All posts by broboinhawaii

Bible believing christian worshiping God in Hawaii

March 15, 2010

The Lord Comforts Sinners JOHN 8:1-11

We expect a loving heavenly Father to care for His children when they are hurt, persecuted, or misunderstood. But you might be surprised to realize that God comforts believers even when they have sinned.

Jesus did not come to condemn the world but to save anyone who believes in Him (John 3:17). Consider His response to the woman whom the Pharisees dragged from an adulterous liaison and dropped at His feet. Her accusers wanted the offender stoned to death. But instead of taking up a rock, Jesus offered her forgiveness. The Lord did not defend her actions or completely erase all consequences of her choices. However, He did offer her compassion and an opportunity to turn her life around: “Go. From now on sin no more” (John 8:11).

God understands our human frailty. And even before we do wrong, He knows the poisonous harvest that we will reap from sin. We certainly want a lot of comfort when we are suffering from our own foolishness. A loving God does not abandon His children at their hour of great need—His Spirit wades into the mess we have made. He offers to guide us out of the pit, soothes our broken heart, and provides reassurance that He is always close by.

Sinning against the Lord makes us feel unworthy of His care and solace. Yet God’s forgiveness is based on His great mercy rather than our conduct. If Jesus Christ sacrificed His life to save you from your sins, then He certainly will love and comfort you, no matter what.

March 13, 2010

The God Who Comforts 2 CORINTHIANS 1:3-7

Look up “comfort” in dictionary.com or another reference, and you will read a definition like this: “Something that promotes a state of ease or provides freedom from pain and anxiety.” But God’s Word has a different solution when consolation is needed: the indwelling Holy Spirit. In Greek, He is called parakletos, which means “he who stands at one’s side; he who comes to one’s aid.” Believers don’t have to seek outward remedies or distractions to ease their mind, because help is available within.

Even before the Spirit was sent to indwell believers (John 14:26; Eph. 3:16), Scripture identified God as the one who comforts His people (Isaiah 40:1; 49:13). The Lord personally provides consolation and reassurance because no one knows our hurts the way He does.

I like this anonymous quotation: “When we have gone into the furnace of affliction, His hand is on the thermostat and His eye is on the clock.” God lets us pass through hardship to make us stronger believers, wiser servants, and more humble people. But He stays right by our side through the entire experience, sustaining us and limiting the intensity and duration of our distress. The Holy Spirit’s reassuring whisper to our heart gives more comfort than the solace of family or the encouragement of friends.

People who fail to understand the true source of comfort try to escape their pain. They seek out pleasures, material wealth, or drugs and alcohol to soothe their heart. Only God can offer lasting relief from the crushing pressure of heartache. He even brings joy into periods of mourning.

March 12, 2010

A Living Hope 1 PETER 1:3-9

Hope is both a strong belief and the anticipation that something good is going to happen. When our goals are not achieved, we may experience discouragement, which over time can turn into depression and even despair—the absence of hope.

How can we remain optimistic in the face of unmet expectations? First, we’re to remember the reason for our confidence: our relationship with Jesus. At salvation, we were born into a living hope (v. 3)—God made us a “new creation,” and we are no longer in bondage to the old sin nature (2 Cor. 5:17 NIV). His Spirit lives within us. We have been made co-heirs with Christ, and our true home is in heaven with Him. Nothing can alter our familial connection with the Lord.

Second, to maintain a positive outlook, we must spend daily time in the Scriptures. Romans 15:4 says that the Bible was written to give us encouragement and hope. The Psalms can be especially helpful in difficult times because they express the feelings we have and also tell us about the comfort available from God.

Third, we rely on the Lord’s faithfulness. Trusting in Him will never disappoint us because all of His promises are yes in Christ (2 Cor. 1:20).

Believers should not react to trials as the world does. We’re to live by faith—”being sure of what we hope for ” (Heb. 11:1 NIV). When circumstances overwhelm you, shift your focus to the Lord. Read the Scriptures to find encouragement, and be reminded of what is yours in Christ (Eph. 1:3-8).

March 11, 2010

Feeling Hopeless ACTS 27:10-22

Jesus told His disciples that we would have tribulation in this life (John 16:33). And truly, people do disappoint us, circum-stances cause pain, and our own limitations lead to frustration.

Many Bible stories attest to this truth:

1. Hannah was unable to conceive. The longer her yearning for a child went unfulfilled, the more hope dwindled. Sorrow and bitterness took hold of her. (1 Sam. 1:6-10).

2. Paul was caught in a violent storm. Against his advice, the ship had set sail, endangering him and all the others on board. After futile efforts to save the vessel, everybody had to swim ashore to survive (Acts 27:11, 20).

3. Jealous Saul pursued David throughout the land, trying to kill him. In Psalm 13:1, David wondered if the Lord had forgotten him.

How did these people find their way through such negative emotions? All three spent time in prayer. Hannah cried out to God, confessed her misery, and asked Him to provide her with a son. When she left the temple, her face was no longer downcast. Her hope returned because she trusted Him with her future. Following prayer, Paul witnessed to the hopeless sailors. He told them to have courage because the Lord had promised to deliver them. David turned his attention away from his circumstances and focused on God’s unfailing love (Ps. 13:5-6).

