Category Archives: Prophecy

The Day Of Judgment Will Come For All Of Us

The coming day of judgment will be difficult for those that rebel against and do not submit to YHWH now. Of course, some will face judgment when they die, before he returns and their fate is equally grave should they not have submitted to the LORD. Judgment comes for all of us. Each of us should ask ourselves, “Am I prepared? Am I preparing my children? my household?”

The LORD is ever merciful, though and the answer is quite simple. Turn to him. Repent. The only way to the father is through the son, Yeshua.  (John 14:6)

Joel 2

     1Blow a trumpet in Zion,
And sound an alarm on My holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
For the day of the LORD is coming;
Surely it is near,

      2A day of darkness and gloom,
A day of clouds and thick darkness.
As the dawn is spread over the mountains,
So there is a great and mighty people;
There has never been anything like it,
Nor will there be again after it
To the years of many generations.

      3A fire consumes before them
And behind them a flame burns.
The land is like the garden of Eden before them
But a desolate wilderness behind them,
And nothing at all escapes them.

      4Their appearance is like the appearance of horses;
And like war horses, so they run.

      5With a noise as of chariots
They leap on the tops of the mountains,
Like the crackling of a flame of fire consuming the stubble,
Like a mighty people arranged for battle.

      6Before them the people are in anguish;
All faces turn pale.

      7They run like mighty men,
They climb the wall like soldiers;
And they each march in line,
Nor do they deviate from their paths.

      8They do not crowd each other,
They march everyone in his path;
When they burst through the defenses,
They do not break ranks.

      9They rush on the city,
They run on the wall;
They climb into the houses,
They enter through the windows like a thief.

      10Before them the earth quakes,
The heavens tremble,
The sun and the moon grow dark
And the stars lose their brightness.

      11The LORD utters His voice before His army;
Surely His camp is very great,
For strong is he who carries out His word.
The day of the LORD is indeed great and very awesome,
And who can endure it?

      12“Yet even now,” declares the LORD,
“Return to Me with all your heart,
And with fasting, weeping and mourning;

      13And rend your heart and not your garments.”
Now return to the LORD your God,
For He is gracious and compassionate,
Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness
And relenting of evil.

      14Who knows whether He will not turn and relent
And leave a blessing behind Him,
Even a grain offering and a drink offering
For the LORD your God?

      15Blow a trumpet in Zion,
Consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly,

      16Gather the people, sanctify the congregation,
Assemble the elders,
Gather the children and the nursing infants.
Let the bridegroom come out of his room
And the bride out of her bridal chamber.

      17Let the priests, the LORD’S ministers,
Weep between the porch and the altar,
And let them say, “Spare Your people, O LORD,
And do not make Your inheritance a reproach,
A byword among the nations.
Why should they among the peoples say,
‘Where is their God?’”

Deliverance Promised

18Then the LORD will be zealous for His land
And will have pity on His people.

      19The LORD will answer and say to His people,
“Behold, I am going to send you grain, new wine and oil,
And you will be satisfied in full with them;
And I will never again make you a reproach among the nations.

      20“But I will remove the northern army far from you,
And I will drive it into a parched and desolate land,
And its vanguard into the eastern sea,
And its rear guard into the western sea.
And its stench will arise and its foul smell will come up,
For it has done great things.”

      21Do not fear, O land, rejoice and be glad,
For the LORD has done great things.

      22Do not fear, beasts of the field,
For the pastures of the wilderness have turned green,
For the tree has borne its fruit,
The fig tree and the vine have yielded in full.

      23So rejoice, O sons of Zion,
And be glad in the LORD your God;
For He has given you the early rain for your vindication.
And He has poured down for you the rain,
The early and latter rain as before.

      24The threshing floors will be full of grain,
And the vats will overflow with the new wine and oil.

      25“Then I will make up to you for the years
That the swarming locust has eaten,
The creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.

      26“You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied
And praise the name of the LORD your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
Then My people will never be put to shame.

      27“Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel,
And that I am the LORD your God,
And there is no other;
And My people will never be put to shame.

The Promise of the Spirit

28“It will come about after this
That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and daughters will prophesy,
Your old men will dream dreams,
Your young men will see visions.

      29“Even on the male and female servants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

The Day of the LORD

30“I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth,
Blood, fire and columns of smoke.

      31“The sun will be turned into darkness
And the moon into blood
Before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.

      32“And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD
Will be delivered;
For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
There will be those who escape,
As the LORD has said,
Even among the survivors whom the LORD calls.

