Archive for Jesus Christ

Whose Mind Are You Listening To??? Rodna Epley

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Rodna Epley with tags , , , , on October 16, 2020 by paulthepoke

The definition of worry is this: when we try to find the answer for a problem in our own mind, but the answer is found only in God’s Mind, in the Mind of Christ. Answers from His Mind are only imparted to our mind by the Holy Spirit through revelation that He brings to our spirits. Answers are not analytically figured out or deciphered through the tools we have in our minds.

Our minds without His mind operating in us is only human reasoning or some type of philosophy. It might sound right or intelligent, but it falls short of the glory if there’s no revelation. When the revelation comes in, our spiritual eyes open at the same time, then the transfer of wisdom is made to the mind that we experience in our every day lives. Jesus called it understanding.

The kingdom of heaven is built on revelation. We can read the Bible all day long and never understand it until revelation comes in, until light to the eyes and mind comes in.

The Father has hidden His glory on purpose so that the diligent, His kings (male or female), will seek out this treasure that belongs to our Father but has been given to us in Christ. This treasure is only found in Christ where Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father of glory on the throne of glory as Lord and King of glory.

So when we worry, we are not operating in the mind of Christ. Worry is constant because the answer is never found in our own minds. Some kind of answer can be found and all kinds of variations. But a lasting answer, one that completely liberates us from the problem forever is only found in Christ through revelation by a treasure of truth from His glory that enters in and takes up permanent residence in our thinking.

When perfect peace manifests and the worry is gone, we have stopped striving and looking for the solution within ourselves. The permanent solution is only found in Christ.

When we read the Word of God looking for an answer to a problem or to just spend time with Jesus, it’s okay to use our exegetical skills as we are mining for truth, because we can learn a lot of things that way about culture, words that were added and changed, alternate meanings, etc.

But even in all of our exegetical prowess that we think we might have, we still only know “Truth” when revelation from the Holy Spirit enters into our spirit and His Mind comes alive in us.

When we read we should be expecting to hear from God. We aren’t reading black and white words on a page. We are reading and expecting to hear the Living Word come into our spirits and open our blind eyes. We know this happens when we find ourselves saying, “Wow! I’ve never seen that before! Thank You Father!”

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

“It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep.” (Psalm 127:2)

“I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” (John 6:51)

Worry, anxiety and fear are experienced when we “eat the bread of sorrows”. We are looking for solutions in our old minds of the old nature where the answers are never to be found. The old mind knows nothing about the Lord, that’s why Jesus put it to death on the cross.

We have to wake up in us the new mind in Christ. The glory of the Father raised Jesus from the dead and raised us too when we have placed our faith in him. Jesus is now with the Father and this is our position too in Christ, where we have His mind and we belong to Him.

Instead of eating the bread of sorrow, we eat the Bread of Life when we take communion. In Christ are the answers that bring perfect peace. When revelation comes in, the Father’s glory is being released, worry immediately leaves, and perfect peace manifests as a result.

So we let go of worry, fear, and anxiety by ceasing to find the answer within ourselves. Instead of medicating the pain in order to temporarily calm it’s incessant nagging threats, we make a willful decision to speak God’s promises that have been revealed to us which release His glory and radiate perfect peace.

“For all the promises of God in Him (in Christ) are Yes, and in Him (we say) Amen, to the glory of God through us.” (2 Corinthians 1:20)

“The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness.” (Matthew 6:22-23)

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. (That thing making you afraid is NOT your god) I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’” (Isaiah 28:10)

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3)

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.” (Matthew 6:33-34)

“Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: whether…the world or life or death, or things present or things to come—are all yours. And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” (1 Corinthians 3:19-23)

Blessing to everyone! Be free from worry, fear, and anxiety. If you are Christ’s then those things don’t belong to you. The peace and joy that Jesus gave does belong to you. Thank You Father for Your wisdom. Thank You Father for Your favor. In Jesus mighty name Amen!

His Abiding Faithfulness… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , on October 7, 2020 by paulthepoke

TEXT: ISAIAH 40:1-11

Isaiah 40:11 “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.”

