Thursday, November 30, 2017

Canaan- Part 6

Joshua and the Israelites had just gotten God's help to defeat 5 kings and their kingdoms. God had made the sun and moon to stand still so that they could defeat them in one day.
But, now, another group thought they could combine forces and destroy God's people.
Joshua 11:1-5- And it came to pass, when Jabin king of Hazor had heard those things, that he sent to Jobab king of Madon, and to the king of Shimron, and to the king of Achshaph, And to the kings that were on the north of the mountains, and of the plains south of Chinneroth, and in the valley, and in the borders of Dor on the west, And to the Canaanite on the east and on the west, and to the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Jebusite in the mountains, and to the Hivite under Hermon in the land of Mizpeh. And they went out, they and all their hosts with them, much people, even as the sand that is upon the sea shore in multitude, with horses and chariots very many. And when all these kings were met together, they came and pitched together at the waters of Merom, to fight against Israel.
Have you ever seen sand on the beach? Do you think there is a way to count all the little grains? That's how many enemy soldiers had assembled to battle Israel. It was so many that they couldn't be counted.
I don't know if Joshua was nervous, but God wasn't going to let anything happen to His people.
Joshua 11:6-9- And the LORD said unto Joshua, Be not afraid because of them: for to morrow about this time will I deliver them up all slain before Israel: thou shalt hough their horses, and burn their chariots with fire. So Joshua came, and all the people of war with him, against them by the waters of Merom suddenly; and they fell upon them. And the LORD delivered them into the hand of Israel, who smote them, and chased them unto great Zidon, and unto Misrephothmaim, and unto the valley of Mizpeh eastward; and they smote them, until they left them none remaining. And Joshua did unto them as the LORD bade him: he houghed their horses, and burnt their chariots with fire.
Not only did Joshua defeat these armies, but he also destroyed their war devices. No one could come along and claim them and try to attack Israel with them again.
Joshua 11:10, 12, 15- And Joshua at that time turned back, and took Hazor, and smote the king thereof with the sword: for Hazor beforetime was the head of all those kingdoms. And all the cities of those kings, and all the kings of them, did Joshua take, and smote them with the edge of the sword, and he utterly destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the LORD commanded. As the LORD commanded Moses his servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that the LORD commanded Moses.
Joshua obeyed all the Moses had told him to do- Even after Moses was gone and could no longer make sure that Joshua obeyed! Joshua kept the promises that he made! And by doing that, Joshua also obeyed God.
That's the same when we obey our parents. We obey God and make Him happy when we obey our parents.
Joshua 11:23- So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD said unto Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land rested from war.
Finally, the children of Israel could relax. They had taken a good portion of the land for their possession. They had battled many mighty enemies. They had kept the promises that they made to Moses. And God had blessed them greatly!
How many kingdoms do you think they conquered?
Joshua 12:24b- all the kings thirty and one.
31 Kingdoms! But, that wasn't all that God had promised to them. He had promised much more land.
Joshua 13:1- Now Joshua was old and stricken in years; and the LORD said unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed.
Joshua 14:1-3- And these are the countries which the children of Israel inherited in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, distributed for inheritance to them. By lot was their inheritance, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses, for the nine tribes, and for the half tribe. For Moses had given the inheritance of two tribes and an half tribe on the other side Jordan: but unto the Levites he gave none inheritance among them.
The land was divided and the people were assigned their cities. They knew that God had kept His Word that He had spoken to Abraham so long ago.
God, who showed 10 wonders in Egypt, and parted 2 large bodies of water for them to cross. The God who fed and watered them in the wilderness, and spoke to them from the mountaintop.
God was there helping them the whole way! There were still some enemies to fight. There were still some cities to claim. Would they obey?
They had seen many miracles that God had performed. They were protected by His hand and guided by His Words. And now, Joshua wanted to make sure that they would always obey Him.
Joshua 24:1, 14, 15 - And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God. Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Joshua reminded the people of all the miracles that God had done for them. He then told them to choose who they would worship- God, who had blessed them and brought them to this land, or the idols of the people of the land.
Joshua 24:24- And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.
Joshua 24:26-28- And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD. And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God. So Joshua let the people depart, every man unto his inheritance.
Joshua wrote everything down in a book, and then he set a stone as a reminder that they had promised to serve the Lord. And the people went to their homes.
Joshua 24:29-32- And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathserah, which is in mount Ephraim, on the north side of the hill of Gaash. And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel. And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for an hundred pieces of silver: and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph.
Joshua died at 110 years old. The people buried him in the land that God had given him.
They also kept their father's promise to Joseph. They buried Josheph's bones, which they had brought with them out of Egypt, in the tomb where Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were buried.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Canaan- Part 5

