Broken Vessel

Jeremiah 18:1-10 MSG
1  GOD told Jeremiah,
2  “Up on your feet! Go to the potter’s house. When you get there, I’ll tell you what I have to say.”
3  So I went to the potter’s house, and sure enough, the potter was there, working away at his wheel.
4  Whenever the pot the potter was working on turned out badly, as sometimes happens when you are working with clay, the potter would simply start over and use the same clay to make another pot.
5  Then GOD’s Message came to me:
6  “Can’t I do just as this potter does, people of Israel?” GOD’s Decree! “Watch this potter. In the same way that this potter works his clay, I work on you, people of Israel.
7  At any moment I may decide to pull up a people or a country by the roots and get rid of them.
8  But if they repent of their wicked lives, I will think twice and start over with them.
9  At another time I might decide to plant a people or country,
10  but if they don’t cooperate and won’t listen to me, I will think again and give up on the plans I had for them.

I am going to use some writer’s license in using a portion of the above chapter to highlight a minor subject.

I am not one who can do crafts, woodwork, or any other hobby that calls for a straight line, symmetry, or just a creative eye.  However, I can spot great artistry like fine paintings, drawings, woodworking, and yes pottery.

 I have a basic understanding of how pottery is created.  How that each piece starts with some great clay, a potter’s wheel, and an eye to spot imperfections.  Then how the final creation is put into a furnace until it has cohesion and has new strength.

The potter grabs some wet clay places it on the wheel and pumps the pedal creating a  circular motion while the potter works hands to begin to shape that clump of clay into something that is distinguishable to the eye.  During the process he stops for some moments takes a step back to look at the work in progress to notice if there are any imperfections in the piece.  If not satisfied with the creation thus far he takes his fist and slams it into the work until it is just a lump of clay again.  Then begins the process over sometimes many times until he has a perfect vessel ready to be fired.

Our lives are much like that of the lump of clay on a potter’s wheel being molded until there is a vessel worthy of honor.

Romans 9: MSG
21  Isn’t it obvious that a potter has a perfect right to shape one lump of clay into a vase for holding flowers and another into a pot for cooking beans?

 

Sometimes in our Christian walk we can go through times where we are broken in spirit.  We sometimes find ourselves questioning God why are we going through this time of brokenness.

I have found myself broken many times.  Being betrayed by someone who I have trusted.  Other times broken when a friend or loved one are taken way too early in their lives.  At times crying until there are no more tears to fall across the cheeks of my face.

My faith has even been broken when the fiery trials come my way to the point I just want to quit.  Yet, I know that the trial cannot last forever and if I hold onto the hand of God I know I will come out the other side better than when I went in.

1 Peter 1: MSG
7  Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.

I know like Paul wrote that I must continue going forward keeping my eye on the prize ahead and never turn to look backwards.

Philippians 3: KJV
14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Like the psalmist wrote in the twenty third chapter of the Book of Psalms, “Yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.”

I have learned in my Christian walk that we need the valleys because that is where we can find fresh water and food.  On the mountain tops those two necessities are most likely scarce.  In those low moments in my life I know that my Saviour is leading me even when I am totally broken and to the onlooker completely devastated, completely useless.

The potter never creates two pieces totally identical.  In some way visible or not each vessel is different and more than likely have different uses.

I play the piano and the organ, yet I know that no matter how hard I try to copy some other pianist or organist my technique in playing is different.  An associate once told me that every musician is unique just like our finger prints are unique one from another.

If you are  broken at this time please let me assure you that it will not last, that in the final end you will be a vessel of honour that will bring glory to God.

 

