“The Lost Prayer Blessing”

Numbers 10:35-36

“And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, “Rise up, LORD and let thine enemies be scattered, and let them that hate Thee flee before Thee.”

“And when it rested, he said, “Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel.”

Unfortunately I don’t hear many pastors or spiritual leaders praying a blessing over their congregations anymore except in the liturgical churches. It seems to be the “Lost Blessing” of the church age. It was the privilege of the father in the Jewish home to bless his children and this usually happened every Sabbath and generally on his death bed, watch ‘Fiddler on The Roof’ or read the book of Genesis. II Corinthians 13:14 was a popular blessing; you will hear it in movies and in liturgical churches or Numbers 6:24-27; Oh, that one was just for the Jewish people in Aaron’s day, really? How about Romans 15:13, my wife just shared that verse with me recently and it blessed my heart. I think we should re-discover this lost art so our wives, children and congregations can benefit from the rich blessings they are missing out on. Pick up a book on the subject, I think you will find it very enlightening and enriching. ( Now back to my blog…)

Well, it’s the second year, the second month, and they have built the Tabernacle, celebrated Passover and ‘Little Passover’ and mover out from ‘Camp Sinai’ and “the ark of the covenant went before them,” v.33 to find a resting place. The cloud was before them by day to give them guidance and protection from the sun in the hot desert and the pillar of fire by night to guide them and to give them warmth from the cold desert nights. You could not see a pillar of fire against a hot sun in the desert by day, hence the need for the cloud nor could you see the cloud in the night desert sky, hence the need for the pillar of fire. So, the cloud was upon them by day and the fire went before the by night.

“And it came to pass,” v.35, when the ark (aron) the chest, coffin, ark of the covenant, carrying the stone tablets with the law carved on them with the (kapporah) the mercy seat covered in blood and never cleaned with the two Cherubim where God, the (YHVH) would meet with His people and talk or commune with them; When the cloud or pillar of fire rose up they broke camp and when it stopped they made camp for as long as it stayed stationary. So, it came to pass, v.35 when the ark set forward, (nasa) to pull up, to spring up, to pluck up or to go up. Interesting, “NASA” is the acrostic for our ‘National Aeronautics Space Association’ and it is the Hebrew word for ‘lifting up,’ I wonder if there was any connection? Probably not!

Moses said, “Rise up, LORD, (kum) arise, stand up, become powerful, show Thy strength. WOW! What an invitation or declaration! He is not commanding God, you don’t command God, he is just saying, “Stand up, LORD, show them who You are, let them see Your power!” “Let Your enemies be scattered (puts) dashed to pieces, not just dispersed, but destroyed! Total Annihilation! He goes even further, “Let them that hate Thee (sana) are hateful toward Thee, flee (nus) disappear, hide, fly away on horse back, from before Thy (paneem) face!” Where can you flee from the presence of God? Psalm 1397 ff. He is omnipresent, so you can run, you can fly, you can sail, but you can’t hide from His presence!

When it rested (nu-akhh) settled down, set or laid down again, to take a breath, he said, “Return, O LORD (shuv) restore, refresh, return; this is the same word we use for repent but not for God, He doesn’t repent. His is more of a ‘Returning, Restoring & Refreshing’, unto the many thousands of Israel. How many? Why do you bother with the Hebrew words Roger? Unto the many (rev-a-va) multitude, myriad, tens of thousands, thousands is (eh-lef) thousand, ten thousand or 10,000 x 10,000 which equals millions. This verse verifys the fact that they had 2.5 to 3 million people as they set out from Sinai not 50,000 – 250,000 as some liberal scholars believe. This is why it’s important to look at the meaning of the Hebrew words, they give meaning to the context and authenticate God’s word and promises. God said it, that settles it, so I believe it!

“Rise up, O LORD, and let your enemies be scattered, and let them that hate You or Your word flee before You!” Till next time, we’ll see you “…Between The Lines…”

“The Lost Prayer Blessing” 11/18/15 

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“Intercession For Little Passover.” Num. 9:8 – 11/11/15

It was the first anniversary of their “Passover Celebration” after their exodus from Egypt (Mizraim). They are in the wilderness of Sinai, the Tabernacle has been built, the Aaronic priesthood has been established to offer their sacrifices, but they have a problem.  Some of them have touched dead bodies or been near one and they are defiled and they are not at Numbers 19 yet where they get the, ‘Red Heifer’! So, they don’t have the ashes for purification, and what are they to do? Offer a sacrifice, skip the feast, fast and pray, what?  What they need is an answer from God, so they need a mediator, an intercessor, someone to stand in the gap between them and JeHoVaH.

