Serpents and Other Deadly Things

“They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover” (Mark 16:18).

Deadly: (Gr. Thanasimos, from Thanatos): Fatal, i.e. poisonous; death

The Gospel of Mark says there are signs (supernatural, miraculous wonders) that shall follow those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (see Mark 16:17). Among these signs, Christ spoke of not being harmed by poisonous serpents, and swallowing poison. We have evidence in the Scriptures, specifically relating to the Apostle Paul who was unharmed after being bit by a viper (see Acts 28:1-5).

The referenced Scripture in the case of Paul is a good description of the literal meaning of the phrase “they shall take up serpents” which is: Take up (Gr. Airo): To lift up, take up or away, to raise, to sail away, to expiate sin, put away, remove. This is exactly what the Apostle did. He lifted up the viper attached to his hand and shook it off into the fire, suffering no ill effects from the bite. Is this just a nice Bible story, or is this a spiritual reality that the believer can live in by faith?

Now that is the key, isn’t it? “That’s crazy, you cannot live like that!” Ok, be it unto you according to your faith. I guess you will not be surviving any viper bites anytime soon.

But what if we did have faith to believe in the literal meaning of Mark 16:18. Can you think of any poisonous things in your life you would like to survive? What could they be? Carcinogens in our food supply? Pharmaceuticals? Contaminated water? James says “the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up. . .” (James 5:15). Faith in the Lord and believing His word is powerful. Laying hands on the sick is also powerful, along with the anointing of oil in the Name of the Lord (see James 5:14).

Jesus said, “Behold, I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19). “Tread on serpents” means to trample under foot any serpent we encounter. Of course, the chief serpent we will encounter is the Devil (see Genesis 3:1; Revelation 12:9). He is our enemy, but we have power over him to keep him under our feet. Praise be to God!

There are many deadly things in the world. Things that are fatal to our spiritual life. Let us be very mindful of the deadly things that can destroy our witness, destroy our homes, destroy our nation. Let us exorcise them from our midst and exercise our faith in the Truth of the Word of God.

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome the (spirit of Antichrist); because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world” (I John 4:4).

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A Kingdom Not From Here

“Jesus said, ‘My Kingdom is not of this world. If My Kingdom was of this world, My servants would fight so that I would not be delivered to the Jews; but, My Kingdom is not from here'” (John 18:36).

“My Kingdom is not from here” is a statement that carries with it so much Truth, and the implications are so significant for every one who calls himself a believer. We must meditate on this Truth for a long time. It will change our perspective on how we live, our focus, our involvements in the affairs of men. It will end confusion on matters of State. It will differentiate between human government and the Kingdom of God.

The Apostle wrote: “the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17. This passage clearly delineates between the natural and the spiritual. Nothing is more basic to the natural man then eating and drinking. Nothing is more basic to the spiritual man than righteousness, peace and joy in the Spirit. We live in the Spirit, and we walk in the Spirit (cf. Galatians 5:25). The Kingdom of God is spiritual, of the realm of heaven; not from here in the realm of earth.

The things of the realm of earth may be observed. Jesus said, “the Kingdom of God does not come with observation. Neither shall they say, lo here it is, or lo there it is; for the Kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21). This is Jesus speaking plainly for us to understand. It is not cloaked in mystery. It is spoken in simplicity and clarity. The Kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy in the Spirit Who dwells within those who believe.

Too many today have conflated the Kingdom of God with modern day politics. The focus of the Kingdom is Jesus and the Gospel. The Apostles went everywhere preaching Jesus Christ, the Lord. As much as this has nothing to do with politics, it will create conflict with those in power politics who do not like to see people live outside of their control. Their control stifles freedom of speech, conscience, assembly and religion. We have only to look as far as what our early church Fathers suffered under the Roman Empire to see the conflict manifested in the historical record. What was true then has been true down through history to our present day. It will all culminate under the rule of the Antichrist and then the end shall come. The Seventh Angel shall sound his trumpet and “the kingdoms of this world will become the Kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).

Freedom loving people believe in self-government. We can fight to defend our freedoms. Our forefathers fought for freedom under law, not man. Freedom is worth fighting to defend; otherwise tyrants will rule without opposition and will trample our rights and make us slaves to their control. Representative democracy under a Constitution is a blessing of liberty and justice for all. Alas, it is not the Kingdom of God. It is a Kingdom of this world that is worth fighting for and if necessary dying for.

