Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - January 31, 2017

Today's Reading:

Luke 22:39-71

Genesis 40

Psalm 31

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:

Luke 22:42-44 "And He was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if Thou be willing, remove this Cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto Him from Heaven, strengthening Him. And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground."
Have you ever wondered what this dreadful Cup was, which the Saviour prayed might pass from Him? What was this "Cup" that was so agonizing that it caused Christ to sweat great drops of blood? The answer is "your sins and mine" of course. But, after investigate the "Cup", I found there was much more to it. 

This Cup is known as the of the "Wine of the Wrath of God". It is also known (in Torah) as the "Cup of Jealousy". There is actually much to learn about it, with many deep spiritual lessons, by looking at the Cup of Jealousy to glean prophetic insights from this amazing shadow-picture.

In Numbers 5:12-28, we find the Statute of the Cup of Jealousy. If a man believed that his wife was being unfaithful, and that her pregnancy wasn't his child, he could find out the truth by bringing his wife to the Sanctuary for a sobering Test. It was simple - pass or fail. It  was also fool-proof, because God Himself gave the "grade". 

The priest would take a special Cup and draw consecrated water from the Sanctuary laver. He would then take a small amount of dust from the Sanctuary dirt floor and mingle the dust into the water. Then the woman was given this cup and instructed to drink. If she were innocent and had been faithful to her husband, she and her unborn child would be blessed greatly. There was tremendous blessing in the Cup - for the innocent.

If, however, she had betrayed her husband and deceitfully and treacherously gone out on her marriage vows so that she was now carrying another man's baby, then the woman was cursed and there was death in the Cup. 

What possible beauty could we find in such a story? What possible lessons for us today? This is the kind of story that - at first glance - one might read over quickly just to get credit for actually having read the whole Bible through...  This is a "Wow-that's-aweful!" "turn-your-head-and-look-the-other-way" kind of story. So, why point it out? The story of the Cup of Jealousy brings the Saviour's experience in Gethsemane to life with living color. It is the backstory, which one needs to understand to fully appreciate what our Saviour did for you and for me.

But see, here's the thing...  That woman who is suspected of betraying her husband is you and me. According to the Bible, God’s people, who have sinned and spent time serving false gods, are the woman suspected of adultery. And Christ is the Husband - the Heavenly Bridegroom - to which we should have always been faithful. Those idolatrous things, which we have valued and loved more than God, are the "lovers", with whom we have committed spiritual adultery.
Jeremiah 3:1-6    "...But thou hast played the harlot (acted like a prostitute) with many lovers; yet return again to Me, saith the LORD (Yahweh)... Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no Latter Rain; and thou hadst a whore's forehead (think like a whore), thou refusedst to be ashamed..."
What does it mean to commit adultery in our relationship with God?  In 2 Peter, we find that sin is spiritual adultery against our Heavenly Husband.
2 Peter 2:14-15  "Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children. Which have forsaken the right Way, and are gone astray..."

Lest any of us wonder, we have all sinned (Romans 3:23). Therefore every one of us is the adulterous woman. If put to the test, none of us could safely pass the Jealousy Cup Test. So will we have to drink it? This was just a Statute, which is no longer practiced! Right?

The Bible tells us that God is going to judge us the same way a woman that breaks wedlock is judged!  That means that we have to drink from the Cup of Jealousy!
Ezekiel 16:38  "And I will judge thee, as women that break wedlock and shed blood are judged; and I will give thee blood in fury and jealousy."
And remember, for the adulterer (which we all are) there is Death in the Cup! In the end, it is drinking of this Cup (called the Cup of the Wine of the Wrath of God), which brings Eternal Death to the wicked!
Revelation 14:9-10  "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation..."
Revelation 16:19  "...And great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the Cup of the Wine of the fierceness of His Wrath." 
Psalm 11:6   "Upon the wicked He shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest.  This shall be the portion of their Cup."
Scripture also tells us that everyone who is lost will have to drink the Cup of Wrath all the way to its dregs.  
Psalm 75:8   "For in the Hand of the LORD (Yahweh) there is a Cup, and the Wine is red; it is full of mixture; and He poureth out of the same: but the Dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them."  
The dregs of a cup is the residue which settles to the bottom of the cup. Drinking a cup to its dregs means drinking every last drop ‘till nothing remains in the cup.

