Like you, we are glory seekers. We have wonderfully, “Tasted and seen, the Lord is good!” The greatest prize is in the pursuit of the fame, splendor and radiant beauty of our Sovereign! We came to Yeshua in the days of the Jesus... Read More...
Riverfront Property in Audio
I am so grateful and pleased to share freely the whole audio book of Riverfront Property: Connecting At The River Of Life! I’m confident you will receive a delicious drink! As you find your thirst quenched please recall those you know who would also love a drink, and pass the cup! Read More...
A Miracle Story
Thursday July 30, 1987, started out as just another hot summer day in Ellensburg, Washington, a town of about fifteen thousand souls in a picturesque valley a hundred miles east of Seattle... Read More...
If your child was abducted, would you fight for their recovery? Let’s say you knew the group who abducted your child, the house where they were captive and the violent men guarding the house. What would you be willing to do to get your child back?
About 240 hostages were taken by the Hamas terrorist group, most Israelis, but a few dozen from other nations. The children pictured here, and more, are among them. A determined fight is ongoing for their recovery, and the end of the terrorists.
In the natural hope for the recovery of the children, men and women is slim. But our God is a compassionate Father. Things impossible with men are possible with God! The Lord will move mountains because of your believing prayer!
Jesus whole ministry is about setting captives free! He ransoms us from sin, condemnation, demons, disease and even death!!! Our Savior delivers from captivity. I urge you to pray with the parents and families of those in bonds. Here are spiritual weapons of war you can take up on behalf of the hostages. Use these verses to pray for Israeli captives to be set free!
There are three real jail-breaks in Acts.
The 11 disciples in Acts 5. “But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the gates of the prison, and taking them out he said, Go, stand and speak to the people in the temple the whole message of this Life.”
Peter in Acts 12. “And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter’s side and woke him up, saying, ‘Get up quickly.’ And his chains fell off his hands.”
Paul and Silas. in Acts 16. “and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened.”
Consider the following verses as weapons for warfare on behalf of captives. We appeal to God’s goodness, his mercy and rescuing power!
Psalms 107:10-13 “He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains.”
Psalm 102:20 “To hear the groaning of the prisoner, to set free those who were doomed to death.”
Nahum 1:13 “So now, I will break his yoke bar from upon you, And I will tear off your shackles.”
Psalm 68:6 “He leads out the prisoners into prosperity.”
Psalm 116:16 “O Lord, surely I am your servant, I am Your servant and the son of Your handmaid. You have loosed my bonds.”
Psalm 146:7 “The Lord sets the prisoners free.”
To this day God has made Himself famous as the Liberator. Thanks to His merciful kindness there are many contemporary jail-break accounts. May they be multiplied to God’s glory! He opened prison doors for Brother Yun in China where the doors seemed to open on their own. He is a wonder-working God!
Isaiah has much to say about captives being freed!!!
Isaiah 61:2 He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedomfor the captivesand release from darkness for the prisoners.
Is 42:22 But this is a people plundered and looted, all of them trapped in pits or hidden away in prisons. They have become plunder, with no one to rescue them; they have been made loot, with no one to say, “Send them back.”
This verse tells us the captives here have no rescuer strong enough or willing enough to demand release. I pray for God’s angry mercy to demand, “Send them back!“ adding the sense [OR I WILL BLISTER YOU!]
Is 49:25 “But this is what the LORD says: ‘Yes, captives will be taken from warriors, and plunder retrieved from the fierce; I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save.’”
Is 43:6 “I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth.”
In response to your prayers, may the booming, authoritative voice of the Lamb demand, “Give them up!” “Do not hold them back!” “Send them back!”
MAY THE CAPTORS BE STRUCK WITH A SPIRIT OF PANIC!
1 Sam 14:15 “Then panic struck the whole [Philistine] army—those in the camp and field, and those in the outposts and raiding parties—and the ground shook. It was a panic sent by God.”
Zec 14:13 “And on that day a great panic from the LORD shall fall on them, so that each will seize the hand of another, and the hand of the one will be raised against the hand of the other.”
JOIN IN PRAYER FOR THE HOSTAGES
Holy Father, Savior of captives, we appeal to Your goodness, mercy and rescuing power!
You told David, “Pursue and recover all.” We speak this word on behalf of the children – clear up through the seniors in Hamas captivity. Sustain their lives and bring them forth!
