Jimmy DeYoung PPC omplete by 6g99E27k

VIEWS: 0 PAGES: 359

									                                   1
1 Corinthians 1:18 - For the   preaching of the cross is to
them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it
is the power of God.
For further study - I Corinthians 1:18-31
   In the passage for our devotional reading today we see how that
those today who exalt human wisdom will one day come to an
understanding that man's wisdom is "foolishness in the things of God".
   That's how Paul begins our devotional passage, which is an excerpt
of his letter to the very "carnal church" in Corinth. What a powerful
truth, that which seems to be "foolishness" to those of the world
today who are not saved, not believers in Jesus Christ for eternal
life, they consider the "preaching of the cross" foolishness.
   But Paul tells those of us who do believe that we came to that
belief by the "preaching of the cross" which is to those of us who
believe, the "power of God", verse 18.
   If we take a closer look at the philosophy of this world today, and
its people, they are bound up by "human wisdom", the knowledge and
intellect of man. Even the "church", the institution ordained by God
on Earth, has appropriated that "humanistic" philosophy, that "human
wisdom," which they have made key to their "pattern of life."
   Paul uses this letter to the Church in Corinth, who had bought into
this philosophy and he revealed to them that man's wisdom was
"foolishness."
   God's wisdom is what we should long for. It is very evident in what
is termed "post-modern Christianity" in the Church today that they
have allowed for "man's wisdom to take control of leadership and
ministry.
   In fact, Paul even said that the foolishness of God, verse 25, is
wiser than men. Verse 27 reveals God's plan for this matter. God has
chosen the "foolishness of this world to confound the wise".
   Paul realizes that many in this world must have "signs" to believe
what is of the Lord, verse 22, especially the Jew. If one has to have
a "sign" to believe, faith will not then spring forth.
   Hebrews 11:1 says that "faith" is the substance of things "hoped
for", the evidence of things "not seen." If we must have a "sign"
before we believe then we don't have "real faith".
   Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, Romans
10:17. The Jew and some others require a "sign" and the Gentile
craves for wisdom, the wisdom of man, verse 22. Both are the opposite
of God's design for the Church and it's ministry and worship.
   Paul sets the standard, verse 23, "we preach Christ crucified." Not
only crucified, but resurrected, ascended into heaven and one day
coming again. Now that is "real wisdom", God's wisdom.
   PRAYER THOT: Help me to stay in the Bible for the Godly
wisdom that will carry me through life and into eternity
future.
                                  2
1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen,
nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man,
the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
For further study I Corinthians 2:1-16
   I love our key verse, verse 9, it is a promise of things
that God will give me and you, if you know Him as Lord and
Saviour, things that I can not even imagine. My eyes have
not seen them, my ears have not heard them and my heart is
void of what these things might be that will come to me in
the future.
   What we do know is that God has prepared these things.
Because I love Him they will come to me. I feel like a
little child who has the prospect of receiving something
special from someone special. In order to receive from God
this something special we must not only love the Lord, but
we must be "born again", become a new creation.
   Verse 14 states that the "natural man", a lost person
without Jesus Christ, will not be able to know about God's
gift. Whatever God would count as special, the lost person
would consider it all foolishness. The gifts coming from the
Lord will come better into focus as we study through the
Word of the Lord, the Bible.
   Paul explains in this passage the ministry of the Holy Spirit in
communicating to the believer what God wants him to know. The first
method that God uses to communicate to man is "inspiration," verse13.
   Paul says it wasn't his words and his wisdom but the Holy Spirit
breathing into him, as He did into some 40 men over 1,500 years, 66
books, the Bible; with God's message for humankind, II Timothy 3:16.
   These "truths" or "revelation" were also God-breathed and given to
men the Lord Himself chose. None of the prophets received these truths
by his own will but were Holy men of God and were able to speak
prophetic truth as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, II Peter 1:21.
   Maybe the most exciting thought in this passage is that we as
Christians have the Holy Spirit living in us to not only empower us
but also to teach us through "illumination," a third ministry of the
Holy Spirit.
   Jesus told His disciples that He must go, but He promised that when
He had gone, He would send the Holy Spirit to teach us. And notice,
the Holy Spirit would not only teach us but teach us things to come,
John 16:7-14.
   I must admit that after 50 years of studying God's Word there is
much more than I can imagine that the Lord has in store for me in the
future.
PRAYER THOT: Thank you, Lord, for breathing into Godly men,
Your Word, and then sending the Holy Spirit, the one who
gave men Your Word, to dwell within me and teach me Your
Word.
                                               3




1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the
Lord's death till he come.         For further study - I Corinthians 11:23-30
    One of the blessings we have as the member of a local church is to join with others to
partake of the Lord's Supper, or the Communion. Paul tells the church at Corinth that they
must observe the Lord's Table properly and with noun-confessed sin.

Those who come to the “Lord's Table” without having confessed all of their sins to the
Lord are in danger of a serious illness or even death. The Lord wants those who come to
His table to be clean before Him.

Paul exhorts the people of the church at Corinth to examine themselves before coming to
take of the Lord's Supper. Each of us must look “inward”. We must look in at our own
lives, starting from the point of our salvation till today, to see if their is any need to be
reconciled to God. Then we must be ready to restore our fellowship with God,

Paul also tells us that at the Lord's Supper we must look “backward” to what Christ did on
the cross for each of us. We must look back to His death, burial, and resurrection as the
means for eternal life.

Then Paul tells us to “look upward”. This is the part I really like. We are to look up
everyday, awaiting the return of Christ.

We “look in” to see our relationship with Christ.

We “look back” to see what Christ has done for us.

We “look up” in anticipation of the Rapture of the Church.

The Rapture is when we get to be with Christ forever, which could happen at any moment.
We are to anticipate His return each and every time we sit at the Lord's Table. Remember,
prophecy is very practical.

As you look up continually, eagerly awaiting the Lord's Return, it will help you to be pure,
productive, and prepared for the gathering of God's people to be with Him forevermore.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you, Jesus, for Your death, burial, and resurrection. Please
allow our knowledge of this great event to motivate us to live for You, as we anticipate
Your return.
                                          4




1 Corinthians 15:52      In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at
                           -
the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be
raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For further study - I Corinthians 15:51-58
   In my King James Scofield Reference Bible there is a "headliner"
above verse 51 in our extended text for today's devotional. It reads
"All believers will not die. "This is what I call a "blessed hope".
    I've often said I don't want the "undertaker" to take care of me, I want the
"upper-taker", Jesus, at the Rapture to deal with me at the time of my departure from
this world.
    In other words I want to be in the group of believers who will not die but
instead will be "translated" into the heavenlies as Jesus shouts and I am called up
to meet Him in the air at the Rapture of the Church. This is my "blessed hope", and
yours as well.
   The Rapture is the focus in these last seven verses of I
Corinthians 15.
I Corinthians 15 opens with the focus on the "Resurrection" of Jesus
Christ. The chapter closes with the "Rapture". I must remind you that
it is because of the "Resurrection" that we have the "blessed hope"
and assurance of the "Rapture".
    I Thessalonians 4:13-18 tells us of the procedure of the Rapture. The "archangel"
shouts and the "trump of God" sounds and "Jesus shouts". Then the "dead in Christ"
rise first and we which are alive and remain on earth should be caught up to join
Jesus in the air, as we enter the heavenlies.
   Paul writes the Church in Corinth about the Rapture about five
years after he introduced the subject to those in the Church in
Thessalonica, I Thessalonians 4:13-18.
   In our devotional passage for today we are given more details about
this "blessed event". Paul tells us it will happen "in a moment, in a
twinkling of an eye", verse 52a. Remember, the "twinkling of an eye"
is much, much faster than even the "blink of an eye".
   The "dead in Christ" are raised, incorruptible. We that are alive
at the Rapture are changed. We put on incorruption and immortality.
This all happens faster that you can blink your eyes, that is fast. We
can all then join in the chorus singing in harmony with Jesus, "O
death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory?", verse 55.
   We'll also join together to sing the "thank you chorus", "Thanks be
to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.",
verse 57.
   Paul concludes this passage with our "marching orders". He tells us
to "Be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the
Lord", verse 58. We do this because we know that our labor for Him is
not in vain.
   Prophecy is so very practical. As we better understand the next
event on God's time table for the future, the Rapture, we see how then
we should live until He calls us to join Him in the heavenlies.
PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for the promise of the Rapture. Help me to
live for You today knowing how close we may be to the Rapture.
                                   5




1 Thessalonians 4:17 - Then we which are alive and remain
shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet
the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
   For further study - 1 Thessalonians 4:1-18
   I could hardly wait to get to this chapter in 1 Thessalonians for
our devotional time. The "hope" of my life and indeed the main prayer
of my life is that the Rapture will happen in my lifetime.
   I have traveled across this world telling people of the Rapture and
then teaching the prophetic passages of His Word to help everyone that
I have contacted to understand that today could well be the day of the
Rapture.
   We'll look together at the description of how the Rapture will play
out in a moment, but first just a word or two about Paul's message to
this people in Thessalonica who he had led to the Lord just three
weeks before he wrote this letter to them.
   Paul tells these new Christians, as well as us long-time
Christians, that we will "abound" if we will walk with the purpose of
"pleasing God," verse 1. Paul then tells them, and us, what the will
of God is for our lives, verse 3-12.
   No longer do we have to say "I wish I knew the will of God for my
life."
The best way to be in God's will is to follow the instructions in
these verses.
   Now to the Rapture, actually the word "rapture" is not used in this
passage, in fact the word rapture is not used in the entire Bible.
Don't be concerned about that, the word "trinity, the term for God the
Father, Son and Holy Spirit is not used in the Bible. The truth of
the matter is that the word "Bible" is not used in the Bible.
   The word "rapture" comes from the Latin word for the phrase "caught
up" in verse 17. The Latin word, "rapturo," in verse 17, is how we get
the word Rapture. 1Corinthians 15 says, "in a moment, in the twinkling
of an eye", we will be caught up to be with the Lord.
   Verse 14 says that only saved people go to be with the Lord at the
Rapture. Verse 16 says that those Christians which have already died,
they will be the first ones to respond to the Lord's shout, the sound
of the trumpet and the voice of the archangel.
   It is after the "dead in Christ" have been raised and start towards
heaven that the rest of us Christians move from this earthly home to a
heavenly home, never to leave the Lord's presence, forever, verse 17.
   This event, the Rapture, could happen at any moment and with the
prophetic events recorded in God's Word seemingly coming to pass, the
Rapture could happen today. Even so come, Lord Jesus.
   PRAYER THOT: Lord, my hearts desire is for the Rapture to happen in
my lifetime. Help me to live every day as if it would be today.
                                   6
2 Corinthians 4:5 - For we          preach not ourselves, but Christ
Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
   For further study - 2 Corinthians 4:1-18
   Each day as I come to my time in the Word of God, devotionally, I
am continually amazed at how practical the Bible is for my every day
experience of living out my Christianity in the days in which we live.
   Today's passage for our devotional is no exception. I won't be able
to elaborate on everything in our passage but let me challenge you to
spend time in this passage and "dig deeper" for the "treasure" in His
Word.
   Paul begins this chapter with the fact that his ministry compels
him to not be dishonest even in secret, verse 2. The apostle sets the
standard for every person in ministry, and I must remind you that each
of us does have a ministry in this life, thus we must follow the
standard that Paul sets for us, until he calls us home.
   We must walk honest, not in craftiness, not handling the Word of
God deceitfully, as related to us in verse 2. Verses 3 and 4 reveal
how the "god of this world," that would be Satan, is today blinding
the minds of the lost people of our world to the "gospel".
   The "gospel", I Corinthians 15:1-5, is the death, burial and
resurrection of Jesus Christ. This "gospel" is the "power of God unto
salvation to everyone that believeth", Romans 1:16.
   Paul exhorts us to not allow the "gospel" to be hid from the lost.
That "gospel" is hid today from the lost by false teachers, pseudo-
ministries and unresolved sin.
   I mention "pseudo" or "false ministry" which would be a ministry
that allows the things of this world to direct how we perform ministry
in the "church" because many churches are moving in that direction in
order to build s "large" church. The things of this world distract
from the "purity" of the "gospel" and dilutes the "gospel" so that it
is of none effect.
   Let me skip over some great "meat" in this passage, some of the
"treasure"
that you can dig out for yourself in verses 6-16.
   The last two verses of our devotional passage for today, verses 17-
18, look to the future. They speak of the "hard times" we may be
facing today and into the future. Paul encourages us to look at these
times as "light afflictions", verse 17, which are but for a moment.
   Paul even mentions that the "light afflictions" are the "training
ground" preparing us for the future. Paul concludes with a word of
encouragement for the church at Corinth and for those of us in
churches, worldwide, today.
   Verse 18 says, don't look on the things of today, "things seen",
because they are "temporal", for a short time. We should "look upon
those things not seen", they are eternal.
   See how practical the Word of God, and prophecy are, the current
events of this world, our afflictions for today, must not be our
focus, we must focus on the "things to come", as revealed in God's
prophetic Word, the hope for tomorrow.
   PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord to keep my focus not on the things of
this world but instead on the truths of Your Word as I move through
these days and into the future.
                                   7

   2 Corinthians 5:9 - Wherefore we labour, that, whether
present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
   For further study - 2 Corinthians 5:1-9
   Paul is writing a word of encouragement to those in Corinth about
what the time of death will bring to each of us. Most of us look at
death as something to be dreaded, something to be avoided at all cost.
   May I remind myself, as well as reminding you also that are reading
this devotional, that death is not the end all. It is actually the
beginning, the beginning of eternity future. The Apostle brings to our
attention that in our present "tabernacle" our present body, there is
groaning.
   Let me stop right here. Everyday, as I become aware of another ache
or pain that I never have experienced before, I usually spend several
minutes or sometimes even several hours worrying about what the
discomfort may be and what it could become.
   Paul is telling us that we will one day put on a new "tabernacle" ,
a new and wonderful heavenly body. Paul talks about confidence and he
reminds us of where the confidence comes from.
   The Holy Spirit has sealed each of us into the Body of Chris. It is
the "earnest of the Spirit" that gives us the confidence of where we
are and where we will be one day. As we are alive on this earth we are
absent from the Lord and we know this by faith not by sight.
   Paul then speaks of another confidence, the confidence that when we
die on this earth we go directly into His presence, to be absent from
the body and to be present with the Lord, verse 8. At death all born
again Christians are transported by angels, Luke 16:22, into the
heavenlies, and into His presence.
   Now re-read our key verse. Until that victorious time of death when
we go into His presence, Paul says He will be ambitious and so should
we be the same. Paul wanted to live a life, do the work of the Lord,
so that when he saw Him he would be accepted of Him. That should be
the same for us, when we see Him we will be accepted of Him.
   The very next verse, verse 10, speaks of us then standing at the
Judgment Seat of Christ. Paul says he wants to be well-accepted of
Christ at that time. This is a Godly ambition, because at the Judgment
Seat we are given "crowns" for those works we have done for the Lord,
in His power and for His glory.
   Then we take these crowns and lay them at His feet as He sits upon
His throne, Revelation 4:10, in thanksgiving for all that He has done
for us.
We must join Paul in this Godly ambition, so that we can give Him the
glory.
   PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord to live a life that will receive
reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ so I can show
thanksgiving to You, for all You have done for me as I cast
my crowns at Your feet.
                                   8



Acts 1:3 - To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by
many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of
the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
      For further study - Acts 1:1-7

   Dr. Luke, the author of the book of Acts, has given us the account
of the post resurrection days of Jesus Christ, His departure for the
heavens and the history of the early church with all of its problems
and blessings as the followers of Christ move out to spread the
message to all the world.
   As a prophecy student and teacher, I especially like this first
seven verses of Acts because it focuses us on what Jesus thought to be
a priority for Him as He spent 40 days with His disciples. Verse 3
explains that Jesus showed Himself alive after His resurrection for
the 40 days leading up to His departure.
   Verse 3 also reveals to us the subject of the teaching that Jesus
gave His disciples for that almost 6-week period. Jesus focused on the
things pertaining to the kingdom of God to come.
   In fact, when asked, Jesus said He could not tell His disciples
that it was the time for Him to set up the kingdom. The Lord told
these inquisitive young men that only His Father knew when that day
would be.
   It is very interesting to me that Jesus spent the last six months
of His life on earth teaching prophecy to His disciples. Then, with
only 40 days after His resurrection, He again focused on prophecy.
   It is also interesting to note that the last book of the Bible,
Revelation, includes the letters to the “seven churches” of Asia Minor
and each of these letters contain prophetic truth that the Lord's
people need to know. Jesus put an importance on knowing the “truth of
prophecy” for all those who follow Him.
   Over 30% of the Bible is prophecy and that seems to indicate to me
the emphasis that the Lord puts on prophecy. Any individual Bible
study should include a study of prophecy. The study of prophecy will
help us to understand the current events of our day. The study of
prophecy also gives us an assurance that the Lord is still in charge
of world affairs.
   Jesus understood this, of course, so He taught His followers what
the future would hold and what would give evidence of the time of His
return.
With the understanding that the Lord could return at any time these
disciples went forth to turn the world of their day upside down, Acts
17:6.

   PRAYER THOT: Help me to understand the days that I live in could
well be the time of Your return Lord and therefore, help me to go out
and turn the world "upside down".
                                     9

Acts 1:11 - Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye
gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up
from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye
have seen him go into heaven.
   For further study - Acts 1:8-14

   This Scripture, the record of the ascension of Jesus back to
heaven, has much to say about the events of that day recorded in Acts
but also about the future. This passage also lays out the plan Jesus
had for spreading the Gospel to the world.

   Jesus told them to tarry there until they had received the power of
the Holy Spirit which He had promised, (John 16), and then be
witnesses of what He had done, around the world. This message was to
go first to Jerusalem, then to Judea and Samaria, and then to the
uttermost parts of the earth.

   As soon as our Lord had given His disciples His method for
spreading the Gospel, a cloud came and took Him up into heaven, (Acts
1:9). The truth be known, on a clear day, I pray for clouds because
the next verse says, "as He has gone, so shall He return in the
clouds." At that time, two men in white apparel, (Acts 1:10), standing
there gave the confirmation that He would return in the same manner
and to the same place, the Mount of Olives, (Zechariah 14:4).

   But please notice the two men in white apparel that gave us this
information. I have an idea as to the identity of these two men.
Before I tell you, please notice another verse in the Gospel of Luke
also written by the author of Acts, Dr. Luke. In Luke 24:4 it records
two men also in white apparel who told the Marys that Jesus was not in
the grave but had risen from the dead.

   I believe I know who these two men are also. They are the same two
men of Acts 1:10. So, these two men witnessed the resurrection of
Jesus and His ascension into heaven and said He would return. These
are the two witnesses of Revelation 11:3-12. These two witnesses
preach 3 1/2 years from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

   There message will be that Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead
and went to heaven but is coming again to the same spot where He
departed. These two themes will be the message of these two witnesses
which will bring many to Christ during the coming Tribulation Period
in the near future.

PRAYER THOT: Help me, dear Lord, to be your witness to a lost and
dying world where I am, in Jerusalem and then to the uttermost parts
of the earth.
                                                   10
Acts 2 vs.22 - Ye men of Israel,    hear these words; Jesus of
Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and
signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also
know:    For further study - Acts 2:1-24
   As we approach a very controversial passage of scripture for our
devotional reading today I would like to share several thoughts with
you that may help each of us to understand better what actually did
happen on that "Day of Pentecost" almost 2,000 years ago.
    "Pentecost" is one of the seven Jewish feast days that God gave the Jewish
people, the last of the four spring feasts. It was the day that the promise of Jesus
was fulfilled as He said it would be, the Holy Spirit would come to the new converts
of Christ, those who would be called Christian, John 16:7-13.
   I would like for you to think about several thoughts I have gleaned
in my study of this portion of scripture. On this particular "Day of
Pentecost" there were Jews from "every nation under heaven", verse 5,
in Jerusalem.
    Pentecost was a "pilgrim feast day" and the Jews were required to come to
Jerusalem to observe the "feast". This meant that all twelve tribes were in
Jerusalem, no "ten lost tribes" were missing.
   Also, please notice that on Pentecost there was no such thing as
people speaking in "unknown tongues or languages". The passage gives
us a list of all the languages spoken that day, verses 6-11.
    By the way, notice what they were speaking in the language of the peoples
gathered there that day, verse 11, "the wonderful works of God". That phrase is
interpreted in verses 22-24 where Peter, the preacher on the "Day of Pentecost", gave
the Jews gathered in Jerusalem, the "gospel", the death of Jesus Christ, verse 23,
and the resurrection, verse 24.
   On this day "about 3,000 souls", verse 41, were saved. There is one
more controversial item to deal with, Peter's reference to the Prophet
Joel's prophecy, found in Joel 2:29-32.
    I want you to know that whatever Peter was saying, he was not saying that Joel's
prophecy was being fulfilled that day. It's interesting to note that nowhere in
Joel's prophecy does it call for speaking in tongues.
    It does, however, call for marvelous signs in the heavens to
happen, verses 19-20, and none of those things happened that day. What
did happen, as Joel said, was that those "who called upon the name of
the Lord", verse 21, did get saved.
    One other thought about Joel's prophecy, verses 15-21, it could not
have been fulfilled on that "Day of Pentecost" because the ancient
Jewish prophet Joel said that this prophecy would be fulfilled during
the "Day of the Lord".
    That period, "The Day of the Lord", does not begin until after the
Rapture of the Church and takes place during the lead-up to the Second
Coming of Jesus Christ, during the Tribulation Period. That's what
Joel's prophecy is describing in Joel 2, "the Day of the Lord", this
is a prophecy yet to be fulfilled. (Please see my audio series on
"Joel".)             The "Day of Pentecost" was a great day for me as a Gentile, it marked the
beginning of the "Church Period", verse 47. From that day, until the Rapture, both Gentiles and Jews who
come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour are part of the "body of Christ", the Church, His bride.
    PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for that special group, the Church, of which I am a part
and whom You will call to be with You in heaven at the Rapture of the Church, which could
happen today
                                                     11
.

 Acts 3 vs21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath
spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

For further study - Acts 3:12-26

     This extended devotional reading for today is the record of Peter's second sermon given after the
Lord had gone back to heaven. This sermon has great prophetic significance and it is important for each
of us to realize what the sermon is saying to the Jews and thus to the church as well.

This sermon, by the way, is an excellent proof text that the Lord has not finished with the Jewish people.
He has a program for the Jews that will play out in the last days. This is a great argument against
"replacement theology" which states that the Church, the body of Christ, has replaced the Jews in God's
program for today.

Peter's sermon is given to the Jews, "ye men of Israel," verse 12. Peter tells the Jews that God has given
His Son as the fulfillment of promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and they had killed the "Prince of
Life" but God had raised Him from the dead, verses 13-15.

Peter tells the men of Israel that Jesus, because of His death, burial, and resurrection, was indeed the long-
awaited for Messiah and Savior of the world.

God the Father sent His Son to die and fulfill all Old Testament prophecies about the coming Messiah. He
also stated that Jesus would return to the heavenlies for a period of time before He would "fulfill all things
which God had spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began," verse 21.

To fulfill all promises or prophecies given by God to the Jews would be a part of the end time scenario
that would unfold, leading up to and, at the return of Jesus Christ back to the earth. The Lord has given
four covenants to the Jews that must, and will be fulfilled at that time.

The four covenants include the “Abrahamic Covenant”, a promise that there would be a Jewish nation
with a piece of real estate that would belong to them forever, Genesis 12 and 15. The “Land Covenant”,
Deuteronomy 30, would guarantee land in the Middle East, 10 times the amount of land that the Jews
now have in their possession.

The “Davidic Covenant”, II Samuel 7, is God's promise of a king on a throne in a temple in Jerusalem,
forever. The King of that kingdom who will be seated on the throne will be Jesus Christ in an earthly
kingdom yet to come. The last covenant to be fulfilled is the "New Covenant," Jeremiah 31:31 that is
given to the Jewish people. It will be a forever covenant and will include all of the other covenants, as the
Jewish people become His people and He becomes their God.

These covenants must be fulfilled; therefore, God does have a plan and program for the Jewish people that
is in the process of being played out in our world today.

It is because He keeps these covenants, these promises to the Jews, that we can trust the Lord to keep His
promise to us - His promise of eternal life.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you, Lord, for being a covenant-keeping God and giving me the proof of that
truth in the Jewish people.
                                                 12




Acts 4 vs11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of
the corner.         For further study - Acts 4:1-20
     The book of Acts is not a book of doctrine but instead a record of the events of the
"first century church." Acts 2 records the beginning of the "church" when on the "Day of
Pentecost" those who believed were "added to the church," those whose belief led them to
salvation in Jesus Christ.
     As we come to Acts 4 we see a detailed account of the first persecution to come upon
the church. This persecution would come from the people in Jerusalem, the priest, the
captain of the Temple and the Sadducees.
     It would be focused on Peter and John, two of the Lord's close disciples, who had
healed a forty year old lame man as they went up to the Temple to pray.
     The "big wheels" at the Temple, the High Priest and those of the kindred of the High
Priest, these Temple leaders wanted to know how Peter and John had healed this "lame
man".
     Notice, the response to the official question of the healing. Peter, verse 8, had been
filled with the Holy Spirit and that allowed him to developed into a man who was not only
"inspirited" but also "innocent", verse 10.
     Peter told the Temple leadership it was not him that healed the man, but Jesus, the one
who they had crucified and who God raised from the dead, that's how the man was healed.
     Not only were these two disciples "inspirited" and "innocent," of self-glory, but they
were 'ignorant" as well. Verse 13 describes the two disciples as "unlearned and ignorant
men." However, they also recognized that Peter and John had "been with Jesus", verse 13.
     The Temple leadership, fearing that the fame of these men might spread, told Peter and
John not to preach in the name of Jesus anymore.
     Now, verse 20, I love this verse. Peter said to the High Priest and his kindred that they
“could not but speak” the things which they had seen and heard, they were "spiritual can't-
help-its".
     Peter and John took "opposition" and through the "omnipotence" of God turned
"opposition" into "opportunity" to preach the gospel when they had been told not to preach
about Jesus Christ.
     There is some great practical truth in our passage for today. There is also a prophetic
significance in this account as well. Peter told the Temple leadership that Jesus was the
"cornerstone", verse 11.
     This is the "cornerstone" as foretold by the Psalmist, Psalm 118:22 ; by the prophet,
Isaiah, Isaiah 8:14 and 28:16; and the apostle, Peter, I Peter 2:6-8. Jesus is the
"cornerstone" of our faith and has been the "stone of stumbling" for the Jewish people and
some Gentiles, both of which have not been saved.
     Jesus will continue to be the "stone of stumbling" until He returns to the Earth to set up
His eternal, earthly Kingdom.
PRAYER THOT: Help me to be a "a spiritual can't-help-it" and speak the things I've seen and heard
to the lost, for their salvation.
                                   13
Acts 5 vss38-39 - And now I say       unto you, Refrain from these men,
and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it
will come to thought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it;
lest haply ye be found even to fight against God. Further study Acts
5:29-42        As we come to the fifth chapter of Acts we see recorded
here, continuing persecution of the early church, in fact a church
less than one year old was being persecuted.
   In Acts 5:17-28 we see the record of the "second persecution," with
the apostles being placed in jail for teaching about Jesus Christ and
"The Way". It was while the apostles were in a "common prison" that an
angel of the Lord released them and told them to "go, stand and
speak", verse 20.          The High Priest and the captain of the
Temple gathered the apostles together and told them, "you have filled
Jerusalem with your doctrine", verse 28. What a testimony it was for
these men who were following the directions of Jesus Christ, given to
them before He ascended into heaven.
   Peter answered these Temple leaders, "we ought to obey God rather
than man", verse 29. That's our call as well today, obey God rather
than men. Notice the wisdom of the one member of the council
overseeing this incident, verses 34-39.
   The man, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, had watched the entire
proceedings and told the other Temple leaders, verse 38, "If this work
is of men, it will come to nought". Gamaliel's next statement shows
his great wisdom, verse 39, "but if it be of God you can not overthrow
it; lest haply you be found even to fight against God."
   What a profound statement. The statement was also prophetic, Isaiah
46:9-10. In retrospect we now know it was not of men but of God as
Gamaliel said. That statement was also prophetic.
   The last three verses of Acts 5 reveal how these handful of
apostles spread the message of the gospel, the story of Jesus, around
the world.     First of all, they rejoiced in the fact that they were
to be found worthy of suffering shame for the name of Jesus, verse 41.
Verse 40 reveals to us that the apostles were actually beaten for
preaching the gospel.
   Their response to this persecution was that, as recorded in verse
42, these men went out "daily", not just on Sunday, but daily they
went out to teach or preach Jesus. They also went into the
"marketplace", in fact, onto the Temple Mount, to teach and preach
Jesus. These men not only went "public" but they went "private" as
they went to "every house" to talk to the people about the Lord.
   Let me remind you once again of the message. They would "teach and
preach Jesus Christ". They weren't teaching politics, social issues,
war or no war, presidential elections, or any other issue except Jesus
Christ, the Messiah, and what that meant to the Jews they were
contacting.
   This plan must have worked, look how the gospel has spread over
these two thousand years. But wait a minute, the work is not done yet.
We must work until He comes. We must today go out and follow the plan
and preach Jesus to all people.
   PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord, to be focused on the job of winning
people to You and doing it in the way that You said, one by one.
                                    14
Acts 7 vs.55 - But he, being full      of the Holy Ghost, looked up
steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing
on the right hand of God,
   For further study - Acts 7:54-8:4
   Our extended reading for today's devotional is the record of the
first Christian martyr, Stephen, and the very first mention of the one
who would be known as the Apostle Paul.
   Stephen had been chosen as one of the first deacons, Acts 6:5, and
was a man "full of faith and the Holy Spirit", verse 5.
   Because the "Synagogue Council" was unable to resist the wisdom and
the spirit by which he spoke, Acts 6:10, the Council brought this
newly appointed deacon to address them with His own defense.
   By the way, Dr Luke records that even the "Council" saw Stephen's
"face as though it had been the face of an angel", Acts 6:15. Not only
were the members of the Council present for Stephen's address but the
High Priest at the Temple was there to hear Stephen speak as well,
Acts 7:1.
   What Stephen had to say, Acts 7:2-53, was so powerful that it "cut
to the heart", verse 54, of those in the Council so that they rushed
forward and "gnashed upon him with their teeth", verse 54.
   Verse 55 has long been a puzzle to me, however, I think I figured
out what was going on that day of Stephen's death. The verse tells us
that Stephen, "just before he was cast out of the city and stoned",
verse 58, looked up into heaven and saw the "glory of God and Jesus
standing on the right hand of God", verse 55.
   My confusion was because I read in Hebrews 1:3, 8:1, and 12:2 that
Jesus is now "seated" at the right of God in the heavens, Stephen saw
Him "standing". I am not dogmatic but I believe that Jesus may well
have stood up to greet Stephen, the first Christian martyr, as he
entered heaven.
   This record of Stephen seeing Jesus, whether "seated or standing",
He is at the right hand of the Father, not seated on His throne, His
"promised throne", since Jesus is not now "King" of His coming
Kingdom.     God the Father will give the throne and the Kingdom to His
Son after the Tribulation Period, at His Second Coming. Bible prophecy
reveals that the time of His Second Coming is quickly approaching.
Verse 58 introduces us to an enemy of God. This is one who was fierce
in his attacks on the Christians, the members of the Church at
Jerusalem,8:1. It was a man named "Saul" who would one day be a leader
of these Christians.
   Until that time Saul would bring about "great persecution" against
the Church, 8:1, making "havoc of the Church", 8:3. Notice the
positive aspect of persecution, verse 4, the Christians were
"scattered abroad, going everywhere preaching the Word".
   We can rejoice when persecution comes, it will allow us to change
"opposition into opportunity".
   PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for being there at the right hand of
God the Father as my special provider, help me to be full of faith and
the Holy Spirit as Stephen was, and to turn opposition into
opportunity.
                                  15
Acts 15 vs.15 - And to this          agree the words of the prophets;
as it is written.
For further study - Acts 15:1-18
   Our extended portion for today's reading is a record of a meeting
of the church council at Jerusalem about 15 years after Jesus had gone
back to heaven.
   Remember, just before He left earth from the Mt of Olives in
Jerusalem, Acts 1, our Lord told His disciples that they were to stay
in Jerusalem until they had received Power and then they were to give
the people of Jerusalem the gospel message of how they could be saved,
and prepared for here and after death.
   After Jerusalem they were to go to Judea and Samaria and then to
the uttermost parts of the earth with this message.
   Peter, the preacher on the Day of Pentecost and a disciple of Jesus
Christ, saw many results to his ministry and many Jews did get saved.
But also remember, that it was Peter who went to Cornelius in Ceasarea
and led this first Gentile to Jesus Christ as his Saviour.
   Once converted, Paul also traveled around that region of the world
and led many Gentiles to a salvation experience.
   With the conversion of these many Gentiles, some in the church in
Jerusalem were concerned. They believed that a Gentile must first
become a Jew and then a Christian. Therefore, the church council in
Jerusalem, with James, the head of the church, not Peter by the way,
James called everyone together for this council. James had both Peter
and Paul rehearse the exciting stories of Gentile conversions to
Christ that they had witnessed and participated in during their
traveling ministries.
   The bottom-line result of this council meeting was that James stood
and said, verses 13-18, that the scriptures agreed with what was
happening. Salvation was, and is, for the Gentiles as well as the
Jews. In fact, this is God's special program for today, "visiting the
Gentiles to take out of them a people for His names sake", verse 13.
   Then Jesus said, after God's plan for reaching Gentiles is
complete, the Lord will return to build the house of David with Jesus
returning to build His temple and then to rule and reign from it in
fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant.
   Romans 11:25 says this is God's program, "until the fullness of the
Gentiles be come in". When the last Gentile gets saved, a number that
only God knows, then Jesus will come back.
   What an opportunity for each of us today, to witness to Gentiles as
well as Jews. Just think, you could lead that last Gentile to Jesus,
and then Jesus would come.

PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord, to be a witness of my faith for you, Jesus,
to all people both Gentiles and Jews.
                                   16
Acts 17 vs6 - And when they found     them not, they drew Jason and
certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have
turned the world upside down are come hither also;
   For further study - Acts 17:1-14
   This passage in Acts, "The Action Book" of first century
Christianity is a record of Paul's visit to Thessalonica and also to
Berea.      This second missionary journey of Paul would result in a
number of Greeks and Jews coming to know Jesus Christ as Lord and
Saviour. The trip also relates the story of how young Timothy got
involved in Paul's ministry, Acts 16:1-5.
   Paul arrives in Thessalonica and goes to the synagogue for three
weeks straight to reason with the Jews about Jesus Christ. This method
of evangelism is one that Paul used very effectively.
   As a result of Paul's reasoning with the Jews from the scriptures
in the synagogues, there were a number who trusted Jesus as Lord and
Saviour. We must "reason from the scriptures" when we work at the
ministry of evangelism.
   It is also interesting that Paul went into the synagogue, "as his
manner was", verse 2. The synagogue system was not developed until the
Babylonian Captivity when the Jews were out of the land, without a
Temple, thus the need for a "worship center".
   All along God had a plan to use the "synagogues as centers of
evangelism". God's plan always works best. We need to find out what
His plan is and join Him as a partner in that ministry plan.
   By the way, notice that Paul was only there for three weeks and
with the converts he started a church. It was to these "young
Christians" that Paul wrote a letter, I Thessalonians, explaining the
"Rapture".
   This was "real meat "for young Christians. The "towns fathers" did
not like what was happening under Paul's ministry and they called
together some of the new converts to try and down-play the working of
God.
   I love the phrase in verse 6, "these that have turned the world
upside down are come hither also". Oh, that we could be referred to as
those who are turning the world upside down.
   The motivation of these "world turners" was their understanding
that the return of Jesus Christ could happen at any moment, thus they
went forward with intensity to serve Him before He did return.
   This is evident by what Paul wrote these new converts in
Thessalonica about the Rapture, I Thessalonians 4:13-18. As we become
more aware of the soon return of the Lord we will go forth to do
ministry as those who were turning the world upside down.
   Just one last thought from Paul's sojourn in Berea. He preached
there and the Bereans heard the Word and then searched the scriptures
to see if Paul was correct, verse 11.
   This is a great principle, hear the Word preached and study the
Scriptures for yourselves to see if the preacher is Biblically
correct. Please apply this principle to my teaching.
PRAYER THOT: Help me dear Lord, to understand the Scriptures, in
particular the prophetic Scriptures, and then to apply them to my
daily life as I await Your call at the Rapture to join You in the
heavenlies.
                                  17


Amos 3 verse 7 - Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he
revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

For further study - Amos 3:1-8
   Amos the Prophet is also Amos the herdman of Tekoa, Amos 1:1. This
book, written by Amos, reveals that this prophet was also a cattle
breeder and a farmer. Amos was a substantial, and respected man in his
community, 10 miles south of Jerusalem in Tekoa.
   I have been to Tekoa to visit the former mayor of the city who has
also served with several Prime Ministers of the State of Israel. I
bring this to your attention to show you that substantial and
respected men today live in Tekoa, one of the Jewish communities, i.e.
a Jewish settlement, in the “disputed territories” of modern-day
Israel.
   My friend and his family, along with a number of other families in
Tekoa, have been told that the Israeli government is one day in the
near future going to evacuate their community as part of the “Peace
Process” and the return of the lands to the Palestinian people.
   These Jewish families of Tekoa today, including my friend, believe
they are living on land that the Lord promised to give them in the
last days.
They believe these are the days of the coming Messiah and they have
claimed the land He said He would give them.
   Writing about my friend and his personal experience goes right
along with what the passage for our reading today is all about. God
gives Amos a prophecy for the "whole family", the Jewish people, who
He brought up from the land of Egypt, Amos 3:1.
   God had “chosen” this people, Amos 3:2, for a special purpose but
because of disobedience and unbelief, they would go through hard times
before their coming Messiah would become their God, and they His
people. This scenario has been written down by many of the ancient
Jewish prophets, including Amos.
   Remember, the Lord does nothing to the Jews before He warns them
through their prophets, Amos 3:7. However, after the warning, the
prophecy will come to pass, Amos 3:8.
   In John 13:19, Jesus reminded His disciples that He had prophesied
of His death and resurrection before that night in the Upper Room.
There was a purpose for the Lord revealing this information to His
disciples before it happened. He wanted them to know, "I am who I said
I am and can do what I said I will do."
   That is the theme of Amos, Amos 3:7. When you see these prophecies
coming to pass you can know that the Lord is Who He said He is and
will do what He tells us He will do. Bible prophecy will be fulfilled.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you for fulfilled prophecy, proof that You are who
You said You are.
                                              18

Amos 5 vs8

Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the
morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and
poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:        For further study -
Amos 5:1-20

    This passage of scripture for our daily reading today, was written by a farmer, a man
who God called to be a Prophet. God called him from where he lived, in Tekoa near
Bethlehem in Judea, to be the one to give the message to Israel.
    Remember, this was the time when the Jewish people were divided into two nations,
ten tribes in the north - Israel, and two tribes in the south - Judah. God takes a “southern
boy” to speak to the northerners.
    The message in our passage for today is one of judgment to come and the Lord's plea
for Israel, i.e. both groups of Jews, to "seek the Lord." The Lord gives his people
information on the coming judgment in the days of Amos, but also these prophetic
warnings are appropriate for today, and especially for today.
    Amos is describing the "day of the Lord," verse 18, and telling the Jews that will be a
day of great judgment. Remember, the "day of the Lord" is that period of time after the
Rapture of the Church and includes the seven years leading up to the Second Coming of
Jesus Christ. That "day" will be a dark day, verse 18, and no matter where the Jews turn in
that day, they will be met by judgment.
    Notice verse 19. They flee from a lion only to be met by a bear and even as they rush
into the house for protection and rest, as they lean against the wall a serpent bites them.
The coming Tribulation period, the "time of Jacob's trouble" will be a terrible time of
darkness and judgment, verse 20.
    However, the loving God reaches out to the Jews today and during that terrible time
ahead, He reaches out to His people. He says, "seek the Lord," verse 6; "seek Him," verse
8; "seek good" (God) and "live", verse 14. Notice our key verse, verse 8, where we see the
Creator, the Lord Himself, telling the Jewish people to "seek Him."
    I love this verse. He says, I created the stars and even named them all. Then He says, I
control the oceans upon the face of the earth, I am the One you must seek. He is the only
One who can bring His people through the "day of the Lord."
    The record of the Lord's lamentation over Israel written by Amos some 2,700 years
ago is applicable for today. Jews and Gentiles, all peoples that are not saved, must seek the
Lord as He reaches out to them. That day of darkness, the "day of the Lord" is quickly
approaching.
    PRAYER THOT: Dear Lord, as I see that day of judgment quickly approaching, please raise me
up, as You did Amos from his farm work, to warn lost people before it is eternally too late.
                                                  19
Amos 7 verses 14-15

Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was Ia prophet's son; but I
was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycamore fruit: And the LORD took me as I followed the flock,
and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.

For further study - Amos 7:10-17

    The period of time being covered in our devotional reading for today is the time
leading up to the destruction of Israel, the ten tribes of Israel's twelve tribes that divided
from the twelve and followed Jereboam at the end of King Solomon's reign as the third
King of all of Israel.
    Jereboam was from Bethel and had become the leader of the ten northern tribes that
would be captured by Assyria around 725 BC. Jereboam had set up "altars" in Dan and
Bethel, his hometown. These were "adulterous worship centers" and used for the purpose
of keeping these rebelling Jews in line.
    The "chief priest" at the so-called "temple" in Bethel was a man named Amaziah. After
the prophetic ministry of Amos had been revealed to Amaziah, he went to King Jereboam
and complained about the prophecy given by Amos.
    Amaziah told Amos to go back down south to prophesy among his own people, the
people of the two southern tribes, Judah and Benjamin. Amaziah would realize he was
messing with the wrong man, the prophecy of Amos would come true and his adversary
Amaziah and his family would suffer the consequences, verse 17.
    The response from Amos to the false accusation made by Amaziah was one that has
been often quoted down through the centuries, "I was not a prophet, neither was I a
prophet's son," verse 14.
    Amos then explained he was a farmer and a rancher in the divided kingdom in the
south, Judah. Amos was a "herdman," a rancher, and a farmer, a "gatherer of sycamore
fruit" in Tekoa, a community near Bethlehem.
    God had called this "country boy" to become his spokesman to the ten northern tribes,
Israel. Amos had never trained to be a prophet and simply followed the Lord's lead when
called upon, as was the case with all "true prophets of God," II Peter 1:21.
    The test of a "true prophet of God" is that everything He reveals must come true in the
exact detail given, Deuteronomy 18:20-22. Amos was a true prophet of God and the
prophecy he gave the ten northern tribes did come to pass, they were taken into captivity
by the Assyrians.
    Just this reminder, Jesus said in His Olivet Discourse, that the greatest indication that
His Second Coming was close would be the "deception" presented by false prophets with
their signs, wonders, and miracles, Matthew 24:4,5,11 and 24.
    We have a proliferation of false prophets using signs wonders, and miracles today - a
definite signal that Jesus will be returning to earth in the seemingly near future.
    Remember, the Rapture happens at least seven years before His Second Coming. That
means the Rapture could happen at any time. Keep looking up.

Prayer Thot: Help me, Lord, to live each day as the day that the Rapture will happen.
                                             20
Amos 9 vs15

And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land
which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God. For further study - Amos 9:11-15

    In our last devotional we looked at the prophecy of Joel who introduced to us the
prophetic phrase, "the day of the Lord". Here in Amos 9:11, the prophet uses Joel's phrase
to define the time of His work among the Jewish people, in the day leading up to the return
of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Our passage for today is filled with what the Lord will do for
the Jewish people, however, I want to focus on one key verse, verse 15.
    The Lord makes a promise in the form of a prophecy, that He will plant the Jewish
people upon their land and they shall no more be pulled out of their land, the land that He
has given them.
    Let’s look at several thoughts about this verse. The Lord did promise Abraham in
Genesis 15, that He would give the land to the Jewish people, his descendants, in the last
days. In fact, as you study the 38 passages of scripture that relate to the true biblical
borders of Israel, you must conclude that God will ultimately give the Jewish people 10
times what they have today.
    The promise of all the land will be fulfilled during the “millennial kingdom” in the
future, and the Jewish people will have that land forever, throughout all of eternity. I know
this because the "Lord thy God" said it, verse 15b. Today the Jewish people have only 10
percent of the land He promised to give them.
    The promise that Amos wrote to the Jewish people is yet to be fulfilled, however I do
believe the beginning stages of God's plan and promise for the Jews is in the process of
being fulfilled.
    The religious Jews in Israel today who are refusing to give up the land they believe
that God gave them take this passage seriously. They believe they will be no more pulled
up out of the land He gave them. I believe that as well.
    Therefore, His promises to protect them in the land are true also. If some of their
enemies or all of their enemies try to take the land away, He will return to protect the Jews.
With the nations of the Middle East plotting to take the land of the Jewish people from
them it seems His return is close at hand. Even so come Lord Jesus.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to accept God's promises as absolutes.
                                  21

Colossians 1 verse 16
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are
in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or
dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by
him, and for him:
For further study - Colossians 1:9-19

   As I read the extended portion of our devotional today I can hardly
contain myself. His glorious power, Colossians 1:11, has given us all
long suffering and patience, with joyfulness. Verse 12 says we are
partakers of the inheritance of the saints. We've been delivered from
the power of darkness. We have been redeemed through His shed blood
which means we have the forgiveness of our sins. Then He reveals to us
how He can grant all these things to us, He is the Creator of all
things, verse 16.
   Our key verse for today tells us that by Him, by Jesus Christ, were
all things created. That's all things in the heavens and on the
earth. Things visible to us and those things we cannot see, the
invisible things of this world.
   Look at the last words of verse 16, "all things were created by
Him, and for Him." I have a note beside this verse in my bible, " a
created cannot be the Creator". I don't remember where I got that
thought from, but it is true. It seems like the world today is made
up of a bunch of creators, not the created ones. For sure the created
are not living in light of the fact that the verse says "......and for
Him."
   The basis for all prophetic truth in the Bible is the reality that
the Creator, Jesus Christ, knows the beginning from the end. He is
the only One who can tell us what will happen in the future.
   Notice verse 17, "and by Him all things consist." He not only
brought everything into existence, but He keeps everything together
today. He is in charge and has a plan for the world and for each of us
in this world. The last verse in our reading, verse 18 tells it all.
The final result is so that He might have the pre-eminence over, and
with His creation.
   We started these thoughts with what we have in Him and conclude
with us as the creation giving Him the pre-eminence. We can do that
because of what we have in Him.
   It is great that the Creator loves us enough to tell us in the
prophetic passages of scripture what will happen as we prepare for His
return to be the pre-eminent One.
   Remember, the creation brought forth by the Creator is the basis
for all of prophetic truth. He has a plan for His creation and He
let's us know what it is in His Word. What a wonderful Creator.
Prayer Thot: Help me to remember, You created man, ultimately me, for
Your purpose and Your glory.
                                  22
Colossians 1 vs 17    - And He is   before all things, and by Him all
things consist.      For further study - Colossians 1:15-29
   As we come to our devotional time today we will look at the letter
that Paul wrote the people in Colosse, the new church that he had
established there, a letter that elaborates our sufficiency in Christ
Jesus. The entire letter is another of the letters that Paul penned
during his ministry that would be such a help to the early Christians,
as well as to all of us today.
   I've been to Colosse, in what is today modern-day Turkey. What
remains of the community there is nestled in the mountains high above
the area of the church that was located in Laodicea, the area known in
Biblical times as Asia Minor.
   The area of Colosse today is like the Alps in Europe, breathtaking
by it's beauty. Paul reveals to those Christians at Colosse that the
beautiful area where they lived had been created by Jesus Christ,
verse 16. Jesus created everything and it was created for Him.
   We'll take a look at verse 17 in a moment, but first notice what
the Lord has done for us by Jesus, through His blood, verse 20. We
have been "reconciled" by what Jesus did for us on His cross, verse
21. We who were not in harmony with Jesus, because of our sin, had
been alienated from the Lord but by His shedding of blood on the cross
we have been "reconciled,"
brought back into "perfect harmony" with Christ Jesus.
   Paul reveals the "mystery" which hath been hid from ages and
generations, verse 23, the "church". The "church" is made up of both
Gentiles and Jews who have been "born again." That would be all who
have trusted in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, that
which is the "power of God unto salvation."
   Paul told those at the Church in Colosse that because we're born
again we have Christ, who "is our hope of glory", verse 27.
   Now let me take you back to verse 17. Remember, verse 16 says Jesus
Christ created all things in heaven and in earth, visible and
invisible, even the angelic creatures, everything was created by Him
and for Him.
   Verse 17 reveals that all things that Jesus created are being "held
together" by Jesus as well, "by Him all things consist", verse 17.
That means He holds together every aspect of me as the product of a
created being.
   The rocks, the mountains, the animals, humankind, by Him all of
these things were created. But what holds all of creation together so
that today they do not "blow apart". Jesus is the one who holds all
things together.
The truth is, one day everything will "blow apart". That's when
everything on this earth will "burn up" as foretold in Bible prophecy,
II Peter 3:10.
   All that Jesus will have to do is release the power that holds
everything together and it all burns up, just as Bible prophecy tells
us. Then we'll have new heavens and a new earth, the former heavens
and earth will burn up. This seems to indicate that Bible prophecy
will be fulfilled, seemingly in the future.
   PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for reconciling me back to You and for
holding all of Your creation together until the time of the end.
                                                    23

Colossians 3 vs15
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye
thankful.    For further study - Colossians 3:15-25

    As we approach our extended reading for today reflect with me on our devotional in
Colossians the last time we were in the book, which was the first fifteen verses of
Colossians 3 .
    Verses 2, 3 and 4 exhort us to set our focus and affections on the heavens where Jesus
awaits the command from His Father to call the body of Christ, the Church, up to be with
Him. Verse 4 says we will appear at that time with Him in the heavenlies. What a glorious
hope that is for each of us as believers.
    Now to our reading for today, in verse 15 we see Paul exhorts us to "let the Word of
Christ dwell in us richly". That means to first read God's Word and then meditate upon
what we have read. Finally we internalize the Word of God, as we apply every bit of it to
our daily lifestyle.
    In verses 15-22 Paul tells us what will happen when the Word does dwell in us richly.
Our music will be God-honoring music. Music, by the way, is not for evangelism. In the
500 references to music in the Bible they all deal with worshiping the Lord and not for
evangelizing lost people. Therefore, we don't need to mimic the world's music.
    If the Word fills us, we will use psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to teach each other
and admonish each other in our worship of the Lord. What we do, we do in the name of
the Lord, verse 17.
    Wives will submit to husbands, verse 18. Husbands will love their wives and be not
bitter to them, verse 19. Children will obey parents because it pleases the Lord, verse 20.
Fathers will raise their children but won't provoke them to anger, verse 21. Servants will
obey masters, verse 22. Again Paul tells us that whatever we do, do it "heartily as unto the
Lord and not to men," verse 23.
    What we have just thought through is the lifestyle of the person that has the Word of
God dwelling in them richly. Verse 24 refers us to the time of reward when the Lord will
give us a special reward at the "Judgment Seat of Christ." That “reward” He will give us is
for living the Word-rich life on earth, before the Judgment Seat and before we appear in
His presence, verse 14.
    He tells us of our reward and at the same time tells us how to live so that we will
indeed receive that reward. The provision He gives is His Word, which we must allow to
dwell in us, richly. Thank you Lord for your Word.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for your Word, help me to let it dwell in me richly.
                                  24
Colossians 3 vs.1     - If ye then   be risen with Christ, seek those
things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
          For further study - Colossians 3:1-15
   In our devotional passage for today, we are told to "put off" some
items and "put on" others. This exhortation is because we have "risen
with Christ," verse 1. Paul tells the Colossians that when they, and
thus when we put off the old man we also put off his deeds
- deeds like anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communications in
addition to fornication, inordinate affection, and idolatry.
   These are the deeds of the "old man" we once were but in Christ we
are told we are the new man and therefore have items to "put on." We
are to put on holiness, mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness,
longsuffering, forbearing one another, forgiving one another, and
above all, put on love.
   I know you have already read in your devotional reading for today
all that I have just mentioned. However it is good to rehearse what
we put off and put on as the followers of Christ. The passage also
reveals to us that the "peace of God" is to rule in our hearts and we
are to be thankful.
   You know, thankfulness is foreign to most of us. Have you noticed
how people seem to forget to say "thank you" when you serve them? It
is as if we are supposed to serve and those that we serve take it for
granted. Paul exhorts us to serve others anyway. Each day we spend
time in God's word we see the instructions there for us to live by in
the life He has for us to live.
   I think it is great to know exactly how the Lord wants us to live.
Just this reminder. We do not live this way to get saved but because
we are saved. The truth is that we could not live this way unless we
were saved and empowered by Him to do so.
   Before I conclude the devotional for today, a prophetic prospective
on the passage is needed. Notice the first four verses of our
extended reading. The "if" in verse 1 is a conditional "if" and thus
could read "since we have been risen with Christ" at salvation then we
should seek those things above, in the heavenlies. In fact, verse
2 says to set our affection or our focus, our ambitions on these
things above. We do this so that when Christ shall appear in His
glory we also shall appear with Him in glory.
   A close study of current events in light of Bible prophecy will
help us to focus on His return and how close it might be. We need to
daily study the prophetic word of God to better understand the times
in which we are living. This will help us to better seek those things
above and set our affections on the future with Him in the heavens.
   PRAYER THOT: Dear Lord, help me to look with great anticipation
for Your return and our future existence throughout eternity in heaven
with You.
                                  25
Colossians 3 vs.1 - If ye then      be risen with Christ, seek those
things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
         For further study - Colossians 3:1-15
   Last time we looked at these fifteen verses chosen for today’s
devotional, I focused on what our daily focus must be, because we have
been raised with Christ, verse 1.
   We noticed in our prophetic prospective of this passage last time
that we must seek those things which are above, in the heavenlies, not
earthly things, verse 2.
   We also have the promise that when He appears in glory we will
appear with Him because He is our life, verse 4. As I read these
verses again I realized that we must be looking for Him to appear,
actually, at any moment.
   Paul, the author of our devotional passage, also told Titus to look
for Jesus to appear and as he did that it would help this young
ministry partner with Paul, to "lay" aside that which is wrong and
"live" that which is right.
   That can be done as we "look" for His glorious appearing which is
our blessed hope, Titus 2:12-13.
   As a student of God's prophetic Word, I am very aware of how close
we are to the Rapture, when Jesus calls us up into the heavenlies to
be with Him forever. I must remind you that as we understand the times
we are living in today we will "look for", focus, on His coming.
   Let me give you one more insight before we close. Notice verse 1,
our key verse, again. This power-packed verse informs us of, "where
Christ sitteth on the right hand of God." Jesus is not now on His
throne, but instead He is seated at the right hand of God the Father.
   One day Jesus will sit on His own throne in a Kingdom here on earth
that God the Father, the Most High God, will give Him and that Kingdom
will be forever, Daniel 7:13-14.
   Today, Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father and is there
to intercede, to be our special "advocate" when the Devil accuses us
of our short-comings to the Father, who is now on the throne in the
heavens, Revelation 12:10 and 1 John 2:1 He is also there to be a
"provider" for us on a daily basis, Philippians 4:19.
   One day Jesus Christ will be in His temple, on His throne. But
today He is seated at the right hand of the father for each of us.
That is from where He will come when he comes to get us. I believe
that coming is very close, indeed, keep looking out.
   PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord, for being my special advocate and
provider from your position at the right hand of God the Father in the
heavenlies
                                  26


Daniel 1 vs.17   - As for these four children, God gave them knowledge
and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in
all visions and dreams.
      For further study - Daniel 1:1-21
   As the Babylonian Crown Prince Nebuchadnezzar was fighting
in Egypt, he received the message that his father had died
and he had been promoted to King of Babylon. On his journey
back to Babylon he passed through Jerusalem and noticed a
strange type of worship of a different God than his god. The
worship of this new God was going on in a Temple like he had
never seen.
   Knowing that he was to become ruler of the known world, he
was determined to know something about this new to him
religion. Nebuchadnezzar decided to take some "hostages"
from the “royal family” in Jerusalem back home with him to
learn more about this religion.
   Chapter one of Daniel is the sojourn of Daniel and three
of his Hebrew friends to Babylon to learn the ways of the
Chaldeans. They were to be trained to become a part of the
group known as the "wise men" in Nebuchadnezzar's court.
   As you read this account you learn how teenage boys
(Daniel was 15 years old when taken to Babylon) could
purpose in their hearts, verse 8, to honor the Lord with
their obedience to His plan for their lives.
   God would honor their obedience and give them "knowledge
and skill in all learning and wisdom", verse 17. At the same
time God was preparing young Daniel to minister to the King,
Daniel 2. Daniel would not only win the King's favor but
reveal through the interpretation of the Kings dream, God's
plans for the future.
   God would use this man Daniel to give us the prophetic
truths that describe many current events today giving us
evidence that we are quickly approaching the time of the
return of the Lord (see my study on Daniel).
   Because Daniel purposed in his heart to do right, God used
him for His purposes, to explain to us His plan for the
future. The twelve chapters of Daniel are prophecies of the
unfolding of the historic events that will take place on the
earth leading up to the time of His coming back to the
earth.
PRAYER THOT: Allow me to be used by you Lord as I purpose in my heart
to honor you.
                                   27
Daniel 2 vs.44 - And in the days     of these kings shall the God of
heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the
kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in
pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
      For further study - Daniel 2:1-45
   I am taking a reading out of order today for our devotional for a
purpose. Today, March 25, 2007, is the 50th anniversary of the
signing of the "Treaty of Rome" signed by the European leaders 50
years ago today in the city of Rome. The European Union has actually
been involved in a year-long celebration, but today special events
will happen across Europe.
   More on the significance of this day in a moment, bur first, to our
reading for today. Daniel had been summoned by the Babylonian King
Nebuchadnezzar to tell him his dream and to interpret the dream for
the King. God gifted Daniel with the ability to reveal the dream to
the Babylonian King (verse 28) and to interpret it for him.
   The dream that King Nebuchadnezzar had was of an image of a man
with a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, his belly and thighs of
brass, two legs of iron and ten toes of iron and clay mixed. There
was a stone that hit the toes and broke them into pieces. These
broken pieces were like chaff of the summer threshing floors and the
wind carried them away. The stone that smote the image became a great
mountain and filled the world earth.
   Daniel's interpretation of the king's dream was actually the
revelation of the empires of the coming Gentile world, powers from
the times of Daniel until the times of the Return of Jesus Christ.
   Daniel told King Nebuchadnezzar that he was the "Head of Gold"
(verse 38) the first of the Gentile world powers.
   The passages in Daniel 8 and 7 give us the understanding that the
Medo-Persian Empire followed by the Grecian Empire and the Roman
Empire would take Gentile history along the way all the way to a time
when the "Ten Toes" would appear. Let me tell you that the "Ten Toes"
are the "Revived Roman Empire" of the future (see my study, "The
Daniel Papers www.prophecybookstore.com).
   Now to the significance of this day, the 25th of March. It was 50
years ago today that a group of Europeans met to sign the "treaty" of
Rome in Rome, Italy, that set the stage for the Common Market which is
today the European Union. A close look at the European Union reveals
that it is at least an infrastructure of the fulfillment of Daniel's
prophecy of the "Ten Toes" which will be ten nations, kings, or
regions.
   The key verse to notice about this prophecy is verse 44, "in the
days of these kings." The God of heaven will destroy them and set up
the kingdom that Jesus Christ will rule and reign over at His Return.
This interpretation of these prophecies fits the prophecies of John
the Revelator in his book of prophecy, Revelation 17.
   The evidence is strong that we are living in those days. But
remember, before the Lord's Second Coming, seven years before, the
Rapture takes place and that could happen today.
      PRAYER THOT: Thank you for Daniel's prophecy that helps me
understand the Lord's time.
                                                      28

Daniel 3 vs.18     But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy
gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
       For further study - Daniel 3:1-30
      For our extended reading today, I would like for you to read the entire chapter of Daniel 3. This
chapter, in the book of prophecy written by Daniel, is not a prophetic passage.
      However, it is very practical and is one of the three very practical passages in Daniel, which also
includes Daniel 4 and 6. We will use these chapters in another devotional, later on.
      Daniel, the author of the book, is not mentioned in chapter 3 and there is not a definite reason that
we can point you to scripturally on the subject. There have been suggestions that Daniel may have been
traveling during this time.
      Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, had an "image of gold", verse 1, erected in Babylon, most likely
an "image of a man", an image of himself that was ninety feet tall and nine feet wide at it's base.
      Nebuchadnezzar's wise counselors set a trap for the three Hebrew companions of Daniel; Hananiah,
Mishael and Azariah, which are their godly Hebrew names. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are the
Chaldean names for these three Hebrew boys.
      The trap for these three was the royal order for everyone to bow to the "image of gold" when they
heard the sound of music. Failure to bow would be met with the punishment of being thrown into the
"fiery furnace".
      Please let me point out several real blessings from the many that you will notice as you read our
extended reading for the devotional today.
      The three Hebrew boys refused to bow and when brought before Nebuchadnezzar they told the King
that "their God which they served was able to deliver them from the burning fiery furnace", verse 17.
      That assurance was a real blessing for the three, as it is for us today, an assurance that He can deliver
us from any fiery trial. However, look at the next verse, verse 18, "but if not".
      Please read our key verse several times, "But if not", if God decides not to deliver us, the boys said,
"we will not serve thy gods or worship the golden image".
      That is the attitude missing today. Often we want God to be "Johnny on the spot", to take care of us
all the time. I love that phrase, "but if not". What God decides is best, whether I think so or not.
      The three boys did not "bow" and they were thrown into the furnace where they did not "burn". They
not only did not burn, even the smell of smoke was not upon their bodies nor their clothing, verse 27.
      When the Lord does something, He does it right. It was Jesus Christ, in a “pre-incarnate” appearance,
that came to rescue the three Hebrew boys, verse 25.
      This is a great story that ended with the three Hebrew boys being promoted in the Babylonian
Kingdom, verse 30. Though it's not actually a prophetic passage, it does have a prophetic spiritual
application.
      In the last days God will protect the Jewish people from the "fiery Tribulation", a period of time
known as "Jacob's trouble", that seems to be coming very soon. Remember, the Lord will preserve the
Jewish people, He has a special plan for them in the future.
      PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for Your protection. Please give me that "but if not"
attitude when You have a better plan for me.
                                                    29

Daniel 5 vss30-31

     In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the
kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.
           For further study - Daniel 5:1-31
     This fifth chapter of Daniel's prophecy is not only a prophetic passage of great importance but also a
chapter that has a very important historic significance as well.
     The King of Babylon, at the time of Daniel 5, is Belshazzar who most likely was the grandson of
Nebuchadnezzar. King Nebuchadnezzar had died and Belshazzar came to power over this world empire
near the time of it's end.
     The King had invited 1,000 of his "lords" to a banquet, which actually turned into the "last hoorah"
for King Belshazzar.
     Though the Medes and the Persians had been threatening to overthrow the Babylonians, the King felt
secure inside the walls of this supposedly "impregnable city" with it's double high walls surrounding the
city, a city that never had been defeated.
     During the course of the evening the King called for the "Temple vessels" that his grandfather had
brought out of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem to Babylon. The King had his servants fill these "special
vessels" with wine and made them available to the King's guest. This was a very bad mistake, which I will
discuss a bit later.
     It was while the drunken party was going on that the Medes came from the North and the Persians
from the South and damned up the water entering the city under it's Northern wall, and exiting under it's
Southern wall.
     That gave Babylon's enemies a dry tunnel under the walls to enter the city. This was the method by
which the "impregnable city" was entered by its major enemies at that time. The Babylonian Empire was
brought down by theMedo-Persian Empire, the second of the Gentile world powers to rule over Jerusalem
and the Jewish people.
     This passage, describing the fall of the Babylonian Empire, does not mention that the city of Babylon
was destroyed, only the Empire. The truth be known, the city of Babylon has never been destroyed as
Bible prophecy says will happen in the last days.
     Ancient Jewish Prophets say that Babylon must be destroyed, totally, and never be rebuilt. Isaiah 13
and 14, Jeremiah 50 and 51, Revelation 18 and Revelation 16:17-21 describe the total destruction of
the city of Babylon.
     Babylon the city was not destroyed, as described in Daniel 5. Other passages indicate that same truth
as well. Seventy-five years after the fall of the Babylonian Empire, Ezra lived in Babylon, Ezra 7:6 and
9.
     Secular history tells us that Alexander the Great ruled the world from his headquarters in Babylon,
200 years after the fall of the Babylonian Empire. Peter, the Apostle, started a church in Babylon, 500
years after the fall of the Empire, I Peter 5:13. Babylon, one day in the future, will be destroyed, as
revealed in Revelation 16.
     The other thought that I wanted to give you pertaining to the use of the "implements" from the
Temple, Daniel 5:2-5, is that because the Babylonians desecrated the Temple and it's implements, God
will bring eternal judgment on Babylon, Jeremiah 50:28 and Jeremiah 51:11.
     Biblical Babylon is the modern-day state of Iraq, where the Antichrist will be headquartered and will
rule over a "one world" political, governmental, economic system in the last days. The rebuilding of war-
torn Iraq is setting the stage for Bible Prophecy to be fulfilled. Keep looking up.
     PRAYER THOT: Help me, Lord to discern the urgency of the moment in these days that seem to
be the last days and help me to live in light of this knowledge.
                                                      30

Daniel 7 vs14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations,
and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and
his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
          For further study - Daniel 7:1-14
     Daniel had become a leader, most likely the third highest- ranking leader, in the Babylonian Empire,
by the time he reached 70 years of age, his age at the time of the "night vision" recorded in our extended
reading passage.
     For almost 50 years he had served as a counselor to King Nebuchadnezzar and now Daniel was
serving his grandson, Belshazzar in the first year of his reign, verse 1.
     As a young man Daniel had been gifted by the Lord to interpret King Nebuchadnezzar's dream,
Daniel 2, which was a prophecy of the present and future Gentile world powers from Daniels' day until
the return of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
     Now some 50 years later the Lord gives Daniel a "vision" of that same scenario for the Gentile world
empires and what would happen at the Second Coming of Jesus.
     Since I don't have the time and space to go into a lot of detail, let me give you the overall big picture,
presented to Daniel in his "night vision". Daniel would see "four great beast" rise up out of the sea, each
one diverse from the other, verse 3.
     Let me remind you that this is "apocalyptic literature". In "apocalyptic literature" the author uses
"symbols" to convey an "absolute truth." The symbol is not an allegory nor a fairy-tale, but an "absolute
truth".
     That being said, please allow me to take a shortcut and tell you what the symbols represent in Daniel
7. The "lion with eagles wings" is the Babylonian Empire, verse 4. The "bear with three ribs in its
mouth,"verse 5, is the Medo-Persian Empire. In verse 6, the "leopard with four wings and four heads" is
the Grecian Empire.
     The "awesome beast" in verse 7 is the "Revived Roman Empire" (See my audio series, "The Daniel
Papers").
     Notice the "ten horns" of the "awesome beast" in verse 7 and in verse 8, the "little horn" that comes
out of the "ten horns." The "ten horns" represent the "Revived Roman Empire" and the "little horn" is one
of twenty-seven names for the "Antichrist".
     I understand I haven't gone into very much detail on this prophecy that Daniel received in a "night
vision" but deeper study will reveal these truths.
     Please notice verses 13-14. Here is the promise of a future "kingdom" that will be given to Jesus
Christ, the "Son of Man", verse 13, by the "ancient of days", God the Father. This is a "kingdom" that
comes after the "Revived Roman Empire" and the "Antichrist" are on the scene, and it will be an
"everlasting kingdom."
     I remind you that it is not a "Kingdom" which is in place now. This "Kingdom", referred to in this
passage, will be given to Jesus, at the return of the Messiah, by God the Father.             By the way, the
recent European Union Treaty accepted by all 27-member states of the EU calls for a "Supra-State," the
United States of Europe. The Treaty also provides for an EU that will be led by a "powerful, permanent
president".
     These both, if not the ultimate fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy, then they sure are a prototype of
prophecy yet to be fulfilled, seemingly in the near future. Keep looking up.
     PRAYER THOT: Help me, Lord to live pure and productive every day as I prepare for your soon
coming.
                                     31

Daniel 9 vs24 - Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy
holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to
make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness,
and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
For further study - Daniel 9:1-27
   In this ninth chapter of Daniel's prophecy, the ancient Jewish prophet is
around 85 years old and had just come under the Medo-Persian Empire after
seventy years under the Babylonians.
   I give you this information because it helps us to see how Bible prophecy
helps us to determine where we are on God's prophetic time-clock.
   Verse two tells us of what Daniel got from his own devotional time,
reading God's Word. Daniel was reading from the book of Jeremiah, 29:10 and
25:11, where the prophet Jeremiah, almost one hundred years before the fact,
revealed that the Jews would be out of the land of Israel for a seventy year
period of time so that the "land of Israel" could get it's "seventy
Sabbaths".
   By reading God's Word Daniel could determine where he was in God's time.
Notice as you read verses 3-23, Daniel, once he realizes where he was in
God's prophetic time , he confessed his sins, the sins of his people and
looks for the Lord's direction for his life.
   You may not know that there is not one single negative word said about
Daniel any place in the entire Bible. There is, by the way, in this chapter a
"commendation", from the heavenlies, for Daniel, verse 23.
   God gives Daniel a glimpse into the future with the prophecy of the
seventy weeks of Daniel, verses 24-27. God has a "special plan", the seventy
weeks of Daniel, (490 years); for a "special people", the Jewish people; and
a "special place", the Holy City of Jerusalem; all of these in verse 24.
   In this devotional I won't have the time to deal with the entire prophecy
that extends from Daniel's day until the day of the Lord's return to earth. I
would love to share with you the special blessing of Daniel9:25-26 where we
can see how the Lord set the time when the Messiah would appear on the earth.
   The time for the appearance of the Messiah, verse 25, from when King
Artaxerxes, the King of Nehemiah's day, gave the command to return to
Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple, some time in April 445BC, would be until the
crucifixion of Jesus in April of 30 AD. This passage actually lays out for us
when the Messiah would show up in Jerusalem.
   In fact, Daniel even added information about the destruction of the
Temple, which took place in 70AD, to the time mix. This prophecy pin-pointed
that the Messiah would be crucified, "cut off", verse 26, and that it had to
happen before the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, which was done by the
Roman army.
   These two verse set the time for the appearance of the Messiah on the
earth. Jesus Christ fulfilled every prophetic detail, proving He was the
Messiah and that He came right on time, according to Bible prophecy. Next
time we are in Daniel for our devotions, I will look at Daniel 9:27 and be
more specific about the Lord's return. All the prophecies of Daniel,
referring to the Lord's first coming and what would happen, were fulfilled in
every detail. By the way, fulfilled prophecy sets the stage for future Bible
prophecy to be fulfilled. Keep your focus on the "special people", the Jewish
people, and the "special place", Jerusalem, to know where God is on His time
clock.
   PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for Your prophecies that help me understand
the times in which we're living. Help me to live in light of Your soon
coming.
                                   32
Daniel 9 vs27 - And he shall          confirm the covenant with many for
one week:
and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the
oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall
make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined
shall be poured upon the desolate.
      For further study - Daniel 9:24-27
   Today for our devotional time I once again look at this passage
from Daniel's prophecy of the "70 Weeks of Daniel".
   Remember, in verse 24, we see that the Lord has a "special plan",
"Seventy Weeks are determined"; for a "special people", "upon thy
people"; and a "special place", "thy Holy city".
   The "70 Weeks" are a period of 490 years that will focus on "thy
people", the Jewish people. In addition there will be a focus as well
on the "holy city", the city of Jerusalem.
   Verses 25-26 of our devotional reading reveal to us that the
"Messiah", Jesus Christ, had to be crucified in Jerusalem before 70 AD
when the city of Jerusalem was devastated and the Temple was
destroyed.
   Now we come to verse 27 which speaks of a "coming world ruler" and a
"peace treaty" that he will establish between the Jewish State of Israel and
it's neighbors, enemies all.
   Several things we must consider about this verse. The "He" that begins
verse 27 is a pronoun that modifies "the prince that shall come" of verse 26.
"The prince that shall come" is one of twenty-seven names for the
"Antichrist", the Satanically energized , demonic world leader during the
Tribulation Period. (See my CD series, "Age of Antichrist".)
   Notice that the Antichrist, who I believe is alive and well on planet
earth today, will not "sign a peace treaty" but instead "confirm" this
treaty.
   The Hebrew word used here is "gabar" which is never translated "sign" but
always "confirm", to strengthen or make stronger. There will be peace
treaties on the table that have not been normalized, they are not working,
waiting for some "world leader" to come along and "confirm" them.
   This prophetic scenario for the end times continues to be enhanced by the
previous peace treaties that Israel has with it's neighbors, the Egyptians,
the Palestinians, and the Jordanians.
   Also, the "Annapolis Middle East Peace Summit" is another of the current
events that helps sets the stage for Bible prophecy, Daniel 9:27, to be
fulfilled.
   This further reminder that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will never
really be resolved until Jesus Christ comes back to earth, Malachi 1:1-4,
Ezekiel 35, Jeremiah 49:7-22 and the little book of Obadiah.
   According to Bible prophecy all that we see happening in our world today
is "shouting out at us", Jesus is coming and it could be very soon! Our world
has never been as it is today. The stage is being set for Bible prophecy to
be fulfilled.
          Jesus is coming and it could be today!
   PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord, as I study Your prophetic Word to use my
knowledge of Your Word to understand the days I am living in, and help me to
realize how close we are to the Rapture when I will be gathered up to be with
You forevermore in the heavenlies.
                                     33

Daniel 11 vs.31 - And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall
pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily
sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.
      For further study - Daniel 11:21-35
   This passage in the 11th chapter of Daniel's prophetic book is a prophecy
that has been referred to as a "double fulfillment prophecy". It is a
prophecy with a "near time" fulfillment and a "long time" fulfillment.
   The passage is referring to the Grecian leader, "Antiochus Epiphanes", who
came to power 360 years after Daniel wrote the passage we're reading for our
devotional today.
   We are reading from, as it relates to the prophecy, the "near time"
fulfillment of the prophecy that would take place around 168-165 BC.
Daniel pre-wrote history about Antiochus coming to power and taking control
of Jerusalem with his mighty military force.
   Antiochus and his men would desecrate the Temple by slaughtering a "pig",
a non-kosher animal, on the sacred alter of the Jewish Temple. We know that
Antiochus committed this blasphemous act on the Jewish date of Kislev 25
which corresponds to our calendar date of December 25th. This was done in 168
BC, as foretold in our devotional passage.
   Though it does not mention Antiochus Epiphipanes by name, it describes
this Grecian leader and all that he does to the Jews, Jerusalem and the
Temple.
   Verse 31 details the incident as the "abomination that maketh desolate".
Verse 32 reveals that "the people that do know their God shall be strong and
do exploits". Daniel's prophecy about these people is describing a Jewish
family known as the Macabees.
   The Macabees, a father and his sons who would rise up against Antiochus
and ultimately run the "madman" and his military force out of Jerusalem and
the Temple. The Macabees did that on Kislev 25, December 25th, 165 BC,
exactly three years to the day after Antiochus Epiphanes desecrated the
Temple.
   After restoring the Temple and re-consecrating the Jewish worship center,
the Macabees found a "flask" of virgin olive oil, enough to light the seven
branched menorah for one day. However, it stayed lighted for eight days, thus
the Jewish Holy Day of "Chanukah", the "feast of dedication" and also know as
the "feast of lights". Jesus celebrated Chanukah, as recorded in John 10:22.
   To this point in our devotional reading for today we have been discussing
"history", the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy, verses 21-32, which happened
in 168-165 BC.
   However, there is another event which will be known as the "abomination of
desolation" that will happen in the future, during the Tribulation Period.
Daniel 9:27 is the prophecy that foretells that the Temple in Jerusalem will
be desecrated at the mid-way point of the Tribulation.
   Jesus confirmed this prophecy in his Olivet Discourse, Matthew 24:15. The
prophecy of Daniel 9:27 and the confirmation of the prophecy of Matthew 24:15
require a Temple, on the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem for the fulfillment of
the prophecy.
   Of course, right now, there is not a Temple in Jerusalem but the Jews have
all preparations in order for that Temple to be put in place. They will erect
the Temple right after the Rapture, which could happen at any moment, so
let's keep looking up!
   PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for fulfilled prophecy in the past which
assures me that yet to be fulfilled prophecy will be fulfilled. Even so come
Lord Jesus.
                                  34

Daniel 11 vs.40 - And at the time of the end shall the king of the
south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him
like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many
ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and
pass over.
         For further study - Daniel 11:36-45
   As I write this devotional thought, there are reports that the
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has made secret contacts with
Syrian President Basher Assad and has expressed Israel's willingness
to give back the Golan Heights if the Syrians will break off relations
with Iran and stop supporting Islamic terrorist organizations.
The Israeli Prime Minister says it would be worth giving up the Golan
Heights for peace with Syria according to this recent report. As I
write this, the Prime Minister of Israel is not denying nor confirming
the report.
   Our devotional for today speaks to this issue of peace or war
between Israel and Syria. Let me give you some more information about
our passage of prophetic truth for today.
  There are three pronouns used in these ten verses, he, his, and him.
These pronouns are all referring to the "antichrist" the Satanically
energized world religious and political leader during the seven year
time of judgment yet to come called the Tribulation Period. The "King
of the North" as defined earlier in Daniel 11, is modern-day Syria.
(see my audio series, The Daniel Papers.)
   The "King of the South," also defined in Daniel 11:4-7, would be
modern-day Egypt. Verse 40 in our reading reveals how the alignment
of Arab and Islamic nations, led by Russia, will begin to make their
way into Israel to destroy the Jewish state. Almost in concert, the
two nations, Egypt and Syria, will come "against him," verse 40.
Remember the "him" is the antichrist.
   Why would the text say that Syria and Egypt are going to attack the
antichrist? The answer is that before both Arab nations move against
Israel, the antichrist will have confirmed a peace agreement between
Israel and her enemies, Daniel 9:27. So, to attack Israel is like
attacking the antichrist who has just guaranteed Israel's peace.
   Verse 41 tells us that the antichrist will rush back to Israel go
to the north and destroy Syria, then go south to take care of Egypt,
verses 42 and 43. At that time, all of the other nations aligned
against Israel will attack, verse 43 and Ezekiel 38.
   This scenario described in prophecy seems to be coming near to
being played out politically according to the report that Israel's
Prime Minister is ready to give back the Golan Heights to Syria.
However, I must hasten to tell you that this prophetic scenario does
not actually begin until after the Rapture of the Christians. The
stage is being set, Bible prophecy will be fulfilled.
      PRAYER THOT: Help me, dear Lord, this day to live as if the
Rapture could happen in the next moment.
                                       35

Deuteronomy 7 vs.6
   For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God
hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people
that are upon the face of the earth.
         For further study - Deuteronomy 7:1-9
   God tells the Jewish people through their leader Moses that He had
chosen them to be a special people and did thus chose the Jews, above
everybody on earth. Our extended reading actually tells the Jews and
we who are reading this passage of scripture for our devotional
reading today that they were not chosen because they were the largest
number of people of any people around. Reality is that the Jews were
the fewest of all the people.
   Then the Lord tells everyone why He chose the Jewish people, verse
8, because He loved them. Someone has suggested that we put the word
"grace" around verse 8. It was by His grace that the Jewish people
were chosen. The truth is, it was by His grace that I, or any of us,
was chosen for salvation.
   Verse 9 is a key verse, not only in the passage, but throughout all
of the Bible. God is a covenant keeping God. He makes this statement
through Moses to the Jews and it is true throughout 1,000 generations.
That's a long time, however you number a generation.
   The promise of God to the Jewish people is that He will keep His
covenant. His promise to the Jewish people is key to understanding
Bible prophecy and how history is going to play out in the future.
God has a plan for the Jewish people. He has made a number of
covenants, promises to the Jews, that have not yet been fulfilled, but
will be in the future.
   God is not God if He can break any promise or covenant He made with
His chosen people. Those who believe that the church has replaced the
Jews must accept this promise in scripture or otherwise their theology
is wrong, actually heretical. God's plan for the Jewish people
includes a Jewish nation in the land of their forefathers, with a
temple in Jerusalem and the Jewish people recognizing and accepting
Jesus Christ as their Messiah and Lord and Savior.
   Satan would like to negate God's promises to the Jews and he can do
that through violence or violation of God's program for the Jews.
Religion and even false doctrine found in Christian circles can make
that happen. God's promises to the Jews, His chosen people, are true
and forever.
      PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for your faithfulness to keep your
promises to the Jews and thus to me also.
                                                   36

Deuteronomy 28 vs.64
And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and
there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.
         For further study - Deuteronomy 28:62-67
    This portion of Scripture is a message that Moses gave to the Jewish people while
traveling towards the “promised land”, however, it has a prophetic significance that would
be played out during two different unique periods of history.
    The passage follows the message that Moses had given explaining the “curses” and the
“blessings” in the previous chapter, Deuteronomy 27. Now God’s man to lead the
Children of Israel to the land He had promised them, Moses, is given the responsibility to
“warn” the Jews that they would face “tough times” ahead if they were disobedient to His
directives.
    Moses wrote of a “world-wide dispersion” for disobedience that would include a
“terrible time” of loneliness as the Lord would withdraw His hand of protection from His
“chosen people” because they refused to do as He told them. They had been set apart for a
purpose and they rejected His plan for them.
    This prophecy was actually fulfilled in 70 AD when General Titus, leader of the
Roman army, destroyed the Jewish Temple, devastated the city of Jerusalem and dispersed
the Jews to the four corners of the earth, verse 64. In fact, the “Arch of Titus”, located in
Rome, Italy, is a monument to fulfilled prophecy. Remember, fulfilled prophecy is a
reason to believe that all other prophecies yet to be fulfilled, will be fulfilled.
    The fulfillment of this prophecy in Deuteronomy was fulfilled by the last departure of
the Jews, as foretold in the Bible, when they were put out of the land of Israel in 70 AD. A
close study of the “life of the Jewish people” over the almost 2,000 years of their
dispersion, was described in our devotional reading for today.
    The promise of the return –also the last spoken of in the Bible - is now under way and
has been so for a number of years. It will culminate with the return of Jesus Christ to the
Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, Zechariah 14:4.
    Preceding our Lord's Second Coming by seven years will be the Lord's shout for us to
join Him in the air at the Rapture of the Church, which could be today. Keep looking up.
        PRAYER THOT: Dear Lord, thank you for the reminder that there is a price to
pay for disobedience. Help me to be obedient as I await Your return to gather me up to
be with You, forever.
                                                      37
Deuteronomy 30 vs.5
And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess
it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.
          For further study - Deuteronomy 30:1-10
      The passage chosen for our devotional reading today is what is referred to as the "Land Covenant".
Maybe in the margin of your Bible or possibly above the first verse of our reading you find, as I do in my
King James Scofield Reference Bible, the title of the covenant to be the "Palestinian Covenant".
      That is not the title of the covenant, the word "Palestinian" is a man-made word that is a negative
word introduced to the Jewish and Christian world in the second century by a Roman Emperor who
named the land of Israel, "Palestine".
      The Bible never calls the land that God gave to the Jewish people, "Palestine". The land is called
"Israel". There has never been a land that God called "Palestine", the Lord calls the land "Israel",
Matthew 2:20-21. Please do not refer to the land of Israel as "Palestine" but by it's true Biblical name,
"Israel".
      By the way, there was never an Arab state of "Palestine" that must be returned to the Palestinian
people. From around 1500 AD until 1917 AD the Ottoman Empire, the empire of the Turkish nation,
controlled what is today, the land of Israel. The Turks ruled this land for over 400 years.

Then, until the United Nations gave the Jews this land in 1948, as a nation called Israel, the land was
under the sovereignty of the British Empire. There has never been a state, an official government, for the
state of "Palestine".

The truth is our devotional reading for today promises to give the "land" to the Jewish people. This "land
covenant" includes all of the land that God has promised to the Jewish people, some ten times the amount
of land that the Jews now control.

The total amount of land that the Jews will receive according to this covenant will be given to the Jews
during the Kingdom period when the Messiah, Jesus Christ, is ruling and reigning from his Temple in
Jerusalem.

There will also be a time when the Jews will be brought back into the land of their forefathers, verse 5.
The Jews will love the Lord with all of their heart, verse 6, at that time in history. This period of time in
the future will be when the Lord Jesus Christ has returned to the Earth to set up His Kingdom.

