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This political background isn’t incidental: it is crucial to the story.

Conquering nations in the ancient world work in various ways.

Some brutally destroy and plunder the nations they conquer.

Some conquer people as slaves or servants.

Other empires allow the people to remain in their land and work as before, but with one major change: the conquered people have to pay taxes to their rulers.

The purpose of a census like the one Luke de-scribes is to be sure that everyone is appropriately taxed and knows who is in charge.

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 “I don’t think the way you think.
    The way you work isn’t the way I work.”
        God’s Decree.
“For as the sky soars high above earth,
    so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
    and the way I think is beyond the way you think.
Just as rain and snow descend from the skies
    and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth,
Doing their work of making things grow and blossom,
    producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry,
So will the words that come out of My mouth
    not come back empty-handed.
They’ll do the work I sent them to do,
    they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.

 So you’ll go out in joy,
    you’ll be led into a whole and complete life.
The mountains and hills will lead the parade,
    bursting with song.
All the trees of the forest will join the procession,
    exuberant with applause.
No more thistles, but giant sequoias,
    no more thornbushes, but stately pines—
Monuments to Me, to God,
    living and lasting evidence of God.”

(Isaiah 55:8-13)

Hannah prayed:

I’m bursting with God-news!
    I’m walking on air.
I’m laughing at my rivals.
    I’m dancing my salvation.

 

 Nothing and no one is holy like God,
    no rock mountain like our God.
Don’t dare talk pretentiously—
    not a word of boasting, ever!
For God knows what’s going on.
    He takes the measure of everything that happens.
The weapons of the strong are smashed to pieces,
    while the weak are infused with fresh strength.
The well-fed are out begging in the streets for crusts,
    while the hungry are getting second helpings.
The barren woman has a houseful of children,
    while the mother of many is bereft.

 

God brings death and God brings life,
    brings down to the grave and raises up.
God brings poverty and God brings wealth;
    he lowers, he also lifts up.
He puts poor people on their feet again;
    he rekindles burned-out lives with fresh hope,
Restoring dignity and respect to their lives—
    a place in the sun!
For the very structures of earth are God’s;
    he has laid out his operations on a firm foundation.
He protectively cares for his faithful friends, step by step,
    but leaves the wicked to stumble in the dark.
    No one makes it in this life by sheer muscle!
God’s enemies will be blasted out of the sky,
    crashed in a heap and burned.
God will set things right all over the earth,
    he’ll give strength to his king,
    he’ll set his anointed on top of the world!

(1 Samuel 2:1-10)

Because hayom, in Ir Dovid, has been born to you a Moshia (Go’el, Savior, Oisleizer), who is Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach HaAdon. [YESHAYAH 9:5(6)]

And this will be HaOt [The Sign] to you: you will find a small child, an infant, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in an evus. [SHMUEL ALEF 2:34; MELACHIM BAIS 19:29; TEHILLIM 86:17; YESHAYAH 7:14]

(Lukas 2:11-12)

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The Shepherds Learn of the Birth of Jesus

 In the same country there were shepherds in the fields.

They were watching their flocks of sheep at night. 

The angel of the Lord came to them. The shining-greatness of the Lord shone around them. They were very much afraid.

The angel said to them,

Do not be afraid. See! I bring you good news of great joy which is for all people. 

Today, One Who saves from the punishment of sin has been born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord. 

There will be something special for you to see.

This is the way you will know Him. You will find the Baby with cloth around Him, lying in a place where cattle are fed.”

 

At once many angels from heaven were seen, along with the angel, giving thanks to God.

They were saying, 

Greatness and honor to our God in the highest heaven and peace on earth among men who please Him.”

(Luke 2:8-14)

 

Do You Feel Like a Lowly Worm?

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 “Do you feel like a lowly worm, Jacob?
    Don’t be afraid.
Feel like a fragile insect, Israel?
    I’ll help you.
I, God, want to reassure you.
    The God who buys you back, The Holy of Israel.
I’m transforming you from worm to harrow,
    from insect to iron.
As a sharp-toothed harrow you’ll smooth out the mountains,
    turn those tough old hills into loamy soil.
You’ll open the rough ground to the weather,
    to the blasts of sun and wind and rain.
But you’ll be confident and exuberant,
    expansive in The Holy of Israel!

 

“The poor and homeless are desperate for water,
    their tongues parched and no water to be found.
But I’m there to be found, I’m there for them,
    and I, God of Israel, will not leave them thirsty.
I’ll open up rivers for them on the barren hills,
    spout fountains in the valleys.
I’ll turn the baked-clay badlands into a cool pond,
    the waterless waste into splashing creeks.
I’ll plant the red cedar in that treeless wasteland,
    also acacia, myrtle, and olive.
I’ll place the cypress in the desert,
    with plenty of oaks and pines.
Everyone will see this. No one can miss it—
    unavoidable, indisputable evidence
That I, God, personally did this.
    It’s created and signed by The Holy of Israel.

(Isaiah 41:14-20)

Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn.  (Psalm 57:8)

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In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise Your name forever.  (Psalm 44:8)

It’s Already Been SAID And DONE

It Is FINISHED.”

For what You have done I will always praise You in the presence of Your faithful people.

And I will hope in Your name, for Your name is good.  (Psalm 52:9)

 I didn’t die. I lived!
    And now I’m telling the world what God did.
God tested me, he pushed me hard,
    but he didn’t hand me over to Death.
Swing wide the city gates—the righteous gates!
    I’ll walk right through and thank God!
This Temple Gate belongs to God,
    so the victors can enter and praise.

(Psalm 118:17-20)
 

The word’s getting out on Zion:
    “Men and women, right and left,
    get born again in her!”

God registers their names in His book:
    “This one, this one, and this one—
    born again, right here.”

Singers and dancers give credit to Zion:
    “All my springs are in You!”

(Psalm 87:5-7)

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Joy to the World , the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the World, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

 

Prayer of Thanks

I will lift You up, O Lord, for You have lifted me up. You have not let those who hate me stand over me in joy. 

O Lord my God, I cried to You for help and You healed me. O Lord, You have brought me up from the grave.

You have kept me alive, so that I will not go down into the deep. 

Sing praise to the Lord, all you who belong to Him. Give thanks to His holy name.

(Psalm 30:1-4)

You did it: You changed wild lament
    into whirling dance;
You ripped off my black mourning band
    and decked me with wildflowers.
I’m about to burst with song;
    I can’t keep quiet about You.
God, my God,
    I can’t thank You enough.

(Psalm 30:11-12)

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure,  (Psalm 16:9)

My heart, O God, is steadfast; I will sing and make music with all my soul.  (Psalm 108:1)

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O Eternal One, I called out to You;
    I pleaded for Your compassion and forgiveness:
I’m no good to You dead! What benefits come from my rotting corpse?
    My body in the grave will not praise You.
No songs will rise up from the dust of my bones.
    From dust comes no proclamation of Your faithfulness.
Hear me, Eternal Lord—please help me,
    Eternal One—be merciful!”

 

You did it: You turned my deepest pains into joyful dancing;
    You stripped off my dark clothing
    and covered me with joyful light.
You have restored my honor. My heart is ready to explode, erupt in new songs!
    It’s impossible to keep quiet!
    Eternal One, my God, my Life-Giver, I will thank You forever.

(Psalm 30:8-12)

 

Sing, all you who remain faithful!
    Pour out your hearts to the Eternal with praise and melodies;
    let grateful music fill the air and bless His name.

(Psalm 30:4)

You have changed my sadness into a joyful dance

You have taken away my sorrow

And surrounded me with joy.

(Psalm 30:11)

A Song of Praise

Call out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.

Be glad as you serve the Lord. Come before Him with songs of joy. 

Know that the Lord is God. It is He Who made us, and not we ourselves.

We are His people and the sheep of His field.

Go into His gates giving thanks and into His holy place with praise.

Give thanks to Him. Honor His name. 

For the Lord is good. His loving-kindness lasts forever.

And He is faithful to all people and to all their children-to-come.

(Psalm 100)

Who will not fear You, Lord, and bring glory to Your name? For You alone are holy.

All nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed.

(Revelation 15:4)

ImageThe seven angels who had the seven last kinds of trouble came out of the house of God. They were wearing clothes made of clean white linen. They were wearing belts made of gold around their chests.  (Revelation 15:6)  I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues–last, because with them God’s wrath is completed.  (Revelation 15:1)

Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him,

for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”

It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.'”

And he said to me, “These are true words of God.”  (Revelation 19:7-9)

ImageFine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.

(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)

Walking naked

When you get dressed, how do you want the world to see you today?

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Your beauty should not consist in externals such as fancy hairstyles, gold jewelry or what you wear; rather,

Let it be the inner character of your heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit.

In God’s sight this is of great value.

(1 Peter 3:3-4)

When You ascended on high, You took many captives; You received gifts from people, even from the rebellious– that You, LORD God, might dwell there.  (Psalm 68:18)

I Will Extol You, O Lord

Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me; O LORD, be my helper.

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.

O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.  (Psalm 30:10-12)
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A time to weep and a time to laugh, A time to mourn and a time to dance.
(Ecclesiastes 3:4)

 

 

Therefore, if you have any encouragement for me from your being in union with the Messiah, any comfort flowing from love, any fellowship with me in the Spirit, or any compassion and sympathy, then complete my joy by having a common purpose and a common love, by being one in heart and mind. 

Do nothing out of rivalry or vanity; but, in humility, regard each other as better than yourselves —

Look out for each other’s interests and not just for your own.

 

Let your attitude toward one another be governed by your being in union with the Messiah Yeshua:

 

Though He was in the form of God,
He did not regard equality with God
something to be possessed by force.
On the contrary, He emptied himself,
in that He took the form of a slave
by becoming like human beings are.

And when He appeared as a human being,
He humbled Himself still more
by becoming obedient even to death —
death on a stake as a criminal!
Therefore God raised Him to the highest place
and gave Him the name above every name;

 

 that in honor of the name given Yeshua,
every knee will bow —
in heaven, on earth and under the earth —
and every tongue will acknowledge
that Yeshua the Messiah is Adonai
to the glory of God the Father.

 

So, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed when I was with you, it is even more important that you obey now when I am away from you: keep working out your deliverance with fear and trembling, 

For God is the one working among you both the willing and the working for what pleases Him 

Do everything without kvetching or arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure children of God,

without defect in the midst of a twisted and perverted generation,

among whom you shine like stars in the sky, as you hold on to the Word of Life.

If you do this, I will be able to boast, when the Day of the Messiah comes, that I did not run or toil for nothing. 

