Category Archives: Seeking God

Praise YHWH for Deliverance

Included within the book of 2 Samuel, we find a psalm of deliverance from David. Surely we all do well to reflect on and rely on deliverance by the LORD from what comes against us. We do well to praise Him and thank Him and not forget or take for granted what He has done on our behalf.

2 Samuel 22

David’s Psalm of Deliverance

      1And David spoke the words of this song to the LORD in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.

2He said,
“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;

      3My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge;
My savior, You save me from violence.

      4“I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised,
And I am saved from my enemies.

      5“For the waves of death encompassed me;
The torrents of destruction overwhelmed me;

      6The cords of Sheol surrounded me;
The snares of death confronted me.

      7“In my distress I called upon the LORD,
Yes, I cried to my God;
And from His temple He heard my voice,
And my cry for help came into His ears.

      8“Then the earth shook and quaked,
The foundations of heaven were trembling
And were shaken, because He was angry.

      9“Smoke went up out of His nostrils,
Fire from His mouth devoured;
Coals were kindled by it.

      10“He bowed the heavens also, and came down
With thick darkness under His feet.

      11“And He rode on a cherub and flew;
And He appeared on the wings of the wind.

      12“And He made darkness canopies around Him,
A mass of waters, thick clouds of the sky.

      13“From the brightness before Him
Coals of fire were kindled.

      14“The LORD thundered from heaven,
And the Most High uttered His voice.

      15“And He sent out arrows, and scattered them,
Lightning, and routed them.

      16“Then the channels of the sea appeared,
The foundations of the world were laid bare
By the rebuke of the LORD,
At the blast of the breath of His nostrils.

      17“He sent from on high, He took me;
He drew me out of many waters.

      18“He delivered me from my strong enemy,
From those who hated me, for they were too strong for me.

      19“They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
But the LORD was my support.

      20“He also brought me forth into a broad place;
He rescued me, because He delighted in me.

      21“The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness;
According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me.

      22“For I have kept the ways of the LORD,
And have not acted wickedly against my God.

      23“For all His ordinances were before me,
And as for His statutes, I did not depart from them.

      24“I was also blameless toward Him,
And I kept myself from my iniquity.

      25“Therefore the LORD has recompensed me according to my righteousness,
According to my cleanness before His eyes.

      26“With the kind You show Yourself kind,
With the blameless You show Yourself blameless;

      27With the pure You show Yourself pure,
And with the perverted You show Yourself astute.

      28“And You save an afflicted people;
But Your eyes are on the haughty whom You abase.

      29“For You are my lamp, O LORD;
And the LORD illumines my darkness.

      30“For by You I can run upon a troop;
By my God I can leap over a wall.

      31“As for God, His way is blameless;
The word of the LORD is tested;
He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.

      32“For who is God, besides the LORD?
And who is a rock, besides our God?

      33“God is my strong fortress;
And He sets the blameless in His way.

      34“He makes my feet like hinds’ feet,
And sets me on my high places.

      35“He trains my hands for battle,
So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

      36“You have also given me the shield of Your salvation,
And Your help makes me great.

      37“You enlarge my steps under me,
And my feet have not slipped.

      38“I pursued my enemies and destroyed them,
And I did not turn back until they were consumed.

      39“And I have devoured them and shattered them, so that they did not rise;
And they fell under my feet.

      40“For You have girded me with strength for battle;
You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.

      41“You have also made my enemies turn their backs to me,
And I destroyed those who hated me.

      42“They looked, but there was none to save;
Even to the LORD, but He did not answer them.

      43“Then I pulverized them as the dust of the earth;
I crushed and stamped them as the mire of the streets.

      44“You have also delivered me from the contentions of my people;
You have kept me as head of the nations;
A people whom I have not known serve me.

      45“Foreigners pretend obedience to me;
As soon as they hear, they obey me.

      46“Foreigners lose heart,
And come trembling out of their fortresses.

      47“The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock;
And exalted be God, the rock of my salvation,

      48The God who executes vengeance for me,
And brings down peoples under me,

      49Who also brings me out from my enemies;
You even lift me above those who rise up against me;
You rescue me from the violent man.

      50“Therefore I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the nations,
And I will sing praises to Your name.

      51He is a tower of deliverance to His king,
And shows lovingkindness to His anointed,
To David and his descendants forever.”

