1 Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.
2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.
3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.
From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
Me: Good morning Jesus!
Jesus: Good morning Jon!
Me: Jesus, most of Hosea is calling Israel and Judah to task for their idol worship and wrongdoing. Yet right in the middle of all that there live these three verses that open chapter 6. Is that the way that You knew that You would be raised up on the third day? Was this a message left to Your human self to prepare Your heart for the sacrifice You would make for us?
Jesus: You have heard the question posed, “What would you say to your future (our younger) self?” You have read of My struggle with consenting to My impending death in the garden (Matthew 26). I tell you that I was strengthened by this passage in Hosea, and with it I strengthened My disciples that they would know what was coming (or at least remember that I had told them when things occurred just as I said).
Me: What about the part of the passage about You coming as the rain? The later and the former rain unto the earth?
Jesus: The farmer knows the benefit of the former rain to sprout the seed and the latter rain to complete the growth of the crop to its full yield. Even so, the one who receives Me shall sprout unto new life, and the one who endures in me shall be brought into full fruition.
Me: I have to recognize, Jesus, that had I been able to go back and speak to My former self, I would still have been full of rebellion and willfulness, serving self with as much vigor as any Israelite ever bowed down to a lifeless image. There has never been a time when I did not need You as my Savior.
Jesus: I had to accept the passage in Hosea by faith, even as you must walk by faith.
Me: I am glad to know that, Jesus! I love You!
Jesus: I am glad to show that faith to you. I love you!
I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly. Psalm 22:10
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Psalm 139:14
Lord Jesus, I ask You for protection for the little ones, who yet have no voice to speak for themselves, who have no option to flee. My heart is heavy and my sorrow is great. No euphemisms can assuage what I know deep inside. Hear my cry, for I am without words.
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
1 I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. 2 And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. 3 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, it will not tarry. 4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. 5 Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people: 6 Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay (heavy debt)! 7 Shall they (creditors) not rise up suddenly that shall bite thee, and awake that shall vex thee, and thou shalt be for booties unto them? 8 Because thou hast spoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall spoil thee; because of men’s blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein. 9 Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of evil! 10 Thou hast consulted shame to thy house by cutting off many people, and hast sinned against thy soul. 11 For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it. 12 Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth a city by iniquity! 13 Behold, is it not of the Lord of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity? 14 For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. 15 Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness! 16 Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the Lord’s right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory. 17 For the violence of Lebanon shall cover thee, and the spoil of beasts, which made them afraid, because of men’s blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein. 18 What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? 19 Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it. 20 But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.
Me: Good afternoon, Holy Spirit!
Holy Spirit: Good afternoon, Jon!
Me: It seems the instruction you gave to Habakkuk to write what You told him for later and for others, was very good.
Holy Spirit: It is a way of respecting what I Am telling you. The one who thinks he will remember all later deceives himself. This, he would know, if only he looked at how his remembering has worked in the past.
Me: Then Your word is not like the manna which was to be gathered only for the day, and spoiled if the direction was not followed to consume what was gathered? I have heard preaching that says the gathering of manna was meant to teach that we are to have to have a fresh conversation with You every day.
Holy Spirit: You are to have a fresh conversation with Me every day! However:
For,“All flesh is like grass, And all its glory is like the flower of grass. The grass withers, And the flower falls off, But the word of the Lord endures forever.”
1 Peter 1:24, 25
I asked Habakkuk (and you) to write down what I Am telling you to make it more permanently available to you. You are flesh, and do not always understand Me at first. If you go back and look at what I have said to you earlier in light of what I have told you later, I Am able to reveal both error and incomplete understanding. Habakkuk was called as a prophet. Whereas, you are not. Yet, I Am watching over My Word to perform it. (Jeremiah 1:12)
Me: Most (all?) of the prophets spoke of the iniquity of the people, serving idols instead of You.
Holy Spirit: Yes. Has the iniquity of the people changed? Do not many serve idols to this day? If anything, they are more proud; they serve their own appetites and stop their ears to all that I Am saying, all the while claiming that idol worship ceased with antiquity. In fact, they are more corrupt; serving only self and thinking not of another.
The Old Testament prophets spoke under the Law. You understand that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law:
Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the Law.
The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
1 John 4:8
Do you yet love as Jesus loves?
I am no longer going to be in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, so that they may be one just as We are.
The glory which You have given Me I also have given to them, so that they may be one, just as We are one;
Are you seeing unity, or division?
And knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and no city or house divided against itself will stand.
Do not despair that many are not seeking Me. Have I not proved that I will work with the remnant? And, that it is My work to change hearts of the willing?
