And I Saw God’s Glory!

SCRIPTURE STUDY:  Isaiah 6:1-3 (NIV)

[1]  In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple.

[2]  Above him were seraphim, each with six wings:  With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.

[3]  And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;

the whole earth is full of his glory.”

It’s difficult to know when reading passages of Scripture in the Bible whether God’s GLORY refers to His actual glory or to human recognition of it.  This is true, for example, when Scripture speaks of the earth being full of the GLORY of the Lord.

In Isaiah 6, we see the call and commissioning of Isaiah, the prophet.

We don’t know for sure, but we assume that Isaiah was in the earthly temple.  However, the temple described in verse 1 is the Heavenly Temple.

In the year King Uzziah died it may be like saying the year Pearl Harbor was bombed, in the year JFK was shot, or in the year the Bomb was dropped.  This was a time in the nation of crisis and change that the prophet came face to face with the King of Kings.

HOLINESS tells us that Jesus is the exact representation or image of God.  What many have lost is the holiness of God.  God has become “the man upstairs”, or “the God next door”.  Max Lucado said it well:  “Immanuel, God with us.”

In Jesus Christ, God came near.  Something of the awesomeness and greatness– His GLORY has been forgotten.  The church culture has so allowed the culture around us to shape the way we do things.  The customer satisfaction mentality has invaded our churches we have to be sure not to offend anyone– WORSHIP is all about them.

Here in Isaiah, we see that WORSHIP is all about God.

When we see and sing the words on the Big Screen in church or out of a hymn book, we need to remember the songs are all about Him.  When you read History in the Bible, you need to remember, it’s His story.  What Isaiah got was probably more than he bargained for in a worship service.

God’s High Position (6:1) – Beholding His Glory

[1]  IN THE year that King Uzziah died, [in a vision] I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and the skirts of His train filled the [most holy part of the] temple.  [John 12:41]  (Amplified Bible).

Isaiah was reminded that God is sovereign.  When God showed up, Isaiah saw God high and lifted up.  He saw God in His greatness and holiness.  With everything that was happening, God was in complete control while sitting on His throne in heaven.

Here in Isaiah 6:1, looking at several different Bible translations, you can see Lord spelled in all caps–i.e., LORD; and others, Lord.  I just had to dig deeper here.

LORD (all caps or small caps) reflects the original term “YHWH”, while Lord (standard capitalization) is the English rendition of the Hebrew Adonai, meaning “to be”; “the Lord God Almighty, the sovereign or supreme one.”  It suggests that God simply is i.e., He possesses an underived existence; He is the eternal “I AM”.  This name became a special designation–emphasized in God’s relations ship to the nation of Israel.  [“LORD and Lord – What’s the Difference? by The Christian Courier] 

John 12:37-40 clearly tells us that Isaiah was seeing Jesus on the throne!

Isaiah saw God on the throne with His hand on the throttle in complete control.

  • When it says DISEASE–God is on the throne!
  • When the boss says you’re FIRED–God is on the throne!
  • When our children DISOBEY–God is on the throne!

Isaiah saw God high and lifted up, but he also heard the Seraphim cry “Holy, Holy, Holy”

THE HOLINESS OF GOD

The Holiness of God is, His being in a class by Himself with His perfection and greatness and worth.  All His perfection and greatness and worth are distinct and separate–we’ve been taught that HOLY means separate–His in a class by Himself.

HIS HOLINESS IS WHAT HE IS AS GOD THAT NOBODY ELSE IS –

His quality of perfection can’t be improved upon, can’t be imitated, and that determines that He is all of that and nothing is determined from outside Him.

Now when Isaiah 6:3 says that angels are crying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty”–the next thing they say is this:  “The whole earth is full of His”…and you might think “holiness” would be the next word.

But he doesn’t say holiness, he says GLORY!

Essentially, “holy”, essentially holy, and the whole earth is full of His GLORY.

I stab a definition here by saying the GLORY OF GOD is the manifest beauty of His holiness.  It’s the going public of His Holiness.  It’s the way He puts His holiness on display for people to apprehend.

Read the words from Leviticus 10:3:  God says He will be shown to be HOLY among those who are near Him and before all the people He will be honored.

I will be shown to be holy,” He says.  “And among ALL the people” — say it another way–“I will be glorified.”

The Worship Connection of His Holiness and Glory –

What on earth does all this have to do with our worship?