 Indeed, even if my lifeblood is poured out as a drink offering over the sacrifice and service of your faith,

I will still be glad and rejoice with you all.  Likewise, you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

(Philippians 2:1-18)

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No one who hopes in You will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause.  (Psalm 25:3)

Look to Him and shine,
    so shame will never contort your faces.
(Psalm 34:5)

Letter to Laodicea

Write down My words, and send them to the messenger of the church in Laodicea.

“These are the words of the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of God’s creation:

 “I know your works. You are neither cold with apathy nor hot with passion.

It would be better if you were one or the other, but you are neither.

So because you are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot,

I will vomit you out of My mouth.

You claim, ‘I am rich, I have accumulated riches, and I need nothing’; but you do not realize that you are miserable, pathetic, poor, blind, and naked.

So here is what I suggest you do: buy true gold from Me (gold refined by fire so that you can be truly rich), white garments (to cover you so that you can keep the shame of your nakedness from showing), and eye ointment (to treat your eyes so that you may see clearly).

“Those I love I also correct and discipline.

***Therefore, be shamelessly committed to Me, and turn back.***

Now pay attention; I am standing at the door and knocking.

If any of you hear My voice and open the door, then I will come in to visit with you and to share a meal at your table, and you will be with Me.

“The one who conquers through faithfulness even unto death I will place next to Me on My throne, just as I Myself conquered and took a place of honor with My Father on His throne.

 “Let the person who is able to hear, listen to and follow what the Spirit proclaims to all the churches.”

(Revelation 3:14-22)
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So what about Judah and Tamar?

And this is the reason he himself gives of her being more righteous than he:

“…because I gave her not to Shelah my son; as he ought to have done, and as he promised he would.”

“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old,

‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’

But I say to you,

Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is His footstool,

or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.

And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.

Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.”
(Jesus speaking Matthew 5:33-37)

 

You will make your prayer to Him, and He will hear you, and you will pay your vows.  (Job 22:27)
I must perform my vows to You, O God; I will render thank offerings to You.   (Psalm 56:12)
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To: God’s people living…that is, those who are trusting in the Messiah Yeshua:

Grace to you and shalom from God our Father and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah.

Praised be Adonai, Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah,

Who in the Messiah has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heaven.  

In the Messiah He chose us in love before the creation of the universe to be holy and without defect in His presence. 

He determined in advance that through Yeshua the Messiah we would be His sons —

in keeping with His pleasure and purpose —

so that we would bring Him praise commensurate with the glory of the grace He gave us through the Beloved One.

In union with Him, through the shedding of His blood, we are set free —

our sins are forgiven; this accords with the wealth of the grace   He has lavished on us.

In all His wisdom and insight He has made known to us His secret plan,

which by His own will He designed beforehand in connection with the Messiah 

and will put into effect when the time is ripe

His plan to place everything in heaven and on earth under the Messiah’s headship.

Also in union with Him we were given an inheritance,

we who were picked in advance according to the purpose of the One who effects everything in keeping with the decision of His will, so that we who earlier had put our hope in the Messiah would bring Him praise commensurate with His glory.

Furthermore, you who heard the message of the truth,

the Good News offering you deliverance,

and put your trust in the Messiah were sealed by Him with the promised Ruach HaKodesh

who guarantees our inheritance until we come into possession of it and thus bring Him praise commensurate with His glory.

For this reason, ever since I heard about your trust in the Lord Yeshua and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you. In my prayers I keep asking the God of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, the glorious Father, to give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you will have full knowledge of Him.

I pray that He will give light to the eyes of your hearts, so that you will understand the hope to which He has called you,

what rich glories there are in the inheritance He has promised His people, 

and how surpassingly great is His power working in us who trust Him.

It works with the same mighty strength He used 

when He worked in the Messiah to raise Him from the dead and seat Him at His right hand in heaven, 

far above every ruler, authority, power, dominion

or any other name that can be named either in the ‘olam hazeh or in the ‘olam haba

Also, He has put all things under His feetand made Him head over everything for the Messianic Community, 

which is His body, the full expression of Him who fills all creation.

(Ephesians 1: 2-23)

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For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.
  (Psalm 36:9)

Taste and See the Lord is Good

I sought the LORD, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces will never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him And saved him out of all his troubles
(Psalm 34:4-6)

Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone.
If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody.
Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do.
“I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.

 Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.

(Romans 12:17-21)

You are more righteous than I,” he said. “You have treated me well, but I have treated you badly.”

In Genesis 38 we see the barren mourning widow Tamar turn from waiting for her father in law, Judah, to do the right thing to turn to waiting on the LORD to reveal His plan for her life.  In the process, she was forever changed. 

He truly turned her mourning in joy for He clothed her in
His righteousness as she trusted in His timing for her life’s purpose being fulfilled. 

The Lord turned the barren mourning widow into a joyful mother of twins! 

One whose destiny was born to be an ancestor to Jesus the Messiah.

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It was about this time that Judah decided to leave home, so he parted company with his brothers and went to see Hirah, a fellow from Adullam.  When he was there, Judah laid eyes on the daughter of a Canaanite man named Shua. He married her and slept with her.   She conceived and gave birth to her first son. Judah named him Er.   She conceived again and gave birth to her second son, whom she named Onan.   She then gave birth to her third son, and she named him Shelah.

(Judah was away in Chezib when she gave birth to him.)

Now Judah arranged for Er, his firstborn, to marry a woman named Tamar.  

But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was a particularly wretched human being in the eyes of the Eternal One, and so the Eternal ended his life.

Judah summoned his second son, Onan.

Judah (to Onan):   You know our customs and the duty of a brother-in-law in a situation like this. You must go and marry your brother’s wife and make sure your brother has an heir.

Resentful that any child born in this kind of marriage would not be his, Onan would interrupt intercourse and spill his semen onto the ground whenever he slept with his brother’s wife. That way he would not father a child that would belong to his brother. Onan’s selfish behavior was as wretched as his brother’s to the eyes of the Eternal One; so the Eternal ended Onan’s life like his brother. Judah summoned his daughter-in-law Tamar.

Judah: Tamar, it is best if you remain a widow in your father’s house until my son Shelah grows up.

Now Judah said this because he was afraid that Shelah, too, would die as his brothers had. So Tamar went and remained a widow with her father.

After losing two sons, Judah thinks Tamar must be a dangerous woman. What he isn’t willing to admit is that his own sons were wicked.

After a while, Judah’s wife (Shua’s daughter) also died. When Judah’s time of mourning was over, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite went to Timnah to work with his sheepshearers and enjoy the festivities. When Tamar learned that her father-in-law would be coming to Timnah to shear his sheep, she took off her widow’s clothes, put on a veil to conceal her true identity, and sat down at the entrance to Enaim along the road to Timnah. You see, Tamar harbored deep resentment toward her father-in-law because she knew by this time that Shelah had grown up, but she had not been given to him in marriage as Judah had promised. When Judah passed by and saw her, he thought she was a prostitute because she had her face covered. He decided to proposition her, so he walked over to her by the roadside.

Judah: Come on, I want to have sex with you.

He had no idea she was his daughter-in-law, but she had a proposition of her own.

Tamar: What will you give me in return if I do?

Judah: I’ll send you a young goat from my flock. How about that?

Tamar: Only if you give me something to hold until you send it.

Judah: What should I give you as my personal guarantee?

Tamar: Your personal seal on the cord you wear around your neck, plus the staff you carry.

Tamar knows Judah cannot be trusted, so she asks for two items so personal and unique they can easily be linked to him.

Judah did as she asked and gave her his seal and walking stick. He then went and slept with her, and she conceived his child. Then she got up, took off the veil, and went back home, putting on her widow’s clothes once again.

We want you to walk in the footsteps of the faithful who came before you,

From whom you can learn to be steadfast in pursuing the promises of God.  (Hebrews 6:12)

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Judah kept his word and sent his friend Hirah the Adullamite with the young goat so he could retrieve his seal and walking stick from the woman. But Judah’s friend couldn’t find her anywhere.

Hirah the Adullamite (to Timnah’s elders): What happened to the temple prostitute who was at Enaim by the side of the road?

Elders: We have not seen any temple prostitute here.

Bewildered, the Adullamite returned to Judah.

Hirah the Adullamite: I couldn’t find her, and what’s odd is that the elders claimed they haven’t seen any temple prostitutes around there.

Judah: Well let her keep my things then. If you go back, we’ll be laughed at. I did what I promised. I sent the young goat, and you tried but could not find her.

Approximately three months later, someone told Judah,Your daughter-in-law Tamar has been promiscuous. It’s obvious her business has even made her pregnant.”

Judah: Bring her out and expose her for what she is, and then let her be burned.

As she was being brought out, she sent word to her father-in-law.
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Tamar: It was the owner of these items who made me pregnant. Please, take a close look and tell me whose personal seal, cord, and walking stick these are.

When Judah saw them, he realized they were his.

Judah: She is more in the right than I am. I did not keep my word and give her in marriage to my son, Shelah.

Judah didn’t sleep with her again.

When the time came for her to deliver, she discovered she was carrying twins. While she was in labor, one of them put out a hand; and the midwife tied a scarlet thread on it, so she would know which one came out first. But just then he drew his hand back into the womb, and his brother came out first. The midwife had never seen anything quite like this.

Midwife: What a breach you’ve made here, little one!

So the child was named Perez. His brother followed, the one with the scarlet thread on his hand. He was named Zerah.

 “To the angel of the Messianic Community in Philadelphia, write: ‘Here is the message of HaKadosh, the True One, the one who has the key of David, who, if he opens something, no one else can shut it, and if he closes something, no one else can open it. “I know what you are doing. Look, I have put in front of you an open door, and no one can shut it. I know that you have but little power, yet you have obeyed my message and have not disowned me  Here, I will give you some from the synagogue of the Adversary, those who call themselves Jews but aren’t — on the contrary, they are lying — see, I will cause them to come and prostrate themselves at your feet, and they will know that I have loved you.   Because you did obey my message about persevering, I will keep you from the time of trial coming upon the whole world to put the people living on earth to the test.   I am coming soon; hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown  I will make him who wins the victory a pillar in the Temple of my God, and he will never leave it. Also I will write on him the name of my God and the name of my God’s city, the new Yerushalayim coming down out of heaven from my God, and my own new name.   Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities.”’

(Revelation 3:7-13)

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you:

Compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline.

Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense.

Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you.

And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment.

Never be without it. 

Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to You I pray.  (Psalm 5:2)

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For the dedication of the temple.