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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.

Remember The Words Of the Prophets and Of Our Savior

The commandments of our LORD and Savior are consistent with the words spoken by the holy prophets. They are not different. Peter calls us in his second letter to remember both as he then goes on to remind us of what they both said. Yeshua fulfilled the message of the Torah and the prophets. He did not change the message or end it. Let us remember as Peter encourages us to do.

We are also reminded to look forward to the coming day of the LORD. For those who gladly follow him now, this is a great hope and expectation. For those who reject and rebel against him, it will stand as a day of judgment. Let us keep this coming day in mind as we choose to live our lives daily.

2 Peter 3

Purpose of This Letter

1This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.

The Coming Day of the Lord

            3Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” 5For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. 7But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

      8But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

A New Heaven and Earth

     10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.

      11Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! 13But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

      14Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 18but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Do not miss the warning Peter gives regarding Paul in verses 16-18. Paul is still misunderstood and has been since he started teaching. If he was misunderstood then by people who shared his culture and language and customs, then it is easy to imaging how so many Christians today misunderstand him and what he was teaching. As an example, many  say he taught against the Torah and the law, but this is wrong. He taught against the law for salvation. He did not teach against obeying the law. This is one simple example. He is perhaps the most misquoted and misunderstood of any Biblical figure and often his letters are used as an excuse to behave differently than how Yeshua (and his disciples) actually demonstrated for us. (For more on this: Understanding the Law – What Does It Mean For Us Today, Is God’s Law A Burden?, Remember the Sabbath)

I truly encourage you to test everything you are taught against what the word actually says and pray for wisdom and discernment.

I include some helpful links on my website at Focused Ministries – Understanding Hebrew Roots.

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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.

Eye Witnesses To Yeshua’s Glory

Part of what made the disciples so bold and effective was clearly that YHWH sent the Holy Spirit to go with them and be their helper. They were transformed in their courage and boldness. However, another part is that they were eyewitnesses of these events with Yeshua. If they were making these things up, they would surely have turned away when persecution came. The received no earthly riches or power by proclaiming Yeshua. They believed. They had witnessed. It should be an ever present reminder that the Bible is filled with historical accounts and reliable as a source of of knowledge to better understand history. I believe it is divinely inspired, essentially written by YHWH through men. It was written over long periods of time by many authors, and yet when properly understood… never contradicts itself. For those who do not believe it is divinely inspired, it remains clearly the most reliable historical document about the relationship YHWH has had with his people and also the most reliable historical account of Yeshua’s time on earth among us.

It’s value is deeper than gold, but only if we read and study it actively and apply what we learn to our lives.

2 Peter 1:16-21

Eyewitnesses

      16For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”— 18and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

      19So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

It is a significant point he makes at closing in this chapter. No prophecy is subject to our own interpretation. It is according to YHWH’s will. True prophecy, spoken by a true prophet, must come to pass because it was spoken by YHWH through them. They did not have to interpret it. There is no room for human error. For those of us reading prophecy in the Bible,  the question simply becomes whether or not we understand it properly.

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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.

Speak Lord, Your Servant Is Listening

Before starting 1 Samuel 4, I find it valuable to step back to 1 Samuel 3:19-21 for context.  It is so easy to skip over this and not stop to reflect on it.

19Thus Samuel grew and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fail. 20All Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the LORD. 21And the LORD appeared again at Shiloh, because the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the LORD.

In such a small set of verses, the record of Samuel leaps from a child sharing his first message from God with Eli to an established and respected prophet who is known throughout the land. Note the emphasis in his “success” is that the “LORD was with him and let none of his words fail”. It is all about he LORD. It is not about the messenger, though those who submit and obey the LORD make very useful servants.

We should all strive similarly to be his servants and be surrendered to his will that he would fill us and use us for his purposes. For Samuel, and for us as well, it all starts with an attitude like he expressed in 1Samuel 3:10… “Speak, for Your servant is listening.”

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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.

Recognizing The LORD’s Voice When He Speaks To Us

There are times when we as followers of YHWH may hear from the LORD, but it is easy to rationalize or expect that it is not the LORD calling. Samuel experienced this early in his walk with the LORD. Thankfully, Eli was able to help coach him on how to listen to the LORD. Samuel was also concerned about sharing what he heard from the LORD, and Eli helped with this also. Clearly Eli had some faults in his walk with the LORD, as we have read from the preceding chapters of 1 Samuel. However, the LORD was still able to use him to help prepare a young man to become a great prophet. Samuel was able to learn from his elder even though his elder was far from perfect, in fact had some glaring flaws.

