Had been…

But if from thence (this point forward)  thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou shalt seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

When thou art in tribulation (distress),and all these things are come upon thee, EVEN in the latter days, IF thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice;

(For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will NOT forsake thee, NEITHER, destroy thee, NOR forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them. 

For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it?

Did ever a people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live? 

Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations (trials), by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by  a mighty hand, and by an outstretched arm, and by great terrors (calamities), according to all that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?

Unto thee it was shewed (revealed) that thou mightest (may) know that the Lord he is God; There is none beside him. 

And because he LOVED thy fathers, therefore he CHOSE their seed (descendants) after them, and brought thee out in his sight with his mighty power OUT of Egypt.

To drive out nations from before thee greater and mightier than thou art, TO BRING THEE IN, to give thee their land for an inheritance, as it is this day.

KNOW THEREFORE THIS DAY, AND CONSIDER IT IN THINE HEART, THAT THE LORD, HE IS GOD IN HEAVEN ABOVE, AND UPON THE EARTH BENEATH: THERE IS NONE ELSE.

Thou shalt KEEP therefore his statues, and his commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee (you may prosper), and with they children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the earth (live long in the land), Which the Lord thy God giveth thee, for ever.” Deuteronomy 4:29-40

Just like in marriage, “From this day forward…” and other in business arrangements as “From this point forward…, how often do we use that statement or a phrase quite like it, such as “from here on out”, “from the time, on…” words and phrases used to describe a beginning, often an ordeal, and an end goal, a hope of something so much better than what had been. and that is the promise Jesus gives us with his promise of eternal life.

As the Hebrews had been oppressed and in bondage, the Hebrews had been hurt, wounded, and many, many dead because of those who had enslaved them.

The Hebrews had been doubtful before the plagues came upon their enemies.

The Hebrews that had been hopelessly trapped when God parted the Red Sea.

The Hebrews who had been disobedient complainers until the Lord removed the instigators from among them over the period of 40 years.

The Hebrews who one had been considered outnumbered and defeated by those who oppressed them became the most fierce of armies as David lead by the Lord fought not only the giant but all that rose against Israel.

The Lord God Jehovah himself supernaturally bringing destruction upon their enemies, even in some cases, using their many combined enemies to destroy each other. While bringing Freedom, and prosperity to them as he led them to a land that he himself had chosen for them.

And they had start to start somewhere, it started with the belief that God would deliver them, it started with the belief that even when their work was made harder and Pharaohs demands more harsh and severe,it started as they watched plague after plague be sent down upon their oppressors in Egypt, and it started as they watched, even knowing the relentlessness of Pharaoh that these signs, these wonders could only be explained as the hand of a very real God interceding for their release.

And I am sure for some it started as they saw the Sea literally split in to, and for some it may have been as they walked, in absolute awe at the power of God, perfectly through a departed sea, oh can you imagine what they would have been like to even see?

Or would one dare even look to either side of it, or in our human state would we fear that it would come crashing down upon us, that little voice of doubt maybe whispering, as we often have to force our ‘human” mind out of our spirits way when we do behold miracles and workings of God that are supernatural and so inexplicable that our minds would simply shatter if we tried to comprehend it.

But still we all have to start somewhere and that is what I love about our passage, God is letting them know that the only thing of importance is from the point they are in the story is their beginning and what they do from that point forward is all that matters.

Just as Jesus does not ask you what you have done or why you did it, he only asks that you repent, ask his forgiveness, and turn away from doing those things that of which you are now ashamed, and let him heal you, love you, lead you, and guide you as your Savior, being just that, ONE WHO SAVES YOU, not you trying to save yourself.

And I especially love the reference to latter days, which at the time this was written would have applied to many many different horrors to be faced by those who have determined to follow the Lord.

From the battles and betrayals retold in the Old Testament, to the family dysfunctions of Joseph’s jealous brothers to the David and Absolom, to the sufferings of his people, to the sacrifice Jesus  and the disciples, we know that those things things have been and in the succession of time as we enter the end of days, the latter days, things will worsen because people have grown more evil, worshipping devils and pagan images, others denying God and his existence, hating all that is good.