Job had this problem and his book pre-dates Numbers and seems to have been written around the time of Genesis or there abouts.  He is looking for a ‘Daysman/Mediator’, a ‘Go-Between’ that might lay His hand on man and God,  Job 9:33.  Job’s reply to Eliphaz and his friends in Job  16:21 is, “Oh, that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleads for his neighbor!”  Job longs for that person to be the ‘point man’, to be in the front, to make his case clear, to be his advocate and so are these men.  The problem is you only find the word ‘intercessor’ one time in the Scriptures in Isa. 59:16 and there it is used in a negative way as the LORD states, “He saw there was NO man, and wondered that there was NO intercessor…”  It sounds a lot like Ezk. 22:30, where the LORD says, “I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.”  No not one!  Jeremiah was in Jerusalem at that time, but what value were his prayers for a people who would not repent.  Jer. 11:14; Ps. 66:18.

So they needed an intercessor, someone to plead their case with God and there was only one man they knew of with that kind of experience, Moishe or Moses, because he had done it several times before.  So, Moses says unto them in v.8, “Stand still,’ (amad) ‘come forth and present yourselves before the LORD;’ ” And I will hear” (sha-mah) listen, obey and give heed to; “what the LORD (YeHoVah) will command (tsa-vah), order, command, appoint, ordain, for you to do.”  Moses hadn’t touched a dead body, only these men had, so only they had to follow the LORD’s divine commands, vv. 9-14; and thus we have the institution of (Pesach Shenei) or ‘Little Passover’, celebrated 30 days after the first Passover and still celebrated and observed today.

We have three levels of Intercessors today:

l –  The Son of God, who ever lives to make intercession for us, Heb. 7:25; 9:24; and Ro.8:34.

2 – The Spirit of God, who helps our weakness, inability and want of strength and makes intercessions for us with groanings which cannot be uttered, Ro. 8:26.

3 – The Saints of God – who are to help one another in need, 1 Tim. 2:1; especially in spiritual struggles.

There is a process here for us in 1 Tim. 2:1; Supplications – an entreaty to God of a need or want and in the New Testament times the suppliant carried an olive branch with him as a sign of peace; Prayers (proseuche) is used of prayer in general:  Intercession is to intercede, to go between on behalf of another; lighting upon or meeting with a King or with God for another person or persons because you have the right, the position or the privilege and it is offered in earnestness.  In Heb. 5:7 – Christ offered up “prayers and supplications for us with strong crying and tears.”  Strong (ischuros) – mighty, powerful, forceful, valiant crying (kra-gay) outcry, clamor, scream, shriek, tumult, grief and tears (daku).  I know Christ died for us on Calvary but did you know He cried for you on Golgatha?  This is interceding in earnestness,.  “Father, remove this cup from Me, nevertheless, not my will but thine be done!”  And He suffered hematohidrosis and the capillaries in His flesh burst from stress and grief and blood poured out of His pours; that’s what I call intense intercession.

Prayer is addressed to God the Father Matt 6:6; Through God the Son,  Jn. 16:23;’ By God the Holy Spirit, Ro. 8:26.  In no instance ever in the New Testament are believer’s ever instructed to pray to God the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit lives in and with believers Jn. 14:16-17; we are exhorted to pray at all seasons in the Spirit Eph. 6:18; Jude v. 20; James 5:16, “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much!”  This could be better translated, “the inwrought supplication, by the Holy Spirit, of a righteous man, greatly prevails (ischuo) W.E. Vine.  There’s that same word that we  have in Heb. 5:7 – supplication with strong crying and tears. Have you ever experienced that kind of praying?

So Moses steps forth to intercede for his people and tells them to, ‘Stand Still’ or “Present Themselves” before JeHoVaH, the (YHVH) the great “I AM” and He will give a command concerning them.  Are you willing to carry the olive branch before YeHoVaH for His people and be a GAP man or woman.  To stand in the breach, to carry the censer, to stay the hand of the judgement of the Almighty?  The nation of Israel only had one intercessor, but praise God we have many, many; and by God’s grace you my friend are one! So, till next time, I’ll see you on our knees or,  “…Between The Lines…”

“Intercession For Little Passover.” Num. 9:8 – 11/11/15


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“Incense For Intercession – Num. 7:89” (Part #3)

“Incense For Intercession – Num. 7:89”

It is heart-warming and somewhat moving to observe that although the offerings of the twelve princes were identical, everyone of them is separately recorded by Divine Inspiration. God could have recorded one and said, “It was repeated twelve times for His glory.” Instead He chose to repeat each identical offering, showing  He is interested not only in detail but more importantly in people. Think of our Lord observing the widow in Mark 14:41-44 putting in her “two cents” or “two mites”which make a half a farthing or an 1/8 of a cent. Yet He noticed, observed, commented, remembered and recorded it for all eternity, an 1/8 of a penny, why? Because she gave all she had, “even all her living.” That’s sacrificial giving talked about in Phil. 4:18, giving from your very survival.

