Sunday, March 22 2020
IN THE BEGINNING GOD…In our lifetime, we are witnessing the whole earth literally coming to a standstill. God Almighty has hit the reset button, physically, and spiritually. The evening of March 25 on our 2020 Gregorian calendar will usher in darkness giving way to "Earthrise", as a new year, and a new era, begin for the entire world at the direction of God Himself.
The timing of man's witnessing "Earthrise" is impeccable. When it happened in 1968, Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders became the first of God's creation to travel beyond low Earth orbit, the first to see Earth as a whole planet, the first to directly see the far side of the Moon, and the first to witness "Earthrise", as pictured by the commemorative stamp illustrating this post. They also became the first to communicate God's Word from the vast expanse of the Universe He created. As they took turns reading the first 10 verses of Genesis 1, a billion people on Earth heard the Word of God being broadcast 240,000 miles above them, and knew beyond a doubt, a new era of time was being ushered in.
"We are now approaching lunar sunrise. For all the people back on earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message we would like to send to you." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnyNXLXl8iA
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."
This profound statement stands alone, defying exegesis or commentary. If we had been with the astronauts that memorable day, we would have understood why they chose to read God’s Word at just such a defining point in human history. Indeed, it wasn't about all the nuances of what happened when, or the swagger of intellectual knowledge and ability of mankind. The Apollo 8 astronauts realized there is all the difference in the world (pun intended) between SEEING God as Creator and SEEKING Him as Creator.
That's exactly where we are today, but even more so. A new era is being ushered into the world in our lifetime. Nothing will ever be the same again. Someone else is in charge of our time, and what we can and can't do. We have all been reduced to humans... which is really what we have been all along.
We've had flashes of God as Creator, and many of us have bowed in His presence, acknowledging Him as Lord and Creator. But soon after, we set about creating our own worlds, effectively SEEING God as Creator but not SEEKING Him as Creator on a daily basis.
Every day as we hurtle through space and time at 66,700 miles per hour, we've sought everything ELSE except our Creator. We have drifted into darkness, physically and spiritually, out of the presence of our Maker and His blessing and healing. We are now subject to increasing global pandemics and human misery and suffering. The whole earth has been quarantined because of our propensity to infect ourselves with our own gods, our own pestilence and death.
We're been reckoning physical and spiritual light and darkness on our own terms. If we refuse to honor God in the physical calendar of His created time and on His appointed Holy days, consider that we have stepped into into spiritual darkness, away from Him, and will never be ever be able to honor Him in a way that glorifies Him. Our appointed Gregorian calendar and days of the week are prime examples of how we have brought other gods into our lives daily. See more: https://www.facebook.com/fontanacommunitychurch/posts/2845514275528743
We need to acknowledge life and it's marked passage as God created it. “And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” Genesis 1:5.
All it takes is 8 minutes for the light of sunrise or sunset to get to Earth, where we can observe it. That's how quickly things can change from darkness to light under God's direction. The day begins in approaching darkness at sunset, and morning begins at sunrise with first light. Together, and in that order, they constitute what God called "day".
"Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also." Genesis 1:14-16
Today, astronomers estimate there are ten thousand billion trillion stars – that’s a 1 followed by 25 zeros! And there are between 100 billion and 1 trillion stars in 1 normal galaxy. Our universe alone may contain 100 billion galaxies! Using elements from the staggering array of His heavenly handiwork, God has appointed a lunar and solar calendar for His creation on Earth. Genesis 1:14. Jeremiah 31:35 and Psalm 136:7-9 state these lights are the sun, moon and stars.
On March 16, 2020, the day and night hours were exactly equal, marked as the Vernal Equilux, providing a good indication that the physical circuit of the sun in the heavens was completed as appointed by the Almighty. After this point the daylight hours begin to outweigh the dark hours, and the sun can truly be said to have begun another renewed cycle, or year.