Communion with God can combat hopelessness. Prayer moves our attention to the Father’s deep love for us, the Son’s sacrifice on our behalf, and the Spirit’s reassuring presence. If we confess ungodly thoughts and become willing to surrender personal desires, forgiveness and peace will be ours.

March 10, 2010

Our Relationship With God PSALM 119:33-40

By trusting Christ, a person enters into a lifelong relationship with the heavenly Father. As believers, we have a responsibility to keep that connection healthy.

First, we must learn about our new family. An essential and on-going part of family life involves knowing and being known by the other members. In the Bible, God gave a detailed description of His attributes, values, and thinking. And since Jesus came to earth, we can better understand divine character, which was demonstrated in a human life. As we meditate on Scripture, our sense of connectedness to our triune God will grow.

Second, we should stay in close contact with God through prayer and study of His Word—and resist the temptation to put people, work, or pleasures ahead of Him. Remember: Relationships thrive with consistent interaction but wither if neglected.

Third, we are to respond to what He has communicated. He provided instructions for living and explained what pleases Him. In healthy families, people pay attention to each other. We need to heed our Father’s warnings and obey His commands.

Finally, we must grow in likeness to God. Relatives can resemble each other in subtle and obvious ways. As we cooperate with the transforming work of the Holy Spirit, we will start to think and act like our Father.

God the Father provided salvation through His Son, who died so we could become spiritually alive. Jesus set an example for us to follow: a life of loving, obedient service. God’s Spirit is doing His sanctifying work in us (1 Peter 1:2). Are we doing our part to keep the relationship healthy?

March 9, 2010

Intimacy With Our Heavenly Father JOHN 1:12-13

From the beginning, God intended to have an intimate, loving relationship with us. What evidence do we have that this is His desire?

His Son. One reason Christ came to earth is for us to know and relate to God the Father. The Bible tells us that Jesus is His exact representation; His words and works were the same as God’s (John 5:19; 12:50). Therefore, when we look at the Son, we are seeing the character of our heavenly Father.

Invitation. Through the Scriptures, God invites us to join His family (3:16). He took care of all the arrangements; our part is to say yes.

Adoption. The closest tie we can have with one another is family. At salvation, the Lord adopts us into His own. This relationship with our heavenly Father lasts for eternity, providing us with support, encouragement, and love.

Friendship. By calling His disciples “friends” (15:15), Jesus revealed a new aspect to their relationship, which applied to His future followers as well. Christ is a forever friend, one who will never desert or turn away from us.

His Presence. From the moment of our salvation, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. He is even closer to us than any earthly kin can be.

The Lord invites us to become family through faith in Christ. This is our highest calling—to believe in Him and live for Him all of our days (20:31). Once we become God’s children, His Spirit will work in us to make our family resemblance stronger and clearer in thought, word, and deed.

March 8, 2010

The Holy Spirit’s Lesson Plan JOHN 16:12-15

The ways of God are a mystery to man. Only when we have accepted salvation from Jesus Christ and received the Holy Spirit can we begin to understand. The Spirit uses three methods to open our minds and fill our hearts with godly wisdom.

Revelation. This term refers to truth given by the Lord that cannot be obtained in any other way. The Scriptures are the most obvious example. Anyone can read God’s Word and even understand some portions, but only a Spirit-filled believer can begin to grasp the layers of meaning within the Bible.

Illumination. We use this word to describe the amazing moment when the Holy Spirit lights up our minds so that we understand God’s Word. If the Bible were any other book, we would be able to read it a few times and know it thoroughly. But the Lord reveals ever-deeper truths about Himself as we mature in our faith (Eph. 1:18).

Remembrance. The Holy Spirit reminds us of godly principles or biblical passages when we need them. He helped the gospel writers recall events and Jesus’ words many years after the fact. And he does the same for us when we could use encouragement, inspiration, or comfort.

The Holy Spirit illuminates believers’ minds so that they can recognize and comprehend God’s revelation. When we memorize Scripture and store up biblical insights, the Holy Spirit can dip into the “reservoir” to bring needed wisdom to our memories.

March 6, 2010

The Holy Spirit: Our Teacher JOHN 14:25-26

If you are going to take instruction from someone, you want to be certain that person is well qualified, right? It’s interesting, then, that so many believers neglect the greatest Bible teacher available. We read religious books, consult friends, and tune into a favored preacher before we will get on our knees. While those sources can point us in the right direction, only the Holy Spirit illuminates God’s Word to our hearts and minds.

Asking someone to explain God’s Word seems easier than seeking to understand it through the Holy Spirit’s power. But consider what a person misses by forsaking Him. Who better to instruct believers about the Scripture’s depth and breadth than the One who wrote it (2 Peter 1:20-21)? The Spirit laid His message on the authors’ hearts, and they dutifully recorded it, each in his own unique voice.

