Getting Ready to Meet the Saints, But How Will We Recognize Them!

I love singing “This Ole’ House,” all the more as I age and the lyrics sound like the way I feel!  When I get to “Just like me it’s tuckered out, but I’m gettin’ ready to meet the saints!” I always sing with gusto-anticipation!

white-horseI can almost hear the seventh trumpet blowing and imagine how it will feel to rise up to meet Jesus Christ in the clouds! (1 Thes. 4:16-17).   Christ will shout “Let’s ride!” and I’ll jump bareback on a white stallion [which is likely an angel (2 Sam. 22:7-11, Psa. 18:7-10)] and ride like the wind!   Yeah me, a guy who last rode a horse about 10 years ago—on a guided trailride—and hobbled away with so much bowlegged pain!

bride of ChristSomewhere before that amazing ride I’ll get to marry Jesus Christ (Rev. 19:7).  I’ll walk down the sea-of-glass aisle with all eyes glued on my entrance, and He’ll lift my veil and … MAN!  Sorry, that’s when all my imagination drops out!  What man can really contemplate being a bride of Christ!  KISS?  Keep it simple, stupid!   Though I have three sisters and no brother, I can understand an eternal relationship with my older Brother.

I’m imagining me and Jesus Christ!  But wait!  What

About all the saints who will also be resurrected and rising up! 

What about all the saints at this yearned-for gathering!  The scene definitely gets more interesting with 144,000 [or more depending on the innumerable multitude] on the set!  I started to write “chaotic” but I’m sure it won’t be that because God is never the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33).

How will 144,000 walk down the aisle?  Like marching to “Pomp & Circumstance” up on stage and receiving your graduation degree to the Family and Kingdom of God?   Could that all even be done in a day!   Remember how it feels to be sitting in the row, waiting for your turn to march, but worse, sitting on the hard bleachers!   Hey, who knows, we’ll be Spirit Beings not bound by time!   God calls it the marriage of the Lamb and somehow I’m sure He will make it like a marriage ceremony though how can our physical minds conceive it?

How will I recognize the saints when I meet them!

David?   Reacting without thinking, I’d be peering around for a 17-year-old youth in sheepherder skins carrying a slingshot.   Don’t bother looking for a ruddy redhead with bright eyes who’s good-looking (1 Sam. 16:12).   We all hope we’ll be good-looking then!  Especially since it lasts for eternity!   Everybody will shine like the sun and sport hair white as wool.

We’ll all  have new glorified bodies and “in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven” (Matt. 22:30).   It’s thought that means we’ll all be sexless so it sounds like we can forget about identifying anybody from the neck down.   Unless we retain body mass, making it likely I could pick out Samson.

And I’m guessing that the guy surrounded by everybody asking him why he would ever make such a foolish vow must be Jephthah.

OK, there’s a pretty face, but could it be the prettiest one in Persia?

So, really, how will I identify hardly anybody?  I don’t know what any of the Heb. 11 faith heroes looked like.

Recently I kept the Feast of Tabernacles in Steamboat Springs with about 400 brethren.  Though I love them all as brothers and sisters in Christ, though never having met most of them, I could probably only identify about 75 of them.

The first one I hope to see in the clouds will be my wife Mary.   That pretty face I’ll know!  Better yet, maybe we can rise holding hands!

Then maybe God will “make it so” that those we know will be the ones gathered closest to us so this Family reunion gets off on the right foot—ready to stand on the Mt. of Olives! (Zech. 14:4).

Building the Family of God adOr, as my wife points out, when we are changed to glorious Spirit Beings, we will have far greater powers than we do now.  We will be like God, see Him as He is (1 John 3:1-3)—the God who knows the number of hairs on heads and names all the stars.  Will we be given such increased mental capacity that we will somehow instantly know everybody there!  I’m sure God has developed better facial recognition than all the AI experts.

And when Christ hollers that it’s time to ride down to the earth, it surely won’t be 144,000 greenhorns suddenly trying to saddle up.   We couldn’t do that smoothly if we tried to all mount a carousel!

But our calling was a personal one.  Jesus Christ knows each sheep (John 10).   From millions of angels will He already have assigned a certain angel to come to you as your ride?  Will He have picked out the steed with the perfect temperament for your riding ability, or will we all suddenly be expert horsemen as a result of now being Spiritual Beings!