EVERYTHING!!!

If you divorce or separate God’s holiness from worship, all you have is entertainment.  Why start on time, why do things in order, why not distract others during the song service and preaching?  Because we should be focusing on the greatness of God!!!

WHY THE CROSS?

The cross was ultimately the result of God’s Holiness.  Sinful man can’t stand in the presence of a Holy God.  God took care of the ‘sin problem.’

2 Corinthians 5:21 (AMP)

[21]  For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness].

This God that’s HOLY and separate is the God we need to see in our worship–in our everyday living.

Isaiah’s Posture of Humility in God’s Glory and Holiness –

“Woe to me!  I am ruined and undone…”  (6:5)

To Isaiah’s peers, he was upright. a righteous man, a man of unmatched integrity.  AND then just one glimpse of God’s greatness changed his whole self-perception.

It took God to reveal his guilt, it took a picture of deity to reveal Isaiah’s filthiness–his sin.

Have you ever seen God in such a way that revealed who you really are?

Have you ever recognized that you are a sinner that’s separated from God without hope?

That’s what the VISION did for Isaiah.  It revealed reality to him–God sees us as we are, where we are in life right now!  He sees your heart!!

What happened when Isaiah saw this VISION of God?

CONVICTION –

“Woe is me!  I am undone and ruined.”

The Hebrew word for “undone”:  to come apart at the seams.  Isaiah was totally exposed for who he was before a holy God.

CONFESSION –

A vision of the holiness of God that brings true conviction of sin is always followed by the confession of sin.

I love Billy Ricks’ slant of this fact:  “Regardless of excuses, sin is a prison from which you can never be freed until you admit it’s your own fault that you were thrown in the slammer.”

CLEANSING –

Because Isaiah came clean he was made clean.  The cleansing power of God went to work on Isaiah’s behalf.

God is HOLY and also merciful.  When we confess our sins to Him, God goes to work.  He cleanses us with the Blood of Jesus (1 John 1:9).

What is the big deal about WORSHIP in Christian America today?

To me, it’s about seeing God in all of His manifested GLORY.  Let me break that down just a bit.  When someone says, “Look at the wind blowing outside,” and when you peer out the window you can’t actually see the wind.  What you see is the effect that the wind has on the objects it’s blowing on–the trees, a flag, a hat blown off one’s head.  So when God breathes, you can’t visibly see His breath, but you can see His GLORY manifested in your surroundings.  Just look around you!

In seeing God for who He is we can see ourselves as we truly are.  The church culture of today has so allowed the culture around us shape the way we do things.  The customer satisfaction mentality has infiltrated our churches.

Here is a heavenly worship service where Isaiah saw a fresh vision of God.  From this vision of God’s HOLINESS, Isaiah was inspired to pen words like Isaiah 40:8.

What churches and Christians in America desperately need is a fresh vision of God’s holiness and His Glory.  We don’t need a new revelation because all that God is and has for us is revealed in Christ Jesus.

We give God the GLORY!!!

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CREDITS

Commentary:  John Piper’s “What Is God’s Glory” at desiringGod.org.

Music Video:  “I SAW THE LORD” by Dallas Holmes – YouTube.

Images:  Google Image search.

Bible Translations:  New International Version (NIV); Amplified (AMP); King James Version (KJV).

Is Finding the “Ashes of the Red Heifer” A Big Deal?

Numbers 19:2 (NIV Bible)

“This is a requirement of the law that the LORD has commanded:  Tell the Israelites to bring you a red heifer without defect or blemish and that has never been under the yoke.”

How many of you have ever heard of the ASHES OF THE RED HEIFER”?  Usually, not many have.  I could only find 2 mentions in Scripture – Numbers 19 and Hebrews 9.

In my last Blog-Post in the Book of Numbers, https://theworddetective.wordpress.com/2017/09/27/dont-let-your-ashes-put-out-the-fire/, was about disposing of the ashes.  But here in Numbers 19, the ASHES were to be a “Perpetual Statute” to the nation of ISRAEL.

The Purpose Of The Ashes – NUMBERS 19:9

[9]  “A man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer and put them in a ceremonially clean place outside the camp.  They are to be kept by the Israelite community for use in the water of cleansing; it is for purification from sin.”

