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There is other scripture that says we should weep with those who are weeping & rejoice with those who are rejoicing - that pretty much sums it up. When I need people to encourage me when I'm down but also be understanding & not try to make me feel sinful or wrong because I am sad or sorrowful - there is some false teaching going around about always being upbeat & postive; our Lord makes it very plain in scripture that we will go through many trials in our life times & we must enter into His sufferings also. This life has never been nor will it be a bed of roses for anyone; just ask Him! :)

The New Covenant

Jer31:31 "The time is coming," declares the LORD,
"when I will make a new covenant
with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah." NIV

Who is making the covenant? - The Lord
With whom? - The nation of Israel (houses of Israel and Judah)

The Lord will make the new covenant - whether unilateral as with Abraham, or ratified by the people as we saw at Mt. Sinai or in Nehemiah's time. If unilateral it requires belief on the other parties part (faith like Abraham). Regardless, the nation of Israel never had belief in the new covenant (Christ), nor ratified it. To what result?

Rom11:11b "Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious." NIV

Because of the nations rejection of Christ and the new Covenant - we, the Gentiles, have been given an opportunity.

This makes the parables of the banquets in Matt22 and Luke14 interesting. Those invited (the nation of Israel)either responded with apathy, excuses, and even violence. The inviter (God) then said go out and bring in others (Gentiles).
The old covenant was written in stone and given externally to His people. If obeyed out of reverence for God they would be saved. Man can not do that on his own. The Law points out that you sin - it never dealt with the source of sin. Man's heart and his pride. Man had a chance to do it on his own (work his way to salvation), but he could not - the old covenant proved that point. The New Covenant will be different....

Jer31:"This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
after that time," declares the LORD.
"I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people." NIV

What is it the nation of Israel will have to believe in or ratify - that God will do the work. God will put it in their minds and write it on their hearts. It is new and different for the people of Israel - no longer will it be about man following rules, but man having God to work within him.
Jer31:34 "No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,'
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,"
declares the LORD.
"For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more." NIV

No more will it need to be taught from man to man - to know the Lord through external laws. For all will know and understand internally. They will be forgiven and their sins can't even be recalled. How? Because the new covenant allows one to be covered in Christ's blood - so that God only sees Christ when he looks at you.

So it will be different. Jesus talks to Nicodemus in John3 about the Spirit and a new way of approaching the idea of going to heaven. Nicodemus does not understand, and...

John3:10 "You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things?"

What was a man who studied Scripture supposed to understand? Perhaps Nicodemus could have asked if this was about the new Covenant in Jer31. Or he could have said: is this what Ezekiel was talking about in Ezek36?

Ezek36:25-27 "I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws."

Nicodemus should have had some questions, and my guess is he figured it out later on.
How secure is this promise of a new Covenant?

As long as their are sun, moon, and seas existing and acting as decreed - Israel will be a nation before God.

As long as heavens and depths of earth are unfathomed - and while attempted has never been done in certainty. God will not reject "all" of the descendants for "all that they have done.

Notice this does not preclude "some" of descendants for what they have done.

It is worrisome that some people teach the Church as replacing Israel, or that
Israel blew it and God has rejected the nation and voided His covenant(s) with Israel.

I hope you have seen in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Paul (Romans 9-11) that it is clearly stated that God has not rejected Israel and there will be a time in the future when His Word and covenant(s)will be fulfilled.

I hope if you ever run into this teaching of "replacement" you will ask the speaker for his sources, and compare Scripture to Scripture. Israel may be blinded (given over to their stubborness) for a time, but "in days to come" that will change.

Certainly idividuals in Israel can be saved - just like Paul, the apostles, Messianic Jews, etc. have been delivered. As a nation though - this prophecy of a new covenant has yet to happen.

When will this new Covenant be believed in or ratified by Israel?

No one knows the time, but the conditions are laid out.