Sin Does Not Equal Trials/Tribulations

Job 1: (MSG)
1  Job was a man who lived in Uz. He was honest inside and out, a man of his word, who was totally devoted to God and hated evil with a passion.
2  He had seven sons and three daughters.
3  He was also very wealthy—seven thousand head of sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred teams of oxen, five hundred donkeys, and a huge staff of servants—the most influential man in all the East!
4  His sons used to take turns hosting parties in their homes, always inviting their three sisters to join them in their merrymaking.
5  When the parties were over, Job would get up early in the morning and sacrifice a burnt offering for each of his children, thinking, “Maybe one of them sinned by defying God inwardly.” Job made a habit of this sacrificial atonement, just in case they’d sinned.
6  One day when the angels came to report to GOD, Satan, who was the Designated Accuser, came along with them.
7  GOD singled out Satan and said, “What have you been up to?” Satan answered GOD, “Going here and there, checking things out on earth.”
8  GOD said to Satan, “Have you noticed my friend Job? There’s no one quite like him—honest and true to his word, totally devoted to God and hating evil.”
9  Satan retorted, “So do you think Job does all that out of the sheer goodness of his heart?
10  Why, no one ever had it so good! You pamper him like a pet, make sure nothing bad ever happens to him or his family or his possessions, bless everything he does—he can’t lose!
11  “But what do you think would happen if you reached down and took away everything that is his? He’d curse you right to your face, that’s what.”
12  GOD replied, “We’ll see. Go ahead—do what you want with all that is his. Just don’t hurt him.” Then Satan left the presence of GOD.

What I am about to write will no doubt cause concern among many in the religious world, even among some evangelicals.  However, I am not one who always conforms to those worlds.

There is  teaching among “faith” preachers that if you are sick it is because you have sinned.  Sorry, I can find no premise in the scriptures for that.

Then in the same camp a teaching if you are not healed you must not have faith.  This is totally erroneous.

Please note in the above passage that satan enters the throne of God complaining about the hedge that is around God’s man, Job.

It is my belief that satan is still doing this for I can find no scripture where he is bound in this present day.  Yes, after Christ’s return he will be bound for a period of time, a thousand years.  Then unleashed once more to try those who have come through this thousand years.

1 Peter 5: MSG
8  Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping.

Revelation 12: MSG
7  War broke out in Heaven. Michael and his Angels fought the Dragon. The Dragon and his Angels fought back,
8  but were no match for Michael. They were cleared out of Heaven, not a sign of them left.
9  The great Dragon—ancient Serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, the one who led the whole earth astray—thrown out, and all his Angels thrown out with him, thrown down to earth.
10  Then I heard a strong voice out of Heaven saying, Salvation and power are established! Kingdom of our God, authority of his Messiah! The Accuser of our brothers and sisters thrown out, who accused them day and night before God.

Notice in 1 Peter and in the Book of Revelation a description of Satan, as of a roaring lion, and the accuser.

The child of God must remain diligent and always on guard:

Ephesians 6: MSG
11  So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way.

The family and friends went to Job and said “you must have done something wrong”.  Job told his wife, “you talk like a foolish women”.

Take a look at the reply of Job to those who thought Job must have sinned because of things he was going through.

Job 23:  MSG
10  “But he knows where I am and what I’ve done. He can cross-examine me all he wants, and I’ll pass the test with honors.

It is of my firm belief that many saints of God live in defeat because they have believed a lie thinking they have sinned because of the trials they are going through.  They look inwards trying to find a sin that is not there.

I am here to say that when you are going through hard times it just may be that God is bragging on you for doing everything right.  Like Job hold on because when you come out there other side of the trial you shall be like pure gold.

Quake of All Quakes

Zechariah 14:  -MSG
1  Note well: GOD’s Judgment Day is on the way: “Plunder will be piled high and handed out.
2  I’m bringing all the godless nations to war against Jerusalem— Houses plundered, women raped, Half the city taken into exile, the other half left behind.”
3  But then GOD will march out against the godless nations and fight—a great war!
4  That’s the Day he’ll take his stand on the Mount of Olives, facing Jerusalem from the east. The Mount of Olives will be split right down the middle, from east to west, leaving a wide valley. Half the mountain will shift north, the other half south.

In doing some research I found the following article that once again God and science agree.

 

Jerusalem’s Natural Fault Lines and the EU

Dr. Joseph Frager, 23/10/14 08:10

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Blogs/Message.aspx/6373

The Haftorah read on the first day of Sukkot from Zechariah prophecies an  Earthquake in the heart of Jerusalem. “On that day His feet will stand astride Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the East, and the Mount of Olives will split at its Center, Eastward and Westward making a huge ravine; half the mountain will move Northward and half will move Southward”.

The Fault Line in Jerusalem rivals that of the more well known San Andreas Fault in the West Coast of the United States. The European Union has spent millions studying the Fault Line in order to use it for their Political Purposes to divide Jerusalem. As it turns out the worst hit area when an Earthquake occurs will be the Temple Mount. Earthquakes have already occurred in Jerusalem. Zechariah mentions the Earthquake that occurred in the days of King Uzziah of Judah. Scientists estimate that this Earthquake was 7.8 to 8.2 on the Richter Scale. An Earthquake in Jerusalem on January 15th, 1546 was 6.7 on the Richter Scale. The last Earthquake was in 1927 and caused the Allenby Bridge to collapse.