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

How We Respond to YHWH’s Correction Largely Defines Our Relationship with Him

When it comes to submitting our lives to YHWH and becoming His people, none of us will be above rebuke. Not even King David was above rebuke. This is a good thing. We are all accountable to YHWH.  He is a loving father who will rebuke and discipline those He loves. We may not like being rebuked, but it helps us remain close to Him and as such, is a very good thing.

How will we respond to the rebuke? That is what will truly define our relationship with our Father. Will we accept it, ask forgiveness, and repent or will we deny and make excuses, rationalizing what we did as acceptable because of the circumstances?

Repenting, even genuinely, does not mean there will not be consequences for our sin. But it will help to guide us back in good relationship with YHWH after.

2 Samuel 12

Nathan Rebukes David

      1Then the LORD sent Nathan to David. And he came to him and said,
“There were two men in one city, the one rich and the other poor.

      2“The rich man had a great many flocks and herds.

      3“But the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb
Which he bought and nourished;
And it grew up together with him and his children.
It would eat of his bread and drink of his cup and lie in his bosom,
And was like a daughter to him.

      4“Now a traveler came to the rich man,
And he was unwilling to take from his own flock or his own herd,
To prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him;
Rather he took the poor man’s ewe lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”

5Then David’s anger burned greatly against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the LORD lives, surely the man who has done this deserves to die. 6“He must make restitution for the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing and had no compassion.”

      7Nathan then said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel, ‘It is I who anointed you king over Israel and it is I who delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8‘I also gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your care, and I gave you the house of Israel and Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added to you many more things like these! 9‘Why have you despised the word of the LORD by doing evil in His sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the sons of Ammon. 10‘Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11“Thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household; I will even take your wives before your eyes and give them to your companion, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. 12‘Indeed you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, and under the sun.’” 13Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die. 14“However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die.” 15So Nathan went to his house.

Loss of a Child

       Then the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s widow bore to David, so that he was very sick. 16David therefore inquired of God for the child; and David fasted and went and lay all night on the ground. 17The elders of his household stood beside him in order to raise him up from the ground, but he was unwilling and would not eat food with them. 18Then it happened on the seventh day that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, “Behold, while the child was still alive, we spoke to him and he did not listen to our voice. How then can we tell him that the child is dead, since he might do himself harm!” 19But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David perceived that the child was dead; so David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” And they said, “He is dead.” 20So David arose from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he came into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he came to his own house, and when he requested, they set food before him and he ate.

      21Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” 22He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who knows, the LORD may be gracious to me, that the child may live.’ 23“But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”

Solomon Born

      24Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her; and she gave birth to a son, and he named him Solomon. Now the LORD loved him 25and sent word through Nathan the prophet, and he named him Jedidiah for the LORD’S sake.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

David Strengthened Himself in the LORD

David and his men were surely discouraged to come home and find that all their wives and children had been carried off. Some even talked of stoning David. What would you do in this situation?

David did it right. He found strength in the LORD and asked the LORD what to do. This is always a good approach when facing difficult challenges. YHWH answered and delivered victory.

1 Samuel 30:1-20

David’s Victory over the Amalekites

      1Then it happened when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had made a raid on the Negev and on Ziklag, and had overthrown Ziklag and burned it with fire; 2and they took captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great, without killing anyone, and carried them off and went their way. 3When David and his men came to the city, behold, it was burned with fire, and their wives and their sons and their daughters had been taken captive. 4Then David and the people who were with him lifted their voices and wept until there was no strength in them to weep. 5Now David’s two wives had been taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite. 6Moreover David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.

      7Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, “Please bring me the ephod.” So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. 8David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I pursue this band? Shall I overtake them?” And He said to him, “Pursue, for you will surely overtake them, and you will surely rescue all.9So David went, he and the six hundred men who were with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those left behind remained. 10But David pursued, he and four hundred men, for two hundred who were too exhausted to cross the brook Besor remained behind.

      11Now they found an Egyptian in the field and brought him to David, and gave him bread and he ate, and they provided him water to drink. 12They gave him a piece of fig cake and two clusters of raisins, and he ate; then his spirit revived. For he had not eaten bread or drunk water for three days and three nights. 13David said to him, “To whom do you belong? And where are you from?” And he said, “I am a young man of Egypt, a servant of an Amalekite; and my master left me behind when I fell sick three days ago. 14“We made a raid on the Negev of the Cherethites, and on that which belongs to Judah, and on the Negev of Caleb, and we burned Ziklag with fire.” 15Then David said to him, “Will you bring me down to this band?” And he said, “Swear to me by God that you will not kill me or deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will bring you down to this band.”