Joshua 10:1-5- Now it came to pass, when Adonizedek king of Jerusalem had heard how Joshua had taken Ai, and had utterly destroyed it; as he had done to Jericho and her king, so he had done to Ai and her king; and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel, and were among them; That they feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, as one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all the men thereof were mighty. Wherefore Adonizedek king of Jerusalem sent unto Hoham king of Hebron, and unto Piram king of Jarmuth, and unto Japhia king of Lachish, and unto Debir king of Eglon, saying, Come up unto me, and help me, that we may smite Gibeon: for it hath made peace with Joshua and with the children of Israel. Therefore the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, the king of Eglon, gathered themselves together, and went up, they and all their hosts, and encamped before Gibeon, and made war against it.
Now, things were starting to get very interesting. The first 2 wars that Israel fought were with just one king and one city. This war was with 5 kings and 5 major cities!
These 5 kings decided that first hey would destroy the Gibeonites that had made peace with Israel. Their next stop would be to attack Israel directly.
Joshua 10:6-7- And the men of Gibeon sent unto Joshua to the camp to Gilgal, saying, Slack not thy hand from thy servants; come up to us quickly, and save us, and help us: for all the kings of the Amorites that dwell in the mountains are gathered together against us. So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he, and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour.
Joshua gathered all the Israelite warriors and headed for Gibeon.
Joshua 10:8-10- And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear them not: for I have delivered them into thine hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee. Joshua therefore came unto them suddenly, and went up from Gilgal all night. And the LORD discomfited them before Israel, and slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them along the way that goeth up to Bethhoron, and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah.
The Lord told Joshua that he would help them to defeat these great armies in battle. But, the Lord did more than just give them strength to conquer their enemies. He, also, helped them in the battle.
Joshua 10:11- And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Bethhoron, that the LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword.
God rained down huge stones on the enemy army. More of the enemy died from the stones that God rained from heaven than in the battle. But, that wasn't the only amazing thing God did that day!
This was the only time where God listened to a man and stopped the heavens!
Joshua 10:12-14- Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel.
God allowed the sun and moon to stand still for around 10 hours! The Israelites had enough day light to finish the battle.
There is a curious statement in this part of the Bible. The Bible mentions the book of Jasher, which is not in our Bible. Jasher means "just man". There are some books that are called by this name, but they weren't written during Joshua's time. Whatever this book was, God thought that it was worth mentioning in His Holy Word.
Joshua 10:15-17- And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal. But these five kings fled, and hid themselves in a cave at Makkedah. And it was told Joshua, saying, The five kings are found hid in a cave at Makkedah.
The five kings that led the army had hidden themselves in a cave. Someone found out and came and told Joshua.
Joshua 10:18-21- And Joshua said, Roll great stones upon the mouth of the cave, and set men by it for to keep them: And stay ye not, but pursue after your enemies, and smite the hindmost of them; suffer them not to enter into their cities: for the LORD your God hath delivered them into your hand. And it came to pass, when Joshua and the children of Israel had made an end of slaying them with a very great slaughter, till they were consumed, that the rest which remained of them entered into fenced cities. And all the people returned to the camp to Joshua at Makkedah in peace: none moved his tongue against any of the children of Israel.
Joshua sealed the wicked kings in the cave. Then he sent his army to the cities of those kings. Once they cities had been conquered, the army returned to deal with the kings.
Joshua 10:22-27- Then said Joshua, Open the mouth of the cave, and bring out those five kings unto me out of the cave. And they did so, and brought forth those five kings unto him out of the cave, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon. And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them. And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight. And afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees: and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening. And it came to pass at the time of the going down of the sun, that Joshua commanded, and they took them down off the trees, and cast them into the cave wherein they had been hid, and laid great stones in the cave's mouth, which remain until this very day.
Joshua killed the kings and hung them on a tree. Why would he do that?
Galatians 3:13b- Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
Joshua was showing the Israelites that these men had been cursed by God. Anyone who goes after God's people will bring a curse on themselves.
Joshua didn't know it, but he was also showing the people that Christ would become cursed of God for their sakes when He died on Calvary. He was nailed to a tree, a cross, and took all our sins in His body. When He did that, He became cursed on God. When we accept His sacrifice for our sins, God removes the curse of death and we no longer have to pay for our own sins in hell.
Joshua had defeated all these kings and their kingdoms!
Joshua 10:40-43- So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel commanded. And Joshua smote them from Kadeshbarnea even unto Gaza, and all the country of Goshen, even unto Gibeon. And all these kings and their land did Joshua take at one time, because the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel. And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Canaan- Part 4

