Thursday, January 18, 2018

THE ALL-POWERFUL GOD - PSALM 139: VERSES 17-21

In Psalm 103:2, we are reminded that we should “Bless the Lord, Oh my soul….and forget not His benefits”.  The actual word for Benefits is the Hebrew word “gemul” which literally means….in context…”forget not all that He (the Lord) has given unto us”! We Christians have a tendency to not just forget what He has done for us, but the actual “benefit” of resting in the Victory of sin and death which He provides at the positional point of Salvation. 
One of the primary “benefits” of true conversion, from the dominion of darkness to the Kingdom of God’s marvelous light, is the ability to REST in the Lord! Jesus said it well (no surprise here). He said “you have not, because you ask not”. To paraphrase the King, we stress much, because we rest not.  The Bible talks about rest for the people of God all the time. Hebrews 4:9  tell us “there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God”. While we have to work at staying close to the Lord, through right living, prayer and Bible study as well as good deeds, the most important part of our position in Christ is already done. We are forgiven if we repent. We are heaven-bound because Jesus the Son of God died for our sins on the Cross, and He is our Lord and Master. The important work is done.

King David, the prophet, warrior poet and king of Israel knew this, without knowing the fullness of Christ during his time on earth. He did not know the Name of Yeshua, but David was one of the few in the Old Testament who had the Holy Spirit of Christ! Here is the King of Israel, who had conquered all enemies, after spending over a decade on the run from King Saul and his assassins just resting and basking in the Glory of God.
Psalm 139:17-21
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.
19 O that You would slay the wicked, O God;
Depart from me, therefore, men of bloodshed.
20 For they speak against You wickedly,
And Your enemies take Your name in vain.
21 Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
22 I hate them with the utmost hatred;
They have become my enemies.

Verse 17-18 are perfect examples for us today, on how a man or woman or child of God should function daily, in a dying, stress-filled and dangerous world, even when things personally go against us. Therein lies the Power of God in two distinctive ways. These ways are both the All-Powerful or Omnipotent God Himself and the Power of God imputed, embedded and existent in us in the Person of the Holy Spirit!

These are things which these two verses teaches us so we can have that same confidence, power and then rest in this Omnipotent God:
The Thoughts of the Lord are not only precious, they take precedence over every other thought. His thoughts are NOT our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). His Thoughts are right in our hands. His thoughts are known as The Bible. His Thoughts show us the pathway to peace, purpose and emotional prosperity.

- King David and most believers in God from Adam to only 400 years ago, never had a copy of the Bible EVER! It did not exist in the form, in which we are so fortunate to have nowadays. They did have the scrolls of the Law – the first five books of the Old Testament and the two historical books of Samuel; the Kings and the Chronicles (1st and 2nd of each, respectively).  They knew the works of the Lord from Abraham, Moses, the Crossing of the Red Sea and all His marvelous works. There were so many, concerning the Kindness, mercy and love of God that they could only come from His Unfathomable Mind and Heart. We have all of those Words and Thoughts and could never fully grasp the Totality of both words and thoughts in this lifetime. We could live to be 176 years like Abraham and still not understand 30% of them. This alone should inspire awe and reverence in Christians today.

Because the man of God knows what he doesn’t know (David that is,) and fully comprehends the absolute Power of God in His incredible Mind and Heart, the king is using wisdom, fortified by knowledge to discern the extent of this Power. God tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. You and I would be VERY wise if we recognize this huge TRUTH and live by it daily. Jesus Himself tells us, in Matthew 10:28 the following "Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell".

Verses 19-22 is a perfect example of the scary, yet awesome, Power of God to destroy evil. He – the Lord – HAS dismantled so many evil empires over history, we lose count. The very first one was the entire world during the Flood of Noah’s time. Later on, the Israelites were told to take the land belonging to the evil Canaanites and on and on. God even sacks the cities of His own people in order to uphold His Holiness as well as teach a lesson. The brutal Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar was saved by God towards the end of his life. However. before that, the Lord sent Nebuchadnezzar to sack, burn down now pagan Jerusalem and take the majority of people into exile, hundreds of miles away. 

God will always be holy, holy, holy.  All humankind, in our natural states, are wicked, wicked, wicked.  From here on out, after all we have seen and read of the Power of God to destroy evil in all of human history, anything we see taking place should be viewed with biblical lens. These lens shine the light on the sins of all people. When we see entire nations where witchcraft and voodoo are the major religions as in several third world countries suffer natural disasters and constant poverty, we see the power of God to punish (verse 19)

When we see nation against nation, tribe against tribe followed by pestilence and disease, we see verse 20.  Those who worship other gods in the demonic realm are not only taking the Name of the one True God in vain, they have violated the very first commandment and the law which has been written on hearts of ALL humans, since the time of Creation. While all final accounts will be settled for good on Judgment Day and eternal punishment awaits the wicked of the world – both nations and individuals, some judgment has already begun in this life. This is what the plaques of the Dark Ages was all about or the ruins we see in Central and South America now of ancient peoples who shook their fists at Holy God....among many others.

The people of God are supposed to hate, despise and turn away from all this wickedness of not just other nations, witchcraft and worse. But we are also commanded to not participate in the corruption of the modern culture and its obvious excesses (Verse 21).  The Word of God in this verse says “hate with a perfect hatred”. However, there is an addendum.

While we despise and stay away from everything evil, nonetheless, we pray for and about the entire scenario. We pray for protection from ALL evil (Psalm 91 and others). However, we also pray for the salvation of those involved in evil. Even if the evil is perpetrated against us, we pray for them.  We have personal evidence this kind of prayer works. The Power of God is such that sure He punishes evil, but He is also so powerful in love and goodness that He pardons those who have hated Him their entire lives, if they turn from their sins, repent and accept Him as Lord of their lives. In this, we see the Omnipotent demonstrate the amazing Power of Forgiveness. Glory to His Name. 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

THE ALL-PERCEIVING GOD- : PSALM 139: VERSES 13-16

THE OMNISCIENT GOD
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them. (Psalm 139:13-16)

"Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?” They went out of the city, and were coming to Him." (John 4:29-30)....these are the words of the five-time married, now living in sin, famous "Woman at the Well"!

Putting aside the obvious amazement that a fairly loose heathen woman would obviously know more Scripture and prophesy than 75% of church women (and men) today, her words reveal so much more about an Attribute of God, it is uncanny.

In fact, this statement by another unnamed biblical figure who was healed by Jesus explains beautifully the verses from Psalm 139 written above (verses 13-16)! By the way, there is a reason almost none of the multitude of Jesus healed and/or ministered to,  are actually named in the Gospels. Whether it is this now wonderful converted Samaritan saint, or the woman with the blood issue or the nobleman's son or the blind man or the ten lepers....and on and on. Not one of them was named. They were not named because the Holy Spirit of God Who inspired Scripture wants us to focus on the God Who Heals (Yahweh Rophe).

In Psalm 139 verse 13, we see the intricacy of the Design of the most Intelligent Designer of the Universe and Creator of Heaven and Earth. The most evil thing about governments and educators forcing human beings to learn their "Theory of Evolution" only, as if it were fact, is it robs people of their souls coming into true fellowship. When you force-feed innocently trusting kids seeking knowledge, that their ancestors crawled out of the ocean or were monkeys that came from a big bang that came out of nothing, what hope do you expect them to have about a great life out there for them?

We can discuss the future fiery home of these people some other time, but an absence of God in education, culture and now sadly, church culture has led the vast majority of mankind in the past 150 years permanently away from the All-seeing, All-perceiving God Who is both omniscient and loving, if some of these same humans would open their brains and think a little. Christianity is the only thinking man's religion where you do not check your brains at the doorstep.

Verse 14:  We believe that this incredible human body with its amazing network of cells, ligaments, a heart that pumps blood, lungs that take in air and a brain which cannot be fathomed, did NOT come from some explosion out of nothing-ness or an ape. The same people who teach this vile stuff, will force food or auto manufacturers to follow the law very carefully to insure their products are safe, workable and up to code. Yet with matters of even more significance, they deny the Creator. 

We invite you to think of what "fearfully and wonderfully made" actually means. Some would argue that the Alabama-based Mercedes Benz plant makes some of the most wonderful creations of autos. The engineering that goes into a Nissan in Tennesee or the Toyota in Kentucky is incredible. But even these machines are not built to last 30-40-70-95 years (or over 100 years) in some cases. The human body is! Some people abuse their own bodies with gouging at buffet restaurants, diet coke, rum and coke or burgers with cheese sauce, bread and fries (over 5000 calories) and still, if they change their diet and exercise, the body restores itself. In the original language, "fearfully" means that God has set us apart from the other species (like animals) with such respect, reverence and such heart-felt interest in His Creation that He made a marvelous (wonderful) thing! This is why He says in Psalm 116:15 "precious in the Eyes of the Lord is the death of His saints". God respects and loves those who love Him and our death on earth is precious to Him, since it means, He is calling us now, literally back to Himself. When we are forgiven and saved by the Blood of Christ, our inner person instinctively knows all this, since our inner person is awakened as unto God. Each human has that capacity to know God intimately, unfortunately, the majority reject that free gift.

Verse 15:  Consider this the following: if you or I were working on a song with our guitar or piano, or say my friend who is an artist with wax and oils starts working on the huge four by six foot canvas, would we really want to stream it LIVE over Facebook or Periscope or God knows what else is out there? No! The majority of sane people would wait until we are good and ready to showcase the item, or painting before releasing for public consumption. God is the Wisest Being in the Universe and His teachings and creation are out there and plain for EVERYONE to see. We have the Bible and can see everything around us including the uncountable stars and galaxies. However, He does His most important work in secret there- and that is the forming and shaping of the Souls of His Saints.

We were fearfully and physically wonderfully made, when Adam was created and the human race began. We are all direct descendants of Noah and his sons and their wives (from whence all the races came). We do not get to see the baby in a mother's womb at Memorial Hospital grow from conception to a 10 weeks old to six months in, until we see the child delivered at birth. The baby is alive from the moment of conception. The mother knows the baby is alive. The ultrasound PROVES there is a baby in there. God put the entire baby Creation in motion. This is all done away from Facebook Live and all public eyes. This is how our God works. His best work is done in secret, because, in spiritual terms, it is the fruits of our labor which matters.

Verse 16:  The Attributes of God all work together - for obvious reasons. First of all, He is God. Secondly, while His personality, like ours, may have different qualities, it is still different sides of the same Coin.  He is both all-knowing, all-seeing and all-powerful. We know from the New Testament as well, that God knows us before He even created the world. So it is no surprise that our actual time on this earth is both known and set in stone. 

There is only one instance in history where God extended a man's life. King Hezekiah appealed to the Lord and was given 15 more years by the Lord. Hezekiah found out from the prophet Isaiah he was about to die and cried out to heaven. Now God knew in advance He was going to give this grace to the king. Nothing takes God by surprise. He knows the beginning from the end and vice versa. While we will only live those numbereD days, preset by our Heavenly Father, how we live here on earth means EVERYTHING. Most people just stumble through life, do what they think is the best they can and then wait to pass on. Most think they are "okay" and God is okay with that.  Most are wrong.

Jesus said He came to give us life, to give us life more abundantly and that begins now. The moment we come into relationship with God through Christ, and are born again, we begin the journey which will carry us through Eternity. How awesome and truly great this permanent relationship with God through Christ is, depends entirely on us. We can know all these stunning attributes of God and quote them freely, but if we do not intimately know the God behind these attributes Himself, we are lost and in eternal danger. Do you know Him? Does HE know YOU, as His? It is easy to do - Jesus said "the time is fulfilled (here), repent, believe the Gospel" (Mark 1:15)....and be saved. Amen.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

THE ALWAYS PRESENT GOD - : PSALM 139: VERSES 7-12

HIS OMNIPRESENCE
God is the only Being in the Universe Who can be everywhere at one time. Why? Because He is first – God and secondly – because the Universe is His own artwork. It is His own masterpiece if you will. No created being has any claim to such a Truth. The devil and his angels are all created and while they are they are the “prince and the powers of the air”, in this current age, they are basically on a short leash. They can be yanked at any time and stopped from a Pearl Harbor-type spiritual attack by a Godly man or woman, of strong Faith in Jesus Christ.

Scripture tell us that “the eyes of the Lord runneth to and fro, across the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf (of those) whose heart is loyal to Him” (2 Chronicles 16:9). He scans the Earth! He sees all. He can visually focus in on all. He can also zoom into the “secret” goings-on that people thing they are doing behind closed doors, or ungodly secret societies with funny  hats and strange symbols.  Nothing is hidden from these Holy Eyes, Who sees all and knows all.

These everpresent (Omnipresent) Eyes are described even more fully in Zechariah 4:10 which gives a more complete picture of piercing, powerful Eyes of God. It is also perfectly exhibits how God the Father, God the Son, the Holy Spirit and the Eyes of All via the Seven Eyes mentioned in this particular verse, all work together perfectly. There is no daylight between them. There is no disagreement between any of them.

These are is the everpresent Eyesight which King David describes in Verses 7-12 of Psalm 139...here:
7  Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
9  If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
12 Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.

Verse 7: Here is a man who knows neither he nor anyone else can run from God.  Many of the godless will commit sin and evil completely unaware that they are in the complete line of sight of Providence.  Many will turn from Christ and run to the strange chanting and mystic pagan religions of the world, thinking they have escaped His  “Jesus”.  Many will delude themselves they can conduct their daily and/or personal lives like the rest of this slimy culture does, and “sure God may see but He knows I’m alright”…..This is heresy and rebellion. The bible says rebellion is divination, which will never be rewarded with eternal life. No one can run from the Eyes and Presence of the Living God!

Verse 8: David also states the obvious here as, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, which was given only to a few men in the Old Testament.  God is of course, present in His Heavenly Kingdom. However, if people so choose, He is also in charge of the gates of hell. Make no bones about it - people DO choose Hell - when they reject the Son of God, Who is the ONLY Way to Heaven (John 14:6).  The Creator absolutely created everything, including the abyss for Lucifer, the former worship leader in Heaven and all who ever followed him. Anyone who does NOT follow Christ is an ultimate follower of the fallen angels, led by Lucifer. God can be present there as well. Two New Testament passages confirm this fact. Jesus spoke of the rich man in hell and he was in plain view of the poor beggar, Lazarus who was in paradise. Jesus called “paradise”  Abraham’s bosom. He knew about this incident because He could see it from His vantage point in Heaven. He is ever present. The second instance is mentioned by Peter, and something the Lord wanted recorded. Here it is without comment: “18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; 19 in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, 20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water." (1 Peter 3:18-20).

Verses 9-10: These two verses are meant by both God and David who wrote them down to show the power and presence of God. The human writer tells us that even if he were to transport himself somehow, to say, an island in the middle of the Meditterean or New Zealand - God goes before him...or you...or I. If we are supposed to be there - wherever there is - God shows His Omniscience by setting up divine appointments or provision. However, the converse is true. If you are NOT supposed to go there, but got it in your head that God TOLD you to go there...or you felt like going anyway, you will not succeed. Most likely, if you and I are faithful to the Lord, He will extricate us from difficult places where we are not in alignment with His plan. Sometimes we have a hard lesson to learn from it. In this case, we remain where we are until the time of testing is over. Then the Lord frees us from the burden we put on ourselves. This is what "remotest part of the sea....Your right Hand will lay hold of me". God will not abandon His faithful children. He WILL allow us to learn hard lessons from our mistakes, so we do not keep making them over and over again!

Verses 11-12: If our hearts and minds are right with God, atmospheric conditions will never affect us. It may affect the things we have to do, in the natural, For instance, we cannot mow the lawn at midnight or go on a surf board in January in Lake Michigan. If you heart and soul are right with God, you and I will not fear the terror of the darkness because we know that our God is always watching us, and watching out for us. The state of light on earth means nothing to the God Who is Light, and to Whom scripture applies as so bright that in the Kingdom no other light is needed. While wicked and cruel men use the cover of darkness to do all kinds of deeds, nothing is hidden from Abba Father and all will be revealed on that incredible and incredibly scary Day of the Lord.

Our ever-present, omnipresent, always there, always everywhere God and Creator should be worshiped and thanked mightily, because if His Eyes were not upon us, think of the world of hurt we would be in today. Amen. 

Friday, January 5, 2018

THE ALL KNOWING GOD- : PSALM 139: VERSES 1-6


ATTRIBUTE #1 - THE OMNISCIENCE OF GOD
1  O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
2  You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
3  You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
4  Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.
5  You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
6  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot attain to it.......(Psalm 139:1-6)

The Theory of Life and Life in the Lord is not only much simple to comprehend and explain. It has been confirmed as true, by the Spirit of the Living God. This is difficult for those who  live in abject mindlessness over evolution and the so-called Big Bang, to get this Truth. It is not only because of the lies they have bought but because their worldly knowledge has overruled their capacity to grasp the Simplicity and Truth of the Gospel

We, who are saved, are indwelt by the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of God and all Truth. He is the same Spirit Who hovered over the face of the Earth in Genesis 1:1. He is the same Spirit Who raised Jesus from the Dead on the Third Day. He is the same Spirit Who enabled Apostles Peter and Paul – ordinary men – to raise people from the dead, themselves. He is the Same Spirit of God Who breathed the Oracles of God into forty ordinary men from different places and backgrounds, over 1500 years who wrote down the same narrative – the God’s Plan of Redemption through one Person – the Man Christ Jesus. He is the same Spirit Who gave us the Bible!

It is this God…it is this Creator…it is this Sustainer….it is He – mighty and lifted up….seated High Upon The Throne….it is He, Worthy and in unapproachable Light, Who designed, ordained, created and purposed us in His unfathomable amazing mind, even BEFORE His Spirit  hovered over the earth in Genesis 1:1! It is He! It is Abba Father – our Father Who art in Heaven of Whom Psalm 139 so wonderfully describes in His incredible ways, nay, His Attributes!

Listen to how the Spirit enables King David to being Psalm 139 “O LORD, You have searched me and known. You know my sitting down and my rising up. You understand my thought from afar” (verses 1 and 2).

In this Psalm, the very Attributes of God are not only evident, but the words of this Psalm screams out loud about Who He is and How He knows us. We begin by looking at the first six verses of Psalm 139 and all about:

THE ALL-KNOWING GOD:
Verse 1: He searches AND knows us. The word for searching is the same one used when Joshua and Caleb "explored" the Promised Land and found it good. For reasons of Grace known only to Him, though we are sinners, when He examines every sinful corner of our being, He finds every small detail of our second by second existence, yet, He still loves us! This is the very definition of Grace and compassion to those of us who were once rebels, yet still need some refining into the very character God requires of us.

Verse 2: He knows our "sitting down" (or when we lay down to rest) and wakes us up in the morning. He doesn't have to. We get to wake up to a new day in our own beds, in our own homes, with our own family into which God in His wisdom and love has placed us. Not just that, but Scripture tells us that God gives to His beloved in their (our) sleep. Therefore sometimes we awake in joy and gladness to take on the day, knowing the problems of the day will be solved, because He has given us the peace and insight to do the right thing with confidence! In addition, He sits in the Heavenly throne, with over 7 billion people at any one time on earth....AND KNOWS WHAT I AM THINKING! Can you dig that, my friends?! It is absolutely incredible.

Verse 3: Notice that the Bible uses the word "intimately" in verse 3 as our Creator, the all-knowing God, is well acquainted not just with WHAT we think, do and say, but WHY we are bent in such a way. He created us with different personalities yet allows them to develop on its own, according to physical, social and other environmental conditions and He is well acquainted with all these circumstances. Being a God Who does not force Himself on someone who does not want to be in fellowship with Him, He allows these personality traits to continue until we come to the realization that we are not in right alignment or on the same page as Abba Father. God once prophesied, by name, over 150 years before, about the appearance on the scene of the great Persian King Cyrus who was going to be the second great emancipator of Israel from Babylonian Captivity (Isaiah 44:28). But Isaiah 45:1-7 shows that even though God had chosen and appointed Cyrus to be this great king and religious tolerance guy, we find out he did not worship the one true God of heaven who set him up as victorious, but bowed down to the various pagan idols of Persia and the Middle East. This is confirmed in a book I read at one time, called Persia and The Bible. God even knows the intimate details of our spiritual thoughts and actions...as well as who will reject Him. He still wishes all will come to repentance and be saved.

Verse 4:  The Lord knows we are either going to loudly swear when dropping a hammer on our foot, or speak kind words of encouragement and hope and love to someone who needs to hear these life-giving exhortations. The power to lift up and/or cut down are in the Power of the tongue and we are warned about these things in the Book of Proverbs and James. Knowing that God knows what we are going to say at any given time, should spur us to be a little more circumspect in our speech and hearts. This is goes for both believers in Yahweh as well as non-believers.

Verse 5: You always hear people praying for a "hedge of protection" from the Lord for either someone they know or themselves. This is not too far off what Verse 5 means. The hedge or Hand of protection includes the Hand of Provision! Our heavenly Father provides for those whom He protects. This is natural and par for the course. The phrase "laid Your Hand upon me" is a good thing! Only a fool or one who is lost (one and the same) would reject the loving Powerful, Providing, Protecting Hand of God guiding every aspect of their lives. In a nutshell,  this is what is meant by living under the Lordship of Jesus Christ!

Verse 6:  In light of EVERYTHING just briefly discussed in the previous five verse about the Omniscience of God, what should our response be, in return? Well, our main response, after gratitude, should be AWE! We must, in our love for our Creator and Lord, stand in awe and amazement at all we have just spoken about above and the so many more things about our All-Knowing God which could fill numerous books across the spectrum of history. King David, who wrote this psalm under divine inspiration, says the very things we should say in humility "such knowledge is too wonderful for me". 

If we are wise, we would say this same thing as we should never lose this child-like faith and the wonder of the Christian life, even with the corrupt distracting world out there. We should realize, unlike biblical characters like Nimrod and others, that we really cannot even grasp 1/1000th the power, wisdom and knowledge which resides on the Throne of Heaven. How could we know these things when He is God and he are puny little creatures? Oh, all glory, praise and honor to Him Who sits on the Throne, yet knows little old me. Amen.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

THE 3:16 VERSES OF THE BIBLE, PART 26, THE OLD TESTAMENT CONCLUDES: "WISDOM GOD'S WAY= ABUNDANT LIFE"

Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. (Proverbs 3:16)

There is  a reason for leaving the final installment of the 3:16 verses of the Old Testament for last. In the preceding expository and meaningful studies of the 3:16 verses of the Great Prophets, we were deeply immersed in some very intense teachings. These Words which came directly from the Throne of God, via both the minor and major Old Testament prophets proclaim not just the current condition of humankind, but are pregnant with precise details of events which are either occurring right now, or will come when the gig is up (the End of Days).

Do not let this distinction between the so-called “Major and Minor” Prophets be an impediment. They are only called major because of the sheer volume of their work. Isaiah is a major prophet with an amazing work packed with 66 chapters! The so-called “minor” prophet Malachi only had four short chapters.  But an entire overview of God’s Rule, Sovereignty, Final Judgment and more can be found in two of those four chapters which Malachi wrote.  Isaiah is both historical and prophetic of events at the end of days. They all work together, for the Glory of God.

The key in comprehending; allowing the Holy Spirit to stir and convict our souls, and then applying God’s instructions so we may in complete alignment with Him, is Wisdom.

This is what Proverbs 3:16 teaches us at the end of all that has preceded in the 25 part-series on the Old Testament.  True Godly wisdom is the caveat for the woman or man of God to not just hear and know what He is saying, in these last days, but to track with His thinking. Wisdom from God is a completely different entity than the wisdom of the world. The twain shall never meet.

What the World calls “Wisdom” is actually secular knowledge. Acquiring more and more degrees, diplomas and certification – from  the IT fields to business to whatever, will bring prosperity and good living in the temporal (this life). But the true Wisdom of the Lord brings so much more.

The wisdom of the world seeks after self-fulfillment. 
The Wisdom of God seeks after God.
The wisdom of the world  looks after one’s own self-interest. 
The Wisdom of God furthers the Kingdom of God by understanding what He requires and thus, becoming “other-focused”. 
The wisdom of the world is what brought sin into the world.

Adam and Eve bought the lies of the serpent and saw the Forbidden Tree, which God had specifically put off limits, as Eve noted in Genesis 3:6 (“….when the woman saw that the tree was good for food…..and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took the fruit and ate”.  Eating the forbidden fruit of this corrupt world, without the accompanying Godly wisdom and discernment is the final recipe for Spiritual Death and disaster.

Proverbs 3:16 is a statement of fact perfectly placed in the very center of instruction from the Lord, on being wise by His standards.  To know what this verse means, we look at Scripture explaining Scripture. 

James 1:5 says that "if ANYONE lacks wisdom, let him ASK of God” (Emphasis mine). However, listen to what the leader of the first ever Church in Jerusalem, and half brother of the Lord Jesus also said in the very next verse (6a): "But he must ask in faith without any doubting".  The Lord said through James- ASK IN FAITH.

We know from John 9:31 that ""We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him"

Therefore, from the Word of God, we know this fixed equation: to ask God for wisdom, we MUST have Faith in Him. This Faith only comes from knowing God, through Jesus Christ as Lord and Master of our lives. So knowing this, we can understand what Proverbs 3:16 is leading us to comprehend:

A. Long life is in her right hand.  In the Bible, the right hand is the more important or significant hand as it denotes power and favor. Jesus is said to be seated (in glory) on the "Right Hand" of God. Jesus Himself said in Matthew 22:44 about Himself, the following: "'THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, "SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I PUT YOUR ENEMIES BENEATH YOUR FEET "'? (which He quoted from Psalm 110:1). 

So whether it is at the Right Hand of God, where Jesus the Messiah sits (so to speak) or the shot-gun rider on a western stage-coach, or the co-pilot on an airplane, or meet “so and so….my right-hand man” – we are talking important stuff! Here in Proverbs 3:16, Wisdom is the “her”, as in “her right hand”. For the first 15 verses, God instructs not just on the knowledge and benefits of being spiritually wise, but He implicitly tells us to be not “wise in our own eyes” (Proverbs 3:7).

There is danger for one who is wise in his/her own eyes. Bad choices based on self-created “wisdom” can lead to a horrible life, and one that is even shortened if illegal conduct like addictions, tax evasion or worse are involved. But the wisdom of God leads to a long productive life.

There is disaster for the person who “despises the chastening of the Lord” (Proverbs 3:11) because that means this person, (now in the majority these days) is telling God – “I don’t need You, I can do this myself”….or worse language than this.  The result of this is Romans 1:28  - God lets them go their own way. Even if they don’t drive off a literal cliff in this life, they already have gone off the edge and the pit of eternal destruction awaits them when they take their last breath. But the wisdom of God, allowing His discipline and guidance to correct our conduct and thinking, leads to a better life here and resting in His Shalom for an eternity.

This is the true meaning of the first part of Proverbs 3:16. Spiritual wisdom directs us to to trust and full obedience through His Written Word. This is the explicit guidance of the Holy Spirit which then leads to long life here and most importantly – Eternal life in the very Presence of God, where there are an infinite length of days!

B. In her (Wisdom) left hand riches and honor – When we think of a person of honor, from the Bible we have men like the Prophet Daniel. In modern Christian history, we have people like George Mueller who on his own, took care of 10,024 children at his orphanages during his lifetime. The 117 schools he started taught Christian education to 112, 000 children. Yet he only took a salary of the modern day equivalent of $10,291 (in today dollars) for his entire family and himself. He never fund-raised or begged for money like come churches and television preachers.  Still, none of the thousands in his care went cold, hungry or without clothes. Muller gave everything up and all he did was pray, and let God provide. In God’s Eyes, Muller’s example and his legacy are riches which will never fill an earthly treasury, but more important – matter tremendously in Heaven!

The incredible Prophet Daniel is well known for being thrown into a lion’s den by the Babylonian king who had not yet become a follower of the God of Daniel. The prophet received that unjust sentence because he refused to bow to Nebuchadnezzar’s wishes and eat meat that was sacrificed to pagan idols. What is amazing about Daniel, is not just his prophesies or his faithfulness and prayers to Almighty God. What stands out to us is the following statement by the Angel, who had come DIRECTLY from the Throne Room of God to declare the following personal commendation to a mortal man. 

Here is the DIRECT Message sent by God and personally delivered to Daniel (CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL CHAPTER 10)
11 He said to me, “O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell you and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. 12 Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. (Daniel 10:11-12)

So here is what Godly wisdom, fueled by obedience and strong faith leads to (from Daniel 10:11-12):
Daniel got the highest honor ANYONE in the Bible could have DIRECTLY. God spoke to Moses, Abraham, Job and many others. But there was never a message like this. Daniel was held in high esteem in heaven, in both eternal riches and honor because his Godly Discernment and Wisdom resulted from actively pursuing God in prayer and no compromise with the pagan world.These are all gleaned from Daniel 10:12:
- Daniel set his heart on understanding (seeking God and His Wisdom through the Scriptures and prayer).
- Daniel was such a peaceful, humble man that he knew from whence cometh his strength. It came from God. He bowed at the Feet of the Throne where the Master abideth.
- Daniel prayed constantly. Because he sought wisdom. Because he, Daniel, was humble. When the words of Daniel, via his power prayers, reach heaven - God responded immediately and sent in the Cavalry!

