Archive for the #PaulthePoke Category

Gabriel: Good News is Coming

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels with tags , , , , , , , on May 12, 2020 by paulthepoke

Luke 1:19 “I am Gabriel,” replied the angel. “I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.

Clearly, Zechariah is not sure what to make of all of this. Gabriel attempts to make it crystal clear. My word is good.

First is his name. Gabriel means “man of God” or “strong man of God”. The message to Zechariah is simple. He is listening to a “strong man of God”.

Second, Gabriel tells the priest his domain is the literal presence of God. The Greek word used is παρίστημι/paristémi. It means: to place beside, to present, stand by, appear. The idea is Gabriel is close to God. He is in the inner circle if you will.

…and I have been sent to speak to you… Third, God Himself sent Gabriel to personally talk to Zechariah.

…and to bring you this good news. This is the Greek word that is synonymous with “the gospel” message, εὐαγγελίζω/euaggelizó. Gabriel is personally bringing “good news” from God to you.

Luke 1:20 And now you will be silent and unable to speak until the day this comes to pass, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time.”

Zechariah is no different than any of us. He did not believe God’s message. And Zechariah was a priest serving God in the Temple at the time of these events. None of us are completely obedient. We all have times when we question or neglect what God has to say.

Because of his lack of faith, Zechariah would be silenced and diagnosed with Expressive Aphasia.  This is a type of aphasia characterized by partial loss of the ability to produce language (spoken, manual, or written), although comprehension generally remains intact. In Zechariah’s case, his loss was not partial. https://www.aphasia.org/aphasia-definitions/

Luke 1:18 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”

It would appear Elizabeth was not pregnant at this time based on Zechariah’s comments in Luke 1:18. There would be no whispering of sweet nothings in Elizabeth’s ear. John the Baptist was conceived by an old man with expressive aphasia and a sterile, old, geriatric woman. What seems impossible to humanity is God’s reality.

Notice, the length of time of Zechariah’s aphasia is open ended. Gabriel does not give a definitive time. He was mute for at least 9 months. Zechariah will not talk until Gabriel’s personal prophecy is fulfilled.

Zechariah ultimately regained his ability to speak. This is observed later in Luke 1. And when he recovers, he has a lot to say.

Luke 1:64 And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God.

See Zechariah’s song and prophecy in Luke 1:67-79.

Salvation is coming…

COVID-19, Slaves to Death

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Trend Update with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2020 by paulthepoke

Hebrews 2:14-16 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that He helps, but He helps the offspring of Abraham.

This is a sober reality. Currently, Satan has the power of death. And Satan utilizes fear of death over us to the point of slavery.

So the other day… a great friend of mine and I were discussing the reality of the coronavirus, COVID-19. We all have different perspectives on how this has impacted us. We all have our points of view. His point was the spiritual impact. Humanity’s response to COVID-19 speaks to the current global spiritual condition of man.

Gulf News

Look at the response across Earth. It does not matter where people are located. We have all seen the pictures. The streets of major metropolitans around the globe are empty. Every one is shut in their place. From the point of origin in Wuhan China, to Italy, to Spain, to Australia, to New York City, to Los Angeles, to Brazil, to Moscow, to where ever…

COVID-19 is a simple reality. People are scared of death.

photo: Atlantic

Millions of people in China are quarantined under a totalitarian government. Nations around the planet have closed their borders. We are much more sophisticated here in America. We are free. We are not quarantined. We are to “Stay at Home”.

Politicians tell us we are to “shelter in place” to stop the spread of COVID-19. We are told we do not want millions of people to die. Wear a mask for the safety of others. Practice social distancing. Mind you, this is solid practical advice to stop the spread of the disease. But, the populous has been paralyzed with fear.

I find it interesting we are very consumed with life when it impacts us personally with a killer virus. But in other cases, we could care less when it comes to the issue of other’s lives with abortion or euthanasia.

Look at humanity’s response to this virus. We are all slaves to death. We have holed up in our places in the fetal position. Collectively, our response indicates we are ultimately slaves to death and Satan.

~

Because of Christ’s death on the cross, He has utterly abolished and rendered Satan inoperable. Jesus has power over death. Life reigns supreme through Him and because of Him.

John 8:34-36 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Do not think as a Christian, we are immune to the pressure and fear of death. Do not become over confident.

1 Corinthians 10:12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.

As Christians, we should have no fear. There is absolutely no need to be scared of death. So what if we die from COVID-19 or whatever. Eventually, we all physically die. Death is inevitable except for a raptured generation. Believers are in Christ and with Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

As followers of Christ, we should not shy away from the pressure of the times. It is the squashing that ultimately defines who we should be in Jesus. In the Greek, the word is θλῖψις/thlipsis. The idea is being squeezed. Our character is revealed in these pressing moments.

Romans 5:3-6 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

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Hebrews 2:16 For surely it is not angels that He helps, but He helps the offspring of Abraham.

The offspring of Abraham is human kind. Christ is for humanity. He died for us, human beings.

God Redeems Our Mistakes… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , on May 8, 2020 by paulthepoke

Pain is a pesky part of being human. I’ve learned it feels like a stab wound to the heart, something I wish we could all do without, in our lives here. Pain is a sudden hurt that can’t be escaped. But then I have also learned that because of pain, I can feel the beauty, tenderness, and freedom of healing. Pain feels like a fast stab wound to the heart. But then healing feels like the wind against your face when you are spreading your wings and flying through the air! We may not have wings growing out of our backs, but healing is the closest thing that will give us that wind against our faces. —C. JoyBell C.

One of the most quoted verses in Scripture also happens to be one of the most profound—and one that often makes no sense to us. “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28, NLT)

Do you realize what this means? It means that your mistakes, your failures, your wins, and your successes all work together for your good and according to the Lord’s purposes for you. When you look back over the span of your life, I’m sure you can think of several moments you would love to hide from memory (yours and God’s). Yet these moments—yes, even the ones when we are sinning against Him—are all usable once we surrender to Him.

He is the master Creator who takes all of our moments and uses them as the raw material to build a work of art in you that you never could have imagined. While He doesn’t rejoice in our wrongdoings, once we have washed ourselves in His cleansing love and accepted Him as our Lord, every breath we have ever breathed becomes His.

A perfect example can be found in the story of Joseph of the Old Testament. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery out of their own jealousy and then lied to their father about it. Many years later, when the brothers found themselves begging for food in Egypt, they discovered that Joseph was now second in charge of all of Egypt, second only to Pharaoh himself. They feared what Joseph might do to them, expecting him to have a grudge toward them.

Joseph’s wisdom, however, was not what they expected. He said, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:19–20, NIV)

God redeems our mistakes and the mistakes of others against us. It is not our place to hold those past choices and circumstances against who we are today or who we will be tomorrow. Nor is it our place to hold them against others. Perhaps, instead, we should look on one another with as much wisdom and grace as Joseph had for his brothers, recognizing that God is infinitely greater than all our wrongdoings, and that He can make princes out of slaves.

Contact Information:
Christine C. McDonald
636-487-8986
Christine.CryPurple@gmail.com

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Russia Invites Iran to Syrian Air Base, May 2020

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Ezekiel 38-39, Persia/Elam/Iran, Prophecy, Trend Update with tags , on May 6, 2020 by paulthepoke

Ezekiel 38:5 Persia, Ethiopia and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet…

The prophet Ezekiel says Russia will be joined by several countries with their future invasion of Israel (Ezekiel 38-39). One of those countries will be Persia. The country was known as Persia until the name change in the 20th century. This is modern day Iran…

May 6, 2020: Russia has invited the Iranians to use their air base in Latakia, Syria. The Russian air base is located on the Mediterranean Sea.

On August 15, 2016, Russia acquired its first permanent air base in Syria, the Khmeimim Air Base near Latakia, Syria. The Russians have been building and expanding their military presence in the region since.

For the recent history of Khmeimim Air Base in Latakia, see the link below.

https://paulthepoke.com/?s=latakia

photo: Moscow Times

Here is a quote from the Russian source Avia.pro

“Israel, with varying success, nevertheless destroyed several military facilities of the Iranian military forces on the territory of Syria and damaged the infrastructure of a number of military bases in order to prevent Iranian aircraft with weapons from landing here; however, Russia provided the Iranian military with the opportunity to use its military airfield in the province of Latakia, thereby challenging Netanyahu, who promised to strike at the Iranian military at any time.”

Israel has recently stepped up its defense with attacks on Iranian and Hezbollah targets inside of Syria. Israel appears to be targeting Iranian missile capability.

https://www.jewishpress.com/news/middle-east/syria/russia-grants-iran-access-to-syrian-hmeimim-air-base/2020/05/05/

Russia and friends continue to pour military hardware into the region on the northern border of Israel. It ultimately does not matter.

Ezekiel 39:3-6 Then I will strike your bow from your left hand, and will make your arrows drop out of your right hand. You shall fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your hordes and the peoples who are with you. I will give you to birds of prey of every sort and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. You shall fall in the open field, for I have spoken, declares the Lord GOD. I will send fire on Magog and on those who dwell securely in the coast lands, and they shall know that I am the LORD.

Wait on God… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , on May 5, 2020 by paulthepoke

TEXT: PSALM 123:1-4

Psalm 123:2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.

@beholy404

It is wise indeed to seek help when under threat or faced with challenging circumstances. The problem is that it is equally in the nature and character of man to exhaust all his physical options before turning to God as a last resort. But the Lord ought to be our first port of call when we need help. That is the pertinent message conveyed here by the psalmist who was evidently confronted with daunting circumstances.

And he realized early enough that enduring solutions lie nowhere else than in the Lord. He likened himself to a servant expecting deliverance from his master and to a maiden seeking succor from her mistress. Also, he indicated no intention of turning elsewhere until God intervenes in his dire situation. He pleaded passionately with the Lord to have mercy on him and his people who were now pressed hard by enemies. Obviously, the enemies were very confident they would overwhelm the psalmist and his people. Hence, they exceedingly scorned them.

You may be despised by those who think they have the power to determine your fate in life. They may even reproach you for trusting in the Lord to help you. They may frighten and attempt to weaken your faith by boasting of their previous accomplishments in dealing harshly with their enemies. But your only recourse should be to turn to the Lord in prayer.

First, ensure like the psalmist, that the Lord is indeed your God by turning away from all your sins. Then, you must pray to Him to have mercy and save you from all your troubles. If you depend on God, He will sooner than later, rebuke the proud and boastful enemies and grant you victory. All you need to do is to wait on God, He will not abandon you.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: “Wait, I say, on the Lord.”

The Bible IN ONE YEAR: ACTS 13 – 14

Forerunners to Christ, John the Baptist and Elijah

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels with tags , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2020 by paulthepoke

Luke 1:17 and he will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.

The angel Gabriel continues his prophecy of Zechariah’s son, John the Baptist.

Look carefully, he (John the Baptist) will come before the Messiah. John the Baptist is not Elijah. John comes in the spirit and power of Elijah.

Later, Jesus Himself would confirm that John the Baptist functions as if Elijah.

Matthew 11:14 “And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come.” –Jesus.

John’s purpose is to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.

As Gabriel stated previously, the ministry of John the Baptist will associated with joy, gladness, and the grace of God. People will turn back to the Lord. This is the Hebraic concept of Teshuvah.

John the Baptist is associated with the first coming of Christ. Elijah is associated with the second coming.

In both the first and second comings of Jesus, the two forerunners to Christ will change the hearts of children and fathers.

Compare Gabriel’s comments to Malachi 4:5-6. These are the last words of the Old Testament. From Gabriel back to Malachi, it had been approximately 425 years since God had communicated with the Jewish people.

Malachi 4:5-6 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.

Elijah’s purpose… so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.

When Elijah comes a second time, he will precede the second coming of Christ. His ministry will be associated with the great and awesome day of the LORD.

Although he is not specifically named, Elijah is likely one of the two witnesses in Revelation 11. The skill set and characteristics of the witnesses are consistent with the prophet Elijah on his first mission.

See 1 Kings 17-21 and 2 Kings 1-2 for Elijah’s initial career and efforts.

Revelation 11:3 And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.

Elijah will be dressed in sackcloth. These garments are made of a coarse, dark cloth from a goat. In Elijah’s day, sackcloth was worn in times of mourning, distress, mortification, or penitence.

Elijah promises fire, drought, water to blood, and all kinds of plagues.

Elijah will be an instrument of judgment.

Ripple Effects… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , , , on May 1, 2020 by paulthepoke

For every woman and girl violently attacked, we reduce our humanity. For every woman forced into unprotected sex because men demand this, we destroy dignity and pride. Every woman who has to sell her life for sex we condemn to a lifetime in prison. For every moment we remain silent, we conspire against our women. For every woman infected by HIV, we destroy a generation. —Nelson Mandela

Collateral damage is what we call the loss or injury caused to the unintended victims of an action or event. Many times, when we venture out in a helping capacity, we have our sights squarely focused on the population we serve. Yet, oftentimes, those individuals we serve touch the lives of many we may never encounter.

Compassion and love at their best grow and extend indefinitely. The things we do out of love for others can have a massive ripple effect across time and space. Likewise, the things we don’t do can carry greater, far reaching ramifications. What if one simple, yet sometimes controversial, moment of service could save a life? Conversely, what if a misapplied moral objection costs a life?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

When we consider human trafficking, exploitation, and prostitution, we tend to recognize the purchaser/exploiter as well as the person being used. However, there is another population that is inadvertently affected yet rarely lands on our radar. Sometimes our narrow view of the impact and our tightly clung–to moral objections have unintended consequences.

When we think of serving and how we serve, the most important thing we can do is put on the love of Christ and remember how much He loves and how He would give all for just one person. We have to ask ourselves, Is making a moral statement that will inevitably be lost more important than the individual?

Jesus was well known in His day for spending His time with those viewed as the biggest sinners. When the religious leaders of the day attacked Him for this, He told a parable about a shepherd who had 100 beloved sheep and one ran away. In the parable, the shepherd left the 99 to go after the one. The Son of God did not withhold His presence from the “sinners” to make a moral statement. Instead, He left us all with a clear example to follow. He made it crystal clear that every one of those “sinners” was invaluable to Him.

Even while knowing His days were limited, Jesus didn’t spend His time with His family and loved ones. Instead, He chose to spend time among the untouchables of His day. And though He—the perfect, holy God of the universe—had many moral objections to their actions, He didn’t let those moral objections become the focus or stand in the way of an opportunity to touch their hearts.

Contact Information:
Christine C. McDonald
636-487-8986
Christine.CryPurple@gmail.com

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Paul the Poke

Habakkuk 1:5 Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. -LORD God

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