How much can happen in the speed of a twinkling of an eye? I Can’t think of anything besides the twinkling of an eye itself. What will take place in that short space of time that will be supernaturally magnificent? The hope of glory radiating a beautiful glow, as God brings to life those who were dead in Him and those of us who are still living, when will experience a transformation from corrupt to uncorrupted body, at the sound of His trumpet. That is called our hope of glory. Paul, in his writings to the Corinthian church says, Take notice! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all fall asleep [in death], but we shall all be changed (I Cor. 15: 51). How fast it will all happen? He said, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. Paul probably thought that day was going to come in his lifetime. The Christians of those days embraced this hope then more than we do today, for the fact that their lives were constantly under severe persecution for their faith. The Thessalonians thought they were already into the great tribulation, so great were their sufferings. But Paul assured them saying that for the tribulation to happen, the rapture had to come first, or the “departure” of the bride of Christ, of which they were part of. It seems to me that for many, persecution will have to happen in their lives for they to desire the Lord to come in an earnest desire, permeating their inner being.
The direction in which the eyes take us is the place where we will end up. Sometimes in a ditch, when our eyes are focused on the phone or something else while driving, walking or running. As a result, death happens on many occasions when it happens while we are behind the steering wheel. It is a responsibility that weighs on each of us when we get in our vehicle. Our eyes, the light of the body, must be in tune with the brain to perform in the way that is safe. Distraction before disaster is a sure thing, as “pride is before one’s fall.” How many times do we utter this phrase, I wasn’t thinking when something happened that didn’t have to happen? The mind, the most precious body’s utility, is the master-in-chief of all decisions we make in life. In hearing bad news having a personal affect, it takes the mind hours and days processing the whys of circumstances, reasoning the facts which in many cases, were in part, results of our bad decisions. The whys flow in the gray cells without stop, robbing us of peace, all because we are setting our mind in a horizontal position, while the Bible tells us to set it vertically, for it is from above that help will come. Paul instructed us to do so, if in fact we have been raised with Messiah YAHSHUA, through our new birth in Christ. Why then should we lose our spiritual position when we are confronted with trials? Has our Lord forgotten us in our most needed time? Where are we spiritually positioned when all seem to fall apart, why can’t we remain with Him, and why is it so difficult to do so?
Reasonable questions must have answers to re-direct us to where we must be at all times. Psalm 91, well known to all seemingly Christians, gives us the foundation of the answers we are looking for. For us to benefit from the promises this psalm offers, we must be seated with YAHSHUA Who is sitting at the right hand of the Father in the heavenly sphere (Eph. 2:6). It is as the psalm states, He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty (vs. 1). From there, we can testify that the Lord is our refuge, our fortress, therefore in Him we will trust (vs. 2). Spiritually or physically, we will be affected one way or the other, depending where we find ourselves to be when facing our troubles. Be found in His shelter is the sure way to be the recipient of His protection from all harm, even in our own trials. If we are in Messiah for reason of the new birth, then we must fix our mind on Him not only in times of our struggles, but at all times. That’s the only way our faith will not falter. Paul told Timothy, constantly keep in mind YAHSHUA Messiah. When we experienced the new birth, we died for the world, and our life is [now] hidden with Christ in God. (Col. 3:3) (paraphrased). To be hidden in Christ, it is to dwell in the secret place of the Almighty (Ps. 91).
O America, return to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled and fallen due to your iniquities. America, recognize and understand that the Lord, is your God; the faithful God, Who keeps covenant and steadfast love and mercy with those who love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations; acknowledge Him Who is leading you through this great and terrible wilderness of uncertainties with its serpents, and scorpions ready to consume you; America, pull down the altars of Baal, where you sacrifice your children disregarding their cries of pain at your mercy! Examine your ways and return to the Lord; the Lord, the Lord, is compassionate and gracious; He will forgive you! Return to the Lord, put away your abominable false gods, for a lion has gone up from his thicket, and a destroyer of nations is on his way. He has gone forth from his place to make your land a desolate waste; and your cities shall be left in ruins without an inhabitant; for this, gird yourselves with sackcloth, lament and wail; the evil time is upon you America, for truth has fallen on the streets and uprightness cannot enter [the courts of justice]. Shake yourself from the dust, loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O America, God shed His blood for you and crowned you with loving-kindness; seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near; His precious blood will cleanse you clean, when you repent of your wicked ways and turn to Him. Take away from your midst yokes of oppression. Your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you; you know not your way to peace. The Lord waits for you, America; He will be pleased to bless you again, when you turn to Him with your whole heart and mind.