Drinking the Cup of Wrath is the consequence for committing idolatry, which is spiritual adultery. Thus, unrepentant sinners must drink of the Cup of Jealousy. And to the guilty, there is punishment, suffering, and death in the Cup - Eternal Death.
So, since we are all sinful and have committed spiritual adultery against our God, what hope have we against such a dreadful Test? When the Cup of Wrath is pressed to our lips, we will be found guilty and deserving of the Death it contains. But that isn't how it will turn out for those who are covered and cleansed in Jesus' (Yahshua's) precious Blood. He drank the Cup for you and me! He, Who didn't deserve Death - took your Death and mine - so that we may live, even though we have been the unworthy and unfaithful bride. Our Saviour drank of that terrible Cup - all the way to the Dregs - for you and for me.
Isaiah 51:22  "Thus saith thy Lord the LORD (Yahweh), and thy God that pleadeth the cause of His people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the Cup of Trembling, even the dregs of the Cup of My Fury; thou shalt no more drink it again." 
 The only One Who could have opted out of experiencing what the most dreadful Cup contains was Christ. He was sinless! The reality of what He did for you and for me is so great that it is beyond our comprehension. And He did it willingly - knowing what was in the Cup! Why? Because He knew that if He didn't drink it, draining all the Death out of that Cup on our behalves, we would have no hope. We couldn't possibly drink the Cup for ourselves without reaping the reward of agonizing Death which it contains for every spiritual adulterer.
John 18:11  "Then said Jesus (Yahshua) unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the Cup which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?"
But Drinking the Cup of Heaven’s Wrath, that Cup of Jealousy, was no easy task. Every fiber of the Saviour’s Being wished not to drink of it. So terrible was the experience of the Cup that it trembled in His Hand.
Matthew 26:38-39  "Then saith He unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with Me. And He went a little farther, and fell on His Face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it be possible, let this Cup pass from Me; nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt." 
How could anyone look at the Cup He drank and minimize the Judgment and Wrath of God against sin? If the sinless Son of God was in an agony when He considered the content of the Cup of God's Wrath, if the pure Son of God cried out, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" as He drank the last Dregs of the Cup of God's Wrath, then what is it going to be for a sinful man or woman, a boy or girl, to fall into the hands of the living God unrepentant and unbelieving and die in sin? 

Do you live now in the pleasures of sin? What will it be when the Almighty and holy God presses to such a person's lips the Cup of Wrath which impenitent sinners shall receive from His hand? I call you to flee this wrath. Repent! Do not think that you are up to the challenge of drinking safely the Cup of Jealousy. No guilty one may safely drink of this Cup. It contains Death.

But there is a wonderful word of comfort to the people of God. Our Death and the Curse were in that Cup. But, He took our place, and drank the Cup of Jealousy to its Dregs, taking the Death and Curse on our behalf.  
Romans 8:1 - "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus (Yahshua)."
How wonderful is our God!? Because of Him, one day soon, when you look down the Dregs of the Father’s Cup of Justice, you will find blessing and peace, instead of drinking to your damnation.  This is the amazing gift God gives to every repentant idolater. 

So, what about you? Have you accepted Christ as your personal Saviour? Have you claimed His drinking of the Cup on your behalf? Have you repented for your sins? Have you turned away from your idolatrous practices and left behind your spiritual adultery? If so, you need not fear the most terrible Cup. Your Saviour drank the Cup before you. He drained out its poisons drinking it down to the Dregs. Now, for you, holds a future of Blessing.  

Such awareness fills me with thanksgiving! It makes me want to live every moment for Him - the One Who did so much for me. Every moment of every day - both now and in Eternity - may I always live thankful! Don't you agree? 

Be sure to add a COMMENT on this blog, sharing with us anything you found meaningful in your reading of today's Scripture passages. We will all love to hear from you (please keep the Comment relevant to today's reading - Thx!)

Monday, January 30, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - January 30, 2017

Today's Reading:

Luke 22:1-38

Genesis 39

Psalm 30

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:

The concept which most jumped out at me from our Bible reading today was found in Luke 22:31-34:
"And the Lord (Master) said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. And he said unto him, Lord (Master), I am ready to go with Thee, both into prison, and to death. And He said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest Me."
In this sobering conversation between Messiah and the apostle Peter, perhaps the most startling reality is that following Christ and going through all the motions doesn't mean that you're truly converted! Peter had been following Jesus (Yahshua) for quite some time, by the time of Luke 22. They are eating the final Passover meal together as the Saviour would be crucified the very next day.

And in that dinner conversation, Christ admonishes Peter, "when you are converted, strengthen the brethren." What? "When you are converted?" How could it be that Peter had been following the Saviour for all this time, yet he was still unconverted? What a sobering thought! 

