It comes with determination, perseverance and endurance. All these are needed, in this earthly life, for it is a life of constant battles. Sorting things out that matter on our journey, is essentially important to achieve blamelessness and purity in the sight of God. The Patriarch Abraham leads us in his determination, perseverance and endurance, when he kept the faith in God’s promises, even though it took twenty-seven years for the first one to be fulfilled in his old life time. A life’s journey of faith is a slow and difficult journey, needed of much patience. Many are the giants, the mountains, the fires and many other obstacles we will face. The destination, however is beyond that which we can imagine. It is so wonderful, that all the pains we suffer here are not to be compared to the glorious experience at the end of our journey to that beautiful place, called heaven! The apostle Paul, on his journey of faith never gave up in all his sufferings, because he knew where he was going; he knew that he was not a citizen of this world, but of heaven, as are all who have trusted the Lord for their salvation. He went hungry, he went thirsty and cold, slandered and defamed, he was made rubbish and filth of the world and taken for dead. Paul looked beyond all and stayed the course of his destination. At the end of his life, he could well say, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith (II Tim. 4:7).
Rise and shine Bride of Mine
Your morning has come
The victory has been won
It is time to sing!
With feet shod, firmly on the ground
Oil in your lamp
Be ready at the sound of
The call to meet your bridegroom
(Matt. 25:1-13; 24:40-41; I Thess. 5:1-3)
Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name? and then I will say to them openly, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly (Matt. 7:21-23).
We live in a time of convenience and short cuts to everything. Computers are the master mind of things we used to do yesterday. The age of high tech has indeed handicapped the mind of men. We only have to know how to click or press a button for things to happen. The sad thing about it is not only that our brains have become lazy and shrinking, but it has affected the spiritual side of things too. We can only tolerate teachings that tickle our ears. It has to be convenient for us to follow in line with our life styles. Conviction is a thing of the past. “I am okay, you are okay.” All our sins have been forgiven, no need to cry over them with repentance. The Word of God says that we must be born of the Spirit to be considered being born again. It is the only way that we can receive the image of God. His image is His Holy Spirit, Who is given at that time of our spiritual birth.
We may spend our life in church, teaching Sunday- School, preaching the Gospel, visiting the sick, we may never miss a day going to church, we may perform healing, prophesy, even casting demons out and still not being born again. We may impress the world with our look of humility and sacrificed life, but we can never impress God with all we do outside of Him. YAHSHUA said to a Pharisee, “You must be born again”. He assured Nicodemus that unless a person is born again, he cannot ever see the kingdom God; unless a man is born of water and [even] the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God. What is born of the flesh is flesh; what is born of the Spirit is spirit (John 3: 3,4-6). Born of the Spirit, is when the Holy Spirit of God indwells the person. His indwelling is the sign that we are born again. The results are seen in the way we think, act and behave. His indwelling is the Seal, also a guarantee of our inheritance, in anticipation of its full redemption and our acquiring possession of it (Ephesians 1: 13-14).
God’s banner- the protecting and comforting covering over us is His love. Under His wings we find a place of refuge and strength as the storm passes by, with faith, believing that He is preparing us a place; and someday, not far away, He will come for us with the loud cry of summons, with the voice of the Archangel and with the blast of His trumpet. (John 14:1-3; I Thessalonians 2:16). Under His wings, oh glorious feeling that is, being covered with His peace! The Lord has promised complete peace for those whose minds are set on Him with trust. In the midst of chaos and confusion, YAHSHUA’S promise is certain and comforting: Let not your hearts be troubled, believe in God believe also in Me….I am going to prepare a place for you, come back to fetch you, so that where I am you will be also.(John 14:1-3). The beauty of God’s love through YAHSHUA’S words fills our hearts with peace. Under His presence we find comfort and refuge in times of storm. Only by being close to Him will we be the recipient of His protection. There is no better place to be than close to Him, as we read in Psalm 91:1: those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High, shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty.
(John 16:21; Matthews 24)
I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that you shall weep and grieve, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy, a woman, when she gives birth to a child, has grief because her time has come. But when she has delivered the child, she no longer remembers her pain, because she is so glad that a man has been born into the world (John 16:20-21).