In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, since otherwise grace is no longer grace.
Romans 11:5, 6
Me: I pray you will help us consider what idols we have put before You and help all to lay them down, seeking You and Your righteousness! Let us individually be restored to You that we might together be all that you have desired!
Holy Spirit: I will help any who humbles himself enough to consider.
Me: Thank You Holy Spirit! I love You!
Holy Spirit: You are welcome! I love you!
PS: About the First Amendment Tablet on the Newseum building on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. : Bizjournals
The featured picture is simply one I captured on December 12th. In no way am I suggesting that our (US) Constitution or Bill of Rights is an idol. These are not things we should lay aside. Ever. Rather, these truths have always been properly understood as the intention of God concerning the liberties He bestows on His children because we are made in His image and He is constrained only by His own word and by His perfect nature.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
I am awed, really, how God is faithful to reinforce the messages He is strengthening in my life. This verse in Ephesians is a mighty example. I tend to get discouraged when I try to communicate truth I find helpful into the lives of friends who are engaged in self-defeating thought patterns and clearly suffering. I am dismayed when it seems my attempts fall upon deaf ears and the troubles of my friends persist. I find myself feeling that there is something I have failed my friend in; some way I have let him down. I stumble into the same trap that Moses did when he argued with God that he wasn’t articulate enough to carry the message (Exodus, chapters 3 & 4).
Of course, it is easier for us to recognize these patterns in others than in ourselves. The things we believe that are not true and that lead us to trouble are not easy to root out precisely because our internal filter (belief system) is contaminated by the lies we believe. These beliefs seldom bear scrutiny in the light of day. They are more like an unconscious subtext running subliminally in the background. Some of them may have come into existence when we were mere “infinks”*, when we didn’t know any better.
Better, I would meditate on verses like Ephesians 3:20 until the truth of it is fully ingrained in my heart that it is God, and God alone, who is able to do exceeding abundantly above anything I would even conceive of. Meditate until I can stand without wavering upon the truth that He is already at work in me to accomplish things that are hard to believe. Impossible, in fact, in the natural realm. The believer ALREADY has the Holy Spirit dwelling on the inside. What is left is is the transforming of the mind to align with this truth (Romans 12:2). In that way – meditating on these powerful truths in scripture – these failures to grasp the truth in daily life can be rooted out. In me. In my friends. In You. In Power.
Eat your spinach, you no good infink. Eat it. EAT IT. Eat it.
I am grateful that You made it clear that a thankful heart is part of the wisdom of living a wise and sober life in the power of Your Spirit!
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
See then that ye walk circumspectly1, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Me: Good morning, Father!
Abba: Good morning, Jon!
Me: How are the days evil, Father, since we are also told to rejoice for this is a day that You have made? (Psalm 118:24)
Abba: I have made the day. Who else? In the beginning everything I made was “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Consider these passages and see that the evil in any day did not spring forth of My choosing:
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Who devise evil things in their hearts; They continually stir up wars.
Who with perversity in his heart continually devises evil, Who spreads strife.
The one who is in Christ, however, is called to His work:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
And part of His work, in which you are called to continue, is this:
He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
1 John 3:8
That is why the word in Ephesians 5:16 says “Redeeming the time”. In so far as it depends upon you (Romans 12:18), you redeem your day from evil. What depends more upon you – what do you have more control over – than how you engage the time allotted to you?
Men must choose: walk in faith in Me, in what My word has asserted is true, or cower in fear according to the lies of the devil.
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
1 John 4:18
Me: Thank You Father! I love You!
Abba: You are welcome! I love you!
1 Circumspect: careful to consider all circumstances and possible consequences; prudent (Merriam-Webster.com) [Latin circum – all around, in a circle; spectat – look.]
Father, I am grateful for today, for today’s opportunities, for its promise, for Your creation of it, and for Your presence in it.
This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
Me: Good morning Father!
ABBA: Good morning Jon!
Me: Rejoice now, wait-and-see for tomorrow? No boasting?
ABBA: Boast not of self.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
Here is a list, containing reference to boasters. See what company it keeps:
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
If, instead, you speak truthfully of Me and of My workmanship in your life you will unleash My power for good.
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
These things apply to you as an individual. Individuals make up families, organizations (from churches to governments), to all of society. I Am able to make the difference between health & joy and rot. The choice is yours.
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
Me: Good evening, Holy Spirit!
Holy Spirit: Good evening, Jon!
Me: We met with the Tea Party group today and talked about how readily people laid down their freedom to assemble together and to to pursue their pursuits. Really, to pursue Your pursuits.
