Saturday, November 30, 2013


Why have people from the beginning of time created idols for themselves? Does it really make sense to create something out of wood, stone or metal and then turn to worship it!

Some of the reasons are simple:

To control the simple minded.
Religious and political leaders want to control people. An idol is a graphic, visible, tangible object on which followers can focus on.

Religious leaders have constructed statues or point to natural landmarks as objects to worship! "Let's see what the volcano says!" "Look the statue is bleeding!" That piece of toast looks like a religious figure!" Of course, only the "highly trained, spiritually experienced leader" can tell us what these signs mean.

Politicians create their own idols! We have organizations controlled by a few "choice members" of a political party. We have procedures and demands of "the common people" which are so difficult to understand, question or resist, that most are forced to throw up their hands in surrender.

To control God!
An idol which we have created with our own hands has no mind or will of its own and therefore cannot command us, give us wisdom or even communicate with us at all!

But it can be molded into whatever image I may desire. The "will" of an idol which I create coincides with my will! If I want to have many wives, I can create a ""god" which advocates polygamy. If I want to embrace all religions, I can create an amorphous god who will comply with my wishes.

There may be a small amount of liturgy or ritual if I am so inclined. If I desire greater outward, rigorous discipline of mind, soul or body, I may opt to create a "god" who demands such rigors. If I want to sit on the beach sipping a cool drink, I can choose to create a "god" of pleasure.

There is a smorgasbord of gods out there for the taking. What suits my pleasure - or perhaps what suits me today or at this particular moment? If I am tired of my "god," I can simply move on, choose another or create another!

That is one reason the beliefs that "all religions are valid and equal" or that "there are many roads to God" are invalid. It is difficult to worship, or even respect, a God who advocates or demands so many conflicting beliefs! If he so capricious that he demands opposite actions based on his present audience, i.e. pleasure/discipline, it would be completely impossible to appease him or obey his commands. If a god reveals conflicting characteristics about himself based on geographical location, it should be obvious that the same "god" is not in both locations!

It becomes obvious that one of the main reasons we reject our creator is that He is the opposite of an idol! He does have a will apart from our own.

In the book of Exodus, He revealed Himself as "I AM," indicating some important facts about Himself:

1. He exists apart from man!
God is the Creator - not man! He did not need man to form, chisel or mold Him. All things have come into existence through His design and the work of His hands - not ours!

2. He has a mind of His own!
We fall into the trap of believing that God must explain Himself to us or be comprehendible to our finite minds! He is not under our authority, nor is He required to give account of Himself or make Himself palatable to the senses of mortal man! He has His own wisdom and keeps His own counsel and and does not have to explain His reasons to any man or men!

His mind and His ways are infinitely above the ways of man!

8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways,
and My thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9

3. When He reveals Himself, it will transcend our imaginations
Idols by definition are created from our own imaginations - God is not!

He will contradict any preconceived ideas we may have of Him! We may indulge in any amount of endless speculation about what God might say but it would fall far short from the ways and thoughts of the genuine living God!

We all might presume to speak for God from time to time. Like a ventriloquist, we can "project" His voice into a "dummy."Some are so proficient that the dummy almost seems alive. So it is with idols! A talented artist might be able to create an idol that almost looks alive. The "spokesman" or "prophet" of the idol might be convincing enough to make us believe that the idol is speaking through him. But alas, he can only speak words which originate in his own imagination!

Have we "molded" God into our own design or image? Or do we seek the true God who may, and probably will, contradict our misconceptions, upend our theology and realign our priorities?

If we genuinely seek Him, we will discover a reality and truth far above all that we imagined! But we must also heed this disclaimer:

Warning! He will not be controlled by us or speak only what we want to hear!

BUT... what He does speak will be far greater that anything we could ever imagine!

If you agree, disagree or would like to add an insight or comment…

Monday, November 25, 2013


In the movie version of Dr. Seuss' classic tale, "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas," the Grinch's heart grew three sizes when he realized "Christmas doesn't come in a store!" In other words, He found Christ! (Poetic license folks - poetic license!)