Peter didn't know his own true condition. He was so sure that he would live for - and even die for - Christ. Yet, in the moment of his greatest test, what he really did was deny and betray his Master... In fact, Peter's betrayal of Christ was every bit as bad as Judas'. The only difference between them was that Peter repented. The the character flaws - and lack of true conversion - that it would take to so bitterly betray his Master were in him - yet Peter couldn't see the truth about himself. Can we really be so blind!? It's a sobering and scary thought! And as we cogitate on that one a bit, let's retrace the steps of the events which finally led to Peter's true conversion...

It was the darkest night ever to hit our planet, from that day to this. Yahshua was facing
Pilate’s tribunal, His Death mere hours away. The disciples had all forsaken Him, as He stood before the judgment seat beaten, betrayed, and alone. Gathered by a fire in the courtyard, several observers listened to the proceedings while warming themselves and quietly con-versing. Trying hard to blend in, Peter reached his own cold hands towards the flames. He strained to see and hear what was happening in the judgment hall, while carefully masking his interest.

Suddenly, his worst fears took form, as a young servant girl pointed at Peter, “I recognize you! You were with that Man!”

All eyes turned towards Peter. The red glow of the flames danced upon his face, further etching his momentarily startled expression. Fellowship with Yahshua would bring him censure, possibly even death!

“I don’t know Him. You’ve mistaken me for someone else.”

Onlookers may have wondered whether the flicker of fear upon his face had been imaginary, a phantom born of firelight.

Someone else casually commented, “You sure look like one of the guys that was hanging around with Him.”

Only the very observant could see that his palms glistened with icy sweat. But there seemed no trace of fear in Peter’s vehement reply, “I told you people, I never knew Him!”

The fireside gatherers made a grim company, eyes averted and suspicions aroused. It didn’t take long for the next accusation to come. It was from the servant girl again. Her gaze fixed upon Peter she blurted, “But I know you were with Him. In fact, you’re one of His disciples! You even talk like Him.”

Profanity bubbled forth from Peter’s panicked lips, as he punctuated each word with sailor-style expletives, “I said I never knew Him. Now leave me alone!”

Barely had his profane denial left his mouth, when a rooster crowed, announcing that dawn was streaking the sky. In an instant, Yahshua’s prophecy given just hours before, flashed into Peter’s guilty mind, “Before the cock crows, you will deny Me three times.”

The tragic story of Peter denying Christ bears a warning to us all. In our final Revelation-in-the-Wilderness experience at the End of the World, when God’s people must face every spiritual warfare trial, followers of Christ will all face the temptation to save our skins by denying Yahshua. And how will we respond on that day? Will we deny the Saviour to save ourselves? The very idea fills us with horror! Of course not! But don't answer quite so quickly. We think we wouldn't do such a horrible thing, but so did Peter! How can we really be sure?

If we are blind to the truth, like Peter, we will argue vehemently that we would NEVER deny Yahshua, ignoring our obvious character flaws which would be plainly revealed by the Holy Spirit, if we were willing to look. In this passage of Luke 22, we are given a wake-up call and an opportunity to see our own sinful condition. It is possible for us to see the truth about ourselves, if only we'll take the time to ask God to reveal it. By seeing the true condition of our hearts before the day of testing, we may repent! By seeking true conversion before the fiery trial, we may glorify God in the fire, instead of remaining in the heart-condition which is capable of betraying Him.

From ancient times, the crow of a rooster signaled the end of the night and the dawning of the day. Its crow called the sleepers from their slumber, awakening them to the new morning. But for Peter, that pre-dawn rooster’s crow heralded a spiritual awakening, as well. It was just the wake-up call that he needed to open his eyes to his true condition, bringing him to remorse and full repentance.

We are all told that the followers of Christ will share in Yahshua’s sufferings. If we want to share in Christ’s power and glory, we must first partake of His suffering.

1 Peter 4:12-13 - "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy."

2 Timothy 2:12 - "If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us."

On the fateful night of the rooster’s crow, Peter experienced the call to share in the Saviour’s suffering. He may well have suffered, had Peter admitted that he was indeed a follower of Christ. And, as it turned out, because Peter wasn't truly converted, he was unwilling to risk suffering - even for Christ.  

But as the rooster crowed, Peter spiritually awakened to his true heart-condition. He ran from the place, returning to Gethsemane, where he fell on his face before God, weeping bitterly. He confessed his sin and repented. And there in the early morning hours - Peter was finally and completely converted.