Those who murder and condone the murder of millions of babies the world over while they themselves taking pride in the own lives..

It is sickening and lets us know that we are indeed in the end of days and the judgments of God are at the door unless repentance comes.

God has always always assured us that he is there through the storms and he will never let those storms overtake us.

So wherever you are today, whatever you life has been or whatever you have wished your life had been, please know this, that TODAY can be the day that God changes all that you have ever known, all the painful, all the bad, all things that had been to what everything should be, CAN BE and all that he has always wanted your life to be!

All you have to do is ask him, seek him and what a more wonderful gift could you ever give those you love, as he promises that those blessings and that salvation would be for your family as often when one comes in, all comes in to the household of God.

Please don’t allow that inheritance to be lost.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev.Brown Johnson

 

First fruits first

Romans 8:15-25: “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together. 

For I reckon the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 

For the earnest expectation of the creature (creation) waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

For the creature (creation) was made subject to vanity (futility), not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope

Because the creature itself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption (decay) into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 

And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we also groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.  

For we are saved by hope; but hope  that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for it?  

But if we HOPE for what we see not, then do we with PATIENCE (perseverance) wait for it.

One of the main threads used to weave scripture into the beautiful tapestry of life is this, the assurance, confidence, and encouragement that this life and this world is not all there is to the story.

Let’s think about what the Bible tells us about “firsts” and think of all the “firsts” the Bible contains, the beginning of all creation and those whose stories fill the pages telling the stories of their lives, stories of many firsts and completely new beginnings and a pilgrimage to a land clearly not of this earth:

Hebrews 11:8-10: “By faith Abraham when he was called of God to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance ,obeyed, and he went out, not knowing whiter he went (not knowing where he was going). 

By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange (foreign) country, dwelling in tabernacles (tents) with Isaac, and Jacob, the heirs with him in the SAME promise;

For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker IS God.”

So knowing these firsts we have fruits of those firsts, the wonderful things produced as God prompted these journeys of faith and with the birth of Jesus Christ, the first and only of the kind, the Son of God, born of a virgin and He chose and would choose those to be His firstfruits in the giving of the indwelling of His Spirit and by His resurrection power. He made us the first adopted in the Kingdom of God and His blood making us kindred with Him.

Think about what John tells us from Revelation 1:5,6: “And Jesus Christ who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten (born) of the dead, and the prince  (ruler over) the kings of the earth.

Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be the glory and dominion  for ever and ever. Amen.” 

James 1:18: “Of his own will begat he us (he chose us) with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”

Ephesians 1:3-14:“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings, in heavenly places in Christ.

According as he hath chosen us in him BEFORE the foundations of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before in love.

Having PREDESTINATED us into the adoption of children by Christ to himself, according to good pleasure of his will.

To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of HIS GRACE.

Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence (understanding). 

Having made known to unto us the mystery of his will,  According to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 

That in the dispensation of the fulness of times (when all things are fulfilled and New Jerusalem descends) he might GATHER TOGETHER IN ONE ALL THINGS IN CHRIST, BOTH WHICH ARE IN HEAVEN, AND WHICH ARE ON EARTH, even in him;

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.

That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: In WHOM also after that ye believed, ye were SEALED with that holy Spirit of promise.

Which IS the earnest (down payment) of  OUR inheritance UNTIL the redemption of the PURCHASED POSSESSION,unto the praise of HIS glory.”

And that a greater life and a new story yet to be written is waiting just on the other side of that door that separates our physical earthly bodies from their true home in the eternal realm. And as he so eloquently put it, the fear we often associate with this crossing was not given to us from God.

God did not give us the bondage that comes from being chained in fear and chained by fear. God gave us hope and that hope is in the knowing that we are already adopted into a greater family, a heavenly family, and a royal priesthood, the hope in the knowledge that God is our Father, that He does hear us and most assuring that our home is not of this earth, but our true home is with him.