Furthermore, as a member of the holy Trinity, the Spirit knows the mind of God (1 Cor. 2:10). He is often called the Spirit of truth, because He understands everything. The Spirit recognizes our emotional and mental state and can identify exactly where we are in our Christian growth. Therefore, He can reveal to our minds passages that will encourage, challenge, or convict us as needed.

We have a teacher of divine quality. He will help us to learn and grow, guide us through difficult passages, and shed light on why the Lord allows certain challenges our life. When it comes to aiding God’s people to know His Word, no one is more qualified than His Spirit.

March 5, 2010

The Value of God’s Word 2 TIMOTHY 3:14-17

From the opening line of Genesis to the final words of Revelation, all of Scripture is divinely inspired. And every word has purpose and importance.

The Old Testament introduces us to God’s nature, ways, and power; it lays the foundation for us to understand the Lord’s holiness and humanity’s desperate need for a Savior. The New Testament explains that Jesus sacrificially became our “bridge” to the Father (John 14:6). Its writings clarify why we must trust Christ for salvation, how to live as God’s children, and what to expect in this life and after death.

Through the Scriptures, almighty God reveals Himself to us. He also says that His Word is important for teaching, reproof, correction, instruction, and preparation for what we will face in life (2 Tim. 3:16-17). No other book holds such value for living.

Ephesians 6:13-17 compares the Word to armor, and for good reason: in the battle of life, we have a real enemy who wants to destroy us. But God’s power is greater (1 John 4:4), and “dressing” in war gear daily prepares His children for the temptations, lies, and decisions they will face. We ought to be excited about the Word of God, for it is the only hope for mankind—and the only instruction that leads to victory both in life and after physical death.

The Bible predicted that many people would reject the truth, and a glimpse at our culture shows that to be the case. Don’t let yourself fall into the same trap. Meditate daily on Scripture, and ask God to speak to you. Life without His truth is destined for failure.

March 4, 2010

God’s Word to Us 2 TIMOTHY 4:1-5

Most everyone in our culture has easy access to a Bible, yet this remarkable book is too often left on the shelf to gather dust. If only people grasped its true worth, they would prize God’s Word above all other possessions.

All of Scripture was inspired by the Holy Spirit. While He used man to pen the words, every thought in the Bible originated with God Himself (2 Peter 1:20-21).

Consider how we treasure letters from people we love. Our response to Scripture should be even stronger. The Creator of the universe—the God who holds eternity in His hand—recorded all the truth that is necessary for His children to live fully and joyfully, both before and after death (2 Peter 1:3). God reveals Himself through His Word, which is alive and powerful to transform our lives (Heb. 4:12).

What’s more, Romans 10:17 explains the great importance of our love for the Word: “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. In other words, Scripture is the very means by which saving faith is possible.

How could such a book have become so commonplace in our heart? So taken for granted? It is vital that we realize the preeminence of its author, the Lord, and its potential impact on our lives today.

Think about the last time you saw a Bible. What was your reaction? Did you finger the pages with awe, or did you pass it by with barely a glance? Next time you open this precious book, read the words, savor their meaning, and ask God to help you apply the lesson to your life.

March 3, 2010

Walking in the Spirit GALATIANS 5:16-25

The Holy Spirit is one of God’s most precious gifts to His beloved children. He takes up residence within the believer at the moment of salvation and empowers him to overcome sin and live for God’s glory and purposes. However, the Spirit’s power can be “turned off” or ignored. Only those who choose to walk with Him have unhindered access to His strength and guidance.

Walking by the Spirit denotes reliance upon Him. He leads the way, and we follow. As He speaks, we listen, heed His warnings, and obey His directions. The Spirit’s way is a path of surrender which, although difficult, leads to fullness of life.

God’s Spirit not only guides; He also empowers because the challenge of obeying Him is impossible in our own strength. The Holy Spirit supplies everything we need to live a godly life, and He produces His amazing fruit in us.

Being led by the Spirit should be the natural lifestyle of the sons and daughters of God. As you intentionally seek to maintain an awareness of His presence throughout the day, He is only a thought away. When your mind turns to Him, He gives sensitivity to the things of God and understanding about the situations and people in your life.

Take a walk with the Spirit today, and learn to know His voice. Whenever your mind is not occupied with the duties of the day, focus your thoughts on Him, asking for His guidance and looking expectantly for His leading. When He gives it, rely on His power to obey.

March 2, 2010

Today Is the Day of Salvation HEBREWS 3:7-19

Procrastination can be a big problem: important tasks are neglected, and the benefits of finished work are never enjoyed. However, procrastinating in spiritual matters can be disastrous.

Every person is going to spend eternity somewhere. The destination is determined in this lifetime by a choice to either accept or reject Jesus’ offer of the forgiveness of sins. Some people feel that they can delay this decision. Eternity seems distant, and there is so much to enjoy in this life. They assume, I’ll just wait until I’m close to death. Then I’ll ask Jesus to save me.

The problems with this reasoning are obvious. First of all, there is no guarantee that you will have any warning before death. Second, by spending a lifetime rejecting Christ’s offer, you run the risk of developing a hardened heart. Saying no to God frequently throughout your life may result in being unable to say yes when death comes knocking at the door. In fact, you may not even be interested in Christ’s offer anymore.