Lots of fun questions to ponder even while we can only see through a glass darkly!  I’d love to hear your speculations.

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Action Needed

Last post I shared with you some of the key thoughts from our recent eight days of intensive training for the Kingdom of God that we experienced in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.   In faith I say, ministers spoke messages inspired by God which you also can take advantage of if you submit to this calling from God and follow them.

Here are

14 specific actions we were exhorted to do:

♦   Understand why problems exist so we can help solve them in the Millennium and Great White Throne Judgment (Ezk. 9:4).
♦   Christ came to serve, not to be served, and likewise we are called (Matt. 20:28).
♦   Include others so nobody is left out (Deut. 16:14, Lev. 23:22).
♦  toolboxDon’t neglect your personal relationship with God (Heb. 2:3).  Use the tools in your Christian toolbox (prayer, Bible study, fasting, meditation).
♦   Tell your wife and kids you love them (Eph. 5:25-33, 6:4).
♦   Ask God to guide whom you talk to and inspire you to say what they need to hear (Mal. 3:16).
♦   Work on what comes out of your heart through your mouth (Matt. 12:34-37, James 3:17).
♦   Seek purity (1 John 3:1-3).
♦   For saving faith, desire God in a personal relationship.  He knows your heart.
♦   God gives power and authority to serve others (Matt. 20:25-28).
♦   Don’t be too busy being busy—choose the cares of God’s life! (Matt. 13:22).
Zechariah eBook Ad♦   Commitment, perseverence and focus to live God’s way.
♦   Want eternal life with God more than anything else.
♦   Take advantage of the value of shame to change you to be pleasing to God.  The world is becoming too hardened to blush.

Theme?

The one directed by God through His ministers was clearly that God the Father and Jesus Christ are preparing the leaders they select to be ready to serve in the Millennium and Great White Throne Judgment because they are letting God change their hearts to humbly submit to them.

You?

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Key Thoughts Taught at the Feast in Steamboat Springs

The just-concluded Feast of Tabernacles for 2019 was so important to God and therefore to His people.  It’s why one of the first acts Jesus Christ will do when He returns to the earth and sets up His Kingdom will be to command all nations to send representatives to the Feast in Jerusalem (Zech. 14:16-19).  God’s way of life has never changed, and they will be schooled in it like we just were.