Until the return of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, the conflict over the
ownership of the land will continue and intensify. Though God has promised the Land to the Jewish
people they will return to the land of their forefathers only to be almost destroyed by their enemies. This
persecution will be used by the Lord to turn the Jews to their Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Remember, seven years at least before Jesus comes back to give His Chosen people, the Jewish people,
their land our Lord will shout and call all Christians up to join Him in the heavenlies at the time of the
Rapture, which could happen today.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for keeping your promises to the Jews and to me as a Christian,
especially your promise to call us up to be with you forever more.
                                                     38


Deuteronomy 32 vs.8

When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set
the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.
For further study - Deuteronomy 32:1-10
     Our reading today is the first portion of a song that the Lord directed Moses to write and then teach
the children of Israel, Deuteronomy 31:19 and 21. The fact that God directs Moses to write a song,
which we will discuss in a moment, is evidence that the Lord will and does use music to teach His way to
His people. I have long said that music is so much more than entertainment. It is for edification and
exhortation, for the people of God.
     Part of the heritage of Christianity is the music it has produced over the centuries. I am thinking
especially of the time of the Reformation when the reformers would use music to teach the body of Christ
those truths that came out of the Reformation. Men like Luther, Knox, the Wesley brothers, John and
Charles, and many others.
     These men would write songs containing doctrine, and then teach the people to sing these truths as
the Reformers would travel to another location to teach. The Lord, of course, was the originator of this
concept, using music to teach the children of Israel great truths, knowing that Moses would soon depart
from this world.
     This brings to our attention how important music is in our Christian experience. It is essential that we
use and listen to music that has the right doctrine and to make sure that the medium carrying the message
is consistent with the message and the Master who sent the message.
     Now to the song's content – this is the message that the Lord wanted the Israelites to have before He
would bring them into the “promised land”. There is so much in this song we will have to visit it again in
a future devotional but let's look at one phrase found in verse 8.
     The Lord is teaching the Jewish people of the importance He places on these people that He chose to
be a “special people” unto Himself, a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation”. He tells Israel that when He
divided the peoples of the world into nations, Genesis 10 and 11, He set the bounds, the borders of the
nations, according to the number of the children of Israel.
     Ezekiel, an ancient Jewish prophet, reveals the centrality of Jerusalem, Ezekiel 5:5. The Lord placed
Jerusalem in the center of the earth with all the nations around the “holy city”.
     Notice that God did this according to the number of Jews there would be in the future because when
God divided the peoples of the earth into nations there were no “children of Israel”. Based upon His
foreknowledge, God set the bounds for the nations.
     God had a plan for the Jewish people. He has a plan today for his chosen people. But most important,
He has a plan for the children of Israel in the future that will be played out.

If you want to know where God is in His plan for the end times, focus on the Jewish people.

PRAYER THOT: Help me, Lord, to see Your plan for this world unfolding as I watch Your “chosen
people” today.
                                                     39




Deuteronomy 34 vs10
And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,
For further study - Deuteronomy 34:1-12
     Deuteronomy 34, the last chapter of the fifth book of the Torah, the last book written by Moses, is
the record of this great Jewish prophets death. In fact, our key verse states that there was never a greater
prophet in all of Israel than Moses, verse 10.
     Moses had a face-to-face conversation, not with God since no one can see God face-to-face and live,
John 1:18 and Exodus 33:20-23. Moses stood face-to-face with Jesus Christ, actually a “pre-incarnate”
appearance of Jesus.
     God had chosen Moses to lead the children of Israel from the Egyptian bondage into the Promised
Land. Genesis 34 has Moses in the plains of Moab, atop Mt Nebo. This was a great vantage point for
Moses to be able to see into the "Promised Land".
     Mt Nebo was due east of Jericho, which was in the "Promised Land". The Lord showed Moses all the
land that He was going to give the Jewish people, forever. The Lord allowed Moses to see the land, verse
4b, but would not allow him to go into the "Promised Land", Deuteronomy 32:48-52.
     It is so interesting to me that even though Moses was 120 years old, his eyes were "not dim", verse 7.
However, Moses would die there near Mt Nebo and he is buried in the valley in Moab, where no one has
ever found his burial site, verse 6.
     Moses was a great man, an excellent leader and a prophet like none other in Israel's history but
because he took the “glory” from the Lord, the Lord punished him. No one of us is out of reach of the
Lord when He determines to punish us no matter how important we may think we are in service to the
Lord.
     Tucked within this passage is a great prophetic truth, once again stated, about the land that God
promised the Jewish people. Verse 4 records God's promise of the land to the Jewish people.
     He promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that the land would be theirs forever. It would be theirs and
their descendants forever. In our devotional passage there is only a portion of all the land, verses 1-2, that
God has promised.
     A compilation of all the passages on the borders of Israel includes what God will give the Jewish
people, some ten times what they have today. The enemies of the Jewish people and their modern-day
State will try to take the land that God has given them, away from them. This will be done through
terrorism and all out war.
     However this all plays out one thing is for sure, Bible prophecy will be fulfilled. God will give the
land to the Jews. He promised to do so and He keeps all of His promises.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for being a “promise keeping” God not only to the
Jews but to me as well as it relates to my salvation and eternal existence with You.
                                  40


Ecclesiastes 1 vs.1 - The words of the Preacher, the son of David,
king in Jerusalem.

      For further study - Ecclesiastes 1: 1 - 12
   Our extended reading for today opens and closes with the same
testimony of the writer, he is the "preacher" who was King of Israel
in Jerusalem. More on the significance of that testimony in a moment.
But first, enjoy the poetic literature of the writer of Ecclesiastes,
the preacher.
   Solomon sets the stage for the entire book in verse 2 when he
explains that all in this world is vanity, not foolish pride but the
emptiness will be the final results of life apart from God. The
writer then reveals that our labor in this world is of no profit.
Only what is done for Him has eternal value.
   Notice how Solomon describes the sun which rises, goes down and
then hastens to its place to rise again, verse 5. All the rivers run
into the sea and the oceans are not filled up. In fact, those waters
return to the rivers only to return to the sea once again. In the
theme that all is vanity, Solomon tells us that our eyes and ears will
not be satisfied with our seeing and hearing, with what ever we see
and hear.
   Now back to our Key verse and the last verse of our extended
reading verses 1 and 12.
Notice the testimonies of the writer of this book, the preacher is
King Solomon the third King of Israel. King Solomon was the son of
Israel's second king, King David. That is significant because of the
covenant that God made with David.
   The Davidic Covenant was the promise that there would be a son of
David who would sit on his throne forever. Solomon, the first, had to
be the first so that the last, Jesus Christ, could one day be the King
of Kings and set upon the throne of David. The Davidic covenant also
promised that David's son Solomon would build the temple and he did
build the first Jewish temple in Jerusalem.
   The testimony of the preacher, King Solomon, is a benchmark in the
fulfillment of God's covenant promise to King David, the Jewish people
and to us who will be the bride to the coming King in Jerusalem, Jesus
Christ.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to see temporal things as vanity, eternal things
as profitable.
                                                   41




Ecclesiastes 3:1

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
                                                                For further study - Ecclesiastes 3:1-12

God entrusted one man to write three books, all focused on the “wisdom of God”. The essence of the
three manuscripts speak of wisdom and reveals to us that the "fear of the Lord" is the beginning of
knowledge, Proverbs 1:7.

     As we read through the three books penned by the wise man, King Solomon, we see that with
knowledge we get understanding and wisdom comes through that understanding of knowledge given to us
as we reverentially fear the Lord and have a hatred for the evil He hates.
     Solomon also speaks to us about "time". "Time" is one thing that is given to each of us individually
but in the same amounts. Each of us have been given 86,400 seconds each day. It is what we do with the
time that God has given us that matters.
     As you read through our extended reading today, think on the statements about "time" and what
should happen with the time the Lord has given each of us.
     One important time is the time you are spending right now, a "devotional time." Spending this time in
His book, the Bible, will assist us in spending the rest of our time for Him.
     There needs to be a time set aside each week to join others in our worship of the Lord. That would be
a "church time."
     High priority in the expanse of time is what is referred to as "family time". We cut back on "family
time" to our own detriment and the detriment of our family members.
     Another theme of Solomon is "work time". God has a plan for every one of us, not only those who
are ministers. This is a plan that is well described as "work time". There is also "rest time". Remember
when your Mom used to give you rest time. Remember the old saying, "We must come apart to rest or we
will come apart".
     For those who don't know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior there is a "time of Salvation". It is an
appointed time, today.
     Then, as we often remind you, there are the "end times". That is the period of time we are living in
today. When Daniel used the phrase, "at the time of the end", Daniel 11:40, he was referring to the time
today.
     Every Bible prophecy that needed to be fulfilled before the Rapture, has been fulfilled. Today could
well be the time of the shout from the Archangel, Jesus shouting and the trumpet sounding, which will
call us to join our Lord in the heavens. That "time" could be today.

PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord to look for you and live accordingly in the “time of the end”.
                                                     42




Ecclesiastes 12 vs.14
For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it
be evil.
               For further study - Ecclesiastes 12:1-14
     As you read through the 12th chapter of Ecclesiastes, you are reading the words of a” wise man”,
who, by inspiration, pens the “wisdom”, which is “truth” from God.
     King Solomon, who wrote Ecclesiastes, is also known as the “Preacher”, verse 9, and in this last
chapter states that the end of all matters is “vanity”, verse 8. Solomon says everything is “vanity”.
     That sounds a bit perplexing and very pessimistic, but in reality, the Preacher is saying -- if you read
the entire book of Ecclesiastes, you will see that what is meant is all of life's ambitions, attractions,
attitude and attacks are what is “all vanity”.
     In the last two verses of his book, King Solomon summarizes what life should be all about. Verse 13
is the conclusion of the whole matter of life and the exhortation is to “fear God” and “do as He says we
should do”.
     Then in verse 14 the Preacher reminds us all that “God will bring our every work into judgment”,
even the secret things we do. All our works, good or evil, will be brought into judgment.
     Every person's works, whether that person be saved or lost, will be brought into judgment. For the
saved person those works will be judged at the “Judgment Seat of Christ”, II Corinthians 5:10 and
Romans 14:10.
     The procedure at the Judgment Seat is for Jesus to judge our works, I Corinthians 3:13-15. We
receive “rewards”, “crowns” that then we will cast at His feet in thanksgiving, Revelation 4:10, for the
things that our Lord has done for us.
     These “good” works are works we’ve done in His power and for His glory. We suffer loss for those
works we do in our own power and for our own glory. Jesus will be the judge of all of our works, whether
they are “good” or “worthless”.
     Let me remind you, we're not saved by works, but “by grace through faith”, Ephesians 2:8-9.
However, we're created unto good works, Ephesians 2:10. It is the “works” that we have done for the
Lord that He will judge us for at the Judgment Seat.
     The “lost” person will also be judged, at the “Great White Throne”, for his works, Revelation 20:1-
15. This Judgment is for a lost person, as it relates to the degrees of “punishment”, which the lost person
will suffer in eternity future. This will be a terrible time for the lost person.
     King Solomon wrote an entire book to tell us what he sums up in two verses, “all is vanity, fear God
and do what He tells us to do”. This truth will be very real to each of us at the judgment we face in the
“last days”.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to do works for Your glory Lord, and in Your power, in preparation for the
coming Judgment.
                                  43
Ecclesiastes    2 vs.11 - Then I    looked on all the works that my
hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and,
behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit
under the sun.
         For further study - Ecclesiastes 2:1-11
   A key phrase in the book of Ecclesiastes is "under the sun" which
is used a number of times in Solomon's journal of his life. Remember,
Solomon was the third king of Israel, the son of Israel's second king,
David. I mentioned that this book was actually a journal written by
one of the wisest men to ever live on earth and most assuredly the
richest man to ever live at any time in history.
   I just noticed the statement by Solomon that he "gathered...silver
and gold," verse 8. A record of how much gold the king received just
in one year is found in I Kings 10:14 where it says that "666 talents"
of the precious metal came into Solomon's coffers in just one year.
   If you define "talents" it would mean that the amount of gold would
have been 25 tons, 50,000 pounds, or 800,000 ounces of gold. At the
present day price of gold at around $400.00 per ounce, and you can see
how rich this man would have been.
   Verse 4 says that Solomon built himself houses. I Kings 7:1-8
records the information about Solomon's home that took him 13 years to
build. That is 6 more years to build his house that it took him to
build the temple, I Kings 6:38. His home was 11,250 square feet, the
temple only 2,700 square feet.
   I guess Solomon needed such a large house for all of his wives and
concubines, 700 wives and 600 concubines. Solomon did not have an
"ipod" to download music but instead he had "men singers" and "women
singers" and the "delights of the sons of men as musical instruments,"
verse 8.
   The truth of the matter is that whatever Solomon saw with his eyes
that he wanted, he got. In today's world of "consumption" Solomon
would have been number 1.
   But notice his statement, verse 11. All he got was vanity and
vexation of spirit, "there was no profit under the sun ." How much
like our world today was Solomon in his day. Though Solomon concluded
that "there was no profit under the sun," he was a very "egocentric"
man.
   That word, "egocentric," does describe our world today. As we
continue to look to Jesus to come back and keep our focus on the
heavenlies, we will become "Christo-centric," we will take our eyes
off of fulfilling our needs and look for Him who said He would fulfill
His promise to gather us up to be with Him forever more someplace
beyond the "sun." Even so, come Lord Jesus.

PRAYER THOT: Help me, Lord, to not be "egocentric" and become
"Christo-centric" as I eagerly await Your return.
                                  44

Ephesians 1 verse 22     - And hath put all things under his feet, and
gave him to be the head over all things to the church.
       For further study - Ephesians 1:15-23
    As we come to this New Testament book of Ephesians, we come to the
realization of who and what we are in Jesus Christ, and what He has
given to each of us who know Him as Lord and Saviour. The entire book
will be a blessing to you as you read through it's pages. Let me
suggest that you do that reading at another time than your devotional
time. Ephesians will be a blessing to you.
    Our key verse today, verse 22, sets the stage for our Lord to come
to power in His kingdom to come, especially as you combine verse 21and
22.
    Please notice however, that presently our Lord is seated at the
right hand of the Father in heavenly places (verse 20). Jesus Christ
is not now on His throne, where He will rule and reign from in the
future.
    We are not now in the Kingdom. This is a very important truth that
must be enforced at this time in history. The Kingdom, when Jesus
Christ will rule and reign, is during the future 1000 year kingdom
(Revelation 20: 4-6).
This kingdom comes into place after the return of Jesus to Jerusalem
(Zechariah 14:4). The reason that this is so important today, is that
there is a belief in some Christian circles that we are in the
Kingdom. It is referred to as the "Kingdom now" doctrine.
    The Old Testament prophets did speak of a kingdom for the Jewish
people one day. Daniel 7:13 -14 reveals the truth of that coming
Kingdom that is a physical Kingdom headquartered in Jerusalem. Jesus
Christ will build His temple on the Temple Mount (Zechariah 6:12) and
rule and reign from that temple for 1000 years (Zechariah 6:13.)
    If we say we are in the Kingdom right now, we contradict God's
prophetic program for the Jews in the future. In fact, in order to be
in the Kingdom right now, we must negate all Biblical promises to the
Jewish people for the future.
That is what happened in Nazi Germany in World War II. Hitler was
setting up the 3rd Kingdom and he had to remove the Jews. Wrong
doctrine is very dangerous.
    Our text today says God has set His Son in position to have
dominion over all of creation in a Kingdom to come.
    In closing let me say that all we see going on in our world today
seems to be setting the stage for God's endtime plan for an earthly
Kingdom to be set up in Jerusalem. Though it is not now in operation,
our Lord's Kingdom is close at hand. We must live in light of that
truth.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for who and what we are in You and for
Your Kingdom to come!
                                  45
Ephesians 1 vss.19-20    - And      what is the exceeding greatness of
his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his
mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the
dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.
         For further study - Ephesians 1:15-23
   The last time we read this passage for our daily devotional, I
discussed the Lord's Kingdom, a kingdom not yet in operation, but a
physical kingdom to come and it will be on this earth. (See Devotional
for February 20,2007.)
   Today as we look at this passage I want to focus on our two key
verses, verses 19 and 20. These two verses are "power packed" for us
to appropriate for our daily living as a Christian.
   As I have mentioned in previous devotionals from Ephesians, this
marvelous Epistle, written by Paul, reveals to us who we are in Jesus
Christ and what He has in store for us.
   To some extent that's talking about the future and that is great
truth for us; however, the reading for today, and especially our two
key verses are speaking not only about the future, but the present.
Paul tells us that we have a "power" that will enable us to live as
the Lord wants us to live in a very "nasty now-and-now".
   Let me go for a moment to the description of Jesus found in
Revelation 1.
The Lord makes a statement in Revelation 1:18 that He was alive, dead
and is now alive again. This verse is the "cornerstone of our faith,"
the Lord's death, burial and His resurrection.
   Jesus died to take away our sins and He rose form the dead to prove
He was the One qualified to take away our sins.
   Notice the verse in Revelation1 following the Lord's statement of
His resurrection. Jesus lays out His plan for the future with a look
at the Book of Revelation in three parts.
   Part one is, "the things which thou hast seen", Revelation 1. Then
it is, "the things which are", Revelation 2 and 3. The last phrase in
verse 19, "the things which shall be hereafter", will be revealed in
Revelation 4-22.
   Jesus was able to tell the future and give it to the angel who gave
the prophecy in Revelation to John because He indeed did rise from the
dead.
The "resurrection is powerful."
   Now go back to our key verses in Ephesians 1:19 and 20. These two
verses let us know that the same power that resurrected Jesus from the
dead is also available to us on a daily basis to live our lives by.
   We can live in the "resurrected power" of Jesus Christ. That
"power" is ours by faith, "the exceeding greatness of His power to us-
ward who believe".
   Praise the Lord for His "promise of power" for us today as we live
out our lives, awaiting His coming to take us to be with Him forever.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord, for giving us Your resurrected power to
live our daily lives.
                                                   46




Ephesians 2 verse 14
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between
us;
                For further study - Ephesians 2:11-18
     This is a very important passage of scripture that we have selected for our devotional reading for
today. It will reveal how “two peoples”, Jews and Gentiles, became “one”. Verses 11-12 explain that in
times past these two peoples were apart, “at enmity with each other”. But today when both are in Christ,
both are believers in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, they are now close.
     This happens because of the “blood of Jesus”. In fact, Jesus is the One who brought peace between
Jews and Gentiles, verse 14, by taking out the "wall of partition" that was between the Jew and the
Gentile.
     The phrase, "wall of partition" is speaking of a "wall" around the Jewish Temple when it stood in
Jerusalem to keep the Gentile from entering the sacred area of the Jewish Temple.
     The Lord, with His death, burial and resurrection took out the “wall of partition” between Jew and
Gentile and when the Temple was destroyed, as Jesus said it would be, the wall of partition was also
destroyed at the Temple.
     In the Messiah's Temple, the one described in Ezekiel 40-46, there is no "wall of partition,"
indicating that both Jew and Gentile have access to the Lord Jesus Christ when He sits upon His throne in
the Holy of Holies in the Temple. This Temple will be erected at the end of the Tribulation and the
beginning of the one thousand year Millennial Kingdom yet to come.
     With the wall of partition gone between Jew and Gentile, now we both have access to Jesus. We have
become "one in Christ," verse 15. There is not a "Jewish church" and a "Gentile church." There is one
Church made up of Gentile and Jewish believers.
     There are those who today endeavor to try to put the wall back up between Jews and Gentiles. We
must not allow that to happen. There can be no division between the members of the body of Christ, the
Church.
     The "Church Age", after the Day of Pentecost and until the day of the Rapture, is a time when Jews
and Gentiles who trust Christ become one. They are called Christians. Jews and Gentiles, when they are
saved, are not Jewish Christians or Gentile Christians, we are Christians.
     Before Pentecost and after the Rapture, Jews and Gentiles who believed in Jesus were, or will be
"believing Jews" or "believing Gentiles." This is a key principle in understanding Bible prophecy.
     It is also important that we understand this principle so that we do not divide the Body of Christ.
Jesus took the wall out, we must not try to put it back and divide the Church.
     The Lord has a special program for Old Testament Jewish and Gentile saints and those who are
Tribulation saints made up of Jews and Gentiles. He also has a special program for Christians and this
program and where it is carried out are totally different.
     The Lord has given the Jews and Gentiles who come to Christ a peaceful relationship, verse 15,
having slain the enmity between the two, verse 16.

PRAYER THOT: Thank You Lord for Your plan that brings Jews and Gentiles together as one.
                                                     47




Ephesians 2 vs.8

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
               For further study - Ephesians 2:1-10
     What a truth - the message of our key verse in our reading today, verse 8. It is the “grace” of our
wonderful Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - it is the “grace” by which we are saved. There was no work that
     I could do to be made pure, only the “blood” of Jesus Christ could cleanse me, and you, and make us
whole.
     It was God who has made us alive in Jesus Christ and given us the “grace” needed to walk, not after
the course of this world according to the prince of the power of the air, but in His power. God's “grace” is
that which delivers us from the Satanic power in this world.
     By the way, before we leave that thought, notice that the “evil one” is the “prince of the power of the
air”. Since the fall of man and the end of the original theocracy, Satan, the devil, has been the “prince of
the air”, the ruling entity of this world.
     Notice also that even though we are saved by “grace” through faith and not of works lest any of us
could boast, there is another side to the story. After our salvation by “grace” and through “faith”, we must
“work”. Verse 10 tells us that we have been created in Christ to do “good works” – not “works” to get
saved, but “works” because we are saved.
     I have said all of this to bring you to the verse that is such a blessing for each of us - verse 6.
Because of His grace made manifest in my salvation and yours, the Lord has in His mind raised us up to
Heaven and there to sit with Him on His throne. Now, we recognize that we are on the earth, not in the
heavenly places yet. However, God sees us with His Son Jesus on His throne in the heavens.
     This is such a precious promise to those of us who have been saved by His “grace”. For a period of
time yet, we are still in this evil world under the “prince of the power of the air”, Satan. But our blessed
hope is that because of what we have in Christ there is the blessed hope of the future abiding place for
each of us who know Him as Lord and Savior.
     You remember, do you not, that at the wedding, spoken of by John in Revelation, we as the “bride of
Christ” are married to Jesus Christ. Our wedding gowns will be made up of our “righteousness”,
Revelation 19:8, which is basically the “righteous acts” or deeds that we do.
     Jesus is the one who created us to do these good works, until He comes. All of this as a result of His
grace bestowed upon each of us.

PRAYER THOT: Lord because of Your grace, I am saved, but help me to fulfill that which You
created me to do as a new creature, to work for you.
                                                      48




Ephesians 6 vs11

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
              For further study - Ephesians 6:10-18
     Our devotional reading for today is an exhortation for us on how to dress in these the last days.
     Our key verse sets the pattern for what a "well-dressed" believer in Christ wears as he or she prepares
to face the "wiles of the devil" in these last days before Jesus returns to the heavenlies above us and
shouts for us to join Him in the air, to ever be in His presence.
     Paul reveals to us, actually warns us, of the real battle we will have to fight as the end times draw
closer and closer. The battle will not be against "flesh and blood", verse 12, but against “satanically”
directed creatures.
     Verse 12 gives us the list of enemies in the last days, "principalities, against powers, against rulers of
darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies."
     Every creature mentioned on the list is energized by Satan and involved in an unseen battle going on
in our world to take control of world leaders, religious leaders, and even those of us who know the Lord
Jesus Christ as our Saviour.
     Satan realizes the time he has left, Revelation 12:12, and from this point on will intensify his efforts
to stop the plan of God from unfolding in these last days. Daniel 10:13 and 20 reveals that Satan takes
control of "world leaders" for his own purposes.
     II Corinthians 11:13-15 tells us that the devil is an "angel of light", verse 14, and he even dispatches
his “evil angels” to take control, possess men and women who use the pulpits of our world to divert God's
people from doing God's plan for today and the future.
     This is why Paul tells us to "put on the whole armour of God" so that we will be able to withstand the
"wiles of the devil".
     Verses 14-17 speaks of the pieces of the "armour" we are to "put on". We will not take the time today
to go through each item we're to put on for the battle; however, let me draw your attention to two verses,
verses 13 and 18.
     When we have adorned ourself with the whole "armour of God" we will be able to "stand" in the evil
days ahead, before the Rapture. Then in verse 18 Paul tells us after we have dressed for the battle we are
to "pray" and "watch".
     Prayer changes us so that we can conform to his image. "Watching" is that act of being aware of the
enemy, the Devil and also "watching" for the Lord's return.
     We dress properly for the end times, recognizing who the real enemy is, Satan, and we pray as we
watch for our Lord to call us up to be with Him.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord, for my battle armour, help me to stand as I pray and watch for
Your soon return.
                                  49
Esther 1 vs.5 - And when these      days were expired, the king made a
feast unto all the people that were present in Shushan the palace,
both unto great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of
the king's palace;
         For further study - Esther 1:1-9
   Our reading today is not only setting the stage for the flow of
prophetic truth to be revealed, and in fact to keep this flow moving
toward fulfillment, it is also the record of Bible prophecy being
fulfilled. After you have read the extended reading for today, you
will be aware of the history of King Ahasuerus, the Persian king, who
is the fourth of the Persian Kings after the rise of the Medo-Persian
Empire. The Babylonian Empire had fallen and the Medo-Persian Empire
had become a very powerful empire with King Ahasuerus controlling all
the way from India in the east, Asia, all the way west to the African
continent and the country of Ethiopia.
   The text tells us of 127 promises in all. King Ahasuerus was a
very wealthy man (verse 4) in fact, richer that the three previous
Persian kings. The king brought all of his provincial leaders into
his palace for a 6 month feast for all the people to honor his riches
and glorious kingdom.
   This narrative in Esther 1 is a record of Bible prophecy being
fulfilled. The ancient Jewish prophet Daniel had written a very
detailed prophecy about King Ahasuerus (Daniel 11:1-2) without
mentioning his name but his riches and power. Daniel wrote his
prophecy a number of years before Ahasuerus came to power thus this
account is the record of prophecy fulfilled.
   The significance of the flow of a prophetic scenario unfolding in
the story line of this Biblical record is several fold. Verse 9
reveals that Vashti is the queen and further reading of Esther 1
speaks of Vashti's refusal to obey the king and thus she was removed
from her royal position. In a future reading, we will speak more
about Vashti's replacement, Esther. Then we will see the hand of God
as the Protector of the entire Jewish people. This portion of our
reading today is setting the stage for things to come. We will see
the villain of Esther, Haman, come to power and move to destroy the
Jewish people. Once again as we journey through the Bible for our
devotions, we will see prophecy, the fulfillment of prophecy, and the
stage being set for future prophecies to be fulfilled.
   The story of the book of Esther is of God using Gentile leaders to
protect His chosen people so that He can fulfill the promises made to
His people. As you read through all 10 chapters of Esther, you will
notice that God is never mentioned in the book. However, His presence
and protection is evident as He uses world leaders to fulfill His will
(Revelation 17:17) which He is doing even today.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you for your presence, your provision, and your
protection for me on a daily basis.
                                                      50




Esther 3 vs.6
And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of
Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole
kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.
                                                                             For further study - Esther 3:1-6
     Haman, the number two man in the Persian Kingdom under King Ahasuerus, was furious when
Mordecai did not bow to him as he entered the gates to the city. Haman then convinced the King that all
the Jews throughout all of the Kingdom must be killed. King Ahasuerus accepted Haman's plan and
signed the “law of the Medes and Persians” to set in motion the total destruction of the Jewish people.
     The rest of the book of Esther is the story of how the Persian Queen Esther had come into the
kingdom for "such a time as this." Unbeknown to the king, his Queen was Jewish and her cousin
Mordecai had told her not to reveal her Jewishness. However, it was God's timing for Esther to approach
the King for her people, and "if she perish, she would perish".
     The book of Esther is a record of God's intervention to protect His chosen people, even though the
name of God is not mentioned in the book. In fact, the Jewish people celebrate annually the feast of Purim
in honor of Esther intervening and the saving of the Jewish people.
     As you read Esther 3, notice verse 0ne. It reveals the family background of the villain of the book of
Esther, Haman. The number two leader in the Persian Kingdom is an Agagite, the son of Hammedatha.
The Agagites are the descendants of Agag, the King of the Agagites, II Samuel 15:8. Remember, the
Agagites are descendants of Amalek, the grandson of Esau, Genesis 36:12.
     This line of Esau's descendants has been, and are all involved today in trying to kill all the Jews in the
world. Remember, this was the blessing that Esau's father Isaac had bestowed upon him, Genesis 27:40-
41.
     These descendants can be traced through Herod the Great all the way to the Palestinians of today (see
my study on Esau and the Palestinians) These are a people who will meet their end at the return of Jesus
Christ to the earth, Obadiah 15-18.
     But before that prophecy is fulfilled, seven years before, Jesus Christ will call Christians to join Him
in the air, at the Rapture of the Church, which could happen today. Keep looking up.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for revealing the future in Your Word so that I may be able to
understand the times I’m living in so that I live eagerly awaiting Your shout to join You in the air, at
the Rapture.
                                                     51




Esther 3 vs.13
And the letters were sent by posts into all the king's provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish,
all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the
twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.
                For further study - Esther 3:7-15
     Last time we read from Esther 3, we looked at the first 6 verses of this chapter. We traced the family
of Haman, the villain of Esther, back to Esau and forward to Herod the Great and finally to the Palestinian
people of today.
     This whole family line, the family of Esau, is a tool of Satan to try and destroy the Jewish people,
their cousins. Satan knows if he can work to destroy the Jews, all of them, then God fails to complete His
plan for the Jewish people. If that were to be the case then God fails and Satan can claim to be the "Most
High God".
     The book of Esther portrays Haman as the number two “leader” in the Persian Empire under King
Ahasuerus. In verse six of this chapter from our devotional reading last time we saw that Haman sought to
destroy all the Jews in the world in his day.
     Then he called for the King to write the "Law of the Medes and the Persians" and called for the death
of every Jew in his empire. This Law of the Medes and the Persians could not be changed once sealed.
The King actually gave the power to destroy all the Jews in the Persian kingdom, to the enemy of the
Jews, verse 10, to Haman.
     This is another of the events in history where the Devil moves to destroy the Jews, to "wipe them off
the face of the earth". However, the worst time in all of history for the Jews will be during the seven year
Tribulation Period that is yet future.
     It is during the "time of Jacob's Trouble", Jeremiah 30:7, that this slaughter of Jews will take place
with two out of every three Jews on earth being killed, Zechariah 13:8.
     Haman is only one of Satan's agents raised up to kill off the Jews. The coming Tribulation
persecution of Jews as foretold in Zechariah is in line with Haman, and the book of Esther.
     In fact it will be worse than the killing of six million Jews during Hitler's Holocaust. The Tribulation
“holocaust” is the climax of Satan's plan that includes Haman and Hitler.
     As in the book of Esther, where the Jews were saved from total destruction by the hand of God, the
holocaust in the Tribulation will be stopped by God's intercession for the Jewish people.
     As we notice what's happening all over the world, the increase in anti-semitism, we must be aware
that the Bible prophecies focused on Satan and his persecution of Jews will be fulfilled and that
fulfillment is getting ever closer.
     PRAYER THOT: Dear Lord, As I focus on the Jews in our world and what is happening to them
today, help me realize how close we are to Your return to the earth.
                                  52
Esther 4 vs.14
For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall
there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another
place; but thou and thy father' house shall be destroyed: and who
knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
       For further study - Esther 4:1-17
   Though the name of God is not mentioned in this book of Esther, His
presence and protection of the Jewish people is repeatedly implied. As
we read through the first three chapters of Esther, we can see the
hand of God in what happens. The scripture reveals the desire of
Haman to eliminate the all the Jewish people of the world and we see
God's intervention.
   Early in the story, Queen Vashti refuses to entertain King
Ahasuerus provincial leaders as they met together at the palace. The
removal of Vashti and the entrance of Esther onto the stage of the
kingdom was setting in motion a very significant drama that was played
out some 2,500 years ago.
   The fact that Esther was a Jewish woman had gone unnoticed by the
king and his court. With the naming of Esther as the new Queen, God
had a plan He set in place for the protection of all the Jews of the
world.
   I love the two phrases associated with Queen Esther's rescue
operation. The first is "for such a time as this." The other being
"if I perish, I perish." These two thoughts illustrate how God though
not mentioned, is implied.
   The fact that a Jewish girl could become the queen of a Gentile
world leader had to be of God. Esther's willingness to die for her
people displays the love that only God can give someone. God's hand
is definitely involved in all that takes place in this drama.
   This record of God's protection of His people is only a chapter in
the Book which gives an account of a long list of times that God
intercedes on behalf of His people. The reason that this is
significant is the promise that God made Adam and Eve. God said from
a woman would someday come a Messiah, (Genesis 3:15). God also made
promises, or covenants, with the Jewish people that are eternal and
cannot be broken.
   The entire book of Esther is a record of God's intervention in the
affairs of men who try to eliminate the Jewish people. God will keep
His promises to the Jews and protect them until these promises are
fulfilled. This is the essence of the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
   PRAYER THOT: Lord, please give me the strength to do Your will no
matter what the circumstances, even if it means I will perish.
                                                     53




Esther 7 vs10
So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king's
wrath pacified.
               For further study - Esther 7:1-10
     The name of God is never used in the book of Esther; however, the "sovereign hand of God" is very
evident throughout the entire book.
     King Ahasuerus, the leader of the Medo-Persian Empire at the time of the book of Esther, had
dethroned his first queen, Vashti, because she failed to obey his order.
By the way, King Ahasuerus took advise from the number two in his kingdom, Haman, on replacing
Queen Vashti.
     If you are familiar with the story of Esther, you remember that King Ahasuerus selected Esther to be
his Queen without knowing that she was a Jewish woman.
     Haman had plotted to have all the Jews in the Medo-Persian Empire killed because Mordecai had
failed to bow to him. Esther decided that she had to approach the King on behalf of her people, the Jewish
people. She went into the king realizing that he could have her put to death also, along with all the Jewish
people that Haman was about to have killed.
     In Esther 6, King Ahasuerus, unable to sleep one night, spent time listening to "the book of the
records of the Chronicles" as they were read to him. In the course of listening, he heard how Mordecai,
Queen Esther's cousin, had befriended the King and, in fact, had saved the life of the King, Esther 6:1-2.
     The King then decided to honor Mordecai. Haman thought he was the one who was to be honored
and when the Queen invited Haman to the banquet he realized that Esther had requested of the King that
he would spare her life and the lives of her people, the Jewish people.
     Now, read our extended reading for today to see how Haman ended up being hanged on the gallows
he had prepared for the Queen's Jewish cousin, Mordecai.
     This is such a beautiful story of how the Lord puts the right people in the right place for "such a time
as He needs them to be there". This story is also evidence of how the Lord protects and sustains His
people, the Jewish people, and has done so for 4,000 years.
     Bible prophecy tells us the Lord will continue to protect the Jews because He has a special plan for
them and plus He made promises to the Jews through the covenants that He must keep.
     The Lord is not finished with the Jewish people, He has an "eternal plan" for them that will be played
out.
     PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for Your faithfulness to the Jewish people, it gives
me the assurance that You will do the same for me.
                                  54
Exodus 12 vs.14   - And this day     shall be unto you for a memorial;
and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations;
ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.
         For further study - Exodus 12:12-24
   God told Moses how He would take the children of Israel out of the
Egyptian bondage and into the Promised Land. The Israelites were to
slaughter a lamb and paint their doorpost with the blood of the lamb
so that the "destroyer", verse 23, would not take the life of the
firstborn of the family, but would instead "pass over" their house.
   The death of the firstborn of the families in Egypt was the final
judgment on Egypt before the children of Israel would make their
Exodus. Our key verse today is the command from God to the Jewish
people to yearly rehearse the story of the Exodus at a Passover
Seder, a special feast to observe as a memorial of the Passover.
From that day, until today, the Jews on a special night yearly gather
as a family for the Seder, the father will tell the story once again
to all in attendance and the Jewish people around the world stop to
remember what the Lord God did for them 3500 years ago.
   What a joyous occasion it is at these Passover Seders. I have had
the privilege to be in a Jewish home in Jerusalem for this holy Jewish
feast day. Even the children are excited for the events of the
evening. However, as I write this devotional, I am reminded that there
is an exception to observing the Passover.
   The ancient Jewish prophet Jeremiah wrote of a day when the Jewish
people would no longer only talk about the Exodus out of Egypt
(Jeremiah 16:14). Notice the context of Jeremiah 16:13-15. Verse 13
says the Jews will be cast out of their land to lands they do not
know. That happened in AD 70 when General Titus and the Roman Army
dispersed the Jewish people to the four corners of the Earth. Verse
14 speaks of a time when the Jews will speak of something in addition
to the Exodus our of Egypt. Verse 15 reveals that the Jews will talk
about the Lord bringing Jews out of "the north and see the lands
whither He had driven them." That prophecy is being at least
partially fulfilled today.
   In the last 100 years, Jews have come back to Israel out of the
nations of the world. Since the early 1990's, over 1.3 million Jews
have come out of Russia, "the land of the north." The return of the
Jewish people to the land of their forefathers in an evidence of the
last days when the Messiah Jesus Christ will return.
   Every Passover Seder I attended during the time I have lived in
Jerusalem has seen a larger number of Russian Jews in attendance.
Each time we speak of this prophecy in Jeremiah as we observed the
Passover as the Lord commanded the Jewish people thousands of years
ago. This coming Passover, stop to read this passage in Exodus and
the one in Jeremiah again as you reflect on how close we are to the
return of Jesus to Earth.
   But remember, seven years before His Second Coming, the Rapture
takes place and that could be today.
   PRAYER THOT: Help me to live in light of the truth that the
Rapture could happen today.
                                                     55




Exodus 17:14

And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua:
for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.
               For further study - Exodus 17:8-16
     This passage of scripture that I’ve selected for our devotional today is the record of a battle between
the Israelites and the Amalekites that took place around 3,500 years ago as Moses was leading the Jewish
people towards the “promised land”.
     This is a story that many of us would have studied in Sunday school about when God would give the
Israelites the victory as long as Moses held the “rod of God” above his head. Moses was able to get the
victory with the help of Aaron and Hur as they helped Moses with the “rod”.
     This battle in Rephidim was to be recorded by Moses, to be written down in a book for the Israelites
to be able to read at a later date. This is the very first time that someone was told to record an event. The
story would be brought to the attention of the Jews in I Samuel 15.
     This attack on the Israelites, as they traveled towards the land of Israel, was done by the people
known as the Amalekites, a people that the Lord said He would have “war with from generation to
generation”, verse 16. The Amalekites are the people “fathered” by Amalek.
     Amalek was a grandson of Esau, Genesis 36:12. The lineage of Esau through Amalek would
ultimately lead to the Palestinians of today, (for more insight, see my study Esau and the Palestinians).
The conflict between the Jews and the Palestinians of today actually dates back to this incident.
     For more than 4,000 years, the Lord has watched over His people - the Jewish people - and fought
along side the Jews against the descendants of Esau and his grandson Amalek. This war will continue
throughout all generations until the Lord's Return, Obadiah 17-18.
     God's protection of the Jews over 4,000 years is evidence of the reality of an “All-Powerful God”.
But it is also evidence that His promises to us for daily watch-care and eternal salvation, which will be
kept as well. It is also evidence that Jesus will come again one day, maybe a day real soon, perhaps today.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for Your protection and at the same time the alert to the times of
the end that seemingly are approaching very quickly.
                                                      56
Exodus 19:19-20

     And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and
God answered him by a voice. And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount:
and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.
                For further study - Exodus 19:1-20
     The passage of Scripture for our reading today is an illustration of the next main event in God's
calendar of activities for the last days. I will get back to that but first let's learn from that which God was
revealing to Moses and the Jewish people some 3,500 years ago.
     The scene is at the foot of Mt. Sinai with all of Israel encamped awaiting word from the Lord. It is
one year since the Exodus out of Egypt and the bondage that the Jews had been under for more than 400
years. It is just before the Lord would meet with Moses and give him the Ten Commandments. It was a
significant time in the total history of the Jewish people.
     Before the Lord gave His law to the Jews, He met with Moses to explain what He had planned for the
Israelites, among the peoples of the world. In verse 5, God reminds Moses that “obedience” is essential
for a right relationship with Him. If the Jews will obey Him then He will make them “a peculiar treasure,
a people above all people, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation”.
     When Moses returned to the Jewish people, he told them of his conversation with the Lord and they
responded with, "all that the Lord hath spoken, we will do." The rest of the Old Testament and the
Gospels will record the history of the Jewish people and reveal that the Jews spoke too quickly at Sinai.
The truth is that they did not keep their commitment to the Lord. The Jewish people, as a whole, have not
been obedient.
     However, there has been a remnant, those who have been faithful and obedient. God has a plan for
the Jewish people that included giving them the Scripture to preserve and transmit to the world, Romans
3:1-2. And of course, the Messiah was born of a young Jewish woman, Mary. God will use the Jews in
the future, because He still has a plan for them.
     Now, back to that thought I left you with at the beginning of this devotional. The next event on God's
calendar of events for the end times is the “Rapture”. That is when Jesus will descend from the Third
Heaven where He is seated on the right of God the Father.
     Somewhere, "in the air, " He will shout, the archangel will shout and the trump of God will sound to
call all Christians on earth to be with the Lord for evermore, I Thessalonians 4:13-17.
     In our reading for today, the Rapture is depicted in how the Lord meets with Moses, verses 16-20.
This event in the life of Moses is a foretaste of things to come. Remember, the Rapture could happen
today, so keep looking up...until!
     PRAYER THOT: Thank you for making me a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy
nations, a peculiar people (I Peter 2:9) so that I can show forth the praises of Him who has called us
out of darkness into His marvelous light.
                                                     57




Exodus 20 vs11

For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh
day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
                For further study -Exodus 20:1-26
     The Ten Commandments have over the years been put in the storage closet gathering dust because
we no longer even read through them ourselves, much less teach them to our children.
     In fact, the government has even removed them from our public school classrooms and say it is
against the "law of the land" to have our young children read these directives that are in essence a list of
ten directives that express the "righteous will of God."
     I am knowledgeable enough about the scriptures to realize that the "Ten Commandments" are the
"law" that no one can keep, thus they are not the way to secure salvation. Do remember however, these
are not "ten suggestions, but ten commandments."
     The "law" is as a "mirror" that we can look into and see what we really are before God, we are
sinners. We have broken and will continue to break at least one and maybe all of this, "His law".
     This reality then lends to the fact that the "law" had a prophetic significance. When the Lord gave the
"law" to Moses on Mt Sinai He knew that no one could keep the "law" thus He knew that the Son, Jesus
Christ, would have to come to fulfill the "law" but also be the ultimate sacrifice that the "law" would
require for our salvation.
     But as I read through the "law" again, just now, I see a "prophetic aspect to the law" for the future. As
you read the extended reading for today and think about the Kingdom to come, the government will be a
theocracy with Jesus Christ on the throne as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
     Is that not what the "law" calls for in it's essence. Though we cannot keep the "law" today, thus our
need for salvation in Jesus Christ. In the Kingdom to come, we will be in our glorified bodies and we will
be perfect, the law will be written on our hearts, so that we can do each of it's articles in absolute detail.
     Since I can't keep the "law" today, it is used to drive me to Jesus Christ for salvation. But in the
Kingdom to come I will love to keep the "law" with my perfect body, soul and spirit.


PRAYER THOT: As I study Your "law" I see how unclean I am, Lord. Thank you for Your sacrifice
for me to make me clean forever.
                                                      58
Exodus 23 vs17

Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the LORD God.
                     For further study - Exodus 23:10-19
      This is a very interesting section in the book of Exodus and it may give you insight into the reasons
behind some Jewish activities today. In this section of Exodus the Lord is instructing Moses so that he can
tell the Jewish people how the Lord wants them to live.
      In the Torah, the book of Leviticus, the Lord explains how not only the Jews are to observe the
Sabbath, Saturday, the seventh day of the work week, but the Lord wants the land that He has given to the
Jewish people to be rested every seventh year as well, Leviticus 25:8-24.
      As Moses wrote in Exodus 23:10-11 we see a preview of the Law that God gives Moses to pass
along to the Jewish people. The Lord tells the Jews that they can sow and reap a harvest from the land for
six years, and then the land must be rested. No crops, thus no harvest, the land must be untouched.
      This is the principle of the Sabbath that the Lord set in motion during the week of creation. The Lord
worked for six days to create the heavens, the earth and all that in them is, and on the seventh day the
Lord rested, Genesis 2:1-3.
      It was at that time the Lord introduced the principle of "Sabbath rest". That is what Moses is
discussing in this second book of the Torah, the five books of Moses. In our devotional reading, Moses
writes to the Jews about the "Sabbath rest" for the land as well.
      Though we don't observe the Sabbath as Christians, setting aside a day of rest makes good sense on
our journey through life. Someone has said, "come apart to rest, or you will come apart."
Notice at the end of our reading, in fact the last verse, Moses records the Lord's directive that the kid, a
baby goat, can not be cooked in it's mother's milk.
      This is the verse that the Orthodox Jews today use to justify their "kosher eating habits". Religious
Jews will not mix "meat and dairy" items in their meals. The Orthodox, observant Jews, don't mix the
two, meat products with dairy products, at any meal.
      Again, this practice of eating "kosher" is not something we should do to conform to a Jewish life
style, but it does help our overall well being to follow the dietary laws of the Bible, especially those in the
Old Testament. God made our bodies and He surly knows how to take care of them, so that we can better
serve Him.
      I skipped over several very interesting verses, verses 14-17, which actually are the instructions from
God, setting in place the three Jewish feast days that the Jews are to appear before the Lord, early on at
the Tabernacle, and then at the Temple in Jerusalem.
      These three days are called the "Pilgrim Feast Days". The male Jews must make a pilgrimage to the
Temple three times a year to observe three of the Jewish Feasts, Passover and Unleavened Bread, which is
one, verse 15 and Pentecost and Tabernacles, verse 16.
      Even today, Jewish men from around the world, and usually with their families, make their way to
Jerusalem for these three Feast Days. Two of these three Feast Days will require a pilgrimage by all the
Jews, during the Kingdom to come here on Earth.
      These Feast Days, Passover, Ezekiel 45:21, and Tabernacles, Ezekiel 45:25 will be at least two of
the Pilgrim Feast Days that the Jews must celebrate at the Temple in Jerusalem during the time of the
Kingdom and into eternity future.
      The Jews do celebrate these Pilgrim Feast Days, annually, a foretaste of what will happen in the
future during the Kingdom Period when the Lord Jesus Christ is ruling and reigning from the Temple on
the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
      PRAYER THOT: Thank You Lord for Your Word that informs me of the activities in the future
that will bring honor and glory to You as we serve You throughout the millennial Kingdom and into
eternity future.
                                  59
Exodus 23 vs.17   - Three times in  the year all thy males shall
appear before the Lord God.
         For further study - Exodus 23:14-19
   Exodus 20 records the giving of "the law" to Moses on Mt Sinai.
This "law," better known as the "ten commandments," was given to the
Jewish people to show them there would be no way to be good enough to
have merit with God by keeping the law.
   In fact the "ten" are only a small part of the "total law" that
must be kept. There are over "six hundred laws" that make up the
requirements for the Jewish people. Of course, the Lord knew no one
could keep all of these laws so He put a "sacrificial system" in
place, "the shedding of blood" to atone for man's sin.
   Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy give us additional information
about the requirements, the "law", for the Jewish people. Let me show
you one of those over six hundred "laws" that is found in our
devotional reading for today. Notice verse 19, "thou shalt not seethe
a kid in his mothers milk".
   This "thou shall not" is where the Jewish people get the
requirement for "kosher". The Jews believe that verse 19 tells them
they cannot mix meat with dairy. If meats are served in a meal they
can not have dairy products with the meat and vice versa.
   Now please notice verses 14-17. The Lord gives to the Jewish men
the directive, the "law," that they must "appear" before the Lord for
three feast days each year; the Feast of Passover and Unleavened
Bread, the Feast of Pentecost and the Feast of Tabernacles.
   These three Jewish feast days are called "pilgrim feast days" which
means the Jewish men must "appear", be seen, by the Lord for these
three feast.
   The Jews would have to travel to the tabernacle or the temple for
these three feast days.
   Remember, the Glory of the Lord would rest on the 'ark of the
covenant" in the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle or the temple. The
Jews must appear before Him for these feast days. A close look at the
Gospel of John reveals that Jesus did go up to Jerusalem for each of
these feast days every year.
   Even today religious Jews make their way to Jerusalem for the feast
days even though there is no temple in Jerusalem. When the temple is
rebuilt, every year every Jew will travel to Jerusalem for these feast
days. In fact, we who are saved will go up to Jerusalem at the Feast
of Tabernacles every year during the 1,000 year Millennial Kingdom.
   There are today many Christians that go to Jerusalem every fall for
the Feast of Tabernacles in anticipation of what we will do when Jesus
comes back.
   PRAYER THOT: Thank You dear Lord for today giving us a glimpse of
what we will be doing to honor you in the future. Help us to honor you
each and every day in the present.
                                     60
Exodus 25 vss8-9 -       And let them   make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell
among them. According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the
tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye
make it.           For further study - Exodus 25:1-40
   For our extended reading today we have selected more verses than usual.
However, I think you will benefit by reading all forty verses of Exodus 25.
This chapter is God's instruction to Moses and the Jewish people on how to
build a "dwelling place" so that he could "dwell among His people."
   Exodus 26 actually gives details on the "tabernacle" itself. Chapter 25
gives the details of three pieces of furniture that will be in the
Tabernacle, a "transportable worship center," and later in the "permanent
worship center," the Temple.
These implements are the "ark," the "table of shewbread" and the "menorah,"
the golden candlestick. I hasten to remind you that each implement in the
Tabernacle and/or the Temple, the sacrificial system performed at the Temple
and all the activities of the Temple were all prophecies of the coming
Messiah, Jesus Christ. Let me take these three implements found here in
Exodus 25 and explain that indeed they did look forward to the coming
Messiah.
   First, the "table of shewbread", this implement was to hold the twelve
loaves of bread, a special type of bread, that would be made every Sabbath
and then this new bread would replace the week-old bread. By the way the
priests on duty that day were allowed to eat the older bread, that week-old
bread, which they said was still fresh. This "table of show bread" is a
picture of Jesus who said in John 6:35 that He was the "bread of life".
   The second item, the "menorah", the golden candlestick, would stand in the
"Holy Place" in the Temple and give light for the priestly activities inside
the "Holy Place". This seven branched candelabra was fueled by "virgin olive
oil" which the priest would use to refuel the "menorah" each day. Remember
Jesus said in John 8:12, 9:5, and11:9 that He was the "Light of the world".
   The third implement is the most sacred of these three implements, the "ark
of the covenant". It was a rectangular box made out of "shittim wood" and
covered with pure gold.
   It had four rings, one at each corner by which the priest would transport
the "ark". Inside the "ark" would be the "tablets of the Ten Commandments," a
"container of manna" and the "budding almond rod." The "ark of the covenant"
was indeed the "mercy seat" where on Yom Kippur the High Priest, once a year,
would pour the sacrificial blood.
   The "ark" represented the person of Jesus Christ and His redemptive work,
the shedding of His blood. It was a model of Him to come. By the way, when
you have the "real thing" you no longer need the "model."
   The Temple that Jesus Christ will build at His Second Coming, Zechariah
6:12, will no longer need any of these implements, because He is the Messiah,
the one these implements foreshadowed. The Temple that will stand on the
Temple Mount during the coming Tribulation Period (Daniel 9:27, Matthew
24:15, II Thessalonians 2:4 and Revelation 11:1) will have all three of these
implements in it because it is a "false temple" for a "false messiah",
Antichrist.
   That Tribulation Temple is ready to be built, all preparations have been
made for that temple. The only thing that must happen before the Tribulation
Temple is erected is the Rapture of the Church, which could happen at any
moment. Thus in light of the "any moment" Rapture of the Church, which
includes me and you if your saved, let's keep looking up...........PRAYER
THOT: Dear Lord, help me to live in light of the "any moment" Rapture of the
Church, which includes me.
                                  61

Ezekiel 1 vs.28   - As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud
in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round
about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the
LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of
one that spake.
         For further study - Ezekiel 1:1-28
   Ezekiel, another man of God who had the dual ministry as Priest -
Prophet as was the case with Jeremiah, has the most unique experience
that one can have, he was honored with an appearance of the "glory of
the Lord" coming from heaven to visit him.
   Ezekiel had been taken into the Babylonian captivity in 597BC and
was living in a location in the area of Babylon as a captive of the
Babylon Empire. It was while Ezekiel was in Babylon that the Lord
would give him a very important prophecy for that day and our day as
well.
   The 1st chapter of Ezekiel is a record of a "throne chariot"
bringing the "glory of the Lord" to Earth. This throne chariot was
powered by four “cherubim”, which are described in this sometimes
difficult to understand passage of scripture. In fact, the entire book
of Ezekiel has passages that take time to study for the proper
understanding.
   One such passage would be in Ezekiel 37:1-10, the prophecy of the
“valley of dry bones”. In a later devotional, I will look at that
passage and give an explanation. However, let me give you this much.
Ezekiel was told to prophesy, or preach to the “dry bones”. That
sounds like a strange directive from the Lord.
   When we do study that passage more in depth we will see that the
Prophet was obedient to the Lord’s directive. There is a reason that
Ezekiel would obey the Lord, not only in the preaching to a valley of
“dry bones”, but also be obedient to the Lord’s instruction to lay on
his side in the streets, Ezekiel 4, and not mourn the death of his
wife, in Ezekiel 24.
   There is indeed a reason and Ezekiel 1 gives us the reason that
Ezekiel was able to be obedient when told to do something that has no
logic.
   Our key verse, verse 28, tells us that Ezekiel saw the "glory of
the Lord". When we see the "glory of the Lord" we will be obedient to
His command also. You may say how can we see the glory of the Lord?
That's a great question that is answered by the Psalmist.
   In Psalm 19 the word says the “heavens declare the glory of the
Lord”, Psalm 19:1. The passage also says “His creation declares His
handiwork”.
   We do not have a problem in not being able to see the “glory of the
Lord” in His creative acts. The problem is that we never stop long
enough to observe His handiwork. We must slow down and learn of His
greatness and His glory.
   PRAYER THOT: Help me to "stop and smell the roses" - as I see His
glory in His handiwork.
                                                     62




Ezekiel 3:17

Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth,
and give them warning from me.
                   For further study - Ezekiel 3:1-27
     After Ezekiel saw the “glory of the Lord”, chapter 1, the priest-prophet, Ezekiel, is selected by the
Lord to go to his own people with prophecy that will be fulfilled in the short-term.
     A study of the person of Ezekiel will be of great benefit to your study of Bible prophecy. In the years
I've been studying Ezekiel, almost 20 years, I have come to know a man that allowed God to use him for
the Lord's own purpose without any reservation.
     In Ezekiel 2 we see the record of the Lord setting the priest in the office of prophet as well, verse 5.
There are only three men in scripture that were both priest and prophet. Ezekiel is one, and Jeremiah and
Zechariah are the other two.
     God's plan for Ezekiel would include not only having him as a "street preacher" but the prophet that
He would give all the details for what is called "Messiah's Temple". This is the temple that Jesus will
build and rule and reign from during the Kingdom period.
     You will notice also that the Lord sends Ezekiel to a rebellious nation, Ezekiel 2:3, and a people that
will reject his message and in fact, even mock the prophet, Ezekiel 2:5. In chapter 3 God does something
very strange, He makes Ezekiel mute or "dumb," that is, unable to speak, Ezekiel 3:26. He then told
Ezekiel he could only speak what the Lord would put in his mouth to speak, God's messages to the Jewish
people, Ezekiel 3:27.
     Ezekiel would be mute for over seven years, talking only when God put something in his mouth. God
also made the prophet a "watchman," one who would warn the people of a coming danger, Ezekiel 3:17.
     A watchman would hear the word from the Lord and warn the people. I believe God wants all of us to
be watchmen, hear the prophetic word of the Lord and then, knowing the urgency of the hour, warn the
people.
     PRAYER THOT: Help me to study your prophetic word Lord, so that I can understand the times
we live in today and warn the people, as many as possible, as soon as possible.
                                                      63

Ezekiel 4:3
Moreover take thou unto thee an iron pan, and set it for a wall of iron between thee and the city: and set
thy face against it, and it shall be besieged, and thou shalt lay siege against it. This shall be a sign to the
house of Israel.
                    For further study - Ezekiel 4:1-17
     The last ten words of our key verse in our devotional reading for today, "this shall be a sign to the
house of Israel," expresses not only the 4th chapter, our extended reading for today, but the entire book of
Ezekiel as it records the life and ministry of a unique man who God gave a unique ministry.
     What God would have Ezekiel do as a "street preacher" in front of the Jewish people, Ezekiel's own
people, would indeed be a "sign" to the “whole house of Israel”. Even the "tile" with Jerusalem drawn
upon it and the "iron pan" that Ezekiel would use were both object lessons to the Jewish captives who had
been taken into the Babylonian Captivity.
     The Lord then has His prophet to lay in the street on his “left side” for 390 days and then on his
“right side” for 40 days for a total of 430 days. Each day was to represent a year of judgment to come
upon the Jews.
     The Lord realized that His prophet would get both hungry and thirsty during his "street" ministry.
The Lord made provision for Ezekiel to have about 8 ounces of meat every day, verse 10, and about one
quart of water each day, verse 11.
     Ezekiel would receive all the ingredients for the prophet to make his bread daily and then God gave
him very strange instruction. God told Ezekiel that he was to bake his bread over a fire made out of
"human excrement" that was the result of a "bowel movement" done in public, verse 12.
     Please excuse what may seem to you vulgarity but I am simply quoting the text. This strange method
of baking the bread was for the purpose of revealing to the Jews that they would eat "defiled bread"
among the Gentiles as part of their judgment.
     This was an action that conveyed to the Jews the seriousness of their sin. You will notice that the
Lord did ease up on the baking of the bread and told Ezekiel that he could substitute "cow dung" for
"human dung".
     I chose this passage to illustrate to each of us the extent, and seriousness of God's judgment upon His
people, the Jewish people.
     I also believe that this passage best illustrates how a man who sees the "Glory of the Lord", Ezekiel
1:28, will be obedient to the Lord no matter what He calls him to do.
     You may say, "But how can we see the Glory of the Lord?" The Psalmist told us in chapter 19 that
"the heavens declare the Glory of the Lord." That 19th Psalm also says that all of creation reveals the
"Glory of the Lord".
     Our problem is that we don't take advantage of the opportunities we have to look and see the result of
His glory. We must "stop and smell the roses" and observe the "Glory of the Lord" so that we might
follow His directions without hesitation.
     PRAYER THOT: Help me, to recognize Your “glory”, dear Lord, in Your "handiwork" in all of
creation and then to be obedient to You.
                                                     64



Ezekiel 8 vs12
Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark,
every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, the LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken
the earth.
                   For further study - Ezekiel 8:1-18
     The key verse, verse 12, in our extended reading for today is the Lord telling Ezekiel that the "house
of Israel" had committed sin both privately, "every man in the chamber of his imagery", and also publicly.
     The children of Israel were acting as if the Lord had forsaken the earth and He had no way to see
them. As we read the entire eighteen verses we can see what made the Lord say these things to Ezekiel.
     In fact, the Lord would actually bring Ezekiel, physically, to Jerusalem from where he was in
Babylon. The Lord, "took me by a lock of my head", verse 3, and He brought the Prophet into Jerusalem
and into the Temple.
     In the front of the Temple was "the seat of the image of jealousy", verse 3. This was an idolatrous
statue of some kind, most likely a "vulgar obelisk" that desecrated the Temple complex.
     Inside the sanctuary there were all types of idolatrous portraits on the walls of the Temple, verses 6-
10. Ezekiel was shown the "abomination" that the Sanhedrin, the "seventy men of the ancients", verse 11,
had done.
     Verse 14 reveals the women that sat there in the Temple, weeping over Tammuz. I'll come back to
that in a moment.
     The Lord told Ezekiel that he would see a "greater abomination" than he had already seen. The Lord
pointed out to the Prophet the twenty-five men between the porch of the Temple and the altar.
     These men had their backs to the Holy of Holies where the "Glory of the Lord" hovered over the
"Ark of the Covenant", verses 15-16. This passage reveals that these men, most likely priest that served in
the Temple, these priests were worshiping the "sun".
     Verses 17-18 contain words, which expresses the anger of the Lord over these abominations at the
Temple. Notice the words of the Lord in verse 18. He said, "He would deal with these Jews, His eyes
would not look upon them, to have pity". He said, "Even if they cry out to me, even in a loud voice, I will
not hear them."
     The "spiritual application" of this passage for the Christian today is that many of our places of
worship, the Churches, have become an "idolatrous" gathering place. More and more the "world" is
creeping into our present-day worship centers.
     The focus of the worshipers has been diverted from the "Holy God" and "His Holiness" to the
"imagery of the world," the "image of jealousy" before the Lord. God cannot hear the "very loud" shouts
of so-called "praise and worship" if there is no “holiness”.
     Please go back to verse 14 where it speaks of "Tammuz." This is the son of the "mother-son cult" that
was started in Babylon, 4,500 years ago. This “mother-son cult” will be a part of the "one world religion"
revealed in Revelation 17 that will be headquartered in the city of Rome, Italy, during the first half of the
seven year Tribulation Period.
     The Lord did deal with these issues, in "His fury", verse 18, at that time in history. However, the
Lord will not only deal with some of these same issues of the Jewish people in the future, as He did in the
past, but He will deal with these issues, in the Church, when He comes to call us up to be with Him in
theheavenlies at the Rapture of the Church.
     PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord to focus on You and Your Holiness for my worship and praise
and not the things of this world.
                                                    65




Ezekiel 20 vs42

And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for
the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to your fathers.
                     For further study - Ezekiel 20:33-44
     Our key verse for today, verse 42, is written to the Jewish people and reveals how the Lord will be
known among the Jewish people in the last days.
     However, this verse is only part of the message from the Lord to the Jewish people in the last days.
     Starting in verse 33 the Lord tells the Jews of a coming judgment upon them and as we read through
to verse 44 we see that the Lord will judge and then become the Lord and Savior of the Jewish people.
     Let me draw your attention to some key points in our devotional reading for today. Verse 33 tells us
of the Lord God as the “mighty God of the Jewish people who will rule over His chosen people”. The
Lord tells them that in a day future from when Ezekiel received this message to pass along to the Jews,
“in that day future He will gather the Jews from all of the countries where they had been scattered”.
     This statement focuses the prophecy's fulfillment on a time after the destruction of the Temple and
the city of Jerusalem in 70AD when the Jews were scattered to the four corners of the earth. Verses 35
and 36 speak of the time when the “Jews come back into the land of their forefathers”. It talks also of
how the Lord will "plead with them face to face" so they will turn to Him as their Messiah, Lord and
Savior.
     What I have just mentioned and what you have just read is a scenario that seems to be unfolding even
as I sit writing this devotional. For the last 100 years plus, there have been Jews from over 100 nations of
the world who have returned to the land of their forefathers, Israel.
     They are now in the land, "the wilderness," and with all that has been happening to the Jewish people
of modern-day Israel, it seems that the Lord is indeed pleading with them "face to face."
     The Lord will bring the Jews to a place where they will turn to Him and no longer "pollute His holy
name" but become His people. This point of turning to the Lord and the building of His Temple, verse 40,
on His "holy mountain," the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, is still in the future but will happen based upon
the prophecies that He has already fulfilled from this passage.
     One final thing to notice, as this happens and continues to happen until all the prophecies of this
passage are fulfilled, not only will the Jews know that He is the Lord, but all of mankind will recognize
that , as well, if they will only pay attention to what is happening in our world today, especially in the
Middle East.
     We must share with others the story of Israel and God's plan for them as revealed in prophecy,
prophecy that is being fulfilled, even today. That story will lift up the Lord and draw men unto Him.
     PRAYER THOT: Dear Lord, keep me busy sharing with others Your work among Your people today.
                                  66




Ezekiel 34 vs30   - Thus shall they know that I the LORD their God am
with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people,
saith the Lord GOD.
         For further study - Ezekiel 34:11-31
   As we read the extended portion of our devotional for today there
is one thought that is very evident, the Lord God is going to do
something as it relates to the restoration of Israel and the setting
up of the Davidic Kingdom.
   We know this because the Lord God tells us what He is going to do
and He makes it very clear not only what He is going to do but that He
is the One who is that is speaking.
   Between verses 11-29 the Lord repeats one phrase 18 times. The
prominent phrase is, "I will", "I will" search out my sheep, verse 11.
"I will" seek out my sheep, verse 12. "I will" gather them from the
countries and bring them into their own land, verse 13. And " I will"
feed them in a good pasture, verse 14.
   I have only given you four of the eighteen "I will's" of the Lord.
These "I will's" are promises of restoring a Jewish people to a
nation called Israel. I've often said, if God's Word says something
one time, I believe it and that settles it for me. Once God's Word
says something eighteen times we must pay attention.
   From Ezekiel 1-32 God gave the Jewish prophet, Ezekiel, a "message
of retribution" From Ezekiel 33-48 the prophet's message is
"restoration", restoring the Kingdom people, the Jewish people; and
restoring the Kingdom practices.
   Speaking of the Kingdom, the Lord confirms the promise of the yet
to come Kingdom, in verses 23-25. The Lord, through Ezekiel, tells the
Jews that King David will be resurrected and will become a "shepherd"
over the Jewish people.
   The Lord tells the reader that the resurrected David will be a
"prince", mainly because Jesus Christ is the "King" during the coming
Kingdom Period.
   The Lord says that there will a "covenant of peace" made between
God and King David. David returns to be a "prince", a co-regent with
Christ in the Temple that Jesus builds, Zechariah 6:12.
   A spiritual application of these promises, to the Jewish people,
for us as Christians, is what God does in the last days with King
David. David was a flesh and blood character, a man of like passion,
and yet the Lord God returns David to an important place of service
during the Kingdom.
   God has a plan for each of us. We must be prepared to do His will
in our life once we determine what His will is for each of us.
   PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for the opportunity to serve You.
Please help me to be the servant that You want me to be, for Your
glory.
                                  67

Ezekiel 36 vs.22    - Therefore say unto the house of Israel, thus
saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel,
but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the
heathen, whither ye went.
      For further study - Ezekiel 36:6-22
   In Ezekiel 34:13 the Lord, through the prophet Ezekiel, tells the
Jewish people that He will find them wherever they were scattered and
bring them into the land that He had promised to give them in the last
days.
   As we approach our devotional extended reading for today, in
Ezekiel 36, we see that the Lord tells the Prophet to speak, to
prophesy, to the land, the land that He had promised to give to the
Jews.
   As we read this passage, verses 6 and 7, we see what the Lord says
to the land. He tells the land that had "born the shame of the
heathen", the destruction of the land that God has designated for His
use and land that He will give to His chosen people, the Jewish
people, forever.
   The Lord tells the land, the land on the earth He created, to yield
fruit to the people of Israel, His people, verse 8. The land is to be
productive and allow the men who He will multiply on the land of
Israel, to turn the wasteland into a very fertile piece of real
estate, verses 9 and 10.
   The Lord even promises the Jews that the land they return to in the
last days will be better than it was in the days of their forefathers,
verse 11. By doing these things, for the Jews, with His promised land,
they shall know that He is the Lord and they shall turn to Him.
   During the year 2008 the Jewish people will celebrate the 60th
birthday of the Jewish State of Israel and the productivity of the
land He has given these Jewish people. This year-long celebration of
God's work in fulfilling His promises about the "land of Israel" will
be a witness to the entire world.
   There is additional information about the land and the Jewish
people in verses 12-21. Please read these verses and rejoice with what
the Lord is going to do. As you read these verses, remember, the land
of Israel and the Jewish people are inseparable.
   As we close our devotional reading for today, notice what the Lord
reveals to the prophet Ezekiel. In verse 22 the Lord tells the Jews
why they have been given this land in these days. It is not because
the Jews have become obedient to God's Word or that they have done
anything to honor Him and follow His will.
   The reason God has given the Jews this land, at least a portion of
what He has promised them, is because of "His Holy names sake", verse
22. When the Lord could swear by nothing greater He swore by His name
that He would give the land to the Jewish people in the last days.
   It's not because of Israel or Judah that the Lord does what He
does, but for "His Holy names sake". By the way, that is why He does
anything for each of us, as well, for "His Holy names sake".
   PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for keeping Your word and promises to
me even though I am unworthy. You are an awesome God.
                                     68
Ezekiel 37 vs,22    - And I will    make them one nation in the land
upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all:
and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided
into two kingdoms any more at all.
         For further study - Ezekiel 37:15-23
   This passage of scripture, selected for today's reading, is a prophetic
passage that many Bible prophecy students have either ignored or have not
been able to understand.
   It is a prophecy that seems to be saying that the "ten lost tribes" of
Israel will in the last days be found and they will be reunited with the two
tribes known as Judah. According to Jewish history there are no "ten lost
tribes" of Israel.
   The record found in Ezra speaks of "all twelve tribes" being back in the
land some 2,500 years ago when Cyrus gave permission for Zerubabbel to take
almost 50,000 Jews back to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple, Ezra 1.
   The list in Ezra 2 mentions a number of people from tribes other than
Judah and Benjamin. Two examples are verses 28-29, Bethel and Ai are in the
tribe of Ephraim, verse 28; and Nebo is in the tribe of Reuven, verse 29.
   This means that the families of "all twelve tribes" were in the land.
   Notice Ezra 6 where it speaks of the "dedication service" of the Temple
when they offered twelve "he goats" according to the number of the tribes of
Israel, Ezra 6:17.
   Even the fact that Ezra 6 uses the term "Israel" indicates that it's
speaking of all twelve tribes back in the land at the time of the building of
the Second Temple.
   In Ezekiel 37:11 it states that the "bones", in the dry valley, are the
"whole house of Israel". That means representatives of all twelve tribes have
been coming back into the land of their forefathers, even though they are
coming in unbelief, as the text states they should.
   Therefore, the passage for our devotional reading for today is a prophecy
of two "Jewish states" during the Tribulation Period that will become one
state again at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ when He will cleanse the
Jews, and they will be His people, and He their God, verse 23.
   The "two sticks" represent the two Jewish states, Israel and Judah. This
prophecy is also revealed in Malachi 2, Jeremiah 3:18 and Ezekiel 35:10, when
it refers to "two nations". Now, that's the prophecy. (For more, see my audio
series on Ezekiel, "Dry Bones and Two Sticks")
   The current events that play into this scenario are many. For a number of
years this prophetic concept has been discussed among the religious Jews.
The former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told US President George W
Bush that Israel was on the verge of civil war, Jew against Jew.
   With the disengagement of the Gaza, the Annapolis Middle East Peace Summit
and pressure from the Unites States, the European Union and the United
Nations, the Israeli government has called for the removal of the Jewish
settlers in Judea and Samaria, several hundred thousand Jewish settlers.
   This call has been met by calls for a "second" Jewish state. There is now
a campaign to come up with a "flag" for the second Jewish state, and an
"anthem" as well. There are very serious Jewish scholars that are now calling
for this "second Jewish state", a prophecy that Ezekiel wrote about 2,500
years ago.
   The stage is set and all the actors are getting into place, the curtain is
about to go up on the final act in this prophetic drama for the last days.
Only one thing must happen before all of these prophecies will be fulfilled,
and that's the Rapture, which could happen, today. Keep looking up ... Until.
   PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for the understanding of Bible prophecy for
the last days. It helps me to recognize where I am on Your time clock. Help
me to live expecting You to come today.
                             69
Ezra 1 vs. 2 - Thus saith       Cyrus king of Persia, The
LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the
earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at
Jerusalem, which is in Judah.
   For further study - Ezra 1:1-11
   One hundred and fifty years before the fact, the ancient
Jewish Prophet Isaiah, inspired by God, pre-wrote history by
recording the prophecy of a world leader named Cyrus who
would come to power and allow the Jews to return to
Jerusalem to rebuild their Temple, Isaiah 44:28.
   Cyrus was the King that God raised up as leader of the
Medo-Persian Empire who defeated the Babylonian Empire. As
he came to power, the command went forth from his palace to
allow the Jews to return to Jerusalem to re-build their
Temple, verse 2.
   In fact, Cyrus even helped raise the funds to re-build the
Temple, verse 4, and he provided the vessels for the Temple,
vessels which Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the Temple and
carried to Babylon during the Jewish captivity, verse 7 (II
Chronicles 36:18).
   The book of Ezra is mainly a book of history. It records
the events that happened as the Jews made their way out of
the Babylonian captivity, after 70 years, back to their
homeland with the opportunity to not only rebuild their
Temple but their nation as well.
   This record of a biblical prophecy being fulfilled is a
basis upon which we can conclude that all additional
biblical prophecy remaining to be fulfilled will in fact be
fulfilled. There are a number of prophecies to be fulfilled
before the return to earth by Jesus Christ will take place.
   However, there is not one prophecy that must be fulfilled
before the Rapture will happen, not one. All the prophecies,
written by the Jewish Prophets of the events of the last
days, are the prophecies that are almost at the point of
fulfillment.
   All prophecies yet to be fulfilled will only begin to come
to pass after the Christians leave this world at the
Rapture. The Rapture is an event that can happen at any
moment. What we must do is keep looking up.

Prayer Thot: With the reality that the Rapture could happen
at any moment, Lord help me to live pure and productive as I
await His shout for me to join Him in the air.
                                                     70
Ezra 2:1
   Now these are the children of the province that went up out of the captivity, of those
which had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried
away unto Babylon, and came again unto Jerusalem and Judah, every one unto his city;
              For further reading - Ezra 2:1-70
     I know exactly what you are going to do for the extended reading today. You will skim quickly
through the list of names of the heads of families and how many of each family will return to Jerusalem
for the purpose of rebuilding the Temple.
     By the way, this will be the Second Temple to be built in Jerusalem. The first was the one Solomon
built around BC 1000. This Temple will be erected around 500 years before the birth of Christ by the
names of the list that is our reading for today.
     The first chapter of Ezra records the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy that God would raise up a
Persian leader, Cyrus, who would allow a number of Jews to return to Jerusalem and build the Second
Temple.
     God raised up Zerubbabel to lead the almost 50,000 Jews back to the land of Israel, to Jerusalem to
build the Temple. Ezra 2 records the heads of family, where they lived, and how many of their family
would travel back to Jerusalem. This is a very important list that Ezra includes in his history book.
     Let me answer your question not mentioned. Why read this passage? What can we learn from this
information? That is a good question. Let me remind you that II Timothy 3:16 tells us that all scripture is
profitable.
     Let me introduce you to that which helps us see that God was allowing for all the Jewish people to
return to the land. However, a smaller number than the entire Jewish population will return to build the
Temple. There are included in this list peoples from all twelve tribes of Israel, meaning all twelve tribes or
their representatives would travel back into the land of Israel.
     These almost 50,000 Jews were not just people from the two southern tribes, Benjamin and Judah,
which was known as Judah. We will see that when the Babylonians captured the Assyrians who had taken
the ten northern tribes into captivity all twelve tribes would be joined together once again. Some from all
twelve tribes would return to Israel at this time.
     Two examples. The men of Bethel in verse 28 who were of the tribe of Ephraim. Also verse 29
speaks of the children of Nebo, which is on the eastern side of the Jordan River and was given to the tribe
of Reuben. There are other tribes mentioned in this list, which helps us know that members of all twelve
tribes returned to the land under the Medes and the Persians.
     This proves there are no "lost tribes" and also that a prophecy of two Jewish states in the future,
Ezekiel 37:15-23, could be ready for fulfillment in the near future (see my study of Ezekiel). Verse 70,
"all of Israel in their cities."
     The stage is set for Ezekiel's two Jewish states prophecy to be fulfilled. Today Jews have returned to
the land of Israel as one people in one Jewish state. Ezekiel reveals two Jewish states in the future and the
stage is set for that to happen.
     Bible prophecy will be fulfilled.
PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for Bible Prophecy that has been fulfilled in the past, which is a
basis for me to believe that all unfulfilled Bible prophecy will be fulfilled.
                                     71


Ezra 6 vs15   - And this house was finished on the third day of the
month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the
king.                     For further study - Ezra 6:15-22
   The portion of scripture for today's devotional reading, and the extended
reading is a record of the completion of the building of the Second Temple
and the dedicatory service to follow. It also records the observance of the
first of the seven Jewish feast days, the Passover.
   This sixth chapter of Ezra is key to understanding how God fulfills
prophecy and how He will fulfill prophecy.
   In chapter one of Ezra we read about the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy
about a leader named Cyrus who would come to power and allow the Jews to go
to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple destroyed by the Babylonians (Isaiah 44:28
& Ezra 1:2-3).
   In chapter two of this book written by the scribe, Ezra, we see the record
of the families from the twelve tribes of Israel who did return to Jerusalem
to rebuild that temple.
   Ezra three to five records how the Jewish people did not set as a priority
the building of the temple but instead looked to their own needs.
   Notice Ezra 5:1 here we see that the two Jewish prophets, Haggai and
Zechariah, are used by God to preach to the Jews in Judah to be about the
task of building the temple (At this point in a reading through the Bible one
should read both Haggai and Zechariah).
   The prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah have both a short term fulfillment
and a long term fulfillment. The Jewish returnees from Babylon were exhorted
by these two prophets to rebuild the temple which they finally did as they
had been directed.
   Our key verse and the extended reading are the record of the temple being
rebuilt and dedicated; however, this was done twenty-five years after the
Jews returned to Jerusalem and only under pressure from Haggai and Zechariah.
   This temple was the second temple that was still standing in Jerusalem on
the Temple Mount in the days of Jesus Christ. In 70 AD, this temple was
destroyed and another temple will be rebuilt on the Temple Mount; in fact,
two more temples will stand there in Jerusalem.
   Zechariah 6:12 tells us that the "Branch", another name for Jesus, will
build His temple where He will rule and reign, in the Kingdom to come.
   However, there will be another temple in Jerusalem before Messiah builds
His Temple. Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15, II Thessalonians 2:4 &
Revelation 11:2   reveal there will be a Temple in the Tribulation
Period. That Temple will house the "image of the beast", Revelation 13:14-15.
   All preparations have been made for the building of that temple. The Jews
could start erecting that temple any day. Please remember that our reading
today in Ezra 6 reveals the Temple of his day was rebuilt. These other two
temples are yet future. The stage has been set for the next two temples to be
built in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount.
   PRAYER THOT: Thank you, Lord, for fulfilled prophecy that
sets the stage for other prophecies to be fulfilled.
                                                    72




Ezra 7vs.10
     For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in
Israel statutes and judgments.
               For further study - Ezra 7:1-10
     Ezra is the author of the book, by his name, and most likely the author of I and II Chronicles. He is a
scribe and will not only record the history of Israel but will serve at the Temple in Jerusalem.
     In Ezra 1-6, we see the record of the rebuilding of the second temple by almost 50,000 Jews that
came back from the Babylonian captivity when the Babylonian Empire fell. Zerubbabel led these Jews
back to their homeland and was the “general contractor” in the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem.
     With the Temple up and operating God now calls Ezra the Scribe to journey back to Jerusalem and
become the Scribe at the Temple to lead the study of the Word of God. Ezra was well studied, "a ready
scribe," Ezra 7, verse 6, in the “law of Moses”, the Torah, which is the first five books of the Old
Testament.
     God opened the heart of the Persian king to allow Ezra to return to Jerusalem to do his “priestly
duties”. Verse 6 tells us that was the case because the "hand of the Lord his God was upon him" (Ezra).
     Our key verse lays out for us Ezra's approach for teaching the Word of God which is also a great
pattern for us to follow. Notice that in verse 10, Ezra "prepared his heart" first. Only a "prepared heart"
will seek to know the Word of the Lord. Before Ezra would preach and teach the Word, he would "do it."
Ezra knew he could not teach that which he was not willing to live by for his own life.
     The final step in the process was the "teaching." Many times we put the cart ahead of the horse. We
want to teach without first preparing our hearts. As we, I, seek to know the Word we must be living our
lives by His Word before we venture out to teach it to anyone. What great principles we can appropriate
for our own lives and ministries for today from the book of Ezra.
     Before we leave our reading for today, I want you to notice a portion of two verses, verses 6 and 9.
Ezra, before he returned to Jerusalem to be the scribe in the newly rebuilt Temple, was living in Babylon.
     Ezra 7 is a record of events over 80 years after the fall of the Babylonian Empire, Daniel 5, and the
city of Babylon is still standing. Babylon the Empire fell in 539BC but Babylon the city did not fall.
Babylon was a thriving city some 80 years after the downfall of the Babylonian Empire.
     The significance of this information is that the prophecies of Isaiah 13 and 14, Jeremiah 50 and 51,
Revelation 16 and 18 about the destruction of Babylon had not been fulfilled 80 years after the fall of the
Babylonian Empire.
     The destruction of Babylon foretold in Revelation 16:17-21 is a yet future event that will be fulfilled
at the end of the Tribulation period. In fact, the destruction of Babylon is the last thing the Lord Jesus
Christ does before he comes back to the earth, Zechariah 14:4.
     By the way, Biblical Babylon is located in Iraq on the shores of the Euphrates River today. It is the
place where Antichrist will rule and reign over a “one world economic, political, governmental system” in
the last three and a half years of the Tribulation period. The stage is being set for these Bible prophecies
to be fulfilled.
     PRAYER THOT: As I understand current events in light of Biblical prophecy, help me, Lord, to
live in light of Your soon return.
                                                      73




Ezra 8 vs35
     Also the children of those that had been carried away, which were come out of the captivity, offered
burnt offerings unto the God of Israel, twelve bullocks for all Israel, ninety and six rams, seventy and
seven lambs, twelve he goats for a sin offering: all this was a burnt offering unto the LORD.
               For further study - Ezra 8:24-36
     After the Temple was rebuilt by Zerubbabel and the almost fifty thousand Jews that he brought back
from Babylon to raise up the Second Temple in Jerusalem, God called Ezra, the Scribe, to return from
where he was living in Babylon back to Jerusalem, Ezra 7:6.
     God had chosen Ezra to restart the Temple practices in this rebuilt Temple. By the way, it's
interesting to note that Ezra was living in Babylon, the City, almost seventy-five years after the fall of the
Babylonian Empire.
     The Empire fell, but the City has never been destroyed which Bible prophecy calls for in the last
days, Isaiah 13 & 14, Jeremiah 50 & 51 and Revelation 16:17-21.
     Now back to our devotional reading for today. Ezra was commissioned to return the implements of
the Temple to this new Temple, for the sacrificial and worship activities, verses 24-30.
     This which Ezra, and the priest did for the services at the Temple was a very important task. Each of
the implements of the Temple was used to comply with the Lord's instructions for the Temple worship
and sacrificial system.
     In addition to all of these implements being used in the activities of the operation of the Temple, each
of these vessels had a "prophetic significance" as it related to the coming Messiah. Jesus Christ, of course
was the fulfillment of all of these prophecies.
     The "Table of Show Bread" was a prototype of Jesus, the "Bread of Life". The "Menorah", the seven
branch candelabra, was the precursor of Jesus, the "Light of the World". The "Ark of the Covenant" was a
"type" of Jesus, the Jewish "Messiah" to come.
     This is why the act of Ezra and the priest bringing these vessels back to the rebuilt Temple in
Jerusalem was so important.
     Our key verse for today, verse 35, reveals to us that "all twelve tribes" had returned to Jerusalem
after the Babylonian Captivity, during this time period as well. There are no "ten lost tribes." All twelve
tribes are now, and have been in the land of Israel for over 2,500 years. This fact is essential for additional
Bible prophecy that is yet to be fulfilled, in the future
     Isaiah had prophesied that a man named Ezra would allow the Jews to return to the land and rebuild
their Temple. Our devotional reading for today is the concluding chapter of these Jewish people returning
to the land and rebuilding the Temple, which was facilitated by Cyrus, the King of theMedo-Persian
Empire.
     Indeed, Bible Prophecy that remains to be fulfilled will be fulfilled, as Isaiah's prophecy relating to
Cyrus and the return of the Jews to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem was fulfilled some 2,500 years ago.
     PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for prophecy that has been fulfilled, which is evidence that
prophecy yet to be fulfilled, will be fulfilled.
                                  74



Galatians 1 verse 4    - Who gave himself for our sins, that he might
deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God
and our Father:
         For further study - Galatians 1:1-10
   Paul, in his letter to the churches of Galatia, wrote on the
authority of the “resurrected Jesus Christ”. Jesus was the one who
made Paul the apostle, not man, and the author of this book lets the
recipients of the letter know on whose authority he was speaking.
   The resurrection of Jesus Christ, the “cornerstone of our faith”,
is in reality the only authority we have in order to serve Him. But
what other authority do we need? With this authority, Paul moves ahead
with the central message of this letter to the churches of Galatia.
That central message is that a Gentile did not have to become a Jew
before he would or could become a Christian.
   Later in this book, Paul upbraids Peter for having one foot in
Judaism and one foot in Christianity. In fact, Paul writes that any
other gospel than the Gospel, the good news, of the "grace of Christ"
is heresy and must not be preached.
   Paul actually calls for the preacher of any other gospel to be
accursed, verse 9. Paul also told the Christians in Galatia that he
was not only made an “apostle” by Jesus Christ, not man, and that he
was not the “servant” of man and thus would not seek to please them.
   Paul made it clear that he was the “servant of Christ”, verse 10,
and Him alone. Paul was a preacher, an apostle, made so by the Lord
Jesus Christ appointed to preach the “grace of Christ” and serve Him
only. This was all possible because Paul had been converted to Christ
by what Christ did, dying on a cross to become sin for him and take
away man’s sin, verse 4.
   Notice what else Paul says about the “grace of Christ” in verse 4.
Paul tells the believers in Galatia that they would be delivered from
sin according to the “will of God”. Rejoice dear friend we will be
delivered from sin and this evil world.
   That deliverance is yet future when Jesus shouts to call us up to
be with Him at the Rapture. We will then be delivered from the
“presence of this evil world”. What a “blessed hope” that is for each
of us as believers.
   Sometimes people say, "you believe in the Rapture? You believe in
an escapism religion." They are absolutely right. We will “escape”
from this evil world and it will be the “will of God”. I am looking
forward to escaping this evil world and doing it in the will of the
Most High God - praise His name.
   PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for the "grace of Christ" that does
indeed deliver us from this present evil world.
                                                     75




Galatians 4 verse 29

But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
                   For further study - Galatians 4:19-31
     Paul's message in Galatians is that salvation comes by “grace through faith”. He also warns Peter in a
public chastisement that a Gentile does not have to become a Jew to then become a Christian.
     As Paul prays for the people of Galatia, he writes to them that he wants to be present with the people
to work with them "until Christ be formed in them," verses 19-20.
     Paul is eager to warn the Galatians that God's grace alone will give them salvation. The Apostle uses
a method of presentation to illustrate grace over works. Paul discusses Abraham's sons, the two that are
best known would be Ishmael and Isaac.
     The first-born, Ishmael, was born to a "slave woman," and Isaac, the second born, was born of the
"free woman." This illustration is speaking to the issue of the one under bondage to the "law", the Mosaic
Law given at Mt. Sinai and the one free through “grace”.
     Paul carries the theme through out this text to conclusion with the statement that “we are not children
of the bond woman, but of the free woman”, verse 31. This is great doctrinal truth that is applicable for
our daily walk with Christ; however, there is more for us to glean from this "field of truth", there is more
that we must learn.
     In verse 29, Paul uses the text to explain the children of the “flesh”, Ishmael, and the children of the
“Spirit”, Isaac. Paul wrote that these two would be in conflict spiritually and physically. Paul also says
that was the case in his day, verse 29. Notice the last five words of verse 29, "even so it is now."
     These five words shout out the reality of today, Ishmael against Isaac. Ishmael went to live in Arabia
and fathered the people who would become the “Islamic” people of today. Mohammad himself stated that
he was a direct descendant of Ishmael. We know that Isaac was the father of Jacob, who became Israel,
the Jewish people of today.
     There is today a conflict between these two boys, Ishmael, the Islamist and Jacob, the Jews. It is
interesting to note that the descendants of Hagar, the Ishmaelites are still slaves to sin.
     Though the Jews are still in bondage to sin, one day in the future these sons of the "son of promise,"
Isaac, will be free in their Messiah, Jesus Christ. But until then the conflict between these two "brothers"
will continue, as we see unfolding in our world today.
     PRAYER THOT: Thank You Lord for the grace that You gave me for my salvation.
                                                      76




Galatians 4:4

But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the
law.

