What Was Really So Special about Joshua’s Long Day?

We think we’ve had a long day!
At  least when we have one that seems like it will never end,
it lasts only 24 hours.

But with Joshua’s long day in the Bible,
“the sun stood still in the midst of heaven,
and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day” (Josh. 10:13).

joshuas-long-daySo Joshua’s long day is famous for God performing a celestial miracle so that Israel could mop up the victory against their enemy.   Wow, God makes the sun stand still and stops the moon!  A simple tick tock for the Master Timer who created the heavens and earth and upholds them by His power!  Just like adjusting a Timex for Him!

So the Bible proclaims “there has been no day like that, before it or after it” (verse 14) and spells out the reason why.  The surprise:  it’s not because orbits were altered.

Some claim the significance of Joshua’s long day is that the weekly calendar cycle was changed, and therefore whatever day the battle took place on became the next day of the weekly cycle and voila—the seventh day of the week became the first day of the week.    So some claim the God who told His people to “observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant” (Ex. 31:16) lost time and messed up His own calendar!  They think He got so star struck confused that now He is deliriously happy if somebody just wants to worship Him at all on whatever day fits their fancy.

Who really thinks our Creator would botch His own directives!  Not in a month of Sundays.

Did you notice what the Bible plainly says:  “there has been no day like that.”  If it were on a Monday and perhaps gave rise to our modern feelings about the work week, then it was still a Monday when it ended.  If maybe it felt like a Monday Monday, it was still only one long day for Momas and Papas to sing about down through the ages.

So now let’s notice

What really was so special about Joshua’s long day

“And there has been no day like that, before it or after it, that the Lord heeded the voice of a man” (verse 14).

God told Joshua “Do not fear them, for I have delivered them into your hand; not a man of them shall stand before you” (verse 8).   Yet lots of them were still standing as sunset was coming on.  Joshua wanted to finish the mission!  The Lord had been giving ’em hail (verse 11) and Joshua probably sensed He wasn’t ready to call it a day yet either.

So apparently as Joshua was speaking to the Lord (verse 12), he boldly asked the Lord for more daylight!  And God listened to His obedient zealous servant.

Why should we be so surprised?  God says

“Come now, and let us reason together” (Isa. 1:18)

He let Abraham dicker with Him in Gen. 18:17.

prayingWhat a wonderful promise we have from our loving Father:  “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you” (Jer. 29:11-12).

That the Supreme Power of the universe is willing to listen to you when you humble yourself to pray, now that’s a miracle worth being thankful for and taking advantage of!

Are we kneeling yet?

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Robert Curry

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So That You May Know God

The Pharisees worked hard at being righteous and thought they achieved it,
but the Lord of true righteousness bluntly told them
they did not know the Father (John 8:55). 

They weren’t alone because in His real Lord’s Prayer 
Jesus said “The world has not known You” (John 17:25). 
The world!

In a loving but stern warning to not deceive ourselves, Jesus decried those who would say “Lord, Lord,” look at all the wonderful deeds we did in your name.  “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never  knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness‘” (Matt. 7:23).

Paul warned that Satan has ministers who will “preach another Jesus” (2 Cor. 10:4).  Thanks to them teaching that the lovey dovey long-haired (1 Cor. 11:14) effeminate Jesus did away with the harsh Father’s law, it’s easy to practice lawlessness.  And get good at it!

I  just returned from celebrating  the Feast of Tabernacles and the Eighth Day in Steamboat Springs, Colorado with 387 brethren.  In his sermon on the Sabbath before the Feast started, Brian Shaw said, “The glory of knowing God’s Holy Days is knowing God.”

God’s Holy Days reveal His plan of salvation.  For your sake I hope you will carefully consider that Jesus Christ as God of the Old Testament commanded them as “holy convocations” (Lev. 23:2) and then He exampled them while He lived on earth.  He taught them to His disciples and the primitive New Testament Church, and the spiritual Church of God continues to keep them.  The Holy Days are Fatherish!  Christish!

During these eight days the Father and Jesus Christ invite us to come to their Feast, and they pay close attention from their heavenly realm and take special delight in all that takes place at the many sites around the world.  Like fathers below, the Father delights in showing off His kids—to the communities and in the heavenly realm!

