“Danger, Will Robinson!”

Ex 23:2 BBE  Do not be moved to do wrong by the general opinion.

We never know what a day will bring. And we cannot imagine how we might get dragged into events that we never expected. Sometimes this can be good, and sometimes–well, let me tell you what happened yesterday.

Elijah, my two-year-old grandson, wanted to go somewhere. He pulled his mom (Rachel) and me to the car, and we all crawled inside. He climbed into his car seat and we asked him where we were going. “Wal-Mart,” he said.

We were tired and neither of us wanted to go to Wal-Mart, so I said, “How about Goodwill?” Goodwill is just around the corner and much easier to get into and out of than Wal-Mart. Plus, I like it better, so if I had to go somewhere that was a better choice.

Eli agreed to that by repeating “Goodwill.” So off we went.

Everything went fine until we got to the back of the store where the toys are. Then Rachel said, “Look, Mom, a pogo stick! Elijah, look what Nomma is going to do.”

Now, to this point, I had been coerced to the car and enticed into going to Goodwill, neither of which I really wanted to do. And now, here I was being presented with an amazing pogo stick. Everybody loves a pogo stick, right? Who would miss the opportunity to jump on one if someone said, “Look! A pogo stick!”

I am not sure the pogo stick still had the rubber on the bottom and I know Goodwill’s floor is slippery. I even considered those issues at the time. But did they stop me? Of course not!

I did great for two or three jumps. But then on the next jump, the stick slipped right out from under me and I went straight backward to the hard floor. The back of my bottom hit hard and then the back of my head hit.

I managed to pull myself up and retrieve my purse, phone, and keys that I had laid on the baby clothes bin, and then I quickly ambled around the bin to creep to the floor because I was about as sick as I have ever been from pain. I sprawled onto the floor and rested my head on a small toy workbench.

I thought I was going to vomit and I also feared I was fixing to lose consciousness. I could feel myself drifting away, and I was scared I would never come back. So I slowly lifted my head and forced my eyes open, and cried out to God to help me (should have done that before I got on the stick!). Almost immediately I began to feel a little better.

In time I pulled myself up by the bin and held onto it and stood for a bit. But the nausea came back, so I moved back to the floor and the workbench. I considered having Rachel call Seth (my older son) to come and take us home, but instead I waited to see how I would feel. Finally I was able to gradually get to my feet and stand for a while. Eventually I told Rachel I thought I could walk, and we slowly left the store, got back into the car, and came home.

I did not plan to get into the car in the first place. I had no desire to go to Goodwill. And I surely did not intend to hop onto a pogo stick. I most definitely did not purpose to create a big sore knot on the back of my head or pain so bad in my bottom that I could not bear to touch it. But it all happened because I allowed others to lead me.

It is perfectly all right to allow others to have their way. And I enjoy not knowing what is going to happen, living in the moment and participating in activities that happen to pop up in a day. But I cannot help but think that our spiritual lives can become as messed up as our physical bodies can if we are not careful about whom we follow and where we follow them. We can easily be led into actions we should not perform, or away from good behavior that we desire to achieve.

We do not mean to let other people or other thoughts, ideas, or events cause us to take leave of our senses and fail to keep a strong relationship with God, or spend our time praising Him or serving Him. It is not our plan to go places and participate in events that might dishonor the Lord or hurt us spiritually. We certainly never want to influence others, who might observe our behavior, to lose sight of their own spiritual goals.

After I fell, Rachel said, “Well, the good thing is, Mom, I don’t think anyone saw you.” That is indeed a good thing. I am grateful. And I praise God that I was not hurt any worse than I was.

Moral of this story? One, think for yourself. Two, pray in advance. And three, pay attention when your head is screaming, “Danger, Will Robinson!”

I have no idea what today will bring. But one contraption it will not bring for me is a pogo stick.

Moonbeam

10.19.11

Advertisements

Rolled Together and Departed as a Scroll

Revelation 6:14  And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

 

For most of my life I thought this was literal. I was expecting to see the sky roll up and disappear. I thought all the mountains and islands would vanish. Is that really what this is saying?

 

Hebrews 12:26  Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

27  And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

28  Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

29  For our God is a consuming fire.

 

The writer of Hebrews speaks of all made things being shaken and removed. He calls that “heaven and earth” and says that God was going to “once more” shake not only earth but also heaven. When that was accomplished, the kingdom the early Christians were receiving would be left. When did/will this happen?

 

Luke 21:20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.

21  Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.

