Opportunity and Circumstance

(Esther 1-10)

Who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this and for this very occasion? That was an awakening question that changed the course of the future of the Jewish nation.  Circumstance in the appointed time offers opportunity we must pay attention to. Sometimes odd and unreal, nonetheless, circumstances are before us. Life is full of that. Opportunities are doors of possibilities with a chance to succeed in whatever we wanted to do other times, but we couldn’t. The story of Queen Esther is one that sounds more like make believe than reality. She was one of the captive Jews in the capital of Shushan who Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon, carried into exile. Babylon was then under the control of Persia which Cyrus the Great of Persia conquered it in 539 BC. Hadassah her Jewish name was brought up by a cousin called Mordecai, who after the death of her parents took her as his own daughter (Esther 2).

In Addition To All, Take Up The Shield Of Faith

(Ephesians 6: 10-19)

The writer of the book of Hebrews gives the most definite and solid meanings of faith: the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Heb. 11:1). Who can understand faith, when never gone through difficulties? The measure of faith in one’s life is seen through hard times. Everyone has  certain applied degree of faith outside the spiritual. It is an important ingredient essential to life. Faith removes the doom and gloom of today’s when one has faith for a better tomorrow. Faith is a lifter upper brightening hope in whatever we hope for. But faith is much more than that when its shield is taken up in the spiritual battle field. The Bible says that our struggle is not against flesh and blood. That is, not against humans. It is against the devil and his forces. Paul uses the Roman armor example to symbolize the armor of God’s proficiency in its use in every spiritual battle.

Ten Virgins and Their Lamps at the Mid-Night Shout

(Matthews 25)

They were five wise and five foolish virgins. The commonality between them was only that they were virgins. With certainty, one group carried the mark of the Holy Spirit but the other did not. The first represents the true church of Messiah and the second, the apostate church- the Laodicea church, the church that thinks it is earthly rich, but spiritually poor. Unaware of their spiritual condition, they went together with the wise virgins to meet the bridegroom. Tired for being late, they all feel asleep. Suddenly, a shout echoed in the air for all to hear: Behold, the bridegroom! Go out to meet Him (Matt. 15:6).

The Last Three Feasts Yet to Be Fulfilled (part 2) – The Feast of Tabernacles

The Feast of Tabernacles points to the future restoration of the Jewish nation. The meaning of the Feast of Tabernacle is of great importance in its fulfillment. According to A.E. Ware, the Lord YAHSHUA was born on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, which was on the 29th of October (The Restored Vision). One might doubt the date and disregard the point on that occasion, but YAHWEH established His feasts with a future in His mind. It was as if He was indirectly telling the world through Israel that those feasts were a shadow of what were to come in His prophetic plans for the world. They were not just ordinances to be observed, they were pictures of the true fulfillment embed in YAHWEH’S future. When YAHSHUA was born on the first day of this feast, Israel was unaware of the Light being shone that day through Him as the incarnate God. This was the most important feast of that year, signaling God’s faithfulness and love for all mankind. That feast would have been fulfilled completely if the Jewish nation had accepted YAHSHUA as their Messiah. However, they didn’t and therefore, the Feast of Tabernacle’s fulfillment was set for another time in history.

The Last Three Feasts Yet to be Fulfilled (part 1)

There are seven feasts ordained and established by the Lord given to Israel when in their journey to the Promised Land. These feasts constitute YAHWEH’S purpose for the future of the world and in particular for Israel. For that reason it is called the feasts of the Lord. In them we see YAHWEH’S love for humankind, for they have to do with redemption, His future plan to establish His kingdom on earth, and the future for His bride- the church. The Passover Feast and the Unleavened Bread had to do with YAHSHUA’S sacrificial death. He was crucified on this feast day. Paul confirms when he said, Purge the old leaven that you may be fresh dough, still uncontaminated, for Christ, our Passover [Lamb] has been sacrificed ( I Cor. 5:7). He was resurrected on the feast of first fruits. Paul once again confirms when he said, But the fact is that Christ has been raised from the dead, and He became the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep [in death]. For since through a man that death [came into the world, it is] also through a Man that the resurrection of the dead [has come] for just as in Adam all people die, so also shall all in Christ be made alive (I Cor. 15:20-23). The Feast of weeks happened fifty days later when the disciples were in the upper room and the Holy Spirit descended upon them according to Acts 2 verses 1-4: And when the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all assembled together in one place when suddenly there came a sound from heaven like the rushing of a violent tempest blast, and it filled the whole house in which they were siting and there appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were separated and distributed and which settled on each one of them and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit kept giving them clear and loud expression.