Jesus in Matt23 is raging on Pharisees for misleading Israel with their teachings, and at the end lamenting to Jerusalem (nation of Israel)

Matt23:39 "39For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"

OK, so when the nation acknowledges Christ - He will return. Any foreshadowings in OT?

Yes, but rather than take them out of context - I will come back to this when we get to Hosea and Zechariah.

Jeremiah 32: Faith

Concerning a word from God:

1)Jeremiah was cautious - waiting for confirmation before acting.

2)Jeremiah did not let the fact that this was an "audacious" move - out of the norm - deter him.

3)Jeremiah was not rash, but proceeded in a normal fashion. Purchasing, reccording and storing the deed. Then not hiding the fact, but doing it openly in front of witnesses and proclaiming God's word that the land would again be restored. So all could know what he said and when - and that the Word came from God.

4)Jeremiah doubted. He prays to God and says "Nothing is too hard for you." Israel has screwed up, the prophecies I have been giving for forty years are coming true - yet - you told me to buy land?

Jeremiah doubted, and that is OK. Doubt happens in faith. Don't let it get you down. Instead let your doubt lead to more prayer and study of God's Word so that your faith may be strengthened.

The Lord responds, "Is anything too hard for me?" just like He asked Sara, and just like Isaac was born, so will Israel and the people (a remnant) be restored.

Jer32:42 "This is what the LORD says: As I have brought all this great calamity on this people, so I will give them all the prosperity I have promised them."

[More ratification of His intent to keep His word regarding covenant(s).]
NOTE: Sara, laughed and yet had her child Isaac. Did not know that:

In Hebrew, Isaac means "laughter".

I wonder if everytime Sarah said Isaac's name it reminded her:
"Is anything too hard for the Lord?"


Qualifications for leaders:

The list seems to indicate that the person has godly character and spiritual maturity. That is who you want leading your particular "church".

Elders are usually older and have reflected the listed qualities for a period of time. While one can be fooled - you certainly would not pick someone who was the antithesis of any of these qualities.

Deacons (usually younger) are to be tested first, then approved.

All in all you need to be cautious and thorough in this area, as scandals do not reflect well on the Church or God, as Paul told the Corinthians. Church leadership selection should be taken seriously.

[Note: The list is not done in the "command" verb tense. Just that they are "to be".]

God has always been a God of promise a God that sees past the immediacy of man’s thoughts and wants and focuses on the outcome, man’s restoration back to God by God. God’s vision is long term; man’s vision is blinded by today. I am seeing as I read Jeremiah this year that one of the big parts of faith is not believing that there is a God and that He loves me, but believing in His Word, that what He says will come to pass in the day that is coming.

Jeremiah’s financial advisor probably thought Jeremiah was crazy to buy property in a place that would soon be deserted and unoccupied for a long time. Unless one has long-term vision to see past the limitation of an earthly life and see into eternity, buying or acquiring something for a time in the future when you will not be around to enjoy it, you will never truly step out in great faith. Throughout the Bible, men and women have believed God for things they would never see in their lifetime on the earth. Abraham’s inheritance was promised to his offspring and it would be more than four hundred years latter when that offspring would take possession and then loose it temporarily. Yet God still considered the land theres and called it as such.

How many of us think that God has passed us by because we don’t have in our hot little hands the Promises of God? Yet God tells us we have them. May we step out in Great Faith and receive what has been promised. Not being able to hold it does not mean we don’t have it.

NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
(Hebrews 11:1 AMP)

Thanks for that image of Jesus with the cross for Psalm 88. When I first read it (before reading your comments) I was amazed at how different it seemed. I kept waiting for it to end with a praise, but it seemed like God was ignoring this person. Thinking of it as Jesus saying it makes a powerful statement, and oh how it must have also torn God apart to hear that cry and know that His will is perfect.

Jeremiah 31:27-32:44

There were three things in today’s reading that spoke to me two of the three had to do with children.