When his faithful, but abused, dog Max senses the change in the Grinch's nature, he jumps on the Grinch and starts licking his face ferociously! Although  the Grinch is enjoying feeling "all toasty inside," his response to Max was, "One step at a time Max, one step at a time!"

We so often miss the point that God deals with us "one step at a time!"

When we truly receive Christ into our hearts, like the Grinch, we are changed to the core. We too may feel "all toasty inside." Our nature is no longer to sin but to do good, no longer to rebel against God but to please and obey Him!

We decide to change and now present ourselves to God as "living sacrifices," choosing to live the rest of our lives for Him and not for ourselves. (See 2 Corinthians 5:15!)

When we present ourselves to any mentor or trainer, we submit to whatever curriculum or training  methods he or she may choose. He may tell us to do things which do not immediately make sense to us but eventually, we will realize their value. At the start, we may be impatient and want to progress faster, bored by the mundane parts of the training which bore us at the time.

Every musician must learn scales and every athlete must run laps before learning the finer points of his particular skills.

God often trains us in that way. We initially come to Him with great enthusiasm and want to fix every problem and be instantly changed. Though our inward man is instantly regenerated at the new birth, training the outer man is a process!

So, like any trainer, God starts with the basics. Go to church - Read your Bible - Pray - Witness. Because we are impatient, we want to move on quickly from the basics and have great adventures and do great exploits for God.

So we overlook the importance of whatever STEP God is giving us to take and focus on some future imagined accomplishments. We want to go from being out-of-shape novices to seasoned men or women of God!

11 ...THAT HE MIGHT BE THE FATHER OF ALL THOSE WHO BELIEVE, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also,
12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, BUT WHO ALSO WALK IN THE STEPS OF THE FAITH which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised.
Romans 4:9, 11-12 (Edited for brevity.)

WOW! Abraham's faith involved STEPS and was a journey not merely a turning point!

The first biblical reference to God speaking to Abraham was when he lived in Ur of the Chaldees. God gave him a simple step. Leave your family and your home and go to a place that I will show you." No blueprint of the future - no manual to follow - no further instructions. Just go!

Along the way, God appeared to Abraham and updated His instructions to Abraham and revealed Himself more fully. Twenty-five years after their first encounter, the son God promised him, Isaac, was born. Eventually, as Isaac grew, God spoke to him again:

1 Now it came to pass AFTER THESE THINGS that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”
2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
Genesis 22:2

Notice that God did not tell Abraham about Isaac when He first appeared to him but "AFTER THESE THINGS!"

Each step of the way, Abraham had a choice to make and a STEP to take!

He did not take one single step of faith which forever sealed his destiny but HE TOOK MANY STEPS OF FAITH! Each time Abraham was confronted with a choice, he chose to act in faith and deny the natural inclinations which cried out to him!

18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”
19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.
20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God
21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
Romans 4:18-22

It must be noted that, in the matter of Ishmael, Abraham did not choose the path of faith but tried to "help God" by hastening the birth of the promised son. This should encourage us because, although there were dire consequences to his actions, it did not invalidate the promise of God completely. It teaches us that it is better to wait patiently for God's promise than to waste time and suffer the consequences of going off on "spiritual tangents!"

God is not calling us to go from point "A" to point "Z!"


Don't stumble over the step which is right in front of you because you are looking too far ahead to see it!

What step is God calling you to take right now?

"But that is such a small step. What will that accomplish? I still have so far to go before I become strong in Christ. What good will it do?"

The Chinese philosopher Laozi said, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

We cannot leap a thousand miles, but we can get there if we simply take the step God is asking us to take right now. It may seem small. The step may be simply to wait. Just submit to God's capable training and do it

It may seem slow at times or it may seem like it is taking forever. You may even feel like it is a waste of time!

But if you keep walking, one step at a time,  you will find yourself farther along the road and even a journey of a thousand miles will be possible - ONE STEP AT A TIME!