You sent Your Son to set all kinds of captives free! As Christ’s ambassadors before Your judgment seat we “proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners!”
You hear the groaning of the prisoner, to set free those who were doomed to death.
You tear off the shackles.
You lead out the prisoners into prosperity
You set the prisoners free.
Father may You own voice thunder, “Give them back! Do not hold them back!
Send them back!”
May You send a panic upon the captors causing them to flee, leaving the hostages free!
There is nothing hidden from the eyes of the Lord! Reveal the exact location(s) of the captives! Send Your delivering, rescuing angels as you have many times through the centuries. Send you Heavenly Cavalry to the rescue!
Guide the human rescuers to safely recover these precious souls! Restore them to health and to their families and friends. Bring forth resurrection beauty from the ashes of this atrocity. May sackcloth be turned to joyful dancing!
You said, “call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”
Some who prayed for Peter’s release doubted You would answer their fervent prayers, but You graciously answered their prayers! Hear our fervent prayers even in moments when they feel like hope against hope!
Father, You reveal Your true nature in deliverance. Let Your voice resound, “Yes, captives will be taken from warriors, and plunder retrieved from the fierce; I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save.”
I would like to speak of things happening on our tiny earth, under the eye of God. God’s eyes are able to narrow down microscopically to even see Israel’s war with radical Islam. I would like to speak of matters surrounding this war.
Here is a briefing on:
God’s promise to Abraham and his descendants to possess the holy land.
Our privileged relationship as gentiles to the Jewish believers
The present war between radical Islam and the Jewish people
The broader threat to Christians and the world at large
Our security in Christ Jesus the Lord
And applying our giftings and callings in this hour
We feel shaking in our bodies and grieve with groans and tears for the people of Israel who have felt such barbarism! Our hearts also go out to the Palestinians in Gaza. Most don’t want these Hamas butchers to lead them. But to argue with them could bring deadly reprisals.
Missiles and bullets, brutal killings and abductions. Just watching the suffering on a screen is too much to bare. We know it is so much harder there on the ground!
The nation is now at war and 360,000 reserves have been called up. The language is severe, on the edge of savage, to counter savagery. The word is, Hamas must be wiped out entirely. We are told in Scripture to pray for this nation and God’s purposes for it, as well as his purposes for the nations at large.
There are two ways we may pray. First, Identificationally, praying as if we were there in the nation dodging bullets and missiles, for we know America may yet experience similar things.
The second way to pray is Authoritatively, as those standing with Christ, looking down from the banister of heaven, praying for the tiny planet and the nations below. We stand with Christ, proclaiming Scriptural and Heavenly decrees.
Be mindful, Israel has an infinitely thrilling future as the City of the great King. It is sometimes difficult to see and appreciate this in the midst of the birth pains.
Here is a prayer I invite you to join in:
Dear Lord Jesus, over your cross was posted, “Jesus, King of the Jews.” Today we acknowledge Your kingly authority and right over Israel, and all the nations. We pray that you would be satisfied with the travail of your soul for this land and the people you designed to inherit it. You have kept Your promise to bring Israel back to the land, their eternal inheritance, according to your covenant.
Father, based on your word we pray peace for Jerusalem, consolation for Israel, and this through the revelation of the King. We pray Paul’s wonderful, mysterious word, “So all Israel will be saved.” “Our hearts desire and prayer for them is their salvation.” Dear Father, what better time is than now for this people to see Jesus, in the midst of the rockets’ red glare?
We declare, Israel has only a partial hardening. Partial in duration and partial in intensity. We declare an end to the hardness. Softening hearts now! We pray the revelation of Yeshua Hamashiach, and the Spirit of supplication that they may see the one they have pierced, mourn for him as an only child, and then turn to Him in resurrection reality!
In the present conflict have mercy even if it involves chastening. We pray you would only chasten, and not condemn, just as we pray you would only chasten America and not condemn. We ask Father, how far are You willing to let the grace from the blood of Your Son extend? Make Jerusalem the immovable stone so it’s enemies only injure themselves trying to move it.
Let Your kindness be felt by a nation who has ignored you. Wisdom, courage and power to the defense forces! Secure the boarders! Safety more secure than concrete bunkers. Yeshua, the Strong Tower and Refuge. The fear of the Lord on Israel, and her enemies. And we earnestly pray the release of captive hostages! May this end with a nation in gratitude as they see Your hand achieve these things!
