He Names The Stars

Sunset in LA by Michelle Escobar

Sunset in L.A., Photo by Michelle Escobar

By David Cook

He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars;
He gives names to all of them.
Great is our Lord and abundant in strength;
 His understanding is infinite.
Psalm 147:3-5 NASB

As the sunsets each night, something spectacular happens in the heavens above.  We see the vastness of outer space and the stars hung in the night sky.  The maker of the heavens and earth counts all the stars and He names all of them.  This same One, heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.  The Lord of hosts is the maker of the heavens and earth, His understanding is infinite. [1]

Starry Night by Alex Ruiz
Starry Night, Photo by Alex Ruiz [2]

Dark Starry Night

I gave my heart to the One who made the sky full of stars!  Today, if you hear His voice speaking to you; don’t harden your heart.  Open up your heart, and ask Jesus Christ; the maker of the heavens and the earth to be your Savior and Lord!

[1] Jesus is the Lord of hosts who is the maker of the heavens and earth, Isaiah 48:1-16, John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:13-16.

[2]  Starry Night, Photo by Alex Ruiz; http://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large/starry-night-alex-ruiz.jpg

Love One Another

by David Cook

“A new command I give you: Love one another.
As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples,
if you love one another.”  –Yeshua the Messiah
John 13:34-35 NIV

 Jesus is the Light Of the World

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying,
“I am the Light of the world;
he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness,
but will have the Light of life.”
The gospel of John 8:12 NASB

Light From Above

Jesus is the “Light Of the World”, He brought light and truth to set us free!  When someone turns to Him and takes a step of faith out of the darkness into the light of Christ they find the “Light of life”!

jumping_joy

The Truth Will Make You Free

31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:31-36 NASB

Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life;
no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
–Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of the Living God
John 14:6 NASB

The Bible“Son of God” Movie [1]

Love God with Your All and Love Your Neighbor

Yeshua the Messiah was asked; what is the most important law that was written in the Torah by the prophet Moses?

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”  Matthew 22:36-40

[1] “Son of God” movie, directed by Christopher Spencer.  The life story of Jesus is told from his humble birth through his teachings, crucifixion and ultimate resurrection.

The Gospel

St DC a royal in KC

by David Cook

For I am not ashamed of the gospel,
because it is the power of God that brings salvation
to everyone who believes:
–Saint Paul

Romans 1:16 NIV

Hip Hop artist Lecrae grew up without good role models while living in the hood. He grew up with a single mom, and spent time watching rap videos at his grandmother’s house searching for significance and real manhood without his Dad around.  Lecrae wrestled with insignificance, and never met his father and endured a life of abuse and neglect. He looked for acceptance and a place to belong, attempting to fill the void by hangin’ with gangsters in the neighborhood.

It wasn’t long before Lecrae was trapped in a world filled with drugs, theft, alcohol and gang activity. “I didn’t fit in anywhere. I was just a misfit of a person,” he said.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,
 the new creation has come: 
The old has gone, the new is here!  
2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

Little did he know that his view on life would soon be rocked, opening his eyes to the One who knew he was significant.  The One who cared enough to die for him.

 

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”   –Saint Paul
Romans 1:16-17 NIV

18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.    2 Corinthians 5:18-21 NIV

Don’t Worry

cropped-paradise.jpg

by David Cook

Don’t worry about anything;
instead, pray about everything;
tell God your needs,
and don’t forget to thank him for his answers.
Philippians 4:6 TLB

In art many times, less is more.  I would say this true in life as well; more or less.

Always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again, rejoice! Let everyone see that you are unselfish and considerate in all you do. Remember that the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:4-7 TLB

www.NewRealityInternational.org

Blessed are the Humble

East Eyes Wide Open West Eyes Wide Shut - DC

by David Cook

“How blessed are those who are humble, because it is they who will inherit the earth!”          Matthew 5:5 ISV   –Yeshua the Messiah


“Humble” by Audrey Assad from her [ Fortunate Fall Year ] Album.

Do the meek (humble) inherit the earth?  As we look at both history and current news it is the violent and ruthless that conquer, control and “inherit” the earth; at least for a period of time.  So what is Messiah Yeshua teaching His followers?