22  For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

25  And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

26  Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

27  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

28  And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

29  And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;

30  When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.

31  So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.

32  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

33  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

 

What do we see here? The kingdom of God is nigh and the powers of heaven are being shaken. We see signs in the sun and the moon and the stars. Heaven and earth are also going to pass away, just as Hebrews 12 says. And when is this going to happen? Sometime during the generation in which Jesus is speaking.

 

Matthew 24:29  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

34  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

 

Mark 13:25  And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

28  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:

29  So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.

30  Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.

31  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

32  But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

 

In Matthew 24 and Mark 13 we see the sun darkened, the moon not giving light, the stars falling from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shaken—and heaven and earth passing away. We have to believe this is what Hebrews 12 is talking about too—the “once more” when both heaven and earth would be shaken and removed.

 

Luke 23:28  But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. 29  For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. 30  Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.

 

Revelation 6:16  And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

 

The daughters of Israel would be calling to the mountains to fall on them. When? If we go back a few verses in Revelation 6 we see:

 

Revelation 6:13  And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

14  And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

15  And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;

16  And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

17  For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

 

Remember Jesus’ words in Matthew, Mark, and Luke about the stars falling and the sign of the fig tree? Remember how heaven and earth would shake and be removed? Here in Revelation 6 we see the fulfillment of these prophecies—that Jesus Himself said would occur in the generation in which He lived.

 

When the heaven departed like a scroll and the stars fell (and heaven and earth were shaken and removed), that’s the great day of the wrath of the Lamb. It’s when Jesus came (in the clouds) in His kingdom with power and great glory. It happened in the first century like Jesus said it would.

Moonbeam

8.9.11

Heaven and Earth Had to Leave for the Kingdom to Remain

Hebrews 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:

26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

29 For our God is a consuming fire.

What is going on here? Something is fixing to be shaken and removed. These are things that can be removed so that the things that can’t be removed will remain. What are they? We see the answer: heaven and earth. Yes, heaven and earth were about to be removed.

What would remain? The city of the living God. The heavenly Jerusalem. The church of the firsborn. The new covenant.

And what would happen to those who did not listen to this voice speaking from heaven about these things? They would not escape, for God is a consuming fire.

This is a comparison between the old covenant, all vestiges of which were about to be removed, and the new covenant God was making with His people. I think that is obvious. What would remain when this shaking and removing was done, was the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of God.

Matthew 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

According to Matthew 5:18, till heaven and earth passed, not a jot or tittle would pass until all was accomplished. Hebrews is talking about the passing (shaking and removing) of the heaven and earth that Matthew 5 references. Jesus, in Matthew 5:18, was giving a hint about when heaven and earth would disappear. Not that He didn’t tell the people in other places, such as:

Matthew 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Luke describes this time as the days of vengeance.

Luke 21:22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

In that generation all those events mentioned in Matthew 24 and Luke 21 would be fulfilled–the coming of the Son of man in the clouds, the sounding of a trumpet, gathering the elect from the four winds, stars falling from heaven, heaven and earth’s passing. All of these occurrences would come to pass in that generation. Just because the comment about heaven and earth comes AFTER verse 34 in Matthew 24, that does NOT mean Jesus is saying, “This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Oh, and someday a long time from now heaven and earth will also pass.” As we can see, Hebrews says heaven and earth were about to shake and be removed. This happened at the destruction of Jerusalem (when all the vestiges of the law were removed), so that all written things would be fulfilled and therefore all jots and tittles would be fulfilled! When all this was accomplished, the kingdom would remain! It wasn’t going anywhere after heaven and earth vanished away. The kingdom of Christ is eternal and has no end!

Notice this quote from Josephus:

“However, this proportion of the measures of the tabernacle proved to be an imitation of the system of the world: for that third part thereof which was within the four pillars, to which the priests were not admitted, is, as it were, a Heaven peculiar to God” (Josephus, Antiquities, Book 3, Chapter 6, Paragraph 4, Section 123).

“When Moses distinguished the tabernacle into three parts, and allowed two of them to the priests as a place accessible to the common, he denoted the land and the sea, these being of general access to all; but he set apart the third division for God, because heaven is inaccessible to men” (Josephus, Antiquities, Book 3, Chapter 7, Paragraph 7, Section 181).

Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

This verse fits perfectly with the words of Josephus. The Jews understood what Jesus and the writer of Hebrews were saying. And we know that the first tabernacle had to be removed so that God could establish the second.

Hebrews 9:8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:

Hebrews 10:9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

Notice more in Hebrews:

Hebrews 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:

16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

Jesus and the writer of Hebrews are clear about when the end would come. So were the apostles.

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

Moonbeam

8.8.11