Father you are our great God. Great in judgment, great in mercy, with a glorious Kingdom plan. May your kindness lead the nation of Israel to eye-opening repentance. And let many in the nations who wish to destroy her come to know the King of the Jews as their own sovereign!
Your word tells us, you work all things together for good for those who love you and are called according to your purpose. Grant the fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy that the Jewish people of this land might come to love you. And cause even this war to work together for their good. Remember you have called this people for a special purpose. This is The Day for the fulfillment of all things.
Let a rumble rise from the soil of this land calling out, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Amen!
Please continue to pray for Israel. As you share in her tribulations you will share in her blessings.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.” For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, “Peace be within you.” For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your prosperity. Ps 122:6-9
I apologize that our entire mailing list received a private blog labeled, “Protected: Revelation Connections Home and About Materials!” Please delete this.
This was private material for a select few regarding a big project we are working on. In the near future we hope to publish this project to everyone but the baby is not ready to be birthed. I checked four times to insure only the selected recipients receive the notice and password. But Mailchimp sent out the notice to everyone.
On a very different note, please pray for Israel! Hamas is causing great mischief and Israel has declared a state of war! It is an unprecedented situation with volatile implications for the whole world, meaning all of us no matter where we live.
I know a man who has seen the Lord Jesus in a vision. He described his physical appearance as common, ordinary, with nothing particularly attractive to him. But the grace of God was all over Him in such a way that this man could not help but think he was the most beautiful person he could ever imagine to meet!
Isaiah and the writer of Psalm 45 describe the same person, our Lord Jesus Christ, but their depictions are utter contrast! Study closely.
He had no dignity or beauty
to makeus take notice of him.
There was nothing attractive about him,
nothing that would draw us to him. (Is 53:2)
You have been beautified above the sons of men
Grace has been poured into Your lips
Therefore God has blessed
You for all time. (Ps 45:2 LSV)
Isaiah sees our Lord as common, without beauty, majesty, or dignity. In fact, Isaiah goes on to describe a wretched, abused, torn-up and mangled man. He becomes an appalling figure to be seen in revulsion. Isaiah paints Jesus as our suffering lamb, so abused it is hard to recognize him as a man.
The Psalmist sees our Lord as excelling the beauty of every other human being. He radiates glorious majesty. Gracious words pour from His anointed lips. He is described as riding majestically and victoriously for truth, humility and justice. He is totally blessed with power and dignity, and enthralling to behold!
Many of us wish we could be transported back and see the face of our Lord walking beside the lake, blessing the children, healing the lepers, and walking on water. We’d like to see his expression as he rebuked the religious leaders, as he knelt in prayer and as he fed the multitudes.
Many artists have imagined His face to portray it. Some people report having seen Jesus in a dream or vision. Perhaps you have. Just as we wear many facial expressions, we can be confident that our wonderful Lord does the same.
I am not confident that our Lord Jesus is so physically attractive that fashion magazines would wish to showcase him, but I am confident he is the fairest of all men!
Notice the beauty differences among woman. We’ve seen women who have the external features of beauty but for some reason do not communicate beauty. Other women, although not outwardly striking, come across magnetically attractive. It seems most of the appearance of beauty comes across in the confidence and poise of the woman.
Jesus utter confidence in his Father’s love, in his identity as Son, and certainty in life purpose carried charismatic attraction. Some seek to beautify through ornamentation. Jesus’ was ornamented, beautified by holy grace! One of the meanings and consequences of grace is beauty.
Remember how Paul called for women to be spiritually beautiful?
“I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.” ( 1 Tim :9-10)
The woman in Proverbs 31 is “clothed with strength and dignity.” Virtue is a beautiful thing which adorns both godly women and men!
Peter told women, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. (1 Peter 3:2-5)
There is no doubt that devoted women and men of God are more attractive than those who have not known the beauty of holiness. God beauty when sensed can be overwhelmingly rapturous! But it is not a beauty which can be painted on, or clipped on. It is a beauty to soak in and then radiate outward.
Isaiah saw Jesus not just as uncomely, but repugnant, as he took on the vulgarity of our sin. But the rewards of his labor left Him saturated, infused inwardly in the gracious beauty of the Lord.
THERE IS AN “OTHER-WORLDLY” BEAUTY IN HOLINESS
Four times, and more, in Scripture the Bible talks about the beauty, or splendor, of holiness.