The first passage, Jeremiah 31:-37-38.
Thus says the Lord, Who gives the sun for a light by day and the fixed order of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, Who stirs up the sea's roaring billows or stills the waves when they roar--the Lord of hosts is His name: If these ordinances [of fixed order] depart from before Me, says the Lord, then the posterity of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before Me throughout the ages. Thus says the Lord: If the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, then I will cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done, says the Lord. (Jer 31:35-37 AMP)

There are many Believers who think that God has abandoned Israel because of her sins. That is far from the truth. God has promised back in Genesis, 8: 22 As long as the earth remains, there will be springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night." As long as that continues God will never abandoned Israel. Yes, He may chastise them, and He has; He may “prune” that which is dead and cut back the productive parts, but they will always be His people. Tread very carefully if you “Bad-Mouth” God’s folks, natural Israel, the Jews, as well as “spiritual” Israel, Christians.

In the 32nd chapter there are two passages dealing with children. In verses 16-18 we read,
16 Then after I had given the papers to Baruch, I prayed to the LORD: 17"O Sovereign LORD! You have made the heavens and earth by your great power. Nothing is too hard for you! 18You are loving and kind to thousands, though children suffer for their parents' sins. (NLT)

And in the same chapter, verses 32-35, we read,

They have turned away from me instead of turning to me. I tried over and over again to instruct them, but they did not listen and respond to correction. They set up their disgusting idols in the house which I have claimed for my own and defiled it. They built places of worship for the god Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom so that they could sacrifice their sons and daughters to the god Molech. Such a disgusting practice was not something I commanded them to do. It never even entered my mind to command them to do such a thing. The result of their doing all this has been to make Judah liable for punishment.' (Jer 32:33-35 NET.)

Verses 16-18 are the words of Jeremiah; however, verses 32-35 are the Words of God. We must remember how much God cares for children. Jesus spoke of one who offends and causes a child to sin might as well take a big stone used for grinding wheat, and tie in around his neck and go jump in a lake. (Matthew 18:5). In the first passage, 16-18, Jeremiah states what would seem obvious; children suffer for their parent’s sins.

It seems that if we really understand that our sins cause pain and hurt to our children, then if we truly value them as gifts from God, our choices that end in sin would stop. My pastor has stated that we must serve the choices we make. However, most of our choices that we must serve, 99% of the time impact others and the “others that are greatly impacted are children. When someone drives DWI and kills or severely injures someone, the person harmed or killed has served a choice someone else made. However, if that person that is harmed or killed has children, then the children get the short-end-of-the-stick. We have placed the children’s future in jeopardy because we wanted to drink.

In the second passage, God charges the people will child sacrifice. I believe that the Bible, thus God, speaks to us in one of three ways, literal, figurative and symbolically. Sometimes the voice is specific to one of the three, but often it may be a combination of the three. . When we serve our own interest at the expense of our children, I believe we are sacrificing them on Moloch’s alter. We may not be going down to the valley and building an alter; throwing our children on top and setting it ablaze literally, but we sure are doing it figuratively.

May we study the “father” attribute of God and seek to model that for our children. In Jesus’ mighty and glorious name, Amen.

If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat. If they are thirsty, give them water to drink.
You will heap burning coals on their heads, and the LORD will reward you.

Verses 21 and 22 are the context of this verse:
Singing cheerful songs to a person whose heart is heavy is as bad as stealing someone's jacket in cold weather or rubbing salt in a wound.

I see verses 20 – 22 (a text without context is a mere pretext) as the call to obey what the Lord Jesus said through the Apostle John in I John 3 (Amplified):
Little children, let us not love [merely] in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth (in practice and in sincerity).

In other words, simply do not bless with words, by with the action of Love and Giving of the Holy Spirit!


