At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time.
And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book.
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.
[Daniel 12:1-3 NKJV]
This 'End Time' prophecy from the Book of Daniel, has, like so many prophetic voices attracted a huge variety of interpretations. What is meant by this or that utterance? The only answer that can be relied upon is in the Bible itself. Daniel has difficulty with the Archangel Michael's prophecy to him, so he relates the answer that is given to him:
Then I said, “My lord, what shall be the end of these things?” And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.
“And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.
“But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days.”
[Daniel 12:8b-13 NKJV]
It seems that whatever the trouble may be, The Lord's people need patience and must wait, knowing that in the end will be an inheritance and rest. Blessed is he who waits.
Intriguingly, a time frame is given between the setting up of the abomination of desolation and the end of the days - between one thousand two hundred and ninety days and one thousand three hundred and thirty five days. This would appear to be forty-five days, which on the basis of Scripture numerology speaks of 'preservation', 'the temple' and 'pillars'.
From what I have read on this subject, Daniel 12 is the resolution of a number of prophetic visions building a revelation which shows the statement in Daniel 8:14b; "then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.” In other words, The Lord is working - He will have His Holy church; His temple made without hands, but that the work requires our patience, for God is doing this in His time. Blessed is he who waits. As the song says, There may be trouble ahead, but while there's music and moonlight and love and romance, let's face the music and dance. Wait on the Lord.
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
[Matthew 5:11-12 NKJV]
A Shelter In The Time of Storm
Lyrics by: Vernon John Charlesworth Music by: Ira David Sankey
Performed by: Ray Walker & the Dallas Adult Christian Choir
Monday 21st September 2020
"The Lord is my rock," my encircling guard. Where did the Psalmist learn this truth? In the school of silent waiting upon God. The Rock of Ages is the great sheltering encirclement; we are watched over by the mother-guardianship of God.
Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations— "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle," which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men?
These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.
[Colossians 2:20-23 NKJV]
Some see The Bible as a list of rules and regulations that we must follow; but really it is God's revelation of Himself to mankind, through His Word, and it should therefore come as no surprise that Jesus is described as The Word.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. [John 1:1-2 NKJV]
Two very important words in scripture are 'Therefore' and 'If'. 'Therefore' says "accepting what has been written before, it follows that ..."; and 'if' adds the terms and conditions which will apply, should we wish to take action. This is beginning to sound like an elementary English class back in our schooldays, but I feel it is important, that we should remind ourselves from time to time of our Lord's guidance through scripture. He does not say to us "Do this ...", or "You must ...", for God has given us free will to choose our path.
Instead, with amazing love and grace, He argues the case for coming to Him. In our image above, we can see the quote from John 15; If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love. Follow this way; follow me, for I am the way. It is always about relationship - He shows us how to get the best from it by revealing Himself, so we are freed from any condemnation.
In Colossians 2:20 (above), Jesus Christ shows us that we are not brought into relationship by rules and regulations; instead, He transforms us and all we are to reconcile us to the Father, making the relationship complete. Our possessions, our bodies, our beliefs are all changed in an ongoing process that produces His life in us.
Amazing love, how can it be, that Thou my God should die for me! Lines from one of the most popular hymns, written by Charles Wesley, shortly after He gave himself to Christ through Romans 8:
But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. [Romans 8:9-11 NKJV]
And Can It Be That I Should Gain - Charles Wesley - BBC Songs of Praise
Sunday 20th September 2020
Mental wool-gathering can be stopped immediately the will is roused.
Prayer is an effort of will, and the great battle in prayer is the overcoming of mental wool-gathering. We put things down to our own inability to concentrate. “My soul, wait thou only upon God,” i.e. pull yourself together and be silent unto God.
Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty firmament!
Praise Him for His mighty acts;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!
Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;
Praise Him with the lute and harp!
Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!
Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord!
[Psalm 150:1-6 NKJV]
Nowadays, the song Praise Is The Power of Heaven is rarely sung outside of a few groups, so I have been told. If true, it is a shame because it is a beautiful song, although that is not the reason we sing it, or many others like it. We sing to give thanks and to worship God, because praise has a unique place in our spiritual life; the very act of giving voice through song, however performed, brings a strengthened connection to the Almighty.
Many times I have heard Christians say that they love praising; that it is the centre of their worship and lifts the spirits delighting the heart ...
While I live I will praise the Lord; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. [Psalm 146:2 NKJV]
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; [1 Peter 2:9 NKJV]
... and it brings joy to the heart of God also. Psalm 22:3 tells us that He inhabits or is enthroned in the praises of His people, meaning that focussing our voices in song to Him is where His Holy Spirit finds a dwelling place. Beginning a meeting with praise raises us out of the everyday into the heavenlies and sharpens our senses to hear the word of an anointed preacher with true understanding.
Sadly, in these dark pandemic days when praise is prohibited lest we spread the virus, fear and anxiety has been given free rein. No wonder mental health problems are on the rise, even among the faithful; but we can be assured that our Lord will carry us through these testing times. I believe that, though we cannot gather in the usual way, though we cannot sing praises to Him in the usual way, yet we remain joined with Him in the Holy Spirit and that He hears the praise soaring within us, seeking release, for He is our praise.
You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve Him, and to Him you shall hold fast, and take oaths in His name. He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen.
[Deuteronomy 10:20-21 NKJV]
We can sing out by ourselves, with those in our homes until we can gather again, but we can also praise inwardly, as Paul says in Romans 2:29, but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God. 'Jew' comes from 'Judean', or 'belonging to praise'. Hallelujah!
Praise Is The Power of Heaven -- The Zeal of God
(One of only two versions of this song found; the other is an instrumental version)
OSWALD CHAMBERS - RUN TODAY'S RACE
Saturday 19th September 2020
It is a tremendous thing to know that God reigns and rules and rejoices, and that His joy is our strength.
The confidence of a Christian is that God is never in the sulks. "... Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning." (RV)