ISIL near Tikrit, Iraq June 8, 2014
The jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) allegedly shows ISIL militants near the central Iraqi city of Tikrit.  (AFP Photo / HO / ISIL)  This photo was taken from a propaganda video uploaded on June 8, 2014.  The jihadist are also known as ISIS, a group of militant Sunni Muslims. [1]

Yeshua the Messiah foretold that in the future a time would come when His followers would enter into a time of distress (tribulation) and be killed and hated by all nations because of their faith in Yeshua the Messiah.  At that time many Christians would leave the Christian faith (the great apostasy).

“Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.10 At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another.  — Messiah Yeshua
Matthew 24:9-10 NASB

Nebukadnessar_II

King Nebuchadnezzar, ruler of the Babylonian empire.

We read in the book of Daniel in the Bible where a Messenger from heaven visited the prophet Daniel after the Jewish people had been conquered by King Nebuchadnezzar and then exiled to the Babylonian empire.

11 “In the first year of Darius the Mede, I arose to be an encouragement and a protection for him. 2 And now I will tell you the truth. Behold, three more kings are going to arise in Persia. Then a fourth will gain far more riches than all of them; as soon as he becomes strong through his riches, he will arouse the whole empire against the realm of Greece. 3 And a mighty king will arise, and he will rule with great authority and do as he pleases. 4 But as soon as he has arisen, his kingdom will be broken up and parceled out toward the four points of the compass, though not to his own descendants, nor according to his authority which he wielded, for his sovereignty will be uprooted and given to others besides them.  Daniel 11:1-4 NASB

In the scripture above the Messenger from heaven foretold that a forth Persian King (after Darius the Mede) “will gain far more riches than all of them; as soon as he becomes strong through his riches, he will arouse the whole empire against the realm of Greece.”  This is a prophecy about the Persian king  Artaxerxes who became politically and militarily strong and through his wealth and then stired up the Persian empire to fight the people of the west; the realm of Greece.  This war between the Median-Persian empire against the Greeks is portrayed in the 2007 movie “300“.

and continued in the 2014 sequel “300: Rise of an Empire“;

[This is not an endorsement to watch these films but the trailers are a visualization of the fulfillment of this prophecy in the book of Daniel.]

The Messenger from heaven then prophesied that a mighty king would arise and he will rule his realm with great authority.  This is Alexander the Great the king of the Greek empire.

3 And a mighty king will arise, and he will rule with great authority and do as he pleases. 4 But as soon as he has arisen, his kingdom will be broken up and parceled out toward the four points of the compass, though not to his own descendants, nor according to his authority which he wielded, for his sovereignty will be uprooted and given to others besides them.  Daniel 11:1-4 NASB

In the book of Daniel we read of the Babylonian Empire, the Medo-Persian Empire, the Greek Empire and a fourth mystery empire.  We think of King Nebuchadnezzar II the ruler of the Babylonian Empire [2], Ahasuerus the King of Persia (aka King Artaxerxes). [3]  And Alexander the Great, the king of the Grecian Empire. [4]

King Artaxerxes, ruler of Medo-Persian Empire with Haman and Esther by Rembrandt.

BattleofIssus333BC-mosaic-detail1

Alexander the Great, King of the Greek Empire

But who is the fourth unnamed empire in Daniel chapter 2 and chapter 7?  Is it the Roman Empire?  Or is it about the Ottomon Turkish Islamic Empire?  Mehmed the Conqueror who at the age of 21, conquered Constantinople and brought an end to the Byzantine Empire, transforming the Ottoman state into an empire. [5]  In Daniel chapter 2 we read about a fourth powerful empire.  Today some Bible scholars and students of Bible prophecy believe this fourth empire is the Ottoman Turkish Islamic Empire (Caliphate).  The Ottoman Turkish Islamic Caliphate lasted from 1299 – 1922.

Sultan Mehmed II painted by Gentile Bellini

Mehmed the Conqueror, ruler of the Ottoman Islamic Empire.

40 Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces. 41 In that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron, inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with common clay. 42 As the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle. 43 And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery.  Daniel 2:40-43 NASB

The Caliphate Declared by ISIS

 The BLAZETV reported on the “Buck Brief” that; On Sunday, (June 29, 2014) Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, a spokesman for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS),announced the Al Qaeda offshoot had named Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi the leader of the new caliphate and formally declared the creation of an Islamic state in the territory under its control. Al-Adnani called on those living in the area under the group’s control to swear allegiance to al-Baghdadi.