This God-given statute was during the time of wandering in the wilderness for 40 years–approximately 600,000 Israelites (not counting women and children) died of their failure to TRUST God and enter into the Promised Land–Canaan–(about 40 people per day) over the age of 20 years.  During this time, there was the serious ceremonial defilement of Israel who had to bury the dead.

In the Mosaic Law, there are 613 laws that were given at Mt. Sinai; 248 Mandatory Laws and 365 Prohibitionary Laws.  There were 18 Mandatory Laws alone that dealt with “Ritual Purity.”

This brings us to Numbers 19:14-16 – “touching the corpse of a dead person, or even their bones or on the grave”  CAUSED DEFILEMENT.  

This DEFILEMENT lasted 7 days:  Numbers 19:2-9 gives instructions to the Priests and the children of God in the process of PURIFICATION OF SIN which involved the use of the “Ashes of the Red Heifer.”

Jewish History of the Red Heifer (Talmud Histories) –

The Talmud is a Jewish History written by former Rabbis:

  1. Heifer was chosen and sacrificed/burned.
  2. Ashes collected and put into a crock-pot (2-3 gallons).
  3. The priest would take a hyssop, place in fresh, running water, take a pinch of ashes, place on the hyssop, sprinkle the sprig of hyssop upon the “unclean person” seven times, on the 3rd and 7th day.
  4. On the 7th day, the ceremonially unclean person was declared clean.
  5. When the “Ashes” were nearly consumed, another Red Heifer was sacrificed, burned, and its ashes “added to” the ashes of the previous heifer or heifers (perpetual statute).

From Numbers 19 until AD 69, there have been 9 such HEIFERS sacrificed.  [See Footnote [i] ]

IN AD 70, Titus of Rome destroyed Jerusalem’s Temple and looted the city.  Many of the furnishings of the Temple were removed, including the Ark of the Covenant and…the Ashes of the Red Heifer.

The Archaeology Findings of 1947

A young Arab boy found the Dead Sea Scrolls in a cave, including a “copper scroll.”  The scroll gave directions of a cave between Jericho and Saccachar.

Vendel Jones, an American archaeologist, found the cave, and after three digs and the beginning of the fourth dig, uncovered many artifacts.  Then for a second time, the money ran out and the permit to continue was refused.

The Significance of the Findings –

Temple worship cannot be established without the ASHES OF THE RED HEIFER being used to cleanse the priesthood of unrighteousness.

Today, in ISRAEL, a school is already in the process of training men named Cohen, Levy, and Levi from the Tribe of Levi.  The Chief Priest, the holiest man in Judaism, can ritually PURIFY himself, then the students into the PRIESTHOOD as soon as they find the “Ashes of the Red Cow”.  Why is the such a “BIG DEAL” when this happens?

The Church will be gone!  RAPTURED!

TYPOLOGY OF THE RED HEIFER – Old Testament/New Testament Comparisons.

  1.  Numbers 19:2 infers that the HEIFER came from among the people.  Christ came from among the people (John 1:11).
  2.  HEIFER brought as a SACRIFICE for others.  JESUS came as a SACRIFICE for others (John 3:16, 17; ! Timothy 1:15).
  3.  HEIFER was to be without spot or blemish (Numbers 19:2).  JESUS was also!  (1 Peter 1:18, 19).
  4.  HEIFER knew no yoke of bondage– a symbol of sin (vs. 2).  Christ knew no BONDAGE of sin (2 Corinthians 5:21).
  5.  HEIFER was a “Female” – the price for a female slave was 30 pieces of silver, male slaves were sold for 50 pieces of silver.  Christ was sold (betrayed) for 30 pieces of silver.
  6.  HEIFER was given to the Priest, Eliezer (Numbers 19:3).  JESUS was arrested and taken to Caiaphas, the High Priest.
  7.  HEIFER was taken outside the camp for SACRIFICE.  JESUS was also taken to Caiaphas, Pilate, Herod, then back to Pilate, then outside the camp (gates) of Jerusalem to Calvary.
  8.  HEIFER was slain BEFORE the Priest, but not by the Priest (Num. 19:4).  Christ was SLAIN before the Priest at the Cross.
  9.  HEIFER’S neck was “double jointed”.  One swift blow could kill.  JESUS too died in only 6 hours – He died at will swiftly.