The stripes YAHSHUA suffered in His body was for you, America! The bruises He suffered in His soul was for you America, His blood shed through the crown pierced on His head, through the nail pierced hands and feet was for you America; the merciless floggings applied on His body, was for you America. Annul your contract with the darkness and death; come to the Light, let justice run down like waters and righteousness as a mighty and ever-flowing stream, then the glory of the Lord, His holiness and goodness will shine on you from east to west, from north to south. Seek good and not evil that you may live, and the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you. Know in all your heart and in your soul that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord has promised concerning you. Return to the Lord, America, circumcise your heart to the Lord and be revived to receive His blessings.
O Lord God of heaven, You Who keep covenant, loving-kindness, and mercy for those who love You and keep Your commandments, let You ear now be attentive and Your eyes open to listen to the prayer of Your servants which we pray before You day and night for America, confessing her sins which she has sinned against You. We acknowledge our sins and the sins of our nation before You. We have acted very corruptly against You and have not kept the commandments statutes and ordinances which You commanded. O Lord, let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servants who delight to revere and fear Your name. O my God, incline Your ear and hear, for we do not present our supplications before You, for our own righteousness and justice, but for Your great mercy and loving-kindness. Lord, we Your people are crying to You for mercy; hear us from heaven according to Your loving-kindness; O Lord, according to all Your righteousness and justice, we beseech You, let Your anger and Your wrath be turned away from us, Your people; listen to and heed the prayer of Your servants and their supplications and for Your sake cause Your face to shine upon us. You are just in all that has come upon us, for we have acted wickedly. God, be merciful and gracious to America and bless her and cause Your face to shine upon her and among her, that your way may be known upon earth, and Your saving power among the nations; O You Who hears prayer, to You shall all flesh come; O Lord hear! O Lord forgive! O Lord give heed and act! Do not delay, for Your own sake, O my God, because Your people are called by Your name. You Who still the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves and the tumult of the peoples, You, O God, You are our God! In Your wrath, remember mercy, so that Your people who call on Your name, will not be destroyed. For who knows the power of Your anger? And Your wrath, who connects it with the reverent fear that is due You?
In You, O Lord, do we put our trust and confidently take refuge; let us never be put to shame or confusion! Deliver us in Your righteousness and cause us to escape; bow down Your ear to us and save us! Be to us a rock of refuge in which to dwell, and a sheltering stronghold to which we may continually resort, which You have appointed to save us, for You are our Rock and our Fortress. We will wait and hope for You O Lord. We call on Your name for our salvation, drag us not away with the wicked, with the workers of iniquity, for we are your people. Arise, O Lord and vindicate Your holy name among the nations.
In the most precious name, the name of YAHSHUA, amen!
Since covid-19, the spirit of fear has permeated the entire world; masks, a mandatory face covering, have hidden people’s faces, and have taken the freedom to speak, as a symbol of what is to come in the future of the world. In the biblical days of Israel as a nation, many circumstances enveloped this nation that resembled what we are going through today. Invasion of nations was a means by which God removed His people from the Land, when Israel grossly kept sinning against Him. In the days of the Prophet Isaiah, God warned him not to be in fear what the people were fearing and dreading, but to fear God and let Him be his dread in time of judgment. Fearing circumstances will lead a person to emotional and physical breakdowns of the body, for it comes with torment. To fear God however, is to revere and respect Him, acknowledging His sovereignty over all as the only true God. Fearing Him will remove the power of torment the spirit of fear brings us. The Lord tells us in Proverbs 24:10: if you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. It is a fact that faith is the source of our strength.