God has given us an awesome spiritual picture of this in Psalm 19:4-6. “...In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course, It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat." We explored the physical and spiritual imagery of Jesus being crowned King, and leaving the heavens, making His way to His Bride, His church. https://www.facebook.com/fontanacommunitychurch/posts/2833263450087159
God's appointed time periods within the year are based on the cycles of the moon which He created. The Hebrew word for month, “chodesh”, literally means “new moon.” A new month begins with the rising of the new moon at twilight and lasts until the next new moon rises at twilight. The moon’s phases follow one another in clock-like precision, giving mankind the ability to easily follow God's calendar as He has designated it in the heavens.
Our Creator also formed the stars and their specific, named groupings in the constellations. (Genesis 1:14; Job 9:8-9; Job 26:13; Job 38:31-33; Amos 5:8). “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades? Can you loosen Orion’s belt? Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons or lead out the Bear with its cubs? Job 38:31-32.
The Pleiades is a star cluster approximately 400 light-year distance from Earth near the constellations of Orion and Taurus in the night sky. The cluster includes seven bright stars that are easily seen with the naked eye, gravitationally bound together. (One can only imagine how Job knew that.) Every year the star group appears in close proximity to the newly visible crescent moon -- just after sunset, in the Spring, at the beginning of the FIRST biblical month.
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year.” Exodus 12:1-2. The name of the month is given In Deuteronomy 16:1, where the Israelites are told to keep the Passover in the month of Abib, because they were "passed over" by the 10th death plague of Egypt on that very day by God Almighty.
Numbers 9:5 states that they kept the Passover "on the fourteenth day of the first month at even in the wilderness of Sinai..." Yes, the Israelites observed the first celebration of the Passover on the prescribed month, setting the date in the middle of the desert, with only the heavens as their reference point. And they did so every year for the remainder of their 40 years in the desert!
On the evening of March 25 on our 2020 Gregorian calendar, we begin the watch for “chodesh”, or "new moon" for God's New Year to officially begin. Yes, we have to watch. Because contrary to contemporary opinion, God's New Year cannot be appointed by man on his published calendar.
"Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven...for signs," Recognizing God’s 1st month is extremely important, as it literally ushers in God’s appointed dates for the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ! When Jesus came as the Passover Lamb, whose blood was shed for all mankind for forgiveness of sins, that divine appointment had been appointed on God's calendar 1500 years before. When He was raised from the dead as the sinless, Unleavened Bread, He fulfilled the timing of God Almighty made 1500 years prior. When Jesus ascended to the Father after His death and resurrection on Firstfruits, He not only fulfilled the 1500-year appointment of the Almighty but guaranteed the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in His name, 50 days from that date, known as Pentecost!
We also can look forward to heavenly signs of at least 3 more divine appointments on God’s calendar. Jesus will return as the anointed Trumpet Call for our righteous ingathering. Jesus will reign as the divine Atonement for our sin. And finally, Jesus will Tabernacle WITH His people when He returns as the King of Glory! Yes, when Jesus returns to this earth, it will be by Divine Appointment only, right on schedule by God's calendar. Check out God's appointment schedule given to His people in Leviticus 23.
God’s calendar is not about celebrating a religious festival or a Sabbath day just to please Him. It’s always been about the revelation of Jesus, the Christ, the Deliverer, the Anointed One, come to set His people free! “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” Colossians 2:16-17
God has hit the reset button. And He's done it through a pandemic virus named "corona", Latin for "crown". God Almighty is using man's mutant "crown" virus of their own making to convict us of our sinful bent of "crowning" other gods before Him and making them a priority on our manmade calendars and thus in our everyday lives.
In the coming year, as we hurtle through space, we will travel nearly 600 million miles. That's certainly more than enough time to be humbled by the Almighty, as He reveals His glory and majesty, just as He planned all along. His plan to redeem us and restore the earth will culminate soon in the corona-tion of His Son, Jesus as King of Kings over the entire earth!
The Apostle Paul said this to the people of Athens, "The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth...made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us...’” (Acts 17:24-28)
"IN THE BEGINNING GOD..."