While researching and looking up Scripture references this past week, Holy Spirit gave me a revelation from The Death, Crucifixion, and Burial of Jesus Christ.  And in that revelation, 2 men entered the conversation–

THE NICODEMUS & JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA DILEMMA – John 19:38-42

These two men came from two theological directions, totally opposed to each other.

JOSEPH had believed in salvation by good politics where Nicodemus had taught obedience from 613 rules which the Pharisee’s thoughts summed up the Old Testament Law of Moses.  But coming from two opposite directions, both came to believe JESUS was the MESSIAH!

So when they heard Jesus was going to be CRUCIFIED…they knew something would have to be done for decent disposal of His body.  If nothing was done, the Roman soldiers would leave the corpse to rot on the Cross.  And time was short because the PASSOVER celebrations would begin at sundown.

So the two men who were opposed to each other in doctrine together carried the body into a garden tomb laying the body not just in any tomb, but in Joseph of Arimathea’s recently carved out family tomb.  Previously, Joseph went boldly into the palace of Pilate the Roman Governor, asking permission to remove Jesus’ body from the Cross.

With Numbers 19 in mind, I believe Joseph of Arimathea must have sent his family a message that he would be defiled by touching a dead body and that the Passover Seder celebration would have to be delayed a month (according to my study on the rule given (Numbers 9:6-11).

Since of the importance, the Gospels give to these two men, an assumption can be made that Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea must have joined the Christian community.  As the Holy Spirit began teaching them they soon discovered that Jesus’ Resurrection made nonsense of the Sadducee explanation that death of the body was the end.  JESUS’ SACRIFICE on the Cross replaced the cleansing of the Ashes of the Red Heifer once and for all!  Therefore, the significance of being cleansed by the “Ashes of the Red Heifer” was doctrinally important in the Jewish Law of Moses, but Jesus Himself had said, “I’ve come to fulfill the Law” (Matthew 5:17)

HIS BLOOD SACRIFICE FULFILLED THE LAW!

The Ashes of the Red Heifer – Numbers 19

In the Old Testament, the Priest sprinkled the “Blood of the Heifer” before the entrance of the presence of God (Numbers 19:4).

If you’re reading this POST and you’re not sure of your SALVATION…KNOW THIS:  If you would come to Christ, it will only be by the BLOOD of the Son of God, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 9:22).

CONNECTING THE SACRIFICE OF THE HEIFER WITH CHRIST (Numbers 19:7, 8-9).

In these verses, we find that a person was “Unclean until made clean”.  So like Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, how can we, who are born in sinful uncleanness (Romans 3:23), become CLEAN or RIGHTEOUS before God?

The ANSWER is found in 2 Corinthians 5:21.

 

And what happened to those who refused Cleansing?

Numbers 19:20 (AMP)

[20] But the man who is unclean and does not purify himself, that person shall be cut off from among the congregation, because he has defiled the sanctuary of the Lord…

Those who refused CLEANSING were “cut off” – separated from God.

What about YOU?  Have YOU ever come for a “cleansing”, not from the “Ashes of the Red Heifer”, but from the BLOOD of the Lamb, Jesus Christ that He shed at Calvary?

Why not come today and be cleansed while there is still time in the last days.

 

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CREDITS & FOOTNOTES –

Footnote [i] :  Encyclopedia-Judacia: Red Heifer – Jewish Virtual Library.

Commentary:  Robert Brow – John 19:38-42, JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA AND NICODEMUS.  

Photos:  Google Image Search, Advanced Settings.

Bible Translations:  Amplified Bible (AMP); New International Version (NIV)

“Shall We Gather At The River” – The Book of Revelation To John – (Part Six)

rev-22-1-And-he-showed-me-a-river-of-water-of-life-bright-as-crystal-proceeding-out-of-the-throne-of-God-and-of-the-Lamb-in-the-middle-of-its-street

This will be my final series study in the Book of REVELATION TO JOHN.  I hope you have enjoyed the study as much as I, and… although I didn’t address ALL the issues and questions most have in the reading, I’ve tried to highlight what the Holy Spirit was leading me to present to you.  That said, let’s look at the last Chapter in the Book, and “Shall we gather at the river”?

The River of Life – REVELATION 22:1-2:

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb  [2] down the middle of the great street of the city.  On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month.  And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

THE RIVER OF LIFE:

What a great day that will be when we gather together to see Heaven’s glorious scene for the first time beside the RIVER, flowing from the THRONE OF GOD and of the LAMB.