On radio this morning, TheBlaze’s national security editor Buck Sexton filled in for Glenn and drew from his four years in the CIA working in both Iraq and Afghanistan as he explained what comes next now that the caliphate is in fact here and official.  [6]

Sunni vs. Shai Civil War

There is great conflict and many deaths in the Mideast and Northern Africa to decide who will rule the new Islamic Caliphate.  Those fighting for power are Shai ruled Iran, Sunni ruled Saudi Arabia and Sunni ruled Turkey.  They fight and war through their respective proxies and client states and funded and armed jihadists.

Many who watch the news and study Bible prophecy see the neo-Ottoman Turkish Islamic Caliphate rising in the Mideast and Northern Africa. [7]  This is the empire that will rule the Mideast and North Africa prior to the return of the Messiah.  We read of this final World Empire in Daniel chapter 11.

36 “Then the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done. 37 He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he show regard for any other god; for he will magnify himself above them all. 38 But instead he will honor a god of fortresses, a god whom his fathers did not know; he will honor him with gold, silver, costly stones and treasures. 39 He will take action against the strongest of fortresses with the help of a foreign god; he will give great honor to those who acknowledge him and will cause them to rule over the many, and will parcel out land for a price.

40 “At the end time the king of the South will collide with him, and the king of the North will storm against him with chariots, with horsemen and with many ships; and he will enter countries, overflow them and pass through. 41 He will also enter the Beautiful Land, and many countries will fall; but these will be rescued out of his hand: Edom, Moab and the foremost of the sons of Ammon. 42 Then he will stretch out his hand against other countries, and the land of Egypt will not escape. 43 But he will gain control over the hidden treasures of gold and silver and over all the precious things of Egypt; and Libyans and Ethiopians will follow at his heels. 44 But rumors from the East and from the North will disturb him, and he will go forth with great wrath to destroy and annihilate many. 45 He will pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain; yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.  Daniel 11:36-45 NASB

Here we read in the book of the prophet Daniel that the King of the South (Egypt) will attack the King of the North (the neo-Islamic Caliphate).  Then the King of the North (neo-Islamic Caliphate) will invade the “Beautiful Land” (i.e. the land of Israel).

We read a prophecy in the book of Joel that in the last days, a very large and mighty army will invade Israel;

For a nation has invaded my land,
Mighty and without number;
Its teeth are the teeth of a lion,
And it has the fangs of a lioness.

Joel 1:6 NASB

When we look on a map of the Mideast, we see to the north of Israel is Lebanon, Syria and Turkey and northern Iraq.  These nations are in the region of the ancient Assyrian Empire.  It is likely that these Islamic nations (and others) will form the initial neo-Islamic Caliphate.  In Joel chapter 2 we read that this large and mighty army will come from the north of Israel.  God promised His people in the book of Joel that He would “remove the northern” army that will invade Israel.

And I will never again make you a reproach among the nations.
20 “But I will remove the northern army far from you,
And I will drive it into a parched and desolate land,
And its vanguard into the eastern sea,
And its rear guard into the western sea.
And its stench will arise and its foul smell will come up,
For it has done great things.”

Joel 2:19-20 NASB

Many peoples will be defeated by the neo-Islamic Caliphate but Edom, Moab and Ammon (the geography of modern day Jordan) will be rescued from military attacks by the neo-Islamic Caliphate.  Egypt will be defeated by the neo-Islamic Caliphate and Libyans and Ethiopians will follow the King of the neo-Islamic Caliphate (most likely Ethiopian and Libyan people will believe the ruler of the Caliphate to be the prophesied Mahdi (or the 12th Imam). [8]

The ruler of the neo-Islamic Caliphate (Caliph) will set up the tents of his royal pavilion in Israel between the Mediterranean Sea and the city of Jerusalem, (Mount Zion).  Yet while in Israel the Caliph (Mahdi) will come to his end.  The Caliph (who is the anti-Messiah) will be defeated by “The Lord of hosts” (Messiah Yeshua) when He returns from heaven with His army. [9]

The apostle Paul wrote to believers in Thessalonica; Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; 2 Thessalonians 2:8 NASB

Paul refers to the Anti-Messiah as that “lawless one”.  We read of the ruler of the neo-Islamic Caliphate in the book of Revelation chapter 13;

It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. 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. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10 If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.  Revelation 13:7-10 NASB

This ruler will make war (jihad) with the saints (God’s people) and defeat them.  This ruler is known among Christians as the anti-Messiah (anti-Christ) and may very will be the Islamic Caliph (i.e. the Muslim Mahdi).