A sampling of key thoughts taught at Steamboat Springs

♦   Rev. 11:15 is the game changer!  Satan’s rule to Christ’s!
♦   
Your decisions become you.
♦   Understanding why problems exist today will prepare us to help people solve theirs in the Millennium.
♦   God through us can do anything (Php. 4:13).
♦   God holds us responsible for what we’ve been taught.  Why not be blessed ASAP!
♦  Building the Family of God ad“The future belongs to people who see the need before it’s obvious to all”—Pepsi CEO.
♦   We practice using the power of the tongue now in our fellowshipping.  God can inspire us to say the “okay” somebody needs to hear even if we haven’t a clue.
♦   Being in the Kingdom of God is not the end goal:  we’re called for service.  Are we learning to be servant leaders now (Matt. 20:25-28)?
♦   One of God’s names is Jealous (Exo. 34:14).  He doesn’t have only one “sacred name.”
♦   We must do more than understand God’s way—we must do it!
♦   For the Feast and in life, we must include others (Deut. 14:26-29).  No one is left out.
♦   What would we teach people in the Millennium about how to have the best Feast ever?  Don’t neglect our personal relationship with God.
♦   The West Point class of 1915 produced 35% of the generals for World War I including two five-star generals (Dwight Eisenhower and Omar Bradley.  The class was called “the class the stars fell on.”  God prepares the leaders before they are needed.  We’re being trained now to be ready to serve in the Kingdom of God as kings, priests, teachers, judges and mayors over five or 10 cities.
♦   The earth will not be restored by Jesus Christ waving a magic wand.  It takes a while to grow fig trees (Micah 4:4).
   41% of single-parent homes are fatherless.  The divorce rate is going down; yeah, couples are still separating but hadn’t married!
♦   Men don’t tell their wives and children they love them enough:  “I told her when we were married and I haven’t changed my mind!”
♦   In the Great White Throne Judgment when the dry bones come to physical life and stand (Ezk. 37), we won’t just stand around!  We will guide them!
♦   The Jews read Ecclesiastes during the Feast.  This book shows the futility of life without God.  The only permanent thing in the universe is God.
♦   There are at least 6,500 languages in the world today with English the most widely spoken.  When Zeph. 3:9 says God will restore a pure language, we will “serve Him with one accord”=”with one shoulder.”  God will purify the hearts so that what comes out of the mouth will become pure.  The problem is the hearts, not the language.  Are we working on what comes out of our hearts through our mouths?  It takes work for chefs to learn how to “season with salt” and spices (Col. 4:6).
♦   What word best describes the Feast?  God uses “sacred” which includes the meaning of “dance, giddy, to and fro” (Deut. 16:15, Lev. 23:36).  We must fear God and rejoice before Him in the family dance and in all aspects of the Feast!
♦  T&O eBook AdThe Feast is a circular matter.  God says He will bless us all year long because we keep it and give offerings as He commands, and that blessing helps us financially and spiritually all year so we can keep it the following year.
♦   Talking in church?  “Excuse me, I’m trying to take a nap!”
♦   There will be no atheists or agnostics in the Millennium because all will know God.  Adam and Eve walked with God in the Garden but were not converted.  The disciples walked with Jesus for 3-1/2 years but were not converted until they received the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.  The devil and demons know God exists!  The formula for living faith and salvation does not change during the Millennium.  Saving belief is a response in our heart that desires God in a mutual relationship.  God knows our hearts.
♦   God will give us power and authority to be servant leaders.  Not to show who’s the greatest.  “Ugh, you’re not one of us!”  Parents have authority to serve their kids.
♦   God gave humans a hunger for God (Psa. 42:1).  Kids of members are called now (Acts 2:39), have access to God and are considered “holy” (1 Cor. 7:14).  Your cell phone is ringing!  You are responsible for what you know and have been given.  The sooner you respond, the sooner you will be blessed!
♦   We’re going for the gold and need commitment, perseverance and focus.  “If we haven’t quit, it’s never over.”  We don’t know when our race will end.
♦   “What Will Be, Will Be”:  The Kingdom will be colonial, with the knowledge of God expanding around the world.  Assimilation will be required of all and resistance will be futile.  Leadership will be readily identifiable in their white garments.
♦   The Church of God is the embryo of the Kingdom of God.  Let us go up to the mountain of the Lord—the rule of Jesus Christ and the saints over all the earth from Jerusalem.
♦   Those using the latest technology are called “early adopters.”  God is taking our lives to the next level to be influencers now but especially in the Millennium.
♦   God has called us to the World Tomorrow that is literally out of this world!  An unparalleled opportunity!  We must want eternal life with God more than anything else in this world.
♦   The 8th Day pictures mankind’s graduation day—commencement!  Aaron and his sons were consecrated for service in eight days.  Circumcision occurred on the 8th day.
♦   Politics comes from “poly”=many and “tics”—“I get ticked off!”
♦   Timing is everything to God.
♦  Jesus said unrelated generations (Matt. 11:20-24, 12:41) will arise in the second resurrection to be judged.  This is pictured by the 8th Day, also called the Last Great Day.
♦  Book of Life AdGod desires all people to be saved and the Lake of Fire (third resurrection and “second death”—Rev. 20:13-15) is only for those who “knowingly reject God’s offer to receive the Holy Spirit.”  God gives time to repent.
♦  After Rev. 20:14 there will be no more graves or death.  All will be either sons or daughters in the Book of Life and the Family of God or burned up.
   The Last Great Day is not really the end of God’s plan of salvation.  It’s only the beginning!  God won’t hold anything back!  God who has begun our incredible potential will finish it (Php. 1:6).  It’s worth sacrificing for such great value!  We must choose every day and be faithful (Rev. 17:14).

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Only the Beginning

We just returned from Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  We spent eight days rehearsing God’s amazing plan of salvation for all people.