THE CRYSTAL CLEAR RIVER begins as a trickle, then flows throughout NEW JERUSALEM to provide healing and life to all who live on its banks.

The green grass, beautiful flowers, trees and meadows along its banks and can only be seen in the hearts and minds of man for the present, but one day soon, see it just as John has described.

What a day that will be.  All the troubles and trials of this life will pass into nothingness when we see JESUS face to face.

THE POWER OF THIS RIVER OF LIVING WATER:

Ezekiel 47:1-5 (NAS Bible):

[1] THEN HE brought me back to the door of the house; and behold, water was flowing from  under the threshold of the house toward the east, for the house faced east. And the water was flowing down under, from the right side of the house, from south of the altar.

[2] And he brought me out by the way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate by the way of the gate that faces east. And behold, water was trickling from the south side.

[3] When the man went out toward the east with a line in his hand, he measured a thousand cubits, and he led me through the water, water reaching the ankles.

[4] Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching my knees. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the loins.

[5] Again he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not ford, for the water had risen, enough water to swim in, a river that could not be forded.

“Oh, those DRY BONES…”

Ezekiel has been down to the VALLEY OF DRY BONES, representing the dead spirituality of Israel as a nation.

These DRY BONES also stand for every man who ever lived that didn’t have the life-giving flow of God in their lives.  When God asked Ezekiel, “Can these bones live?”, He was asking a question for which there was only one answer:

If we answer in the power and ability of our own minds, our thinking, the answer would have been NO!  But in the POWER of the life-giving RIVER OF GOD, bones not only live but become a mighty nation able to do great things!

In John 4:14, we can see JESUS as He is waiting for the woman at the well who heard JESUS’ words:

“But whoever takes a drink of the water that I will give him shall never, no never, be thirsty any more.  But the water that I will give him shall become a spring of water welling up (flowing, bubbling)  [continually] within him unto (into, for) eternal life” [Amplified Bible].

As the WATERS of that river flow, much of it will go to those who will step into its water, wade out just a little bit and then deeper each day.

Every Christian must step out into the WATERstock-photo-testing-the-water-2831255

Ezekiel saw the waters as they were only ankle-deep as JESUS began leading him to the unseen depths of the RIVER.

Do you ever find yourself standing on the sand of a warm beach, looking towards the water wondering how cold, how deep, are there sharp rocks I can’t see in the water?

As a Christian, we must also step out into the unknown, to explore the things of God.  And as we MATURE in Christ and our relationship grows, we begin to wade out a little further from the shore…a little further until finally we are lost in the LOVE OF JESUS and learn to live by FAITH.

Too many people won’t venture out into DEEP WATER

My wife is an example of not wanting to venture out into the ocean.  “Knee deep,” is about it for her, all because of a teenage experience.  She almost drowned when stepping in an unseen hole beneath the waters with waves crashing over her and having difficulties in breathing. “I thought I was drowning,” she said.  Fortunately, a boy and a float-raft were nearby, helping her to get back to shore.

Are not RELATIONSHIPS sometimes like venturing out into deep waters?  Too many people won’t go out into the DEEP WATER in the relationship with JESUS because it requires a COMMITMENT OF FAITH to believe, that Jesus’ POWER keeps them afloat.

In these Scriptures in EZEKIEL, you see how that JESUS has taken Ezekiel to the House of God, the Temple, and revealed to him the source of the RIVER that will flow out into a dry and thirsty land, providing LIFE for all it touches.

“The WATERS came out of the right side of the house…flowed from the south side of the ALTAR”

What a wonderful picture that gives of the BLOOD of JESUS CHRIST–

The BLOOD flowed from His side on a Hill called Mount Calvary.  The BLOOD began as a trickle, then became a flow that reached down and began to flow out from beneath the “Altar of Sacrifice of the Cross”–to go down to the earth to flow over the souls of a sin darkened and lost world.

“What can wash away my sin?

Nothing but the blood of Jesus”

THE RIVER BRINGS LIFE!

Look again at John 4:14:  To those who choose to be washed in the Blood of the Lamb through REPENTANCE of sins, and acceptance of the SACRIFICE of JESUS, surrendering their lives to Him will have this same WELL of Living Water flowing from the heart of every believer which provides the ability to reach out to other people who have been washed in the BLOOD also.

