It’s Time to Feast But Not Tonight

Robert Curry

Robert Curry

Last Monday was the Feast of Trumpets.
This Sunday night starts the Feast of Tabernacles.
Most biblical holy days have something to do with good eating.
But not tonight!

So who took the “e” out! Tonight at sundown starts “the Fast” (Acts 27:9).

The Bible calls this holy day from sunset tonight to sunset Wednesday “The Day of Atonement.” Some call it Yom Kippur, and sure Yom means “Day” but maybe there’s more reason it’s not Yam or Yum!

Because it involves 24 hours of fasting with no food or water. We are to “afflict” ourselves to humble ourselves in submission to God.   To feel on a gut level how utterly dependent we are on our Creator and Sustainer for our very life. And we want to reconcile now to God so we’ll be ready to serve all of humanity when Christ returns and sets His hand to restore the earth. Jesus said some things are only accomplished by prayer and fasting. This is a day of CLOSENESS and POWER AWAITING!

The Day of Atonement pictures God facilitating the whole world becoming at-one-ment with Him by removing Satan the Devil, his demons and his influence for the 1,000 years of Christ’s glorious reign on earth.   My guess is that this big removal will occur on the Day of Atonement that is 10 days into His reign if He returns on a Feast of Trumpets as seems likely and that this will be a Jubilee year which begins on a Day of Atonement.  Working out such intricacies is a piece of cake for our God!

Oops, there I go, lapsing into thinking about food when the mind is supposed to be on fasting!

The whole world will feast then! On abundance and joy!

For now we hunger and thirst after righteousness—the foundation of God’s throne (Psalm 89:14).

God is ready to bless with a very fulfilling Day of Atonement.

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What Will You Do with This Heavenly Verse?

Robert Curry

Robert Curry

“Don’t believe me or anybody else! 
Blow the dust off your Bible and see what it says for yourself!”
the booming voice would demand regularly.   
When the swirl subsided, mine said “New King James Bible.” 
The surprise comes when we study the inside pages!

Let’s let the Bible teach us and correct us,
regardless of what we have believed

or what is commonly accepted as gospel truth.

“All scripture is inspired” (2 Timothy 3:16).  The truth shall make us free.  But the Bible cuts like a sharp two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12) so we should expect some engaging encounters.

It’s not for nothing that the Bible says the way is narrow (Matthew 7:13-14) and the flock is little (Luke 12:32).  If we believe what everybody else believes and live like everybody else lives, that should be a red flag that we might ignorantly be actually on the broad way.  How would we know?

We must read what the Bible says, rightly divide it by asking the Holy Spirit to guide us, and be willing to change even if it goes contrary to what everybody else believes.  Ready?

What will you do with this scripture—a scripture spoken by Jesus Christ Himself whom you’d think Christians would gladly accept as the authority:

“No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven” (John 3:13).

If this were testimony in a courtroom, or stated in a major newspaper, it’s obvious Jesus said “Nobody has gone to heaven except Me.”

But this is the Bible so Barnes Commentary in e-Sword makes this attempt:  “This does not mean that no one had gone to heaven or had been saved, for Enoch and Elijah had been borne there.”  So Barnes, not wanting to call Jesus a liar or mistaken, says it is really saying that nobody has ascended to heaven and returned to talk about it except Jesus.

The Bible warns not to add to or subtract (Revelation 22:18-19).

Genesis 5:24 only says Enoch “was not, for God took him.”  Doesn’t say where.  You may as well argue he was off to Disneyland!  The question is who will be taken—in!  Jesus was the “I Am” of the Old Testament Who took him.

He also no doubt provided the chariot of fire when Elijah “went up by a whirlwind into heaven” (2 Kings 2:11).  The Bible speaks of three heavens.  Whirlwinds blow in the first lower one.

In a shocker, later on King Jehoram received a letter from Elijah (2 Chronicles 21:12)!  Apparently the Bible’s Evel Knievel landed safely somewhere else on earth and continued serving God with a royal correspondence.

We must let the Bible teach us and change us so we can be part of the meek who, Jesus again, said “shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5).

So what will you do with this heavenly verse?

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Hey, What’s Fear Doing in the Faith Chapter?

Robert Curry

Robert Curry

Sometimes the Bible Says Something
That Just Jumps Out at You as a Total Surprise

What a surprise to see fear mentioned in Hebrews 11—the faith chapter, also called “The Hall of Faith”!  Verse 7 in the King James Version says “Noah moved with fear.”

Noah moved with fear

Well, this just means Noah had proper respect, reverence and awe for God and accordingly built the ark as commanded, right?  Indeed, the New King James says “moved with godly fear” and the New International Version “moved with holy fear.”

But a closer look is a lot more interesting for those of us who want to labor in the Word and rightly discern it.