The LORD will not speak to all of us in the same way he spoke to Samuel. However, when we feel like he is speaking to us, whether in audible voice or through the written word or through other people, let us be still and come humbly before him with an attitude to listen and invite him to speak to us more clearly. Let us ask him to help us understand his direction and his heart for whatever matter lies before us.

Notice that Samuel’s prayer was not complicated, but quite simple. It was simple and very genuine. He did not need an elaborate prayer to engage the LORD.

1 Samuel 3

The Prophetic Call to Samuel

      1Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD before Eli. And word from the LORD was rare in those days, visions were infrequent.

      2It happened at that time as Eli was lying down in his place (now his eyesight had begun to grow dim and he could not see well), 3and the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD where the ark of God was, 4that the LORD called Samuel; and he said, “Here I am.” 5Then he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, lie down again.” So he went and lay down. 6The LORD called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he answered, “I did not call, my son, lie down again.” 7Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, nor had the word of the LORD yet been revealed to him. 8So the LORD called Samuel again for the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli discerned that the LORD was calling the boy. 9And Eli said to Samuel, “Go lie down, and it shall be if He calls you, that you shall say, ‘Speak, LORD, for Your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

      10Then the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.” 11The LORD said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. 12“In that day I will carry out against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13“For I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons brought a curse on themselves and he did not rebuke them. 14“Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”

      15So Samuel lay down until morning. Then he opened the doors of the house of the LORD. But Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli. 16Then Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” And he said, “Here I am.” 17He said, “What is the word that He spoke to you? Please do not hide it from me. May God do so to you, and more also, if you hide anything from me of all the words that He spoke to you.” 18So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. And he said, “It is the LORD; let Him do what seems good to Him.”

      19Thus Samuel grew and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fail. 20All Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the LORD. 21And the LORD appeared again at Shiloh, because the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the LORD.

Yeshua Returns Again To His Disciples (After His Death)

It is hard to miss the obvious in John 21. Yeshua has risen from death and come to his disciples. This is truly miraculous and prophetic. Don’t overlook it as common just because you have heard it so many times. However, I am also struck by another perspective in this passage.

Even after death, Yeshua returned to his disciples with an attitude of a servant’s heart. He miraculously delivers a huge haul of fish where they could not catch anything and he prepares the fire and cooks the fish. It is an amazing example for each of us who follow Yeshua for how to treat one another.

John 21:1-14

Jesus Appears at the Sea of Galilee

     1After these things Jesus manifested Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and He manifested Himself in this way. 2Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. 3Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will also come with you.” They went out and got into the boat; and that night they caught nothing.

      4But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5So Jesus said to them, “Children, you do not have any fish, do you?” They answered Him, “No.” 6And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch.” So they cast, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish. 7Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea. 8But the other disciples came in the little boat, for they were not far from the land, but about one hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish.

      9So when they got out on the land, they saw a charcoal fire already laid and fish placed on it, and bread. 10Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have now caught.” 11Simon Peter went up and drew the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not torn.

Jesus Provides

     12Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples ventured to question Him, “Who are You?” knowing that it was the Lord. 13Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and the fish likewise. 14This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to the disciples, after He was raised from the dead.

This can not be explained away as the disciples imagining his return. He cam several times. According to other gospels, he reappeared to many over 40 days. Our Lord was truly resurrected and he came back in patience and love to serve, encourage, and fellowship with his disciples.  He once again lives out the role of provider.

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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.

 

 

Yeshua, Hailed As King, Rides A Donkey’s Colt In Fulfillment Of Prophecy

Our Lord, Yeshua, came in fulfillment of multiple prophecies provided by the Lord through prophets hundreds of years in advance of His coming. One such prophecy is referenced in John 12.  This should comfort us and remind us that our Father is in control, He knows what will happen and when and how, He is not surprised but rather always has a plan for His people. Yeshua was always intended to come and live among us and die for our sins so we could be made right with the Father by grace, through faith.

John 12:12-19

Jesus Enters Jerusalem

     12On the next day the large crowd who had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet Him, and began to shout, “Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, even the King of Israel.” 14Jesus, finding a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written, 15“FEAR NOT, DAUGHTER OF ZION; BEHOLD, YOUR KING IS COMING, SEATED ON A DONKEYS COLT.” 16These things His disciples did not understand at the first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things to Him. 17So the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead, continued to testify about Him. 18For this reason also the people went and met Him, because they heard that He had performed this sign. 19So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are not doing any good; look, the world has gone after Him.”