The early disciples of Jesus were focused on establishing earthly government. After the Resurrection of Christ they asked Jesus, “Lord, will You at this time restore again the Kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). They were still looking to overthrow the Roman rule and establish independence for the nation of Israel. Jesus answered them, “It is not for you to know the times, or the seasons which the Father has put in His own power. But you shall receive power after the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you shall be witnesses unto Me. . .” (Acts 1:7-8a). The Kingdom of God is a witness unto Christ and we are to take our witness to the ends of the earth telling everyone, “Repent, the Kingdom of God is here” (cf. Matthew 3:2; 4:17). Always be aware, as zealous as your witness may be, though the Kingdom of God is here; it is the Kingdom of Heaven, a Kingdom that as our Lord declared, is not from here.

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A Kingdom That Cannot Be Moved

“The word spoken, ‘Yet Once More’, signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore, we receiving a Kingdom that cannot be moved, let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:27-29).

Shaken (Gr. saleuo): to agitate, rock, topple, move, destroy

What a comfort and joy it is to know that we are in a Kingdom that will never be agitated, rocked, toppled, moved, or destroyed. We are in a very secure, immovable, indestructible and permanent place in the Kingdom of God. That should keep us sound in spirit, joyous in heart, and calm in the nerves.

As a contrast, this world is going to experience a shaking in every dimension of existence: In the heavens, on earth, among nations, in and among governments, and in nature. “Men’s hearts will fail them for fear, and for looking after those things that are coming upon the earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken” (Luke 21:26).

The Apostle wrote: “We know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now” (Romans 8:22). These “groans” and “travails” are manifested in disasters of many kinds in the earth, including earthquakes, floods, fires, tsunamis, volcanoes, hurricanes, typhoons, solar flares, meteors, famines, drought, pandemics; not to mention wars, and the devastation from the destructive power of nuclear, electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) and bio/chemical weapons. No wonder men will have heart attacks from fear, yes; sheer terror of these things. Jesus said, “unless those days were shortened, no flesh would live” (Matthew 24:22).

Thank God He has given us an indestructible Kingdom that cannot be moved. In this Kingdom we are eternal, not temporal; heavenly not earthly, spiritual not carnal; always rejoicing in our King and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The word of the LORD came to the Prophet Haggai who prophesied to the first group of returnees in the post-exile community in Jerusalem (c536 BC). He prophesied: “Thus says the LORD of Hosts: Yet once more, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land” (Haggai 2:6). “I am going to shake the heavens and the earth and I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms of the nations; and I will overthrow the chariots and their riders, and the horses and their riders will go down, everyone by the sword of another” (Haggai 2:21-22). According to the word of the LORD a significant part of the shaking in the last days will be by war.

The writer to the Hebrews picks up the word of the LORD through Haggai and gives us more clarity and the further words of comfort concerning our place in the Kingdom and our great hope of “serving God with holy reverence and godly fear.”

The Apostle anticipates the coming of the LORD and those who will be “alive and remain unto the coming of the LORD” (I Thessalonians 4:15). For those who are “alive and remain shall be caught up together (with the dead in Christ) in the clouds, to meet the LORD in the air; and so shall we ever be with the LORD. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (I Thessalonians 4:17-18).

Those who are alive and remain shall not be shaken, not be agitated, rocked, toppled, moved or destroyed. We will be victorious, abounding in the LORD. Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, releasing the Life and fragrance of Jesus in the earth, drawing all who will believe unto the Master. May He be forever praised.

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Men of Understanding

“Take you wise men of understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you” (Deuteronomy 1:13).

Leadership comes to the wise and prudent and to those of understanding of the times, and the ways of God.

Understanding (Heb. biyn): ability to attend to, consider, discern, perceive, eloquently express, instruct, and teach wisdom

Understanding is neuter in nature and is given to any who will submit themselves to Wisdom imparted to the spirit by the Spirit of God. Understanding distinguishes itself based on the attentiveness given by the heart to the issues at hand. Joseph gave himself intently while yet in prison to the things of God and by the inspiration of the Almighty was elevated by Pharaoh to his high position, and who spoke to Joseph, “forasmuch as God has shown you all this; there is none so understanding and wise as you are” (Genesis 41:39).

