Thursday, August 20, 2020

Speaking Isaiah



Isaiah Summary

Isaiah's vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem during the times from Uzziah to Helzekiah. Israel had rebelled, didn't even know Him. Their land was desolate. He said to remove their evil deeds and learn to do good. He said He would turn His hand against the faithful city also who had become a harlot. But then He would restore it and they'd be called the city of righteousness. His mountain will be called the chief mountain and people will come to be taught the ways of the Lord. He will judge the nations. A remnant in the land will be purged and called holy, to remain as the seed of the stump. 

He spoke of the Branch, the Promised One, who will break the yoke of burden. The root of Jesse with the Spirit of the Lord. The seven spirits of God will strike with the rod of His mouth and slay the wicked. 

He spoke of the star of the morning who's fallen from heaven. He wanted to ascend above the Most High, he will be brought to Sheol. His sons must not arise and take possession of the earth. 

He prophesied concerning Babylon, Assyria, Damascus, Egypt, Ethiopia, Tyre. They will cry out from the west concerning the majesty of the Lord, so glorify Him in the east.

The Lord said He has worked wonderful plans from long ago. Israel will blossom and fill the world with fruit. But they wouldn't listen. Even the priest and prophet reeled with strong drink. All those who are intent on doing evil will be cut off. He offered to save them through repentance and rest, but they were not willing. Blessed are those who long for Him. 

He told them their Teacher will no longer hide Himself. He will bless them and heal the wound He's inflicted. There will be refuge, streams, and shade when the Spirit is poured out from on high. Take courage and don't fear. 

Sennacherib came and spoke words to produce fear, but Hezekiah prayed and the Lord defeated him. When Hezekiah was ill, he prayed and the Lord gave him 15 more years, but he showed the men of Babylon all his treasures and the Lord told him they would all be carried off to Babylon. Yet, Babylon will be ashamed. He gave Israel into their hands but they did not show mercy. 

He told them they fast to solve disputes, not to make their voice be heard on high, not to undo the yoke or free the captives, or give bread to the poor, the homeless, the naked, or even their own flesh. Instead, remove the yoke, the pointing finger, the speaking of wickedness, and take care of the needy. Keep from your own pleasure on the Sabbath and delight in His holy day. 

He said that His covenant is His Spirit upon you. His words in His mouth will not depart from you or your children or grandchildren. His holy city will no longer be called Desolate or Forsaken, but "My Delight is in Her" and "Married." He is our Father, our potter. We are the clay, the work of His hands. He will dwell with the humble and contrite, those who tremble at His word.

  • The Lord is tired of outward expressions of worship and righteousness which are not sincere.
  • The word of the Lord removes dross.
  • Judges and counselors can be restored.
  • The mountain of the Lord will rise, come and learn His ways.
  • The Lord gave the vineyard to the people to produce fruit, but those who get drunk instead and pay no attention to Him will be cast out.
  • Man will be humbled, but the Lord will be exalted in judgement, and revealed as holy.
  • The remnant who remain will be called holy, purged by the spirit of judgment and burning.
  • Recognize the hand of the Lord when it strikes because of sin, but the tool He uses to bring correction should not become arrogant either. The Lord's attention will turn to him.
  • The Promised One will be a great light and break the yoke, rule with justice, and there will be no end to His government.
  • Give thanks to the Lord when His anger is turned from you. He is your strength and song and has become your salvation.
  • The proud will die out.
  • False strength will fade.
  • When civil war, demoralization, cruel, and foolish leaders, famine, and economic troubles occur, turn to the Lord and cry out to Him. 
  • Pledge allegiance to Him. He will hear and send a Champion, a Savior, to heal and deliver.
  • Don't trust in nations or the weapons of a king, or false gods and idols.
  • The Lord clothes with authority for His righteous purposes, but the earth totters under heavy transgression and will be destroyed.
  • The Lord will reign in Zion and Jerusalem.
  • The judgments of the Lord bring righteousness to those who learn. Give ear and listen.
  • He has wonderful plans-a lavish banquet. He will wipe away all tears and remove the reproach of His people.
  • Open the gates so the righteous nation may enter.
  • Distress comes to those who reject the Lord, refuse His instruction, and make their own plans and alliances. Who honor Him in word only, not in heart. 
  • The Lord is judge, lawgiver, and king.
  • He is the stability of your times.
  • When the Spirit is poured out from on High, justice and righteousness will dwell in the land.
  • Never mind their threats, walk on the highway of holiness where they can't reach you.
  • Spread their threatening letters before the Lord. He will deliver, and all will know He is God.
  • What you do in this generation affects the next. 
  • He does not become weary. He gives strength to the weary.
  • The Spirit of God placed upon His Servant is a light to the nations, a covenant of the people.
  • Sing a new song from the ends of the earth. Praise Him in the coastlands, He's doing a new thing.
  • There is no God besides Him. He has spoken and He'll bring it to pass.
  • Return to Him, Israel, He's wiped out your transgressions and sins. 
  • Your way is not hidden from the Lord. Only the Lord is God. The idols of the nations are nothing. He is the first and last. There is no God besides Him. He has announced and declared and planned, and His purpose will be established.
  • He has aroused Cyrus in righteousness.
  • The word has gone from His mouth in righteousness and will not turn back.
  • Every knee will bow to Him and every tongue swear allegiance.
  • He speaks and declares ahead of time what is to come so people will know He is God.
  • He tests in the furnace of affliction, but delays and restrains His wrath so His people are not cut off.
  • The Promised One has learned the way of a disciple so He knows how to sustain the weary with a word. He has formed Him in the womb to be a servant. He's given Him the tongue and ear of a disciple so He knows how to sustain the weary with a word. He was obedient, sacrificed Himself. A law will go forth. He bore our griefs and sorrows, all of our iniquities. 
  • Zion and Jerusalem, you've drunken the cup of the Lord's anger, but never again.
  • Seek the Lord while He may be found. Call upon Him while He is near.
  • He has interceded and no weapon formed against you will prosper.
  • You will be established in righteousness. Listen carefully to Him. 
  • God's thoughts and ways are higher. They water the earth and make it bud, as does His spoken word. They return to Him having accomplished His intended purpose. 
  • He who takes refuge in the Lord will inherit the land and possess His holy mountain.
  • He lives in a high and holy place, but also with the humble and contrite spirit.
  • In the day of your fast, remove the yoke, the pointing finger, the wicked ways. Take care of the needy.
  • Delight in His Sabbath.
  • Watchmen, do not be silent. Those who remind the Lord--don't rest or let Him rest until He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth. 

Prior posts:

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Speaking Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon


Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon
Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon

Ecclesiastes Summary

  • Each generation must learn, work, and discover wisdom, knowledge, and joy.
  • There are appointed times to each generation.
  • The works of God remain forever.
  • The works of man, whom are they given to?
  • One hand of rest is better than two fists of labor.
  • Two are better than one.
  • Listen and learn. Know the proper time and procedures.
  • You must know what will happen before you can know when it will happen.
  • Enjoy the reward of your labor, but pass on wisdom with your inheritance.
  • Your time on earth is short.
  • No one--rich or poor, wise or foolish, good or evil--controls his life after death.
  • God judges all things. Fear Him and keep His commandments.
  • Do your work with all your might, enjoying your days, your wife, your life, while remembering your Creator.
Song of Solomon Summary
  • The bride who seeks the king is beautiful to him.
  • Rest in his shade. 
  • Taste his fruit.
  • Look for his coming.
  • Listen for his voice.
  • If he's not to be found--seek him.
  • Embrace him when he's found and don't let him go until intimacy comes.
  • He comes with warriors and a wedding day crown.
  • Offer yourself, your fragrant garden, your choice fruits of intimacy to him.
  • Respond to his call. Don't hesitate.
  • Seek him and speak of his beauty. He speaks of yours.
  • His desire is for you.
  • Kiss him openly.
  • Give what is due from his vineyard--to him--and for the care of the fruit.
  • Let him hear your voice and hasten his return.