He not only came with signs and wonders, but He came consistent with prophecy and fully aligned living out the Law provided by the Father as the standard for us all to follow. We can know that His word and His example are true. However we must remember that He spoke to a culture very far away from our own, to the Jewish culture. We must seek to understand the Jewish culture of that day to fully understand His teaching and how it applies to us today.

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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.

We See Persecution; The Lord Sees An Opportunity For Our Testimony

I believe that Yeshua is speaking both about an event in AD 70 where Rome devastated the Jewish people and tore down the temple and also about the end of the age and the conditions leading up to His second coming. The threads are knit together in Luke 21.

What is most compelling to me is that Christ sees an opportunity for our testimony where I see persecution. My natural tendency is to try to make plans to defend myself. Yeshua says 13“It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony. 14“So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; …”

I encourage you to read the passage with the thought that the end of the age and the persecution and suffering that come with it may come in our lifetime. Whether or not it does, is less relevant. We do not know when it will come but we can prepare ourselves. 

Luke 21:5-38

 5And while some were talking about the temple, that it was adorned with beautiful stones and votive gifts, He said, 6As for these things which you are looking at, the days will come in which there will not be left one stone upon another which will not be torn down.”

      7They questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, when therefore will these things happen? And what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?” 8And He said, “See to it that you are not misled; for many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not go after them. 9“When you hear of wars and disturbances, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end does not follow immediately.”

Things to Come

     10Then He continued by saying to them, “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, 11and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.

      12“But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake. 13“It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony. 14“So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; 15for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. 16“But you will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, 17and you will be hated by all because of My name. 18“Yet not a hair of your head will perish. 19“By your endurance you will gain your lives.

      20“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. 21“Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city; 22because these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled. 23“Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people; 24and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

The Return of Christ

     25“There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27“Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN A CLOUD with power and great glory. 28“But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

      29Then He told them a parable: “Behold the fig tree and all the trees; 30as soon as they put forth leaves, you see it and know for yourselves that summer is now near. 31“So you also, when you see these things happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near. 32“Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place. 33“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

      34“Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; 35for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. 36“But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

      37Now during the day He was teaching in the temple, but at evening He would go out and spend the night on the mount that is called Olivet. 38And all the people would get up early in the morning to come to Him in the temple to listen to Him.

Shall we live in fear of these times? What are we to do in preparation?

9“When you hear of wars and disturbances, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end does not follow immediately.”

28“But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

   34“Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; 35for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. 36“But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

He shall not leave us nor forsake us, even unto the end of the age.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Submitting to and Accepting the Lord’s Will

In Numbers 22 and 23, Balak tried over and over to get Balaam to curse Israel. He tried with money and from different angles and locations. Balaam consistently indicated he could only bless or curse according to the Lord. The power comes from the Lord and he could not just pick or force God to act in a way contrary to what God decides. Balak was clearly used to getting his way and was persistent. However, each time Balaam would ask the Lord about it, he would be instructed to bless rather than curse Israel, resulting in multiple blessings for Israel.

In Numbers 24 we see that Balaam finally has a clear understanding of what God’s position is on the subject. He no longer even seeks “omens” to discern God’s will in hopes or thoughts that it will bring back a different answer. Now, he is confident in the Lord’s decision and that it will not change. Balaam has accepted it and embraced it. Having done so, the Spirit of God came upon Him.

Numbers 24

The Prophecy from Peor

     1When Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he did not go as at other times to seek omens but he set his face toward the wilderness. 2And Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe; and the Spirit of God came upon him.

3He took up his discourse and said,
“The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor,
And the oracle of the man whose eye is opened;

      4The oracle of him who hears the words of God,
Who sees the vision of the Almighty,
Falling down, yet having his eyes uncovered,

      5How fair are your tents, O Jacob,
Your dwellings, O Israel!

      6“Like valleys that stretch out,
Like gardens beside the river,
Like aloes planted by the LORD,
Like cedars beside the waters.

      7“Water will flow from his buckets,
And his seed will be by many waters,
And his king shall be higher than Agag,
And his kingdom shall be exalted.

      8“God brings him out of Egypt,
He is for him like the horns of the wild ox.
He will devour the nations who are his adversaries,
And will crush their bones in pieces,
And shatter them with his arrows.

      9“He couches, he lies down as a lion,
And as a lion, who dares rouse him?
Blessed is everyone who blesses you,
And cursed is everyone who curses you.”