Moses appointed “men of understanding” to be the leaders in Israel (cf. Deuteronomy 1:13).

In the days of Ezra after the return of the exiles from Babylon there was a great need for wisdom and leadership in Israel. Then Ezra “sent for Eliezer, for Ariel, for Shemaiah, and for Elnathan, and for Jarib, and for Nathan, and for Zechariah, and for Meshullam, chief men; also for Joiarib, men of understanding” (Ezra 8:16).

Job said, “There is a spirit in man; and the inspiration of the Almighty gives him understanding” (Job 32:9).

The Psalmist declared, “Make me to understand the way of Thy precepts; so shall I talk of Thy wondrous works” (Psalms 119:27).

Solomon gave us the Book of Proverbs which begins: “The Proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, King of Israel. To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding” (Proverbs 1:1-2).

Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, “these four God gave knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams” (Daniel 1:17).

The Prophet Hosea declared: “Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? Prudent and he shall know them? For the ways of the LORD are right, and the Just shall walk in them; but transgressors shall fall therein” (Hosea 14:9).

The Apostle Paul exhorts us, “Brethren, be not children in understanding; howbeit in malice be as children, but in understanding be men” (I Corinthians 14:20).

God is raising up in our day “men (and women) of understanding” to know and discern the times in which we live, even as the “Children of Issachar, who were men of understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do. . .” (I Chronicles 12:32). God will give us Joseph’s and Daniel’s, Ezra’s and Job’s, who through suffering, imprisonment, exile, cancellation and persecution shall not be silenced, but speak forth and lead with great understanding, discernment, wisdom, discretion, prudence; and with vision and foresight shall speak the word of the Lord to the people by the power of the Spirit of God. Then we shall know the way we are to go in the darkest of times, under the most oppressive governments of men; then we shall walk in the light of the Word, in the Truth and recover and restore the way of Righteousness in the earth.

Yes, “in understanding be men,” be bold, be strong, be courageous, and whether leading or following men of understanding, be faithful and true to the One Who understands all things and knows the end from the beginning, the Almighty.

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The Gift of the Father

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of Lights, with Whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).

Gifts: (Gr. Dosis, from Didomi): a giving, to bestow or grant

Good: (Gr. Agathos): well, beneficial, beautiful, valuable, virtuous in appearance and use

The Father gives, bestows and grants His favor out of the purity of Heavenly Light. Out of the Divine Light from above comes forth the rare beauty of virtue that is of great value and benefit; that brings wholeness, wellness to the Body of Christ. In this brilliance of Light there is no variableness, no changing of the mind; it is fixed, permanent and steadfast without variation.

The Father gives, bestows and grants His favor from His own will, or own good pleasure. It was out of His own will that “He begat us with the Word of Truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of His creatures” (James 1:18).

First Fruits: (Gr. aparche): a compound from apo and archomai: before, to commence in the order of time. A beginning of sacrifice.

Giving is a form of sacrifice; we give of that which we have in possession. The act of giving is a sacrificial release of possession to another to whom we wish to show favor, blessing, kindness and goodness from our own free will. The Father is a Gift Giver and His Gifts are Good and Perfect; they are given in sacrificial Love from above.

It is in the Nature of the Father to Sacrifice. We see this manifested from the days of Abel. “And Abel also brought of the firstfruits of his sheep, and of the fat of them, and the LORD had respect unto Abel, and to his offering” (Genesis 4:4). We see this manifested in the Son, as we look to “Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things than that of Abel” (Hebrews 12:24). The Gift of the Father is always sacrificial; and the sacrificial gift offered to the Father is acceptable in His sight.

“I beseech you, therefore, Brethren by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service of worship” (Romans 12:1).

The Gift of the Father comes from above. Jesus said, “I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him Who sent Me” (John 6:38). The will of the Father is sacrifice, and the offering up of His Son in sacrifice is the Atonement for the sins of the whole world. The Gift of the Father is unchanging; it is an eternal offering, once for all.

What is a Gift, if it is not received. It lays under the Tree unclaimed. Your Gift of Eternal Life is under the Tree with your name on it. Receive it today.

“Behold, what manner of Love the Father has Bestowed upon us, that we should be called the Sons of God. . .” (I John 3:1a).

The beautiful gift of Sonship, born again by the Word of Truth, offered back to God in like manner as a sacrificial gift, a “living sacrifice, holy and acceptable” in union with Him Who offered Himself for us: the circle is complete. The Gift of the Father is fulfilled in purpose by the good pleasure of His will.

