The Commendation of Wisdom

I really need add nothing more to explain Proverbs 8. Wisdom, godly wisdom, is worth pursuing and praying for… worth studying the Bible to learn.

Proverbs 8

The Commendation of Wisdom

1Does not wisdom call,
And understanding lift up her voice?

2On top of the heights beside the way,
Where the paths meet, she takes her stand;

3Beside the gates, at the opening to the city,
At the entrance of the doors, she cries out:

4“To you, O men, I call,
And my voice is to the sons of men.

5“O naive ones, understand prudence;
And, O fools, understand wisdom.

6“Listen, for I will speak noble things;
And the opening of my lips will reveal right things.

7“For my mouth will utter truth;
And wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

8“All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness;
There is nothing crooked or perverted in them.

9“They are all straightforward to him who understands,
And right to those who find knowledge.

10“Take my instruction and not silver,
And knowledge rather than choicest gold.

11“For wisdom is better than jewels;
And all desirable things cannot compare with her.

12“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
And I find knowledge and discretion.

13“The fear of the LORD is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverted mouth, I hate.

14“Counsel is mine and sound wisdom;
I am understanding, power is mine.

15“By me kings reign,
And rulers decree justice.

16“By me princes rule, and nobles,
All who judge rightly.

17“I love those who love me;
And those who diligently seek me will find me.

18“Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring wealth and righteousness.

19“My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold,
And my yield better than choicest silver.

20“I walk in the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice,

21To endow those who love me with wealth,
That I may fill their treasuries.

22“The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way,
Before His works of old.

23“From everlasting I was established,
From the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth.

24“When there were no depths I was brought forth,
When there were no springs abounding with water.

25“Before the mountains were settled,
Before the hills I was brought forth;

26While He had not yet made the earth and the fields,
Nor the first dust of the world.

27“When He established the heavens, I was there,
When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep,

28When He made firm the skies above,
When the springs of the deep became fixed,

29When He set for the sea its boundary
So that the water would not transgress His command,
When He marked out the foundations of the earth;

30Then I was beside Him, as a master workman;
And I was daily His delight,
Rejoicing always before Him,

31Rejoicing in the world, His earth,
And having my delight in the sons of men.

32“Now therefore, O sons, listen to me,
For blessed are they who keep my ways.

33“Heed instruction and be wise,
And do not neglect it.

34“Blessed is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at my doorposts.

35“For he who finds me finds life
And obtains favor from the LORD.

36“But he who sins against me injures himself;
All those who hate me love death.”

 

Pride and Jealousy Toward One Another Is Bad

It is not a pretty sight when pride and jealousy take root. Granted, Saul was tormented by an evil spirit from the LORD to start it off, because of his disobedience as king to the LORD. None the less, we see how it consumes him.

Keilah was under attack by Philistine raiders. David, not Saul, went to deliver the city from them. Saul, the king of Israel, instead of coming to thank David, takes advantage of the situation to try to kill David.

We must ask take care not to be consumed by jealousy and pride. We should not seek to do harm on those who are loyal to us and to the LORD. If you find yourself in such a situation, pray for the LORD to deliver you and free your heart and mind. If you are the David in this metaphor, pray for the LORD to protect you as He did David.

As a side bar, we see again how close a friend Jonathan was to David. We can pray for each of us to have such a godly and loyal friend.

1 Samuel 23:15-29

Saul Pursues David

      15Now David became aware that Saul had come out to seek his life while David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh. 16And Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David at Horesh, and encouraged him in God. 17Thus he said to him, “Do not be afraid, because the hand of Saul my father will not find you, and you will be king over Israel and I will be next to you; and Saul my father knows that also.” 18So the two of them made a covenant before the LORD; and David stayed at Horesh while Jonathan went to his house.

      19Then Ziphites came up to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is David not hiding with us in the strongholds at Horesh, on the hill of Hachilah, which is on the south of Jeshimon? 20“Now then, O king, come down according to all the desire of your soul to do so; and our part shall be to surrender him into the king’s hand.” 21Saul said, “May you be blessed of the LORD, for you have had compassion on me. 22“Go now, make more sure, and investigate and see his place where his haunt is, and who has seen him there; for I am told that he is very cunning. 23“So look, and learn about all the hiding places where he hides himself and return to me with certainty, and I will go with you; and if he is in the land, I will search him out among all the thousands of Judah.”

