Yesterday the word was “the heavenly realms” found 5 times in Ephesians. The King James translation renders this “heavenly places” suggesting it is a physical location. The original Greek does not mention realms or places, it simply calls it “the heavenlies”. For we, created in time and space, have a hard time getting hold of God, after all he exists since creation of both time and space. Just think, without physical matter time and space has no meaning. The apostle Matthew calls the heavenlies the Kingdom of heaven, Mark and Luke calls it the Kingdom of God. Jesus himself says in John 18:36 “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.“
We tend to think that what we do makes a difference. God has given us access to the spiritual dimension, or realm, or even place in the form of the Holy Spirit, and thanks to that He has given us power. No, he has given us access to the heavenlies, not in our selves but it is Christ, in the form of the Holy Spirit that lives in us. Without him we can do nothing.
Something happened to us today that has never happened to us before. After a successful shopping trip we went to a diner that serves excellent crab cakes. After finishing the meal, the server, followed by the manager, came and said, somebody paid for our meal. At first we were dumbfounded, we have heard of acts of random kindness, but why us, we don’t look that destitute, as a matter of fact, we look rather good, considering our age. We humbly thanked the server and manager for the anonymous generosity. Leaving the diner I remembered that we always pray before the meal, holding hands, giving thanks to God for what He has tone today and for the meal, all in the name of Jesus.
There is something going on, i can sense it. We are praying for a revival of Biblical proportions, and a worldwide awakening. After all, God gives more grace.
John 16:17-33. Jesus continued his instructions to his disciples. They did not understand why it is good he leaves and sends the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised that their grief would turn to joy and ended with this encouragement: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Ecclesiastes 1. The author, king Solomon spoke of the vanity of life and the grief of wisdom.
Ecclesiastes 2. King Solomon continued with the vanity of pleasure, the end of the wise and the end of the fool.
Psalm 9 speaks of God’s faithfulness and the victories of the wicked one are only temporary.
John 14:15-31 records the events of the hour after the Passover meal before they all depart to Gethsemane. Since Jesus told his disciples he was leaving, he promised to send another comforter or advocate. (I have put in a short explanation on the difference in the interpretation of this passage between Christianity and Islam). Jesus then explained clearly he will be going away and send the Holy Spirit in his place.
In Genesis 42 there was famine in Canaan, as happened quite regularly, so Joseph’s brothers went down to Egypt to buy food. They met Joseph, now governor of Egypt, and he demanded to see Benjamin, who was left behind with Jacob. They agreed to do so and left one of the brothers behind as collateral. Joseph was very distraught at the proposition, since Joseph and Benjamin were his favorite children.
And in Genesis 43 the famine continued, so they had to go back to Egypt for more. This time they had to bring Benjamin with them to keep their promise to Joseph. Joseph gave them all food from his table, and he gave a five times larger portion to Benjamin. So ends that chapter.
Genesis 44 tells how Joseph tested his brothers by having Joseph’s own silver cup placed in Benjamin’s sack as the brothers returned back to Canaan. They all passed the test and returned to Joseph to await his judgment.
John 14:15-31, Jesus is going away and giving another Comforter.
Another Comforter: αλλον παρακλητον ( allon parakleton) meaning one of the same kind as Jesus.
Some Muslims say the Bible has been altered and should have read perikleton rather than parakleton, claming the Bible has been falsified to fit Jewish and Christian beliefs and only the Quran is true.
This requires many steps of faith on account of the Muslims. 1. Jesus, Mary and Moses were really Muslims and spoke of Muhammad. 2. The New Testament is falsified. 3. Ignore the Dead Sea Scrolls, and 4. When Jesus speaks of the Spirit of Truth he really means Muhammad, not the Holy Spirit as He says in verse 26.
As a Christian I am free to take God’s Word for what it says.
Acts 1 starts with the disciples watching Jesus’ Ascension, but before he leaves Earth he promises they shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on them. While waiting for the Holy Spirit Matthias is chosen to replace Judas.
1 Samuel 1 start out with the birth of Samuel. Elkanah had two wives, one was fruitful and the other, Hannah, was barren. As always with polygamy there is strife, but Hannah prays and gives her Vow that if she conceives a son she will give him to the LORD. Her wish comes to pass and so Samuel is born and dedicated.
1 Samuel 2 starts out with Hanna’s Prayer, a beautiful piece of poetry. Then comes the story of the wicked Sons of Eli, they took and ate the fat that was supposed to be burned! It tells of Samuel’s childhood ministry and finally a man of God gives a prophecy against Eli’s household, both his wicked sons will die on the same day.