25 He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.  Daniel 7:25 NASB

The Caliph of the neo-Islamic Caliphate (aka as the Mahdi) “will intend to make alterations in times”, that is bring in a new Islamic calender, known as the Hijri calendar [10] and intend to bring in Sharia law. [11]  The Mahdi (the anti-Messiah) will rule over Israel and the holy city of Jerusalem for three and a half years.  The apostle John also prophesied this;

11 Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, “Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. 2 Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.  Revelation 11:1-2 NASB

John wrote that the outer court of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem has been given to the gentile nations who will tread upon the holy city of Jerusalem for forty-two months (or three and a half years).

The prophet Zechariah wrote of this time of when Israel will be invaded and Jerusalem will be captured;

14 Behold, a day is coming for the Lord when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city.

Zechariah 14:1-2 NASB

The Caliph will speak out against the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the Most High God of Israel.  The Islamic Caliph will be against the God of Israel; Yehovah, the Lord of hosts.  Thus this Islamic ruler will be against the Messiah of Israel.  Therefore he is known as the anti-Messiah.  The Caliph will “wear down the saints” conquer the saints in Israel and Christians in various nations around the world.  It is no secrete that Muslims are commanded in the Quran to make jihad against the Jews and the Christians.

The Quran contains many verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Allah and Islamic rule.  Some are quite graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels wherever they may be hiding.  Muslims who do not join the jihad (fight) are called ‘hypocrites’ and warned that Allah will send them to Hell if they do not join the war. [12]

26 But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever. Daniel 7:26 NASB

Here we read that the high court, the court in heaven; the divine court of God Himself will sit in judgement of the Anti-Messiah and his dominion will be taken away and be destroyed forever.  This ruler who leads the Mideast and North African nations (the neo-Islamic Caliphate) in an invasion to conquer Israel and capture Jerusalem will be judged by the Most High God.  The final Mideast & Northern African World Empire will be the Neo-Ottaman Turkish Islamic Caliphate.  This is the empire that will be fighting jihad and then rule the Mideast just before the Messiah returns.

12 “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. 2 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. Daniel 12:1-2 NASB

The Day of the Lord is Near!

Here in Daniel chapter 12 verse 2 we read of the resurrection of the dead of those whose names are written in the book of life.  The saints of God, who died with their faith in God and His coming Messiah; will rise again at the last trumpet.  The saints who are alive on earth when the last trumpets sounds, will be transformed from mere mortality to immortality; in an instant, in the twinkling of the eye. [13]

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then 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 shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.  1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 NASB

The Day of the Lord is a day soon coming when Messiah, the “Son of Man” will come on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory and rescue the righteous. [14]

Yeshua foretold His coming for His elect.  The elect are God’s righteous people who have faith in Yeshua the Messiah.

30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky,
and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn,
and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky
 with power and great glory.
 
31 And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet
 and they will gather together His elect from the four winds,
from one end of the sky to the other.

Matthew 24:30-31 NASB

The prophet Zechariah wrote of the “Day of the Lord” when the Messiah will fight against the nations who invade Israel and capture Jerusalem;

Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. 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. You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him!

In that day there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle. For it will be a unique day which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light.

Zechariah 14:3-7 NASB

After Messiah rescues the righteous (the elect) then Messiah’s wrath will be poured out on the wicked.  This will be as it was in the days of Noah and Sodom and Gomorrah. [15]

36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 37 For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.

Matthew 24:36-41 NASB

In Matthew chapter 24 Yeshua taught us that His coming for His elect people (the rapture of the people of God) will be just like the days of Noah.  Before the flood it was people were eating and drinking and getting married; life as usual.  Then the flood came and Noah and his family were safe in the ark and the wicked were destroyed by the flood.  God’s people will be taken up into the clouds by His angels to meet the Lord (Messiah Yeshua) in the clouds.  Afterwards God’s wrath will come on the wicked.