The Greek word for this fear [eulabeomai, pronounced you-lab-eh’-om-ahee] is only used twice in New Testament.  You would rightly conclude that these two verses show what this specific Greek word means and therefore how “Noah moved with fear.”

In the other instance, “the commander, fearing lest Paul might be pulled to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him by force from among them, and bring him into the barracks” (Acts 23:10).

Barnes Commentary on E-Sword says “The verb properly means ‘to act with caution, to be circumspect,’ and then ‘to fear, to be afraid.’

Looking (spect) around (circum), the commander saw that the Pharisees and Saducees in the Sanhedrin were getting agitated about Paul and he moved with fear!

Was the commander just being a good watchman—like we should be (Ezekiel 33:3)—and properly observing and assessing?  Was he worried that a riot was breaking out under his responsibility which Rome would not take kindly to and he might lose his job?  This was what apparently motivated Pontius Pilate to act as he did with Jesus.  Was the commander genuinely concerned for Paul’s safety?  All of the above?

Comparing with Acts 23:10’s use of the same Greek word, Barnes Commentary says of Hebrews 11:7:  “It might mean Noah was influenced by the dread of what was coming.”

What did Noah see?

  • God asking him to build an ark right out in the middle of dry land where it hadn’t rained for so long!
  • Crowds of gawkers, jeerers, critics, scorners and mockers
  • Maybe family thinking he was going off the deep end!
  • 120 years of wielding hammer and saw when maybe he had other plans!

Though nothing is said about the commander acting with respect and awe of God, Barnes Commentary says of Hebrews 11:7:  “It may mean that he was influenced by proper caution and reverence for God.  The latter is probably the true sense.”

It’s interesting that the noun form of the Greek word is translated “heard in that He feared” (Hebrews 5:7) and “with reverence and godly fear” (Hebrews 11:27).

So what do we—who find ourselves living somewhere between faith and fear, hopefully more toward the faith end—take away from this surprise verse?

In spite of all the dread over Elul 29 (last Sunday) the closest event to being apocalyptic was when the Broncos could muster no offense and almost lost their opener to the Ravens.

“We must walk by faith not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).  Out of sight, out of mind should be faith in mind.   Noah moved with fear when he was “divinely warned of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:7).  Verse 1 concurs that faith is the “evidence of things not seen.”  Verse 8 honors Abraham for “not knowing where he was going.”  Verse 13 commends all those who “having seen them [the promises] afar off.”

As in the days of Noah

Noah moved with fear!  Shouldn’t we who live “as in the days of Noah” do likewise!

Whatever our level of fear, the bottom line is:  we must keep moving.  Never removing hand from the plow.  Never burying our talent.  Never neglecting so great a salvation.  Be found so doing.

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September Appointments with God

Robert Curry

Robert Curry

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Does your calendar have appointments for September?

With a teacher? Your doctor? Mechanic?
How about with God?

Though attending church all my life, I was 19 when I first heard about biblical holy days.

What a thrilling discovery! Because those who taught me about the biblical holy days had learned by teaching and by experience that these days reveal understanding about the plan of God.

I knew I really didn’t know why I was born, the purpose for life, or the plan of God, so I was eager to learn about the biblical holy days and keep them!  Forty-six years later I am still eager, still learning, and the great fall festivals are coming this month!

Leviticus 23:2 says they are “feasts of the Lord,” “holy convocations” and “My feasts.”

“Appointed times”

Verse 4 adds that “you shall proclaim at their appointed times.”

The word “feasts” in verse 2 comes from the Hebrew MOW’ED, and one of its main meanings is “appointed place, time and meeting.”

Yes, utterly amazing, they are appointments with God! God the Father and Jesus Christ are willing to take time out of their busy schedule running the universe from their thrones in the third heaven to be with me!

Verses 23-25 are about the Feast of Trumpets which this year is this coming Monday, Sept. 14.

Spiritual dates

Part of its meaning is the marriage of Jesus Christ to His bride (Revelation 19). For those of us wanting to be part of His Church—His Bride—that makes our appointments on these biblical holy days also into spiritual dates with our soon coming Husband!

Verses 26-32 discuss the Day of Atonement which this year is coming Wednesday, Sept. 23.

Verses 33-44 describe the Feast of Tabernacles and Eighth Day which occur this year from Sept. 28 through Oct. 5. The word “convocations” fits nicely here because we will be meeting with (con) others being trained to become kings, priests and judges (vocations) in Christ’s kingdom He will establish on the earth for 1,000 years after He returns.

These biblical holy days are joyful, wonderful occasions with the family of God.

No wonder that “Jesus and His disciples, as well as the early Palestinian Christian communities [those in Judea and Galilee] observed … the major annual festivals” (“Early Christian Feasts,” The New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967, Vol. 5, p. 867.