Prior posts:

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Speaking Proverbs



Continuing to speak the Bible out loud over this one year period, the summary for Proverbs is below. Prior links are at the bottom of the post.

Proverbs Summary
  • Seek out and study the proverbs, the witty sayings that teach the ways of God.
  • His wisdom, instruction, knowledge, and understanding are for those who choose the fear of the Lord. Choose it over the way of the violent and wicked.
  • Choose the upright and blameless way--kindness and truth--and you'll find favor with God and man, healing, plenty, and blessing.
  • Acknowledge Him, don't reject His discipline. It will add length of days, years, and peace to you.
  • Wisdom, understanding and instruction will bring discretion and knowledge. 
  • Go after it. Don't forget it. Embrace it. She will guard you. They are life and health.
  • The voice of wisdom is crying out. She is the path of righteousness and truth. Diligence and discernment. Generosity and discretion. The fear of the Lord.
  • Foolishness also calls out offering false wisdom.
  • Arise and awaken to righteousness. Desire and seek after it. Follow it. It will exalt your nation.
  • Let your words be few and true. When you speak, ponder what and when to say.
  • Speak wise and pleasant words. Life -giving reproof.
  • Commit your plans to the Lord and they will be established. He will direct your steps.
  • Don't follow the path of the fool, lazy, drunkard, angry, or liar. 
  • Don't trust in riches.
  • Maintain integrity, even if it means being poor.
  • Be generous to the poor.
  • Keep strife out of the home to bring the favor of the Lord.
  • Your words will feed you. Choose them wisely.
  • The righteous king will be upheld. Loyalty and truth will preserve him.
  • Hasty and lying behavior to gain riches and feed appetites lead to poverty and death.
  • Laziness, debt, bribery, and bad counsel lead to trouble.
  • Guard your mouth and tongue.
  • Listen to truth--buy it. Don't sell it.
  • Be pure in heart, applying discipline, humility, and the fear of the Lord.
  • Be diligent. Make plans. Listen to knowledge. Be generous.
  • Let the wicked counselors and advisors be removed from the land, from leadership positions and influence. 
  • Establish leadership positions in righteousness, built by wisdom, established by understanding, filled by knowledge.
  • Let the faithful and wise rise up and lead.
  • Seek understanding and friends who also seek understanding. Listen to their counsel and rebuke.
  • The king brings stability to the land by justice.
  • Remove bribery from leadership.
  • Let the king judge all things in truth.
  • Let the righteous kings arise. Those who do not desire drink, but soberly maintain what is right.
  • Speak up for the rights of the unfortunate. Defend the needy and afflicted.
  • Let the wise wives arise who fear the Lord and tend to their homes, families, and business with strength, dignity, wisdom, and kindness.
  • Let the pure generation arise who bless their parents, heed wisdom, are humble and generous.
Prior posts:

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Speaking Psalms

Continuing to speak the Bible out loud over this one year period, the summary for Psalms is below. Prior links are at the bottom of the post.

Psalms Summary

  • Delight yourself in the law of the Lord--you will be fruitful in season and sleep in peace.
  • The wicked will fall in their own pit.
  • Both the righteous and wicked are in the earth. The wicked curse and deceive, think there is no God and no consequence.
  • God looks for those who understand and seek Him.
  • He judges the nations righteously.
  • The righteous will behold His face. Their heritage is beautiful. Their heart is tried.
  • The Word of the Lord is pure, tried in the furnace of the earth.
  • He is with the righteous generation. He answers the prayers of those who see His glory and the perfection of His law--those who fear Him and know that without Him they can't even discern their own error.
  • Wait before the Lord. Seek His face. Behold His beauty.
  • The shepherd king leads, guides, and teachers. He delivers, instructs and shares secrets with those who stand before him with clean hands and a pure heart.
  • Seek to dwell in His house. Look for His purifying truth-telling light.
  • Declare His righteousness to the next generation.
  • Let the faithful take courage. Don't fret because of the wicked. They will wither and fade.
  • Keep your tongue from evil.
  • Cultivate faithfulness.
  • Delight in the Lord. Commit your way to Him. Rest in Him. Trust in Him.
  • Fear the Lord and you will not lack. You'll be delivered from every affliction and those too strong for you.
  • When the heavy burden, wounds, and anxiety of sin comes, confess to the Lord. Ask for healing of the soul. Thirst for God. Delight in His law. Speak of His faithfulness, salvation, lovingkindness and truth. 
  • Truth and lovingkindness will preserve you continually.
  • Each generation must learn from the past. Learn from the stories, but the future replaces the past.
  • Don't trust in wealth.
  • Days, times, seasons, years, and lifetimes, judge the people.
  • Make a covenant with God--a broken and contrite spirit--a sacrifice of thanksgiving. 
  • If He is silent to the wicked it doesn't mean He agrees.
  • The wicked speak evil from birth.
  • Take refuge in the shadow of God's wings until destruction passes by.
  • Your tears are in His bottle and book.
  • Lead us to the higher rock.
  • Shout joyfully and lift your hands to the One who is worthy and delivers you. Who stills the seas, waves, and tumult of the people.
  • He cares for the needy.
  • His enemies melt like wax before Him.
  • God hears the cries and prayers of the afflicted, their sacrificed songs and thanksgivings. He knows their folly and wrongs. He is their rock. 
  • Declare His wondrous works!
  • Don't grow weary in keeping yourself pure.
  • Don't envy the wicked for their time of destruction will come.
  • Wait. 
  • Remember His deeds.
  • All the earth is prepared and appointed by Him.
  • He judges at the appointed time.
  • Fear the Lord all the earth.
  • Tell your children the wonderful works of God, and the rebellion of their fathers. Tell them of God's mighty deeds and to trust Him and keep His commandments. Tell them to tell their children.
  • God shows favor to the land. Fear the Lord so His glory may dwell in the land.
  • Sing to God, your strength.
  • Remove all false gods.
  • The DNA of God and man through David--Jesus--merged to form a timeless generation of people--sons of God, to live and dwell both on earth and in heaven.
  • The years of our life, the voice of creation, and the adversity of the wicked, teach us so we may present a heart of wisdom to God in the end.
  • Tell of His glory all you people, all creation. 
  • Sing of His wonderful deeds. Salvation--His sovereignty rules.
  • He is coming to judge. His angels perform His word and obey His voice.
  • Write, so a people yet to be created may praise the Lord.
  • Seek Him continually and consistently with all your breath and life.
  • He's clothed with splendor, majesty, and light.
  • Winds and fire are His messengers and ministers.
  • All the earth listens to Him.
  • Turn from evil and seek Him.
  • He brings the hungry to streams and sets them on high.
  • Princes who oppress He brings low.
  • Deliverance by man is vain.
  • His wondrous works are to be studied and remembered.
  • Light arises in darkness for the upright.
  • The righteous enter through the gates of thanksgiving. They will not fear evil tidings. Their descendants will be mighty. They will live, not die, and tell of the works of the Lord.
  • The Word of God is pure and forever settled in Heaven. It is truth. See it. Delight in it. Treasure it. Meditate on it. Wait for it. Cry out for it. Love them. Lift your hands to them. Keep them. Walk in them. Choose them. Observe them. Let them counsel you. You will be blessed, pure, free, contented, wise, strengthened, insightful, understanding, and at peace.
  • Go to Zion--His chosen dwelling place.
  • Be Zion. Trust in Him, and like Zion, you won't be moved.
  • Arise O Lord to Your resting place.
  • Surround Your people. 
  • Let the brethren dwell in unity like the oil of the high priest and the dew of Zion.
  • He knows the inner thoughts and form of everyone from the womb.
  • Bless the Lord!
  • Search our hearts O God and lead us in Your way.
  • Offer prayer as incense and lift your hands as an offering to the Lord.
  • Learn the will of God and the way you should walk.
  • Follow His good Spirit.
  • Praise His works to the next generation.
  • Call upon Him in truth and He will be near.
  • His favor is on those who fear Him. 
  • With the high praises of God in their mouth and a two-edged sword in their hand, His godly ones will execute vengeance--the judgment written.
  • Let all breath praise the Lord!