              For further study - Galatians 4:1-7

     That phrase, "the fullness of time be come in" is the lead-in to what God did, He sent forth His Son
for us. Have you ever thought of what is meant by the phrase, "the fullness of time?"
     Let me suggest several things to consider. At the first coming of Jesus Christ, the Roman Empire
ruled the known world. It is because of the Roman rule that there was a situation in the world for the
coming of the Messiah.
     For example, there was stability across the known world due to the strength of the Roman
government. These days, some 2000 years ago, were days of constant conflict but the mighty Roman
army helped to bring a world-wide stability.
     The Romans also had an elaborate road system in place that would enhance travel to all parts of the
known world. This would allow for the spread of the Gospel message to all parts of the world as the Lord
had directed His disciples to do after He departed.
     Travel over this road system put in place by the Romans would still need a common currency across
the empire so that the travelers could pay their way from place to place as they would spread the message.
That common currency was the dinarius.
     By the way, in order to spread any message, there needed to be a common language for man to be
able to communicate with his fellow man. At this time in history, in the fullness of time, there was the
Empire-wide common language of Koine Greek.
     The one other factor that would enhance the spread of the gospel would be a meeting place in each
town to gather the citizens of that community together to reason with the facts of what Jesus Christ had
come to earth to do, to become the Saviour of all of human kind. That meeting place would be the
synagogues, which had been built during the time of the Babylonian Empire and were still in operation
almost everywhere.
     These Jewish worship centers would provide the comfortable venue to discuss the claims of the
Gospel and study to see if indeed Jesus Christ was the Messiah He claimed to be and the Saviour
promised to the world. In the “fullness of time”, God brought forth His Son to be that Saviour.

This great truth is applicable for today as well - as we look at current events in light of Biblical Prophecy,
we can recognize that once again, in the “fullness of time” God will bring forth His Son.
    PRAYER THOT: Help me to use my knowledge of Bible Prophecy to explain current events,
which show me it is near to the “fullness of time” once again.
                                     77

Genesis 2 vs8    -And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden;
and there he put the man whom he had formed.
   For further study - Genesis 2:1-17
   As we approach a study of the book of Genesis, and in particular the first
twelve chapters of the book, we are made aware that all the truth found in
all sixty-six books of the Bible have their "beginning", their foundation, in
the "Book of Beginnings", the first book of the Torah that Moses wrote, the
book of Genesis.
   The first chapter is the record of "Creation" when Jesus in six, twenty-
four hour days, created the heavens, the earth and all that is in them.
Genesis 2 is a further explanation of some of the events and special effects
of Creation. Verses 1-3 reveal to us that after Jesus Christ, the member of
the "Godhead" who created all things, Colossians 1:16, after the six days of
Creation He rested on the seventh day. By the way, it was a twenty-four hour
day that He rested, the same as the "day" He told the Jews to spend in rest,
Exodus 20:11.
   The atmosphere at Creation was like the tropics where there was a "mist",
verse 6, that watered the earth since it had never rained, verse 5, and it
would not rain until the time of the flood.
   There is a great depth of knowledge in Genesis 2, but I guess my favorite
is the record of Jesus creating the Garden of Eden, verses 8-17. Actually the
"Garden" was created on the third day of Creation when the Lord brought forth
the grass, the herb yielding seed and trees, Genesis 1:9-13.
   It was in the "Garden of Eden" that the Lord created man and woman.
The Lord placed man in the "Garden" to dress it and to keep it, verse
15.In this chapter you will find several points of interest in
relation to the "Garden". There were all types of trees in the
"Garden", the “Tree of Life” and the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and
Evil” were only two of the trees. The trees put forth fruit for Adam
and Eve to eat, with the exception of the "Tree of Knowledge of Good
and Evil."
   Notice also there is one "river", not four rivers, coming out of
the "Garden of Eden", verse 10. One river flowed out of the "Garden"
and became four rivers somewhere outside of the "Garden of Eden".
   The river flowing out of the "Garden of Eden" was the Gihon, which
gave the water for King David to anoint his son Solomon to be king. By
the way, the Gihon's head waters are located underneath the Dome of
the Rock on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
   The original sight of the "Garden of Eden" is the Temple Mount in
Jerusalem. The "foundation stone" underneath the Dome of the Rock is,
according to Jewish tradition, the place the Lord created man. It was
also the site of the Holy of Holies in the Temple.
   This truth, revealing the location of the original sight of the
"Garden of Eden", has been known by the Jews for 5,768 years. In
Jewish years, on their calendar, it's 5768. Where Jesus started, as
the Creator, He will rule and reign from forever, the "Garden of
Eden".
   Now maybe you can see why the Moslems want the Temple Mount as
their land which Bible prophecy says will be the case in the last
days, Isaiah 51:3, Ezekiel 36:35 and Joel 2:3. (See my audio CD series
on "Return to Eden".)
Bible prophecy will be fulfilled, and possibly very soon.
   PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for all truth found in Your Word.
                                             78




Genesis 3:15

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it
shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
                 For further study - Genesis 3:1-19
    The extended reading for today’s devotional is the account of the “fall of Man”. Some
time after the sixth day of Creation the Angel Lucifer exercised his freewill and rebelled
against God. In our extended reading the he shows up as a “serpent”.
    Known as the Devil, or Satan, there in the Garden of Eden, he is in the form of a
“serpent”. He misquotes God, puts doubt in the mind of Eve and proceeds to manipulate
both Eve and Adam for the purpose of causing them to go against the Lord and do what He
had told them not to do, eat of the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil”.
    There are consequences for sin, verses 16-19, God told Adam and Eve, "For in the day
that thou eatest thereof [the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil], thou shalt surely
die," Genesis 2:17. However, at this time of the first “sin”, a “promise” was made in the
form of a “prophecy”, a Saviour would be “provided”.
    This is the very first prophecy of a coming “Messiah” - a Saviour for all mankind. This
same prophecy also looks for Satan - the great Adversary - to come, but to meet his defeat
by the power of the Messiah. Scripture teaches that Jesus Christ fulfilled every prophecy
written of the coming of the Messiah. This fact then makes Him the fulfillment of this
stated prophecy.
    Jesus Christ, our Saviour, not only defeats Satan in the end, but strengthens us to stand
against our Adversary on a daily basis, Ephesians 6:10-13.
    PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for the “prophecy” of a coming Saviour, the
“promise” that He would take care of my sin problem and the “provision” of that
Saviour.
                                              79




Genesis 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
                  For further study - Genesis 5:1-32
    I can imagine what you are thinking right now. "We are going to read a genealogy for
our devotion today?" You are right - that is exactly what we are going to do. May I suggest
to you that there are many things to learn from genealogies.
    Our extended reading for today is the whole of chapter 5 of Genesis, which is the
second genealogy already in this first book of the Bible - the first being in chapter 4. This
genealogy is unique for a number of reasons. The fact that it starts with the first man,
Adam, and goes through 1,500 years of history, all the way to Noah, is impressive but also
very informative.
    In addition to the man God created on the sixth day of Creation on the list, there is also
mention of the man who lived the longest of anyone on earth before or since those ancient
times. Methuselah lived for 969 years before he died which helps us to know that he was
alive while Adam was also still alive.
    It is also interesting to note that for each individual listed in the genealogy, it includes
his life of fathering the next generation and the phrase, "and he died."
    There are two exceptions to that description of the end of each father's life. The last
verse of our extended reading, verse 32 is one. This is true of Noah who has three sons -
Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The verse tells us that Noah was 500 years old.
    In 100 years, the Flood would come upon the earth, Genesis 6:7-8. This would happen
when Noah was 600 years old, Genesis 7:6. Noah would live 350 years more before that
statement, “and he died”, could be applied to him, Genesis 9:29.
    The other exception in the genealogy of not having "and he died," applied to him is
Enoch, verse 24. There is no place in the Bible or in secular history for that matter to say
that Enoch ever died.
    Enoch is still alive, now, for more that 4,700 years. Enoch is one of two men that lived
on earth and never died. The other is Elijah, II Kings 2:11. Enoch is a man that walked
with God while here on earth. The book of Jude in the New Testament tells us he was a
great preacher, Jude 14.
    Since the Bible said it is appointed for a man once to die and then the judgment,
Hebrews 9:27, I believe that Enoch will come back to earth as one of the two witnesses
during the Tribulation Period, Revelation 11:3-12. He will be killed, be laid in the streets
of Jerusalem for three and a half days, and then be resurrected and taken to heaven.
    The other witness during that time will be the other prophet who has never died here
on earth - that is Elijah, as foretold in Malachi 4:5. Enoch was a Gentile and Elijah was a
Jew - there would be one each for the Gentiles and the Jews left on earth during the terrible
time of judgment.
    Bible prophecy reveals that these days could come soon. Keep looking up!
    PRAYER THOT: Help me to walk with God as Enoch walked with God.
                                  80


Genesis 6 vs22   - Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded
him, so did he.
         For further study - Genesis 6:1-22
   I realize that I do not every minute of every day do all that the
Lord has directed me to do through His word. Now, as I come to our
key verse for today, having read the extended portion as well, I am
even more of frustrated with myself. This man Noah is known
throughout the world as a man who did all that God had commanded him
to do.
   I am humbled by how Noah lived his life in a day that was much more
ungodly than our day. I know that because Jesus said in Matthew
24:37 that He would come back to earth in a day when it was as Noah's
day. Jesus has not come back so our days are not yet as bad as Noah's
day.
   Take a moment and think our key verse through again as we consider
what the Lord told Noah was going to happen and what He told Noah He
wanted him to do. Verse 13 tells us the conversation between Noah and
God. Noah heard from God that the Lord was going to destroy all of
humankind with the exception of his wife, their three sons, and their
son's wives.
   Now that would have blown me away, but Noah continued to listen to
the instruction that God was giving him, in light of the coming
judgment. God, in this same conversation, would tell Noah that the
boat, the Ark, that he was to build would protect his family and two
of each kind of animal on the earth. The boat was to protect them
from the judgment that was coming - a worldwide flood, verse 17.
   Can you imagine what Noah might have thought. What is a "flood?"
What is "rain" that will cause the flood? Until this time in history,
there had never been rain - thus no flood had ever happened
- like what Noah was hearing about.
   Noah was given exact instructions on how to build the Ark, verses
14-16. Noah was given 120 years to prepare the Ark and to warn all of
humankind, verse 3. And the end result was that only 7 people
believed him. Those seven, his wife, three sons, and their wives.
   What a testimony that Noah had, those closest to him were those who
believed him and were spared the judgment. Once again I am in awe of
Noah, a man who in this situation did all that the Lord commanded him
to do.
   One final thought. Keep in mind what Jesus said in His Olivet
Discourse, Matthew 24:37. As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it
be in the days that the Lord will return. If you read Genesis 4-10
you can determine how it was in those days. Genesis 11 is focused on
Babylon, the location of a one world religion and one world
government, which is how it was in Noah's day.
   By the way, Biblical Babylon is modern-day Iraq. The world today
is focused on the same part of the world that it was in Noah's day.
   We could well be in the day of His return.
   PRAYER THOT: Lord, help me to be a man like Noah and do all that
You direct me to do.
                                                     81




Genesis 9 vs6
Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
                     For further study - Genesis 9:1-29
     Genesis 9:1 is the record of God's meeting with Noah after the worldwide flood, as recorded in
Genesis 6, 7 and 8. In this meeting the Lord gave Noah instructions.
     God told Noah that he and his family were to be fruitful and multiply and thus "re-people" the earth.
At this time in history, right after the flood, there were only eight people on the earth.
     There was Noah and his three sons; Shem, Ham and Japheth and their four wives. God wanted to
start “humankind” all over with the survivors of the flood. Genesis 10 is the record of at least the
beginning obedience to God's command to "re-people" the Earth.
     Verse 6 of Genesis 9 is where God established the institution of "human government". God
established the institution of "marriage", Genesis 2, and the institution of the "local church" in Acts 2.
     Here in Genesis 9:6 the Lord sets in place what we call today "capital punishment". Within this
command is the foundation for "human government". The highest function of "human government" is the
judicial taking of life. All other governmental powers are implied in that.
     God sets man on earth to govern the world for Him. "Human government" played a key role then,
4,500 years ago, and it will play a major role in the future, Revelation 17:17. However, "human
government" plays a key role today as the Lord uses "human government" to set the world stage and place
the “actors on that stage” to make ready for the "final drama" to be played out.
     In verse 13 we see where the Lord places His "rainbow" in the clouds. Every time you see a "rainbow
"in the sky it is a tangible promise from God that He will never judge the earth again with water. God
once again used nature to communicate to man and the "rainbow" continues to speak to us, even today, a
message from God.
     Please notice one more thing with me. The Lord revealed to Moses, the author of the book of
Genesis, that Noah lived 350 years after the flood. Remember, Noah was 600 years old when the waters
covered the earth, all of the earth, Genesis 7:6.
     Therefore, Noah lived a total of 950 years, all of them serving the Lord. Noah lived the last several
hundred years with his great-grandson, Nimrod, who was the King of Babylon, Genesis 10:10 .
     Noah's great-grandson was disobedient to the Lord's command. Instead of multiplying and "re-
peopling" the earth, Nimrod went to Babel, on the Euphrates River, and built a great city, lest they be
scattered upon the face of the earth, Genesis 11:4.
     All of humankind lived in Babylon with Nimrod and his great-grandfather, Noah. The significance of
this information comes from what Jesus said in His "Olivet Discourse", Matthew 24:37.
     This verse tells us, "As it was in the days of Noah so shall it also be in the days of the coming of the
Lord." In the "last days" of Noah, the world was focused on Babylon, which is modern-day Iraq, thus the
significance of the Lord's statement in Matthew 24:37.
     In Noah's day the focus of the world was on Babylon as is the case today, the focus of the world is on
Iraq, Biblical Babylon. It is in these days that Jesus comes back to the Earth. That seems to be indicating
that the Lord will come in our day.
     Remember, before Christ comes back to the Earth, the Lord shouts to call all of us into the heavenlies
at the Rapture of the Church, and that could happen today.
     PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for the prophecy that allows me to know the time of Your
return. Help me to live in light of this information and Your soon coming.
                                  82


Genesis 11 vs9   - Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because
the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from
thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the
earth. For further study - Genesis 11:1-9
   The extended reading for our devotional today is as up-to-date,
prophetically, as it could be. I will explain that in greater detail
in a moment.
   First let's look at how the stage was being set for Bible prophecy
to be fulfilled some 4,500 years ago as recorded in Genesis 11.
   Historically, this passage plays out after the world-wide flood as
recorded in Geneses 6, 7 and 8. After the flood, God told Noah and his
three sons, and their wives, to be fruitful, multiply and "re-people"
the earth, Genesis 9:1.
   Remember, after the flood there were only eight souls on the earth.
Genesis 10 is a record of these eight souls being obedient to God, at
least in the beginning.
   Genesis 10:6 reveals to us that a grandson of Noah, the son of Ham,
was Cush. We can trace Cush and his son, verse 8, who was named
Nimrod, a great-grandson of Noah. Notice that Nimrod established
himself as a "king"
in his "kingdom" that he started in the "land of Shinar", verse 10.
   In fact, Nimrod went to Babel in Shinar and built a great city,
Genesis 11:4. This act was in total contradiction of what God had told
Nimrod's great-grandfather to do, to "re-people" the earth.
   In fact Nimrod also started a religion, as signified by the
building of a "tower who's top may reach into heaven", verse 4. The
trinity, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the "let us" of verse 7,
came down to inspect Nimrod's disobedience and "confounded their
language that they may not understand one another's speech", verse 7.
Through that act, God scattered all the people of Babylon abroad and
across the world as He had commanded them to do years before, verse 8.
Notice that verse 9 says "the Lord scattered them abroad, upon the
face of 'all' the earth."
   Now back to the prophetic scenario laid out in this passage. Nimrod
set up a "one world government" in Babylon, his kingdom, with one
leader, himself, as king. He also established a "one world religion,"
by building the tower.
   I say "one world" because at the time, Babylon had the entire
population of the world. Both Nimrod's "one world government" and "one
world religion" were a prototype for the "one world religion" of
Revelation 17 and the "one world government" of Revelation 18. By the
way, Biblical Babylon is modern-day Iraq. The literal city of Babylon
will be the headquarters for the Antichrist in the last days when this
false messiah sets up a "one world economic, political, governmental
system" in Babylon, modern-day Iraq. With all that is happening today
in Iraq, the stage is being set for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled,
seemingly in the very near future.
   PRAYER THOT: Lord, as I watch the fulfillment of Bible prophecy
unfolding today, help me to tell others of the future and how to
prepare for the future that will be played out in world history.
                                  83

Genesis 12 vs.3   - And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse
him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be
blessed.
         For further study - Genesis 12:1-9
   The Lord's promise to Abraham, known as the "Abrahamic Covenant"
was made to Abraham before he ever left his home in Ur of the
Chaldees. God promised this Gentile man that He would make him a great
"nation" with a piece of the land to go along with the nation.
   This nation would be a blessing to all people of the world, if they
blessed the nation that Abraham would Father. As you continue to read
through the book of Genesis, you will see that the promise to Abraham
was also confirmed to his son and his grandson; Isaac, Genesis 26:2-3
and Jacob, Genesis 35:12.
   Remember, Abraham is not the father of the Arab world but the
father of the Jewish nation. The Abrahamic Covenant is the first of
four covenants that God has made with the Jewish people. The "Land
Covenant," Deuteronomy 30, is an extension of the Abrahamic Covenant.
   To be a "nation" of people, you must have a piece of real estate.
God mentioned to Abraham in Genesis 12 that the land he passed through
on his way South from the "Fertile Crescent", modern-day Syria, that
the land would be given to him and his seed, the Jewish people, verses
5-7.
   In Genesis 15, there is additional information about the Abrahamic
Covenant and the land promised to Abraham in the covenant. We will
look at Genesis 15 in another devotional but suffice to say that the
Abrahamic Covenant was what is called a "blood covenant." This is a
covenant that, if broken, results in the giving up of the life of the
one who breaks the covenant or promise.
   Genesis 15 says that Abraham actually slept and only the Lord made
the covenant, thus this is an "unconditional covenant", only the Lord
is responsible for the promises and their fulfillment. By the way,
Genesis 15 explains that the land promised to the descendants of
Abraham, the Jewish people, will be ten times what they have today,
more on that when we come to our devotional reading in Genesis 15.
   What is such a blessing to me is that the Lord makes commitments or
covenants and obligates Himself to keep them. Some churches say that
God has finished with Israel and turned His blessings on the Church.
That is what is called "Replacement Theology" - God has replaced the
Jews with the Church and has no future program for the Jews.
   That is not the case according to our reading today. The Abrahamic
Covenant is "forever," as given to the Jewish people. Therefore, we
can rest assured that any promise the Lord makes to Christians about
eternal life will be fulfilled also. Should the Lord break His
covenant with the Jews, He could break His promises to us as
Christians. He cannot break either of the promises, the Abrahamic
Covenant or the promise of eternal life to the Christians.
   The Lord does have a program for the Jews in the future and we can
see the stage being set for that program to come to pass, seemingly in
the near future.
   Prayer THOT: Thank You Lord for being a covenant keeping God.
                                     84

Genesis 15 vs.18 - In the same day the LORD made a covenant with
Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of
Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
      For further study - Genesis 15:1-21
    This fifteenth chapter of Genesis is the record of the Lord making
a "covenant" with Abraham which is known as the "Abrahamic Covenant".
   In Genesis 12 the Lord made a promise to Abraham that He would make
this Gentile from Ur of the Chaldeans, the "father of the Jewish
people", and would make of all of His descendants "a nation of Jewish
people".
   In Genesis 12:7 the Lord mentions that the Jews will receive a
piece of real estate along with becoming a nation. The fact of the
matter is that you can not be a nation in this world unless you do
have a piece of "land" for your nation.
   That's the reason for the continuation of the Lord's promise, the
covenant, to Abraham in Genesis 15. This covenant is what is called a
"blood covenant", that's when the two participants, after having
divided a heifer, a goat and a ram, the two making and receiving the
"promise", walk between the parts of the slain animals, arm in arm and
promising that if either one of them break the covenant the other will
be able to divide asunder the person who broke the covenant.
   Our passage tells us that the Lord, this appearance was of the pre-
incarnate Jesus Christ, that the Lord put Abraham to sleep and He
walked among the parts of the animals saying that He is the one
responsible for keeping the promise, not Abraham.
   This covenant is the first of four covenants the Lord makes with
Abraham and his descendants, the Abrahamic Covenant, the Land
Covenant, the Davidic Covenant and the New Covenant.
   Genesis 15 also begins to reveal the land that the Lord will give to the
Jewish people. Notice verse 18 where we see that at least some portion of the
land extends from the "River of Egypt", most likely the Nile River, all the
way north to the Euphrates River at Lebanon's northern border.
   This passage is only one of thirty-eight passages that describe the
"Biblical borders" of Israel, the land that God will give the Jewish people.
The thirty-eight passages describe a land, ten times what the Jews have today
and will include half of Egypt, all of Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and
Kuwait, plus three-quarters of Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
   Maybe now you can see the reason for the problem in the Middle East. All
of this land will only be given to the Jews in the Kingdom to come. By the
way, when the Lord does give all the land to the Jews that He has promised
them, it will be their land forever, even into eternity future.
   This is God's promise to Abraham and the Jews. What I love about the
Abrahamic Covenant is that the Lord made it to Abraham 4,000 years ago and we
see the final fulfillment of the promise, seemingly very close at hand.
   The Lord will keep His promise to the Jews and that's why I can believe He
will keep His promises to me for eternal life and the future, as spoken of in
Bible prophecy.
PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for keeping Your promises to Abraham, the
Jews and to me also.
                                     85




Genesis 32 vs.28     And he said, Thy name shall be called no more
                     -
Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with
men, and hast prevailed.
         For further study - Genesis 32:22-32
   In our devotional reading for today we will look at the account of
Jacob's return to the land of his father, Isaac, and his grandfather,
Abraham.
Jacob had been in Haran, which is today modern Turkey.
   Jacob had spent a number of years living with his uncle, his
mother's brother, as he hid himself from his brother, Esau. It was
during this time that Jacob got married. In fact, he married two
sisters, Leah and Rachel.
   The Lord had given this family eleven sons and as we come to this
portion of Genesis we see that they had traveled south, back into the
land God had promised to both his father, Isaac, Genesis 26:2-3; and
his grandfather, Abraham, Genesis 15:18.
   In fact, the Lord would also make a promise to Jacob of the land, Genesis
35:12, and thus establish the covenant with the "line of promise" to these,
the patriarchs of the Jewish people.
   In our key verse, and also in our extended reading, we see that the Lord
would name the people and the land, by changing Jacob's name to "Israel".
   As the story goes, Jacob had been in Turkey to escape the wrath of his
twin brother, Esau. As Jacob returns to make amends to Esau for his deception
committed against his brother, Jacob had an "all night- long" wrestling match
with Jesus Christ, a "pre-incarnate" appearance of Jesus.
   I know that it was Jesus because the text tells us Jacob stood "face-to-
face with God", verse 30, and he did not die. Jacob could not have seen God
the Father face to face, and lived, John 1:18. The text tells us that the
wrestling match lasted all night long, verse 24.
   Jacob told Jesus he would not let the Lord go until He had blessed him,
verse 26. So the Lord changed Jacob's name to "Israel", "I will fight for
you", verse 28. This marks the time in history that the Lord choose to begin
a "people" that He would use as a "witness" to the entire world.
   Let me point out several things about this very interesting and
informative passage. During the "wrestling match" Jesus touched the "thigh"
of Jacob, and basically impaired Jacob's full use of his leg. The reason the
Lord touched Jacob's "thigh" is that the "thigh" is the strongest muscle in
your body, ten times stronger than any other muscle.
   Also, Jacob would live for the rest of his life with a limp, verse 31, and
it would be a daily reminder that his own strength was impaired, but the Lord
would "fight for him", and thus his new name, "Israel".
   It is also interesting to note that "eleven" of Jacob's twelve sons who
would become the "twelve tribes of Israel", were born outside of the
"Promised Land". God has His own way to accomplish His plan, a plan for
Israel that will be fulfilled in the future.
   It is key that we understand, God does have a plan for the Jewish people.
It is a plan that extends into "eternity future" and the Lord's plan must be
fulfilled because the Lord said He committed His integrity to the fact that
His plan for the Jews would be fulfilled
   PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord to remember that You fight for me and not only
for me but for all that know You as Lord and Saviour. And also, thank You
Lord for keeping Your promises to the Jews, and to me, as well.
                                  86




Habakkuk 1 verse 5 - Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and
wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days which ye will
not believe, though it be told you.
   For further study - Habukkak 1:1-11

The ancient Jewish prophet Habakkuk is one of the Minor Prophets of
which little is known. Most likely, he prophesied in the latter years
of King Josiah making him a contemporary of the prophet Jeremiah.
This prophecy is a warning to the Jewish people about coming
chastisement, as they would be taken into the Babylonian captivity as
a result of their sins.     As you read through this short warning
message to the Jewish people you will notice that Habakkuk is more
concerned that the holiness of God be vindicated than that Israel
should escape judgment. In fact, Habakkuk sees the holiness of God as
the reason he will have to judge those who he chose to represent him
here on the earth.

Jeremiah reveals to the Jews of his day that because they did not
follow God's command to give the land a Sabbath every seven years, the
Jews would be punished.    The Jews were to rest the land (Leviticus
25:8-23) - they would be judged for their neglect to obey the Lord.
God then would raise up the Babylonians (the Chaldeans) to take the
Jewish people out of the land to give the land the seventy years of
rest required by God's law (II Chronicles 36).

Habakkuk has a message that will confirm the prophetic message of
Jeremiah about the Babylonians taking the Jews into captivity.
However, in his message of retribution, Habakkuk has a message of
restoration.   This prophecy reveals the love that God has for his
people and his greatness, one who will do a great work among the Jews
even as they are under his judgment (vs. 5).

Prophetic passages have a short-term fulfillment and/or a long-term
fulfillment.   Sometimes, a prophecy will be speaking of a short term
and a long-term fulfillment. This is the case in Habakkuk 1:5.

As the book of Ezra records in chapters 1-6, the Lord raises up the
leader of the Medo-Persian Empire - Cyrus (Ezra 1: 2-4) to allow the
Jews to return to Jerusalem and to build the temple.     Thus you have
the short-term fulfillment.   The Jews today are beginning to witness
the Lord doing a great work among them as he has brought them from
the four corners of the earth back to the land of their forefathers.
In a future tomorrow, his holiness will even do a greater work among
the Jewish people.     We are living in the days that Habakkuk was
writing about.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to be holy as the Lord is holy.
                                             87




Habakkuk 2 vs14

For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters
cover the sea.
                 For further study - Habakkuk 2:1-14
    In my teaching of prophecy, I always say that the prophetic word of God not only
reveals what the future holds, but prophecy is very practical as well. Our reading today
will be a perfect example of that fact.
    Before we get into the practical, let me take care of the prophetic. Habakkuk was a
prophet that had his ministry on the eve of the Babylonian captivity. Most likely he was
foretelling the future events of the Jewish people during the latter years of Josiah.
    There is not a lot known about Habakkuk except the fact that to him, the character of
Jehovah God was revealed in terms of the highest spirituality. He alone of the prophets
was most concerned that the “holiness of Jehovah” should be vindicated even to the extent
that he would see that as a higher priority than Israel's escape from Jehovah's chastisement.
    Habakkuk foretold the rise of the Chaldeans, chapter 1, verse 6 and that they would
be the instrument that God would use to discipline the Jewish people. Habakkuk
considered himself a "watchman," one who would stand upon the wall or the tower to
watch and see, and then warn the people.
    Habakkuk takes this “watchmen mentality” into the spiritual realm as well, watching
for the Lord's message and then warning the people, verse 1 of our extended reading for
today. As you read the 14 assigned verses for today you will get the flavor of the
chastisement that the Jewish people will face because of their sin. Notice the "woes" in
verses 6, 9 and 12.
    Now, to the practical aspect of prophecy. Habakkuk is a perfect example of what our
ministry should be - we also must be watchmen. I would imagine that if you are reading
this devotional you have a great interest in prophecy and must have some knowledge of
what the future holds. Therefore, as a watchman, you have "seen" - now “warn” the
people.
    Verse 4 relates to us how the Jewish people should have lived and Habakkuk exhorts
them that they must “live by faith” - faith in God and His instructions and directions.
    The last verse of our reading, verse 14, looks to the future time when the “glory of the
Lord” will fill the earth. That is a future prophecy to be fulfilled during the Kingdom
period when Christ “rules and reigns” from the Temple in Jerusalem.
    However, Psalm 19 tells us we can witness “the glory of the Lord” today as we look
into the heavens where His glory is declared. We can also observe His creation all around
us.
    Prophecy is indeed so practical.
    PRAYER THOT: Help me to be the watchman you want me to be, hearing the
prophetic message from your Word and warning the people.
                                              88


Habakkuk 3 vss18-19

Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is
my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon
mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.
                     For further study - Habakkuk 3:1-19
     Those of us who are using this third chapter of Habakkuk for our daily devotion most
likely have difficulty even pronouncing the prophets name as we endeavor to understand
what is taking place in this little prophetic book.
     Before we look at our passage for today I think a quick look back at the entire
prophecy would be good. Because of destruction, violence, strife, conflict, injustice and
wickedness all around him, Habakkuk, as recorded in chapter one, was so depressed that
he was about to go under when he started this book.
     The prophet had a number of questions for God. All of his questions started with
"Why". Habakkuk cried out to the Lord for some answers and his call did not go
unheeded.
     In the Lord's response, as revealed in chapter two, He not only answered the prophets
demanding questions as to why bad things happen to good people but the Lord gave His
prophet the confidence to lift him up from the pits to the mountaintop.
     In the third chapter God gives the prophet a "prayer of praise" that was the "song of
joy" for a servant who began in a valley of distress and ends his journey on the
mountaintop of delight.
     As you read our extended passage you can almost hear the music. It is a "hymn of
praise," a "prayer of praise" put to music that glorifies the Lord, with who the prophet had
been conversing and complaining.
     Now Habakkuk will celebrate as he comes to the understanding of why Judah was
being punished and the "who" that God had chosen to chastise the Jews, Babylon.
     To make the song complete, God revealed the defeat of Babylon and that Judah would
return to the Lord. The key verse of the entire book, 2:4, expresses the principle upon
which we must develop our own lives in this time, similar to the times of Habakkuk.
     "The just shall live by his faith" is the principle that must be applied in our day of
wickedness, distress, violence, evil, conflict, injustice and destruction. God has a plan that
is found in the pages of His prophetic passages that prepare us for His purpose in these
days.
     As we stop and listen to Him, by reading His Word daily, we can move from distress
to deliverance, as did Habakkuk. One very interesting thought before we conclude, the
ultimate destruction of Babylon, modern-day Iraq, will take place after the Anti-christ sets
up his worldwide political, economic, governmental kingdom.
     All that we see going on in Iraq today is setting the stage for Bible prophecy to be
fulfilled, seemingly in the near future.
     Prayer Thot: Help me Lord, to live by faith, faith in You and Your plan for the
future, which will be the very best for me.
                                   89




Haggai 1:2   - Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people
say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD's house should be
built.
          For further study - Haggai 1:1-15
    We could well rehearse the words of a previous devotional when I
wrote that prophecy is not only prophetic but practical as well.
This you can discern as you read the extended portion of our
devotional today.
    Haggai and Zechariah are two of the three prophets that had
ministry after the return of the Jews to Jerusalem. Both of these men
exhorted the Jews to rebuild the temple. Remember, Nebuchadnezzar and
his Babylonian army had destroyed the first temple, Solomon's temple.
    Now, the Jews, around 50,000 of them, who had returned to Jerusalem
with Zerubbal, they had done so for the purpose of rebuilding the
temple and once again offering sacrifice and worship in this worship
center in Jerusalem.
    Haggai challenged the people to not focus on their own homes,
verses 3-9, but instead move quickly to rebuild the temple, the place
to worship the God of Israel. Haggai reminded the people of the
Lord's chastisement on them for not rebuilding the temple, verses 10
and 11.
    There had been a major draught upon the land of Israel so that the
needed foodstuffs were in much lesser supply even the provision for
the cattle. Under Haggai's ministry, the Jewish people got their
hearts right by fearing the Lord, with a reverential fear, and the
Lord stirred the spirit of Zerubbal to lead the people in the
rebuilding of the temple.
    As in Haggai's day, there is need for a temple in the city of
Jerusalem today. The Jewish people who have returned to the land God
promised them have been concerned about their own houses, their
livelihood and not rebuilding the permanent worship center for the
Lord.
    Although that is the case with most Jews in modern-day Israel,
there is a group of religious Jews that believe the Bible and believe
that there needs to be a temple in Jerusalem. In fact, the leaders of
these dedicated Jews are preparing to rebuild the temple.
    All preparations have been made and they could start construction
of the temple at any time. However, the Bible teaches that the
Rapture must take place first, Daniel 11:45, and then the next temple
will be built.
    Thus the evidence that the Rapture is close at hand - keep looking
up!
    PRAYER THOT: Help me to set my priorities in light of the soon
calling of Christians by Jesus to join Him in the air at the Rapture.
                             90

Haggai 2 verse 9

The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the
former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I
give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.
        For further study - Haggai 2: 1-9
   The Prophet Haggai is a contemporary of Zechariah. These
two prophets, along with Malachi, prophesied after the
Babylonian captivity. Both Haggai and Zechariah were
exhorting the Jews that had returned with Zerubbabel to
Jerusalem from Babylon to get busy in the rebuilding of the
temple - to replace Solomon's temple, the first temple, that
had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar the Babylonian King.
   Haggai was concerned that those returning Jews were too
busy building their own houses to take care of building the
"house of the Lord".
Haggai as a prophet was a bit more "crusty" than Zechariah
who was also a priest.       Haggai gives the Jews a stern
warning of the Lord's displeasure with their disobedience
and lack of priority in the building of His house.
   It is in this context that Haggai looks down the corridor
of time to a future temple to be built on the Temple Mount
in Jerusalem.
   Actually, from Haggai's day until the time that the Lord
Jesus will sit on His throne in the Temple at Jerusalem
there will be three temples.
   The temple built in Haggai's day was the 2nd temple, also
known as Zerubbabel's Temple or Herod's Temple. Then there
will be the temple to stand in Jerusalem during the
Tribulation Period. And finally, the temple referred to as
"Messiah's Temple" the one that Jesus will build (Zechariah
6:12) following all the detailed instructions of Ezekiel 40-
46.
   The Messiah's Temple is the one Haggai is referring to in
Haggai 2:9.   When Jesus rules from that "latter house" the
Lord will give peace to the whole world.
   One final note: The next to the last temple, the
Tribulation Temple, is ready to be built right now.      That
would make us living in the days of that temple - meaning
Jesus is coming and it could be soon.
   PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for allowing us to be alive
in what could be the day of your return.
                                             91
Haggai 2:19
Is the seed yet in the barn? yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and
the olive tree, hath not brought forth: from this day will I bless you.
                 For further study - Haggai 2:10-19
     Please remember that Haggai is a contemporary of the prophet Zechariah. These two
prophets were called of God to exhort the Jewish people to rebuild the temple after their
return from the Babylonian captivity. Haggai was somewhat of an "in your face" type of
prophet, more so than was Zechariah.
     This older prophet was growing impatient with the Jews, his people, as they were
taking so long to finish up the work of rebuilding the temple, the permanent worship center
for the Jewish people. The Jews had been disobedient and the prophet had been led by the
Lord to chastise them verbally and exhort them to finish up the building of the house of the
Lord.        As we come to verse 10, and through 19, we see that the returning Jewish
people were starting to become obedient and starting to get more serious about doing as
the Lord had commanded. Haggai was revealing the word of the Lord directly to the
people. They could see that the Lord had chastened them for not obeying, verse 17.
     Haggai said, verses 18 and 19, "consider" that when you become obedient there will
be "seed in the barn," the vine, fig tree, and pomegranate will bring forth fruit. From that
day, the day of their obedience, from that day they would be blessed of the Lord.
     Verses 20-23, as we will see in a future devotional, states that the ultimate fulfillment
of Haggai's prophecy would be the destruction of the Gentile world powers and the
building of the temple, Messiah's Temple, where Messiah Jesus will rule and reign forever.
     Thus, our passage is also applicable to the end times as the Jewish people return to the
land of their forefathers and become obedient to the Lord. The blessings will then be
poured out on them. As in the days of Haggai, the Jews are today coming back into the
land and have allowed their own comforts to be of greater priority than the building of the
temple for the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The Bible does call for a Temple in Jerusalem in the
last days, and in fact, into the future and forever.
     There is a remnant of Jews who are working towards a rebuilding of the temple on the
Temple Mount in Jerusalem, but the vast majority and especially the Israeli government
have no desire to rebuild the temple. This subject is so controversial that the politicians of
Israel never mention it and deny any efforts to rebuild the temple when confronted by the
Moslem world.
     This caveat, as we conclude our devotional. The preparations for the next temple are
ready for the building of a temple right now in Jerusalem with one small problem. The
ones preparing to build the next temple are not following the instructions for Messiah's
Temple as found in Ezekiel 40-46.
     The next temple to be built in Jerusalem will be the "Tribulation Temple" that will be
desecrated by Antichrist, II Thessalonians 2:4. That temple is ready to be built on the
Temple Mount right now, but the Rapture must happen before they start construction.
Thus the Rapture could happen at any moment - keep looking up.
     Prayer Thot: Thank You, Lord, that we live in a day that seems to be near the time
of the Rapture. Help me to live in light of that fact.
                                  92


Haggai 2 vs.23   - In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take
thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD,
and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD
of hosts.
            For further study - Haggai 2:20-23
   Today, we are only going to read 4 verses in our extended reading,
a short, quick read but full of information about God's plan for the
last days. This prophecy is one of defeat for the Gentiles and
deliverance for the Jews.
   In the last days after the Rapture of the Church when the Lord
takes us, who are Christians, up to be with Him in "His Father's
house,"
there will be a major time of judgment upon the earth.
   God has several purposes for this time known as the "Tribulation
Period." One purpose is to bring the Jewish people to the reality
that Jesus Christ was indeed the Messiah and will be their Savior.
   Now we come to the prophecy of Haggai. This Jewish prophet
ministered to the Jewish people after the Babylonian Captivity, a
ministry that would be manifested by his exhorting the returning Jews
to get beyond their own needs and to the task of rebuilding the temple
- the permanent dwelling place for the Lord, a permanent worship
center.
   With the last 4 verses of Haggai's prophecy, the Lord promises to
"shake the heavens and the earth," verse 21. The Lord will use the
seven years of judgment on this earth to not only evangelize the
Jewish people but to also "overthrow the throne of kingdoms and
destroy the strength of the kingdoms", the kingdoms of the heathen,
the Gentile world powers.
   Notice also in verse 22 that the "riders of the chariots and the
horses," a military terminology, the Lord will bring them down. This
is a prophecy of the defeat of the Gentile world powers as foretold by
another ancient Jewish prophet, Daniel.
   Jesus also mentioned this defeat in His Olivet Discourse as
recorded in Luke 21. The phrase in Luke 21:24 "until the times of the
Gentiles be fulfilled," is the same prophecy revealing that God will
defeat the antichrist, the dictator of the Gentile world powers in the
end times and bring an end to the Gentile world leaders controlling
the Jews and Jerusalem.
   The Jews will be "God's chosen," verse 23, in the city He chose to
dwell among His people, Jerusalem, forever. Thus saith the "Lord of
Hosts." Today, the Gentiles control the world. One day soon, Jesus,
"King of the Jews," will fulfill the promise of Haggai.
   PRAYER THOT: Thank you, Lord, for fulfilling all of your promises
to the Jewish people because then I can rest assured that You will
fulfill all promises made to me about eternal life.
                                              93

Hebrews 1 vs3

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding
all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on
the right hand of the Majesty on high.
             For further study - Hebrews 1:1-14
     I could hardly wait to get to the book of Hebrews for our devotional thought for today.
As we will have opportunities to go to all the books of the Bible for a devotional thought, I
will look forward to the next time through the scripture when we will come again to
Hebrews.
     Now having said that, let's look at the first chapter of this book of the unknown author,
unknown but believed by many to be the apostle Paul. That is a debate for another time.
We do know that whoever the human author was, he had the entire book "breathed into"
him by the Holy Spirit.
     The Holy Spirit is the person of the God-head who inspired the human authors, some
40 of them, over 1,500 years. These men wrote 66 books that have no contradiction and all
of the authors speak of the Lord's plan for humankind throughout all the ages.
     God, in the past, did raise up the ancient Jewish prophets to speak His word to us. But,
as the text says, “in these last days has spoken to us by His Son”. Our key verse tells us
where Jesus is, today. He is now seated at the right-hand of the Father in the 3rd heaven.
     This is an important truth. It tells us that Jesus is not on His throne, which is yet to
come, in an earthly kingdom that will be set up in Jerusalem. This is key to understanding
what the future holds for our Lord. His kingdom is yet to come.
     There is another precious truth in this first chapter of Hebrews. The reading today
explains to us that Jesus is so much better than angels, verse 4. The entire chapter tells us
how superior Jesus is to angels who were created by Him.
     However, there is a blessing for us with the creation of angels, they are all “ministering
spirits”, sent by the Lord to minister to us who are heirs of the salvation that Jesus
provides.
     These angels are to guard over us, to take us into His presence when we die, and to be
“fellow servants” with us in our ministry for Him. By the way, when He does leave the
right-hand of the Father to come for us to join Him, the angels will come with Him. I
would love to see Him and His angels today.
     PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for dispatching angels to minister to us!
                                             94




Hebrews 2 vs9

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death,
crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every
man.
                 For further study - Hebrews 2:1-18
    Paul introduces "angels" in Hebrews 1 and tells us that "Jesus Christ is so much better
than the angels," verse 4. He reveals that angels were actually created on the first day of
creation in order to minister to those of us who are saved, the "heirs of salvation",
Hebrews 1:14.
    As we come to the second chapter of Hebrews, and notice that I believe Paul was the
author of this book, the writer reveals how Jesus chose to dwell among humankind. Paul
states that Jesus took on the form of a man, "made a little lower than the angels", verse 9.
Christ did this so that "He by the grace of God should taste death for every man".
    Then Paul reminds us that Jesus is the Creator, verse 10, and that He created Lucifer,
the most prominent of all angels, who would rebel, and become the adversary, the Devil.
    However, the Devil, who had the "power of death" would be destroyed, rendered
inoperative, and would no longer be able to cause those who receive Christ to fear death
and live a lifetime of bondage, verse 15.
    Hebrews 1 & 2 speaks much about angels. Angels played a significant role in the first
coming of Jesus; announcing the birth of Christ; ministering to Jesus in the wilderness; the
evil angels inhabiting human bodies, which made them demons: and ministered to Jesus in
the Garden of Gethsemane just prior to His death.
    Angels will play a key role in the Second Coming of Jesus, both good and evil angels.
Evil angels inhabit lost people today, especially world leaders and false teachers. Good
angels act as "guardians" especially for the little children, as well as adults.
    Jesus will be accompanied by a host of angels when He returns to the earth at His
Second Coming. At that time He comes to defeat the Devil.
    Anti-christ and False Prophet, who are humans empowered and possessed by evil
angels, will be defeated by Jesus at His coming when He is "crowned with glory and
honor", verse 9.
    These truths should cause us to rejoice over what He has done for us and what He will
do for us.
    PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for sending angels to guard over me and for
Your being made a "little lower" than angels to suffer death to take away my sin and
give me eternal life.
                                              95




Hebrews 5 vss 9-10

And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that
obey him; Called of God an high priest after the order ofMelchisedec.
For further study - Hebrews 5:1-10

As we come today to the book of Hebrews, we will see Jesus in His "high priest" role of
the future Temple. The fact that we are discussing this issue is evidence that Jesus Christ
will rule and reign in a future Temple to stand on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

The ancient Jewish prophet Zechariah tells us that Jesus will build that Temple, Zechariah
6:12. The prophet also says in Zechariah 6:13 that He will rule and reign from the
Temple He builds in Jerusalem. There will be a priesthood set up for this Temple that will
operate which I refer to as the Messiah's Temple.

This Temple is described in Ezekiel 40-46 which is 202 verses of detailed information on
the Temple Jesus builds. These verses give the architectural specifications for this coming
Temple. It will be a Temple where future sacrifices will be made unto the Lord.

As we remember that sacrifices in the past did not take away sins, these future sacrifices
will also not take away sin. Jesus himself was the ultimate sacrifice. All future sacrifices
will be done in memorial to Him for what His sacrifice accomplished for each of us. It
guaranteed us salvation by putting our faith in what He did for us.

Notice that Jesus will become our high priest in this coming new Temple. But look again.
The high priestly duties that Jesus will perform will be not from the code of Aaron, the
first high priest. Jesus will be of the high priestly order ofMelchisedec.

Melchisedec is not only a high priest but also a king, Genesis 14:17-19. Melchisedec was
a king of the city-state of Jerusalem. There is not a lot we know about this priest-king. We
do know that he had no beginning and no end. He has always been and will always be who
he is, possibly Jesus Christ himself.

This passage of prophecy is a necessity for the readers of pre-written history, penned by
the ancient Jewish prophets. We must be looking daily for His return to become the high
priest. That day could be very close at hand.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you, Lord, for our own high priest, the one who has always
been and will always be.
                                   96
Hebrews 8 vs1 -Now of the things    which we have spoken this is the
sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the
throne of the Majesty in the heavens; For further study-Hebrews 8:1-13
   In our devotional reading for today, the entire eighth chapter of
Hebrews, I will point out some very important doctrinal truth that we
all must understand, especially in a day when the Church is turning
away from studying and teaching the great doctrines of the Word of
God. There is a false philosophy circulating throughout Church
circles, a belief that "doctrine divides". That is not the case, and
as we reason together we will realize that doctrine unites us all so
that we are on the "same page" with Jesus.
   In Hebrews 7 we see that Jesus will be the "High Priest" that
serves in Messiah's Temple, the Temple that Jesus builds (Zechariah
6:12) in Jerusalem when He returns to the Earth. Jesus will be the
"High Priest" that serves in that Temple, not of the Aaronic
Priesthood, but instead "a priest forever after the order of
Melchisedec," Hebrews 7:17. As our key verse for today reveals, as of
now, Jesus is not yet the "High Priest" nor is He the "King of Kings".
   He is today the one "who is set on the "right hand" of the throne
of the Majesty in the heavens", verse 1. The Lord's Kingdom on Earth
is yet to come. Today Jesus is at the right hand of the Father in the
"throne room" of the third heaven to intercede for us, those of us who
are true Bible believing, born-again Christians.
   Jesus will continue His duties at the right hand of the Father
until God tells His Son to "go get His bride", that's us. It's after
our marriage to Jesus, Revelation 19:7-9, when God the Father gives
Jesus His throne on Earth that will be located in the Temple in
Jerusalem.
   God the Father will also give Him dominion over all of creation,
Daniel 7:13-14. One other great doctrinal truth to notice in this
chapter of Hebrews, in verse 8, what the Lord promised in the Old
Testament, through the prophet Jeremiah, that He would make a "New
Covenant" with the Jews, "with the House of Israel and with the House
of Judah".
   The New Covenant is technically for the Jews, and not Christians.
We as Christians derive spiritual benefits from the New Covenant but
the next covenant, "an Everlasting Covenant", is to be made between
the Lord and the Jews.
   The product of that covenant, verse 10, will be that the Lord will
put His laws into the minds of His Chosen People and write them on the
hearts of the Jewish people. He will be their God and the Jews will be
His people.
This verse, a great Biblical doctrine, indicates that God is not
finished with the Jews, He has a very special plan for them in the
future.
   These are two very important doctrines that we must understand for
a proper understanding of the last days, the days we are now living
in, awaiting Jesus to shout and call us into the heavenlies, to ever
be in His presence.
   PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for Your direct doctrinal teaching so
that I can understand Your plan for the last days, and my
responsibility in light of the truth that I understand.
                                                     97




Hebrews 8 vs1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high
priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; For further study -
Hebrews 8:1-13
      In the reading of our key verse, we see where Jesus is today. He is seated "at the right hand of the
Father on His throne" in the third heaven. Hebrews 12:2 also reveals the present location of Christ now
seated at the right hand of God, who is on His throne.
      I say, and repeat this because there are those who say Jesus is now on His “throne”. That is incorrect.
Our key verse tells us where He is today. One day, Jesus will sit upon His throne in Jerusalem; however,
that is yet in the future.
      Notice also that Jesus is our "High Priest" after the order of Melchisedec, Hebrews 6:20. This
Melchisedec is a very interesting personality. He has no father or mother, Hebrews 7:3. This same verse
says he has no beginning and no end of life. Remember, he was the King of Salem (Jerusalem) who met
with Abraham, Genesis 14:17-20. I believe he may well be a "pre-incarnate appearance" of Jesus Christ.
      The reading for today is a rich passage that deserves more attention than it will receive. Spend time in
reading it later. However, let me show you one more portion of our reading, verses 7-10. In this passage
the Lord promises to give the Jewish people a "New Covenant."
      This is a different covenant than the one God had with Moses and the Jews. This covenant, the New
Covenant, the Lord gives to the Jewish people - the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not to
Christians. Now, we Christians derive benefits from the New Covenant, but it is given to the Jewish
people, Jeremiah 31:31.
      This covenant is also referred to as the "Everlasting Covenant," Ezekiel 37:26. This covenant that
God will make with the Jewish people will be given to them in the future. The Lord will put His law in
their mind and write it upon their heart, verse 10. This verse also says the Lord will be their God and the
Jews will be His people, all of this because their sins and iniquities the Lord will “remove and remember
no more”.
      This New Covenant is to the Jewish people and it is yet to be given to them in the future, evidence
that the Lord does have a plan and program for the Jewish people in the future. God is not finished with
His "Chosen People." God must keep His promises to the Jews if we expect Him to keep His promises to
us, i.e. the promise of eternal life.
      Though the New Covenant is for the Jewish people I must again remind you that we, as Christians,
will also derive benefits from this New Covenant. We will have a relationship with Jesus, which will be
very unique. We will be His people, in fact the "bride" of Jesus, and He will be our Lord, "husband." Our
relationship with Jesus will be very unique.
      I love the fact that He cannot remember our sins anymore. That is a derived benefit. By the way, the
New Covenant is given to the Jewish people at His Second Coming, which seems to be quickly
approaching.

PRAYER THOT: Dear Lord, thank You for removing my sins and remembering them no more.
                                                      98




Hebrews 9 vs26
For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of
the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
                                                    For further study - Leviticus 23:26-32 & Hebrews 9:23-28
     Today on the Jewish calendar is the holiest day of their seven Jewish holy days, holy days that God
gave to the Jews to observe on an annual basis. Today is "Yom Kippur," the "Day of Atonement."
     During Biblical times, when the Temple stood in Jerusalem, the High Priest, after much preparation,
would enter the Holy of Holies of the Temple for the purpose of pouring the "sacrificial blood" onto the
"Mercy Seat" on the "Ark of the Covenant".
     This act would cover the sins of the Jewish people for one year until the next Yom Kippur. This
annual holy day was to be marked by a twenty-five hour fast and was to be a very solemn day.
     Today, without a Temple and the sacrificial system in place, the Jewish people must approach this
holy day in a different manner. The ten days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are referred to as
the ten "Awesome Days".
     That's a period of time when the present-day Jews seek forgiveness from family, friends, loved ones
and neighbors that they may have trespassed against during the last year.
     They will also take a piece of bread to a body of water, that preferably flows into the ocean, and will
cast the bread on the water. Then they quote, Micah 7:19, "I will cast all their sins into the depths of the
sea."
     Many Orthodox Jews will also cut off the head of a chicken and wave its body around over their own
heads. They believe all these activities will help them be included in the "Book of Life."
     Since there is no Temple and no "sacrificial system" the Jews today offer up prayers three times
daily, do good deeds and give money to needy causes. These activities replace the “sacrificial system”.
     The holy day of Yom Kippur also has a "prophetic significance." Hebrews 9:23-28 reveals that
prophetic aspect of Yom Kippur. The text tells us that in days past the High Priest, "entereth into the Holy
Place every year with the blood of others".
     Now look at what Jesus does, verse 26, "Once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away
sin by the sacrifice of Himself." I'll explain that verse in a moment, but first let me remind you that Jesus
Christ fulfilled the "spring feast" in the proper day sequences. Jesus Christ was crucified on "Passover",
buried on "Unleavened Bread" and rose from the dead on "First Fruits".
     Jesus will also fulfill the three "fall feast" in the proper day sequences. Jesus will return to the earth
on a future "Rosh Hashana," followed by the ten "awesome days" when He builds up Jerusalem, builds
His temple, goes to the Jezreel Valley for the Battle of Armageddon.
     Then Jesus will gather the Jews that He will have protected for the last three and a half years of the
Tribulation Period, in Petra, and bring them to Jerusalem by way of the Mt of Olives, the Eastern Gate
and into the Temple, in fact, into the Holy of Holies, Ezekiel 43:7.
     That will happen on the Holy Day, Yom Kippur. That's when all Jews get saved in a day, Zechariah
3:9. Passover was for "personal salvation" and Yom Kippur was for "national salvation." The Jewish
feasts have always pointed to Jesus Christ, the Jewish Messiah.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for Your forgiveness of my sin by the blood that You shed on the
cross on Passover.
                                  99




Hebrews 10 vs25   - Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves
together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so
much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
      For further study - Hebrews 10:1-25
   The Apostle Paul, it has been said, wrote the book of Hebrews to
help Hebrews quit being Hebrews. In other words, he was telling the
new converts to Christianity, from Judaism, that there was a better
way than the "law".
   Basically that's how Paul starts this tenth chapter. Stating in
verses 1-3 that the "law" was a "shadow" of the good things to come.
Paul reminds these new converts that the blood of "bulls and goats"
can not take away sins. You can read his argument in verses 4-9.
   Then in verse 10 he states that Jesus Christ was the "offering,
once and for all". What a blessing verse 12 is to me and each of us
who know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
   After He became the "sacrifice for sins forever" the Lord went into
the third heaven and He "sat down on the right-hand of God". Now our
Saviour, the Son of God, is at the right hand of the Father, there to
intercede as our special "advocate" with the Father, 1John 2:1.
   Jesus is there to represent us at the right hand of the Father. He
is there to restore our fellowship with the Father should we sin,
which we know we will after salvation. By the way, notice Jesus is not
now on "His throne" but instead seated at the right hand of the
Father.
   The Father will, in the future, give His Son, Jesus His "Kingdom",
His "throne" and His "dominion". There is so much in this passage that
is a blessing to each of us, Notice verses 19-22. Because of our 'high
priest", Jesus, we can enter the Holy of Holies in boldness, because
of the blood of Jesus.
   We can talk to the Father because of what the Son has done for us.
When Jesus died on the cross, the "veil of the Temple" was rent from
top to bottom, giving us access to the Holy of Holies. We can now
approach the Father with respect, honor and with boldness, verse 19.
   Paul exhorts each of us to come together for fellowship, prayer,
study of His Word and encouragement, verse 25. We should do this even
more so as we quickly approach the time of the Rapture of the Church.
   Believing that the Rapture could happen at any moment doesn't allow
me to sit down on my "blessed assurance" and do nothing but wait for
the Rapture. I, and each of us that know Christ, must do His work,
even with greater intensity as that day quickly approaches when He
will call us to be with Him in the heavenlies.
   PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for Your sacrifice that gave me eternal
life, Your ministry as an advocate with the Father for me and the
reality of Your soon coming.
                                  100

Hebrews 11 vs1    - Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the
evidence of things not seen.
       For further study - Hebrews 11:1-21
    As we come to our devotional reading for today we will be presented
with the "Hall of Fame" of men and women of "faith". I want you to
notice that the first six men mentioned in the "Hall of Fame" have an
interesting connection to Bible prophecy as well as to "faith".
    Our passage starts with the definition of "faith", "it's the
substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen", verse
1. This is a very important statement about "faith". Notice, it is the
"evidence of things not seen".
    We don't have to, and in fact, we should not see the things we are
"hoping for". Many people say, "show me and I'll believe", the Bible
says "believe without seeing". By the way, Romans says, "Faith cometh
by hearing, not seeing, and hearing by the Word of God", Romans 10:17.
    It's the truth of the Word of God that is the basis for "faith",
not things seen. In our extended reading for today, verses 1-21, we
see six men who were "men of faith" and also have a unique connection
to Bible prophecy.
    "Abel", verse 4, was a son of Adam that by "faith" offered a "more
excellent sacrifice" looking into the future and the ultimate
sacrifice, Jesus Christ. "Enoch", verse 5, was a great preacher, Jude
14, and was one of two men who never died. This makes him one of the
two witnesses during the Tribulation Period, along with Elijah.
    I say this based upon the three and a half years of ministry for
these two witnesses as detailed in Revelation 11: 3-12. These two
witnesses will die, be resurrected and taken into heaven. This truth
from Revelation must be coupled with Hebrews 9:27.
    "Noah", verse 7, was another great preacher, with not real good
results, he only had seven people believe him. His wife, his three
sons and the three wives of his sons. Jesus mentioned in His prophetic
"Olivet Discourse" that the return of our Lord will take place at a
time when it is like the "days of Noah", Matthew 24: 37.
    "Abraham", verses 8-19, the "father of faith" is a "man of faith"
that plays a key role in Bible prophecy, as it relates to the Jewish
people.The Lord promised Abraham, "in the Abrahamic Covenant" that the
Jews would be a nation forever and have a land forever, Genesis 12 and
15.
    Abraham's son and grandson, "Isaac" and "Jacob", are the "son and
grandson of promise". It was through these three patriarchs that God
focuses all of Bible prophecy. God made promises to these three, to be
fulfilled, in the future. These promises must be fulfilled.
    Notice how "faith" plays a role in "things to come", verse 20. I
have barely touched the "hem of the garment" of blessing you can
receive from this passage on "faith", and the "personalities of
prophecy". Please spend more time in this passage, as we await the
shout from Jesus for us to join Him in the heavenlies.
    PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for these "men of faith" in the past.
Help me to be a "man of faith" in the present, as I look to the
future...by "faith".
                                  101
Hebrews 12 vs.2   - Looking unto     Jesus the author and finisher of
our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,
despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne
of God.           For further study - Hebrews 12:1-15
   Today, as I read through the extended passage for our devotional, I
realized again how practical the Word of God is for us as we travel
the pathway of our lives on our journey to go to be with Jesus Christ,
forever.
   This passage in Hebrews is especially practical and prophetic, as
well. I'm sure you will be able to pick up on how many practical
truths you can find in these fifteen verses. I'll only highlight a few
so that we can rejoice together on how the Lord inspires men to record
His Word for us to appropriate daily, for our lives to be lived in His
power and His strength.
   Verses 5-11 discuss how the "Lord's chastening" can be such a
blessing to each of us. Seven times in these seven verses Paul writes
about how the Lord will correct us, and in fact, he says in verse 8,
that if we "be without chastisement then we are not sons we are
illegitimate children".
   The writer of Hebrews encourages us with the truth that "whom the
Lord loves, He chasteneth", verse 6. Verse 10 tells us that the Lord's
correction is "for our profit, that we might be partakers of His
holiness".
   However, at the same time, Paul tells us that "no chastising for
the present seems to be joyous", but if we are exercised by the
chastisement it "yields the fruit of righteousness", verse 11, within
our lives.
   Just reading this passage almost makes me want to be "chastised"
because of the blessing it is to those of us who know Him as Lord and
Saviour.
Verses 12-15 details how we then live as a result of His chastisement.
   Go back with me now to verses 1 and 2. What wonderful truth in
these two verses. Paul's exhortation is for us to "lay aside every
weight and sin which so easily besets us."
   We then take off and run the race that is set before us, and we are
to "run with patience", this race. I believe we run the race in front
of the "heavenly grandstands" as the "witnesses" already in the
heavenlies are watching, verse 1.
   Then, we are to "look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our
faith, who went to the cross with a 'joyful heart' even though He
despised the 'shame of death' on the cross, and is now 'seated' at the
right hand of the throne of God."
   Notice, Jesus Christ is not on "His throne" but seated on the
Father's throne, at His right hand. Jesus will sit on His throne
during the "thousand year Kingdom", a throne that will be located in
the Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, in the future.
   We are not today in the Kingdom Period, Jesus is not on His throne
and God has not yet given Him dominion over all of Creation. That is
yet to come. It is a prophecy of God's Word, Daniel 7:13-14, that will
be fulfilled.
PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for loving me enough to chasten me so that
I can partake of Your holiness and bear fruit of Your righteousness.
                                  102
Hosea 1:11   - Then shall the         children of Judah and the children
of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and
they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of
Jezreel.        For further study - Hosea 1:1-11
   This opening section of the prophetic book of Hosea sets forth the
major themes of the entire prophecy; Israel's unfaithfulness; the
certainty of judgment; and the ultimate restoration of the Jewish
nation in the last days.
   At the outset of Hosea's ministry the Lord instructs him to marry
an "adulterous woman." As was the case with the prophet Ezekiel, the
"street preacher," the Lord wants to use the lives of these prophets
to communicate these prophetic truths to the Jewish people.
   Hosea's relationship, characterized by infidelity on his wife's
part was to portray Israel's unfaithfulness through its covenants with
the Lord. Hosea did follow the Lord's instructions and married a
"woman of whoredom," Gomer. To many the command for Hosea to marry
this adulterous woman, and I believe he literally married Gomer, would
be over and above the call of duty. In being obedient to the Lord
Hosea would communicate a powerful message to the Jewish people that
though they would be unfaithful and thus would be punished,
restoration would be an absolute. In the end this unfaithful wife,
Israel, the wife of God, would be restored to God, the husband.
   The name of the firstborn son to Hosea and Gomer, "Jezreel", has an
interesting significance to Bible prophecy and the Jewish people. The
name "Jezreel" literally means "God sows". However, the significance
of his name was not in its meaning but in its association with past
and future events at the place, Jezreel.
   The Jezreel Valley was the sight of Jehu's ruthless massacre of the
house of Ahab, verse 4,(II Kings 9 and 10) This valley was the scene
of victory and defeat. It was the scene of a great military victory
under Gideon, Judges 6:33 & 7 and a symbol of national defeat at the
time of the death of Saul and his army, I Samuel 29:1,11 and 31. Verse
5 speaks of the Lord breaking the "bow of Israel" in the Jezreel
Valley. The fulfillment of this prophecy took place 734-722 BC when
the Assyrians overran Israel, II Kings 15:29 and 17:25 . Our key verse
also speaks of a "battle" in the Jezreel Valley.
   The "day of Jezreel", verse 11, refers to the victory of Messiah
Jesus Christ at the battle in the Jezreel when those opposed to the
Lord's “theocratic rule” will be defeated and the establishment of His
Kingdom will take place, fulfilling His promises to His people, the
Jewish people. When the Lord Jesus Christ came the first time and
presented Himself as the King of Kings the Jewish people rejected Him.
When He comes the second time He will set up His Kingdom,
headquartered in the city of Jerusalem, as He sits upon the throne of
King David. We as Christians will be with Jesus at this time and will
rule and reign with Him forever.
   The events of today seem more and more like the activities of the
days described by not only Hosea but all the ancient Jewish Prophets.
What we see today is the "stage setting" for these prophecies to be
fulfilled in the very near future. We must live in light of His soon
return, maybe today.           PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for keeping
your promises and the future relationship we will have with you.
                                             103




Hosea 2 vs18 And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the
field and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will
break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie
down safely.
         For further study - Hosea 2:14-23
    Let me remind you of the story line of the book of Hosea. It is the prophet, whose wife
Gomer is an adulteress, which Hosea will find in the street, bring back home and clean up
after her adulterous ways.
in this context, the Lord speaks through Hosea to the Jewish people who He refers to as
“His wife”, verse 19. The children of Israel will be very much like Hosea's wife and live
an adulterous life. God will, as Hosea, go find His wife and bring her back into the family
and clean her up.
    In our extended passage, we see the Lord describing the relationship He has with the
Jewish people. He is also describing a future day when His wife will no longer go out
whoring but be His faithful wife.
    That day will be at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ when the Lord God will restore
the earth and its residents, mankind, to how He planned for them to be upon the earth
when He created them, and the earth.
    The Lord God will be married to Israel in a day when He makes her righteous, loving,
merciful, and faithful, verses 19-20. He will have his new bride, Israel, to refer to Him as
"Ishi" my husband and no longer "Baali" my Lord.
    I know that at the Lord's return to the earth this all happens because of the description
of "that day." Verse 18 reveals the Lord's plan for that time when He brings the beasts of
the fold, the fowls of the heavens and the creeping things on the earth into the relationship
there was between His creation and man before the fall.
    The Lord will also give safety and security to His new bride, the Jewish people, as He
breaks the bow and sword of Israel's enemies and ends the wars so she can rest quietly and
in safety. This all happens when Jesus Christ rules and reigns in Jerusalem and the earth
and humankind return to the times of a theocracy, the Kingdom to come.
    God is today preparing for this wonderful day as He continues to find Israel, His bride,
in an adulterous situation only to bring her to Him and clean her up.
         PRAYER THOT: Our Lord's dealings with Israel, His bride, show us His love
for His people and His forgiveness, which also applies to us - thank you Lord.
                                                    104




Hosea 3 vs5 Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David
their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.
                   For further study - Hosea 3:1-5
     This short five-verse chapter in Hosea is basically the message of the entire book. Hosea, the prophet,
had a wife named Gomer who was described as a "wife of whoredoms," Hosea 1:2. God had commanded
the prophet to take Gomer for his wife, he did and she bare him a son, Hosea 1:3. However, Gomer goes
chasing after her previous lovers - she goes whoring again.
     Here in chapter 3, the Lord tells Hosea to go after his wife, find her, and restore her to himself. We
see that played out in this prophetic book of Hosea. The Lord in this book uses the experiences of Hosea
and Gomer to illustrate His relationship with Israel.
     God is the “husband” of Israel and has down through the centuries watched His "wife" go whoring as
well. As Hosea goes after Gomer, cleans her up, and restores her to himself, so the Lord continues to go
after His "adulteress wife," Israel.
     Here in our reading for today the Lord tells Israel, over 2,700 years ago, what they would go through
before He would restore them to Himself. Starting in verse 4 Israel is told of the time, "many days" that
they would be without a “king”.
     These "many days" have been defined by history to be almost 2,500 years since Judah went into the
Babylonian captivity.
     Hosea wrote also that the Jews would be without a "sacrifice" for these "many days." Here the "many
days" would be determined as almost 2,000 years since the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by
General Titus and the Roman Army in AD70.
     Of course, without a temple and without a sacrifice, there is no way for the Jews to have their sins
covered for a year, as was the case during the time of the "Day of Atonement", "Yom Kippur."
     What the Jewish people do today, instead of offering sacrifices, is give money, do good works, and
pray three times a day toward the Temple Mount, the location where the Temple once stood.
     It goes without saying that no place in the Bible does it say this Jewish substitution for “temple
sacrifice” will take away their sins. Only by the shedding of blood, the “blood of Jesus Christ”, can sin be
removed from us, in God's eyes. That is, of course, the reason the Lord had the temple destroyed.
     But notice after all this, the Jews will return and seek the Lord, verse 5. The truth be known, the Jews
are in the process of returning to their land but are not yet seeking the Lord.
     The Jews will “seek” the Lord during that “seven-year” Tribulation Period. Then Jesus Christ, in the
line of King David and in fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant, will come to Earth to be the “king” of the
Jewish people and they shall be His people.
     What we see today among the Jewish people, especially in Israel, is at least the beginning of Hosea's
prophecy, a prophecy that will indeed be fulfilled "in the latter days."
     PRAYER THOT: Thank you, Lord, for giving me the illustration of the Jewish people and their
present-day situation, to help me know the times in which we are living. Please help me live
accordingly.
                                     105




Hosea 3 vs.’s 4-5 - For the children of Israel shall abide many days
without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and
without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim:
   Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD
their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his
goodness in the latter days.
         For further study - Hosea 3: 1-5
   The storyline of Hosea is that the prophet married a woman named
Gomer who is a "wife of whoredom" (Hosea 1:2) and he will spend time
going to find her, cleaning her up and bringing her back home.      The
message of this prophectic book is the Lord referring to Israel as a
"wife of whoredom" and continually searching for His chosen ones who
are off in idolatry as an "adulterous Israel."       As the Lord would
have   Hosea  to   forgive   his  adulterous   wife   and   forget  her
unfaithfulness to the prophet, so the Lord will do for His "wayward
wife".
   Here in Chapter 3 of the book of Hosea, the Lord tells Israel that
they one day will not play the harlot any more (Hosea 3:3) and abide
with Him forever.
However, before that day, the Lord tells Israel they shall abide many
days without a king, without a sacrifice and without an image (vs. 4).
But then they shall return and seek the Lord their God, and David
their King.
   This return of the "adulterous wife" will be in the latter days
when Israel will fear the Lord (vs. 5).     These are the days that we
see unfolding before our very eyes as the Jewish people by the
hundreds of thousands have returned to the land that God promised to
give them in the latter days. For those of us who are Christians, we
are not a part of the "bride of God" but instead the "bride of
Christ", the church.
   We can recognize the time talked about by Hosea.      I realize that
the Jews have not started to seek Him and fear Him yet, but they have
started to return to where they will come to know Him for who He is,
the Jewish Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is evidence that we
are in the latter days. Keep looking up!

PRAYER THOT:    Thank   the   Lord   for   our   relationship   with   Him,   our
bridegroom.
                                   106
I Chronicles 1 verses 1-4, 34         and 2 verse 1-2
Adam, Sheth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalaleel, Jered, Henoch, Methuselah,
Lamech, Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth ... And Abraham begat Isaac. The
sons of Isaac; Esau and Israel ... These are the sons of Israel;
Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun, Dan, Joseph,
and Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.
       For further study - I Chronicles 1:1-2:2
   I can just hear you now, not another genealogy to read for our
devotion today. Remember, when we read Genesis 5, another genealogy,
we did learn something. I remind you that there is something and in
fact many things that can be learned from reading through genealogies
- even though it may be more difficult to do than reading a narrative
of events in Biblical history. This particular genealogy goes from
Adam to the twelve sons of Israel, which of course, become the nation
of Israel.
   Let me point out several items of interest as it relates to
prophecy. Notice the sons of Japheth, (I Chronicles 1:5-6). They are
Gomer, Magog, Tubal, Meshech, and Togarmah. Now remember, this is
4,500 years ago, right after the flood, that these sons were born to
Japheth. These are the names of the peoples and the nations that come
against Israel, to destroy the Jewish state in the Last Days, (Ezekiel
38:2-6).
   Then look at the sons of Ham, (I Chronicles 1:8-10). Among those
mentioned are Cush, modern-day Ethiopia, Sudan, and Somalia. There is
Mizraim, modern-day Egypt and Put, the name for today's Libya. Verse
10 tells us that Cush begat Nimrod who became mighty on the earth.
Genesis 10:10 tells us that Nimrod had a kingdom in Babel, Biblical
Babylon which is modern day Iraq.
   These sons of Ham, whose descendants became the present Arab
states, were born over 500 years before Abraham of his first son,
Ishmael, came on the scene, (I Chronicles 1:28 and Genesis 10:10 -
11:26).
   Therefore Abraham nor his son Ishmael is the father of the Arab
world.
   Notice that Abraham also has Issac, (I Chronicles 1:28), who will
be the father of two boys who became two nations, (Genesis 25:19-23).
The Lord told the mother, Rebekah, of these two boys that they would
struggle throughout all their generations. Jacob, or Israel as God
changed his name, (Genesis 32), would have 12 sons, (I Chronicles 2:1-
2), and they would become the Jewish people, the nation of Israel.
   Esau, Jacob's twin brother, would also become a nation, the modern-
day Palestinians who are in the process of becoming a nation. Several
Jewish prophets tell of the conflict between these two brothers that
will continue until the return of the Lord (see my study, Esau and the
Palestinians - www.prophecybookstore.com). We can learn from genealogies-
Bible prophecy will be fulfilled.
   PRAYER THOT: Help me as I study God's word, all of it even the
genealogies, to understand the times we are living in today and to
live in light of the truth I will come to know.
                                  107
Jesus Christ the same yesterday,     and to day, and for ever.
      For further study - Hebrews 13:1-14
   I have come to the conclusion that Paul wrote the book of Hebrews,
but I won't argue with you about it. The truth is that whoever the
human penman was, the Holy Spirit "breathed" the Word into the author.
This reality helps me to realize that God is the one speaking to me
through this human scribe.
   With that in mind, I now approach today's devotional reading, the
key verse and the extended reading, with a heart that must be
receptive to God's instructions, correction, doctrine and all that is
good for me so that I can be the man of God He wants me to be in our
world today.
   I don't have to guess about how He wants me to live each day of my
life. As I read this passage I am instructed, exhorted and encouraged
as I read.
   I must continue in "brotherly love", verse 1. I could have the
opportunity to entertain angels, thinking they were strangers. verse
   2.God has given me and my wife of 48 years, something "honorable",
marriage.
I should not live a life of "wanting" but be "content" because all my
needs are met by Him, the one who will not forsake me, verse 5.
   I will not fear what man can do to me, verse 6. The Lord tells me
to honor, remember those who have the "rule over me", verse 7. Those
over me are responsible to God for their "watchcare" over me.
   Verse 9 exhorts us to be not carried away by every whim of
"doctrine". God uses "doctrine" to teach me through His Word. Every
instruction, exhortation and promise is because of verse 8.
   The great promise of this chapter is that Jesus, the Son of God,
the Messiah, is the very same every day; yesterday, today, and
everyday in the future.
   There's one last verse to ponder, verse 14. This old world can
offer us no great city; however, there is one that can do everything
that "we seek to come", that New Jerusalem, Revelation 21.
   I can't even begin to tell you of that "coming city", all that I
can say is that the "New Jerusalem", the "city to come", is better
than anything in this present world.
   The instructions in our devotional reading for today are those
preparations for that "city to come".


   PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for not leaving me in the dark as to
how I should be living for you now and into the future in that "city
to come".
                                             108




I Chronicles 17 vs9

Also I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in
their place, and shall be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste
them any more, as at the beginning,

For further study -I Chronicles 17:1-27

     As we come once again in our devotional readings to I Chronicles, I must mention that
in the original Hebrew Canon, First and Second Chronicles were one scroll. In Hebrew,
the title of that scroll means, "the words concerning the days."
     These two books today are a historic account of the "days" of Davidic kings of Israel,
all twelve tribes, and Judah, the two tribes of Benjamin and Judah, after the division
recorded in I Kings 11. Jewish tradition says that Ezra was the author of the two books.
However, scholarship believes that Ezra may have been the writer but the author is
actually unknown and referred to as the "Chronicler."
     The two books of history start with Adam, I Chronicles 1:1, and conclude with the
"carrying away" of the Jewish people into the Babylonian captivity by King
Nebuchadnezzar in II Chronicles 36.
     As we come in our reading today to I Chronicles 17, we see the record of David's
desire to build the Lord a “permanent place of worship” instead of the “transportable
worship center” known as the “Tabernacle”.
     David has brought the Ark of the Covenant up to Jerusalem and rested it in a
tabernacle, I Chronicles 16, and now David approaches the Lord about building the
temple. The Lord responded with the Davidic Covenant, which promises that there will be
a temple built by David's son, Solomon, as recorded in I Kings.
     The record of David's response is worship and prayer, verses 16-27 . David's past sins
have been forgiven and the Lord now tells David of the future of his family and house. It is
an account worth reading and meditating on as you read it.
     Notice two verses in our extended reading, verse 21 and our key verse, verse 9. In
David's prayer, he thanks the Lord for his people and his nation whom God has chosen for
a special purpose, verse 21. But then, reread our key verse, verse 9.
     God makes the promise, in fact, He ordains a place for His "people Israel" to dwell. It
will be a place where they will live forever. They will not be removed from this “place”
nor "wiped off the map", as has been threatened by the Iranian president Ahmadinejad, and
the leadership of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic terrorist organization.
     God's promise of a land for the Jewish people and a Temple in that land with a king,
King Jesus, on the throne will be fulfilled and seemingly in the near future.
     PRAYER THOT: Thank you, Lord, for being a "promise-keeping" Lord.
                                  109




I Chronicles 21 vs.24    - And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I
will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which
is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost.
         For further study - I Chronicles 21:18-30
   Our extended devotional reading for today is the account of King
David purchasing the threshingfloor from the Jebusite, to be used as a
place for an altar upon which David could offer sacrifice. You might
recall that King David had conquered the Jebusite's stronghold known
as Jerusalem and made it the "political capital" of the Jewish people,
II Samuel 5.
   In II Samuel 6, David brought the Ark of the Covenant into
Jerusalem and then made Jerusalem the "spiritual capital" of the
Jewish people.
Jerusalem would be the location where David's son would build the
first temple. The threshingfloor that Ornan, the Jebusite, owned was
the location that King David wanted as a place of sacrifice and the
Israeli King was willing to pay cash money for that piece of real
estate.
   You'll notice in our extended reading that the Jebusite, Ornan,
wanted to give King David this exact location for the place of this
altar that the Jewish king wanted for offering sacrifices. When Ornan
offered to give the land to King David, the king refused saying that
he would not offer sacrifice unless he paid for this sacrificial site.
   Let the record show that King David paid cash money for Ornan's
threshingfloor, 600 shekels of gold, approximately $100 in present day
currency. It is important to see that King David did not take this
site as a gift but instead paid cash money for the location which was
on the peak of Mount Moriah. Remember, Mount Moriah is the spot where
Abraham offered his son Isaac to the Lord, Genesis 22:2.
Mount Moriah is also the location where King Solomon built the first
temple, II Chronicles 3:1.
   This location, Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, is
where the next temple will be built during the Tribulation Period,
Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15; II Thessalonians 2:4; and Revelation 11:2.
This sacred spot where the first and second temples stood and where
the next two temples will also stand is the piece of real estate that
a Jewish king purchased for "cash money."
   That should settle the question of ownership but it does not. The
Temple Mount will be the center of controversy until the Antichrist
has a temple built on the spot where Jesus Christ will one day build
his millennial Temple prior to the 1,000 year Kingdom.
   The only problem for building a Jewish temple today up on the
Temple Mount is a gold-domed building, a Muslim religious center;
however, the Jewish temple will be built there one day, not too far
into the future.

PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord to recognize the times in which we are
living and to look for Your soon return.
                                  110
I Chronicles 23 vs25     - For       David said, The LORD God of Israel
hath given rest unto his people, that they may dwell in Jerusalem for
ever:          For further study - I Chronicles 23:1-32
   I Chronicles 23 takes place at the end of King David's life and at
the time he anoints his son Solomon to become King over Israel. You
might remember that even though David wanted to build the Temple as a
permanent worship center for the Jewish people, God had not allowed
him to do so because of disobedience. As in I Kings, the record is
clear in I Chronicles 22 that King David prepared for the building of
the Temple by gathering together the monies needed, plus the manpower
and materials for the Temple including all the furniture of the
Temple, I Chronicles 22:14.
   David would also gather the Levites together to set them in "order"
so that they might serve in the Temple at an allotted time of the year
as well as the times of the Jewish Feast Days. I Chronicles 24 is the
schedule for the priest to serve in the Temple as set forth by King
David.
   In our extended reading we find some very significant information
on the service at the Temple. Verse 3 states that the priests who
serve at the Temple begin their "priesthood" at the age of thirty,
having studied for twenty-eight years the priestly duties and
responsibilities.
   The number of Levites serving the Temple in one capacity or another
is 38,000, verse 3. And of these, 24,000 of them were to "set forth
the work of the house of the Lord", verse 4.
   It's interesting to note that 4,000 of the 38,000 were "to praise
the Lord" with instruments which King David had made to be used for
"praising the Lord". It was the "harp" that King David had made and
used to "praise the Lord". He also wrote many of the Psalms by using
his harp.
   As you read through the entire 23rd chapter of I Chronicles, you'll
notice that in verses 7-23 King David sets certain families aside for
service in the Temple. This is similar to the divisions of the sons of
Aaron into the twenty-four orders to serve at the Temple, as found in
I Chronicles 24.
   From verses 24-32, David gives further instructions for service at
the Temple. Please notice King David's statement in verse 25, it is
very prophetic. David, because of the Davidic Covenant, the promise
from the Lord to David, the aged King of Israel was told by God that
the Jewish people would dwell in Jerusalem, forever. By the way, the
word "forever" means forever, even into eternity future. There, in
fact, will be a temple in Jerusalem, forever, Ezekiel 37:26 & 28.
   One final word about what King David did to prepare for the first
temple, Solomon's Temple. David selected the priest, set the number
needed in place and even the four thousand to play the harps. Today in
Jerusalem there are men studying the "priestly duties" so that they
can operate the next Temple. Even the harps have been made to use in
the next Temple. The next Temple could be built very soon. The only
thing that must happen before the building of the Temple is the
Rapture of the Church, and that could happen today.
   PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord, to live today as if this is the day that
the Rapture will happen.
                                  111


I Corinthians 1 verse 18     - For the preaching of the cross is to
them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the
power of God.
         For further study -I Corinthians 1:18-31
   In the passage for our devotional reading today we see how those
today who exalt “human wisdom” will one day come to an understanding
that man's wisdom is "foolishness in the things of God."
   That's how Paul begins our devotional passage, which is an excerpt
of his letter to the very "carnal church" in Corinth. What a powerful
truth, that which seems to be "foolishness" to those of the world
today who are not saved, not believers in Jesus Christ for eternal
life, how they consider the "preaching of the cross" foolishness.
   But Paul tells those of us who do believe that we came to that
belief by the "preaching of the cross" which is to those of us who
believe, the "power of God", verse 18.
   If we take a closer look at the philosophy of this world today, and
its people, they are bound up by "human wisdom", the knowledge and
intellect of man. Even the "church", the institution ordained by God
on Earth, has appropriated that "humanistic" philosophy, that "human
wisdom," which they have made key to their "pattern of life".
   Paul uses this letter to the Church in Corinth, who had bought into
this philosophy and he revealed to them that man's wisdom was
"foolishness." God's wisdom is what we should long for. It is very
evident in what is termed "post-modern Christianity" in the Church
today that they have allowed for "man's wisdom" to take control of
leadership and ministry.
   In fact, Paul even said that the foolishness of God, verse 25, is
wiser than men. Verse 27 reveals God's plan for this matter. God has
chosen the "foolishness of this world to confound the wise."
   Paul realizes that many in this world must have "signs" to believe
what is of the Lord, verse 22, especially the Jew. If one has to have
a "sign" to believe, faith will not then spring forth.
   Hebrews 11:1 says that "faith" is the substance of things "hoped
for", the evidence of things "not seen." If we must have a "sign"
before we believe then we don't have "real faith".
   Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, Romans
10:17. The Jew and some others require a "sign" and the Gentile craves
for wisdom, the wisdom of man, verse 22. Both are the opposite of
God's design for the Church and it's ministry and worship.
   Paul sets the standard, verse 23, "we preach Christ crucified." Not
only crucified, but resurrected, ascended into heaven and one day
coming again.
Now that is "real wisdom", God's wisdom.
   PRAYER THOT: Help me to stay in the Bible for the Godly wisdom that
will carry me through life and into eternity future.
                                                    112




I Corinthians 2:9

     But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the
things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
                For further study - I Corinthians 2:1-16
     I love our key verse, verse 9, it is a promise of things that God will give me and you, if you know
Him as Lord and Saviour, things that I can not even imagine. My eyes have not seen them, my ears have
not heard them and my heart is void of what these things might be that will come to me in the future.
     What we do know is that God has prepared these things. Because I love Him they will come to me. I
feel like a little child who has the prospect of receiving “something special” from someone special. In
order to receive from God this “something special” we must not only love the Lord, but we must be "born
again", become a “new creation”.
     Verse 14 states that the "natural man", a lost person without Jesus Christ, will not be able to know
about God's gift. Whatever God would count as special, the lost person would consider it all foolishness.
The gifts coming from the Lord will be better in focus as we study through the Word of the Lord, the
Bible.
     Paul explains in this passage the ministry of the Holy Spirit in communicating to the believer what
God wants him to know. The first method that God uses to communicate to man is "inspiration," verse
13.
     Paul says it wasn't his words and his wisdom but the Holy Spirit breathing into him, as He did into
some 40 men over 1,500 years, 66 books, the Bible; with God's message for humankind, II Timothy
3:16.
     These "truths" or "revelation" were also God-breathed and given to men, men the Lord Himself
chose. None of the prophets received these truths by his own will but were Holy men of God and were
able to speak prophetic truth as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, II Peter 1:21.
     Maybe the most exciting thought in this passage is that we as Christians have the Holy Spirit living in
us to not only empower us but also to teach us through "illumination," a third ministry of the Holy Spirit.
     Jesus told His disciples that He must go, but He promised that when He had gone, He would send the
Holy Spirit to teach us. And notice, the Holy Spirit would not only teach us but teach us things to come,
John 16:7-14.
     I must admit that after 50 years of studying God's Word there is much more than I can imagine that
the Lord has in store for me, in the future.
     PRAYER THOT: Thank you, Lord, for breathing into Godly men, Your Word, and then sending
the Holy Spirit, the one who gave men Your Word, to dwell within me and teach me Your Word.
                                                    113




I Corinthians 3 verse 8

Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according
to his own labour.
              For further study - I Corinthians 3:1-15
     The apostle Paul, who wrote our reading today, also wrote to the Thessalonians about the Rapture of
the church, I Thessalonians 4:13-18, and he told us of the sound of the trumpet, the shout of the
archangel and at our Lord's shout, we will enter His presence. It is at that time in the future that the
“Judgment” Seat of Christ takes place.
     The Judgment Seat of Christ is when all Christians will be judged by Jesus Christ, John 5:22, for his
or her labor for the Lord. It is at that time that we will receive either rewards or suffer loss of rewards.
The procedure for this awesome time before the Lord at the "Judgment Seat" is found in our reading for
today. The reality that we will one day stand at the "Judgment Seat" is awesome as we consider the events
that will unfold on that day.
     Verse 12 tells us of the two categories of works that we will be judged for at the Judgment Seat.
There are the “wood, hay and stubble” works and the “gold, silver, and precious stones” works. Those
wood, hay and stubble works are works we did after becoming a Christian. These are works that we have
done in our own strength and for our own glory. The gold, silver and precious stones works are those
works we did in His power, for His glory.
     Let me remind you that works are not for salvation, but a result of salvation. Salvation is by grace
through faith, Ephesians 2:8-9. Works are what follows because we are "created unto good works" after
salvation, Ephesians 2:10.
     All of our works from either category will be judged, actually by fire, and what remains will be that
which indicates whether we gain rewards or suffer loss. Naturally, those wood, hay and stubble works
will be burned up.
     The gold, silver and precious stones works will be purified in the fire and bring us rewards for the
works we have done for Him and for His glory and in His power.
     These works are the "righteous acts" we do during our lifetime as a Christian. The righteous acts then
become our “wedding garments” that we, as the bride of Christ, will wear when we are married to Jesus
Christ.
     This “marriage ceremony” will precede the "marriage supper of the Lamb”, Revelation 19:7-9. It is
exciting to consider the wedding garment we will wear at that ceremony for our groom, Jesus Christ.
     However, it is a bit concerning to realize that one day, possibly very soon, at the Rapture we will
stand face to face with Christ and have to respond at the Judgment Seat of Christ. This should motivate
each us to get things in order so we will be ready to face Jesus. It could be today!
     PRAYER THOT: Help me to do all works in His power and only for His honor and glory.
                                                     114




I Corinthians 10 vs31

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
                For further study - I Corinthians 10:23-33
      Paul, in his letter to the Corinthian Church, lays out the guidelines for the use of the liberty that the
Lord has given to us for our Christian life. The apostle writes to a very “carnal church”, the church in
Corinth, that everything is lawful for him, verse 23, but He gives them then four guidelines for living by
the "law of love" in the liberty that God gives.
      Paul says that though everything is lawful, everything is not expedient. In other words, everything is
permissible but it is not always beneficial. Then Paul sets another standard for what he does. It must edify
- it must build up those around him, verse 23.
      Paul's lifestyle is not to promote himself or to do those things that bring attention, glory, or
advancement for him, verse 24. Paul's goal is to promote the good of others. This type of lifestyle, serving
others, is chosen by Paul so that he might bring many people to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior,
verse 33. Paul's standard sets the bar high for each of us to set as our goal for the life we lead daily in
front of others.
      These principles in our passage from Paul's writings are worth our reading for today. But before we
leave, let me share another principle, a “prophetic principle” as well as a “personal principle”. Paul says in
verse 32, in light of his chosen lifestyle, that he will not be an offense to the Jews, the Gentiles, or the
Christians. This verse goes along with the theme of our reading for today but it also is a key component as
you start to study prophecy.
      Paul divided humankind into three members of the “human family”, Gentiles, Jews, and Christians.
Every person on earth is one of these family members. For the first 2,000 years of human history, from
Genesis 1-12, there were only Gentiles on the earth.
      When God brought Abraham to the Promised Land, He made this Gentile, Abraham, the first
Hebrew, Genesis 14:13, and started another people, the Jewish people.
      Then, for the next 2,000 years from Genesis 12 to Acts 1, there were Gentiles and Jews on earth, but
no Christians. A Jew or a Gentile that believed God for righteousness was a believing Jew or Gentile.
      On the Day of Pentecost, Acts 2, the Lord started the Church and there then was a third member of
the human family, Christians. All these members of the human family are in play from Acts 2 to
Revelation 22.
      This information is key to understanding Bible prophecy. As we read the Word, the prophetic Word,
we must keep this "prophetic principle" in mind. It will help us to know who the Lord is addressing in His
prophetic plan and for what time in history.
      PRAYER THOT: Dear Lord, help me to approach my study of Your word with the principles that
will give me understanding of Your prophetic plan.
                                                      115




I Corinthians 15 vs20
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
                For further study - I Corinthians 15:1-23
      This 15th chapter is a power-packed portion of Scripture. I guess that you have noticed that our
reading today is out of order, we were to have read a portion of Nehemiah which we will do tomorrow. I
have chosen I Corinthians 15 for today, Easter, the traditional day to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus
Christ.
      Our reading today is the evidence that could be used in a court of law to find Jesus guilty of
resurrecting from the dead. There were eyewitnesses of the appearances of Jesus Christ alive, after His
death - in fact over 500 of them.
      I love this chapter of I Corinthians because it begins with the Resurrection of Jesus and concludes
with the Rapture of the Church when He calls us to join Him “in the air” forever more.
      In the very first verse, Paul says here is the "gospel." Then, in verses 2-4, he gives us the gospel, the
“good news”. The “gospel” is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Verses 5-8 tell us of
those who saw Jesus Christ alive after His resurrection. The number is over 500 people in Jerusalem and
in the Galilee who saw Him and could give testimony of the fact that the Lord was alive.
      This evidence would stand up in a court of law to prove Him guilty of resurrection. The resurrection
of Jesus Christ is the “cornerstone of our faith”. If He did not come back to life after death, then we are
still in our sin, I Corinthians 15:17.
      By the way, the resurrection of Jesus is the “foundation for the truth” that if we should die before the
Rapture we will resurrect from the dead also, I Corinthians 15:20-23.
      Not only is the resurrection the cornerstone of our faith, it is the “foundation for Bible prophecy”.
Revelation 1:18 says that Jesus claimed to be that One that was alive, dead, and alive, forever more.
      Revelation 1:19 then reveals to us the future as Jesus tells John to write of those things which were,
which are, and which will be hereafter. That is an outline for Revelation and the story of the End Times.
      One final thought, because of the Resurrection of Jesus, that power that raised Him is available to
each of us who know Him as Lord and Savior. We, by faith, can appropriate the “resurrection power” of
Jesus to live through each and every day, Ephesians 1:19-20.
      In a later devotional, we will look at the last portion of this powerful passage and study the prophecy
of the coming Rapture. Remember, we can believe that there is going to be a Rapture because of His
Resurrection.
      PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord, for giving me the Resurrection power to live daily, for You.
                                                    116




I John 1 vs7
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of
Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
               For further study - I John 1:1-7
     The apostle John was entrusted by God to be the writer of five books of the New Testament, the one
for our devotional reading today, the epistles of II and III John, the Gospel of John and the book of
Revelation. There are unique messages in each of John's books but I John has a multi-faceted theme.
     John writes about knowledge of great spiritual truths, what true love is and where it comes from and
how to have true fellowship. Verse 3 relates to us how to have true fellowship. I am not speaking of a
pleasant conversation or a surface relationship, God tells us how to have Biblical fellowship.
     True fellowship is found in our relationship with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. When that
relationship is right, then, and only then, can we have that same type of relationship with our fellow man.
     Then John gets real practical in his thoughts. John adds that God is light – there is no darkness in Him
at all, verse 6. The fellowship and relationship, we say we have with God, will be manifested by our walk
in light - in God who is light. We can-not walk in darkness and have fellowship with God or others.
     For those of us who have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ, we are the ones who walk in the
light as He is in the light. Thus, we can have fellowship one with another and with Him. At this point in
history, our fellowship is with others in human kind. But one day, when we enter His presence, we will
have the same fellowship with Him we experience with others.
     John, when writing of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21 and 22, mentioned that in eternity future
there will be a “tree of life” in the midst of the New Jerusalem which we will eat from, forever,
Revelation 22:2.
     Stop and consider for a moment. We will eat forever of the “tree of life”. When you think of
fellowship, what do you think of? Food! Food and fellowship are synonymous terms. What a great
thought. We will fellowship together forever - that means fellowship with God the Father and His Son
Jesus Christ.
     But it also means believers in Christ, not only of today, but from all of history. That includes all of
the Biblical characters as well. I can hardly wait to talk to people like Noah, Jonah, Daniel, Joshua and so
many others. By the way, if we are going to fellowship forever with believers, why don't we start
practicing right now.
     PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord, to walk in the light so that I can have fellowship one with
another and with You.
                                                    117




I John 2 vs15
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the
Father is not in him.
               For further study - I John 2:15-26
     We know that the 40 or more authors of the Bible were all Jewish men, who had "breathed into them"
the very Word of God, II Timothy 3:16. Several of the authors wrote more than one book: Moses, Ezra,
Solomon, Luke, Paul, and the author of our reading today, John. John the Apostle, who was very close to
Jesus, wrote a total of 5 books of the New Testament - the Gospel of John, I, II, and III John, and the
Revelation of Jesus Christ.
     In his Gospel, John gives the account of Jesus Christ in His “divine nature”. In the book of
Revelation, John wrote what Jesus told him to write as relayed to him by an angel. In his epistles, the
apostle writes very “practical letters” to Christians.
     The book of I John is written that we might “know that we have eternal life”, I John 5:11-13. In fact,
the word "know" is used 39 times in this letter to believers. By the way, that would be a great approach to
studying I John. Just look at all of the "know" phrases in their context.
     Today's key verse tells about where we are and how we should live. Don't you just love people who
are so direct, right to the point? That is John's method in the writing of this book. "Don't love the world."
Then he tells us how we can know if the “love of the Father” is in us.
     If we have a love for this world, the love of the Father - God's Love - is not in us. John also reminds
us that this world with all of its attractions will one day pass away. But we who do the “will of God” will
abide forever, I John 2:17.
     John, who will receive the Revelation from Jesus Christ about 5 years after writing this letter,
recognized that we are in the Last Days, I John 2:18. This statement was applicable for John's day and
much more so for our day. John warns of an “antichrist”, but also issues a warning against the philosophy
of the times.
     I John 2:22 states that those individuals and religions of the world that deny that Jesus Christ is the
Son of God are of the “antichrist philosophy”. This atmosphere will be prevalent during the time of the
appearing of "The Antichrist". By reading John's warnings and exhortations, we can realize that we are
living in the times that John was writing about.
     John concludes this portion of scripture by telling us one of the reasons why he wrote this book. We
can recognize those who would try to seduce us, I John 2:26. It is so good to have an author who is so
down-to-earth, so real. It is also good to have someone who will deal directly with us about the issues of
the day, the Last Days.
     PRAYER THOT: Thank you, Lord, for such a practical straightforward manual on "How to Live
the Christian Life." Help me to follow its instructions.
                                                     118




I John 3 vs. 3
And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
                For further study - I John 3:1-5
      Though our extended reading is a short five verses today, it is power-packed. This passage will
contradict the “worlds” philosophy today. Someone mentioned to me once the title of the song from the
islands, that is a philosophy of life for many people. The song, "Don't worry, be happy."
      That is the driving force in the lives of many people today, to be "happy." The possibility of being
happy is based upon "happenings", in other words what is happening around you.
      John reveals to us that real "joy" not "happiness" is based on what the Father has done for us. In fact,
John warns us that the "happenings" will be tough since the "world", all those outside of Jesus, will have
little or no relationship with us.
      There is nothing new about this reaction, we should expect it, since the world had no relationship
with Jesus either. The world will not understand our relationship with Jesus, a relationship like a husband
and a wife. By the way, the book of I John was written that we may have "full joy" in Him, I John 1:4.
      I John 3:1 let’s us know that the Fathers love has been bestowed upon each of us so that we shall be
called the "sons of God", children of God, verse 1.
      Then John answers an often-asked question, "What will we be like in heaven?" The truth is that I am
incapable of explaining that to you except for what John wrote to us, "when He appears we shall be like
Him", verse 2.
      The question of how will we be in the future will only be answered when Jesus comes again.
Speaking of the Lord's return, the reality of that event happening is our hope, our "blessed hope". That
"hope" that is within our being is that which will, or should, make us pure.
      Because that hope is within us, we must "purify ourselves". Jesus sets the example, He is pure, and
He sets the standard for purity.
      I told you this short passage would be "power-packed". The Father's love has been poured out on us
and has made us the children of God, children who don't know yet what we will be like except we will be
like Him when He returns and appears before us.
      These truths are made manifest in our lives as we, in anticipation of His coming, go about purifying
ourselves, even as He is pure.
      A continuing study of Bible prophecy and the understanding of current events as they are setting the
stage for these prophecies to be fulfilled will help us to look for Him to come and to change us into His
image. This knowledge will also help us to purify ourselves.
      PRAYER THOT: Keep me focused on your soon return and my understanding of how close that
could be, which is that hope that purifies.
                                                     119




I John 4 vs17
Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so
are we in this world.
                     For further study - I John 4:1-21
     We will read the entire chapter of I John 4 for our extended reading today. I John 4 is a marvelous
description of what and who "love" is in our world today. Verse 8 jumps right out at me as I read about
"love", from verses 7-21. In fact the word "love" is used 26 times in these verses.
     John tells us "Who" love is in verse 8, "God is love". John then defines "love" by what God did, He
gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to become sin for us so that we might be saved, verse 10.
     Then we are told to follow God's example by “loving” one another, since God “loved” us. John tells
us how we can know God and know that He dwells within each of us, it is by "loving others," verses 10
& 12.
     Verse 17 tells us how “our love” will be made perfect when we stand in boldness in the "day of
judgment." Verse 18 tells us how to "cast out fear" by “loving” God and others.
     John gives us a test so that we can know for sure that we “love” the Lord, Verse 20. This verse states
that if we "hate" our brother, fellow man, and say that we "love" the Lord, we are "liars." How could we
truly “love” the Lord Whom we have not seen and yet hate those whom we have seen.
     I John 4 is a great statement about "love"; however, it is very interesting to see that the first four
verses of this chapter deal with another issue all together. John warns us to not believe every spirit, but to
try them, hold them up to the standard of the Word of God.
     The reason for this is especially true for the days in which we are living today. The reason is that
there are many "false prophets" out there.
     John gives us another test, this one to determine the nature of these spirits or teachers that come our
way. A true spirit or teacher that represents the one true God is the one that admits, confesses, that Jesus is
the Son of God, come in the flesh.
     If the spirit or teacher says Jesus was not the Son of God, then it is the spirit of "Antichrist." Any
religion that claims "its god had no son" and that Jesus Christ is not the Son of God in the flesh is an
"Antichrist religion."
     That's God's Word, not mine, and God's Word is absolute. We live in a day of many false teachers
and religions, these are the days preparing for, and leading up to the Antichrist, the last days.
     PRAYER THOT: Help me dear Lord to love You and others as I abide by Your Word and follow
Your example.
                                  120


I John 5 vs5   - Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that
believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
         For further study - I John 5:1-21
   John defines for us who an "overcomer" is in I John 5. He tells us
what's in store for those of us who are "overcomers" as foretold in
Revelation 2 and 3. I'll get back to you on that in a moment but first
to things that we know for sure, as confirmed by this chapter of I
John.
   Verses 11-13 tell us, on the record, how we can have a "know so"
salvation. God, verse 11, has given us "eternal life". This is a gift
from God for all of us who recognize that this life is in His Son.
   The text tells us "this life is in His Son". The positive and
negative are found in verse 12, "he that hath the Son of God hath
life," and vice-versa, "he that hath not the Son of God hath not
life."
   The truth is very simple. There is no need to question or worry
about salvation, eternal life. In fact, the reason John wrote this
book is so that we can "know" for sure that we have eternal life.
That's not a feeling, a 'hope so" or a "guess so", but a "know so"
salvation.
   Then John gives us confidence about our "prayer life", and that
confidence is found in the Lord, also. John tells us that if we ask
anything according to His will, we can know that the Lord hears us.
   Then we are told that since He hears us, we know that we have the
petitions that we desired of Him, verses 14-15. You may say, how can
we know His will so that we can pray in His will?
   The "Word of God" is the "will of God". Know the "Word of God" and
you will know the "will of God". But you may say, I can't determine
the "will of God" from the Word on a specific matter, that's where
Romans 8:26-27 comes into the equation. When we can not determine the
"will of God" the Holy Spirit takes over and intercedes for us
according to the "will of God", Romans 8:26-27.
   There is another "great nugget" for us to take away from our Bible
reading today. It's found in I John 5:4-5. John, as I said earlier,
defines who is an "overcomer". An "overcomer" is someone who is born
of God. That would be someone who believes that Jesus is the Son of
God who died for us and rose from the dead.
   We must "admit" that we are sinners, in need of salvation. We then
"believe" that the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus was that
which our Lord did to take away our sin. After admitting and
believing, we then "call" upon Him to save us, Romans 10:13. An
"overcomer" is someone who is born again.
   With that information we can see what is guaranteed to all
"overcomers" as found in the letters to the seven churches of Asia
Minor, Revelation 2 and 3. Common in all of the letters to the seven
churches, "he that is an "overcomer", precedes the promise that the
Lord makes to all "overcomers."
   PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for giving me eternal life by making me
an "overcomer". And thank you also for all that is promised in Your
letter to the seven churches of Revelation to "overcomers.
                                         121




I Kings 1 vs.39        - And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the
tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said,
God save king Solomon.
           For further study - I Kings 1:28 - 40
    The time is around 3000 years ago as we come to the record of King David
anointing his son Solomon to be king of all of Israel. It almost did not happen this
way for another son of David, Adonijah had plotted to seize the kingdom from his
stepbrother Solomon when their father, King David, learned of the plan and had
Bathsheba call his
staff to his death bed to make certain Solomon was crowned King.
Bathsheba brought Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet to anoint Solomon King of
Israel.
    It is interesting to note that this prophet Nathan is the same prophet that told
King David that he would not be allowed to build the temple but it would be built by
his son. Nathan also is key in the giving of the Davidic Covenant (II Samuel 7) to
David. It was Nathan who helped select Solomon to be the third king of Israel and
one of the ones to anoint Solomon.
    God had promised David that one of his seed would rule on the throne and also
play a key role in the building of the permanent worship center of the Lord, the
Temple. That promise will ultimately be fulfilled by Jesus Christ who will return to
earth and build His Temple, Messiah's Temple, Zechariah 6:12. The Lord Jesus will
also reign from that temple as the King, Zechariah 6:13.
    Thus we have seen the first step in the long journey over the centuries to Jesus
through the Davidic line. But, I want you to notice something else in this passage.
Nathan the prophet and Zadok were to bring Solomon to the Gihon River which is
located in the city of David, the original site for Jerusalem. It was at the Gihon
that these men would anoint Solomon to be king over Israel.
    Maybe you remember where you have heard of that river, the Gihon, before. If
not, look back to Genesis 2. The Gihon is one of the rivers mentioned in the
reference to the Garden of Eden, Genesis 2:13. In fact, the Gihon is the river, the
one river, that flowed out of the Garden of Eden and became four rivers somewhere
outside of the Garden, Genesis 2:10. This text is telling us that, as Jewish
scholarship has believed for almost 6000 years, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is the
original site of the Garden of Eden. (see my study, Return to Eden
https://shop6.gospelcom.net/epages/
Prophecy today storefront )
  One of David's seed will rule from a Temple in the original Garden of Eden one day.
    PRAYER THOT: Help me to be pure and productive as I await His return.
                                                   122




I Kings 2 vs12

Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was established greatly.
               For further study - I Kings 2:1-12
     This is the record of the death of one King and the installation of another. It is also the first
installment of the promise made to King David. Before we look at these two issues, let's look at King
David's charge to his son who was to become “King of Israel”.
     As David began the charge he used a very picturesque description for his pending death. "I go the
way of all the earth," is a statement that shows David was a realist who knew he would soon die and thus
the reason for the charge to his son, the “heir apparent”.
     As I read the “charge”, I was reminded of the “charge” Moses gave to Joshua. There are some
familiar phrases which are actually good Biblical principles for us to follow as well.
     Notice verse 3. David charges Solomon to “walk in the Lord's ways and to keep His statutes”, as
written in the word of God. The promise for doing this will be that Solomon and each of us also will
prosper.
     Just this reminder - to "prosper" is not necessarily to be “wealthy”. That is not what the Lord has in
mind. The Lord's idea of "prosper" is to “fulfill the will of the Lord for our lives and to bring glory to
Him”.
     Before I look at the first installment of God's promise to King David, notice verse 10. King David,
after serving 40 years as King of the Jewish people, dies and is buried in the city of David, which is the
city of Jerusalem.
     The place of David's burial is the actual location of where the events of what happened in Acts 2 took
place. The Day of Pentecost, when the church was born, is at the same spot where King David is buried,
Acts 2:29.
     Verse 12 tells us that David's son Solomon did indeed ascend to the ‘throne of his father’ and thus
fulfilled the first installment of the Davidic Covenant, II Samuel 7:12-13.
     This is evidence that God's plan was in force and will be in force in the future as well. The Davidic
Covenant will be fulfilled - a King from David's family will be on the throne in the Temple in Jerusalem
with a Kingdom that will be forever.
     Solomon was the first installment of that promise. The coming Messiah, Jesus Christ will be the
ultimate fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant. I believe we are living in the days of that Kingdom, which
is yet to come.
     PRAYER THOT: Thank you for keeping Your promises, Lord, to each of us, as You did to King
David.
                                                    123




I Kings 8 vs11

So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled
the house of the LORD.
                   For further study - I Kings 8:1-11
     King Solomon, the third king of Israel, was the one God would have to build the Temple, the first
permanent worship center for the Jewish people. The account of Solomon's Temple, up and operating in
Jerusalem, is the portion of I Kings that I've selected for today’s devotional reading.
     Until Solomon's Temple the tabernacle, a transportable worship center, was used by the Lord to
“dwell among His people”, especially during the forty years of wandering in the wilderness and also
during the first 350 years of the Jewish people living in the Promised Land.
     After the Philistines took the Ark of the Covenant from the Jews they kept the Ark for only seven
months, I Samuel 6:1. And then for another 120 years the Ark was at a place about 15 miles west of
Jerusalem.
     King David brought the Ark to Jerusalem, II Samuel 6, and wanted to build a temple to house the
Ark. Because of David's disobedience he was not allowed that honor; however, his son Solomon would be
the one to build the temple.
     David gathered the manpower, the monies and the materials for Solomon to use in the building of the
temple. He even purchased the site where the temple would be erected. David paid cash money for the site
of Araunah's threshing floor, II Samuel 24:24, which was on Mt Moriah, II Chronicles 3:1.
     King David passed from the earth into paradise and his son Solomon, as promised by the Lord, built
the first temple which took him seven years to build this "worship center" for the Jewish people, I Kings
6:38.
     With the temple built, Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and the heads of all the tribes of Israel
for the dedication of the Temple and the placing of the “Ark of the Covenant”, theShakinah Glory, in the
Holy of Holies of this “permanent worship center” of the Jewish people.
     King Solomon had the Levites to bring the Ark from the tabernacle that King David had erected to
house the Ark until the temple was ready. As the men brought the Ark into the Temple, into the Holy of
Holies, the "glory of the Lord" filled the "house of the Lord" so that the priests could not minister.
     There would be a second temple built in Jerusalem, after the Babylonian Captivity; however, the
"Glory of the Lord" would not be on the Ark of the Covenant because the "Glory" departed the Ark and
the Holy of Holies before the Temple was destroyed, Ezekiel 8-11.
     The Ark was never again in the Temple, even during the lifetime of Jesus. The location of the Ark is
known today and it will be placed in the Temple that stands on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem during the
Tribulation Period; however, the "Glory of the Lord" will not be resting on the Ark.
     The "Glory of the Lord" manifested in the person of Jesus Christ will once again enter the "House of
the Lord" going into the Holy of Holies and He will fill the "House of the Lord" with His glory when He
comes back to Jerusalem.
     Remember, the Ark will be used in the Tribulation Temple, but Jesus is the "Ark" for His Temple, a
Temple where He will rule and reign from during His kingdom.
     PRAYER THOT: Even so come, Lord Jesus.
                                     124
I Kings 9:3    - And the LORD said      unto him, I have heard thy prayer
and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed
this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and
mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.
             For further study - I Kings 9:1-9
   In fulfillment of God's promise to David, II Samuel 7, King David's
son Solomon would build the temple, the first permanent dwelling place
for the worship of the Jewish people in Jerusalem. I Kings 5 is the
record of Solomon's preparations to build the temple with the
gathering together of the manpower and materials. I Kings 6, Solomon
begins the building of the temple. I Kings 7 is the story of the
building of the home of Solomon. Notice in 7:1, it took Solomon 13
years to build his house and according to 6:38 it only took 7 years to
build the Temple. Solomon had a very interesting priority. I Kings 8
reveals that Solomon brought the "Ark of the Covenant" into the
Temple. What a day that was when the "Glory of the Lord filled the
House of the Lord."
   As we come to our devotional reading for today, I Kings 9:1-9, we see
recorded the second pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus to King Solomon, the
first being in Gibeon, I Kings 3:5. The Lord tells the King of Israel that He
had heard his prayer and supplication, verse 3. And that Solomon's permanent
"worship center", the Temple, was to be "hallowed" by Him.
   The Lord also said He would put His name there at the Temple, forever, and
that His eyes and His heart would be there "perpetually". The Lord then makes
a promise and gives a warning to the King. In verses 4-5 the Lord promises
Solomon that if He would walk before Him as his father David did, and do
according to all the Lord commanded him to do, King Solomon's kingdom would
be established forever, as He had promised his father David.
   However here is a "but", verse 6. The Lord tells Solomon that if he or his
children turn from following Him, do not keep His commandments and follow
after other gods, then Israel would be cut off out of the land that He had
given the children of Israel.
   The Lord also told Solomon the Temple would be destroyed, a result of the
children of Israel failing to follow and obey Him. Solomon was told that
people of the world would look at Israel as a "proverb and byword".
   These worldly people would ask why Israel was not in the land and why was
the Temple destroyed. The Lord answers that question in advance, "because the
people of Israel forsook the Lord their God", verse 9.
   This prophecy that the Jesus gave to Solomon was fulfilled, in fact
fulfilled, twice. In 586 BC Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Solomon's Temple and
took the Jews out of their God-given land. Some seventy years later the Jews
returned to the land and built another Temple, Ezra 1-6.
   Then, because of additional disobedience, the Lord followed through on His
promise again and had the Roman Army destroy the Second Temple and disbursed
the Jews out of their land. When God makes a promise, He keeps that promise.
   The Lord made another promise, that He would bring the Jews back into the
land in the last days and give them another Temple. This scenario found in
God's prophetic word is in the process of being played out in our world
today.
   PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord, to walk before You daily and do that which You
direct me to do as I await Your return.
                                            125




I Kings 11 vs11

Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast
not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend
the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.
             For further study - I Kings 11:1-12
The fulfillment of this prophecy is recorded in I Kings 12:16-24. The dividing of the
Kingdom of Solomon - 10 tribes under Jeroboam known as Israel and two tribes under
Rehoboam known as Judah.
     These 12 tribes would reunite almost 500 years later. This reunification of the twelve
tribes of Israel would take place in the days of the reign of Cyrus of theMedo-Persian
Empire, Ezra 1:1-3 and Ezra 2.
     But the ancient Jewish prophet Ezekiel reveals another division among the Jewish
people will take place during the last days leading up to and during the seven year
Tribulation Period. Ezekiel 37:15-23. There will be two Jewish states at that time known
as “Israel” and “Judah” (see my study on Ezekiel 37 on my CD “Ezekiel, Retribution and
Restoration) .
     The stage is being set for this prophecy to be fulfilled with the growing division among
the Jewish people of Israel over the issue of the Jewish settlements in the area of Judea and
Samaria (sometimes referred to as the "West Bank").
     We are witnessing the formation of the two Jewish states called for in Bible Prophecy,
even today. The Rapture will happen before this division of the single Jewish State of
Israel today. Thus the Rapture could be today........so let's keep looking up.
     PRAYER THOT: Dear Lord, as I watch the preparations for the fulfillment of
Bible Prophecy help me to allow my understanding of future events to cause me to live
in light of your Word, a life expecting You to call me to be with You at any moment.
                                                     126




I Peter 1 vs13

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be
brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
                                                                           For further study - I Peter 1:13-25
     I do want you to read all thirteen verses of our extended reading for today; however, we will focus on
the first three verses of our devotional for our time in the Word.
     Let me remind you, as I reminded myself as I read these verses, that our "new birth", the fact that we
have been "born again", that we are saved means that we should live a “lifestyle of holiness”.
     The first three verses of our extended reading will set us on the way to that kind of a lifestyle. Peter
actually gives us five pointed exhortations that should bring us in line with a daily experience of "holy
living."
     In verse 13 we see the first three exhortations. "Gird up the loins of your mind" is saying prepare
your minds for "action". There is much we cannot control in life but we can control our "minds".
     Paul told us to "think right", Philippians 4:8. Paul said to think on things pure, true, honest, lovely,
good and just. We are to think on these things. When we "think right" we are "girding up our minds",
preparing them for "action".
     Peter then tells us to "be sober" which means to be "self-controlled". We are to "hope to the end"
when Jesus Christ comes back, when He is revealed. His return is our "blessed hope" and that motivation
for us to "lay aside" that which is not Godly and "live" that which is "Godly," as we "look" for Him to
come.
     Verse 14 tells us to "be obedient" to the Lord and don't walk in the lifestyle of the "former lust" that
can take us astray. In other words, be not conformed to previous evil desires.
     The fifth exhortation from Peter is the central theme of this passage, "be ye holy", verse 15. Holiness
is what the Lord expects of each of us. This is true because He is "holy", and we are to be conformed to
His image.
     Holiness is to penetrate "all manner of conversation". That's not referring only to how we talk but our
entire lifestyle should reveal holiness, even as He is holy.
     Remember, this is possible as we prepare our minds, live under self-control, stay away from former
lust, and look for the coming of Jesus. By the way, that coming of Jesus could be today!
     PRAYER THOT: Dear Lord, help me to think right, live self-controlled, stay away from evil
desires and be holy as I await Your soon return.
                                             127




I Peter 2 vs9

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people;
that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into
his marvellous light;
                                                             For further study - I Peter 2:1-10
    Right out of the gate in I Peter 2, the apostle helps each of us know how to “grow” in
our relationship with Jesus. Peter first informed us of what to “lay aside”. The list of items
Peter mentions will be the activities that will harm or at least hinder our growth.
    These activities to be removed – “malice, guile, hypocrisies, envies, and evil speaking”
cause a slowdown in our advancement in the Christian lifestyle the Lord wants each of us
to have in Him.
    Next, Peter exhorts us to “desire the sincere milk of the Word” that we might be able
to “grow”. Notice Peter did not say the "meat" of the Word, a real deep study of the Word
of God. What he mentioned was the "milk" of the Word. "Meat" is for "grownups" and
"milk" is for those young in the Lord. Now, age here is not talking about how long you
have been saved, but how mature you and I might be in the Lord.
    From verse 2 we look over at verse 9. This is a logical path to follow as we partake of
the milk of the Word so that we can "grow." Then we "show" forth the one who has called
us out of darkness into His marvelous light. But please look again at verse 9.
    You might recognize the phrasing as something you read in the Old Testament and you
would be correct. Just before the Lord met with Moses to give him the Ten
Commandments in Exodus 20, in Exodus 19 the Lord tells Moses that the Jewish people
have a special calling and He has set them aside for His purpose.
    Look at Exodus 19:5-6. The Lord tells Moses the Jewish people are a “peculiar
treasure”, a “people above all people”, a “kingdom of priests”, and a “holy nation”. It does
sound very similar to I Peter 2:9. What God does when His chosen people, the Jewish
people, are disobedient and run away from God's plan for their lives, He then turns to
Christians to carry forth the message.
    There are some slight changes in the 4 descriptions of the people God wants to use to
reach the world but the same game plan is in play. When the Jews rejected Jesus Christ,
the Messiah and Savior of the world, He set the Jews aside and gave the present-day
ministry to Christians. Remember, I said "set aside" not replaced them.
    God still has a plan for the Jews as spoken to Moses in Exodus 19. After the Rapture,
during the seven year Tribulation Period, the Lord will re-commission the Jews to “show
forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light”.
    PRAYER THOT: Help me, dear Lord, to "grow" so that I may "show."
                                            128

I Peter 3 vs22
Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels
and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
For further study - I Peter 3:1-22
    Our key verse for our devotional reading today, verse 22, tells us where Jesus is right
now. I want us to think about this verse in a moment. But first might we peruse the rest of
the chapter, our extended reading for today.
    Peter tells us, those of us who are husbands or wives, how we are to live with our mate.
Verses 1-6 address how the wife should live, in "subjection" to her own husband.
    Now the Word "subjection" is not a bad word. The Lord speaks of His being "subject"
unto His Father. The Word also tells us that we should be "subject" to those who are
placed over us in higher authority, in leadership roles in the church and/or in the political
arena.
    God has a plan for each of us and the wife is to be "subject" to her own husband. Peter
then addresses the husband, now that would be me, and those of you who are husbands.
    Verse 7 reveals how I, as a husband, and all of you reading these verses who are
husbands, must live. We must "honor" our wives lest our prayers be "hindered".
    The word "honor" has the instruction within its meaning that says we must "lift up" our
wives, place them on a pedestal, give each of them "respect."
    If we fail to follow the Lord's directives our prayers will be hindered. By the way,
notice that as we live our lives together, the Lord's eyes are upon us, He knows all that we
are doing in our husband-wife relationship.
    Verse 15 is an exhortation for each of us to have a ready answer to everyone that asks
us of our reason for the "hope" that is within our lives. The answer of course is that the
"blessed hope" is the truth of the "glorious appearing of Jesus Christ" in the future,
seemingly the near future, Titus 2:13.
    There is much more in these verses but look once again with me to our key verse,
verse 22. Jesus is now in heaven, not on the throne that the "Most High God" will give
Him one day, but instead Jesus is "seated at the right hand of God", interceding for each of
us.
    One day God will give Jesus Christ the "dominion over all of creation." The
“kingdom” and His “kingship” comes about when Jesus returns to the earth from the
heavenlies to set up His Kingdom.

PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord to be the husband that Your Word tells me I should
be, until You come.
                                                     129




I Peter 4 vs17

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what
shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

                                                                            For further study - I Peter 4:1-19
     The Apostle Peter had a very close relationship with Jesus even though Peter was often in trouble
with the Lord. There are a number of examples that I could bring to your attention, let me just remind you
of one.
     At Caesarea Philippi, in the foothills of Mt Hermon, at the pronouncement by Peter that Jesus was the
Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, Matthew 16, is that one example. Those lips that praised
the Lord, a few moments later, would be used to rebuke the Lord.
     When Jesus told His disciples that He would have to go to Jerusalem and there be put to death, Peter,
the text tells us, rebuked the Lord. The Lord's response was "get behind me Satan", Matthew 16:22-23.
     Peter was quite the character. As we read I Peter we see that this Apostle had matured and was able to
be used of the Lord to remind the body of Christ that "judgment" is coming. The judgment of the "works
of Christians."
     One of the great past-times of Christians today is judging others. Paul told the Romans to not do that,
Romans 14:10. We should not judge others. We must remember that we "all" will stand at the Judgment
Seat of Christ one day.
     Peter goes one better than Paul, he says all judgment must start at the Church, “the house of God." In
verse 5 of I Peter 4, Peter also reminds each of us that we will all give an account of ourselves to Jesus.
     It is so important for us to remember that there is a "judgment day" ahead. It's not for judging to see if
we're saved, that's already been determined before we get to the Judgment Seat of Christ.
     This judgment is to determine if our "works" receive "rewards" for doing good works in His power
and for His glory.
     Bible prophecy, if studied, will reveal to each of us, every day, how close we are to the Rapture when
Jesus shouts and calls us up into theheavenlies to be with Him forever. It is within this chapter of I Peter
that we can find out how we can, and must live in the end times.
     In fact, Peter reminds the readers of this book that the "end times are close, at hand," verse 7. This
verse means that the Rapture is an "any moment" event. The days that we are living in now seemingly are
the days leading up to the Rapture.
     Verse 8 says we must love each other, it covers a multitude of sins. We are also to welcome people
into our homes and use hospitality with those from without, verse 9. This hospitality must be done with
joy, not grudgingly.
     These "how-to-live tips" will prepare us for the Judgment Seat to follow right after the Rapture of the
Church. This is an event that could happen at "any moment", maybe today. Keep looking up.

PRAYER THOT: Lord, help me to remember that one day I will stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ
and thank You for the instruction given to us from You through Peter on how I am to live as I await
Your shout to join You in theheavenlies.
                             130




I Peter 5 vs.8 - Be sober, be vigilant; because your
adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about,
seeking whom he may devour.

For further study - I Peter 5:6-13
   Our devotional reading for today starts with the
exhortation to be vigilant in light of the reality that the
devil is loose and seeking to devour each of us. The
reading ends with a salute to the church which Peter had
started in the city of Babylon.
   From the outset, let me tell you that I believe Peter was
truly in the literal city of Babylon when he wrote this
passage of scripture.
   I do not believe that the use of the term Babylon is a
code name for the city of Rome. I do not ever remember
Peter being cryptic with his words in written or spoken
form. Babylon is Babylon.
   The fact is that Babylon was the second most populated
city in the world at the time Peter wrote this epistle.
Jerusalem was the most Jewish populated city with Babylon a
close second. What this means of course is that the literal
city of Babylon on the Euphrates River then in Mesopotamia
was still alive, a vibrant city, over 500 years after the
fall of the Babylonian Empire. In Peter's day, Babylon was
a thriving city. In fact, even today Babylon is still a
city inhabited. Today there is a military compound there
called Camp Babylon.
   With this information, and the knowledge of Bible prophecy
that the city of Babylon must be destroyed and never lived
in again, one has to realize that Bible prophecy found in
Isaiah 13-14, Jeremiah 50-51, Revelation 18:10,17,19, and
Revelation 16:17-21 all state that Babylon, the literal
city, must be destroyed and never lived in again forever.
These prophecies have not been fulfilled.
   The conflict going on today in modern-day Iraq is setting
the stage for all the aforementioned prophecies to be
fulfilled - and soon.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to understand current events in light
of Biblical prophecy.
                                   131
I Samuel 3 vs.20    - And all        Israel from Dan even to Beersheba
knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD.

For further study - I Samuel 3:1-21

This is the record of Samuel, the one who would be not only a priest,
but a prophet to the Jewish people as well. Samuel would be used by
God to select the first King of Israel, King Saul. He would also be
the messenger from God who would pass along the Lord's command to
destroy a people, the Amalekites, descendants of Esau and his
grandson, Amalek (Genesis 36:12).

Our devotional for today also records how the Lord would call this one
who would become a prophet. In fact, the Lord did actually call
Samuel a number of times and each time Samuel thought someone else was
calling him. Finally, Samuel recognized that it was the Lord calling
and he responded, "Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth."

What a profound statement. It states that Samuel had made the Lord,
the Lord of his life and ministry. It also states in verse 9 that
Samuel was not enamored with the fact he was a priest and a prophet.
Samuel, in his mind, was a "servant" which made him ready to do
whatever the Lord called him to do. This is an excellent example for
each of us. No matter our position, we are to be servants. It is
also our responsibility to listen to the Lord for His direction and
instruction - not to set our own agenda.

Samuel was living in the area of Shiloh, the location for the
Tabernacle that housed the Ark of the Covenant for some 350 years.
This account dates back over 3000 years to a time when the Jewish
nation was headquartered in Shiloh.

I make mention of this fact because Shiloh today is in a very
controversial location in the area of the disputed territories,
sometimes erroneously referred to as the "West Bank." The Biblical
terminology for this geographical area is Judea and Samaria. The
record shows that God brought the Children of Israel into the Promised
Land and gave them the land, including Shiloh (Joshua 18:1).

I remind you that the land is God's land, Leviticus 25:23, and He
gives it to whomever He chooses. In fact, the Leviticus passage on
the land indicates that God has chosen the Jewish people to be the
"caretakers" of His land.

Shiloh will continue to be a center of controversy among the nations
of the world at this time in history, but will belong to the Jewish
people forever, one day in the future. Until then, there will be
conflict.

PRAYER THOT:   Help me to be your servant ready for your anytime call.
                                                    132



I Samuel 4 vs21-22

And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of
God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband. And she said, The glory is
departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken.
                                                                 For further study - I Samuel 4:1-22

The scripture for today recounts a sad story about how the children of Israel had become so disobedient
that the Lord would allow the enemies of Israel, the Philistines, to not only defeat the mighty army that
had taken over the “promised land”, but to take their most valued possession, the “Ark of the Covenant”,
from them.

This passage reminds the readers that the Ark of the Covenant was where the "glory of the Lord" dwelled
among the children of Israel, I Samuel 4:4. The “glory of the Lord dwelleth between the cherubims" on
the Ark. The Ark had rested in the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle located in Shiloh for almost 350
years.

God had watched the Israelites move into idolatry and disobedience and decided that it was time to
chastise them. This account of the attack by the Philistines and the taking of the Ark from the Jewish
people is a very sad story.

This passage also records the death of the High Priest Eli and his two sons. The two boys were killed as
they were attacking the Philistines, and Eli fell and broke his neck when he heard what had happened.

The sadness of the story is illustrated in the name given to the grandson of Eli. The boy's mother died
from grief in the midst of childbirth. The woman attending the birth, I Samuel 4:20, named the newborn
"Ichabod" meaning "the Lord has departed from Israel."

Let me remind you that the Philistines of Samuel's day are not the ancestors of the modern Palestinians.
(See my study on "Esau and the Palestinians")

The “glory of the Lord” ceased to dwell among the Jewish people, as had been the case for almost 400
years. It would be a number of years before the Ark would be in the hands of the leaders of Israel and the
“glory of the Lord” would return to Israel.

“Ichabod” is a not a name that is commonly used. It speaks of a very sad time for the Jewish people when
the “glory of the Lord” departed from the midst of the Israelites, leaving them powerless.

This story depicts the past, but, as was the case in New Testament times, the” glory of the Lord”, made
manifest in the person of the Messiah Jesus Christ, dwelt among His people. The “glory of the Lord” will
dwell among His chosen People once again in the future. This future is quickly drawing closer.

God's people must turn from idolatry and disobedience and turn to the Lord for the “glory of the Lord” to
once again dwell among them. The Jewish people will become His people and He will be there God,
Jeremiah 31:33. Bible prophecy will be fulfilled.

PRAYER THOT: Help me, Lord, to never have "Ichabod" written over me. Help me to be faithful
and true to You.
                                  133




I Samuel 16 vs.13    - Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed
him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon
David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.
         For further study - I Samuel 16:1-13
   This portion of I Samuel selected for our devotional reading today
is the record of a young shepherd boy being selected to be the second
King of Israel. This account follows the account of Saul, the first
King of Israel, who failed to follow the instructions of the Lord that
Samuel the prophet had given him.
   God had told Samuel to have King Saul kill all of the Amalakites,
and even their king, King Agag. King Saul failed to obey the Lord, and
thus God rejected King Saul as the King of Israel, I Samuel 15:23.
   Samuel mourned for King Saul and as he did so the Lord told the
prophet to go to Bethlehem and select one of the sons of Jesse, the
Bethlehemite, as the next King of the Jewish people.
   In our extended reading you can see the record of Samuel's trip to
Jesse's home and how he finally got to the son that the Lord wanted to
be King over Israel. It is so interesting to see that God's choice was
not among those first seven sons presented by Jesse, their father.
   Finally, Jesse brought his youngest son, David, a young shepherd
boy, to the prophet. That is when the Lord told Samuel to anoint David
as the next King of Israel. This appointment was the beginning of a
life given over to God.
   In fact, God called David His friend and made a covenant with him,
the Davidic Covenant, which would promise the Jews, through the line
of King David, that a King would sit upon a throne in the Temple on
the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. And that He would rule and reign from
that spot forever.
   Of course, the Davidic Covenant will be fulfilled in the person of
Jesus Christ, when He returns to earth to set up His Kingdom. The Lord
also has already selected King David to be co-regent with Jesus at the
Temple for the thousand year millennial kingdom that is coming, as
promised, Ezekiel
34:23-24 and 37:24-25.
   The Lord took a little shepherd boy and set him in the place of
high service in the plan of God, during his own lifetime. The Lord as
also determined for David a place of service in the future. He
selected David to be a special servant unto Himself.
   By the way, the Lord does that for us as well when we give our all
to Him.
   PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for saving me and using me in your
service as I surrender my will to Your will.
                                                     134
I Samuel 17 vs.46
This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head
from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air,
and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
                                                                        For further study -I Samuel 17:31-54
This portion of I Samuel 17 that we have chosen for our extended devotional reading today is the record
of David's victory over the giant, Goliath. This is one great story. In reality, it would make a good movie
script; however, it may be too wholesome for today's “movie-goers”.

David, the youngest son of Jesse, from Bethlehem, was selected to take some “food-stuffs” to his brothers
who were about to enter battle with the dreaded enemy of the Jewish people, the Philistines.

As the young shepherd boy, and I mean boy, most likely in his early to mid teen years, David caught up
with his brothers in the valley ofElah to the west of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. He saw that the Israelites
were fearful of entering the battle, especially in light of the leader of the Philistines, a giant of a man,
most likely over nine feet tall.

David immediately said to Saul that no one should fear or "let his heart fail" because he would go out to
fight this Philistine, verse 32.

David told King Saul that when he had watched over his father's sheep on two different occasions a bear
and a lion had come to attack the sheep and that he had killed both of them, verses 34-36. He was able to
overcome the bear and the lion because the Lord was with him.

David assured Saul that because the Philistines had defied the "armies of the living God," the giant leader
would be defeated. David refused Saul's armour, sword and helmet and took five smooth stones from the
brook to go to battle with Goliath.

David would use the weapon that God had given him as a shepherd boy to protect his Father's sheep, the
"slingshot," to kill the giant. By the way, David took five stones because he had heard that Goliath had
four brothers. He thought he might have to defeat the whole family.

"David shouted to the Philistines that he came to them in the name of the Lord of Host, the God of the
armies of Israel, whom they had defied", verse 45. David acknowledged that the battle was the Lord's and
that the Lord would give the Philistines into the hands of the Jews, verse 47.

David killed Goliath, the children of Israel defeated the Philistines and David carried the "head " of
Goliath into Jerusalem. He did this to let the Jewish people know that their God was the only true God
and would protect them from their enemies, in His own way, not their way.

In fact, this whole incident was done, David and the children of Israel defeating Goliath and the
Philistines, so "that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel", verse 46.

God, has for four thousand years, given the Jewish people the victories over seemingly unbeatable
enemies so that the world would know that there is a true, powerful, almighty, holy God, the God of
Israel.

The Jew has been, is now, and will be the evidence of that truth, even into the future.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to live Lord so that the world will know that You are real and can change
all who come unto You and receive eternal life as I did when I came unto You.
                                                    135

I Samuel 28 vss17-18

And the LORD hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the LORD hath rent the kingdom out of
thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, even to David: Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the
LORD, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the LORD done this thing
unto thee this day.
                                                                 For further study - I Samuel 28:7-19

King Saul, the first king of Israel, consulted with the Witch of Endor, a satanically-possessed woman.
Because of that encounter, the Lord withdrew from King Saul and would not answer him.

The influence of the Devil has been present since the “fall of man” in Genesis 3. The Devil has in the past
sent evil angels in the form of demons and witches into the world to cause havoc.

At the first coming of Jesus Christ there was much demonic activity that Jesus would confront. Demonic
activity will be prevalent at the time of His second coming, and more so as we draw nearer to the coming
of the Lord, Matthew 24:4-5, 11 & 24. In fact, demonic deception was the first indication that Jesus said
would signal His Second Coming.

The last days are quickly approaching, I Timothy 4:1-2. As we understand these truths we can see just
how close we may well be to His return. This knowledge also alerts us to the way to stand against this
Satanic activity, James 4:7.

But please notice our key verses for today, verses 17 and 18. The Lord took the kingdom from King Saul
and gave it to David because Saul had failed to follow the command of the Lord to destroy the
Amalekites, I Samuel 15.

By the way, the problems that Israel has today with the Palestinian people are due to the fact that King
Saul did not obey the Lord. You see the Palestinian people of today are the Amalekites of yesterday.

This is all of what will happen in the last days leading up to the Rapture and the Second Coming of Jesus
Christ. Actually, the Rapture is the next thing to happen on God’s time clock and there are no prophecies
to be fulfilled before the Rapture, it could happen at any moment, perhaps today.

PRAYER THOT: Dear Lord help me to be obedient to you, no matter what your will for me might be.
                                             136

I Thessalonians 1 vs10

And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus,
which delivered us from the wrath to come.
                                                    For further study - I Thessalonians 1:1-10
    The extended reading today is another example of the “heart of love” Paul has for
those he had led to the Lord or had a ministry in their lives. Paul must have been a real
man of prayer. We read over and over again of his prayers for the brethren. Also he is
always thanking the Lord for brothers and sisters in Christ. Paul sets the example for a
good, and faithful minister to people.
    All that I've written is true but the blessings of the truths from the one key verse will
take up my space with you for this devotional. Stop a moment and reflect on what the
verse says, we "are to wait for His Son to return from heaven." Just think of some of what
that means.

     esus said in the upper room that He was going to Heaven to "prepare a place for us",
John 14:2. This place is in His Father's house and He is getting our place ready so that we
can dwell together, forever. The Lord exhorted us to watch for Him, because we know not
which hour He comes, the spiritual application for us from Matthew 24:42.
     As we watch for Him to come from Heaven we are also to pray, Matthew 26:41, so
that we will not enter into temptation. What an amazing formula for our daily life, we can
have victory over temptation by being watchful for our Lord to come back from Heaven as
we watch and as we pray.
     Also in verse 10 is the fact that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, by His Father,
the most High God. The Resurrection is the “cornerstone” of our faith and the
“foundation” of Bible prophecy. It was recorded in Revelation 1:18, that Jesus testified of
His Resurrection, after His death. Sometime, look at Revelation 1:19. The Lord, the
resurrected Lord Jesus Christ tells John the Revelator to write down what was to come,
that's prophecy.
     The last phrase in verse 10 is a promise that we as Christians will not enter into the
terrible time of judgment to come, the seven year Tribulation Period as described in
Revelation 4:2 through 19:10. In our verse for today He promises us He will deliver us
from that "wrath to come." There is a “judgment period”, yet to come. What a promise!
     This passage is a parallel passage to two others, I Thessalonians 5:9 and Revelation
3:10. The book of I Thessalonians is crammed full of prophetic passages, which we will
get to in future devotionals. Please notice the truth of the Rapture, I Thessalonians 4:13-
18, which explains how He will keep us from the wrath to come. By the way, the Rapture
could happen today.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to be pure and productive as I wait for Jesus to come from
heaven for me.
                                            137



I Thessalonians 2 vs19

For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of
our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
                                              For further study - I Thessalonians 2:1-20

As we read the second chapter of I Thessalonians today, I am reminded that Paul is writing
this letter to brand new Christians who at the time of the writing of the letter were only
three weeks old in the Lord. One thing I love about Paul in all of his letters is the
straightforward approach of helping those he led to the Lord to grow in the Lord.

Paul's message was not one geared to please men but instead to lift up and to honor Jesus
Christ, verse 4. Even though Paul was straightforward, he was also gentle even as a nurse
that cherished her children, verse 7.

Paul expected these new young converts to walk worthy of the Lord. Throughout all of
Paul's writings we see time and time again that we are to walk right and to walk worthy of
the Lord.

He exhorted them and us also to walk right, but he also teaches us in his letters how to
walk right. Paul, the “father figure” to these Thessalonians, was responsible before the
Lord to train them up to serve the Lord.

There is a great thought found in our key verse for today. It is the truth of the “crown”
each of us can receive at the Judgment Seat of Christ if we are involved in the ministry that
Paul had. Paul’s ministry was soul-winning.Verse 16 declares that the “crown” that we
can receive for being a soul-winner is the “Crown of Rejoicing”, verse 19.

This “crown” is one of 5 crowns we can receive at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Paul who
also wrote II Corinthians, in chapter 5, verse 9, that he was ambitious to receive all the
crowns he could get. The reason for getting these crowns is not to be able to brag about
them but to be able to lay them at the feet of Jesus Christ as He sits on His throne in
heaven, Revelation 4:10.

We return the crowns received from Christ at the Judgment Seat back to Him in
thanksgiving for what He has done for us. Each of us can receive that crown of Rejoicing
as we lead needy people to Jesus Christ and see them trust Him for eternal salvation.

PRAYER THOT: Help me, Lord, to be in the business of soul-winning for the sake of
those who need a Savior today.
                                             138



I Thessalonians 3 vs13

To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our
Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
                                            For further study - I Thessalonians 3:1-13

When the Apostle Paul wrote his first book to the Thessalonians they had only been
Christians about three weeks when they received the letter. As we read our devotional, the
extended reading reveals Paul's great desire to once again be with these he had led to the
Lord.

He repeats time and again that he wants to be with them to help in their spiritual growth,
verses 2, 5, 6, 10 and 11 . Paul had the desire to see his new converts mature in the Lord.

This is a great example to all of us, even those of us who are so-called "professional
ministers". Have you known a "minister" who gets so busy that he has no time for
ministering to the "flock"? That is a tough question for me to answer. I don't know about
you, I do know about me. I need to spend more time following Paul's example.

Paul actually shares with us that ministering to others is a real joy, verse 9. I love that
thought from the previous chapter in I Thessalonians 2:19-20. Those who Paul had led to
the Lord are a ‘rejoicing to him’, they are his glory and joy. Notice that there is a “crown”
at the Judgment Seat of Christ which we will receive, the "Crown of Rejoicing," for being
a soul winner, I Thessalonians 2:19.

By the way, Paul had trained up a "helper", a "fellow laborer", a young man named
Timothy. Paul was ministering one-on-one with Timothy and at the same time wanting to
minister to the Church inThessaloniki.

I get tired just reading about Paul's ministry, what a schedule he had. He worked, looking
for the privilege of establishing the hearts of these new converts. He wanted them to
beunblameable in holiness before God the Father at the second coming of Jesus Christ,
with all of His saints.

Paul sets the bar high for us to reach up to as we follow his example of ministering to all
people. A motivation for this is the reality that we will stand before Him and it will be
revealed what we have done for Him and among His people, the Christians that we have
opportunity of ministry with today.

PRAYER THOT: Dear Lord, give me the hunger to minister to people so that they
might be established in their hearts, unblameable in holiness at the Second Coming of
Christ.
                                                     139

I Thessalonians 4 vs17

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet
the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
                                                            For further study - I Thessalonians 4:1-18

I could hardly wait to get to this chapter in 1 Thessalonians for our devotional time. The "hope" of my life
and indeed the main prayer of my life is that the Rapture will happen in my lifetime.

I have traveled across this world telling people of the Rapture and then teaching the prophetic passages of
His Word to help everyone that I have contacted to understand that today could well be the day of the
Rapture.

We'll look together at the description of how the Rapture will play out in a moment, but first just a word
or two about Paul's message to this people in Thessalonica who he had led to the Lord just three weeks
before he wrote this letter to them.

Paul tells these new Christians, as well as us long-time Christians, that we will "abound" if we will walk
with the purpose of "pleasing God," verse 1. Paul then tells them, and us, what the will of God is for our
lives, verses 3-12.

No longer do we have to say "I wish I knew the will of God for my life." The best way to be in God's will
is to follow the instructions in these verses.

Now to the Rapture, actually the word "rapture" is not used in this passage, in fact the word rapture is not
used in the entire Bible. Don't be concerned about that, the word "trinity”, the term for God the Father,
Son and Holy Spirit is not used in the Bible. The truth of the matter is that the word "Bible" is not used in
the Bible.

The word "rapture" comes from the Latin word for the phrase "caught up" in verse 17. The Latin word,
"rapturo," in verse 17, is how we get the word Rapture. I Corinthians 15 says, "in a moment, in the
twinkling of an eye", we will be caught up to be with the Lord.

Verse 14 says that only saved people go to be with the Lord at the Rapture. Verse 16 says that those
Christians, which have already died, they will be the first ones to respond to the Lord's shout, the sound of
the trumpet and the voice of the archangel.

It is after the "dead in Christ" have been raised and start towards heaven that the rest of us Christians
move from this earthly home to a heavenly home, never to leave the Lord's presence, forever, verse 17.

This event, the Rapture, could happen at any moment and with the prophetic events recorded in God's
Word seemingly coming to pass, the Rapture could happen today. Even so come, Lord Jesus.


PRAYER THOT: Lord, my hearts desire is for the Rapture to happen in my lifetime. Help me to live
every day as if it would be today.
                                         140
I Thessalonians 5 vs23       - And       the very God of peace sanctify you
wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved
blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
       For further study - 1 Thessalonians 5:1-27
   What a great passage of scripture we come to for today's devotional. It is
very prophetic and at the same time very, very practical. Let's look at the
practical first in our devotional reading. Again, space will not allow me to
mention all of the practical verses in I Thessalonians 5, but only a few of
the most practical.
   Starting in verse 16 we come upon some great "nuggets of truth". Verse 16,
"rejoice evermore", is one of the shortest verses in the Bible. This is an
exhortation from Paul which follows the truth of the Rapture, 4:13-18.
   I Thessalonians 4:18 tells us to comfort each other with the truth of the
Rapture. The understanding of the truth of the Rapture, and how close it
could be to taking place is what gives us the ability to "rejoice evermore".
The next verse, verse 17, tells us to "pray without ceasing".
   If we walk in a constant attitude of "prayer," that will play a key role
in helping us to conform into His image and prepare ourselves for His soon
return. "In everything give thanks," verse 18, is one of the best bits of
advice you or I could receive.
   God seems to move closer to us when we thank Him for all things, even for
heartaches and troubles. Besides," this is the will of God in Christ Jesus
concerning each of us." The very best for each us is to be in the center of
God's will, "give thanks in all things."
   When Paul exhorts us to "quench not the Spirit", verse 19, he's telling us
to stay away from sin in our lives, that's what quenches the Spirit. We need
daily the "Spirit of God" to empower us for daily living and service.
   Verse 22 is an exhortation that helps us to grow closer to the Lord. We do
this by "abstaining from all appearances of evil". That which appears to be
evil, that which is in front of us or within us, our own appearance that
seems evil, as seen by the world, that is what we are to abstain from every
moment of every day.
   Paul's prayer for us is that our whole being, spirit, soul and body, be
preserved "blameless" as we await "the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ",
verse 23.
    Now quickly a glance at several of the "prophetic thoughts" from this passage.
Notice verse 3, when they say "peace and safety", those are the words that help us to
recognize that the Lord's judgment, the Tribulation Period, and our Lord's soon
return to earth is getting very close.
    In the first verses of this chapter, verses 1-8, Paul is assuring the recipients
of this letter that the Rapture hasn't happened yet because we are not in the "Day of
the Lord". The "Day of the Lord" refers to the time of judgment leading up to the
Lord's Second Coming. The "Day of the Lord"
does not start until after the Rapture has happened.
    Verse 9 assures us of the fact that when we leave this earth, responding to the
shout of the archangel, the sound of the trumpet, the Lord's call for us to join Him
in the air, I Thessalonians 4:16-17, at the Rapture, we will do so before the seven
year period of time of judgment begins.
    God has not appointed Christians to partake of the "wrath" to come, that seven-
year period of judgment. As we see the revealed events of the Tribulation Period
seeming to be about to happen we can look up with great anticipation of His shout for
us to join Him in the heavenlies. Praise the Lord for these practical and prophetic
truths.
    PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for such practical information and exhortation for
our daily living and the prophetic truths informing us of the end times and how to
recognize the day in which we are living as the days just prior to the Rapture.
                                                    141

I Timothy 1 vs15

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save
sinners; of whom I am chief.
                                                                   For further study - I Timothy 1:12-20

The key verse for our devotional reading today,I Timothy 1:15, was written by Paul near the end of his
ministry. His statement speaks volumes of how the apostle had grown in his own life during almost 30
years of ministry.

I am reminded that early in Paul's ministry he referred to himself as "the least of the apostles," I
Corinthians 15:9. About half way through his thirty years of ministry, Paul realized that he was "the least
of the saints," Ephesians 3:8. Now, towards the end of his ministry, Paul realizes that he is the "chief of
all sinners."

It is true, that the closer we get to Jesus, the worse we see ourselves to be. Remember, the way we get
close to Him today is by talking to Him and allowing Him to talk to us.

We talk to Him in prayer, which Paul tells us to do, “without ceasing”. The Lord talks to us through His
Word, and this is one of the reasons to have a time everyday when you study the scriptures.

First and Second Timothy are referred to as the "pastoral epistles." The author of these "pastors' manuals"
gives his young partner in the ministry, Timothy, the instruction that must be passed along to the leaders
of the churches that are springing up all over the known world at that time.

Young Timothy is to travel to these churches and assist them in the selection of a leadership team and the
training of these newly elected leaders in the proper method of administration in the local church.

God has selected to reach the world through local churches that are planted around the world. The Lord
has a way and a plan that these churches must minister.

In both First and Second Timothy, Paul gives the warning to the churches, and all of us that read his
instructions, He tells us that the Lord's Return is near. Paul believed that the time when Christ would call
us to be with Him in the Rapture was very close at hand.

Remember, when Paul was writing to the Thessalonians about the Rapture, I Thessalonians 4:15-18, he
kept using the word "we," believing that in his lifetime he would see the Rapture of the Church. That was
almost 2000 years ago. How much closer we must be to the Rapture now.

That is why Paul wanted the church to be operating in a godly fashion, thus Paul's instruction to young
Timothy. He charges Timothy to remember his instruction and his study of prophecy, and to "war a good
warfare," I Timothy 1:18.

That is how we must live and administer our churches, always moving forward in light of the soon
coming of Jesus Christ. The evidence is very clear, The Rapture can happen at any moment, perhaps
today.

PRAYER THOT: Lord, help my attitude to be as Paul's was, just a sinner saved by grace awaiting the
shout to join You in the heavenlies.
                                             142



I Timothy 2 vs1

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of
thanks, be made for all men.
                                                         For further study - I Timothy 2:1-8

Each passage of scripture we select for our daily reading is always laden with additional
spiritual application beyond what we focus on for the reading and in my prophetic
prospective for that days reading. This is true in today's reading as well.

We are exhorted to pray in our key verse and we are told how to pray. I'll look at this in a
moment. Please notice the next verse in our expanded reading, verse 2. The focus of our
prayers is to be our political, governmental leaders. We are to pray for them first, before
the pastor, the missionary and the evangelist. In other words, pray for the “minister in the
government” before the “minister in the church”.

Let me get back to the "how to's" of prayer found in verse 1. “Supplications” are
mentioned first in the different aspects of prayer. This is specifically asking for something
to happen. Then there are the "prayers." These are prayers that are offered on a 24/7 basis,
it's praying without ceasing, I Thessalonians 5:17.

“Intercessions” are prayers we offer to God and are on the behalf of someone who needs to
have their name or situation mentioned before the throne of God. The last mentioned type
of prayer, “giving of thanks”, should actually be the first prayer offered up to God. We
must thank Him before we present our petitions to Him.

Notice again, who we are to pray for first. We are to pray for the kings and all those who
are in authority first. These would be political, governmental officials that direct human
government in the direction God wants it to go. Remember, God brought human
government into existence, Genesis 9:6.

God will use human government, governmental leaders, Revelation 17:17, to accomplish
His will and set the world stage for the final drama to play out. In essence, we're talking
about God's “prophetic plan” will unfold as He uses human government to direct the world
towards the end times.

Therefore, we are to first, pray for those who have the authority. He is preparing this world
for the return of His Son and all that follows, as foretold in Bible prophecy.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to remember my priority in my prayer life.
                                                     143

I Timothy 3 vs15

But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God,
which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
                                                                     For further study - I Timothy 3:1-16
As I sat reading through I Timothy 3 before I took time to rehearse some of my thoughts on our
devotional reading for today, I realized what I was reading was a manual for how every man should live
his Christian life.

I understand that I Timothy is one of the Pastoral Epistles written by Paul to help guide the young
leadership of the first century church in the world at that time. Young Timothy was being trained by Paul
and then dispatched across the then-known world to help build up the new churches. Remember, many of
these churches had been started by the Apostle Paul.

Paul lays out the qualifications for both the "spiritual leaders" of the church and those who are to be
spiritual, as well, the "servants" (deacons) at the churches. The leaders are the "bishops", the "overseers",
that lead every church to become what the Lord requires them to be in the final analysis, as dictated by
His Word.

Paul starts with a "true saying." "If any man desires the office of 'overseer', he desires a good thing."
When I read that, I realized that all men "must desire" the office of "overseer" because it is a "good
thing."

Please read the list of qualifications, as I did. Now, let me point out several things from these
qualifications. Verse 3 says one in leadership should be "someone not given to filthy lucre." This is some
one that does not have as his main focus the acquisition of large amounts of money.

Verse 7 says this man, "overseer", as every man, should have a good report from "them" which are from
without the church. We cannot be leaders of the Church and have a bad testimony among those who are
not in the Church, those not saved.

Starting in verse 8 we see the qualifications of the "deacons" those who God sets aside for "service in the
church," the local gathering of born-again believers. Verse 13 indicates that an "overseer" of the church as
well as the "servants", they both must have great "boldness" in the faith.

Paul was addressing the leadership of the Church, in these new local groups of born again people who
were coming together to learn the ways of the Lord and then going out to win lost people to the Lord.
Paul referred to these "bodies of believers" as the "church of the living God".

Notice that Paul, in verse 15, doesn't say that the "church" is the source of all truth, but the "safeguard",
the pillar and ground of the truth. The "source of truth" is not the church but the Bible, God's Holy Word,
which is "absolute truth". Paul wrote that the leadership of the church is the "caretaker" of all of God's
truth.

Paul refers to Jesus as He who was "received up into glory", verse 16, and is coming again, soon. But
until then the "church safeguards" the truth and spreads it to a needy people around the world.

PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord, to study the qualifications of a man who desires leadership as I
endeavor to lead our ministry under Your direction and, at the same time, live my life out as a
Christian.
                                                    144



I Timothy 4 vs6
If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ,
nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
                             For further study - I Timothy 4:1-16
Paul's instructions to Timothy, a young co-laborer with the Apostle, were based upon the
understanding that the Lord is coming soon even though history tells us that was not the
case. Paul lived his life and ministry as if the Rapture could happen at any moment and
especially in his lifetime.

This is evident in his statement, "we shall be caught up", in I Thessalonians 4:17.
Therefore, his instructions to young Timothy were given with that urgency. In fact, Paul
believes the "Rapture" is very close in his time as indicated in verse 1.

There were those who at Paul's time in history were departing from the faith. They were
not only departing from the faith but were "giving heed", accepting, "seducing spirits", evil
spirits and "doctrines of demons." Paul was sending Timothy to the churches the Apostle
had started to warn them that the “Last Days” were upon them.

Timothy was to put the churches in remembrance of these things and then make sure they
were being nourished in the Word and "good doctrine." Timothy was to help the churches
exercise themselves in godliness. That was even better than physical exercise.

It is interesting to note the instructions to Timothy from Paul about his own personal study
and application of true biblical doctrine, verse 6, 13 and 16. Timothy was to watch against
the "doctrine of demons," verse 1.

Many people are afraid of "doctrine." They say "doctrine" divides and causes division in
the “Body of Christ”. This is not correct. The Word of God which was "breathed" into the
authors of the Bible, II Timothy 3:16, is "profitable for doctrine." The truth be known, the
true doctrines from the Lord unites, it does not divide. Doctrine is the principles that the
Lord gives to us to know His plan and direction in all matters.

Paul tells Timothy that he should be reading, meditating and continuing that which he had
learned from Paul and then pass it along to others for their benefit. Remember, these
instructions were given in light of the times in which they were living, "the latter times."

We are living in the “Last Days” and it would do us good to heed Paul's instructions to
Timothy and appropriate them for ourselves.
   PRAYER THOT: Dear Lord, help me to discern true doctrine from Your Word,
make it applicable to my life and share it with others on a daily basis.
                                     145

I Timothy 6 vs11 - But thou, O man of God, flee these things;
and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love,
patience, meekness.
   For further study - I Timothy 6:1-15
   Paul was giving young Timothy, in his first letter to him,
such timely tips for how to live in troublesome times and he
tells his young ministry partner to share these truths with
others.
   That exhortation is applicable for us in the troublesome
times we find ourselves living in today. Paul was so
practical with these principles. He tells Timothy to be a
"servant", verse 1, and to give honor to his leader.
   Verse 2 is the exhortation to teach these truths to
others. And notice, in verse 3, it is doctrine we are to
teach. Many today shy away from teaching doctrine because
they say "doctrine divides" which is the exact opposite,
"doctrine unites" us all under what God wants for us.
   We can have contentment by the measure of our "Godliness",
or God-likeness, verse 6. Verses 7-8 remind us that we
brought nothing into this world and we take nothing out of
it when we leave, either at death or at the Rapture.
Therefore, be content with the provision of food and
clothing that God gives us.
   Notice how practical Paul is about money. We should not
strive to be rich and the "love of money" is the root of all
evil. Notice Paul did not say having money and being rich
was wrong. But striving to be rich thus having a love for
money is what is bad.
   In fact, God has given some in the body of Christ the
"gift of giving", Romans 12:8, and therefore that person
must have money to give. The people with this gift would be
those who do not strive for riches or have a love for money,
but God blesses them so that they can give to support His
work.
    I love the next couple of verses that challenge us to flee, follow and
fight. Verse 11 says a man or woman of God will "flee" the evil things, and
"follow" after right living, becoming God-like, having faith, hope, patience
and meekness.
    Verse 12 says, then we are ready to "fight", to fight the good fight for
the Lord. Paul concludes by saying we do this until the appearing of our Lord
Jesus Christ, "the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and only Potentate", verse
15.
    Paul tells us that Jesus is coming and it could be soon, so live in light
of that truth, until ...
    PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord, to flee evil, follow righteousness and fight
the good fight until You call me into the heavenlies.
                             146
II Chronicles 3 vs. 1 - Then    Solomon began to build the
house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the
Lord appeared unto David his father, in the place that David
had prepared in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
        For further study - II Chronicles 2:1-18
   The promise God made to King David was that his son would
build the Temple in Jerusalem after his death, II Samuel
7:12-13. Our devotional passage for today records, at least,
the near-term fulfillment of that prophecy.
The promise to David was also a prophecy that will be
fulfilled, in the long-term, by Jesus Christ, Zechariah
6:12.
   Notice the location where Solomon built the Temple, Mount
Moriah, 3:1.
   This was the same location where Abraham offered his son
Isaac, Genesis 22:2. It is also the piece of real estate
that King David had purchased, with cash money, the
threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, I Chronicles 21:18-
30.
   That sacred piece of land is today occupied by the Muslim
building, the “Dome of the Rock”. One day it will be where
the next Jewish Temple stands. Those preparing to rebuild
the Temple believe God will remove the Dome of the Rock to
make way for the rebuilding of the Temple.
   These religious Jews preparing to erect that next Temple
have prepared everything for the operation of the next
Temple. There are thousands of Jewish men, of the tribe of
Levi, who are studying the “priestly duties”
so that they can operate the next Temple. They have the
“priestly garments”, all of the “implements” for operating
the Temple, even the “harps” are pretty much ready for the
Levites to play when the Temple is in place.
   The Sanhedrin has re-formed and are now making “rulings”
as they did 2,000 years ago. Basically, the Jewish people
are ready to start construction on the next Temple. They
eagerly await the removal of the Islamic structure so they
can start the work.
   There is only one other thing that must happen before they
start the construction of the Temple - the Rapture - which
could happen at any minute - let's keep looking up!

Prayer Thot: Lord, help me to be ready for the Rapture to
happen at any moment, which could well be the case with all
that is happening for the construction and operation of the
next Jewish Temple.
                                            147




II Chronicles 5 vs14

So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of
the LORD had filled the house of God.
             For further reading - II Chronicles 5:1-14
    Solomon spent seven years building the First Temple on the Temple Mount in
Jerusalem, I Kings 6:38. Verse 1 of our reading for today tells us Solomon and those who
worked for those seven years were now finished.
    This permanent worship center for the Jewish people was now set to house the “Ark of
the Covenant”, which had been standing in the temporary “transportable worship center”,
the Tabernacle.
    Prior to King Solomon placing the Ark in the Holy of Holies it had rested in a
Tabernacle that King David provided for this very sacred piece of Temple furniture. The
Tabernacle, housing the Ark, was erected by David in the City of David, Zion and also
known as Jerusalem, the original site to the south of the Temple Mount.
  This account of the moving the Ark from the Tabernacle to the Temple took place during
the "Feast of Tabernacles" that was being celebrated in Jerusalem at the time, verse 3.
    This is thrilling to read, the account of what happened as the priest brought the Ark
into the Holy of Holies of the newly built Temple, verses 11-14. The “Glory of the Lord”
rested on the "Mercy Seat" of the Ark, between the outstretched wings of the cherubim
atop the Ark. It was the presence of the Lord, on the Ark, that caused such a blessing to the
priests and the rest of the workers in and around the Temple.
    The Ark was a “prototype”, a model of the “One to come”, Jesus Himself. In Jeremiah,
the ancient Jewish prophet tells that in a coming Temple - the one Jesus will build and rule
and reign from, Zechariah 6:13-14, in that Temple there will be no Ark of the Covenant,
Jeremiah 3:16.
    In the Temple the Messiah Jesus will build at the end of the Tribulation there will be
no Ark. The reason is that the Ark is the model of Him to come. When you have the real
thing, you no longer need the model.
    However, in the next Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the Tribulation
Temple, there will be a need for the Ark. Those preparing for the next Temple know
exactly where the Ark is located today.
    The Ark is ready to be taken into the Holy of Holies in the Tribulation Temple - that is
how close we are to that Temple, which will be erected on the Temple Mount in
Jerusalem.
    Remember, the Rapture, Jesus calling us to join Him in the heavenlies, happens before
that Tribulation Temple is built.

PRAYER THOT: Help me this day to live as if the Rapture will happen today, because
it may well happen today.
                                            148



II Chronicles 6 vs6

     But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to
be over my people Israel.
              For further study - II Chronicles 6:1-11
     Our extended reading for today in II Chronicles 6, the first 11 verses, is the record of
the sermon that King Solomon gave at the dedication of the first Jewish Temple. After 7
years, Solomon's men had finished building the Temple in Jerusalem and as we saw in our
last devotional reading in II Chronicles, King Solomon had brought the Ark of the
Covenant into the Holy of Holies and the "Glory of the Lord" had filled the "house of the
Lord," II Chronicles 5:14.
     As Solomon preached that “dedication day”, he honored the Lord and his father, King
David. King Solomon was so honored that he had been the one chosen by the Lord to build
the temple. The king realized that the Temple would one day be the "house of habitation"
for the Lord, forever, verse 2.
     In addition to the Temple being where God would dwell among His people forever, the
Temple must be in the city of Jerusalem, Psalm 132:13-14. Verse 4 of our reading reveals
the partial fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant, II Samuel 7.
     In this passage the Lord promised King David that his son would build the Temple in
Jerusalem and that one of David's sons would sit on the throne forever. That last promise
in II Samuel 7, one of David’s “sons” on the throne, will actually be fulfilled by Jesus
Christ at His Second Coming.
     However, the first step in fulfilling the covenant given to David was being fulfilled on
that day as testified to by King Solomon. The Lord, since the Exodus from Egypt, had not
to that point chosen any city in the Promised Land to build a house, worship center, and
had not chosen a man to be ruler over His people.
     Solomon reveals in his sermon that the Lord had chosen Jerusalem for His permanent
Temple and King David, Solomon's father, to be the "co-regent" with Christ at that Temple
in Jerusalem, forever.
     Almost 500 years after King Solomon's sermon, the prophet Ezekiel wrote that King
David would rule from the Temple in Jerusalem, alongside Jesus, forever, Ezekiel 34:23-
24 and Ezekiel 37:24-25.
     The fulfillment of Solomon's prophecy revealed in his sermon and the prophecy of
Ezekiel will take place during the 1,000- year Millennial Kingdom, yet future. This
fulfillment takes place after the Rapture, the Tribulation, the Battle of Armageddon and
when Jesus rules and reigns from His Temple in Jerusalem, forever.
     By the way, the Rapture could happen today, which would signal the time of
fulfillment for the other prophecies spoken of and yet to be fulfilled.
     PRAYER THOT: Even so come Lord Jesus and help me to live in that expectancy
today.
                                                   149


II Chronicles 7 VS14
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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal
their land.
                                                             For further study - II Chronicles 7:1-22

As we come to II Chronicles 7 you will notice the similarities between this passage and the passages in I
Kings 8 & 9. However there are some differences that we will look at in our devotional reading for today.

The chapter begins with the record of the end of King Solomon's prayer, the fire coming down from
heaven and consuming the burnt offering and sacrifices. These events are the same as what is recorded in
I Kings 8 , "the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord", verse 1.

The children of Israel witnessed this happening and when they did they bowed before the Lord to worship
Him, giving testimony that His mercy endureth forever. What a great promise that is for us, even today.

As I read through the record of King Solomon and the priest and all the people offering sacrifices before
the Lord to honor Him, I am reminded of Romans 12:1 where Paul's exhortation is for each of us to offer
our bodies as a "living sacrifice" unto the Lord. That's what we must do today.

In the Romans passage, notice the next verse, verse 2. Paul says "be not conformed to this world but be ye
transformed by the renewing of your mind." That transformation takes place as we study His word and let
it conform us to His image.

It's that same exhortation that Jesus Christ gives to King Solomon. In a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus
unto the King, verse 12, Jesus warns the King that he and the people of his kingdom must honor, obey
and praise the Lord or they will be disciplined, punished.

The punishment would be the Temple being destroyed, Solomon would lose his kingdom and the children
of Israel would be taken out of the Land. Bible history tells us that all three of these things did happen.

King Solomon went after "other gods", the children of Israel were taken out of the land and the Temple
was destroyed. However, there is a great promise to the Jewish people found in this passage, it's verse 14.

I know that American Christians have applied this verse to themselves and their nation but the technical
interpretation of this passage is for the Jewish people.

The Jews must call upon the Lord, humble themselves and pray, seeking His face. They must turn from
their wicked ways, then the Lord will hear in heaven and the Jews will hear from heaven as He forgives
their sins and heals their land.

Though this promise and prophecy is in its beginning stages today, the Jews must follow through and the
Lord will fulfill His promise and prophecy.

By the way, the Lord has chosen the place of Solomon's sacrifice and Temple for His own, verse 12, a
dwelling place in the future where He will dwell among His people forever. That promise and prophecy
will be fulfilled also, seemingly in the near future.

PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord, to humble myself, call upon You, seeking Your face and
turn from wicked ways.
                                  150

II Corinthians 4 verse 5     - For we preach not ourselves, but Christ
Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
         For further study - II Corinthians 4:1-18
   Each day as I come to my time in the Word of God, devotionally, I
am continually amazed at how practical the Bible is for my every day
experience of living out my Christianity in the days in which we live.
   Today's passage for our devotional is no exception. I won't be able
to elaborate on everything in our passage but let me challenge you to
spend time in this passage and "dig deeper" for the "treasure" in His
Word.
   Paul begins this chapter with the fact that his ministry compels
him to not be dishonest even in secret, verse 2. The apostle sets the
standard for every person in ministry, and I must remind you that each
of us does have a ministry in this life, thus we must follow the
standard that Paul sets for us, until He calls us home.
   We must walk honest, not in craftiness, not handling the Word of
God deceitfully, as related to us in verse 2. Verses 3 and 4 reveal
how the "god of this world," that would be Satan, is today blinding
the minds of the lost people of our world to the "gospel".
   The "gospel", I Corinthians 15:1-5, is the death, burial and
resurrection of Jesus Christ. This "gospel" is the "power of God unto
salvation to everyone that believeth", Romans 1:16.
   Paul exhorts us to not allow the "gospel" to be hid from the lost.
That "gospel" is being hid today from lost people by false teachers,
pseudo-ministries and unresolved sin.
   I mention "pseudo" or "false ministry" which would be a ministry
that allows the things of this world to direct how we perform ministry
in the "church". Many churches are moving in that direction in order
to build a "large" church. The things of this world distract from the
"purity" of the "gospel" and dilutes the "gospel" so that it is of
none effect.
   Let me skip over some great "meat" in this passage, some of the
"treasure" that you can dig out for yourself in verses 6-16.
   The last two verses of our devotional passage for today, verses 17-
18, look to the future. They speak of the "hard times" we may be
facing today and into the future. Paul encourages us to look at these
times as "light afflictions", verse 17, which are but for a moment.
   Paul even mentions that the "light afflictions" are the "training
ground" preparing us for the future. Paul concludes with a word of
encouragement for the church at Corinth and for those of us in
churches, worldwide, today.
   Verse 18 says, don't look on the things of today, "things seen",
because they are "temporal", for a short time. We should "look upon
those things not seen", they are eternal.
   See how practical the Word of God, and prophecy are for our daily
lives. The current events of this world, our afflictions for today,
must not be our focus, we must focus on the "things to come", as
revealed in God's prophetic Word, the hope for tomorrow.
   PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord to keep my focus not on the things of
this world but instead on the truths of Your Word as I move through
these days and into the future.
                                             151




II Corinthians 5 verse 20

Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we
pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
                                                   For further study - II Corinthians 5:10-21
    Congratulations on your appointment as an "ambassador". This would be a very high-
ranking position for you, and for me, in any of the world’s “human governments”.
However, the text tells us that you and I are both "Ambassadors for Christ" in the
“heavenly government”. You cannot get any higher than that. What an honor He has
bestowed on each of us that know Him as Lord and Savior.
    Did you notice the first verse in the extended reading for today, verse 10? Once again
we are reminded that we all will stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ. As we learned last
time, that will be an awesome time.
    This truth found in this chapter is to remind us of why we are ambassadors. We are to
go forth to the world and be involved in a “ministry of reconciliation”, verse 18. The word
"reconciliation" is used in the context of making all the facts and figures fit together in
perfect harmony. We reconcile our bank accounts so that our records agree with the bank
records as it relates to our personal accounts.
    The ministry of reconciliation is to find those at odds with the Lord and reconcile them
to Jesus Christ. What a privilege He has granted us in ministry – “the ministry of
reconciliation”.
    Now, back to that which the Lord uses to motivate us to be active in our ministry of
reconciliation. He reminds us of His “terror”, His holiness that requires Him to sentence
people to the lake of fire, eternal damnation, if they reject Jesus, verse 11. Then He tells us
of His love that flows through us which will constrain us to be involved in our ministry of
reconciliation, verse 14.
    Our appointment as an ambassador has some real responsibility. We must be busy at
upholding our side of this assignment. We cannot live unto ourselves, but to Him that died
and rose again for us, and all of mankind, verse 15.
    If you will look at the verse just before our expanded reading, verse 9 of II
Corinthians 5, we see that Paul was ready to labor that we might be acceptable to Him. I
believe this verse says Paul had an ambition and that was to be acceptable of Him at all
times and for all purposes.
    We must be ambitious to serve Him as an “ambassador”, however, the truth is we
serve Him because of the love that constrains us to do so, that love of Christ.
    PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord, to remember the reasons that I am an ambassador
for Christ with the ministry of reconciliation.
                                             152

II Corinthians 5 vs9

Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
              For further study - II Corinthians 5:1-9
    Paul is writing a word of encouragement to those in Corinth about what the time of
death will bring to each of us. Most of us look at death as something to be dreaded,
something to be avoided at all cost.
    As I remind myself, as well as reminding you also who are reading this devotional, that
death is not the “end all”. It is actually the beginning, the beginning of “eternity future”.
The Apostle brings to our attention that in our present "tabernacle" our present body, there
is groaning.
    Let me stop right here. Everyday, as I become aware of another ache or pain that I
never have experienced before, I usually spend several minutes or sometimes even several
hours worrying about what the discomfort may be and what it could become.
    Paul is telling us that we will one day put on a new "tabernacle", a new and wonderful
“heavenly body”. Paul talks about confidence and he reminds us of where the confidence
comes from.
    The Holy Spirit has sealed each of us into the “Body of Christ”. It is the "earnest of the
Spirit" that gives us the confidence of where we are and where we will be one day. As we
are alive on this earth we are absent from the Lord and we know this by faith, not by sight.
    Paul then speaks of another confidence, the confidence that when we die on this earth
we go directly into His presence, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord,
verse 8. At death all born again Christians are transported by angels, Luke 16:22, into the
heavenlies, and into His presence.
    Now re-read our key verse. Until that victorious time of death when we go into His
presence, Paul says He would be ambitious and so should we be the same. Paul wanted to
live a life, do the work of the Lord, so that when he saw Him he would be accepted of
Him. That should be the same for us, when we see Him we might be accepted of Him.
    The very next verse, verse 10, speaks of us then standing at the Judgment Seat of
Christ. Paul says he wants to be well-accepted of Christ at that time. This is a Godly
ambition, because at the Judgment Seat we are given "crowns" for those works we have
done for the Lord, in His power and for His glory.
    Then we take these crowns and lay them at His feet as He sits upon His throne,
Revelation 4:10, in thanksgiving for all that He has done for us. We must join Paul in this
Godly ambition, so that we can give Him the glory.
    PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord to live a life that will receive reward at the
Judgment Seat of Christ so I can show thanksgiving to You, for all You have done for
me, as I cast my crowns at Your feet.
                                             153

II Corinthians 6 vs14

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath
righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
                                                     For further study - II Corinthians 6:1-18
     Our key verse for today's devotional reading is a strong exhortation from the Apostle
Paul about how we must live in the last days. The directive to be" not unequally yoked
together with unbelievers" is not the trend in Christian circles today.
     Please don't misunderstand my thoughts. I am not saying we don't have a relationship
with lost people, unbelievers, so that we can lead them to the Lord but this exhortation is
about "being yoked" to unbelievers, not relationships.
     To be "yoked" is like being "harnessed together in a team" of horses or some animals
of burden. We must not "yoke" ourselves to unbelievers in marriage, ministry and mission.
     It goes without saying that we must develop relationships with unbelievers, lost
people, so that we might have an opportunity to lead them to Christ. In fact, Paul, in the
first of this chapter, reports that he was doing all he could to give none offense in anything
so that his ministry might not be blamed.
     Everything we do should be for the purpose of "approving ourselves as the ministers of
God", verse 4. Verses 4-10 contain illustration after illustration of how Paul was abiding
in the lifestyle that he was exhorting the Corinthians to live.
     This is very applicable for us as well today. Reading of what Paul had lived through
helps us to understand why the Apostle told us to not be unequally yoked together.
     In verse 16 Paul refers to the Temple, the place where the "Glory of the Lord" dwelled
in days past; and prophetically, where the Lord will dwell among His people forever.
     Paul's application was that we are the "Temple of the living God"; therefore, we must
"come out from among them and be separate", verse 17. Remember, at this time in history
there was still a Temple in Jerusalem as Paul tells us we are now the "dwelling place" for
the Lord, I Corinthians 6:19-20.
     Please don't forget, there will be a physical Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem
one day. But until then the Lord abides in us, the reason for Paul's example and exhortation
to us.
     Peter wrote that the Lord was not slack concerning His promise to come back to earth,
and that He was not willing that any should perish, He wanted all to come to the
knowledge of the truth and come to know Him as Saviour, II Peter 3:9.
     If we couple that thought from Peter, with Paul's statement in verse 2, of our extended
reading today, we see how we can hurry the return of Jesus to the earth. Paul says, "now is
the accepted time, now is the day of salvation."
     II Peter 3:12 tells us that winning people to Jesus in this "day of salvation" can hasten
the Lord's return.
     PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers, to
make it a point to come out from among those that cause offense so that I can win the
lost to You in this, the “day of salvation”.
                             154
II Corinthians 11 vs.14
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an
angel of light.
        For further study - II Corinthians 11:1-15
   Paul warns the church at Corinth of false teachers. The
apostle reveals to this body of believers that the leader of
the false teachers, Satan himself, had a plan to deceive the
world - even the Christians, and he will implement this plan
in the Last Days.
   In II Corinthians 11:1-2, Paul is aggressively possessive
of the church and its members. God had placed him in a
position to do an eternal work. Paul said that his ministry
is to equip the growing Christian, chastise the carnal
Christian, (of which there were many at this time in
Corinth), and warn all Christians of the pitfalls on the
road to maturity that lay ahead.
   Paul's whole purpose is to present the Church as the
Bride, the chaste virgin, to Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom,
for the Marriage and Marriage Supper of the Lamb,
(Revelation 19:7-9).
   The marriage ceremony takes place after the Rapture and
before the 7 year Tribulation period begins. The Marriage
Supper of the Lamb will be celebrated during the 7 years of
the Tribulation. There will be conflict on Earth during
that time, but celebration in the Heavens.
   A part of the process to present the Lord's "espoused
wife" to Him at the Rapture, will be to protect the
Christian from the wiles of the devil until the marriage,
(II Corinthians 11:13-15). Paul tells the Corinthians that
Satan is slick, so much so that the devil can transform
himself into an "angel of light."
   Evil angels can also be transformed into apostles of
Christ and ministers of righteousness. The devil is
powerful and can dupe the world with his evil minions
changed to appear on the outside good and pure, but are
inwardly demonic.
   The exhortation is for each of us to stay alert of Satan
in these Last Days. In fact, from now until Jesus Christ
comes back to Jerusalem, the devil will be very active
seeking a way to deceive many. "Put on the whole armour of
God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the
devil," Ephesians 6:11.
   PRAYER THOT: Help me to prepare my wedding gown, my
righteous acts, so that my Bridegroom will be very proud.
                                     155
II Corinthians 12 vs.9     - And he  said unto me, My grace is
sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most
gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power
of Christ may rest upon me.
      For further study - II Corinthians 12:1-10
   As we come to our reading today, I am eager to share several
thoughts with you about the experiences of the Apostle Paul. These
experiences in the life of Paul will give us insight into biblical
principles that we each can appropriate for ourselves.
   Let me remind you that Paul was a brilliant man. Some scholars
have said he was one of the five greatest minds that ever lived. His
writings are masterpieces of literature, from a worldly perspective.
   Paul tells us that in order for him to not be exalted above
measure, above what he should be, he was given by God a "thorn in the
flesh", verse 7. We don't know exactly what the "thorn" was except
that it was something physical, a physical ailment of some type.
   Verse 8 tells us that Paul went to the Lord in prayer to request
the removal of the "thorn." It is with this backdrop of weakness that
God's divine power is displayed. Just think of the awesome statement
from God to Paul, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is
made perfect in weakness."
   Even as I wrote God's statement I had to pause to think about it.
   This philosophy is opposite to what the world, even some elements
of the Church, believe is for today. We are told all you do is pray
and God will heal you. That was not the case with Paul. God's plan
for Paul was to make manifest in his life the power and strength of
God in his weakness, his physical ailment.
   Notice in verse 10 that Paul says he took pleasure in his infirmities
because it was for the "sake of Christ" that this was happening to him. In
weakness Paul knew he was made strong. This is such a blessing to each of us
as we face everyday with our own weakness. His grace is, indeed, sufficient.
   But now look again at the beginning of our reading for today, verses 2-4.
Paul writes that he knew a man who about 14 years earlier was caught up into
heaven, the third heaven. Let me explain the three heavens. The first heaven
is where the sun and the clouds are located. The second heaven is where the
stars and galaxies are located. The third heaven is where God and Jesus are
today. You see the first heaven by day, the second heaven by night and the
third heaven by faith.
   Paul spoke of himself as "a man in Christ" and not as one of great
worthiness or as one who had achieved spiritual excellence. Paul was "caught
up" into the third heaven in the will and plan of God. By the way, the phrase
used here "caught up" is the same phrase describing the "Rapture" in I
Thessalonians 4:17.
   Paul experienced the "Rapture," the event that he had explained to the
people in Thessalonica. Remember Paul's last words in II Timothy 4:8, he was
looking forward to a "crown of righteousness" as he eagerly looked for Jesus
to Rapture the Church into heaven.
   He had the experience of the Rapture and wanted to go to heaven in that
way, instead of by death. I want that also, don't you?
   PRAYER THOT: Lord, help me to understand Your strength through my weakness
and also eagerly await Your call for me to join You in heaven.
                                             156




II John 6
And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That,
as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.
                 For further study - II John 1-6
    The phrase, "many deceivers are entered the world" is not included in our reading
today from II John, but it describes John's day as well as our day. In light of the situation,
John in this the smallest of his writings gives us instructions for how to walk with the Lord
in this day.
    John lifts up the "truth" which he uses to describe the "revealed truth" the “holy”
Scriptures. The Bible, as the only authority for doctrine, is our resource for a time like we
live in today, a day of spiritual decline and apostasy.
    In the message to all believers everywhere, John says the truth, true doctrine, is a
necessity for our daily walk. Today we hear that "love" is the driving force in relationships
- not doctrine. John says love is a key component in our Christian walk, but not to the
exclusion of biblical doctrine. However, John brings the two - love and doctrine - into
perfect harmony.
    Our key verse for today, verse 6, defines love as walking in His commandments. We
are not talking about the external “law” of Moses but the internal "law of Christ." I John
4:7-8 tells us what love is and how we got "true love." God is love and when we received
Christ, the divine love of God was placed in our renewed heart. This love then is manifest
in following "the law of Christ", which is to “love one another”, verse 5b.
    Therefore, "love" and "law", i.e. the law of Christ, are partners in our walk with Him
each day. To me this is very practical, especially in the world we walk through today.
Because we love Him we do what He wants us to do.
    I have found that to be the case with my dear wife of 48 years. The longer I am with
her, the more I love her and the more I want to do those things that please her. This is a
simple illustration of a profound truth that John reminds us of often in his letter.
    Just one other thought. He wants us to show our love by walking in His law and at the
same time, He enables us to do so. He also reminds us through John's letter that "reward
day" is coming at the Judgment Seat of Christ and He does not want us to lose the reward
He has for us, verse 8.
    PRAYER THOT: Thank you, Lord, for the provision to walk by your law through your
love that you placed within us.
                                             157



II John 9
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He
that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
                                                         For further study - II John 7-11

There are many today that say “doctrine divides” and it is better to love than to allow
doctrine to divide believers. As we look at another book written by the apostle John, we
see the view of the crowd who says doctrine divides is wrong.

John's perspective is that true Bible doctrine will unite, not divide. John gives us some
directives for the last days that we should pay close attention to found here in our
devotional reading for today.

John tells us about deceivers - many of them will enter this world at the time of the end.
These deceivers will deny that Jesus Christ, the Messiah, is come in the flesh. John is
pretty tough on these deceivers - he calls them an "antichrist". Now that is not the
“antichrist” - but an antichrist, verse 7.

Then John reveals the method for us to deal with these antichrists - these deceivers. He
says if they come and bring their false doctrine, do not allow them to enter your house.

John also says do not bid them God speed. In fact, if we do allow them into our homes and
bid them God speed, we are partakers of their evil deeds. John is straightforward with this
message warning of false doctrine and those who propagate it in this world. We need to
not only heed his warning, but follow his example in our associations as well.

Again John has a practical word for us. Verse 8 tells us that we must do as he has
instructed or we are in danger of not receiving our “full reward”. Now this has nothing to
do with salvation but with the rewards we receive at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

You may remember that at the “judgment seat” we will receive “crowns” that we will lay
at the Lord's feet in thanksgiving for what he has done for us, Revelation 4:10.

You know, having a daily dose of prophetic truth is a blessing as it tells us how to live in
these last days. Our passage today also reminds us that doctrine does not divide. It unites
us all in Christ, as we await His call for us to join Him in the heavenlies.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to know the true doctrine of your word so that I am in
perfect harmony with you, dear Lord.
                            158




II Kings 2 vs11 - And it came to pass, as they still went
on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of
fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and
Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
        For further study - II Kings 2:1-11

    This Biblical account of a living creature being taken
into the heavens, alive, is the second such incident of this
kind to be recorded in 6000 years of history. The first man
to be taken to heaven alive was Enoch - an event recorded in
Genesis 5:24.   Enoch and Elijah are the only two men that
have never died - and are now in the presence of God in the
Third Heaven.

    The New Testament writer of Hebrews says that "it's
appointed unto man once to die" and yet these two men have
not died as of yet - which leads us to other passages of
Scripture for an explanation.

    Revelation 11:3-12 foretells of two witnesses - two men
who will have a preaching ministry from the Temple Mount in
Jerusalem during the coming 7 year Tribulation Period.
Malachi 4:5-6 tells how God will send Elijah back to earth
before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

    It is reasonable to say that Elijah, one of the two men
who have never died, will be one of the two witnesses of
Revelation 11.   The current popular Christian song, "we're
living in the days of Elijah" speaks to this issue - and
indicates that the Rapture, which must happen before the
appearance of Elijah, must be close - let's keep looking up!
                                            159



II Kings 9 vs36
Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the LORD,
which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall
dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel:
              For further reading - II Kings 9:30-37
     There are some very interesting characters in this Biblical narrative that reveal a very
important principle of Bible prophecy or should I say several principles of Bible prophecy.
I'll get to those principles in a moment, but first, the narrative.
     Jehu is the son Jehoshaphat and had been made king of Israel, which included the 10
tribes who had separated from the other 2 tribes Benjamin and Judah. God would use Jehu
to fulfill the prophecy He had given through Elijah.
     Jehu would travel to Jezreel, the city, and be confronted by the wicked Jezebel. Do you
remember her? She was the patron saint of the Prophets of Baal that were defeated and
killed by Elijah, I Kings 18.
     After Elijah defeated the 400 prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel, he ran, in fact, out ran
King Ahab, Jezebel's husband and wicked king of Israel, all the way to Jezreel, I Kings
18:46. It was Jezebel who threatened to take the life of Elijah, I Kings 19:2, and scared
Elijah so much that he ran for his life all the way to Mt. Sinai. However, Elijah returned to
the land of Israel and gave the prophecy that Jezebel would die and her body would be
eaten by the dogs, I Kings 21:23.
     Now back to our narrative. The King of Israel, Jehu, would be used of God to fulfill
the prophecy God gave to Elijah. After Jezebel's death, Jehu had her body thrown down to
the ground and she was trodden upon under his feet.

    Jehu commanded that Jezebel be buried, but when the men went to take her body for
burial, all they found was the skull, feet and the palms of her hands. The dogs had eaten
her flesh, which is what Elijah had prophesied would happen.
    That is the narrative, and now the “principles” of Bible prophecy. Elijah had
prophesied that dogs would eat the flesh of Jezebel in Jezreel. If it is indeed a prophecy
from God through one of His prophets, it will happen just like it was prophesied - word for
word. That is what happened here.
    The second principle of Bible prophecy is that when one of God's prophecies is
fulfilled that is assurance additional prophecies from God will also be fulfilled. There are
countless records of that principle applied throughout the Bible. We will look at them as
we continue our journey through the Bible with “prophetic prospectives” on our daily
devotional.
    Rest assured, this account of Jezebel's death confirms prophecies for the “last days”,
which will also be fulfilled.

PRAYER THOT: Help me, dear Lord, in my study of prophecy to better understand the
times we live in and the nearness of His coming.
                                             160

II Kings 17 vs23
Until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the
prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.
                                                          For further study - II Kings 17:1-23
    The year is 722BC, the location is what is today northern Israel, and the situation is
Assyria, led by King Shalmaneser, is taking the ten northern tribes, known as Israel, into
captivity. Remember, after the death of King Solomon, I Kings 11, the twelve tribes of
Israel had divided.
    Jeroboam had taken ten tribes out of Jerusalem to the north and established Israel with
these ten tribes. Rehoboam, the son of King Solomon, remained in the south with two
tribes. These two tribes, Benjamin and Judah, became known as Judah.
    A number of years later, the Assyrians came and took captive Israel, these ten northern
tribes. The author of II Kings, who is unknown, but a man writing under the inspiration of
the Holy Spirit, II Timothy 3:16, reveals the sins of Israel, the reason for their capture.
    Verse 7 says it all in the statement that "Israel had sinned against the Lord their God."
The manifestation of that indictment was that the ten tribes had feared other gods more so
than the Lord their God, verse 7. They also did secret things against the Lord, verse 9.
They were involved with idol worship, verse 12. In reality, the bottom line was that they
would not listen to the Lord and they hardened their necks against Him, verse 14.
    The Lord had warned these ten tribes, Israel, as He always did, by the prophets that
this would happen. The Jews failed to repent and return in obedience unto the Lord so He
followed through on His warning and allowed their enemies to capture them taking them
out of their promised land into Assyria.
    By the way, the last three words of verse 23, "unto this day," refers to the time of the
writing of II Kings, not until our day. I bring that to your attention because these ten tribes
are not the "Ten Lost Tribes of Israel" as some try to say.
    The Assyrians took the ten tribes, Israel, into captivity. But remember, the Babylonians
defeated the Assyrians and took under its Kingdom all of the people of Assyria including
these ten tribes.
    These tribes are not lost - they were under the Kingdom of Babylon and
representatives of these ten tribes returned to Jerusalem after the Medo-Persian Empire
came to place and Cyrus allowed almost 50,000 Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the
temple.
    Ezra, chapters 2 and 6, records that all of Israel, all twelve tribes or at least a family
or two from these tribes returned to Israel. This is key, in light of the prophecy of Ezekiel
37:15-23, when once again the twelve tribes will be divided into two Jewish states, Israel
and Judah.
    The truth be known, the Jewish state of Israel today is so divided that Ezekiel's
prophecy could happen in the near future. Our reading today helps us to see the
background for the future fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
    PRAYER THOT: Help me, Lord, to not sin against you and have to face Your
chastisement.
                                            161
II Kings 18 vs3
And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David
his father did.
                                                         For further study - II Kings 18:1-12
    Have you ever heard someone refer to the book of Hezekiah in the Bible? I often say, "
in Hezekiah 3:16," in jest with people. Today, we are not in the book of Hezekiah, but II
Kings, which is the record of Hezekiah as King of Judah, the revival under Hezekiah and
the victory in Gaza for this King of Judah.
    After the reign of King Solomon, I Kings 11, the Twelve Tribes of Israel divided into
a Northern and a Southern “kingdom”. The ten tribes who went to the north were known
as “Israel”. The two tribes in the south were “Judah”.
    There were a number of Kings over Judah until the Babylonian captivity and Hezekiah
was one of the greatest. He was great, not because he was a military genius or an astute
politician, he was both wise in military activity, verse 8, and adept in the political arena.
But Hezekiah's greatness came because, "he did that which was right in the sight of the
Lord," verse 3.
    The result of Hezekiah's "right living" led to a “revival” among the Jewish nation. The
children of Israel had been misusing the "brazen serpent" that God had given the Jewish
people for salvation, Numbers 21:5-9. This idolatrous activity took place all the way to
the days of Hezekiah, over a thousand years after the brazen serpent in the wilderness
wanderings.
    The Jews were not "looking to live" on the brazen serpent but instead they were
"burning incense" to the serpent. Hezekiah broke the brazen serpent into pieces to stop this
idolatry. Hezekiah also removed the "high places," broke the images set up there, and cut
down the groves, which all were symbolic of idolatrous worship.
    Revival had broken out in Judah and it started with their King and worked its way
down to the people. In contrast, this account reveals the defeat of the ten tribes in the
north, Israel, by Shalmaneser, King of Assyria. They were defeated because they did not
obey the voice of the Lord and transgressed the Mosaic Covenant, verses 9-12.
    Before we conclude our devotional thoughts for today, please notice Hezekiah's
victory over the Philistines in Gaza. The "Gaza" in this passage is the same as the "Gaza
Strip" in modern times. God did give Judah, King Hezekiah, this piece of real estate almost
2,700 years ago.
    Let me hasten to remind you that the Philistines of Biblical times are not the
Palestinians of today. The Palestinians of today come from the line of Esau, Jacob's twin
brother. (see my audio series Esau and the Palestinians)
    It is so interesting that God gave the Jews victory over their enemies that were
headquartered in Gaza. What goes around, comes around and will continue to do so in the
future. Obadiah 14-18 tells of the victory that the Jews will have over the present
residents of Gaza at the time of the return of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
    That time is quickly approaching - keep looking up.
    PRAYER THOT: Help me, dear Lord, to be like King Hezekiah and to do that
which is right in Your sight.
                            162




    I Chronicles 12:32 - And of the children of Issachar,
which were men that understanding of the times, to know what
Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and
all their brethren were at their commandment.
     For further study - I Chronicles 12:23-38

    The shepherd boy David grows up, becomes the King of
Judah and serves in Hebron for 7 years, (II Samuel 5:1-6)
before being approached by all the tribes of Israel to be
their king.   David would then serve as the king of all of
Israel for 33 years more from the city of Jerusalem.

    he record of the 12 tribes of Israel making David their
king in I Chronicles 12 has a very interesting phrase that
describes men of one of the tribes - the tribe of Issachar.
These were "men that had understanding of the times, to know
what Israel ought to do," vs. 32.    That description should
be a principle that guides our daily lives - we can only
make proper decisions today when we understand the times in
which we are living. It is possible to understand the times
only when we understand God's scenario found in Bible
Prophecy for the last days.

God's word tells us we have a "sure word of prophecy" (II
Peter 1:19) and we should take heed to the prophetic passage
so Scriptures and study them in light of the times we find
ourselves living in today (II Timothy 2:15).
                                                163
II Kings 19 vs34        For I will defend this       city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my
servant David's sake.            For further study - II Kings 19:1-37
You need to take a moment with me and read all 37 verses of II Kings 19, our devotional
reading for today. It is the story of a king’s prayer for the Lord to save the Jewish people
and their city of Jerusalem, and how Jesus Christ intercedes to protect both the Jews and
the city.
     We first need some background. The King of Judah, King Hezekiah, had come to
power and there was revival in the land of Judah and among the Jewish people, II Kings
18. Now around 710 BC, almost 15 years after the Assyrians had captured the ten tribes of
Israel in the north, the Assyrians, led by King Sennacherib had come to capture Judah, the
two southern tribes, and destroy the city of Jerusalem.
     This caused King Hezekiah to humble himself, rent his clothes, cover himself with
sackcloth and go into the Temple to pray. Hezekiah sent his servant, Eliakim, to the
prophet Isaiah so that the prophet would also beseech the Lord for the protection of the
Jews and Jerusalem.
     Isaiah's message to King Hezekiah was a prophecy that the Lord would defeat the
attacking Assyrian army. King Sennacherib would return home and there die in his own
land.
     Sennacherib heard the prophecy and determined that he would defy the Lord God of
Israel. King Hezekiah heard that the Assyrians were coming and failed to believe the
prophecy of Isaiah.
     Therefore, he returned to the Temple to once again pray for his people and Jerusalem.
The Lord's answer to the King's prayer would come through the prophet Isaiah, again.
     This time Isaiah goes into more detail, verses 20-34. The Lord makes the promise to
Hezekiah, through the prophet Isaiah, that He would defend the city of Jerusalem and thus
the people, the Jewish people.
     Verses 35-37 reveal the record of the prophecy fulfilled. That night Jesus Christ
fulfilled the prophecy. The "angel of the Lord" is a pre-incarnate appearance by Jesus who
that night killed 185,000 of the attacking Assyrians, verse 35.
     Then King Sennacherib returned to his capital city of Assyria, Ninevah, and
Sennacherib was killed, by the sword of his enemies as Isaiah the prophet had foretold it
would happen. This is another proof that Bible prophecy will be fulfilled.
     Please notice before we leave this passage that the reason the Lord protected Jerusalem
at this time was two-fold. The Lord saved Jerusalem for His own sake, He has chosen
Jerusalem to dwell among His people forever, Psalm 132:13-14.
     Jesus also saved Jerusalem because of His promise to King David that there would be a
Temple in Jerusalem and one of David's descendants would rule on the throne in that
Temple, forever. That king forever is "King Jesus".
     Prophecy fulfilled in the past is evidence that prophecy yet to be fulfilled will be
fulfilled.
     PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for the pages of prophecy in the Bible that help
me to understand the times in which I'm living and also alert me to the nearness of Your
soon return.
                                              164

II Peter 1 vs2

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus
our Lord,
                                                   For further study - II Peter 1:1-15

The disciple that followed Jesus Christ for three and a half years learning as he journeyed
through Israel with the Master, the Messiah, the Apostle Peter finally learned how to be a
true "servant" of the Lord.

In the first verse of Peter's second letter, this arrogant, loud-mouthed, mean, tough
fisherman realized he was to be a “servant," a bondservant of Jesus Christ.

Notice in Peter's first letter, I Peter 1:1, he doesn't introduce himself as a servant but as an
"apostle." This second letter was written not long before Peter's death and he knew that it
was close, verse 14, and with that knowledge he could see things the way they really were,
he was simply a "servant".

Peter tells us how "grace and peace" could be multiplied unto us through our knowledge of
God the Father and Jesus the Son, our Lord. By that same knowledge, we also receive "all
things that pertain unto life and godliness," verse 3.

This chapter, our extended reading, contains "Biblical mathematics." "Multiplication" is
found in verse 2,"addition" is found in verses 5-7. Notice that because we are "partakers
of the divine nature," verse 4, we can start with "faith" and then add virtue, knowledge,
temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and finally we can add to all of the
above "love."

Let's look at Peter's purpose for this letter, II Peter 1:12-15. He wants us to "remember."
Peter says he will not be negligent but instead will put us in "remembrance" of the things
he had just written to us.

Peter says, verse 13, he will "stir up our remembrance" so that after his death, we who
read his letter might "remember" these great truths. In chapter 3 of II Peter, the apostle
reveals the way he will stir up our "remembrance" is by the words of the "holy prophets",
the writings of the "apostles" and the words spoken by "Jesus Christ."

Peter's second letter is the "how to's" for living in the End Times. Read these words and
“remember” them for the way ahead, until He comes.

PRAYER THOT: Help me, Lord, to remember Your Word so that I will be stirred up to
action in these the last days.
                                              165




II Peter 1 vs19

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed,
as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise
in your hearts.
                                                            For further study - II Peter 1:15-21
    Peter, as he writes what many call his “swan song”, reveals to the reader of his letter a
message for those of us living in the last days. It is a letter that states the ground rules for
the prophets used down through the centuries.
    Peter says the written word, God's prophetic passages, are better than even an
eyewitness account of an event, verses 16-18. That “more sure word of prophecy” is the
Bible itself. We must only study the prophetic passages found between Genesis 1:1 and
Revelation 22:21. This is the inspired word of God. Any other prophecy from man today
is of “another spirit” not the Holy Spirit.
    Peter's exhortation to us is to study God's prophetic scriptures, which takes up about 30
percent of the entire Bible. He says that we "do well to take heed" to this word "as a light
that shineth in a dark place", verse 19.
    The reason Biblical prophecy is to be studied and will be to our benefit to do so is
because it did not come to its written form by the will of man but holy men of God "wrote
as the Holy Spirit inspired, breathed into them" what to write, verse 21.
    The key to understanding the whole of God's prophetic word is found in verse 20. The
phrase "no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation" is an essential in any
deep study of Bible prophecy.
    There are 17 Old Testament books that are essentially exclusively “prophetic” in
nature. The book of Revelation in the New Testament is “prophetic” along with portions of
all New Testament books with the exception of Philemon.
    To read and study all of these books - not one passage in any of the prophetic books
can contradict the other. They must all fit like a “hand in a glove” in perfect harmony. This
principle will assist your study of prophecy as we realize even though we are studying
books from a number of sources there is only one writer - the Holy Spirit of God.
    We must now begin the study of this "sure word of prophecy" and continue our study
"until the day dawn and the day star arise in our hearts," verse 19. That, of course, is the
return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to take heed to this “more sure word of prophecy” as I wait
the Lord's coming.
                                             166
II Peter 2 vs9
 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the
unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
                                                     For further study - II Peter 2:1-9

Peter is near the end of his many years of ministry when he writes II Peter and is working
to "stir up" our memories, II Peter 1:5, and also our pure minds, II Peter 3:1. In chapter
1, Peter calls for us to remember that we have a “sure word of prophecy”, verse 19. In
chapter 3, Peter “stirs up our pure minds” as we remember the truths of Bible prophecy,
verse 2.

In chapter 2 and especially the portion of the chapter for our extended reading, we are
“warned about false teachers”. In many locations in the New Testament we are warned
about false teachers. My concern for believers today is that they do not heed these
warnings and they remain under the teachings of these false teachers.

Dear friend, you stay under false teaching and false teachers to your own peril. Do not
judge a church by the “personality of the pastor”, but instead by the “doctrine of the
deacons”. The main ministry of the local church is to protect its people from false
teaching.

Peter then gives us a warning about “judgment to come”. The Lord will judge the angels,
those in the abyss, the tartaros. He will also judge the whole world as He did in the days of
Noah and Lot, verses 5-6. As we wade through these waves of deception and destruction,
we walk ashore on deliverance.

Praise the Lord. He knows how to deliver us and will do so. He will deliver all of those
made godly by His work on the cross and His resurrection. Our Lord will keep us from the
temptation, the testing that is ahead.

During the 7-year Tribulation period of testing here on the earth, we will be celebrating a
“marriage” in the heavenlies. We, as the “bride of Christ”, will be married to the
bridegroom, Jesus himself.

There is a parallel passage to Peter's message, written by John, a longtime friend. John
says in Revelation 3:10 that the Lord will "keep us from" not take us out of the testing of
the judgment ahead.

Of course, the process of deliverance from this coming testing is the Rapture of the
Church. This Rapture of the Church could happen at any time, even today so keep looking
up until.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you, dear Lord, for your promise of deliverance from the
terrible Tribulation Period yet to come.
                                  167


II Peter 3 vs13 - Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for
new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

For further study - II Peter 3:10-18
   Peter, with the very last words he would write to believers,
challenged the readers of these words to consider what will happen in
the future, and live in light of that knowledge.
   Verse 10 reveals the final conclusion for this earth we live on and
the heavens above. They are going to burn up because they have been
cursed by Satan and sin. There is to be no renewing or refurbishing of
this sin-tainted earth and the heavens above us; they will be "burned
up," notice the procedure, verse 10. It starts with a great noise and
then the elements "melt" with fervent heat.
   This is not a description of a process that "renews" the heavens
and earth. Armed with this knowledge, Peter becomes very practical,
verse 11.
Since all these things will happen, the heavens and earth will be
dissolved, what manner of person ought we to be as "Holy citizens".
   But that's not the end of the story. Out of the ashes of heaven and
earth will come the "new heavens and a new earth." This is not a new
concept, the ancient prophet Isaiah first wrote about new heavens and
a new earth about 2,700 years ago, Isaiah 65:17-19 and Isaiah 66:22.
   John the Revelator also spoke of the new heavens and the new earth,
Revelation 21:1. It's at this point in our devotional reading for
today that Peter becomes very practical. Just another evidence that
prophecy can be very practical.
   Peter says, verse 14, since we look for such things (new heavens
and new earth) there is a way we should live out our lives. We must be
diligent, keep to the task, continually.
   We must guard our lives so that we are "without spot and
blameless". What practical advise we gain from studying the prophetic
Word of God. Coming to an understanding of it's teaching will help us
to" live right."
   Peter wrote about his "beloved brother" Paul. who also was writing
to the Christians as to how their life was to be played out, verses
15-16. Peter gives another practical application for our daliy lives,
verse 17.
   With the knowledge that we have from our study of scripture we
should be on guard, be aware to not allow false teaching,error, to
lead us astray and that by the "wicked one." We must stay steadfast.
   By the way, the knowledge that Peter is writing about, will be that
which we must grow in, that is the knowledge by the grace of God,
verse 18.
Knowledge of the future will help us to grow in the Lord and stay
steadfast also in Him. Prophecy is practical.
   PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for being so good to me by giving me
the knowledge of what will happen in the future and with that
knowledge, You help me to live right as I look up for You to come
                                  168


II Peter 3 vs.9 - The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as
some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing
that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

For further study - II Peter 3:1-9
   As Peter concludes his last epistle, he does so with the goal of
stirring up within each of us a "pure mind." He does that by bringing
some things to our attention from what the prophets wrote, what the
apostles taught, and the words of Jesus.
   Then Peter warns us of what the last days will be like. They will
be days when people will be scoffers, denying the promise of the
Second Coming, verse 3. They will say, "Where is the promise of His
coming?
   Peter then talks about three additional events in history that
those who deny the Lord's return to earth will also deny. Verses 4-7
discuss the Creation, how God brought the heavens and earth and all
that is in them into existence. These same deniers will reject the
historical fact of a worldwide flood and the earth-wide results of
that flood.
   The Biblical truth that judgment is coming, even on the heavens and
the earth which will both be burned up, will also be rejected which is
a natural for someone who rejects what God did in Creation and as a
result of the Flood.
   Peter used the term, "willingly ignorant" to describe these
deniers.
I like the statement, "they will be dumb on purpose," better. That
term fits people who reject the Lord and what He has done and will do.
It is "on purpose" when someone will reject the Lord.
   By the way, notice that these people are deniers, verse 3, because
they are "walking after their own lusts." Peter's description of the
last days fits the description of the days we are living in now. There
are many in the world that are "walking after their own lust." But
there are many in the "church" that are also walking after their own
lust today.
   Today there are those that name the name of Christ and yet are
walking after those same lusts that led them astray before their
salvation experience. This is really evidence that the Rapture could
take place very soon and it could be near to the time that the Lord
could come back.
   However, Peter reminds us of the reason the Lord has not yet come
even though it seems like this is the time for His return. Look at
verse 9 for that reason. Jesus is not willing that any should perish
but all should come to Him for salvation. However, the Lord will only
wait so long.
   I do hope that this devotional for today did accomplish Peter's
desire to stir up our minds to be pure and eagerly await His shout for
us to join Him in the heavenlies.
   PRAYER THOT: Help me, dear Lord, to lead others to You for
salvation as I wait for Your soon return.
                                   169
II Peter 3 vss 8-9 - But, beloved,     be not ignorant of this one thing,
that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand
years as one day.
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count
slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any
should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
   For further study - II Peter 3:1-12
   As we enter this brand new year we have a clean slate on which to place
our mark that will impact the world. The very best we can do with this
exciting opportunity is to move through these next 365 days directed by God’s
Word.
   I believe a knowledge of God’s prophetic plan for the future will enhance
our prospects for being successful in our adventure to serve Him each and
every day of this coming year.
   Our extended devotional reading for today speaks to some issues that must
direct our path through this year, and in fact through all the days that the
Lord allows us to have on this earth.
   In prospective, this first day of a new year reminds us that another day
brings us another year. In the mind of Jesus it's only been several days,
verse 8, since He promised to return to set up His kingdom, on the Temple
Mount in Jerusalem.
   There is only one reason that Jesus has not returned to gather us to
Himself with His shout, the shout of the archangel and with the sound of the
trump of God, calling us to join Him in the heavenlies. At which time we'll
be “caught up” to be with Him forever.
   There is only one reason He hasn't called for us to join Him and that is
because our Lord and Saviour is not willing that any should perish, but wants
all of humankind to come to Him as their Saviour, verse 9.
   Let me draw your attention to several other truths that this passage
presents for us to “remember”. Verse 4 speaks of those in the last days who
will question the “coming of the Lord back to the earth”.
   The previous verse, verse 3, tells us why they will doubt that the Lord
will come again to be among us, because they will be “scoffers, walking after
their own lusts”. This statement is referring to both lost people as well as
those who may be Christians, not in good fellowship with the Lord.
   Verse 5 says they will be “willfully ignorant” of the fact that Jesus
created all things, Colossians 1:16. In other words, they will be “dumb on
purpose” of the Lord’s work. Verse 6 states that they will deny the “world-
wide flood” and verse 7 reveals their denial of a “coming judgment day”.
   These thoughts must be in our memory as we enter this new year. Also, as
we see current events in today’s world setting the stage for all of Bible
prophecy to be fulfilled, we must understand that Jesus is only delaying His
return because of the lost that He wants to get saved.
   When that last one that Jesus knows will get saved, when that one receives
Him, then the shout will come a for us to join Him in the air. That could
happen at any moment. In fact, the truth be known, each of us could hasten
the coming of Jesus Christ.
In the context of verse 12, if we are winning people to Jesus Christ, that
will hasten His return. What a great goal for this new year, winning people
to Jesus and at the same time hastening His return.
   Remember - everything else we do will be burned up one day, verses 10 and
11, so let's work to hasten His return.
   Prayer Thot: Dear Lord, please help me to remember the things I should as
I eagerly await Your shout for me to join you in the heavenlies and help me
to win lost people to You.
                                  170



II Samuel 5 vs.12 - And David perceived that the LORD had established
him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his
people Israel's sake.
   For further study - II Samuel 5:1-12
   The event recorded here in II Samuel 5 took place 3000 years ago
which is very significant as it relates to Jerusalem, both politically
and prophetically. The men of the tribe of Judah had come to David to
appoint the grown-up shepherd boy of Bethlehem as king of their tribe,
II Samuel 2:4, how-be-it if only one of the tribes of the twelve of
Israel.
   King David would serve as King of Judah for 7 and a half years
before all the tribal leaders of Israel would come to him where he
served in Hebron, to make him the King of all twelve tribes. King
David made a league with them before the Lord and they anointed David
King over Israel.
   Now David must find a neutral location to headquarter his kingdom,
some location other than Hebron. David's search took him to a
Jebusite stronghold between the tribal locations of Benjamin and Judah
known as Jerusalem. After capturing the city, King David makes
Jerusalem the political capital of the Jewish people. By the way,
that was done some 3000 years ago - before the Islamic faith came into
existence.
   Jerusalem, and in particular the Temple Mount, became the political
center for the Jews. The Jews were occupying the Temple Mount over
1000 years before the Muslims were ever in existence, especially
before the prophet of the Islamic faith ever thought of riding a horse
from the stone under the Dome of the Rock into heaven to meet with
Allah. The truth be known, The Quran never even mentions Jerusalem
and most Islamic scholars debate whether Mohammad ever was in
Jerusalem.
   King David has a real connection to the Temple Mount. The second
King of Israel actually paid cash money for the Temple Mount, II
Samuel 24:18-25. God made King David a promise, the Davidic Covenant,
that there would be a Jewish temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem
and one of his descendants would be there to serve as co- regent,
administrator of the Temple Mount.
   The Davidic Covenant can not be broken, however, there is one
exception. If you can make the sun, the moon, and the stars
disappear, then the Lord would forget all the promises He made to the
"chosen people," Jeremiah 33:20-21.
   God used this shepherd boy, giant killer and natural leader to not
only lead the Jewish people in ancient times but He will also raise
King David to serve along side the Messiah Jesus Christ for the 1000
year Kingdom that is coming to Jerusalem, forever.
   PRAYER THOT: Mold me and make me to your specs to serve you now -
and forever.
                                           171



II Samuel 6 vs17
And they brought in the ark OF THE LORD, and set it in his place, in the midst of the
tabernacle that David had pitched for it: and David offered burnt offerings and peace
offerings before THE LORD.
             For further study - II Samuel 6:1-23
    In our previous readings in II Samuel we looked at chapter 5, which was the record of
King David capturing the Jebusite stronghold of Jerusalem and making it the political
capital of the Jewish people.
    We also looked at chapter 7 which records that God made a covenant with King
David, the Davidic Covenant, which promises that a descendant of David will sit on the
throne in Jerusalem forever.
    Now we read from II Samuel 6, which records King David bringing the Ark of the
Covenant, that sacred piece of Temple furniture, into the city of Jerusalem. The account
reminds us that Uzzah died beside the Ark because when he reached out to stop the Ark
from falling from the cart it was being transported on, it angered the Lord, II Samuel 6:7.
God also smote the driver of the "new cart," II Samuel 6:3.
    The problem was that King David was following the example of the “secular world”,
the Philistines, by using a “new cart” to transport the Ark. The Manual, (God's Word), said
that four Levites were to bare the Ark when it was moved.
    Therefore, David would wait three months before he would be able to bring the Ark to
Jerusalem. The record tells us that David would transport the Ark the proper way from the
home of Obededom up to Jerusalem, II Samuel 6:11.
    When all else fails, read and follow the Manual.
    David placed the Ark in a “temporary Tabernacle” until it was placed in the Holy of
Holies in the Temple that would be built by David's son Solomon. By this action, David
made Jerusalem not only the “political capital” of the Jewish people, but it is their
religious, or “spiritual capital” as well.
    After having the First Temple built, King Solomon would place the Ark inside the
Holy of Holies, II Chronicles 3:1 & 5:1-7. In God's promise to King David, the Lord said
that Jerusalem would be the “eternal, spiritual capital” of the Jewish people.
    In the Temple that Jesus will build in Jerusalem, Zechariah 6:12, there will be no Ark.
Jesus Christ is the Ark in the Holy of Holies. However, in the next Temple to stand on the
Temple Mount in Jerusalem there will be this same Ark that King David brought into
Jerusalem. The next Temple is a “false temple” built by a “false messiah” - the Antichrist.
    The next Temple is ready to go up in Jerusalem, with the Ark ready to be placed in the
Temple. The only thing to happen before that is the Rapture of the Church, which could
happen today.
    PRAYER THOT: Help me, Lord, to live ready for the Rapture.
                                                    172

II Samuel 7 vss16 -17

And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be
established for ever. According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan
speak unto David.

                                                                       For further study - II Samuel 7:4-17

The promise of a house (Temple), Kingdom and throne for a descendant of King David from the Lord is
known as the Davidic Covenant. This is a promise that will only fail if the day and the night are no longer
in existence, Jeremiah 33:19-21.

For almost 6,000 years, we have had a night followed by a day - God's promise to David is as true as the
next moonlit night or majestic sunrise. The Davidic Covenant will be fulfilled by that member of the
linage of King David, the person of Jesus Christ.

The complete fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant is yet future. It will be fulfilled when Jesus Christ
returns to the Earth, to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem to set up His Kingdom by building His Temple
on the Temple Mount (Zechariah 6:12-13) in Jerusalem.

It is in that Temple, where Jesus will be seated upon His “throne” as the promised descendant of King
David. Jesus will rule and reign, forever. This is evidence that we are not now living in “the kingdom
period”.

The “kingdom” is yet to come, right now Jesus is seated at the “right hand” of His Father in the heavens,
Hebrews 1:3, 8:1 and 12:2. One day in the future the Father will give His Son, Jesus, the “kingdom”.

Current events in this present world, in light of Bible Prophecy, seem to indicate that the coming of the
Messiah is quickly approaching. The fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant's promise is drawing closer.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for keeping your promises, like the Davidic Covenant, to the Jews,
which confirms that You will keep all of Your promises to me.
                                                    173
II Samuel 12 vs13
And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The
LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.
                                                             For further study - II Samuel 12:1-23

This portion of II Samuel selected for today's devotional reveals a very sad ending to the “double act of
sin” that King David committed while serving as King of Israel.

David had lusted over Bathsheba, the wife of one of his "mighty fighting men", Uriah. David was driven
so much by his lust for Bathsheba that he had her husband killed. The King then had a child by this other
man's wife.
These sins had already taken place, and then along comes the prophet Nathan who tells King David a
story of how one man mistreated another. The story made the King angry until Nathan told David that "he
was the man," the man who had mistreated the other, verses 1-11.

David's anger changed to sorrow and repentance, verse 13, and the Lord did not kill the King of Israel for
these sins right then. However, Nathan told David that his son by Bathsheba would die because of the sin.
Notice, verse 12, what David had done secretly, the Lord would reveal openly before all of Israel.

David would pray that his son would not die because of the sins he, David, had committed. But the Lord
did take the son. Verse 14 tells us why the Lord took David's son. The sins of King David had given
occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme Him, and therefore the Lord would take the child.

In no way can one commend David for what he did, murder and adultery. However, David confessed his
sins and the Lord forgave the King even though he would have to pay the consequences, his young son
would die. There are consequences for sin.

Before we leave this passage please notice the last verse of our extended reading. Though it is not an
absolute, the verse seems to say that "babies" at death go directly into the presence of God to be with Him
forever.

We know that David will be in heaven, and the verse tells us that his "baby" will be there also, "I shall go
to him but he cannot return to me", verse 23.

Though David was forgiven of his sins, he did suffer the consequences of these sins, here on the earth in
his lifetime. Our sins will be forgiven if we confess them, I John 1:9, but we must remember that there
will be consequences for our sins that we must live through, in this lifetime.

PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord, to stay away from sin, so that I don't give occasion to others to
blaspheme You, and thus I will also escape the consequences of sin.
                                                     174

II Thessalonians 1 vs3

We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth
exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;

                                                                 For further study - II Thessalonians 1:1-12

As we now come to this second letter to the Christians in Thessalonica, it seems Paul evidently writes it
very soon after his first letter to the church.

There would be much said in this letter about the Second Coming, including the time of the coming of the
“Anti-christ”, how the church would be spiritually at that time and what would happen to those who had
heard the gospel message, understood the gospel message, and then "rejected" the love of the truth that
they might be saved, II Thessalonians 2:10-12.

Paul, however, starts his letter with thanksgiving to God for the word coming to him of the spiritual life of
the Thessalonians. Paul was so pleased that he had heard of their faith that was growing, as he stated it,
"exceedingly", verse 3.

Also in verse three we find out how their love for each other was increasing and in fact, "abundantly".
Paul also realizes their "patience" even during times of persecution and trouble for these new Christians
and how they were able to "endure".

This is an excellent list of objectives for each of us "older Christians", a growing faith, love for each
other, patience and ability to endure persecution.

Paul then encourages the Thessalonians with the fact that the Lord will bring judgment upon all those who
were persecuting them, "when He shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels", verse 7.

Verses 5-9 indicate that when Jesus comes back this next time, He will come as the "judge". People don't
want to hear of Jesus as the "judge". His righteousness, however, demands that He judge sin.

Peter, in II Peter 3, wrote that people would deny the coming of the Lord because they do not want to
face judgment. Jesus came as the 'lamb," our sacrifice for sin, but He is also coming as the "Lion of
Judah," the coming judge.

Paul then tells the Thessalonians that his prayer for them is that the "name of Jesus Christ would be
glorified in them." verse 12.

That must be our goal, our lives glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ.

PRAYER THOT: Lord help me to live a life that is growing in faith, loving others, patient, enduring
persecution and glorifying You, dear Jesus.
                                                       175

II Thessalonians 3 vs5

And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

                                                                    For further study - II Thessalonians 3:1-5

The Apostle Paul is very concerned that he be able to help the Thessalonians to grow in the Lord. After
leading them to Jesus, for salvation, he writes two letters to them, I and II Thessalonians, with much
instruction for their growth. He has watched as the “Word of the Lord” was glorified, made manifest in
these people, verse 1 .

Paul desires the prayers of the Thessalonians so that as he continues his ministry he will be able to
minister the “Word of the Lord” among others as well. Here Paul is teaching “intercessory prayer” to
these young believers. Paul's prayer also includes a request for his protection from unreasonable and
wicked men, verse 2.

The apostle reminds the Thessalonians, and us as well, that the Lord is faithful to His ministry of
establishing us in Jesus and keeping us from evil that may come to confront us.

Paul wants these new converts to love the Lord, to really love Him, verse 5. This is love that is more than
“lip service”, it is a love that is a love like I have for my wife. That kind of love causes me to want to talk
to her and let her talk to me. In our love for the Lord, we can talk to Him, in prayer.

He can also talk to us in His word, as we read it on a daily basis. The love that I have for my wife moves
me to want to do things that please her. This is the case as well with our love for the Lord.

Notice the last phrase in our reading, verse 5. Paul wants to direct the Thessalonians and each of us into
the "patient waiting for Christ to return." It is difficult for me to be patient. That is something I must learn,
patience. Let me suggest that as we wait patiently for the Lord to return, we must be "prepared" for His
shout to come at any moment by knowing for sure we are born again.

We also need to walk "pure" each day by laying aside that which is ungodly and evil and living that which
is godly and righteous, as we look up for Him to take us to be with Him. We must also be "productive," in
winning others to Jesus Christ and helping them to grow even as Paul was doing among the
Thessalonians.

Again, I say it is difficult for me to be patient as I await the Lord's shout to join Him in the air. I want it to
happen today, and it could - even so come, Lord Jesus.

PRAYER THOT: Lord, help me as I await Your coming, patiently, to be pure and productive until you
do shout for us to join You in the heavenlies.
                                                      176




II Timothy 1 verses 6-13

Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his
own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.


Paul, in this letter of instruction to young Timothy, is encouraging his young partner in ministry. He first
tells Timothy of the salvation and call of the Lord upon both of them. He reminds his young partner that
the Lord does what he does for His own purpose and by His grace, and all of this done in His mind before
the world began.

How thrilling it is that the creator of all things, the Lord Jesus Christ, has purposed a calling for each of
us, and He did this before our birth, before we were even formed in the womb. He did this before the
world began, in eternity past.

Verse 12 in our expanded reading speaks of the future, the day of His return, "that day." Here we are
encouraged to understand why we have to sometimes suffer in this world. Paul himself said that he
suffered and was not ashamed to do so.

The reason that is possible is because we can know whom we have believed and we can be persuaded that
He is able to keep that which we commit to Him until the day of His return.

The basis upon which this is all true is His death, burial, and resurrection, verse 10. The resurrection of
Jesus Christ is the “cornerstone” of our faith. There is enough evidence that this event, the resurrection,
did take place almost 2000 years ago, that the verdict has to be, Jesus Christ is guilty of resurrecting from
the dead, abolishing death and bringing to us life and immortality.

Not only is the resurrection the cornerstone of our faith, it is the foundation of Bible prophecy.
Revelation 1:18 is the record of the testimony of Jesus that He was alive, dead, and then alive. The death
of Jesus was for the washing away of our sin. His resurrection was proof that He was the one who could
take away our sin.

The resurrection of Jesus also is the basis upon which He can reveal to us the future as we serve Him until
"that day," verse 12. This is our help to ward off the “spirit of fear” and embrace the “spirit of power, and
of love, and of a sound mind”, until He does come again.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for your call and purpose for me that you will have happen until
that day!
                                                    177




II Thessalonians 2 vs3

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away
first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.

                                                                For further study - II Thessalonians 2:1-12

Our key verse for this devotional, verse 3, has become somewhat controversial. There are those that
believe that the Antichrist will come when the "falling away" of the church, apostasy in the Church, has
happened. This then seems to be saying that the church will be here when the Antichrist appears.

This belief comes from a wrong understanding of the Greek word used in the passage and translated, " a
falling away." The Greek word is "apostasia," which is used one other time in Scripture in the New
Testament book of Acts. Acts 21:21 translates apostasia as "forsake." The context is talking about Jews
forsaking Moses, or departing from him.

A close and careful word study of the Greek word apostasia will conclude that the true meaning of the
word is found in the phrase, “departing from one place and going to another”, not a falling away from the
doctrines of the church.

If the word was communicating that apostasy was what it was talking about then the Rapture and the
coming of the Antichrist would have happened during the writing of II Thessalonians. Apostasy had
infiltrated the early church by the time Paul wrote this passage.

What Paul is saying here is that the Antichrist, the “Son of Perdition”, would not come until the Church
departs from one place and goes to another. That is what happens at the Rapture. The scenario for the
future according to all prophetic passages is that the Rapture takes all Christians into Heaven and then the
Antichrist appears on earth.

This “false messiah” will, at the mid-way point of the seven year Tribulation Period, the coming time of
judgment, he will enter Jerusalem. This satanically controlled world leader will enter the Temple in
Jerusalem showing himself that he is “God”, verse 4.

Our reading today sets the stage for how events of the Last Days come together. I will deal with the rest of
this passage in another future devotional. The Rapture, the Antichrist, and a Temple in Jerusalem are the
items that we have discussed today.

Let me remind you that all preparations have been made for the temple to be built in Jerusalem. False
teachers and deception presently are a part of our society today, which indicates that Antichrist is nearing
his appearance on earth.

Remember, before the appearance of Antichrist and the temple is built, the Rapture happens. Actually the
Rapture could happen at any moment. Be ready!

PRAYER THOT: Help me to live today as if this will be the day of the Rapture.
                                                       178




II Timothy 2 vss11-12

It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall
also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

                                                                         For further study - II Timothy 2:1-14

Each day as I approach my time in the word of God, I realize how rich each and every passage is with the
nuggets of truth that enhance my own walk with the Lord.

Paul takes a young man to assist him in his ministry, but at the same time, as he instructs young Timothy
in his ministry among the churches, Paul is continuing to build Timothy in the Lord as well. I am eager to
see how Paul instructs Timothy so that I may appropriate these useful truths for my life also.

Notice that with Paul's instruction there is the foundational truth for how Timothy or for that matter you
and I can live by the exhortations for a mature Christian life. Paul tells Timothy to "be strong" to stand up
in the Lord, but then quickly reminds him that can only be done because of the "Lord's grace" bestowed
upon all believers, verse 1.

Then comes the instruction - endure hardness as a good soldier. Do not be entangled in the affairs of this
life, which will be pleasing to the One who has chosen us to be His soldier in this life, verse 4. Verse 5
reveals to us that it is not the crown, the first prize that is our goal, although that is not a bad goal. But we
should strive for the best we can do in the Lord's power and for the Lord's glory and leave the results to
Him.

With this basic training, we can now endure all things so that we will be able to lead others to salvation,
the eternal life that the Lord offers. To me, even with the basic training and the provision of His grace, I
must totally rely on Him so that I can "endure all things."

I mentioned that we may not come in first in each race but we must do the training to do our best for Him.
However, there are rewards in the future, at the Judgment Seat of Christ that we can and should focus on.

Notice that if we suffer, we shall reign with Him, verse 12. John the Revelator made a similar statement
to all those who are “overcomers”. Revelation 2:26-27 records the letter to believers, those who are
“overcomers” in the church at Thyatira. They shall rule with the Lord in His kingdom to come.

I love how Paul concludes our reading for today. He tells us to remember these things as we remember
what to do, how to do it, in and through His grace, then we can look forward to why we do these things.
We do all to be able to “rule and reign with Him in the future”.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you, Lord, for revealing the what, how, and why to live the Christian life.
                                                     179




II Samuel 7vs24

For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee for ever: and thou,
LORD, art become their God.

                                                                      For further study - II Samuel 7:18-29

As we once again visit the 7th chapter of II Samuel we look at the last half of the chapter, this visit. The
first seventeen verses of II Samuel 7 are the "Davidic Covenant", a promise to King David that one of his
descendants will one day sit on the throne in Jerusalem in the Temple and will do so, forever.

The God-man, Jesus Christ, will be that one on the throne of David forever. The last half of this chapter,
David acknowledges that the Lord God is a great God and that he, the once lowly shepherd boy, is in awe
of who God is and what He has done for David's people.

David as a servant of God, verses 19-21, says "who am I," that You have brought me to this position,
King of Israel and this promise, the Davidic Covenant, as it relates to the future".

David realizes that the God of the Jews is “great”, that there is none like the Lord God. Then David asks
the rhetorical question, "what one nation in the earth is like thy people", verse 23.

The Jewish nation is a nation whom God went out to redeem from among all the peoples of the earth, for
a "people to Himself." A nation whom God will give a piece of land, actually a piece of land ten times the
size of the land the Jewish nation has today.

David also recognizes that the Lord confirmed to Himself the "people of Israel" to be a people unto Him,
forever, verse 24. This statement declares that God has a future plan for the Jewish people. He is not
finished with Israel. Israel, the nation and the people, have not been replaced, Biblically, by the “church”.

The Lord will, and is today, revealing that plan to His chosen nation. By the way, that word "forever" is
"olam" in Hebrew and it means not just during this time, but forever, even into eternity future. The Jewish
people will be His chosen nation, forever.

Notice that Jeremiah 33:20-21 says "day and night will cease from being, before the Lord breaks His
promise to David". Because God keeps His promise to David and his nation, the Jewish people, we can
know for sure He keeps His promise of eternal life for you and for me. If He could break one promise He
could break the other. God cannot break either promise.

What we have read for today and thought through is actually the worship and prayers of King David after
God gave him the Davidic Covenant. With the promises that God has made to us, as Christians, we should
pray and worship Him also. Thank you Lord.


PRAYER THOT: Thank you, thank you, thank you Lord for keeping your promises to me, those
promises of salvation and eternal life.
                                                      180




II Thessalonians 2 vs13

But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God
hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of
the truth:

                                                                  For further study - II Thessalonians 2:8-17

There are two great truths that we will confront in our reading for today. The first is revealed in II
Thessalonians 2:13. Within the words of our key verse, we find the answer to the centuries old debate
about election and free will.

I may be introducing to you a discussion that you've never heard of in your Christian experience. Let me
suggest that if that is the case, just file this away. It may be that you will need this insight for another time
when you may be confronted with this issue. The Lord has the greatest way of reminding us of these
things at just the right time when we need them.

II Thessalonians 2:13 speaks of how both election, (God's plan of bringing people to Himself), and free
will, (our experience of accepting what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for us to bring us to salvation),
work together. Notice how this verse combines the two in the process.

Paul wrote to the Thessalonians that God, from the very beginning, has chosen each of us to be saved.
The Lord uses the Holy Spirit to bring us to the point of conviction, revealing to us our need for a
Saviour, because we are sinners.

The Bible teaches that we are all sinners, born that way. Have you ever noticed that no one ever sat us
down and taught us how to lie? We just knew how to lie because we were born that way.

The Holy Spirit convicts those of us whom God has chosen for salvation, however, the process doesn't
stop there. The verse continues to tell us that we then must believe in the “truth”. By exercising belief we
are exercising our own free will. This is our choice, to receive that which He has chosen to give us,
salvation.

I hope this doesn't seem too simple, but God doesn't want it too hard for us to understand. He wants us to
see how He is working in our lives. That is what Paul was writing on this issue in his letter to the
Thessalonians. Remember that these believers were still fairly “young in the faith” Christians.

The other great principle of the “second chance”, I will have to discuss the next time we come to II
Thessalonians in our devotions. Please take notice that Paul frames his discussion in II Thessalonians
2:13 in the context of the Lord's shout for us to join Him in the air.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you, Lord for “choosing” to save me and giving me the “free will’ to accept
you as my Saviour.
                                                      181




II Timothy 3 vs1
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
                                                                       For further study - II Timothy 3:1-17
     II Timothy is the last book that Paul wrote, even though Titus follows II Timothy in the New
Testament cannon.
     Paul is actually continuing his training of young Timothy in the ministry. Timothy had been given the
responsibility to travel to churches that Paul was unable to visit.
     Timothy was to be of assistance to the church leadership and, in fact, he was to help the believers to
set in place a good leadership team who would be responsible for making certain that the body of Christ
was being taught correctly from the inspired Word of God.
     Another of those famous "3:16's" is found here in Paul's letter to Timothy. II Timothy 3:16 is the
absolute statement about scripture. Paul relates to Timothy, and to us, that all of the scripture was
"breathed into" men for the purpose of revealing God's love, plan and doctrine for the body of Christ.

Timothy was to help men, those in Jesus, to become mature, "thoroughly furnished unto good works,"
verse 17. Our key verse, verse 1, is a direct warning to the Church at that time, around 65AD, and for the
Church today as well.

Technically the "last days" began after Jesus left to go back to heaven, Acts 1. However, from a practical
standpoint, today must be considered the "last days", the period just prior to the Rapture, the Tribulation
and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Paul's description of the "last days" surely fits our day. Verse 2, reveals that "men will love themselves
more than they love Jesus," and others. Notice the rest of the list, in verses 2-4 where Paul describes the
last days. As we read through this list we can recognize our day, and the activities of people today.

As it relates to "love", Paul says men, humankind, will "love pleasure more than God", verse 4. That
thought is a prefect description of our society today. Verse 5 describes much of the Church today, "having
a form of Godliness but denying the power thereof."

We are to "turn away" from all that Paul has listed in these verses that is contrary to God's desired
lifestyle for us. Paul warns each of us that in these "last days" it is not going to be all "roses". There will
be "thorns", verses 10-12.

The Apostle exhorts Timothy to remember what he had been taught from the scriptures, as a child, and he
was to do those things he had been taught. Timothy was to “live out” what the Word of God had taught
him. We also must live a life dictated by the Word of God.

In our "post-modern" world some believe that the scriptures are "old-fashioned". This is a lie from Satan.
The scriptures are profitable, we must study them, II Timothy 2:15, and live them out in these the last
days.
     PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord, as I study Your Word to live by what it tells me to do in these the
last days.
                                         182

II Timothy 4 vs8 - Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness,
which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that
day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

For further study - II Timothy 4:1-8

I love the promise of a "crown of righteousness" that will be given to me at the
"Judgment Seat of Christ" according to our key verse, verse 8, in our devotional
reading for today.

I'll take a closer look at verse 8 in a moment but first let's look at the entire
reading for today. Paul gives us a charge for today, even though it was written for
the first century Church.

The principles of scripture are "timeless". Think about that statement. As we see
even what have been "good" churches in our day slipping away from their connection
with God's Word and His direction in every day life, especially in these last days,
we must heed Paul's exhortation.

Paul gives us this charge before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, verse 1.
Verses 2-5 reveal what the charge for us today includes. Verse 2, "preach the Word,"
the Word that we are to study diligently, II Timothy 2:15.

Here's what we are to do, preach the Word and do it in season and out of season. That
means when we have an opportunity, "in season;" or when we make an opportunity, "out
of season."

"Preaching the Word" is for reproof, rebuke, exhortation and doctrine, verse 2. We
must "preach the Word" before there will be a time when even the members of the "body
of Christ", the Church, will not endure sound doctrine.

We are quickly approaching that time, a time when people will be going after their
own lust, looking for teachers that "tickle the ears" of the hearers. We are quickly
approaching the time Paul describes here when people turn from the true doctrines of
the Word of God to man's fables.

Paul tells us, as he told the first century Church, to do the work, making full
reproof of our ministry, verse 5. Paul then gives us his "swan song", verses 6 and 7.
Paul realizes that his time of service is coming to an end. He "fought the fight", he
"finished the course" and as he did so, he "kept the faith".

This is the example to follow, "fight the fight, finish the course and keep the
faith" along the way. Now, at the end of Paul's thirty years of ministry, he is
prepared because of what he tells us in II Timothy 4. He is looking forward to
receiving the "crown of righteousness"
at the Judgment Seat because he loves the "any moment" appearing of Jesus Christ at
the Rapture.

Then Paul shares with us that we too can look forward to that same "crown of
righteousness" if we also love His appearing and long for Him to come to take us to
be with Him.

We must" love that appearing" more than anything this world has to offer.
An in-depth study of Bible prophecy will help us to realize where we are in God's
time for the last days. An understanding of "current events" in light of Bible
prophecy will intensify our longing for His return.

PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord, to fight the fight, finish the course and keep the faith
as I eagerly await Your shout for me to join You in the heavenlies.
                                                    183



III John 1:4
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
                                                                          For further study - III John 1:1-4

Truth, "What is truth?" This question was asked of Jesus Christ by Pilate as Jesus stood before him just
hours before He would die on the cross in Jerusalem. Jesus had answered Pilate's question a few hours
before His appearance in the Judgment Hall. Pilate actually questions Jesus on a number of issues, John
18:28-38.

The first question directed at Jesus was, "Art thou the King of the Jews?", John 18:33. Jesus told Pilate
that His kingdom was not of this world, or His servants would have fought to keep the Jews from
crucifying Him. Pilate's response was another question. "Art thou a king then?" Jesus then told Pilate that
He was born to be a King. That was the reason that He came into this world. As a King, Jesus was to bear
witness of the truth.

This statement brought out several other questions from Pilate, "What is Truth?" However, this time
Pilate did not wait for an answer and Jesus never responded. This was because He had basically already
done so. Jesus had said that He was bearing witness of the Truth, and therefore what He had been saying
is Truth.

It was earlier in the evening, in the Upper Room with His disciples, that He had revealed to them He was
the Truth, John 14:6. In that Upper Room, the writer of III John - John the Apostle - was one of those
who heard Jesus' claim to be the Truth.

John had been traveling with and learning from Jesus for over 3 years at this time. John knew that indeed
Jesus was the Truth. It was that Truth that Jesus bore witness of that all who would come to Him, He
would take to be with the Father.

John would go from Passion Week to establish a number of churches in Asia Minor, Revelation 2-3. It
was his ministry of teaching the truth about Jesus Christ that was such a personal blessing to John. But
John's greatest joy was to see and hear, III John 4, of those he had ministered to that were walking in the
truth.

In the Last Days men will pervert the truth. They will have difficulty telling the truth because they do not
have Him who is the Truth. The truth is that the opposite of truth, false teaching and deception, will get so
bad that The Truth will return to make everything right. Until that time, we must spread the Truth, walk in
the Truth, and teach others the Truth. Like John, this will give us great joy.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for the Truth that sets me free, help me to spread the Truth to
others.
                                                    184

III John 11
Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he
that doeth evil hath not seen God.
                                                                        For further study - III John 5-12

As we read our extended reading for today, you may recognize someone like one of the leaders in your
church. The man's name is Diotrephes. He is a leader of a church John wanted to visit but was kept from
doing so by this one who took the preeminence in that church.

Remember, that John wrote III John just before he wrote Revelation while serving as a prisoner on an
island in the Aegean Sea, on Patmos. John was most likely a "circuit rider" preacher. He may have started
the churches of Revelation 2 and 3 or at least would visit these seven churches on a regular basis.

John would be a shepherd to these churches and present teaching that would build up not only the church,
but the individual members as well.

John's ministry was being hindered by this church leader. John sees a need to name this man for all to
know about his "evil" deeds, III John verse 11. In fact, John tells the church to not follow these evil
deeds or the one that commits them. John condemns Diotrephes and his evil deeds publicly to teach those
in that church and all who will read this letter.

Also in John's letter, the apostle points the readers to a good example of local church leadership,
Demetrius, in III John verse 12. Demetrius is a leader who is reported to be a good leader among all
men. Remember, Paul wrote of the qualifications for local church leadership in I Timothy 3.

Verse 7 of that passage says that the church leaders must have a good report of them that are without the
church as well as within. The reason for this good report is so that this church leader will not fall into
reproach and the snare of the devil, which is exactly what Diotrephes had done.

Referring back once more to Paul's writings, the failure in leadership of Diotrephes is how it will be in the
last days, II Timothy 3:1-5. Paul wrote of men, lovers of their own selves, high-minded, and having a
form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.

In John's day, the attitudes and actions of Diotrephes were evidence of the last days. That was almost
2,000 years ago. How much more those attitudes and actions depict our day. This is setting the stage for
the day of the Lord's return. We must all follow John's exhortation and follow not that which is evil, verse
11, but instead that which is good.

PRAYER THOT: Help me, dear Lord, to shun evil and follow good, Godly activities.
                                   185


Isaiah 2 vs.2 - And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the
mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the
mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall
flow unto it.

For further study - Isaiah 2:1-5

This passage of scripture is a glimpse into the “Kingdom to come”.
This will be the time when Jesus is the “King of Kings” and “Lord of
Lords”.
Jesus will be on His throne in Jerusalem, in the Temple. At that time
there will be a “theocratic” government in place and all living on the
earth will live under the Lord's rule.

It will be a time of no war, in fact, people won't ever learn of war,
verse 4. The soldiers will return to farming, using the farm
implements formed out of swords and spears. Finally, “peace” will have
come to earth.
The "Prince of Peace" will be on His throne in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem will be the central focus of the world. Not only will Jesus
be there, He will teach us from there. Each of us will go and gather
others to join us as we hurry to the "house of the Lord", the Temple,
to hear Him teach.

The Lord will teach His ways from the "mountain of the Lord", another
name for the Temple Mount which will be the location of the Messiah's
Temple.
As He teaches us, we will go forward to walk in His paths.

There are several applications in this passage, one, His “word” is
what we need to learn, as He teaches us, so we can then walk in His
paths. This will be a part of the lifestyle of the future, forever.

Another application is that today there will be wars, but one day no
more need for military armament, we won't even learn of war anymore.
Because the Lord is there, Jerusalem will be the focus of the world,
the center of our teaching and thus learning.

Notice the "word" of the Lord will go out and around the world from
Jerusalem. It is the “word” that goes out and we should cherish, love,
honor and obey His word today.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to study your word so I can walk in your paths.
                                                   186



Isaiah 4 vs5
And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a
cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a
defense.
                                                                       For further study - Isaiah 4:1-6

The passage chosen today for our devotional reading is actually a vision of the future kingdom of Jesus
Christ, the Messiah. This is a vision that God gave to the ancient Jewish prophet Isaiah.

I chose this passage to confront the philosophy that is spreading among many churches and Christians
today that we are now living in the kingdom here on earth. This "kingdom now" idea is totally
contradictory to God's Word and plan for the Jewish people of the future.

For one thing, most "kingdom now" thinkers believe that the promise of the "kingdom" for the Jews has
been negated and those promises now apply to the Church, Christians. That is not only anti-Biblical but it
is very anti-Semitic.

Any thinking which says the "kingdom" promised to the Jews when Jesus Christ returns is not literal is
saying that all of the covenants that God made with the Jews have been broken and basically the Lord is a
liar.

We all know that God cannot lie so thus His "kingdom" promise to the Jews must be kept. Notice in verse
2 that the "Branch", that's Jesus Christ, in His beauty and glory will be back on earth and ruling from
Jerusalem from a Temple He himself will build, Zechariah 6:12.

Verse 3 reveals to us that the "kingdom" headquarters will be Mt Zion, Jerusalem. These two, Zion and
Jerusalem, are synonymous terms, they are the same geographical location.

Verse 4 says the time of the Kingdom will be when Messiah, Jesus Christ, has cleansed the Jewish
people. That is yet future, after the seven year Tribulation Period.

The word "tabernacle" used in verse 6 is "suca" in Hebrew which is actually a "thatched hut" used by the
Israelites during their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness before they entered the Promised Land.

Today during the "Feast of Tabernacles" Jewish people celebrate that seven-day Jewish feast by living,
sleeping, eating and fellowshipping in a "suca" that they erect at their homes.

Remember Peter wanted to build three tabernacles, "suca's", on the Mount of Transfiguration, Matthew
17:4. Peter thought it was the "Kingdom" period and therefore the fulfillment of the Jewish "Feast of
Tabernacles". Thus the three "suca's", one each for Jesus, Moses and Elijah.

The "Kingdom" is yet future, howbeit, the near future. The "Kingdom" is not in operation now. That is a
very dangerous theology. When Hitler wanted to set up the "kingdom" he had to slaughter the Jews first.

The promise of the "Kingdom" for the Jews is yet to be fulfilled. Isaiah's "vision of the Kingdom" in our
reading for today is a promise of that coming Kingdom, in a near by tomorrow.


PRAYER THOT: Thank You, Lord, for the Biblical basis for understanding the "end times."
                                                     187




Isaiah 6 vs8
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I,
Here am I; send me.
                                                                     For further study - Isaiah 6:1-13

This chapter from the prophecy of Isaiah introduces us to a type of the “angelic bodies” that the Lord
created on the first day of Creation between the creation of the heavens and the earth, Job 38:4-7. These
creatures are "Seraphim", different from the “Cherubim” of Ezekiel 1.

Angels play a key role in our daily lives that we may not realize. Hebrews 1:14 reveals they are
"ministering spirits" to those who know Jesus as Lord and Savior. Matthew 18:10 says they protect the
little children. Luke 16:22 reports that angels will gather around us at death to take us into the presence of
the Lord. Revelation 22:9 reveals to us that angels are "fellow servants" with us as we together serve the
Lord.

There is much more we could write about angels, but we'll save that for another time. Notice how the
angels honor the Lord as they cry out to the Lord saying, "holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts".

I love that next phrase, "the whole earth is full of His glory." This echoes the statement of Psalm 19 and
extends the location of His glory also into the heavenlies.

Verse 5 reveals Isaiah the prophet as the man he really was, a man of unclean lips and undone. The reason
he recognized who he was, was due to the fact that he had seen the King, the Lord of Hosts, a pre-
incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ. The result of this face-to-face meeting with Jesus was that Isaiah
was made to see who he was and what he must do.

When the Lord said, "Whom shall I send," Isaiah was ready to respond with the statement, "Here am I,
send me." We'll look at the new commission given to Isaiah, verses 9-13 at another time. Let's think
together of what happened in Isaiah's life that should happen in our lives.

First, Isaiah saw the glory of the Lord, a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus. I don't believe we can see
Jesus today; however, we can see His glory as I said, in the heavens and in His creation that is displayed
throughout all of the earth, Psalm 19.

We must take time to "stop and smell the roses." On days off, holidays, or vacation time, go spend time in
the midst of the creation of the Lord.

Second, the realization of the hand of God in creation and the manifestation of His glory should cause us
to be willing to say as the prophet did, "here am I, send me."

Isaiah's message was that Jesus Christ, the Messiah, was coming. This message should be our message,
He is coming. Be prepared by trusting Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

PRAYER THOT: As I see “Your glory” dear Lord, in the heavens and in other acts of Creation, help
me to be ready to go, wherever You may send me.
                                                    188


Isaiah 9 vs6
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The
Prince of Peace.
                                                                       For further study - Isaiah 9:1-7

Of the seventeen prophets whose writings are found in the Old Testament canon, "Isaiah" is known as the
chief of the "writing prophets", and justly so.
     Isaiah is writing about 750 years before the birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The prophet reveals,
predicting more than any other prophet, the activities and events in the life, on earth, of the coming
Messiah.
     In this prophetic book, the Messiah in his “person” and “sufferings”, and the blessing of the Gentiles
through Him, are in full view, or should I say "full vision".
     The seventeen prophets have unique ministries during the times before the exile in Babylon, during
the Babylonian Captivity, and after the exile. Isaiah was chosen to do his prophetic ministry during the
time leading up to the exile.
     Some aspects of Isaiah’s prophetic ministry would be focused on what would happen to the Jews
before they were carried away into the Babylonian Captivity.
     Isaiah would focus his prophecies on the people of Judah, two of the twelve tribes that stayed in the
south of Israel, at Jerusalem, when the division of the twelve tribes of Israel took place, as recorded in I
Kings 11.
     The Assyrians had defeated the "ten tribes", in the north, known as Israel, and these enemies of the
Jewish people were now considering advancing south into Judah to defeat the "two southern tribes",
Judah and Benjamin.
     It is in this context that we come to our devotional passage for today. Isaiah was warning the Jews
that the Assyrians would advance to the south and bring to an end the Jewish people and any semblance
of a Jewish nation.
     Couched among these prophecies of impending danger, Isaiah writes two verses that bring "hope",
verses 6 and 7. These are two very "power-packed" verses foretelling the birth of the One who would
take on His shoulders the government” of not “only the Jewish people, but of all "humankind".
     Jesus would come as a "son", born into this world to bring "true peace". In fact, the only time in
history of "real peace" will be when the "Prince of Peace" comes to set up His everlasting Kingdom, as
He rules and reigns from His Temple in Jerusalem.
     To confirm the Lord's promise to King David, the "Davidic Covenant", Isaiah reports that the
fulfillment of the "Davidic Covenant" is to be confirmed with this "newborn son". During any season of
the year it is so refreshing to once again read these very special promises knowing that, "the zeal of the
Lord of host will perform this", verse 7.
     The Lord God did keep His absolute promise of a "Son to be born unto us", verse 6. Everybody is
talking about peace these days, but the only "peace" we will ever have in this world is centered in the
person of Jesus Christ who is the "Prince of Peace".
     As we remember, and yearly celebrate the first coming of this "Prince of Peace", we now await His
return to set up His long promised Kingdom and in truth take the government of this world upon His
shoulders.

PRAYER THOT: Thank You, Lord, for the best "gift" ever, the "Prince of Peace" who was born
unto us and will rule over us one day, forever.
                                                    189

Isaiah 14 vs1
For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land:
and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.
                                                                      For further study - Isaiah 14:1-17

What a powerful passage of scripture this is that we will use as our extended reading for our devotions
today. There are several directions we could go in this passage; thus let me take each pathway, for a
moment, in each direction.

The Prophet Isaiah reveals the promise of the Lord for the Jewish people and assures them of a special
time ahead. When the Lord refers to "Jacob" in verse 1, He is actually speaking about not only Jacob, but
His twelve sons that became the twelve tribes of the Jewish people, the “twelve tribes of Israel”.

The Lord promised to have "mercy" on Jacob, the nation of "Israel". The Lord had chosen these people in
the past, Deuteronomy 7:6-8, and will "yet choose Israel" and "set them in their own land".

It really doesn't matter what the rest of the world may say about the land, God will set His chosen "Israel",
the Jews of today, back in the land He has given them. From the sidelines we today can see the Lord
beginning that process, the process that will move to completion after the Rapture and culminate at His
Second Coming.

Verses 4-6 reveal a prophecy that will focus on "Babylon," and the "King of Babylon." This prophecy,
according to the context of the passage, is at a time yet to take place, in the future.

Notice that verse 7 speaks of a time when "the whole earth is at rest and is quiet and they will break forth
with singing". This is describing the "Kingdom" that Jesus will set up at His Second Coming.

"Babylon" will be a major focus in our world, as will the "King of Babylon," who the Lord will deal with
before He sets up His Kingdom. The "King of Babylon" in this text is referring to the "Antichrist" who
rules the world the last three and one-half years of the “terrible Tribulation” yet to come, from Babylon,
Revelation 18, which is modern-day Iraq.
     We are seemingly living in the days that are quickly approaching this prophetic scenario. One final
thought before we leave this passage, verses 12-14 reveal to the reader the five "I wills" of Lucifer, the
most prominent of all angels created.
     Lucifer became Satan when he exercised his "free will" and basically rebelled against the Lord, as
you can tell by reading these verses. Please notice the last "I will" in verse 13, "I will sit also upon the
Mount of the Congregation, in the sides of the North."
     According to Psalm 48:2 this is describing the city of Jerusalem. Satan said he will be worshiped in
Jerusalem, actually on the Temple Mount. II Thessalonians 2:4 is the prophecy of when the Antichrist,
energized by Satan, claims to be God, from the Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
     There is Biblical evidence that the Antichrist is alive and on earth ready to appear. Remember, that
the Temple could be built at any moment. There is only one thing that must happen before the Jews get all
of the land God promised them, Babylon is dealt with and Satan, the Antichrist will be worshiped in
Jerusalem.
     That one thing is the Rapture of the Church when Jesus Christ calls us all into the heavenlies to be
with Him forevermore. That could happen at any moment, keep looking up.

PRAYER THOT: Lord, help me to live today as if today is when that Rapture will take place.
                                  190

Isaiah 19 vs.21

And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the
LORD in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall
vow a vow unto the LORD, and perform it.

Isaiah 19:18-25

What an interesting portion of scripture for our devotion today.
Today is the Jewish holy day of Passover. Our reading speaks of the
Egyptians speaking Hebrew and coming to Jerusalem to worship in the
Temple. More on that in a moment but first to consider the Jewish holy
day of Passover, which is the first of the seven Jewish feasts that
God gave the Jewish people, (Leviticus 23).

On this day Jewish families around the world have gathered to eat the
Passover Seder meal and then sit and rehearse for the entire family
the story of the Exodus. You recall that the death angel would pass
over the houses that had the blood of the lamb painted on their door
post. This last judgment on the Egyptians would make the way for Moses
to lead the Jews out of the Egyptian bondage, these Jews who had been
slaves for over 300 years, and towards the Promised Land.

The Exodus was an event in history that was to be remembered by the
Jewish people forever. God told the Jews through Moses that annually
they were to sit as a family and renew the memories about the events
surrounding the Exodus.

Now with that connection to the Egyptian established we look at the
great prophecy written by Isaiah that brings the Egyptians not only
into a good relationship with the Jews but with the Lord Himself. "In
that day" is a phrase that is referring to the time when the Messiah,
the Lord Jesus Christ, will be seated upon His throne in the Temple on
the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

It is at that time, in that day, when the Egyptians , once slave
masters, will make their way along a special highway, verse 23, into
Jerusalem to the Temple to offer sacrifice and to worship the Lord
whom they shall know, as Lord, verse 21. Interestingly, the Egyptians
will learn and be speaking Hebrew, verse 18, when they come to worship
the Lord.

This prophecy will chronologically follow another prophecy in Daniel
11:40-45. Daniel's prophecy reveals that the Egyptians, the King of
the South in the Daniel passage, will join with Syria, the King of the
North, to try and destroy the Jewish people and the State of Israel.
The stage is actually set for Daniel's prophecy to be fulfilled and
Isaiah's prophecy for Egypt will follow.

PRAYER THOT: Keep me pure as I see fulfillment of prophecy coming to
past.
                                     191

Isaiah 45 vs.18 - For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens;
God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it,
he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the
LORD; and there is none else.
   For further study - Isaiah 45:1-25
   I hope you have some time to spend in this forty-fifth chapter of
Isaiah.
   This is an excellent chapter of God's prophetic Word that reveals
prophetic events that will happen, some of them only 150 years after
they were given.
   Other prophecies contained within the verses of this chapter will
be fulfilled in the future, certainly future from Isaiah's day but
also future from today.
   The chapter also confirms that God is the creator of all things
which gives Him the authority to reveal the future, the Creator can
tell you what His creation will face at a future date.
   There is no way I can point out everything I would like for you to
see in this devotional for today. I'll hit some "high points" but
please spend some good amount of time reaping a harvest of great
truths from what I do not cover.
   I must bring to your attention the name "Cyrus", verse 1. This is
the man, Cyrus, the leader of the Medo-Persian Empire, that will allow
Zerubabbel and fifty thousand Jews to return to Jerusalem after the
Babylonian Captivity.
   They return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple by permission of
Cyrus and with funding from Cyrus as well.
   Isaiah pre-wrote history that was fulfilled 150 years after he
penned the prophecy, Isaiah 44:28 and 45:1-4. The record of the
fulfillment of this prophecy is found in Ezra 1 and 2.
   Notice the verses that confirm that God created the heavens, the
earth and all that in them is, verses 7-8, 12 and 18. The Lord gives
testimony to "who He is" also in this chapter, verses 5-6, 21-22.
   This is a message from the one and only true God, through His
spokesman, the Prophet Isaiah. God makes a commitment to save and give
an everlasting salvation to the Jewish people, verses 17, 22 and 25.
This is a prophecy that is yet to be fulfilled. Current events
indicate we are in the process of moving toward the fulfillment of
that prophecy.
   Let me conclude my thoughts with verse 19, what a blessing this chapter is
to the Jewish people, the "technical recipients" of these promises. It is
also a blessing to us who are Christians who receive a "spiritual blessing"
from these truths.
   But you know, of course, that the entire book of Isaiah, in fact, the
entire 66 books of the Bible are the spiritual "milk and meat" that we need
on a daily basis. That's why the statement that God made about not speaking
in "secret" is so good.
   We all have His Word available to us so that we can receive the blessings
from our time of reading and study of it. Dear Friend, join me as we "feast"
on the "Word of God".
   PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord, for Your Word that You have spoken openly to
me and all who will read it. It is a blessing Lord, to have the Creator of
all things communicate with me daily.
                                  192



Isaiah 51 vs.11 - Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return,
and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon
their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and
mourning shall flee away.
   For further study - Isaiah 51:1-23
   This chapter in the prophetic book of Isaiah is like a "songbook"
that contains great songs with lyrics, made up of Bible doctrine.
   Our key verse is a prime example. Read slowly verse 11 and you can
almost hear the melody that has been assigned to these words. In fact,
the words of the verse speak of "singing and joy" as the way those
that have been redeemed will return to Zion, Jerusalem.
   Notice the "joy", it's "everlasting joy", joy that is forever. This
is not "happiness" which is based upon "happenings" but instead "joy"
that comes from the Lord. When you have "Godly joy", joy that comes
from the Lord, "sorrow and mourning" shall flee away.
   The One that gives us that " joy" along with a "song" for us to
sing is the Creator of all things, verses 13 & 15. He is the "Lord thy
maker".
"The One who stretched forth the heavens and laid the foundations for
the earth, the One who divided the seas”.
   As the Creator, He can give us a song to sing and everlasting joy.
The Creator is the same One who will protect His people, verses 16 &
23. The phrase "cup of trembling" is speaking of those who are
"intoxicated with power", the ones the Lord will bring back to reality
through judgment.
   Before we leave this passage, look back to verse 3 and let me
explain the "truth" found in this passage. This verse is speaking of
the most sacred piece of real estate in the world, "Eden, the Garden
of the Lord".
   The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is the original sight of the "Garden
of Eden". (See my audio series, "Return to Eden".) This fact has been
known by all Orthodox Jewish academic scholarship from the
"beginning", 5,768 years ago.
   Judaism believes that the original Garden of Eden is on the
location of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem today. God's Word says that
this is where all joy, gladness, thanksgiving, and the "voice of
melody", singing, emanates from in our old world.
   But notice the verse again, the Lord will return this spot to the
Jews in the last days, Ezekiel 36:35 and Joel 2:3. This of course is
the reason for Islam's strong desire to take control of the Temple
Mount in Jerusalem.
   Where the Lord began all things, He will return to in the last
days. It will be the restored "Garden of Eden" on the location of the
Creator's Kingdom headquarters, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

   PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for the Word of God that explains
current events in light of Biblical prophecy.
                                         193


Isaiah 63 vs4 - For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my
redeemed is come.