Monday, March 16 2020
LIKE A BRIDEGROOM COMING OUT OF HIS CHAMBER… The whole world has been yanked from its appointed timetable and put in physical quarantine because of coronavirus. Coronavirus’ name is Latin, and "corona" means "crown". Just around the corner is the anniversary of the death and resurrection of Jesus, mockingly crowned by man as "King of the Jews". Now is the time for us to begin to understand that God has a calendar in place for HIS crowning on this earth of JESUS AS KING OF KINGS. According to Him, this year will begin its official closing on March 16, 2020. In spiritual imagery, what follows looks “like a Bridegroom coming out of His chamber…” on His way to the Bride.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other...” Psalm 19:1-6.
But mere observation and recognition of God’s appointments does not deliver the spiritual understanding for which they were created. To understand the imagery of the Bridegroom coming out of His chamber as Jesus leaving the throneroom, and heading to earth, we must be able to view the heavens in the Spirit, not with the wisdom of the world. “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit… But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:13-14,16.
The ancients had one important thing in their favor which enabled them to easily understand the spiritual lessons in God’s creation: TIME. Back then, plenty of folks lived almost a 1000 years, and without electricity, had eons of time to sit, night after night, month after month, year after year, century after century, and observe the constellations as they progressed across the sky, the sun as it rose and set, the moon as it appeared in its four quarters. And remember, they had not-too-distant ancestors who had come to know God in the Garden of Eden, and after, and passed their wisdom down. Though these folks didn’t have God's written word to guide them, they understood and depended on Him as Creator, and eagerly received and celebrated His Word expressed to them in the vast expanse of the world He had created.
Right this very moment, God is giving us the gift of the ancients. No more excuses that we don’t have time to receive God’s Word by sitting at the feet of our teacher, Jesus. The whole world has been removed from its perceived time schedule and placed under quarantine because it is infected. See this as a spiritual truth, as well as a physical one, and you have received wisdom from the Almighty. And this is occurring for us at the exact time that God’s created world is beginning a brand-new year. This is an extremely important time on God’s calendar, and it should be on ours, too. Under the full moon of the very first month of God’s year, Jesus sacrificed His life so that the world would not perish from the pestilence of sin.
"Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years." Genesis 1:14. Jeremiah 31:35 and Psalm 136:7-9 state these lights are the sun, moon and stars.
God’s Word says the light of the sun is used to mark a year. On March 16, 2020, the day and night hours will be exactly equal, marked as the Vernal Equilux. Here in Fontana Dam, NC the sun rose this morning at 7:44am and will set this evening at 7:44pm. The physical circuit of the sun in the heavens will be completed as appointed by the Almighty. After this point the daylight hours begin to outweigh the dark hours, and the sun can truly be said to have begun another renewed cycle, or year.
Some look to March 19, the astronomical point called the Equinox, at which the center of the sun’s disk crosses an imaginary line in the sky called the celestial equator. The equinox is in a shifting process called "precession of the equinox" due to the wobble of the earth on its axis, causing the equinox to drift backward in time, and can’t be reliable on its own to gauge God's completed circuit of a year in our century. But it can help us to be on the watch for the beginning of the first month of the new year, using the stars for confirmation of the year cycle, as God’s Word states He appointed them for this, also.