Prior posts:

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Speaking Job

Continuing to speak the Bible out loud over this one year period, the summary for Job is below. Prior links are at the bottom of the post.

Job Summary
Job was a man from Uz. He was blameless and upright. He was very wealthy and helpful to the people. He sat in the gates and instructed the people. He had the final word on matters. He helped the poor and needy.  God saw him and was pleased. Satan, however, came to the Lord and accused Job of weak integrity saying he wouldn't hold up under pressure. The Lord gave permission to Satan to test him, yet within boundaries. Job's grief is great. He wishes for death. His friends come to visit him. Job maintains that he's done nothing wrong, that God has done this to him and he doesn't know why. He feels his righteousness didn't keep him safe. He says if he could argue his case before God he'd be vindicated. He says that his friends should comfort him, pity him, strengthen him, but instead they accuse him of sin and wickedness. They say he must have sinned and he should repent and then God would deliver him. The young one speaks after Job's friends finish talking and says that Job should listen to God's chastening and repent. Why should he expect God to tell him what He is doing? His case is before God and he must wait. He says that just because God hasn't come in anger, Job continues to talk and multiplies words without knowledge. He says that Job should consider the majesty of God and consider his own ways. The Lord finally speaks and humbles Job, speaking of creation and all He did to form it, and all He does to maintain it. Can Job do all that? Job repents. The Lord tells the three friends that they didn't speak right of Him as Job did. They will need to offer a sacrifice to Him and Job will pray for them. After Job prayed for his friends, his fortune was restored two-fold and his friends didn't suffer the wrath of God.

  • God boasts in His people's goodness, Satan accuses.
  • God provides evidence of His opinion because He is just in dealing with accusations.
  • Job was tested to prove God's claims.
  • When suffering or doubts arise, stay true to the Lord, even when you don't understand.
  • Know God's character as well as His power.
  • Look beyond a suffering person's words of despair. Strengthen, rather than condemn them.
  • Help the suffering person to not forsake the fear of the Almighty.
  • Don't faint when justice requires evidence. When God moves to strengthen you, or prove you, through testing.
  • Maintain your faithfulness through it all. Search your heart and call on Him.
  • Truth must be spoken in love.
  • Where is weeping? Where is intercession? Why take a stance against your brother instead of holding him up and walking him through his trouble? Where is comfort?
  • When hope seems about to die and everything seems against you, and circumstances are painful, don't forsake your faithfulness to God.
  • Seek the Lord when questions and doubts arise.
  • When He is silent, wait.
  • Are the righteous assured of never suffering trouble? Does trouble come only to the wicked? No.
  • Does God do, or allow, things for no reason? No.
  • Wisdom does not come up from the earth. It's not hidden in the earth. It's from God and He declares that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. To depart from evil is understanding.
  • Calamity tests your humility as well as your faithfulness.
  • Your faithfulness is not something to be arrogant about.
  • Judge by truth and God's wisdom, not appearance.
  • Seek Him. Search His heart as well as yours.
  • When trouble comes, seek God. He gives songs in the night. He teaches us more than the beasts and makes us wiser than the birds of heavens.
  • Seek to become more than a creature of the earth, but to become a song and wise.
  • Creation speaks of the mysteries of God. We can see them. God will show us.
  • The mysteries of God in creation speak of His mysteries, wisdom and ways.
  • A proper response is awe, humility, and fear of the Lord.
  • Don't speak of what you don't know.
  • We need the whirlwind of God to come so we can see Him and hear Him, not just hear of Him.
  • The testing comes not just to prove our faithfulness, but also to strengthen the areas we are weak in.
  • 1 Peter 5:9-10: Resist the devil firm in the faith. After you have suffered a while, God will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 
  • If we just had God's protection with no adversity, we may be able to appear perfect and blameless, we might even behave perfect and blameless, but adversity comes and strengthens us. Adversity comes so we learn to appreciate the times without it. 
  • None of us are God. We're not that pure. So the potential is there for sin. 
  • Darkness comes and we are thankful for light. Suffering comes and we're thankful for peace. Lack comes and we are thankful for plenty.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Speaking Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther

Ezra, Esther, and Nehemiah
Continuing to speak the Bible out loud over this one year period, the summaries for Ezra, Esther, and Nehemiah are below. Prior links are at the bottom of the post.

Ezra Summary
The Lord moved on Cyrus, King of Persia, to allow the Jews to go build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. They returned with gold, silver, cattle, valuables, along with the treasures of the old temple. They began to build the temple, but some people wrote letters to the king and had the work stopped until the reign of King Darius. When the prophets prophesied they began to rebuild the temple. The governor asked what authority they had to rebuild and when told it was Cyrus, he sent a letter to Darius asking to search the records and see if its true that Cyrus issued the decree. It was, and he was told not to interfere, and to give them whatever they needed. After the temple was built, Ezra, a descendant of Aaron and a skilled scribe in the law of Moses, came from Babylon by order of the new king Artexerxes to set up judges and magistrates in the land to judge and teach the people according to the laws of God.

  • The Lord can move on the heart of captors--those who appear as an enemy--to bring freedom.
  • He will fulfill His word spoken through His prophets.
  • Rise. Return. Rebuild. Rejoice. Refuse. 
  • Refuse to compromise with the enemy who led to the cause of the exile in the first place.
  • Let the prophets prophesy and let the builders build.
  • By decree of the King of kings and Lord of lords, rebuild the house of God.
  • Rebuild His dwelling place. Draw from the royal treasuries of the king to do so.
  • Pray, Worship, Celebrate, and take your place to maintain the work of the Lord.
  • Let the skilled scribes arise and take their place.
  • Appoint magistrates and judges to teach the people according to the law of God.
  • Before any great and potentially dangerous mission, seek the Lord.
  • Make sure you have what and who you need for the work and service to God.
  • Entrust the valuables to the faithful and honorable people.
  • When it seems as if all is lost, cry out to God with repentance and fasting. He will make a way.
Nehemiah Summary
Nehemiah asked visitors from Judah the condition of those who survived the captivity and was told their distress. Nehemiah wept, fasted, prayed, repented and reminded God of His word. He was the king's cupbearer and asked permission to go and rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. It was given. Enemies tried to stop the building of the wall. They mocked, threatened harm, made false accusations. The people continued to build the wall by day and guard by night. Nehemiah found the ancestral book of the exiles from Babylon. The people had become indebted, borrowed, and became slaves because of the famine. Nehemiah stopped the usury and restored the people to their land. The people were hungry for the words of the Law. Ezra read and the Levites explained. They wept with fasting and repentance and made a covenant with God to keep His law. They celebrated the Feast of Booths. the people settled in and around Jerusalem.
  • Seek to know the condition of God's people. If there is distress, seek God on their behalf.
  • Ask permission of the King. Tell Him your desires. Ask for the authority and resources. 
  • Go, and do the work of restoration.
  • Don't listen to the mockers. Build the wall. 
  • Don't listen to threats. Build and guard.
  • Don't fall for the enemies schemes to draw you away to do harm, to bring subtle fear, to send false prophets.
  • Be alert. perceive.
  • Take care of your brothers and sisters. Help them. Free them. 
  • Don't enslave them or use them for gain.
  • Know your bloodline and serve as He has called, ordained, and placed you.
  • Recognize the need to know the Word of God. His Law. His covenant towards you.
  • Hunger for His Word. Seek understanding of it. Seek out those who can explain it.
  • Surrender to His Word. Submit to it. Do it.
  • Study, learn and proclaim the history which brought you to where you are today.
  • Make the necessary sacrifices to keep His Word.
  • Give. Tithe. 
  • Churches--keep the Law of God. Honor the tithe as He commands.
  • Obey the laws of God whether there is a leader there to guide you or not.
  • Be the leader. Take initiative.
  • Do what's right when no one is looking. 
  • Stay faithful. Be consistent.
  • Teach your children to do the same.
  • Remain a people set apart for the Lord continually.