For further study - Isaiah 63:1-6 & 61:1-2

In order to understand the harshness of this passage in Isaiah 63   you need to know
some of the background of the passage.

The "day of vengeance" referred to by the Lord, speaking through the Prophet Isaiah,
must be understood by looking back to Isaiah 61:1-2. This is the passage that Jesus
Christ was asked to read in the synagogue in Nazareth, Luke 4:16-21.

In Dr Luke's record of Jesus in the synagogue you'll notice that our Lord did not
finish verse 2, of Isaiah 61. The part He left out was, "and the day of the vengeance
of our God, to comfort all that mourn," Isaiah 61:2b.

In our key verse, verse 4, Isaiah has recorded the prophetic words of the Lord,
revealing, before the fact, what the Lord will say in the day described by our
devotional passage for today.

Isaiah asked two questions, the first in verse 1, "Who is he that cometh from Edom,
from Bozrah?" This is the geographical location of Petra in southern Jordan. The Lord
responds with, "I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save."

In verse 2 the second question, "Why is his apparel stained with 'red'
like him that treadeth in the winefat?" The Lord responds to this question, verse 3,
"That He had trodden the winepress alone."

The Lord said, their blood will be sprinkled upon His garments, "for the day of his
vengeance is come", verse 4. It is in verse 4 that the Lord finishes the thought of
Isaiah 61:2.

This prophetic account is what will happen after the Lord goes to the Jezreel Valley
at the time of the Battle of Armageddon. After all the enemies are destroyed by Jesus
Christ, He makes the trip to Petra, traveling the 176 miles predicted by John in
Revelation 14:19-20.

The blood rises as high as the "horse bridles" for that trip. The blood comes from
the bodies of the hundreds of millions of men who die on the "battle field." This
will be a terrible time in history.

By the way, it is 176 miles from Megiddo in the Jezreel Valley to the entrance of
Petra, the place prepared by God to protect the Jewish people in the last three and a
half years in the Tribulation Period, Revelation 12:6.

This is the end time scenario of this terrible time of the end and the death of those
who follow Satan instead of Jesus. It is a time when some of our loved ones may well
be there because they have never trusted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

What we should do, now that we understand these prophetic truths, is warn our loved
ones, and in fact everybody, of this terrible time of judgment ahead and invite them
to trust in Jesus Christ today before it's eternally too late.

We should not just study this for knowledge but for that which will motivate us to
warn others of the coming time of judgment and lead them to Jesus Christ.

    PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord to learn so that I can warn the lost before it's
eternally too late.
                                             194



James 1 vs12
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the
crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
                                                      For further study - James 1:1-12

In the passage for our devotional reading today we learn about one of the crowns we shall
receive at the “Judgment Seat of Christ”. It is the "crown of life," spoken of in our key
verse, verse 12. The promise is that we are qualified to receive this “crown of life” if when
we are tempted or tested, we endure the temptation and not yield to it. This is a great
promise to each of us because each of us will face temptation in the future.

We could conclude our devotional for today, close the Bible and go away rejoicing over
the “crown of life” we have coming to us. But wait, there is much more in our reading for
today. Let me mention a few blessings for us in this portion of God's precious Word.

There is a way to have “joy”, not happiness based upon happenings, but joy based upon
Him. He says count it all joy when we are tested; we must know that this testing is for the
development of our “patience”. Oh how I need patience, and I want it right now!

Remember, the testing, which works out patience is for developing us into mature and
complete Christians, verse 4. In addition to becoming a mature, complete Christian
through testing and patience, we can receive from Him, “wisdom”. All we have to do is
ask Him for wisdom. He will give it to us who ask Him for it.

Have you noticed how we are prepared to receive that “crown of life” for enduring and not
yielding to temptation? We start by first being confronted by temptation, which makes us
patient, mature and complete in Christ.

After He has provided for us to be prepared to face and stand up to temptation, He gives us
a crown for doing what He has prepared for us to do. Our Lord is preparing and providing
all we will need when we face Him at the Judgment Seat of Christ. What a wonderful Lord
He is to us.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for providing a way to endure temptation and testing
and the promise that I will receive a “crown of life” as I utilize what you have provided .
                                                     195


James 1:22
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
                                                                    For further study - James 1:13-27

Have you ever noticed how practical the Bible is? What a foolish question, of course you have noticed
that it is very practical if you have spent any time at all reading through it's pages. I must say that our
extended reading for today fits the description of being "practical".

Remember the last reading we had in devotions from James was the first twelve verses of James One,
ending with the promise of the prize, the "Crown of Life" given to those of us who endure temptation.
Enduring temptation, in other words, is not yielding to temptation. That "Crown of Life" is given at the
Judgment Seat of Christ.

Now as we read this "practical passage" for our devotional today, we see how to stand against temptation,
to be able to endure temptation. Our key verse, verse 22, is a great starting point for being able to endure
temptation.

Remember what the Psalmist wrote in 119:11, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin
against thee."

The first step to not yielding to temptation is to hide the Word of God in our hearts. But then we must be
"doers" of that Word and not "hearers" only. If we only "hear" and we are not "doers", we have deceived
ourselves.

This is very practical. Verse 14 tells us that our "lust" draws us away from the right lifestyle that we must
live to be able to receive that "Crown of Life". "Lust" is a craving, a longing, a desire for that which is
forbidden by the Lord.

The Apostle John wrote, I John 2:15-16, that a "love for the world" and the "things of the world" causes
us to enter into temptation, through the "lust of our eyes" and the "lust of our flesh". Lust starts with the
eyes, we must guard our eyes because the Word tells us to do so. Remember, to be a "doer" of the Word,
not a "hearer" only.

Every time I select a passage of scripture for our devotional reading I am amazed how much there is
contained within that passage for us to be able to appropriate and live out in our lives.

I've barely shared all that is contained in our reading for today. Please spend more time in this passage. As
you do you will see how we can prepare so that we will receive the "Crown of Life" for not yielding to
temptation at the Judgment Seat of Christ which takes place right after the rapture as we stand face to face
with Jesus.

By the way, the rapture could happen today, keep looking up!


PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord, for your practical Word given to me. Please help me to be a
"doer" of this Word and not a "hearer" only.
                                                     196


James 2 vs22
Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
                                                                   For further study - James 2:1-26

The second chapter of James is a very interesting chapter in the little book of James. Remember, James
was the half-brother of Jesus Christ and also the leader of the first Church in Jerusalem.

In essence, the entire book of James has as its theme, "faith without works is dead". This second chapter
of James' letter is really focused on "faith" and "works". The word "faith" is used 12 times and the word
"works", 11 times.

The phrase connecting "faith" and "works" is used 5 times. You might remember that Paul, when he wrote
Galatians, lifted up "faith" as the vehicle through which we come to salvation.

That, of course, is true which Paul reveals to us in another of his letters that he wrote to the Ephesians.
Ephesians 2:8-9 is the foundation for salvation, "we are saved by grace... through faith, it's a gift of God,
not of works, lest any man should boast."

Paul in both Galatians and Ephesians draws attention to "faith"; however, please notice Paul's statement
about works in Ephesians 2:10. Those who are saved by grace through faith are then "created in Jesus
Christ unto good works."

This is where James comes into focus, especially in the second chapter. James believes that it's "faith" but
he says that "true faith" will result in works "which God hath before ordained that we should walk in
them," Ephesians 2:10b.

God defines "faith" as "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen", Hebrews
11:1. Paul, in the book of Romans, chapter ten, verse seventeen says that "faith cometh by hearing,
hearing by the Word of God." God, through His Word, gives us the faith by which we come to salvation.

James believes that everybody can talk a great case and say that they have "faith", in fact, a "saving faith".
James tells us that type of "faith", "real faith" will always result in works.

Please don't misunderstand, in this passage of scripture James does not put "works" before "faith" but
"faith" that produces "works".

James 2 is a great chapter to be used as a "check" on our "faith". By the way, James does mention that at
the Judgment Seat of Christ, right after the Rapture, the Lord will judge us on our "works", not our
salvation.

The conclusion of the Judgment Seat is to determine the crowns we will receive, and also the "righteous
acts", Revelation 19:8, that make up our "wedding garment" at the marriage ceremony that will join us,
the "bride of Christ" into a eternal relationship with Jesus Christ, the "Bridegroom".

The exhortation from James for us today is, "Lets get to work."

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for the "faith" I receive from Your Word, help me to turn that
"faith" into "works" for Your glory.
                                                     197




James 4 vs7
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
                                                                       For further study - James 4:1-17

This fourth chapter of James is a "manual" on how to live in the last days. Please join with me in this
devotional reading to learn how to apply the directives for living in light of the sure "promise" that Jesus
is coming to call us up to be with Him, and the sure "prospect" that the Rapture will happen real soon, at
any moment.

Jesus said, one of the indications that His Second Coming is close is that there will be a time when you
see "wars and rumors of wars", Matthew 24:6. James, the half brother of Jesus states that these wars
come from the "lust that war in our members", within the soul of each of us, lost and saved.

The “lusts” within each of us must be kept under control lest they take control of us. How wonderful that
God gives us the "grace" to have a victory over these lusts. And please notice, God gives more "grace" to
those of us who humble ourselves before the Lord and our fellow man, verses 6 & 10.

Many scriptures, and especially in the book of Revelation, speak of the Devil in the last days. The Devil
will do everything he can to destroy the Jewish people, he knows if he can get rid of the Jews, the Lord
can't keep His promises to them and Satan becomes the "god".

The Devil, also in the last days, will go after Christians, the true born-again believer, in the days before
Jesus calls up to be with Him at the Rapture. James gives us the "how-to's" of what we must do to have
victory over Satan, in verse 7.

Notice we are not told to command the Devil to do anything. We are to "submit ourselves to God and
resist the devil." Then, on the promise and the authority of God's Word, the devil will flee from us.

To submit is to offer ourselves in full surrender to the Lord. This devotional reading for today is indeed an
excellent "manual" for living in the last days.


PRAYER THOT: Lord help me to submit myself totally to You so that the lust of the flesh don't
control me and so that the Devil will have to flee from me.
                                   198




James 5 vs8 - Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the
coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

For further study - James 5:1-11

There is so much in this fifth chapter of James that we can benefit
from as we study the exhortation from James. The reason, of course,
is that James, the half-brother of Jesus, was the pastor of the
church in Jerusalem and the author of this book which is most likely
the first epistle to Christians.

It is a very practical book in that it reveals those who have true and
real faith. They are the ones who do works, Godly works, which will
be proof that their faith is real.

Please join me to look at several verses in this fifth chapter that I
really need. You may need these verses as well to instruct you in
view of the coming of the Lord. Verses 7-11 call for each of us to be
patient. I can tell you one thing for sure - patience is not one of
my virtues.

James gives us an example of the farmer who must be patient as he
awaits the "precious fruit of the earth." Then James tells us as we
are patient we must establish our heart as we await the Lord's coming.
Be sure to notice that a patient, established heart is possible
through acknowledging that the time of the coming of the Lord is very
close. Remember, the judge is standing at the door waiting to come
unto us.

There is comfort also in the fact that the ancient Jewish prophets are
victims of suffering and affliction and patience. You know, I find it
very hard to be patient awaiting the coming of the Lord. I can
understand the exhortation of James but I can not wait for the Lord's
return. However, I am positive I will have to wait even though I do
not want to do so.

In my life, and maybe in yours also, there is indeed a pleasant
conflict that may well be going on, even right now. That conflict is
between eagerly awaiting the Lord to come and being patient until He
does come. Even so come, Lord Jesus.

PRAYER THOT:   Even so come, Lord Jesus, and please do it today.
                                  199



Jeremiah 1 vs.5 - Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and
before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I
ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

For further study - Jeremiah 1:1-21

I love this first chapter of Jeremiah. It is the record of Jeremiah's
call to be a prophet to the nations of the world. It is God assuring
Jeremiah that He can take one who is not a public speaker and give him
the words to say. The Lord encourages Jeremiah to not be afraid, that
He, the Lord, will deliver him and give him what to speak.

In fact, God set Jeremiah as a prophet among the nations, and a
prophet to the nations. The truth is that God did this for Jeremiah
before he was born. But wait, verse 5 says God set Jeremiah aside, not
only before he was born but before he was even formed in his mother's
womb. Jeremiah was chosen in the mind of God in eternity past, verse
5.

Jeremiah 1:5 not only gives us background in the forming of the
prophet but also is the evidence of when "life" begins, the big
question today as it relates to abortion. Life does not begin at birth
or even at conception. Life begins in the mind of God in eternity
past. Now that settles the question.

In a later devotional we will look at other prophetic texts in this
awesome book. We will learn of judgments pronounced against the Jewish
people and the enemies of the Jewish people. We will find out what
will happen to the Jewish people in the last days, just prior to the
Lord's return.

If you would like to read ahead, read Jeremiah 31 and 50-51 where you
will read about the nation of Israel in the last days and the fate of
the country of Iraq. More on those prophetic passages at a later time
(See my audio cd series on Jeremiah).

By the way, Daniel read Jeremiah and was able to determine where he
was in God's time by the word of God, Daniel 9:2. You can read the
word of God to know the times we're living in today.

PRAYER THOT: Allow the word of God to teach me in these last days
                                                    200


Jeremiah 3 vs17
At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered
unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the
imagination of their evil heart.
                                                                  For further study - Jeremiah 3:6-18

Jeremiah, the “weeping prophet”, the one chosen by God in eternity past to be a prophet, Jeremiah 1:5, is
selected to call a backsliding Judah to repentance. As you read our extended reading today it will remind
you of Hosea who the Lord had to take a “wife of whoredom”.

Hosea's wife Gomer would continue in her adulterous ways and Hosea would go find her in the street,
bring her back home and clean her up to be his wife.

The Lord is addressing the Jews, through Jeremiah, as His wife, Jeremiah 3:14, and calling them to
repent, turn from their backsliding and return to service. That message given then, for the backsliding
Jews, is appropriate for all of us today.

In the passage of our devotional reading for today there are three profound prophetic passages that I want
you to notice.

Jeremiah 3:16 speaks of a time when there will be no need for the Ark of the Covenant and in fact the
Jews will even forget the Ark. The Ark was the piece of Temple furniture in the Holy of holies. The Ark
was where the “mercy seat” was located. It was where once a year on Yom Kippur the High Priest would
enter to make atonement for the Jewish people for one year.

As is the case with all implements of the Temple and every activity of the Temple they were a prototype
of Jesus to come. The Ark was the model of Him to come. Of course when you have the "real thing,"
Jesus Christ seated on His throne in the Holy of holies of the Temple you no longer need the model.

Jeremiah 3:17 reminds us that the throne of our Lord will be in Jerusalem. One day the Jews will turn to
the Messiah Jesus Christ who will sit on that throne. He will be their God and they will be His people, in
Jerusalem.

The last verse I want you to look at is Jeremiah 3:18 which speaks of the time when there will be no
longer “two houses for the Jewish people”, Judah and Israel, but only one. I must remind you that there
today is only one Jewish state, Israel. There are members of all twelve tribes in today's Israel. This has
been the case since they returned to the land as recorded in Ezra 1, 2 and 6.

The ancient prophet Ezekiel foretold of a day in the future when there would be again two Jewish states in
the Middle East, that's Ezekiel 37:15-23 (See my audio study "Ezekiel: Retribution or Restoration,"
which is available at www.prophecybookstore.com). This passage in Jeremiah speaks to the unification of
these two Jewish states at a time in the future.

I suggest that in the near future, in all three cases, no more Ark, Jesus on His throne in Jerusalem and one
Jewish state from two Jewish States, all of these prophecies will be fulfilled. The stage is set for Bible
prophecy to be fulfilled. The next event in prophecy is when the Lord will call us to meet Him in the air.
It could be today.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to stay in your Word Lord and close to You, so I won't backslide.
                                                     201




Jeremiah 7 vs16
Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make
intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.
                                                                           For further study - Jeremiah 7:1-20
      The time of the writing of this passage is around 600 years before the birth of Jesus Christ during the
days of King Josiah, King of Judah. Daniel and his three Hebrew companions had already been taken into
Babylon to be trained as "counselors" in the court of King Nebuchadnezzar.
      Jeremiah, the prophet, receives a message from the Lord, verse 1, a warning to pass along to the
Jewish people. The Prophet was to stand at the gate of the Temple complex and to warn all that came up
to the Temple to worship.
      God's spokesman, Jeremiah, was to tell the Jewish people to amend their ways, in other words, to
“get their hearts right with God or else face judgment”. The judgment from the Lord was to start at the
"house of the Lord", the Temple. The Lord had Jeremiah remind the people of Israel of the judgment that
took place at Shiloh, some 500 years earlier, I Samuel 3 & 4.
      You might remember that Shiloh was the headquarters for the children of Israel when they came into
the Promise Land under the leadership of Joshua. It is also where they erected the Tabernacle, to house
the Ark of the Covenant.
      Shiloh was the political and spiritual capital of the Jewish people for the first 350 years they were in
the Promised Land, Joshua 18:1. The account of God's judgment on the Jewish people at Shiloh in I
Samuel 3 & 4 indicates that the "Glory of the Lord departed from Shiloh".
      God told Jeremiah to warn the Jews that it could happen again if they didn't get right with Him. Our
extended reading for today details the “sins of the people” against the Lord in Shiloh and in the days of
Jeremiah's ministry. This was the lifestyle of those coming to the Temple, to supposedly worship the
Lord.
      This is a similar scenario at many churches in our present world. It was a very sinful time as indicated
by the Lord's words to Jeremiah to pray not for these people, verse 16. Verse 17 gives us the information
of the worship the Jews were offering up to the "Queen of Heaven".
      Let me give you some background on the "Queen of Heaven" from extra-Biblical material. The
"Queen of Heaven" was the title of the wife of Nimrod, Semiramis, Genesis 11. Nimrod, who built a city,
Babylon, Genesis 11:4, also established a religion. This religion was a "mother-son cult" where the
mother, Semiramis, and the son, Tammuz, were co-equal recipients of worship.
      That worship consisted of serving "cakes" in honor of this false religion established in Babylon. It
also involved the parents painting hard-boiled eggs and hiding them for the children to find on their
special "holy day" for the "Queen of Heaven" called "Ishtar".
      Remember, God told Jeremiah not to pray for those who worship like this. The “mother-son cult”,
with worship of the "Queen of Heaven", was headquartered in Babylon until the fall of the Babylonian
Empire in 539 BC.
      The false Babylonian religion moved it's headquarters then to Pergamus in Asia Minor, modern-day
Turkey, until the fall of the Roman Empire when it moved to the "seven-hilled city" of Rome, Italy, where
it is today and where it will continue to be during the first half of the Tribulation Period, Revelation 17.
      God's judgment will come even to those who supposedly worship Him. As we look at our world
today we see a similar scenario, as was described for the last days. Judgment must begin at the "house of
the Lord." We are living in the "last days".

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for the warning of judgment for sin. Help me to be pure before you
in these last days.
                                                   202


Jeremiah 25 vs11
And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the
king of Babylon seventy years.
                                                                 For further study - Jeremiah 25:1-14


You must remember that God chose Jeremiah to be a "prophet to the nations" before he was born, before
he was conceived, in fact the prophet was chosen by God in the Lord's mind in eternity past, Jeremiah
1:5.

As a "prophet to the nations" Jeremiah was a prophet first to his own people, the Jewish nation. In the
passage from our devotional reading for today we see that the prophecy of the "seventy years" was
mentioned in Daniel. Daniel 9:2 reveals when Daniel in his own quiet time, his devotional reading, read
about the “seventy years” that Jerusalem would be desolate.

I’ll have more on that in a moment.

This passage is a record of the prophetic ministry of Jeremiah before the Jews would be taken into the
Babylonian Captivity. Jeremiah forewarns the Jews that the King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, verse 9,
would be the "servant of the Lord."

The Babylonian King would be used by God to make the Jewish people give the land that He had given
them the “sabbatical” that He called for in Leviticus 25:1-7.

Every seventh year the Jews were to rest the land, plant no crops on the land, give the land a “Sabbath”.
The Jews had not obeyed the Lord for 490 years so He would use "His servant" Nebuchadnezzar, to take
the Jews out of the land for that “70 Sabbaths” that the land should have been given.

What a practical lesson we can learn from this event in the lives of the Jewish people. When God tells us
to do something He means for us to obey. Sometimes when we disobey He will force the issue and we
learn the hard way to be obedient.

Now back to Daniel and his quiet time, his reading in Jeremiah, actually he read the same passage as we
are today and he learned that Jerusalem would be desolate for 70 years, verses 11-12.

When Daniel read Jeremiah he was 85 years old, 70 years after he was taken captive by King
Nebuchadnezzar, when he was 15 years old. Daniel was able to understand where he was in God's
prophetic time and plan by reading the prophetic Word of God.

We also can understand the times we are living in and how close we may be to the Lord's return by
reading the prophetic scenario for the "end times" found in Bible prophecy.

By the way, when you do read Bible prophecy you will realize we are very close to the Lord's "shout" at
the Rapture, to call us up to be with Him.


PRAYER THOT: Help me, Lord, to live for your soon return as I understand the times we are living
in by reading Bible prophecy.
                                  203
Jeremiah 30 vs.7 - Alas! for         that day is great, so that none is
like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved
out of it.     For further study - Jeremiah 30:1-11
   Starting with the thirtieth chapter of Jeremiah we move into the
section of this prophetic book referred to as the "messages of
consolation", where Jeremiah, "the weeping prophet", reveals his heart
and the prophetic Word of God that is somewhat of a "consoling
message" to the Jews who had heard the previous messages of
retribution.
   Jeremiah 30-33 are the four chapters where the Lord uses the
ministry of Jeremiah to console the Jewish people. As the prophet
begins this section he does so in chapter 30 with a mix of retribution
and consolation.
   Jeremiah lets the Jews know that though they will go into the
Babylonian Captivity, and indeed they were taken captive by the
Babylonians, that the Lord would bring them back into "the land of
their forefathers", verse 3.
   Jeremiah told the Jews that they would actually "possess the land"
as promised to the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, verse 3b.
This passage has a "double fulfillment" as is the case in other
prophetic passages as well.
   This means that there would be a "near term fulfillment" of these
prophecies, and these prophecies were fulfilled, the Lord did return
the Jews to the "land of their forefathers." The "long term
fulfillment" of these prophecies, that the Jews would come back into
the land in the last days, is in the process of being fulfilled, even
today.
   Verse 8 says that the "yoke" of the enemies of the Jewish people
will be broken in the future, and that "King David" will be raised up
to be co-regent with Jesus Christ as the Lord rules and reigns at the
Temple in Jerusalem in the future Kingdom.
   Notice verse 7 and the warning of "troublesome times" for the
Jewish people, which is also yet future. I'm referring to the seven
year "Tribulation Period" that takes place after the Rapture of the
Church.
   Jeremiah referred to the "time of Jacob's trouble" which is the
last three and a half years of the seven year "Tribulation Period".
The "time of Jacob's trouble" is like no time ever in the history of
the Jewish people, verse 30.
   It will be a time when the Lord dispatches the Archangel Michael,
Daniel 12:1, to keep the Jews from being totally eliminated. God
promised Jeremiah that there will be a great number of Jews to be
saved, both physically and spiritually, out of the "time of Jacob's
trouble".
   By the way, as we watch the events of today unfolding and those
things happening in Israel and among the Jewish people, it seems to be
an indication that we are quickly approaching the "time of Jacob's
trouble".
   Remember, the Rapture takes place before the Tribulation, and the
Lord's shout for us to join Him in the heavenlies could happen today.
PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for Bible prophecy that alerts me of the
times I'm living in. Help me to live for You as I await Your return.
                                                     204


Jeremiah 16 vs17
For mine eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid
from mine eyes.
                                                               For further study - Jeremiah 16:10-21

Jeremiah was a Prophet, chosen and set apart for his ministry by the Lord, in eternity past. We know this
from His statement in Jeremiah 1:5, "Before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, set thee
apart for service."
     In fact, the first part of verse 5 says that "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee," referring to
Jeremiah who God knew in His mind in eternity past. Jeremiah was set apart to be the "prophet to the
nations" which included the nation of Israel as well.
     In Jeremiah 16 the Lord, through Jeremiah, speaks to the Jews about the way their fathers failed to
obey the Lord and walk in His way. Then he says to them, verse 12, "and ye have done worse than your
fathers."
     This is exactly what is happening among the Jews today, but there is a "spiritual application" in these
verses as well. The "Body of Christ", the Church, is moving each and every day away from the purpose of
the Church, set in place by Jesus, the "Head of the Church".
     The purpose of the Church is basically two-fold, to be Holy as He is Holy and to go out into the
world and win people to the Lord for their eternal salvation. By the way, we are to "go out" not try and
bring the people into the church.
     The early Church, during the first century, set the pattern, Acts 5:42. The new Christians daily went
into the Temple, which was not a church, but a gathering place, and house to house as they "ceased not to
teach and preach Jesus Christ".
     This is a "spiritual application" from this passage. As we come back now to the "technical
interpretation" of the passage notice in verses 13-15 that the Lord speaks of scattering the Jews across the
world, casting them out of their land to places they knew not, where they would serve other gods and the
Lord would show them no favor.
     Verse 14 reveals that the day will come when the Jews will not speak of the "Exodus" at the Passover
Seder, as is the custom, but instead will talk about how the Lord brought them from the "land of the
north" verse 15, and all the lands where they had been scattered for the last 2,000 years.
     This prophecy is being fulfilled even today as we witness over one million Jews from Russia, the
"land to the north," immigrating into Israel. There are Jews who have come from over one hundred
nations of the world, back into the land as Jeremiah said they would do in the last days.
     Please notice one other verse before we leave this passage. It's our key verse for today, verse 17.
"They are not hidden from my face, neither is their iniquity hidden from my eyes." The eyes of the Lord
are upon us at all times. He sees everything that we do, 24/7.
     That is an awesome thought as we watch the Jews returning to the land, nearing the fulfillment of
Bible prophecy. That Bible prophecy will be completely fulfilled at a time soon after we have departed
from earth at the Rapture. At that point we will stand face to face with Jesus. That could happen very
soon, perhaps today.

PRAYER THOT: Please Lord help me to live in the realization that Your eyes are upon me at all
times.
                                  205
Jeremiah 31 verses 35-36
   Thus saith THE LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and
the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night,
which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; THE LORD of hosts
is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith THE
LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation
before me for ever.        For further study - Jeremiah 31:1-40
   The date June 7, 1967 marked one of the most important days in
Israel's modern day history. On that date, after almost 2,000 years,
the Jewish people reunited their holy city of Jerusalem. The Israeli
Defense Force stormed off the Mount of Olives, down through the Kidron
Valley, through the Lion Gate of the Old City, and on to the Temple
Mount to capture this sacred piece of real estate for the Jewish
people.
   This was a very emotional moment for paratroopers who captured the
entire Old City on day three of the Six Day War. Israel fought this
war on 3 fronts and was victorious. The Israelis were under attack
from the north by Syria, from the east by Jordan, and from the south
by Egypt.
   I remind you of this benchmark in Israel's history because of our
devotional reading on the 40th anniversary of that day. The prophet
Jeremiah 2,500 years ago foretold of a time in history future from his
day that the Jewish people would return to their land after centuries
of being scattered around the world.
   Jeremiah 31:8-10 tells of how the Lord will bring the Jewish people
from all over the world back "home." Jeremiah 31:17 reveals that these
Jews gathered from the four corners of the earth, will be brought back
into their land, into their own borders. Notice in Jeremiah 31:23,
the Lord promises to give back to the Jewish people their Hebrew
language.
   Jeremiah 31:38-40 talks about the return of Jerusalem to the Jewish
people, which was partially fulfilled on this date, June 6, forty
years ago. I say partially because the city of Jerusalem will be a
center of controversy until the Messiah, Jesus Christ, sets up His
kingdom. Jesus Christ will reign over His kingdom from that city for
1,000 years.
   Our key verses, (Jeremiah 31:35-36), reveal to us the commitment of
God Himself to His plan for the Jewish people. The only way that God
would break His promises to the Jewish people would be if the sun,
moon, and stars were to be destroyed in the heavens.
   Jeremiah 31:31-33 records the "New Covenant" that is given to the
Jewish people. The New Covenant lasts forever. It is referring to
the time that the Jewish people accept Jesus Christ as Messiah and
Saviour, and He becomes their God. It's a time, as well, when the
Jewish people will be His people. This prophecy has yet to be
fulfilled.
   As we mark the reunification of Jerusalem on this day, and with the
other prophecies of Jeremiah 31 being fulfilled, we can know that the
prophecy of Israel's salvation will also come to pass, seemingly in
the near future. PRAYER THOT: Thank You, Lord, for Your commitment
to the Jewish people in the past, and the future. It is an assurance
of Your commitment to me, as well.
                                  206


Jeremiah 33 vss20-21 - Thus saith the LORD; If ye can break my
covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there
should not be day and night in their season; Then may also my covenant
be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to
reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers.
   For further study - Jeremiah 33:1-26
   This thirty-third chapter of Jeremiah is a confirmation of the
great prophecy concerning the Davidic Covenant that the Lord gave to
King David, II Samuel 7, some 3,000 years ago. That covenant is as
true today as it was when the Lord gave it to David, the second King
of Israel.
   Within this chapter are some great promises, not only to King
David, and Jeremiah the Prophet but by "spiritual application," to us
today, as well.
   Look at the first one in verse 3. "We can call upon the Lord for
great and mighty things, that we knowest not." Please remember, this
promise is in light of the principle of prayer in I John 5:14-15.
   I must just take a look at the "mountain peaks" in this chapter
due to time and space. Really, I could write for three days of
devotions on this one chapter. Please read the entire chapter and dig
out the great truths found in Jeremiah's writings.
   In verse 15 God speaks to Jeremiah about the "Branch", that which
is a name for Jesus Christ, Isaiah 4:2 and 11:1, Zechariah 3:8 and
6:12-13. God will raise up the "Branch" to execute judgment and
righteousness in the land of Israel.
   At that same time the Lord will cause all who dwell in Jerusalem to
dwell safely. Jerusalem will be called "the Lord our righteousness".
Remember, the Davidic Covenant called for a Temple to stand in
Jerusalem and a King to rule and reign from that Temple for the 1,000
year Kingdom, yet to come.
   This thirty-third chapter of Jeremiah restates, confirms, afresh
and anew that God will keep His promise to King David. Verses 20-21
tell us the only way God could break this covenant.
   Jeremiah records the Lord's only "escape clause" to the promise,
the day and the night would have to disappear from this time in
history for the Lord to be able to break the promise. If day and night
could be done away with then the Lord could also cast David away and
the seed of Jacob, the Jewish people, as well.
   Of course we can't make the day and the night disappear; therefore,
there will be a Temple in Jerusalem and Jesus Christ, the "Branch",
the Son of David, will rule and reign from there in the Kingdom He
promised to King David and the Jewish people.
   That is a promise that you can take to the bank. What is so
precious to me about this chapter is that if the Lord can't break His
promise to King David, He can't break His promises to me, the promises
of salvation, provision, protection and all that He said will happen
in the future.     Praise His wonderful name.
   PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for being a promise keeping God, what a
comfort that is to me.
                                     207


Jeremiah 50 vs.28 - The voice of them that flee and escape out of the
land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the LORD our God,
the vengeance of his temple.
   For further study - Jeremiah 50:28-40
   The passage of prophecy selected for today's devotional and extended
reading is from the whole of Jeremiah 50. Though I have only given you
thirteen verses to read, verses 28-40, I suggest that you also include the
entire 50th chapter of Jeremiah for your reading today.
   In fact, Jeremiah 50 and 51 go together as one prophecy; however, we'll
take a look at Jeremiah 51 for another devotional reading. These two chapters
are part of the prophetic ministry of the priest-prophet Jeremiah that God
had selected, sanctified and ordained even before his conception or birth.
   Jeremiah was selected as a Prophet to the nations in eternity past,
Jeremiah 1:5. There are other nations that Jeremiah wrote about prophetically
in this book that must be understood as they relate to the end times as well.
   As we come to Jeremiah 50 we see that this unique Prophet, 2,500 years
ago, was actually pre-writing history for our day. Reading through Jeremiah
is like reading from the front page of any major newspaper.
   Jeremiah introduces this entire chapter, verse 1, as the prophecy from the
Lord, given to Jeremiah and focused on Babylon. Remember, when Jeremiah wrote
this chapter of prophecy, Daniel and his three Hebrew friends had just been
taken into the Babylonian Captivity.
   The Jews were facing the threat from Nebuchadnezzar and the mighty
Babylonian Army, that all Jews would be eventually taken into captivity.
Jeremiah, before the fact, would tell the people how long they would be in
this captivity, and out of Jerusalem, Jeremiah 25:11 and 29:10.
   In this passage, this Jewish Prophet was revealing the eternal destiny of
the Babylonians. Three times in Jeremiah 50 the Lord tells the prophet that
Babylon, the literal city of Babylon, will be destroyed, forever.
   In fact, when you include Jeremiah 51 in this prophecy it is seven times
totally, that Jeremiah speaks of total destruction of Babylon, Jeremiah
50:13, 39 and 40 and Jeremiah 51: 29, 37, 43 and 62.
   Biblical Babylon is today modern Iraq. These passages of prophecy
pertaining to the total destruction of Babylon have not been fulfilled. In
Daniel 5 we see the record of the fall of the Babylonian Empire; however, the
city of Babylon was not then destroyed and has not been destroyed yet.
   This total destruction of the literal city of Babylon takes place at the
end of the seven year Tribulation Period, Revelation 16:17-21, and it is done
in one hour, Revelation 18:10,17 and 19.
   Before we leave Jeremiah 50 please look at verse 29. The reason that the
Lord totally destroys the city of Babylon and all the Babylonians, the
modern-day Iraqi's, is that King Nebuchadnezzar took the implements out of
the Temple in Jerusalem and placed them in his idolatrous temple in Babylon,
II Chronicles 36:18-21.
   I mentioned that modern-day Iraq is Biblical Babylon thus all that we see
happening today in that part of the world is setting the stage for Bible
prophecy to be fulfilled, possibly in the near future.
   Prophecy becomes very practical as we determine where we are on God's
prophetic clock, by studying His prophetic plan, found in His prophetic Word.
   PRAYER THOT: As I come to an understanding of the times by studying Your
Word, dear Lord, help me to get my heart right and please use me to warn
others of the times in which we are living.
                                  208


Job 1 vs.12

And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy
power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth
from the presence of the LORD.
   For further study - 1:1-12
   The narrative that we read today is from the record of a man that
the Lord would allow Satan to test to the point of death. The book of
Job was written some 500 years before Moses wrote the Torah; the first
five books of the Old Testament. Thus this makes Job the oldest book
in the Bible. It also sets Job as a Biblical personality that dates
back before Moses.
   Most likely Job would have been a contemporary of the patriarchal
age and most like alive at the time before Moses. The main character
of the book, Job, was known as a man who "feared God" with a
reverential fear, a fear that is actually the beginning of real
wisdom. The truth of the matter is that Job was a man greatly
respected in his home region and known as a great man, one who
detested evil.
   In a later devotional we shall learn more about Job, but suffice to
say Job was a man that God had a special relationship with and a man
the Lord would allow to be put to the test of faithfulness to the God
of creation. I mention creation because in our last look at Job in an
earlier devotional , God ask him where his servant was when the Lord
brought the worlds into existence, (Job 38:4-7).
   Our extended reading reveals that the devil has access to God and
even the good angels. The "sons of God," (verse 6), would witness a
meeting between God and Satan. This is of interest because since the
fall of the angels, the ones who followed Lucifer in rebellion against
the Lord of Heaven, the evil angels have not had access to the
presence of God. Only Satan has daily access to God for a period of
time that he spends accusing the brethren, (Revelation 12:10)
   Several things to notice about what God does with Satan. God allows
Satan to be the instrument of affliction and to apply all the
affliction he wanted on Job, short of taking his life, (verse 12).
This narrative also tells us that though Satan is the King of this
present world, God still has the controlling power over him.
   Job was a righteous man but notice affliction came upon him allowed
by God. We get into this philosophy that God makes us healthy, wealthy
and happy. In the end Job loses his health, wealth and happiness, but
is still a righteous man who is in the perfect will of God. This truth
is in the face of much of our preaching today.
   A true study of Job will bring about a sobering understanding of
the ways of God in our lives. By the way, Satan will have his power
until Jesus Christ returns to defeat him and cast him into the Lake of
Fire, (Revelation 20:7-10)

PRAYER THOT: Help me to love and obey you as Job did.
                                                      209



Job 2:6
And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.
                                                                      For further study - Job 2:1-10

In a future reading for our daily devotions from the book of Job, we will discuss the creation of "angels"
that took place on the first day of Creation, between the time the Lord created the "heavens" and the
"earth," Job 38:4-7. In today’s extended reading, we eavesdrop on a conversation between God and
Satan.

They are discussing Job, and the Lord speaks of Job as one like none other on the earth. Job is an "upright
man," one "who feareth God and escheweth evil." He is a man who "holdeth fast his integrity." All of the
above characteristics could be found in Job.

Satan responds that God is protecting His servant Job. The Lord then allows Satan to test Job to the point
of death saying to Satan, "he is in thine hand; but save his life," verse 6. Satan went from the Lord to Job
and began to severely test God's servant.

Notice that in the testing, even Job's wife told her husband to "curse God and die," verse 9. I love the last
10 words of our reading, found in verse 10, "in all this did not Job sin with his lips." What a testimony
that has echoed down through the centuries of time, all the way to us today. In this present-day world, we
need that same kind of integrity.

Please notice before we leave this devotional reading the pattern that Satan follows which will be his
"trademark" throughout his time as the "ruler of this world." Satan will attack and test the believers in an
effort to turn them against the "Most High God."

There is a New Testament passage that is key to our understanding of Satan's devices in the end times,
which are revealed in Ephesians 6. Ephesians 6:11 tells us to put on the "whole armor of God" so that
we can stand against the "wiles of the devil."

Paul warns us that in the last days we will not wrestle against flesh and blood, Ephesians 6:12, "but
against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual
wickedness in the heavenlies."

Paul, in this passage, defines all that is a part of Satan's "kingdom of darkness." He describes the same
attack by Satan today as Job described over 4,000 years ago. As we get closer to the Lord's return the
more intense will be the Satanic attacks. As then, so now also, the Lord is our "protector" from Satan.

PRAYER THOT: Lord, help me to pattern my life after Job, a life of integrity. And at the same time,
thank you, Lord, for the "armor" that I can put on to fight the "wiles of the devil."
                                                    210


Job 38:7
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
                                                                      For further study - Job 38:1-7

The 38th chapter of Job comes at a time in the life of Job when he is very depressed and considering the
suggestions of his so called friends to just curse God and die. The Lord comes to Job and confronts him
with a number of questions about his creation... when the Lord had brought the heavens and earth into
place and everything else in creation into existence.

Notice verse 4 with verse 7. The question is, “Job where were you when I created the earth.....when the
morning stars and the sons of God shouted for joy.” This question gives us the time of the creation of
angels, described here as the “sons of God”, Job 1:6 and 2:1, and the “morning stars”.

God brought forth angels on the “first day of creation” after the time He created the heavens, and before
He created the earth, Genesis 1:1. I say that because God created all things in the 6 - 24 hour days of
creation, Exodus 20:11. Job 38:4 and 7 says when the earth was created the angels shouted for joy. The
“angels” had to be there at that time.

The subject of angels, both good and bad angels, has a close connection to Bible prophecy, both in the
first coming of Jesus Christ, and the Second Coming. In fact, the most used word in the book of
Revelation, other than “and, the, etc.”, is “angel” or its plural, “angels”, used 81 times.

An “angel” delivers the message of “Revelation” to the Apostle John who recorded its prophecies for us
to read, Revelation 1. The “letters” to the Seven Churches, Revelation 2 and 3, are presented to the
“Angels” of the Churches. Angels deliver all of the seven “Trumpet Judgments”, Revelation 8, 9 and 11,
and all of the “Vial Judgments”, Revelation 16.

Angels are our fellow servants, Revelation 19:10 and 22:9. Angels will accompany Jesus Christ as He
returns to the earth at His Second Coming, Matthew 24:31. Angels are real and will play key rolls in the
Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the period leading up to the Lord's return.

This angelic activity includes both good and bad angels. (see my study on “Angels” for much more
information on “angels”) As at the 1st coming of Christ......at His 2nd coming “angels”, both good and
evil, will participate. I'm convinced that even now angels are preparing for their role in the soon coming
of Jesus Christ, which could be today.


PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for the “protection” that Angels provide for me and for the reality
of their “partnership” with me in ministry, as well.
                                                      211



Job 40 vs2
Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.
                                                                      For further study - Job 40:1-24

This portion chosen for our devotional reading today is a continuation of the conversation between God
and Job. Back in Job 38, the Lord responded to Job's concerns of how he was being treated with "where
were you, Job, when I created the world especially the earth?" The Lord was reminding Job that He
created all things and could take care of him. Again, Job 40 is simply a continuation of that conversation.

As we eavesdrop on the talk between God and Job, we can learn some very valuable information about
the Lord's Creation that will prepare us for the onslaught of questions from the so-called "educational
community" of our present-day world.

Let me remind you that Peter warned that there would be those who would deny the Second Coming of
the Lord and do so based upon their misunderstanding of how “man” and all of creation came into
existence, II Peter 3:3-8.

Here in Job, we have the record of the creation by God of the "chief of the ways of God" in creation,
verse 19. The creature described in this passage of Scripture is none other than the "dinosaur" referred to
as the "behemoth," verse 15.

The writer of this book, Job, records the Lord's words that introduced to the world this "colossal beast,"
the "dinosaur." Notice the detailed description of this massive animal that ate grass, as an ox would, verse
15. This creature had a tail like a cedar log, verse 17, his bones like bars of iron, verse 18.

The writer of Job places this massive animal near Jericho lying in the Jordan River and seemingly
drinking all the water of the river, verse 23. In the animal world, Job is told that the “dinosaur is the chief
of all animals” and that which the Lord wants to show off to mankind. Let me remind you that the Lord
created dinosaurs on the sixth day of creation before He created man, Genesis 1:24.

Though many of the dinosaurs had disappeared from the earth, soon after the Flood, 4500 years ago, there
are still some around today. They are mostly found in Florida and are called alligators.

God's detailed information on His creative acts 6,000 years ago recorded in Job 38-41 gives us the Bible
information to combat those who deny that our Lord Jesus Christ created the heavens and the earth and all
that in them is, Colossians 1:16 and Exodus 20:11.

The Creator thus then can tell the creation of the future He has planned for them.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you, Lord, for the assurances we have as we acknowledge Your creative acts
and Your plans for the future as revealed to us in Bible prophecy.
                                                     212




Job 42 vss5-6
I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor
myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
                                                                              For further study - Job 38 - 42:6
     When you look at the extended reading you will notice that I have given you four chapters in Job plus
the first six verses in chapter 42. I understand that this is a lot of reading for one day, however, I can
assure you that when you read the whole passage in the extended reading it will be a blessing to you.
     Let me focus on the first six verses in Job 42. Job is responding to a question by God, Job 38:4,
asking where Job was when He created the earth, and, in fact, all of creation.
     Job realized how insignificant he was in light of all that God had created. After seeing who God is, in
the Creation, Job repented of his sins. Job was able to humble himself when the Lord reminded Job that
He was the Creator, Job the creation.
     Throughout these four chapters are many examples in God's creation of that which will make
manifest the Lord's Glory in His creative acts. I'll only be able to bring some of His Creation to mind as
you will notice when you eventually read through these passages.
     Let me list some of the Lord's creative acts that I've chosen as "highlights" of God's Creation.
     Chapter 38:8, Who is able to shut up the sea with doors?

Chapter 38:12, Who can cause the morning to begin?

Chapter 38:16, Hast thou entered into the spring of the sea?

Chapter 38:22, Has thou entered into the treasures of the snow?

Chapter 38:31, Can thou shut out the light of the stars and constellations?

Chapter 38:34, Can you with your voice start, or stop the rain?

Chapter 39:13, Gavest thou the goodly wings to the peacocks?

Chapter 39:29, Doth the eagle mount up at your command?

Chapter 40:15-24, God speaks of the dinosaur, the behemoth?

Chapter 41:1, Can you catch the sea monster, the leviathan, with a fishing pole and hook?
     These are only a few of the examples of the Lord's creative acts that Job was able to think through
during his conversation with the Lord. It was after Job had studied God's creation that Job saw the "Glory
of the Lord" with his own eyes, Chapter 42:5, and was made to see how sinful he was before the Lord.
     Job, after seeing the "glory of the Lord", repented and got his heart right with God. When we see the
"glory of the Lord", we will also be ready to trust and obey the Lord. Psalm 19 reveals to us that we can
see the "glory of the Lord" in the "heavens," and in His "handy work" that is evident in all of Creation.
     The Lord allowed all that happened in the life of Job so that He might make known His "glory." That
same "glory" will be made manifest in Jesus Christ, when He comes back to earth. Then all of us will be
able to see the true "glory" of the Lord.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for evidence of Your glory in Your creation.
                             213


Joel 1 verse 1 - The word of the LORD that came to Joel the
son of Pethuel.
   For further study - Joel 1: 1 -10
   The prophet Joel introduces to the reader a phrase that is
used throughout all of the prophetic passages in God's Word.
That phrase, "the day of the Lord," is used to describe a
special time in history. First let me give you the meaning,
or definition of the phrase, "the day of the Lord".     It is
any time in history when God intercedes in the affairs of
man personally on the earth.
   That definition has either a general usage of the phrase
or a specific usage of the phrase. The general usage is the
1007 year period of time between the Rapture and the Great
White Throne Judgement. The word "day" used in this general
usage to define the "day" as a period of time not a 24 hour
day.
   The specific usage of the phrase is referring to the day
that the Lord will step back on earth on the Mount of Olives
in Jerusalem. This usage of the word is found in Zechariah
14: 1-4. You determine whether it's the general or specific
usage of the phrase, the "day of the Lord" by the context of
the passage.
   Here in the second chapter of Joel he is using the general
usage of the term, days that would be leading up to the day
Jesus returns to the earth, the specific usage. Joel says,
vs. 1, blow the trumpet in Zion
(Jerusalem) and sound
the alarm in my holy mountain. The term "my holy mountain"
is referring to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The rest of
the passage for today's reading begins to describe this
awesome day leading up to the campaign of Armageddon.
   There is much I could discuss with you in this passage
which I will leave to another devotional.     However, notice
where we need to focus to determine where the Lord is in His
timetable, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. As you do that
today there is evidence that the day of the Lord, His
return, is close at hand.
Keep looking up.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to sound the trumpet across the world
of His soon return.
                                                      214


Joel 2 vs28
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and
your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.
                                                                       For further study - Joel 2:28-32

I am having you read this passage from Joel's prophecy so that we can think together about the fulfillment
of this portion of Joel’s prophecy. The big question is, when was this passage fulfilled or when will it be
fulfilled? The partial answer is that this prophecy has not yet been fulfilled, it is yet to be fulfilled.

There are those today who believe that this prophecy was fulfilled on “Pentecost” as recorded in Acts 2.
That is not correct for a number of reasons.

Peter never said that Pentecost, almost 2,000 years ago, was the time of the fulfillment of Joel 2. Peter, in
Acts 2, never said that this event on Pentecost in Jerusalem was the fulfillment of Joel 2, but he simply
said this is that, “which was spoken by the prophet Joel”.

Peter was talking about Joel having written this and the Jewish people recognizing it because of their
knowledge of the prophecy that they had read - written by Joel.

Peter was reminding the Jews that Joel had spoken of a time, yet future; however, not on Pentecost, when
this would happen. The way I know this is correct is by our reading for today.

The passage we are reading today is part of the narrative of what happens in the "Day of the Lord". This is
what Joel is revealing in his prophecy, the "Day of the Lord". In fact, the phrase “the day of the Lord" is
being introduced in Joel's prophetic book.

The definition of the "Day of the Lord" is any time in history when God intercedes in the affairs of man,
personally on the earth. It has a general usage and a specific usage as it relates to the days of the return of
Jesus back to earth.

The "Day of the Lord" begins after the rapture, I Thessalonians 5:1-5, and concludes before the Great
White Throne Judgment, Revelation 20:11.This is the general usage of the term.

The specific usage is when it refers to the “day” that Jesus steps on the earth at the Mount of Olives in
Jerusalem. Joel's passage is referring to that time, and leading up to that day. Thus, Joel 2:28-32 could not
have been fulfilled on Pentecost, 2,000 years ago.

By the way, in Acts 2 there is no record that there were wonders in the heavens and in earth of blood and
fire and pillars of smoke on that day. Also, on that day of Pentecost 2,000 years ago, the sun did not turn
to darkness and the moon become like blood.

Please do not misuse scripture for your own purposes. This passage will be fulfilled in the future, and I
believe in the not to distant future.

I had you read this passage and then made my comments so that we might together learn to approach our
understanding of scripture, especially prophetic passages, in the proper context. This is essential in
understanding the Bible and especially Bible Prophecy.
     PRAYER THOT: Dear Lord, help me, as I study scripture to do so properly so that I can come to
the proper understanding of what you are saying.
                                     215

Joel 2 vs.1 -    Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy
mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the
LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;

For further study - Joel 2:1-17
   The first chapter of Joel is a record of an actual "locust" invasion of
the land, an historic event that Joel was to report to his generation and to
all future generations. As we come to chapter 2, the prophet turns to
another "invasion" of the land, this time by a "human army," not an "army of
locusts".
   It is in the second chapter that Joel introduces the phrase, "the day of
the Lord." This phrase is a major prophetic theme that describes     "a period
of time when the Lord intercedes in the affairs of man, personally on the
earth."
   In its "general usage," it applies to the thousand and seven years that
starts after the Rapture and extends to just before the Great White Throne
Judgment at the end of the Millennial Kingdom. The     "specific usage" of the
phrase is the day, or days, leading up to the   Second Coming of Jesus.
   Joel reveals the activities of "the day of the Lord" in the same way a
Jewish day unfolds, the night and then the day. The Jewish day      begins at
sundown and goes to the next sundown. Verse 2 begins the     description of
"the day of the Lord" with "a day of darkness and   "gloominess."
   The "day" begins with a major battle, verse 3, and concludes with the
"mother of all battles," the Battle of Armageddon, verse 11. Our devotional
passage also gives us information on the rest of the "days" events that will
unfold in the coming Tribulation Period.
   Let me focus in this devotional thought on the first major battle of the
"day of the Lord" as foretold in verses 2-3. This battle will     take place
in the very beginning of the 7 year Tribulation Period. Joel speaks of a
"great people and a strong." He is describing a   "mighty militia" like the
world has never seen before, or will ever   see again.
   I believe this "mighty militia" will be Moslem for a number of reasons.
This is based upon the focus of the attack which according to verse 3 is the
"Garden of Eden" which all orthodox Jewish scholarship believes is the Temple
Mount in Jerusalem.
   Also, there is the fact that our world today has almost 1/4 of its
population that is made up of those of the Islamic faith. They are most
likely the only people group that could form such a mighty militia.
   The one other facet of my suggested scenario would be the other prophetic
Scriptures that speak of an "alignment of nations" that come against Israel
in the last days, i.e. Ezekiel 38, Daniel 11, and Psalm 83.
   By the way, notice the first verse which says, "Blow the Trumpet in Zion,"
 Zion being synonymous with Jerusalem. Then he says, "sound an alarm in My
Holy Mountain." "My Holy Mountain" is a reference to the Temple Mount in
Jerusalem.
   As we look at our world today it seems that Joel's prophecy, in our
reading for today, is at the point it could be fulfilled very shortly. We
must keep looking up for Jesus to call us to be with Him at the Rapture which
is the only thing that must happen before Joel's prophecy is fulfilled.
   PRAYER THOT: Thank you, Lord, for the fact of Your soon return. Please
help me to live in light of this truth.
                                  216

Joel 2 vs. 1 - Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my
holy
mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of
the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand.

For further study - Joel 2:1-10

The prophet Joel introduces to the reader a phrase that is used
throughout all of the prophetic passages in God's Word. That phrase,
"the day of the Lord," is used to describe a special time in history.

First let me give you the meaning, or definition of the phrase, "the
day of the Lord". It is any time in history when God intercedes in the
affairs of man personally on the earth. That definition has either a
“general usage” of the phrase or a “specific usage” of the phrase.

The “general usage” refers to a period of 1,007 years, the period of
time between the Rapture and the Great White Throne Judgment. The word
"day"
used in this general usage to define the "day" as a period of time is
not a 24 hour day.

The “specific usage” of the phrase is referring to “the day” that the
Lord will step back on earth on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. This
usage of the phrase is found in Zechariah 14:1-4. You determine
whether it's the general or specific usage of the phrase, the "day of
the Lord" by the context of the passage.

In this second chapter of Joel, and through out the rest of Joel, the
Prophet is using the “general usage” of the term, days that will be
leading up to the day Jesus returns to the earth, the “specific
usage”.
Joel says, verse 1, “blow the trumpet in Zion (Jerusalem) and sound
the alarm in my holy mountain”.

The term "my holy mountain" is referring to the Temple Mount in
Jerusalem.
The rest of the passage for today's reading begins to describe this
awesome day leading up to the campaign of Armageddon, which by the way
starts at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

There is much I could discuss with you in this passage that I will
leave to another devotional. However, notice where we need to focus to
determine where the Lord is in His timetable, the Temple Mount in
Jerusalem. As you do that today there is evidence that “the day of the
Lord”, His return, is close at hand. Keep looking up.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to sound the trumpet across the world of His soon
return.
                                                     217



Joel 2:27
And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none
else: and my people shall never be ashamed.
                                                                       For further study - Joel 2:18-27

You might remember from the last time we read in Joel that this ancient Jewish prophet is describing the
"day of the Lord," a phrase that Joel introduced to the "end time scenario" found in God's word. The
phrase, "the day of the Lord" is any time in history when the Lord intercedes in the affairs of man on the
earth, personally.

This definition is used in a "general" sense referring to the period of time after the Rapture and lasting for
one thousand and seven years to the time just before the Great White Throne. The "specific" usage of the
word is the day that the Lord Jesus Christ returns to the earth.

In Joel, the prophet describes the "day" as the Jewish day unfolds. The Jews start their new day at
sundown and it goes 24 hours until the next sundown. Thus, the day begins with the night and then the
day. This approach to a “day”, as revealed in Genesis 1, in the days of Creation, is used by the Jewish
people.

Joel began the prophetic "day of the Lord" in chapter 2 by describing this day with the night first, verse
2. As the day proceeds the Lord now tells Joel that He is going to change the land of Israel to be as
productive as it has been at any time in history.

We read first of His jealousy that the Lord has for His land, verse 18, which with the Hebrew flavor of the
word "jealous" meaning that the Lord will be "aggressively possessive" of His land that He has promised
to give to the Jewish people.

He then tells the Jews that He will stop their Northern enemy, verse 20. Verses 21-26 tell how the Lord
will bless the Jews in the Land He has given them with the rains. The "former rains," are those rains in the
fall and the "latter rains," are those in the spring.

These rains will nourish the land and make it very productive agriculturally. There will be great
harvesting of the crops from the land. God will do this because of His promise, a promise that was made
in His name, Ezekiel 36:22.

This prophecy is yet to be completely fulfilled. However, today in Israel you can see evidence of how this
prophecy can indeed be fulfilled. This will be the time when God's “chosen people” will not be ashamed
but a testimony to the world that the Lord is in the midst of the Jewish people and that He is their Lord,
verse 27.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you for allowing us to see, dear Lord, the process of prophecy being fulfilled.
                                                      218




Joel 3 vs16
The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the
earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of
Israel.
                                                                                 For further study - Joel 3:9-16
     The ancient Jewish prophet Joel, in the first two chapters of his prophecy, introduced a very
significant prophetic phrase, the "Day of the Lord". The definition of this phrase is "any time in history
when the Lord intercedes in the affairs of man, personally on the earth."
     In Joel's description of the "Day of the Lord" he starts, as does a Jewish day, with the evening and
night first and then the full day to follow. Thus the prophecies in this book are described with the darkest
of events first, followed by the more encouraging prophecies. As we come to Joel 3 we see that the Lord
is warning the people that "war" is approaching and they must get ready.
     This passage does give us insight into the Lord's mind and it reveals that there is justification for
"war" for the believer. The Lord tells the Jews to "prepare war". Notice He does not say "prepare for war"
but "prepare war". In other words get ready right now.
     The "mighty men" are to take their farming implements, their "plowshares" and turn them into
"swords". These men must turn their "pruning hooks" into spears. The Jews, in the last days, are to be
always ready for going to war.
     It seems by Joel's statement that the battle will take place in the area of Jerusalem, the "Valley of
Jehoshaphat". The "Valley of Jehoshaphat" is theKidron Valley located between the Temple Mount in
Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives to the east of the Temple Mount.
     At the time of this war, Jerusalem will be the main focus for all wars. Zechariah 14:2 says all the
nations of the world will gather at Jerusalem for the beginning of the "Campaign of Armageddon" which
is the first phase of the Battle of Armageddon.
     This "mother of all wars" actually begins in the Valley of Jehoshaphat in Jerusalem. Verse 16 says
that the Lord shall "roar out of Zion (Jerusalem) and the heavens and earth shall shake."
     The truth is that before the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, roars out of Jerusalem "He roars into
Jerusalem", Zechariah 14:4. The Messiah comes to Jerusalem to the Valley of Jehoshaphat to judge the
Gentiles and then become the "hope of His people", the Jewish people.
     The days described in Joel, the days during the "Day of the Lord" could well be describing the days
we are living in today. There is the threat of war in almost all of the Middle East and much of it is focused
on Jerusalem and the Jewish people.
     As the days of Joel's prophecy play out in our world today the "voice of the Lord" will be "uttered
from Jerusalem", verse 16. The way that the Lord will deal with His people, the Jews, is that His voice
shall be heard throughout all the land and, in fact, all of the world. His voice, His word, will go forth from
Jerusalem as His prophecies are fulfilled.
     By the way, with the Middle East as it is today, the Lord's warning for war is appropriate. That war is
coming soon. Jesus is also coming soon, keep looking up.

PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord, to understand the days I'm living in and with all current events
setting the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled, help me to be ready for that coming and warn others
of these days and their prophetic significance.
                                  219


John 1 verse 14 - And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,
(and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the
Father,) full of grace and truth.

For further study - John 1:1-14

These 14 verses in the first chapter of the Gospel of John are some of
the most profound words written in the scriptures. This explanation of
the characteristics of the God-head is as good as any to be found
anywhere in the world.

The truth found in these verses could well be expanded into volumes on
the subjects of God, the creation, the Son, His incarnation, His
grace, His truth and so much more.

I hope as you read through these verses, and any portion of scripture
we suggest you read for your devotions, that you will spend some time
prayerfully considering the awesomeness of His word. So far in this
devotional thought, I have used the word, "word" only once.

If you read the passage first and then my thoughts, you have already
read "word" several times. The "Word" is the person of Jesus Christ
who was with God in the very beginning and even before that, He has
always been.

May I suggest that John 1:1 is the oldest verse in the Bible - even
older than Genesis 1:1. Genesis 1:1 describes what Jesus did in the
beginning - He created the heavens and the earth and all that is in
them, verse 3.
But, of course, before that first creative act of bringing the world
into existence, there was the God-head, God the Father, God the Holy
Spirit, and God the Son - the "Word".

The first prophetic passage that looks forward to the coming of a
Messiah was given by the Lord to Adam and Eve and tells of a “saviour”
to come, Genesis 3:15. That prophecy was fulfilled when the "Word" was
made flesh and dwelt among man on the earth,verse 14.

As it relates to “prophecy”, John 1:14 is the record of the
fulfillment of that 6,000 year old “prophecy”. The great truth of this
passage is that we know who the Creator was, it was the "Word", verse
3, Jesus Christ. With that understanding, we can rest assured that the
one who created all that there is can also tell us the future for all
that is found in creation.
   What a blessed assurance. Since this prophecy was fulfilled then we
can rest assured any other prophecy He gives will also come to pass.
Praise His name, the Word.
   PRAYER THOT: Help me to understand His word for today and the
future.
                                  220


John 2 vs.11 - This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of
Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on
him.
   For further study - John 2:1-12
   The portion for our reading today is the record of the very first
miracle that Jesus Christ did during His three and a half years of
ministry. He healed the lame, restored sight to the blind, cast demons
out of people, and even raised the dead. However, the first miracle
was the making of wine out of water for the wedding guests at a
wedding that He and His disciples were attending.
   There is much I want to share with you from this passage of
Scripture.
Notice the comment in John 2:1 that on the third day of the wedding
Jesus came with His disciples to a gathering that His mother was
attending. It is referring to the 7 day feast that follows the
marriage ceremony of a Jewish couple. Even today, Jewish families
celebrate the new marriage of their loved ones or friends for this 7
day period.
   That will also be the case at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb,
(Revelation 19), when, for 7 years, Christians married to Jesus
Christ, the Bridegroom, will celebrate in the heavens that wedding. By
the way, that is the reason the wine had run out for the guests. More
showed up than the father of the bride had expected.
   The text tells us that the mother of Jesus asked Him to make wine
out of water. The truth is, that what Jesus did was not for the
convenience of the wedding guests. He did no miracle for convenience
but to confirm his Messianic claims. This is the case here also. I
will prove that from the text in a moment.
   But first, look at what actually happened. Jesus told His disciples
to fill the 6 water pots full of water - but notice that they were
special water pots. John 2:6 says they were for the purifying of the
Jews. In other words, these pots had water with ashes of the red
heifer in them. This ashen water was for purifying the Jews making
them pure.
   As we look to the future from this point in history in John 2, we
know that the blood of Jesus makes us pure, not ashes of a red heifer
in water. Jesus, with this miracle, took back the red heifer
ordinance, (Numbers 19), the purification process for all who come
unto Him, thus, water to wine with the wine as always symbolic of His
blood.
   Remember I said no miracle for convenience but confirmation. The
miracle in John 2:11 was the first He did to manifest His glory and
His disciples believed on Him.
   One final thought, the next temple does need a red heifer and its
ashes because it is not Messiah's Temple but the temple of the
Antichrist. There is now a red heifer ready to fulfill that need.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you, Lord, for Your word that records the events of
Your life which confirm Your Messianic claims.
                                                     221



John 5 verse 19
Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of
himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son
likewise.
                                                                       For further study - John 5:1-22

Today, in our extended reading, we will read a bit more Scripture to look at the life of Christ, His miracles
and the responsibility the Father places on Him. This is a record of Jesus being obedient to the Old
Testament Scriptures and going up to Jerusalem on one of the "pilgrim feast days."

The “pilgrim feast days” were three of the seven feast days that Jews were required to go “up to
Jerusalem” and the Temple to worship the Lord. The feast day in this passage was the first of the Fall
Jewish feast days, “Rosh Hashana”, the Feast of Trumpets.

The day that Jesus arrived in Jerusalem is the feast day which by the “law of the Lord” was designated as
a "Sabbath Day," Leviticus 23:23-25. It was not a Saturday, the weekly Sabbath, but the Jewish holy day
of the Feast of Trumpets with the same requirements as a "Sabbath Day."

I give you this information because the Jews in Jerusalem used this day, a Sabbath Day and its
requirements, to accuse Jesus of breaking the Sabbath. What those accusing Jews did not know was that
Jesus brought into existence the Sabbath when after 6 days of much creative activity Jesus established the
Sabbath, “the day of rest”, Genesis 2:1-3.

When approached, Jesus said, verse 17, that He and the Father were the same and were both responsible
for the healing of the man at the pool of Bethesda. Then the Jews sought to kill Jesus for not only healing
on the Sabbath, but making Himself equal with God.

There is another very profound announcement made by Jesus about what the Father assigned to Him.
Verse 22 is the record of the Father designating Jesus, His Son, to be "Judge." In fact, God the Father
commits all judgment to His son, Jesus.

This is the prophetic portion of this passage. Jesus will be the judge in the future. He will be the "judge" at
the "Judgment Seat of Christ" when He will judge our works. It is not a time to judge lost or saved. The
truth is that only saved people will be at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

Jesus will also be the "judge" at the "Great White Throne Judgment," Revelation 20:11-15, when He
sentences all of those to the "Lake of Fire" who have not been saved. Again, this judgment is not to decide
if one is saved or lost. Only lost people will stand at this judgment.

Jesus is a God of love and mercy and our Savior, but also He is the coming “judge”.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to live, Lord, in light of the fact that You will be the judge that I stand in
front of at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
                                                     222




John 13 vs19
     Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.
                                                                              For further study - John 13:1-20
     John records the account of the "Passover Seder" that took place the evening before Christ would be
crucified the next afternoon. The "Passover Seder" was an annual event, a Jewish feast day, that the Lord
gave to the Jewish people.
     In fact, it was the first of the seven Jewish feast days as recorded in Leviticus 23. The Passover was
to be celebrated on an annual basis from the time of the very first Passover that took place the night of the
“Exodus”.
     Exodus 12 records the first Passover and in that chapter the Lord tells, commands, the Jews to
rehearse the story of the “Exodus” and to have the "Passover Seder" meal with the family every year,
Exodus 12:14.
     In this account of the "Passover Seder" the writer, John the Apostle, records the Lord washing the
feet of the disciples. The Lord came to the Apostle Peter to wash His feet and Peter objected, verses 6-8.
     There is a very interesting phrase used by Peter, verse 8. Peter tells the Lord that He, "shall never
wash his feet." In essence Peter was saying, "not so Lord" which Peter would do three times in his life,
Matthew 16:22, in this passage and when told to go to the Gentiles with the gospel message, Acts 10:14.
     Peter said to the Lord three times, "Not so Lord." You know it is impossible to use that phrase, "Not
so Lord." If indeed Jesus Christ is "Lord", you cannot say, "Not so". If you say, "Not so", then Jesus is not
Lord.
     Jesus was demonstrating to His disciples, who He had been training for three years, how to be
humble and to lead, as a “servant”. The best kind of leader in the world and in the church is one who leads
by serving.
     This passage describes a very special evening that would remind those Jewish disciples at the table of
the time of the Passover, that very first Passover almost 1,500 years before the meal Jesus had with His
disciples that night.
     The lamb that they ate at the meal represented the "Passover lamb" whose blood had been used to
paint the "doorpost" of the homes in Egypt on the night of the first "Passover".
     The next afternoon, about eighteen hours later, Jesus would become our "Passover lamb" when He
would be sacrificed to provide for our salvation.
     Please note one more item in this passage, verse 19. The Lord Jesus Christ tells His very worried
disciples that He was telling them what was going to happen before it happened, so that when it did come
to pass they would know, and believe, that He was who He said He was and would, and could do what He
said He would do, as well.
     This is the "essence of prophecy", we can rest assured that He is the Messiah because He has given us
prophetic truth, and in fact, laid out a scenario of what will happen in the future. In current events we can
see the "stage being set" for these prophecies to be fulfilled.
     That's what Bible prophecy does, it gives us the evidence that He is the One who does what He says
He can do, and will do, according to His prophetic Word. That also gives us assurance, a blessed
assurance, of the reality of an all mighty, powerful, prophecy-fulfilling holy God.
     Therefore, we should everyday be looking for Him to call us up into the heavenlies to be with Him
forever more at the Rapture, which could happen today. Keep looking up.

   Prayer Thot: Thank you Lord for being who You said You are and doing what You said You
would do. And we look forward to the future and Your promises to be fulfilled, as well.
                                                     223




John 14 vs27
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not
your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
                                                                               For further study - John 14:1-31
      As I was selecting the passage for our devotional reading today, I looked at John 14 and realized it
was all so good, I decided to use the entire chapter for our extended reading.
      There is such great truth in the whole chapter. In this devotional I'll share several highlights and I am
sure you could add other great highlights, if you were writing the devotional.
      Notice that our key verse and the first verse of John 14 both have the phrase, "Let not your heart be
troubled." As you read these two verses you must remember the circumstances surrounding this chapter.
      Jesus was with His disciples in an "upper room" and had been celebrating the "Passover Seder", the
time when the Jews annually rehearse the story of the Exodus and would have a meal similar to the one
their forefathers would have had on the first Passover Seder.
      It was the meal of lamb, the "Passover Lamb", and "unleavened bread," along with "bitter herbs" the
three ingredients called for in scripture. These foodstuffs were to remind the Jewish people of what took
place some 1,500 years before that night recorded in John 14.
      The next afternoon Jesus Christ would be crucified on Passover at 3:00 PM, in the last part of the
Jewish day, which concluded at sundown. The disciples must have been having anxiety attacks not
knowing what would, or could happen to them when Jesus was crucified.
      The Lord comforts them with His words, "Let not your heart be troubled." Our key verse adds,
"neither let it be afraid." This is, as well, the Lord's words of comfort for us even today when we face
troublesome times.
      The Lord also told them that when He went away, the Father would send the "Comforter", the Holy
Spirit, verses 16 & 26. Jesus said the "Comforter" would not only comfort them but also teach them all
things and bring all things to their remembrance that He had taught them.
      This is another very practical promise for us today. The Lord began His comforting exhortation with
the promise that He was going into theheavenlies to prepare a place for those of us who are a "prepared
people," believers in Christ, Christians.
      This promise also contained the promise of His coming back to get them, and us, and then to go with
Him to that "prepared place." By the way, this passage is not talking about the Second Coming but instead
it's the first mention of the Rapture.
      At the Second Coming we return to Earth with Jesus, riding white horses, Revelation 19 &
Zechariah 14, to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. This passage says, "I will come again and receive you
unto Myself", verse 3. The passage is not describing the Second Coming, but is describing the Rapture,
the time when we respond to His shout to enter theheavenlies to be with Him forevermore.
      Remember, the disciples were very anxious that night, this new truth must have gone right over their
heads. It would be around twenty-five years later before the Apostle Paul would make it very clear about
the Rapture, I Thessalonians 4:13-18.
      This is the first mention of the Rapture in scripture, and our Lord made the promise that it would
happen, thus it will happen. The truth is that the Rapture could happen at any moment. There is not one
prophecy that must be fulfilled before the Rapture. All prophecies remaining to be fulfilled happen after
the rapture.
      Keep looking up ... it could be today.
      Prayer Thot: Thank you Lord for the promise of the rapture, help me to be prepared, pure and
productive until I hear Your shout to join You in the heavenlies.
                                     224


John 16 vs13 -     Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will
guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever
he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
   For further study - John 16:1-15
   Today I have chosen a very practical portion of scripture for our
devotional reading, a passage that is practical and prophetic.
   John 16 takes place at the end of the "Passover Seder" that Jesus and His
disciples were observing the night before Jesus would be crucified the next
afternoon at 3:00pm on the day of "Passover".
   Jesus was still teaching His disciples at the meal before His arrest,
followed by the night of beating and Crucifixion the next day. He was also
trying to comfort and encourage His disciples, these men who had traveled
with Jesus for the last 3 1/2 years leading up to "Passion Week."
    These men were very anxious not knowing what would happen to them.
   Jesus had told them that He was going to be crucified. For the last six
months before the Lord's death the disciples were aware of what would happen
to Jesus but fearful of what might befall them.
   Jesus told them that it was actually expedient that He must die, "go
away", verse 7, because if He did not depart the earth the "Comforter" would
not come to them. Using the term "Comforter" Jesus was referring to the third
person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit.
   The Holy Spirit, verse 8, would "reprove the world of sin and of
righteousness and of judgment". Verses 12-14 give us much insight into the
ministry of the Holy Spirit, which is somewhat different than what the world
thinks that ministry is today.
   Jesus said that He must depart so that then the Holy Spirit would be able
to come. Don't misunderstand, the Holy Spirit is "omnipresent," He is always
present, but the Lord was referring to the new, unique ministry of the Holy
Spirit.
   Verse 13 says that the Holy Spirit. " shall not speak of Himself ". Any
activity that would attract attention to the Holy Spirit is not of God,
according to Jesus. Verse 14 says that the Holy Spirit's ministry is to
glorify Jesus, "He should glorify Me."
   No one should ever praise the Holy Spirit for what He, the Holy Spirit,
has done. The Holy Spirit should not speak of Himself but only glorify Jesus.
There is another ministry for the Holy Spirit according to Jesus. Jesus said,
verse 12, that "He had many things to tell us but we may not be able to bare
them."
   Therefore, Jesus must go so He can send the Holy Spirit to "guide us into
all truth", verse 13. And "to show us things to come".
   I often tell those who hear me preach and say that I have given them so
much information they don't know if they can assimilate it into their brain,
I tell them that it's in their brain, having entered through their "ear gate"
by listening to me, and that the Holy Spirit will teach them the prophetic
truths of God's Word.
   What a blessed thing that Jesus did for us, not only His death, burial and
resurrection that gives us eternal life, but His sending of the Holy Spirit
to teach us things to come.
   Prayer Thot: Thank you Jesus for sending us the Holy Spirit to teach us
things to come. Allow the knowledge of these prophetic truths to help us live
our lives as we await Your soon return.
                                  225



John 17 vs.24 - Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given
me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou
hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
      For further study - John 17:1-26
   Today's portion of scripture from the Gospel of John is the record
of the "Lord's Prayer". But you may say, I thought the prayer, "Our
Father which art in heaven", Matthew 6:9-13, was the "Lord's Prayer".
   Actually the Matthew passage is the "Disciple's Prayer", the prayer
that Jesus taught His disciples to pray. It's the model prayer for all
of our prayers.
   The extended reading for our devotional today, John 17, is the
"Lord's Prayer". It is the prayer that Jesus made to the Father on His
way to the Garden of Gethsemane, right after the "Last Supper", the
evening before Jesus would be crucified in Jerusalem the next
afternoon.
   It is a prayer worth reading over and over again. There are so many
Biblical truths that we can glean from these twenty-six verses. As is
the case always, I can only point out a few of these blessed truths or
principles that we can, and must, appropriate for ourselves.
   Verses 1-3 tell us that Jesus is the "way", the only way to "life
eternal", the One that God the Father sent to give us this "life
eternal".
   On the evening just before He would be crucified, the next day,
Jesus told the Father that He, the Son, had come to the point of the
"finished work", He had been sent to do in this world, verse 4.
   We also get a glimpse of the Lord's "intercessory ministry" as He
prays to God for those of us who are His children, through salvation,
verses 6-10.
   The prayers of Jesus, to His Father, were for the Father to "keep
us", in the world. This is a world we will live in until He calls us
up to be with Him at the Rapture, or we die and go to be with Him,
verses 11-12.
   We are reminded that though "we are still in this world, we are not
of this world", verses 15-16. The Lord's Prayer for us is that we be
kept from evil, verse 15. Verse 17 tells us how we can be "set apart",
sanctified, in this word through His Word which is truth.
   We see that as the Father sent Jesus into this world on a mission,
we are also sent, by Jesus, into the world on a mission. I love verse
24. The Lord's Prayer to the Father is that those of us who are saved
will be with Jesus, where He is, at this time.
   This is a prayer that will be answered at the Rapture of the Church
when we who are Christians will be caught up to be with Him in answer
to the Lord's Prayer. I don't know about you but I can hardly wait for
that to happen.
   The Rapture could happen today, the Lord's Prayers could be
answered today. Keep looking up, it could well be today.
   Prayer Thot: Thank you Lord for Your prayers on my behalf and for
Your intercessory ministry today. I await the day that Your prayer for
me to be where You are will be answered as well, maybe today.
                                     226


John 21 vs25 - And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the
which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world
itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
       For further study - John 21:12-25
   To me this is an exciting passage of scripture for a number of reasons.
The time is after the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the location is the
shores of the Sea of Galilee which is one of the most beautiful landscapes in
all of Israel.
   The disciples had been out fishing, verses 3-11, while the risen Saviour,
Jesus Christ was on the shore actually cooking, preparing a meal for His
disciples. I love His invitation to the disciples, "Come and dine", verse 12.
   The opportunity to sit and have a meal with Jesus, the Messiah, would be
such a blessing. One day we will join Him at the "Marriage Supper of the
Lamb", what a day that will be for all of us who love Him.
   There is a very interesting conversation that goes on between Jesus and
Peter that gives us instructions for our own lives, if we appropriate this
exhortation found in verses 15-17.
   As we eavesdrop on the conversation we hear Jesus ask Peter three times if
he, as a disciple of Christ, really loved Him. Each time Peter responded
with, "Thou knowest I love thee".
   The Lord's response to Peter was then for Him to "feed, My lambs", the
ones that Jesus had given salvation. The exhortation from Jesus is, "If you
love me, go work with those I have given eternal life". And as was the case
with Peter, we will help them grow in their relationship with the Lord.
   Another very interesting passage is the next part of the Lord's
conversation with Peter, verses 18-24. In essence, Jesus says to Peter, that
His trusted disciple, verse 18, would get old before he died.
   Maybe at first glance you don't notice anything about this statement;
however, as I thought about the fact that Jesus told Peter he would get old
before he died meant that the Rapture could not have happened until after
Peter's death.
   A study of Acts reveals that Peter, along with the other disciples,
believed that Jesus might come back to earth, after His ascension, at any
moment. The truth be known, Jesus could not Rapture Peter out of this world,
he was to die in old age.
   What's exciting is that Peter worked as if the Lord could come at any
moment and He went out with the other disciples and turned the world "upside
down", Acts 17:6.
   The personal application for us is that today, Jesus could call us at "any
moment" to join Him in the air at the Rapture of the Church. We must follow
Peter's example and go out and turn the world "right side up", it's already
"upside down".
   One more thought before we leave this passage, look at verse 25. All that
Jesus did was not recorded for us to read in this book or any other book,
only what He knew we needed to know.
   The reason it was not written was that there is not a library, or even
the world, that could contain all the books that should have been written
about Jesus Christ, What a life Jesus lived.

Prayer Thot: Help me Lord to be faithful to read Your Word so I can "feed
Your lambs" as I also feed myself and await Your shout to join You in the
air.
                                     227



Jonah 1 verses 1-2 - Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the
son of Amittai, saying,
   Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for
their wickedness is come up before me.
         For further study - Jonah 1: 1-17
Someone has said the book of Jonah is the greatest fish story they
have ever read.    It is true the prophet Jonah has an interesting
relationship with a "great fish" but that is not the storyline that
brings the meaning to this unique prophetic book among the books in
Jewish history. The prophet Jonah lived near the hometown of Jesus -
Nazareth and in fact was referred to, and thus vouched for by a very
famous neighbor, none other than Jesus Christ Himself (Matthew 12: 39-
41).
   Jonah was called to be a missionary - prophet, a Jewish missionary
- prophet, to the very large Gentile city of Nineveh. As you read the
narrative of Jonah's travels, at least the first of his journey, you
will see that the prophet heads out in the opposite direction from
where the Lord told Him to go.
   Jonah went off to Joppa where he found a boat going to the west and
he went on board, paid the fare and was on his way to Tarshish (most
likely Spain of today). The problelm was that Tarshish was southwest
from his hometown and Nineveh, where God told him to go, is northeast
from Jonah's home.
   Jonah went in the exact opposite direction from where God told him
to go.
   The shipmates of Jonah finally realized that the Hebrew prophet was the
reason for the high winds and stormy conditions at sea which were about to
destroy their boat. The only thing to do was have Jonah leave the boat. Now
that is a real problem when you are out to sea.
They had the ship's crew throw Jonah overboard - to what they thought would
be his certain death.
   However, since God had a plan for Jonah to reach out to the Gentiles of
Nineveh, the Lord would provide a "great fish" to care for Jonah, along the
way to take care of the Lord's mission.
   There are many great prophetic and practical issues in the four chapters
of Jonah, some of which we will look at together in a future prophetic
devotional. Let me at this time bring the prophetic book of Jonah up to our
time as we see it reveal some important truths. Jonah helps us to learn we
can run, but we can't hide, as we flee the direction God wants us to go. He
has ways of bringing us back to the path we must follow.
   One other thought is that God called Jonah to go to Nineveh, the biblical
name of the area we know as Musul in northern Iraq today. God had a plan for
Nineveh then and He has a plan for Nineveh and her sister city Babylon today.
These two biblical cities will both play a key role in Bible prophecy,
evidence we are quickly approaching the endtime scenario found in His word
for modern day Iraq.
   We are in what the Bible refers to as "the last days". These are the days
when Jesus could shout and call us to join Him in the heavenlies. Today could
be that day, so let's keep looking up.......Until.
   PRAYER THOT: As I live in these last days, help me to be obedient to your
call on my life and make sure I go in the right direction.
                                                      228



Jonah 2 vs10
And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.
                                                                            For further study - Jonah 2:1-10
     The little book of Jonah is a very unique book of prophecy. It contains prophecy, miracles,
repentance, revival, and even the account of Jewish-Gentile relations. Remember, Jonah was Jewish, the
one God sent to a Gentile people there in Nineveh.
     The last verse of Jonah 1 reveals to us that Jonah, having been cast overboard by the fishermen,
would end up in the belly of a "great fish" for three days and three nights. That is where we catch Jonah,
our rebellious Jewish prophet, in the belly of a great fish.
     The narrative reveals that Jonah would suffer for his disobedience to the Lord. It makes it very clear
that Jonah would actually die in the belly of this great fish. You might be thinking, "I've never heard that
before." Okay then, let's look at the evidence for the death of Jonah while in rebellion.

In verse 2, Jonah says "out of the belly of hell" cried I. The Hebrew word for "hell" is "sheol." Sheol is, in
the Old Testament, the place to which the dead go. Verse 4 says, "yet I will look again towards the Holy
Temple." "The waters compassed me about even to the soul”, verse 5. It seems to indicate death had
taken Jonah.

Notice verse 6, "yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption." Jonah had been brought up from the
corruption of death. I believe that Jonah died in the belly of that great fish and God resurrected the
rebellious prophet to do the ministry the Lord had given him to do - go to Nineveh and preach, chapter
3:2.

God did not preserve Jonah in the belly of the great fish, because Jonah died. The greater miracle than the
preservation of Jonah in the great fish's belly, is the resurrection from the dead. This scenario would fit
what Jesus said in Matthew 12:40.

Jesus compared Jonah's three days and three nights in the belly of the whale. He would be three days and
three nights in the heart of the earth. The end result of Jesus in death in the earth is that he would resurrect
from the dead. The parallel suggests that Jonah also was resurrected from the dead.

By the way, this passage helps us to understand the time of the crucifixion of Jesus as well. He had to be
in the earth three days and three nights, not two days and two nights, which would indicate a Friday
crucifixion. That discussion is for another time and another devotional.

If you ever wondered if Jonah was in the belly of a great fish, whale or not, for three days and three
nights, Jesus confirms it with His statement in Matthew. The Bible is not made up of fairy tales but real
literal events in history.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for an infallible, inerrant word from You, to me.
                                                    229

Jonah 3 vs10
And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that
he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
                                                                   For further study - Jonah 3:1-10

This daily devotion is presented with a “prophetic perspective” each day for your consideration. Today as
we read Jonah 3, the “prophetic perspective” is the underlying theme of this passage.

After Jonah is "vomited" upon the "dry land", Jonah 2:10, the reluctant Jewish prophet makes his way to
Nineveh where he enters the city with the message that God had given him. Jonah cried out, "Yet forty
days and Nineveh shall be overthrown", verse 4.

Let me remind you that Nineveh was a well-fortified city with two high and wide walls around the city.
The scholars tell us that the walls were around 100 feet high and about 50 feet wide. This was a well-
fortified Gentile city and to have a Jew come tell them of a coming destruction seems to be beyond what
that lonely man could do.