Today, the world cries in despair in view of unheard-of circumstances that mercilessly robbed it of its many lives, opening fear’s door to control humanity. Everywhere we go, we see it in the faces of the multitude through the use of an unnecessary facial covering. The hearing impaired can’t understand their muffled words, causing frustration on both sides. This is time of confusion, mind boggling, for fear has taken over the hearts of many, including ignorant Christians. Fear deafens the ears and reasons contrary to the reality of truth. God has spoken through today’s prophets, but as it were in the days of ancient Israel, who rebuked and punished their prophets, Christians are doing the same today, embraced by fear, not realizing what God is doing to warn us, and in His mercy to let us know the outcome of things that are happening right now, meaning, Donald J. Trump will remain the president of this nation. He revealed to them the outcome in part, not in full, so that we will learn to trust His Words spoken to His prophets. President Trump won; it is a fact. The victory will be reality to all after God reveals all those who are corrupted. He did not tell them how or when, but He told them the important fact in the equation, Trump’s victory. America stands now at the mercy of God. Like the Israelites, after leaving Egypt, on the third day when they faced the Red Sea in front of them and the Egyptians behind them, without a place to run, even if they could have done, due to the multitude plus their flocks, they could not. Moses, whom God had given the task to free them from slavery, put up with the Israelites doubts and complaints, as if he had wronged them by leading them out of Egypt. Here are their words against God’s anointed: Did we not tell you in Egypt, let us alone; let us serve the Egyptians? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness (Exodus 14:12). God however, did not tell Moses His plan in full, neither how He was going to do it. He did not tell Moses about the Red Sea through which He was going to lead Israel to the Promised Land. Likewise, God did not tell His prophets the how and the when, just that it will happen. That should have been satisfactory to all of us, to know the end of the story, as many of us turn to the last page of a book to see how the story is going to end. As it is, seemly this nation is now at the point of hopelessness: the Red Sea point. It is the time to battle, not to complain; divided we will not be established in the faith. Blaming the prophets will do us no good, but to turn us against God, as if we were His enemies.
(Psalm 73:16-28; Job 42: 5, 6; Lamentations 3:20-23)
But as for me, my feet were almost gone, my steps had well-nigh slipped, for I was envious of the foolish and arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked (Psalm 73:2, 3).
Why is it that “the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence?” I suppose a cow could answer this question. Sometimes our hearts are so full of self-pity and wants that we become blind to the blessings before us; we keep looking out for it instead in someone’s success and desiring it for ourselves in the spirit of envy and jealousy, as the Psalmist so wrote, But as for me, my feet were almost gone. . . for I was envious of the foolish and arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.. . Until, I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end (Psalm 73:17). In the presence of God the psalmist saw the end of the wicked whom he envied the riches and success. When he realized their end, he also realized his sin of envy and there in the presence of the Lord he repented. He said, For my heart was grieved, embittered, and in a state of ferment, and I was pricked in my heart, so foolish, stupid and brutish was I, and ignorant; I was like a beast before You (vs. 21-22).
At the beginning of Israel as a nation, God established the law of two or three witnesses against the accused person. He said, One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity of any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established (Deut. 19:15). The importance of more than one witness in any case is necessary, for it provides protection for the innocent accused of things he has not done, especially in a court room when the accused faces the judge with his sentence: condemned or acquitted. If every court in this world would practice this law, there would be fewer innocent people sent to jail. A false witness, the Bible tells us, is an abomination to the Lord (Prov. 6:16-19).
The time-twelve o’clock high
Life hung on the line
Death certain in hours
Three hung on crosses
One on the right
One on the left
Of the Son of God Most High
Jesus, one cried
With repented heart
Jesus, remember me
When You enter Your glory
Today, was the reply
Today, you will be
with Me in Paradise.
King Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived. God so blessed him because he did not ask for riches or anything else, but for wisdom. At the very beginning of his reign the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, Ask what I shall give you. Solomon (then) said, I am but a lad: I know not how to go out or come in. Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen a great people who cannot be counted for multitude. So give You servant an understanding mind and a hearing heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and bad. For who is able to judge and rule this Your great people? It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. God said to him, Because you have asked this and have not asked for long life or for riches, nor for the lives of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to recognize what is just and right, behold, I have done as your asked. I have given you a wise, discerning mind, so that no one before you was your equal, nor shall any arise after you equal to you (I Kings 3: 5-12). God not only blessed him with wisdom but also with riches and honor. But something happened to Solomon in the course of his reign that caused him to forsake the Lord, His commandments and statutes. He grew proud and defiant. The Bible says that he [defiantly] loved many foreign women- the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Sidonians and Hittites. They were of the very nations of whom the Lord said to the Israelites, You shall not mingle with them, neither shall they mingle with you, for surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods, Yet Solomon clung to these in love (I Kings 11: 1-3). He embraced and made alliance with those nations through marriage; he abused his position of king by adopting the practice of having wives and concubines in numbers unheard of. Seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines. I suppose he practiced this idea of alliances to keep peace with the nations.