      24Then they arose and went to Ziph before Saul. Now David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the Arabah to the south of Jeshimon. 25When Saul and his men went to seek him, they told David, and he came down to the rock and stayed in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard it, he pursued David in the wilderness of Maon. 26Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other side of the mountain; and David was hurrying to get away from Saul, for Saul and his men were surrounding David and his men to seize them. 27But a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid on the land.” 28So Saul returned from pursuing David and went to meet the Philistines; therefore they called that place the Rock of Escape. 29David went up from there and stayed in the strongholds of Engedi.

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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.

The LORD Is Approachable and Available To Those Who Walk With Him

Those who walk with the LORD can approach Him and ask for His council and guidance. He often answers in a very clear way. We can see that He is patient as David comes to Him multiple times because His men are afraid. David does not just ask once, but again when they hear of Saul coming as well. We can keep coming back to our Father. He is not tired of hearing from those who walk with Him. He is not too busy. He is a loving Father and councilor.

1 Samuel 23:1-14

David Delivers Keilah

     1Then they told David, saying, “Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are plundering the threshing floors.” 2So David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And the LORD said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines and deliver Keilah.” 3But David’s men said to him, “Behold, we are afraid here in Judah. How much more then if we go to Keilah against the ranks of the Philistines?” 4Then David inquired of the LORD once more. And the LORD answered him and said, “Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will give the Philistines into your hand.” 5So David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines; and he led away their livestock and struck them with a great slaughter. Thus David delivered the inhabitants of Keilah.

      6Now it came about, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, that he came down with an ephod in his hand. 7When it was told Saul that David had come to Keilah, Saul said, “God has delivered him into my hand, for he shut himself in by entering a city with double gates and bars.” 8So Saul summoned all the people for war, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men. 9Now David knew that Saul was plotting evil against him; so he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.” 10Then David said, “O LORD God of Israel, Your servant has heard for certain that Saul is seeking to come to Keilah to destroy the city on my account. 11“Will the men of Keilah surrender me into his hand? Will Saul come down just as Your servant has heard? O LORD God of Israel, I pray, tell Your servant.” And the LORD said, “He will come down.” 12Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah surrender me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And the LORD said, “They will surrender you.” 13Then David and his men, about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah, and they went wherever they could go. When it was told Saul that David had escaped from Keilah, he gave up the pursuit. 14David stayed in the wilderness in the strongholds, and remained in the hill country in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand.

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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, For Your Servant Is Listening

Samuel was a great prophet of the Lord. What can we learn from how he connected with the Lord when he was still a child?

  • He listened to the advice of one elder than himself, even though that person was far from perfect.
  • He responded to YHWH’s call with utmost simplicity… no complicated prayer needed. “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
  • Then… he did something amazing that most of us don’t do… he stopped talking to YHWH and started listening.
  • He shared the word that the Lord gave him even though he was scared to do so.

We should do likewise.

1 Samuel 3:1-14

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.

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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.

Create In Me A Clean Heart, O’ God

We are all sinners in need of grace and forgiveness. Let us humble ourselves before the Lord and repent and He will make us clean again.

Psalm 51

A Contrite Sinner’s Prayer for Pardon.

For the choir director. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

     1Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.

2Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.

3For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.

4Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.

5Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.

6Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,
And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.

7Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8Make me to hear joy and gladness,
Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.

9Hide Your face from my sins
And blot out all my iniquities.

10Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

12Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.

13Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You.

14Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation;
Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.

15O Lord, open my lips,
That my mouth may declare Your praise.

16For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
You are not pleased with burnt offering.

17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

18By Your favor do good to Zion;
Build the walls of Jerusalem.

19Then You will delight in righteous sacrifices,
In burnt offering and whole burnt offering;
Then young bulls will be offered on Your altar.

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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.

The Prayer of Jabez

Almost buried in a section of historical family lineage in 1 Chronicles is a brief excerpt, limited to two verses, about a man named Jabez for whom God answered his prayer. Like so many parts of scripture, it is waiting for us to find it and explore the depths of God’s word, like buried treasure.

It is worthwhile to pause and reflect on these verses.

1 Chronicles:9-10

9Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez saying, “Because I bore him with pain.” 10Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested.

Quite some time ago, someone wrote a book about “the prayer of Jabez” and people got almost in a craze about it. The problem is that many focused on only his prayer. They wanted to turn it into some formula whereby if anyone repeats the words they force God to bless them also. However, this is not how a relationship with the Lord works. We don’t control Him. We don’t get His power by rehearsing specific words like some sort of spell.

Matthew 6:7-8

     7“And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. 8“So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

The prayer of Jabez was an honorable prayer. He asked for God’s blessing and asked for God’s protection from harm. These are good things to pray for. Let us also take care not to overlook that he also asked for God’s hand to be with Him and he was honorable in his life.