There is great danger in abusing the grace of God. All people who are not protected by salvation in Jesus Christ will face the terrifying reality of judgment, as they stand before God without a Savior (Heb. 10:26-27).

By putting off a decision for Christ, you not only lose the immediate blessings of a deeply personal relationship with God now but also risk future separation from Him for all eternity. Don’t procrastinate! Come to Christ today: acknowledge your sin, ask His forgiveness, and trust Him as your Savior.

Spiritual Warfare Faith and Hope

Revelation Round Table Warriors – Lesson three

Lesson Three notes

PART ONE

Remember our Pledge – Remain Faithful, the Truth will set you free and Be Strong.

John 8:31 -32  Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

1st Cor 16:13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.

And Our Quest – To search out the Truth about the End Times.

Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

NLT – God blesses the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to its message and obey what it says, for the time is near.

PART TWO

Getting a handle on where we are in the Bible…

Lets divide up the bible into sections starting with vs 19

Rev 1:19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

The Things which thou hast seen – 1:9-20

The things which are – chapter 2 and 3

The things which shall be hereafter – Chap 4 on

Understand what we read and how to find out what it means…

Rev Chapter 4:1-5

1After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

A door – He went thru it – Like Narnia

2And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

3And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

No Pictures that capture this image – See notes on stones. Rainbow 360

Symbolism, not code – Chap 5:1-8

1And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.

2And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

3And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

4And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

5And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

6And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

7And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.

8And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

lamb=Jesus also Lion=Jesus not a code It is a metaphor – not who it is but what it is, telling us something about Him – This book is full of symbols which helps us understand to new depths…

What does this mean – rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. Throne is authority – signifying power, ruler and king Why a rainbow? And why green like an emerald. – softest/gentlest color by rating – Rainbow – noah promise grace mercy and justice. Thrown of grace

4And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

and government – elders. People who are created, experience time – age. Don’t know who but they have thrones, they work for God. Company office building, top floor is president ceo – then other leaders around and down – org chart

5And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

Chapter 1 seven lamps? – seven spirits – Holy Spirit in perfection

The Olivet Discourse – Matt 24 – 25 and Mark 13 and Luke 21

Daniel 2,7,8 and 9

An In depth look at 4:3 for the stones and the rainbow – most makes sense to me but I’m not buying all of it – see what you think and use your spiritual discernment…


http://doweknow.com/html-files/precious-stones.htm

Exodus 28:15-21
15 And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it.
16 Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof.
17 And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row.
18 And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond.
19 And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst.
20 And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings.
21 And the stones shall be with the names of the children of
Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes.

“And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone:…” (Revelation 4:3a).  The first mentioning of these precious stones in the Bible is found in Exodus 28:17-20, and as we just read, it has to do with the stones in Aaron’s breastplate–each stone representing one of Jacob’s 12 sons, and subsequently, the tribe that came from their loins.

To understand the significance of Christ looking like a jasper and a sardine stone, we need to refresh our memory as to how Jacob’s two wives, Leah and Rachel, serve as types.  If you’ll recall the story of Jacob’s marriages, Jacob had worked for Rachel’s father seven years for Rachel’s hand in marriage, but was tricked into first taking her older sister, Leah, to wife to fulfill the custom of the time and place.  Then he was given Rachel on the condition that he would work seven more years for her (See Gen. 29).  The story is chock full of symbolism and types, but for our purposes here, we simply need to know that Leah is a type for the Law while Rachel is a type for Grace.  Furthermore, Leah’s first child (of many) was Reuben whose stone on Aaron’s breastplate was the sardine (sardius)–the first stone on the breastplate.  But Rachel had only two sons: Joseph and Benjamin–whose stones were the onyx (sardonyx) and the jasper–the eleventh and twelfth stones on Aaron’s breastplate.  That the Christ of Revelation was to look upon like a sardine stone and a jasper stone refers back to the stones on Aaron’s breastplate.

Reuben’s stone, the sardine, was placed first in agreement with the Hebrew’s patriarchal blessing of the first born for which Christ was qualified–being the firstborn of a Hebrew family under the law of Moses. Joseph’s and Benjamin’s stones, the onyx and the jasper, (the children of Rachel [grace]) were place on Aaron’s breastplate in positions 11 and 12 respectively according to Scriptural numerology.

Although Revelation does not refer to Joseph’s stone per se, it is very interesting that like Benjamin, he was also born of “grace.”  Joseph served both as an example for the Hebrews and a type for Christ.  As an example for the Hebrews, he demonstrated how that those who lived by the faith of Father Abraham, trusting fully in the grace of God, were blessed beyond measure.  As a type of Christ, he suffered the rejection of his brethren who thought they had done away with him.  He endured all that came his way, not riling against those who thought to do him evil.  Eventually, he was raised to a position even higher than what he should have had as a Hebrew; and in that position, he became the savior of his brethren and of the world around him.  In Biblical numerology, the number eleven stands for judgment/the cross.

