Your Equation of 12

Imagine that the number 12 represents you as a fully mature son of God, as in Ephesians 4:13.

Equation of 12Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.

 

Equations of 12

In our analogy the number 12 represents you, fully formed into the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.

1 John 3:2-3  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. 

6+6=12                 5+8-1=12        

2+10=12                2 x 6=12      

4+4+4=12             24/2=12

3+3+3+3=12        100-88=12          950.4/79.2=12

There are an infinite number of ways to get to 12, but they all equal 12.

Cattle Chute

Cattle Chute

What if the choices we make every day are creating the equation of our lives?
What if God is NOT guiding us down a cattle chute toward our 12?

Maybe, as our poor choices send our equation off the mark, God brings situations that offer opportunities to correct our equation.

My equation interacts with your equation and many other equations.  We add to and subtract from one another’s equations.

All the time there is a Guiding Hand, not manipulating, but offering a path that leads to 12.

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The Last Amen – Christian Death

Christian Death

The words don’t go together, Christian death.  It’s an oxymoron, maybe it’s a diptych.  

The following is a guest post by Rae Shrock.  Rae is the editor and creator of the beautiful, slick, full color Daughters of Promise Magazine, available online and in hard copy.

 “The magazine has expanded to include many gifted writers, photographers, and fellow visionaries who share a common passion to encourage women in their faith. DOP is unique in that it is primarily written by women of the Anabaptist denomination. We are a diverse mix, but we share a common love for set-apartness, experiential Christianity, and Jesus.”

Christian Death

In Memory of
Elizabeth Brewer Ward
1981-2013

Rae was inspired to write this article, which is almost a poem, by the Christian deaths of friends and neighbors near her.  She is young, but death experiences reach us all on a deep and common level.  Rae’s gift with words will bring her experience close to your heart and gently warm you with her hope and ours.  The young mother, Elizabeth, whom she mentions toward the end is my precious daughter-in law.  My son is the husband who awoke that morning a widower.  Her three young children are my full-of-life grandchildren.  

Thank you, Rae, for bringing us all the Light of Hope in this article.

 

 

The Last Amen

By Rae Schrock

We live to die.

From the first filling of virgin lungs, the process begins.

Life. It is framed by the handles of time: when we begin, and when we end.

Grasped by the Giver and handed to us, a gift of grace.

Life is a gift.

And to most radiantly honor the Giver, the gift of life lived must glorify Him. Must be full to the brim of worship, one breath after another,

Inhaling Christ. Exhaling praise.

So, as we live to worship, we die to say ‘Amen’.

Could this be the point of it all? To have lived so well that the last breath I draw simply echoes the brevity of all my time here, an exclamation point to the life He gave? God, glorified. Christ, adored. Worship pulsing, filling, spanning the whole of my one solitary life. Death, pronouncing the awe-choked, hands-raised ‘Amen’, to a life fully lived. A glorious ‘Let it be’ to the worship of a life fully laid down to Christ.

If I live to worship,

If I live to die,

Then let death be my final declaration of love. Let it be shouted from my slow- beating heart and emptying lungs that HE was why I lived. That every moment; every bead of choking grief, exhausting labor, tempestuous trial, was encapsulated in the radiant joy of being His. Pearls strung along the strand of time, my every moment was meaningful because it was for Him.

I see the Garden. And beyond, the cross. I glimpse the Son of Man, torn with grief, writhing against the weight of humanity’s sins & the crushing blows of death itself, laying open tattered ribbons across His back. And as blood-caked, sun-scorched lips part to breathe last words, the words that split sky, shook earth, slashed listening ears of demons, & leaped in the hearts of every man who has caught their reverberations throughout the ages; as Jesus embraced what all humanity must, He embraced us more.

It is finished.

Not life, but death!

The words thunder in my heart. They shatter fear, split doubt … Continue reading

I’m Looking for the Stone Cut out of a Mountain – Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

Last year I taught a middle school history class that I titled The Development of Western Thought from Babylon to the European Explorers.  I used Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2 as the theme and timeline.

Nebuchadnezzar's Image Poster, croppedDaniel spoke the dream’s interpretation to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, and it has come to pass century after century exactly according to his interpretation.  Long ago the Legs of Iron which depict the Roman Empire have faded into ancient history.  What happened to those Feet of Iron Mixed with Clay?

Daniel 2:31-35  Behold, a great image! …its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.  You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.  Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. 

Mysteries…
Where is this kingdom of iron mixed with clay?  The others seem so easy.  Gold is Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon as Daniel told the king himself.  Silver came next; that was Medo-Persia.  Then the bronze belly of the statue represented Greek domination in the world.  Iron legs, we know was the next kingdom which was the power of the Roman Empire.  What happened after Rome?  Another empire? Has the statue been struck by a stone and crushed to powder?  What is the Clay?