In the Book of Acts chapter one Christ is standing with the disciples on the Mount of Olives before His ascension.

While he was ascending the angels tell the disciples:

Acts 1:11 MSG
11  They said, “You Galileans!—why do you just stand here looking up at an empty sky? This very Jesus who was taken up from among you to heaven will come as certainly—and mysteriously—as he left.”

Forward more than sixty years on the isle of Patmos John is given a Revelation and he writes what he sees and hears.

Revelation 1:7-8 KJV
7  Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
8  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

I do not agree with those who try to set dates.  I do not know the time He will appear, but Christ did tell us we would know the season.

Technology today has made it very possible for the event of all time to be broadcast so that everyone will see it happen.  Every network will cut into their programming to broadcast the next greatest event in the history of mankind.

So now we can add to, God, & science, technology.

I did not know about the fault line that runs under the mount of Olive, but almighty God did.

I cannot even imagine the power that will be disbursed when Christ sets His feet on the mount of Olives.  Powerful enough to cause that very fault line to quake and split the mount in half.

I have always taught that every subject that God wants us to know can be found from Genesis to Revelation.  There is not one subject that stands on its own, it has to be confirmed from cover to cover, Old Testament, to the New Testament.  This is how to discern the scripture properly.  One must be able to find types and shadows of every ‘doctrine’.  We are told to interpret the scripture with scripture.

I can find great assurance and peace in knowing that God knows the beginning to the end.  He does nothing by mistake or by chance.

Isaiah 46: KJV
8  Remember this, and shew yourselves men: bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors.
9  Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
10  Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

Maybe the theologians of this world would disagree with me but, I am just reading the scriptures.  I did not attend a Bible College, nor can I read Greek or Hebrew. So I just use English translations of the Bible.

My understanding is always under construction when it comes the Word of God.  What I believed when I was a young teenager may not be how I believe on any subject some forty years later.

I like to watch news broadcasts but I do not get depressed in what I see or hear.  Most of the time I get excited because I can see the hand of God in the events unfolding around this world.

I agree with climate change because before scientists warned of this Christ already told us these things would take place.

Matthew 24:6-8 MSG
6  When reports come in of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history; this is no sign of the end.
7  Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Famines and earthquakes will occur in various places.
8  This is nothing compared to what is coming.

My desire is not for things that I can obtain in this life but, for the life that will last for eternity.  A desire to point people to Jesus Christ and urge them to be ready.  Have their account settled with sins forgiven.  Tell people to have a faith that is unwavering for the times ahead for us around the world.

During the past several years I have come to an understanding that I am no longer interested in debating doctrine or theology.  All I can do is keep myself spotless lest Christ comes in the night.  My spiritual house is in order. I cannot answer for those around me but I can speak the Word of God and point out their need to turn to Christ.

So I close this post by asking, Are you ready should the greatest quake of all quakes happens?  I hope and pray the answer is, yes!

 

 

A Bear, A King of the East, North and South

Revelation 16: MSG
12  The sixth Angel poured his bowl on the great Euphrates River: It dried up to nothing. The dry riverbed became a fine roadbed for the kings from the East.
13  From the mouths of the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet I saw three foul demons crawl out—they looked like frogs.
14  These are demon spirits performing signs. They’re after the kings of the whole world to get them gathered for battle on the Great Day of God, the Sovereign-Strong.
15  “Keep watch! I come unannounced, like a thief. You’re blessed if, awake and dressed, you’re ready for me. Too bad if you’re found running through the streets, naked and ashamed.”
16  The frog-demons gathered the kings together at the place called in Hebrew Armageddon.

I had intended for my next post to use the scripture speaking to those with a haughty spirit.  Hence, I am writing again about the headlines in the headlines.  Russia, North Korea, China, Syria, Turkey, Germany and Egypt.

 

Hosea 4: MSG
6  My people are ruined because they don’t know what’s right or true. Because you’ve turned your back on knowledge, I’ve turned my back on you priests. Because you refuse to recognize the revelation of God, I’m no longer recognizing your children.

God’s children should be a people with the greatest knowledge, yet they seem to be the least knowledgeable. There is no reason for ignorance.  Personal computers, the internet, and Bible software are all available to those who will make use of them.