The Israelites have just taken care of the curse that Achan put on them. Remember, they had lost their last battle with the city of Ai, because Joshua didn't ask for God's direction. Joshua listened to the people around him, and 36 men died in that battle.
Now, it was time to battle Ai. But, this time, Joshua would go to battle with his men, and he would do it God's way!
Joshua 8:1-2- And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai: see, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land: And thou shalt do to Ai and her king as thou didst unto Jericho and her king: only the spoil thereof, and the cattle thereof, shall ye take for a prey unto yourselves: lay thee an ambush for the city behind it.
God told Joshua that they would win the battle, and that they could take anything they wanted from this city- No curse would come on them.
God's battle plan for Ai was to set an ambush behind the city.
Joshua 8:3-8- So Joshua arose, and all the people of war, to go up against Ai: and Joshua chose out thirty thousand mighty men of valour, and sent them away by night. And he commanded them, saying, Behold, ye shall lie in wait against the city, even behind the city: go not very far from the city, but be ye all ready: And I, and all the people that are with me, will approach unto the city: and it shall come to pass, when they come out against us, as at the first, that we will flee before them, (For they will come out after us) till we have drawn them from the city; for they will say, They flee before us, as at the first: therefore we will flee before them. Then ye shall rise up from the ambush, and seize upon the city: for the LORD your God will deliver it into your hand. And it shall be, when ye have taken the city, that ye shall set the city on fire: according to the commandment of the LORD shall ye do. See, I have commanded you.
Joshua sent men out to hide behind the city. When the people came out the front to fight Joshua, he was going to lead them away from the city. Then, the 30 men would come out of hiding and go into the city. Once they had control of the city, they would burn it with fire.
Joshua 8:10-13- And Joshua rose up early in the morning, and numbered the people, and went up, he and the elders of Israel, before the people to Ai. And all the people, even the people of war that were with him, went up, and drew nigh, and came before the city, and pitched on the north side of Ai: now there was a valley between them and Ai. And he took about five thousand men, and set them to lie in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the city. And when they had set the people, even all the host that was on the north of the city, and their liers in wait on the west of the city, Joshua went that night into the midst of the valley.
Joshua went to the city to start the fight. All the warriors came out because they thought they could whip the Israelite army again. When Joshua turned to flee, the men of Ai followed them. That left their city open and undefended.
Joshua 8:18-21- And the LORD said unto Joshua, Stretch out the spear that is in thy hand toward Ai; for I will give it into thine hand. And Joshua stretched out the spear that he had in his hand toward the city. And the ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand: and they entered into the city, and took it, and hasted and set the city on fire. And when the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw, and, behold, the smoke of the city ascended up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that way: and the people that fled to the wilderness turned back upon the pursuers. And when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had taken the city, and that the smoke of the city ascended, then they turned again, and slew the men of Ai.
When the men of Ai saw that their city was on fire, they gave up. They didn't know what to do. God gave the city into their hands, and they won the battle.
Joshua 8:25-29- And so it was, that all that fell that day, both of men and women, were twelve thousand, even all the men of Ai. For Joshua drew not his hand back, wherewith he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai. Only the cattle and the spoil of that city Israel took for a prey unto themselves, according unto the word of the LORD which he commanded Joshua. And Joshua burnt Ai, and made it an heap for ever, even a desolation unto this day. And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until eventide: and as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his carcase down from the tree, and cast it at the entering of the gate of the city, and raise thereon a great heap of stones, that remaineth unto this day.
The Israelites knew that God was going to help them win the Promised Land. But, now they realized how important it was to get what God had promised God's Way.
Joshua 8:30-35- Then Joshua built an altar unto the LORD God of Israel in mount Ebal, As Moses the servant of the LORD commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over which no man hath lift up any iron: and they offered thereon burnt offerings unto the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings. And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel. And all Israel, and their elders, and officers, and their judges, stood on this side the ark and on that side before the priests the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, as well the stranger, as he that was born among them; half of them over against mount Gerizim, and half of them over against mount Ebal; as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded before, that they should bless the people of Israel. And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law. There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them.
The Israelites had a church service, sort of. They offered sacrifices to God and read his laws, and gave him thanks and praise.
It is very important to obey God. And even though God has promised us something, it doesn't mean we can take it any time we want or get it anyway we want. We need to learn to get God's blessings in God's time by obtaining them God's Way.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Canaan- Part 3

Joshua and the Israelite army had just defeated the reat city of Jericho. The only people saved were the ones who were inside Rahab's house.