I will exalt you, LORD, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me.  (Psalm 30:1)


I will extol the LORD at all times; His praise will always be on my lips.  (Psalm 34:1)

I cried out to Him with my mouth; His praise was on my tongue.  (Psalm 66:17)

My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD. Let every creature praise His holy name for ever and ever.  (Psalm 145:21)

Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are His.  (Daniel 2:20)

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,  (Psalm 1:1)

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I Will Exalt You, My God, the King
I will extol You, my God, O King, And I will bless Your name forever and ever. 
Every day I will bless You, And I will praise Your name forever and ever.  (Psalm 145:1-2)
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The wedding garment represents God’s righteousness. This is a concept explained on several occasions in both the Old and New Testaments. Isaiah described our righteousness as filthy rags (Isa 64:6) and God’s righteousness as “garments of salvation” and “robes of righteousness” (Isa 61:10) where the acquisition of these qualities is likened to clothing given us at a wedding.

 

I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God.  For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels (Isa 61:10).

In Revelation 19 the church has been prepared as a bride having been clothed in white linen, representing our righteousness.  But as in Isaiah 61:10, the righteousness symbolized by the clothing is given to the bride, not purchased or earned.  Paul said that ours is a righteousness that comes to us through faith (Romans 3:21-22).

 

The fact that a guest is thrown out into the darkness for not wearing wedding clothes indicates these last minute guests are required to be clothed in “garments of salvation” as well.   Rev. 16:15 tells us Tribulation believers will have to “keep their clothes with them.” In other words they’ll be responsible for maintaining the righteousness they will have been given by obeying God’s commandments and remaining faithful to Jesus (Rev. 14:12).  Only the Church has been promised the gift of eternal security.

 

Therefore the guest who was escorted out had been a Tribulation believer who was now trying to gain entrance to the banquet in his own clothing, having lost or discarded the “garment of salvation” he’d been given.  He was hoping to gain entrance to the kingdom in his own righteousness, which as Isaiah said, is like filthy rags in God’s sight.

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lamed-hey (vindication)…the Lord had given HIS Word on vindication it is Psalm 26. 

It IS THROUGH HIS REDEMPTION.

Vindication (35) Lamed (authority) and HEY (means “what comes from”)

When there is an unresolved question or dispute among men, a ruling is necessary from a higher authority. 

The idea of vindication carries with it some sort of CLOSURE, or conclusion.

VINDICATION = CONCLUSION

NOW IS The time of vindication for all who retain hope of the promise.
GOD VINDICATES OUR FAITH.  GOD DOES WONDERS.

Miracles happen to those who believe.

New wine poured into New wineskins; God is giving  new hearts to receive His new wine.  He is turning the water into wine.

Being NOBLE minded = receiving the Word with eagerness, and examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things are so.  Study to show yourself
APPROVED a work man that rightly divides the Word of Truth.

Scriptures VINDICATE.  We are vindicated by  receiving the Word of Truth.  We are the good soil that produces even up to 100-fold.
We desire to know the Truth as David, said “Your Word I have hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.” 

 
As Mary, “be it unto me according to Your Word.”
We don’t question the Word, we examine it we draw closer to it.
We desire to KNOW the TRUTH.
You shall KNOW the TRUTH & the TRUTH shall make you FREE.

Those who are vindictive & jealous will NOT be vindicated (declared innocent).

The Truth will stand up and deliver us.

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Tearing Down Barriers

In 2 Cor. 10:6,  the Bible says to punish all disobedience (to vindicate all who hear amiss.)

If we fail to realize we have been delivered from accusation through Christ, we will allow our rights as God’s children to be violated.

The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair.

But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will.

The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.

Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.

(2 Corinthians 10)

We must be faithful and persevere as Abraham and Sarah with the long-awaited promised son.
Who the Son sets free is free indeed!

Not be as Abram was with Sarai and Abimelech
or as Isaac was with Rebeccah because then we cause others to be UNFRUITFUL (barren); perhaps our fear or self vindication results in our own seasons of barrenness (unproductive, unfruitfulness)?

The FRUIT of the vine, the NEW wine is where the blessing and vindication are both contained—
Come Thou long-awaited Jesus born to set Thy people FREE.
Jesus asks the question when He returns will He find faith?

VINDICATION

The LORD is our DEFENSE.

Definition of ATONEMENT

The reconciliation of God and humankind through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ
the reparation for an offense or injury :  Satisfaction Guaranteed.
 

All obstacles to reconciliation with God are removed through His sacrifice. Atonement is achieved through the death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah of God.

 
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the Word of Truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession — to the praise of His glory.

But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin,

yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.

if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

LIKE THE ONE THIEF ON THE CROSS!

It is finished”  = CONCLUSION

 The earth and all that’s upon it belong to the Eternal.

    The world is His, with every living creature on it.
With seas as foundations and rivers as boundaries,   He shaped the continents, fashioned the earth.

Who can possibly ascend the mountain of the Eternal?
    Who can stand before Him in sacred spaces?
 Only those whose hands have been washed and hearts made pure, men and women who are not given to lies or deception.
The Eternal will stand close to them with blessing and mercy at hand,   and the God who redeems will right what has been wrong.
These are the people who chase after Him;
    [like Jacob, they look for the face of God] 

City gates—open wide!     Ancient doors—stand back!
    For the glorious King shall soon pass your way.
Who is the glorious King?    The Eternal who is powerful     and mightily equipped for battle.
 City gates—open wide!     Ancient doors—stand back!
    For the glorious King shall soon pass your way.
 Who is the glorious King?     The Eternal, Commander of heaven’s army,     He is the glorious King.

It is impossible to please the Lord without faith and faith works by love.

As David consoled and prayed for Bath-Sheba AND she conceived and bore Solomon!

Solomon whose name was Jedediah “Beloved of God.”

As Jesus said to Peter “if you love Me, feed My lambs, feed My sheep

Love the unloved — Step into the gap be as the Good Samaritan

Greater love has no man than this–to lay down one’s life for a friend.

Step into the gap for those who can’t stand up

(this is why we are upright to stand with God for others by walking with Him in truth).

Intercede = Stand in the gap.

As Jesus did on the cross, “Father forgive them for they know NOT what they are doing.”

Conclusion = “It is finished

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And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement

(Romans 5:11)

 God, in your grace, have mercy on me; in Your great compassion, blot out my crimes.
  Wash me completely from my guilt, and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my crimes, my sin confronts me all the time.

Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil from Your perspective;
so that You are right in accusing me  and justified in passing sentence.

True, I was born guilty, was a sinner from the moment my mother conceived me.
 Still, You want truth in the inner person; so make me know wisdom in my inmost heart.

Sprinkle me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear the sound of joy and gladness, so that the bones You crushed can rejoice.
Turn away Your face from my sins, and blot out all my crimes.

Create in me a clean heart, God; renew in me a resolute spirit.
Don’t thrust me away from Your presence, don’t take Your Ruach Kodesh away from me.
 Restore my joy in Your salvation, and let a willing spirit uphold me.
Then I will teach the wicked Your ways,and sinners will return to You.

Rescue me from the guilt of shedding blood, God, God of my salvation!
Then my tongue will sing about Your righteousness —
Adonai, open my lips; then my mouth will praise You.

For You don’t want sacrifices, or I would give them; You don’t take pleasure in burnt offerings.
My sacrifice to God is a broken spirit; God, You won’t spurn a broken, chastened heart.
In Your good pleasure, make Tziyon prosper; rebuild the walls of Yerushalayim.
Then You will delight in righteous sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then they will offer bulls on Your altar.

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Don’t fear, O soil; be glad! rejoice!
for Adonai has done great things.
Don’t be afraid, wild animals;
for the desert pastures are green, the trees are putting out their fruit,
the fig tree and vine are giving full yield.
Be glad, people of Tziyon! rejoice in Adonai your God!
For He is giving you the right amount of rain in the fall,
He makes the rain come down for you,
the fall and spring rains — this is what He does first.
Then the floors will be full of grain and the vats overflow with wine and olive oil.

 “I will restore to you the years that the locusts ate, the grasshoppers, shearer-worms and cutter-worms,
my great army that I sent against you.
MYou will eat until you are satisfied
and will praise the name of Adonai your God,
who has done with you such wonders.
Then My people will never again be shamed.
You will know that I am with Isra’el and that I am Adonai your God,
and that there is no other.
Then My people will never again be shamed.

(Joel 2)

 “Here is the sort of fast I want —
releasing those unjustly bound,
untying the thongs of the yoke,
letting the oppressed go free,
breaking every yoke,
 sharing your food with the hungry,
taking the homeless poor into your house,
clothing the naked when you see them,
fulfilling your duty to your kinsmen!”

  Then your light will burst forth like the morning,
your new skin will quickly grow over your wound;
your righteousness will precede you,
and Adonai’s glory will follow you.

 
(Isaiah 58:6-8)
 

  The Spirit of Adonai Elohim is upon me, because Adonai has anointed me to announce good news to the poor.

He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted; to proclaim freedom to the captives,
to let out into light those bound in the dark;
to proclaim the year of the favor of Adonai  and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn, yes, provide for those in Tziyon who mourn, giving them garlands instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning, a cloak of praise instead of a heavy spirit,
so that they will be called oaks of righteousness planted by Adonai, in which he takes pride.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins, restore sites long destroyed;
they will renew the ruined cities, destroyed many generations ago.
Strangers will stand and feed your flocks, foreigners plow your land and tend your vines;
 but you will be called cohanim of Adonai, spoken of as ministers to our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations, and revel in their riches.
Because of your shame, which was doubled, and because they cried, “They deserve disgrace,”
therefore in their land what they own will be doubled, and joy forever will be theirs.
“For I, Adonai, love justice; I hate robbery for burnt offerings.
So I will be faithful to reward them and make an eternal covenant with them.”
Their descendants will be known among the nations,
their offspring among the peoples; all who see them will acknowledge that they are the seed Adonai has blessed.

I am so joyful in Adonai!
My soul rejoices in my God, for He has clothed me in salvation,
dressed me with a robe of triumph, like a bridegroom wearing a festive turban, like a bride adorned with her jewels.
For just as the earth brings forth its plants, or a garden makes its plants spring up,
so Adonai, God, will cause victory and glory to spring up before all nations. (Isaiah 61)

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 “Sing, barren woman who has never had a child! Burst into song, shout for joy, you who have never been in labor!

For the deserted wife will have more children than the woman who is living with her husband,” says Adonai.
  Enlarge the space for your tent, extend the curtains of your dwelling; do not hold back, lengthen your cords,
make your tent pegs firm.
 For you will spread out to the right and the left, your descendants will possess the nations
and inhabit the desolated cities.
Don’t be afraid, for you won’t be ashamed; don’t be discouraged, for you won’t be disgraced.
You will forget the shame of your youth, no longer remember the dishonor of being widowed.
 For your husband is your Maker,
Adonai-Tzva’ot is His name. The Holy One of Isra’el is your Redeemer.
He will be called the God of all the earth.
  For Adonai has called you back
like a wife abandoned and grief-stricken; “A wife married in her youth cannot be rejected,” says your God.
 “Briefly I abandoned you, but with great compassion I am taking you back.
  I was angry for a moment and hid My face from you;
but with everlasting grace I will have compassion on you,”says Adonai your Redeemer.
“For Me this is like Noach’s flood. Just as I swore that no flood like Noach’s would ever again cover the earth,
so now I swear that never again will I be angry with you or rebuke you.
For the mountains may leave and the hills be removed, but My grace will never leave you,and My covenant of peace will not be removed,”
says Adonai, who has compassion on you.