Yesterday at sunset the 8th Day ended, which is often called the Last Great Day.  This Holy Day, following right after the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles, ended the Holy Day cycle for 2019.

Building the Family of God adWhen this time is actually fulfilled, all people who have ever lived will have received their opportune time of salvation by the Master Timer, God our Father (John 6:44).  God knows whether it was best for each one to have been called before Christ’s return to serve as first fruits in His government, or during the Millennium to restore the earth and prepare it for the next phase, or during the Great White Throne Judgment when as many as 140 billion would have their dry bones shaken (Ezk. 37) and they would be resurrected back to physical life.

Whoa!  What a shock for these to find out they don’t only go around once!  “What would you do if you had it to do over?” will become more than a hypothetical question!

This time pictures when all people will have either become Spirit Beings—sons and daughters of God—in the God Family, or burned up in the Lake of Fire and no longer in existence.   All will have learned that the ideas of living in heaven or going to hell were satan’s deception (Rev. 12:9).

God will bring the heavenly Jerusalem down to the new earth, and God the Father will come make the earth—purified of all physical, all corruption, all carnal human nature and all sin—His eternal home (Rev. 21:1-4).   Truly the meek will inherit the earth!

What a glorious end!  Hah!

It’s only the beginning!

Who knows what God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ have planned for this eternal phase?  It’s going to be “pleasures forevermore”! (Psa. 16:11).  You might think it could involve exciting universal projects.

ringing cellphoneThis time right now is the best time to be called, way more than the Millennium and the Great White Throne Judgment.  Those of you reading this blog have been called.  Your cell phone is ringing!

Is your mind opened by God through His Holy Spirit to understand these spiritual opportunities?  It’s up to us to choose and be faithful! (Rev. 17:14).

“The best Feast ever” ended in Steamboat Springs for 2019, and now we go home to put it into practice!  Into action!  To let Jesus Christ change us!  To prepare us for eternal life in Their Kingdom of God!

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Okay

Happy Feast from Steamboat Springs, Colorado!   Four hundred of us are enjoying delightful fall weather though snow is expected tomorrow.

harvest moonThe first night we were treated to the big full harvest moon that always signifies the start of the Feast wherever you are around the earth.  Gen. 1:14 says it was put in the sky to signal “seasons.”  The Hebrew word is moedim, meaning “appointed times, Holy Days.”  Before creation, God the Father and the Word already planned for their Holy Days that their sons and daughters would need to keep in order to understand their plan of salvation.

Since it is the Feast, it’s okay if “the moon hit your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore!”  After I sang this ditty in my sermonette, many have told me they can’t get it out of their head!

How’d it get there in the sky?  “The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created.  He breathed the word, and all the stars were born … For when He spoke, the world began.  It appeared at His command” (Psa. 33:6-9 New Living Translation).

It’s fun to speculate about what the Word might have said:  “Make it so!”?  When the Word renewed the earth, Gen. 1 says He said “Let there be light,” so did He say “Let there be galaxies!”?

If He did literally breathe only one word, I’m guessing:  “OKAY!”  And the universe sprang to life!

Talk about power of the tongue!

The Word—Jesus Christ—the head of this Church—has it!  Remember how the centurion told Jesus:   “Just say the word, and my servant will be healed.”

What Christ teaches and communicates in the Millennium will be beautiful and caring and will bring the restoration of all things (Acts 3:19).

One of the first commands Christ will issue is for all nations to come up to the Feast (Zech. 14:16-19).  That’s how important the Feast is!  I hope you are tuning in to one of the webcasts each of the eight days.

The clear theme of this Feast in Steamboat is that God will not be waiting until the Millennium starts to prepare His servant leaders.  He is training us now so we will be ready to serve then in His administration.

God has given us the power of the tongue!

What job positions await in the Millennium for the saints—for Christ’s bride?  Don’t bother looking in indeed.com!  The Bible gives at least five jobs:  kings/priests (Rev. 5:10); judges (1 Cor. 6:2, Psa. 149:8); teachers  (Isa. 30:20); and mayors  over five or 10 cities (Luke 19:12-27).  Then we will use the power of the tongue to serve in the same caring way as Christ.

So, should we just sit back and wait for His glorious return?  No!

