Wisdom — Proverbs 8:24-36

“When there were no depths I was brought forth,

When there were no springs abounding with water.

25 “Before the mountains were settled,

Before the hills I was brought forth;

26 While He had not yet made the earth and the fields,

Nor the first dust of the world.

27 “When He established the heavens, I was there,

When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep,

28 When He made firm the skies above,

When the springs of the deep became fixed,

29 When He set for the sea its boundary

So that the water would not transgress His command,

When He marked out the foundations of the earth;

30 Then I was beside Him, as a master workman;

And I was daily His delight,

Rejoicing always before Him,

31 Rejoicing in the world, His earth,

And having my delight in the sons of men.

32 “Now therefore, O sons, listen to me,

For blessed are they who keep my ways.

33 “Heed instruction and be wise,

And do not neglect it.

34 “Blessed is the man who listens to me,

Watching daily at my gates,

Waiting at my doorposts.

35 “For he who finds me finds life

And obtains favor from the Lord.

36 “But he who sins against me injures himself;

All those who hate me love death” (Prov. 8:24-36).

Wisdom was a master workman when God created the universe. She was daily God’s delight, who rejoiced always before Him.

Importunity in Prayer Demonstrated In the Parable of the Importunate Friend – from Luke 11:5-10

Prayer A to Z

The simplest definition of importunity is persistent and urgent asking.  Importune prayer then is persistent and urgent; it is prayer that pleads with God and asks Him repeatedly for the things we need.           

This kind of praying may seem selfish and perhaps childish, but it really isn’t because it is prayer in the will of God and is usually for others instead of self.  In fact, the source of this kind of prayer is right from the heart of God.  It is how the Holy Spirit pleads and prays for us (Rom. 8:26).  It is how God persistently and urgently seeks us out, speaks to us, and constantly seeks to help us and love us (Jer. 31:3, Jn. 6:44).  Thus, when I pray with importunity, I pray for myself and for others the same way and with the same heart as the Holy Spirit does.  I follow after His prayers. …

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Armageddon – A Great Earthquake

It seems to me, according to Revelation 16:16 and following, that sometime after the gathering of the armies of the world, this great shaking will begin, followed by all the results of it. I suppose we can’t be certain when exactly it will begin, but I would guess that it will be sometime around the beginning of the Armageddon war and will continue at least until Christ appears in the sky (Matt. 24:30). For just before He appears, verse 29 tells us that “the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”

I don’t think we can be absolutely sure that this so called “great earthquake” is in fact what we know of as an earthquake. The Greek word seimos, translated in verse 18 as “earthquake,” literally means “a shaking.” And when “great” is added it means “a great shaking,” or a great shaking of the earth.

But what else could it be besides an earthquake? Well, Hal Lindsey said that this shaking could be the result of “a fullscale nuclear exchange.” He said, “I believe that when these powers [of the world armies] lock forces here, there will be a fullscale exchange of nuclear weapons, and it’s at this time that ‘the cities of the nation’s fall.’”1

Now we can’t be sure that there will be nuclear weapons used; however, I think it is more likely than not that they will be used. And it is my guess that they will use them earlier rather than later. In fact, why would they shoot nuclear rockets at each other if they are going to battle anyway. Hence, it would make more sense to use them before they gather for a battle. Also, I have a feeling that it is likely that a nuclear attack will trigger an earthquake—the large earthquake mentioned in verse 18. And then, as the Scripture indicates, the cause of it will be the destruction of all cities (and all buildings), and the shifting of the land masses, so that all islands and mountains will plunge beneath the earth.

And while this destruction is happening, there will be thunder and lightning and hail like people have never seen before—hail about three feet in diameter, weighing up to one hundred pounds each. My question is: how in the world will the military forces be able to manage battling each other with all of this commotion and destruction all around them?


1 Hal Lindsey, There’s A New World Coming, p. 214.

Minnesota To Ban Christian Teachers from Public Schools

When I saw this article (below) I was sad but not shocked. These are the days we are living in. We are living in perilous times, when evil people will proceed from bad to worse.

2 Tim 3:1-5, 12-13

 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these

12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

People these days are afraid of the truth and are blind to the truth. They need to be taught the truth and need to be around teachers who are truth tellers and truth doers.