 “Storm-ravaged [city], unconsoled,I will set your stones in the finest way, lay your foundations with sapphires,
  make your windows shine with rubies, your gates with garnet, your walls with gemstones.
All your children will be taught by Adonai; your children will have great peace.
  In righteousness you will be established, far from oppression, with nothing to fear; far from ruin, for it will not come near you.
 Any alliance that forms against you will not be My doing; whoever tries to form such an alliance will fall because of you.
it is I who created the craftsman who blows on the coals and forges weapons suited to their purpose;
I also created the destroyer to work havoc. No weapon made will prevail against you.
In court you will refute every accusation. The servants of Adonai inherit all this;
the reward for their righteousness is from Me,”

says Adonai.  (Isaiah 54))

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LIKE THE WOMAN WITH THE ISSUE OF BLOOD (RESTORED!)

 

The trial, probation, and times of testing in the wilderness teach us that it is a dry, weary BARREN place yet this is the same place Jesus where passed the test and to which His Bride finds rest and refreshing; the same place where  the children of Israel complained against God and died yet the LORD brought their children through the same wilderness into the Promised Land.  They learned that the Rock was with them even in the middle of a wilderness place and to them was revealed, the water that flowed from the Rock (Jesus). 

The generation that arrived the other side Jordan with Joshua and Caleb knew that the LORD was with them no matter

how difficult or far the destination seemed; He was their Way, their Truth and their Life.

“But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold.  (Job 23:10)
 
These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 

(1 Peter 1:7)  I shall come forth purified, when my trial is over. 

Praise from the Great Multitude

Saying,

“Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

Then one of the elders answered, saying to me,

“These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?”

I said to him, “My lord, you know.”

And he said to me,

“These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

(Revelation 7:12-14)

God is in control.

Remember, it was when Job was tested and was proven faithful, God granted him more than he had ever had.  

Thank  God for giving us His Word (Jesus) who is the Author & FINISHER of our faith.

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Ask Him to allow me to show His strength through the gift that He had given me; then put  it all in His hands. 

The End is already in His hands

But we must walk in agreement and alignment with His Word, Will by the Holy Spirit.
Reliance and Perseverance as the mines hold the raw material which must be excavated, forged and purified.

Again, my loved ones, do not seek revenge; instead, allow God’s wrath to make sure justice is served.

Turn it over to Him. For the Scriptures say, “Revenge is Mine. I will settle all scores.”  (Romans 12:19)

As I turn, not to myself, but to God, letting go of this world, and its deceitfulness, I am freed to receive double for my trouble:  SO GOD GETS THE GLORY NOT MAN!

OUT OF YOUR BELLY SHALL FLOW RIVERS OF LIVING WATER

JESUS IS WITH US ALWAYS EVEN TO THE END OF THE AGE

LET THE RIVER FLOW!

HIS WORD AS IN ISAIAH 55 DOES NOT RETURN TO HIM VOID (EMPTY)

 Blessing and Vindication 

But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear Him, and His righteousness with their children’s children–(Psalm 103:17)  LORD, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in Your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.  (Psalm 143:1)  In Your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me; turn Your ear to me and save me.  (Psalm 71:2) 
May my supplication come before You; deliver me according to Your promise.  (Psalm 119:170)

For You alone are Faithful and True
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A battle broke out in heaven.

Michael, along with his heavenly messengers, clashed against the dragon.

The dragon and his messengers returned the fight,  but they did not prevail and were defeated.

As a result, there was no place left for them in heaven.

So the great dragon, that ancient serpent who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world,

was cast down to the earth along with his messengers. 

Then I heard a great voice in heaven.

A Voice:

Now the salvation and the power
        and the kingdom of our God
        and the authority of His Anointed One have come.
    For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
        who relentlessly accuses them day and night before our God,
        has been cast down and silenced.
By the blood of the Lamb
        and the word of their witnesses,
        they have become victorious over him,
    For they did not hold on to their lives, even under threat of death.
Therefore, rejoice, all you heavens;
        celebrate, all you who live in them.
    But disaster will befall the earth and the sea,
        for the devil has come down to your spheres,
    And he is incredibly angry
        because he knows his time is nearly over.

When the dragon realized he had been cast down to the earth, he pursued the mother of the male infant. 

In order to escape the serpent, she was given the two wings of the great eagle to

fly deeper into the wilderness to her own special place

where she would find sustenance for a time, and times, and half a time.  

Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a raging river that chased after the woman,

trying to sweep her away in the flood. 

But the earth came to her rescue.

It opened its gaping mouth and swallowed the river that spewed from the dragon’s mouth. 

As a result, the dragon was enraged at the woman and went away to make war on the rest of her children—those who keep the commandments of God and hold fast to the testimony of Jesus.

 And [the dragon]stood waiting on the sand of the seashore.  (Revelation 12:7-18)

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A song for those journeying to worship.

 I look up at the vast size of the mountains—from where will my help come in times of trouble?
 The Eternal Creator of heaven and earth and these mountainswill send the help I need.

He holds you firmly in place; He will not let you fall.
    He who keeps you will never take His eyes off you and never drift off to sleep.
What a relief! The One who watches over Israel never leaves for rest or sleep.

The Eternal keeps you safe,so close to Him that His shadow is a cooling shade to you.
Neither bright light of sunnor dim light of moon will harm you.

The Eternal will keep you safefrom all of life’s evils,
 From your first breath to the last breath you breathe,
    from this day and forever.

(Psalm 121)

 

BE strong and courageous; do not be afraid!  But with us is the LORD our God, to HELP us to fight our battles.

And remember, the battle BELONGS to the LORD!

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“Listen to Me, Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I am He; I am the First and I am the Last.”  (Isaiah 48:12)

“I am the Aleph and the Tav, HaRishon (The First) and HaAcharon (The Last),

HaReshit (The Beginning) and HaTachlit

(The Ultimate).” 
In the Messiah He chose us in love before the creation of the universe to be holy and without defect in His presence.

(Ephesians 1:4) 

 

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But the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal.

(Romans 9:31)  Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.  (Romans 10:3)

The LORD detests the way of the wicked, but He loves those who pursue righteousness.  (Proverbs 15:9)

For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God?  (Psalm 18:31)

Salvation for Zion

Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness,

Who seek the LORD:

Look to the rock from which you were hewn And to the quarry from which you were dug.

Look to Abraham your father And to Sarah who gave birth to you in pain;

When he was but one I called him, Then I blessed him and multiplied him.

(Isaiah 51:1-2)

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This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet,

I will open my mouth in parables,
I will say what has been hidden since the creation of the universe.”

(Matthew 13:35)   This is what the LORD says– Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty:

I am the First and I am the Last; apart from Me there is no God.”  (Isaiah 44:6) “Who has done this and carried it through, calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD–with the first of them and with the last–I am He.”  (Isaiah 41:4)

“See now that I Myself am He! There is no god besides Me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of My hand.”  (Deuteronomy 32:39) 

Truly He is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.  (Psalm 62:2)

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I Will Sing Of His Love Forever!

I shall also set his hand on the sea And his right hand on the rivers.  He will cry to Me, ‘You are my Father, My God, and the rock of my salvation.  I also shall make him My firstborn, The highest of the kings of the earth.  (Psalm 89:25-27) 

The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior!

Next the angel showed me the river of the water of life, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. Between the main street and the river was the Tree of Life producing twelve kinds of fruit, a different kind every month; and the leaves of the tree were for healing the nations —no longer will there be any curses. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will worship Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. Night will no longer exist, so they will need neither the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because Adonai, God, will shine upon them. And they will reign as kings forever and ever.

 

Then he said to me,

These words are true and trustworthy: Adonai, God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must happen soon.

 

 “Look! I am coming very soon. Blessed is the person who obeys the words of the prophecy written in this book!

 

Then I, Yochanan, the one hearing and seeing these things, when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel showing them to me. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am only a fellow-servant with you and your brothers, the prophets and the people who obey the words in this book. Worship God!

 

 Then he said to me, “Don’t seal up the words of the prophecy in this book, because the time of their fulfillment is near.

 

 “Whoever keeps acting wickedly, let him go on acting wickedly;
whoever is filthy, let him go on being made filthy.

“Also, whoever is righteous, let him go on doing what is righteous;
and whoever is holy, let him go on being made holy.

 

 Pay attention!” [says Yeshua,] “I am coming soon, and my rewards are with me to give to each person according to what he has done. I am the ‘A’ and the ‘Z,’ the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

 

How blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they have the right to eat from the Tree of Life and go through the gates into the city! Outside are the homosexuals, those involved with the occult and with drugs, the sexually immoral, murderers, idol-worshippers, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. I, Yeshua, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the Messianic communities. I am the Root and Offspring of David, the bright Morning Star. The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come!’ Let anyone who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let anyone who is thirsty come — let anyone who wishes, take the water of life free of charge.”

 

I warn everyone hearing the words of the prophecy in this book that if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues written in this book. And if anyone takes anything away from the words in the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the Tree of Life and the holy city, as described in this book.

 

“The one who is testifying to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon!’

Amen! Come, Lord Yeshua!

 

May the grace of the Lord Yeshua be with all!

(Revelation 22)

So if you were raised along with the Messiah, then seek the things above, where the Messiah is sitting at the right hand of God.

Focus your minds on the things above, not on things here on earth.

For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. 

When the Messiah, who is our life, appears, then you too will appear with Him in glory!

(Colossians 3:1-4)

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  “So don’t be anxious, asking, ‘What will we eat?,’ ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘How will we be clothed?’ 

For it is the pagans who set their hearts on all these things. Your heavenly Father knows you need them all. 

But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 

Don’t worry about tomorrow — tomorrow will worry about itself!   (Matthew 6:31-34)

We are not seeking knowledge but to Know the One who is Faithful and True. 

And to know even as we are known.

The Way of Wisdom

Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser, Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

For by me your days will be multiplied, And years of life will be added to you.  (Proverbs 9:9-11)

We walk by faith not by sight for appearances are deceiving and designed to mislead.
 

Consider Job: he didn’t know why he was tested; it was to shut the devil up!

Silence the accuser!

 
Blessings come to those who read and proclaim these words aloud; blessings come to those who listen closely and put the prophetic words recorded here into practice.
 