Our Creator formed the stars and their specific, named groupings in the constellations. (Genesis 1:14; Job 9:8-9; Job 26:13; Job 38:31-33; Amos 5:8). “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades? Can you loosen Orion’s belt? Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons or lead out the Bear with its cubs? Job 38:31-32
The Pleiades is a star cluster approximately a 400 light-year distance from Earth near the constellations of Orion and Taurus in the night sky. The cluster includes seven bright stars that are easily seen with the naked eye, gravitationally bound together. One can only imagine how Job knew that. Every year the star group appears in close proximity to the newly visible crescent moon -- just after sunset, in the Spring, at the beginning of the FIRST biblical month. "Seek him that made the seven stars and Orion, and turned the shadow of death into the morning, and made the day dark with night: that called for the waters of the sea, and poured them out upon the face of the earth: The Lord is his name …” Amos 5:8. Go to Beckstrom Observatory for a printable March Evening Starmap. http://www.beckstromobservatory.com/…/March-2020-Basic-Even…
In ancient Israel, the importance of the Vernal Equilux, which is the equivalent of the ancient Vernal Equinox, is that it heralded the appointment of the next new moon as the beginning of a New Year. Every month started with the rising of the new moon, “hodesh” in Hebrew, marked as the first day of the month, and lasted until the next new moon, 29-30 days. It was a simple and effective way to mark time as God ordained it. The years did not have a continuous cycle of weeks but instead the cycle started over with each new moon. New Moon day was a worship day followed by six working days, with the first seventh-day Sabbath on the eighth of the month, then on the fifteenth, and in succession of 7 days, as first recorded in Exodus 16. (Exodus 16:1, 23. Numbers 28:11-15; Psalm 81:3-5; Isaiah 66:23) A reckoning of God's calendar superimposed on our 2020 Gregorian calendar, along with a lost of all bibilical appointments https://fontanacommunitychurch.org/like_a_bridegroom_2020_c…
We have been given the sun and its hours of light to help define the length of our year and the stars to specifically identify the beginning of the first month, in conjunction with the moon's cycle, a simple and effective way to keep up with time as God ordained it. It required diligence and patience from the ancients to observe the heavens often during each month. That explains why the observation-based calendar given by God was gradually replaced in 70-1178 AD by the mathematically calculated one, that did not vary according to the heavens. That is the calendar used today by the Jewish nation. So, on our Gregorian calendar, God’s appointed Days may vary by date depending on which method is used. Also, the way most calculate the Sabbath is based on man’s appointed calendar, counting by 7’s. By doing so, years are marked in advance, instead of waiting and watching for God’s perfect timing through the heavenly appointment of the sun, moon and stars.
The Jewish philosopher Philo, who lived at the time of Jesus, also understood the importance of the language of the heavens.( Remember that our Vernal Equilux is the equivalent of the ancient's Equinox.) “Moses puts down the beginning of the vernal equinox as the first month of the year, attributing the chief honour, not as some persons do to the periodical revolutions of the year in regard of time, but rather to the graces and beauties of nature which it has caused to shine upon men . . . Accordingly, in this month, about the fourteenth day of the month, when the orb of the moon is usually about to become full, the public universal feast of the Passover is celebrated . . ." (Philo, On The Life Of Moses II, Section XLI (41) (222-224).
Eusebius, a Greek historian of the 3rd century AD also wrote, "… it was also known to the Jews anciently, and before [Messiah], and was chiefly observed by them, as we may learn from Philo, Josephus, and Musaeus; and not only from these, but also from those still more ancient, i. e. the two Agathobuli, commonly called the master, and of Aristobulus, that most distinguished scholar, who was one of the seventy that translated the holy scriptures from the Hebrew. These. . . say that all ought to sacrifice the Passover alike after the vernal equinox, in the middle of the first month." Ecclesiastical History Popular Edition. p. 313
So now we should be able to understand more fully, why this physical time of the year is so important. The first month of God’s New Year heralds the coming anniversary of the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the one identified in John 1: 1-3 as Creator alongside Almighty God! “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made…” John 1:1-3. We anticipate that God's New Year will begin on the evening of March 25 2020, with the sighting of the crescent new moon.
In the New Testament, we clearly see that God reveals Himself through creation to give us the chance to come to know Him. "For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse." Romans 1:20. The heavens signaled the birth of Jesus, leading the wise men straight to Him. When Jesus died, the daylight sky turned dark. Isaiah said in 13:10 that in the coming day of the Lord, “The stars of heaven and their constellation will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.” And for many Christian scholars, the ministry of Jesus can be seen in Revelation through the imagery of heavenly constellations themselves.