Daniel's "left hand" ...joined with his right hand in prayer wisely prayed. God responded with eternal riches of high esteem in heaven and honor from the Throne. George Mueller sold all this possessions and lived on 300 British pounds (1800's) per year for his entire family. Mueller live his entire decades long life in ministry to countless thousands of children. Mueller's prayers were almost always immediately answered and thousands of orphans were clothed, fed, kept warm and instructed in the Lord.

These are all pure living examples of wise and humble heroes of the Christian faith. Today, these two recorded historical figures - Daniel and George Mueller - remain the highest of standards. But God is doing the same thing in places across His entire planet, which we will never hear of, until that Great Day of the Lord in Heaven, when all...and I mean ALL - will be revealed.

Long life and the love and respect of God Himself....these are the hallmarks of the truly spiritually wise man or woman who follows Jesus Christ. This is the cherry on top of an amazing walk through all "3:16" verses of the Old Testament.  

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

THE 3:16 VERSES OF THE BIBLE, PART 25: "FIRE, SOAP AND A BOOK"

"Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who esteem His name". (Malachi 3:16)
After some of the Jews returned from their exile (538 BC) to Babylon, for disobeying the Laws of God, they were a powerful and devout bunch under Ezra the Scribe and Nehemiah. But in very short order, once these great Godly men had gone home to be with the Lord, the remaining residents of Jerusalem turned rogue. Even the Levite priests went over to the dark side and began to serve two masters. While mouthing The Almighty and preaching the Law of God from the Torah (first Five Books of the Bible), they lived like the devil and the rest of the sinful world, following after the lusts of their dark hearts and even the strange gods of the surrounding nations.

So the Lord gave them one final prophet - Malachi (who proclaimed during and after the passing of Nehemiah). In all chapters of the final prophet of that Age, Malachi hit the wide-ranging sins of the people in Jerusalem and hit them hard. But, as God always does for His Remnant - He left Good News for those who love and follow Him, as we see in Malachi 3:16. However this is a small oasis in a desert of destruction and despair! To get to this cool, eternally-satisfying supernatural "water", we MUST educate ourselves why we even need an oasis, when everything around us seems to be going well.

Today, most people are well-off - in Europe, South America, the UK, Asia and across North America. Most do not even see a need for God in their lives, far less allowing Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Master of their lives. To them, Jesus is the cute baby in the manger at Christmas time. They even know the words to Silent Night or Joy to the World. To them Easter is about a man on a Cross and then Easter Eggs and ham dinners. But do not bother them with what the 33 years of the Life of Christ means to their eternal souls.  They recoil at the thought.


Whether billions of people believe it or not, from when Jesus lived on Earth and preached the Gospel to the present and the final act at the End of the Age, the Truth remains the Truth and God will continue with His Work. Malachi was the last the Jews heard from God for over 400 years! Yes, FOUR HUNDRED years. God did not speak for those four centuries but He told them exactly what was going to happen here - from Malachi Chapter 3:
   -  He is sending His messenger before Him (verse 1). Four hundred years later, the final prophet of the Old Testament - JOHN THE BAPTIST - appeared preaching Repentance and the Coming Messiah, who actually was his cousin, Jesus! John was sent by God, as a voice crying in the wilderness, literally saying He was preparing the Way for the Lord. Promise Kept.

   -  Prepared to be stunned in the very NEXT verse- Malachi 3:2a! What God is foretelling here is not the baby Jesus in the Bethlehem manger, but the Second Coming of Jesus! It is generally agreed to and gleaned from Scripture that Jesus will land in Jerusalem when He returns in fire and glory to first wipe out the heathens of this world, and then reclaim His Property on the Jerusalem Temple Mount. Everything in those Hills of Jerusalem belong to Him NOW - He is only coming back to reclaim. God says, and other Bible passages confirm - no one will stand. That means - no one on the earth. The followers of Jesus will already have been removed before this, so that the Armies of Heaven will have one final 100% house-cleaning to do.

   -   What confirms that what verse 2a is talking about is not the baby Jesus is this statement from verses 2b-3. The returning and conquering King Jesus is going to destroy and clean house by fire. Fire also refines and removes impurities and this is what is going to occur on that fearsome day of the Lord's return. The fullers' soap signifies and washing of the clothes of the saints or the redeemed believers in Jesus. But what the Lord is concentrating here is the Refiner's Fire.

There is no such thing, in this current world, as 100% pure gold or silver. If you go to a precious metals dealer, they will always inform you that the silver is 99% pure. So it is with Gold. It just proves that the only perfect entity in this entire universe is God. On His Return, His Fire will be both literal and figurative. His fire will separate the pure from impure and the dross that rises to the top will be skimmed off and thrown away. Judgement is coming, declares the Lord.

God does not just make wild statements and let them stand. Over and over, in both the Old and New Testaments, He tells exactly what the indictments and charges are, from the Grand Jury Room of Heaven. In Malachi Chapter 2 and in all previous pleadings with people to get right with Him, God teaches about sins in family life (from adultery to divorce and more). He talks about how to raise children many times. He talks about how to live within our communities and on and on. He then talks about how they were not paying their temple tax duties and tithes which they were supposed to under the Law. They robbed God. This particular teaching is used by some churches to teach a certain version of tithing which was actually only meant for the Jews. We still recommend Christians take 10% off the gross income (or more) when paid, and give it towards the Lord's work. But, as an aside, there is no tithing formula set by Jesus and Paul in the New Testament, except that God loves a cheerful giver. It is better to be wise and deduct your 10% when paid, and watch the other 90% bless your family.