The finale is approaching.  (Revelation 1:3)
 
Run To the Battle!  For the Battle BELONGS To the Lord!
 

And the LORD answered me:Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.  (Habakkuk 2:2)

Finally, grow powerful in union with the Lord, in union with His mighty strength! 

Use all the armor and weaponry that God provides, so that you will be able to stand against the deceptive tactics of the Adversary.  For we are not struggling against human beings, but against the rulers, authorities and cosmic powers governing this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm.  So take up every piece of war equipment God provides; so that when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist; and when the battle is won, you will still be standing. Therefore, stand! Have the belt of truth buckled around your waist,  put on righteousness for a breastplate,

and wear on your feet the readiness that comes from the Good News of shalom.

Always carry the shield of trust, with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the Evil One. 

And take the helmet of deliverance; along with the sword given by the Spirit, that is, the Word of God; 

as you pray at all times, with all kinds of prayers and requests, in the Spirit, vigilantly and persistently, for all God’s people.  (Ephesians 6:10-18)

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.  (Galatians 3:13)

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.  (Ephesians 3:20)

Lord Jesus, help me to welcome difficulties.  Let them test my strength and build my character as I draw these from You.  Amen.

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God will reveal His righteousness in you that will enlighten you to walk in persevering faith according His Word.

As you come into Agreement with His Word, you are in proper Alignment to receive revelation given by His Holy Spirit whose purpose is to lead and guide you into all Truth.

A Call to Repentance

Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces;
    now He will heal us.
He has injured us;
    now He will bandage our wounds.
 In just a short time He will restore us,
    so that we may live in His presence.
Oh, that we might know the Lord!
    Let us press on to know Him.
He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn
    or the coming of rains in early spring.

(Hosea 6:1-3)

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 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.  (2 Corinthians 5;20)

No Expiration Date

Israel, put your hope in the LORD,
For with the LORD is unfailing love and with Him is full REDEMPTION.
(Psalm 130:7)       

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REDEMPTION 

1. The act of Redeeming or the condition of having been Redeemed.
2. Recovery of something pawned or mortgaged.
3. The payment of an obligation.
4. Deliverance upon payment of Ransom; Rescue.
5. Salvation from Sin through Jesus’s Sacrifice.

This is why Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant: through His death, He delivered us from the sins that we had built up under the first covenant, and His death has made it possible for all who are called to receive God’s promised inheritance. 

For whenever there is a testament—a will—the death of the one who made it must be confirmed because a will takes effect only at the death of its maker; it has no validity as long as the maker is still alive. 

Even the first testamentthe first covenant—required blood to be put into action.

When Moses had given all the laws of God to the people, he took the blood of calves and of goats, water, hyssop, and scarlet wool; and he sprinkled the scroll and all the people, telling them,

This is the blood of the covenant that God has commanded for us.”

In the same way, he also sprinkled blood upon the sanctuary and upon the vessels used in worship.   Under the law, it’s almost the case that everything is purified in connection with blood; without the shedding of blood, sin cannot be forgiven.  (Hebrews 9:15-22)

Since what was given in the old covenant was the earthly sketch of the heavenly reality, this was sufficient to cleanse the earthly sanctuary; but in heaven, a more perfect sacrifice was needed.   The Anointed One did not enter into handcrafted sacred spaces—imperfect copies of heavenly originals—but into heaven itself, where He stands in the presence of God on our behalf.  There He does not offer Himself over and over as a sacrifice (as the high priest on earth does when he enters the most holy place each year with blood other than his own) because that would require His repeated suffering since the beginning of the world. No, He has appeared once now, at the end of the age, to put away sin forever by offering Himself as a sacrifice.

 Just as mortals are appointed to die once and then to experience a judgment, so the Anointed One, our Liberating King, was offered once in death to bear the sins of many and will appear a second time, not to deal again with sin, but to rescue those who eagerly await His return.  (Hebrews 9:23-28)

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Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to His will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making Him proud of you as you work hard in His orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that He has for us.        (Colossians 1:9-12)

Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring–not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.  (Romans 4:16)

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–
(Ephesians 2:8)

Thanksgiving and Prayer

For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have REDEMPTION, the forgiveness of sins.
(Colossians 1:13-14)

Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation.
(Romans 4:4)  Don’t run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other. When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along. The law code—don’t sleep with another person’s spouse, don’t take someone’s life, don’t take what isn’t yours, don’t always be wanting what you don’t have, and any other “don’t” you can think of—finally adds up to this: Love other people as well as you do yourself. You can’t go wrong when you love others. When you add up everything in the law code, the sum total is love.  (Romans 13:8-10)

No man may boast before God.
But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and REDEMPTION,
So that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”
(1 Corinthians 1:30-31)

In Him we have REDEMPTION through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.
(Ephesians 1:7)

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law,
So that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.  
Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

Righteousness Through Faith

But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.  

This righteousness is given through faith in  Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,   for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  and all are justified freely by his grace through the REDEMPTION that came by Christ Jesus. 

God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of His blood—to be received by faith.

He did this to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— He did it to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
(Romans 3:19-26)
   
Blessed is He who is Forgiven

You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble;
You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.
(Psalm 32:7)
   

Believe God is always the God you know Him to be when you are nearest to Him. Then think how unnecessary and disrespectful worry is! Let the attitude of your life be a continual willingness to “go out” in dependence upon God, and your life will have a sacred and inexpressible charm about it that is very satisfying to Jesus. You must learn to “go out” through your convictions, creeds, or experiences until you come to the point in your faith where there is nothing between yourself and God.  (My Utmost For His Highest)

Learn to pray first and plan afterward.
Make God’s will, yours.
Even as Christ prayed, “Not my will but Yours.”

Lord, teach me just as a child would be taught.  I pray that I will not question Your plan but will accept it gladly. Amen

Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37:4
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Like Solomon

 You have made Your servant king

and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.       

Like Jeremiah
 
Alas, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”

 
But the LORD said to me,

Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.”

Jeremiah is known as the prophet of the new covenant. Hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus,

Jeremiah heard the voice of God and saw what God had planned: a new day.

A new law inscribed in the mind and written on the heart.

A new and abiding knowledge of God. A new covenant where mercy runs deep and sins are forgiven and forgotten.

This hope of a new heart is found even in the midst of the Mosaic Covenant. Moses foretells the unfaithfulness of the people and also tells them of God’s promise to restore their hearts (Deuteronomy 30:1–10).

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The LORD says,
I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”
(Psalm 32:8)   

You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will take me into glory.
(Psalm 73:24)

Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You.
Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life.  (Psalm 143:8)
 
This is what the LORD says– your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:

I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”
(Isaiah 48:17)

I look up at the vast size of the mountains—
    from where will my help come in times of trouble?
The Eternal Creator of heaven and earth and these mountains
    will send the help I need.

He holds you firmly in place;
He will not let you fall.
    He who keeps you will never take His eyes off you and never drift off to sleep.
What a relief! The One who watches over Israel
    never leaves for rest or sleep.

The Eternal keeps you safe,
    so close to Him that His shadow is a cooling shade to you.
Neither bright light of sun
    nor dim light of moon will harm you.

The Eternal will keep you safe
    from all of life’s evils,
From your first breath to the last breath you breathe,
    from this day and forever.
(Psalm 121
A song for those journeying to worship. )
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He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.
(Psalm 37:6)

Spiritual Blessings

To the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
In Him we have REDEMPTION through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace  which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight (Ephesians 1:6-8)

Being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of His holy people in the kingdom of light.
(Colossians 1:11-12)

Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.
(Isaiah 40:2)

I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have REDEEMED you.”
(Isaiah 44:22)

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Word for 2014

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This is the Word of the Lord for you in 2014



When we bless Israel, we bless what God wants blessed…and that turns His head and moves His hand to action in your life.
As I fasted and prayed, God laid this message on my heart and in my spirit, and directed me to share it with you today. THIS is the word of The Lord for you in 2014:

Because you love Me and have put Me first in your life…
Because you have blessed My people Israel, I am going to bless you!
I am going to send you power, peace, and prosperity from My presence

“You are My servant on earth, and Satan will have no power over you, and You will overcome evil with good”

No weapon formed against you shall prosper, for your righteousness is of ME!

Whatever You do will prosper, for You will be like a tree that’s planted by the rivers of water

In 2014, I will meet all of your needs according to My riches in glory
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Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be ESTABLISHED;

Believe His prophets, and you shall PROSPER.  (2 Chronicles 20:20)

God, please guide me one day at a time in the New Year.  For each day, supply the wisdom and the strength that I need.   Amen.

Choose to Believe God!  This is the Way, Walk in it:  in AGREEMENT with His Word in ALIGNMENT with His Holy Spirit. 

This, then, is how you should pray:  “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.”  (Matthew 6:9-10)

What God does in the lives of human beings who pray agreeing with His Voice of Truth, is bringing them into alignment with His Perfect Will for His Perfect Love desires that none perish but that all come to everlasting life.  As we pray in agreement and alignment with His Word and His Will it releases His Power to work in the lives of others on earth as it is in heaven.
I will guide you in 2014 with My mighty right hand

The light of My presence will show you the way…
I am going to cancel debts and the words spoken against you. I will replace them with dreams and visions for your future

I am with you!
You are not alone!
I am watching over you!
Nothing you are facing has caught me unaware….
Do not fear—Angelic power is on the way!

Because I have conquered Satan, he will not have power to hurt you
You will walk in My peace, strength, prosperity, and protection

This will be your year of “casting”
You will cast all of your cares upon Me because I care for you…
You will laugh in the face of the enemy declaring:

  “I could not care less because I have cast all of my cares upon Him”

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You will take the shield of faith and quench every fiery dart that the wicked one brings against you!

  • “You are an overcomer, and you overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of your testimony”
  • “The devil will flee from you because you will resist him in the name of Jesus”
  • “Great will be the peace of your children!”

This will be your year of harvest because of all the seeds you have sown

I am giving you a sunrise gift this year!
Joy will come in your mornings!

The Son of God’s favor will shine brighter on you this year than ever before

For the first time, an anointing of perfect love will flow over you like warm oil…That anointing will cast out all fear…

I have called you friend—you will see the power and privilege of our friendship!

This will be your year to rejoice!
You will see and say:

  “My God has overcome the world…Greater is He that is within me than he that is in the world”


You will take the shield of My faith and quench his fiery darts

This will be your year to have a seat at the table!

“You will fully realize that YOU are seated with Christ in Heavenly places”

Hidden treasure in you shall spring forth

Fullness of joy is coming to you from MY right hand and presence…!

I am going to baptize you in My Favor!

I will cause you to have favor this year, even with many of your enemies

I have a surprise for you this year, especially concerning the loved ones for whom you’ve been praying!

You will abide in Me and conquer in My strength!

In 2014, you will declare loudly, “My God is my healer, and I was healed by His stripes!”