We should practice using the power of the tongue now

“Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them.  So a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name” (Mal. 3:16).

Book of Life AdIs this the Book of Life?  Is it a separate book where God might actually quote and record historically what His people say to one another?  Is it a separate book from the one where David said God noted his tears?  As one who worked in a college library for 11 years, I’d like to know!

“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Col. 4:6).  The picture here is it takes a lot of learning and practicing for a chef to learn how to skillfully use spices and sauces.   Today it is a certainly a struggle to learn how to moderate salt.  Canned and prepared foods contain so much sodium.  We should refrain from causing others high blood pressure by what we say!

James 3 discusses how to tame the tongue

He says no man can do it!  So maybe you ladies have a chance?

I’m sure we’ve experienced times in our lives where somebody’s words changed the direction of our lives like a rudder on a ship.  And times when somebody lit a fire in our lives like a match in a parched forest.

James 3 gives the solution for how to tame the tongue and have good fellowship in verse 17.  “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.”  James says  we should ask for this wisdom, and God will give it to us liberally (1:5).

But if I’m in a conversation and before saying something, I run it down this checklist, I’ll look up and see that the person left!  The answer is to have these spiritual qualities in our hearts—in conversion—so that out of the abundance of our heart, our mouth speaks!

Here’s a practical solution

Start our day by asking God to guide us to talk to the right persons during the day—where we might say the right words they need to hear, or they might say what God wants us to hear.

This orients our minds to look on the needs of others—unselfish outgoing concern—which is love!

Last year at the Feast in the Wisconsin Dells, Chicago pastor Randy D’Allesandro said we should ask God to help us understand the needs of others.   “Yes,” but you probably say,

I never say the right thing!”

In a Christian Leadership class, the instructor Carn Catherword shared a true story that I hope will inspire you like it still does me 35 years later:

He arrived to give a funeral sermon while feeling physically lousy.  When he saw the grieving widow coming his way, he panicked because he couldn’t think of anything to say.  He stammered out

“It’s okay …”

and slinked away, feeling like he had totally failed her in her hour of need.  How could he say something so inept!

But while giving the sermon , he saw that the widow was beaming!  Afterward she told him:

“I thought God took my husband because of me.  I couldn’t stop worrying if I was okay with God!”

How I wish that you would hear what you need in this blog!

From now on, when you hear the word or think of the word “okay” I hope it triggers you to consider that

♦   God can make something we say be just the heavenly words somebody else needs to hear even if we’re clueless.
♦   God can make a word from you become a universe of joy for somebody!

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It’s Time for the Highlight of the Year!

We’re off to the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days of rejoicing followed immediately by an amazing Holy Day called the 8th Day in the Bible [also the Last Great Day].

This eight-day glorious event starts at sunset tomorrow, Oct. 13 and ends with the 8th Day at sunset Monday, Oct. 21.

MillenniumWe just completed the Feast of Trumpets on Sept. 30 which pictures the return of Jesus Christ to the earth and the resurrection of saints, and then the Day of Atonement on Oct. 9 which pictures reconciliation through the removal of satan and his demons.  Now off we are headed to keep the Feast which pictures the 1,000-year rule on this earth by Jesus Christ and the resurrected saints.   I’ve been trying to fire you up that this could be you!

Then on

The 8th Day, or Last Great Day

we will picture the Great White Throne Judgment period on earth when all who have ever lived without having their opportunity for salvation will have that priceless opportunity!  It’s not a second chance because they didn’t have a first!

This includes all those who never heard the name of Christ, the only name by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12).   Since the Spirit in Man is given at conception, this includes all aborted babies!   This includes all those who have been blinded and spiritually veiled by the ruler of this world (2 Cor. 4:4), most unaware they are in that spiritual condition because they sincerely try to live good—while eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil.  The Master Timer knows when each of us will best respond to His calling.

Building the Family of God adThis was His awesome plan from before time began which we will only understand if we keep His Holy Days.  That tells you right there why so many—estimated 140 billion—will be in the Great White Throne Judgment versus how many will be resurrected firstfruits—144,000.  You are one in a 100 if you are responding to God’s calling NOW!

