and deep love for God. Abraham was not only blessed to be a great people – but he was blessed to bring forth the Messiah, the King of Righteousness for a righteous people.

Here the author compares Jesus and Melchizedek and find that Jesus is above him, who is above all the priests who came after.

1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.

Melchizedek was the king of peace, also translated as the king of righteousness mysteriously arrives on the scene as a priest, just committing his days and nights to worshiping God and doing his work. No one knew what his genealogy was, God left it out of every story about him. And no one knows when or where he died. Quite the mystery. The Jews rightfully took this as a symbol a sign of what the Son of God would be like, making him the highest of high priests for all of time.

Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils.”

That is a good point. But I also want to make another point here about our finances. You see, many say we gentiles are not under the law and therefore do not need to tithe. It is true we are adopted into Abraham and not into law. But it is Abraham who brought the tithe to Melchizedek. Tithes in the form of first fruits, or the best and first portion, actually goes all the way back to Cain and Abel. Therefore the first 10% belongs to God and if we do not give it, we are in sin of robbing Him.  And as we have discussed in the past – we are to give offerings and gifts above and beyond that – being as generous to God as He is to us.
Now as we give our tithe and offering – we want our church to steward the money well, not run in a deficit and bless others. We expect our offerings to fund a five-fold ministry. We expect God will be free to take HIS money and shuffle it around as HE pleases and for HIS glory.

And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham; but he whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. Now beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better. Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives. Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, 10 for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.”

This paragraph is a great example of the structure of a logical argument. The argument here is that Melchizedek is higher than the highest of priests. The logical argument structure was developed in the Greek and Roman empires and in the Bible we most often see Paul using small doses of the structure (because it is difficult for most common men to follow). This section being longer is why we assume this letter was written to highly educated Jews – ones who have studied Greek. It has been used as a good argument for the author being Marcus (or Mark) who would have been older and mature by the time this was written. It would be the last thing he ever wrote – being how people tied a rope around his throat and dragged him through the streets sending him to be with Jesus.  But he had the education and ability to write this book as well as there being a few similarities to the book of Mark. This book is not as fast paced, but the book of Mark was meant as a quick guide to the gospel and written for uneducated gentiles, while this book is written to carefully lay out a long logical argument to educated Jews explaining Jesus as the Christ above all else.
Many Jews believed there was nothing higher than Melchizedek – except God and the coming Messiah.

Now to prove the coming messiah would be a higher priest in the order of Melchizedek and from another tribe (Judah) and a New Priesthood – the author states:

11 Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron?”

This rhetorical question is answered that the Levitical priesthood was not perfect. We will see discussions in Israel over this with the arrival of the sacrificial cows. Who is worthy to sacrifice to God, without the temple – after so many years without sacrifices being brought? There will be lots of discussion. But Jesus was the sacrifice. Yet prophecy must be fulfilled.

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12 For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law. 13 For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar.

This book was written while sacrifices were still happening in Israel. Actually while the last sacrifices were happening. I do find it timely that we are reading about the last of the sacrifices ever as they prepare to have a new sacrifice. You see the temple was destroyed right after this book was written. And Israel did not make sacrifices since. Jesus was to be the sacrifice for all, but he was rejected. Thus, this book was needed to explain why the Hebrews should NOT reject Jesus as the Messiah – He is above even Melchizedek (even though he is from the tribe of Judah).

14 For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. 15 And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest 16 who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life.”

The author begins to quote old prophecies about the messiah and how Melchizedek was an example. That it is not according to the Law but according to mercy and love – not about the death of sacrifices but about eternal and abundant life.

17 For He testifies: “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.”

Remembering here the mysteries of Melchizedek who seemed to come from nowhere and never seemed to die. Jesus always was and always is – forever the Priest above all priests.

18 For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, 19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

Paul wrote in depth about the annulling of atonement law through Christ. Not the civil laws or the blessing laws or the dietary laws – just the atonement law. Jesus IS the better hope through which we draw near to God, safely.

Hopefully you can see why I cry when I look at these perfect cows – bred to be perfect sacrifices and prayed over and raise kosher and cared for with love  – to become sacrifices for a people desperate for forgiveness, willing to accept atonement instead (desperate for freedom, willing to accept a counterfeit); all in vain. Such beautiful creatures, to die in vain.
Same as our High Priest – the Messiah, the Christ – die in vain while the Lord’s children reject him. Those filled with devils recognized Him while those filled with scriptures and prophecies failed to recognize the very one they set out to serve.