If you agree, disagree or would like to add an insight or comment…

Thursday, November 21, 2013


I believe the National Football League was the first major sport in America to introduce and utilize instant replay as a part of the game in 1986. It had been used previously for entertainment purposes but was now would be used by the referees to make actual calls during a game.

The referee would look very closely at the play on video review until he was satisfied he made the right call.

It might be prudent for us to also "stop the game" in our lives and makes such reviews from time to time. If you're like me, it can feel difficult and annoying to slow down the pace of this fast-paced world to examine my life. With so much to do, and so little time to do it, we often resist taking time out to examine things more closely to make sure we are "making the right calls" in our lives!

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—MEDITATE ON THESE THINGS.
Philippians 4:8

Even in the Old Testament, the focus of our thoughts, or what we allow into our hearts, is identified as the source of the issues of our lives.

Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.
Proverbs 4:23

Jesus also confirmed that evil comes from what is in our hearts:

For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.
Matthew 15:19

As Christians, we agree with Paul's list when it comes to our conscious thoughts. Yet we seem clueless when it comes to what we allow into our subconscious!

The words or music we listen to and the images we allow into our minds are also part of our thought life. They can enter our subconscious and influence our mindset and ultimately, our actions. If certain thoughts are being planted into our minds, it does not matter whether we intend for them to become a part of our thinking or not. They will! Should we not then make every effort to assess what goes into our minds and hearts with great care and diligence?

In the past, congregations known as "Holiness" churches sometimes went too far in listing activities which were acceptable or unacceptable for Christians. Music was divided into "secular" and Christian. Dresses were to be ankle length. Alcohol, tobacco, gum and movies were sinful and should be completely abstained from by every Christian.

There can be error in being overly legalistic in setting the same rules for every person. Many have responded by rejecting any standards as "legalism."We have a way of countering error by allowing the pendulum to swing too far in the other direction. Just because all movies are not sinful does not mean that all movies are good for our thought life! Music that is not specifically "Cristian" is not necessarily sinful but it may be harmful!

The tests are simple. Does what we listen to or watch meet the criteria of Paul's list? Does it enhance or detract from the quality of our walk with God? What is the spirit and the message behind it?

Do we accept anything and everything into our mouths without hesitation because all foods are acceptable to God. I am not concerned if food is from America, Canada, Africa, India, Israel, China, Russia or Australia. In fact, I thoroughly enjoy the variety of foods which come from many different countries and cultures!

However, if one of the the ingredients on the label of a food I am about to eat is cyanide, I am pretty sure I would not eat any of it - not even a single bite! I am not rejecting it because it is a type or style or food, but because it contains poison! Hello - I am not putting poison into my body.

It does not matter how delicious it might look, if it is one of my favorite foods or how hungry I am, I will not eat it!

Most of us would agree to this approach to eating. At the same time, many of us give very little thought to what goes into our minds or hearts!

What are the "ingredients" of the music we listen to? Do they contain "poison" messages of hate, lust, greed, self-pity or rebellion - all the things which are contrary to God's will and His ways?

I do not wish to be burned at the stake as being "legalistic," but is it wrong to be just as selective about what we allow to come into our ears and eyes as much as we would our mouths?

I do not set myself up as judge to create a list for every song, video, speech, book or internet sight we allow into our thoughts. Nor do I suggest that if one wrong sound or image is allowed into your mind, you will be instantly possessed by the devil.

Yet I cannot imagine that what we listen to or watch has no effect on the quality of our Christian lives particularly if it is being regularly pumped into our minds! Can we really deceive ourselves into believing that we can have words, music or images pumped into our minds and have absolutely no effect on us?

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:1-2

The Greek word for transformed is metamorphoĆ³. It is the root of the English word, metamorphosis. One example of metamorphosis is when a caterpillar changes into a butterfly!