The giving in Num. 8 was giving from their abundance. In Ex. 12:35-36, the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians and they gave them gold, silver, jewels and raiment and they despoiled (na-stal) stripped and plundered Egypt as they departed. When asked to bring an offering to build the Tabernacle in Ex. 36, they brought too much and the people had to be constrained from bringing anymore. WOW! When you give to the LORD, do you give from your abundance or from your very survival? All this was done to dedicate the altar after it was anointed.

Interesting in Num. 8:1 the LORD gives Moses instructions to tell Aaron to light the Menorah, the Candlestick, or the Seven Branch Candelabrum, to light up the holy place on that day. The ancient Rabbis believe this happened on the 25th of Kislev. Why? Because the word ‘Dedication’ in v. 88 is the Hebrew word (Hanukkah) for ‘Dedication.’ This is the first time, in the Torah this word appears. However, in chapter seven of Numbers it appears four times, vv. 10, 11, 84, & 88, in the dedication of the altar. The same thing that is going to happen in 164 B.C. with Judah Maccabee on the same day. Whether tradition c0-ordinated this later or providence beforehand it remains to be revealed.

Moses enters the (ohel) the tent, the dwelling place, or tabernacle of the congregation to speak with the ‘LORD’ the “YHVH” the great “I AM!” The One who causes to be, or to come into existence; The uncaused cause, if there is such a thing or Being; The One who was, and is and is to come! When He told Moses in Ex. 3:14 at the burning bush His name He said, “I AM THAT I AM” (Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh). That name contains every tense of the verb ‘To Be.’ So, he is the ‘ISing One!’ That is the One Moses came to speak to or better yet to listen to! It seems to me, Moses did more listening than talking, Num. 8:1 says, “And the LORD spoke unto Moses saying…” v.5, “And the LORD spoke unto Moses saying…” How much of our prayer time is spent in listening to the LORD in stead of talking and telling Him what we want? Prayer is a two-way street and involves as much listening as speaking!

Moses heard the voice of the LORD speaking to him from off the (kap-poreh) the mercy seat, the place of atonement, the place of propitiation, sprinkled with blood and never cleansed, never! Propitiation is a $10.00 word that means ‘satisfying sacrifice.’ So, ‘YeHoVaH’ is upon the ‘Mercy Seat’ upon the ‘Ark of Testimony’ which contained the tablets of the law and He was between the two cherubim. These were beings of sublime, celestial nature; a compound of man, ox, lion, and eagle which symbolized wisdom and power. (See Ezk. 1 & 10) Cherubim are symbolic of God’s holy presence and unapproachability. They are celestial beings who guard and vindicate the righteousness of God, like the garden of Eden, Gen. 3:24; the mercy of God, Ex. 37:9; and the government of God, Ps. 80:1; 99:1; In the holy of holies God’s glory dwelt between the cherubim, Ex. 25:10-22.

Yet Moses had gone into the tabernacle to speak (da-var) to put his words in order. It is like meeting with the president. Do you just want to speak off the cuff, whatever comes to mind or do you want to put your words in order first? Do you want to have something to say before you open your mouth? Too often we come before God in prayer with loose verbiage and we really don’t have anything to say of significance, that is. So, we need to put our brain in gear before we let our clutch out and engage our mouths. That’s what Moses was doing, going into the tabernacle to speak (da-var) to put his words or speech in order before God for the congregation. I think watching the “Parade of the Princes”caused him to put his thoughts and words in order. We need to pick up a “Principle For Prayer” from this scene. Before we go into our prayer closet, our war room we need a battle plan, a prayer list, a prayer journal, we need to ‘put our words in order.’ What is it we are going to ask God to do for us and what is it we are going to do for Him or with Him! You see this is a two-way street, Moses! God is more then willing to do His part but what about you? Are you willing to do your part? Are you willing to ask God what He wants you to do in bringing uncle Frank or aunt Suzzie or Grandma to Christ as well as Him? Moses go tell Aaron to light the candles, God could have done that! Moses cleanse the Levites and I will sanctify them. Moses do this, Moses do that, Moses, Moses, Moses…..