      10Then Balak’s anger burned against Balaam, and he struck his hands together; and Balak said to Balaam, “I called you to curse my enemies, but behold, you have persisted in blessing them these three times! 11“Therefore, flee to your place now. I said I would honor you greatly, but behold, the LORD has held you back from honor.” 12Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not tell your messengers whom you had sent to me, saying, 13‘Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not do anything contrary to the command of the LORD, either good or bad, of my own accord. What the LORD speaks, that I will speak’? 14“And now, behold, I am going to my people; come, and I will advise you what this people will do to your people in the days to come.”

      15He took up his discourse and said,
“The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor,
And the oracle of the man whose eye is opened,

      16The oracle of him who hears the words of God,
And knows the knowledge of the Most High,
Who sees the vision of the Almighty,
Falling down, yet having his eyes uncovered.

      17“I see him, but not now;
I behold him, but not near;
A star shall come forth from Jacob,
A scepter shall rise from Israel,
And shall crush through the forehead of Moab,
And tear down all the sons of Sheth.

      18“Edom shall be a possession,
Seir, its enemies, also will be a possession,
While Israel performs valiantly.

      19“One from Jacob shall have dominion,
And will destroy the remnant from the city.”

      20And he looked at Amalek and took up his discourse and said,
“Amalek was the first of the nations,
But his end shall be destruction.”

      21And he looked at the Kenite, and took up his discourse and said,
“Your dwelling place is enduring,
And your nest is set in the cliff.

      22“Nevertheless Kain will be consumed;
How long will Asshur keep you captive?”

      23Then he took up his discourse and said,
“Alas, who can live except God has ordained it?

      24“But ships shall come from the coast of Kittim,
And they shall afflict Asshur and will afflict Eber;
So they also will come to destruction.”

      25Then Balaam arose and departed and returned to his place, and Balak also went his way.

Let us challenge ourselves to seek out the Lord and submit to His instruction rather than holding to our own. Balak demonstrates the futility of trying to constantly manipulate or coerce God to a different position based on location or other details of how we ask. We can not control God. We can, as His children, come before Him and ask and even ask multiple times, but we should do so with a submitted heart which accepts what He tells us. Let us not keep trying to manipulate the outcome, but rather have a genuine heart to heart relationship with the Lord. Once we see the Lord has spoken clearly and consistently on an issue, it is good for us to follow the example of Balaam and focus on accepting or embracing His decision rather than continuing to ask for a different answer over and over.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Genealogies

Genealogies can be very easy to overlook. I admit that I have not truly studied them in as much detail as I have other sections of scripture. However, they are included intentionally and with purpose and value. In some cases the genealogies are actually a place to pull together the tapestry God has made as each thread goes back through generations. We read about Adam and Eve, Abraham, Obed, David, others in the Old Testament and then periodically get an invitation to pause and reflect on the significance of how God used those people across generations in the lineage leading up to other people and events. It is also a chance to confirm prophecy as we review genealogy. Both are true in regards to the lineage of Jesus presented in Luke 3. One can also do a comparison to the lineage provided in Matthew.

Let me respectfully reference / highlight Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary for some of his thoughts regarding this genealogy as a starting point for you. It is available free of charge, with other commentaries on the BibleHub.com website.

“3:23-38 Matthew’s list of the forefathers of Jesus showed that Christ was the son of Abraham, in whom all the families of the earth are blessed, and heir to the throne of David; but Luke shows that Jesus was the Seed of the woman that should break the serpent’s head, and traces the line up to Adam, beginning with Eli, or Heli, the father, not of Joseph, but of Mary. The seeming differences between the two evangelists in these lists of names have been removed by learned men. But our salvation does not depend upon our being able to solve these difficulties, nor is the Divine authority of the Gospels at all weakened by them. The list of names ends thus, Who was the son of Adam, the son of God; that is, the offspring of God by creation. Christ was both the son of Adam and the Son of God, that he might be a proper Mediator between God and the sons of Adam, and might bring the sons of Adam to be, through him, the sons of God. All flesh, as descended from the first Adam, is as grass, and withers as the flower of the field; but he who partakes of the Holy Spirit of life from the Second Adam, has that eternal happiness, which by the gospel is preached unto us.”

Luke 3:23-38

Genealogy of Jesus

     23When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the son of Eli, 24the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Hesli, the son of Naggai, 26the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, 33the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Heber, the son of Shelah, 36the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37the son of MethuSelah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 38the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.