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