God is more than willing to do His part, but are we willing to do our part? Prayer is a two-way street, remember that and listening is a major part of prayer and (da-var) put your words in order before you step into that closet, know what you are going to say or ask for and be ready to do your part. Till next time, I’ll see you “…Between The Lines…”

“Incense For Intercession – Num. 7:89”  10/31/15 

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“Incense For Intercession – Num. 7:1-88” (Part #2)

“Incense For Intercession – Num. 7:1-88” (Part #2)

As we come to the Newer Testament, 400 years have passed since YeHoVaH has talked through a prophet to His people. Some refer to it as, “The 400 Silent Years” but it is not so silent for Israel and God’s chosen seed. The final message in the Older Testament in Malachi contains the prophecy of John the Baptist’s ministry, the fulfillment of which begins in the Newer Testament. The first thing we find in Luke is his father Zacharias a priest after the order of Abijah, the eighth course I Chron. 24:1 & 10,  offering incense on the incense altar in the Temple on a high holy day. Gabriel is standing next to the altar and tells him his wife Elizabeth is going to have a son in her old age. He will be called John and be filled with the Holy Spirit and turn many to the Lord and be a forerunner for the Christ, Luke 1:5-25. “His lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.” v.9. “And the whole multitude of people were praying outside at the time of incense.” v.10. (9:00 am and 3:00 pm) The time of the morning and evening sacrifice, a very significant time in the Scriptures, especially, 3:00 p.m. (study it).

David said in Psalm 141:2, “Let my prayer be set before Thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” The “Passover Lamb” was sacrificed at 3:00 pm; Peter and John were on their way to the temple at, “the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.” (3:00 pm) Acts 3:1. Jesus gave up His spirit at the “ninth hour” (3:00 pm) that’s why it was so significant and powerful to the early church. Many wonderful miracles in the Scriptures happened at 3:00 pm, check it out. However, 3:00 pm in Jerusalem is 8:00 am on the East Coast, a good time for your ‘Quiet Time!’ Or some intercessory prayer time!

The Scriptures talk about three individuals making intercession; The Son of God, Rom. 8:34, “Who is He that condemns? Shall Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, Who is even at the right hand of God, Who also makes intercession for us?” The Spirit of God, Rom. 8:26, “Likewise, the Spirit helps our infirmity; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” The Saint of God, I Tim. 2:1, “I exhort therefore, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men.” So, we have a “Tri-Unity” of intercession, because the Son ever lives to make intercession for us, and the Spirit is always making intercession for us because we know not what to ask for, so when Believers intercede for others they are in harmony with us. Praise God! In fact the only time you are in total unity with the entire ‘Tri-Unity’ of the ‘God-Head’ is when you pray, because you pray to the Father, through the Son by means of or through the Holy Spirit. In fact when you say, “GOD?” Three Persons, respond, “What?”

Remember that “Gold Spoon” in Numbers seven? In Revelation Five, John is weeping because no one was able or worthy to open the scroll or loosen its seals. Then the Lamb stepped forward, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David and takes the scroll out of the right hand of Him that sits upon the throne. However, before He opens the first seal, something happens in v.8, “Golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of saints,” are ignited and their smoke wafts its way before the nostrils of Almighty God, Who sits upon that throne. Did you see that, “Golden Bowls” just like that “Golden Spoon” in Numbers Seven, and then in Rev. 5:9, they sing a new song saying, “Thou art worthy, Thou art worthy, Thou art worthy, Oh Lord, To Receive Glory, Glory and Honor, Glory and Honor and Power, For Thou Hast Created, Hast All things created, … I’m sorry I just burst into a hymn of praise! I couldn’t help myself, did you join me? Incense and praise go together like a horse and carriage, they are inseparable! What a powerful passage and principle! Amen? That was weak. :(  Brood on this principle for awhile……….

After the seven seals we come to the seven trumpets in Revelation Eight, but before the first trumpet an angel comes and stands beside the altar, probably the “The Altar of Incense.” Note Rev. 8:3-4, “He has a golden censer, and there is given unto him, much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of the saints, upon the golden altar, before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the Angel’s hand.” I hope you are picking all this up, this angel has a “Golden Censer” and he is given “Much Incense” to mix with the “Prayers or Intercession” of believers, the saints, that’s you and me; upon a “Golden Altar” in heaven, in God’s presence, in fact it is sitting “Before His Throne” right now! The “Smoke of That Incense” is mixed with our “Prayers of Intercession” and “Ascends up Before God’s Presence.” Are your prayers important to God? Ask that angel when you see him?

Now watch what happens in v.9, “Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar, and cast (ballo) it upon the earth; and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.” Then the seven angels with the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound their trumpets. You see, before God poured out His Seal Judgments and Trumpet Judgments, He poured out much prayer from His saints on the earth first. “Golden Vials or Bowls” and a “Golden Censer” but always in gold. Always, showing the extreme value God puts on your prayers! Notice in Rev. 15 when God is ready to pour out His almighty wrath in His final ‘Bowl Judgments,’ there is no prayer! “Seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, Who lives forever and ever!” Rev. 15:7b. Can you fathom that? I shudder at very the thought of it, listen to verse eight, “And the temple was filled with the smoke from the glory of God, and from His power; and no man was able to enter into the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.” And you wonder if your prayers are of any value to God or man? Shame on you! How is your bowl today, empty or full? If the angel called for your bowl, would God be pleased with it or displeased? Remember, above all else as you enter your prayer closet, enter it with praise and adoration, vanquish your enemy and release your incense! Till next time, I’ll see you, “…Between The Lines…”  

