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Monday, June 25, 2012

On that day.............................. Isaiah 24:21-23

Isaiah 24:21-23

New Century Version (NCV)

 21 At that time the Lord will punish
       the powers in the sky above
       and the rulers on earth below.                                   
 22 They will be gathered together
       like prisoners thrown into a dungeon;
    they will be shut up in prison.
       After much time they will be punished.
 23 The moon will be embarrassed,
       and the sun will be ashamed,
    because the Lord All-Powerful will rule as king
       on Mount Zion in Jerusalem.
       Jerusalem's leaders will see his greatness.

     I came across these verses in the Book of Isaiah during my reading and research on further teachings for my series, "The Alternative End Times Scenario"They do not have anything in particular to deal directly with my thesis that the end of days gathering of nations against Israel, the last days judgement of the earth, the assembling of a conglomeration (caliphate) of Islamic nations, and the long foretold Antichrist arising from within them, is soon.  But, I found these verses really peaked my interest!
     When you read this section of the Prophet Isaiah's book in King James english you can come away a little befuddled.  But there are more contemporary versions that shed some light on this rather striking text.  For teachers and students like myself, you almost get a little giddy at such a find, because within these simple verses, when read with understanding, we find the real backdrop of the End of Days.  
     I will not take the time to go into any real depth as to what God shared with my heart as I read the text.  That is really up to each person to find these truths, and make them both applicable, and active in one's own heart and being.  You may judge them to be old and worthless in our modern 21st Century world.  Or, you may find renewed hope in the coming of that final day when all will be made right in God's sight.
     What I mean for the uninitiated is that what the Word is saying to us here, is what it says continually over, and over again.  That there will come a day when the earth and all of it's inhabitants both human and spiritual will be held accountable and judged.  That a generation will come during a time of great tribulation and the LORD, Jesus, will come to rule the world from Jerusalem.  Just a brief reminder, this was spoken some 500 years before Jesus appeared in earthly form, and some 2500 years from or present time.  
     Now those facts alone, can afford some their own personal attitude of scoffing, at what for others, is truth foretold in advance.  A sort of Missourian mental gymnastics, of "show me, and then I'll believe it!". Whereas logic itself would dictate that faith is believing in something that you cannot yet see...  So there will always be believers, and those who need to see to believe, but when push comes to shove, last minute faith conversions could be either pushing the envelope, or just pointedly, cutting it way too close when it comes down to events of such gargantuan purportions . Either way,  your faith should be the filter in which you see the world and world events on a daily basis.
     The particular aspect of these verses that i would like to point out, is  that when He comes again, it will not be just to judge mankind.  In Isaiah 24:21, it says," and at that time the LORD will punish the powers in the sky above".  This is not the prophet just speaking poetically or in hyberboley.  These words are to be given the same weight, as if you believe that Jesus is coming again to rule from Jerusalem.  And IF you don't accept or believe that, I would humbly suggest that you re-read your bible and examine your faith.
     These verses are like the Cliff Notes for the New Testaments' Book of Revelation by John.  Simple, and compact, they tell us what to expect,  what the outcome of time will be, and what we have to look forward to, if we happen to be alive during those events.  I guess what got me excited the most was the aspect that those heavenly (not God's heaven) powers of the sky will be getting their due in due time.  In the New testament, Paul shares with us, "

Ephesians 6:12

New International Version (NIV)
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 

     Might I bring this all full circle to today ?  If you are finding yourself in some area that seems to be just too "powerful" to overcome.  Might I suggest that you revisit Ephesians 6:12 ?  That you ask for understanding, and wisdom for your situation, and God's grace and power to be the victor and not the vanquished.     That if so long ago, in Isaiah and in John's revelation, that they saw a day of overall victory over the " powers of the sky above".  That when HE comes again to execute that judgement in total, you will have come to the full knowledge like Paul that we battle both the seen, and the unseen until that day!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Encouragement...God's way....

      We live near the coast.  Therefore, we have quite a few various kinds of seashells strewn about our yard for aesthetic effects.  They all have their own beauty and allure.
     Today, I looked down to see the piece of an abalone shell that the puppy had gnawed on.  The sunlight was reflecting off of it just right to bring out all of it's natural visual brilliance.  I was entranced by it's beauty.
     Then a string of thoughts started flooding  through my mind.  How, that unless the abalone shell is exposed to the light, and taken from it's darkened lair from under the sea;  no one will ever see the beauty that is hidden within it.  How that one of  God's most enchanting of seashells is hidden in the most darkest of places.  Held fast, and tight, against the rocks, in a world that half the planet cannot survive in because it breathes air and not water. I had to wonder. Why would the Creator keep such a thing held for only a limited amount of people and creatures to ever see?  Why?
     Then, the thought train switched tracks. Instead of contemplative, the thoughts became active in stance, and assimilated with His Word.  I sensed how that there is a lot of "hidden beauty" in the world that most of us ignore,or are blind to, because we choose not to see it.  We don't bother to take the time to investigate it...turn over rocks, dust off a little dirt, so to speak. We don't shine the Light on these hidden gems, and therefore aren't able to see the beauty that was there the whole time.  Beauty designed by God, that was hidden, protected sometimes from the battering of life's stormy seas. I  was guilty, and I was challenged.
     For me the abalone is one of the prettiest shells on the planet.  It's colors and luminescent glow is unmatched by the hundreds of other shells that line the beach everyday on an afternoon stroll.  Knowing where it came from, and how it lived, and survived; makes it's allure all that much more enticing when finding one.
     I cannot help but know that God was teaching me something today.  That shining His Light even in the dark, speaking His Word directly to and illuminating that special beauty that lies within us all; can free and uncover a hidden treasure that no one ever knew was there.  Can I use this story to challenge you to speak light into the darkness, to bless the beauty within, someone today!
     I am going on a human abalone shell hunt.  I want God to use me as a light that doesn't expose the darkness only as a means of pointing a finger.  But instead, using me as a light that illuminates the beauty that He placed within those hidden by the darkness. Those who really want to come into the Light so that they can be admired, and cherished. Happy hunting!