@beholy404

The story was told of a saint who died and eventually got to heaven in spite of the turbulent Christian life. On arrival in heaven, he engaged our Lord Jesus Christ in a conversation. He showed him in a panoramic flashback, his Christian pilgrimage on earth immediately he became born again. His Christian life was illustrated by footprints of two pairs of feet (his and Jesus Christ’s) on a sandy shore. They both traced the marks of the pairs of feet and got to a place where there was only a pair of feet, instead of two; the other pair had disappeared. The man became curious.

Photo by Jess Vide on Pexels.com

Tracing the history of his life, he realized that that time coincided with the period he faced the greatest challenges to his Christian faith. He was dejected and wondered aloud, “My Savior, it appears you abandoned me during the period of my greatest travail. I could see only one pair of feet.”

To which Jesus Christ replied, “No, that pair of feet were not yours but mine.”

“Then where was I?” He wondered. “I was carrying you in my arms,” was Jesus’ reply.

The passage today is the affirmation of comfort and promise of assistance to God’s people. When Jesus Christ left the glory of the Father in heaven to come to the earth, He was armed with a job description (Luke 4:18). He was anointed to preach the gospel to the poor (in spirit), to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, the recovering of sight to the blind and to set at liberty those that are bruised.

Though He has gone to be with the Father, He still performs such functions to the redeemed today. And you can always be a partaker of glorious blessings if only you will dare submit to the majesty of His will.

*THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:* God’s faithfulness and kindness are matchless and unsearchable.

All the Way Up! Rodna Epley

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Rodna Epley with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2020 by paulthepoke

John 16:28 I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.

Jesus went to be with the Father where He is today at the Father’s right hand—as the Father’s right hand. He is the King of glory siting on the throne of glory in the Kingdom of Glory—the Kingdom of Heaven. Everything that Jesus did along the way to His destination, the Father, was all a part of the Father’s plan to restore us to Himself by placing us in Christ.

Jesus is the way to the Father (John 14:6). He came down from the Father and went back up to the Father. He finished the work the Father gave Him to do (John 17:4). He lived a perfect, sinless, obedient life as a Man born under the Old Covenant (John 8:46). He restored the glory of the Old Covenant and released the glory of the New Covenant which is greater. He proved the Father sent Him and was working through Him by the words He spoke and the works He did.

As the Lamb of God, He took all of our sins and sicknesses upon His own body as He was crucified until death on the cross. He was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father. He ascended to heaven as our High Priest presenting Himself to the Father as the Wave Sheaf offering. He preached the kingdom of heaven on earth for forty days afterward. And then He ascended in His glorified body to the Father to sit at the Father’s right hand where He is now. Those of us who put our faith in Jesus are there now too with Him where He is. Not if or when we die, but now.

From the position of the Father is where Jesus poured out the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Father upon us and gave the same glory He had with the Father since the foundation of the world to make us One with the Father as He is One with the Father (John 17:5, 22-23). When we know that we are seated in Christ and Christ is with the Father, we can operate in “greater works” which come from the Father. We do the works that we see Jesus do and greater works because He is with the Father (John 14:12).

Our minds are being transformed into the image of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). We are promoted from one level of glory to another level of glory as we overcome one suffering to another turning all darkness that we face into light as we are taught and led by the Holy Spirit in each experience (Romans 8:18). So, learning to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and to “separate the precious from the vile” is extremely important (Jeremiah 15:19, 2 Timothy 2:15).

Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement: 5781/2020 Days of Awe and the Book of Life

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Fall Feasts, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2020 by paulthepoke

Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement is celebrated on Tishri 10th. It is the last day of the 40 day period of Teshuvah.

In 2020, it is Sunday, September 27 at sunset on our Gregorian calendar. The holiday is 10 days after the civil new year (Yom Teruah/Rosh Hashanah/Feast of Trumpets) is declared at the sighting of the new moon. The new moon was declared on Friday, September 18 outside of Jerusalem by at least two witnesses.