After the anti-Christ invades Israel and occupies Jerusalem he will exile many of the Jewish people to other nations.  Then Yeshua the Messiah will gloriously rescue His remnant people on the day of the Lord!  We read of this in Isaiah chapter 11;

Then it will happen on that day that the Lord
Will again recover the second time with His hand
The remnant of His people, who will remain,
From Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath,
And from the islands of the sea.
12 And He will lift up a standard for the nations
And assemble the banished ones of Israel,
And will gather the dispersed of Judah
From the four corners of the earth.
13 Then the jealousy of Ephraim will depart,
And those who harass Judah will be cut off;
Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah,
And Judah will not harass Ephraim.
14 They will swoop down on the slopes of the Philistines on the west;
Together they will plunder the sons of the east;
They will possess Edom and Moab,
And the sons of Ammon will be subject to them.
15 And the Lord will utterly destroy
The tongue of the Sea of Egypt;
And He will wave His hand over the River
With His scorching wind;
And He will strike it into seven streams
And make men walk over dry-shod.
16 And there will be a highway from Assyria
For the remnant of His people who will be left,
Just as there was for Israel
In the day that they came up out of the land of Egypt.

Isiah 11:11-16 NASB

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;

Who is this who comes from Edom,
With garments of glowing colors from Bozrah,
This One who is majestic in His apparel,
Marching in the greatness of His strength?
“It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.”
Why is Your apparel red,
And Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press?
“I have trodden the wine trough alone,
And from the peoples there was no man with Me.
I also trod them in My anger
And trampled them in My wrath;
And their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments,
And I stained all My raiment.
“For the day of vengeance was in My heart,
And My year of redemption has come.
“I looked, and there was no one to help,
And I was astonished and there was no one to uphold;
So My own arm brought salvation to Me,
And My wrath upheld Me.
“I trod down the peoples in My anger
And made them drunk in My wrath,
And I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”

Isaiah 63 NASB

In this prophecy in Isaiah chapter 63 we read of the Messiah returning to Israel from Edom with His garments drenched in blood.  Ancient Edom is located geographically in the modern day nation of Jordan.

We read in the prophet Joel;

Consecrate a fast,
Proclaim a solemn assembly;
Gather the elders
And all the inhabitants of the land
To the house of the Lord your God,
And cry out to the Lord.
15 Alas for the day!
For the day of the Lord is near,
And it will come as destruction from the Almighty.

Joel 1:14-15 NASB

In the book of Daniel (found both in the Jewish Tanakh and the Christian Bible) we read prophecies of four major Mideast Empires that will precede the coming of the Messiah. [16]

1. Babylonian Empire

2. Medo-Persian Empire

3. Greek Empire

4. Ottoman Turkish Islamic Empire (and the neo-Islamic Caliphate)

The Messianic Kingdom

13 “I kept looking in the night visions,
And behold, with the clouds of heaven
One like a Son of Man was coming,
And He came up to the Ancient of Days
And was presented before Him.
14 “And to Him was given dominion,
Glory and a kingdom,
That all the peoples, nations and men of every language
Might serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
Which will not pass away;
And His kingdom is one
Which will not be destroyed.

Daniel 7:13-14 NASB

Temple of Messiah

The final empire we read of in the book of Daniel is the kingdom of the Messiah, which will not pass away.  The Messiah’s kingdom is one that will not be destroyed.  Messiah will rule all the nations from Jerusalem.

Yeshua the Messiah humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Because of this, God highly exalted His Son the Messiah, and gave Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Yeshua; every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth.  Every person will acknowledge that Yeshua the Messiah is Lord, to the glory of God the Father in heaven.

2 Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  Philippians 2:1-11 NASB

6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.  James 4:6-10 ESV

27 Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.’  Daniel 7:27 NASB

Here we read that the all the kingdoms of the earth will be given to the saints of the Highest One.  These saints (God’s elect people) are the believing remnant of Israel and believers from the gentile nations who believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  The Lord of hosts, is God’s promised Messiah.  God’s people humble themselves under His rule and the rule of His Messiah.  So, as Messiah Yeshua taught us in the gospels; the humble will inherit the earth.

How blessed are those who are humble,
because it is they who will inherit the earth!
Matthew 5:5 ISV   –Yeshua the Messiah

[1] An photo from a propaganda video uploaded on June 8, 2014, by the jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) allegedly shows ISIL militants near the central Iraqi city of Tikrit. (AFP Photo / HO / ISIL) http://rt.com/news/165340-turkish-consulate-mosul-qaeda/

[2] Nebuchadnezzar II was king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, who reigned c. 605 BC – 562 BC. He is credited with the construction of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and for the destruction of the First Temple. He is featured in the Book of Daniel and is mentioned in several other books of the Bible.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebuchadnezzar_II

[3]  Ahasuerus the King of Persia (aka King Artaxerxes).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahasuerus#Book_of_Esther