“Incense For Intercession – Num. 7:1-88” (Part #2)   

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“Incense For Intercession – Num. 7:1-88” (Part #1)



“Incense For Intercession – Num. 7:1-88” (Part #1) 3/31/14

In Numbers chapter seven you have the gifts of the 12 tribes of Israel for the dedication of the Tabernacle, the altar and the vessels in the Holy place. Six covered wagons and 12 oxen were given for the service of the sanctuary. Then each prince brought a silver platter which weighed 130 shekels and a silver bowl which weighed 70 shekels, full of fine flour mixed with oil for the meal offering and “One spoon of ten shekels of gold full of incense.” v.14 There were 300 shekels in a pound, so each spoon weighed about half an ounce and they were very small, like baby spoons, full of incense. Can you imagine being the one assigned to carry that spoon with that delicate, white, finely beaten powder in it? Pray there is no wind, no breeze, and don’t cough, sneeze, trip or drop it! The value of the contents in that spoon, not of the spoon itself, but in it was unimaginable! Picture the man marching to the Tabernacle holding it, responsible for the intercession for his tribe by the high priest.

Now this order is repeated exactly the same, twelve times for 88 verses. Most people just get bored after five or six princes and skip to chapter eight. However, they miss v.89 where the LORD, YeHoVaH speaks with Moses from off the ‘Mercy Seat’ on the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies, we’ll deal with that another time. However, God does not waste ink, paper, parchment or His time so every jot and tittle is important to Him. Therefore, if He said something twelve times in a row, He must want us to read it! Amen? vv. 14, 20, 26, 32, 38, 44, 50, 56, 62, 68, 74, 80.

Now the “Incense Altar” was right in front of the veil before the ‘Holy of Holies’ and it was one cubit square and two cubits high, with horns on the four corners and a rim around it and it was overlaid with pure gold. Even the staves to carry it were overlaid with pure gold. Ex. 30:1-10. The ‘Incense Altar’ was a type of Christ our Intercessor, Heb. 7:25; John 17. Through Whom our prayers and praise ascend to God our Father, Heb. 13:15. The ‘Altar of Incense’ also resembled the ‘Altar of Sacrifice’ but it was overlaid with bronze/brass. In fact everything in the courtyard was overlaid with bronze/brass and everything in the Holy place and the Holy of Holies was overlaid with pure gold.

God gave them instructions that they were not to offer any strange incense only what He had instructed them to make; and no strange fire, only fire from the altar which He started Lev. 6:13; 9:23-24. God starts the fire and we stoke the fire. The Israelites kept the fire burning for over 540 years, even during the Babylonian Captivity, but someone let it go out! In the book of II Maccabees chapter one when they returned to rebuild the Temple and went to the cave and saw the fire had gone out, they found a thick liquid instead called, “Naptha.” So, they took some with them and poured it on the wood of the altar and it “blazed into a great fire.” I wonder what that black, combustible, liquid was from Iran? Too bad your great-grandfather didn’t read and believe II Maccabbes in the 1800’s, or you would be an oil tycoon.

The instructions for making this special “Incense for Intercession” is given in Exodus 30:34-38; they were to use four ‘sweet spices;’ Stacte (Heb. nataph – a drop; an aromatic gum from the Storax tree?) possibly Myrrh extract, says Pliny a Roman historian; Onycha – the scale, shell or lid of the mollusk mussel; (But since that is unclean and un-kosher I will go with the “Rock Rose – Cistus landaniferus which produces, Labdanum a resin”; Galbanum – the rich, fatty milky gum from a tree in Syria (the very touch of it mixed with spondylium or hogweed is sufficient to kill a serpent, it’s used in “Chanel No. 19” and many high end perfumes; Frankincense – Heb. Laban, white, a fragrant gum spice; Herodotus wrote of the venomous snakes that lived in these trees in south Arabia where they harvested the Frankincense, they had to burn Styrax gum to drive them away. These four spices are to be combined in equal measures and tempered or beaten together into a fine powder like dust, they are to be pure and holy, consecrated unto YeHoVaH and no one else! All of these spices were also used later in the medical field to cure people of certain diseases and ailments and are used today by homeopathic healers.