Esther Summary
King Ahasuerus reigned over 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia. His queen, Vashti, disrespected him so he wanted a new queen. Esther, a Jew, was chosen. Her cousin Mordecai had raised her. Haman was appointed by the king over all princes. He hated Mordecai because he wouldn't bow to him. He plotted to kill Mordecai and all the Jews. He got the king to sign a decree that they could all be killed and plundered on a certain day. Esther risked her life to approach the king without being called. She asked to meet with him and Haman at a banquet. In the meantime Haman built gallows and was going to ask the king to hang Mordecai on it. But that night, the king couldn't sleep so he read from the record book and found out Mordecai had once stopped a plot to murder him and he had never been honored. The king asked Haman what to do if he wanted to honor a man. Haman thought he was talking about him so he told him what he thought, but then the king told him to do what he had just said for Mordecai. Then Esther told the king about Haman's plot to kill the Jews which included her and Mordecai. Haman was hanged on the gallows he built. The king set Mordecai over Haman's house and he sent out a decree that the Jews could defend themselves on the day appointed to slaughter them. They did and the two days of Purim are celebrated to remember.

  • Stay true to the Lord. Bow only to Him.
  • The enemy will use his power, position, and influence to try and harm you. Fast, pray and be courageous.
  • God will make a way.
  • The beauty, kindness, and integrity of a people will position them so when the time comes, God's deliverance is already set in place.
  • Be humble and do what's right.
  • See the plan God gives you through to the end.

Prior posts:

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Speaking Chronicles

I and II Chronicles
Continuing to speak the Bible out loud over this one year period, the summaries for 1st and 2nd Chronicles are as follows. These two books follow the same time period as Kings. Prior links are at the bottom of the post.

1 Chronicles
The details of David's lineage are given. He was of the tribe of Judah. Saul was of Benjamin. The Korahites from the tribe of Levi were in charge of the sanctuary work. Saul died and David was made king. He captured Jerusalem, and Joab was made commander of the army. David built the stronghold of Zion--the citadel--the city of David. The tabernacle was in Gibeon at that time. David brought the ark from Abinadab's house where it was for 20 years after it returned from the Philistines. He brought it to Jerusalem with much rejoicing. They learned the proper way to carry it according to the Law of Moses. David wanted to build a house for the Lord, but the Lord said Solomon, his son was to build it. The Levite's duties were redefined as they did not have to move the tabernacle any more. David set some as singers to prophecy and praise the Lord, and gatekeepers over the treasures and affairs of Israel.

  • The actions of people affected their bloodline--some for good, some not. Consequences, atonement, repentance could chance some. Honor the bloodline of Jesus you've been given. 
  • Character and calling may both play a part in who is chosen to pass on the blessing and family birthright. Recognize His calling on individuals in the next generation. 
  • Gatekeepers, night-watchers, morning-openers, servers, singers, and overseers of the Lord's sanctuary---rise and take your place amongst God's people in America! Fulfill your place as God has ordained, appointed, commissioned, and called.
  • The appointment of a king is surrounded with warriors to enforce it. Warriors--arise to protect the appointment and re-appointment of God's chosen and anointed leaders. Enforce his positioning. 
  • Just because a commandment is old doesn't mean it is not valid. They are eternal. Timeless. They still contain their power. Search out all of God's commands. 
  • The desire to build a house for God, to honor Him as He deserves, with a permanent place, touches the Lord's heart, and this is place He will build His house--in the generations of those who long to honor Him in their hearts. Those people become His dwelling place, His house. Those willing to sacrifice for Him to give Him a permanent place in our midst. 
  • Prepare. Prepare your children to build a house for the Lord, to honor Him with the best. The very best. Provide them with what they need and prepare them. Instruct them how to prepare their heart.
  • May the leaders of the land recognize the importance of the worshipers and prophets. Arise, with the gatekeepers, guards, and overseers of the treasures, spoils, and affairs of the land. Speak to the leaders. 
  • The governing unit is family based. There are the priests and the army, but a family-based government.
  • Counselors to leadership should be men of understanding, scribes, tutors, friends, advisors, and commanders. Choose them wisely.

2 Chronicles
Solomon, David's son, became king. He offered 1000 burnt offerings to the Lord and the Lord asked him what he wanted. He asked for wisdom and knowledge to judge God's people. The Lord was pleased and gave him riches, honor and wealth in addition to wisdom. Solomon built the house of the Lord. It took 20 years to build both his house and the Lord's. He prayed for God to hear the prayers prayed towards this house. The ark was moved there and God came. The Lord appeared to Solomon and told him as long as he kept His commands he'd have a son on the throne. He kept Moses's law and David's commands but took the daughter of Pharaoh for a wife, and many wives later on that led his heart away from the Lord. The Queen of Sheba visited and was very impressed with his wisdom and wealth. He made gold shields and a great throne. His son, Rehoboam became king after him. He didn't listen to the elder's advice and ten tribes of Israel were taken from him and given to Jeroboam. Jeroboam made up his own religion so they wouldn't have to go to Jerusalem to worship. Many kings followed in both Israel (the ten tribes) and Judah (the two). Judah was taken captive by Babylon.

  • God has given us broad, wide choices. Choosing what is best for those in our care, rather than selfish choices, pleases God, bringing His blessings. 
  • The lovingkindness of the Lord is everlasting! 
  • If trouble comes, search your heart and repent, turn to Him, honor Him, keep His commands. Pray. He will hear, forgive, heal, and deliver. 
  • Rejoice in Him! 
  • Set your heart to build the Lord's house and your house. The two houses connected--mingled together, becoming one purpose and focus. This will keep your eyes from wandering, your mission clear and your heart pure.
  • The land of your influence and rule will be established. God's love for a people of a land will establish a godly king to rule. 
  • When a nation forsakes the Lord, trusts in other alliances and doesn't keep His commands, then land, treasures, lives, and peace can be lost. But when a nation seeks the Lord, covenants with Him, trusts Him, cleanses the land, and rebuilds the altars, then peace, prosperity, growth, and expansion come. 
  • Remain faithful at all times! 
  • Follow Him and teach the people to do the same. 
  • Be keen enough to recognize false prophets--popular prophets who say what people want to hear. Seek the true word of the Lord. 
  • Place teachers and judges throughout the land. 
  • When the godly influence is gone, a void is created. Bad counsel can spring up. 
  • Let the godly counselors and advisors arise. Prophets and priests arise. Arise and place the leadership. Counsel them. 
  • Listen to the Lord. 
  • Taking trophies of a victory can lead to pride causing foolish actions and challenges, putting yourself in positions and places you're not called to. From that seed springs wickedness and rejection of the Lord's ways. Listen to those who warn you. Don't make idols of trophies. 
  • Respect the positions of king, prophet, and priest. 
  • Let the leaders arise who will restore America--who will catch and disperse the vision for the land. An army on every mountain. 
  • Arise and cleanse the land. Transform the land and people into Your dwelling place! 
  • Prepare offensively, defensively, and strategically for the enemy. Discern what they say, even if they talk your language. 
  • Don't flaunt your treasures. 
  • Seek and heed His word, each generation learning to war.