Jabez was not simply asking for more land and less pain, but also for a relationship with God and living his life in accordance with what God directed.

The path to living with the peace and joy of the Lord is one of submitting to him and building relationship with him. You can not and should not try to skip the relationship with God in pursuit of controlling him to give you the outcomes you want. As you build relationship with him, you will also discover that the relationship is the real treasure… that his hand would be with us.

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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.

Understanding the Hebrew Roots of Christianity Draws Us Nearer to Yeshua

Focused Ministries – Understanding Hebrew Roots

Understanding Hebrew roots – “God’s ways” not “Jewish traditions”

Far too many Christians are taught today in churches that the Old Testament is an interesting book of stories but not relevant anymore or that somehow the New Testament has completely replaced the Old Testament. This is simply not true. Seek to understand the Hebrew roots God Himself created as the foundation of our relationship with Him and how to place them in proper context in our lives today. Test what you have been taught by our culture and churches today against what scripture really says.

Do not accept the world’s assessment that these are “Jewish ways”, as if that is a bad thing. This is about understanding God’s ways, which He gave to the Jewish people and much of which Christians have discarded in favor of the ways of man.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

16All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

Let us also remember that Yeshua was judged perfect by obeying the law and instructions of YHWH laid out in the Old Testament. He should be our example and we should seek to better understand the ways he lived when he was among us physically, setting the example for us to follow. Then we can seek carefully to understand what elements have been fulfilled.

  • 119ministries.com (also TestEverything.net) challenges and helps us test common teaching or practices today against God’s word. We are to test everything and hold onto only what is good
  • Shoreshim Ministries, at BillCloud.com, re-introduces Christians to the Jewish Y’shua in order to educate believers in the Hebraic roots of their faith. This in turn helps disciples to understand and follow Messiah more fully in their lives.
  • Beth Immanuel Sabbath Fellowship, at BethImmanuel.org,  is a family-based Messianic Jewish community for people of all nations. Teaching and Bible study is at the center of what they do. They emphasize teaching and study from a Messianic Jewish perspective, revealing the Jewish Roots of Christianity, and encountering the Jewish Jesus.
  • First Fruits of Zion, at ffoz.org, specializes in the study and teaching of Scripture from its historical, linguistic, and cultural context. They present a Messianic Jewish reading of the Bible and early Jewish-Christianity.
  • Foundations in Torah, at FoundationsInTorah.com, focuses on connecting the gospels and epistles of the New Testament with their foundations in the Old Testament for better understanding of context.
  • Hebraic Roots Network, at HebraicRootsNetwork.com, is a consortium of like-minded ministries dedicated to bringing solid Biblical teaching to the world. They present the Scriptures from a Hebrew perspective allowing the viewer to gain deeper understanding through applied context.
  • Hebrew For Christians, at Hebrew4Christians.com, helps us study and deepen our faith by connecting with the Hebrew roots of God’s relationship with His people.
  • MTOI.org Messianic Torah Observant Israel. We are dedicated to serving YHWH as He brings the Body of Messiah together worldwide. We pray that this website becomes a valuable resource for you to learn, grow, and fellowship with other like-minded believers from around the world who desire to connect with you and help you feel connected.
  • RenewedMoon.com Latest reports and tools for sighting crescent (renewed) moons throughout the world and within Israel for the purposes of observing a Biblical calendar.
  • RestoringTheWay.org  It is the focus of this ministry to restore what we believe has been something lost over the past 2,000 years or so and that is the Hebrew or Hebraic roots of the Christian faith.

Additional resources to help you Study Hebrew Roots of Christianity.

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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.

What Is Mardi Gras and Should Christians Celebrate It?

What is Mardi Gras and why do so many Christians celebrate it? I grew up in a Catholic church and never could quite figure out how people could say that Mardi Gras was a “Christian holiday”. People broadly seemed to have accepted the concept that Christ wants us to embrace wild parties, drunkenness, public nudity, gluttony and other sinful behavior as a precursor to a period of repentance which follows. If it is not obvious enough that celebrating Mardi Gras is not a way to edify, honor, or lift up Christ then try a more academic exercise. Where in scripture did Jesus demonstrate or teach that we should sin greatly before a period of repentance? It’s not there. In fact, the opposite.

The call to repentance is real, but not the call to sin before it.

This does not even begin to touch on the focus that Mardi Gras puts on pagan gods associated with parades and other events.

Matthew 4:17

      17From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Romans 6

      1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7for he who has died is freed from sin.

      8Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

      12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

      15What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! 16Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? 17But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, 18and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.