God not only had the indictment of the people and their priests robbing Him of the 23% of income which supported His Temple and the poor, but He added the following charges from Malachi 3:5 -
1. He is going to punish them for witchcraft. Today, we have more dark arts and witchcraft than ever. They too will fall under this Judgment.
2. He is going to punish adultery and sexual immorality outside of biblical marriage, which He ordained in Genesis 2:24
3. He is going to punish them for perjury (lying under oaths made before God).
4. He is going to punish all who exploit the poor, widows, orphans and today, all who persecute Christians and promote abortion and other decadent lifestyles.
5. He is going to punish those seeking legitimate refuge.
6. He is going to punish them - MOST OF ALL - for the sin of Unbelief and refusing to recognize, honor and respect God because every previous sin listed and unlisted, stem from the act of unbelief. Too many do not fear or believe God....to their own eternal peril.

When the Lord sent Malachi to tell these people the coming divine charges and felonies they committed, they reacted with fake outrage. In fact, they act just like the Lost do today who say to each other and the evangelist "I'm a good person....I never robbed a convenience store....or killed....or stole another man's wife....or....or...." and on and on, we hear the list of why a person without Christ, thinks he/she is going to heaven, based on nothing else but "i am good enough...and not as bad as Hitler or Stalin or Mao and Castro....or that guy down the street". We recognize these people as hopelessly lost in their self-deception because those people used to be us, before we were brought face to face with our sin and eternal future and had to make a choice, a decision.

Malachi 3:13-15 describe the modern lost soccer mom, librarian, IT manager, stockbroker, construction worker or local official perfectly. These next three verses tell the state of man, during the time of The 400 Year Godly Silence before John the Baptist, as it does in the 21st Century. Here is what God says: "13 “Your words have been arrogant against Me,” says the Lord. “Yet you say, ‘What have we spoken against You?’ 14 You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God; and what profit is it that we have kept His charge, and that we have walked in mourning before the Lord of hosts? 15 So now we call the arrogant blessed; not only are the doers of wickedness built up but they also test God and escape.’”

Many will complain on Judgment Day because they lived their lives with this lie. Some of them know it is a lie, (that we are "okay" and "everything will work out in the end") but they foolishly go along anyway. When Malachi prophesied this, in essence, from verses 13-15, EVERYONE got scared! This included God's Faithful Servants. Today, that would be the same as the Saved and True Christians being really scared that they too are under condemnation when we hear of the coming destruction of those who hate Christ. This is only natural and attributed to human nature.

But, God - in His love, grace and long-suffering, reminded His faithful and loving followers this way...as we read in Malachi 3:16 that He has their names written down in His Book. In the New Testament, this Book of Remembrance is called the Book of Life, meaning all whose names are written in stone to get into heaven! Please take note of this portion of Malachi 3:16 here "Lord gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who esteem His name."

You and I have this blessed assurance, that when we are faithful and true and forgiven and redeemed and have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior....HE PAYS ATTENTION to our cares and fears!He really and truly cares for those who love Him! Our names are in His Book of Remembrance/Life. He "has our backs", so to speak. He is for us - NO ONE is against us! Glory to His Name!

But not just this one promise about names in a God's Book but here is the rest of the Promise from Malachi 3:17: “They will be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” 

Here are some major promises from God the Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth. They are to be trusted, believed and acted upon by serving Him. While the fate of the wicked is as sure as the Second Coming of The King, God has this loving promise for those who love, honor, obey, trust, serve and proclaim Him....from Malachi 3:18: “They will be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

HOW THE FAMILY TREE OF JESUS LED TO THE "CHRISTMAS TREE"

There is a huge industry today for anyone who wishes to discover our family roots. For years, Ancestry.com was the most popular outfit for tracing one's family tree. Several have gone all the way back in their ancestry roots to Revolutionary Times. I have friends who can trace family roots way back to the famous Emperor Charlemagne.  Another friend's family fought in North Carolina during the War of Independence. I have held a rifle belonging to Private Cox who crossed the Delaware with General George Washington and the Continental Army and my wife's family can be traced back to their Protestant roots in Ireland. They had to flee to the USA for religious freedom, landing in the Carolinas.

These days, a company called 23AndMe.com has become the predominant one for tracing ancestral roots using DNA. Anyone who has used this, including myself, submits a sample of DNA, answers a lot of deeply personal questions, then submits the DNA sample in a secure container where it is analyzed in California and next thing you know, a huge report is emailed to you with stunning facts. That DNA sample we submit tells a person not just about his/her health traits and things to look out for, but you are then matched up with 2nd, 3rd, 4th and/or 5th cousins from all over the world. One thing you will immediately notice is there is no pure race out there and it proves one thing - we all came from the descendants of Noah who survived the Great Flood. They descended from Adam and Eve. We all share the DNA of our original parents!


So it is obvious that genealogy is a very useful exercise for us, scientifically and otherwise. So was it for the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The first Gospel ever written was the Book of Mark in 45 AD, just over 12 years after the Resurrection of Jesus. It was dictated to Mark by the Apostle Peter. However the former Jewish Tax Collector Matthew recorded the Family Tree of Jesus Christ, not long after Mark, so that the early Jewish believers would have proof of the Lineage of Christ, not just from Adam and Eve, but from the House of King David. This is significant, since the Prophets spoke directly from God about the coming Messiah Who will come from the House of David. Matthew, under inspiration from God Himself, wrote down the Lord's "family tree", for the early believers could follow and see how the prophetic and historic merged into one fluid narrative of fact. This was accomplished perfectly in the Gospel of Matthew.


The portion of Scripture which has the Genealogy of Jesus contains some very important things for us to note. It is not just be Faith we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and the "Son of David". How can this be when Jesus was conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit? Well, there is the answer - both Mary (and Joseph) were descendants of King David! So Matthew showed the line from Adam and Eve to Mary. The ancient Jews were excellent at keeping historic records so these were readily available to him, until the Temple and Jerusalem were completely destroyed by the Roman General Titus in 70 AD. These pertinent records survived!