The same word is translated transfiguration when speaking of Jesus' transformation before Peter, James and John on the mountain:

1 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves;
2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.
Matthew 17:1-2

A glimpse of Jesus' glory was revealed when He was transfigured on the mountain. Paul tells us that we can be transformed by the RENEWING OF THE MIND! I am not suggesting that our faces will literally shine like the son or your clothes be supernaturally "Oxi-Cleaned" but there will be a real and powerful change - if our minds are renewed.

Doesn't it also work in the opposite direction? If our minds are renewed by thoughts contrary to God, will we not also be transformed in that direction?

The problem is that the effect is often subtle. "I visited that website and I didn't become a serial killer." "I played that video game and I didn't become violent." Perhaps not - but it will eventually take its toll and hinder your spiritual life at some level!

Can a man take fire to his bosom and his clothes not be burned?
Proverbs 6:27

Perhaps it will only result in spiritual mediocrity. Do we really want anything to lessen our transformation, cause us to shine less brightly or run the race more slowly?

1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us
2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2

...lay aside every weight.

Everything we do may not technically be "sins" but some can be "weights!"

I don't like taking some medicines because they make me drowsy and my mind less sharp. (I need all the help I can get!) And I certainly do not want to have weights on when I play sports. (I am heavy enough without them!)

We should all ask ourselves some important questions about what we allow into our lives:
  • Is the music I listen to encouraging me to live for God or is it a "weight" which is slowing me down?
  • Could the the images, movies and TV shows I see affect my spiritual life?
  • Do the people I spend the most time with strengthen my walk with God or do they pull me away from God?
  • Should I spend more time consuming spiritual "nutrition" and less on spiritual "junk food?"
It might be time to stop the game of life for a replay and review!

This is not a once-and-done action but should be revisited often!

The purpose is not to beat ourselves up for past mistakes or to "earn" God's blessings by our own efforts. It is to strive toward getting in better shape spiritually, toward the purity which allows us to see God more clearly and prepares us to be used by Him!

You might be surprised how much of the negative input in your life you can do without and how your life can be transformed when you renew your mind in the things of God!

If you agree, disagree or would like to add an insight or comment…

Thursday, November 14, 2013


It has been said that marriage requires work and nurture to be successful.

When two people marry there may be great excitement in the beginning. At some point afterward, the initial excitement may seem to wear off.

God's Fire Ignites Agape Love!
Perhaps a fire is a good analogy. You can't just throw a bunch of logs in a pile, light them and expect them to burn forever. You must rekindle them with more oxygen and keep adding new logs.

The world has many remedies for a marriage, which seems to be cooling off. One is to find a new relationship or a start a new marriage. They concept of marriage is seen as a drudgery and the command to be married "until death do us part" as a unrealistic burden.

The truth is that it is a drudgery and a burden unless you can inject new life into it!

Those who don't know God may try vacations together, date nights or even extreme solutions such as "open marriages" to solve their lack of passion. Allowing other "partners" within a marriage can never bring the deep unity God designed to be experienced in marriage.

Certainly quality time together is an excellent accelerant in a relationship but it is weak compared with kindling the fire of God in our hearts.

A genuine experiential relationship with God is the best remedy for any lifeless situation. Nothing burns brighter and hotter than the fire of God!

I am in no way suggesting religion. Religion is a dead practice that cannot bring life. I am speaking of  the fire which comes from an ever-deepening relationship with God, the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ!

When a person is growing in his or her walk with God, God's fire cannot help but be kindled within!

If two parties in a relationship are blazing with the fire of God, the flames of love and passion for each other will also rise!

Why? Because God is love, and whenever the fire of God is kindled within the human heart, love will always be kindled as well!

No one puts out a fire with more fire. When a fire starts, have you ever heard someone say, "Go get a blazing fire so we can throw it on this fire to put it out."? What will happen? The fire will only grow stronger!

If you want any relationship to grow stronger and be rekindled, apply some of the fire of God on it! 

Growing close to God will never fail to be rewarded if we persist!

This is the best accelerant for any relationship - marriage, friendship, family and even our relationship with God!