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Let the Children Come to Me

“Then little children were brought to Jesus that He might put his hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the Kingdom of God'” (Matthew 19:13-14).

Forbidding children from coming to Jesus seems to be a common theme from the early disciples of Jesus to our present day. Thankfully, the LORD has a different view and rebukes such proscriptions we put in place for the next generation.

In the Gospel of Mark we read: “He took the children up in His arms, laid His hands upon them, and blessed them” (Mark 10:16). Yes, the next generation is blessed for they may be the generation that is “alive and remain” that “shall be caught up. . .in the clouds to meet the LORD in the air” (I Thessalonians 4:17).

Children, taken up into the arms of Jesus and caught up to meet Him at His coming. Jesus receives us in His bosom and we receive Him upon His return. Now that is true rapture.

Jesus revealed that children are to be the motif concerning the heart and mind of the saints in the Kingdom of God. “For of such is the Kingdom”. Oh, the simplicity, the pureness, the beauty of the relationship with the LORD. Total dependence, the beauty of love, the awesome wonder of adoration and worship, the excitement of being with the LORD, the Master, and receiving His blessing with His hands laid gently upon us. Ah, the splendor of it all.

Child-like faith is a joy to the Father and rejoicing of the Son: “Jesus said, ‘I thank You, Father, LORD of Heaven and Earth, that You have hidden the mysteries of the Kingdom from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight'” (Matthew 11:25-26). Yes, it is good in the sight of the Father that we come to Him in the innocence of children and receive the blessing of Christ revealed, the blessing of His unveiling, the disclosure of His heart to our heart in holy communion and the joy of abiding in Him; beholding “with unveiled face. . .the glory of the LORD, and being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the LORD” (II Corinthians 3:18).

It is such a wonder that Jesus receives us with open arms and holy hands. It is also a wonder that we can receive Jesus and “be called the children of God” (cf. John 1:12). It is a wonder because it is such a contradiction of what we see before us today: the rejection by many of Christ and the prohibition of many to the coming of the children to Christ. It is an evil that God will stop with His firm rebuke and the finality of His Word. “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6).

This is emphatic. This is exclamatory. This is a command. “Let the Children come to Me.” Let them come, indeed.

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Of What Spirit Are You?

“Jesus turned and rebuked the disciples, and said, ‘You know not what manner of spirit you are of'” (Luke 9:55).

We are all subject to strong emotions. It is a daily battle to have self-control. Emotions pour forth from fear, frustration, prejudices, biased opinions, long-standing disagreements and many other triggers, and “hot buttons” that produce expressions of anger, hate, heated arguments, etc.

The Disciples, James and John, were very upset with certain Samaritans, who did not receive Jesus into their village. They said to Jesus, “Lord, will you that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elijah did”? Then forthwith came the rebuke: “You know not what manner of spirit you are of”.

“Of what spirit are you?In the name of the Lord do you act out of your emotions? It happens all the time. We quote Scripture and express it with the wrong spirit. Whether in marital relations, politics, in the market place, or with the church elders. Have you ever come under the conviction of the Holy Spirit for your bad attitude, your expression that was an offence to Christ? Believe me, it is a painful conviction, and upon receiving requires immediate confession and repentance.

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. The nature of the Holy Spirit is Divine. The power of the Holy Spirit is prophetic, discerning, healing, wise, full of knowledge, miraculous.

Being of the Holy Spirit means we live full of grace, speak the truth in love, and are divinely enabled to forgive. We fully trust in God as our Defender, Vindicator, and Victory. Our actions are Spirit led, directed and controlled. Our words are wholesome, edifying and redemptive. In all things we are holy, pure, righteous, and godly. We know of what Spirit we are. We know we are of God.

“We know that whosoever is born of God sins not; but he that is begotten of God keeps himself, and that wicked one touches him not. And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in wickedness. We know that the Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding that we may know Him that is True, and we are in Him that is True, even in His Son, Jesus Christ. This is the True God, and Eternal Life” (I John 5:18-20).

In the Holy Spirit there is nothing foul, unclean, demeaning, impure, filthy, dirty, sensual or sinful. The spirit that produces these things is demonic, satanic and devilish, and of the sinful flesh.