In Num. 13, Moses sends out the twelve spies into the ‘Promised Land’ and they come back with their report and ten say “NO” and two say “GO!” God judges them for their unbelief, 40 years of wandering for 40 days of searching and everyone over 20 dies! So, they rebel and go to war with the Canaanites and lose. In Numbers 16 the sons of Korah rebel against Moses and he tells them to fill a censer with incense and stand before God in the morning and God will show them who the leader is and God kills them all with their families. The next day the nation rebels and God judges them and Aaron takes a censer full of incense and runs v.46, in the midst of them and stands between them and God and makes atonement for them to stop the plague, but not before 14,700 of them die. Incense was a method of making intercession before God for mankind, for standing in the gap, repairing the breach, and restoring the path. David said, “Let my prayer be set before Thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” Psalm 141:2. David had a plan for intercession, do you have a plan for your intercessory prayer time? I like the acrostic, “ACTS,” (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication). It’s simple but it works for me. If you have a better one use it!

Starting off with praise and adoration for YeHoVaH is the only way to start. Prayer stops Satan in his tracks but it doesn’t make him go anywhere, he just stands there and listens to your prayers. He was on the Mt. of Temptation when Jesus was praying listening and in the Garden of Gethsemane when He sweat great drops of blood and cried great tears for us, listening, Heb. 5:7. However, “PRAISE” makes him flee! He can’t stand to be in the presence of praise, as some writers have said, “When Christians begin to praise God the demons fall on one another and bite and devour each other.” In fact Isa. 61:3 says that we are to put on, “The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness,” that’s an evil spirit. So we need to chase Satan and his demons out of our prayer closet and do what the LORD told us to do in Matt. 6:6, “Shut the door!” That’s what Adam forgot to do in the ‘Garden of Eden,’ in the “Gan” the enclosed garden. He left the gate open and Satan snuck in and God had to post Cherubim to guard the ‘way’ (derek – the path, road, pass, or entry). The word incense in Hebrew is (katoreh – sweet fumigation, or perfume, which fills a room and drives out the inhabitants or occupants). I can’t help but wonder, if demons were present in the Holy place and the incense drove them out, wouldn’t our praise do the same thing? So, in a real sense our praise, and our intercessory prayers are like the incense in the “Holy of Holies” of old, wafting its way before the nostrils of God as He sits upon His throne in heaven!

Now you may not have the right incense to offer up to God, but you do have the right praise. Just pick up a hymnal, and sing or read some hymns, if you can’t make a joyful noise, or just worship Him. Adoration means to honor a deity as divine, to regard Him with loving admiration and devotion. Let me give you some words to help you; glorify, bless, exalt, magnify, honor, esteem, extol, eulogize, kneel, love, devotion, worship, etc. Just praise Him for His attributes, His eternal qualities, His gifts, His names, His benefits to you daily, His grace and mercy which are new every morning, His love, etc. The “Incense of Intercession.” Oh, how sweet it is, and oh how much we neglect its privilege. Till next time, we will see you, “…Between The Lines…”  

“Incense For Intercession – Num. 7:1-88” (Part #1) 3/31/14

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“The Aaronic Blessing” – Num. 6:22-27; Part #3

“The Aaronic Blessing” – Num. 6:22-27; Part #3

On this wise – in this way” you shall bless My people!” v.24. Aaron, or a priest, or a pastor, or a father, or a Christian believer is just an instrument in God’s hands, that’s all! The LORD, YeHoVaH is the One who does the blessing, v.27, “and I will bless them.” We impart, He implants; We speak, He sparks; We’re instruments, He’s the Conductor! You can impart a blessing and even be a blessing but you can never implant a blessing. Be careful, that is God’s job, and He shares His glory with no one! I Cor. 1:29 & 30. What a privilege we have, to impart God’s blessings on those we come in contact with and minister to, unfortunately for many it is a “Lost Privilege.” But we can do no more than to beg a blessing, in the name of the One who commands the blessing, for the ones who are in desperate need of the blessing.

The LORD make His face (Paneh – His presence, His appearance) shine upon thee,” (Or – to be resplendent with light);” To go before you. You can’t help but think of the “Pillar of Fire” by night and “The Cloud” by day, going before them, leading them through the desert. What or who leads you on your daily journey through your desert? The LORD gave me a promise May 22, 1992, when He called me into the ‘Mission Field,’ Isaiah 52:12, and I hung unto that verse with all my might; “For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight; for the LORD will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.” That along with Isaiah 52:7, have been my comfort for over 20 years in the midst of my desert journey.

Moses was very concerned about the presence of God. In Exodus 33:15 he said to God, “If Thy presence go not with me, carry us not up from here.” In other words, let us die right here in the desert. Right after this God put him in the “cleft of a rock” v.22 and allowed him to see His back as He passed by. “Practicing the Presence of God” is a principle we all need to work on and one we all need to pray for, for those around us. If God’s face is shining on us then He is pleased with us and He is guiding us and illuminating our paths.