Everything in the city was to be destroyed. Only certain things would be kept and put into the tabernacle of the Lord.Anyone who took anything would become cursed.

God was trying the Hebrew children to see if they would listen to Him. He wanted to know that they would be more obedient than their fathers in the wilderness.

Joshua 7:1- But the children of ISrael committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Crmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.

Even though almost everyone obeyed, there was one man who didn't. His name was Achan. He saw some stuff that he just had to have! He took it and he hid it. He thought he had gotten away with it.

Achan was going to find out just how much this sin would cost him and everyone around him.

Joshua 7:2-5- And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Bethaven, on the east side of Bethel, and spake unto them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai. And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai;  and make not all the people to labour thither; for they are but few. So there went up thither of the people about two or three thousand men: and they fled before the men of Ai. And the men of Ai smothe of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water.

Joshua didn't fight in this battle, nor did he sent the entire army. I don't even see where he consulted the Lord in this matter, either. Had he consulted God before sending a few men to battle, he would have found out about the curse.

Because Joshua didn't ask God for guidance, 36 soldiers died. And all Israel was terrified! What had happened?

Joshua 7:6, 10-13- And Joshua rent his clothes and fell upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads. And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.

Can one person's disobedience to God really cause God to leave? It did here! Because of Achan's sin, God no longer protected the entire nation of Israel.

Joshua 7:14-15- In the morning therefore ye shall be brought according to your tribes: and it shall be, that the tribe which the LORD taketh shall come according to the families thereof; and the family which the LORD shall take shall come by households; and the household which the LORD shall take shall come man by man. And it shall be, that he that is taken with the accursed thing shall be burnt with fire, he and all that he hath: because he hath transgressed the covenant of the LORD, and because he hath wrought folly in Israel.

God was so upset by this that He told Joshua to find out who it was and kill them.

Now, did God know who did it? Yes! Why didn't He tell Joshua who it was? I think it was because God was giving Achan a chance to repent and confess.

Joshua 7:16-21- So Joshua rose up early in the morning, and brought Israel by their tribes; and the tribe of Judah was taken: And he brought the family of Judah: and he took the family of the Zarhites: and he brought the family of the Zarhites man by man; and Zabdi was taken: And he brought  his household man by man; and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken. And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me. And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against t LORD GOd of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garminet, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.

Once Achan was found out, he confessed. But it was too late! The sin had been exposed. The judgement had been passed. And now, the price had to be paid.

Joshua 7:24-26- And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor, unto this day.

What is the price of sin? It was the death of 36 soldiers, and the loss of everything that Achan had. It was the destruction of Achan's family.

Our sin always costs us. It might be a long time before we see the full price tag, but disobedience to God never comes without a price!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Canaan- Part 2

Joshua had told all the Israelites to prepare to cross the Jordan River and enter the promised land. Then, he sent two spies to search the other side of the river and see what they would meet when they got there.
The two spies had searched the city of Jericho, narrowly escaped a manhunt by the soldiers, and had promised a woman named Rahab safety for helping them out of the city.
Joshua 3:1-3- And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over. And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host; And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.
Joshua was expecting God to part the Jordan River like he had parted the Red Sea for Moses. The Levite priests were going to carry the ark of the covenant, a special piece of the temple that they used for worship. The people were to follow the priests into the Jordan River.
Joshua 3:7-8, 15-17- And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee. And thou shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When ye are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, ye shall stand still in Jordan. And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,) That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho. And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.
So, the priests step into Jordan, and the waters part to create a pathway for the Israelites to cross. The Hebrew children crossed so close to the city of Jericho that anyone on the huge wall could see what was going on.
Joshua 4:4-5, 8-9- Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man: And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel: And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the LORD spake unto Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged, and laid them down there. And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day.
Joshua had 12 men take a stone each from the center of Jordan so that he could build a memorial for the children of Israel. They could see the pillar that Joshua built and remember how the Lord worked a miracle.
Joshua 5:1- And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, which were on the side of Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, which were by the sea, heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we were passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel.
The tale of the Israelites crossing quickly spread throughout the promised land. Every person that heard if feared the battle that was coming, for they knew they couldn't win against an army with a God as powerful as that!
Joshua 5:10-12- And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho. And they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened cakes, and parched corn in the selfsame day. And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.
Now that the Hebrew children were in the promised land, God stopped sending them manna. They were in Canaan, the land of milk and honey. There was plenty of food to eat, and lots of clean water to drink. God didn't need to send angel's food anymore, because He had sent them to a land where He had made all they needed abundant.
Joshua 5:13-15- And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the LORD'S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.
God met with Joshua. He told Joshua exactly what battle plan to use to conquer Jericho. This was Joshua's first test as leader. Would he follow what God said to do even if it didn't sound like it would work?
Joshua 6:1-5- Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in. And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour. And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.
The plan was for the entire army to walk around Jericho once a day for six days. The priests would carry the ark, and some of them would be blowing on trumpets. No one would talk, or make a sound. And then they would go back to their camp.
On the seventh day, they would walk around the city the same way, only they'd do it 7 times. And then the priests would blow a long sound on the trumpet and everyone would shout. Then the walls would simply fall down and they could enter.
Do you think some of the people wondered about this plan? If anyone questioned Joshua's strategy, no one said anything.
So, the people followed Joshua's instructions.
Joshua 6:16-18- And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city. And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.
Joshua kept the promise that was made to Rahab. He told the Hebrew children that everything in the city was cursed, and was to be destroyed. The only thing that could live was whoever was in Rahab's house.
He also warned that if anyone took anything from the city that they would become cursed. Only the things that would be dedicated to the Lord wouldn't have a curse on them.
Joshua 6:20-24- So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword. But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot's house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath, as ye sware unto her. And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel. And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Canaan- Part 1