The ten day period of time from Yom Teruah/Rosh Hashanah/Feast of Trumpets to Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement is known as the Days of Awe. The ten day period is also called Yamim Noraim in the Hebrew or the Days of Repentance. This is to be a time of intense reflection of the sins committed during the previous year. The result should be Teshuvah or repentance.

Tradition, not the Bible, says during the Days of Awe, God is keeping His books. God is determining who lives, who dies, who will have a good life or a bad life during the upcoming year. But on Yom Kippur, the decision is made and the books are sealed.

https://www.jewfaq.org/holiday3.htm

Revelation 3:5-6 The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

The statement is conditional. One must conquer or overcome through Jesus Christ. The result…

…and I will never blot…Jesus is making a promise. As a believer in Him, your good name and character are safe.

This the Greek word ἐξαλείφω/exaleiphó. Defined by Strong’s Concordance, it means: I plaster, wash over; I wipe off, wipe out, or obliterate.

Believers will not be erased, obliterated, or wiped out.

The verb ἐξαλείφω/exaleiphó is used a total of five times in the New Testament. It is utilized in the context of the removal of tears, sin, and debt. See the examples below.

Revelation 21:4a and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; 

Acts 3:19a Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away

Colossians 2:14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

Jesus totally paid for sin once and for all. He is not about to let us be erased from life. He overcame death. And in Him, believers have eternal life.

Erased from what? …the book of life.

The “book of life” is mentioned in five times in Revelation. Scripture tells us the “book of life” has its origins from the beginning of time at creation. The owner of the “book of life” is Christ Himself, the Lamb.

Revelation 13:8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.

See also Revelation 21:27 and Revelation 17:8 for origin and ownership of the “book of life”.

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It would appear, we all start with our name in the “book of life”. Moses and the Lord are having a discussion. Sin will remove our name from the “book of life”. And this makes sense considering the wage of sin is death.

Exodus 32:32-33 “But now, if You will, forgive their sin—and if not, please blot me out from Your book which You have written!” The LORD said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.”

The span of our life is noted to the day in the “book of life”.

Psalm 139:16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.

Every single detail of our life is documented down to the number of tears in the “book of life”.

Psalm 56:8 You have taken account of my wanderings; put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?

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Revelation 3:6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Please listen. This marks the fifth time Jesus has requested to all members of the church to listen. He is not pleading with the Sardis church only. This is an individual appeal. If you have an ear(s), Christ is talking to you.

You want to be found in the “book of life”. There is a consequence if your sins are not squared away with the Father.

Revelation 20:15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

God’s Fall Appointments, 5781/2020

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Fall Feasts, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2020 by paulthepoke

God’s fall appointments are the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles. 

Below is a brief 10 minute video that provides a framework for God’s fall appointed holidays. The video is compliments of T.W. Tramm. Check out his writings and his work. T.W. is always thought provoking.

http://www.theseasonofreturn.com

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Numbers 29:1 ‘Now in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall also have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work. It will be to you a day for blowing trumpets.

See also Leviticus 23:23-25.

The first fall holiday has many names. It is called the Feast of Trumpets by Christians. It is recognized as the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. Some refer to it as the “Hidden Day” or the “Wedding of the Messiah”. In Judaism, it is called Yom Teruah which means the “Day of Blowing”.

This is the beginning of the civil new year. This is the Hebrew month of Tishri. It is the Hebrew year 5781.

The date for Yom Teruah is near Friday, September 18 or Saturday, September 19, 2020 (traditional Gregorian calendar). This date is confirmed pending the sighting of the new moon. The new year begins when the new moon is confirmed by two witnesses. Yom Teruah ends two days later. The confirmation of the new moon will ultimately determine the dates of the subsequent fall appointments.

https://paulthepoke.com/2014/09/07/yom-teruahrosh-hashanahfeast-of-trumpets-part-1/

https://paulthepoke.com/2014/09/14/yom-teruahrosh-hashanahfeast-of-trumpets-part-2/

https://paulthepoke.com/2014/09/28/yom-teruahrosh-hashanahfeast-of-trumpets-part-3/

The second fall holiday is the Day of Atonement. See Leviticus 16. Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement is celebrated on Tishri 10th. It is the last day of the 40 day period of Teshuvah or repent in the Hebrew. This holiday is viewed at the holiest day of Judaism. The day is a Sabbath day of rest. Yom Kippur is the only day a fast is required. The day begins at sun down. This is the busiest day of the year for the high priest with multiple animal sacrifices. The beginning for the Day of Atonement in 2020 is Sunday, September 27 or Monday, September 28 at sun down. This date is ultimately determined by the confirmation of the new moon 10 days earlier.

https://paulthepoke.com/2014/09/21/yom-kippurday-of-atonement/

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.’”