      20For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. 22But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We are called to righteousness and not to sin. How then can those in the church widely accept and embrace sin as a “Christian holiday”? The answer is that we have not followed the Lord’s instructions. He commands us not to learn the ways of the pagans and not to celebrate as they do. But all too often our common cultural holidays have been greatly influenced by pagan celebrations. The church has chosen to accept and blend pagan practices alongside or in place of how the Lord wants us to worship Him.

Mardi Gras is a tradition that dates back thousands of years to pagan celebrations of spring and fertility, including the raucous Roman festivals of Saturnalia and Lupercalia.

When Christianity arrived in Rome, religious leaders decided to incorporate these popular local traditions into the new faith, an easier task than abolishing them altogether. As a result, the excess and debauchery of the Mardi Gras season became a prelude to Lent, the 40 days of fasting and penance between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.

Along with Christianity, Mardi Gras spread from Rome to other European countries, including France, Germany, Spain and England.

http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/mardi-gras

Deuteronomy 12:1-5

   1“These are the statutes and the judgments which you shall carefully observe in the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess as long as you live on the earth. 2“You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess serve their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. 3“You shall tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and burn their Asherim with fire, and you shall cut down the engraved images of their gods and obliterate their name from that place. 4“You shall not act like this toward the LORD your God. 5“But you shall seek the LORD at the place which the LORD your God will choose from all your tribes, to establish His name there for His dwelling, and there you shall come.

In order to choose to follow the Lord His way, which is the only true way to follow Him, then we must turn away from and reject pagan celebrations which have been blended with or replaced God’s instructions for how we are to worship Him and how we are to live. Let us not make excuses, accepting the lifestyle of the pagans as our own, no matter how long the family traditions have been established. When we start making exceptions, we often end up with things like Mardi Gras… many who claim to be Christian accept it and would defend it… but none can justify it based on scripture or God’s word. It has become part of the culture based on a historical choices and family traditions. Let us seek the Lord and the Lord’s way alone to live submitted to Him. Let us not blend with the ways of the pagans but rather turn back to our Lord wholeheartedly and without hesitation.

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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.

 

The Seventh Seal In Revelation

Revelation 8 is a powerful chapter, hard to fully digest in a quick read. I suggest a commentary such as Barnes to help provide some additional thoughtful breakdown. (Barnes Commentary – Revelation 8)

Revelation 8

The Seventh Seal—the Trumpets

      1When the Lamb broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.

      3Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. 4And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand. 5Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.

      6And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound them.

      7The first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.

      8The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood, 9and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed.

      10The third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters. 11The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.

      12The fourth angel sounded, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck, so that a third of them would be darkened and the day would not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way.

      13Then I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”

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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.

Neither Be Nor Pursue the Harlot

Proverbs 7

The Wiles of the Harlot

1My son, keep my words
And treasure my commandments within you.

      2Keep my commandments and live,
And my teaching as the apple of your eye.

      3Bind them on your fingers;
Write them on the tablet of your heart.

      4Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
And call understanding your intimate friend;

      5That they may keep you from an adulteress,
From the foreigner who flatters with her words.

      6For at the window of my house
I looked out through my lattice,

      7And I saw among the naive,
And discerned among the youths
A young man lacking sense,

      8Passing through the street near her corner;
And he takes the way to her house,

      9In the twilight, in the evening,
In the middle of the night and in the darkness.

      10And behold, a woman comes to meet him,
Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart.

      11She is boisterous and rebellious,
Her feet do not remain at home;

      12She is now in the streets, now in the squares,
And lurks by every corner.

      13So she seizes him and kisses him
And with a brazen face she says to him:

      14“I was due to offer peace offerings;
Today I have paid my vows.

      15“Therefore I have come out to meet you,
To seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you.

      16“I have spread my couch with coverings,
With colored linens of Egypt.

      17“I have sprinkled my bed
With myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.

      18“Come, let us drink our fill of love until morning;
Let us delight ourselves with caresses.

      19“For my husband is not at home,
He has gone on a long journey;

      20He has taken a bag of money with him,
At the full moon he will come home.”

      21With her many persuasions she entices him;
With her flattering lips she seduces him.

      22Suddenly he follows her
As an ox goes to the slaughter,
Or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool,

      23Until an arrow pierces through his liver;
As a bird hastens to the snare,
So he does not know that it will cost him his life.

      24Now therefore, my sons, listen to me,
And pay attention to the words of my mouth.

      25Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways,
Do not stray into her paths.

      26For many are the victims she has cast down,
And numerous are all her slain.

      27Her house is the way to Sheol,
Descending to the chambers of death.

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