Prior posts:

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Speaking Samuel and Kings

Samuel, Kings
I am continuing to read the entire Bible out loud over a one year period and proclaiming it over the land. Here are the summaries of Samuel and Kings. Prior links are at the bottom of the post.

1 Samuel:
It begins with God sending a baby--Samuel--to lead Israel into their next phase. His mother Hannah, said if God gave her a son she would give him to the Lord, so Samuel lived with the priest, Eli, from the time he was three years old. He learned to know the voice of the Lord. When the people wanted a king, Samuel knew it wasn't God's best for them, but the Lord told him to go ahead and anoint Saul as king. Saul disobeyed the Lord and He left him. The Lord led Samuel to David and he was anointed king. David became a great warrior--killed Goliath--yet he had an anointing on his music and the heart of the Lord. Saul was jealous of David and tried to kill him several times. David fled from Saul and didn't kill him when he had opportunity. Saul and his sons were killed in battle.

  • Cry out to the Lord to fulfill your part in His plans. Dedicate what is birthed to Him.
  • Consider the great things He's done for you. When you do, and follow His commands, you and your rulers will follow the Lord. He will be your God and deliverer.
  • God is able to do much with a little. Use what He has given you to fight the battle that needs to be fought.
  • Don't overstep your bounds of authority, but be courageous and trust the Lord.
  • The Lord anoints leaders. Lord, place your anointed ones into position. Let them bring Your Spirit into places of authority in our land. Prepare them so they will do right.
  • As the wicked rulers are being displaced by good, they may lash out, but don't fear. Stay faithful to the Lord.
  • Persecution may be severe at times. Examine your heart to be sure there is no wrongdoing in it. Be encouraged and stay faithful to the Lord.
  • Your back up and reinforcement may be those who seem unlikely. Don't treat them lowly. The Lord brought them to you. Have high expectations.
  • Don't avoid the hard path or seek the easy--take the right path whether hard or easy.
  • Don't despair if its taking a long time.
  • God may use your enemy to help you. Be wise and faithful to the Lord.
  • Don't compromise and don't despair when all seems lost. Seek the Lord.
2 Samuel
This book begins with David receiving word of Saul's death. David had so much respect for the anointing that he killed the one who killed Saul. He went up to Judah as the Lord said, and was made king. Abner made Saul's son king for two years, and then he was killed. David was made king over all Israel. He was 30 years old and ruled for 40 years. He fought the Philistines, giving Israel peace from them. He brought the ark back to Jerusalem. He showed kindness to the house of Saul to Mephibesheth. He sinned when he had relations with Bathsheeba and then had her husband killed in battle. That child died and a word was given that David's own household would rise against him, which happened in his son Absalom who undermined David for 40 years and then tried to take his throne. The Lord gave him victory, Absalom was killed, but a dispute arose between Judah and Israel over David.

  • Don't be impulsive when your enemy finally perishes. Don't assume your promised promotion until the Lord says. Seek Him, be patient.
  • Build his kingdom. The Lord will remove the obstacles and establish the leader who is after His heart.
  • Don't rejoice at the misfortune of others, but that the presence of God is returned to His rightful place--in the position of authority.
  • For His place to be permanent, instruction must be given to the next generation. 
  • The amount of good you do does not cancel out the bad. The Lord can't ignore sin. It must be dealt with as He says.
  • Don't judge yourself by different standards than what you judge others by. 
  • The Lord forgives and loves, but sometimes there are still consequences. They may be lessened or removed by repentance, but the fruit of it may still produce. 
  • There may be enemies who have planted seeds long ago, waiting for a time to take over. The Lord sets one up and brings another down. Stay faithful to Him.
  • Don't compromise His ways. Don't overthrow in your strength or against His will.
  • His presence is to remain in the king's house--the place of authority in the land--don't use it for personal gain.
  • The Lord strategically places people in influential positions. Pray for the advisors to those in authority to be giving good and righteous counsel to the king, foolish counsel to the wicked so the wicked are removed from authority.
  • When power is transferred, power struggles occur. Those anointed to rule must maintain their position until God says their time is up. Then it must be properly passed on to the next anointed person. Don't give it up to anyone else. 
  • May our president be one who rules righteously in the fear of God and be armed with iron and a shaft of a spear.
1 Kings
The second transfer of authority from one king to another--David to his son Solomon. Others wanted the position, but Solomon was the Lord's choice. There was peace under his 40 year reign. He had great wisdom and wealth. The Lord gave him both because he asked for wisdom to judge the people rather than wealth. Solomon built the house of the Lord from the plans David gave, and brought the ark there. He built a beautiful house for himself. He impressed others with his wisdom and wealth. Yet his foreign wives led him away from the Lord. He built high places for detestable gods. The prophecy came that ten tribes would be torn from him and given to Jeroboam. When Solomon died, his son Rehoboam became king and the ten tribes were torn from him. He remained ruler only over Judah. Jeroboam became ruler over the rest of Israel. But he built false gods, made non-levitical priests and made up feast days. Israel drifted further from the Lord. Ahab and Jezebel brought Baal worship. Elijah arose as a prophet of God and killed the prophets of Baal. 
  • May we always have leaders and those in influential positions with godly, pure hearts and the wisdom and discernment of God. 
  • May our leaders have knowledge, understanding, and truth. Wise, but pure in heart, and humble before the Lord. 
  • Don't be impressed by man's skill or display of wealth or wisdom, but seek the presence of the Lord--the hidden treasures of God.
  • Wives are influential. May we have godly wives of pure heart so families remain pure before the Lord.
  • If God has placed you in a position, He can keep you there without you having to compromise or sin against Him. But even if He doesn't, don't compromise.
  • A godly king brings stability and peace, wisdom and strength.
  • God's prophets bring truth, correction, and guidance.
  • Pure and godly kings and prophets are refreshing to the land and pleasing to the Lord.
  • Don't be intimidated by those who seem to have gotten a wicked stronghold and mock the Lord's ways.
  • There's a time to hide and a time to speak.
  • You are not alone. It's not all on you. God has a remnant to stand with you.
  • Do what He sets before you to do. Pass the baton properly. 
  • A majority does not make something right or true.

2 Kings
Elijah died and Elisha took his place, receiving a double portion of Elijah's anointing. He did many miracles including parting the Jordan, the miraculous filling of the widow's oil in empty vessels, the Shumanite woman's son, healing of Naaman's leprosy. He helped in war strategies by knowing where the enemy was. The kings in Israel continued to sin. Some of Judah's kings did. Jehu became king of Israel and eradicated Baal worship. Yet he still followed the false gods of Jeroboam. Judah's kings often did right in the sight of the Lord, but many left the high places in place. Hezekiah witnessed Israel's fall and exile. He did right in the Lord's sight. When he became ill, he prayed and the Lord gave him 15 more years. Yet during that time his son Manasseh was born and Hezekiah showed off Judah's wealth and strength to foreign nations. He received word from the prophet that Judah would fall and the treasures carried off. Manasseh, his son, did great evil and caused Judah's fall. Josiah was the last good king.