Our inheritance, and Jesus sealing us through himself as our “down payment”, our assurance that we do have a right through him, through that adoption into the bloodline of the King, a right to that country, yet to come.

We are given this assurance and reassurance as we do groan and we do suffer pain and heartache on this earth and yearning for that day when all will be made new, the day when peace will be as a river, kindness, love, and mercy will rule everyday life and even the animals and all living creation from the smallest microbe to largest beast will live in absolute harmony, scripture telling us that nothing shall hurt or destroy in his Holy mountain, a child will play atop a snakes den and the lion will eat straw and the serpent will eat dust.

No more pain, no more sorrow, no more dying for ANY of his creation. And that beautiful feeling of peace and hope and comfort given us by Him is only but a small sample of, as they have written, the glory which is to be revealed. We all need encouragement and a little extra zeal sometimes to get through this world and to keep us focused but sometimes I think we need to focus a lot less of this world and focus much more closely on the next.

Just as Jesus told us to not lay up treasure on this earth but to store our treasure in heaven, sometimes we need to take a peek at that treasure and remember the wonderful things waiting there and of course none of us know what we have stored up but we do know we will see loved ones who have gone on, rejoice with old friends and beloved brothers and sisters if old, we know that we will have joy unspeakable and love that never ends, heavenly choirs as we all sing to the Lord and as he did we the disciples, we may even get to hear His beautiful songs. But all the pain and all the sorrows of this creation will be forgotten and we will rejoice evermore.

So indulge me if you will, and think of me as your travel agent for just a bit, and let me give you the description of your homeland and the country you will be travelling to.

“And I saw a NEW heaven and a NEW earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make ALL things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

And he said unto me, It is done, I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of LIFE freely

He that overcometh shall INHERIT all thingsI will be his God, and he shall be my son. 

But the fearful (cowardly), and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers (sexually immoral), and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

And there came unto me on of the seven angels which had the seven vials of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither (here), I  will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”

{That was the background on our country, now for the scenic description and wonders to be found there}

“And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me a great city, the holy Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God.

Having the glory of God and her light was like unto a tone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

And had a great wall and high, and twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel; On the eats three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.

And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in (on) them the names of the twelves apostles of the Lamb.

And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

And the city lieth foursquare (is laid out as a square), and the length is as large as the breadth; and he measured the city with a reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.

And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel (he used human measurements).

And the building (construction) of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.

And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished (adorned) with all manner of precious stones.

The first foundation was jasper, the second, sapphire, the third, a chalcedony, the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx, the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eight, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh,a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several (individual) gate was of one pearl; and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. 

And I saw NO temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb ARE the temple of it. And the city had NO need of the sun, neither the moon, to shine in it: FOR THE GLORY OF THE LORD DID LIGHTEN IT, AND THE LAMB IS THE LIGHT THEREOF.

And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour unto it. 

And the gates thereof shall NOT be shut at all by day FOR THERE SHALL BE NO NIGHT THERE. 

And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.

And there in no wise (way) enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh (causes an) abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

And he shewed me a pure river of water of water of LIFE, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God, and of the Lamb.

In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 

And there shall be NO more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 

And there shall be NO night there; and they need NO candle (lamp), NEITHER sun; for the Lord giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.” Revelation 21 & Revelation 22:1-6

Now that is a destination not to be missed!

Isn’t it amazing to know that you are firstfruits hand-picked to be part of that glorious Kingdom?!

Thanks for reading! Until we meet again may God bless you and yours!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

 

 

MERGE

* Original post date:01/27/2014*
“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage supper of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.”
                            Revelation 19:7
The striking aspect of the verse is this, SHE made herself ready, the groom did not come and do it for her, she had complete discretion as to HOW she would present herself before him.
The question begs asked, how should we, the collective church of Christ prepare to present ourselves before our soon coming King?
And considering the bride price that he has already paid in his own blood, what could we ever ask as a wedding gift?
Let’s look at two ladies, both with the exact same opportunity with the exact same King, but with two very different outcomes to their stories.

