Good Morning from the Bitterroot Valley;
Today promises to be a repeat of yesterday. Spring in Montana requires being prepared for any kind of weather. Yesterday it was 41 to start the day with rain and wind off and on requiring warm clothes but for a while around 3 pm the sun was out and I was down to my T-shirt and wished I had shorts along. But by 4:30 the warmth was gone and I needed rain gear again.
In round three of looking what the Bible says about the last days we are moving into the New Testament. Acts 2 is the accounting of the believers who were gathered together for the day of Pentecost. This is the time when the Holy Spirit came as Christ had promised them; “the Comforter”.
14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.
15 These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning!
16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17 ” ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
22 “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.
This is one of the most interesting verses in the Bible to me. It says that the events happening are what Joel the prophet was talking about. If you are not familiar with the verses they are found in Joel 2:28-32. Joel, the prophet wrote the book about 800 B.C. during the reign of King Joash. Joel Chapter 2 is talking about a time of future blessing, ‘the last days’ yet Peter says that the events that the Jews were witnessing in approximately 33 A.D. were part of this prophecy! That would mean that everyone alive from the time of Christ forward has been living in the last days. You are living in the last days. No one told me that through most of my life. How can we be living in the last days for 2000 years?
Also notice that not all of the events of the verses in Acts 2 have been fulfilled yet. Tomorrow I will go deeper into explaining what I believe the meanings of these verses are.
I must go out and do battle with rotting siding on an older home to replace it with new. I will meet you here again tomorrow Lord willing.
Good Morning Joes and Janes;
The weather in the Bitterroot has turned to rain. I remember waking up during the night hearing rain outside. Scattered low clouds are drifting here and there below the peaks of the mountains out my window. An almost solid gray covers the sky higher up over the peaks as rain starts to again hit the window.
Today in the devotional I will look at the words ‘last days’ as they appear in order going through the Bible. The next time the term last days appears is in Hosea 3. As a quick refresher; God told the prophet Hosea “Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD.” (Hosea 1:2) This was to show both Hosea and the people of Israel how God felt in choosing them as his special people and then being ignored as they went after other gods.
1 The LORD said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.”
2 So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley.
3 Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will live with you.”
4 For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or idol.
5 Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the LORD and to his blessings in the last days.
Now I could spend a long time on all of the picture images and lessons in these 5 short verses but I am trying to stick to the subject at hand. Verse 4 is that prophecy that the Israelites will live a long time without a king or prince. To date over 2400 years; even now they have a representative form of government not a monarchy. They will not have a temple; (they cannot make sacrifices use the ephod or sacred stones, without the temple and alter to sacrifice on.) However in the ‘last days’ they “will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the LORD and to his blessings”. Read the rest of this entry
Good Morning Joes and Janes;
Before heading out to work this morning I wanted to put a few thoughts on paper; well, I guess there isn’t really any paper involved anymore in this process. That’s how sayings can go on in a language even though they are no longer rooted in reality. This thought actually is related to today’s devotional so let’s get started.
A new week begins and as promised in last Friday’s post I will spend some time looking at what the Bible means by “the Last Days”. First let me say that the Bible is written for the common man. The plain and simple meaning is what the text says in the common language. If you believe you have found a contradiction in the Bible then you may need to dig a little deeper, looking at words from the original languages; Greek in the New Testament and Hebrew in the Old Testament. Also just the meaning of words change over time so sometimes you must look at a dictionary for the antiquated meaning of words, particularly if you are using an older translation like the King James Bible.
Are there hidden or deeper meanings in the Bible? Yes, but they will never contradict the plain and simple message at the surface. They may add depth of meaning or more detail but they will never deny the message. I will spend a few days looking at how the words “the Last Days” are used throughout the Bible.
The first use of the term that I found is in Isaiah 2.
1 This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
2 In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.
3 Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
4 He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
5 Come, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD.
This is a vision that Isaiah, son of Amoz had. It is also important to look at who the text is talking about. The two major groups throughout the old and New Testaments are:
- The Jews; God’s chosen people. Blood line descendants of Abraham.
- Gentiles; All of the other people of the world regardless of skin color, nationality or ethnic origin. Read the rest of this entry
Good Wednesday Morning;
Almost 2000 years ago this week Jesus Christ was tried, convicted and hung on a Roman cross to die. Pontius Pilate for the Romans had solved a problem, sort of though he tried to keep from accepting any responsibility and sent Christ to Herod, the Pharisees had solved a problem, the Jews who shouted encouragement and approval had solved a problem.
According to Luke 23 the Jewish authorities brought Jesus to Pilate and accused him of crimes.
“Luke 23:1-2 Then the whole multitude of them arose and led Him to Pilate. And they began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.”
Notice the charges that they bring are political against the Romans not founded on Jewish law.
1. He subverts the nation
2. He opposes payment of taxes
3. He claims to be a King
We know from the Bible that all of these were false claims. Jesus did not come to be a physical king at that time, was not opposed to paying taxes and was not telling his followers to overthrow the Romans or the Jewish governmental system. He came to change hearts and die for mankind’s sin. Read the rest of this entry