You will Arise and shine, arise and shine, for the glory of The Lord is going to come upon you in 2014…

He will be to you a mighty and marvelous God!
He will speak rest, peace, and revelations over you!

Your Ambassador to Jerusalem,

Dr. Mike Evans

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Family Connections

Jesus said to them, My food (nourishment) is to do the will (pleasure) of Him Who sent Me and to accomplish and completely finish His work. (John 4:34)

 But Jesus, again crying out loudly, breathed His last.

At that moment, the Temple curtain was ripped in two, top to bottom. There was an earthquake, and rocks were split in pieces. What’s more, tombs were opened up, and many bodies of believers asleep in their graves were raised.

(After Jesus’ resurrection, they left the tombs, entered the holy city, and appeared to many.)

(Matthew 27:50-53)

 

It is Finished!

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A battle broke out in heaven. Michael, along with his heavenly messengers, clashed against the dragon.

The dragon and his messengers returned the fight, but they did not prevail and were defeated.

As a result, there was no place left for them in heaven. 

So the great dragon, that ancient serpent who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world, was cast down to the earth along with his messengers. 

Then I heard a great voice in heaven.

A Voice: Now the salvation and the power
        and the kingdom of our God
        and the authority of His Anointed One have come.
    For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
        who relentlessly accuses them day and night before our God,
        has been cast down and silenced.
By the blood of the Lamb
        and the word of their witnesses,
        they have become victorious over him,
    For they did not hold on to their lives, even under threat of death.
Therefore, rejoice, all you heavens;
        celebrate, all you who live in them.
    But disaster will befall the earth and the sea,
        for the devil has come down to your spheres,
    And he is incredibly angry
        because he knows his time is nearly over.

(Revelation 12:7-12)

Jesus makes the point clear: stay connected to Him, and have no reason to fear.

Jesus doesn’t mean that at the instant someone has faith, fear simply vanishes or only good things happen in that person’s life. In fact, the blessings that come with eternal life often have nothing to do with present or future circumstances, but they have everything to do with the individual’s connections to God and others. That is John’s message to his listeners.

God came to earth embodied in flesh, and then He reached His greatest acclaim through a torturous death. If this is all true, then believers will find strength and beauty in places never imagined. Abiding in Jesus the Anointed is the good life, regardless of the external circumstances.

When Christ came down from the Sacred Mount, He ordered the afflicting demon out—and it was out, gone.

From that moment on the boy was well. (Matthew 17).  

Sunlight Poured from His Face

The TRUTH: the Eternal is the TRUE Shepherd.

Who believes what we’ve heard and seen?
    Who would have thought God’s saving power would look like this?

 Surely He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; and we, we did regard Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

 

 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed.

 

All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way; and Jehovah hath laid upon Him the iniquity of us all. 

(Isaiah 53:4-6)

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and none of His generation protested
His being cut off from the land of the living
for the crimes of My people,
who deserved the punishment themselves.

No one has ever journeyed to heaven above except the One who has come down from heaven—the Son of Man, who is of heaven.   Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness. In the same way, the Son of Man must be lifted upthen all those who believe in Him will experience everlasting life.

For God expressed His love for the world in this way:

He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life. Here’s the point.

God didn’t send His Son into the world to judge it; instead, He is here to rescue a world headed toward certain destruction.

(John 3:13-17)

It is hard to understand why God would crush His innocent Servant. But it is in His suffering for sin that God deals decisively with sin and its harmful effects.

Yet the Eternal One planned to crush Him all along,
    to bring Him to grief, this innocent servant of God.
When He puts His life in sin’s dark place, in the pit of wrongdoing,
    this servant of God will see His children and have His days prolonged.
For in His servant’s hand, the Eternal’s deepest desire will come to pass and flourish.
As a result of the trials and troubles that wrack His soul,
    God’s servant will see light and be content
Because He knows, really understands, what it’s about; as God says,
    “My just servant will justify countless others by taking on their punishment and bearing it away.
Because He exposed His very self—
    laid bare His soul to the vicious grasping of death—
And was counted among the worst, I will count Him among the best.
    I will allot this one, My servant, a share in all that is of any value,
Because He took on Himself the sin of many
    and acted on behalf of those who broke My law.”

(Isaiah 53)

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 Eventually the chief priests and the elders looked around and saw that it was morning.

They convened a council meeting whose sole purpose was to hand down Jesus’ death sentence. 

They tied Jesus up, took Him away, and handed Him over to the governor of Judea, a man called Pilate.

  Judas—the one who had betrayed Him with a kiss for 30 pieces of silver—saw that Jesus had been condemned, and suddenly Judas regretted what he had done. He took the silver back to the chief priests and elders and tried to return it to them.

 

Judas Iscariot:   I can’t keep this money! I’ve sinned! I’ve betrayed an innocent man! His blood will be on my hands.

The priests and elders want nothing to do with Judas, and they refuse to take his money.

Chief Priests and Elders: We’re through with you, friend. The state of your soul is really none of our affair.

 

 Judas threw down the money in the temple, went off, and hanged himself.

 

The chief priests looked at the silver coins and picked them up.

Chief Priests and Elders: You know, according to the law, we can’t put blood money in the temple treasury.

 

After some deliberation, they took the money and bought a plot of land called Potter’s Field; they would use it to bury foreigners, suicides, and others who were unfit for a full Jewish burial(To this day, the field is called Blood Field, because it was bought with blood money.)   And when the priests bought Potter’s Field, they unwittingly fulfilled a prophecy made long ago by the prophet Jeremiah: “They took 30 pieces of silver, the price set on the head of the man by the children of Israel,   and they gave them for the Potter’s Field as the Eternal One instructed.” 

 

Jesus was standing before the governor, Pilate.

Pilate: Are You the King of the Jews?

Jesus: So you say.

 

The chief priests and the elders stood and poured out their accusations: that Jesus was a traitor, a seditious rebel, a crazy, a would-be Savior, and a would-be king. Jesus stood in the stream of accusations, but He did not respond.

 

Pilate:   Do You hear these accusations they are making against You?

 

 Still Jesus said nothing, which Pilate found rather astounding—no protests, no defense, nothing.

 

Now the governor had a custom. During the great Jewish festival of Passover, he would allow the crowd to pick one of the condemned men, and he, Pilate, would set the man free. Just like that. Gratuitous, gracious freedom. At this time, they had a notorious prisoner named Barabbas.   So when the crowd gathered, Pilate offered them a choice:

Pilate: Whom do you want me to free? Barabbas or Jesus, whom some call the Anointed One?

 

Pilate could call Him “Jesus of Nazareth” or “Jesus the Carpenter,” but he says, “whom some call the Anointed One.

It is significant that Pilate is in a position where he passes judgment. He determines who will live and who will die, and he is preparing to hold court.

 Pilate knew the chief priests and elders hated Jesus and had delivered Him up because they envied Him.

 

Then Pilate sat down on his judgment seat, and he received a message from his wife:

“Distance yourself utterly from the proceedings against this righteous man. I have had a dream about Him, a dream full of twisted sufferings—He is innocent, I know it, and we should have nothing to do with Him.”

 

But the chief priests and the elders convinced the crowd to demand that Barabbas, not Jesus, whom-some-call-the-Anointed-One, be freed and that Jesus be put to death.

 

Pilate (standing before the crowd): Which of these men would you have me free?

Crowd (shouting): Barabbas!

Pilate: What would you have me do with this Jesus, whom some call the Anointed One?

Crowd (shouting): Crucify Him!

Pilate:   Why? What crime has this man committed?

Crowd (responding with a shout): Crucify Him!

 

It is clear Pilate has laid his own trap. He realizes he has given the crowd a choice, but the crowd doesn’t choose as he expects them to.

Pilate saw that unless he wanted a riot on his hands, he now had to bow to their wishes. So he took a pitcher of water, stood before the crowd, and washed his hands.

Pilate: You will see to this crucifixion, for this man’s blood will be upon you and not upon me. I wash myself of it.

Crowd:   Indeed, let His blood be upon us—upon us and our children!

 

So Pilate released Barabbas, and he had Jesus flogged and handed over to be crucified.

 

The governor’s soldiers took Jesus into a great hall, gathered a great crowd, and stripped Jesus of His clothes, draping Him in a bold scarlet cloak, the kind that soldiers sometimes wore.  They gathered some thorny vines, wove them into a crown, and perched that crown upon His head. They stuck a reed in His right hand, and then they knelt before Him, this inside-out, upside-down King. They mocked Him with catcalls.

Soldiers: Hail, the King of the Jews!

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They spat on Him and whipped Him on the head with His scepter of reeds,  and when they had their fill, they pulled off the bold scarlet cloak, dressed Him in His own simple clothes, and led Him off to be crucified.

 

As they were walking, they found a man called Simon of Cyrene and forced him to carry the cross.   Eventually they came to a place called Golgotha, which means “Place of the Skull.”   There they gave Him a drink—wine mixed with bitter herbs. He tasted it but refused to drink it.

 

 And so they had Him crucified. They divided the clothes off His back by drawing lots,and they sat on the ground and watched Him hang. They placed a sign over His head: “This is Jesus, King of the Jews.” And then they crucified two thieves (REBELS) next to Him, one at His right hand and one at His left hand.

 

Passersby shouted curses and blasphemies at Jesus. They wagged their heads at Him and hissed.

 

Passersby: You’re going to destroy the temple and then rebuild it in three days? Why don’t You start with saving Yourself? Come down from the cross if You can, if You’re God’s Son.

Chief Priests, Scribes, and Elders (mocking Him):   He saved others, but He can’t save Himself. If He’s really the King of Israel, then let Him climb down from the cross—then we’ll believe Him.  He claimed communion with God—well, let God save Him, if He’s God’s beloved Son.

Even the REBELS (the thieves) hanging to His right and left poured insults upon Him.

(Matthew 27:1-44)

Love will never invoke fear. Perfect love expels fear, particularly the fear of punishment. The one who fears punishment has not been completed through love.  (1 John 4:18)

No one who believes in Him has to fear condemnation, yet condemnation is already the reality for everyone who refuses to believe because they reject the name of the only Son of God. Why does God allow for judgment and condemnation?

Because the Light, sent from God, pierced through the world’s darkness to expose ill motives, hatred, gossip, greed, violence, and the like. Still some people preferred the darkness over the light because their actions were dark. 

Some of humankind hated the light.

They scampered hurriedly back into the darkness where vices thrive and wickedness flourishes. 

Those who abandon deceit and embrace what is true, they will enter into the light where it will be clear that all their deeds come from God.

(John 3:18-21)

In John 10:11 Jesus makes a bold claim. He declares that He is the good shepherd.

Immediately His disciples detected the resonance of Psalm 23 in His words.