And be gracious (chanan – to have mercy, or pity on someone) unto thee; Grace is getting what we don’t deserve, but mercy is not getting what we do deserve. Most of our commentaries agree that this is referring to forgiveness or pardon for our sins. Jewish tradition shows that the priests blessed the people after the morning sacrifice not the evening sacrifice. This became a pattern for ministers today to dismiss their assemblies but it has been lost to the loss of our people. However, God’s blessings are not dependent upon God’s servants but upon God Himself and a holy, separated individual.

What’s interesting about this blessing is that each part of it is personally directed to each individual. Note the personal, singular pronouns in each verse, “Thee” used twice in vv. 24, 25, & 26. Though this blessing is for the nation of Israel and can be for an assembly also, it must be applied individually, “The LORD bless thee.” Each person must prepare themselves to receive their blessing, then they will find fulfillment and happiness in it. In fact you can put your name in place of “Thee” in each instance, “The LORD bless Roger, Mary, Jim, etc.”

The name YeHoVaH is repeated three times with a different accent in the Hebrew each time. The Jewish scholars think there is some mystical meaning behind this. When we compare it to the formula for Christian baptism, “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit;” Or Paul’s blessing in II Cor. 13:14, we are at no loss to determine what that mystery is. We are blessed with spiritual blessings by the triune God of salvation, “The Father who created us; The Son who saved us; and The Holy Spirit who seals & sanctifies us.”

The LORD lift up His countenance (paneh) upon thee;” This is the same word as in v.24, face, to be resplendent with light. This word appears three times in Psalm 80:3, 7, & 19, “cause Thy face to shine and we shall be saved.” It seems to allude to the smile of a father upon his child or a man on his friend whom he takes pleasure in. The fruits of God’s favor along with salvation are “Protection, Pardon & Peace.” Protection from evil, v.24, “The LORD keep thee;” Pardon from sin, v.25, “The LORD be gracious to thee;” Peace, Shalom, complete happiness, v.26, “And give thee peace;” Isaiah 26:3, “”Perfect Peace” (Shalom, Shalom) peace on the inside and peace on the outside, that’s perfect peace. The only way you can have ‘Perfect Peace;’ is to invite the “Prince of Peace” into your heart to save you, and then He will have to come down and set up His kingdom on earth in Jerusalem and reign as the King of kings, for there to be ‘Peace on earth.’

And they shall put My name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them.” What a privilege to put His name on His people, this was their honor, their comfort, their safety, their plea and ours as well. What Christ said of peace is also true of the blessing. When God’s people pronounce a blessing, “Peace be unto you” if the son’s of God and the heirs of salvation are there, then the blessing and peace will rest upon those people and that location. Luke 10:5-6.

It is also interesting to note that in all three verses, “The LORD bless thee,” is in the future tense and the nation of Israel seems to have been collectively intended, and the LORD will absolutely bless Israel and all of its people. Now, how any man can possibly read this blessing or the Old Testament for that matter and seriously believe that God’s blessings for Israel were only temporal and that God is finished with Israel is ludicrous. One look at Israel today and you could not help but believe that God is blessing, “the apple of His eye.” Till next time, we’ll see you “…Between the Lines…”

“The Aaronic Blessing” – Num. 6:22-27; Part #3 – 3/24/14

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“Valentine’s Day” February 14, 2014 (Part #2)

“Valentine’s Day – Part #2”

So, what is ‘Valentine’s Day’ to you? A massacre in Chicago Ill.? A wolf’s grotto called Lupercal? A bird call for mating? A ‘Special Person’s Day’ in Hillsboro NJ? A day to buy your wife or sweetheart some chocolates she really does not need? Or a day to remember the greatest ‘Love Gift’ this old world has ever seen? If Jesus was born on December 25th as tradition, history, astronomy, biology, seem to indicate then He was circumcised on January 1st the eigth day after His birth and His mother went to the Temple and met Simeon and Anna on February 2nd 40 days after his birth for her purification just like Lev. 12:2-4  says she should. Just like Gelasius stated in 494, but no matter what you think of this day, the central thought is “LOVE!” Not just love for your wife or her love for you, but God’s love for us and our love for Him and our fellow man!

LOVE! What is love anyway? In Hebrew there is basically only one word for Love (ahab) and the first occurrence is in Gen. 22:2 where God tells Abraham to take his son Isaac whom he loves and offer him as a sacrifice on Mt. Moriah. The ancient Hebrew letter aleph pictured strength, the strong one, and the bet, pictured the house, when combined you have “AB” or Father, the strong one of the house. When you put the ‘H’ or ‘hey’ in the middle to get ‘ahab or ahav’ for love. In Hebrew you get, “the heart of the father.” You see, what God was after was Abraham’s heart, take the son whom you love, “ahav” and offer him as a sacrifice! This was Abraham’s day, it was Abraham’s heart that God wanted on that altar, not Isaac’s! Oh, Isaac’s day was coming; Oh yeah, but not yet! He wasn’t going to let him offer Isaac, the ram was already there caught in the thicket and so was The Angel of the LORD watching!