If you agree, disagree or would like to add an insight or comment…





Monday, November 11, 2013


Shortly after the children of Israel left Egypt, God gave them a very specific plan for a kind of temple called The Tabernacle. Without going into great detail, The Tabernacle was designed to lay out before us the way to God under the Old Covenant Law and to point us to the better way of the New Covenant!

This "way" was progressive. If anyone were to peak inside the outer court, they would see an altar made of bronze.

The bronze altar must have been an ugliness to it from the perspective of curiosity seekers. The mixture of the blood from the animals and the charring left from the hot fires that consumed them could not have been a pretty sight!

Farther ahead, they would see a wash basin made of bronze where the priests would wash and then change into their unusual priestly garments.

Still further would be a tent covered with badger skins.

What might one think if is he or she were to peak inside this tabernacle?

I can think of at least four reactions:

1. Questioning
What in the world is going on in there - slaughter, blood, fire, changing into strange outfits - what kind of religious nuts are they?
Why must they follow such odd, specific rituals?
What kind of God makes them do these strange things?

2. Repulsion or Rejection
This religion of Israel is too uncivilized for me.
There is too much blood and gore.
There are too many rituals to follow.

3. Faulty Conclusions
God must be on a great ego trip.
God is treating them like puppets, making them jump through all these hoops for His own amusement.
God must be insane.
The followers are weak and blind and do not have the intelligence to question these things.
If there was a God, He wouldn't make everything so complicated.

4. Foolish Decisions or Vows
I can never serve a God like that!
I can find God in my own way!
I'll find God in the beauty of life not through these strange, gory, demanding rituals!

If one were to reject following God after one quick peak into The Tabernacle, he would miss out on the glory which He shows to those who go deeper! Inside the tent covered with badger skins was the Holy Place - full of gold and light - an incredibly beautiful sight!

Also inside the tent but separated from the Holy Place, was the "Holy of Holies," or the "Most Holy Place!" It was in there that the very Presence of God resided! This is the glory of Tabernacle but it was unattainable under the Old Covenant, except for an elite few, on rare occasions!

Do you see the progression here? At first glance, The Tabernacle seemed ugly and undesirable. But as one progressed, he would see the place God intended, full of gold, light and God's very Presence!

So is the New Covenant of life in Christ one of instant, attractive beauty? 

I believe that that looking from the outside on the things of God can still evoke the same kind of reactions today!

The more carelessly, casually and superficially a person looks into Christ, the less he will understand of His true nature and the more bewildered and even repulsed he or she may be!

Isaiah states it clearly:

2 ...He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.

3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.

And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Isaiah 53:2b-3

[For many the Servant of God became an object of horror; many were astonished at Him.] His face and His whole appearance were marred more than any man’s, and His form beyond that of the sons of men—but just as many were astonished at Him.
Isaiah 52:14 Amplified Bible (1)

Christ had no special beauty and was not naturally desired or esteemed. A superficial interest in Christ will not reveal His glory! Even today, the initial reaction of a mere glance into the Christian life may be the same, but as one goes deeper into this life we call Christianity, the beauty and glory of God is progressively revealed!

"Why would I want to become a Christian?" the casual observer might ask. "God will take all the fun out of my life." "Why would I want to get up early on Sunday mornings?" "Why do I need more rules to follow?"

The man or woman who knows God has seen enough to render those questions moot! He sees  that God adds to our life and never subtracts anything worthwhile!

The deeper we go and the more we know Him, the more clearly we will see His beauty and glory!

Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name;
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
Psalm 29:2

The beauty of the Lord is not revealed to curiosity seekers! It is revealed to those who continue beyond an initial, curious "glance" and seek to enter into His presence!

You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11

Don't be one of those who rejects God outright without seeking to know Him. Press past what may seem confusing, undesirable or ugly until you begin to see the real Jesus.

If you continue to press toward Him, understanding will grow and the incredible beauty and glory of God will be progressively revealed to you!