Those of us who follow Jesus today come to know Him as that gentle but strong shepherd who guides us through life if we will follow Him.

The Eternal is my shepherd, He cares for me always.
He provides me rest in rich, green fields
    beside streams of refreshing water.
    He soothes my fears;
 He makes me whole again,
    steering me off worn, hard paths
    to roads where truth and righteousness echo His name.

 

 Even in the unending shadows of death’s darkness,
    I am not overcome by fear.
Because You are with me in those dark moments,
    near with Your protection and guidance,
    I am comforted.

 

You spread out a table before me,
    provisions in the midst of attack from my enemies;
You care for all my needs, anointing my head with soothing, fragrant oil,
    filling my cup again and again with Your grace.
 Certainly Your faithful protection and loving provision will pursue me
    where I go, always, everywhere.
I will always be with the Eternal,
    in Your house forever.

(Psalm 23)

Yours is the Kingdom Yours is the Power Yours is the Glory Forever Amen

for the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, shalom and joy in the Ruach HaKodesh.

Romans 14:17   Jesus said, “What a generation! No sense of God! No focus to your lives!”

because the kingdom of God is not about eating and drinking. When God reigns, the order of the day is redeeming justice, true peace, and joy made possible by the Holy Spirit.

Because you’re not yet taking God seriously,” said Jesus. “The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle.”

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Answer my prayers, O True God, the righteous, who makes me right.

    I was hopelessly surrounded, and You rescued me.
Once again hear me; hide me in Your favor;
    bring victory in defeat and hope in hopelessness.

 

How long will you sons of Adam steal my dignity, reduce my glory to shame?
    Why pine for the fruitless and dream a delusion?

[Selah, pause] Be still and Know that I am God I will be exalted (lifted up) Be still and Know that I am with you.

Literally, Selah, likely a musical direction from a Hebrew root meaning “to lift up

 

 Understand this: The Eternal One treats as special those like Him.
    The Eternal will answer my prayers and save me.

 

Think long; think hard. When you are angry, don’t let it carry you into sin.
    When night comes, in calm be silent.

[pause]

 

From this day forward, offer to God the right sacrifice from a heart made right by God.
    Entrust yourself to the Eternal.

 

Crowds of disheartened people ask, “Who can show us what is good?”
    Let Your brilliant face shine upon us, O Eternal One, that we may know the undeniable answer.
You have filled me with joy, and happiness has risen in my heart, great delight and unrivaled joy,
    even more than when bread abounds and wine flows freely.
Tonight I will sleep securely on a bed of peace
    because I trust You, You alone, O Eternal One, will keep me safe.

(Psalm 4)

 

 

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 He [Hashem] shall see of the travail of his [Moshiach’s] nefesh, and shall be satisfied; by knowledge of him [Moshiach] shall Tzadik Avdi [“My Righteous Servant,” Moshiach, Zecharyah 3:8, Yirmeyah 23:5; Zecharyah 6:11-12, Ezra 3:8 Yehoshua, Yeshua shmo] justify many (Romans 5:1); for he [Moshiach] shall bear their avon (iniquities).  (Isaiah 53:11)

Halleluyah!

Servants of Adonai, give praise!
Give praise to the name of Adonai!
Blessed be the name of Adonai
from this moment on and forever!
 From sunrise until sunset
Adonai’s name is to be praised.
Adonai is high above all nations,
his glory above the heavens.
Who is like Adonai our God,
seated in the heights, humbling Himself to look on heaven and on earth.

He raises the poor from the dust,  lifts the needy from the rubbish heap,
 in order to give him a place among princes, among the princes of his people.

He causes the childless woman to live at home happily as a mother of children.

Halleluyah!

(Psalm 113)

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So the Eternal One, who rescued Abraham, says concerning Jacob:

Eternal One: The people of Jacob’s line will no longer be ashamed,
        nor will they grow pale with embarrassment.
For when they lay eyes on their children, the work of My hands,
        they will protect My name and keep it holy.
    They will recognize that I am sacred, the Holy One of Jacob,
        and stand in awe of Me, the God of Israel.
Whoever thought otherwise and wandered off will know the truth,
        and whoever said otherwise and voiced criticism will quietly learn.

Isaiah 29:22-24

54 Eternal One: Sing, childless woman, you who have never given birth.
        Raise a joyful shout, you who have never gone through labor.
    You, whose husband is dead, will bring forth much more than the fertile one who has a husband.[a]
    Enlarge your house. You are going to need a bigger place;
        don’t underestimate the amount of room that you’ll need. So build, build, build.
    You will increase in every direction to fill the world.
        Your offspring will take over the nations;
    Your people will revitalize long-abandoned towns.

Don’t be afraid, for there is no one to shame you.
    Don’t fear humiliation, for there is no one to disgrace you.
The shame of your younger years and the sorrow of your widowhood are over.
    You’ll forget those days as if they never happened.
Because the One who made you will be your husband;
    the One called Commander of heavenly armies
Will set you right again, the Holy One of Israel.
    It’s not for nothing that He is called “God of all the earth.”

For the Eternal has called you to come back home,
    like a young wife, once deserted and deeply injured.
Now God is pulling you close again. Like a spouse forgives,
    He will take you back and be reconciled.
The Eternal, your Redeemer, says this:

Eternal One: Yes, I was angry for a moment, and I rejected you,
        but My love endures, and I want you back.
    For that moment, when I was so mad,
        I made it impossible for you to see Me, to find Me,
    But with great tenderness, I will take you back in love.

    I think this is like the time when Noah lived.
        I promised that I would never again destroy the world by a flood.
    So now I am promising never again to be so angry
        and punishing as I was when I sent you away.
10     Even if the mountains heave up from their anchors,
        and the hills quiver and shake, I will not desert you.
    You can rely on My enduring love;
        My covenant of peace will stand forever.

So says the Eternal One, whose love won’t give up on you.

This promise stands to God’s covenant people: nothing can happen to them unless God wills it and makes it so. Only if they invite it will destruction come. Throughout this time of rebellion and punishment God makes it clear that they hold their fate in their own hands. And if they haven’t understood the message, God tells them who will do the nation-building—an unworldly restoration. He says that He provides the raw materials; He creates the tools and provides the skills with which the builders build. He alone is responsible for restoring the nation. And no matter what charges the adversary may concoct, God will not be put off. Even though Israel rebelled and was unfaithful at one time, that is in the past. The future is sure: God’s faithfulness to His covenant, His enduring love for His people, will stand for all time. So the challenge goes out from the prophet to God’s people—speaking on God’s authority—to align themselves with God, accept Him as God, and they will surely win.

11 Eternal One: Ah, Jerusalem, so miserable and distressed! I will rebuild you
        with floors of shimmering mosaics, set sapphires in your foundations.
12     I will decorate your towers with rubies,
        and your gates will sparkle with all manner of precious gems.
    Costly jewels will adorn the entire wall that circles your precincts.
13     Every one of your children, the people who call you home,
        will be students of the Eternal; oh, they’ll be so happy and live in peace!
14     This time, you will be founded and grounded
        on right thought, speech, and action.
    And no one will trouble you, abuse or oppress you;
        you will know no fear and have no worries.
15     If a nation marches against you,
        know that I am not behind it.
    Anyone foolish enough to challenge you will fall to you.
16     I have created the blacksmith
        who readies the fire and forges weapons for wars;
    And I have created the destroyer to ravage and ruin.
17     But no instrument forged against you will be allowed to hurt you,
        and no voice raised to condemn you will successfully prosecute you.
    It’s that simple; this is how it will be for the servants of the Eternal;
        I will vindicate them.

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Look to Him and shine,
    so shame will never contort your faces.

Psalm 34:5

Now stay focused on Jesus, who designed and perfected our faith. He endured the cross and ignored the shame of that death because He focused on the joy that was set before Him; and now He is seated beside God on the throne, a place of honor.

Consider the life of the One who endured such personal attacks and hostility from sinners so that you will not grow weary or lose heart.   Among you, in your striving against sin, none has resisted the pressure to the point of death, as He did.

Hebrews 12:2-3

God “disciplinesHisdisciples.”

God is training us not just to live here and now, but to have life in the age to come, to share His life and holiness.

The Bible is a brutally honest book. It contains stories of liars, murderers, and adulterers; and these are the good guys.

If we read the Bible looking only for positive role models, we’ll be quickly disappointed.

But if we are honest with ourselves and confess our own faults, we will find in Scripture, particularly in the First Testament, that we have much in common with many broken saints of the past. But we must not stay broken.

We must follow their path to transformation through repentance and faith.

Repentance means a change of heart, a change of mind, and ultimately a change of how we live.

God’s grace comes to us and enables us to turn away from sin and to turn back to Him.

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18 You have not come to the place that can be touched (as Israel did at Mount Sinai)to a mountain crowned with blazing fire, darkness, gloom, and a windstorm— 19 or to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of a voice—a voice and message so harsh that the people begged not to hear another word. 20 (They could not bear the command that was given: that if even a beast touches the mountain, it must be stoned. 21 The sight was so terrible that even Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”)[b]

No, instead you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, to the heavenly Jerusalem, to heavenly messengers unnumbered, to a joyful feast, to the assembly of the firstborn registered as heaven’s citizens, to God the righteous Judge of all, and to the spirits of all the righteous who have been perfected.  You have come to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant between God and humanity, and to His sprinkled blood, which speaks a greater word than the blood of Abel crying out from the earth.

See that you don’t turn away from the One who is speaking; for if the ones who heard and refused the One who spoke on earth faced punishment, then how much more will we suffer if we turn away from the One speaking from heaven— the One whose voice in earlier times shook the earth now makes another promise: “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heavens”? The phrase, “Yet once more,” means that those things that can be shaken will be removed and taken away, namely, the first creation. As a result, those things that remain cannot be shaken.   Therefore, let us all be thankful that we are a part of an unshakable Kingdom and offer to God worship that pleases Him and reflects the awe and reverence we have toward Him  for He is like a fierce fire that consumes everything. 

Hebrews 12:12-29

For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance shall arise for the Jews from elsewhere, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this and for this very occasion? (Esther 4:14)

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Of all the books in the Bible, Esther is unique because God is never once mentioned explicitly. Still, for those who know God and who know history, God is in the story, behind it, above it, beneath it. He is the main actor in history, even if He is not acknowledged. Here, Mordecai shows great wisdom. The Jews, God’s chosen people, will be delivered whether Esther involves herself or not. Divine Providence has ways and means that go beyond human understanding. Still Providence has made Esther queen for a purpose, a purpose she cannot easily escape.

and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father–to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.  “And You have made them a Kingdom, Priests and Kings to our God, and they shall reign over The Earth.”

To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.  (Revelation 1:6; 5:10, 3:21)

The Sabbath was made for the needs of human beings, and not the other way around.