Benjamin’s stone, the jasper, was placed in the 12th position on Aaron’s breastplate and this is full of significance.  The number 12 stands for the foundations of the church (called out ones).  The first church in the Bible was Israel and its 12 foundations are the 12 sons of Jacob from which came forth the 12 tribes of Israel.   The second Church of the Scriptures (2 is the number for the Church) is the New Testament Church, the Bride of Christ (His Rachel).  Benjamin with his twelfth stone on Aaron’s breastplate is a type of the New Testament Church who was especially loved of his father and for no apparent reason other than he was his father’s baby.  The 12 foundations for the Church are the 12 Apostles upon whose teachings the Church is built. Christ is said to “look upon like a jasper” because He is in the midst of the Grace-Age Church.  In fact, the believer is admonish to live like Paul whose goal was to live in such a way that others did not see him, but Christ Jesus living in him.

The emerald is also full of spiritual/prophetic significance.  To understand this significance, let’s look at a table of the precious stones that represent the 24 elders of Revelation (the 12 plus 12 of Biblical numerology: i.e., the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve Apostles).

The twelve Tribes—-stone on Aaron’s breastplate—-The Twelve Apostlesstone in the foundation of the New Jerusalem
(For order, see Gen. 49.)            (See Ex. 28; 39) (For order, see Mt. 10.) (See Rev. 21)
1. Reuben (Leah)          Sardius             1. Peter                  Jasper                                     (sardine)–first
2. Simeon (Leah)          Topaz               2. Andrew              Sapphire                         
3. Levi     (Leah)           Carbuncle         3. James (of Zebedee) Chalcedony
4. Judah (Leah)           Emerald            4. John                   Emerald
5. Dan     (Bilhah)          Sapphire          5. Philip                  Sardonyx
6. Naphtali (Bilhah)       Diamond         6. Bartholomew      Sardius
7. Gad   (Zilpah)            Jacinth             7. Thomas               Chrysolyte
8. Asher (Zilpah)          Agate                8. Matthew              Beryl
9. Issachar (Leah)        Amethyst           9. James                  Topaz
10. Zebulun (Leah)       Beryl                10. Lebbaeus (Thaddaeus) Chrysoprasus
11. Joseph (Rachel)     Onyx (Sardonyx) 11. Simon               Jacinth
12. Benjamin (Rachel)  Jasper 12. Paul*                  methyst

Let’s note first that the emerald is the only stone that occupies the same position in both law and grace: i.e., the fourth position.  Let’s note that the number four speaks to the earth.  Also, let’s note that both Judah and John had a very important attribute in common–they had compassion and love for their fellow man!   For example, when Joseph’s brothers threw him into the pit to die, it was Judah that talked them into selling him to a slave caravan to keep him alive.  And John’s tender heart is reflected in John 13:25: “He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?” Now, let’s apply our prophetic interpretation to the emerald, the stone that represents Judah, John, and Christ. In Judah and John we saw the “salt” of the earth, those of God’s creation with attributes pleasing to Him.   And in Christ Jesus (Who liked to be know as the Son of Man,  thereby identifying Himself with His Creation) we saw this love and compassion personified and demonstrated to its zenith when he walked among the people and healed the sick and afflicted. “And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick” (Matthew 14:14).

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PART ONE

Remember our Pledge – Remain Faithful, the Truth will set you free and Be Strong.

John 8:31 -32  Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

1st Cor 16:13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.

And Our Quest – To search out the Truth about the End Times.

Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

NLT – God blesses the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to its message and obey what it says, for the time is near.

PART TWO

Getting a handle on where we are in the Bible…

Lets divide up the bible into sections starting with vs 19

Rev 1:19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

The Things which thou hast seen – 1:9-20

The things which are – chapter 2 and 3

The things which shall be hereafter – Chap 4 on

Understand what we read and how to find out what it means…

Rev Chapter 4:1-5

1After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

A door – He went thru it – Like Narnia

2And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

3And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

No Pictures that capture this image – See notes on stones. Rainbow 360

Symbolism, not code – Chap 5:1-8

1And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.

2And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

3And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

4And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

5And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

6And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

7And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.

8And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

lamb=Jesus also Lion=Jesus not a code It is a metaphor – not who it is but what it is, telling us something about Him – This book is full of symbols which helps us understand to new depths…

What does this mean – rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. Throne is authority – signifying power, ruler and king Why a rainbow? And why green like an emerald. – softest/gentlest color by rating – Rainbow – noah promise grace mercy and justice. Thrown of grace

4And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

and government – elders. People who are created, experience time – age. Don’t know who but they have thrones, they work for God. Company office building, top floor is president ceo – then other leaders around and down – org chart

5And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

Chapter 1 seven lamps? – seven spirits – Holy Spirit in perfection

The Olivet Discourse – Matt 24 – 25 and Mark 13 and Luke 21

Daniel 2,7,8 and 9

http://doweknow.com/html-files/precious-stones.htm

Exodus 28:15-21
15 And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it.
16 Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof.
17 And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row.
18 And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond.
19 And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst.
20 And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings.
21 And the stones shall be with the names of the children of
Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes.