God will bring His wrath on all who suppress the truth.

Rom 1:18-32

 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

Here is the article I mentioned, by Joy Pullmann. Click on it to read the full article.

Minnesota Poised To Ban Christians, Muslims, And Jews From Teaching In Public Schools

BY: JOY PULLMANN

JANUARY 12, 2023

Minnesota will soon ban faithful Christians, Muslims, and Jews from teaching in public schools by requiring that every state-certified teacher “fosters an environment that ensures student identities such as … gender identity … are … affirmed.” Once the new requirements clear a final procedural hurdle, they will be immediately challenged in state and possibly federal court, a civil liberties lawyer told The Federalist on Tuesday.

“We have lots of parents who are upset by this sort of thing in schools already,” said Doug Seaton, president of Minnesota’s Upper Midwest Law Center, in an interview. “They’re going to be even more upset with how their teachers are going to be licensed. Their teachers are going to have to be faced with hiding their beliefs or getting denied [for a state teaching license].”

Seaton said it was accurate to describe the nearly finalized regulations as communicating: “Christians, Muslims, and Jews need not apply for Minnesota teaching jobs.” That is unconstitutional, he said, so UMLC plans to sue once the changes go into effect.

Read Article

Wisdom — Proverbs 8:12-23

“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,

And I find knowledge and discretion.

13 “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;

Pride and arrogance and the evil way

And the perverted mouth, hate.

14 “Counsel is mine and sound wisdom;

I am understanding, power is mine.

15 “By me kings reign,

And rulers decree justice.

16 “By me princes rule, and nobles,

All who judge rightly.

17 “I love those who love me;

And those who diligently seek me will find me.

18 “Riches and honor are with me,

Enduring wealth and righteousness.

19 “My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold,

And my yield better than choicest silver.

20 “I walk in the way of righteousness,

In the midst of the paths of justice,

21 To endow those who love me with wealth,

That I may fill their treasuries.

22 “The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way,

Before His works of old.

23 “From everlasting I was established,

From the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth (Prov. 8:12-23).

In summary,

Wisdom is to be prudent;

It acts with knowledge, discretion, and understanding.

By wisdom kings and princes rule and reign.

All who seek her will find her.

Wisdom has a wonderful reward;

It is better than gold and silver.

To know wisdom is to know the way of the Lord.

The Lord’s Prayer: What it Teaches us about Prayer

Prayer A to Z

 

It brings to us the way we ought to regard God when we pray.  Thus when we pray “Our Father” we understand that we ought to regard Him as our father.  Likewise, when we pray “Hallowed be Thy name” we see Him as holy.  When we pray “Your kingdom come” we see Him as a king, our king.  When we pray “Thy will be done” we see Him as our master and teacher.  When we pray for daily bread we see Him as our provider.  When we pray for forgiveness we see Him as our savior.  And when we pray for leading and guidance we see Him as our shepherd and protector, the one who goes before us.

It shows us the spirit of true prayer.  At each junction in the prayer Jesus conveys to us what the spirit of…

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Wisdom — Proverbs 8:7-11

“For my mouth will utter truth;

And wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

8 “All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness;

There is nothing crooked or perverted in them.

9 “They are all straightforward to him who understands,

And right to those who find knowledge.

10 “Take my instruction and not silver,

And knowledge rather than choicest gold.

11 “For wisdom is better than jewels;

And all desirable things cannot compare with her (Prov. 8:7-11).

Wisdom, if we should listen to her and choose her, is always full of truth and righteousness. Nothing of this world can compare with her.

Armageddon — The Gathering

I found five Scripture passages from Joel, Zechariah, Daniel, and Revelation that speaks of the gathering of armies (or nations). Interestingly, I found from my reading that there is not one clear purpose for the gathering. There will actually be four different purposes or goals. As we read from the following passages, I’m sure we will be able to see the different intentions.

Joel 3:1-3, 9-16

1″For behold, in those days and at that time,

When I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,

2 I will gather all the nations

And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat.

Then I will enter into judgment with them there

On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel,

Whom they have scattered among the nations;

And they have divided up My land.

3 “They have also cast lots for My people,

Traded a boy for a harlot

And sold a girl for wine that they may drink.

9 Proclaim this among the nations:

Prepare a war; rouse the mighty men!