  • Prophets need the mantle of the Lord and kings need prophets. Both must seek the Lord.
  • A prophet in the land will testify to God's presence and blessing in the land through signs, words and actions. God's existence, power, love, and righteousness become evident.
  • Prophets of God, arise in America!
  • The prophetic voice can guide nations--warn and prepare. 
  • Prophets may be blamed for trouble, when they are simply revealing the Lord's heart and message. They must stick to the word of the Lord.
  • Prophets-anoint the leaders God has called. They will eradicate the worship of false gods. However, they must be properly taught and instructed in the ways of the Lord themselves.
  • Teaching, in addition to the call, anointing, and positioning, not to follow traditions of men, even good intentions, but God's commands, word and ways.
  • When victories are not won, seek the Lord as to why. Inquire of Him.
  • Search your ways, your heart, your traditions, no matter how long they've been held or who has held them. Be sure they are of God. What is written? What does the prophet say?
  • Following the Lord's ways bring stability to a nation--peace and blessing.
  • Search out the roots of what you do. Search for truth. 
  • What does it take for a people to forsake false gods?
  • Be aware of the antichrist culture that creeps in around you.
  • Elect leaders who will not compromise God's ways.
  • Do you only turn to the Lord when your life is in danger? When extinction is threatened? you or your nation?
  • What will come of your life, or your nation's extension? An evil son who brings God's wrath? 
  • Be wise, prepare, teach, and instruct future generations!
  • Even a good king may not be able to undo God's wrath on prior leaders.Once He decrees it for good, it can't be undone.
  • Yet repent, turn to Him, eradicate evil, teach children, for perhaps...

Prior posts:
December 7, 2019: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus
March 14, 2020: Numbers, Deuteronomy
April 25, 2020: Joshua, Judges, Ruth

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Speaking Joshua, Judges & Ruth

Joshua, Judges, Ruth
I explained in my December 7, 2019 post, I am reading the entire Bible out loud over a one year period and proclaiming it over the land. I'm writing down summaries of the chapters and books as I do. Here are the summaries for Joshua, Judges, and Ruth.

Joshua Summary
As long as they had those who knew the deeds of the Lord in leadership in Israel, the people served the Lord. We must teach our children His deeds, His part in giving us this land. The history books must not deny that, but proclaim the hand of the Lord in giving us this nation.

  • Follow the leader the Lord has chosen and anointed.
  • Prepare for the land He's promised you to become--spy it out.
  • Honor the Lord.
  • Keep His Word.
  • Be strong and courageous.
  • Teach your children. 
  • Remember.
  • May this generation's heart be circumcised before the Lord.
  • The blood of Jesus' cleanses all.
  • Don't touch what is banned by Him, even if everyone else is.
  • The final, major victory is to take the land at the high place.
  • Defeat the kings and kingdoms that were in possession of what the Lord promised to His people. Disable their strength.
  • There are more battles to distribute His allotments, but win the one in the high place.
  • As you take possession, remember to keep your word, your promises.
  • Do what is right. It may not be perfect, but give honor and promise where due, as the Lord has instructed. 
  • Don't wait. Don't hesitate. Go take possession. Survey and move in.
  • When all of God's good promises are fulfilled and all the land allotted, rest.
  • Look ahead to future generations. Teach them to keep the boundaries clearly defined--geographically and spiritually.
  • Teach them to keep divisions properly addressed and not to compromise God's principles.
  • Teach and remember the Lord.
  • Teach your children the history.
  • Teach them what the Lord has done for you.
  • Teach them how He has given you all that He has.
  • Remain faithful to Him. Don't go after false gods and you will be able to stay in the blessed land--you and your descendants.
  • The land is given to God's people, yet there are tests and work along the way to see if they will fight for it, if they will keep Him first in all things. If they will remain strong, determined, and learn to live the right way.
  • The strong and mighty works of God kept them on track.
  • We must learn how to teach our children in such a way of love and admiration for the Lord, while consequences are not forgotten.
Judges Summary
It started with war against the inhabitants of the Promised Land. Each generation had to learn to war. They had to be tested to see if they would serve Him or not. It ended with civil war. Fighting against Benjamin for how wicked they had become--like Sodom.
  • Each generation chooses the Lord which is the land of freedom.
  • The boundaries He sets are the boundaries of freedom. 
  • To not choose Him leads to slavery and bondage.
  • Strike with precision as the Lord reveals.
  • Come to know Him and learn how to walk with Him during the good times, not just the bad.
  • Teach your kids how to grow up in times of peace and remain faithful to Him.
  • Don't accept a leader whom God has not chosen. Even if he seems to have a "right" to it.
  • Remain faithful to the Lord for the true leader to arise.
  • Know your history. Know it well. Know the truth. It will be your leader and guide. It will bring deliverance.
  • Do what is right even in the face of loss.
  • Know your strengths and your weaknesses.
  • Know the source of your strength and honor that.
  • Don't play with your weaknesses. Don't reveal the secrets to your enemy.
  • Know who you can trust. Know their weaknesses and strengths.
  • Accused wickedness of God's people must be addressed with evidence and testimony.
  • Desire justice, forgiveness, and righteousness to be done God's way.
  • Take a stand against sin, not arrogantly, hut humbly.
  • Provide for restoration, but honor the Lord first above all.
Ruth Summary
During the time of Judges, Elimelech and his wife Naomi went to live in Moab due to a famine in Bethlehem. They had two sons who married, and over time Elimelech and the two sons died. One daughter-in-law, Ruth, returned to Bethlehem with Ruth. Ruth met Boaz, a relative of Naomi, who redeemed the land of Naomi which had belonged to her husband. He also took Ruth to be his wife. They had a son Obed, the grandfather of David.

  • The Lord provided a way for redemption and a return of the inheritance. 
  • In a time of trouble, a return to the land brought provision and the seed of a great king was born.

Prior posts:
December 7, 2019: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus
March 14, 2020: Numbers, Deuteronomy

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Inhale, Process, Exhale His Word

I mentioned here before that I am on an assignment which began Nov 1, 2019 and goes until Oct 31, 2020. I am speaking the entire Bible during this time-- reading out loud, writing summaries and making prayers and proclamations daily.

The Lord said that as His spoken word is released it will dispel the darkness, lies, and toxic breath of the land in America. It would be a cleansing of the land through the spoken word like Jesus said (John 15:3).

As His word is spoken--breathed out--its released as a breath of truth and life. With each exchange of breath lies are exchanged for truth. Not driven away, but changed. The inhaled truth is processed through the lungs and heart. As the heart is changed, the breath of the lungs becomes pure and releases life and truth with every exhale (word).

Specifically relating to the virus plaguing us at this time, this breath--His words that we've inhaled or studied and processed--will replace the toxic contaminates in the air (physical or spiritual) with life and truth, bringing both health and freedom. And the freedom will be more than the stay at home bans being lifted!

Psalm 12:6 says the words of the Lord are pure words as silver tried in a furnace of the earth refined seven times. We are the furnace and His words are processed through us--our heart, lungs and mouth--to release breaths of life and truth. As our spirits are filled with the Spirit of God, in alignment with His truth, then what is exhaled from our spirit--our breath--will be life-giving truth.

Take the time to hear and process the Word of God. Study it. Meditate on it. Put it into practice. Align your life with it. Make a point to intentionally inhale, process, and then, after all that, exhale (speak) the word of God.

Father God, we inhale Your Word. We ingest it. We breathe it in and allow it to be planted as seeds within our heart. We nurture it, process it, think about it, meditate on it, seek to understand it and apply it to our lives. We allow it to change our hearts, filling us with Your Spirit, so the fruit of our words that we breathe out are filled with Your life and truth.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Speaking Numbers and Deuteronomy

Numbers, Deuteronomy

As I explained in my December 7, 2019 post, I am reading the entire Bible out loud over a one year period and proclaiming it over the land. I'm also writing down summaries of the chapters and books as I read. Here are the summaries for Numbers and Deuteronomy.

