Archive for October, 2010

144000

Hi people, I write after a short break but I have found something rather interesting to share. I am currently reading the book of Ezekiel from the Bible and it made me think on a few things.

You know sometimes I feel we ought to read the New Testament first because it is in the New Testament that we have an invitation through Jesus to be called a people of God and the Old Testament shows how God deals with His people, He is tolerant even when His people are rebellious.

I would like to start with Ezekiel 9:1-11 & 10:1-2, this article may take some time.

Ezekiel 9:1-11 (Old Testament)

1 Then I heard God shout, “Come here, you men who are going to punish the city. Bring your weapons with you.” 2 At once six men came from the outer north gate of the Temple, each one carrying a weapon. With them was a man dressed in linen clothes, carrying something to write with. They all came and stood by the bronze altar.

3 Then the dazzling light of the presence of the God of Israel rose up from the winged creatures, where it had been, and moved to the entrance of the Temple. The Lord called to the man dressed in linen, 4 “Go through the whole city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the forehead of everyone who is distressed and troubled because of all the disgusting things being done in the city.”

5 And I heard God say to the other men, “Follow him through the city, and kill. Spare no one; have mercy on no one. 6 Kill the old men, young men, young women, mothers, and children. But don’t touch anyone who has the mark on his forehead. Start here at my Temple.” So they began with the leaders who were standing there at the Temple.

7 God said to them, “Defile the Temple. Fill its courtyards with corpses. Get to work!” So they began to kill the people in the city.

8 While the killing was going on, I was there alone. I threw myself face downwards on the ground and shouted, “Sovereign Lord, are you so angry with Jerusalem that you are going to kill everyone left in Israel?”

9 God answered, “The people of Israel and Judah are guilty of terrible sins. They have committed murder all over the land and have filled Jerusalem with crime. They say that I, the Lord, have abandoned their country and that I don’t see them. 10 But I will not have pity on them; I will do to them what they have done to others.”

11 Then the man wearing linen clothes returned and reported to the Lord, “I have carried out your orders.”

Ezekiel 10:1-2 (Old Testament)

1 I looked at the dome over the heads of the living creatures and above them was something that seemed to be a throne made of sapphire. 2 God said to the man wearing linen clothes, “Go between the wheels under the creatures and fill your hands with burning coals. Then scatter the coals over the city.”

I would like to inform you that verse 3 talks about the winged creatures built on the “Arc of the Covenant”, which is a sought of vessel built out of gold to carry God’s commandments. The presence of the Lord often appeared between the winged creatures as bright light.

I would now like to quote the references in regards to the above Old Testament scripture from the New Testament.

Revelation 7:1-8 (New Testament): Ref: Ezekiel 9:3-4

1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds so that no wind should blow on the earth or the sea or against any tree. 2 And I saw another angel coming up from the east with the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels to whom God had given the power to damage the earth and the sea. 3 The angel said, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees, until we mark the servants of our God with a seal on their foreheads.” 4 And I was told that the number of those who were marked with God’s seal on their foreheads was 144,000. They were from the twelve tribes of Israel, 5-8 twelve thousand from each tribe: Judah, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin.

Revelation 9:4 (New Testament): Ref: Ezekiel 9:3-4

4 They were told not to harm the grass or the trees or any other plant; they could harm only the people who did not have the mark of God’s seal on their foreheads.

Revelation 14:1 (New Testament)

1 Then I looked, and there was the Lamb standing on Mount Zion; with him were 144,000 people who have his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.

Revelation 8:5 (New Testament): Ref: Ezekiel 10:2

5 Then the angel took the incense burner, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it on the earth. There were rumblings and peals of thunder, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.

From Ezekiel 10:2 and Revelation 8:5, we can see God’s fiery wrath being poured out on the disobedient.

In the book of Exodus, God promised His Jewish people that they would never endure the disasters God brought upon the Egyptians, provided they obeyed God.

Exodus 15:25-26

…. There the Lord gave them laws to live by, and there he also tested them. 26 He said, “If you will obey me completely by doing what I consider right and by keeping my commands, I will not punish you with any of the diseases that I brought on the Egyptians. I am the Lord, the one who heals you.”

The book of Revelation has plagues which will afflict the world similar to those described in the book of Exodus which afflicted the Egyptian. I have an example for you: Exodus 10:12-13//Revelation 9:3.