The third and last fall holiday on God’s calendar is Tabernacles. It is also called 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”. This festival is a week-long festival from Tishri 15 to 21 on a Hebrew calendar. On our western Gregorian calendar, in 2020, the Feast of Tabernacles will be observed from Friday, October 2 or Friday, October 9, again pending the new moon confirmed at the beginning of the Hebrew month of Tishri.

https://paulthepoke.com/2014/10/05/feast-of-tabernaclessukkotboothsthe-feast/

https://paulthepoke.com/2014/06/09/isaiah-12-jesus-and-the-water-of-life/

There are seven God appointed holidays communicated through the Mosaic Law. The first four were fulfilled to the day by Jesus Himself with His death, burial, resurrection, and the giving of the Holy Spirit. If the first four spring holidays were fulfilled on the God appointed holiday, why would the fall holidays be any different?

Jesus is coming again…

Celebrating Ten Years!!! BE A Berean

Posted in #PaulthePoke with tags , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2020 by paulthepoke

August 2020 marks the 10th year of the website and related social media outlets. The results are clearly the work of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit.

First of all, thank you to all who read, comment and share with others. The website started with an email list of about 60 friends and family.

The idea of a website was hatched by a young man attending church with me. His name is Chris Frost. He encouraged me to write. Chris is now a Pastor in Tehachapi, California at Mountain Bible Church. https://www.mountainbiblechurch.org/

A shout out goes to Matt Weinreich. Back in the day (March 2016), Matt was a limo driver. The concept of the social media platforms was Matt’s idea. He developed the plan in a party bus over a Dr. Pepper while on a break during a job. The links below are the rest of the story.

I would like to thank Trey Smith at the God in a Nutshell project for taking a chance on me as a writer and editor of his website. The exposure provided by his social media outlets for 4 years is tremendously appreciated.

Thanks to Greg Lewis and Jonathan Rovetto for their support, insights and marketing analysis.

Lastly, a massive thank you to all the contributing authors. These folks come from a diverse background and provide quality, thoughtful content. Thanks to Christine McDonald, Joshua of Ghana, Matt Weinreich, Michael Douville, Michael Stone, Mickey Sutliff (responsible for logo design), Paul Beverly, Phil Kulis, and Rodna Epley.

Along the way, three books have been published. See the links at the bottom of the post.

If someone would have told me 10 years ago the materials and content provided would have reached tens of millions in over 190 countries I would have laughed. RIGHT!!!

This is the first post. This is how it all began…

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BE a Berean!!!

Acts 17:10-11 But the brothers at once sent both Paul and Silas to Berea during the night; who having arrived went into the synagogue of the Jews. And these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, for they received the Word with all readiness, daily examining the Scriptures if these things are so.

This is the point of the blog. Don’t take my word for it, look it up, and verify. The culture loves to say, “Well that is just your interpretation.” Personally, that is code for “I really don’t know what it says.”  This is a cop-out. The culture loves to say, “My God would or would not do…”

Is that the God of your mind or is that the God of the Bible? If one’s ethics and morals are not consistent with Scripture, then that mindset becomes idolatry and it is not the God of the Bible. What do you think about Scripture? Make a decision based out of knowledge and not somebody’s opinion or personal ignorance.

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1 Chronicles 12:32a And of the sons of Issachar, having understanding of the times, to know what Israel should do.

The sons of Issachar are one the twelve tribes of the nation of Israel. Issachar is a son of Jacob (Genesis 30:18). His name in Hebrew means “he will bring a reward.” The sons of Issachar are the descendants. These sons read the Word. They knew what the times had to offer because they read and believed in God’s promises through His Word.