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20 And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath 21 (for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him: “The Lord has sworn And will not relent, ‘You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek’ ”), 22 by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.”

Hallelujah! God is not a man that He should lie. He is NOT influenced by evil that a lie could even cross His mind. The Lord said it and Jesus became it and by Jesus we are saved and washed clean. Sacrifice brings atonement, and the sins are covered so God cannot see them. Sins are still there – just covered. Jesus brings the blood, which when we apply it to our sins through the act of repentance they are washed away. We are made clean. This is the surety of a better covenant!

23 Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. 24 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”

Jesus was in the beginning and He is today. And He will be forever. Now, yes, those priest of long ago will resurrect with a new body and be in heaven and we can meet them someday – so yes to all of you who say they are eternal… the point here is their time on earth ministering to God and man is limited by their lifespan – while Jesus is eternally able to perform the priestly duties. And perform them perfectly.

On that note – have you ever asked someone to pray for you and when they do it seems like they were on a different planet when you asked for prayer?  In 2020 I was in a small group at a church and they had asked everyone for prayer requests and praise reports. So I gave a praise report of God protecting the healthcare organization I was working for at the time, from covid. I told of the risks and how other facilities similar (in New York) were experiencing massive death rates but our prayers have kept my company healthy and protected. And asked for continued prayer for continued protection. It was a wonderfully encouraging praise report and clear request. Well, they prayed for those in my facility who were dying and prayed for God to help us and prayed oh how bad it is and it was the weirdest prayer ever! Their human ears were clouded by their own fears and they misunderstood the assignment.
But when I praised Jesus for what He had been doing to protect my agency and I asked for continued protection – he heard me and He interceded correctly with God. I no longer work there, but to date, they still have some of the lowest death rates from the pandemic in the state. You see – Jesus is the perfect intercessor.
Have you ever asked someone for prayer and they say they will pray – then later you bring them a praise report and they do not even remember you asking for prayer and you know they didn’t pray? Or you ask someone and you just get the sense they never prayed?

Going through a man, a priest, to get a message to God is very imperfect. Men (meaning men and women) forget to pray. Men pray wrong. Men can fail us and fail God – each of us can even with the best of intentions and heart full of compassion. Jesus never fails. He intercedes for us perfectly – even when we aren’t asking for it.

26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;”

27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.”

28 For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.”

I separated those last three verses – because nothing can be added or discussed to make us understand more – however each one should be read slowly and with understanding and worship! Maybe even read it out loud and shake this earth with these words. As the plan is in place to begin sacrifices again in Israel – I pray the Lord reveals Himself to His children and they accept their Highest Priest – Jesus!  

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Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace. Walk in wisdom.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

WEEKEND READING – 9-18-22

Who is this coming out of the wilderness Like pillars of smoke, Perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, With all the merchant’s fragrant powders?” Song of Solomon 3:6  NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Song of Solomon chapter 3 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV).  

A Troubled Night

The Shulamite

By night on my bed I sought the one I love;
I sought him, but I did not find him.
“I will rise now,” I said,
“And go about the city;
In the streets and in the squares
I will seek the one I love.”
I sought him, but I did not find him.
The watchmen who go about the city found me;
I said,
“Have you seen the one I love?”

Scarcely had I passed by them,
When I found the one I love.
I held him and would not let him go,
Until I had brought him to the house of my mother,
And into the [a]chamber of her who conceived me.

[b]charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
By the gazelles or by the does of the field,
Do not stir up nor awaken love
Until it pleases.

The Coming of Solomon

The Shulamite

Who is this coming out of the wilderness
Like pillars of smoke,
Perfumed with myrrh and frankincense,
With all the merchant’s fragrant powders?
Behold, it is Solomon’s couch,
With sixty valiant men around it,
Of the valiant of Israel.
They all hold swords,
Being expert in war.
Every man has his sword on his thigh
Because of fear in the night.

Of the wood of Lebanon
Solomon the King
Made himself a [c]palanquin:
10 He made its pillars of silver,
Its support of gold,
Its seat of purple,
Its interior paved with love
By the daughters of Jerusalem.
11 Go forth, O daughters of Zion,
And see King Solomon with the crown
With which his mother crowned him
On the day of his wedding,
The day of the gladness of his heart.

Footnotes
a.Song of Solomon 3:4 room
b.
Song of Solomon 3:5 adjure
c.
Song of Solomon 3:9 A portable enclosed chair

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Ephesians 1:7

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace”

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Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!