Exodus 10:12-13 (Old Testament)

12 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Raise your hand over the land of Egypt to bring the locusts. They will come and eat everything that grows, everything that has survived the hail.” 13 So Moses raised his stick, and the Lord caused a wind from the east to blow on the land all that day and all that night. By morning it had brought the locusts.

Revelation 9:3 (New Testament)

Locusts came down out of the smoke upon the earth, and they were given the same kind of power that scorpions have.

I would like to tell you that Biblically, something written of a person’s forehead would mean that that what is written is something that is dearest to that person. So you see that the 144000 (Revelations 7:4), Jewish people who are saved, are saved because they believe,  trust & adore the Lamb (Jesus) who was sent by His Father to pay the price of sin. Considering Exodus 15:25-26, we can see that the 144000 saved from the 12 tribes of Israel are those who obey God and put their trust in His Son who was promised to them as the Messiah/Saviour/Deliverer – the One who would save them from their sins.

Acts 13:23,38-39

It was Jesus, a descendant of David, whom God made the Saviour of the people of Israel, as he had promised.

38-39 We want you to know, my fellow-Israelites, that it is through Jesus that the message about forgiveness of sins is preached to you; and that everyone who believes in him is set free from all the sins from which the Law of Moses could not set you free.

Let’s see what the Bible says about who is a Jew?

Romans 2:28-29 & 3:21-24

28 After all, who is a real Jew, truly circumcised? It is not the man who is a Jew on the outside, whose circumcision is a physical thing. 29 Rather, the real Jew is the person who is a Jew on the inside, that is, whose heart has been circumcised, and this is the work of God’s Spirit, not of the written Law. Such a person receives praise from God, not from human beings.

….

21 But now God’s way of putting people right with himself has been revealed. It has nothing to do with law, even though the Law of Moses and the prophets gave their witness to it. 22 God puts people right through their faith in Jesus Christ. God does this to all who believe in Christ, because there is no difference at all: 23 everyone has sinned and is far away from God’s saving presence. 24 But by the free gift of God’s grace all are put right with him through Christ Jesus, who sets them free.

So to conclude, it is interesting to see that during the end times those form the Israelite tribes who are obedient will have their eyes open to see the God’s saving grace worked out on the cross & these will be marked that disaster would avoid them when it strikes the world.

The Prodigal son

Hello folks, how are you? Hope all is well. I’ll be writing fewer articles now, as I now plan to take my writing into the music arena. Yeah I want to learn to compose music and am planning to invest my free time in learning the basics of music so that I can pass the interview for the 4 month course in music composition and direction starting January 2011 from Mumbai University.

Today I shall be writing on what was preached to the Church; however I feel the need to adapt to readers new to Church doctrine. Let us together go through the Parable of the Prodigal son in Luke 15:11-24.

Luke 15:11-24

11 Jesus went on to say, “There was once a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to him, ‘Father, give me my share of the property now.’ So the man divided his property between his two sons. 13 After a few days the younger son sold his part of the property and left home with the money. He went to a country far away, where he wasted his money in reckless living. 14 He spent everything he had. Then a severe famine spread over that country, and he was left without a thing. 15 So he went to work for one of the citizens of that country, who sent him out to his farm to take care of the pigs. 16 He wished he could fill himself with the bean pods the pigs ate, but no one gave him anything to eat. 17 At last he came to his senses and said, ‘All my father’s hired workers have more than they can eat, and here I am about to starve! 18 I will get up and go to my father and say, Father, I have sinned against God and against you. 19 I am no longer fit to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired workers.’ 20 So he got up and started back to his father.

“He was still a long way from home when his father saw him; his heart was filled with pity, and he ran, threw his arms round his son, and kissed him. 21 ‘Father,’ the son said, ‘I have sinned against God and against you. I am no longer fit to be called your son.’ 22 But the father called his servants. ‘Hurry!’ he said. ‘Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet. 23 Then go and get the prize calf and kill it, and let us celebrate with a feast! 24 For this son of mine was dead, but now he is alive; he was lost, but now he has been found.’ And so the feasting began.

Note: Parables are stories that Jesus told the people to reveal heavenly truths through earthly events.

Consider this, those who trust in Jesus are those God calls his children because just as a father would call an orphan ‘son’ because of the close relationship the orphan may share with his own son. In the same way God the Father calls ‘spiritual orphans’ His sons when they come to trust in His Son Jesus.