This Holy Day is what the Valley of Dry Bones is about (Ezk. 37) and when it will be better for Sodom and Gomorrah in the resurrection (Matt. 11:21-24) than for those who didn’t respond to Christ in person.

People say “You only go around once.”  What a surprise for the billions who will be resurrected back to physical life which may be for 100 years! (Isa. 65:20).   It sounds like everybody will live to be 100.   Maybe everyone is resurrected back to where they left off?  But what if somebody was over 100?  God doesn’t give all the details about how it will work, but I know I don’t want to have to live physical again!  I’m pressing forward like Paul exhorted for the first resurrection (Php. 3)!

I have shared with you about the seven Holy Days and their awesome meaning.

HD booklet.jI personally recommend a booklet called “God’s Holy Day Plan” you can get FREE by mail or download at https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/gods-holy-day-plan-the-promise-of-hope-for-all-mankind

And notice that one of the very first commands the returned Jesus Christ will make is for

All nations to come keep the Feast of Tabernacles!  (Zech. 14:16-19)

If nations like Egypt refuse to come, NO RAIN!

Today Churches of God offer Feast sites all around the earth.  United Church of God offers 60 sites.  Mary and I plan to drive to Steamboat Springs, Colorado tomorrow to get settled in our Steamboat Grand condo—yes, our temporary booths today are pretty grand compared to palm frond ones.  We will have a major choir practice to get ready for lots of special music to be sung throughout the eight days to praise God and inspire the brethren.

harvest moonThere’s nothing like the opening service tomorrow night.  The full harvest moon shining bright that was created to show “seasons” (Gen. 1:14), the Hebrew word moedim, which means “appointed Holy Days.”  Since it shines bright for the Feast, it’s okay to sing “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore!”  We love the Feast!

There’s nothing like the first note of the first hymn when all 300+ brethren at Steamboat Springs or one of the other sites sing together in unison.  At the dedication of Solomon’s temple in 2 Chronicles 5:12-14, it says the moment when the choir and instrumentalists sang and played the first note together in unison was when God entered the temple in the shekinah spirit.  So most song leaders choose a song everybody knows so we are sure to all hit that first note!

T&O eBook AdBrethren are able to come keep the Feast because we have faithfully saved the Festival Tithe for the whole year [see the FREE eBook you can download to the right].

Even at this late hour, you are welcome at the Feast sites.  It would be a good sign for you that you want to start obeying God’s command to keep this Feast and 8th Day.  You should start saving your Festival Tithe and commit to going next year.

My first Feast, I couldn’t find out where to go in time and had to keep it at home alone.  In this modern Internet times, you can do something about it even now at this late hour!  You can join in with the church services at the  Panama City Beach Webcast [Florida, Central Daylight Time] or at Osoyoos Lake Webcast [British Columbia, Pacific Daylight Time] on Sunday night and each of the eight days!  Here’s

The web link with the schedule:  https://www.ucg.org/members/news/2019-feast-of-tabernacles-webcast-information

While obviously not as good as being there in person and experiencing all the family activities and fellowship opportunities, this is training for firstfruits to get ready to serve with Jesus Christ in setting up His Kingdom of God on this earth.

You who follow this blog are called and have this priceless opportunity!   To be in on the ground floor of the soon-coming Kingdom of God.  How will the seed planted in you grow?  (Matt. 13).   You see what’s taking shape in this world!  You must act.

In the Millennium, it will be no rain.  For us today, it will be no reign.

I hope you will connect each day with one of the two webcasts.

How could anything be more important?

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Cloak & Dagger

My Mom taught us against going to movies.  
At age 17, I snuck out to see my first one:
“You Only Live Twice.”

You Only Live TwiceOut in June 1967, this was the fifth spy film in the James Bond series and the fifth to star Sean Connery.   Early on the plot has 007 faking his death and being buried at sea, so the villain Blofeld, head of SPECTRE, doesn’t look out for him anymore and the MI6 agent can operate undetected.

This brilliant strategy reminds me of satan the devil who stealthily puts the whole world in Bondage.

My Mom saw right through my carefully plotted escapade.  Thankfully she let me keep on living once.

She didn’t ground me—like God did when Lucifer, lifted up in pride and vanity, swooped up to heaven trying to knock Him off His throne (Isa. 14:13-14).   Satan was swatted down to become the unseen ruler of this earth (John 12:31) who “has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe” (2 Cor. 4:4 New Living Translation).