In Greek we have five words for love and they can only be correctly fulfilled in marriage, in a family relationship! Note I said, “Correctly Fulfilled!” You have ‘Theolo’ love of things, delight; ‘Phileo’ brotherly love, friends; ‘Agapao’ sacrificial love, love worth dying for; ‘Storgos’ natural affection, family love; ‘Eros’ sensual love, erotic (there is no innocent little cupid, sorry). Love may not make the world go around, but it sure makes the trip worth while. Amen? Let me give you the world’s definition of love,”Love is a felling you feel, when you get a feeling, you never felt before!” That is not love, that is a warm bath tub! Now let me give you the proper definition of love, “Love is an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person!” Now go find your spouse or your girlfriend or boyfriend, hold their hand, look them in the eyes and say it out loud.  (GOOD!) Now, do it again without smiling! The world says, “Marry the one you love!” God says, “Love the one you marry!” The Bible tells us in I John 4:8 that, “God is love!” (Theos esti agape) In fact there are over 290 references to God’s love in the New Testament alone. Read I Cor. 13 the love chapter sometime, replacing the word charity or love with the word God, since God is love, it is very revealing and uplifting!

However, I have to tell you this, God’s love demands love! His love is not static nor stagnant! In fact, His love demands our love! That’s right! The love of God cannot be comprehended as a mere noun! God’s Love is a verb and has the dynamic, propelling power of a verb! You see, love must have and demonstrate action or it is not love at all! You say you love me, show me! Prove it to me! Do something to demonstrate it! God demonstrated His love for us on the same mountain Abraham demonstrated his love to God. On the Cross we saw the Heart of the Father, we saw real (ahav). Listen to Rom. 5:8, “But God commended His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom. 5:10 goes even further and says, “When we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son.” I saw a lot of action in Vietnam but I never saw one of our men give up his life for a Viet Cong, NEVER! But that’s what this verse says Christ did! Now that’s a ‘Valentine!’ Jesus said, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” But for his enemies! That’s a little much, don’t you think? God demonstrated His love for us 2,000 years ago on an old rugged cross, outside of Jerusalem! What more could He have done? What more could He have given? He didn’t do it because it was fun! He did it because it had to be done! He went to the tree for you and for me so we could be free, to live for Him! Now that is LOVE! That’s a ‘Valentine’ I can really appreciate! And give my heart too, what about you? If human love does not carry itself beyond itself it’s not love at all, it’s just emotion with a title. True love is marked by extravagance! True love is unconditional, no holds barred, no save clauses, no loop holes! “God is love!” I John 4:8; Dwell on that thought for a minute; reverse the words “Love is God!” The Song of Solomon 8:6 says, “Love is as strong as death!” God decided to show His creation just how much He loved it, so He took three nails, two pieces of wood and a hammer and demonstrated it on a pile of dirt just outside of Jerusalem. When was the last time you demonstrated to Him or to your spouse just how much you love them? Remember, when you cut that covenant, you cut it with God! “I covenant before God and these witnesses” remember those words, “till death do us part” He does!

A pastor was talking with a young boy in his church and trying to share with him just how much God loved him when the boy said, “That may be true pastor, but I need some love with skin on it!” I John 3:18 says, “My little children let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” (action). There are those all around us that need to see some love with skin on it this ‘Valentine’s Day.’ Will you be God’s ‘Valentine’ to someone this year? Love is a verb and has the dynamic, propelling power of a verb. It is not static, or stagnant, or stuck, it is magnetic, captivating and will attract attention and demand action! You say you love me, show me! Anybody can say, “I love you!” But God said, “Let Me show you how much I love you,” and He nailed His only begotten Son to a tree! I don’t know what you think of on ‘Valentine’s Day’ but the greatest act of love this old world has ever seen, took place on Calvary 2,000 years ago outside of Jerusalem. Why not make Jesus your ‘Valentine’ this year, put His name on your sleeve and wear your feelings where everyone can see them, everyone! Don’t be ashamed of Him, He’s not ashamed of you or to call you His brethren! He wants to see some love with skin on it! “Valentine’s Day,’ the day to remember the lover of your soul, “Jesus Christ!” Why? ‘Because He bought your chocolates!’ That’s why!   Till the next time, I’ll see you, “…Between The Lines…”

“Valentine’s Day” February 14, 2014 (Part #2)  1/9/14

Posted in Cupid's Day, Devotional, Love, Lupercalia Day, Uncategorized, Valentine's Day, Valentine's Day Part #2 | Leave a comment