Numbers Summary

  • After God established the laws for Israel, the army was established. The laws and guidelines of God come before strength is to increase.
  • The ark of God which held His presence was set up in the midst of the Levites with the army surrounding. Honor and guard the Lord's presence in your midst. Don't let it be neglected or abused. He is our center--of individuals, leaders and governors. We honor You Lord. We give to You. We worship You. 
  • Remember what He has said, but don't neglect to listen and watch for His movement. Follow Him when He moves.
  • Don't be discouraged by the hard work or the long journey.
  • Don't be afraid of bad reports.
  • Repent. Believe. Remember His Word and promises. Follow Him and His ways.
  • Know your place and position and do it well.
  • Don't rebel or force your way into places that are not yours to take, or lead in.
  • Stay faithful to the Lord through all the hard lessons, detours, and attacks. All will be well. He will provide.
  • Don't fall for corrupt honor. Stay true to what the Lord says.
  • Bless what He blesses and do not curse it.
  • The answer to sin is not more sin. Don't compromise even if surrounded by sin.
  • When you see something that you think needs to be--ask the Lord. Converse with Him. Show respect, but don't be afraid to ask.
  • May the men not be led away by lusts of the flesh and ungodly relationships. 
  • May the women be godly leaders in the home--true to the Lord and His ways.
  • May the prophets and those who speak for God remain true to Him, not turn away or fall into temptation. 
  • Remember our history, our founding and teach it to your children.
  • Remember Jesus and His sacrifice, honor Him and His teachings in all you do.
Deuteronomy Summary
  • We bless Israel for being an example. For showing us how important it is to keep God's commands in order to live and stay in the land He's given to us.
  • Learn Israel's history and learn America's history. Remember it. Teach it to your children and grandchildren.
  • Stop those who distort our history--who attempt to revise and distort the truth of the past.
  • The truth of yesterday and the obedience / action of today makes for a good future.
  • When the Lord blesses and loves a land the wicked will be driven out. The righteous will be allowed in--the righteous who love the Lord and keep His commands.
  • It's not our own goodness or strength that gives us this land. It's keeping the commands of God and His ways.
  • We stand against false gods. 
  • We bring tithes and offerings to the place the Lord chooses to dwell and place His name.
  • We celebrate with the ministers of His house, the widows, orphans, poor, and strangers. 
  • The laws of man are to be established from the laws of God, in submission to God's laws.
  • The land may be conquered little by little so the beasts don't overrun.
  • Remain pure, courageous, trusting God, and kind.
  • Don't mix seed. Don't confuse or distort. 
  • Remain undefiled. Remain pure through generations. 
  • Leave some in the fields for the poor to come gather.
  • Offer to the Lord from what He's blessed you with.
  • Write His commands.
  • Don't think you are the cause of your own blessing, or that there are no consequences to sin.
  • Blessings and curse--directly related to obedience to Him.
  • Thank You Jesus for redeeming us from the curse of the law. That as we believe in You, we receive Your Spirit, and have a way out of sin.
  • We serve the Lord with joy. We read and remember His commands. We sing them and teach them to our children.
  • If you fail, return to Him.
  • Don't take His blessing lightly.
  • Bless your children. They can experience promises you've not yet received.
  • Impart wisdom to your children. Teach them and bless them.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

The Forming of Beliefs

How and why do we believe what we do? How do we come to believe anything, not just about God, but our opinions and beliefs about life in general? To answer this question, we need to first realize that we have a connection with the world around us--the physical earth and the people in it. We are not all islands unto ourselves—gods who create our own universes with their own rules and laws. This would never work. There would be destruction all over the place as our “truths” collided. (Maybe this was what brought the earth to the condition of chaos in the beginning when God spoke our current world into existence). There is such a thing as Truth and it has the power to rule.

So let’s look at how the mind works. We must hear something first before we can form an opinion, agreement, or belief about it.
How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? Romans 10:14
This process involves our ability to hear, understand, and then judge ideas and concepts according to Truth. Bear with me, I’ll explain.

When we hear words, the sound goes into our ears and is processed by our brain. (Or, if we read words, they are de-coded by the brain through the optic nerve of our eye.) However it happens, we somehow “hear” language and de-code it—through sight, sound, or touch. For example, when we hear the word “winter” we know what it means because we’ve heard it before, and we’ve associated the sounds with the thought. (Or, if reading, we’ve matched the written symbols to the thought).

To some degree, we move from de-coding the sights and sounds to understanding the thoughts, concepts, and ideas that the author/speaker is trying to get across. The level of understanding varies according to our ability to think, allowing us to judge the thought according to Truth.

If you hear “the dog is red” you can understand what each word means separately, but you group them together to get the thought—the image—the phrase is conveying and in your mind you see a red dog. Thoughts and concepts vary in complexity. “The red dog is barking at the cat while a screaming man is running towards them.” Gives you a more complex thought than just “the dog is red.” You could ‘read between the lines’ to examine motive and predict what might happen. More complex sentences bring you into ideas, thoughts, rationales, explanations, right and wrong, truths etc.

Some people don’t get past the basic de-coding. They’re happy to understand at a basic level, but not at a high enough level to judge whether the concept is true. It seems they are content to de-code and accept, but don’t spend the mental exertion necessary to fully understand what the person they are listening to is saying, in order to judge whether its true or not. This may be more than personal laziness; it may be because our current trends in education encourage mental laziness.

Educators, and sad to say sometimes parents, offer to do the hard thinking for their students. However, this is nothing more than indoctrination, and children don’t often know the harm in it and will take the easy path if offered.

It’s hard work to understand. It takes effort. I would say God makes it like that on purpose because He wants a people who know the value of Truth. Look at the effort He says to give in going after wisdom, understanding, and discernment:
Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; 3 For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; 4 If you seek her as silver And search for her as for hidden treasures;… Proverbs 2:2-4, emphasis added.
It takes effort. Yet people often skip over words they don’t understand while reading, guessing their definition by the context of the sentence. This can lead a person to agree with, and believe in, concepts that aren’t really true, with devastating consequences. Putting effort into thorough understanding is worth it. It’s necessary.

So how does this lead us to belief? Once a person decodes and then understands the thoughts and concepts he hears, he is then faced with whether he agrees or disagrees with it. Does he believe it to be true? Once again, some people don’t face this question. They are content to bounce around from thought to thought and let others do the “hard things” like deciding what is true.
As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; Ephesians 4:14
It’s dangerous to let someone else tell you what Truth is because there are those who will intentionally deceive you for personal gain if allowed. They’re not motivated by love for you (like Truth is). We must not be one who doesn't want to think and search for Wisdom and Truth.
Wisdom shouts in the street,
She lifts her voice in the square;
At the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings:
“How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded?
And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing
And fools hate knowledge?
“Turn to my reproof,
Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you. Proverbs 1:20-23
(Of course, this passage of Scripture goes on to say the consequence of turning against wisdom, which is not pleasant. It’s worth reading the whole chapter).

So once again, when we arrive at the place where we understand a concept, we decide whether we agree with it or not. It’s important to note here that agreement is more than having heard it once before. Some confuse familiarity or recognition of a concept with agreement.
The first to plead his case seems right, until another comes and examines him. Proverbs 18:17
Just because you’ve heard something before does not mean it is true. When a person hears something once or twice and recognizes the thought as one he’s heard before, he might begin to repeat it and talk about it. Now it’s been given life. It’s been given space, and a rumor, or lie, is born.