      16When he had brought him down, behold, they were spread over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing because of all the great spoil that they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah. 17David slaughtered them from the twilight until the evening of the next day; and not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men who rode on camels and fled. 18So David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and rescued his two wives. 19But nothing of theirs was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that they had taken for themselves; David brought it all back. 20So David had captured all the sheep and the cattle which the people drove ahead of the other livestock, and they said, “This is David’s spoil.”

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Message of the Cross – Salvation

God’s instruction to us is so complete and relevant that a scholar could spend a lifetime studying it, yet so simple that a child can understand it and come to a personal relationship with Christ.

The message of the cross, of Jesus Christ, is perhaps best summarized in the words of Jesus and Paul.

John 3

16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave[g] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.[h]

Let us take care to understand properly in context the word “believe”. I believe that Greenland exists, but it has no impact on my life. Many believe that Jesus Christ was a true historical figure, but they do not live according to His instructions. Many even believe Jesus was Messiah, in an academic sense, but they do not submit to Him and live His way. If we truly believe that Jesus is Messiah, God, then we should submit to Him and the evidence should be demonstrated in our changed life through actions and attitudes that are increasingly more like Him and less like our old selves.

James 2:14-20

14What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? 15If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

18But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?

Some ask…”What is sin?” or “How can I know if I have sinned?” People are inherently sinful, not good. Sin separates us from God. The Bible tells us that “… all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” [Romans 3:23]

Have you ever broken one of God’s commandments [Exodus 20:1-17]? Jesus makes clear that God’s standard goes beyond committing the physical acts but even includes the heart and mind. To hold anger against someone is to commit murder. To have lustful thoughts is to commit adultery. [Matthew 5:21-48]

God is love, but He is also holy and just. A price must be paid for our sins. It can not be ignored. We are not able to pay the price ourselves because we are not worthy. Our sins are so ugly before God that the penalty of sin is death.

God so loved the world that He became man in the person of Jesus Christ, living a sinless life, and suffered and died for our sins. He was buried and rose again. He has overcome death and gives us a path to eternal life through accepting Jesus as Lord.

The work of the cross has already been completed. The price has been paid for your sins and mine. We must each individually repent of our sins before God. This means we must turn away from them, not just feel bad about them and keep sinning. We accept Him as Lord, submitting our lives fully to Him. We cannot call Him Lord and then only submit to Him part way. If He is Lord we must submit to Him all the way. This is evidenced by a change in our thoughts and behaviors. We become different from the world. We do not rationalize and accept even some of our sin but rather reject it and seek to follow God. It is not enough to call ourselves Christians and go to church. We must fully submit to God.

Romans 10

10 Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. 2 For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. 3 For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the [a]end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

5 For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is [b]based on law shall live [c]by that righteousness. 6 But the righteousness [d]based on faith speaks as follows: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), 7 or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9 [e]that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, [f]resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, [g]resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be [h]disappointed.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who [i]bring good news of good things!”

16 However, they did not all heed the [j]good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word [k]of Christ.

18 But I say, surely they have never heard, have they? Indeed they have;

Their voice has gone out into all the earth,
And their words to the ends of the [l]world.”

19 But I say, surely Israel did not know, did they? First Moses says,

“I will make you jealous by that which is not a nation,
By a nation without understanding will I anger you.”

20 And Isaiah is very bold and says,

“I was found by those who did not seek Me,
I became manifest to those who did not ask for Me.”

21 But as for Israel He says, “All the day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.”

Many will reject the message, but we are called to preach it to all the world. We as believers must not be silent or no one will hear the true word of God. If they do not hear it, they can not accept it and be saved.

If you have never submitted to Jesus Christ as Lord, please pray with me the following, but pray genuinely with your heart because it is not about the specific words but the condition of the heart and submission to God.

Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus Christ. I admit that I have done wrong and ask your forgiveness. I believe in my heart that Jesus died for my sin and that you raised Him from the dead. I ask Jesus into my heart as Lord over my life. Help me to change my attitude and behavior to turn away from my own ways and the world’s ways and instead turn toward You and live the way You teach as revealed in Your word, the Bible. Help me to gladly and boldly proclaim Jesus publicly in my life. Thank you God for saving me.

This is not all there is! This is but the beginning… the doorway. Once you pass through this doorway you submit your whole life to Christ. It requires a combination of Intellect (knowing God), Emotion (loving God and fearing God), and Will (choosing to do His will instead of our own). It is an ongoing decision in our lives that starts us on a journey to know God more intimately and to obey Him more completely. It requires study and prayer and action. It is a journey we never finish in this life, but it transforms us along the way to be more and more like Jesus Christ.