Matthew 16:1-3 And having come the Pharisees and Sadducees tempting, asked Him to show them a sign out of the heaven. But answering, He said to them, Evening coming on, you say, Clear sky, for the sky is red. And at morning, today a storm, for the sky is red, being overcast. Hypocrites! You indeed know how to discern the face of the heaven, but you cannot the signs of the times.

Jesus held the religious leaders of His day accountable to know His arrival was here. The Bible foretold in prophecy the arrival of the Messiah and His character and deeds. One prophetic example is…

Isaiah 7:14 So, The Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold! The virgin will conceive and will bring forth a son; and she shall call His name Immanuel (meaning “with us is God”).

Yes, Jesus is God.

The same is true for us today. God has not changed. Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and today and forever.

We are accountable to what is stated in the Bible. What does the Bible say about the times we are living? Does it have anything to say?

Welcome and please feel free to comment and share with others. God praises those who verify His Word. Look it up, does the Bible really say… ???

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, so that the man of God may be perfected, being fully furnished for every good work.

Daniel’s Answered Prayers

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2020 by paulthepoke

Daniel 9:22 He made me understand, speaking with me and saying, “O Daniel, I have now come out to give you insight and understanding.

God has heard Daniel’s prayers. The Lord has sent Gabriel. Daniel gives all the credit to Gabriel. The angel is the source of information and consideration. Gabriel is bringing truth from God.

Daniel 9:23 At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved. Therefore consider the word and understand the vision.

…a word went out… God was listening to Daniel’s petition and He responded. Notice God did not waste any time. He responded to Daniel “At the beginning“. A word or dabar in the Hebrew went out. Dabar is translated as a word or speech. God was giving Daniel an answer to his prayers. Yahweh sent the angel Gabriel to deliver the message.

…you are greatly loved… Gabriel provides confirmation to Daniel regarding his position in God. Daniel is told he is “greatly loved” or chamad. The term is also translated as desired. God takes pleasure in Daniel. Definitions provided by Strong’s Concordance.

Daniel’s plea and prayers were answered and then some. Little did Daniel know, he was about to receive the outline of history for at least the next 2,500 years. The information revealed would include the first and second coming of the Messiah Jesus, the construction of two temples, the demolition of one temple, the destruction of Jerusalem, the forecast of the antichrist, the outline for the end times scenario, and the ushering of an everlasting and eternal peace… restoration as God intended.

Daniel’s position in God is no different than our position today. God has blessed us with favor and grace.

2 Corinthians 5:18-19 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

God desires for humanity to be restored as He created us. He loves us all yet He gives us the choice to choose Him.

1 Timothy 2:3-6 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, Who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is One mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

Time is running short. The choice is yours…

Rapture: Be Careful What You Wish

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Culture, Prophecy, Rapture, Trend Update with tags , , , , , , on August 14, 2020 by paulthepoke

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

There has been a rapture cartoon circulating social media for the past few months. Essentially, people politically opposed to President Donald Trump are yearning for the rapture. See the text below.

Credit: Blair

Something for those folks to consider… You may live to see the day. However, things will not turn out as you think.

The issue is not “IF”. The concern should be “WHEN”.

1 Corinthians 15:51-57 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Diversity in the Gospel of Jesus Christ… Mickey Sutliff

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Culture, Mickey Sutliff with tags , , , , , on August 12, 2020 by paulthepoke

Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation…

What was at first a need to broaden my understanding and create personal value for African American culture and history, I found the LORD was expanding my vision in seeing the Body of Christ in a new and broader glory. As we walked in an intentional cross-cultural church, the LORD opened my eyes and heart to how diversity within the local body and Body of Christ universal reflects the unconditional reach of the gospel and God’s purposes in salvation. Not that I did not understand or know that ‘God so loved the world…’ but how little we actually experience in our local church the reality of this truth that will be our ‘reality’ in heaven and how this reality reflects the glory of our Lord.

