19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.
21 I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord‘s doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
25 Save us, we pray, O Lord!
O Lord, we pray, give us success!
26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
We bless you from the house of the Lord. (Psalm 118:19-26)
The very person rejected by the scribes and the Pharisees has turned out to be the cornerstone which the builders rejected. Jesus of Nazareth is his name. He comes in the name of the Lord God of Hosts. He did not come into the world for his own glory but for the glory of the One who sent HIM. To those who believe this are the doors of salvation open in the land of the living.
28 And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” 32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” (Luke 19:28-40)
It is truly wise to accept Jesus Christ as the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Not a king of earthly limitations but rather a king sent from God himself. Not everyone in the world accepts him as their king, the king of righteousness but for those who do, they will never be wrong. Therefore hold fast to your confession of faith which Jesus came to die for all sinners so that those who believe in him will not perish but have everlasting life.
37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 38 See, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” (Matthew 23: 37-39)
Jesus came for the Jews and also for the Gentiles but first for the Jews. Now remember that most of the disciples of Jesus when he walked on this earth were Jews. However not every Jew including the religious leaders had faith that he was sent by the Lord. This was because they didn’t understand the Scriptures in the light of the Holy Spirit but were legalistic. Yet the Savior of the world has given them this, that if they acknowledge him as sent by the Lord, then their house will not longer be desolate. But even as their times come again, let everyone who is capable of breathing even now say ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’. Amen.
The prophecy about Jesus coming to Jerusalem on a donkey:
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9)
The above prophecy about Jesus fulfilled:
1 Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,5 “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’” 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. 8 Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.” (Matthew 21:1-11)
When Jesus entered into Jerusalem, he didn’t come as a rich man. He came upon a donkey as prophesied for he was the descendant of King David. Even the way his disciples got the donkey is a miracle in itself. At this point even though the religious elders hated him, the people still gave him a grand welcome. They even said, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
Hosanna is a word used to express adoration, praise, or joy (mostly in Jewish and Christian liturgies or worship). And truly Christ was worthy to receive this praise. Being the Son of God that he is, Jesus entered Jerusalem rather humbly in obedience to the will of God. Even today Christ is meek and humble of heart and his burden light.
Here are a few questions for your own reflection keeping in mind the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem:
- Do you still believe God to be faithful to his promises and his word? Yes, you will if you have read that Bible and understood that God’s been fulfilling them all through the ages and continues to do so.
- Are you enamored by mere physical appearances or do you look for the truth in the midst of it all? Indeed, you will when you decide to discern things in a way consistent with the principles of the Lord God.
- When celebrating Christ in your life, will you fear others and not praise him? Surely not when you care more for the desires of God than the desires of men.
- Will you only welcome him but forget and abandon him later in the days to come? Certainly never if you hold close the fact that salvation comes from Christ alone.
- Do you adore Christ just because of the crowd or because you know who he is? You’d worship him more personally when you read about him in the Scriptures and fall in love with him.
In my earlier post Being brave and smart to tackle danger (Part 1) we focused on knowing and asserting your rights. Today I want to show how to use the truth to your advantage, use your words wisely and keep your eyes open to tackle any attacks.
Let’s read Acts 23:1-11 which shows how the Apostle Paul at the Sanhedrin effectively used the above principles to keep himself out of danger:
1 And looking intently at the council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.” 2 And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth. 3 Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting to judge me according to the law, and yet contrary to the law you order me to be struck?” 4 Those who stood by said, “Would you revile God’s high priest?” 5 And Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’”
6 Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” 7 And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. 9 Then a great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees’ party stood up and contended sharply, “We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?” 10 And when the dissension became violent, the tribune, afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him away from among them by force and bring him into the barracks.
11 The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.”
When in faced with danger, do not cower in fear. Be like Paul, who kept his eyes and mind open to use the situation to his advantage. He didn’t have to lie but took advantage of the truth. He tackled the high priest Ananias who illegally tried to get Paul slapped. Paul didn’t use foul words but used clear logic that the high priest was trying to judge as per the law and yet himself was going against the methods of the law. Only later when Paul was told that Ananias was the high priest that he didn’t go ahead with rebuking him any further.
But Ananias was not the only person to be stopped. There were more. Paul must have understood that if he didn’t act in time something really bad will happen to him. Again like I mentioned in my earlier post, Paul did suffer martyrdom but that day was not day to be martyred.
Since Paul himself was trained in the ways of the Pharisees he could easily distinguish between the Pharisees and their rivals the Sadducees. He sensed a great opportunity to set things right. So he said aloud, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” Due to great divide between the Pharisees and the Sadducees on the reality of the resurrection with the result that some of Pharisees spoke in Paul’s favor. (This is one of the good things of the Pharisees unlike the Sadducees who deny angels, spirits and resurrection who are therefore vile little heretics)
As a matter of fact, Paul was in trial because he claimed Jesus as the Lord and also that Jesus rose from the dead (this is a teaching central to the Christian faith and any deviation from this is heresy). So Paul did NOT lie his way out of trouble. With some of the Pharisees now agree that there was no fault with Paul, it gradually resulted in a violent clash between the Pharisees and Sadducees. The Roman tribune then intervened by getting the soldiers to save Paul from this fighting. And of course, the Lord appreciated Paul and told him the he will get to testify in Rome for Christ as how he did in Jerusalem.
Now learning from Paul’s case you can apply this too in your life. Suppose, someone is trying to draw a gun on you and you don’t have a weapon. Then scream and say loudly ‘please don’t hurt me with your gun, I did no wrong’. This will either alert the people nearby to save you or dissuade the attacker or even give you a small time window to escape.
Suppose you are stuck in a very bad lawsuit in which you are wrongly targeted and suddenly you realize that there is an organization which helps out those in trouble like you, then reach out to them. Like in cases of international business disputes, you know very well that if the other countries court’s are biased against your nation then they won’t give you a fair hearing, then get in what are known as arbitrators to give you some justice. If you are under racial attacks, first get yourself out of danger and then reach to organizations that tackle racism (Southern Poverty Law Center, Anti Defamation League, Newham Monitoring Project, National Assembly Against Racism (NAAR) or whichever similar organization in your region). Just keep your eyes and mind open for any such individuals or groups which help out people in trouble.
Imagine you are an Aussie citizen roaming in South Africa and due to whatever reason, you are being chased by gun wielding thugs. And if you happen to see the Australian embassy near you, then don’t be a hero to stand cornered to fight the minions of debauchery, you simply get into the embassy and save your life. I’m sure the Aussie guards will be a great deterrent to your assailants. This tip should work for any citizen with his/her own country’s embassy normally.
If you are troubled by demons, do not play coy with your preacher and behave as if you are in pristine condition. Open your mind and be humble enough to at least get help in private from your church elders and it’s people trained in deliverance ministry. All you need to do is speak and say that you need help.
Appeal unto Christ Jesus when in danger by evil spirits. Don’t be a victim. Christ has authority over all of the powers of the Evil One. Take advantage of this truth.
Christ be with you!
P.S : Part 3 of this will be out soon. Pray for me.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! “May they be secure who love you! (Psalm 122:6)
Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy! (Psalm 137:6)
On 18th November 2014, there was a deadly attack at a Jewish synagogue in Jerusalem. There were about 5 victims who died in this assault by 2 Mohammedan Palestinian fanatic cousins. Among the victims included 1 rabbi from the UK and 3 rabbi’s from the United States of America. There were other who were wounded in these attacks and are still being treated as of of now. All this happened when the rabbi’s (religious leaders of the Jews) were praying in the direction of the ruins of the temple of Jerusalem.
While this was an evil act, the Hamas leader Mushir al-Masri celebrated these murders a ‘heroic act’ leading to great dissent among the people of Israel. The wicked cousins screamed out the name of their god when committing these vile acts. The murderers were later killed in a gun battle with the police. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Nethanyahu has already said that they will retaliate for these murders. No surprise about his stance, as there were many self-deceived Palestinians actually celebrating the murders, yes actually celebrating the murders.
