Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Man on the Red Horse Among the Myrtle Trees

Seeing each other in Christ and looking to each other, we are asking if we can share. Share the most valuable space in time, the expression of Christ. – Mark Champion, Letters :: Face

Do you look into the face of Christ, when you see your brothers and sisters, in Christ? If you don’t, you should check out Mark Champion‘s blog post, Letters :: Face. May all the saints see Christ, when we look at each other…just as our Father does.

Now for my blog post…

I saw at night, and behold, a man was riding on a red horse, and he was standing among the myrtle trees which were in the ravine, with red, sorrel and white horses behind him. Then I said, “My lord, what are these?” And the angel who was speaking with me said to me, “I will show you what these are.” And the man who was standing among the myrtle trees answered and said, “These are those whom the LORD has sent to patrol the earth.” So they answered the angel of the LORD who was standing among the myrtle trees and said, “We have patrolled the earth, and behold, all the earth is peaceful and quiet.” Then the angel of the LORD said, “O LORD of hosts, how long will You have no compassion for Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, with which You have been indignant these seventy years?” The LORD answered the angel who was speaking with me with gracious words, comforting words. – [Zec 1:8-13 NASB]

Janie's crepe myrtle tree across the alley

Janie’s crepe myrtle tree across the alley (Photo credit: EraPhernalia Vintage . . . (playin’ hook-y ;o))

Beloved saints, I have comforting words for you today. This blog post is as much for myself, as it is for you. Do you recognize this Man on the red horse, who is standing among the myrtle trees? He is the Angel of the Lord; He is Jesus Christ.

The book of Zechariah was written to the Lord’s People, who had been exiled. God’s People were so very low, while the nations were prospering. So, here you see God’s People as myrtle trees in a ravine. Myrtle trees, when chopped down, will shoot back up. You have to pull a myrtle tree out by the roots, in order to kill it. God’s People had been exiled, chopped down, and were as low as they could go in the bottom of a ravine. So where is the comfort?

Jesus, on a red horse, is among the myrtle trees! He is on a horse, symbolizing his swiftness in coming to His People’s aid. The horse is red, symbolizing the blood He will shed. You can compare this to the rider of the red horse in Revelation, who symbolizes war. Both symbolize blood that is shed. But, in Zechariah, it is Jesus’ blood.

Then, you have another picture of the Lord’s People in the three horses. Notice, that these three horses are following Jesus. There are three different colors of horses: red, reddish-brown, and white. Each one shows the progression of the saints. Some are red, like Jesus’ horse. This is because we are covered with His blood. Next, there are the reddish-brown horses, which shows that there is some mixture. Even though we are covered with His blood, we are not so pure yet. We are often still earthly and natural. Finally, there are the white horses. It is the Lord’s desire that we all be white horses. These horses symbolize purity. They have been washed by the blood, and have put off the Adamic fallen nature.

These horses have been spread throughout the earth and have a report for the Lord. The earth is peaceful and quiet, while the Lord’s People suffer.

While the evil people of this world prosper, we are often suffering. But, the Lord has gracious and comforting words for us, beloved brothers and sisters. He is not slow to come to our aid. He is even among us. Don’t think that He is far away. Even if you do not sense Him, He is intimately united with you in your Spirit. He has compassion on you and will lift you up. Even if you feel utterly worthless, you are a treasure to Him. You may feel hurt, broken, depressed, and like you have nothing to offer the world. Yet, Jesus would not throw you away. He desires to be your Doctor, your Lover, your Father; He desires to lift you out of the ravine and refresh you.

“A bruised reed He will not break And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice. “He will not be disheartened or crushed Until He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law.” Thus says God the LORD, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out the earth and its offspring, Who gives breath to the people on it And spirit to those who walk in it, “I am the LORD, I have called You in righteousness, I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You, And I will appoint You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the nations, To open blind eyes, To bring out prisoners from the dungeon And those who dwell in darkness from the prison. – [Isa 42:3-7 NASB]

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Have Compassion

Dear saints, this blog is devoted to exploring God’s eternal desire, which is to sum up all things in Christ. Christ is so great and so vast that we will enjoy searching the depths of His riches for eternity. I say that so you know that this post is still about His eternal desire.

Today, I am suggesting a way for you to help Him attain that eternal desire. I encourage you to remember the poor, pray for them, and help them. Have compassion on the poor, who are not able to take care of themselves.

Check out the Sponsor a Child page at Compassion International. If you are moved to have compassion on one of the children, then please sponsor them. Turn to the Spirit within you and see whether the Lord would have you help these children and their families. Even if you don’t sponsor a child, by all means, pray for the children and those who want to help them.

But, saints, don’t just give money out of obligation. Seek for the Lord to fulfill His eternal desire, through the money you give or the letters you write. Pray that the Life of Christ would spread through your words and actions. Let every gift that you give, be for spreading His eternal Life to others. Let your gift be a Gift, from the Spirit.