ALSO, note the context the Holy Spirit places verses 21 and 22 in Romans 12 (Amplified):
Bless those who persecute you [who are cruel in their attitude toward you]; bless and do not curse them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others' joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others' grief].
Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty (snobbish, high-minded, exclusive), but readily adjust yourself to [people, things] and give yourselves to humble tasks. Never overestimate yourself or be wise in your own conceits.
Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is honest and proper and noble [aiming to be above reproach] in the sight of everyone.
If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for [God's] wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay (requite), says the Lord.
But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.

HOW DO we overcome—master—evil with good? Certainly not through the flesh! Even if the flesh wants to obey, the human nature CANNOT fulfill God’s will! As Romans 8 (Amplified) says:
[That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God's Law; indeed it cannot.


I have been reading a book called “Rees Howells: Intercessor”. What a thoroughly joyful and convicting book! He is a very godly man in heaven with the Lord Jesus who lived in Wales while on earth.

Note the description of Rees Howells on the back of this book: “Rees Howells was a man uniquely taught of God who found the key to prevailing prayer, became the channel of a mighty revival in Africa, was taught the principles of divine healing, and progressed even further in faith until world events were affected by his prayers.”

I would like to quote something from this book about Rees Howells that, in my mind, summarizes what I hear the Lord saying. The Lord had been dealing with Rees Howells to literally follow the Holy Spirit and walk in love and give as the Spirit led.

“ It was then that the Spirit showed him both a commandment and a promise. To the rich young man the Savior had given the command, ‘Sell all that thou hast and distribute unto the poor…and come, follow Me.’ And to those who did so follow He had promised, ‘There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or lands for My sake and the gospel’s, but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time [with persecutions].’ ”

Then comes the excellent and wonderful obedience and application in Rees Howells’ life:

“The day came when he reach his last pound. The Holy Spirit then told him, ‘ Cut the ropes and take the promises. ’ It was a direct call to step out on God. But it is always easier to talk of such things than actually to do them. It had been much easier to give 100 pounds out of plenty than to part with this last 1 (one) pound and come to the end of his savings—for the first time in fifteen years.”

“ ‘ Oh, how the devil pitied me and brought such arguments! ’ he said. ‘ He told me it would be a step in the dark and that if there was a convention or anything of that kind, I wouldn’t be able to go unless I had 1 (one) pound laid by. But the Holy Ghost showed me that if God wanted me to go anywhere, He would surely provide the means. ’ ”

Rees Howells goes on to say:
“ ‘ The danger was on the other side: for if a person has money, he can go without consulting God, like Jonah, who could afford to pay his passage to run away from Him! THE FACT IS, WE CAN NEVER REALLY BE BONDSERVANTS UNTIL GOD DOES CONTROL OUR MEANS. ’ ”

How can we live the way that the Holy Spirit teaches in Romans 12, which is from Proverbs 25?

By loving and giving through the Holy Spirit!

Romans 12 (Amplified)
But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.

I John 3 (Amplified)
Little children, let us not love [merely] in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth (in practice and in sincerity).


Experientially I know that reading the Word daily can become like getting up in the morning and brushing one’s teeth, done without thought because it has become habitual and reflexive. I know a former atheist who read the Bible for twenty-eight years daily to cull information to use to beat Christians over the head who did not or refused to study the Word. Then there was the one who I was “friendly” with in College who read, “Because I don’t know why, but it makes me calm when I get upset,” yet refused to investigate at the time the reason the Bible calmed her down.

Reading through the Bible yearly can become as dry as three day old burnt toast when what is being read is not speaking to you NOW; but, when the Word speaks it can blow your mind and you have to restrain yourself when you get a revelation on a previously read passage that comes alive. I know I have wanted to run up and down the aisle of a Subway car during rush hour shouting “Glory!” and possibly “Hallelujah!” when understanding comes. If not in actuality but in my spirit I have traveled the length of a Subway car, back and forth, several times.

Proverbs 25:21-22
21 If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat;
And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
22 For so you will heap coals of fire on his head,
And the LORD will reward you.

That video is amazing!

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