Jehoshaphat, “appointed singers unto the LORD, that should praise the beauty of holiness.” (2 Ch 20:21)
O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth. (Ps 96:9)
Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. (1 Ch 16:29)
Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. (Ps 29:2)
“Other” is a very good word for holy. Holiness is an “other-worldly” substance, and in it we find “other-worldly” beauty. You can’t paint on that beauty, but you can breath it in and dwell in it. You can soak it in and be clothed in it.
Ninety-four times in the NIV Bible the Spirit is referred to as the “Holy” Spirit. The word holy implies separate, other and distinct. God is not animal, mineral or vegetable. His is different. When we pray that our Father’s name be regarded as holy we are asking that the astonishing, uniquely grand things about Him would stand out! This is the work of the Holy Spirit!
To be holy for us means to move from commonness to an exceptional place of separated distinctiveness. The Holy Spirit resting on common people makes them distinctively uncommon.
But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. (Jude 20)
Jesus our triumphant Hero, is ascended and ruling in heaven beside His Father, and our Father. He is phosphorescent in lightening-flashing colors of beauty. To be transported to heaven is to catch an eyeful of Jesus awash in the beautiful splendor of holiness!
Isaiah not only has a view of the uncomely, deformed Christ; He sees the glorified, beautified King, and declares an ecstasy; “Your eyes will see the King in His beauty and behold a land that stretches afar.” Is 33:17
May we all be transformed as we behold, even today, our gracious, glorified, holy King!
One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. Ps 27:4
In June of 1999 I was working moving houses. It was big, challenging and dangerous. You didn’t want to end up like the wicked witch of the East. We put steel beams under houses and pumped them up with jacks. We cross braced them as they rose with stacks of timber, put wheels under them and pulled them down the road.
We were pulling a big three bedroom, two story house down the streets of Yakima, Washington. I would drive behind the house in a truck and occasionally get out to steer the back wheels on the house to navigate corners. Sometimes I would be on the roof lifting power lines. As I drove behind with my windows down I would watch people on the sidewalks and listen to their comments.
“It’s so big!”
“That’s a real mobile home!”
“Look the curtains are blowing.”
“Who would think you’d see a house coming down the street?”
“The Pizza is supposed to come to the house not the other way around.”
People would get on their phones and call their friends down the road, “Mable, you need to come out and see this. There is a house coming down the road!” Old and young would come out, gawk and add their commentaries.
As I was driving behind this parade, observing the people and overhearing their exchanges I was blindsided by an experience I could not have predicted; I suddenly found tears streaming down my face. I’m certain I was the only one weeping during this expedition. I asked myself, “What is this?” then realized I was watching a parable.
My spirit was hearing the Spirit of God saying that a day is coming, and is now upon us, when the world will come out to watch and marvel because the static, predictable Church is up and moving big and bold!
When a house sits ridged on its foundation it is camouflaged in immobility. People drive by obliviously. But when the house moves down the road they take notice! Let’s remember that Jesus is the Church’s foundation, and that Jesus is always on the move! Let’s move with Him that the world may notice!
From earliest childhood we learned about death through the fly on the window sill, the bird on the driveway and the dead kitty on the road. As we grew we learned of the mortality of those around us, and of our own end.
Death never seems right. It is always monstrously tragic. It is the grand-daddy of all fears. We instinctively long that life and health continue both for our loved ones and ourselves. Solomon spoke of our common desire for life and health to continue in Ecclesiastes. “He has set eternity in their hearts.” Our deep longing is for nothing short of endless, happy, healthy life.
Job voiced our deep, primordial question; “If a man dies will he live again?”
Our Lord Jesus Christ gives the comforting, even beyond-imagination answer! His answer wipes away every tear shed beside a death bed. His answer calms the heaving sobs at the gravesite. His answer turns our sackcloth to joy and our mourning to dancing!
Our dearest heavenly Friend has got the answer. And it is solid, trustworthy and unshakable! He is the Universal Solvent for our universal wants.
Listen to what our Savior says to Martha in John 11:25-26. “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
What did Jesus mean when He said, “I am the resurrection and the life?”
The Bible teaching of the Resurrection of the dead has largely been forgotten and replaced by the teaching that when a person dies their spirit goes to live forever in heavenly bliss with God.
Although there is a kernel of wonderful truth in it, you would be hard-pressed to find many Scripture passages which tell us, when we die we will go to heaven and live forever with Jesus.
What does the Bible actually, consistently teach and promise believers about eternal life? It is the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead! It runs parallel to our 2000-year-old prayer, “May your kingdom come on earth as in heaven.”
When Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life” he is saying He is one who will raise the dead from their graves. He has been given authority to raise the dead and will do that when he returns for us!
“For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (See John 6:40, 44, 54)
“Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out – those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned” (John 5:28-29).
Jesus is in charge of the resurrection of all the dead. He is the One who will pull it off!
Let’s look at the hope of the resurrection which the Jewish people held to before Jesus even walked among them. The Old Testament is loaded with references to the staggeringly, glorious resurrection of all the dead – those in graveyards, those lost at sea, those secretly murdered, those who have returned to wind-blown dust.
Job is the first book in the Bible to share the hope in the resurrection. Job asks a question which is beyond curiosity. It is a question with an ache; “If a man dies will he live again?” (Job 14:14). When we meet death through accident, disease, violence or old age what becomes of us? Is dust the end of our story?
Materialists believe all that’s left is fertilizer.
Some imagine disembodied spirits haunting the earth.
Others believe our comic energy is absorbed into a greater whole.
Some believe we are recycled into other forms.
But the Bible teaches there is a day of resurrection for every man, woman and child, a great day, when our dust is reconstituted and we all stand before the great thrown of God for His evaluation.
“If a man dies will he live again?” Philosophers and religionists fumble for the answer. Jesus Christ’s authoritative reply: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:25-26).
Now let’s enlarge the passage where Job askes our universal question –
“If only you would hide me in the grave and conceal me till your anger has passed! If only you would set me a time and then remember me! If a man dies, will he live again?
“All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal to come. You will call and I will answer you; you will long for the creature your hands have made. Surely then you will count my steps but not keep track of my sin. My offenses will be sealed up in a bag; you will cover over my sin.”(Job 14:13-17).
I believe Job is the most challenging book in the Bible. No wonder we avoid it. Job finds himself utterly devastated with the loss of his children, his wealth, his health and his supposed friends. God’s wrath seems to be upon him. The only thing he can lose now is his life, and it looks like it’s coming quickly.
At this point Job would welcome death for he is overwhelmed with what seems to be the anger of God. “If only you would hide me in the grave and conceal me till your anger has passed!”
He may think, “When I’m dead, perhaps God’s anger will cool down. He might then remember me, and miss me, and call me forth from the grave.” He makes it a prayer, “If only you would set me a time and then remember me!”
He asks the question, “If a man dies, will he live again?” Then out of his heart comes an answer.
“All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal to come. You will call and I will answer you; you will long for the creature your hands have made. Surely then you will count my steps but not keep track of my sin. My offenses will be sealed up in a bag; you will cover over my sin.”
Job is looking, hoping, that God’s anger would pass, that God would remember him in his hiding place in the grave, that God would actually long for his creature, Job, and bring about a supernatural renewal! He is counting on God’s compassion to take away his sin and bring a day of renewal.
Now this is not the last of Job’s hope for the resurrection. When we come to Chapter 19
We can’t miss Job’s prophetic weight as he speaks of his Redeemer.
“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth;
And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God;
I myself will see him with my own eyes – I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:25-27)
Job has a hope in a living Redeemer! “I know that my Redeemer lives,”
This mysterious Redeemer will at The End stand upon the earth. Who is this mysterious Redeemer who will stand upon the earth at the end? He is called, “The Resurrection and the Life!”
Job anticipates that Redeemer arriving after his death. He sees that his skin and body tissues will turn to powder. But here is his resurrection hope.
“And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God;
I myself will see him with my own eyes – I, and not another.”
Job says that his very eyes, resurrected eyes, will see this standing Redeemer!
He will not have a proxy see this standing Redeemer. He will see the Redeemer who has remembered him in the grave. He will come forth and see Him with his own living eyes!
Then comes this longing cry from Job’s inmost being; “How my heart yearns within me!”
What a bottomless pining, aching yearning! Job believes that God ultimately loves him, that the Creator will long once again for His creature, as that creature lays in the grave, that there will come a renewal and a face to face with his great and wonderful Redeemer. This is longing inexpressible!
Job died 2000 years before his Redeemer stood on the earth the first time, and to this point 4000 years before the Redeemer would come again to stand upon the earth, and raise the dead. Job died with a heart-aching longing. “How my heart years within me!” To know the Redeemer is to yearn for Him, for He comes to bring something so much better!