The HOLY SPIRIT within each of us who are believers in Christ Jesus, in what He has already done on the Cross, is the MANIFESTATION of that RIVER of Living Water as He speaks through us, leading and teaching us everyday.

THE RIVER SATISFIES!

Psalm 63:1-5:

“Praise awaits You, O God, in Zion; to You our vows will be fulfilled.  O You who hear prayer, to You all men will come.  When we were overwhelmed by sins, You atoned for our transgressions.  Blessed is the man You choose and bring near to live in your courts!  We are filled with good things of Your house, of Your holy temple.  You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness, O God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas”  (NIV Bible).

DAVID knew what it was to need God’s forgiveness, God’s blessing that only the RIVER OF GOD would bring.

We live in a dry and thirsty land, so we need to be on guard against the power of sin.  If it were not for the constant flow and the POWER OF THE BLOOD of the Lamb as the RIVER flows on us, what chance would any of us have?

We Have A PROMISE…

God’s help is there for us just as it was for King David.  David wrote another Song to the Lord that we can read in Psalm 46:4-5:

[4] There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High.  [5] God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God will help her right early [at the dawn of the morning]”  (Amplified Bible).

We, as the Bride of Christ, shall be Overcomers!

The RIVER OF GOD, that begins at the Throne of God and of the Lamb that comes from the foot of the CROSS, gives us the POWER to overcome the power of temptation and sin; the POWER to be satisfied by the Holy spirit in every circumstance and know God has it all under control!

THE RIVER CLEANSES US!

WATER has a cleansing power beneficial to all of us.  But the CLEANSING POWER of the RIVER goes much deeper than natural water.  The water from your tap, your shower head, your bathtub faucet only cleanses the outside making us look good.

BUT, the LIVING WATER from the River of God reaches down to the hearts of men and washes away the STAIN and DEPTH of SIN.

There is an old song that says,  There is POWER in the BLOOD, POWER in the BLOOD!  Sins stains are washed in its life-giving flow,  There’s POWER in the BLOOD of the Lamb.

The River of God Cannot be Stopped!

Satan cannot stop the RIVER as it moves on.  Satan and the Antichrist are destined to be washed away in its cleansing power.

The River is a FLOOD of God’s POWER cleansing the world.  Matthew 24:14,

“And this good news of the kingdom (the Gospel)

will be preached throughout the whole world

as a testimony to all nations,

and then will come the end.”

To me, that is not a picture of a church that is sitting around doing nothing, waiting to be delivered.  That’s a picture of the Church as it stands (not sitting) under the anointing of the Holy Spirit and defies the god of this world; stepping out into the territory of the Devil himself to bring the MESSAGE of the Gospel to anyone and everyone who will hear!  “Let the Redeemed say so!”

There is ONE Limiting Factor in the POWER of this River to Cleanse…

That limiting factor is your own will.

God is a perfect gentleman and never forces His WILL on any man or woman.  It is up to us to ACCEPT His gentle offer and wade out into the river as Ezekiel had to do.

It all begins with that FIRST STEP!

Has the River Washed You Clean?

Have you made a Step into the Water of His Love?

God wants to let this RIVER flow in your heart today.  To let the CLEANSING POWER of the Blood of the Lamb to wash over you, right where you are sitting.

If that is your desire, SWING OUT into the Water of the River of God and experience the great SALVATION and PEACE Jesus offers!

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If FAITH AND TRUST can get you to the River, then it’s up to you to start swimming!


CREDITS:

Photos by Photo Pin and Google Images

Bible Verses:

Amplified Bible Translation (AMP) and the New International Version Bible (NIV)

“Latter Rains” Are Great! But A Flood?

A Southern California Lifestyle…

Living in California for over 38 years, one of my pleasures during the year was taking road trips to the desert--Borrego Hot Springs State Park.

Borrego Hot Springs After The RAINS
Borrego Hot Springs After The RAINS

My folks liked to go right after the winter rains, when the desert was in full, or almost in full of  cactus bloom.

And our going always depended on the RAIN.  No rain, no desert floor flowers!   On the 1st of March, without latter winter rains in any given year, my plea, my cry, was always… “LET IT RAIN!”

“LATTER RAINS” – [See Footnotes – [i] ]

RAIN in the Middle East varies greatly from thirty inches per year in the hill country of Palestine-Syria, to zero to four inches in the southern part of Palestine, the modern Negev Sinai peninsula and Egypt and in the desert area east of the Jordan Rift, south of Syria.