Let all the soldiers draw near, let them come up!

10 Beat your plowshares into swords

And your pruning hooks into spears;

Let the weak say, “I am a mighty man.”

11 Hasten and come, all you surrounding nations,

And gather yourselves there.

Bring down, O Lord, Your mighty ones.

12 Let the nations be aroused

And come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat,

For there I will sit to judge

All the surrounding nations.

13 Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe.

Come, tread, for the wine press is full;

The vats overflow, for their wickedness is great.

14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!

For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.

15 The sun and moon grow dark

And the stars lose their brightness.

16 The Lord roars from Zion

And utters His voice from Jerusalem,

And the heavens and the earth tremble.

But the Lord is a refuge for His people

And a stronghold to the sons of Israel.

It seems here, from verse three, that the nations will be coming to raid Israel—to take their “fortunes.” But the rest of the passage tells a different story. God will be using their greed to gather them together in order to judge them for their sins against Israel.

Zechariah 14:1-3

Behold, a day is coming for the Lord when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. 2 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. 3 Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle.

Here is a similar situation. The nations will gather to capture and plunder Jerusalem; but the Lord will take advantage of their greedy gathering, to judge and destroy them.

Daniel 11:40-44

“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.

In this passage, which is describing the final conflict, the objective in battle seems to be to gain power. And for the most part, it will be the Antichrist and his forces against the rest of the world. Here we see that the Antichrist is winning—until the end (see verse 45).

Revelation 16:12-14, 16

12 The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, so that the way would be prepared for the kings from the east.

13 And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; 14 for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty.

16 And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon.

In this sixth bowl judgment the gathering of the nations of the world are demonically engineered through the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. I wonder what the message will be that the demons will send. We don’t know whether it will be a clear, direct message like, “Let’s all gather together to destroy the Jews.” Or perhaps there won’t be any clear message; perhaps the demons will put them in a mindless trans, and by demonic power they will be pulled to the place of war with a great hook in their jaw (see Ezek. 38:4).

Revelation 19:19-21

And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.

20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.

These three verses describe what happens at the very end of the Battle of Armageddon and the Tribulation. Here we see a fourth purpose for the gathering, to make war against Christ.

To review the different purposes: 1) coming from the nations, to raid and destroy the Jews; 2) again, from the nations, to gain power over other nations; they will gather to fight each other; 3) the purpose of God will be to judge the nations for their sin; and 4) from the nations, to make war against Christ.

As it appears from the text, the nations will probably not think that Christ will show up. But when they see Him coming, riding on a white horse, they will stop fighting each other; and verse 19 says that “their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.”

Can you imagine it? You know, there is nothing like the ultimate enemy (Christ) to make you shake hands with the ones you are fighting with. That is what will happen. All the nations—the beast and the kings of the earth (v. 19)—will come together and make peace with each other, and thus combine forces, in order to destroy their real enemy—Christ. Of course, it will happen the other way around!

The Lord’s Prayer: Its Form

Prayer A to Z

 

The prayer is arranged in three main parts: the address—“Our Father who is in heaven,” six petitions, and the doxology. We will focus, in this blog, on the six petitions.

The Six Petitions

As for the six petitions, the first three are directed toward God and His purposes, and the second three are directed toward man and his needs.

The first three petitions are:

1 That the name of God will be revered—“Hallowed be Your name,”

2 That the role of God would be established—“Your kingdom come,” and

3 That the will of God be done—“Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Notice how each of these petitions is dependent on and related to each other. The hallowing of His name is dependent on the coming of His kingdom, and the coming of His kingdom requires the doing of His will.  Each is a separate…

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Wisdom — Proverbs 8:1-6

Does not wisdom call,

And understanding lift up her voice?

2 On top of the heights beside the way,

Where the paths meet, she takes her stand;

3 Beside the gates, at the opening to the city,

At the entrance of the doors, she cries out:

4 “To you, O men, I call,

And my voice is to the sons of men.

5 “O naive ones, understand prudence;

And, O fools, understand wisdom.

6 “Listen, for I will speak noble things;

And the opening of my lips will reveal right things (Prov. 8:1-6).

Wisdom can be found at every corner, at every turn in the road or at every decision point. It is calling out to us to be wise. We must listen for its voice.