Actually more than the physical locale, the Father and Jesus Christ live intimately in each son and daughter through the Holy Spirit.  We are God’s temple individually and collectively (1 Cor. 6:19-20).  The actual Feast site is more precisely each brother and sister!  Even those who had to stay home because of illness or other insurmountable trials.  We’re all in the same boat!

Interestingly, in the New Covenant which will be in effect earth-wide during the Millennium and  Great White Throne Judgment, “None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them” (Heb. 8:11).

Tellingly, in that period all will be required to keep the Feast of Tabernacles (Zech. 14:16-19) lest God rain on their rebellious parade.  God is consistent so all will keep the other Holy  Days too.

kingdom comeIf God enforces His Holy Days being kept in the coming Kingdom of God on earth, do you think

He expects us to keep them now

After the grand finale and the time for the new beginning, what’s left is the God family—with the Father, Jesus Christ and the billions of sons and daughters.

Nothing else matters.  Nothing else that so troubles us now is even small stuff.  No sweat.

You will want to be in this Family.  All will know the Lord or be nowhere.

It’s time for a new beginning!  Post-Feast blast-off!  We have until Passover in the spring to prepare for the next Holy Day cycle.

As one who has felt privileged to keep God’s Holy Days for 47 years, I can tell you that if you’re not keeping them, you’re missing out!

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Robert Curry

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River or Dripping Spigot?

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO—
A rather famous event occurred in the Bible
at this very time I’m writing on a laptop
in the Steamboat Grand Hotel:  
“the last day, that great day of the feast” (John 7:37).

Most scholars think the water pouring ceremony Jesus was using as an object lesson occurred during the final hours of the seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles.  But some think it might have overlapped sunset time and therefore occurred at least partially on the Eighth Day (the Holy Day immediately following the Feast of Tabernacles).  Because in verse 53 “everyone went to his own house” and chapter eight starts with events “early in the morning”  of the Eighth Day.

As I write the sun has just set and the Eighth Day for 2016 has just begun.   The sermon today asked if we are thirsting for God and His plan for us.  I can’t help but stop to go get a glass of water which is good even out of the hotel tap.

In the water pouring ceremony, priests would bring golden vessels of water from the Pool of Siloam on the south side of Jerusalem and pour it over the altar at the temple.  I have visited this pool on two visits to Jerusalem where I was observing a Feast of Tabernacles in Israel or Jordan, but was never timely enough to be at one of the water pouring ceremonies.

For this joyous occasion trumpets blow and people sing.   “Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation” (Isa. 12:3).

rivers-of-living-waterWhat’s important is to experience what Jesus talked about.  “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37-38).
“But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing would receive” (verse 39).

The Master Timer chooses the best time for each of us to receive the Holy Spirit and have opportunity for salvation.

“What shall we do?”  (Acts 2:37)

“Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (verse 38).

After that, we can ask for more of the Holy Spirit daily and grow in the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).

7898752-dripping-water-on-an-old-faucetGod’s Holy Days picture His plan to change all hearts from dripping spigots to rivers of living water.

How is yours flowing?

Until next time,
Robert

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The Grand Finale

… Becomes the perfect beginning!

kingdom come

Tomorrow morn we drive to Steamboat Springs, Colorado!  We hope some of the aspen trees  on highway 9 will still be showing off their golden glory!

It’s a Millennial double portion celebration because a weekly Sabbath pictures the seventh 1,000-year day rest.  But this one leads into

This Sunday night Oct. 16-23

More than 300 of us will celebrate God’s Feast of Tabernacles in Steamboat.   This will be my family’s fourth time in this beautiful place.  We had a choice of 65 sites around the world which will be enjoyed by about 12,000 brethren.  There are many more Feast sites than those happily keeping God’s “appointment” (Lev. 23:2).  What a joy to show up!

MillenniumWe will foreshadow the earth  experiencing “the restitution of all things” (Acts 3:19).  This 1,000 year utopia on earth will be the start of the fall bigger harvest because all people who live into the Millennium  and who are born in it will have their opportunity for salvation.