I would strongly recommend that you go through the following news articles if you aren’t aware of it as yet or just that you want to know more:
- Israel Shaken by 5 Deaths in Synagogue Assault (source link: click here)
- Hero police officer with four-month-old baby becomes fifth victim of Palestinian attack on Israeli synagogue after being shot in the head as he tried to save civilians (source link: click here)
- Palestinians Celebrate Jerusalem Murders (source link: click here)
Here are a few points that you can pray about in this case:
- Pray for peace for the families of the victims who died in the attacks.
- Pray that no more attacks like this happen in Jerusalem.
- Pray that all the those who masterminded this terrorist attack are punished for their crimes.
- Pray that those who enjoyed the sufferings of the victims are put to shame.
- Pray that the Israeli’s step their security all over Israel.
- Pray that world governments condemn the murders of the victims and denounce the cause of the murderers.
- Pray for the peace of Jerusalem in these times.
- Pray that every potential suicide bombing attempt is thwarted in Israel.
- Pray that any misuse of this situation in the social media to tarnish the nature of the Jews is brought down right away.
- Pray that times of healing appear for the Jews.
Never say you are too young to do the work of God. It’s not your ability but your willingness to do the will of God that matters. If God has called you do a specific thing for him, then he will enable you as per his specific will.
Remember how the prophet Jeremiah said he was too young to speak for God, yet God still encouraged him to be his prophet (Jeremiah 1:1-9).
1 The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, one of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, 2 to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. 3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, and until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month.
4 Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you;I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
6 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” 7 But the Lord said to me,“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.”
9 Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”
Whether you are young or old, let the example of God in prophet Jeremiah’s life remind you of the greatness of God. For it is the glory of God to enable those whom the world call unworthy. He makes the unqualified into great men and women for him if only they believe he can do it for them. Happy are those whom the Lord has called to do his will and even more so those who actually do it.
The Bible mentions about the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple. This would be the third temple then. The rebuilding of the Temple is one of the signs of the end of the world and the return of Jesus Christ. In fact the Anti Christ will enter the Temple and as an act of blasphemous portray himself as God. At the present moment the Temple of Jerusalem is in ruins. The Jews of today are very eager to rebuild it again so that the old manner of worship and sacrifice to the Living God (whom Christians know as Jesus’ Father and God) is restored to its former glorious state. It’s a known fact that the Jews hold their traditions with great respect and will go to any lengths to defend it. They believe that their Messiah will come to the Temple of Jerusalem and reveal himself as sent from God. Due to this they are desperate to complete the task of rebuilding it. With the way Israel has been advancing on the financial, technical and most importantly in the field of warfare the construction will surely happen. This is the will of God and no man, no nation nor the Devil can stop it. Isaiah 46:9-10 says that; Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
Do not believe anyone who says that the Temple won’t be rebuilt. Because the Bible itself teaches about it. For the rebuilding itself doesn’t mean the immediate end of the word. It’s just one of the signs of the end of the age and not an end in itself.
I’m totally aware that the Jews still lack certain things to rebuild the Temple. For instance they need a good number of Levitical priests, special oils, a steady supply of certain types of animals, many temple articles and most importantly the land and a time of peace to build the temple. However, all I can say is what is impossible to man is possible with God. So the hand of God is at work to stir up the hearts of the Jews so that they finally get their act together and finish the temple work.
Now someone might say that we don’t need a Third Temple, as Jesus has fulfilled the Law of Moses for us, so having a temple for the sake of sacrificing animals would not be needed for Christians. I agree with you that animal sacrifices are no longer needed and also say that Jesus indeed fulfilled the law and we can’t add anything to this. It’s just that the temple must be rebuilt as this is ordained by God towards the end times.