“And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone:…” (Revelation 4:3a).  The first mentioning of these precious stones in the Bible is found in Exodus 28:17-20, and as we just read, it has to do with the stones in Aaron’s breastplate–each stone representing one of Jacob’s 12 sons, and subsequently, the tribe that came from their loins.

To understand the significance of Christ looking like a jasper and a sardine stone, we need to refresh our memory as to how Jacob’s two wives, Leah and Rachel, serve as types.  If you’ll recall the story of Jacob’s marriages, Jacob had worked for Rachel’s father seven years for Rachel’s hand in marriage, but was tricked into first taking her older sister, Leah, to wife to fulfill the custom of the time and place.  Then he was given Rachel on the condition that he would work seven more years for her (See Gen. 29).  The story is chock full of symbolism and types, but for our purposes here, we simply need to know that Leah is a type for the Law while Rachel is a type for Grace.  Furthermore, Leah’s first child (of many) was Reuben whose stone on Aaron’s breastplate was the sardine (sardius)–the first stone on the breastplate.  But Rachel had only two sons: Joseph and Benjamin–whose stones were the onyx (sardonyx) and the jasper–the eleventh and twelfth stones on Aaron’s breastplate.  That the Christ of Revelation was to look upon like a sardine stone and a jasper stone refers back to the stones on Aaron’s breastplate.

Reuben’s stone, the sardine, was placed first in agreement with the Hebrew’s patriarchal blessing of the first born for which Christ was qualified–being the firstborn of a Hebrew family under the law of Moses. Joseph’s and Benjamin’s stones, the onyx and the jasper, (the children of Rachel [grace]) were place on Aaron’s breastplate in positions 11 and 12 respectively according to Scriptural numerology.

Although Revelation does not refer to Joseph’s stone per se, it is very interesting that like Benjamin, he was also born of “grace.”  Joseph served both as an example for the Hebrews and a type for Christ.  As an example for the Hebrews, he demonstrated how that those who lived by the faith of Father Abraham, trusting fully in the grace of God, were blessed beyond measure.  As a type of Christ, he suffered the rejection of his brethren who thought they had done away with him.  He endured all that came his way, not riling against those who thought to do him evil.  Eventually, he was raised to a position even higher than what he should have had as a Hebrew; and in that position, he became the savior of his brethren and of the world around him.  In Biblical numerology, the number eleven stands for judgment/the cross.

Benjamin’s stone, the jasper, was placed in the 12th position on Aaron’s breastplate and this is full of significance.  The number 12 stands for the foundations of the church (called out ones).  The first church in the Bible was Israel and its 12 foundations are the 12 sons of Jacob from which came forth the 12 tribes of Israel.   The second Church of the Scriptures (2 is the number for the Church) is the New Testament Church, the Bride of Christ (His Rachel).  Benjamin with his twelfth stone on Aaron’s breastplate is a type of the New Testament Church who was especially loved of his father and for no apparent reason other than he was his father’s baby.  The 12 foundations for the Church are the 12 Apostles upon whose teachings the Church is built. Christ is said to “look upon like a jasper” because He is in the midst of the Grace-Age Church.  In fact, the believer is admonish to live like Paul whose goal was to live in such a way that others did not see him, but Christ Jesus living in him.

The emerald is also full of spiritual/prophetic significance.  To understand this significance, let’s look at a table of the precious stones that represent the 24 elders of Revelation (the 12 plus 12 of Biblical numerology: i.e., the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve Apostles).

The twelve Tribes—-stone on Aaron’s breastplate—-The Twelve Apostlesstone in the foundation of the New Jerusalem
(For order, see Gen. 49.)                (See Ex. 28; 39) (For order, see Mt. 10.) (See Rev. 21)
1. Reuben (Leah)          Sardius (sardine)–first                       1. Peter                             Jasper
2. Simeon (Leah)          Topaz                                                2. Andrew                        Sapphire                         
3. Levi     (Leah)           Carbuncle                                          3. James (of Zebedee) Chalcedony
4. Judah (Leah)           Emerald                                             4. John                             Emerald
5. Dan     (Bilhah)          Sapphire                                            5. Philip                             Sardonyx
6. Naphtali (Bilhah)       Diamond                                            6. Bartholomew                 Sardius
7. Gad   (Zilpah)            Jacinth                                                7. Thomas                         Chrysolyte
8. Asher (Zilpah)          Agate                                                  8. Matthew                       Beryl
9. Issachar (Leah)        Amethyst                                             9. James                          Topaz
10. Zebulun (Leah)       Beryl                                                  10. Lebbaeus (Thaddaeus) Chrysoprasus
11. Joseph (Rachel)     Onyx (Sardonyx) 11. Simon                         Jacinth
12. Benjamin (Rachel)  Jasper 12. Paul*                           Amethyst

Let’s note first that the emerald is the only stone that occupies the same position in both law and grace: i.e., the fourth position.  Let’s note that the number four speaks to the earth.  Also, let’s note that both Judah and John had a very important attribute in common–they had compassion and love for their fellow man!   For example, when Joseph’s brothers threw him into the pit to die, it was Judah that talked them into selling him to a slave caravan to keep him alive.  And John’s tender heart is reflected in John 13:25: “He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?” Now, let’s apply our prophetic interpretation to the emerald, the stone that represents Judah, John, and Christ. In Judah and John we saw the “salt” of the earth, those of God’s creation with attributes pleasing to Him.   And in Christ Jesus (Who liked to be know as the Son of Man,  thereby identifying Himself with His Creation) we saw this love and compassion personified and demonstrated to its zenith when he walked among the people and healed the sick and afflicted. “And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick” (Matthew 14:14).