Will God give you vision and desire to look into these biblical holy days which They consider to be appointments and dates?

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Maybe We Should Make Time on Labor Day to See What the Bible Says About Labor

Dad with tshirt finalAs I do anything but labor today,
I thought it would be instructive to see
what the Bible says about labor.

From the wisest man who ever lived

“It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage. As to every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor—this is the gift of God” (Ecclesiastes 5:18-19).

“Better is a handful with quietness than both hands full, together with toil and grasping for the wind” (Ecclesiastes 4:6).

“The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eats little or much; but the abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep” (Ecclesiastes 5:12).

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every work into judgment” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

From the Apostle Paul

“If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10).

From the Gods

“And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made” (Genesis 2:2-3).

“My Father has been working until now, and I have been working” (John 5:17).

“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (John 4:34).

“Being Confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

That works for me!

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Somewhere Between Faith & Fear

Robert sporting new blog look!

Robert sporting new blog look!

The Bible makes it perfectly clear: 
Perfect faith does not walk in fear.
Yet the same Apostle Paul who said
“the just shall live by faith” also said
he was “with you in weakness, in fear,
and in much trembling.”

“God has not given us a spirit of fear:  but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (1 Timothy 1:7).  So if fear, then lacking in the Holy Spirit.

Paul said the Holy Spirit would give us love.  John says “Perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18).  So if fear, then lacking in love.

With the Internet abuzz with talk of prophetic trouble coming on Sept. 13, many are fearful.  Even though the stock market can’t crash on the 13th because it’s not open on Sunday.  By then there may not much left to crash anyway!

Instead of fear

Some blessed with understanding will rejoice because the evening of the 13th begins the Feast of Trumpets which pictures Jesus Christ’s triumphant return to the earth to set up His Kingdom and begin the restitution of all things!

Instead of fear that the fourth blood moon—a super one—might mean that the people of earth are in for a nasty shiner, some blessed with understanding will rejoice that the big glorious full moon beams forth that it’s opening night of the Feast of Tabernacles.  This seven-day festival pictures Christ’s and His saints’ glorious Millennial reign on the earth.

“Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world” said Ralph Waldo Emerson.  No wonder it’s regarded as one of the four enemies of faith along with human reason, doubt and worry.

It’s been calculated that:

  • 60% of things feared will never take place
  • 30% of fears about things that happened in the past can’t be changed
  • 90% of fears are about insignificant issues
  • 88% of health fears will not happen.

Paul said “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17).  This is the same Paul who wrote “I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling” (1 Corinthians 2:3).

As long as we’re human, we’re going to be living somewhere between faith and fear, hopefully closer to the faith end!

How do we do that?  Ask daily for the Holy Spirit to give you faith and love and deliver you from all your fears (Psalm 34:4).

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A Whodunit Mystery Like No Other

Agatha Christie, John Grisham and Alfred Hitchcock have their die-hard fans,
but the Bible is the best-selling, most-read whodunit mystery ever written—
even though it is totally unlike the others.

In a whodunit mystery the reader gets to go through the same process of deduction as the protagonist throughout the investigation of a crime. Clues along the way make it possible to deduce the identity of the perpetrator before the story reveals all in the climax.

But in the Bible, the crime and perpetrator are laid bare in the first few chapters: Humans obey Satan instead of God and lose access to the Tree of Life and the Holy Spirit.

The mystery

In one verse the Apostle Paul gives it away: “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). Christ is in us through the Holy Spirit and we need the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5).

Whodunit

We don’t bandy about WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?). We want concrete examples not subjective guesses. We pay attention to WDJD (What Did Jesus Do). We read the four Gospels for the inspired historical testimony of what Jesus did during his 3-1/2 years on the earth as the Son of Man.  “Anyone who says he is a Christian should live as Christ did” (I John 2:6, Living Bible).

Actually, Jesus cared about WDFD (What Did Father Do?).  “Whatever the Father does, the Son also does” (John 5:19, NIV).

And then there’s WDPD (What Did Paul Do?).  Some erroneously believe the apostle to the Gentiles changed everything.  But Paul said “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (I Cor. 11:1).

Living up to such godly standards cannot be done by human deduction.  We must be called by the Father (John 6:44).  Our minds must be opened by Christ like He did to disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:31). The Holy Spirit reveals the deep things of God through our spirit in man (1 Corinthians 2:11).

What joy—by revealing grace—to feel like Sherlock Holmes and find the mystery starting to become “the simplicity of Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3).   Elementary, my dear Watson!

Reveals all in its climax

“Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life …” (Revelation 22:14).

So now the mystery only you can solve:  WDYD (What Did You Do?)

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