Agreement is not just accepting something you’ve heard before as true. It’s taking a concept, comparing it to Truth, and making a choice about it. Some want you to think you don’t have a choice over what you agree with or believe in. They may express ideas in such a way that they prompt you to search your memory for a similar thought. If you find a familiar concept there, you begin to accept it. However, remembering is not agreeing. Knowing what something means, is not agreeing. The thought must be judged according to the Truth, which involves the person putting in effort to understand the thought, and then judging it appropriately. It is said if you hear a lie often enough, you’ll believe it. This does not have to be. This is a strategy our enemy uses against us. Yes, there is an enemy who wants to mess up your life.
…the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
Agreement, or belief, is a spiritual thing. It’s free will. It’s a choice. Its where you say, “I want to know and believe this Truth,” or at least “I want to want to.” Agreement is not something you have no power over. If someone asks you if you agree with something, you don’t need to search some hidden reservoir inside of you to try and find out if you agree. You don’t search your memory banks to base your agreement on simple familiarity or recognition. You judge what you are hearing with what you have discovered to be Truth, and if it agrees with the Truth then you agree with it.  
Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; 9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12, emphasis added.
Those who reject Truth and choose pleasure in wickedness over Truth, will be deceived and judged. It’s not about searching your memories or emotions to see if an idea sounds pleasant or acceptable to you. It’s not about collecting a wish-list of ideas to create a fantasy land. It’s about loving the Truth. Looking for it. Searching for it. Submitting to it. Even sacrificing for it, if needed.
Buy truth, and do not sell it, get wisdom and instruction and understanding. Proverbs 23:23
Truth might cost you something. Do you still want it? Yes, because sincere agreement with the Truth is the only thing that will give life, love, freedom, and all that is good because God is Truth and He is all those good things. Some may have trouble with the word “God” because of a misunderstanding of who He is and His nature. But God is Truth. He is life, light, and love. He is all that is good and right. 
We want to bring the thoughts and ideas that we hear into alignment with what is good and right--what is life and love. This is what we want to agree with. This is Truth, and God is the source of it.

Let’s look again at how we come to believe, or come into agreement with a thought or concept:   

De-code it for a basic, parroting-type of understanding
Put mental effort--thought--into understanding the concepts and ideas presented
Judge the thought according to Truth
Agree (believe) or disagree with it

God has enabled us to determine Truth, not just from the Bible, or nature, or the experiences of other people, but He has given us access to the Spirit of Truth. When we compare the written Word of God, the experiences of our life, the testimony of others we know, with the Spirit of Truth speaking to our spirit, this gives us a confirmation that this thought or idea is of God—it is Truth.
Every fact is to be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses. 2 Corinthians 13:1 (See also Matthew 18:16, John 5:31-32, 1 John 5:8).
But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth… John 16:13
Truth is revealed to us, by God, in a variety of ways. The Bible is a tried and true way. In the Bible, truths were revealed to men by God. The Bible is a written account or record of what the authors experienced and what was revealed to them. Their testimony has become history.

The Bible is the most accurate record of Truth because it’s been proven over millennia. It’s been tried and proven to be true in the lives of billions of people. People have testified that in their experience, the truths of the Bible are in fact true. This is what it means to be His witness. (Acts 1:8).

Our own testimony, and the testimonies of others, are spoken or written accounts of experiences, which, when taken in their sum total of a person’s life, may be used as a record of truth. If studied, one might see the Word of God proven true in their life—whether the outcomes are good or bad. This person’s life, along with other non-biblical classics—books, art etc. don’t have the same degree of testing and proof as the Bible, but may still contain truths which will help those who read to understand them.

Deception occurs when a person believes what is not true. How? When a person believes something is true it means he has accepted it as an idea that can and will be enforced. So he adjusts his life accordingly and tells others to do the same. Once again:
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:5
We are in a war of knowledge, thoughts, concepts, and ideas. It’s political, yet spiritual. What you have heard, understood, and chosen to agree with is what you believe. If you’ve heard it, understood it and chosen to believe it, that’s where your faith is.

However, when you hear something familiar, that you’ve heard before, don’t mistake that recognition for faith. Don’t substitute the familiarity of a concept with belief or agreement with it. Understanding is necessary, only so we can properly judge a concept in accordance with Truth. If it doesn’t line up, don’t believe it. Don’t accept it. Others might, but you don’t have it. You have a choice. There’s thought involved. There’s free will involved. God made it that way.

You have a choice over what you believe in. You can’t change the truth by believing something contrary to it, but you can become deceived by choosing to believe something to be true when it isn’t. You have the ability to choose to disagree with the truth and not believe it, however, there will be consequence to that beyond your control. Truth, by definition, is something that has the power to enforce itself. We see this in laws of nature, like gravity. It’s true whether you believe it or not.
We have an enemy who wants people to think there is not one standard of Truth, there is no God, and there is no one to enforce Truth. This lie says that everyone can believe what they want. He uses the familiar to substitute for agreement because when a person agrees with the Truth, its powerful and our enemy doesn’t want that to happen.

This is why its important to read, hear, study, and meditate on the Word of God. To quietly hear from the Lord the concepts and thoughts He’s speaking to you in your inner closet, in your own still heart, where the Spirit of Truth speaks, to get an accurate understanding of truth.

The Word of God and the Holy Spirit within you, bear witness with each other to the Truth. And your own life becomes a testimony to it as well. Don’t just read and decode the Word, understand the concepts of it, according to what the Author means, then come into agreement with it. Judge according to truth, not familiarity.

This is why its so important to give kids the Truth at a young age.
like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, 1 Peter 2:2
We must not wait until our children are older thinking they can’t understand “big” concepts. Feed them pure Truth so they can grow. Feed them from the book of Proverbs, short concepts of Truth. The book of Job is an example of a book that needs to be read in its entirety to get the whole concept of it, but Proverbs is perfect for the young. Bite size nuggets of Truth that can be discussed, while they develop their “thinking” muscles.
Let these words sink into your ears; Luke 9:44

The Mission of the Church

I’m adding this section to the end of this (long) blog, because I feel it helps explain why developing relationships with other believers is important “and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25).

It is very difficult for one person, by himself, to research and investigate every piece of information he comes across. Every news story, every trend, thought, idea, concept, argument, etc. He needs to be connected to a group that he can trust. Each member of this group will have their own set of experiences, knowledge they’ve gained, opinions, thoughts, interpretations, revelations and so on. Together, this tribe of believers can think and discuss concepts and trends of the day and come to conclusions regarding what is True and what is not.
…When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation… 1 Corinthians 14:26
It’s like the story of The Blind Men and theElephant. Each has their own viewpoint, which is true, but doesn’t give the whole picture of what an elephant really is.  

The job of the church is to bring the thoughts, concepts and ideologies of the day, of the current generations, into alignment (obedience) with the Truth. Through our discussions we destroy “speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” This means that we judge the current ideologies according to the Truth, teach our kids, and stand publicly with the Truth as needed.

We trust those who are in our tribe, yet we must always put God first. We don’t believe what’s popular, even within our own group, but seek the Truth first. Then, together we stand for Truth.
We are God’s “witnesses.” We testify of His goodness, His love, and all of His attributes, as if in court. We have a testimony—experiences we can share that validate who He is, that declares that His ways are the Truth. That our life has proven it to be so.

Each one in our tribe has personal experiences, lessons of life, revelations of truth, which becomes our testimony. We gather these things from:

·       Personal experiences (our testimony)
·       Personal revelation (from meditation, study, and prayer)
·       Biblical studies (our private time which brings revelation and interpretation)
·       Autobiographies, biographies (the stories of others)
·       Fictional stories and classics (the thoughts and concepts of others)
·       Lectures, teachings, and opinions of teachers (doctrines)
We form our opinions and beliefs based on these things.
And Jesus said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings out of his treasure things new and old. Matthew 13:52
We must teach our kids from our stories--what we’ve learned, what we’ve come to believe, and how. Pull the old treasures from your house to share with your kids and grandkids. But there is also the new. Allow them to share their fresh perspective, based on what they’ve seen and experienced so far. It may be in its infancy, but they still have seeds within them that will need to be nurtured and grown. Rather than pulling out every concept that doesn’t agree with you, teach them how to find Truth and then, how to compare their seedlings of thoughts with it.