Therefore, below, we have the relevant part of Matthew Chapter 1 which traces the lineage of King David down to Mary, "by whom Jesus was born"!

In essence, the Family Tree of Jesus the Messiah is what we observe at Christmas time with the Christmas Tree, among other things! The Christmas Tree, as part of the birth of Christ observance, did not come on to the scene until the late 16th Century AD in Germany, but it is a great illustration of how we got here!  It gives us a point of reference to celebrate the King and point those who are yet to believe, to the Messiah, by sharing the knowledge of His earthly Family Tree! What a privilege it is to do so! Joy to the World, the Lord has come....and is coming again! Hallelujah!

Matthew 1: 
5 Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. 6 Jesse was the father of David the king. David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah. 7 Solomon was the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa. 8 Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah. 9 Uzziah was the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. 10 Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, and Amon the father of Josiah. 11 Josiah became the father of Jeconiah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. 

12 After the deportation to Babylon: Jeconiah became the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel. 13 Zerubbabel was the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor. 14 Azor was the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud. 15 Eliud was the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob. 16 Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

THE CHRISTMAS CONSOLATION - NOT A THROWAWAY PRIZE, BUT THE REAL GIFT OF HEAVEN (THE HOLY SPIRIT!)

"And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him" Luke 2:25
When we think of the word “consolation”, immediately the thoughts go to “consolation prize – a gift to someone who has not won the actual prize or reward that is offered in any particular thing. It is not like one of those participation trophies that give children, so their feelings are not hurt, but a sympathy premium for one who has failed to place in a certain contest.

In the Bible however, the word “Consolation” (in this verse) has a completely different meaning. In God’s Kingdom, the word translated “Consolation” does not mean some pity party or back up prize or anything like that. The Word God used here by the Holy Spirit Who inspired the Greek Dr. Luke to write this Gospel is “paraklesis”!

The original word for “consolation” – Paraklesis – adds an incredible dimension to the Christmas story! Contrary to what modern languages treat as an almost throwaway prize to a person who didn’t place in a race or something, God’s Word “Paraklesis” is the main prize!

The Word “Paraklesis” means “a calling to one’s aid” first of all and in essence, it means “a coming to the aid, comfort, encouragement, joy….and consolation” of someone! It is the root word of another word “Paraklete” which is the Bible word for the Holy Spirit! We know the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God Who has done just some of the following:
-      Hovered over the Face of the unformed earth (Genesis 1:1)
-      Caused Moses to write the first five books of the Bible – the Torah – the   Beginnings of mankind and the Law
-      The Same Spirit raised Jesus from the dead, after He was crucified, died   physically and placed in a tomb. On Resurrection morning, Paraklete   raised The Alpha and Omega to visible life on earth.

With this in mind, about this unique man involved in the Christmas story, we return to Simeon and what his “waiting on the consolation really means”.  First, let’s look at Simeon. His actual Jewish name is Shimon and is similar to the man called Simon Peter, the great Apostle of Jesus Christ. He was such a great and devoted follower of Yahweh, that the Lord allowed Him the privilege of being recorded in History as the only person other than the Baby Jesus’ parents to hold the Christ child.

Mary and Joseph had made the long, probably day long trek from Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, in order that the 8 day old baby could fulfill the Law He (Jesus) wrote, to be dedicated at the Temple! (See Leviticus 12:3).  The same God, via the Paraklete – Holy Spirit, led Simeon (Shimon) into the path of this all-time special couple – Mary and Joseph, so Simeon could encounter the new baby before He was taken to the priests to be circumcised. 

What Simeon prophesied under the Anointing of the Holy Spirit, is not just profound, but forcefully emphatic of the Mission of King Jesus. In this one briefly recorded mini-passage, Simeon accomplished three things – two Kingdom-related and one very personal.
- Item 1:  On a deeply personal level, we see the reward of a faithful, devoted man of God. Here is what Simeon said after God Himself allowed Him to see God as a baby: "Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation" (Luke 2:29-30). The lesson for us today, and for ALL men and women of God, the 10% of us who have/live/promote a Biblical Worldview is this: God knows what who we are PERSONALLY and will shine His Mercy, Grace and Favor on Faithfulness. This is the true meaning of Romans 8:28a “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him".

- Item 2: The Promise of Judgment against the rebellious and enemies of God. Simeon prophesied something we know is coming, from both the very Voice of Jesus and many scripture passages throughout the entire bible.  He said in Luke 2:34-35 "And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed— and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed". The lesson for us in this sober Christmas message from Simeon for all time, until the end of time is two-fold. We had better prepare ourselves to leave this planet at a moment’s notice by having our hearts right before God and all our sins forgiven.  Secondly, we duty bound to tell and share the urgency of this message with everyone who will listen – even those who hate God outright. While there is life, there is still hope. It is not over until it’s over, because if these rebels leave this life in their current position of estrangement from their Creator, the sword will pierce their souls” Luke 2:35b). That sword is the Law of God which will use in their conviction and eternal punishment.

- Item 3: The Consolation was the Main Promise. Simeon held the Baby Jesus and said what the Lord wanted him to say: ",
29 “Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace,
According to Your word;
30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation,
31 Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 A Light of revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.”(Luke 2:29-32) Then Jesus, when told the disciples who wanted Him to stay (John 16:7) "But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” That Helper promised by the Savior Jesus was/is the Holy Spirit – the Paraklete, the Consolation of Israel and the Light of the Gentiles (those of us who are not Jewish born). 

The Consolation was The Main Prize…so to speak. It is not some prize we give to someone who does not win first, second or third. The Consolation is the actual Gift of God to ALL humanity and more specifically, available to all whose sins are forgiven and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, for the Salvation of our souls. Amen.