If you made this decision today, we encourage you to reach out to us so that we can welcome you into the body of Christ as well as pray for you and provide more information and encouragement for your life changing decision. You can reach us through our Contact Us page.

Tell others you know have already accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Tell them of your decision to follow Christ. Look to connect with a Christian mentor, local church or group of true Christian believers.

Why is it important to declare Jesus as Lord publicly? Jesus said so.

Matthew 10:32-33 32“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33“But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.

Also, connecting with other Christians and publicly declaring your decision to follow Christ can help provide important support from other believers to help you on your journey with Jesus Christ. Remember, many who reject Jesus will try to talk you out of submitting to Him and following Him. Pray God will guide you to and connect you with the fellowship of true brothers and sisters in Christ that will help you to continue your lifelong journey to know, love, and serve Jesus Christ!

We invite you to study the Bible with us daily through our devotions via email, Facebook, Google Plus, or on our website Latest Devotions page. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) has developed and shared the following wonderful tools to help new believers get started. (Steps to Peace God and Living In Christ)

If you have questions or want to know more, please Contact Us.

Understanding what the law means to us today can be confusing and requires careful study. In Romans 10:3-5, above, Paul is not saying Jesus came to change the law or abolish the law. Paul is specifically referring to the aspect of the law in which we are to be made right with God. Instead of being made right with God through perfect execution of the law, or through sacrifices and through the earthly priesthood, we are made right with God through Jesus Christ. John 3:16-18 confirms that Jesus came not to redefine sin or redefine God’s instruction by which we are to live (e.g. the law of God) but rather to address the judgment for our sin when we fall short of fully living up to God’s standard. Jesus did not end the law, which shows us how to live according to God’s instruction, but rather to provide a way for us to be reconciled to God when we fall short of perfectly executing God’s law. For more, please read our message on Understanding The Law – What Does It Mean For Us Today?

May the grace and peace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, be with you.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Seeking The LORD In His Moedim (Holy Days)

Each year as Passover approaches, I am reminded to reflect on my personal journey with Yeshua. I was raised in a household that identified as Christian. We went to church weekly, but we did not study the Bible or seek to apply it in our lives actively. We watched things on TV which we should not have. There was little discernment about separating from the commonly accepted ways of the world to seek out the set apart ways of YHWH. We embraced and celebrated every common cultural holiday, apparently unaware or unconcerned about the significant pagan influence in shaping each of these holidays. In fact, holidays like Christmas and Easter often have more pagan roots and traditions than Christian.

As YHWH has continued to lead me, he has opened my eyes to his appointed times, or Moedim. They are described in Leviticus 23 and other places in scripture. Do not get tied up into the traps of whether or not they are required and if required, how “must” they be celebrated. Start by learning about YHWH’s holy days and participating in them. They look back at the relationship he has with his people and look forward to it as well. Each has meaning, not just from a “Jewish” perspective, but also from a Christian perspective. Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of these celebrations, including looking forward to his second coming. They are not “Jewish” holidays, but rather YHWH’s holy days. We can not or do not have to try to live them out perfectly as they were laid out for his people in the Torah, in Leviticus to harvest value from celebrating them.

We do not have to celebrate them absolutely according to what is now Jewish tradition. Only seek to study and better understand them so we better understand our relationship with God. Celebrate them as a great way to help teach your children as well. How much more rich than just “book learning” alone!

Here are a few resources where you can learn more about the Moedim, the Creator’s calendar (often called the “Jewish” calendar), and given this time of year, Passover in particular.

I hope you join me in a pursuit to know, love, and serve our Father more. Learning about and celebrating the Moedim is a fun and meaningful way to continue together on this journey. I invite you to start with Passover, which takes place in the upcoming weeks.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

If YHWH is Silent, That Does Not Make It Ok To Seek A Medium

Sometimes YHWH will be silent when we seek Him. We wants us to be patient and trust Him, not turn to ungodly means to try to figure out what to do. It is in these times we should continue prayer and make decisions by what we know of His character from the scriptures and our relationship with Him. It is never an excuse to seek out a medium or other demonic influence… even to seek a righteous person like Samuel.

Saul was desperate, and he made a very poor choice that made the situation worse for Him and he was even further from the grace and forgiveness of YHWH.

