Archive | August 2011

Jeremiah 17:2 and more

 

I was reading through this yesterday (ALL NIV verses)-

Jeremiah 17:2

2 Even their children remember
their altars and Asherah poles[a]

The verses before it were – 
1 “Judah’s sin is engraved with an iron tool,
inscribed with a flint point,
on the tablets of their hearts
and on the horns of their altars.
So that just kind of stuck with me- Many pagan belief systems utilizes poles and structures like that to honor their ‘gods’ – like the Native Americans used totem poles, and the Hindus – used a very similar structure to honor their idols.  This particular one in Judah was used by the Ugaritic people (wikpedia).  It’s incredibly amazing that they had all these similar structures, in the belief system, before Abraham heard God speak the land of Israel and most of the world was exposed to this kind of thing.  It is very interesting to look at this from an anthropological and archaelogiccal standpoint – where they were in different locations and they all believed in similar things.  I know some people say that the Native Americans carried the belief system with them when they migrated across the glaciers, but I think that it is not coincidental that people that used to live in America had structures dedicated to idols just as they had in India, Greece and the lands that God was talking about and all across the world because they didn’t believe in the one Almighty God.  

I notice as I read through the Old Testament – that God is angry at two main things – idolatry – which is worshipping anything except for Him, and the wickedness that comes from idolatry.  Today I was reading through Jeremiah 23 and I read about the warnings about the shepherds who have dreams that are not sent by Him, and there is a severe warning for them.  Some Christians like to take the OT for granted like it is still not applicable today, but in many ways, to know what makes someone tick, is good, so you can avoid doing it, which is why we have the Word, and the Holy Spirit to guide us.  In Jeremiah 23 it says – 29 “Is not my word like fire,” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?  It was interesting that we sang Burn in Me today and here I am reading about the fire of God in His Word.  

Jeremiah 23 and a lot of the portion makes use of the term baal and it is the same word used for beelzebub in the NT.  According to the online etymology dictionary, one of the root goes back to a term that means “to marry”.  It is interesting to note that this false goddess they were making this pole to was married to another idol according to their belief system.  You see the same thing among the Greeks and among the Hindus – their gods were married to goddesses…which is something that is never mentioned about the Lord – that He is married to anyone except for Israel.  The Book of Proverbs makes use of wisdom, as a person, but that is more a figurative representation of the term wisdom as the gender of the word like the use in languages like Latin, Hebrew and Greek.  

 

I found something that quite puzzled me – I was reading about a verse where it said that God actually hated the people and will no longer love them.  And I was quite shocked, but it actually does say that –

15 “Because of all their wickedness in Gilgal,
I hated them there.
Because of their sinful deeds,
I will drive them out of my house.
I will no longer love them;

So I was wondering who were these people in Gilgal or what does Gilgal mean that God despised them so much and I found this tidbit piece of information – “… Gilgal literally means circle of standing stones”- (wikipedia)  That was enough to get me intrigued…Do you know of the only place that we know of now as a place of a circle of standing stones – well that is none other than Stonehenge…. “circular setting of large standing stones” – (wikipedia).  This Gilgal place was debated by several people to be either one of many places with same name or the same place.  In Hosea and Amos it was used as a place of derision and when it talks Gilgal in the book of Joshua it mentions the stones – they were 12 stones to be exact –

Joshua 4:20-23

20 And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. 21 He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the LORD your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over.

There were at least 50 stones in Stonehenge and there were 12 stones in Gilgal.  So if they are not the same thing then Stonehenge must have made to duplicate something that was already there or it was there first.  This is not the only duplicate.  There’s one called Gilgal Refim (ghosts or spirits) and was probably made by giant people in Bashan.   It is located in Golan.

http://www.israel-travel-and-tours.com/rephaim.html

 

There is one made from the Druid Stonehenge in England, but I don’t know if it is the same one.  So they must have done something really bad to make God say, “I hated them” and “will no longer love them for they are rebellious people.”

We look at the world today trying to understand the keys from our past so we don’t learn to make the same mistakes in the future.  God has provided us with His Word to show us clues to the mystery.  It for us through the help of the Holy Spirit to figure these things out and listen to the warnings given from God to His people.  Eventually Our Father in Heaven sent down His Son for the First Coming which was Jesus to die for our sins and He is coming down again.  Even though we have all this knowledge that is key to understanding the world and how not to make mistakes as peoples and nations, we still have a purpose here in our own lives and that is to grow in our own intimacy with God and to have a relationship with Him and to preach the Gospel.  Through the reading of His Word we can begin to see so many different sides of God and His vastness that we cannot begin to comprehend with our finite human minds.  I hope this has given you an inspiration to pursue God’s Word in your life and really study and learn and understand so you can go to depths that Paul did in understanding the mysteries of God:

ROMANS 11:25-32

All Israel Will Be Saved

25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, 26 and in this way[e] all Israel will be saved. As it is written:

“The deliverer will come from Zion;
he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
27 And this is[f] my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.”[g]

28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, 29 for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. 30Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now[h] receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. 32 For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.