Paul warned us in 2 Cor. 2:11 “lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”  Paul said he wasn’t!  But how about us?  After years of striving to be a Christian, I have to think hard to name more than a few of his devices.  And now with all the sin and evil available at our fingertips via our smart phones, we should add that to the watch-out list!  Our phones keep us so distracted from what’s really important that they can promote ignorance!

Surely satan’s best tactic

is to deceive so many people into believing that he doesn’t even exist. Even many Christians!   A Barna survey in 2009 found that only 35% of Christians thought Satan exists as a living being rather than personifying evil.  You’d have to think that figure would be less in 2019.

The military cloaks a plane or submarine so it can be right upon the unsuspecting enemy.

devil red pitchforkSo c’mon, a little red man with a pitchfork?

Flip WilsonWhat fun to laugh at Flip Wilson in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s about “The devil made me do it!” Flip had to blame somebody for buying the dress he was wearing!   Not himself for donning women’s clothing though God says it’s abomination (Deut. 22:25).   Why do we let others con us into laughing at sin?

So here we are at sunset tonight through sunset Wednesday night, Oct. 9—It’s

The Day of Atonement

which pictures the glorious day when satan the devil and his demons are put away.  So many would scoff that there’s nobody to put away!   Those of us observing this crucial Holy Day know better (Lev. 23:23-32).

goats DOAIn the Day of Atonement ceremony,  the “goat of departure” [Green’s Literal Translation] representing satan is sent “away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man” (Lev. 16:21).

“Scape goat” is an incorrect translation because satan is guilty of all the sins the High Priest places on his  head.  If you start thinking “God is unfair,” suspect you are tuning in to radio K-DEV, “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2) via your spirit in man.

Rev. 20:1-3 describes the fulfillment of satan’s ousting by a powerful angel.  Surely removing an archangel is a task for another archangel.  I’m guessing Michael.   He seems to be the warrior archangel.

This removal will surely take place on the first Day of Atonement of Jesus Christ’s millennial reign on the earth, I’m expecting on the 10th day of His new Kingdom of God.

Replacing satan with Jesus Christ is going to make all the difference for the earth!   The source of deception, suffering and evil will go into bondage as the world is freed from it!

For those not duped into thinking he doesn’t exist, satan’s next bag of tricks is to get us to

Underestimate his power

Satan deceives the whole world (Rev. 12:9). Do we catch ourselves thinking: How can they be so dumb? Do we read that:  except me?

armor of God“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).   We must not be ignorant of his holds or he’ll pin us to the mat—with a dagger if he has his way!

We also wrestle against peer pressure that we don’t remotely expect:  Satan has his churches and ministers.  Read this shocking fact for yourself in 2 Cor. 11:14!  Do we have the courage to ask God to show us where His true church and ministers are?

For a Holy Day with all this spiritual intrigue at stake, you might expect a day of celebration with lots of food and drink.  Just the opposite!  As is often the case when comparing our thoughts with God’s higher ones (Isa. 55:9).

Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights to be ready to face satan for rulership of the earth. He didn’t underestimate him!  Satan loves to distract us from diligent daily Bible study, but Jesus defeated him by quoting the Bible (Matt. 4:4).  Satan pulls out all stops to get us to

“Neglect so great a salvation” (Heb. 2:3)

toolbox“Therefore we must give the more  earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift  away” (verse 1).  A powerful tool in the Christian toolbox to give “earnest heed” is to fast.

For this Day of Atonement, the Bible commands us to “afflict your souls” with fasting for only the 24-hour period.   The Hebrew word for afflict is “anah.” Think anah not gnaw.  Think Yom (Day) Kippur (of Covering or Atonement) not Yum.  Going without food and drink helps us humble ourselves.

The Hebrew word “kippur”  is used 23 times in Lev. 16, and the Day of Atonement pictures the whole earth becoming at-one-ment with God after Jesus returns and the devil is put away.