(1) The Amplified Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation

If you agree, disagree or would like to add an insight or comment…

Monday, November 4, 2013


Thanksgiving is not far away! I can almost taste the Turkey now!

Currently there are ten official federal holidays in America. We start out the year with NewYears Day, then Martin Luther King's Birthday. In the middle, we celebrate the 4th of July and at the end of the year, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I live in a traditionally Jewish neighborhood where our Jewish friends celebrate many more Jewish holidays.

Holidays may often be celebrated, not for their original intent, but because they are days off from work. Other perhaps look forward to time with family or the traditional foods served during these holidays.

When God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, He commanded only three great annual feasts for His chosen people:

14 “Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year:
15 You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt; none shall appear before Me empty);
16 and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field.
17 “Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord God.
Exodus 23:14-17

Christian scholars suggest that these three feasts have New Testament counterparts!

1. The Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover) - Celebrated in the Old Testament as the day the Angel of the Lord "passed over" the houses of those who killed the sacrificial lamb and then spread its blood on their doorposts, as God commanded.

The Passover, of course, is the  equivalent of the Christian celebration of Easter. We celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus, signifying the initiation of the New Covenant sealed with the blood of Jesus! He is the Final Passover Lamb!

2. The Feast of Harvest (Pentecost) - Celebrated fifty days after passover, a time of rejoicing for the firstfruits of the summer (wheat) harvest. In the New Testament, it was the day when the Holy Spirit came mightily on the disciples as tongues of fire, empowering them to be witnesses of Jesus!
All who are born again are said to have the "firstfruits" of the Spirit, a down payment of the full inheritance which is to follow at a future time!

Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
Romans 8:23

Jesus death as the final Passover Lamb purchased our inheritance in the Kingdom of God! If you are left a vast fortune in a will, you technically have the legal right to it as soon as the person dies!

You immediately have that right but you don't yet have physical possession of it. Legal documents have to be processed to transfer the inheritance into your name. A portion of it may be yours immediately. If you live in the house left to you, you are already living there and it will simply be a matter of paperwork. If your name is listed bank accounts with the deceased, the money may be available to you without any delay.

When we accept the death and resurrection of Jesus on our behalf, we immediately have a legal right to our inheritance in the Kingdom of God. Some of our inheritance is available now!

On that day of Pentecost after Jesus' death, the Holy Spirit was released to be poured out on believers who lived in that day and for those who are far off - people like us who live today - and in every era since that original day of Pentecost!

Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
I Corinthians 5:5

The pouring out of the Holy Spirit on believers is the guarantee, or down payment, of what God has prepared for us! We do not and can not have it all now! 

3. The Feast of Ingathering (The Final Harvest!) - The third great feast is that of the Ingathering of the last harvest at the end of the year.

It is also called The Feast of Booths or The Feast of Tabernacles. It is celebrated today by the Jewish people as Sukkot. It commemorates the the small dwelling places the children of Israel lived in during their forty years of wandering in the desert. Today people still construct forms of these booths and even sleep and/or eat in them at times during the seven-day celebration.

This feast did not have a regular date but was set according to when the harvest was ripe and ready to be gathered.

For the Christian, this feast is yet to come! It will not be at the end of the year but at the end of the age! 

6 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!
7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 
Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”
Revelation 19:6-7, 9

This will be a time when God brings in His great harvest of souls to celebrate The Marriage Supper of the Lamb with Him.

This will be a time of rejoicing beyond any that the world has ever known!

1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.
2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Revelation 21:1-4

It will be a time when we turn in our small earthly tents for a new eternal battalion from God! 

1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven
3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.
4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.
5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
2 Corinthians 5:1-5

God has given us the Holy Spirit now as a deposit, down payment or guarantee. He guarantees that He will return for us when the time is ripe! But we cannot even begin to imagine what it will be like when we celebrate THE GREATEST FEAST THAT IS YET TO COME!

But as it is written:   
     “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
      Nor have entered into the heart of man
     The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

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