Behold, the Lord Will Make the Land and the Earth Empty

(Isaiah 24)

The land and the earth shall be utterly laid waste and utterly pillaged; for the Lord has said this (Vs.3). This chapter of Isaiah is a mini book of Revelation. Throughout the Old Testament God’s future judgements are predicted ultimately to destroy the earth and its wicked people with it. It is His final measure to deal with the stubborn, rebellious people. When this period of grace is past, His wrath will dominate the world and none who have rejected Him will escape. It will be merciless, with vengeance and no turning back. We see in this chapter, the character of His judgements, and the extent of it in verses 1-3: The scope of His judgements will include all peoples and all class of people. It shall be with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with this master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the creditor, so with the debtor.  No class of people will escape with the exception of those who have accepted Him. YAHSHUA said, For it will come upon all who live upon the face of the entire earth. But for those who have accepted Him He gave a word of warning: Keep awake then and watch at all times, praying that you may have the full strength and ability to escape all these things, that will take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man (Luke 21:35-36).

When the Door of Mercy Will Be Shut

(Matt. 25: 21-41; Amos 7:8)

The Lord spoke to the Prophet Amos saying, I will not pass by and spare them anymore. He was finished warning the nation of Israel, due to their hardness of heart. In their exit from Egypt, Israel experienced God’s protection in every way they needed. They escaped all the plagues applied to Egypt, and even the last one, which was the death of all the firstborn sons. By the blood of the sacrificial lamb, upon the doorpost of their houses, their sons were spared from death. That was a token or a sign that when God saw the blood He would “Pass over” the nation of Israel and no plague would destroy them. God’s mercy is available in the opportunities that come to us. Its door has been opened for a long time for all to enter because our God is longsuffering. He desires that all be saved. There is no limit to His mercy while its door is opened. God’s mercy is such that can never be compared to human’s mercy in the fullest extent of it. Webster dictionary describes mercy as: refraining from punishing offenders, enemies, persons in one’s power; kindness in excess of what may be expected or demanded by fairness; forbearance and compassion; the power to forgive, clemency, etc.

The Upper Room

(II Kings 4)

The upper room was a chamber built above the houses to serve as guest rooms and a place for activities and privacy for families.

Chapter four of II Kings offers a woman’s beautiful story of faith and courage. She displayed her faith and courage after the loss of her son to death. That was the only son she had, for her husband was an old man and a very special child; he was the son the Prophet Elisha promised her in return for her kindness shown to him. This Shunammite woman never realized that that upper room she had built for the Prophet, was one day a refuge in her time of trouble. It is said that “What goes around, comes around.” An act or a word of kindness finds their way back to the one who blesses others. Even though her emotional pain was great, her faith was greater. It compelled her to seek life from the one who had promised her a son. At his death she knew exactly what to do: The upper room where she had received the promise of a son, was to be the place where he would receive his life back. It was the place where God was going to manifest Himself through resurrection power. She carried her son up there and left him lying on the prophet’s bed and left in a hurry to see the prophet. He lived about twenty miles away. She pressed on seeking life for her son, redeeming her time by not stopping to greet anyone. She kept her pain to herself until she met Elisha, the prophet. In anguish of soul, she started by asking him a question, Did I desire a son of my lord? Did I not say, Do not deceive me? As the Lord lives and as my soul lives, I will not leave you. And Elisha arose and followed her (vs.28,30).

Only Faith Activated Through Love

(Galatians 5:6; I John 4:7-9; James 2: 14-18)

What is the use, my brethren, for anyone to profess to have faith if he has no works? Can [such] faith save him? (James 2:14)  The Word of God describes faith as the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Heb. 11:1).  Faith is the pillar of hope. They exist hand in hand. But faith without the activation of love, which compels one to reach out, is according to James, dead. James asked Can faith without work save a person? Paul said, if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing (I Cor. 13:2b). YAHSHUA told the disciples, If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, Move from here to yonder place, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you (Matt. 17: 20). “Faith like a grain of mustard” is enough to move mountains when empowered by love. It is not the size that matters, but the completion of faith in love.

The Gentile Bride

(Ruth 1-4)

The story of Ruth, the Moabite, does not stop with the end of the book of Ruth; instead, it begins. It is an amazing story to read. In fact, it is the kind of story everyone would like to read for its wonderful ending.  In the days when the Judges ruled, as the Bible tells us, a family of four from the town of Bethlehem of Judah, left their country to sojourn in the country of Moab, due to a famine in the land. They were Elimelech, Naomi and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion. It was a trip of about twenty to thirty miles, not far at all. Moab, is located east of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea, South of the Arnon (Num. 21:10-15).  The Moabites descendants have a questionable history due to Lot’s daughters in their incestuous relationship with him (Gen. 19:31-35). After the judgment that came to Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot’s daughters assuming they to be the only females in that region where they settled, they took upon themselves the responsibility to solve the problem by bearing Lot’s children to enable the line of their family to continue. In a devious and perverse way, they caused their father to lie with them and they both bore his children. Not an attractive story, is it? But God, as it is said, “Writes straight on a crooked line.”  As a matter of fact, we are all crooked before Him, but His love has covered the multitude of our sins through His Son, YAHSHUA.