Basically that is the case, this wasn't just a man, he was a man of God with God's message to sinful
people. Our reading, verse 5 tells us that the people of Nineveh "believed God". There was a major
“revival” that would follow and even the King, verse 6, repented and gave a decree for all the people to
honor God.

The desire of all those people in Nineveh was that God might not bring judgment upon them, verse 9.
Verse 10 tells us that God did stop His hand of destruction on the city and the people of Nineveh.

Let the record show however, that the people of Nineveh did go back to their sinful ways and God
destroyed the city around 150 years after Jonah’s ministry there, (see Nahum).

Now, to that underlying theme for the “Last Days” found in our passage for today. The prophetic
Scriptures reveal to us that God will raise-up Jewish evangelists in the Last Days to go to the Gentile
world.

Revelation 11:3 and following tells us of "two witnesses" who will preach to the world from Jerusalem in
the first half of the Tribulation Period and at least one of them will be Elijah, Micah 4:5, a Jewish man.

A result of these “two witnesses” preaching, 144,000 male virgin Jews, 12,000 each from the 12 tribes of
Israel, Revelation 7:4-9, will have an evangelistic ministry for all seven years of the Tribulation. The
outcome of their ministry is a multitude of people being saved.

Jonah was only a prototype of these evangelists to come. The practical lesson for each of us today is that
we can be a part of God's plan if we obey Him all along the way.

How can they be saved unless they hear and how can they hear unless we go with the message. It is a
message of salvation to some and a warning to be prepared for the Rapture for others.

PRAYER THOT: Help us Lord to do the ministry of reaching lost people with the message of
salvation before it is eternally too late.
                                                    230



Jonah 4 vs11
And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons
that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?
                                                                     For further study - Jonah 4:1-11

Jonah closes his prophetic book abruptly indicating that the prophet was angry, depressed, hot and faint.
Jonah was left to contemplate God's words about his own lack of compassion and God's depth of
compassion.

The truth be known, Jonah could not have written this book unless he had learned the point God was
seeking to bring to the prophets attention. It is most likely that Jonah did come to an understanding of his
error and then wrote this historical, biographical narrative to urge Israel to flee from disobedience and
spiritual callousness.

Jonah ran the opposite direction from where God had sent him in chapter 1. In chapter 2 the prophet got
his heart right after being resurrected from the dead. Chapter 3 reveals the record of the prophet doing
what the Lord sent him to do, preach to the Gentile city of Nineveh. God's Word was effective and the
city turned to the Lord.

When we come to Jonah 4 we see the Jewish prophet actually depressed that he had been used of God to
reach these Gentiles. The narrative reveals Jonah's sorrow over the loss of his physical protection,
provided by God, but totally void of any compassion for those who the Lord had displayed great
compassion for, the people of Nineveh.

God worked in the heart of this Jewish preacher and then allowed him the ministry to his own people to
show them the Lord's heart and compassion and their lack of compassion and failure to serve the Lord
within His plan and power.

As I read this chapter I was reminded why the Lord has not come back to earth and in fact why He has not
shouted for us to join Him in the air at the Rapture. II Peter 3:9 says, " The Lord is not slack concerning
His promise (the promise to call us up to heaven) as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering to
usward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."

That's His compassion for the lost, and it should be ours also. By the way, you and I can hasten the
coming of the Lord, II Peter 3:12, by leading lost people to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.


Prayer Thot: Help me Lord, to do what must be done to reach the lost and dying world before it's too
late, as I await and hasten Your return.
                                     231



Joshua 1 vs. 5 -     There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all
the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not
fail thee, nor forsake thee.
       For further study - Joshua 1:1-9
   Our devotional reading for today is the record of the Lord giving a
command for Joshua to take the children of Israel into the “promised land”.
This is the land that He had prepared for the Israelites. Joshua was now the
leader of the Jewish people and would lead them during the first return to
the land.
   As the Israelites would enter the Promised Land under the leadership of
Joshua, the Lord would promise Joshua that the Jewish people would receive
all the land promised to Moses and his descendants, the land that would
extend even to the River Euphrates, verse 4.
   On this return to the land, the first of three returns after the Jewish
nation would leave the land God had promised the Jews, they would receive
only a portion of the land that God promised. The complete fulfillment of the
land prophecy, Deuteronomy 30, will take place during the future 1000 year
Kingdom period.
   The scriptures give us the details on the total amount of land that God
has promised His “chosen people”, the Jewish people. One day the Jewish
people will receive 10 times the amount of land they have today, that happens
at His Second Coming.
   Our passage for today’s reading is one of thirty eight Biblical references
that detail all the land promised, which is much of what we know as the
Middle East today. This helps us to understand why the Arab world is
concerned about what happens to the Jewish State of Israel.
   The Lord also assures Joshua of “good success”, verse 8, and that He would
be with this one who replaced Moses, the great Jewish prophet and leader.
God told Joshua that as He was with Moses, He would be with young Joshua.
   That success would come from daily mediation in the Word of God, verse 8,
and obedience to the Word. These are the promises that the Lord gives a young
Jewish leader at the exact time that he needed to have this encouragement and
direction.
   This first, of three returns to the “Promised Land” by the Jews, is
evidence that the Lord will be faithful to His promise of a “land” for a
“people”, His chosen people, as a “nation”, a land that He gives them,
forever. This land will be given at the Lord’s return to earth.
   But until that time, God will be with His people, the Jewish people, verse
5. God's promise to Joshua is that He will give them good success, verse 8.
The success for the Jews and for us as well is dependent on each of us
allowing His word to direct our every step.

   Prayer Thot: Thank you Lord for being a “promise-keeping” God, not only
for success but for Your promise of a return to the “land” to set up Your
“Kingdom”.
                                                      232

Joshua 4 vs18
And it came to pass, when the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD were come up
out of the midst of Jordan, and the soles of the priests' feet were lifted up unto the dry land, that the
waters of Jordan returned unto their place, and flowed over all his banks, as they did before.
                                                                         For further study - Joshua 4:1-24

Joshua 4 is the record of the miraculous entry into the Promised Land by the Israelites, under the
leadership of Joshua. Those who were entering the "land", were those Jewish people who had not seen the
parting of the Red Sea, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb, the others had died during the forty years
of wandering in the wilderness.

All that would enter into the land that God had promised them had been born during the forty years of
unbelief. The reason, of course, for the two exceptions, Joshua and Caleb, was that they, as spies, had
reported back to Moses that the "land" was great and that they could enter in right away.

Joshua and Caleb believed God and thus they were given the privilege of entering into God's Promised
Land.

Let me remind you that the time of the year when the Jordan River was parted was in the spring, the
harvest time, Joshua 3:15-16. The waters of the Jordan River were overflowing their banks, more so than
during the rest of the year.

God had directed Joshua to have the priest to bare the "ark of the covenant" to the eastern shore of the
Jordan River and when the waters divided all of the children of Israel followed the priest with the "ark" as
they crossed over into Israel on dry ground.

Joshua also had one man from each of the twelve tribes bare a stone from the center of the Jordan River,
now dry, and take it to the place where they would "lodge that night", verse 3, and lay all twelve of these
stones at Gilgal, verse 19.

You'll remember Gilgal, located about two miles form the Jordan River, is the place where the Jews
celebrated their first passover in the Promised Land, Joshua 5:10.

Verse 6 of our extended reading says that the taking of the stones from the Jordan River would be a
"sign", verse 6, for the Israelites, an object lesson for the Jews so that they could tell their children of
God's love, provision and protection for them.

However, it would not be done for the sake of only telling the children, verses 19-23, but it would be
somewhat of a monument to have so that "all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord,
that it is mighty, that they might fear the Lord our God forever", verse 24.

Indeed, there are not many people on the earth that don't know the story of God's fulfilled promises to the
Jews and His provision of the land as He had promised. Of course, the splitting of the Jordan River, like
the splitting of the Red Sea, displayed the mighty hand of God.

3,500 years ago God took care of His chosen people, He is still doing so today, and will do so into the
future, as He said He would. Praise His name!

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for Your love, provision and protection for me as it has been for
Your people, the Jewish people, over the last 4,000 years.
                                                     233

Joshua 5 vs10
And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the
month at even in the plains of Jericho.
                                                                  For further reading - Joshua 5:6-15

Today we read the account of the first several days of the children of Israel in the Promised Land. Joshua
had been installed as leader after the death of Moses and given the responsibilities of leading the Israelites
across the Jordan River and into the area just to the east of Jericho, out in the valley halfway between
Jericho and the Jordan River and just north of the Dead Sea to a place that He would name Gilgal.

Even the name of the location where the children of Israel would first encamp, Gilgal, which in Hebrew
means "rolling," was significant. It was here that God told Joshua He had rolled away the reproach of the
Egyptian bondage, verse 9.

The first act that Joshua led the Jewish people into, once inside the Promised Land, was the
“circumcision” of each of the males. The fact is that none of the men who entered the land God had given
them had been circumcised, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb. The oldest of all the men would have
been 39 years of age and none of them had ever been given the mark of God's promise to the Jews,
circumcision.

The next item on God's agenda, even before He would lead them to conquer the land, was to begin the
“cycle of Jewish feast” that He had given Moses for His chosen people. The Lord had commanded that
once they entered the land they were to start with the Passover, the first of the seven Jewish feasts, and
complete the entire cycle on a yearly basis.

Through the Jewish feast God was giving the Jewish people a glimpse into the future. The seven feasts all
have a historic significance and an agricultural factor to them as well as the prophetic aspect to each of the
Jewish feasts.

You remember that in the gospel records of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the events
actually took place on the Jewish feast days. Jesus Christ was crucified on Passover, John 13:1, was
buried on Unleavened Bread, John 19:31 and 42, and resurrected on Sunday, the day the Jews celebrate
the Feast of First Fruits, John 20:1 and Leviticus 23:10-13.

Interestingly, Jesus, as He fulfilled the first three Jewish feast days in the proper day sequence, so also He
will fulfill the last three Jewish feast days in the proper day sequence as well (See my study "The Feasts
of God").

Year after year for the last 3,500 years, the Jews have been observing these Jewish feast days, a constant
reminder of what the Lord has done, is doing, and will do for them in the future.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for being a consistent, faithful God who always keeps His
promises.
                                                       234

Joshua 6 vs.2 and 21
And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof,
and the mighty men of valour. And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and
woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.
                                                                          For further study - Joshua 6:1-27
It is worth the time you will spend to read our extended reading for today, which is the complete account
of the conquering of Jericho. God told Joshua that as He had been with Moses He would be with the new
leader of the Jewish people as they would enter the “promise land”.

This portion of God's word is the record of God's beginning phase of the fulfillment of His promises to
Joshua. This is an amazing victory over the awesome enemy standing at the entrance of the conquest of
the “promise land” for the children of Israel.

Any true military strategist would have warned Joshua against the plan given to him by God. It would
have been considered a suicide mission by any evaluation to simply have your religious leaders lead your
people in a walk around this well fortified city.

It would have been ridiculous to walk around the city for one day but to do so for seven days and then to
shout and think that the walls would come down would be out of question for any logical leader.

However, God did not set Joshua in place as the leader of the children of Israel to lead the conquest of the
land He had promised them because he was a logical thinker but because Joshua was obedient to his Lord.

The rest of the book of Joshua, which records the leadership of God's man for this mission, is a record of
obedience and victory. It is the evidence that we must look at and consider, even as we in our own journey
through life follow His direction for all the conquests that are promised for each of us as we do follow His
direction.

It is interesting that as the children of Israel entered the promise land, it is "Jericho first" on the agenda for
God's plan for taking the land. I used that phrase "Jericho first" because this is the phrase used in 1993
when the Oslo Accords were signed on the lawn at the White House in Washington.

The peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinian people would give to the Palestinians, "Jericho first."
For this last 15 years we have seen how that peace treaty has been negated and the conflict between Israel
and the Palestinian people is deteriorating on a daily basis.

What got my attention is the fact that God gave “Jericho first” to the children of Israel and 3,500 years
later the Jews gave “Jericho first” to their enemies. This scenario is in perfect alignment with Bible
prophecy for these two peoples, the Jews and the Palestinians. (see my study on Esau and the
Palestinians)

All the actors are in place and the curtain is about to go up on the final drama as described in Bible
prophecy. Keep looking up. Jesus is coming.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to realize the time of Your return is drawing closer as the current events
unfold that are in line with the end time scenario found in Bible prophecy.
                                                      235



Joshua 14 vs14
Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day,
because that he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel.
                                                                 For further study - Joshua 14:1-15

The book of Joshua is the history of the children of Israel, under the leadership of Joshua, as they come
into the "promised land". It is also the story of conflicts that followed as the Jews conquered the land. It is
a record of one victory after another as the Lord gives the children of Israel what He told them He would
give them 40 years before they arrive to claim His promise.

There is a great lesson in that thought. Sometimes, we ignore God's directives which brings upon us
sorrow, heartache and distress. I do not understand why I do not learn His way, His way is the best way.

Our reading for today is a perfect example of my point. When Moses sent out the spies, Joshua and Caleb
were the only two to return from their sojourn inside the “promised land” with a positive report.

Because the majority of the spies gave a negative, fearful report of the land and due to their unbelief, the
children of Israel wandered around in the wilderness for 40 years before claiming their promise.

However, the Lord did not forget the faithfulness of the spy named Caleb. God instructed Joshua, the
leader responsible for dividing the promised land, to give Caleb the piece of real estate he wanted, the
area around Hebron. Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb because this spy had "wholly followed the
Lord God of Israel", verse 14.

This whole account is a great spiritual lesson for me and for you also. In our daily lives, we must do all
that the Lord directs us to do, "wholly following the Lord."

Before I finish, let me remind you that this land and city that God gave Caleb 3,500 years ago is a center
of controversy today. Hebron is the oldest Jewish community in the world founded by Abraham some
4,000 years ago, Genesis 13:18.

Today, there are around 1,000 Jews living in Hebron with 150,000 Palestinians surrounding them and
many of those Palestinians self-proclaimed Islamic terrorists.

Hebron is the second most sacred piece of real estate in the world for the Jewish people. It was purchased
by Abraham as a burial site, Genesis 23, and paid for in cash.

There is a great Jewish heritage in Hebron from the past, but the present situation is very controversial
and will continue to be so until the Messiah, Jesus Christ, returns to deal with the enemies of the Jewish
people.

It is good to reflect on the past as we look to the future, all under the watchful eye of our Lord. He is still
in charge.

PRAYER THOT: Help me this day Lord, to wholly follow You in all that I do, as You lead.
                                                     236




Jude 1 vs-7
And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in
everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and
Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and
going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
                                                                          For further study - Jude 1:1-7


The half-brother of Jesus, Jude, is the writer of this short, but power-packed letter to the church in general.
There are many issues discussed in Jude's letter, all of which seem to have a connection to the last days,
with warnings and exhortations to the believer. This time through Jude I want to draw our attention to the
two verses that deal with angels and coming judgment, verses 6 and 7.

Let me remind you that angels are created beings, created on the first day of Creation. (See my study on
"Angels and Prophecy".) It was after the 6th day of Creation, Genesis 1:31, that Lucifer rebelled against
God, along with 1/3 of the angels. Then a number of evil angels, "the sons of God" in Genesis 6, had an
unnatural sexual relationship with "the daughters of men." And God "reserved in everlasting chains under
darkness unto the judgment of the great day" these evil angels. They have been awaiting judgment for
over 4,500 years.

Revelation 9:1-18 unfolds the Last Days drama for these evil angels that will be released from their
prison, the “abyss” or “bottomless pit”, and allowed to come to the Earth during the Tribulation Period.
Under the control of Satan, they will kill millions on the Earth before being thrown into the eternal
punishment of the Lake of Fire, Matthew 25:41.

These passages help us to understand what happens to even angels that commit fornication", verse 7, so
that we can know how God deals with fornicators. The Bible definition of fornication is “any unnatural
sexual sin that God condemns”.

In our day, there is fornication practiced by those who have rebelled against God's natural laws for
mankind. In particular there are those men and women who have "changed the natural use" of each other
for the same sex, for "that which is unseemly," Romans 1:26-27. God has given these fornicators "over to
a reprobate mind" and to judgment to come.

By the way, Jesus Christ said it would be this way in the Last Days. Jesus said it would be like the days of
Lot and Sodom and Gomorra, Luke 17:28-29. We are quickly approaching the coming of the Lord Jesus
Christ. In fact, the Rapture could happen today, so let's keep looking up, until...

PRAYER THOT: Lord, as I see the days in which we are living, please help me to be ready for the
Rapture.
                                                  237
Jude 14
And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with
ten thousands of his saints.
For further study - Jude 8-16

In the portion that I selected for today there are two names that I want to draw your attention to
for further thought. One is an angel - an archangel and the other is a man, a man who has never
died but was taken to heaven, alive.

The angel Michael is spoken of throughout the scriptures especially as the "protector" of the Jewish
people, Daniel 12:1. Michael heads up the “angelic army” in the heavenlies.

Michael's “army of angels” will at the midway point of the Tribulation period throw Satan and his
evil angels out of the first heaven, the one above us where the sun is located over the earth.

The prophet Daniel also referred to Michael as the "chief princes" who deals with the “demonically
controlled” world leader of Greece. This supposes that the heavenly visitor came to meet with
Daniel, Daniel 10:13.

However, with all this contact with the evil forces of Satan, Michael dare not tell Satan what to do,
he left that up to the Lord, Jude 9. As powerful as Michael the archangel is under the sovereignty of
God, he did not demand the Devil to do anything.

This principle must be considered when there are those today who think they can demand Satan to
do anything. We are never told to take on Satan. We are told to put on the whole armor of God so
we "can stand against the wiles of the Devil", Ephesians 6:11. We stand against the Devil - we do
not confront him.

Enoch is the man we need to consider for a moment. Enoch, the great grandfather of Noah, was a
mighty preacher in his day, before the worldwide flood came upon the earth. He was a man who
walked with the Lord on earth and then was taken by the Lord into heaven without dying, Genesis
5:23-24. Enoch is one of two men that have never died, the other was Elijah who was also taken into
heaven, alive, II Kings 2:11.

It is interesting that at least one of those men, Elijah, will be one of the two witnesses during the
seven year Tribulation, Revelation 11:3-10 and Malachi 4:5. I do believe the other witness will be
Enoch, who during his previous earthly ministry preach about the coming of the Lord, Jude 14.

Both of these men, the “two witnesses” will die at the end of their 3 1/2 years of ministry, Revelation
11:7 . The whole world will see these to men dead in the streets of Jerusalem. They will then be
resurrected and taken again into heaven, Revelation 11:11-12.

The information we receive from our reading today, I believe, helps us to understand the times we
are living in and how to deal with Satan as we await the coming of the Lord. As the song says, I
think we are living in the days of Elijah...and Enoch. Even so, come Lord Jesus.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you, Lord, for an example of how to deal with Satan in what seems to be the
days Enoch spoke about, the time of the Lord's return.
                                  238
Jude 1 vs.’s 17-18     - But,         beloved, remember ye the words
which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How
that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who
should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
       For further study - Jude 1:17-25
   The theme of this little book written by Jude, the brother of
James, the Pastor of the church in Jerusalem, is "earnestly contend
for the faith". Jude goes at this exhortation and challenge from
several directions.
   As we come to our devotional reading for today, Jude wants each of
us to "contend for the faith" by remembering. We must remember the
word spoken by the apostles.
   The apostles were a select group of men that Jesus trained for a
special period of time and purpose for the new "body", known as the
church. Each of the apostles had to have seen Jesus, in person, after
His resurrection. The last of the men chosen to be an apostles was
Paul who saw Jesus in person on the road to Damascus as he was
traveling from Jerusalem, Acts 9:1-16.
   The Holy Spirit "breathed" into these men the "words of warning"
that Jude wants us to remember. Let me just remind you of the words of
two apostles, Peter and Paul. In Paul's last letter, 2 Timothy, he
wrote of the days that would mark the "last days" that lead up to the
return of Jesus Christ.
   2 Timothy 4:3-4 reminds us of the people who will no longer endure
sound doctrine, they will turn away their ears from the truth and they
do this because they, of their own lust, will choose teaching that
will "tickle their ears."
   Peter also, writing his last words before his death, reminded us of
those who would even "deny the coming of the Lord" as they also would
"walk after their own lust," 2 Peter 3:3-4.
   Now notice what Jude tells us about his "warnings of the mockers in
the last days," verse 18. These mockers of Jesus, His second coming,
and even us as followers of Jesus, these mockers will be those who
walk after their own lust," verse 18.
   Jude gives us three ways to live in these times described as the
end times. Verse 20 tells us to "build" ourselves up in the "holy
faith."
Faith comes by hearing the Word of God and believing it to the extent
that we walk in what it says.
   Then Jude says to "pray." Matthew says "watch and pray, we watch
for Jesus to come as we pray. Then in verse 21 Jude says "keep
yourself in the love of the Lord." This means "stay in love with the
Lord,"
don't forsake or leave your first love for Jesus.
   If you notice that you have left your first love, return to that
proper relationship by spending time talking to Him in prayer and
allowing Him talk with you in His Word.
   These are only several ways that Jude tells us we can "earnestly
contend for the faith" as we await His soon coming.
   PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for the warning of the end times, help
me to "contend for the faith" by remembering your word for these days.
                                     239



Judges 2 vs.22 - That through them I may prove Israel, whether they
will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did
keep it, or not.

For further study - Judges 2:11-23

Today we come to the book of Judges for our devotions. This is a
record of God appointing a number of Judges that He would use to
discipline His chosen people and at the same time to protect them from
the surrounding enemies. Though He would protect the children of
Israel from their enemies, at the same time He would use these same
enemies to bring His people closer to Him.

The judges were actually tribal leaders of the twelve tribes upon whom
the Lord laid the burden of apostate Israel. These were men and women
who represented the Lord God Himself, they were the spiritual
ancestors of the ancient Jewish prophets. The truth be known, these
judges were responsible for implementing the needed chastisement on
the Jews to produce loyalty and obedience which would result in
security and prosperity, all needed for the survival of the children
of Israel.

When God selected the children of Jacob and his twelve sons to be His
chosen people, He knew they would not always be obedient and loving as
a people. He knew they would sometimes be a stiff-necked, hard-
hearted, and hard-headed people. In fact, that is the way the
Israelites were acting as they were at this time in history as
recorded in Judges 2:11 reveals to us that they were actually doing
evil in His sight and were "whoring" after other gods, verse 17.

If you spend time studying the 4,000 year history of the Jews you see
the Judges scenario is repeated over and over again and again. This
will also be the case in the last days when the Lord allows for seven
years of judgment to come upon them for the purpose of turning the
Jews to Jesus Christ as their Messiah and thus their Lord and Savior.

Biblical prophecy reveals to us today the soon appearing of the "Time
of Jacob's Trouble" that precedes the second coming of Jesus. The Jews
must be in the land, in unbelief before the Lord will bring salvation
to them as a nation. That, He promised to them, in Zechariah 3:9.

The stage is set for that prophetic drama to begin its final act.
Bible prophecy will be fulfilled and seemingly very soon. Keep looking
up for His shout to have us join Him in the heavens.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to live in purity for you and thus eliminate Your
chastisement.
                                                     240




Judges 7 vs7
And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver
the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place.
                                                                      For further study - Judges 7:1-25

As we read of the victory over Jericho under the leadership of Joshua in our previous devotional, I was
amazed at how the Lord accomplished His promise to Israel and did so in His way. Now in Judges we see
an account of God's direction and provision in what seems to be a foolish strategy.

The phrase, "the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord" is used a number of times in Judges to
describe the spiritual condition of the Jewish people in the days of the Judges. Because of this, they
became vulnerable to the attack of their enemies.

In our reading for today, we see that Israel is being threatened by the Midianites, a very strong enemy
who wanted to destroy the Jewish nation. God knew that if He allowed the entire military might of Israel
to fight this battle they would become very proud and believe that they had won the victory, not the Lord
winning the victory for them, verse 2.

As we read through our extended portion of the text, we see how the Lord trimmed down the Israeli army
to a mere 300 men. This process brought Gideon and his entire troop a victory that only the Lord could
have given the children of Israel. This is another illustration of how the Lord will preserve His people for
His purpose. The Lord has done so now for almost 4000 years.

I have read the last chapter and I know our Lord will continue to do so until He has completed His plan
for the Jews. The Scriptures tell us that these truths and record of history, even recent history, gives us
proof of His word.

In 2007 the 40th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem was celebrated by the Jewish people. This
reunification of Jerusalem was the result of the Israeli Defense Force capturing the Old City of Jerusalem
including the Temple Mount after some 2000 years.

This victory took place at the end of a six-day war with Israel under attack on three sides. Syria from the
north, Jordan from the east and Egypt from the south were all defeated in six days, which also included
the victory in Jerusalem. This victory for Israel against all odds, militarily, was somewhat like the days of
Gideon.

The future will reveal God's provision and protection, as well, because He has a plan for His people, yet
to be fulfilled. Bible prophecy will be fulfilled.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for your provision and protection for me as a Christian, which I
know will come about because of Your provision and protection for Your people, the Jewish people.
                                                    241




Judges 17 vs6
In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
                                                                          For further study - Judges 16:23-31
Please notice in our devotional reading for today our key verse is in Judges 17 and the extended reading
in Judges 16. I do this to reveal that during this time in history, recorded in the book of Judges, that the
children of Israel were without a king. As our key verse tells us, the Israelites simply did that which "was
right in their own eyes."

A thorough reading of Judges will reveal that the actions of the Jews during that time were not in concert
with what God wanted for His chosen people. More on that in a moment.

The book of Judges is the record of a number of Judges that the Lord brought to power to rule over His
people. Samson was one of those “judges” , in fact, the thirteenth of the “judges”. You can read the
account of his life and ministry, and failures, in Judges 14, 15 and 16.

In our extended reading we see the account of the death of Samson. Having been imprisoned, Samson
would go to his death victorious. As a Nazarite, Judges 13:5, this judge constantly defiled his “vow of
separation” through "fleshly appetites." However, Samson had a mighty faith in the Lord in a time of
apostasy, a faith which God honored, Hebrews 11:32.

The story of Samson's death reminds us of his mighty work for the Lord as he gave his own life to defeat
the enemies of God. The truth is that Samson actually slew more of God's enemies in his death than he did
in his life, Judges 16:30.

We all are human, like Samson, all with fleshly appetites. But the Lord would have us overcome these
appetites with our faith and our close walk with Him each day.

Please notice once again our key verse, Judges 17:6, and the thought that since Israel had no king, “they
did that which they thought was right, in their own sight”. We will see in the next couple of books in the
Old Testament that God will give the Jews a “king” because they rejected Him 2,000 years ago. The Jews
are today living in a way that they see "as right in their own eyes."

King Jesus is coming and with the conditions of our world today, it seems that it will be very soon. All of
us must be ready.

PRAYER THOT: Help me, dear Lord, not to yield to my fleshly appetites, even as I look for You to
come and gather me up to be with You forever more.
                                                     242




Judges 21 vs25
In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
                                                                   For further study - Judges 21:1-25

Though this verse describes the days of the Judges, it sounds like a description of the Jews in the state of
Israel today. In fact, the phrase "every man did that which was right in his own eyes" is used twice in the
book of Judges, Judges 17:6 & 21:25.

There is another similar phrase used several times in Judges, "Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord."
Both of these statements come from the fact that Israel had no king then and has no king - no Messiah -
no Saviour today.

Therefore, God raised up judges - men like Gideon and Samson - to deliver the Israelites. A complete
study of the book of Judges will be a blessing to the student as it will help the reader too understand not
only the Jewish people but the life that many are living today.

However, there is a day coming when the Jewish people will have a King and his name is Jesus Christ.
But until then, the Jewish people will continue to do that which is right in his own eyes.

In fact, the reality that the Jews are living as they did, doing that which they think is right in their own
eyes is evidence that the King of the Jews, Jesus Christ, is about to come back to set everything in order.

Please remember that before Jesus comes as the “King” He will call for us, we Christians, to join Him in
the “air”, the heavens, at the Rapture of the Church. This is an event that could happen at any moment,
maybe even today. Keep looking up.

PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord, not to do that which what I think should be done, but that which is
“right in Your sight”. We must not do that which is right only in our own eyes - but that which is right
in the eyes of our Lord and Savior.
                                  243

Lamentations 1 vs.8 - Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore she
is removed: all that honoured her despise her, because they have seen
her nakedness: yea, she sigheth, and turneth backward.

For further study - Lamentations 1: 1 - 22

Today is "Tish B'av," the 9th day of the Jewish month of "Av." This is
a very solemn day in the life of a Jew, especially a religious Jew, as
they mourn the destruction of the two previous Temples in the city of
Jerusalem.

Both the first temple, the one built by King Solomon and the second
temple, refurbished by Herod the Great, were destroyed on the same day
on the Jewish calendar, some 650 years apart.

Nebuchadnezzar and his mighty Babylonian army destroyed the First
Temple on this day in 586BC. General Titus and the Roman military
destroyed the Second Temple on this same day on the Jewish calendar in
70AD.

Our reading for today is from the book of Lamentations written by the
Prophet Jeremiah and read by the Jewish people today as they mourn
this destruction of their "worship centers" and pray for the next
Temple to be built next Tish B'av.
   The sorrow of Jeremiah expressed in Lamentations is from the loss
of the city of Jerusalem to the mighty Babylonian army under the
leadership of Nebuchadnezzar. The chapter preceding Lamentations 1 is
the 51st chapter of Jeremiah which is a record of the destruction of
Jerusalem and the carrying away into the Babylonian captivity of the
Jewish people. In his third siege of Jerusalem, the Babylonian king
killed the leadership of Judah, many of its Jewish residents, burned
the city down and destroyed the temple (read Jeremiah 52 and II
Chronicles 36). The lost of all sacred to the Priest - Prophet
Jeremiah was what motivated him to write Lamentations, of course under
the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
   Once a year even until today the Jewish people will gather at the
entrance to the Temple Mount to pray for the temple to be rebuilt and
read through the book of Lamentations. This is their effort to have
the Lord restore their temple worship and sacrificial system to meet
the needs for purification as they search for redemption outside the
person and work of Jesus Christ.
   There will be another temple in Jerusalem, in fact, two more
temples, but neither one will give them the salvation that only Jesus
can give. By the way the next temple is ready to be erected in
Jerusalem which will happen after the rapture - which could happen
today.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to live today as if the rapture will happen
today.
                                  244


Lamentations 1 vs. 8 - Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore she
is removed: all that honoured her despise her, because they have seen
her nakedness: yea, she sigheth, and turneth backward.

For further study - Lamentations 1:1-22

The sorrow of Jeremiah expressed in Lamentations is from the loss of
the City of Jerusalem to the mighty Babylonian army under the
leadership of Nebuchadnezzar. The chapter preceding Lamentations 1 is
the 51st chapter of Jeremiah, which is a record of the destruction of
Jerusalem and the carrying away into the Babylonian captivity of the
Jewish people.

In his third siege of Jerusalem, the Babylonian King killed the
leadership of Judah, many of its Jewish residents, burned the city
down and destroyed the Temple (read Jeremiah 52 and II Chronicles 36).
The lost of all that was sacred to the Priest-Prophet Jeremiah was
what motivated him to write Lamentations, of course under the
“inspiration” of the Holy Spirit.

Once a year, even until today, the Jewish people will gather at the
entrance to the Temple Mount to pray for the Temple to be rebuilt.
They also mourn as they read through the book of Lamentations. This is
their effort to have the Lord restore their Temple worship and
sacrificial system to meet the needs for purification as they search
for “redemption”
outside the person and work of Jesus Christ.

According to Bible Prophecy, there will be another Temple in
Jerusalem, in fact, two more Temples, but neither one will give them
the “salvation”
that only Jesus can give. By the way, all the preparations have been
made for the next Temple to be erected in Jerusalem.

The next Temple in Jerusalem will be the one built during the
Tribulation Period. All that must be done to build and operate a
Temple has been done except for removing the gold-domed structure
known as the “Dome of the Rock”.

When the Temple Mount is clear of any other religious building on this
very sacred spot then the Jews will erect their Temple. Remember, this
will happen sometime after the Rapture - which could happen today.

PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord to live today as if the Rapture will happen
today.
                                   245
Leviticus 1 vs. 1 - And the LORD       called unto Moses, and spake unto
him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying,
      For further reading - Leviticus 1:1-17
   You may be confused as you read our devotional passage for today.
You might even be thinking, "why read about the system given to the
children of Israel for preparing sacrifices?" I will get to that
answer in a moment, but first, let me tell you that the book of
Leviticus is the first book studied by all children of religious
Jewish families.
   In fact, if the family is of the Tribe of Levi, the priestly
family, the young boys of that family would study this book for 28
years, until their 30th birthday, to prepare to do the priestly duties
in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.
   Now to your question of why read about the sacrificial system that
God gave the Jewish people, since Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for
our sins. That is a valid question.
   The book of Leviticus not only gives us the “system of sacrifice”
for the Jewish people in the first seven chapters, it gives us a
“standard for priests” who are to perform these sacrifices in
Leviticus 8-10. The last part of the book, chapters 11-29 reveals a
“system of worship” in a Tabernacle or a Temple.
   The technical interpretation of Leviticus is for the Jewish people,
those in Biblical times and those in the Kingdom to come. The
sacrificial system, or at least a portion of it, will be reinstated in
Messiah's Temple, located in Jerusalem, in His 1000 year Kingdom,
Ezekiel 45. These future sacrifices will be done in “memorial” as the
Jews look back to what Jesus did for them as the sacrificial Lamb.
   The sacrificial system set up in Leviticus was for the purpose of
having the Jews to look forward to what Jesus would do through His
death, burial and resurrection. But I haven't answered your question
of why read Leviticus?
   I mentioned that the technical interpretation of Leviticus is for
the Jewish people past and prophetic, future. However, the spiritual
application for reading Leviticus is precious. The word "holiness" is
used 87 times in Leviticus.
   If you want to understand the “holiness of God”, you can do so by
reading this third book of the Torah, the books of the law for the
Jewish people.
Read the entire book sometime. It will be a real blessing to you.
   One final thought. I mentioned that the boys of a religious Jewish
family would start to read the book of Leviticus at two years of age
and do so for 28 years until they qualify as priests on their 30th
birthday.
   Today in Jerusalem there are thousands of Jewish young men and even some
not so young who are studying the priestly responsibilities from Leviticus as
they prepare themselves to serve in a coming temple in Jerusalem.
   All preparations have been made for the next temple in Jerusalem. It is
not there now, but it is greatly anticipated by hundreds and thousands of
Jewish people today. The preparation being made to build the next Temple, the
Third Temple, in Jerusalem is one of the great evidences of the Lord's soon
coming.   Keep looking up!
   PRAYER THOT: Help me to understand the holiness of God.
                                                      246




Leviticus 23 vs2
Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, concerning the feasts OF THE LORD, which
ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.
                                                                  For further study - Leviticus 23:1-14

Today for our devotion, we are reading the passage where the Lord gives the first three feasts to the
Jewish people to observe on a yearly basis. Notice that these feasts are given to the Jewish people and not
to Christians.

It is alright for Christians to study and even re-enact these feasts, but remember that these are “Jewish
feast days” that God has given to His chosen people. God uses these feast days to teach His people about
the coming Messiah.

Each of the feasts has at least a historic or prophetic significance. These first three spring feasts are related
to Israel's past. The Passover is to remember the Exodus from Egypt and the journey to the Promised
Land.

The second feast, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, is also associated with Passover. For seven days, the
Children of Israel were to stop eating the “sourdough bread” to eat “unleavened bread” for the purpose of
separating the bondage and the journey into the Promised Land.

The third feast, the Feast of First Fruits, was to be the celebration and thanksgiving of the very first of the
“barley harvest”. These thoughts cover the historic aspect of the first three Jewish feast days. These feasts
also have a prophetic significance.

The Passover was a prophecy of the Crucifixion or sacrifice of Jesus. Unleavened Bread was to honor the
burial of Jesus Christ. Then on the first day after the Sabbath, after Unleavened Bread, or Sunday, would
be the celebration of First Fruits, and that pictures the day of the “resurrection” of Jesus.

The historic record indicates that Jesus was indeed crucified on Passover, buried on Unleavened Bread,
and did, in fact, resurrect from the dead on First Fruits, thus Jesus fulfilled the first three of the Jewish
Feast, in the proper day sequences.

There are three Fall Feasts when Jesus will come back, enter into the Temple, and set up His Kingdom on
these three Jewish feast days. In our next trip through the book of Leviticus, we will look more in depth
into these future events, which are foretold in these feasts that God has given the Jewish people

PRAYER THOT: Thank you, Lord, for fulfilled Bible prophecy, which assures me of the truth in all
of your Word.
                                  247



Leviticus 23 vs24 - Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the
seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath,
a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.
         For further study - Leviticus 23::23-44
   Our extended reading for today is the set of instructions given by
God to the Jewish people for the "Jewish Feast Days." There are three
fall Jewish feasts; Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement and Feast of
Tabernacles.
   There are four spring feasts, Leviticus 23:1-22; Passover,
Unleavened Bread, First Fruits and Pentecost. For a total of seven
feasts that the Jewish people must observe each year.
   Today is the first of the fall feasts, Rosh Hashana in Hebrew and
Feast of Trumpets in English. Rosh Hashana is also the Jewish New
Year, and the new year is 5768, which means that 5, 768 years ago God
created the heavens, the earth and all that is in them.
   According to Jewish tradition, based upon orthodox Jewish
scholarship, today would mark the sixth day of creation, the day that
God created man and woman. This makes a lot of sense since the year is
5768, and the year would be based upon the anniversary of man coming
into existence and then he would count every new year on the
anniversary of his creation by God.
   The other significance about this day, the sixth day of creation,
is the location where God created man. Again Jewish tradition states
that the Garden of Eden, when God created man, was centered on the
Temple Mount where the Holy of Holies would have been located during
the time of the first and second temples.
   The actual place was the "foundation stone" that today is located
underneath the Dome of the Rock, the gold dome building on the Temple
Mount in Jerusalem. The "foundation stone" would have been the center
of the Garden of Eden, the inner garden where Jesus was as He created
everything.(For more on the Garden of Eden see my audio series,
"Return to Eden".)
   One final thought about the Feast of Trumpets, the Second Coming of
Jesus takes place on the Feast of Trumpets someday in the future,
Matthew 24:31.
When Jesus returns to earth He has an angel "blow the trumpet", as was
the case on the Feast of Trumpets.
   I cannot go into more detail but Jesus comes back on the Feast of
Trumpets, goes into the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement to sit
upon His throne in the Temple and the thousand year Kingdom begins on
the Feast of Tabernacles.
   These three fall Jewish feasts are fulfilled in the person of Jesus
Christ in the proper day sequences. Jesus fulfills all seven of the
Jewish feast for the Jewish people.
   PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for Your faithfulness to the Jews and
to me and all Christians.
                                                       248


Leviticus 23 vs44
And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the LORD.
                                                                 For further study - Leviticus 23:23-44

Last time we visited Leviticus for our daily devotional we read from Leviticus 23:1-14 which has the
directive from God to Moses, to the Jewish people about the seven "Jewish Feast." In our last reading we
read about the first three of the Jewish feast, of the seven Jewish Feast. These are feast that the Lord gave
to Moses, who then declared them to the Jews, verse 44.

Remember, that the first three feast, the spring feast were all fulfilled by Jesus Christ in their proper day
sequences. Christ was crucified on Passover, buried on Unleavened Bread and resurrected on First Fruits.

As we come to our reading for today, we focus in on the last three Feast, the fall Jewish feast, Trumpets,
Day of Atonement and Tabernacles. Verses 23-25 give the directions for the “Feast of Trumpets”. This
feast day occurs on the first day of the seventh Jewish month, around the month of October.

This feast is when the “shofar” or the trumpet will be blown to signify the beginning of the feast days.
The Feast of Trumpets, Rosh Hashana in Hebrew, is the "New Year" on the Jewish calendar. There are
ten days between the first fall feast day and the second feast day, or should I say "fast day," because it is
the day when the Jewish people "afflict" themselves, verse 29. I’ll have more on this feast day, in a
moment.

Then the last of the feast days, "Tabernacles" is on the fifteenth day of the seventh Jewish month. These
three “fall feast days” will also be fulfilled by Jesus Christ, in the proper day sequence.

The "second coming" of Jesus Christ will occur on the Feast of Trumpets, remember that is not the
"rapture", but the second coming of Christ on the Feast of Trumpets. During the ten days, the ten
"awesome days", that lead up to the the Day of Atonement, today the Jewish people endeavor to make
sure that they are included in the "Book of Life."

The truth be known, the Jewish people will be cast into the "lake of fire", Revelation 20:11-15, at the
Great White Throne Judgment, if their name is not in the "Book."

Jesus Christ will be in the Temple on the next "fast day", “Yom Kippur”, the Day of Atonement. Jesus has
never been in the Holy of Holies in a temple that stood on the Temple Mount when He was on earth.

Jesus will enter the Holy of Holies when He returns to Jerusalem for the purpose of the salvation of the
Jewish people on the Day of Atonement, Hebrews 9:25-28. That day the Jews will be saved, in a day,
Zechariah 3:9, as Jesus, the "high priest" will enter the temple. Five days later, on the Feast of
Tabernacles, Jesus will begin the Millennial Kingdom.

So it is that Jesus will fulfill all of the Jewish feast days, the last three yet in the future. By the way, that
future may well be a short-lived future. Before these three Jewish feast days that Moses declared to the
Jewish people, verse 44, the "rapture" will take place. The "rapture" will happen before the Jewish feast
days are fulfilled.


PRAYER THOT: Thank You Lord for being a faithful God who always keeps His promises to us.
Help us to be faithful in our service to you.
                                                    249




Leviticus 25 vs23
The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine, for ye are strangers and sojourners with
me.
                                                                    For further study - Leviticus 25:1-24

As we come to our devotional reading today we read a portion of scripture that deals with a large piece of
real estate that is the most controversial in the world, the land of Israel and the surrounding Arab States.
God’s Word has the answer to the controversy.

The land of the Bible, the land inhabited by Jews and Arabs, is not the land of the Jews or the Arabs. The
land belongs to God Himself, verse 23. It is His choice to whom the land will be given.

The land in question, Israel, is only one tenth of what the Lord has promised the Jews, Genesis 15:18.
And yet, they are actually only caretakers - it is His land. Notice that again. The land does not belong to
the Jews, or the Arabs, the “land”, all of it, belongs to God.

Notice again that I said the ”land” that now is occupied by the Jews is only “one tenth” of the land that
God has promised them. According to the 38 different Biblical passages that deal with the true borders of
the Jewish State of Israel, the “future Israel”, will be ten times what it is today.

The total landmass for the Jewish people will include land that is now being “occupied” by the Arab
world and includes three quarters of Egypt, all of Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and three quarters of Iraq
and Saudi Arabia.

All the land that God has promised the Jewish people will only become theirs in the Millennial Kingdom.
The land will in fact be theirs forever, even on the New Earth in “eternity future”. It is an “eternal
inheritance” as is the New Jerusalem for the Christian - the New Jerusalem where God and Jesus will
dwell among us, forever, Revelation 21:22.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for making all things understandable. Thank you also Lord for the
fact that You will keep Your promise to the Jewish people of their total area of “land” that they will
receive in the future, it is assurance that You will keep all your promises to me as a Christian as well.
                                  250




Luke 1 verse 37 - For with God nothing shall be impossible.

For further study - Luke 1: 1-38
   I love the Christmas story as told by Matthew, the tax collector,
and "Dr." Luke. These two men write about the most amazing,
miraculous birth in the history of the world in only four chapters,
Matthew 1 - 2 and Luke 1 - 2. In fact, the two men only use 168
verses to tell this marvelous story.
   The verse I have chosen to be highlighted, vs. 38, says it all for
this story, "nothing is impossible for God."
   Look at the characters in this drama. There is an old couple that
have not had any children because the wife had a barren womb. Her
husband is one of the elderly priests serving at the Temple about 6
miles from their home in Ein Karem in the Judean forest outside of
Jerusalem. The Priest, Zacharias, is chosen by lot to offer the
incense on the altar of incense - a special privilege for any priest.
   It is when he is performing his duties that the archangel Gabriel
appears to tell Zacharias that his wife was going to have a child -
something that Zacharias thought was impossible. In fact, because of
his unbelief, he was made dumb - unable to speak - until the eighth
day of his son's life.
    From the Temple we journey over 90 miles to the very small village
in the Galilee known as Nazareth. Here, once again, the impossible
will be discussed by Gabriel and a young virgin girl who was engaged
to a man whose name was Joseph. The young bride to be, Mary, when told
by Gabriel that she was to birth the Messiah would respond by asking
how that could be, since she had never had a sexual relationship with
any man (vs. 34).
   God loves the impossible, in fact, nothing is impossible with God
(vs. 37). Out of the impossible, God would bring forth His Son, the
one He would give the throne of His father David (vs. 32). Remember,
God made a covenant with King David (II Samuel 7) that one of his sons
would sit on the throne of the King in a temple in the city of
Jerusalem one day.
   The Prophet Jeremiah said that the sun, moon and stars would
disappear before He broke His covenant with David (Jeremiah 33:20-21).
By the way, it is impossible for the sun, moon and stars to disappear
and it is impossible for God to break His covenant with King David. I
guess there are some things impossible for God, that which He said He
can not do.
   You know the miraculous 1st coming of Jesus sets the stage for the
2nd coming of Jesus. It lays the foundation upon which we can rest
assured He will keep His promise. I love the Christmas story.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord that you will do that which seems
impossible - you will come again soon!
                                  251


Luke 1 verse 37 - For with God nothing shall be impossible.
         For further study - Luke 1:1-38
   I love the Christmas story as told by Matthew, the tax collector,
and "Dr." Luke. These two men write about the most amazing, miraculous
birth in the history of the world in only four chapters, Matthew 1-2
and Luke 1-2.
   In fact, these two writers of the Gospels only use 168 verses to
tell this marvelous story. The verse I have chosen to be highlighted,
verse 37, says it all for this story, "nothing is impossible for God."
   Look at the characters in this drama. There is this old couple that
have not had any children because the wife had a “barren womb”. Her
husband is one of the elderly priests serving at the Temple, about 6
miles from their home in Ein Karem, in the Judean forest outside of
Jerusalem.
   The Priest Zacharias, was chosen, “by lot”, to offer the incense on
the “altar of incense” - a special privilege for any priest. It is
when he is performing his duties that the archangel Gabriel appears to
tell Zacharias that his wife was going to have a child - something
that Zacharias thought was impossible. In fact, because of his
unbelief, he was made dumb - unable to speak - until the eighth day of
his son's life.
   From the Temple we journey north some 90 miles to the very small
village in the Galilee known as Nazareth. Here, once again, the
impossible will be discussed by Gabriel and a young virgin girl who
was engaged to a man whose name was Joseph.
   The young bride to be, Mary, when told by Gabriel that she was to
birth the Messiah would respond by asking how that could be, since she
had never had a sexual relationship with any man, verse 34.
   God loves the “impossible”, in fact, nothing is impossible with
God, verse 37. Out of the impossible, God would bring forth His Son,
the one He would give the “throne” of His father David, verse 32.
Remember, God made a covenant with King David, II Samuel 7, that one
of his sons would sit on the throne of the King in a Temple in the
city of Jerusalem one day.
   The Prophet Jeremiah said that the sun, moon and stars would
disappear before He broke His covenant with David, Jeremiah 33:20-21.
By the way, it is impossible for the sun, moon and stars to disappear
and it is impossible for God to break His covenant with King David. I
guess there are some things impossible for God, those things which He
said He can not do.
   You know the miraculous “first coming” of Jesus sets the stage for
the “second coming” of Jesus. It lays the foundation upon which we can
rest assured He will keep His promise. I love the Christmas story.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord that you will do that which seems
impossible - you will come again soon!
                                  252


Luke 2 vs.12 - And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the
babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
   For further study - Luke 2:1-20
   Can you believe - the Christmas story in April! The fact is that
the Christmas story is good anytime. Our key verse has an interesting
statement, "and this shall be a sign unto you." And then Dr. Luke
records what the angel said to the shepherds, that they would find the
newborn babe, God-man, Jesus Christ, in a manger wrapped in swaddling
clothes.
   For the longest time I could not understand why that would be a
sign to the shepherds. Then one day I ran across a comment about the
connection to the sign in a place in the Shepherd's Fields called the
Tower of the Flock. In the Hebrew, the phrase is, "Migdal Edar."
"Migdal" is Hebrew for "tower" and "Edar" is "flock" in the Hebrew
language. The phrase is only used twice in the Bible - Genesis 35:21
and Micah 4:8.
   In the Genesis passage, "Migdal Edar" is referring to the location
that Jacob pitched his tent after he buried his wife Rachel who had
died in childbirth. "Migdal Edar" is on the road between Bethlehem,
where Rachel was buried, and the city of Jerusalem which is only three
miles away. The other mention of "Migdal Edar" or "tower of the
flock" in Micah 4:8 is a prophecy that the announcement of the Messiah
would be at "Migdal Edar".
   I must tell you that "Migdal Edar" was a watchtower in the
Shepherd's Fields of Bethlehem. It was a two-story stone structure
out in the fields. On the top story, a shepherd would stand watching
over the flock to make certain that the sheep were not being harmed.
   Remember, the sheep raised in the Shepherd's Fields of Bethlehem
were destined for the temple sacrifice three miles away. Remember,
these sheep must be without blemish or spot, perfect in order to be
sacrificed.
   The bottom floor of "Migdal Edar" was for the birthing of these
lambs. And from the beginning, they must be perfect. The shepherd
would take the newborn lamb and wrap it in swaddling clothes to keep
it from harming its limbs. After wrapping the baby lamb, the shepherd
would lay it in a manger until the newborn had calmed down.
   The shepherds knew this procedure and, when told it would be a
sign, they re-called Micah 4:8 and with haste (Luke 2:16) ran to see
the newborn Jesus, the Son of God.
   By the way, read all of Micah 4. It tells of a coming Jewish
temple, peace in the Middle East, a return to the Jews to the land and
an alignment of nations against Israel. These are all prophecies that
will be fulfilled as was the one of "Migdal Edar". Bible prophecy
will be fulfilled, and soon.
   PRAYER THOT: Thank you for prophecy fulfilled by your first coming
and those that tell of your second coming.
                                                     253
Luke 4 vs8
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt
worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
                                                                    For further study -Luke 4:1-13

In each passage of Scripture I discuss with you in our daily devotion, I endeavor to point out some very
practical principles that will help each of us in our Christian experience. This will be the case today as
well.

I also will point out prophetic passages and help you to look to the future for the fulfillment of these
passages. Today, we will do that before we finish our thoughts about this passage.

There are some great practical principles found in these 13 verses of our reading. Notice that the Devil
comes to tempt Jesus in a time of seeming weakness. Our Lord was 40 days in the wilderness going
without food. The Devil is right there beside Him to put the Lord to the test in three different approaches.

First, the Devil tries the physical. The Lord has not eaten and the Devil challenges Him to turn the stone
into bread. Jesus said to the Devil, the Word of God is more important than eating. One cannot live by
only satisfying the physical need for food.

Then the Devil offers Jesus the kingdoms of this world. At this point, the Lord tells Satan to get behind
Him, a method of resisting the Devil, James 4:7.

The third challenge was for Jesus to jump from the high spot of the temple into the arms of the angels
who were to protect Him, Psalm 91:11-12. Notice the Devil even used the Scriptures to tempt Jesus. The
Lord responded and told the Devil he was not allowed to tempt the Lord, Deuteronomy 6:16.

The other great truth, a very practical truth found in this passage, is the fact that the Lord responded each
time to the Devil by quoting Scripture, verse 4, verse 8, and verse 12. Our defense against the Devil is the
Word of God. We need to have it in our hearts and minds so well that we can respond to the Devil's
testing by quoting Scripture.

Now let’s look at the prophetic significance of the passage. Notice that the Devil said to Jesus that he had
the “kingdoms of this world” and the power to give the kingdoms of this world to our Lord. Under the
sovereignty of God, the Devil does have control of the kingdoms of this world at this time in history.

In reality, the Devil has had the “kingdoms of this world” since Genesis 3, the fall of man. He will have
those kingdoms until the Lord returns and sets up His Kingdom given to Him by God the Father, Daniel
7:13-14.

From that point on, Jesus is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Satan will be bound for the first
1000 years of the Lord's Kingdom reign, Revelation 21:3, and then thrown into the Lake of Fire,
Revelation 20:7-10 for eternity.

The “king of this present world”, Satan, will be defeated and imprisoned by the King of all Kings, Jesus
Christ. That time in history is drawing closer every day.

PRAYER THOT: Help me, dear Lord, to learn and know the Word of God so that I will be able to use
it when the testing comes to me.
                                                      254

Luke 16 verse 22
And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the
rich man also died, and was buried;
                                                                    For further study - Luke 16:19-31

In the devotional passage found in the Gospel of Luke that we are reading for today, I chose verse 22 as
our key verse because of the great truth it reveals for those of us who are believers in Jesus Christ,
Christians.

Notice, at death, what happens to us as believers. God dispatches “angels” to come gather us up and take
us into the presence of the Lord. We don't die “alone”, angels are there to comfort us for the journey into
His presence.

What a blessed thought for us as we face that time, that time we will all face unless the Rapture should
come first. I must be honest, I would much rather the Rapture happen first, and may it happen today.

The rest of our reading for today details the characteristics of the eternal hell, the "lake of fire" that has
been prepared for the devil and his angels, Matthew 25:41. I know this passage is referring to "hades"
which is the place of departed human spirits between death and resurrection.

It is now the place for all lost ones until the Great White Throne Judgment, Revelation 20:11-15.
However, "hades", hell, has the same conditions as the "lake of fire".

Verse 23 says it’s a place of "torment", "where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched", Mark
9:44. It's also a place of "thirst", verse 24. One single drop of water, not a gallon jug, tea glass or
spoonful, just one tiny drop of water would "cool the tongue".

Verse 25 reveals that there will be "thinking" in the eternal "lake of fire." Those who make the choice to
reject Jesus Christ and follow the lie of Satan will "think" forever, of every sermon, song and solicitation
of the gospel he or she has ever heard. The "thinking" will last forever.

Those are the "conditions" for "hades" and also the eternal "lake of fire." The "constraint" of this place is
that all who end up going there will only be released to appear before Jesus Christ at the Great White
Throne Judgment, Revelation 20:13, only to be cast into the "lake of fire," forever, Revelation 20:15.

Finally, notice the "compassion" of the rich man in "hades." He wanted to return to life, so that he could
tell his brothers of the "judgment" to come if they rejected Jesus Christ. We need to understand the
realities of hell and its eternal judgments, then we would have the compassion that we need for our loved
ones, friends and the lost people of this world.

The times we live in today seem to indicate the soon coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. This urgency
should motivate us to go forth to win the lost to Jesus so that they escape the “eternal fires” of hell.


Prayer Thot: Dear Lord, give me the compassion of the rich man in "hades", a compassion for the
lost, as I come to better understand the conditions and constraints of the "lake of fire".
                                                    255




Luke 17 vs28
Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted,
they builded;            For further study - Luke 17:22-37
      This passage in Luke 17 is another of those conversations that Jesus had with His disciples and one
of the times when He would be teaching them prophecy. In this message the Lord uses some of the same
information as used either before, or that he would use later in His teachings.
      Notice verse 26, where our Lord speaks of the "Days of Noah" as He will, chronologically, later, in
Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. By the way, the last of this chapter helps to explain about those who
were "taken" in these prophetic passages in Matthew, Mark and Luke.
      In verses 34-36 Dr Luke records the words of Jesus about those who would be "taken". If you don't
understand that in this passage Jesus is speaking of His Second Coming, and not the Rapture, you will get
mixed up eschatologically.
      At the Rapture those who are Christians will be "taken" into the heavenlies to join Jesus, forever.
However, when a passage is referring to the Second Coming the ones "taken" are the ones who go to
"judgment" and the ones "left" will "rule and reign" with Christ in His Kingdom to come.
      To better understand this principle Jesus gives us the last verse in Luke 17. When asked where the
people would be "taken" the Lord said, to "where the eagles be gathered together", verse 37.
      In that context, you may want to read Job 39:27-30 which explains that where the "eagles gather
together is a place of judgment." Therefore, those "taken" in Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 17 and 21 are
all taken to judgment.
      The ones "left" are the ones who will join Jesus to rule and reign. At the Rapture, a different event
from the Second Coming, separated by at least seven years, the ones "taken" are the Christians.
      Before we leave this passage, notice verse 28. The Lord had mentioned the "Days of Noah" which
took place 4,500 years ago. In His mention of the "Days of Lot", these days were 4,000 years ago, days
after the worldwide flood.
      Interestingly, the "Days of Noah" were days when angels, the "sons of God" had a sexual relationship
with the "daughters of men", Genesis 6:1-4 and Jude 6 and 7.
      The "days of Lot" also referred to the Jude passage, which was a time when the people, "gave
themselves over to fornication", at Sodom and Gomorrah. Today it is referred to as homosexuality. I
prefer the Biblical terminology, "sodomy", men, sexually with men and woman sexually with woman.
      Because of this "sodomy" God destroyed the civilization of Sodom and Gomorrah. Today "sodomy"
is allowed throughout all of society by educational, governmental and even religious leaders.
      God does not hate "sodomites", the person, but "sodomy", the act. Jesus said when you see this type
of "un-Godly sexual behavior" and see it as very prevalent in our society, that is a time when He could
return to the earth.
      We are living in those days. Jesus is coming and it could be in the "days" like the "days of Lot". Keep
looking up!
      Prayer Thot: Lord, give me a Godly love for sodomites so that I can lead them to Jesus Christ as
their Savior, and help me to be aware of the days of Your coming.
                                                    256



Luke 19 vs42
Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy
peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
                                                                       For further study - Luke 19:41-48

Our key verse has a relationship with the ancient Jewish prophet Daniel and his writings, which I will get
to in a moment. Let me set the scene for you as you read the extended portion of our devotional.

The previous thirteen verses, verses 28-40, are a description of the Lord's "Triumphal Entry" into the city
of Jerusalem and onto the Temple Mount. The people who had rejected the Lord now welcomed Him into
the city as a ruling King.

It is interesting to note the response of the Pharisee, verse 39, and what Jesus had to say to them as they
complained to the Lord of all the commotion by the His disciples, asking Jesus to rebuke His disciples.
Jesus responded with, if He had shut up those who welcomed Him the “stones would have cried out for
Him”.

Verses 45 and 46 reveal the "priestly" attitude of Jesus against the money-changers in the Temple. He
rebuked these money-changers and threw them out of the Temple. In verses 47 and 48 we see Jesus the
"prophet", the teacher who taught in the Temple complex the people who were attentive to hearing Him.

But now back to our key, verse 42. Jesus was very moved when He stood atop the Mount of Olives
overlooking the Temple Mount in the city of Jerusalem. Luke wrote that "Jesus wept" over what He saw,
a needy people who had rejected their Messiah.

Then Jesus said that on this day of His "Triumphal Entry" the people failed to receive the One described
in Daniel's prophecy, Daniel 9:25-26. An in-depth study of this prophetic passage in Daniel would show
that this day when Jesus entered Jerusalem, He was doing so on the day Daniel predicted it would happen.

Daniel's prophecy indicates that from the decree by Artaxerxes, Nehemiah 2, to allow Nehemiah to return
to Jerusalem to rebuild the streets and walls of the city, which took place April of 445BC, until the day,
Saturday, in April 30AD when Jesus made His Triumphal Entry, could be figured out to the exact day
(see my audio series, "The Daniel Papers).

The day Jesus stood there was that day predicted, not the day before or the day after. Jesus got to
Jerusalem on the exact day it was foretold for Him to be there. The people of Jerusalem had not read
Daniel's prophecy. They did not recognize He was to be there in Jerusalem at that time.

This is also the case with us today. We can determine where we are in God's "prophetic time" by studying
His "prophetic word". We must study the prophetic Word of God to recognize when Jesus is coming
back. It could be today!

Prayer Thot: Help me to understand, dear Lord, Your prophetic Word so that I can recognize the days
I am living in and help me to live in light of that understanding.
                                         257
Luke 21 vs24 - And they shall fall by    the edge of the sword, and shall be
led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the
Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
       For further study - Luke 21:20-28
   For the third straight day we go to the "well" of the "Olivet Discourse"
for a "prophetic prospective" that applies to our day as well as to the day
Jesus spoke these words on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and Dr Luke
recorded them for us so that we might be able to read and learn from this
passage, today.
   Verses 5 and 6 of Luke 21 are parallel verses to both Matthew 24:1-3 and
Mark 13:1-3. Jesus, while teaching on the Temple Mount on Tuesday afternoon
of "Passion Week," made an astounding statement as He walked from the Temple,
through the Eastern Gate, across the Kidron Valley and onto the Mount of
Olives.
   Jesus looked back at the twenty-one story Temple shining brightly on the
Jerusalem horizon, because of the gold on this worship center, and the Lord
made a prediction that one day in the near future there would not be a stone
standing upon a stone on this majestic Temple.
   The disciples gathered quickly around Jesus to ask Him more about His
statement concerning the Temple. In the record of the "Olivet Discourse"
filed in Matthew 24 Jesus does not respond to the question of the disciples
as to when His prophecy would be fulfilled.
   However, in our devotional reading for today, Luke records what the Lord
told the disciples about the destruction of this Temple. In Luke 21:5-28 you
have Luke's version of the entire "Olivet Discourse".
   In verses 20-24 you have the answer to the disciples question about when
the Temple would be destroyed. Jesus said, verse 20, that when they saw
"armies" gathered around Jerusalem that would be a "significant sign" as to
when the Temple's destruction would take place.
   Jesus told the disciples that when they did see the "warning signs" to
"flee to the mountains", verse 21. In the context of historic fact about the
Roman Army who surrounded Jerusalem and the Temple for three years we can see
how things unfolded.
   General Titus gave the order to destroy the Temple and this mighty Roman
Army followed through on that infamous day in 70 AD. I believe the Jews in 70
AD fled to "Masada" a "fortress stronghold" built by Herod the Great at the
southwestern corner of the Dead Sea.
   I make this statement because of verse 24. This verse gives us information
about what happened the day the Temple was destroyed and literally ripped
apart, stone by stone with no stone remaining upon another as the Roman Army
finished their destructive work.
    By the way, the prophecy of Jesus was fulfilled almost forty years to the day
after the Lord gave this prophecy. Notice verse 24 again, it is detailing how when
the Temple was destroyed the Jews were scattered to the nations of the world.
    Then another prophecy about Jerusalem appears. The prophecy is that the Temple
Mount will be "trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be
fulfilled". "Gentiles", the United States, European Union, the United Nations, Arab
Nations and all Gentile nations of the world who play a role in having control of the
city of Jerusalem today and in particular the Temple Mount.
    These Gentiles will continue to do so until Jesus comes back to Jerusalem and
destroys the "Gentile world powers." The stage is set for this prophecy to be
fulfilled. Remember, the Rapture happens first and then these prophecies are
fulfilled.
    By the way, the Rapture could happen today!
    Prayer Thot: Help me to understand Your prophetic warnings and to then apply them
to my life as I live expectantly awaiting Your return, even so come quickly, Lord
Jesus.
                                              258
Malachi 1 verse 4 - Whereas Edom                  saith, We are impoverished, but we
will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of
hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call
them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD
hath indignation for ever.
      For further study - Malachi 1:1-5
   I have an audio series called "Malachi - A Middle East News Update"
that deals with all four chapters of this the last book in the Old
Testament. The last book of the Old Testament is indeed a “Middle East
News Update” and today we look at the first installment of the “MENU”.
   This book comes just before the 400 years of silence from the
heavens, before Jesus Christ comes to earth as the "God-man" to become
our Saviour by His death on the cross and His resurrection from the
dead. The last two verses of chapter 4 link to the New Testament and
the book of Matthew.
   Today we look at the first five verses of Malachi and notice the
Lord's attitude towards "Edom," the descendants of Esau, twin brother
of Jacob. Verses 2 and 3 reveal to us that the Lord “loves Jacob” and
“hates Esau”. You might question whether God is “unrighteous”. Paul
the Apostle answered that question in Romans 9. Paul quoted this
passage in Malachi, Romans 9:13, and then spoke to the issues of the
unrighteousness of God. Paul says "God forbid, there is no
unrighteousness in God". If you read Romans 9:10-14 you see the
statement "Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated" has to do with
sovereign selection and nothing to do with salvation.
   Before their birth God’s “sovereign selection” chose Jacob, the
second born over the first born, Esau, to give the birthright,
reserved for the first born. Jacob would also receive the blessing,
which was to be pronounced upon the eldest son at his Father's death.
God chose the younger, Jacob over the elder, Esau, for His own
purpose.
   The passage in Romans comes from a passage which was here in
Malachi where the Lord speaks of the destruction of Esau's land and
his legacy, verse 4.
Edom, says that though he was destroyed, he will return and rebuild.
   The Lord responded to Edom saying he could rebuild - but He would
tear down and call Edom's borders "the borders of wickedness." Then
the Lord said He would have indignation against the Edomites as long
as He is God, that's forever!
   In my audio series, "Esau and the Palestinians," I trace the
descendants of Esau all the way through history to the Palestinian
people of today. The Lord has pronounced judgment on the Edomites;
they will be as if they have never been, as Sodom and Gomorrah,
Jeremiah 49:16-18.
   We are living in the days that Malachi wrote about, the days when
the Edomites, the Palestinians, have returned, which they have done in
the last 100 years. And at this time they are trying to rebuild. There
has never been a day like this in history and we're alive in it. The
Lord's return is closer now than it has ever been. In fact, the
Rapture could happen today, so keep looking up.
   PRAYER THOT: Help me to live this day as if it would be the day of the Rapture.
                                                    259
Malachi 2 vs16
For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his
garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.
                         For further reading - Malachi 2:10-16
     Everywhere we turn in our devotional readings, we run into the “prophetic” (futuristic) and the
“practical” characteristics of God's Word. Such is the case as we come to the writings of the last prophetic
message of the Old Testament, Malachi.
     We must first understand the context of our reading before we can see the prophecy revealed. We
also need the historic background of this passage to be able to grasp the practical significance of our
reading. Let's look at the historic first.
     Malachi 2:11 refers to the Old Testament account of the tearing apart of the 12 tribes of Israel. This
incident is recorded in I Kings 11. In that passage, it describes the conclusion of the 40 years of the reign
of King Solomon over all of Israel.
     With the demise of King Solomon, his kingdom will be divided, with 10 tribes moving to the north,
and the 2 southern tribes remaining in Jerusalem, I Kings 11:9-40.
     The ten tribes who went to the north kept the name “Israel”, and the two southern tribes became
known as Judah. The division of the twevle tribes of Israel took place because of the multiplicity of
marriages by King Solomon, who had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Malachi 2:11 states that the
marriages to the daughters of strange gods were an abomination committed in Israel.
     God had set the pattern for a biblical marriage in Genesis 2:24. Man and woman were to “leave”
their parents and “cleave” to their spouse so that they would become “one flesh”.
     In the New Testament, Jesus added to this directive stating that what He had joined together in
marriage, let no man tear asunder, Matthew 19:6. Malachi reinforces this philosophy by stating that God
hated the "putting away" of the wife, a divorce.
     Now, please don't get angry if you've experienced a divorce. Remember that it's not the
“unpardonable sin”, and, if you have accepted Christ as your Saviour, all sin is under the blood. However,
we must lift high God's standard.
     The prophetic aspect of today's reading is referring to the dividing once again of the nation of Israel,
as foretold in Ezekiel 37:15-23. This prophetic passage predicted a future division of the 12 tribes of
Israel into two Jewish states, Israel and Judah, during the coming Tribulation period. They will only come
back together when the Messiah washes away all of their sin, Ezekiel 37:23.
     It is possible that you have never heard that there will be two Jewish states in the future, (for more
information, you can get the audio series "Ezekiel: Retribution or Restoration" from our bookstore).
However, this future division is spoken of by both Malachi and Ezekiel, as well as the prophet Jeremiah,
Jeremiah 3:18.
     There are those who live in Judah and Samaria, (the "disputed territories"), today that are already
making plans for a second Jewish state called “Judah”. The stage is, at this time in history, being set for
the “final drama” to be played out. Bible prophecy will be fulfilled.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for the “practical” and “prophetic” significance of Bible prophecy.
Help me to live by Biblical principles in these prophetic times.
                                                    260
Malachi 3:6
For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
                                                                     For further study - Malachi 3:1-6

Remember, the prophet Malachi is the last prophet to have a ministry with a message from God before the
400 years of silence from the heavenlies and before the First Coming of Jesus Christ as recorded in
Matthew 1 and 2. In our extended reading today we see in view both the First and Second Coming of
Jesus Christ to earth.

"My messenger," in verse 1, is a prophecy of John the Baptist who would be the forerunner of Jesus. The
extended passage also speaks of “two temples”, the one standing in Jerusalem at His First Coming and the
one that will be in Jerusalem at His Second Coming. The "Lord," in verse 1, is Jesus at His First Coming.

John the Baptist would go before the Lord to announce His presence. This verse alone should be all that is
needed for the Jews today to recognize that Jesus, 2,000 years ago, was the One who came to the Temple
as the Messiah.

In verse 2 we see “another temple” and “another coming”, the Second Coming of Messiah Jesus Christ.
When He comes the second time, He comes as the "judge" and the "refiner."

When Jesus comes, who will be able to stand up to His judgment? The answer is - no one. The focus of
this prophecy is the Jewish people who will stand before the "refiner" for His purging.

At the First Coming of Jesus, the Jews rejected the One who gave numerous proofs of who He was.
However, at the Second Coming, He comes as the "judge" and cleanses His people from open, public sin,
verse 5. This judgment will be a very serious examination of the Jews and the purging of those lost ones
from their ranks.

The prophet assures the Jewish people that he will not purge all of them, the Sons of Jacob "will not be
consumed," verse 6. The reason, of course, is that the Lord is God and He changes not.

As I write this, I am reminded of the revelation of Jeremiah pertaining to the Jewish people. Jeremiah
writes that the Lord's people, the Jewish people, will not cease to be a nation before Him forever,
Jeremiah 31:35-36. The confirmation of that promise is that the sun, moon, and stars are shining in the
heavenlies.

What an awesome God! By the way, what the Lord does for the Jews, He also does for each of us who
know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour.

We, too, shall live forever. We know that statement to be true because of the Lord's protection of the
Jewish people over 4,000 years and His relationship with the Jewish people today.


PRAYER THOT: Thank you, Lord, for being the Lord that changes not, One who is the same
yesterday, today, and forever.
                                                    261




Malachi 4 vs5
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the
LORD:
                                                                     For further study - Malachi 4:1-6

As we come today to the fourth chapter of Malachi, this last of the Old Testament books, we see the
prophecy that will span the four hundred year period of silence from Malachi to the New Testament.

From Malachi to Matthew is a four hundred year period that the Lord does not communicate with His
chosen people, the Jewish people. However, He tells them what, or who to look for before the Messiah
will appear on the earth.

Malachi reveals that Elijah the prophet who went to heaven in a "chariot of fire," II Kings 2:8-11, will
once again appear in history to be the forerunner of the coming Messiah. Remember, Elijah has never
died and Malachi says that Elijah will come back to the earth and do so, "before the coming of the great
and dreadful day of the Lord", verse 5.

Let me explain this verse. "The great and dreadful day of the Lord" is the day that Jesus steps back onto
earth on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, Zechariah 14:4. Elijah is the prophet that the Lord will send
back to earth to call the people of the world to Jesus Christ.

Matthew 11:11-14 records the words of Jesus that indicate John the Baptist could have fulfilled the
prophecy of Malachi as it relates to Malachi 4:5, had the Jews believed. The Jews not only rejected the
Messiah Jesus Christ but His forerunner, John the Baptist, the potential fulfillment of Malachi's prophecy.

Revelation 11:3-12 reveals the appearance of two witnesses during the first 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation
Period. These two will be stationed in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount. They will direct the worldwide
evangelism project to reach the entire population on earth with the gospel during the seven year
Tribulation Period. Then Jesus Christ will come back, at His Second Coming, Matthew 24:14.

One of the two witnesses will be Elijah, as per our prophetic prospective on Malachi 4:5. Hebrews 9:27
says, "it is appointed unto man once to die and after this the judgment." Elijah will come as one of the
witnesses, die and then will be resurrected and called up into heaven, Revelation 11:3-12.

The days of Elijah are quickly approaching. We need to live in light of these truths with a great
expectancy of His return to the earth.

Prayer Thot: Thank You, Lord, for the prophetic scenario that You lay out in Your Word for the end
times. Since we know that these prophecies will be fulfilled, seemingly in our days, help me to live in
light of these truths.
                                   262

Mark 1 verse 38 - And he said unto them, Let us go into the next
towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.

For further study - Mark 1:21-39

The life of Jesus Christ was written, in the Gospels, by four men who
spent much time with Him when He was here on earth. Mark wrote of the
“servant” that Jesus became to all people He dealt with during His
ministry.

At the same time, Mark brings to our attention the ministry of Jesus
in the little village where He would be headquartered for 3 1/2 years
of ministry, the fishing village of Capernaum.

This was also the town where Peter lived with his wife and mother-in-
law, Mark 1:30. After a service on the Sabbath day, the Lord went to
Peter's house and healed Peter's wife's mother. This event attracted
attention to Jesus and His healing ministry and the people gathered to
watch as Jesus healed those people brought to Him.

Early the next morning, Jesus went out to pray alone. But leave it to
Peter to go out and find Jesus as He was praying. Peter told Jesus
that all men were seeking Him. Notice what Jesus said to Peter, "Let
us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also".

Then Jesus informed all those who gathered that He had come to preach,
heal, cast out devils and serve the people. This is what the ancient
Jewish prophet Isaiah had written that the “true Messiah” would do
when He came to the earth, Isaiah 61:1-2a.
   Even the demons could recognize who Jesus was. The demons that
Jesus called out of the man in the synagogue in Capernaum told Jesus
that even though he was a “demonic creature”, he knew who Jesus was,
"the Holy One of God."
   The preaching, healing and casting out of demons ministry of Jesus
not only drew the people in the Galilee to Him but these ministries
also authenticated Jesus as the Son of God, the “holy one” of God, who
came to be the Saviour of the world.
   Jesus was, and is, the focus of Bible prophecy. The fact that Jesus
fulfilled Isaiah's prophecy is evidence that He will fulfill
additional prophecy pertaining to Him. The “end time” prophecies
related to the “second coming” of Jesus Christ are nearing their
fulfillment.
   What unique days we are living in today. This is a “day” when He
could come in the clouds above us and “shout” to have us join Him in
the air - let's keep looking up.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to live recognizing that Jesus is the “Holy One
of God” and that He could call for us to join Him in the air.
                                                    263
Mark 1 vs39
And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.
                                                                 For further reading - Mark 1:21-39

As we come to our devotional reading for today, I selected this portion of Mark because I was just at
Capernaum and read from this passage. Our key verse records the Lord's ministry of casting out demons
throughout the Galilee region.

Several thoughts come to mind as we read together this scripture. The New Testament Gospel writers
reveal to us that “demonic activity” was prevalent during the time of the Lord's ministry on the earth.

This casting out of demons by the Lord was for the benefit of the one demon-possessed, of course, but it
also demonstrated the authority of Jesus, verse 22, and that He had power over the "satanic world."

Remember that a "demon" is an “evil angel” that has taken up habitation in the body of a human and
through this possession controls the person's every activity.

Jesus did have authority to cast out demons and He gave that authority to the apostles and no one else.
The casting out of demons is not a ministry for today. In fact, if you confront someone that is demon-
possessed, do not dare demand that the demon do anything. That would be dangerous and it is for the
Lord to do that.

What we can do is lead the “demon-possessed” person to the Lord Jesus Christ. Once someone is saved,
the Holy Spirit takes up habitation of the newly saved demon-possessed person. A demon and the Holy
Spirit both cannot live in the same body and the Holy Spirit will take care of the demon by driving him
out.

Another interesting insight from our reading would be included in the thought that the demons would talk
to Jesus and the demon recognized who it was that he was dealing with, verse 24. Did you notice, even
the demons will confess that Jesus is the “Holy One of God”? Every tongue will confess Him as the One
from God.

As at the first coming of Jesus Christ when there was much demonic activity, there will also be an intense
struggle between the good angels of God and the evil angels of Satan at the Second Coming of Jesus. In
fact, the closer we get to the time of the Lord's return, seven years after the Rapture, demon activity will
increase ten fold.

Jesus confirmed this in His Olivet Discourse, Matthew 24, when in response to the questions from the
disciples, Jesus said the first, most important sign of His Second Coming will be “signs, wonders and
miracles with unhindered demonic activity”, Matthew 24:4,5,11 and 24.

These Satanic attacks that happen near the Lord's return are one of the indicators that Jesus will soon
shout for us to join Him in the air. In fact, that shout could come today for the Rapture. Keep looking
up………….Until

PRAYER THOT: Thank you for the strength, Lord, to avoid the satanic attacks and in fact the ever
increasing attacks, as we draw near to the Rapture of the Church.
                                  264
Mark 9 vs.7 - And there was a         cloud that overshadowed them: and
a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear
him.

For further study - Mark 9:1-13

Mark's record of the transfiguration reveals a number of practical and
prophetic truths that will benefit each of us as we read and realize
these are for our everyday consumption. Remember this event follows
the story of Jesus and His disciples in Caesarea of Philippi where
Peter pronounced Jesus the "Christ", the Messiah. It was then that
Jesus told His disciples to stop telling men of Him and who He was. It
was here also that Jesus first revealed His upcoming death, burial and
resurrection.

Now, we come to the record of the transfiguration and the events
surrounding the Lord's appearance in His glorified body. Jesus told
His men that there would be some of them who would not die before they
saw Him in His kingdom to come.

Then, six days later, the Lord takes the "inner circle" up the
mountain, on the slopes of Mount Hermon and Peter, James and John
personally witnessed Jesus in His glorified body. They would also see
Moses and Elijah in their glorified bodies as well. The Lord was
speaking prophetically and the prophecies were being fulfilled.

Peter's statement at the transfiguration reveals that he thought the
"kingdom" had come. That's why Peter wanted to setup three
"tabernacles". He wasn't talking about putting up three statues to
honor Jesus, Moses and Elijah. Peter wanted three "succas" to be built
which is what the Jewish people do during the seven day Feast of
Tabernacles.

A "succa" is a thatched hut similar to the ones the Jews used during
the forty years of wandering in the wilderness. The Jewish people
erect a "succa", tabernacle, and live in it during the Feast of
Tabernacles today. The Feast of Tabernacles is a prophecy of the
Kingdom Period yet to come.

Peter, seeing Jesus in His glorified body thought the "kingdom" had
come, therefore the setting up of the three tabernacles. Of course, it
was not the Kingdom Period beginning, but only a foretaste of things
to come. What happened next is very significant.

God the Father interrupted the event and made a very profound
statement, "This is My beloved Son, hear ye Him." What a statement,
God the Father confirms Jesus as His Son and then the exhortation to
all of us, "Hear ye Him." We must hear what the Lord says because He
is the Son of God, the One with what we need to hear.

PRAYER THOT: Thank You Lord for Your words, the Word of God, the
Bible. Help me to listen closely to what You say and then to do it.
                                                    265



Mark 11 vss9-10
And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that
cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the
name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.
                                                                     For further study - Mark 11:1-19

Our reading for today is focused on the day, by tradition, that we refer to as "Palm Sunday." A quick
reading of our extended portion for today seems to verify the account that we have long proclaimed as the
presentation of Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of prophecy, the long awaited Messiah. Indeed, the passage
does reveal the events of at least three days in the life of Jesus Christ during Passion Week, the week of
the death of our Lord.

Jesus was abiding at the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus located in Bethany on the backside of the
Mount of Olives. He had arrived on Friday afternoon just in time for the Shabbat meal, the special meal
for a Jewish family on Friday evening which is technically the Jewish day of Saturday, the Sabbath.

John 12:12 states that the next day, Saturday, the official presentation of Jesus Christ as King took place
with His “Triumphal Entry” into the city of Jerusalem. That means that it is "Palm Saturday" we should
celebrate, not Palm Sunday as is the custom according to tradition.

Take a deep breath and simply look at the Scriptural facts. Jesus arrived at Bethany on Friday afternoon
and the next day, entered the Temple Mount area having been hailed as the Blessed One, the One who
comes in the Name of the Lord, verses 9 and 10.

Notice that the day of His Triumphal Entry He walked onto the Temple Mount as the “Potentate”, the
King of Kings, verse 11. The next day, Sunday, when He came to the Temple complex, the money
changers were set up and doing business and He overthrew their tables and ran them out of the area,
verses 15-18. He had come to the Temple as the “Priest”, the High Priest. That evening, He returned to
Bethany and the next day, He returned to the Temple Mount as the “Prophet” and would teach His
disciples “things to come”, verses 27-33.

The narrative clearly teaches that the order of appearances on the Temple Mount is as I have described it.
The money- changers were not in the Temple complex the first day, Saturday, or Jesus would have
thrown them out then. They were not there because it was the Sabbath and they did not work on that day.
However, the next day, Sunday, the first day of the Jewish work-week, they were in their regular place
and Jesus took care of them.

I present this to you because we must be correct on our understanding of Scripture. Luke 19:41-42 tells
us that Jesus showed up the exact day He was to be there for the official presentation of Him as King
according to Daniel's prophecy of the day as foretold in Daniel 9:25-26. He didn't arrive a day early or a
day late - but right on time the day He was to be there to fulfill prophecy. God's work is exact.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to be a true student of God's word - it matters.
                                                      266
Mark 13 vs14
But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing
where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the
mountains:
                                                                    For further study - Mark 13:14-23

The portion of scripture selected for our devotional today is from the Olivet Discourse, the message that
Jesus gave on Tuesday afternoon of "Passion Week", the week of our Lords crucifixion.

In response to a question from His disciples, Jesus was explaining what will happen during the seven year
Tribulation Period that leads up to the Second Coming of our Lord.

The disciples had asked the Lord for some "signs" of His Second Coming, His return to the earth to set up
His kingdom, Mark 13:4.

Remember these are Jews asking for "signs" of the Second Coming. I Corinthians 1:22 reveals that God
will give the Jews "signs"; however, "signs" are not for Christians.

We're not looking for "signs", we are listening for a "sound", the sound of the trumpet, the Lord's shout
and the voice of the archangel, I Thessalonians 4:16, and we go to the heavenlies to ever be with the
Lord.

By the way, there is not one prophecy that must be fulfilled before the Rapture. All prophecies yet to be
fulfilled come after the Rapture.

Now back to the "signs" for the Jews, Jesus told them, verse 14, when you see the "abomination of
desolation" spoken of by the prophet Daniel, Daniel 9:27, they were to flee to the mountains.

The "abomination of desolation" is when the Anti-christ walks into the Temple, into the "holy of holies"
and claims to be God, II Thessalonians 2:4. That is when the Temple is desecrated. That happens at the
mid-way point of the Tribulation Period, some 3 1/2 years after the Rapture.

This then means that there must be a temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in the first part of the
Tribulation Period. All preparations have been made for a temple to be erected and go into full operation,
today.

For the first time in history, all that needs to be done to fulfill the Lord's prophecy is in place. The Lord
also gave additional information to describe when this all would happen, verse 22, when false teachers
and false prophets were actively using signs, wonders and miracles to deceive and seduce the world.

This passage of scripture describes our day, today, which seems to indicate that we are so close to the
fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Only one thing has to happen before all of these prophecies will be
fulfilled, the Rapture of the Church, which could happen at any moment.


Prayer Thot: Perhaps today will be the day, Jesus, that You shout for us to join You in the heavenlies.
Even so come, Lord Jesus, and help me to live in that expectancy.
                                  267




Mark 13 vs30 - Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not
pass, till all these things be done.
       For further study - Mark 13:28-37
   Our devotional for yesterday was from Matthew 24:1-14 which is a
record of the "Olivet Discourse" as reported by the disciple, Matthew.
Luke also recorded the "Olivet Discourse", Luke 21:5-38.
   Our devotional for today Mark 13:28-37 is a section of Mark's
record of the most "profound prophetic conference" ever held on the
Earth with Jesus, the Messiah, as the teacher.
   As we discussed in the devotional from Matthew, the first portion
of the Lord's message dealt with six major "signs" of the soon coming
of Jesus Christ. His second coming to the Earth. We drew an
interesting parallel between the "signs"Jesus gave, Matthew 24:47, and
the "seals," the sealed judgments found in Revelation 6.
   As we look at Mark's record of the "Olivet Discourse" we bypass
additional "signs" that we will look at in another devotional. At the
conclusion of the Lord's discourse, He used a parable to emphasize how
to recognize the time and nearness of His coming. It's the parable of
the "fig tree".
   Jesus would often use the natural surroundings of where He was
teaching to drive home His point. Let me remind you that this parable
is not using the "fig tree" as the nation of Israel.
It's a simple illustration of how in the spring, which was the time of
the year when the discourse was given, two days before the spring
feast of Passover.The Lord says to His disciples, "notice that when
leaves show up on a bare limb of a fig tree, it means summer is near".
   Then Jesus says, "so likewise when ye shall see these things",
these things were deception, war, famine, pestilence and earthquakes,
the sealed judgments, know that it will be His time to return to
Earth.
   Our key verse even gets more specific, verse 30. "This generation
shall not pass, until all these things be done", Jesus will come back
to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
   When the Lord referred to "this generation" He was not referring to
those with Him that day on the Mount of Olives, they have passed away.
Jesus was referring to the generation who "sees these things", the
"signs".
   Therefore, those people who seeing "these things" they are the
people who will not pass until He comes. The people who are seeing
these things are "we" that are alive today. Some of this generation
will die but the main group could well be the "generation" that sees
Jesus come back to the earth.
   Prayer Thot: Thank you Lord for your "prophetic word" that gives
the evidence of the nearness of Your soon return, which helps me to be
watching for this "glorious appearing."
                                         268


Mark 14 vs25 - Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the
vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

For further study - Mark 14:12-25

This is Mark's record of what has been called the "Last Supper". It was actually the
observance of the "Passover Seder" which is the "meal" wheren Jews celebrate the
Exodus out of Egyptian bondage which took place 3,500 years ago.