Holy Spirit: There was a bit of imprecision in that gaze backwards.
Me: In what way, Holy Spirit?
Holy Spirit: You were told that by giving those things up temporarily you could help save the lives of the vulnerable. No one wanted to put others at undue risk. As good citizens, you complied with the instructions you were given (with great emphasis on how critical they were). I told you in the scriptures to obey those who rule over you. (Romans 13) In that same chapter, you find this verse:
Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
It is only as the situation with Covid-19 unfolded, that you realized that much of the information that was given at first was mere guesswork, followed by fearful speculation, followed by manipulation by those with agendas aimed at control which was itself aimed at grasping power. Power at terrible expense to many, I would add.
Me: Hardly any of us want to be responsible for the sickness or death of another. We hear of ones who have died. Most imagine them innocent victims of random illness. There is little recognition that we are all appointed to die on account of the wages of sin is death and therefore our own doing. The only question, really, is the precise time of death. The ones aiming at control certainly never mentioned the name of Jehovah Rapha, lest hope derail their plans.
Holy Spirit: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
If one knows Me, then he knows that not even death will separate from Me. It is My perfect love that cast out fear.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18
Your freedoms are from Me. They are not granted by any government. You need not fear those who can only kill the body. (Matthew 10:28)
Me: I wouldn’t consider myself brave enough to face the power of the government the way Jesus did.
Holy Spirit: He was looking ahead to His death when He spoke the words of Matthew 10:28. You are not trapped by the empty naturalistic dogma that has enslaved many, for you believe what I say to you.
It is only the most evil who would use the love you hold for others as a weakness to be manipulated. He does this because he does not understand the very power of the love he would use to control is Me, and I will be his undoing. Blinded by his rage, your enemy does not even recognize he is attempting to lay hands on Me. Imagine his surprise when his scheme goes wrong.
And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee. – Exodus 15:26 KJV
Me: Good morning Father!
Jehovah Rapha: Good morning Jon!
Me: This part of your nature, stated in Exodus 15, certainly seems little understood in our day.
Jehovah Rapha: Many have been inoculated with naturalism, now believing that-which-is came in to being by chance through eons of random processes. Plus, the prophets of fear are peddling hopelessness and fear over the very air that I made to sustain you.
I created you with a marvelous “immune” system make you able to withstand and fight invaders too small for you to see. It works without you having to think about it. But what you think – what you believe – certainly does affect its effectiveness. If you are filled with hope because of confidence (faith) in Me, it works best. If you are stressed because of fear and doubt and worry and negativity, it will be suppressed. The channel of fear into your life generally has an off switch. I recommend that you use it. If it comes person to person, consider that interaction an opportunity to counter fear with the truth. In so doing you will help the other one as well as yourself. What keeps coming out of your mouth is very important (Mark 11:23 KJV).
One of the points of fear that is coming out is that the virus making its rounds now is “novel” and you therefore do not have immunity. However, I made your immune system to learn and remember. Otherwise, vaccinations would be useless. Those who are already compromised in some way are said to be at greater risk. This should be common sense. They are already weakened by some issue and have not been walking fully in My promises, usually for a long time. The medical profession would call their condition “chronic”. Notice the root of the word is from khronos – time.
Me: None of us have been successful at walking in all that You have said, at least not on our own. We did not fulfill the requirements of Exodus 15:26.
Jehovah Rapha: I Am the One who knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). Nothing surprises me. I Am Jehovah Jireh – your provider. As I provided the sacrifice for Abraham (Genesis 22:14), so I have provided My Son Jesus as sacrifice for your sin. He Himself has said that there is none righteous except God (Mark 10:18). As you are in Him, consistently walking in the Spirit that I have given to empower you, you become righteous in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). He has fulfilled the requirements of Exodus 15:26 on your behalf, if you accept that He has and choose to abide in Him (John 15:4). Is this the hallmark of your life? I know that it is. Many, though, only call on me in times when they are already in trouble. Trouble in mind, trouble in body, or trouble in circumstance. It is harder to exit the mire than to avoid it. They want something from from Me when they call rather than to be in My presence. I desire fellowship with you. That is why I Am redeeming you and you are to walk in that promise. What do you think? If you draw near to Me, will evil like the surroundings?
Me: Thank You Father! How much better to run into the shelter you provide and avoid all kinds of trouble. How much better to enjoy health and peace and all of your mighty promises to those that truly love you! I do love You!
Jehovah Rapha: You are welcome! Thank you for spending this time with Me! I love you!
But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. Acts 20:24 King James Version
(The featured image taken outside Larry Pearson’s metal shop in Radcliffe IA.)