That is good to know that God has mercy on people that He has bound to disobedience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revival of Love

Today there was a Prayer and Fasting Rally in Houston, TX, and even though I didn’t go I watched the stream broadcast and I really believe this is what the nation has needed.  God has been asking the people to show their repentance and turn back to Him and every time He would prophecy over the nations telling about judgment, He would also talk about their turn away from wickedness.

This is a shifting of generations from one generation to the next, and the goal of that generation is to spread the love of Christ to the nations.  Living a Christian life is not only about self-denial, or how much of the Bible you can read and quote, but it is about spreading the revival of an unconditional love throughout the nations.  We in America have been so dead and dry because we have gotten comfortable and some of the Christians have even been so bitter and hurt and easily offended that they walk away from the places where they can have the most impact.  That is what our sermon was about today at church – I don’t know about the prayer rally.  The impact of faith being grounded in love.  You cannot please God without faith,

Ephesians 3:16-20 says:

16May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality].

17May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love,

18That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it];

19[That you may really come] to know [practically, [e]through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses [f]mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] [g]unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and [h]become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!

This kind of love that Paul was talking about was a self-sacrificing, unconditional love – that means no matter what someone says, what someone does, you forgive them.  We have to set boundaries as well as was said in the sermon I heard, but we cannot let the things that people do say bother us.  It was also self-sacrificing – you have to ask yourself this question – how far would you be willing to go for someone to see Christ glorified?  Would you be willing to die for that person so that they can have the love of Christ?  The early apostles went through this same kind of expression of love.

We have to be deeply rooted and founded securely on love – it is the one thing that the devil hates because he knows no love.  He in his nature cannot love so he tries to take it away from people.  You cannot have this kind of love in its true form unless you know Jesus.  You can do nice and charitable things, be a nice person, but it is the love and forgiveness that radiates from Him.  Did you know love covers a multitude of sins?  So as much as you sin – not saying to continue sinning because that hurts God – if you are acting out of love then it will be taken into consideration.  This love is the Great Commandment – To love God with all your heart, and to love your neighbor as you love yourself.  If you think about it, as was said in the sermon I heard today, if you love you cannot sin.  If you love you cannot covet your neighbor’s wife, you cannot commit adultery, you cannot steal, you cannot bear false witness against them.

What is amazing is when this love is combined with power then you have a chance of revival happening, especially when this love is based on God first and not yourself.   How many times has someone cut you off in traffic and you have gotten mad, and how many times do you let other people go in front of you even if there are a million people honking behind you – maybe’s it’s not like that where you are from but it’s like that here.  What the body of Christ needs now to see a revival is love and that love can lead to bringing the kingdom of God on the Earth.

This week is actually supposed to be celebrating Friendship Day – a day created by the United Nations – but what is true friendship? Jesus has called us friends – and what defines a friend – it is someone who will go and lay down their life for you – that is a true friend.  But how many of us can say that we are true friends to people?  How many of us can say that we are true friends to Christ?

How can we be more than conquerors unless we know that the love that comes from Christ and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit living inside of us has given us a destiny to love?  It was a destiny, not about possessions, or family obligations, or careers, or money, but a destiny to love?  How many different ways can we show love to others?  If we do not have that love of God in our lives we will abuse ourselves and others and feed ourselves with various addictions by not treating our bodies as if they were temples of the Holy Spirit.

There is a movie really worth watching and it is called Furious Love and it is on youtube now, and they showed how the love of God is being spread upon the Earth.

It is how we live a holy life as Christians by the spreading of love towards other people.  It’s not about condemnation and how wicked you are, but it is about the love of God and His kindness that leads to repentance.

The Heavenly Father has a loving heart, and he wants to see it among the people.  When you love God you are obedient to Him, and when you love the Father, you love Jesus, and when you love Jesus you love the Holy Spirit.  So to see a true revival in this nation we need to ask ourselves how can we love someone today?  What can we do for someone?  How can we pray for someone? I know it’s hard and it hurts sometimes, but if you work with God, He will give you the strength to walk in love towards other people.

Many times we don’t love ourselves because of our many weaknesses and we don’t feel strong and we feel weak and condemned, and like we have no power or just trapped by our circumstances, but God is so much more than our circumstances, He is our strength and shield and He is made strong through our weaknesses.  So wherever you are right now – God can work with you – He can dust you off and pick you up from the ground, from rock bottom and lift you up as an eagle because we have been made to soar.  We were made to rise like eagles.  The problem is that most of us think we are chickens.

It is our time to rise up and shine the light of love to others and to ourselves.  It is a time to reap the harvest that has been sown.  It is a time to wake up and to realize where we need to be.  Loving others doesn’t always mean sending money to them or donations to them, or about going to a foreign country.  You can start where you are in your own neighborhood.  You can actually say “Hi!” to the mailman, you can send your boss a Thank You note, which says something about having a blessed day.  You can do something nice for someone.  You can wash the dishes for your family.  You can visit inner city kids with the purpose of showing what Christlikeness is all about.  We are called to be salt, but what good is salt if it is not seasoned.  We have to be properly seasoned and that is with the love that comes from Christ.  So the time is now to get up and walk in love with one another.