The Eighth Day—you just might go round more than once!

valley-of-dry-bonesThis Holy Day immediately following the Feast (Oct. 24) pictures the second resurrection—to physical life of all people who have ever  lived and never  had their opportunity for salvation (Rev. 20:5).   Dry bones are going to rattle and stand on their feet and breathe (Ezek. 37)!

Aborted babies.   Stillborns.  People who never even heard the name of Jesus Christ or those who swore it, the only name through which we can be saved (Acts  4:12).   The unchurched.  The “lost.”

People who could not come to God because the Master Timer knew it wasn’t the best time for them to be shown His way.

This Great Throne White Judgment period (Rev. 20:11-14) is when all people who never had their opportunity for salvation are going to be John 6:44’d!  God means it that He desires all to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4)!

Bible cloudyThis judgment has nothing to do with the false idea of a quick appearance before a stern Ancient of Days judge for an eternal abode verdict.  This will be a physical life judged from the books (Greek biblia—the Bible) just as we are today (1 Pet. 4:17).

ice creamOne reason the first resurrection is the better one is that I wouldn’t want to have to come back as a physical being again.   The only consolation would be that I would probably heed what Erma Bombeck wrote that she would eat more ice cream!

Probably the major mission of the Millennium will be to prepare the battered earth for the instantaneous arrival of anywhere from 50 to 130 billion people during the Eighth Day!

One meaning of the number eight is

The perfect beginning

When these  milestone events have finished, the earth will be purged by the Lake of Fire of all material, flesh and sin.  God will create a new heavens and earth.  And God the Father will come down to live in the New Jerusalem.

The only thing left:  the God Family.    That’s what it’s all been about!

Consider all that God and the Word planned before the foundation of the world to make all this happen.  Consider how much God worked with mankind and guided history to bring the grand finale.

Have God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son planned any less for what the God Family is going to do for all eternity!!

plant-the-heavensThe Bible gives only a few hints:   Plant the heavens (Isa. 51:16).  “All the  hosts of heaven … which the Lord your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage” (Deut. 4:19).   “All things”—the universe—under the dominion of the saints (Heb. 2:8).  “Pleasures  forevermore” (Psa. 16:11).  “Life forevermore” (Psa. 133:3).

How will you show God that you would like to be a part of all this!

Until next time,
Robert

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Face to Face with God

No human can see God’s glorified face and live (Ex. 33:20).

Here’s how we will someday!

moses-gods-gloryMoses had talked to the God of the Old Testament (Jesus Christ of the New) “face to face, as a man speaks to his friend” (verse 11).   But we are a curious lot and Moses wanted to see Him in His glorified form.  With God’s beloved servant shielded in the cleft of a rock, YHVH removed His hand so that Moses could see only His back.

“My face must not be seen” (verse 23).   His supernatural brilliance would have blinded or likely melted Moses.

As an aside, hopefully an interesting one for those of us desiring to someday have a glorified body, does a godly back shine less radiantly?  In Rev. 1:14-15 Jesus Christ’s eyes “penetrated like flames of fire” and “his feet gleamed like burnished bronze” (Living Bible).  It seems like the Son of God is not like one uniform fiery sun.  The best communication will undoubtedly always come looking eye to eye.

Tonight at sunset begins God’s next Holy Day, and an idiomatic meaning of the Day of Atonement is

“Face to face” intimacy with God

The High Priest went into the Holy of Holies only once a year on this Holy Day and was said to be face to face with YHVH—but only as a brilliant cloud hovering above the mercy seat.  The nation held its collective breath waiting to see if God accepted the sacrifice.

This Holy Day is “to make atonement for you before the Lord your God” (Lev.23:28).  Yes, we appear before God during this appointment and holy convocation but we do not yet see Him.  Jesus told Doubting Thomas “Blessed are those who believe without seeing me” (John 20:29).

What stops us from seeing eye to eye with God?

“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isa. 59:2).

Adam & Eve 2Adding to this, after Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, they hid themselves from the Lord walking in the cool of the garden to come see them (Gen. 3:8).

Universal atonement for the rest of mankind

This Holy Day pictures the time coming when all sin is atoned for, Satan is put away as the author and instigator of sin, and therefore all people will then be able to have a face-to-face personal relationship with God.

“We know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is:  We shall see him face to face!” (1 John 3:2).