As a side note, for the skeptics, mediums are real and there is real danger in seeking them. Their power is not from YHWH, thus it must be from Satan. He is not one to be trusted in the slightest.

1 Samuel 28

Saul and the Spirit Medium

     1Now it came about in those days that the Philistines gathered their armed camps for war, to fight against Israel. And Achish said to David, “Know assuredly that you will go out with me in the camp, you and your men.” 2David said to Achish, “Very well, you shall know what your servant can do.” So Achish said to David, “Very well, I will make you my bodyguard for life.”

      3Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him and buried him in Ramah, his own city. And Saul had removed from the land those who were mediums and spiritists. 4So the Philistines gathered together and came and camped in Shunem; and Saul gathered all Israel together and they camped in Gilboa. 5When Saul saw the camp of the Philistines, he was afraid and his heart trembled greatly. 6When Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD did not answer him, either by dreams or by Urim or by prophets. 7Then Saul said to his servants, “Seek for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.” And his servants said to him, “Behold, there is a woman who is a medium at En-dor.”

      8Then Saul disguised himself by putting on other clothes, and went, he and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night; and he said, “Conjure up for me, please, and bring up for me whom I shall name to you.” 9But the woman said to him, “Behold, you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off those who are mediums and spiritists from the land. Why are you then laying a snare for my life to bring about my death?” 10Saul vowed to her by the LORD, saying, “As the LORD lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing.” 11Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” And he said, “Bring up Samuel for me.” 12When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice; and the woman spoke to Saul, saying, “Why have you deceived me? For you are Saul.” 13The king said to her, “Do not be afraid; but what do you see?” And the woman said to Saul, “I see a divine being coming up out of the earth.” 14He said to her, “What is his form?” And she said, “An old man is coming up, and he is wrapped with a robe.” And Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground and did homage.

      15Then Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” And Saul answered, “I am greatly distressed; for the Philistines are waging war against me, and God has departed from me and no longer answers me, either through prophets or by dreams; therefore I have called you, that you may make known to me what I should do.” 16Samuel said, “Why then do you ask me, since the LORD has departed from you and has become your adversary? 17“The LORD has done accordingly as He spoke through me; for the LORD has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, to David. 18“As you did not obey the LORD and did not execute His fierce wrath on Amalek, so the LORD has done this thing to you this day. 19“Moreover the LORD will also give over Israel along with you into the hands of the Philistines, therefore tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. Indeed the LORD will give over the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines!”

      20Then Saul immediately fell full length upon the ground and was very afraid because of the words of Samuel; also there was no strength in him, for he had eaten no food all day and all night. 21The woman came to Saul and saw that he was terrified, and said to him, “Behold, your maidservant has obeyed you, and I have taken my life in my hand and have listened to your words which you spoke to me. 22“So now also, please listen to the voice of your maidservant, and let me set a piece of bread before you that you may eat and have strength when you go on your way.” 23But he refused and said, “I will not eat.” However, his servants together with the woman urged him, and he listened to them. So he arose from the ground and sat on the bed. 24The woman had a fattened calf in the house, and she quickly slaughtered it; and she took flour, kneaded it and baked unleavened bread from it. 25She brought it before Saul and his servants, and they ate. Then they arose and went away that night.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Enlighten the Eyes of My Heart

Let us approach our Lord with thanksgiving for fellow believers and for the wonderful gift of our own salvation by grace, through faith. Let us ask Him to enlighten the eyes of our hearts.

Ephesians 1

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight 9He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him 11also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

15For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 17that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Ministries With Online Presence To Help You On Your Journey

Ministries

Many claim to bring a Christian message, but far too often there are false prophets mixed among the true Christian ministries and even genuine Christian ministries have significant gaps or wrong teaching embedded in their teaching. We are called to study God’s word and use discernment to determine which ones line up with the Bible and reject the rest.

I have attached links to some of the ministries I have found helpful that have a lot of information online that can help us in specific focus areas to help us grow in our walk with the Lord.