March 1, 2010

Righteous Redemption ROMANS 3:23-24

All people sin against God. When man was created in the garden of Eden, he had a choice to obey or disobey the Lord. At that time, there was only one thing that was off limits, but Adam and Eve chose to partake of the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:3-6).

Since then, the entire human race has been poisoned by sin. The daily bad choices we make are only symptoms of the bigger problem—our sin nature. But God is so perfectly pure and holy that sin cannot enter His presence. Therefore, we come into this world with an “inherited” condition of separation from the Father.

Scripture states that sin’s punishment is eternal death, and there’s nothing we can do to correct the problem. In other words, left to fend for ourselves, we are doomed. Each of us desperately needs redemption.

So God, in His amazing love for us, sent His only Son as the solution to our problem. Fully man yet fully God, Jesus lived a perfect life and then gave His life for our sake. He deserved glory but instead took our sin upon Himself and endured excruciating suffering and separation from His Father. Why would He submit to such torture? Christ took our place and our punishment. He allowed Himself to die a criminal’s death on the cross to save each of us. Three days later, He rose to life again, conquering sin and death.

Jesus, in His love, overcame our dreadful fate and offered us eternal life instead. This free gift is available to you. Simply believe that Christ is Lord, He died on the cross for your sin, and He rose from the grave. Don’t wait to accept this great salvation—commit to following Him today.

February 27, 2010

A Faith-Filled Outlook GENESIS 39:21-40:8

If anyone had reason to be discouraged, Joseph did. His mother died when he was a boy. His brothers hated him, sold him into slavery, and convinced his father that he was dead. Joseph worked hard in Potiphar’s household but ended up in prison because of false allegations. Yet he was not an angry person.

The Hebrew slave maintained his faith-filled outlook because he consistently relied upon God, who remained with him and gave him success. Even in prison, Joseph was given responsibility over others (v. 21). Like that righteous young man, we might also be “held captive”—by unemployment, ill health, or a difficult relationship. In those hard places, we can nevertheless experience our Father’s presence and thrive: His Holy Spirit will produce godly fruit in us when we depend upon Him (Gal. 5:22-23).

Regardless of his circumstances, Joseph refused to focus on himself. When two royal servants were jailed, he had compassion for them and gave them aid. In times of both blessing and crisis, we are to help others in whatever ways we can (2 Cor. 1:3-4). And notice, too, how Joseph didn’t shrink back from speaking boldly about God to these men and to Pharaoh. He told the Egyptian leader that the answer he sought would come from the Lord (Gen. 41:16).

Whether enslaved, imprisoned, or serving as Pharaoh’s second-in-command, Joseph flourished. He endured much hardship but saw that the Lord had used it for good (Gen. 50:19-20). Because the Holy Spirit’s presence is in us, we, too, can have a faith-filled perspective that glorifies God.

February 26, 2010

Faith: A Fixed Focus GENESIS 39:1-20

Abiding in God’s will requires a steady, trust-filled focus upon Him. The life of Joseph provides us with a good illustration.

Keeping our eyes fixed on the Lord helps us remain faithful in the midst of hardship. Joseph’s brothers hated him so much that they sold him to a caravan on its way to Egypt. Upon arrival, he became the slave of Potiphar, captain of Pharaoh’s guard. Joseph handled his betrayal and bondage in a godly way. Instead of becoming bitter or refusing to cooperate, he chose to perform every duty with excellence. As a result, he was promoted to oversee Potiphar’s household. The entire time, Joseph kept his gaze centered on the Lord who prospered him.

Having a focus of faith allows us to avoid temptation and choose godliness instead. Potiphar’s wife attempted to seduce Joseph, but he rejected her advances. When he refused to sin against God (v. 9), she falsely accused him of attacking her—and her lies were believed. Ignoring Joseph’s record of hard work and faithful service, Potiphar unjustly imprisoned him. Had we been in Joseph’s place, we might at this point be asking our heavenly Father why this happened—or thinking how unfairly we were being treated. However, Joseph did not turn his attention away from the Lord. His belief continued to sustain him.

Adversity reveals the substance of our faith. In hard times, we discover how much we really trust in the Lord. If doubt about God and His promises takes root in our thinking, it can lead us off His chosen path. Because of Joseph’s steady belief, he recognized God’s constant presence and flourished.

February 25, 2010

Why God Closes Doors JEREMIAH 10:23-24

A blockaded opportunity is a useful teaching tool. God’s ultimate objective is to mold us into the image of His Son, and toward that end, He at times prevents us from doing or having something we desire.