Why do we fast just five days before the Feast of Tabernacles which pictures joy and bounty being restored to the earth?  So we can relate to people suffering under satan’s rule—feel their pain—when God installs us as servant leaders.

thSF8JW51WGod resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.  Humility helps us resist “the devil [who] walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:5, 8).  A lion goes after loners away from the herd.  Just you and me, Lord!

King of the beasts is so appropriate for Satan because he is the father of lyin’ (John 8:44) and he’s lyin’ in wait to destroy us.

This Day of Atonement he wants us DOA … dead on arrival!  And I’m not talking about how we feel during the fast.  He doesn’t want us in the first resurrection we just pictured by keeping the Feast of Trumpets on Sept. 30.  He doesn’t want us serving in Christ’s millennial kingdom on earth which we will picture by keeping the Feast of Tabernacles Oct. 14-21.

Satan is angry because he knows he has only a short time left.  He is instigating hatred and division on every front with more intensity each day building up to the Great Tribulation.

May this Day of Atonement 2019 help us “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against  the wiles of the devil” and “quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one” (Eph. 6:11, 16).

Only with God’s help can we uncloak him.   And resist his daggers.

May God help us see the need to keep His Holy Days and then step out in faith to observe them!

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HD booklet.jI personally recommend a booklet called “God’s Holy Day Plan” you can get FREE by mail or download at https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/gods-holy-day-plan-the-promise-of-hope-for-all-mankind

 

 

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Jesus Has Returned! But the World Will Still Need Atonement

We wish!  Sorry, He hasn’t returned yet.

But we pictured the second coming of Jesus Monday as we kept the Feast of Trumpets.   Yes, I guess Jesus could come back on a much-maligned Monday since the Father says nobody knows the day nor the hour!

The second coming has rightly been dubbed “the turning point of history” because “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).

Yet even after Christ subdues all enemies, sits down on His Davidic throne in Jerusalem and inaugurates the Kingdom of God on this earth, the earth will still need atonement.

And so this coming Wednesday, Oct. 9, God’s people will, as Jesus Himself commanded when He was called the Word (Lev. 23), observe His next Holy Day called the Day of Atonement.

Building the Family of God adThis Holy Day pictures

♦  Atonement—becoming at-one-ment with God for the whole world collectively whereas the Passover applies to repentant individuals who become firstfruits (Pentecost), are resurrected at Christ’s return (Trumpets), and serve with Him in bringing atonement to the world.

♦  The instigator of sin—satan the devil and his demons—will be put away for the Millennium (Rev. 20:1-3) just like the azazel goat is driven out to the wilderness in the Day of Atonement ceremony (Lev. 16:10).  Since people battle the 3 S’s—satan, society and self—they will have a much easier time in the Millennium without satan around and because peer pressure will begin to change dramatically.  Of course, self will always be a formidable foe!

♦  The Jubilee Year starts on a Day of Atonement.  “And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants … and each of you shall return to his possession” (Lev. 25:10).   All debts are forgiven!  How fitting for Jesus Christ to begin His reign in a Jubilee Year (Luke 4:18-19)!  People in the Millennium will have their time of salvation when their spiritual debts will be forgiven!

Since the Day of Atonement comes nine days after the Feast of Trumpets, the natural expectation is that these events will occur on the 10th day of Christ’s new kingdom.  What else would we expect from the Master Timer!  But like the Feast of Trumpets, if He chooses to act on some other day or hour, who’s going to complain!

In the Lev. 16 ceremony, nobody could enter the Holy of Holies except the High Priest once a year on the Day of Atonement.  But upon Jesus Christ’s death from the crucifixion (Passover), the veil separating the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies was rent in two from top to bottom (Matt. 27:51).  Paul says the veil symbolized Jesus’ flesh (Heb. 10:19-20) so that now we can have

“Boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus”

“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Prayer eBook ad“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16).   [God invites us to come talk 24/7 whenever we choose!  But how much better to take advantage of  Bible instruction about how to pray more effectively by downloading the FREE e-book to the right …]

So how we wish Jesus has already returned!  How we look forward to Wednesday’s Day of Atonement being fulfilled!!

When you keep these days commanded by God, as I’m now in my 50th year of doing—a personal Jubilee!—we see the incredible hope and joy they offer.

Who could help but pray “thy kingdom come!”

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