The Apostle James declares, “the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy, and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17).

The Apostle John exhorts us, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (I John 4:1).

“Of what spirit are you?”

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Fait Accompli

Fait Accompli (French): A thing or fact accomplished;

Blessed be the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ; according as He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. Having predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will” (Ephesians 1:3-5).

In the realm of the Kingdom of God there are things that are completed before they exist in time and space. There are mysteries that are very real; yet, have not been disclosed (cf. Matthew 13:35). There are predestined things, predetermined things that are a Fait Accompli based upon the very Word of God spoken into existence and ordered by the will of God.

It was a Fait Accompli that before the foundations of the world were laid the Saints of God were chosen in Christ, the Lamb of God, to be the holy Ecclesia, the holy ones called out of the world, to be without blame before God; to be adopted children of God; all in accordance with that which was pleasing in the sight of God: His will, His plans and His eternal purposes set forth before us and declared to us by His Holy Word.

It was a Fait Accompli that the salvation of the world was accomplished by the Son of God on the Cross of Calvary before the worlds were framed, or ‘ere man was created and placed in the Garden of Eden (cf. 1 Peter 1:20). As the Apostle also declared on the day of Pentecost, “by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by wicked hands and crucified” the Messiah, the Son of God (Acts 2:23b).

In contemplating the mystery of Christ, the Son of God, it is helpful to understand the nature of the One Who came into time and space from outside time and space, from eternity. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending, says the LORD; Who is, Who was, and Who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8). “Before the foundation of the world” speaks of eternity. Speaking from eternity a Fait Accompli is an accomplished fact before it occurs in Time and Space. It is a thing settled in heaven. It is a finished work, a done deal. When we are dwelling in eternity in the spirit, we see things, and know things and can speak of things with certainty, with confidence, with clarity, with authority, with boldness without fear of contradiction.

Today I can speak with complete confidence by the authority of the Word of God and say that Jesus Christ, the Son of God is coming back to this earth to establish His Kingdom. It is a Fait Accompli. It has been proclaimed by prophets, angels and by the Son of God, Himself. There is nothing that will prevent His Return. It has already been settled in eternity.

There is one question remaining. Are you ready for the Return of Christ to happen in Time and Space? By the signs of the Time it is going to happen very soon. Are you aware of the Times in which you live? Do you know the Scriptures? For the sake of your own soul, please take heed to this writing. Do not ignore it; do not put it off, or rebel against it. To do so will be a Fait Accompli you will regret for eternity.

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You Shall Have Tribulation

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Tribulation: (Gr. Thlipsis): Pressure, affliction, anguish, burdened, persecution, trouble

There is a doorway into the Kingdom of God. That doorway is a narrow, constricted opening into Eternal Life. It is a self-less, sacrificial, and consecrated path that is full of pressure, affliction, anguish, burdens, persecutions and trouble. For two millennia Saints of God have passed through that gate into the Kingdom. The Apostles taught the people the reality of hardship, the reality of difficulties, the reality of tribulation.

“Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).

For the Saint of God there is peace, the “peace that passes all understanding” (cf. Philippians 4:7). The peace that “keeps our hearts and minds” as we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus Who is our peace, and very life.

Not only do we have peace, but also “good cheer(Gr. Tharseo): Courage, Comfort, Boldness, Confidence. What is the source of this Cheer? It is the knowledge that Christ has overcome the world as He said; and we have overcome the world in Him and He in us. “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them; for greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world” (I John 4:4).

For the Believer, tribulation is a way of life. It is our expectation, and experience. The Apostles wrote of tribulation, not as something to fear, rather as something in which to glory (cf. Romans 5:3). Tribulation is not something destructive of our faith; rather for the Believer tribulation “works patience”. In turn patience works experience and experience works hope. Our hope is not disappointed, because the love of God overflows in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (cf. Romans 5:4-5).

We also know that nothing can separate us from the love of God, as the Apostle wrote to the Church at Rome: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril or sword? As it is written, for Thy sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him Who loves us” (Romans 8:35-37).

The reality of Tribulation is matched by the reality of the God of all Comfort, “Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort others who are in any trouble by the comfort wherewith we are being comforted of God” (II Corinthians 1:4). This is the great wonder of the Presence of God in the Faithful. We become the vessel of Grace, Mercy, Peace, Love, Joy of the LORD, and the Comfort of the Holy Spirit. What a privilege it is to bear this in our mortal bodies as a sweet fragrance of Christ.