YAHSHUA’S analogy is well fitted to the subject of end times. There are no pains worth going through that do not produce a result and relief. When Eve sinned, God punished her with pain in childbirth (Gen. 3:16) He said to the woman, I will greatly multiply your grief and your suffering in pregnancy and the pangs of childbearing; with spasms of distress you will bring forth children…. A woman’s labor pain is caused by contractions of the uterus’ muscles and by pressure on the cervix. It affects several parts of the body, for the entire body has to accommodate to the change that is happening for the sake of giving birth. Labor contractions are necessary for the body to push the baby out. They grow in intensity and constant as the baby nears the birth canal. But the woman is relieved after it is all over. She rejoices when she hears her baby crying, which is a sign of life. And as YAHSHUA said, she no longer remembers her pain because joy floods her soul with the thought of have given birth to a child. So the end time or the end of ages pains are compared to birth pain, because it gives birth to the fulfillment of prophecy of the Scriptures. YAHSHUA advised us to look up when we see those things are happening, because our redemption is on its way.
Walking day and night
Hidden from human eyes
Eyes of hate and despair
Against God, against her faith
She lives holding unto
The strength of Him whose
Strength is all sufficient to
Carry on her journey heaven bound
History untold holds
The windows closed
For the world not to see
Her suffering beyond human mind
Buried and burned alive
Forsaken and raped
For the cause
Many dare not to die!
In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem of Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, his wife, and his two sons. But Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died, and so did her two sons.
In this apparent voided of happiness story there is a prophetic and beautiful end. We see in this story not only the picture of God’s love embedded in His plan for the Gentile nations, but also Ruth as a type of the gentile bride of Christ. Call me not Naomi, she said, call me Mara [bitter]. While Naomi was drained in her unhappiness, God had a beautiful future for her life; one that would make her forget all her past losses. It all started when her family moved from Bethlehem duo to a famine. There, she lost her husband and her two sons. After she had lived in Moab ten years, she decided to go back home. Apparently, she had had enough However, both her daughters-in-law showed the desire to follow her to Bethlehem, but when she persistently refused the idea, one of them left her and went back home. Ruth however, firmly said, “urge me not to leave you or to turn back from following you; for where you go, and where you lodge will lodge. Your people shall be my people and your God my God,” Naomi finally agreed to let Ruth go with her. In her words “Your people shall be my people,” Ruth showed great faith. There was more to her words than she realized. There was a prophetic meaning by being part of the nation of Israel she could never fathom. That would be a beautiful plan God had for her life. So, what compelled a young woman to give up her family, culture, and religion to follow her Mother-in-law, whose culture and religion were different from hers? Perhaps Naomi, as her mother-in-law had a good influenced in her life, and as a result, a good relationship between them to compel Ruth to leave all behind to follow Naomi. But beyond the tangible, God was working His plan through Ruth’s life, to bring His Son into the world many years to come.
(Luke 10: 38-42; John 12)
Now while they were on their way, it occurred that YAHSHUA entered a certain village, and a woman named Martha received and welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was listening to His teaching (vs.38-39). Bethany was the village where Martha, her sister and her brother lived. It was located on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives, about two miles from Jerusalem according to John 11:18. Today Bethany’s name is el- Azariyeh, meaning the place of Lazarus and it is a ruinous village; a village separated by wall where tourists no longer have access to it. But it remains with a beautiful and silent past, for our Savior often visited it and had supper with His friends, Martha, Mary and Lazarus. Lazarus was brought to life there and many came to believe in YAHSHUA. Bethany will always shine its past!
After the death and resurrection of Lazarus, YAHSHUA was invited to supper with them. While Martha served, Mary anointed Him with a pound of ointment of pure liquid nard [a rare perfume] six days before His death. Spikenard or nard, according to Wikipedia, is “a class of aromatic amber-colored oil. It was offered on the specialized incense altar in the time when the tabernacle was located in the first and second temples.” This perfume-oil was very significant in the action of Mary when she anointed the Savior six days before His death. It speaks volume concerning Him as the Lamb of God being prepared for the Passover sacrifice. Mary had no idea of the prophetic meaning her action had. She was only expressing her gratitude to Him, but at the same time, she was being part of the fulfilling of God’s plan for His Son. The Lord defended her action against those who criticized her and confirmed the purpose for her action by saying, Let her alone. It was [intended] that she keep it for the time of My preparation for burial (John 12:a). The Lord blessed Mary in return. Her action did not go unnoticed. He rewarded her by saying, Surely I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the entire world, what she has done will be told in memory of her (Mark 14: 9).