What is this two part kingdom that has the Roman Empire’s strength mixed with something of clay, and the two can’t mix?  Gold, silver, bronze, and iron are all metals.  Clay is different; it is not a metal.  Clay, hmm, that’s what God used to make Adam’s body.  What else do we know?

Nebuchadnezzar's Image, pastelDaniel 2:43-44  But they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.  And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. 

Rome crumbled in the 400’s AD.  Where is the kingdom which will exhibit some things of Roman power yet in other ways will not mix with the pagan world order depicted in the rest of the statue?  When will God set up a different kingdom which shall never be destroyed?  Has it already happened, and we missed it?  If so, how is it that we live in a time when pagan/antichrist culture looms, fiercely set against a Christian culture?

Daniel’s interpretation has been spot on accurate from Babylon through the Roman Empire, a span of nearly 900 years!

I’m looking for the Stone cut out of the mountain without hands to land upon the Feet of Iron Mixed with Clay and crush all oppressive governments to powder.  Hey, Daniel, it’s time!

Israel’s Feasts are God’s Timeline

Below is a link to an article by Dr. Stephen Jones of God’s Kingdom Ministries.  Stephen Jones has many interesting interpretations of scripture which he has gained from study of the Law of God.  Anyone who respects the Bible honestly should take his ideas seriously and study for themselves.  The article below takes some chewing.  You may decide to spit out part of it, but reading it will likely open new ideas that deserve an audience.

 I believe Christians should learn from one another.  Nit-picking and pigeon-holing are only tactics to self-excuse one who will not take the time to study for himself.  We need not fear ideas.  Let’s listen and study with a true heart, and learn what is true from Him who is True.  -EW  

Kingdom Progression by Dr. Stephen Jones

In the progression of the Kingdom since the creation, we ought to know about the changes that God has made over the years, particularly at specific points in history.

Men have tried to explain these changes in various ways. The popular theory today was developed in the 1800’s by those who divided history into “dispensations.” Personally, I divide time according to the pattern of Israel’s feast days:

Pre-feast times: Adam to Moses

Passover Age: Moses to Christ

Pentecost Age: Christ to full Body

Tabernacles Age: Full Body to Great White Throne

Judgment Age: Great White Throne to Creation Jubilee

Each of these ages mark a distinct progression in the developmental history of the Kingdom. Before Moses the Kingdom was ruled by the patriarchs until Nimrod usurped their right to rule. He then organized his own kingdom by force of arms and ruled all that he could conquer. The rule of Noah and Shem depended upon Continue reading

No Ebb Prophecy and a Modern Day Simeon

Arthur Burt –A Modern Day Simeon?

Arthur Burt is 102 years old.  He lives in Wales.  He has travelled all over the world as a minister of the Gospel, and he still ministers.  He tells this story from 1934:

I was expelled from the Church of England in 1934 for embracing the Pentecostal revelation, the baptism of the Spirit, speaking with other tongues. Right after that, a prophecy came. I remember it as if it was last night.

I walked over to a piano and looked at the open Bible; it was open there at this Word:

“For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come….”

At the meeting that night, not a Church of England meeting, but a Pentecostal meeting, the Spirit of God fell upon a young man and he prophesied. I think it’s about the only prophecy I can remember word-for-word in my entire life. It’s like a scar inside of me!

“It shall come as a breath…
And the breath shall bring the wind…
And the wind shall bring the rain.
And there shall be floods and floods and floods…
And torrents and torrents and torrents.
Souls shall be saved like falling leaves
from mighty oaks swept by a hurricane.
Arms and legs shall come down from heaven…
..And there shall be no ebb.”

I remember that, “Souls shall be saved like falling leaves from mighty oaks swept by a hurricane.” There was another part about “the rich and the poor embracing each other in the streets of New York.” But the final thing was… “And there shall be no ebb.” No ebb!

Since that day Arthur Burt has seen and been involved with many revival movements.  Each one has come to its swell and then gone into ebb like the tide that comes in and goes out again.  Yet Arthur waits for the breath that shall become a wind for which there shall be no ebb.

In 2009 Continue reading

Arise, Sons of the Most High, and Judge the Earth

God cries to His sons to restore justice and stabilize the foundations of the earth.

Psalm 82   A Psalm of Asaph

God [Elohim] stands in the congregation of the mighty [el];
He judges among the gods [elohim].
2 How long will you judge unjustly, And show partiality to the wicked? Selah
3 Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy.
4 Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked.
5 They do not know, nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness;
All the foundations of the earth are unstable.
6 I said, “You are gods [elohim], And all of you are children of the Most High.
7 But you shall die like men, And fall like one of the princes.”
8 Arise, O God [Elohim], judge the earth; For You shall inherit all nations.
[New King James] 

Jesus Christ took this call seriously in John 10:34-35.

Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law [Psalm 82], I said, Ye are gods?  If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;”

By his reference to this psalm, Jesus also proved the sense of the psalm.

Elohim is a name or title for Yahweh.  As a title it seems to be pluralized as if to say “God of all gods” or “Judge above every other judge.”  But, elohim sometimes refers to human judges or magistrates.

Strong’s Concordance #430: elohim
Meaning:  1) (plural) 1a) rulers, judges 1b) divine ones 1c) angels 1d) gods 2) (plural intensive – singular meaning) 2a) god, goddess 2b) godlike one 2c) works or special possessions of God 2d) the (true) God 2e) God

Psalm 82 is a message to men to take authority as judges in the earth and defend the poor and needy.  Until men take their place as sons of God, and therefore judges in the earth, as the psalm says, “the foundations of the earth are unstable.”

Arise, O God [Elohim], judge the earth; For You shall inherit all nations. 

Is this last verse a cry from the psalmist to God to come and judge the earth, or is it God’s cry to His sons to judge and to defend?  The entire psalm is a plea from God to earthly judges.  Why would the plea be reversed at the end?  The answer lies in “inherit.”  Doesn’t God own all creation?  Does He need to be promised an inheritance? May we read thus…

I said, “You are judges [elohim], And all of you are children of the Most High.  …

8 Arise, O judges [elohim], judge the earth; For You shall inherit all nations.” 

Asaph the psalmist seems to be calling men to arise as the sons of the Most High and judge the earth in God’s justice, to free the poor and needy from the hand of the wicked!

Elohim stands in the congregation of the judges; He judges among the judges.
2 How long will you judge unjustly, And show partiality to the wicked?
3 Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy.
4 Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked.
5 They do not know, nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness;
All the foundations of the earth are unstable.
6 I said, “You are judges, And all of you are children of the Most High.
7 But you shall die like men, And fall like one of the princes.
8 Arise, O judges, judge the earth; For you shall inherit all nations.” 

The Corporate Woman and the Manchild

From Revelation 12

In prayer recently I saw the Woman of Revelation chapter 12 as a corporate woman made up of women, generation after generation, bringing forth children who become another generation to bring forth children and so on until the generation arrives which shall bring forth the corporate Manchild.  All along and in each generation the Dragon has stood before her to devour her children with oppression and slavery, yet in each generation some live to bring forth another generation of children born to carry the Covenant Promise to still another generation.  This Woman and her seed have carried the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations of the world.

The Dragon’s Tail Casts One Third of the Stars of Heaven Down to Earth

In John’s vision the Woman has a garland of twelve stars on her head.  This seems reminiscent of Joseph’s dream in which he saw the sun, the moon, and eleven stars bow down to his star.  The interpretation given is that Jacob, his wife and all of Joseph’s eleven brothers would bow down to Joseph, which certainly came to pass.  The twelve stars in the corporate Woman’s garland seem to represent the twelve tribes of Israel out of which she and her offspring come.  One third of her offspring are cast out of heavenly authority by the tail, the back-side of the Dragon, one might think, in secret.

Those cast down out of heavenly authority by the Dragon’s tail historically have been those of her offspring who have enslaved, oppressed and robbed the Woman’s children in each generation.  They have been church leaders, both Catholic and Protestant, who have enslaved and robbed by religion.  They have been of the nobility and the wealthy classes who have oppressed and killed and have expanded their kingdoms by force.  They are the heads of international corporations and banking systems who seek to devour all economic systems of the earth into one under their own control.  Yet in every enslaved and oppressed generation, some live to perpetuate the Promise.

The Manchild shall be born as surely as the Messiah was born in Bethlehem.  The generation which is to bring forth the Manchild who is “to rule all nations with a rod of iron” may be very close at hand.  The Manchild is not a whole generation.  The Woman, the generation which brings forth the Manchild, continues to live as the Manchild is “caught up to God and His throne.”  She is protected in a wilderness place by two wings of a great eagle with which she flies in heavenly authority, and she is nourished “away from the face of the serpent.”

The Dragon cannot touch the Woman, but he goes to “make war with the remnant of her seed which keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”  Is this remnant of her seed not the children across the earth that she has spawned through the Gospel in every nation?

The Manchild born of the Woman of Revelation 12 shall be caught up to God and to His throne.  At that time a voice in heaven shall say, “Now is come salvation and strength and the kingdom of our God and the power of His Christ.”

…the devil knoweth that he hath but a short time.
Revelation 12:12