“Your eyes shall see your teachers”  (Isa. 30:21-22).   We can appear so physical people in the Millennium can see us face to face.

“And everyone who has this hope in Him …” (1 John 3:3).  Does what?  If we want to see God face to face, God says there is something we must do:

“Purifies himself, just as He is pure”

heart flowering“Blessed are the pure in heart.  For they shall see God” (Matt. 5:7).

You can’t rely on self.  “All the ways of man are pure in his own eyes” (Prov. 16:2).

Ask God for wisdom because God’s is “first pure” (James 3:17).

God purifies our hearts “by faith” (Acts 15:9).  We need more than faith in Christ—we need the faith of Christ!

Paul said in Php. 4:8-9 “Whatsoever things are pure … think on these things.”  Our brains delete neurons not being used and free up space for what we think on often.

James 4:7-8 says to humble ourselves, resist the devil, “purify your hearts, you double-minded.”  Fasting is a tremendous tool for all this!  So make good use of it during this 24 hour “affliction.”

The river of the water of life is pure, and so is everything God is and does (Rev. 22:1-5).  When all physical, material and sin are purged from the earth by the Lake of Fire, and we have the new heavens and earth, and only the God Family remains, then we will see the Father’s face (verse 4).

What still needs to be purified in you?  It’s time we face it.

Until next time,
Robert

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When Apocalyptic Events Wreak Global Havoc, Individual Relationships with God Will Be a Deciding Factor

“Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it …
the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7).
It’s the Great Tribulation, the fifth seal of Revelation,
and most of Jacob don’t know they are
and won’t know what hit them.

God through Ezekiel cries out, “For why should you die, O house of Israel? (18:31).   In 5:1-3 Ezekiel says one-third of Israel will be scattered into the wind and “a small number of them” will be bound in the edge of a garment.  That could be only 10% survival which Amos 5:3 specifies.  God likes tithes.

Tithing involves planning, heart-felt commitment and careful setting aside.

For God it’s individual. “For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies, therefore turn and live!” (Ezek. 18:31-32).

Isaiah prophesies that when the great trumpet is blown, the seventh one of Rev. 11:15, the 12 tribes of Israel are going to be regathered to the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jer. 23:7 says this second exodus will be so grand that the first one will be forgotten!

Here’s what’s so interesting about this huge end-time roundup: “Yet the time will come when the Lord will gather them together

One by one like handpicked grain,

Selecting them here and there from His great threshing floor … Many about to perish among their enemies … will be rescued and brought back to Jerusalem to worship the Lord in His holy mountain [Isa. 27:12-13, Living Bible].”

“These are the ones who come out of the Great Tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 7:14).  This group includes not just individuals from the 12 tribes of Israel but from “all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues” (verse 9).

watchGod the Father is the Master Timer who chooses the best time to call each person to their opportunity for salvation.   Those who live into the Millennium and those who are born in it will have their opportunity for salvation then.   They will be John 6:44’d!

Surely the Father is going to be intimately involved in who survives the Great Tribulation.

“Prayers of all the saints”

feast-of-trumpetsHere’s another situation where individual relationships with God take on huge import. Just before the seven trumpets of God blow, which were pictured by God’s Holy Day called the Feast of Trumpets on Oct. 3, an angel with a golden censor is given much incense and offers it “with the prayers of all the saints” (Rev. 8:3). Apparently this means prayers since Abel—individual cries, emotions and appeals.

Sighs and cries over all the abominations down through all the years (Ezek. 9:4). “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16).

Will prayers induce the merciful God to put a

trumpet-muteMute on the trumpets’ damage?

When Solomon was dedicating his temple, he asked God to answer all supplications of his and “Your people Israel” (2 Chron. 6:21).   But not just collectively by the nation. “Whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows his own burden and his own grief … give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of the sons of men)” (verses 29-30).

hiding from terrorWhen the heavenly signs terrorize the earth, people small and great are mostly going to cave in and cry “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” (Rev. 6:16-17).

It would be better to kneel!

Why wait for apocalyptic events to strike?  The time is now for each of us to decide to build our relationship with God.

Until next time,
Robert

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Was Your Monday a Turning Point of History?

monday-joke
Yeah, it turned into Tuesday.
Yeah, I turned over in bed & stumbled off to work.
We love Monday jokes.