No matter what we are doing saints, may we just be found in Christ; not in our selves.

The Letter Kills, but the Spirit Gives Life

 

This “new Canaan” is Jesus Christ, He is outside the “camp” of mans religion. The reports are to be mixed with faith, not in those making the reports, but in the One that is Faithful and True. – Jim Putney, The Treasure of New Canaan

Have you seen Jesus Christ as thew new Canaan, as our Promised Land? Whether you have already seen this or not, I think that you will enjoy Jim Putney‘s blog post: The Treasure of the New Canaan at Treasure in Jars of Clay. His words are encouraging and so is his quote from T. Austin-Sparks. Now for my blog post…

Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. – [2Cr 3:5-6 NASB]

First page of the Gospel of Mark, by Sargis Pi...

First page of the Gospel of Mark, by Sargis Pitsak, a Medieval Armenian scribe and miniaturist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, as I was getting into my car to leave a certain place, I saw a brother reading the Bible on the back of his truck. When I saw him, I was moved to fellowship with him. I went over to him and asked, “What are you reading?”. He replied, “The Bible”. So, I said, “Yeah, but what are you reading in the Bible?”. He answered, “I don’t talk to nobody when I am reading the Bible, so go ahead and get out of here”.

This brother was not only reading the dead letter, but he killed the fellowship that we could have had. We could have shared the Lord together. We could have read the Scriptures together, by the Spirit, to see Christ. But, all he had was the letter, so we didn’t enjoy any Life together. We were not able to partake of the Tree of Life together, because he was busy eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Many are reading the Scriptures in a religious way and the result is death. They are not only killing themselves, but they are killing others. Do not be like this brother, who rejected me for a book.

Don’t reject each other. Instead, love each other and shine your light on each other; let Christ within you be expressed through you.

You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. – [2Cr 3:2-3 NASB]

 

Heaven is for Real?

We need special equipment to scale the heights of Him and dive into the depths of Him. But guess what? You already have this special equipment. It’s called your spirit. And He lives inside of your spirit. – Milt Rodriguez, Christ in 3-D

If you haven’t heard, Milt Rodriguez has released a new ebook called, Christ in 3-D. It is quick read and it might just give you a new three dimensional view of Christ! Now for my blog post…

For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come. – [Hbr 13:14 NASB]

I’m not writing this blog post as a review of the the book Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo. Instead, this blog post is in response to  people’s obsession with heaven, which the aforementioned book exposed. So many religions are about trying to get to heaven or someplace similar(with a different name). Heaven may be the goal of religion, but is God’s goal to get us to heaven?

Heaven by adyyflickr

Getting to heaven is not our goal, nor is it God’s desire for us.

If you are living to get to or to help others get to heaven when they die, you’re living opposed to God’s desire. While people are trying to reach heaven, God desires to live on earth.

God’s desire to live on earth is one of the main narratives of Scripture. In the Garden, you see that there is gold, bdellium, and onyx stone.1 Paul tells us to build with gold, silver, and precious stones.2 Likewise, the New Jerusalem is made of gold, pearl, and precious stones.3 The Garden was to be the construction yard and we are now building God’s City. Look throughout the Scriptures and you will see God’s desire everywhere. Abraham was looking for a City who Architect and Builder is God.4 There is the ark, the tabernacle, and the temple, Ezekiel’s vision of the temple and the rebuilding of the temple. Jesus tabernacled among us, He said that He was the Temple, and He said that we are a City on a Mountain. Paul said that we are the Temple and that we are building God’s House. Also, there are Bethel(House of God) and Bethany(House of Figs), which were both pictures of God’s House.

Is there a place called heaven? Yes, there are heavenly places and we are already seated there in Christ!5

Additionally, those of the Bride, who overcome in this age by blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, will be caught up to God and to His throne, for casting down Satan. This corporate Man Child is the first fruits of the Lord’s harvest. He is the New Man, a living testimony against the Deceiver, wearing the full armor of God for casting Satan down.6 Yet, this Man Child will not stay in heaven, but will come with the Lord Jesus, when He comes to rule the earth.7

I want to add that not everyone agrees that we go to heaven or hell, when we die. In my opinion, we go to a place for the dead, or Hades, with a positive side and a negative side. The positive is referred to as paradise8 in Scripture and Paul considered it as a place separate from heaven. He was taken away to the third heaven and he was taken away to paradise.9 But, it is not so important that you agree with that or not.

It is much more important that you see God’s desire to live on earth and that you are already seated in the heavenly places in Christ. When you read of the New Jerusalem, which is the culmination and fulfillment of God’s desire, you see that it is coming out of heaven to the new earth.10 Right now, we are building this City with God, by the Spirit. We are building this City in the heavenly places, so that it may fill the new earth. This City is the mingling of God and Man, a mutual Home for each other and in each other.