As I stated in my last post truth is under attack around the world.  Leaders calling into question truth destroying the credibility of all that is honest.  Eventually this will lead into captivity of the people.  False prophets and teachers spreading a false gospel.  

Mark 13:22 MSG
22  Fake Messiahs and lying preachers are going to pop up everywhere. Their impressive credentials and dazzling performances will pull the wool over the eyes of even those who ought to know better.

I truly believe were are in the last days.  As a student of Biblical Prophecy since my teens I have learned to catch the signs while listening to the headlines in the news.

I am not sure what is happening in the evangelical ranks in North America but what I hear makes my very soul quake.  This alignment of the evangelical right with leaders who are espousing lies.  As the leaders of the country are so is the nation.  If the leaders are ungodly and mock the very truth of the Word of God so will the nation follow.  This is a road that only leads to destruction.

I can only pray that God will break through and shake the lethargy and remove the scales from the eyes of His children.

I truly feel and believe that somehow God will spare a remnant of people before He sends Christ back to the Mount of Olives.

Nothing in the timeline that God has set out is by chance.  He gave us the road map through His prophets, apostles, and the five fold ministry.  All we have to do is allow Him to guide our steps on this road we are travelling.

Luke 18: MSG
1  Jesus told them a story showing that it was necessary for them to pray consistently and never quit.
2  He said, “There was once a judge in some city who never gave God a thought and cared nothing for people.
3  A widow in that city kept after him: ‘My rights are being violated. Protect me!’
4  “He never gave her the time of day. But after this went on and on he said to himself, ‘I care nothing what God thinks, even less what people think.
5  But because this widow won’t quit badgering me, I’d better do something and see that she gets justice—otherwise I’m going to end up beaten black and blue by her pounding.'”
6  Then the Master said, “Do you hear what that judge, corrupt as he is, is saying?
7  So what makes you think God won’t step in and work justice for his chosen people, who continue to cry out for help? Won’t he stick up for them?
8  I assure you, he will. He will not drag his feet. But how much of that kind of persistent faith will the Son of Man find on the earth when he returns?”

Let me assure you that God is not some old man sitting some where worried, wringing His hands wondering what to do.  He set out His plan since the day He created the world by His Word. 

In my research I found that scientists are sending out an alarm that the very river mentioned in prophecy, the Euphrates river, is drying up.  Exactly the way Bible prophecy has said.  This is the road prepared for the kings of the east, China, Asia, North and South Korea, and the rest of the pacific rim in the east, to move towards the valley of Megiddo,  Armageddon.

The king of the North, Russia, and the king of the south, Iraq/Iran, will also soon meet in battle.

I heard a preacher once declare the bear of Bible prophecy is like a polar bear, the fiercest of the species.  Never pick a fight with a bear, especially the bear spoken by the prophets.

Again, I mention that I do not see America in Bible prophecy.  Could it be that they have given in to false gods and a false gospel.  That they no longer believe the truth, but rather the lies of the false prophet.

God has given us the warning about those who come working miracles through deception.  False miracles straight from the pit of hell.

Let me assure you if you are diligent and have a hunger for God’s truth it is as simple as asking.  His Word is His will.

Matthew 5:6 MSG
6  “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

I no longer preach from a pulpit to a congregation, but, I still continue to study God’s Word and now can reach out to people through this medium of a blog.

If your leader in the pulpit leaves you feeling empty I beseech you to find some place where they still bring forth the Word of God in power and truth.  Then set a time and place each day to seek God’s face and feed from His Holy writ.

If you don’t have a Bible, but a computer, there are many Bible soft wares available for free.  They have great dictionaries, commentaries, etc., for a student of the Bible to use.  I use several. One of my favourites is E-Sword.  There is more than enough tools to use that you will never have the excuse of ignorance.

If you want a hard copy I am sure there is some where to obtain a copy, maybe, even for free.

You are the only one who is responsible to be ready.  No one else can answer for you when you stand before God.  It’s time to be ready.  

Events are happening quicker than one can keep pace with.  Time is growing short.  

If you are not a child of God, give your life to Christ now.  Then find someone and tell them and have them join you in prayer.  God is ready to bring you in.

To the child of God increase your knowledge, then, act on it.  Christ said He will make us fishers of men, not fishers of wealth.

Get ready, Be ready!