Well this has been a rainy, rainy, lazy day. In between cleaning house and doing things for kids, I have been reading C.S. Lewis. My sons’ camping trip was canceled – my middle one doesn’t understand why the leader doesn’t want to camp in the pouring rain – oh to be young again.
I don’t know if any of you are near Living Word Chapel, in West Hurley, New York, but Thursday we are having Prophet Samachen from India speaking at our church. There will be an Indian dinner from 4-6, and then he will speak from 6 until he has to go and catch a plane. You would be most welcome. Pastor Don spent time with him, and feels he is an anointed man of God, strongly encouraging us to attend. He told us that he is a prophet like the Old Testament prophets, not saying just nice things, but speaking the truth.
When I first started struggling with the concept of God, one of the main things I realized was that something had to have created the earth – there was too much interconnectedness. There was such a variety of wildlife, and all worked together to create a common ecosystem. I couldn’t escape the fact that there had to be a creator, just like the book of Romans suggested. I also was beginning to be very convicted of my sins, and wondered why God would want me, if He did want me. One day in my musings, I was feeling like I wanted to hide from God, in a corner, under a rug – anywhere where He wouldn’t notice me. I figured if He caught sight of me, that He would kick me out of His kingdom. Then I went back to looking at nature and was marveling at the interconnectedness, the creativity, and the beauty, and all of a sudden I got the clear impression, “You are part of nature too, part of the whole.” And I realized that God included me in His plans. It was a comforting thought in the midst of a lot of hurting.
Last week, and next week I will also be spending time by a stream with my Girl Scout troop who are doing a silver award. One of my moms is a DEP worker, and she is helping them to organize a stream watch, where they are doing a serious, scientific study of about 100 feet of stream. The area will be mapped, the plants plotted, the animals watched, birds, bugs, chemistry, etc. All of this will then be made into a Powerpoint presentation for the DEP and the people who own the site will also see it, and it will go on the national computer. It is a mega job, far more work than an ordinary silver award, but the girls are able to see a lot of the wonders of nature, learn some scientific methods and tools, and do something of value. There is 15 hours of stream observation that they are going to do, followed by hours of preparing reports. Here are two pictures:
Christine and Nadia are measuring the stream, Shannon (with notebook) and Katherine (left) are looking for animal tracks, fish, and crayfish. Katherine had us laughing on Friday for a walking stick climbed up her leg, and we were being silent, looking for birds. She was screaming with her mouth closed making mewing sounds, but the walking stick was cool and all were holding it after a while. We then found a baby walking stick. In the tree branch near Shannon you might be able to detect a white object – that is dead grasses wrapped around the tree branch – debris from flooding. We are near a small river and it flooded last year. The flood was so high that we can see the line on the shore caused by the flooding and the debris in the trees from that – you can see how high the debris is.
Christine is helping Katherine learn to use a plant identification book. You can see a string stretched across the picture (probably best seen on level with Christine’s hand contrasted to her blue shirt). That string is a line about fifty feet long – and Katherine has to identify every plant, along that string – she will have to do four of them. They are making baggies of unnamed grasses, and plants to try and ID later. she did about six feet on Friday, and had several columns in her notebook. We are told it will get easier as she begins to identify plants that are repeats, but right now it is slow going. Christine is adamant that the girls do all the work, and learn something. They will walk away with skills that they don’t realize yet.
The binoculars were for the hour we sat quietly to watch for birds. It was funny, our walking onto the site caused the birds to draw away, but after we were quiet, we could hear them coming closer and closer.
It is so cool and I am learning a lot. I am so proud of these girls. And it is so wonderful to be for three hours in God’s creation, appreciating all His wonderful work. We do serve an awesome God!
PP. 20- 21 “My mother’s death was the occasion of what some (but not I) might regard as my first religious experience. When her case was pronounced hopeless I remembered what I had been taught; that prayers offered in faith would be granted. I accordingly set myself to produce by will power a firm belief that my prayers for her recovery would be successful; and as I thought, I achieved it. When nevertheless she died I shifted my ground and worked myself into a belief that there was to be a miracle. The interesting thing is that my disappointment produced no results beyond itself. The thing hadn’t worked, but I was used to things not working, and I thought no more about it. I think the truth is that the belief into which I had hypnotized myself was itself too irreligious for its failure to cause any religious revolution. I had approached God, or my idea of God, without love, without awe, even without fear. He was, in my mental picture of this miracle, to appear neither as Savior nor as Judge, but merely as a magician; and when He had done what was required of Him, I supposed He would simply–well, go away. It never crossed my mind that the tremendous contact which I solicited should have any consequences beyond restoring the status quo.”
This spoke to me because those prayers I prayed were not prayed with any real relationship with God – I just wanted God to do what I wanted Him to do. God had greater plans, something I can now see, but His seeming lack of response troubled me greatly. I think that there are still times when I pray to God, having in my mind a map of how He is going to answer my prayer, and God has other ideas. He will meet my needs, but He will do it His way, and that is a lesson I still need to work on.