Lets us remember Acts 17:24 which says that “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands” and also a believer in Christ is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). So it is necessary for us Christians to continue to worship God in spirit and truth instead of trying to go any Jewish Temple unless Jesus himself is present physically over there, which I assure you won’t be the case this time. There is nothing in the Holy Scriptures which says that the glory of God will manifest in the next Jewish Temple. The original Jewish Temple had the presence of the Lord. So we must rather seek the presence of God by the Holy Spirit instead of depending on monuments made by human hands.
A solemn warning to all Christians from me; “Please avoid going to the next Jewish Temple as the Anti Christ and his forces will manifest over there and will surely work evil over there. You must not be on the receiving end of this evil. Going at that time to that place won’t give you any extra grace of God. You can’t earn the favor of God by doing this!”
Let me make it real to you, it’s not Christians but the Jews who will rebuild the Jewish Temple. Because they are still following the Law of Moses as they do not accept Jesus nor his finished work on the cross which gives true salvation. The Jews are NOT building this temple for Jesus to sit there as their Messiah. They need are doing it just to restore their original glory and worship of God. In context of the Gospel we know having a temple without Jesus as the only Lord in it will not result in a happy ending. We need to realize that Jews are a people who yearn for the Messiah to reveal himself but they are still unsaved as they continue to avoid the Gospel and its teachings on Jesus. So all Christians must pray for their safety and also for their eyes being opened to acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God.
Here are a few Bible verses related to rebuilding of the Jewish Temple:
“Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.” (Daniel 9:24-27)
So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand) (Matthew 24:15)
Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? (2 Thessalonians 2:1-5 NKJV)
Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, “Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months.(Revelation 11:1-2)
Now there are various teachings about the Anti Christ who will manifest in the Jewish Temple. Some say he will be a Jew, some say he will be an Arab, while others maintain he would be of the Nordic race. I say that it doesn’t matter which race or religion he is from. Because ultimately his aim will be to get all races and religions to worship him and honor the Devil who gives him power. When the Jews take him to the Temple of God they won’t actually think of him as a bad man until he will show himself as God and end up revealing his true sinful and evil nature. The Jews will then be outraged and refuse to worship him. But the Anti Christ will try get as many Jews killed as a result of their hate for his blasphemous nature. Remember this is one of the signs of the end of the world and God has revealed it to us in advance. So do no despair but rejoice for victory belongs to Jesus!
Here are a few video teachings about the rebuilding of the next Temple of Jerusalem:
When you are confused to pray about your situation or need then ask the Holy Spirit to intercede for you. The Holy Spirit will the plead you cause like no human on earth can, ever. He will pray the right words when you are at a loss for words.
Romans 8:26-27 In the same way, the Spirit comes to help our weakness. We don’t know what we should pray, but the Spirit himself pleads our case with unexpressed groans. The one who searches hearts knows how the Spirit thinks, because he pleads for the saints, consistent with God’s will.
If you can pray in tongues then use it so that the Holy Spirit pleads your cause. If you can’t pray in tongues, then ask the Holy Spirit to enable you to speak in tongues. You find it beneficial to get someone who already can pray in tongues, to pray along with you so that you receive this gift. Nevertheless you can simply say that ‘Dear Holy Spirit, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I don’t know what to say or pray to God in my situation right now. But I ask that you intercede for me and my cause so that I overcome everything so that God is glorified. Amen’
If you believe in Christ Jesus, then you must pray that you receive the Holy Spirit. Did you know that after the death of Jesus, his disciples lived in fear and confusion? That changed when Jesus sent them the Holy Spirit. When Jesus came back from the dead he promised to send the Holy Spirit to his disciples after he ascended to heaven and they would receive power there after. One of the manifestation of this power is that they spoke in tongues.
Acts 2:1-5 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.
Though the purpose of this post is to encourage you to let the Holy Spirit intercede for you in times of trouble, there is one thing I’d like to conclude with; the Holy Spirit will give you courage to speak the right things. He will help you speak the word of God with boldness.
Acts 4:31 – And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.