(Song of Solomon 2)
The Song of Solomon is for most part misunderstood, because of lack of understanding of its meanings. The carnal and human mind in their interpretation misses the point and the context for what it was written. It is impossible to read this book and understand it outside its spiritual sphere. One cannot read it with a carnal mind as one reads any book. The author of the Song of Solomon’s book is the Creator of man and woman, the Designer and the establisher of marriage between the two. Song of Songs is a depiction of marriage as God intended for it to be; it is a love song. It exalts the virtue of love between a man and a woman- husband and his wife. It shows the intimacy between the two, their hard times and the ultimately victory in their union.
Chapter two expresses a beautiful dialog of love and caring between the two. The bridegroom, in his desire to have his bride with Him, invites her to come up. The place He invites her to is close to Him. He says, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away; For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing as come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land; the fig tree puts forth and ripens her green figs, and the vines are in blossom and give forth their fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away (2:10-13). It is the season when life is expressed everywhere in the spring of life. The season to celebrate. The horizon springs up with new colors of life. This is figurative of Christ’s and His bride’s relationship. Winter, a thing of the past in color of lifeless grey is no more. For it symbolizes hardships and trouble.. “Rise up My love” implies the rapture. His invitation comes with eternal blessings in His presence. It is the time for His bride to celebrate her redemption! A time to sing. The intimacy of His words compels His bride to respond in a loving way. “My Beloved is mine and I am His.” YAHSHUA, as the church bridegroom, finally takes complete possession of His bride, whom He has bought with His own blood, by calling her to her new home. As Paul mentioned, “And so always we shall be with the Lord!” In His priestly prayer our Lord YAHSHUA prayed, Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, in order that they may behold My glory, which You have given Me; You loved Me before the foundation of the world (John 17: 24).
(Exodus 39; 40: 34-38; I Cor. 6:16-19; II Cor. 6:16)
The ministry of Moses in the wilderness was one of sanctifying the people to present them holy to the Lord (Exodus 19:10-11). In Israel’s experience of Mount Sinai, when God descended to the Mount to meet with them, they experienced the unapproachable holiness of God: thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mountain…Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, for the Lord descended upon it in fire; its smoke ascended like that of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly (Ex. 19:16,18). God, desiring fellowship with men, formed the nation of Israel to be that vehicle through whom God would review Himself to the nations. They in return, would come to know the existence of the true and holy God. Forty years in the desert, a frame of time seemly long, but not in the mind of God, it took for the nation of Israel to be set apart and consecrated holy unto Him. Although they never achieved the position of complete holiness, they came to experience the extent of God’s holiness when trembling with fear, and falling back at the holiness of God, said, You (Moses) speak to us and we will listen, but let not God speak to us, lest we die (Exodus 20:18-19).
The Bride of CHRIST has never experienced such extent of God’s holiness; we have never realized the awfulness of sin and its power to destroy us, or we would have hated sin. In His holiness, the Son of God completed, paid in full the price of our redemption, satisfying His Father once and for all, so that we would be regenerated unto holiness and ultimately unto glorification. Living to satisfy the flesh’s sinful desires, defeats the purpose for which YAHSHUA died on the cross; Like Israel in the desert, the bride of CHRIST is left here for as long as God’s determined purpose of holiness will be accomplished in every believer’s life. For that reason, the Promised Holy Spirit came to earth to sanctify Christ’s bride and present her blameless and holy unto the Lord. As we think on how holy our God is, we find ourselves undeserving of His love and undeserving to come close to Him. As the Holy Spirit guides us, Moses guided the people to do what was right through their pilgrimage through the desert. When Israel chose to satisfy their fleshly desire instead, Moses faithfully stood before God to intercede for them, saying, Oh, these people have sinned a great sin and have made themselves gods of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin- and if not, blot me, I pray You out of Your book which You have written! Moses, as a go in between, offered to take the punishment of the people, so that they would not have to suffer the consequences of their doing. This is a true picture of what was to come in the Son of God, when He took yours and my place on the cross. Even though Moses’ ministry was not that of a substitutional ministry, He was a prototype of what was to come in the person of the HOLY SPIRIT. Until his death, he led the people in the direction God had shown him – the direction to God’s holiness.