[4] Alexander the Great, succeeded his father, Philip II, to the throne at the age of twenty.  He spent most of his ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through Asia and northeast Africa, until by the age of thirty he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to Egypt and into present-day Pakistan.  He was undefeated in battle and is considered one of history’s most successful commanders.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_the_Great

[5] Mehmed the Conqueror, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mehmed_II

[6] The Caliphate declared in Iraq by ISIS; http://www.glennbeck.com/2014/06/30/buck-sexton-the-caliphate-is-official-the-caliphate-is-real/  and http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/2014/06/29/ISIS-jihadists-declare-caliphate-.html

[7] Ottoman Turkish Islamic Empire (Caliphate), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottoman_Empire

[8] “The Mahdi.”  In Arabic, al-Mahdi means, “The Guided One” 1 He is also sometimes referred to by Shi’a Muslims as Sahib Al-Zaman or  Al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar which translated mean “The Lord of the Age” and “The Guided/Awaited One.”
http://www.answering-islam.org/Authors/JR/Future/ch04_the_mahdi.htm

http://www.onislam.net/english/ask-about-islam/faith-and-worship/islamic-creed/166743-what-islam-says-about-the-mahdi.html

[9] The anti-Messiah will be defeated by the Messiah when He returns.  See Daniel 11:45, 2 Thessalonians 2:8 and Revelation 19:11-21.

[10] The Islamic calendar, or Hijri calendar is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 months in a year of 354 or 355 days.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_calendar

[11] (Sunni Muslims), The Mahdi will bring Sharia Law to the global Islamic community; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahdi  (Shia Muslims) “Imam Mahdi will bring new Sharia (divine law) and commandments.” http://www.discoveringislam.org/shia_mahdi.htm

[12] The Quran contains numerous verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of their god Allah and Islamic rule.  http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/quran/023-violence.htm

[13] Mathew 24:29-30, 1 Thessalonians 4:13, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, I Corinthians 15:50-52.

[14] “with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming”, Daniel 7:13 NASB “the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.”   Matthew 24:30-31 NASB

[15] God’s wrath will be poured out on the wicked. Zechariah 14:3-7, Isaiah 63, Matthew 24:36-41, Revelation 16.

[16] Daniel chapter 2:1-45 and Daniel chapter 7:1-27.

I will be with You

PHARAOH

by David Cook

Have you ever been called to fulfill an assignment beyond your abilities that seemed virtually impossible?  Well if so, your not alone.  Consider the call and assignment God gave to Moses to set His people free from the bondage of slavery in Egypt.

Many years ago a Hebrew slave’s baby was hid in a water proof basket and placed in the Nile River.  This was done to protect the child from an edict by Pharaoh to kill young Hebrew children in Egypt.

Moses & Pharoh's Daughter

Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bath and while their, she saw a basket hidden among the reeds and sent her maid, and she brought the basket to her.  The princess said she named the child Moses, “Because I drew him out of the water.” [1]  The young child grew up with the wealth and privilege of the royal family of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt.

Later, as an adult Moses killed an Egyptian taskmaster who was beating a Hebrew slave.  As a result, Moses was a man on the run for his life and he fled to the desert.  In the desert, Moses came to the nomadic tribe of the people of Midian.  While there, he found the favor of a priest named Jethro and married his daughter Zipporah.

Moses & Burning Bush by Arnold Friberg

Moses & Burning Bush by Arnold Friberg

We read in the Torah in the book of Exodus;

Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. So Moses said, “I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.” When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” He said also, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

The Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. Now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?” 12 And He said, “Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain.”

13 Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” 15 God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.
Exodus 3 NASB

The Lord God Almighty, is the self-existent One.  He existed from the beginning and always will be.  His promise to Moses, “I will be with you“; is a blessed promise!  If the Lord is with you and for you; what do you have to be afraid of?

We read in the book of Hebrews, written to believers in Messiah Yeshua;

Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”so that we confidently say,

The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.
What will man do to me?”

Hebrews 13:5-6 NASB

[1]  The child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. And she named him Moses, and said, “Because I drew him out of the water.” Exodus 2:10 NASB

I Shall Not Want

sheep-in-pasture

by David Cook

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
Psalm 23:1 ESV
–David, the shepherd boy who became a king.

One of the most famous psalms written by king David is the 23rd Psalm.  David compares the care and provision of the Lord to that of a good shepherd.  In his youth, David tended his father’s sheep before killing the giant warrior Goliath.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

Psalm 23 ESV

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