So, Job asks our nagging question about mortality, but he also shares a vision of a caring, compassionate Redeemer who raises the dead! The deepest of all twin desires is satisfied – God’s longing for his creature hidden in the grave, and the creature’s longing for their Redeemer – met in resurrection!
David says in Psalm 16:9-10 “Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.”
Secure body! Not abandoned to the grave! God’s plans for David are eternal pleasures!
David continues, “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
Now this passage is referred to as a prophecy of Christ’s resurrection, but it also speaks of the general resurrection.
Let’s look at other expressions of resurrection hope in the Old Testament.
Isaiah 25:6-8 speaks of grand Kingdom banquet. So huge it is a spread for all mankind!
“On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine – the best of meats and the finest of wines.”
Those enjoying this colossal feast are those who presently lay in the grave.
“On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever.”
The shroud and sheet to be destroyed is death. Death receives a mortal blow! He will swallow up death forever! What a feast we will have at the resurrection table!
Consider Isaiah 26:19. “But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.”
I was walking through a cemetery quoting this verse and clearly felt an evil spirit say to me, “Stop saying that!” Death and the grave are intimidated with what is about to come!
Jesus said there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed. Isaiah 26 goes on to say that the earth will reveal her bloodshed, and no longer cover her slain. Every grave, every secret murder of individuals or groups will be manifest. Can you imagine a dead woman rising and pointing, “This is the man who killed me?”
Daniel’s testimony of the resurrection is very pointed with no ambivalence.
“Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt”(Daniel 12:2).
How many will rise? Multitudes!
Where do they come from? The dust of the earth!
Where do they go? To everlasting life, or everlasting contempt!
Daniel is assured of his own path, and death, and eventual resurrection!
“As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance” (Daniel 12:13).
What a wonderful promise for Daniel! And for us!
Hosea let’s us know that death does not get the last word!
“I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death
Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction?” (Hos 13:14).
The grave is powerful but our Redeemer is more powerful. He ransoms us from the power of the grave! There is outright mocking of death. Death, where is your stuff? What happened to you plagues and destruction? You have become impotent and lost your grip because of our mighty, compassionate Savior!
The religious Jews of Jesus day believed in the resurrection of the dead. Yes, there were a few holdouts. The Sadducees did not believe (Acts 23:8). But look how the people of Jesus’ day were putting their hope in the God who raises the dead.
When Martha’s brother Lazarus was dead Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
She responded with a faith in the general resurrection to come. Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day” (John 11:23-4).
Jesus affirmed the teaching about the great general resurrection of the dead on several occasions.
“The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here.
The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here” (Luke 11:31-32).
In Jesus exchange with Martha He goes on to declare, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” Then Jesus asks Martha, “Do you believe this?”
It’s a great question for us to answer.
Do you believe Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life?
Do you believe He will, and He does, raise the dead?
Martha replied, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world” (John 11:26).
Do you believe it when Jesus says,
“Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out – those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned” (John 5:28-29).
Do you believe Jesus when He says,
“For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (See John 6:40).
Yes, we can trust Him when He says,
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day” (John 6:44).
We can confidently rely on Jesus Christ to keep His promise!
“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day” (John 6:54).
Paul said, “Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?” (Acts 26:8). After all, If God created us from the dust He can bring us back from the dust and give us glorified bodies!
The early message of the Church was that Jesus is alive, He is the first fruits of all the rest of us who will rise from the dead, and our promise of resurrection life is found in Jesus! What an amazing, yet certain, hope we have in our standing Redeemer! We stand heads up in anticipation and confess with Job, “I know that my Redeemer lives and will stand on the earth in the latter days!”
Take heart my friend! Your yearning for Him, and His for you, is about to be met in explosive re-creation!
I end with a powerful quote from Joseph Addison (May 11672 – June 171719), an English politician and writer.
“When I look upon the tombs of the great, every emotion of envy dies in me;
when I read the epitaphs of the beautiful, every inordinate desire goes out;
when I meet with the grief of parents upon a tombstone, my heart melts with compassion;
when I see the tombs of the parents themselves, I consider the vanity of grieving for those whom we must quickly follow;
when I see kings lying by those who deposed them,
when I consider rival wits placed side by side,
or the men that divided the world with their contests and disputes,
I reflect with sorrow and astonishment on the little competitions, factions, and debates of mankind.
When I read the several dates of the tombs, of some that died yesterday, and some six hundred years ago,
I consider that great Day when we shall all of us be contemporaries, and make our appearance together.”