Ephesians 1:5

5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,

Now may be you believe and trust in Jesus or may be you are on your way there or may be you don’t want to think of that right now but I’ll tell you this those who trust and believe in Jesus do so because God chose them before the foundation of the world, you can see this from the word ‘predestined’ in Ephesians 1:5 above.

So the Parable of the Prodigal Son has more to do with God’s predestined Children being reconciled to God. Now this shouldn’t be any news when I tell you that when the first man Adam was created, he lived in union with God and at that time the Bible refers to that union as that of a Father and son.

Luke 3:23-38

23 When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the son of Eli,

24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph,

……….

31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David,

……….

38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

Yes the above is the Genealogy of Jesus, it is important to note here that Biblically Jesus was God who was man in every respect, except where the nature of sin is concerned. ‘God who was man’…oxymoron…yeah I agree, but my God is All Powerful, he is not bound by the limits of human ideology. Monotheist may reject this because their god can go just as far as they can think. Let me give you some Biblical proof to show you the dual nature (God and Man) of Jesus Christ. You can see from Luke 3:31 that Jesus comes from the lineage of King David, from whom was prophesied that the Messiah would come. So let us now check a conversation Jesus had with the Jewish religious enlightening them on the dual nature of the Messiah.

Matthew 22:41-46

41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,

42 saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “The Son of David.”

43 He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying:

44 ‘ The LORD said to my Lord, ” Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool” ‘ ?

45 If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?”

46 And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.

Note: Christ in Matthew 22:42, means Messiah; that is He who saves/delivers people from their sins.

Now coming back to the topic of the prodigal son, you can clearly see from Luke 3:38, the relationship our great great great …grandfather Adam (1st man) had with God was that of that father and son. Adam and Eve then sinned against God & because of their disobedience there was a break in this Parent child relationship but at that time they were not reconciled because the sinless Son of God was yet to pay the price of sins for God’s people.

Romans 5:19 (Reference made to Adam and Jesus)

19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

So the story of the prodigal son can be seen as God’s people coming back (being reconciled) to God through the Salvation plan carried out in His Son. Luke 15:12-15, portrays a life a person before he comes to Jesus, before coming to Jesus he was purely living of the inheritance of God’s grace which saw him through all his reckless living but at a point he hits rock bottom because there is nothing that can replace the relationship he had with his Father.

Luke 15:17-24 reflects amazingly in Act 26:18.

Acts 26:18 (Jesus words to Apostle Paul about his mission to the people)

18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’

Eye opening – Luke 15:17

Transition from darkness to light – Luke 15:18-21

Reconciliation and enjoyment in being sanctified by faith in Jesus – Luke 15:22-24.

We see something very clearly in Luke 15:18-19 and this is an important part in the transition from the darkness of this world (1 John 5:19) to the light that is in Christ & that part is repentance, meaning seeing the error of your reckless living. Just as you need to admit you are wrong when you accept correction. In the same way all who come to Jesus are automatically made known of their follies, but what matters is that they all submit themselves to Jesus in repentance and they are then rewarded with Salvation (predestined for heaven).

1 John 5:19

19 …. whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.

2 Corinthians 7:10

10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.

If today you feel that you are living recklessly and still feel that the going is good, it does not mean and God is slow in taking action, you are purely living off your inheritance of His grace. A person’s life is like vapour (James 4:14) before God. A man may live for, let’s optimistically say 100 years, what is that compared to infinity? Like the life span of vapour before it vanishes into thin air.

James 4:14

14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.

2 Peter 3:9

9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

Remember, God is a good God and he does not even take pleasure in the punishment of wicked (Ezekiel 18:23, 32). Have you ever heard of the phrase living on borrowed time; yeah borrowed time is exactly what the wicked are living on, out of love God hopes to see even the wicked be saved through repentance and faith in His Son Jesus (John 3:16).

Ezekiel 18:23, 32

23 “Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” declares the Lord GOD, “rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?…..

32 “For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord GOD. “Therefore, repent and live.”

John 3:16

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

To conclude: if for any reason you feel like you are in the dumps, hoping to grab a bite of what the pigs eat then it should be just a matter of time before realization strikes you and then I hope this articles will helps you come home to Jesus. There is never such a thing as a person who is too bad to come to Jesus.

Luke 15:7 (Jesus’ words)

7 I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

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