– Closed doors prevent mistakes. Just because a path is clear does not mean it is the one God intends for us to follow. Sometimes we won’t have the information we need to make a wise decision, so He bars the way either spiritually or physically. The Holy Spirit can see the whole road map for our lives, which is why we are to follow His guidance.

– Closed doors redirect our walk. Rest assured, God never leaves a willing servant with nothing to do. The alternate opportunity He has in mind will yield bigger fruit, more satisfaction, and greater glory for Him.

– Closed doors test faith and build perseverance. Waiting for the Lord to speak or act is hard, particularly when our desire has been denied. But we’ll learn wisdom, patience, and trust by pausing prayerfully until He reveals His will.

– Closed doors buy us time. We are not always as prepared as we’d like to think. God may temporarily hold shut an opportunity for service until a believer is properly equipped for kingdom work.

In spite of the repeated use of “closed door” in this devotion, the real message is that God opens doors. He has created a perfect pathway for us to follow. Keep your feet on it, and you will walk over thresholds leading to service, satisfaction, and glory for your Lord.

February 24, 2010

Confronting Closed Doors ACTS 16:5-10

Facing a “closed door” can be extremely frustrating. The apostle Paul knew exactly how that felt. On his second missionary journey to share the gospel in Asia, he repeatedly found the way blocked by the Holy Spirit. Eventually the apostle was stuck in Troas with the sea before him and closed doors behind.

How strange it must have seemed to Paul that God would prevent him from spreading the gospel. But he knew this wisdom from the book of Proverbs: The Lord will make a straight path for anyone who chooses to trust God rather than himself (vv. 3:5-6). Instead of getting angry or trying to force his way into new territory, Paul got on his knees.

The Bible does not record how long he and Timothy lingered in Troas, but we can be sure that the apostle did not move until the Lord revealed the entrance to a new mission field. Christians in a period of watchful waiting should view the situation as a chance to seek not only God’s purpose but also His guidance. This is the time to ask the Lord why He has barred the way forward—perhaps the timing is wrong or we need to deal with unconfessed sin. Whatever the reason, we must be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading. We want to be ready for the door that will open.

When an opportunity is blocked, God has a reason. And He is providing love and protection, even in your disappointment. The Lord is also keeping His promise to work everything for your good (Rom. 8:28). When one door has closed, a greater one is about to open. Be wise and watch for it.

February 23, 2010

A Gift for Every Believer 1 PETER 4:10-11

Even though the Bible clearly states that every believer receives a spiritual gift, some people nevertheless think they were overlooked. So these men and women mosey through life refusing opportunities to serve. Other folks are so busy wishing they had a different ability that they do not use the one bestowed by the Holy Spirit. Both of these attitudes are sinful.

God has a specific purpose and ministry for every Christian. Our spiritual gifts help us to fulfill His plan. We learn which one (or ones) we possess by getting involved in the life of the church. In other words, a believer will know his divinely appointed abilities when he begins to exercise them.

Moreover, God has a general purpose for handing out spiritual gifts. Christians exercise their special skills for the common good (1 Cor. 12:7). Everyone profits when believers do God’s work though the power of the Holy Spirit. We’re to use our gifts for equipping, edifying, and encouraging one another (Eph. 4:11-13). To appreciate how this works, we may have to broaden our understanding of words like evangelist, prophet, and teacher. Biblically, these terms describe co-laborers who share Christ, spiritual mentors who explain biblical truths to new believers, friends who uplift the discouraged, and others doing similar work.

Every member of the Christian fellowship is important, and each one has a work to do. There are no excuses for bypassing God’s will. Where He has gifted us and opened doors of opportunity for ministry, He also provides the strength and courage to exercise our abilities.

February 22, 2010

The Holy Spirit: Giver of Gifts ROMANS 12:1-13

Do you feel ill equipped to serve the Lord? A sense of inadequacy is one of the many excuses people use to avoid ministering for Him, but it is not a valid one. Failing to follow His call has three consequences: 1) we hinder God’s work on earth, 2) we miss a blessing for obedience, and 3) we lose out on rewards in heaven.

Jesus Christ knew all about the human tendency to feel inadequate. That is why He assured His followers they would receive a Helper—the Holy Spirit—who would come to abide in them forever. The Spirit enables, energizes, and equips believers to serve the Lord. One of the ways He aids us is by providing spiritual gifts, which are special capabilities given to believers.

Our heavenly Father has a ministry in mind for each of His followers. Therefore, necessary spiritual “equipment” has been selected to help us carry out His work. These gifts will complement and augment the natural talents our Creator built into us before birth. It is His purpose that we combine the two in order to serve Him with all of our heart. Even the smallest job contributes to the Great Commission and the strengthening of Jesus Christ’s body, the church.

The Lord has a plan for every believer. To ensure that we can meet the Lord’s expectations, He first builds natural talents into us. At salvation, He adds a spiritual gift. Then God opens doors of opportunity and the Holy Spirit manifests His power so that we can carry out the work set before us.