The Apostle was almost ecstatic in his boasting in the LORD as he lived out his faith and ministry in the Gospel. He says, “Great is my boldness toward you, great is my glorying of you; I am filled with comfort, I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation” (II Corinthians 7:4). Good cheer, exceeding joy, glorying in tribulation; that is extraordinary, but it is to be the new norm for the Believer in these Last Days, just as it was the old norm for the Apostles in the beginning of the Church after Pentecost.

Paul wrote to the Church at Thessalonica: “For verily when we were with you, we told you that we should suffer tribulation, even as it has come to pass, as you are well aware” (I Thessalonians 3:4).

Finally, it was the Apostle John in his Revelation of Jesus Christ, who wrote so poignantly, “I, John, who also am your Brother and Companion in Tribulation, and in the Kingdom and Patience of Jesus Christ, was in the Isle that is called Patmos, for the Word of God, and for the Testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:9).

As a Believer living in our world today, living for the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ, living as a Witness (cf. Acts 1:8), living in Christ, and in whom Christ dwells–Christ, the Crucified–let it be said very plainly: You shall have Tribulation. Yes, to the Church in China, to the Church in Iran, in Cuba, in North Korea, in Afghanistan, and in the United States of America, be of good cheer, Jesus has Overcome the World!

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The Dew of Heaven

“Therefore God give thee the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine” (Genesis 27:28).

The blessing of Isaac to both his sons, Jacob and Esau, was a true blessing in the truest meaning of the word. The “dew of heaven” was more than natural. It conveyed an eternal promise of the holy Presence to dwell with us continually.

Dew: (Heb. Tal), To strew over, to cover, especially vegetation

So precious was this blessing; it was passed down, even to Moses who imparted it to Joseph’s seed, when Moses blessed the Tribes at the end of his days: “Blessed of the LORD be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and the deep that couches beneath” (Deuteronomy 33:13).

As the dew refreshes all vegetation: the green grass and herbs of the ground, so there is a refreshing, renewing and sustaining moisture of the water of life to the soul, from “the dew of heaven.”

The heavenly dew is a holy presence that covers us with life giving water, especially in the morning and evening vespers in the offering of our prayers to the LORD.

In a Song of Moses sung to the great congregation of Israel, we hear these words:

Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distill as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass. (Deuteronomy 32:1-2).

There is a danger in departing from our sweet fellowship with the LORD, from attending to our prayers in the house of the LORD. We dare not take the precious presence for granted as Israel did in the days of Haggai, the Prophet. They dwelt in their houses and left building the house of the LORD for a later day. The LORD said to them, “Consider your ways” (Haggai 1:7). “The heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit” (Haggai 1:10).

In the days of Elijah, the Tishbite, the Prophet said to the King of Israel, during the time when Israel worshipped the Baals and Ashtoreth, “As the LORD God of Israel lives, before Whom I stand, there shall not be dew, nor rain these years, but according to my word” (I Kings 17:1).

Oh, may we seek Him daily, continually; may we hunger and thirst to be in His Presence. “As the hart pants after the water brooks, so pants my soul after thee, O God” (Psalms 42:1); so says the Psalmist.

In his great distress, Job cried out:

Oh, that I were as months past, as in the days when God preserved me. . .as I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle. . .my root was spread out by the waters, and the dew lay all night upon my branch. My glory was fresh in me, and my bow was renewed in my hand” (Job 29:2,4,19,20).

We long for the “dew of heaven” to lay upon our branches, to heal, restore, refresh, renew, repair our spirits, souls and bodies.

The “dew of heaven” means favor from the LORD. It is the symbol of the manifested grace of God. It is His smile, His touch, His gentle zephyr upon our heart. Oh, how gracious, how loving, how tender is the “dew of heaven” as it lays gently upon us, and covers us in His embrace.

The “dew of heaven” brings life, eternal life . With the dew of heaven “the seed shall be prosperous; the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things” (Zechariah 8:12).

The “dew of heaven” brings unity, and a bond of peace: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments. As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion; for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even Life Forevermore.” (Psalms 133).

Unity, peace, the precious anointing oil and the “dew that descends upon Zion.” In His covering Presence; yes, that is where the commandment is fulfilled: Life Forevermore!

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