“What a week it’s been … and it’s only Monday!”

How did yesterday feel to you? 

Yesterday, Oct. 3, was a special day picturing “The Turning Point of History.”

feast-of-trumpetsYesterday I kept the Feast of Trumpets with 157 other brethren from Colorado, my 47th time to observe this awesome Holy Day.  I always knew it was such a pivotal day in God’s plan of salvation because

Jesus Christ taking control of the earth changes everything!

“Then the seventh angel sounded … The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever” (Rev. 11:15). The rulers of this earth will be replaced at Christ’s return to the earth by righteous resurrected saints who will become the kings, priests, judges and teachers in His new administration.  The top dog today, who devours like a roaring lion, will be the chief culprit dethroned, but I’ll save that for another day—the Day of Atonement coming soon on Oct. 12.

But there’s much more about why the Feast of Trumpets pictures the turning point of history:

From Gods & angels to sons & daughters of God

From the beginning somehow that we can’t fathom, since they had no beginning, God and the Word existed. Then they created angels who were charged to prepare the earth and become helpers: for God to create and “seek godly offspring” (Mal. 2:15).

Adam & Eve 2Yesterday Jews celebrated Yom Harat Olam which pictures the birthday of the world and Adam & Eve. This tradition isn’t provable from the Bible except that it makes perfect sense so that Christ’s return would end 6,000 years of human folly to the very day!

If indeed Jesus does return on a Feast of Trumpets which pictures His return, as He was crucified on a Passover and as the Holy Spirit was dispensed on a Pentecost.  We must always watch out guessing His return since the Bible states that no man knows the day nor the hour; the Father only (Matt. 24:36).   So far every prediction has been another folly!  But Trumpets obviously looks like  the day to expect, and maybe the idea is that we don’t know which one.  Hey, whatever day the seventh angel blows will be just fine as long as I start rising!

The Birth of the King of Kings & Lord of Lords

Jesus was born around this time of year, not when pagan tradition says. The word “dwelt” in John 1:14 can also mean “tabernacled” and there’s plenty of room in the inn to argue that it would be quite fitting for Jesus to have been born during the Feast of Tabernacles. An analysis based on the Bible’s clue that Zecharias, John the Baptist’s father, served during the eighth course of Abijah (Luke 1:5) clearly points to the time of the fall Holy Days.

Ironically, Jesus could have been conceived on Dec. 25. Satan is the master counterfeiter of truth and God cleverly caused His Bible to be written so that people would get the pieces all jumbled and be puzzled until the time the Father chooses to give His Holy Spirit so a person can piece it together properly (Isa. 28:13).

Tertullian, a famous writer who lived 155-240 A.D., referred to “the cultural significance of Jesus as the hinge on which history turned”—Dr. Jeroslav Pelikan in Jesus Through the Centuries.

So Jesus’ coming and going both rate as turning points in history!

No more accuse God of ignoring all the evil & suffering!

The Feast of Trumpets signals the intervention of God in the affairs of man on a global basis with earth-shaking results.   His rebellious kids desperately need the discipline so  that some will be saved alive (Matt. 24:22)!

Since Adam and Eve rejected His way in the Garden of Eden, man was expelled from access to the Tree of Life, and left to choose for himself from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  God has refused to rake up all the messy leaves and resulting debris until the pile threatens to suffocate the earth!

hiding from terrorSo people who insist on Burger Kinging their lives for themselves then moan: Why does God allow men to suffer? Why oh why does He allow all this evil! That we create by our freewill choices!   Kicking Him out of our homes, schools and lives!

No longer just first fruits pictured by Pentecost

The first fruits—the early harvest— pictured by Pentecost will be changed when the seventh trumpet blows!  Now it’s time for the big fall harvest to start! All those who live into the Millennium and are born in it will have their opportunity at salvation. By the end of the Millennium “All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God” (Psa. 98:4).

So five huge changes in human history!  And here’s the biggest one that counts the most for you:

When is your turning point?

“When you are in distress, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, when you turn to the LORD your God and obey His voice (for the LORD your God is a merciful God)” (Deut. 4:30-31).

Until next time,
Robert

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