THE HEAVY RAINS come in late November to early March.  Before and after this period come usually lighter rains.  The former coming in October-November and the LATTER RAINS–March-April.

The Absence of Rain in the Bible…

Lack of RAIN always produced famine in a country so completely dependant upon it and its withholding by GOD was terrible punishment (Deuteronomy 28:22-24).

Could the ABSENCE OF RAIN in many areas of our own country be more than just “Global Warming”?  What can we do, if anything?

Crying Out in Fervent, Earnest, Prayer for God to Open the FLOODGATES OF HEAVEN!

“The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send RAIN on your land in season and to bless all the works of your hands”  (Deuteronomy 28 :12 NIV).

In PREPARATION for God’s Glory…

Every Sunday morning before leaving the house for worship and praise in the fellowship, I put a CD in the player of worship and praise music.  It sets a spiritual tone for me while doing my everyday morning activities [Walk & Feed the dog, put the coffee on, check the computer for messages, etc.].

A Plea from God…

Last Sunday was no exception; but with a twist.   My wife decided to change things up a little by picking out something  to hear from the past.  If you haven’t guessed already, her chosen CD was recorded by Michael W. Smith – See Footnote [ii].

We want to see Your Glory, God!

Do you want to see His Glory?

Lift your voices, lift your hands!

Let it rain, let it rain.

Open the floodgates of Heaven.

[Repeat]

Do we really want to see a FLOOD of  God’s GLORY–for Him to send a Spiritual Rain onto this world in which we live?

OPEN THE "FLOODGATES"
OPEN THE “FLOODGATES”

“The effective prayer [the earnest–heartfelt, continued-AMP] of a righteous man can accomplish much.  Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain; and it did not rain on earth for three years and six months.  And he prayed again, and the sky poured rain, and the earth produced its fruit” (James 5:16-18 NAS).

WHAT IS “GLORY” ?

Religious people very often have a vocabulary that is intermingled in society that has meaning to some, but little understanding by most.  So at this point in my blog, I decided to go to some old notes I’ve kept from a spiritual mentor of mine.  Dr. Creflo A. Dollar:  [See Footnotes [iii]] 

THE GLORY OF GOD is simply the manifestation of His Word.  It is the thing you have desired, confessed and prayed.

THE GLORY is like a fruit tree that originated from a SEED.  Ex.: When you plant an apple seed, the “glory” of that apple tree is the apple.

THE WORD OF GOD is a seed that, when planted in your heart [soul and spirit] will produce visible results, or GLORY in your life.

** [I hope this might give you something to think about while reading the rest of my investigation].

Natural Rains provide…

RAIN brings satisfaction of quenching of thirst for plants and animals.  It’s a necessity for life to exist on earth.  When the rain comes to a desert, it gives life in that desert; an opportunity provided to quench their thirst by the life-giving water in a dry and barren land and…the GLORY is revealed.

Spiritual Rain provides…

We know the importance of the natural RAIN.

Now living in the American Northwest, the State of Washington, I’m very familiar of the importance of the rain.  Washington wouldn’t have the nickname, The Evergreen State, if not for the natural rain.  I’ve  certainly have become aware of the effects on the life of a resident.  “It is what it is!”

GOD’S SPIRITUAL RAIN:

The rains of heaven promise to quench our thirst if we drink them in.  When we drink from the RAIN of Heaven, we quench our thirst for that missing spiritual water.

The Rain of Heaven, when its being poured out, softens the soil of individuals hearts, so they are moldable to have the ability to plant seeds of eternal life in their lives.

The RAIN helps prepare the soil, but it also is instrumental in getting SEEDS to bud; break open with new life.  Moisture and the sun help this process to blossom and it births new life starting the process of growth and eventually the fruit–THE GLORY.

Cry of the Heart…

In this weeks investigation of the WORD DETECTIVE, I ran across the poem from one person:  [See Footnote iv]

Let it Rain!

Rainbow visions, reflected, refractive…

As I gaze out my window.

Bright skies, only a pane away.

Inside, only pain.

I wish it would rain, and was the iridescence from the streaked, and cracked glass that holds me prisoner.

Here inside my world, of self-induced pain…

Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain.

DO YOU HEAR THE CRY OF THIS HEART?