(Mark 2:27)Image

But you  must TURN from your ways unto the Lord!

Six days you shall labor and do all your work,  Jesus:  If you want to do God’s work, then believe in the One He sent.

Observe the day of worship as a holy day. This is what the LORD your God has commanded you.”

(Deuteronomy 5:12) 

You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between Me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the LORD, who makes you holy.”  (Exodus 31:13)

Lord God, we have been bought with Your blood, and we belong to You. 

Take over our schedules, our priorities, our desires and aspirations, and conform them to Your Word. 

Help us today, and every day, to commit ourselves to Your commandments and the leading of Your Spirit who is given to lead and guide us every step of the Way, the Truth and the Life through Jesus unto the Father in Your unfailing love.  Amen.

Jesus: “I tell you the truth; unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you will not know life.  

If you eat My flesh and drink My blood, then you will have eternal life and I will raise you up at the end of time. 

My flesh and blood provide true nourishment.  If you eat My flesh and drink My blood, you will abide in Me and I will abide in you.  The Father of life who sent Me has given life to Me; and as you eat My flesh, I will give life to you.  

This is bread that came down from heaven; I am not like the manna that your fathers ate and then died!

If you eat this bread, your life will never end.”
(John 6:53-58)

On the branches of the willow trees,
    we hung our harps and hid our hearts from the enemy.
 And the men that surrounded us
    made demands that we clap our hands and sing—
Songs of joy from days gone by,
    songs from Zion, our home.
Such cruel men taunted us—haunted our memories.
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 How could we sing a song about the Eternal
    in a land so foreign, while still tormented, brokenhearted, homesick?
    Please don’t make us sing this song.
(Psalm 137:2-4)

            Psalm 142
A contemplative prayer of David while he hid in a cave.

 I call out loudly to the Eternal One;
    I lift my voice to the Eternal begging for His favor.
 I let everything that’s going wrong spill out of my mouth;
    I spell out all my troubles to Him.
 When my spirit buckled under the burdens I bear,
    You knew my way.
They conspired to trip me up and trap me
    on the path where I was walking.
 Take a look around and see—to the right, to the left—
    no one is there who cares for me.
There’s no way out of here;
    no one cares about the state of my soul.

 You are the One I called to, O Eternal One.
    I said, “You’re the only safe place I know;
    You’re all I’ve got in this world.
 Oh, let me know that You hear my cry
    because I’m languishing and desperate;

Rescue me from those who torment me
    because there’s no way I can stand up to them;
    they are much too strong for me.
 Lift my captive soul from this dark prison
    so I may render to You my gratitude;
Then Your righteous people will gather around me
    because You will treat me with astounding goodness.”
(Psalm 142)

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Who can I feed with Your love today?  (Jesus is saying, “IF you love Me, feed my lambs.”) 

True communion with God and man.

You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.

The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
    (1 Cor. 6:13) 

What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.

As God has said:I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”  (2 Cor. 6:16)
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Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath

Scribes and Pharisees:  Teacher, we want to see some miraculous sign from You.

Jesus:  You wicked and promiscuous generation—you are looking for signs, are you?
 The only sign you will be given is the sign of the prophet Jonah.  
Jonah spent three days and three nights in the belly of a great fish, as the Son of Man will spend three days and three nights in the belly of the earth.

One day, the people of Nineveh will rise up in judgment and will condemn your present generation—for the Ninevites TURNED FROM SIN TO GOD WHEN THEY HEARD JONAH PREACH, and now One far greater than Jonah is here.
 The Queen of the South will also stand in judgment and condemn this generation—for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom. And today One greater and wiser than Solomon is among you.

Let Me tell you what will happen to this wicked generation:

When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it rattles around through deserts and other dry places looking for a place to rest—

but it does not find anywhere to rest.  

So the spirit says, “I will return to the house I left.”

And it returns to find that house unoccupied, tidy, swept, and sparkling clean.  

Well, then not only does one spirit set up shop in that sparkling house, but it brings seven even more wicked spirits along. And the poor man—the house—is worse off than he was before. This evil generation will suffer a similar fate.

 While Jesus was speaking to the crowd, His mother and brothers came up and wanted to speak to Him.

Someone in the Crowd:   Your mother and brothers are waiting outside to speak to You.

Jesus:   Who is My mother? And who are My brothers?   (pointing to His disciples) These are My mother and brothers.   Anyone who does the will of My Father in heaven is My mother and brother and sister.
(Matthew 12:38-50)

The Sabbath is a day of REST when one creates nothing, breaks nothing, gives nothing, makes no contracts, cuts no flowers, and boils no water; it is a day set aside by the Lord to remember the creative work of God, to experience the peace of the Lord, and to REST in the provision of God.
         
So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? (Galatians 3:5)   

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Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”  (Jesus, Matthew 11:28)

Freely Received – Now Freely Give
  
 
As it is written:They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.
 
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
(2 Corinthians 9:9; 9:8)                           

Brothers and sisters, in light of all I have shared with you about God’s mercies, I urge you to offer your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice to God, a sacred offering that brings Him pleasure; this is your reasonable, essential worship.   Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete.
(Romans 12:1-2)   

             because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

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The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.

 
How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!  (Romans 8:2; 1 Cor. 15:46; Hebrews 9:14)

Place Your ALL on the ALTAR and Be Forever ALTERED

Our lives are not Our own; We are bought with a price–the precious blood the sinless Lamb of God

Do you not know that your body is the temple of The Spirit of Holiness who dwells within you,

whom you have received from God, and you are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19)
For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.  (1 Corinthians 6:20)

I tell you, there is in this place something greater than the Temple!
 If you knew what ‘I want compassion rather than animal-sacrifice’ meant, you would not condemn the innocent.

For the Son of Man is Lord of Shabbat!”
(Jesus speaking in  Matthew 12:6-8)
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And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.

Then the Lord God said,
Look, the human beings  have become like us, knowing both good and evil.
What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!”  

So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden,

and He sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. 
(Genesis 3:21-23)

Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
(Genesis 2:7)
 
For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom He is pleased to give it.

 
Just as the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, So the one who feeds on Me will live because of Me.
(John 5:21; John 6:57)

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    The Resurrection Body

… it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 

So also it is written,The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.

The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.  However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.…

(1 Cor. 15:44-46)

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?
(1 Corinthians 3:16)

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.

And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.
(Romans 8:9)

Be Fruitful and Multiply!

Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until He comes and showers His righteousness on you.
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Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.

For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.
(Luke 3:8)

Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.
(Matthew 3:8) 

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

(Matthew 5:16)

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light
(Ephesians 5:8)

(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)
(Ephesians 5:9)
       
Preach that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds.

Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue.
A man there had a shriveled hand.
Looking for a reason to accuse him of something, they asked him,
Is healing permitted on Shabbat?

But he answered,
If you have a sheep that falls in a pit on Shabbat, which of you won’t take hold of it and lift it out?
 How much more valuable is a man than a sheep!
Therefore, what is permitted on Shabbat is to do good.”

 Then to the man he said,Hold out your hand.”
As he held it out, it became restored, as sound as the other one.
(Matthew 12:9-13)

Be careful who you call your “right hand man“.Image

Righteousness is the reason Jesus has come—to make the people righteous through and through.  

 As you know, long ago God instructed Moses to tell His people, “Do not murder;those who murder will be judged and punished.”   But here is the even harder truth: anyone who is angry with his brother will be judged for his anger.

Anyone who taunts his friend, speaks contemptuously toward him, or calls him “Loser” or “Fool” or “Scum,” will have to answer to the high court. And anyone who calls his brother a fool may find himself in the fires of hell.

 Therefore, if you are bringing an offering to God and you remember that your brother is angry at you or holds a grudge against you, then leave your gift before the altar, go to your brother, repent and forgive one another, be reconciled, and then return to the altar to offer your gift to God.

(Matthew 5:21-24)

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Proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom Come

But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.
(1 John 1:20)

And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power.

Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
(Acts 10:38)

For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.
(John 3:34)

Here is My servant, whom I have chosen,
My beloved, with whom I am well pleased;
I will put My Spirit on Him, and He will announce justice to the Gentiles.
He will not fight or shout, no one will hear His voice in the streets;
He will not snap off a broken reed or snuff out a smoldering wick
until He has brought justice through to victory.
In Him the Gentiles will put their hope.”
(Matthew 12:18-21)

Thinking of Ninevah that great city that was full of great wickedness
Yet, at the preaching of Jonah, that great city repent.

Is anything too hard for the Lord?

 Then some people brought him a man controlled by demons who was blind and mute; and Yeshua healed him,

So that he could both speak and see.
 
 The crowds were astounded and asked, “This couldn’t be the Son of David, could it?

 But when the P’rushim heard of it, they said, “It is only by Ba‘al-Zibbul” — the ruler of the demons —

“that this man drives out demons.

However, knowing what they were thinking, Yeshua said to them,
Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not survive.  

If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself; so how can his kingdom survive?  

Besides, if I drive out demons by Ba‘al-Zibbul, by whom do your people drive them out? So, they will be your judges!  

But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you!

 “Or again, how can someone break into a strong man’s house and make off with his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? After that he can ransack his house.

  “Those who are not with Me are against Me, and those who do not gather with Me are scattering. 

Because of this, I tell you that people will be forgiven any sin and blasphemy,

but blaspheming the Ruach HaKodesh will not be forgiven.   One can say something against the Son of Man and be forgiven; but whoever keeps on speaking against the Ruach HaKodesh will never be forgiven, neither in the ‘olam hazeh nor in the ‘olam haba.

 “If you make a tree good, its fruit will be good; and if you make a tree bad, its fruit will be bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.  

You snakes! How can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what overflows from the heart.  

The good person brings forth good things from his store of good,

and the evil person brings forth evil things from his store of evil.  

Moreover, I tell you this: on the Day of Judgment people will have to give account for every careless word they have spoken;   for by your own words you will be acquitted, and by your own words you will be condemned.”
(Matthew 12: 22-37)
 Through Jesus, then, let us keep offering to God our own sacrifice, the praise of lips that confess His name without ceasing.

(Hebrews 13:15)

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 Plant a crop of righteousness for yourselves,
    harvest the fruit of unfailing love,
And break up your hard soil,
    because it’s time to seek the Eternal
    until He comes and waters your fields with justice.

 You’ve plowed wickedness and reaped injustice;
    you’ve eaten the fruit of deception.
Because you’ve trusted in your own might,
    in the size and skill of your army,
(Hosea 10:12-13)

    God Loves a Cheerful Giver

… as it is written, “HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER.” 

Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food

will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; 

you will be enriched in everything for all liberality,

which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.  (2 Corinthians 9:9-11)

 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
(2 Corinthians 9:12)

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