Do you see, brothers and sisters? God wants to live in and among us on earth. God is Spirit, but He desires a physical Body, through which, He may express Himself. That is why we have a spirit, so that we may be united with God; so that He may enter into us and form us into an expression of Himself.

It doesn’t matter so much if you agree with all of my interpretations of Scripture. I want you to see God’s desire to live and express Himself on earth, in and through us. If we are all seeking to leave earth for heaven, how will our Father have His desire on earth?

Footnotes
1 Genesis 2:12
2 1 Corinthians 3:12
3 Revelation 21:18-21
4 Hebrews 11:10
5 Ephesians 1:20; Ephesians 2:6
6 Ephesians 2:15; Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10; Ephesians 6:11; Revelation 12:5-9
7 Revelation 19:11-16
8 Luke 23:43
9 2 Corinthians 12:2-4
10 Revelation 21:2

Blogging to Help Children in Poverty

Compassion International exists as a Christian child advocacy ministry that releases children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enables them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults.

Founded by the Rev. Everett Swanson in 1952, Compassion began providing Korean War orphans with food, shelter, education and health care, as well as Christian training.

Today, Compassion helps more than 1.2 million children in 26 countries.

September is blog month at Compassion. Compassion is an organization dedicated to helping children living in poverty. The goal of Compassion’s blog month is for 3,108 children to be sponsored between Sept. 1 and Sept. 30.

Compassion International

Compassion is a wonderful opportunity to love others around the world. Not only do you give money to provide for the needs of impoverished children, but you can also write letters to and receive letters from the child and his or her family. Likewise, you can give additional money so that gifts can be purchased for the family and the child.

If the Spirit of Christ leads you to have compassion on these children, please sponsor a child. If you have a blog, I encourage you to help spread the word about Compassion, so that others may also take the opportunity to help children in need.

The Body of Christ is a Heavenly Nation, under one Head, with one Spirit, expressing God among the earthly nations.

Sponsor a child at Compassion or check out Compassion Bloggers.

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Book Review: The Voice New Testament (Kindle Edition)

The Voice New Testament by Ecclesia Bible Society

With so many Bible version already produced, I often wonder why anyone would create a new translation. Many of the translation available are too similar. But, if you are looking for a unique version of the Bible, you may be interested in The Voice New Testament. The Voice New Testament is certainly a unique translation of the New Testament, although it seems to have quite a few downfalls.

I didn’t read the entire Bible, word-for-word. I read some of my favorite books to get a feel for the Bible overall. I compared the translation to other translations, as well as the original Greek. Then, I attempted to read it to see if I could enjoy Christ through its words.

Previously most Bibles and biblical reference works were produced by professional scholars writing in academic settings. The Voice uniquely represents collaboration among scholars, pastors, writers, musicians, poets, and other artists. The goal is to create the finest Bible products to help believers experience the joy and wonder of God’s revelation. – Ecclesia Bible Society. The Voice New Testament (Kindle Locations 244-247). Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Some key features of The Voice New Testament are:

  • “Logos” or “Word” translated as Voice
  • “Christ” translated as “God’s Anointed, the Liberating King”
  • Daily reading plans
  • An introduction to the New Testament
  • Introductions to the books of the New Testament
  • Topical guide to the notes
  • Descriptions of the some of the titles of Jesus

My favorite aspect of The Voice New Testament is the translation of the Greek word “Logos” as “Voice”, rather than “Word”. I also enjoyed that it is easy to use and navigate, even in electronic format.

On the other hand, there are too many things that I don’t like about this Bible.

My first issue is the amount of words in italics. The words in italics are words added to the Scriptures, to make them more readable. Most versions have a few italics here an there, which is understandable, since languages don’t always translate smoothly. The italics in The Voice New Testament often impose the translators’ interpretation of the verses on the reader.

Secondly, I don’t like that the original grammar is changed in the translation. For example, a Greek noun is translated with an English verb. Translating Scripture, in this way, can change the original meaning.

Next, the notes are often superficial or impose the translators’ interpretation on the readers. Some of the notes and introductions had historical and cultural value. Unfortunately, much of the notes that I read, either restated the text in different words or interpreted it.

I am sure the translators had good intentions and believe that their interpretation is correct. But, I felt that the notes distracted me from the text and more importantly, distracted me from enjoying Christ through the text.

I could only recommend The Voice New Testament to those who find it the easiest Bible for them too read. Even then, I would not recommend it unless you had another version to read, as well. A few good aspects of this translation are overshadowed by the multiple ways that the translators’ interpretations are imposed on readers.

On the other hand, by all means, read The Voice New Testament for yourself. You may find that you disagree with my opinions. It may have more value to you.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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