Indeed, it is not foolishness to see the Bridegroom, Jesus the Christ, in the refracted rays of sunlight at the appointed time, spiritually stepping forth from His chamber in the heavens, making His way to the Bride, whom the apostle Paul likens to the Church at Corinth. "I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I betrothed you to Christ to present you as a pure bride to her one husband." 2 Corinthians 11:2.
The whole world now has an opportunity understand this, having been brought to a standstill by a virus which means “crown”. Jesus also said this to the church at Smyrna through John in Revelation 2:8-11: "Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer... Be faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life." “Smyrna” is a Greek word used to translate the Hebrew word for myrrh, a resin used as a perfume for the living in Matthew 2:11 and the dead in John 19:39. Myrrh was produced by crushing the plant, causing it to give off an overpowering fragrant aroma. Hence the analogy of the church at Smyrna, who would be crushed by persecution, with the end result of being a fragrant aroma of faithfulness to God. It was Jesus telling the church at Smyrna that it was about to undergo intense persecution and tribulation.
Yes, we have many questions and much to discern. But we do know for sure that the coronation (corona-tion), the spiritual crowning of Jesus Christ, will occur immediately before He returns the second time to rule His kingdom on this earth! Revelation 11:14-18 says this will take place after the “second woe.” Daniel 7:10 records the crowning of Jesus Christ as King of Kings as God's judgment begins.
We close today's lesson with the words of Jesus: “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.”
"LIKE A BRIDEGROOM COMING OUT OF HIS CHAMBER"
Monday, March 16 2020
OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN… Our Good Father. Our Perfect Father. Our Loving Father. Be merciful to us for we have sinned. We have sinned against you, and are no longer worthy to be called Your children, bearing Your image.
There isn’t a one of us that hasn’t transgressed mightily against you. We've seen our image in the mirror of godly works and now worship ourselves and our religious identities. We pridefully glorify ourselves and what we've accomplished, using your name as a byline to achieve our earthly and spiritual aspirations.
What an affront to You, Father, to use Your Word as a tool to validate our accomplishments. We’ve spent centuries caught up in biblical doctrines that were espoused to meet the needs and service the contemporary “Christian”. We gave little thought or credence to the actual intent of Your Word as it was given by the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit to the saints of old. What one of us is now willing to chuck it all, and start all over, truly learning at the feet of our Rabbi Jesus?
Even now, we gather in Your Name across this land to ask You to deliver us from the hand of pestilence and chaos. Like petulant children, we want what we want, and never give a thought that our Father is looking for children who will simply bow to whatever His will is for His Kingdom on this Earth.
When will we understand that you truly hold the world and everything in it the Palm of Your Hand? We’ve heard it said over and over. “The Lord gives.The Lord takes away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.” But we don’t have a clue. We haven’t an inkling of Your Omnipotence and Your Kingship, nor of the humble, childlike trust you desire.
But that’s changing, right this very minute. As the world comes to a standstill, Your Word has already spoken Your Will. “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
Our Father in Heaven, blessed is Your Name. YOUR Kingdom come. YOUR will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. We ask for nothing else on this day except Your Name be glorified through Your Son, Jesus, throughout the entire world!
Monday, March 16 2020
Coronavirus is on every one's mind right now, one way or another. It seems that some are of the opinion that the whole thing is much ado about nothing, and that what is occuring now is the result of panic and widespread fear.
While it's certainly true that some reactions are being prompted by fear, there is much more to consider. The adrenaline response fear can provide is hard-wired into our being from the Almighty. It helps us respond quickly and decisively in life-threatening situations.
Can it get out of hand? Sure. Can we be apathetic and naive? Sure. But this much we do know. A storm is coming, and storm warnings have been issued. Now the warnings are being ramped up, saying this may be the storm of the century, and we need to prepare for it.
Of course, how we respond is up to us. Perhaps we need to consider that God Almighty is warning us right now to seek physical shelter from this predictably insane storm of life, and find our much needed spiritual rest quarantined with Him for awhile...
"BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD."