Archive for God

Not Vain After All… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke with tags , , , on January 13, 2020 by paulthepoke

Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

@beholy404

Joshua of Ghana @beholy404 on Twitter

When a rich man excludes God from his life and embarks on a journey seeking only the pleasure, he cannot but conclude at the end of it all that it has been a futile search. He would learn, as King Solomon did, that when the Lord endows a person with enormous wealth, he needs to seek divine counsel on how not to allow the riches to transform into an idol that drowns one in a sea of vanities. Being blessed with such heavenly wisdom allows one to know that life is not about dependence on the emptiness of riches.

Solomon waded through an ocean of riches, swimming in a plenitude of resources that made him take a flight from considerations of eternal value. He was rooted to this world and its deceptive pleasures. He got anything he desired as long as it gave him excitement. He completed his quest for fun with the ultimate in polygamy.

But the joy Solomon looked for through riches and pleasure eluded him. Why? Life resting on itself or on the things of this ephemeral world for existence is meaningless and vain. Real life is about a connection to the Source of life. Living in true joy is about pleasing the Giver of life, not in pleasing oneself. Any venture that discards this view is doomed and bound to experience the tragic frustration.

Therefore, the book of Ecclesiastes concludes fittingly with the instruction that “the whole duty of man” is to “fear God, and keep His commandments”. Those who fear God and honor His laws will not go after pleasure but “seek… first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” That way, they will not end life being miserable and empty in the midst of plenty. They will see life as God’s possession to only hold in custody, not for carnal pleasure but for His use.

Endless Possibilities in 2020… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke with tags , , , , on January 2, 2020 by paulthepoke

TEXT: ISAIAH 43:18-21

Key Verse: Isaiah 43:19 “Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”

@beholy404

Introducing Joshua of Ghana @beholy404 on Twitter

An interesting map is on display in the British Museum in London. It’s an old mariner’s chart, drawn in 1525, outlining the North American coastline and adjacent waters. The cartographer made some intriguing notations on areas of the map that represented regions not yet explored. He wrote: “Here be giants,” “Here be fiery scorpions,” and “Here be dragons.” Eventually, the map came into the possession of Sir John Franklin, a British explorer in the early 1800s. Scratching out the fearful inscriptions, he wrote these words across the map: “HERE IS GOD.”

British Museum

Prophet Isaiah was comforting Israel in our text after their humiliating experience during their captivity in Babylon and the national shame it brought. He wanted them to understand how impossible it was for them to make progress as a nation without breaking from the past and focusing on the future. He anchored his encouragement on the endless possibilities of God’s promise to do a new thing.

As we begin the New Year, we must forget the impossibilities of the past and focus on what God has promised to do in the future. Though we live in a world that is uncertain and unpredictable, we have a God who knows the end from the beginning. The angry, bitter and painful words spoken against us in the past year must be allowed to pass with it. We must equally bury the old negative thoughts, speak positively to our future and allow God be in charge during moments of our deepest fears.

The failure, disappointment, distress and destruction of the past year will surely give way to progress and success this New Year. God has promised to make everything beautiful for us in this New Year. You have nothing to worry about. Welcome to a brand New Year. Happy New Year!!!

Free Will & Love… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , on December 3, 2019 by paulthepoke

Only the man who has had to face despair is really convinced that he needs mercy. Those who do not want mercy never seek it. It is better to find God on the threshold of despair than to risk our lives in a complacency that has never felt the need of forgiveness. A life that is without problems may literally be more hopeless than one that always verges on despair. ―Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

One of the most powerful and wonderful gifts God has given humanity is free will. When He created us, it was for love. C.S. Lewis wrote in his book The Problem of Pain, “We were made not primarily that we may love God (though we were made for that too) but that God may love us, that we may become objects in which the divine love may rest ‘well pleased. ’”

Love is not love if it is forced; therefore God gave us the ability to choose Him, to accept Him or reject Him.

When we turn on the news, or read a book such as this one, we may find ourselves asking, “How can a loving God let these things happen?” The truth is that our sinful human choices are a consequence of rejecting the One who made us. What is more profound than the fact that He gave us the choice to reject Him is the fact that He loves us and never leaves us even in our darkest moments, and even when we don’t yet know Him.

As you read this story of human darkness, be reminded that God so filled me with His love and gave me beauty for ashes by giving me the courage to share my story and not give up on love. My love of Christ, my love for the broken, and even my love for the ignorant who still want to label me are powerful testimony of just how far–reaching God’s healing love can be when we choose to accept Him.

Let this story also serve as a reminder to us of all the wars people fight every day of their lives. We may not see these wars on the outside, but they are there. To love like Christ, unconditionally, means we love without demanding that the other person prove their worthiness of that love.

1 John 4:19 says, “We love because He first loved us.”
Our very ability to love exists because it was initiated by love Himself. Who are we to ever deem another unlovable or undeserving?


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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Cherubim: Subject to the LORD

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels with tags , , , , , , on November 2, 2019 by paulthepoke

Ezekiel 10:4 Then the glory of the LORD rose from above the cherubim and stood over the threshold of the temple. The temple was filled with the cloud, and the court was filled with the brightness of the glory of the LORD.

Positionally, God is above the cherubim. Well of course, the LORD is also over His creation, the nations and kingdoms, Israel, and humanity. This is not a one time observation. The concept is reinforced in Scripture. Cherubim, as well as the rest of creation, are subject to the authority of God. See some more examples below.

Isaiah 37:16 O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth.

Psalm 80:1 Oh, give ear, Shepherd of Israel, You who lead Joseph like a flock; You who are enthroned above the cherubim, shine forth!

Psalm 99:1 The LORD reigns, let the peoples tremble; He is enthroned above the cherubim, let the earth shake!

So what is the big deal, cherubim are subjected to God their creator? In general this is not a problem, except for one…

This formerly anointed cherub is not interested in serving God. He does not want to be an equal to God. His heart is filled with self-regard and has an exaggerated sense of self-importance. He wants to place himself above the LORD of hosts (God’s title as a military commander). This cherub sees himself as a conquering leader and warrior. He wants to subdue and rule over humanity. He sees himself as moral authority. He can do it better than God.

Isaiah 14:12-14 How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’

A lot of misery and suffering will continue to occur because of this attitude. But, its time will come to an end…

Sukkot/Tabernacles 5780/2019

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Fall Feasts, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2019 by paulthepoke

Leviticus 23:33-36 Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘On the fifteenth of this seventh month is the Feast of Booths for seven days to the LORD. On the first day is a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work of any kind. For seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation and present an offering by fire to the LORD; it is an assembly. You shall do no laborious work.’”

This is the last of God’s appointed feasts or festivals. This holiday is known by many names. It is called the Feast of Tabernacles, Sukkot, the Feast of Booths, the Festival of Tents, or the Feast of the Harvest because it was after the harvest in the fall. Simply put, it was also called “the feast” or “the festival”.

photo: wiki commons

On a Hebrew calendar, this festival is a week-long festival from Tishri 15 to 21. When working in the fields during harvest, people lived in tents. The tents served as a reminder of the forty years of wandering in the desert after the Exodus from Egypt. The holiday is a reminder of the provision and safety God showed Israel during their travels in the desert as noted in Deuteronomy 8. The feast is a thanksgiving for the harvest of grapes (Exodus 23:16). It is to be a joyous festival (Deuteronomy 16:14). Sabbatical rest without work is part of the holiday. (New Manners and Customs of Bible Times).

Tabernacles is the last of three festivals where men are required to make a road trip to Jerusalem and go to the Temple.

In October 2019 (Gregorian calendar), per the sighting of the new moon, “The Feast” is scheduled to begin on Monday, October 14th and proceed through Sunday, October 20th. On a secular Gregorian calendar with astronomical calculations, “The Festival” will begin on Sunday, October 13th.

Per Zechariah 14:18, the Feast of Booths is the only God appointed holiday gentile nations will be required to attend. The nations will be required to go before the Lord Jesus Christ during the Feast of Booths. For those nations who do not attend, no rain for your crops.

All three members of the Trinity will dwell with humanity. Isaiah 12 refers to the promise of the Holy Spirit and the reign of Jesus. The Holy Spirit was given to believers of Christ at Pentecost (Acts 2) and ushered in the Church Age.

Jesus will return on the Mount of Olives with an earthquake. Zechariah 14:4 In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. Revelation 19 has Jesus returning to Earth to initiate his 1,000 year reign and He will live with humanity.

The ultimate expression of “the feast” after the Millennial Kingdom is with God and the New Jerusalem. Revelation 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them…

And God is going to live and dwell with us, forever…

https://paulthepoke.com/category/fall-feasts/

I Know I Am a Sinner… Christine McDonald

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , , on October 11, 2019 by paulthepoke

I had heard of a God who was condemning. I knew I was going to burn in Hell for all my wickedness. I was full of shame and guilt. I was homeless. I was addicted. I was a prostitute. I was lost in darkness, wandering in my own wilderness. I was well aware of my brokenness. For real, I had heard this message before.

I felt shameful and dirty, things I already felt on my own. I didn’t need to hear these things from “those people”—the people who had a shower, who had shoes, who had a home. I didn’t need to hear it from those who did their good deed of scooping food on our trays, leaving them feeling a bit better about themselves. While these things were free, they still cost so much for us; the burden of the shame was equal to bags full of gold.

The last thing any of us needed was confirmation of how messed up our lives were. Believe it or not, we were all well aware of our brokenness, our bondage, our chains that gripped so cripplingly tight. I often went many days without food solely because I could not handle the damnation preached so hard and heavy at the soup kitchen mere blocks from where I existed.

The preaching required in order to receive the food that was needed to sustain life, human life, was a binding string. I left feeling judged and condemned. The last thing I wanted was a relationship with a God who was so grand that He judged harshly. Frequently we would leave talking about how painful it was to just get food. Food was successful at physically bringing us in, but the price—judgment—pushed us away in spirit. Many times, the prayers spoken over us were to remove the demons from us, rather than prayers for safety or hope or peace.

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Approaching Darkness and Fear… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , on August 31, 2019 by paulthepoke

Everyone be blessed!

“The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.” Exodus 20:21 

Like the nation of Israel, we are each called to the mountain of God, but few are willing to pass through the darkness to get there. God wanted to reveal His glory to the children of Israel, but they were afraid to enter into His presence. They only wanted to know about God, rather than know him personally like Moses did. This grieved the heart of God.

Why wouldn’t the people of Israel risk entering the darkness if it meant being in the presence of God? What did the people fear?

Perhaps they had fears like each of us. The fear of the unknown. The fear of what might happen. The fear that God might not like what He sees. Or, perhaps even the greatest fear: the fear of darkness itself and what lies behind that darkness.

Many of us have been satisfied to hear about God from God’s messengers. But there is a greater calling for each of you – a calling to enter into His presence. Sometimes entering into His presence means we enter through an unexpected door – a door that appears to have nothing good behind it.

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

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