Hoping you have a blessed Sunday,
|Pastor Don taught one of the most incredible Bible studies yesterday. Driving home the words, The first shall be last, and the last first came to mind. I think that that is something Jesus gave us as a clue to what I am going to share. I am so excited to share this study with you!Friday August 25, 2006Pastor Don first talked about a show he saw on the History Channel called, “Exodus Decoded.” He thinks it is so good that he purchased a copy of it and plans to show it to the church on a movie night.
Then he mentioned that he was working around the house and happened to catch someone interviewing Perry Stone, and the topic was so riveting that he stopped what he was doing and took down notes. He shared the outline with us today, but plans to give an in-depth study on the topic.
He mentioned that many in the church feel that the Rapture is the next major event of Bible prophecy. What people tend to debate is the place and how to locate the event in time. Jesus talked about it in Matthew 24 and 25, the prophets spoke of it, Daniel, Ezekiel, and others. There are a definite series of events that will surround the rapture. And we see pictures of the rapture even in the Old Testament.
For example, we see pictures from Revelation in Genesis, there was the burning bush, and the Angel of the Lord, knowing we are on Holy Ground.
There was the parting of the Red Sea. The Egyptians were pursing God’s people, and God parted the waters to let his people into the Promised Land. That did not mean that there were no challenges after that, the Israelites had to fight giants in the land, to clear out the natives and take the land that God gave them. David fought Goliath. When we are born again, we are brought into the Promised Land, into the Kingdom, and we still have battles to fight. Not everything is going to be hunkey dory (ok), but we get to live, not die. While we are on earth, life is a process of spiritually going from Egypt to the Promised Land. We will have struggles, problems and the world will impact our lives, but we have a hope and a promise.
Then there was the tower of Babel, the fleshly desire for power. Nimrod (the first picture of anti-christ). They were seeking a common language, but for the wrong purpose. It is the same problem as we saw in Eden, where Adam and Eve desired to become like God. The fleshly efforts of man lead to corruption and evil.
To find out the chronology of Revelation, we need to look to the Old Testament to find answers to what is revealed in the New Testament. We will see that the Old Testament shows how the chronology will unfold.
Pastor Don told us that the Bible has many layers and depths, and that as we read and study we will find out more. He gave a description of the Bible Codes, because many did not know what they were. From the time of Newton, who believed that in the Hebrew text, written by God, there would be hidden messages. These messages were not found until recently, and with the use of computers, more is found. But there was Ramsel who used prayer and the Holy Spirit to find the codes. These are not used to fortune tell, but they do show how much God is involved in all that goes on even today. It is a confirmation of God’s Word.
Here is what drew Pastor Don’s attention from the Perry Stone interview.
Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 That which has been is what will be. That which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which it may be said, “See this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us.
Luke 24:44 And He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.
We need to take Revelation and look back into the Old Testament to see how it is revealed. We know that we see that Jesus was from the tribe of Judah, He was a priest from the order of Melchizedek, The Ark represents the Ark of the Covenant mentioned in Revelation and it also speaks of Jesus. We see the antichrist mentioned in the Old Testament, and mention of the end days.
Where is the starting point when you don’t know the time table?
(Heather’s note, this blew me away).
Genesis 11:1 Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. This is the chapter referring to the Tower of Babel. In today’s time the universal business language is English, and we communicate with computer language. The tower was made of brick, stone and they used asphalt for mortar. It was a man-made endeavor, and their goal was to become like God. The tower was located in the plain of Shinar – which today is Iraq. And where are we now – in Iraq. The twin towers in our country were destroyed, and that ultimately brought us to the Middle East for the war on terror. Perhaps we would not have gone there without the attack on the towers. Just like we might have turned our eyes away from Europe during World War II if there wasn’t a Pearl Harbor.
Genesis 11:10 begins a list of Shem’s Descendants these become the 10 nations. Could be the European Union, and the nations mentioned in Ezekiel 38-39. Then there are the descendants of Terah which is the descendants that led to Jesus.
This is the starting point – when the tower came down.
Now here is the awesome thing. Instead of going to chapter 12 for the next point, we are going to Genesis 10 – working backwards!
Genesis 10 is the Generations of Noah – Nimrod and Peleg are two of those. Nimrod verse 8 began to be a mighty one on the earth – he was a rebel and the prototype of antichrist. Then there was Peleg verse 25 To Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan. Put that with verse 15 Caanan begat Sidon his firstborn and Heth. , and verse 20 the sons of Ham, and you have nations divided against each other. There will be battles fought and Matthew 24 where nations battle against nations, and there is division. We are seeing this today.
Then we go to Genesis 9 Which is the Noah’s Ark. There was a problem of drunkenness and nakedness, Noah’s sin. Caused a division between Canaan and Ham and his other sons. There will be a curse on Canaan. We will see in the Bible all the battles between the various “ites” Ishmaelites, Hittites, etc. There will be none left – today no other nation but Israel ever came back from being a dead nation. You will not walk down the street and hear someone talking Ishmaelite, or Hittite, or Jebusite, etc. Even though there was salvation from the flood, there was still sin in the world, and ultimately one of the sons will go and create Sodom and Gomorrah, there will be homosexuality, drunkenness and other sins will abound. This is the state of the world now. Even though we have salvation through Jesus Christ, sin still abounds in the world. Remember – we are going backwards in Genesis, but forwards in our time period.