The "Passover Seder" is observed annually since the very first Passover, Exodus 12.
It was at that time the Lord commanded the Jews to rehearse, at a special gathering,
every year the Lord's provision and protection throughout these thousands of years.

The one-day "feast day"of "Passover", and the seven-day "feast" of "Unleavened Bread"
are observed together, an eight day celebration. The actual day of Passover was 24
hours, starting from the evening of Passover, during the time of Jesus Christ on
Wednesday evening, until sundown on Thursday evening.

The disciples, Peter and John, had prepared the meal and they met together with Jesus
and the other disciples in an "Upper Room", verse 15, in the city of Jerusalem for
the actual meal and the other activities.

The ingredients of the meal were "roast lamb" that represented the "passover lamb";
"unleavened bread" which represents the "separation between the bondage and freedom";
and "bitter herbs" which represents the bitter time in the Egyptian bondage for the
Jewish people.

They would also have "bread and wine" in the meal. By the way, the wine was not an
"intoxicating wine" because they weren't allowed to have "leaven" anywhere near the
meal. Remember, grape juice can only ferment when leaven is added. That should settle
an argument or two out there.

That night, Jesus and His disciples rehearsed the story of Passover and the sacrifice
of the "sacrificial lamb". It would be at 3:00pm the next afternoon that Jesus Christ
would be crucified on the cross to become our "sacrificial lamb".

Jesus became our "Passover lamb" by His death in Jerusalem, I Corinthians 5:7. Jesus
actually fulfilled the Jewish feast day of Passover, for the Jewish people. We, as
Christians, derive the spiritual benefits of our Lord's death, burial and
resurrection which is our way to salvation, I Corinthians 15:1-5 and Romans 1:16.

After the "Passover Seder" Jesus instituted what we call the "Lord's Supper", the
communion service, verses 22-24. Now, each time we celebrate the "Lord's Supper", the
communion, we do it in remembrance of Him, I Corinthians 11:23-26.

Notice the last directive for the "Lord's Supper", "do this until I come."
Each communion service should "look back" to what our Lord did for us; "look in" so
we can get our hearts right with the Lord; and "look up" for Him to come. As Jesus
closed out the "Passover Seder", He said the next time He would join us for this
sweet communion supper would be in the "Kingdom" that is yet to come.

What a heritage we receive from the Jews, and what prophetic truth in all that they
are, and do today.

Prayer Thot: Thank you Lord Jesus for being my "Passover", help me to tell others
this great story.
                                         269

Matthew 1 vs.17 - So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen
generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen
generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen
generations.
        For further study - Matthew 1:1-25
    What an appropriate time of the year to read this first chapter of Matthew, one
of four chapters that record the information about the birth of Jesus. The other
three chapters are Matthew 2 and Luke 1 and 2.
    As you start to read Matthew 1 you will notice that you are reading a genealogy
which sometimes is difficult to read. Please remember, there are many things you can
learn from your reading of genealogies.
    For example in verses 3 and 5 there are three names of women mentioned, "Thamar"
in verse 3 and "Rachab" and "Ruth" in verse 5. These women are Gentiles and are in
the line from Abraham to Jesus which is the Jewish "line of promise" through Abraham,
Isaac and Jacob.
    We won't be able to cover the stories of these three great ladies, suffice to
say, they are part of the lineage of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. I'll skip over verse
17 for the moment, and get back to it, but please notice the hand of the Lord in the
events that unfolded as recorded in verses 18-25.
    Mary and Joseph were engaged, and not married, therefore they had not come
together, physically, as husband and wife, verses 18 and 25. This will confirm that
the mother of Jesus was a virgin, verse 23, and that which was "conceived in her was
of the Holy Spirit", verse 20.
    According to Old Testament law the only time a man could divorce his "wife", or
should I say "wife to be", was during the "engagement" period.
During that time if he found his future wife to have been unfaithful or with another
man, then the husband to be could have "put her away publicly", verse 19.
    The phrase in verse 20, "the angel of the Lord" is either a "pre-incarnate"
appearance of Jesus Christ, or a "special angel", dispatched by the Lord to meet with
Joseph and to assure him that his wife to be was to deliver the Messiah, Jesus
Christ.
    This newborn son would be known as "Emmanuel" which interpreted means "God with
us", verse 23. Jesus Christ would be "all God", and "all man", He would be the
"God/man" to dwell among humankind for a period of time.
    Now, let's look at verse 17. It is the compilation of the first sixteen verses of
Matthew 1. It speaks of the fourteen generations from Abraham to King David and the
fourteen generations form King David to the "carrying away into the captivity".
    Then there was another fourteen generations to Jesus Christ. This is the very
first genealogy that I have seen which includes "an event in history"
instead of a "personality".
    This genealogy points out the time of the "Babylonian Captivity" of the Jewish
people. It was at this time that the "times of the Gentiles" began.
"The times of the Gentiles" is the period of time when the "Jews and Jerusalem" are
under Gentile world powers.
    We are alive in "the times of the Gentiles" right now and this period will
continue through the seven year Tribulation Period until the Second Coming of Jesus
Christ when He brings an end to the Gentile world powers and sets up His Kingdom, a
worldwide theocracy.
    Even in the account of the First Coming of Jesus Christ we are reminded of His
Second Coming. Babylon, modern day Iraq, will be a major player in the end times.
Babylon is the place that Jesus will destroy just prior to His Second Coming to the
Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, Revelation 16:17-21.
    Prayer Thot: Thank you Lord, for the reminders of Your Second Coming as we study
and celebrate Your First Coming.
                                         270
Matthew 2 vs.11 - And when they were         come into the house, they saw the young
child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they had
opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and
myrrh.
        For further study - Matthew 2:1-23
    We come today to the second chapter of Matthew which is also the second chapter
to record the details of the birth of the Messiah, the first coming of Jesus Christ.
    This chapter develops the Christmas story and expands the narrative over a two to
five year period of time. That is implied in that Joseph and Mary with their son,
Jesus, seem to have remained in Bethlehem for up to a year after His birth, and
before they would have planned to return to Nazareth.
    Verse 11 tells us that they were living in "the house" when they would be visited
by a very distinguished group from the East, verse 2. After traveling into Egypt,
verse 13, Joseph and Mary with "baby Jesus" would return to Israel, verse 21, most
likely after at least a year. Therefore we are seeing a period of two to five years
unfold in the narrative.
    We're told that the "wise men" were from the East, either Persian or Chaldean,
and would enter Jerusalem, causing King Herod to be troubled, along with all of the
residents of Jerusalem, as well.
    There is no reference that states there were only "three wise men", there may
well have been three hundred. However, how ever many there were, they caused quite
the stir in the city of Jerusalem.
    They did bring "three gifts" to Jesus, gold, frankincense and myrrh, verse 11.
Maybe that's why people think there were only three wise men. The time of the arrival
in Jerusalem, and these wise men looking for the newborn babe, Jesus, I don't believe
is coincidental.
    I believe these men had seen the prophecy of Daniel, Daniel 9:25-26, and by
studying the scriptures they were able to determine the time in which they were
living, was also the time for the birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
    By studying Daniel's prophecy today, we, and even the Jews, must realize that the
Messiah, Jesus Christ, had to be on earth before 70AD and the destruction of the
Temple along with the devastation of the city of Jerusalem, again Daniel 9:25-26.
    These wise men would take the Word of the Scriptures, once again, to determine
the exact location of the place of birth for the "King of the Jews", verses 2-6.
Notice how the Jewish leaders at the Temple knew the Scriptures telling of the
birthplace of the "One " who would "rule the people of Israel", verse 6.
    It seems that these religious Jewish leaders chose to be "blind' to the truth of
scriptures. I make that statement realizing that many of us, even born-again
Christians, choose to be "blinded" to the truth as well.
    Just a thought about those three gifts brought to Jesus by the wise men, verse
11. The gold was brought because He was born a King; the frankincense speaks of the
fragrance of His life; and the myrrh depicts His death.
    Notice also that the wise men brought gifts "to Him", not gifts to exchange with
each other. We must bring gifts to Him, even today. We must all work at not becoming
so caught up in the "spirit of Christmas" that we take our eyes off the true reason
for the season, the birth of Jesus Christ.
    One other thought about the wise men, when they found the baby Jesus, having
given Him the gifts, they "departed another way", verse 12. They did not return to
Herod to tell him where the baby Jesus was with His parents. Everyone that comes to
Jesus must depart another way. He will change each of us.
    This second chapter of Matthew is a record of many Old Testament prophecies about
the coming Messiah being fulfilled. It states time and again in the passage how
prophecy had been fulfilled.
    Fulfilled prophecy gives each of us a basis upon which to conclude and believe
that all additional unfulfilled prophecies about Jesus Christ will be fulfilled also.
The fulfilled prophecies of the First Coming set the stage for the yet to be
fulfilled prophecies pertaining to His Second Coming, which also will be fulfilled,
and seemingly in the near future.
    Prayer Thot: Thank you Lord, for the assurance that yet to be fulfilled prophecy
will be fulfilled as foretold. Help me to live expecting You to come at any moment,
maybe today.
                                     271
Matthew 2vs.19-21
But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to
Joseph in Egypt, Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and
go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's
life. And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into
the land of Israel.

For further study - Matthew 2:1-23

What an exciting, power-packed passage we are able to study today!
We will see the historic as well as prophetic significance in our key verses.
Let's get started exploring the importance of this passage.

Jesus Christ was born before 4 BC. We know that because of the statement in
Matthew 2:1, which states that Jesus was born in the time of Herod the Great.
Herod the Great died in 4 BC, therefore we know that Jesus' birth was before
that date. The reference to Jesus as "the King of the Jews," (Matthew 2:2),
is prophetic, following the prophecy that the Messiah, Jesus Christ, will
reign as King during the Millennium, (Zechariah 6:17).

Jewish people today should realize what the chief priests and scribes
understood about the birthplace of Jesus, Bethlehem of Judea, and recognize
that Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Micah 5:2, which names the location for
the birth of the Messiah.

Herod, who claimed to be the "King of the Jews," was threatened by this
newborn king, and had all Jewish boys under 2 years of age murdered. This
fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah 31:15.

By the way, the reason that Herod was so focused on killing the newborn Jesus
is because of who his forefather was. Herod was an Idumean, or an Edomite,
which makes Herod a descendant of Esau. One of Herod's ancestors was Haman,
the villain of the book of Ester.

It was because of Herod that Joseph, Mary, and Jesus would flee to
Egypt, thus setting the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.
Hosea 11:1 reveals that Messiah would come out of Egypt into Nazareth in the
land of Israel. Jesus did just that. Notice the name of the land was
Israel, (Matthew 2:20-21). Now this is significant.
   My copy of the Bible is a very well respected translation and a very
widely used study bible. It has maps in the back of the book that labels the
land "Palestine". The Bible calls the land Israel, not Palestine. Man gave
the land the name Palestine, not God. No where in the Word of God is God's
land called Palestine.
   The Roman emperor in the second century called the land Palestine in an
effort to denigrate the land. Using the name Palestine for the land of
Israel is a political statement that is somewhat of an anti- Semitic, anti-
biblical statement. This term for God's land should not be used. Remember,
words have meaning and we must use the correct words to convey the correct
meanings.
   The use of the word Palestine for the land of Israel helps to set the
stage for the Palestinians, who are the descendants of Esau, to rise up and
kill the Jewish people. Bible prophecy will be fulfilled.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you, Lord, for the prophetic truths that help me to
recognize the soon coming of Jesus Christ.
                                                     272
Matthew 6 vs9-10
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy
kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
                                                                 For further study - Matthew 6:5-13

As you read the extended portion of our devotion for today you will recognize what is referred to as the
"Lord's Prayer". It is not the Lord's prayer, technically, John 17 records the Lord's prayer.

This prayer is the one that Jesus taught those listening to His Sermon on the Mount along the slopes of the
Sea of Galilee. It would be better to refer to this prayer as the "disciples prayer".

Our entire reading for today gives us great insight into how the Lord wants us to pray. His instruction
begins with where we are to pray and where we are not supposed to pray. The Lord tells us that public
prayer meetings are not the best place to pray, verse 5.

He tells us to pray in secret and the Father will see us praying in secret and reward us openly, verse 6.
Jesus also points out that "vain repetition" is not the way to pray either, verse 7. He wants us to talk to
Him as in a conversation with a fresh approach each time.

As we come to the actual prayer, we will notice several principles that must be applied each time we pray.
We must start with adoration, "Our Father which art in heaven hollowed be Thy name". We must lift Him
up and adore Him in each of our prayers.

In fact, adoration must be the first words in our prayers before even thanksgiving or supplication. Then,
we should confess our sins, "forgive" us our debts (sins)."

Supplication is an aspect of prayer included in the disciples' prayer. Supplication is specifically asking
God for something. In this prayer there are several request, for our "daily bread", "lead us not into
temptation", and "deliver us from evil". These are all requests, supplication.

Notice that the Lord teaches us to pray for His “kingdom to come”, verse 10, so that “His will can be
done on earth as it is in heaven”. We need to pray for Jesus to come back and set up his kingdom.

Remember, we are not now in the kingdom. Jesus is not on his throne but instead seated at the right hand
of the Father in the heavens. The Lord God, the Father, will one day give Jesus the Kingdom.

At that time Jesus will come to the earth to rule and reign as King over all of creation. This is key to
understanding Bible prophecy for today.

We need daily to pray for Jesus to come back and set up his kingdom, "Thy kingdom come..."

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for teaching me how to pray, help me to do so without ceasing.
                                                   273
Matthew 7 vs21
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that
doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
                                                                  For further study - Matthew 7:15-23

Chapter 7 of Matthew's Gospel is the last of the “Sermon on the Mount”, Matthew 5, 6 & 7, which is a
sermon to the Jews who were expecting the Kingdom to be set up on the earth by the Messiah, Jews who
reject the fact that Jesus Christ was the long awaited Messiah.

The Lord Jesus Christ was rejected by the Jews; however, His sermon given on the slopes of the
mountains at the northern end of the Sea of Galilee was a warning that is applicable to the Jews during the
time leading up to the Second Coming of Jesus and has "spiritual application" for all of us today.

Verse 15 is a warning for today and into the future, "be aware of false prophets." In the Gospels and the
Epistles, in the New Testament, over and over again we are warned of false prophets, false teachers.

In fact, Jesus, in His Olivet Discourse, a message given during "Passion Week", the week leading up to
His crucifixion, Jesus said that "deception" was the most important indication of His Second Coming,
Matthew 24:4,5,11 & 24.

In His Sermon on the Mount, the Lord even warned that the "false prophets" could come disguised in
"sheep's clothing". These "false teachers" would be posing as believers and even as ministers, II
Corinthians 11:13-15.

Notice verse 22 where Jesus reveals that these "false teachers" will preach, prophesy, in His name and do
miracles, cast out devils, demons, all in the Lord's name.

The truth be known, we see what Jesus warned us of, happening today. We have a proliferation of "false
teachers" and "false prophets" doing "miracles" in the name of Jesus, many of them on so-called
"Christian television".

Make sure what you listen to and see happening is truly the Lord's work. Jesus says, verse 23, that these
"false prophets" and "miracle workers" He does not know and He tells them to depart from Him.

This portion of the Lord's Sermon on the Mount is so important for us today as we quickly approach the
time of the return of the Messiah Jesus Christ.

What we see today, that which Jesus warned us would be the case before He returned, is evidence that the
Rapture, Jesus calling Christians into the heavenlies, at least seven years before His Second Coming,
could happen today.


Prayer Thot: Lord, help me to use Your word of warning about "false prophets" to recognize the times
in which we are living today.
                                    274
Matthew 11 verse 14 - And if ye        will receive it, this is Elias,
which was for to come.

For further study - Matthew 11:1-14

This text for our devotions today has a connection back to the last
book of the Old Testament, the prophetic book of Malachi. In Malachi
4:5, the Old Testament prophet revealed that Elijah must come as the
forerunner to “the great and dreadful day of the Lord”. This will be
the day when Jesus Christ comes back to earth.

Now, here in   Matthew, we read what Jesus had to say to the Jewish
people about   John the Baptist. The Lord says that no greater man had
been born of   woman than John the Baptist. Then Jesus told the Jews
that if they   had accepted him, John the Baptist could have fulfilled
the prophecy   of Malachi.

John the Baptist could have been the fulfillment of Elijah who is to
come.
The Jewish people rejected the forerunner, John the Baptist, and they
rejected the Messiah, Jesus Christ, as well.

This passage of scripture is the link between the Old and the New
Testament. But it also reveals to us that Elijah is yet to come, to be
the forerunner for Jesus, the Messiah. Revelation 11:3-12 calls for
two witnesses to have a powerful ministry during the first half of the
7-year Tribulation Period.

144,000 Jewish men will turn to Christ under the ministry of these
“two witness”. Ultimately, the two witnesses will be killed and lay in
the streets of Jerusalem for 3 1/2 days before they are resurrected
and taken to heaven.

One of those two witnesses must be Elijah who has never died. He was
taken to heaven by a “chariot of fire” while he was still living, II
Kings 2:11.
Elijah will come back to do his ministry, be killed as called for by
scripture, Hebrews 9:27, and then go back to heaven.

I can tell you, as the song says, we are living in the “days of
Elijah”.
He has not arrived, but is on his way, to appear any day. But before
Elijah’s arrival we depart for the heavens at the Rapture, and that
event could be today.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to live today as if it would be today that Jesus
shouts for us to join Him in heaven.
                                                    275
Matthew 17 vs5
While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud,
which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
                                                            For further study - Matthew 16:28-17:13

To set the scene for this passage of scripture, I must remind you that in Matthew 16 Jesus and His
disciples had traveled north through the upper Galilee to Caesarea Philippi.

It was in the foothills of Mt Hermon, in Caesarea Philippi, where Peter answered the Lord's question
about “who” men said that He, the Lord, was. Peter's answer to that question was "thou art the Christ, the
Son of the living God", Matthew 16:16.

In the last verse of Matthew 16, verse 28, Jesus gives His disciples a prophecy that there were those
among His followers, with Him at that time, who would not die before they saw Jesus in His “Kingdom to
come”.

Now, six days later, the Lord Jesus Christ takes the "inner circle" of His disciples, Peter, James and John,
up onto the slopes of Mt Hermon for what would be the "Transfiguration."

Matthew 17 records what happened there on Mt Hermon some six days after Jesus had told His disciples
about "seeing Him in His Kingdom", Matthew 16:28.

Peter, James and John were privileged to be in the presence of Jesus Christ at the Transfiguration and to
see Jesus in His glorified body, the fulfillment of the prophecy that Jesus had given them a few days
earlier.

The "inner circle" not only saw Jesus, but they also saw Moses and Elijah at the same time in their
glorified bodies and what they will be like in the "Kingdom to come".

During the Fall of the year, the season of the Jewish Fall Feasts, especially the seven-day Feast of
Tabernacles, which Peter pictured as happening, it is interesting to note that Peter wanted to put up three
"tabernacles," verse 4.

Peter did not want to put up a "statue" for each of these three, Jesus, Elijah and Moses. Peter thought that
the "Kingdom" had arrived so he wanted to put up three "succa's", a thatched hut, that the Jewish people
build for the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles.

The "succa" is a reminder for the Jewish people of the "transportable living quarters" in their wanderings
in the wilderness for their forty year long trip from Egypt to the Promised Land.

Prophetically, the "succa" and the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles is looking forward to the
establishment of a physical, earthly Kingdom that Jesus will set up at the time of His Second Coming.
Peter thought it was that time in history, thus the three "succa's", three tabernacles.

As the Jews in Jerusalem and around the world celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles every Fall, it is a
reminder that Jesus is coming, and it could be soon.


PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for Your continuing reminder of Your Second Coming as You
work among Your chosen people, the Jewish people, today.
                                                    276
Matthew 24 vs14
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then
shall the end come.          For further study - Matthew 24:1-14
     Matthew 24 is one of the most important prophetic passages in all of scripture. It is referred to as the
"Olivet Discourse." It is the most "profound prophetic conference" ever held. The teacher at this
conference is none other than the "Spirit of prophecy", Revelation 19:10, Jesus Christ, Himself.
     The crowd at this conference is rather small with the Lord's twelve disciples in attendance and maybe
several other followers of Jesus. It takes place on the slopes of the Mount of Olives overlooking
theKidron Valley and the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It's Tuesday afternoon of "Passion Week," the
week that Jesus will be crucified.
     The message that Jesus delivers to His disciples is actually the climax of six months of teaching
prophecy to His men. Jesus will have another forty days after His resurrection when He will also spend
the whole time teaching His closest followers the prophetic truths they will need in the very difficult days
ahead.
     A closer look at the entire Olivet Discourse, Matthew 24 and 25, reveals the entire pattern of
prophecy predicted in the book of Revelation written by the Apostle John in 95AD while a prisoner on the
isle ofPatmos.
     John was actually sitting under the teaching of Jesus Christ there on the Mount of Olives when this
prophetic conference was taking place some 2,000 years ago in Jerusalem.
     When Jesus was asked by His Jewish disciples for some "signs" of His coming back to earth to set up
His Kingdom, Jesus gave him a number of indicators to look for that would be developing in the time
period leading up to His return to Jerusalem.
     Let me remind you that the Lord is giving "signs" for His Second Coming not the Rapture of the
Church. There are no signs for the Rapture, and in fact, we're not looking for "signs" but listening for a
"sound". The sound we're listening for will be the sound of the trumpet, the archangel's shout and the call
by Jesus to join Him in theheavenlies.
     Briefly, I can point out some "signs" that Jesus gave these Jewish believers. "Deception" is the first
and foremost sign, verses 4-5, 11 and 24. There would be "false teachers" using "signs, wonders and
miracles" to deceive the people, some who would be believers.
     "Wars and rumors of wars," verses 6-7, will be another sign. They tell me that there are over 150
wars and/or conflicts going on right now in our world. The Middle East would be the center focus for
most of these conflicts. However, there are rumors of wars all around the world.
     Also in verse 7, "famines, pestilence (pandemic disease) and earthquakes" around the world will be
taking place. Verse 14 also lists the "sign" of the "gospel of the Kingdom", being preached to everybody
on earth and then Jesus Christ comes. This is not the "gospel of grace" that is being preached today.
     The "gospel of the Kingdom" is preached during the seven-year Tribulation. When everyone on Earth
has heard the "gospel of the Kingdom" through the ministry of the two witnesses, Revelation 11:3-12,
and the 144,000 Jewish evangelists, Revelation 7:4-9, then Jesus will come back.
     The five signs found in verses 4-7 parallel the "sealed judgments" in Revelation 6 which are released
on Earth right after the Rapture. These "signs" in Matthew 24 and the "seals" of Revelation 6 are today
in the process of moving to fulfillment, seemingly in the near future.
     Since the Rapture happens before the "signs" and "seals" are fulfilled, it seems that the Rapture could
be very near, even today.
     PRAYER THOT: Lord help me to not study Your prophetic Word for knowledge only but for that
which helps me to see the urgency of the moment and then to live expecting You to shout today for me to
join You in theheavenlies.
                                  277

Matthew 24 vs30 - And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in
heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they
shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and
great glory.
      For further study - Matthew 24:15-31
   Our devotional reading for today, the extended reading, is a
continuation of the Olivet Discourse that Jesus gave on the Mount of
Olives on Tuesday afternoon of "Passion Week", the week of the Lord's
death, burial and resurrection.
   Jesus was responding to the questions from His disciples about the
"signs" that they could look for in the time leading up to His Second
Coming. Remember, Matthew 24 is not referring to the Rapture, but the
Second Coming of Jesus.
   The Lord set there on the Mount of Olives teaching His disciples,
and mentioned deception, wars and rumors of wars, famines, pestilence
and earthquakes in different places around the earth, Matthew 24: 4-7.
All of these "signs" are events that lead up to the Lord's return to
the earth.
   Then in verse 15 of our extended reading the Lord refers to the
prophecy of Daniel the Prophet that ministered 500 years before Jesus.
Daniel had spoken of the Temple in Jerusalem being desecrated with the
"Abomination of Desolation" during the seven year period in advance of
the Lord's return.
   The "Abomination of Desolation" will be when "Antichrist" walks
into the Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and claims to be God,
II Thessalonians 2:4. That's when the False Prophet erects a statue,
an "image" of the Antichrist, in the Temple and makes all the world to
worship this "image", Revelation 13:14-17.
   The Satanic creatures, Antichrist and False Prophet, desecrate the
Temple, the "Abomination of Desolation" which happens at the mid-way
point of the seven year Tribulation Period, Daniel 9:27. Jesus warns
the Jews that when they see those things happening to flee Jerusalem.
   What this means for us today is that as we quickly approach the
coming of the Lord we will see preparations for building a Temple in
Jerusalem. All of the preparations have been made. The Temple can be
erected in a manner of days. But before they start building the Temple
the Lord must call His people, Christians, up to be with Him at the
Rapture.
   We are quickly approaching the time that Jesus was teaching about;
however, please remember that the Rapture happens at least 3 1/2 years
before the "Abomination of Desolation".
All preparations have been made to build the Temple for this prophecy
to be fulfilled. The only thing that must happen before the Temple is
built is the Rapture, and that could happen today. Keep looking up.
   PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for the prophetic passages that
describe the day of Your coming. Help me to look eagerly for your
return in light of the evidence that the Rapture could happen today
                                         278
Matthew 24 vs.34 - Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all
these things be fulfilled.

For further study - Matthew 24:27-36

The passage for our devotional reading today is another portion of the "Olivet
Discourse", the message Jesus gave to His disciples during "Passion Week".

After teaching all day, on Tuesday afternoon of "Passion Week", Jesus started back
towards the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus where He was staying, the days before
His crucifixion.

As He left the Temple Mount area He had told the disciples that Herod's Temple would
be destroyed and there would not be "a stone upon a stone".
The disciples questioned Jesus as to when this Temple destruction would take place
and they wanted Him to give them some signs of His Second Coming.

In Matthew 24 the Lord does not give any information about the Temple, as to when it
would be destroyed. Jesus, in the account of the Lord's sermon on the Mount of
Olives, in Mark 13 and Luke 21 does respond to the first question from the disciples.

The Lord did answer the question, requesting signs of His Second Coming back to
earth, Matthew 24:4-26. In the passage we are reading today Jesus tells of His Second
Coming, verses 27-31.

Verse 29 reveals that the Second Coming takes place, after the Tribulation Period.
Remember, the Rapture is not mentioned in Matthew 24. The Lord's return to earth when
He steps on the Mount of Olives, Zechariah 14:4, is what is in focus in this passage.

After telling of His return to earth, actually to the spot where He was seated
teaching those gathered to listen to Him, then as He often did, the Lord used a
parable to draw some conclusions.

At the peak of the Mount of Olives there are a number of fig trees.
Remember, the time was the spring, since Passover was just a day away. As Jesus
noticed the "fig trees" He would use them as an illustration.

Let me say Jesus is not referring to the "fig tree" as the nation of Israel. The "fig
tree" is an example of how in the spring the new leaves will pop up on the bare limbs
after the winter.

Jesus said that like the new leaves on the "fig tree", the signs, prophecies, that He
gave that day would precede His Second Coming. Then Jesus said, "This generation, the
ones seeing these things that He had talked about, verses 4 to 31, this generation
shall not pass away until all these things be fulfilled", verse 34.

In other words the people that see all the signs, Matthew 24:4-31, when they see
these prophecies being fulfilled, look up because they will be the generation alive
when Jesus Christ comes back.

Remember, the Rapture takes place at least seven years before the Second Coming. I
believe we are "the generation" seeing the signs happening and "the generation" that
will see Jesus Christ come back.

PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord, to alert as many people as possible, alive in this
generation, to be prepared for the Rapture which happens before the Second Coming and
could happen today.
                                   279
Matthew 24 vs37 - But as the days      of Noah were, so shall also the
coming of the Son of man be.      For further study - Matthew 24:37-51
   In the devotional reading for today we take a look at the Olivet
Discourse, a message that Jesus delivered to His disciples on the
Mount of Olives in Jerusalem on Tuesday afternoon of Passion Week.
   The Lord had just told those there in attendance for this profound
prophetic conference, with Jesus as the teacher, that the "generation"
which saw the signs discussed in Matthew 24:4-15 would be the ones
that would usher in the Kingdom, at the Second Coming of Jesus.
   As the Lord was concluding this discourse He mentioned a very
specific sign for people to look for as they awaited His Second
Coming. Jesus mentioned in verse 37, "as the days of Noah were, so
shall also the coming of the Son of Man be."
   By the way, this passage is speaking of the Second Coming, not the
Rapture of the Church in the context of future events, Matthew 24:3.
   Remember, in the "Days of Noah" the "ones taken", verses 40-41,
were those who were taken to judgment, they drowned in the flood. It
was Noah and his wife, his three sons and there wives, that were
left.
   The Lord also exhorted those awaiting the Second Coming to be
working during the time before so that when the Lord does come back
the Lord's servants would be blessed, verse 46.
   This statement, "technically interpreted", is for those awaiting
the Second Coming; however, it has a "spiritual application" for those
of us who are Christians awaiting the Rapture. We need to be found
faithful, working, in the Lord's work when the Rapture happens. There
is a great significance to the Lord's statement about, the "Days of
Noah".
   Jesus had finished giving general "signs" and He became very specific. The
truth be known, there were three "Days of Noah"; the days before the flood,
Genesis 4-6; the days during the flood, Genesis 6,7 and 8; and the days after
the flood, Genesis 9,10 and 11.
   Verse 37 can be a stand alone verse, because of the next verse, verse 38
which specifies the "days before the flood". The verse reads, "For as in the
days that were before".
   As we consider the "Days of Noah" after the flood, Genesis 10 and 11,
describe Noah's great grandson, Nimrod, 10:8-10 and 11:4, as the world leader
who went to Babel, today's Babylon or modern-day Iraq, to build a "great
city" and a "great religion".
   This was a rebellion against God's directive to Noah, chapter 9, verse 1,
to "re-people" the earth after the worldwide flood. The "one world
government", with a "one world leader", Nimrod, 4,500 years ago, and a "one
world religion" in Nimrod's day are both prototypes of the one world religion
and the one world government in Revelation 17 and 18, respectively.
   The Lord's warning about the "Days of Noah" has present-day significance
because in Noah's day the focus of the world was on Babylon and today the
world's focus is also on Babylon, modern day Iraq.
   The current world situation seems to be set for the Lord's return, His
Second Coming. The Lord's exhortation in verse 44, to be "ready", and also in
verse 42, to "watch", are both pertaining to His Second Coming.
   However, the "spiritual application" is excellent for us who are to
"watch", and be "ready", for the Rapture, which could happen today.
PRAYER THOT: Help me to live today, Lord, as if this is the day the Rapture
will happen.
                                   280


Micah 4 verse 1 - But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the
mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of
the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people
shall flow unto it.

For further study - Micah 4:1-13

When you mention the name Micah, an ancient Jewish prophet, one most
likely thinks of the Christmas story and the birthplace of Jesus
revealed in Micah 5:2, Bethlehem-Ephratah. However, there is so very
much prophecy in Micah, I don't know where to start.

What I am going to do is with each pass through this book, for our
devotions, unlock more evidence of the Second Coming of the Messiah
Jesus Christ from this great prophetic book.

The fact is that our extended reading for today has five different
prophecies plus a prophecy that tells us of the exact location where
Jesus Christ was born. Not the city, we know that was Bethlehem. I
mean the exact spot of His birth.

But for today, we will look at only one of these five prophecies. Our
key verse tells of a coming “temple” to be established on the spot
known as, "the mountain of the house of the Lord."

I must remind you that during Micah's ministry, there was a Temple
standing in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount. This was the temple that
King Solomon had built around 1000 B.C. But remember, the Temple,
built by Israel’s third King, Solomon, was destroyed by the
Babylonians in 586 B.C.
   Notice the first 5 words of Micah 4, "but in the last days." This
designation of time reveals to us that the temple that Micah is
referring to is the one that will be in Jerusalem when Jesus is ruling
and reigning.
Verse 2 says that the people of the world will come up to the Temple
to be taught by the Messiah, Jesus.
   It will be a time when the word of the Lord shall go forth from
Jerusalem. This prophecy will be fulfilled when Jesus has returned and
we are living in the 1,000 year Kingdom that He sets up.
   Speaking of the Temple in Jerusalem, there is a group of religious
Jews who have everything ready to erect the next Jewish Temple.
However, the next Temple will not be the one foretold by the prophet
Micah but the one spoken of by Daniel in his prophecy, 9:27.
   That Temple spoken of by Daniel will be the "Tribulation Temple"
that the Antichrist shall desecrate. Everything is ready for that
Temple to be built in Jerusalem. There is only one thing that must
happen before that Temple, the Rapture.
   The Rapture could happen today, keep looking up!
PRAYER THOT: Since the Rapture could happen today, help me to live
pure and productive in light of that truth.
                                                    281



Micah 4
As we come once again to Micah 4, we will read the entire chapter and look at only one of the five
prophecies from the prophet Micah that is yet to be fulfilled. By the way, there is also a prophecy of the
exact location for the birth of Jesus Christ which we will look at in a future daily devotional.

Last time we read Micah 4 we looked at the prophecy of a future Temple in Jerusalem, verses 1-2. This
time we will think about the "anticipation for peace," not only among the Jewish people by people all over
the world as well.

Verses 3-5 speak of the "time of peace" coming. When the Messiah, Jesus Christ comes back to earth, He
will rebuke strong nations and judge the people of the world. As the Messiah sets up His kingdom, which
will be a "theocratic kingdom", all of humankind will "beat their swords into plowshares and their spears
into pruning hooks", verse 3. This will be a time of "real peace" and the "people will learn of war no
more".

We are talking about the period of time known as the "Kingdom Age" or the "Millennial Kingdom", the
thousand - year rule and reign of Christ from His Temple in Jerusalem. This will be the only time in
history when there will be "true peace" on the earth.

Remember, every time we pray for the "peace of Jerusalem", Psalm 122:6, we are praying for Jesus to
come back and implement that peace, worldwide. Verses 4 and 5 tell us something of that time when we
walk with the Lord in His name.

By the way, verse 5 says we will do that forever. However, I must remind you that before this time of
"real peace" there will be a time of "peace", howbeit a pseudo-peace that will be set up by the coming
world dictator, the Antichrist.

Another ancient Jewish prophet, Daniel, tells us of this coming short-lived peace. Daniel 9:27 reveals that
the Antichrist will bring about a peace between the Jewish state of Israel and its Islamic and Arab
enemies.

This peace will set the stage for the enemies of Israel to watch as the Jews lay down their weapons and
then these enemies will attack the Jewish State, Ezekiel 38:11.

Once the Jews are under the illusion of peace, their enemies rush in and try to destroy the Jewish people.
Today there are many political leaders trying to bring peace to the Middle East. This anticipated peace
will not come until the "Prince of Peace", Jesus, comes back to earth; however, the work of these world
leaders will indeed set the stage for "Satan's peace plan".

PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord to bring the message of "true peace" to a world that desperately
wants it and needs a peace, found only in Jesus.
                                         282



Micah 4 vs13 - Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn
iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and
I will consecrate their gain unto the LORD, and their substance unto the Lord of the
whole earth.

For further study - Micah 4:1-13

This fourth chapter of Micah is packed full of prophetic passages that are precursors
to the predicted events in the "last days"
prophecies of this ancient Jewish prophet.

We have already looked at three trends that will be prevalent leading up to the time
of the Second Coming of Christ. The first trend we discussed was found in verses 1
and 2. This passage alerted us to the "arrangements for the Temple" that would be
very evident as we approach the return of Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

"Anticipation of Peace", the focus of verses 3-5, will cause the world, in particular
the Middle East, to look for someone who will bring "peace" to the region. "Aliya of
Jews" returning to the land of their forefathers is another of the trends that
indicate that the world is nearing the time described in Bible prophecy as the "last
days." Verses 6 and 7 foretell how this will happen as Jews make their way "back
home." This actually has been happening for the last 100 years.

Today in our devotional reading, the extended portion, we see that the prophet Micah
pre-wrote history some 2,500 years ago. Verses
11-13 reveal how, "many nations" will gather against the Jews in the last days. The
"alignment of nations" against Israel will happen at the beginning of the seven year
period of time known as the "Tribulation" or also referred to as the "Time of Jacob's
Trouble,"
Jeremiah 30:7.

Daniel 11:40-45, Ezekiel 38, and Psalm 83 reveal the alignment of nations that try to
destroy the Jewish state in the first of the seven years most likely the first six
months of that time of judgment. The Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, will intercede
and destroy most of those nations described by the prophets, Ezekiel 38:1-6.

There will also be a "gathering of many nations" at the end of the seven years. The
"many nations gathering" against Israel at the end of the seven years takes place in
the last six months with the "Kings of the East," Revelation 16:12, come into
Jerusalem for a major war.
China will be a part of the "Kings of the East." In fact, all of the nations of the
world will join together to try to stop Jesus from returning to Jerusalem, Zechariah
14:1-4.

The revelation of these four major trends, arrangements for the temple, anticipation
of peace, aliyah (immigration) of the Jews and alignment of the nations against
Israel are all prevalent today - an indication that the Lord's return is getting
closer and closer.

Remember, seven years before Jesus comes to earth, He comes in the clouds and calls
Christians into the heavenlies to be with Him forever. That event, the Rapture,
could happen today. Even so come Lord Jesus.

PRAYER THOT: Dear Lord, my prayer is, even so come Lord Jesus, and help me to live
in light of Your answering that prayer, today.
                                                     283


Micah 4 vs6-7
In that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven
out, and her that I have afflicted; And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast
far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even
for ever.
                                                                       For further study - Micah 4:1-13

In the last two devotional readings in Micah we looked at the "arrangements for the coming temple",
Micah 4:1-2, and the "anticipation for peace", Micah 4:3-5.

Today we will look at the "aliya of the Jewish people", in Micah 4:6-7. The Hebrew word "aliya" literally
means, "to go up to Jerusalem."

It was a command from the Torah that three times a year Jewish men were to go "up to Jerusalem" at the
time of the "pilgrim feast." There are three "pilgrim feast" of the seven Jewish Feast that the Lord gave
the Jewish people through Moses, Leviticus 23. These three "pilgrim feast" are Passover, Pentecost and
Tabernacles.

Twice in the spring and once in the fall the Jews were required to return to Jerusalem and to celebrate
these "pilgrim feast" at the Temple. They were to make "aliya". That is somewhat the case for religious
Jewish men still to this day.

However, the word "aliya" now is applied to “immigration-, Jews from around the world making their
way back into the land of their forefathers, the land of the Bible, what we know today as Israel.

Notice the two key verses, verses 4:6-7, of our reading. The Lord will keep His promise to bring the
Jewish people back to the land of their forefathers in the last days, a term described as "that day", verse 6.

Let me remind you that this is what is taking place today in Israel. For over 100 years Jews from the four
corners of the earth, out of more than 100 nations, have made their way through the Lord's guidance and
provision, back "home".

In the year 2008 the Israeli government has called for a year-long celebration to mark the 60th Birthday of
the Jewish Nation known as Israel. For almost 2,000 years Jews have not had a nation of their own but in
these the "last days", "that day", the Lord is keeping His promise and bringing the Jews to Israel, their
homeland. They have become a nation, a Jewish nation among the nations of the world.

Verse 7 even says that Jerusalem, "Mt Zion" shall be the location where Messiah will rule and reign over
the Jewish people. This three-part prophecy is about two-thirds fulfilled. The Lord has gathered the Jews
to their homeland and has made them a nation.

The third part of the prophecy, the coming of the Messiah, seems to be very close. All of Micah's
prophecies will be fulfilled. The Jewish state of Israel is a living monument to the fact that God's Word is
true and His promises will be fulfilled.
It is also evidence that the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, must be about to happen. He will appear
in the heavenlies to call us, we Christians, up to be with Him, forever.

Prayer Thot: Thank you Lord for your prophetic Word that reveals the time of Your return. Help me
to live ready for You to come at any moment.
                                     284
Micah 7 verse 7 - Therefore I        will look unto the LORD; I will
wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.

For further study - Micah 7:7 - 20

As I have studied the ancient Jewish prophets, I have noticed that
they were men selected to go to a certain people with a message that
would not only be hard for the recipient to take in - but for the
prophet to deliver as well.
I have also noticed almost all the prophets were men of prayer and men
of sorrow -men who could shed tears over those he was called to exhort
or rebuke.

Micah is a prime example of that kind of a Jewish prophet.        As he
concluded his prophetic manuscript, he was offering up a prayer, a
prayer for his enemies as well as a prayer of confession for himself
and his people, the Jewish people. Micah knew the Lord would hear his
prayer as he confessed his sin, his sin against the Lord (vs. 9.) The
prophet knew he was to bear the indignation of the Lord, until the
Lord would execute judgement on the enemies of the Jewish people.

Micah's prayer for his enemies was that they might not rejoice over
the chastisement of the Lord on the Jews, (vs. 8) but help these
enemies to realize that if God could judge His chosen people, He could
also bring down judgement on the enemies of His chosen people. Micah
said that his enemies would be confounded by the mighty hand of God in
judgement (vs. 16.)

The bottom line is that God is now judging the Jewish people for
sinning against Him and one day will turn that judgement on the
enemies of the Jewish people.    God will respond to Israel's enemies
who say, "where is the Lord thy God" (vs. 10.) He will respond in His
time not at their bequest.

Before we leave this passage of scripture, may I draw your attention
to verse 14. The text says that there will be cattle grazing on the
mountains of Carmel and Bashan.      The Carmel mountains are on the
western side of Israel, near the port city of Haifa.       The Bashan
mountain range is on the eastern side of the Jewish state.    You may
know Bashan better as Golan, the Golan Heights.     In fact, the word
Golan is used four times in the scripture.

Today there is cattle grazing in both Carmel and Bashan /Golan,
evidence that we are living in the days that Micah was writing about.
These are the days God will hear and respond to Micah's prayers and
deal with the enemies of the Jewish State of Israel.    These are the
days the God of Israel will return to forgive the iniquity of the
Jewish people and respond to her enemies.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to remember that you Lord will chasten me for my
sin - but will forgive me as I turn to you!
                                     285
Nahum 1 verse 15 - Behold upon        the mountains the feet of him that
bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn
feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through
thee; he is utterly cut off.
      For further study - Nahum 1: 1 - 15
   The Prophet Nahum prophesied about one hundred and fifty years
after Jonah but was also focused on the city of Nineveh.        However,
Nahum has but one subject    - the destruction of Nineveh - not it's
salvation.   According to ancient historians. the city was destroyed
nearly one hundred years after Nahum's prophecy, exactly as predicted
in his prophetic book.    As you read our passage for today, you will
become very aware of the holiness of God which demands He deal with
sin in judgement.     The people of Nineveh had departed from their
faithfulness   to God which had come about in the days that Jonah
ministered in this Gentile city.      During Jonah's ministry, the city
and the King had turned to God.     Now 150 years later they turn from
God.
   Into this scene comes the prophet Nahum with his message of the
awesomeness and holiness of God.     God is a jealous God, a Lord that
revengeth and has reserved wrath for His enemies (vs. 2.) The Lord is
slow to anger - but has great power and will not acquit the wicked
(vs. 3.)
   This God, the God of the Jewish people, has control over His
creation.   In His judgement He comes as the whirlwind, as a mighty
storm who controls the seas, the rivers, the mountains and in fact,
the entire earth (vs. 3-5.)     Nahum asked the question of those who
face judgement "who can stand before His indignation." The answer is
no one.
   The great lessons of Nahum are that God is slow to anger and a
stronghold for those who trust Him (vs. 7) but also "one who will not
acquit the wicked"
(vs. 5.) Not only was Nahum's prophetic message given to the Gentile
city of Nineveh, but also to Nahum's own people, the Jewish people.
Nahum reveals this awesome God as a God that will judge the Jewish
people.
   The Jewish Messiah comes to the mountain in Jerusalem to publish peace
throughout the world. Jewish people are aware that their Messiah will come
to bring peace and He will arrive on the mountain that He left from (Acts 1:
l0-11), the Mt. of Olives accross the Kidron Valley from the Temple Mount in
Jerusalem.
Notice that Nahum reminds the Jews to keep their feast days in light of what
will happen during the Kingdom to come.     At the Temple in Jerusalem, the
Jewish solemn feast will once again be observed during the millenniem
(Ezekiel 45: 7-25).
   Orthodox Jewish Scholars today are preparing the Jewish people to look
forward to that time when the Temple stands on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
At that time the Jewish Messiah, Jesus Christ, will dwell among His people,
the Jewish people forever (Psalms 132: 13-14). Though the sacrificial system
will be restored, it will be restored only as a memorial, not to take away
sin.   Like Nineveh in history, the Jewish people are beginning to long for
their Temple to be rebuilt and the Messiah to come - we are living in that
day, even so come Lord Jesus.
   PRAYER THOT: Let me see the awesomeness of God, our stronghold in a day
of trouble.
                                                   286




Nahum 2 vs13
Behold, I am against thee, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will burn her chariots in the smoke, and
the sword shall devour thy young lions: and I will cut off thy prey from the earth, and the voice of
thy messengers shall no more be heard.
                                                                      For further study - Nahum 2:1-13

Nahum prophesied during the reign of Hezekiah, probably about 150 years after the Jewish Prophet
Jonah. According to historians, the city of Nineveh was destroyed about a century later precisely as
Nahum predicted. In fact, the book of Nahum has but one subject - the destruction of Nineveh.

Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian Empire, the peoples who captured the ten tribes of Israel, which
had separated from Judah and Benjamin at the end of the reign of King Solomon, I Kings 11.

The Assyrians, in essence the people of Nineveh, were a fierce fighting machine and killed and destroyed
many warriors and their sponsoring states.

The great ethical lesson of Nahum is that the character of God makes Him not only "slow to anger", and
"a stronghold to them that trust Him", but also one who "will not at all acquit the wicked."

As you will notice when you read the extended portion of our devotional today, it is a prophecy that is one
continuous strain, which does not yield to analysis. I therefore will not analyze the reading for today but
will only mention that as you read Nahum you will see the holiness of God, which must deal with “sin in
judgment”.

As an aside, I mention to you that Biblical Nineveh is located in Iraq in the north. What Nineveh was in
yesteryear is modern-day Mosul, one of the key players in the ongoing drama in war-torn Iraq. Someone
has said, "what goes around, comes around." These Bible lands of yesterday are the battlefields of today
and the future.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to learn that you're holiness, Lord, must deal with sin in judgment.
                                                    287
Nahum 3 vs19
There is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous: all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the
hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?
                                                                      For further study - Nahum 3:1-19

As we read today from the prophecy of Nahum 3, we must be reminded of how cruel the Ninevites had
been to the nations and peoples surrounding them.

The Ninevites were a treacherous people. Verse 1 of our extended reading refers to Nineveh as the "city
of blood". Nineveh was truly a "city of blood" - blood spilled by her uncontrolled lust and murder. She
earned the title by her treacherous practices of cutting off hands and feet, ears and noses, gouging out eyes
and lopping off heads.

These mutilated bodies would be impaled or flayed alive through a process in which there skin was
gradually and completely removed.

God's judgment on Nineveh would bring relief to all of her neighbors. Reading through Nahum 3 is like
reading the pre-written history of this treacherous land. There are a number of prophecies found in
Nahum 3 that have already been fulfilled.

For example when the city was captured the people would be drunk, verse 11; the Assyrian fortresses
surrounding the city would be easily captured, verse 12; and Nineveh would be destroyed by fire, verses
15.

There are other prophecies found in our reading for today and each of them have been documented, they
have been fulfilled. The prophecies of Nahum 3 were all fulfilled between 612 and 609 BC. This empire,
that for centuries had been invincible, was totally disintegrated.

Nahum revealed in his prophecy that the Lord would pour out His wrath on Nineveh, 1:2-3, 6 and
demonstrate his care for those who trust in Him, 1:7.

We can learn from the book of Nahum that God's wrath will eventually fall on sinners and we can be
comforted by knowing that those who turn to Him are safe.

A study of prophetic passages in God's Word that have not yet been fulfilled reveal that the seven year
period of judgment yet to come will be very similar to the days of Nahum's prophecy. This will be true,
especially in relation to the peoples and the geographical locations of past and future prophecies that have
been and will be fulfilled.

By the way, Biblical Nineveh is modern day Mosul in Iraq. It is very interesting to know that both
Nineveh and Babylon, two major fortressed cities 4,500 years ago were both built by Nimrod, Genesis
10:10-11.

The kingdoms that Nimrod established then are a prototype of what is to come in the future with a world
headquarters for the Anti-christ to be located in the exact same geographical location as these two ancient
cities.


Prayer Thot: Thank you Lord for the record of prophecies fulfilled which gives me the assurance that
all unfulfilled prophecies will be fulfilled by You, the One in control.
                                       288
Nehemiah 2 vs. 6 - And the king said    unto me, (the queen also sitting by
him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it
pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.

For further study - Nehemiah 1 and 2

Nehemiah was the cupbearer for King Artaxerxes during the early days of the
Persian Empire. Word came from Jerusalem that the “holy city” was the
laughing stock of the world because of its physical condition. The Temple had
been rebuilt but the walls and the streets of the city were in shambles.

This news prompted Nehemiah to seek permission from the King to travel to
Jerusalem and repair his beloved city, Nehemiah 2:5. In fact, the King gave
Nehemiah a letter to take with him on his journey granting safe passage and
the written permission to rebuild the walls and streets of the City of
Jerusalem, Nehemiah 2:7-8.

The rest of the book of Nehemiah is a marvelous study of “Godly management”
in the face of “opposition”. It would be worth your time spent digging into
this marvelous book. The book also records the giving of the decree mentioned
by the ancient Jewish Prophet Daniel in Daniel 9:25.

Daniel is setting the timeframe by which we can determine the period in
history when the “Jewish Messiah” would come to Earth. Daniel 9:25 states
that from the "commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the
Messiah" would be 69 of the prophetic "70 weeks of Daniel" or in other words
483 of the 490 years that is revealed by Daniel's Prophecy.

The command or decree given by Artaxerxes was given in the year BC445. The
presentation of Jesus Christ as the Messiah took place in AD30. This period
of time, according to the Jewish calendar, would meet the requirements of
Daniel's Prophecy and confirm that Jesus Christ was indeed the Jewish
Messiah, as He had claimed.

By the way, the last seven years, Daniel 9:27, ‘the seventh week”, of that
490 year period, “Daniel’s Seventy Weeks”, is the time described in Bible
Prophecy as the “Tribulation Period”, a terrible time of judgment yet in the
future.

Daniel 9:27 says that period will be dominated by an Antichrist, a false
peace in the Middle East and a Temple in Jerusalem. Though there is no Temple
on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem now, all preparations have been made for
there to be one soon. And world leaders are hard at work to bring about peace
in the Middle East.

The stage is being set for Bible Prophecy to be fulfilled. The next event to
take place is the Rapture of the Church, which could happen at any moment.

Prayer Thot: Help me Lord to be a servant as Nehemiah was and be alert to the
soon coming of the Messiah as I compare Bible Prophecy with current events.
                                                     289


Nehemiah 4 vs17
They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with
one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.
                                                               For further study - Nehemiah 4:10-23

What a great book is, Nehemiah, the one containing our reading for today. Nehemiah was still among the
Jews that had not returned to the land of Israel. When he got word of the deplorable conditions of his
beloved city of Jerusalem he immediately sought permission from the king to return to Jerusalem and to
rebuild the walls of the city and repair its streets.

He would face much opposition to the task God had given him. In fact, there would be those who wanted
the building stopped. Those who opposed the Jews would even resort to killing the workers. Nehemiah
prepared his workers to both rebuild the walls and streets of the city and to protect themselves from the
attacks.

As I read through the extended passage for today, I was impressed with what happened about 2,500 years
ago and what has been going on in the modern-day Jewish state of Israel. Nehemiah's helpers would work
with one hand and hold their weapon with the other as they worked.

That principle extended to the other workers with a portion of them at the work of refurbishing Jerusalem
and the other portion of the Jews with shields and spears to protect the workers.

I almost feel like I am reading out of the local Israeli newspaper reporting on a normal life in the Middle
East. Today, the Jewish nation of only five and a half million people is building a nation with one hand
working to build this Jewish nation and the other half of the nation protecting all Jews from total
destruction.

A great statement is used as an exhortation to the Jewish people then - and now. "Our God shall fight for
us," found in verse 20, is a reminder to the Jewish people of who they are and what the God of heaven
will do for them. They are the “Sons of Jacob”, the one who had his name changed to "Israel" which
literally means, “my God will fight for you”.

The truth of the matter is that those five and a half million Jews today are surrounded by at least 350
million Arabs and Muslims who all claim to despise the Jews and want to rid the world of all of them. So
what's new?

The only way the Jews will sustain existence is by God fighting for them, which He has done for about
4,000 years. That in and of itself is proof of the reality of a true, all- powerful, holy God who will indeed
continue to fight for His “chosen people”, the Jewish people.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for taking care of the Jewish people, which gives me comfort that
You will also take care of me, fighting for me, as a member of Your body.
                                                    290
Nehemiah 6 vs16
And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about
us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work
was wrought of our God.
                                                                 For further study - Nehemiah 6:1-16

What a stamp of approval, the "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval," when the world, in fact the enemy
of the Jewish people, realized that "the work was wrought of our God". The work Nehemiah wrote about,
of course, was the rebuilding of the “walls and the streets” of the city of Jerusalem.

God had worked in the heart of the King of Persia to allow Nehemiah, the King's cupbearer, to return to
Jerusalem to reconstruct the walls around the city and repair the streets of the "holy city".

As we come to the sixth chapter of Nehemiah, we see that the job has been completed, verse 15. This was
a very fine bit of civil engineering, to repair the walls and the streets of a war-torn city. Actually it had
taken only 52 days to do all of this work in this devastated city, verse 15.

As the "foreman" on the job, Nehemiah had led the workers, as a man of God, with a purpose focused on
service for the Lord and His chosen city. It was a matter of "focus" with Nehemiah.

Verses 2-4 indicate that the enemies of the Jewish city and its people wanted to stop the work of the Lord.
They tried to divert Nehemiah away from his work. Notice Nehemiah's response to the invitation to walk
away from his God-given mission, verse 3.

The focus, according to Nehemiah was, "I'm doing a great work, so that I can not come down." When
doing a great work for the Lord, we must stay focused on the mission that God has given us and let
nothing distract us from His will for our lives. It may be hard to focus but we must do so to get His work
done.

As one reads through all of Nehemiah's account of this rebuilding of the walls and repairing the streets of
Jerusalem we can find example after example of how God's man under God's leadership and provision,
can do God's will much faster than previously thought.
     This project was done as a testimony to the "heathen" around Jerusalem who were doing everything
they could to cause Nehemiah and his team to fail. This event is one of the "milestones" along the way, in
Jewish history.
     The fact is that the Persian king Artaxerxes would make a decree that would mark the time in history
to start the count that would lead up to the time when Jesus Christ would be hailed as the King of Kings,
on the day of the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem, Daniel 9:25-26.
     The exactness of this pronouncement by the King sets in place the point of reference by which Jews,
Gentiles and Christians can begin to count 173,880 days until Messiah Jesus Christ would show up in
Jerusalem, Luke 19:40-45.
     According to Jesus, in the Luke passage, He showed up in Jerusalem on the exact day He was to be
there, not a day late or a day early, the exact day He was to be there. Jesus then told those there and the
ones who would read this passage later that by reading the Word of God, and understanding what it's
saying, we can know what time it is in His plan for the future.
     The practical and the prophetic come together in this passage of scripture, our devotional reading for
today.


PRAYER THOT: Help me, dear Lord, to focus on the mission you have given me to complete for you.
                                                    291

Nehemiah 8 vs.8
So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to
understand the reading.
                                                                       For further study - Nehemiah 8:1-18
This chapter in Nehemiah is an exhortation for each of us to read the Word of God, come to an
understanding of the Word, and then to obey the Word. Nehemiah 8:8 tells us how this can happen. The
verse explains the process that Ezra, the scribe, used in order for God's Word to be understood and
obeyed.

First the people would read the Word. Notice how they would read from the Torah, the first five books of
the Bible. The teacher, Ezra, would stand behind a pulpit, Nehemiah 8:4, and the people would stand as
Ezra would read the “holy scriptures”, Nehemiah 8:5.

When someone tells me, based upon Nehemiah 8:4 that I must stand behind a pulpit to preach, I remind
them that they must then stand while I preach based on the next verse.

Notice after the Word was read, Nehemiah 8:8, that Ezra would give the sense of the Word. In other
words, he would do a Bible study with the people so that they would understand what was being read.

It is interesting to note that the people had a respect for God's Word, as indicated by the fact that they
stood as the Word was read. We must first respect God's Word before we can really understand what God
is saying to us through it. When we respect and understand His Word, then we will obey His Word, as we
see happening in this passage, Nehemiah 8:9-18.

Did you notice the time of the year that the passage takes place? It is in the fall of the year, Nehemiah
8:2, the first day of the seventh month. That is the day that the Jewish people celebrate the Feast of
Trumpets, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

Notice also that as the people read and understood God's Word, they realized that they were to observe the
seven-day Feast of Tabernacles, Nehemiah 8:14-18. The seven-day Feast of Tabernacles was celebrated
by reading the Word each day, Nehemiah 8:18, in addition to living in their “thatched huts” for the seven
days of the feast.

This chapter gives us an understanding of how we are to relate to God's Word. It also looks into the future
with the mention of the two Jewish feast days, Trumpets and Tabernacles.

These two Jewish Feasts foretell of the time of the return of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, to the Earth. Christ
will come back to the Mount of Olives on the Feast of Trumpets. And the Millennial Kingdom will begin
on the Feast of Tabernacles.

Nehemiah 8 is a great chapter that reminds us of the importance of reading, understanding, and obeying
God's Word. But also it reminds us of things to come, Bible prophecy that will be fulfilled.

PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord to read Your Word, understand it and obey it.
                                     292

Nehemiah 10 vs39 - For the children of Israel and the children of Levi
shall bring the offering of the corn, of the new wine, and the oil,
unto the chambers, where are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the
priests that minister, and the porters, and the singers: and we will
not forsake the house of our God.
         For further study - Nehemiah 10:1-39
   As we come to our devotional reading for today we must be reminded
of some background information before we look at our passage for our
extended reading.
   Nehemiah had traveled back to Jerusalem to rebuild the streets of
the city and the walls around the city. That job completed, the
scribe, Ezra comes into the Temple with the "Torah", the five books of
Moses, the first five books of the Old Testament, Nehemiah 8:1.
   The day Ezra arrived at the Temple, 8:2, the first day of the
seventh month on the Jewish calendar, was the Jewish Holy Day of Rosh
Hashana, the Jewish New Year, also known as the "feast of trumpets.
   As Ezra stood behind a "wooden pulpit" , 8:4, the people stood up
for the reading of the Word, 8:5. Then Ezra gave the people an
understanding of the portion read to the congregation. As a result of
the reading of the Word and a response to the Word there was "revival"
among the Jewish worshipers.
   In Nehemiah 9:3 we see that the Jewish worshipers would spend one-
fourth of their day reading the Word of God and one-fourth of their
day confessing their sins and worshiping the Lord their God.
   It was because of what was happening among the Jewish people that
leads us to the point in time of our reading for today. The last verse
in Nehemiah 9, verse 38, states that they made a promise, a vow in
writing, and sealed it.
   Nehemiah 10:1 points out the families that made this vow and verse
28 shows us that the Jews separated themselves from the other people
and unto the law of the Lord. They made a strong vow, an oath, to walk
in Gods law and do all that they observed and to do all it commanded
them to do.
   Walking in the law of the Lord was made manifest in their giving of their
wealth to the service of the Temple, verse 32. Verse 35 also reveals that
those who had come under the influence of this revival also gave the "first
fruits" of the farm products they were harvesting for the activities at the
Temple.
   Then, in our key verse, verse 39, we see that they did all that was
reported of them, and made a vow to forsake not the "house of their God".
This last statement reminds me of the exhortation Paul wrote in the book of
Hebrews, 10:25, "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the
manner of some is, but exhorting one another: and so much the more as we see
the day approaching".
   The "day approaching" is the day of the coming of the Lord. That day could
be today. This behooves us to let the Word of God be that by which we live
everyday of our life as we await His seemingly soon return.
   PRAYER THOT: Lord help me to join others as we assemble ourselves together
to hear Your Word in preparation for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
                                  293
Numbers 10 vs. 2 - Make thee two      trumpets of silver; of a whole
piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling
of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps.
   For further reading - Numbers 10:1-10
   The Lord gave instruction through Moses to the Jewish people on how
to worship and how to provide a covering for their sins. These
instructions are found in the Torah, the Law, contained in the first
five books in the Old Testament.
   Here in Numbers 10, the Lord instructs Moses to make two trumpets
of pure silver that were to be used for calling the Israelites to a
“solemn assembly” and for direction for their journey to the Promised
Land.
   There were additional times the trumpets were to be blown. They
were to be blown for “days of gladness”. They were blown to call
attention to “special solemn assemblies”. They were to be sounded on
the “first day of each month”. Also the trumpets were to be sounded
during “certain sacrifices”.
   God told Moses also to have the trumpets sounded as an “alarm” when
an enemy was approaching, and when the Children of Israel would go to
“war” against the enemy, verse 9.
   The prophet Joel, many years after Moses, wrote of using the
trumpet to warn of the coming enemy that will appear in the Last Days.
Joel told the Jews to “blow the trumpet in Zion”, Jerusalem, and
“sound the alarm” in the Lord's holy mountain, the Temple Mount, Joel
2:1.
   The trumpet sound of Joel's prophecy was to warn Jews of the
“judgment coming at the end of time”. A close look at Joel's prophecy
and the other Jewish prophets will reveal that the time for Joel's
trumpet to be sounded in Jerusalem is quickly approaching.
   I must remind you that before Joel's trumpet is sounded, another
trumpet will be heard and it will call all Christians into the
heavenlies at the Rapture of the Church, I Thessalonians 4:16 and I
Corinthians 15:52.
   After the Rapture trumpet sounds, according to the book of
Revelation 4 to 19, the seven year Tribulation Period follows.
Revelation reveals a description of the “terrible time of judgment”.
In Revelation 8,9 and 11:15-19, John writes of seven judgments that
intensify in severity as the seven angels blow the seven trumpets of
judgment.
   There is yet another trumpet that will be sounded. That trumpet will be
blown by order of Jesus Christ when He returns to the Mount of Olives in
Jerusalem, Matthew 24:31. The Lord will tell the angel to “sound the trumpet
to gather the Jews from all of Creation to Jerusalem”.
The blast of the trumpet on the day that Jesus comes back to Earth is
actually on the Jewish feast day, the “Feast of Trumpets”. The Feast of
Trumpets is fulfilled at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ - not the Rapture
of the Church. The sound of the trumpet at the Rapture takes place at least
seven years earlier. The truth is, that trumpet sound may be heard today.
   Keep looking up as you listen for that next trumpet sound.
   PRAYER THOT: Help me be prepared, pure, and productive until I hear the
sound of the trumpet for the Rapture.
                                                     294




Numbers 13 vs30
And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are
well able to overcome it.
                                                                 For further study - Numbers 13:1-33

This is the story of Moses dispatching the twelve spies, one from each of the tribes of Israel, to enter the
Promised Land to determine if all of the Israelites could enter the land at that time. You may already
know the results of the mission by these twelve leaders of the tribes of Israel.

Ten came back and said the land was filled with giants who would destroy the invading Jewish nation. In
fact, in the eyes of these ten spies, they perceive themselves to be "grasshoppers" as compared to the
inhabitants of the land that God has promised the Jewish people.

However, there were two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, who came back with a great report. Moses had
told all the spies to scout out the lay of the land and be sure to bring some fruit back from their mission,
verse 20. At least two of the spies, Caleb and Joshua, had gone over to Hebron, the oldest Jewish
community in the history of the world - a Jewish town established by Abraham when he was promised all
of the land.

There, near a brook, the brook of Eshcol, they cut down a bunch of grapes that took two men together to
bear the grapes out of the land and bring them back to Moses. This is evidence of how God would provide
for His people and that the land was indeed as the two spies reported, a “land of milk and honey”, verse
27.

The other ten spies reported that the enemy would kill the Jewish people if they went into the land. The
Israelites believed the ten spies and as a result wandered in the wilderness for the next 39 years.

Remember, Hebron, was the burial place for the patriarchs of Israel, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the
second most sacred piece of real estate for the Jewish people. Today it is a very controversial location - a
place of violence between the Jews and the Palestinians.

This entire event speaks volumes about the lack of belief among the Jewish people. As the Lord gave
them the land 3,500 years ago, and at that time they failed to take it, so today His promise of returning the
people to the land is not truly believed by many of the Jewish people.

God's promises to the Jewish people are true and forever. However, these promises must be accepted by
faith. One day, seemingly some day soon, God will fulfill His promises to the Jewish people including
giving them all of the land He has promised them.

PRAYER THOT: Help me, dear Lord, to believe Your promises for me as I move towards Your return
to gather me to be with you, forever.
                                                    295




Numbers 19:1-3
And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, This is the ordinance of the law which
the LORD hath commanded, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red
heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke: And ye shall give her
unto Eleazar the priest, that he may bring her forth without the camp, and one shall slay her before
his face.
                                                                  For further study - Numbers 19:1-21

The ordinance of the "Red Heifer" was given to the Jewish people, from God, through Moses. This
ordinance was for the “cleansing of those desecrated”, desecrated by coming in contact with “death”. Any
such contact would make that Jewish person “un-pure” and with the need of “purification”.

The “ordinance of the Red Heifer” was given after the “Ten Commandments”, to Moses as the spokesman
for God, to the Jewish people. It is a “prophecy”, in symbolic form, which was fulfilled by Jesus Christ.

As you can see by reading our devotional passage for today, the “red heifer” was to have never worn a
“yoke” and was to be without a blemish of any type, verse 2. The “red” color of the young cow must also
be without any other spot of any other color.

The priest was to lead the red heifer to an “alter without the gate”, meaning 3,000 feet away from the
Temple, and “before his face”, verse 3, meaning to the “east” of the Tabernacle or Temple. “His face” is
referring to the “Glory of the Lord” that hovered over the “Ark of the Covenant”.

After the priest “ceremonially killed” the red heifer it was placed on a “fire” of cedar wood and reduced to
ashes. While that was happening the priest added a “scarlet ribbon” and some “hyssop”, a sponge-like
plant, and the ashes of these ingredients were then added to a “stone jar” with “living water”, running
water or rain water, for the “ashen-water” that was sprinkled on that or those desecrated.

This ordinance will be reinstated during the Tribulation Period but is only a prototype of the “purification
by the blood of Jesus Christ”, to cleanse each of us from our personal desecration, the result of sin. By the
way, there is now a Red Heifer ready to be used during the Tribulation Period, that yet future time of
Judgment on the Earth.

The Talmud, extra-Biblical Jewish writing, says when a “tenth” Red Heifer shows up to be used in this
God-given ordinance, it is the “time of the coming of the Messiah”. That “tenth” Red Heifer is now ready
to be used by the Jewish people.

It is truly amazing to think of how close we are to the Rapture - which must happen before the “Red
Heifer ordinance” is restored during the Tribulation Period. In fact, we are so near that it could be today
that the Rapture happens. Are you prepared for that event to happen?

PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord to be ready for the “any- moment” Rapture to take place and use me
to tell others of how close we are to the call, by You, to join You in the heavenlies.
                                                    296
Numbers 20 vs21
Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his border: wherefore Israel turned away from
him.
                                                                     For further study - Numbers 20:14-29

The account we read for our devotional today, these 16 verses, record the travels of the children of Israel,
led my Moses, toward the Promised Land. You will notice that they travel along the "King's Highway"
which was the road of the merchants from Africa through Egypt along the lower section of Israel near the
Red Sea and then into southern Jordan going north.

I have traveled many times along the King's Highway as was the case for the thousands of Jews near the
end of their 40 years of wandering in the "wilderness" because of unbelief. They did not believe Joshua
and Caleb who gave the positive report of the "Promised Land" after their "spy mission" into the land
almost 40 years earlier.

What we read in our devotional today is the account of what happened right after Moses had been
disobedient to the Lord when the Lord told the leader of the Jewish people to "speak" to the "rock" and
instead, Moses "smote" the rock, Numbers 20:7-13. The Lord told Moses and Aaron that because of their
lack of obedience they would not be allowed to enter the Promised Land, verse 12.

The last 7 verses of our reading for today record the death of Aaron, the brother of Moses and the High
Priest. The record shows that Aaron died atop Mount Hor that is near the headquarters of the Edomites,
the descendants of Esau, a place called Petra. As I have visited Petra many times, I have often thought
about the disobedience of Aaron and Moses and the penalty they both had to pay for not following the
instructions that God gave them.

In verses 14-22, we see that the Edomites would not allow the children of Israel, their "brothers," verse
14, to travel along the King's Highway but instead they had to travel farther east towards Saudi Arabia
and go around the land of Edom, Numbers 21:4.

You might remember the account of the Lord sending Esau and his family to Mount Seir, which is the
same location of the Edomites in this passage. When Esau arrived in Petra the Lord changed the land area,
so that it would be known as Edom, after the name that God had given Esau, Genesis 36:1.

Space will not allow for me to trace from Esau in Petra, the land of Edom, to the modern-day Palestinian
people (see my audio series Esau and the Palestinians.)

Verse 18 reveals that Edom would not allow the children of Israel to travel the King's Highway towards
the Promised Land even though Moses said he would pay for any damages made by his people and their
animals, verse 17. This account is simply one chapter in the life and struggle of two brothers, Jacob and
Esau.

Their mother was told by the Lord that these two boys struggling within her womb would become two
nations - two manner of people, Genesis 25:23. The Scriptures tell us that they would continue this
struggle until Jesus Christ returns to the earth to settle the battle between these two brothers, Obadiah 17
and 18.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict of today is evidence of the truth of God's word and the prophecy that will
be fulfilled in the end times.

PRAYER THOT: Help me, Lord, to obey You and follow Your instructions.
                                                     297


Numbers 21 vs8
And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come
to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
                                                                    For further study - Numbers 21:1-35


I have just realized that more and more I am giving you a whole chapter in a book to read for our
extended devotional. I hope that you agree, it should not hinder us in our devotional time to spend a bit
more time in the "Book".

I will point out several tidbits in this chapter for today, but first to our key verse. Let me give you the
background for our reading today. Moses was leading the children of Israel towards the Promised Land
and at this time they had been wandering for almost forty years.

The Israelites were very discouraged at not being able to get to the Promised Land; howbeit, it was their
own fault because of their disobedience and unbelief.

Verse 4 tells us that they were not able to continue along the "Kings Highway", 20:17, because the
Edomites refused to allow them to pass that way. Therefore they had to travel by way of the Red Sea,
towards Arabia, around Petra and Edom and then into Ammon before they would cross over the Jordan
River into the Promised Land.

The people once again spoke against Moses and his leadership, complaining also against God, verse 5.
This then caused the Lord to send "fiery serpents" among the children of Israel. Many of the Jews were
bitten and they died, verse 6.

At this point God told Moses to make a replica of the "fiery serpent" and put it atop a pole that was to
stand up in the wilderness. God then said that if the Jewish people would look up to the "fiery serpent",
they would live. This "look and live" action was a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ on His cross.

The people of Israel would continue along the "Kings Highway" and be confronted by Sihon the King of
the Amorites in the area of "Heshbon". If you've ever traveled on a tour with me thru the Land of the
Bible and into Jordan, you have seen "Heshbon".

It was at "Heshbon" where God allowed the Israelites to defeat the Amorites. It was after that victory that
the Lord told Moses to send a group up into Bashan to defeat Og, the King of Bashan. The children of
Israel defeated the people of Bashan and later Joshua gave Bashan to the half tribe of Manasseh, even
though it was on the eastern shore of the Jordan River.
     By the way, Bashan is the name also known in the Bible, and today, as the "Golan," the Golan
Heights. This event took place 3,500 years ago. That's how long ago that God gave the Golan Heights to
the Jewish people.
     One has to wonder why the Syrians lay claim to the Golan Heights. The truth of the matter is, the
enemies of Israel, the Jewish state today, don't want Jews anywhere in the Middle East. Which is a satanic
influence that is in all of the enemies of Israel.
     How up-to-date our devotional readings are each and every day.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for being lifted up on the cross like the "fiery serpent" on the pole
in the wilderness so that I could "look and live".
                                  298

Obadiah 1 - The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning
Edom; We have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent
among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle.
      For further study - Obadiah 1-7
   In our extended reading today we will actually be reading prophecy
that was written around 300 years before it would be fulfilled. The
portion we have read is actually pre-written history or Bible prophecy
fulfilled.
   My statements need to be explained with some historic background.
The judgment pronounced in this the littlest book in the Old Testament
is against Edom. You might remember that God changed the names of
twin brothers, Jacob and Esau. God changed Jacob's name to Israel
(Genesis 32:2) and Esau's name to Edom (Genesis 36:1). Thus the
judgment of God will be on Esau and his descendants.
   In the 36th chapter of Genesis, God had Esau and his family leave
Canaan, modern-day Israel, and move to Mt. Seir, Genesis 36:8, which
is today the lower third of Jordan. Mt. Seir was changed to Edom as
it became known in Biblical times. We have Esau who is Edom and the
place where he would live out his life called Edom.
   In Obadiah we have God's dealings with the Edomites, descendants of
Esau, and the return of Edomites back to Israel. As verse 3 tells us,
the Edomites were a proud people - one of the reasons for God's
judgment. Their pride was due to their home base which was the city
of Petra, the impregnable city in southern Jordan.
   The city had one entrance, a high narrow gorge that extended for
about a mile into the city. At some points, it was 8 feet wide, at
others, up to 30 feet wide. The walls of this gorge were between 500
and 600 feet high.
   The King's Highway, route of the merchants from Africa to Arabia,
passed by the entrance to Petra. The Edomites would rob the merchants
and run back through the gorge into Petra which is about 25 square
miles in size. Inside, the cliff walls are as high as 2000 feet and
there are all kinds of man-made and God-made caves where the Edomites
could hide like "eagles in their nests among the stars."
   They thought no one could bring them down which led to their pride.
God would use the stone carvers from Arabia, the Nabataeans, who while
at a banquet with the Edomites, would rise up and kill their hosts.
The Edomites, those who could escape, would run out of the gorge, turn
west, and flee into southern Judah. There they would change their
name to the Idumeans. Herod the Great was an Idumean and thus a
descendent of Esau.
   Obadiah's prophecy, the first of his total prophecy against Esau
(verses 1-7) would be fulfilled about 500 years before Christ.
Obadiah's first prophecy fulfilled, gives us assurance that his last
prophecies, as we discussed in our last devotional in Obadiah, will be
fulfilled as well.
   The Edomites, modern-day Palestinians, will be destroyed.
   PRAYER THOT: Help me to remember, Lord, You're judgment for sin is
sure.
                                      299

Obadiah 1 vs10 - For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover
thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.

For further study - Obadiah 1:10-18

The phrase in our key verse, "cut of forever", has a finality to it that must
be considered when we look at whom the prophecy is focused. The entire book
of Obadiah is a prophecy written to reveal judgment on the Edomites, the
descendants of Esau, verse 1.

The Edomites can be traced from Esau, the twin brother of Jacob, the son of
Isaac and Rebbecca, Genesis 35, all the way through history to the
Palestinian people of today. (See my audio series, "Esau and the
Palestinians.")

A study of God's word will reveal there has been more judgment pronounced
upon the Edomites than any other people group in the world. Obadiah gives two
reasons for such a harsh judgment upon the Edomites, verses 3 & 10.

Verse 3 mentions the "pride" of Esau and his descendants as they lived in
Petra, an impregnable city in southern Jordan, where God sent Esau almost
4,000 years ago. Because Esau and his family were so well protected, they
became proud of their superior position among the Middle Eastern nations.

Verse 10 gives us the second reason for a pronounced judgment on the
Edomites. As Esau's father Isaac told him, Genesis 27:40, Esau would live by
the "sword". Ezekiel 35:5 reveals that Esau and his descendants would be
judged severely because they would "kill" the descendants of Esau's twin
brother, Jacob, the Jewish people.

Not only does our key verse speak of a judgment that would "cut off the
Edomites forever" but verse 16 says at the "day of judgment" for the Edomites
it will be as if they had never been a people. Jeremiah 49:18 says they will
"be as Soddom and Gomorrah".

The judgment will be harsh and sever because the Edomites, the   Palestinians
of today, kill the Jews and take their God-given land, Ezekiel   35:10. This of
course does not mean that individual Palestinians can not come   to know the
Lord; however, as a people group God has pronounced a judgment   on them that
will be absolute and it will be forever.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict will continue until Jesus Christ, the
Messiah, returns. Then His judgment will be fulfilled. We are living in a
period in history like none other in all of time.

Obadiah's prophecy will be fulfilled and the stage is ready for the final act
of the drama to begin, it to happen in the near future.

Prayer Thot: Help me to win people to you, Jesus, for salvation as I await
your soon coming.
                                                    300



Obadiah 1 vs10
For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for
ever.
                                                                 For further study - Obadiah 1:10-18

The phrase in our key verse, "cut off forever", has a finality to it that must be considered when we look at
whom the prophecy is focused. The entire book of Obadiah is a prophecy written to reveal judgment on
the Edomites, the descendants of Esau, verse 1.

The Edomites can be traced from Esau, the twin brother of Jacob, the son of Isaac and Rebbecca, Genesis
35, all the way through history to the Palestinian people of today. (See my audio series, "Esau and the
Palestinians.")

A study of God's word will reveal there has been more judgment pronounced upon the Edomites than any
other people group in the world. Obadiah gives two reasons for such a harsh judgment upon the Edomites,
verses 3 & 10.

Verse 3 mentions the "pride" of Esau and his descendants as they lived in Petra, an impregnable city in
southern Jordan, where God sent Esau almost 4,000 years ago. Because Esau and his family were so well
protected, they became proud of their superior position among the Middle Eastern nations.

Verse 10 gives us the second reason for a pronounced judgment on the Edomites. As Esau's father Isaac
told him,Genesis 27:40, Esau would live by the "sword". Ezekiel 35:5 reveals that Esau and his
descendants would be judged severely. That judgment would come because the Edomites would "kill" the
descendants of Esau's twin brother, Jacob, the Jewish people.

Not only does our key verse speak of a judgment that would "cut off the Edomites forever" but verse 16
says at the "day of judgment" for the Edomites it will be as if they had never been a people. Jeremiah
49:18 says they will "be as Sodom and Gomorrah".

The judgment will be harsh and sever because the Edomites, the Palestinians of today, will kill the Jews
and take their God-given land, Ezekiel 35:10. This of course does not mean that individual Palestinians
can not come to know the Lord; however, as a people group God has pronounced a judgment on them that
will be absolute and it will be forever.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict will continue until Jesus Christ, the Messiah, returns. Then His judgment
will be fulfilled. We are living during a period in history like never before in all of time.

Obadiah's prophecy will be fulfilled and the “world stage” is ready for the “final act of the drama” to
begin, it could happen in the near very future.

Prayer Thot: Help me to understand the events that are happening today, in light of the prophetic
scenario found in God’s Word and to live every moment of every day looking for the Lord’s return.
                                                      301


Obadiah 18
And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for
stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of
the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it.
                                                                     For further study - Obadiah 15-21

This little book, the smallest Old Testament book, of Obadiah is one of a number of prophetic passages
focused on the Edomites, the descendants of Esau. The facts be known, there is more judgment
pronounced against Esau and the Edomites than any other peoples in the Bible.

You'll notice that both Jacob and Esau are mentioned in our key verse, verse 18. These boys are twin
brothers born to Isaac and Rebekah, Genesis 25. The boys started to struggle in the womb of their mother
before birth, which actually set the theme of their lives, an ongoing struggle throughout their 4,000 years
of history.

These two brothers will continue to fight, in fact, all the way to the return of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Though many political leaders, even on the international scene, have tried to bring peace and stability to
the Middle East by resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it will not happen until Jesus comes back.

Look back with us to the account of the early days of Jacob and Esau found in Genesis 25. Genesis 25 is
the record of their birth with Esau, the firstborn, howbeit by less than an entire body length, remember
Esau came out of his mother's womb with Jacob holding onto his heel. Technically, Esau was the firstborn
with all the privileges of being the firstborn, he received the "birth rite" and at the end of his father's life
Esau would receive the "blessing".

You remember that Esau sold his birth rite to Jacob and Jacob manipulated his father Isaac to get Esau's
blessing, Genesis 27. Please notice in Genesis 25:23 that the Lord told Rebekah, the mother of these two
boys, that they would both become a “nation of peoples”. The verse also tells us that the elder, Esau,
would serve the younger, Jacob.

As you trace these two boys and their families as they became nations over the last 4,000 years, we come
to the present-day and find the two nations, Israel and the Palestinian peoples. The prophecy that God
gave to Rebekah, Genesis 25:23, has been fulfilled. The prophecy found in our reading for today will be
fulfilled also, possibly in the near future.

Verse 18, our key verse, says that Jacob, the Jewish state of Israel will be the "flame" and Esau, the
Palestinian people the "stubble" and the "kindling wood". Obadiah's prophecy will be fulfilled at the
coming of Jesus, and the Edomites, the Palestinians will be destroyed, "as if they had never been", verse
16b. That doesn't mean that individual Palestinians won't be saved, but as a people they will be destroyed.

The stage is being set for Obadiah's prophecy to be fulfilled.

PRAYER THOT: Lord help me to reach out to the Palestinian people and others with the saving
grace of Jesus Christ since I know the times in which we are living.
                                   302


Obadiah, Verse 16 - For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so
shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and
they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not
been.

For further study - Obadiah   16 -21

You will notice once again Joel's "the day of the Lord" is in play
here, verse 15. This passage is describing the days leading up to the
return of Jesus Christ back to earth. A key verse, verse 16, speaks
of the descendants of Esau, drinking upon the Lord's "holy mountain".
This phrase, "holy mountain" used in the Old Testament is describing
the Temple Mount in Jerusalem as it does in each of the passages where
God uses that phrase.
   I do not believe that the Lord is referring to someone actually
drinking from a bottle of whiskey on the Temple Mount. Instead, the
Lord is referring to Zechariah's prophecy in chapter 12:2, of that
prophetic message. Zechariah is describing how those who have control
over the Temple Mount have become intoxicated with power. The words,
"cup of trembling" are referring to when the juice of the vine, the
grape juice, has fermented in the cup and has become intoxicating.
   Notice it says those who have drunk on the Temple Mount shall
continue to do so continuing to be intoxicated with power until they
shall be as if they never have been.     This is a prophecy written to
Esau and his descendants, the Edomites, which are the Palestinian
people of today.
   This small prohectic book of Obadiah is both historical and
prophetic.   The truth is that at its writing the entire book was
prophetic. The book was written around 850 years before the birth of
Jesus Christ.    Verses 1 - 14 are those prophecies that have become
fulfilled prophecies and historic in content as these events have
already come to past. Verses 15 - 21 are now the prophetic passages in
this book.
   All the evidence today is available for anyone to investigate and
come to the same conclusion that Orthodox Jewish scholars have come
to. The Edomites of biblical times are the Palestinians of today (see
my study, Esau and the Palestinians). Prophecy today. storefront
   We are now living in a time like never before in history. The Jews
and the Palestinians are in a conflict that is key in the Middle East.
In fact, the new United Nations Secretary General Ban ki Moon says
that the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is key to
peace in the Middle East.
The conflict will be resolved - the Palestinians shall come to a time
when they will be as if they have never been ( vs. 16 ). We are very
near to that time in history. Jesus is coming and it could be today.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to live as if this is the day Jesus will come,
because it could be the day.
                                                     303




Philemon 1:10
I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds.
                                                               For further study - Philemon 1:1-25

It is true that there is no prophetic passage found in the book of Philemon. However, in this little New
Testament book, I find Paul as our example of how to work towards a crown that will be given to some at
the Judgment Seat of Christ. It is the "Crown of Glory" spoken of in I Peter 1:1-4.

The “Crown of Glory” is given to those who are always ready to step up to “feed the flock”, to build them
up in the things of the Lord. Peter reveals that we do not serve as "feeders of the flock" for filthy lucre and
not by constraint, I Peter 5:2. Peter's exhortation is for u