Through time spent in Scripture and walking out the Christian life within a cross-cultural church, I began to see a connection between the proclamation made by the ‘four living creatures & 24 Elders before the throne’ in Revelation 5:9 and the whole of redemptive history throughout the Scriptures. Revelation 5:9 reveals the worthiness and glory due to the Lamb Who Was Slain flows from His shedding His blood “for men of every tribe, every tongue, every people and every nation…”

I found the ‘nations‘ at the heart of God’s redemptive purposes from Genesis to Revelation. God’s promise & redemptive covenant with Abraham included not only blessing his descendants but also ‘…all the families of the earth’.

The Old Testament, where Israel dominates the focus of God’s blessings, the incorporation of the nations into His eternal family is interwoven throughout the Psalms & the Prophets.

  • Psalm 96 extols the glory of the Lord and His heart for the nations.
  • Jonah is focused on God’s love & compassion for a ‘nation’ not Israel and rebukes the prophet for his lack of compassion for them.
  • Isaiah 56:6-7 speaks of ‘foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to Him, to love the name of the Lord… I will make them joyful in My house of prayer, for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples’.
  • Joel 2:28, quoted by Peter at Pentecost, ‘I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh’.   

As I began to engage the LORD in this dialogue about the gospel, the Church and the nations, I began to see in our diverse church family the expression of the unconditional reach and reconciliating power of the gospel. The Church should reflect the redemptive purpose as revealed in Scripture, which will be more tangible when those who gather are not all homogeneous in its make up. Diversity within the gospel reveals more fully the reach of the gospel of Jesus Christ, whether it is cultural or socioeconomic or ethnic diversity. Ideally all of these, Ephesians and James speak to these diversities specifically.

Ephesians 2 speaks to being ‘no longer strangers and aliens, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God… being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord… being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

This picture laid out by Paul, reminds me of Isaiah’s vision of the LORD in His temple, and the seraphim proclaimed, ‘the whole earth is full of His glory’. The Church is His temple, as described by Paul and His glory will be made manifest by the Church. The gospel is not limited to one people group or ethnicity or to those of economic blessing or poverty (James 2:1-13).

God’s people, as revealed in Scripture, reflect the breadth of humanity. Even Jesus’ own 12 disciples were from the broad spectrum of Israelites.

Gabriel Visits Daniel a Second Time

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2020 by paulthepoke

Daniel 9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, by descent a Mede, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans…

In general, history records Babylon was taken by the Persian Empire in 539 BC. This is the year Daniel is about to be visited again by the angel Gabriel.

The last time Gabriel visited Daniel was 14 years earlier. We know Daniel received understanding of the first vision from Daniel 8:1 in the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar to be about 553 BC.

Gabriel’s second visitation would be a reminder of the fulfillment of his first message to Daniel. Babylon was promised to fall to the Medes and Persians and lose its seat of the world’s dominant power. Gabriel appears a second time to Daniel after his initial prophecy from God was reality.

Daniel 9:20 While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my plea before the LORD my God for the holy hill of my God…

Daniel 9:20 is an effective summary of his petition to God in Daniel 9:3-19. Daniel is approaching God in prayer. Daniel is more concerned about God’s name and His reputation. He knows God is forgiving and merciful.

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Daniel 9:21 …while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, came to me in swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice.

…the man Gabriel… God’s messenger Gabriel appears as a man or ish in the Hebrew. Gabriel looks like a man.

In both cases when Gabriel visits Daniel, he appears as a man. The first time in Daniel 8:15 Gabriel was described as a geber. This is the term for a mighty warrior. Gabriel is physically imposing and intimidating.

…came to me in swift flight… Gabriel arrived in a condition of yeaph in the Hebrew. He was tired, weary, or faint. Gabriel appears to be in a hurry to get to Daniel.

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…the time of the evening sacrifice. Gabriel visited Daniel in the mid afternoon. Typically, the evening sacrifice at the Temple took place at the ninth hour. This would translate to 3:00 in the afternoon for us in the western world and culture.

Cornelius also encountered an angel in the ninth hour in the book of Acts.

Acts 10:3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.”

Jesus died on the cross at the ninth hour or 3:00 p.m.

Matthew 27:46  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Matthew 27:50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

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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