The book of Esther chapter one tells the story of beautiful, beautiful Queen Vashti, she had been GIVEN EVERYTHING, riches, power, and her own place of feasting and banquets in the house of the King.
But with this great beauty, wealth, and power came a really big attitude and trusting in her beauty and her position, she made a tragic mistake that would in effect COST HER THE KINGDOM.
When King Ahasuerus called her to join his party and welcome his guests, she scoffed at his invitation and responded with a big “Vasthi-tude”
Which is reflected in the church of Laodiceans, (the lukewarm church) that the Lord refers to here:
Revelation 3:14-18 : “BECAUSE thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind and naked.”
Comparing her to the Mother of it all, Queen Babylon. 
Revelation 18:8 “How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she hath said in her heart, I SIT A QUEEN, AND AM NO WIDOW, and shall see no sorrow.”
You can clearly read and understand that by her statement that she “sits a Queen” that she is the wife of a King.
Her statement “Am no widow” showing that she is in fact mocking her husband and bragging that his is very much alive and well.
Just as with Queen Vashti, no King could ever condone this kind of disrespect and complete contempt.
Vashti would soon find herself without a Kingdom, without a throne, and most certainly without a husband.
Esther chapter two tells us of a young, orphan girl.
Very humble whom had been chosen as one of those who would be presented before the King.
As part of the agreement, she could ask for whatever she wanted or needed to help prepare for this meeting.

To prepare she purified herself for a year, six months of which she bathed in myrrh (symbolic of dying to her flesh), “leaning not unto her own understanding” she chose to be advised and through divine intervention and her willingness to humble herself and submission, she soon indeed become Queen.
Esther 2:17 “And the King loved Esther above all women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so her set the royal crown upon her head, and made her Queen instead of Vashti.”
It goes on tell the amazing story of how God used the position he had placed her and her willingness to submit to this position, to save all her people from the sword of the enemy.
Now to get back to the Bride to end all Brides.
Revelation 22:17: And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.”
This HAS to come and WILL ONLY come as a complete surrender by the church, (individuals, one mind-set, one purpose) into such a submission into the Spirit of God, that we will no longer know where we end and he begins.
THIS VOICE is spoken in complete unison.
This requires both parties on such a level that it is the true, holy merging between the church and Jesus.
I believe with everything in me that is what he wants.
A Bride, as scripture states “that will not grieve his Holy Spirit”.
A Bride whose mercy, compassion, humility, and love mirror his and is a complete reflection of him.
A Bride who will not be like Vashti, who refused to welcome or “waste her time” with HIS guests.
( We do this through our nasty little holier than thou attitudes) but a bride like Esther, who when offered anything, even to half the Kingdom, she chose, not for herself BUT the lives of her people.

Maybe we will be offered such, and we can ask for this half  of the Kingdom:
THOSE WHO ARE NOT SAVED AND READY TO FALL UNDER THE ABSOLUTE UNBRIDLED WRATH OF THE LAMB.

Be ready, strive through closet prayer, communion, and seeking his face above all.
Welcome HIS guests as HE invites them and welcome them without judgment and malice, and with forgiveness, and forgetfulness (as to their past sins) JUST AS HE HAS WELCOMED US.

 

POST NOTE: This is an older one, but I feel it needs revisited, our purpose is not to fear these things which are happening in our world but to be certain that our “wedding garments” of his righteousness are pressed and spotless, as the wedding feast of the Lamb approaches.

We are now in the last day outpouring, (yes, this did indeed start with the disciples, but the end time harvest is yet to be completed) as you feel the move of the Spirit, give yourself to Him, and let him have His work in you.
Φλογίζω/NBJ 2015 All right reserved.

This song is one of my all time favorites and if you listen closely, there are TWO voices, she starts, his voice joins in and after just a moment you can not differentiate between the two, blended in complete UNISON. That is what HE wants for his church!