In that moment, he  was transformed from a self-preserving, idolatrous pretender into a genuine, deeply-committed, fully-converted servant of the living God. Peter’s test is one that every child of God faces, at one time or another. If we are to partake of the glories promised the people of God, we will also partake of His suffering. 

Do you know what you'll do when you face Peter's test? May it be that we will not waste time now thinking we are faithful, when the seeds of betrayal still lie waiting in our unconverted hearts! Let it not be that we would be like Peter - going through all right motions, hanging out with the Saviour - yet still unconverted. Let us seriously pray and ask God to show us the true condition of our hearts now. Only then will we stand in the day when Satan comes to "sift us like wheat". Let us pray with David, as instructed also in Jeremiah:

Psalm 139:23-24  "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the Way Everlasting."

Jeremiah 17:9-10(a) "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD (Yahweh) search the heart, I try the reins..."

Be sure to add a COMMENT on this blog, sharing with us anything you found meaningful in your reading of today's Scripture passages. We will all love to hear from you (please keep the Comment relevant to today's reading - Thx!)

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - January 29, 2017

Today's Reading:

Luke 21

Genesis 38

Psalm 29

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:

As always, there are many gems of Truth in today's Bible reading. However, for my personal commentary today, I am going to focus on a passage from Luke 21:11
"And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven."
What are these "fearful signs" in the heavens? "Fearful" means "awesome", "noteworthy", "they-are-calling-you-to-reverence-God", and they warn of "impending Judgment". The reference to "signs" means they have prophetic value. In other words, our Heavenly Father is giving End-time prophecies in the sky. This is a subject which I have studied a great deal and find very fascinating. So, I'd like to share a few of these heavenly signs.

God, Creator of all, is the One Who created the heavenly bodies. He is also the One Who shaped the constellations, assigned them their original meanings, and named the stars.
Isaiah 40:25-26  "To whom then will ye liken Me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: He calleth them all by names by the greatness of His Might, for that He is strong in power; not one faileth."

Job 26:13  "By His Spirit He hath garnished the heavens; His Hand hath formed the crooked serpent (this is the name of one of the constellations)." 
The prophet Joel foretold that God would be using sky events to alert the world that the Second Coming was near. 

Specifically the Bible says that the Creator will show wonders in the sun being turned to darkness and the moon being turned into blood. 

What does it mean that Yahweh will show wonders in the heavens? The word "show" is translated from the Hebrew word "nathan" meaning "appoint", "ascribe", "assign", and "make". The word "wonders" means that these appointed signs will be "conspicuous omens", which are "miraculously" done by God Himself.

The heavenly events which I am about to show you are in direct fulfillment of Joel 2:30-31. During 2014, the moon was "turned to blood" (which is a total lunar eclipse) twice. Then it was turned to blood two times in 2015 as well. Interspersed between these conspicuous blood moon events were solar eclipses.

But if all a person saw of these events was that there were four blood moons over the spring and fall of two years in a row with a couple of solar eclipses thrown in for good measure, the miraculous Hand of God would be overlooked. To see the miracle in these event, one must notice the timing in which they took place. 

First, these blood moons took place on God's Holy Appointed times - His Feast Days (Passover and Sukkot - also known as the Feast of Tabernacles - two years in a row) listed in Leviticus Chapter 23. But that's not all... there is more...  The sky events took place at precise intervals, which could not be an accident.

Mankind is familiar with the concept the rhythm and interval can be used to spell words. After all, consider Morse Code. And, if any scientist should hear a Morse Code message, whether he could understand Morse Code or not, he would recognize the mathematical rhythm and know that he was hearing a message being given by an intelligent communicator. No one, hearing a Morse Code signal would mistake it for an accident, a meaningless Hodge-podge of sounds, which just happened by some random coincidence.

In these incredible sky events of 2014 and 2015, God was resounding three powerful messages – given in Morse-Code style – spelling out Hebrew words in numeric intervals!

In English, letters don't usually have stand-alone meaning. Letters gain meaning by adding them together to form words. It is different in Hebrew however. Hebrew letters all have tremendous meaning. You could write many pages explaining the spiritual meaning of each Hebrew letter. And the meaning of Hebrew words is gained by adding up the individual meanings of the letter which form that word. Additionally, in Hebrew, letters have numerical value. And numerical value is also to be understood to have great spiritual meaning, which goes with the meaning of the Hebrew letters.

With these concepts in mind, let's look a bit more closely at the exciting sky events in 2014 and 2015.