Moses, Aaron, and all the people who sinned against God have died in the wilderness. The only people that were left of the "old timers" was Joshua and Caleb. God had promised that they wouldn't die because they stood for what God wanted even when everyone else stood against it.
Joshua 1:1-2,5-6, 8- Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
God spoke to Joshua and told him that he was chosen to lead the children of Israel into the promised land. God promised that He would help them to conquer their enemies if they would be courageous and obedient.
Now, the Israelites were not IN the promised land yet. They were on the East side of it. There was a large river, the Jordan River, that separated them from the promised land.
There wasn't a bridge to cross this river. And there wasn't a boat big enough to carry them and their possessions across. How do you think Joshua was going to cross it?
First, Joshua told everyone to get ready to cross the Jordan River. He gave them 3 days to prepare everything to be moved.
Then, he reminded the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh that they were to go over with them and help them fight. If they helped them fight, then they could keep the land on the East side of the Jordan River as their homeland.
Joshua 1:16-18- And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go. According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee: only the LORD thy God be with thee, as he was with Moses. Whosoever [he be] that doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shall be put to death: only be strong and of a good courage.
The people promised to help Joshua. They would follow him wherever he lead and they would obey him.
Joshua sent spies to see what was across the river. He wanted to know what they would run into once they got across.
Joshua 2:1-5-  And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged there. And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men in hither to night of the children of Israel to search out the country. And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the country. And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were: And it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them.
The spies went into the great city of Jericho. Jericho had very high walls all the way around the city. The walls were so wide that houses were built into them. People could walk around on the top without fear of falling off.
A woman named Rahab met the spies and told them that they could have a place to sleep. But, the king of Jericho, also, heard about the spies. He sent soldiers to Rahab's house to get them.
Rahab told the soldiers that the spies had left. But, she had hidden them.
Joshua 2:6-7- But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof. And the men pursued after them the way to Jordan unto the fords: and as soon as they which pursued after them were gone out, they shut the gate.
The woman took the spies and hid them under some plants that she had drying on the roof of her house.
The soldiers went on a manhunt to find the spies. Once they left the city and began their search, the gates of the city were shut up tightly. The only way out of the city was by going over the huge wall!
Joshua 2:8-10- And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof; And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.
Rahab came up to the roof around bedtime and began talking to the spies. She told them that stories of Moses and the ten plagues had reached their city. They had also heard tell of how the Red Sea parted for them to escape Egypt. And, the whole city began to fear when they found out that the two mighty Amorite armies were defeated by the Israelites.
Joshua 2:12-13- Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father's house, and give me a true token: And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.
Rahab had helped the spies in hopes that they would spare her and her family went they came in and battled the army of Jericho.
Joshua 2:14-15- And the men answered her, Our life for yours, if ye utter not this our business. And it shall be, when the LORD hath given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee. Then she let them down by a cord through the window: for her house was upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall.
The spies promised to protect them woman and her family. Then, she tied a dark red rope out her window and let them climb down the side of Jericho's wall.
Joshua 2:16-20- And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may ye go your way. And the men said unto her, We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear. Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father's household, home unto thee. And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood shall be upon his head, and we will be guiltless: and whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood shall be on our head, if any hand be upon him. And if thou utter this our business, then we will be quit of thine oath which thou hast made us to swear.
She told the spies where to hide so that the soldiers on the manhunt wouldn't find them.
Then, they told her to gather all her family into her house when the battle started. She would hang the red rope in her window, and that would show the Israelite army which house not to attack. But, they warned her not to tell anyone or else they couldn't keep their promise.
Joshua 2:21-23- And she said, According unto your words, so be it. And she sent them away, and they departed: and she bound the scarlet line in the window. And they went, and came unto the mountain, and abode there three days, until the pursuers were returned: and the pursuers sought them throughout all the way, but found them not. So the two men returned, and descended from the mountain, and passed over, and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all things that befell them:

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Chronicles Of The Door Series book review

I've read the stories in the Bible many times and wondered what did the angels think while watching this play out. Some times I wondered what was going through God's mind as He sat there knowing what would happen and the effects that would ripple through time because of it.
In the Chronicles Of The Door series by Gene Edwards, you get to see behind the curtains of heaven during some of the most memorable stories in the Bible. Mr. Edwards gives us a glimpse of what may have been some of the reactions of the ethereal world to the events that play out in the mortal world.
Start with The Beginning and read the other side of Creation and the Fall. The Escape follows when God chose a man and a family and gave an Eternal Promise. As angels fight the powers of darkness, The Birth tells of when God left the realm of the Immortal to walk as a man. Then read as the greatest battle occurs between that of Death and the Lamb of Life in The Triumph. But, that's not the end! The Return tells the end of the story; the Culmination of the plan that was laid out before time began- the Land, the Lamb, the Lineage, and Lucifer all find out their place in Eternity.
Even though these books are part fiction, I got a huge blessing from reading the things that my mind had a hard time conjuring on it's own. If you've ever wanted to understand the heavenly conversations about some of the timelines in the Bible, then reading of these events from Mr. Edward's perspective.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Whose I Am (poetry)

Jesus, Master, whose I am,
  Purchased Thine alone to be,
By Thy blood, O spotless Lamb,
  Shed so willingly for me;
Let my heart be all Thine own,
Let me live to Thee alone.

Other lords have long held sway;
  Now, Thy name alone to bear,
Thy dear voice alone obey,
  Is my daily, hourly prayer.
Whom have I in heaven but Thee?
Nothing else my joy can be.

Jesus, Master! I am Thine;
  Keep me faithful, keep me near;
Let Thy presence in me shine
  All my homeward way to cheer.
Jesus! at Thy feet I fall,
Oh, be Thou my All-in-all.