“Here inside my world of self-induced pain, let it rain.”

She is crying out for the hurt to be washed away.  She wants to be cleansed and to be filled with joy.  She doesn’t want the HURT and PAIN.

LET IT RAIN!

The person here is crying for the type of rain that HEALS PAIN, BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS, and the hurts of life.

GOD’S RAIN is able to accomplish this task!

The “Importance of GOD’S RAIN”:

1 Kings 18:41-46 (NIV):

THE RAINS COME!

And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.”  Do Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees.

“Go and look toward the sea,” he told his servant.  And he went up and looked.

“There is nothing there,” he said.

Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.”

The seventh time the servant reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.”

So Elijah said, “Go and tell Ahab, hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.”

Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain came on and Ahab rode off to Jezreel.  The power of the Lord came upon Elijah and, tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.

1.  The area is being cleansed with the HEAVY RAIN.

2.  The soil for plenty is being soften up.

3.  The RAIN comes–and there is refreshment in the air.

4.  There is NEW LIFE being produced.

5.  The old sinful way of drought is being swept away in the FLOOD of God’s rain (1 Kings Chapters 21-22).

The “Latter Rains”…

“So rejoice, O sons of Zion.  And be glad in the Lord your God.  For He has given you the early rain for your vindication and He has poured down for you the rain, the early and latter rain as before”  (Joel 2:23 NAS).

The literal rains were symbolic of a greater truth.  They symbolized times of a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Different versions of the Bible differ in their translation of the phrase,  “He has given you the early rain for your vindication” (NAS).  This is because some Hebrew manuscripts use the words “moreh sedaqah” here, and others use “yoreh sedaqah.”

As I dug deeper, I discovered an interesting point.

“Yoreh” is the word for early rain.  While “Moreh” is the word for teacher.

So the phrase could be referencing to the “former rains”, or… referencing to the “teacher of righteousness–the Holy spirit.”

I don’t think there is unclearness presented here as an accident.  The symbolic meaning becomes even clearer in Joel Chapter 2:

[28] “And afterward I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.

[29] Even upon the manservants and upon the maidservants in those days will I pour out My Spirit.

[30] And I will show signs and wonders in the heavens, and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke.

[31] The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood BEFORE the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.  [Revelation 6:12-17].

[32] And whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered and saved, for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the remnant [of survivors] shall be those whom the Lord calls.”

~Joel 2:28-32 Amplified Bible~

Crying Out in a Parched and Dry Land…

“And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD…”

We are asking… the LORD to pour out His spirit on our lives.

We are praying…to the LORD to send His cleansing RAIN, His refreshing RAIN, His life-giving RAIN into our lives and the lives around us.

WE NEED THE RAIN!  A special outpouring of the Holy spirit.

I think we need more than a ‘light sprinkling‘ of God’s Spirit; more than a few “April Showers”–

It’s time for the FLOODGATES OF HEAVEN TO OPEN in our lives–

—  A cleansing touch of the Lord…all 

—  A refreshing touch of the spirit in our souls…

—  A preparation of our hearts and other hearts in planting of eternal seeds…

—  The birth of eternal seeds in our hearts…

—  The growth of the fruit of the Spirit…

—  The ability to experience Abundant New Life…

—  The blessing of having a fruitful life filled with JOY…

In OBEDIENCE to Our Lord and Savior, as Stewards of His Blessings, God Promises Us Even More:

See if I will not throw open the FLOODGATES of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it”               (Malachi 3:10 b. NIV Bible).

Being Filled with JOY
Being Filled with JOY

Some of you who are reading all of this NEED it to RAIN in your personal lives.  Now is the time to CRY OUT…“LET IT RAIN GOD!”

 

FOOTNOTES:

[i]  Young’s Bible Dictionary – G. Douglas Young, PhD Institute of Holy Land Studies, Jerusalem.  [ii] Study Notes from “The Word, The Blessing and The Glory” –  [iii] Michael W. Smith Lyrics with Writers: Carolyn Mitchell, Michael W. Smith, Deborah Smith – Copyright: Sony/ATV Milene Music, Peach Pie Music, WB Music Corp.  [iv] Copyright…Teresa Bess.

PHOTO CREDITS:

Photo Pin and… “Anza-Borrego Desert State Park” at http://desertusa.com/wildflo/ca.absap/html