Three important events happened in the life of YAHSHUA before His death: the triumphal entry, the cursing of the fig tree and the cleansing of the temple.
After His triumphal entry to Jerusalem, He and His disciples, on the following day, when they had come out of Bethany, He was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree with leaves, He went to see if He could find any [fruit] on it [for in the fig tree the fruit appears at the same time as the leaves]. But when He came up to it, He found nothing but leaves, for the fig season had not yet come. He said to it, No one ever again shall eat fruit from you. When evening came on, He and His disciples, as accustomed, went out of the city. In the morning, when they were passing along, they noticed that the fig tree was withered away to its roots (Mark 11:12-14,19-20).
The fig tree is mentioned first in Genesis, when Adam and Eve used its leaves to cover their nakedness after they transgressed against God’s command. “They sewed fig leaves together and made themselves apron like girdles” (Gen. 3:7). The fig tree in this instance served as a temporary covering for our parents in the garden, until God provided them with long coats of skins and clothed them (Gen. 3:21). Fig trees were prominent in Palestine, where Israel was heading in their journey of forty years. Moses told them that the Lord God was bringing them into a good land…a land of wheat, barley, and vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive tree and honey (Deut. 8:7-8). Fig trees were a symbol of blessing. In the days of King Hezekiah when he rebelled against the King of Assyria, he responded to Hezekiah by trying to sway his army by offering vine and fig tree. The fig tree constitutes a symbol of peace. In Proverbs 27:18 Solomon compares the tending of a fig tree to looking after one’s master. In the Song of Solomon chapter 2:13 the fig tree is a sign of the times. The prophet Micah mentions the fig tree in the latter days as a symbol of peace and security. “But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and none shall make them afraid, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken” (Micah 4:4). In Jeremiah’s vision of baskets of figs- one good and the other very bad figs, the message here was of redemption and of judgment. Like these good figs so will I regard the captives of Judah whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good, (says the Lord) For I will set My eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land; and I will build them up and not pull them down, and I will plant them and not pluck them up, and I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart. And as for the bad figs… I will even give them up to be a dismay and a horror and to be tossed to and from among all the kingdoms of the earth for evil, to be a reproach, a byword or proverb, a taunt, and a curse in all places where I will drive them. And I will send the sword, famine and pestilence among them until they are consumed from off the land that I gave to them and to their fathers (Jer. 24:1-10). In the book of Joel, the fig tree is a sign of Israel’s restoration. The prophet encourages all to rejoice. He said, Be not afraid, you wild beasts of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness have sprung up and are green; the tree bears its fruit, and the fig tree and the vine yield their strength (Joel 2:21-15).
A Bible story we read from the book of Esther, is more than a children’s story “They lived happily ever after” happy ending. Hard to understanding the culture of those days, we wonder why it had to be so. Reasoning the whys, we come to the understanding it was in the spiritual sphere, purposed by God Himself, for a reason or redemption of Israel as “For such a time as this.” Hadassah, Esther’s original name, was a young and beautiful maiden, who was chosen among many others to be Ahasuerus’ wife. This Persian king reigned from India to Ethiopia over 127 provinces (Esther 1:1). It all happened in a controversial and hard to understand way, when King Ahasuerus, being drunk, commanded his wife, Queen Vashti to be brought to him to show her off to the peoples there represented. But she refused to do so. For that, the king was enraged, embarrassed, and humiliated at that reaction, which lead him to divorce her. After a while, the king’s servants recommended to be sought beautiful virgins for him. That’s the background in which Hadassah- Esther came in this story of redemption of her people, Israel.