Genesis 8 – Here we have the ark, and the flood – water. Water inundates the world. Why did God have to flood the earth, because there was so much sinfulness in the world, Sodom and Gomorrah, unnatural behaviors, and the bloodline was getting polluted. These past years, our earth has been inundated with floods and Tsunami’s. Many of the areas hit were big areas for sexual behavior, from child prostitution, to prostitution, to homosexual behavior.
Then we go back to Genesis 7 which is the great flood, where Noah built the ark. There was a pressure on him to preserve what God wanted to preserve. This is what we need to be doing today, reaching out to God’s children, to pull them to safety – to reach them with the Gospel. The Church needs to be so active in reaching out to the lost – to bring people to the ark.
Genesis 6 – Wickedness increases in the earth, and causes God to judge. God will separate the sheep from the goats. God is sending us out to go and see who can be saved. We are to separate ourselves from earth.
Chapter 5 – is the family of Adam. We went over that before, how the names of the the generations from Adam to Noah tell the salvation story. For those who have never seen it, I am going to share it now:
ADAM – man
If you put it together, you see that man, appointed, was subject to death and sorrowful because he has lost the presence of God. One comes down who is dedicated, to die, who is poor and lowly, and because of His death we find rest. Awesome Gospel message, hidden in the text.
In verses 19-24 After he begot Enoch, Jared lived eight hundred years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty two years; and he died. Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begat Methuselah. After he begat Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty five years, and Enoch walked with God: And he was not, for God took him.
There is so much of significance in those verses. Notice that Enoch did not die, God took him (raptured him). Enoch was the 7th generation (and we talk about 7 millennium to bring completion). The saints are not going to go through the tribulation and judgment on earth, for we will be pulled off the planet. We see this happening in the 70th week of Daniel. God has brought Israel back into the land – which in itself is a miracle, it is the only dead nation that was revived.
Genesis 4 (again back in Genesis to the future of our world) we have Cain and Abel – and Cain gets a mark. The blood of Abel cries out to God. Those on earth (as the ones who have been raptured won’t be), will take a mark. God protected Cain because of the Covenant he had made with Adam. The Prayers of the saints will help to set apart the people we are praying for. We are promised that our families will be set apart and sanctified, given the option to accept Christ. Of course, free will also gives them the freedom to reject Christ.
Back to Genesis 3 – the temptation of man. Satan goes to and fro on the earth and tempts Eve to eat the fruit. Because of this action on his part, satan is bound – he can no longer walk on the earth, but must crawl on his belly. In Revelation, satan will be bound for 1000 years (the millennium), and then he will be released for a short time before being cast forever into the pit.
Genesis 2 Notice that man was created at the 6th day, and the seventh day God rested – the 7th millennium will be when Jesus rules and reigns and we get rest. God will get the earth back to the way it was when He first created it. The Millennial reign will show us how God meant the earth to be.
Genesis 1 – the creation of the earth. satan is loosed from the pit, and there is one last big battle before he is cast permanently into the Lake of Fire. There will be a creation of a new heaven and a new earth. The old will pass away.
Then he answered some questions from the people at the Bible study, here are notes on them.
Pastor Don told us that prophecy is a circle or interwoven. None of us sit here fully actualized as a self. We all have inner child conflicts. There are hurts and dominating emotions. Until the inner child is healed, we really do not have full joy. When we face situations, we tend to flash back to similar situations from our past. We are needing a hero, and Jesus Christ is our perfect Hero.
Then Pastor Don mentioned the Power of God, which is sometimes seen manifested as miracles, but the greatest miracle is our salvation.
1 Corinthians 10:1-3 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food.
We are all under a cloud, passing through the sea. In Moses’ day, the cloud led the people, and when they were ready to cross the Red Sea, the cloud stood between the People and Pharaoh’s soldiers, to protect the people as they crossed the Red sea.
When we are at a Dead Sea situation, and have a desire to get across the sea – when we have problems in our marriage, with our finances, the problems are big ones in our life we have choices.
1. We can try to solve the problem in our own strength.
The parting of the sea is under God’s control, if we raise our faith staff, God will answer in due season. Sometimes it is at the 11th hour or 11:59:59.
There are two kinds of clouds, there are the clouds sent by God, and then there are the clouds that are not of God – that cloud our thinking, the one that holds us on shore. We have to deal with our clouds.
If you are under a cloud of depression, we have to take an action, raise our staff of faith. The prophesy information we are learning will not help us if we stand on the shore with our hands in our pockets.
In these last days, we have to change our value system. Time is short, and we do not want to waste our time, drag around dead weight. We have to ask ourselves why are we doing what we are doing? Is it edifying? If you remember the Tsunami, you know that disaster hits in a second. We need to be prepared, and ready for whatever.
Hope this blessed you. I suspect that this rough outline will be fleshed out in future Bible studies by Pastor Don. Praying you have a great weekend.