First, on April 14, 2014, there was a blood moon, which is called a total lunar eclipse. 

Then, on April 29, 2014, there was a partial solar eclipse.

On October 8, 2014, there was another blood moon event.

And the last of the eclipses for this year took place on October 23, 2014, with a partial solar eclipse.

 The amazing pattern reversed in 2015, with solar eclipses starting off instead of blood moons. The blood moons still fell on Passover and Sukkot this year as well.

First, on March 20, 2015, there was a total solar eclipse.

On April 4, 2015, there was a partial blood moon. 

On September 13, 2015, there was another partial solar eclipse. 

And finally, on September 28, 2015, we saw the fourth blood moon of the spectacular tetrad.

Now as if the fact that these events occurred on God's Holy Days both years wasn't enough to show that this was the Hand of God - a miracle, done by His Design - God added an amazing "Morse-code-style" Message, spelled out in the precise intervals between events. There were three number messages given. The first number message was 15.

In 2014 the first two events took place 15 days apart.

In 2014 the second two events took place 15 days apart.

In 2015 the first two events took place 15 days apart.

In 2015 the second two events will take place 15 days apart.

Fifteen is a sacred number in the Hebrew language (remember letters double as numbers, similar to Roman numerals).  The Jews are careful not to write the number 15 in its traditional form, which would be a yod and a heh (written in black panel above) making 15. The Number 15 is the word YAH. Jews don't write a fifteen this way because they don’t want to write God's Sacred Name in common math! To prevent this, the purposely change the rule for how numbers are written and write 15 with a tet (9) and vav (6), which add to make 15. 

The use of these letters together are a call, which we can more fully understand by looking at the individual meanings of the yod and heh – It is a call for mankind to return to Yahweh and honor Him, to be cleansed of sin, and filled with His Spirit – represented in the Heh. It is a call to return to the Ten Commandments and to stand among the faithful – represented in the yod.

So the number and message of 15 is proclaimed 4x – pronouncing the Name of Yah from the Heavens with the same clarity and precision of Morse Code. And there’s more…

In 2014 there was 177 days between Blood Moons.

In 2014 there was 177 days between Solar Eclipses.

In 2015 there was 177 days between Solar Eclipses.

In 2015 there was 177 days between Blood Moons.

In Hebrew, the letter Qof is the number 100. Two letters, a resh and a zayin, combine to form the letter Qof. The zayin, to the left, descends below the line, while the resh, to the right, hovers above it. The paradoxical union symbolized by the two components of the Qof  is the secret of “There is none holy as God.” In general, the Qof stands for kedushah, “holiness.”

To make one hundred and seventy-seven – two numbers sevens follow the Qof  Seven is the Hebrew Letter zayin. Zayin is the letter of effective Spiritual Warfare – which is the way to maintain holiness, in Yah’s Power. Zayin means “weapon” and its form represents the SWORD of the SPIRIT

It is also a strong call to honor Yah’s Sabbaths! By being doubled in this number, the message of the zayin is only increased and magnified – having two witnesses, we see this message is established by God in Heaven and will surely come to pass.

The Creator is not only calling people unto Holiness and Sabbath keeping, but also to effective Spiritual Warfare that all sins be conquered in our lives! He is, at the same time, warning that for those who reject this calling – the Sword of Judgment is coming…

The third heavenly Message that God has proclaimed in this Morse-code-like style is 162.

In 2014 there was 162 days between the cluster of events (April 29, 2014 - October 8, 2014)
In 2015 there is 162 days between the cluster of events (April 4, 2015 – September 13, 2015)


162 also starts with the letter Qof, which is the number 100, as I said before. Again, it reminds that “There is none holy as God” and stands for “holiness.”

To make one hundred and sixty-two – the numbers 6 and 2 follow the Qof  Six is the number of man and two is the number of Messiah – Yah manifested, or Tabernacling, in the Flesh. It is a call unto man to be holy! We should experience the in-dwelling Presence of Yah in our lives now – that we will be prepared to Tabernacle with Him in Person – soon.

These Heavenly signs, which started in 2014, concluded September of 2015. 

God has given His three Messages with tremendous and notable precision. They were designed to be spectacular signs to get the whole world’s attention. And they are a powerful demonstration of what our Saviour meant in Luke 21:11,
"And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven."

Be sure to add a COMMENT on this blog, sharing with us anything you found meaningful in your reading of today's Scripture passages. We will all love to hear from you (please keep the Comment relevant to today's reading - Thx!)