- Frances Ridley Havergal

Friday, November 3, 2017

Believer's Heritage- A Prophecy Fulfilled

God had chosen a single man and given him a promise. Abraham was called by God to leave his home and go to the place that God would choose. God promised to make a great nation out of his lineage and also promised to bless and curse people according to how they treated his lineage.
Genesis 12:1-3- Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
The last part of the blessing was a promise that all the families of the entire world would be blessed through his offspring. We call the promises given to Abraham the "Everlasting Covenant".
Psalm 105:9-10- Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant:
This everlasting covenant was an eternal promise from God.
Psalm 89:34-35- My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David.
God brought the children of Abraham through many things before he finally gave them Caanan, the Promised Land. Why did He make them go through these things? Why make them wait so long to obtain the promised possession?
Genesis 15:13-16- And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.
God made them wait because the Amorites who dwelt in the land hadn't surpassed His longsuffering and mercy. Once God had enough of their sins, He would bring the children of Abraham into the land to wipe out the heathen and obtain the possession.
Once the Jews were in the Promised Land, they started a cycle of obeying God and then falling away to worship false idols, getting punished with invading nations, repenting and begging God to save them, obeying God for a time and then falling away to worship false idols again.
God had promised to bless them if they followed Him and obeyed His commandments, but He also promised to curse them if they rejected Him and turned to worship false gods.
Leviticus 26:32-33- And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.
Deuteronomy 30:1-3- And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.
This cycle continued through the time of the Judges of Israel until the end of the time of the Kings of Israel.
By this time God had had enough! He was going to let the people go into captivity for a long time until they learned their lesson! In 606 BC the Babylonian Captivity of Judah happened. This was after the Assyrian captivity of the lands of Israel. The Jews were ripped out of their Promised Land and forced into a heathen land on the ninth of Av (Jewish calendar date).
Hosea 3:4-5- For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.
But, God's promise to Abraham had not been forgotten.
Ezekiel 36:20-24- And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of his land. But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
In time, God brought the people back to their land. They rebuilt their temple, but they never regained their king or their prince! Their land was under the rule of first the Babylonians, followed by the Persians, then the Greeks, and then the Romans (and this is when history changed forever).
After 500+ years, the time had come for one of God's promises to Abraham to be fulfilled- the Messiah, the Son of the Lord God Almighty, came to Israel. He fulfilled all of the prophecies of the Old Testament, and was rejected by the religious leaders of the Jews. When He arose as the Lord Jesus Christ and was still rejected by the leaders of the Jews, a new destruction happened.
In 70 AD, Rome came into Jerusalem and on the ninth of Av again destroyed the city and sent the children of Abraham into captivity, this time to the ends of the world.
Now, they were without a king, without a prince, and without a temple and a priest. The prophecy of Hosea had been fulfilled.
But, God hadn't forgotten His promise to Abraham.
In 1891, the father of modern Zionist Movement, William Blackstone, petitioned the world Governments to create a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Following in his steps, Theodor Herzl published his book, The Jewish State: A Modern Solution To The Jewish Question, in 1896.
Luke 21:24- And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
God was sending His chosen people out of the Promised Land until the time of the Gentiles was  fulfilled. Just like the iniquity of the Amorites, there is a time period that the Lord is giving the Gentiles to repent of their wickedness. Many will be saved during this time, both Jew and Gentile crying out to God to wash their sins clean by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
This multitude will make up a unique people known as the Church, or the Bride of Christ.
The country of Israel, or Palestine as the Romans would change the name to, would now be ruled by the Romans, Byzantines, Muslims, Seljukes, Crusaders, Mamelukes, Ottoman Turks, British, and then the current inhabitants, the Jews.
An interesting note is that the Muslims didn't capture Israel until AD 638 and they only ruled until the Ottoman Turks lost their control in AD 1918. This defeat was brought on by the British, with the Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour issuing the Balfour Declaration which prepared the land of Palestine (Israel) for the return of the Jewish people.
Ezekiel 37:11-12, 21, 25- Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.
Near the closing of the time of the Gentiles, the Lord will again bring His people the Jews back to their Promised Land- and that is what is happening right now!
After World War II, the United Nations was created to take over for the League of Nations. In 1947, the UN voted to give a small partition of land in Palestine to the Jews. Even though World War I prepared the land for the Jews, the hearts of the Jewish people were not ready to go there. It was the Russian Pograms and the Holocaust of World War II that prepared the Jews to go back to the land of Israel.
The Jews were trying to establish a country of their own in Palestine in 1948, but they were being threatened by the armies of Arab and Egypt. God used the President of the United States of America to fulfill this part of His promise. President Truman was the first to recognize the nation of Israel as it's own country on May 14, 1948; a nation that had been out of existence for over 1,800 years was again reborn!
The prophecies of many of the Old Testament men of God have been fulfilled; even though it's taken two millennia to do so, God's Word has come to pass just like He said it would!
But soon, the time of the Gentiles will come to fruition, God is going to call His Church out of this world and turn His attention again to the Jews, Jerusalem, and the nation of Israel. Israel will again have a king and a priest, but this will only be the beginning of their sorrows.
What Daniel prophesied will then come to pass.
Daniel 11:21-24- And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant. And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people. He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers' fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time.
The time of Jacob's Trouble will begin. A man who many will accept as the promised Messiah will stand up and peacefully take rule, but it won't last long! God will begin to pour His wrath on man, beast, and nature. The world will become what the post-apocalyptic movies never could imagine!
But, this will only be the beginning.
Revelation 13:1-7- And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
The peaceful ruler will be killed, and then he will resurrect after three days. But he won't be the same for he will be possessed by the devil- Satan in the flesh!
And this will start the Great Tribulation!
Daniel 9:27- And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
All of his peaceful promises will be thrown away, and he will become the most destructive dictator the world has ever known! His tyranny will reach to every corner of the globe, and his corruption will decimate every place on earth!
Daniel 11:36-39- And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.
This man will set up an image and expect everyone to worship it or die!
Revelation 13:13-18-  And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
Everyone knows that 666 is bad! But, whoever doesn't take this mark and worship this false idol will be killed. This is known in Daniel as the Abomination that maketh desolate, or the Abomination of Desolation.
The Jews will almost be wiped out! The world will be terribly destroyed. But, God will not forget His promise to Abraham!
Isa 13:6, 9, 11- Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
Jeremiah 39:17- But I will deliver thee in that day, saith the LORD: and thou shalt not be given into the hand of the men of whom thou art afraid.
Joel 1:15- Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.
Joel 2:11- And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?
The Lord Jesus Christ is going to come in and save His chosen people. He is going to set up His throne in Jerusalem and bring the Jews back to their Promised Land!
And, He's going to fix the entire world!
Isa 65:19-25 KJV] 19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.
The Lord Jesus Christ is going to make a paradise that's like the garden of Eden!
"Fairy Tales!" you may say, but let me ask you- Has any other nation that has been wiped out for almost two millenia ever come back to the exact spot they use to be and live with the same language, the same name of the country, and the same capitol city? Because, Israel has! God said it way back in Abraham's time, Moses' time, David's time, Daniel's time, and it came to be.
Are you really willing to bet your life on a chance that this is all coincidence?