I pray you would find these resources as a helpful place to start or continue your studies in seeking the Lord in all His truth. No one person or ministry has it all right, but many have learned enough that they can help you on your journey. If you have limited time or if you want to know where to start, I truly encourage you to spend time Understanding the Hebrew Roots of our Christian faith. It provides insight into what most of the Christian teachers are missing, including ones that are listed on HearingFromJesus.org. As with all teaching (including mine), as you study also seek the Lord in prayer and test everything against the holy scriptures themselves.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

A Closer Look at the Two Witnesses In Revelation 11

There is a lot to unpack in every chapter of Revelation. I can not hope to unpack it all in a short daily article. It really is an invitation for each of us to dive in and study here. Often times YHWH has multiple levels of meaning in the events which have or are yet to unfold. In Revelation 11, we read about two witnesses. I can refer you to GotQuestions.org, which is a useful and credible resource for study, though not infallible by any means. There is an interesting summary of some thoughts about the two witnesses. I would add to their article that I think the reasoning around Enoch and Elijah is a bit weak, as some people we know have died twice… e.g. anyone Jesus or His disciples raised from the dead. Thus relying on everyone dying once is a flawed approach.

I would also recommend some thoughts on the subject by Bill Cloud at Shoreshim Ministries on his Returning to our Roots podcast where he has a four part series about the two witnesses.

Beyond two specific individuals being raised and speculating about who they are, we can also consider that Moses and Elijah represent the Law and the prophets. Bill Cloud develops a theme in which Elijah also represents those who came to follow YHWH from among the Gentiles. If we follow that out a bit we could also consider that Christians and Jews could also represent the two witnesses more broadly. The Jews represent the Law or truth, which sadly most Christians have tossed aside or changed. The Christians represent faith (in Messiah), which is lost among the Jews.  I would encourage you to invest the time to listen to the podcast series and perhaps read the article on GotQuestions.org or study further on your own.

It is good to develop study habits to dive in further beyond the initial reading of a tough chapter in the Bible… or in the case of Revelation, a tough book of the Bible.

One thing is for sure in Revelation 11 and that is that YHWH is always in control. The two witnesses are untouchable until He allows them to complete their message and be ready to be executed, so that He can raise them up again and perhaps get the people’s attention once more. We need to fret or fear that YHWH is reactive or surprised or trying to figure out what to do next. He already knows how it will all progress. If He knows that for the world at large, He also knows that for any struggle or concern that will affect your life. Lean into Him. Rely on Him. Trust in Him. If He is with you, nothing can stop you.

Revelation 11:1-14

The Two Witnesses

      1Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, “Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. 2“Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months. 3“And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” 4These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. 5And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. 6These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire.

      7When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. 8And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. 9Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. 10And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.

      11But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. 12And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them. 13And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.

      14The second woe is past; behold, the third woe is coming quickly.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Challenge the Cultural Norms Even Within Christianity Today

I firmly believe that YHWH intends one man and one woman in marriage. I believe scripture makes this clear. However, we see many examples where His people appear to be influenced by the pagan nations around them in areas such as marriage to more than one wife. It becomes “normal” or “accepted” and then at some point His people don’t even recognize it is wrong. David is faithful and dependent on YHWH at this point in his life and yet he does not seem to recognize that this is wrong.

1 Samuel 25:39-44

David Marries Abigail

39When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be the LORD, who has pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal and has kept back His servant from evil. The LORD has also returned the evildoing of Nabal on his own head.” Then David sent a proposal to Abigail, to take her as his wife. 40When the servants of David came to Abigail at Carmel, they spoke to her, saying, “David has sent us to you to take you as his wife.” 41She arose and bowed with her face to the ground and said, “Behold, your maidservant is a maid to wash the feet of my lord’s servants.” 42Then Abigail quickly arose, and rode on a donkey, with her five maidens who attended her; and she followed the messengers of David and became his wife.

      43David had also taken Ahinoam of Jezreel, and they both became his wives.

      44Now Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Palti the son of Laish, who was from Gallim.

I have included a few verses which clearly state one wife to one husband. Notice the plural vs. singular nature of the combinations of husband and wife or husbands and wives. There is no “husband love your wives” or “hold fast to your wives“. Singular matches each time and when plural is used, it refers to more than one married couple.

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24 ESV)

But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. (1 Corinthians 7:2 ESV)

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, … (Ephesians 5:22-33 ESV)

He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6 ESV)

I think we also need to be aware that some things we have taken to be normal and acceptable living among the worldly are actually not ok. Even though people identifying as Christians may make certain actions commonplace now, we can not assume that makes it right. We must go back and study the word of YHWH and pray for enlightenment and discernment. We must challenge cultural norms, even those that our parents accepted and their parents before them. I am not speaking only of marriage, but of any cultural norms… could be holidays like Halloween or even how we celebrate Easter, could be acceptance of homosexuality or abortion. There are a wide range of issues around which those identifying as Christian have strayed far from God’s word as they have been influenced by the culture of the world around them.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.