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Choice Isn't Yours

I was talking with a Calvinist the day I wrote this, and this guy was pretty messed up. Calvanists believe that you cannot choose to be saved; God chooses who will be saved and who will be damned. You are drawn into salvation by God if you were chosen to be saved, and those who are chosen to be damned cannot get the grace of God.

I quoted Romans 10:13- For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. And, he claimed that "whosoever" didn't mean what I thought it meant.
Well, the word "whosoever" is found 183 times in the King James Bible. And, from the context it looks like it means anyone. When I went to Webster's 1828 dictionary it said any one; any person whatever.
But, let us look at a different verse, shall we? II Peter 3:9- The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. In that verse "any" and "all" are used. I'm wondering if he thinks that those words don't mean what I think they mean?
Webster's dictionary says that "any" means some, an indefinite number, an indefinite quantity. And, "all" means everyone, or the whole number of particulars.
Ezekiel 3 speaks of a man who sins and dies in his sin that he suffers the consequences of his own actions, but if someone doesn't tell them they're sinning that someone is also held accountable. In Ezekiel 33, he goes on to say that a sinful man can turn from his sins and a righteous man can become wicked. It's not God forcing them to change!
James 1:13-14- Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
God is not going to force a man that is doing right to sin! He doesn't tempt us to sin. The world, the flesh, and the devil tempt us to sin. So, God isn't going to force someone to be righteous or wicked.
In Joshua 24:15, Joshua tells the children of Israel to choose who they were going to serve. They had the choice.
The man said that God hardened Pharaoh's heart in Exodus 6, and that Pharaoh had no choice in the matter. But, Pharaoh had known what the previous ruler had done. He had the chance to free the Jewish slaves when he took the position. He had already made up his mind that he wanted to keep them slaves. God only furthered his choice by giving him commands that He knew Pharaoh was too proud to obey. God hardened Pharaoh's heart because Pharaoh had ALREADY made the choice.
You have a choice on whether or not you accept Christ as your Savior. You have a choice as to whether or not you will live your life as a Christian telling others about God or for yourself. God will not force you to do what He wants of you!
Proverbs is full of verses that warn us not to choose the way of the wicked. Why include those warning if we didn't have a choice in the matter?
He then tried to use Romans 8:28- And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. He said that you have to be drawn by God, or called, and that you only think you chose after you were drawn by God.
Let's look at the context. This chapter is talking about us living through the power of the Spirit of God (Romans 8:1) and not living through the desires of the flesh (Romans 8:8); we are adopted into God's family (Romans 8:15) and we should act like it (Romans 8:17) though we don't look like it (Romans 8:19-21); we are waiting in hope for the redemption of our bodies (Romans 8:23); we are in the flesh so we don't know what we should pray for (Romans 8:26) so the Spirit of God inside of us prays to God for what we need (Romans 8:27); so we can know that everything we go through (Romans 8:28) is to help us become what God designed (Romans 8:30); so don't worry about what you are going through because God is not going to be there with you (Romans 8:35-39).
People look at predestinate and think it means the person- God predestinated the man to be saved or not. That's not what it's saying! It's the position that's predestinated. If you chose to accept Christ as your Savior then you will have the Holy Spirit placed inside you and you will never have to worry about what you go through because the end is a glorified body in heaven for all eternity!
If you marry a king, you are predestined to be a queen. The person? No, that choice wasn't made until the king made it! But, the position- whoever he chooses will become queen. But, the woman can turn down the proposal- she has a choice!
Don't take what anyone says for face value! Look up the verses; check out who is talking, to whom are they talking, and of what time are they speaking. The Bible has Old and New Testament. It has Jews, Gentiles, and the church of God. It has saved and lost sinners. And, it has different things to say to each of these people during different times in history!
II Timothy 2:15- Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
There are divisions in the Bible. You're going to have to study to get it right. But, the blessings that come along with this work are worth it!