Thursday, June 20, 2013

NATURAL DISASTER (Written in 2005)

(A devastating hurricane with a female name: KATRINA)
(Picture of flooded New Orleans)

The Hurricane Katrina has thoroughly devastated
Alabama/Mississippi/New Orleans. These three States comprises of
less than 3% of the US economy (12 trillion a year). This event
might slow down about 1% of economic growth in the country for
several months --- still better than Europe. A significant blow, but
recoverable. The insurance companies are looking at about $20
billions plus payments. In the currency market, the US dollar is
down by a penny or two among the majors (rich countries).

America has been and continue to be the economic engine for the
world. So the world is nervously watching the developments with
different motives.

Some foreign papers are taking the opportunity to point out the
weaknesses of America. While the business world is hoping this event
won't reduce their earning power.

(During the third week of July 2005, there was a specific prophecy
directed at New Orleans : that God is fed up with too much bickering
 in the area, and that people have persistently mistreated one of His
servants. The people are admonished to stop their bickering  and
that God is going to remove the curse in their midst. Two years
earlier, a prophecy was in place concerning these States, that a
disaster was coming in the months of August, September, October. Now
it has.)  [Am not sure this prophecy is true or not, and the relation to the
hurricane... but just included it for readers to discern and think for themselves].

In a show to prove the faithfulness of Job, God removed His
protection and allowed Satan to harass him for a time. But Job stood firm
in faith (Hebrews 11:6) and in the end God restored Job with more than
what he previously lost.

When bad things happen to us, we question: "Why me?" When good
things are happening to others, we question: "Why not me?" This is a
universal human response.

I guess no matter what is happening to us, it would be an
improvement in the faith if we can move on with gratefulness. We
cannot fathom all things. We are unaware of many details/events that are
going on in and around us. Only God possesses complete and absolute
knowledge. Hence even if we cannot understand a lot of things, its
best to keep trusting the Lord. This is called faith.

In this time of trials and hardships for the people in the affected
areas, we all can offer prayers for them. May this experience draw
many to the Lord, closer to Him, and that all their emotional and
physical needs be met adequately.

9/11 was a man-made disaster perpetrated by terrorists. Parts of
Asia is still recovering from the tsunami effect. Some people are
calling hurricane Katrina as America's tsunami. All this goes to
show that life is like a puff of the air -- here today, gone
tomorrow. When is your/my time to die, no one knows. It could be

As a prophet of old has uttered: "Prepare to meet thy God" (Amos 4:12). Live
each day for the Lord.

"For what is your life?  It is even a vapor that appears for a little
time and then vanishes away" (James 4:14).

Thursday, June 13, 2013


John the Baptist:   "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove and resting on Him"  [Yahshua : God saves --- Hebrew name of Jesus] (John 1:32)

Let's face it, we humans have different opinions and we disagree
in many ways. Even members of the same household think
differently. Assuming there are nearly three billion adults today,
we have three billion opinions.

That is why human opinions are not the measure of truth. Only God
can determine what is truth. This may appear simple, but the
implications are deep and far reaching. In other words, either we
agree with what God says, or we are on the wrong side of truth.
Only God can say, "If you are not with me, you are missing the
truth."  One can quote the right scripture in the wrong human spirit.
The Holy Spirit must sift motives to apply right scripture for the
right occasion.  This is a balance many miss or fail to understand
its significance.  "Be not wise in thine own eyes..." (Proverbs 3:7).

This is the reason Jesus asserts that true worship of God must be done in
truth and in spirit (John 4:24). In truth, to be sure we are on the right
premise; in spirit, so we are in tune with the Divine Spirit.

Have you heard from the Spirit lately? Or did you know that you
can indeed hear from the Spirit?

I am not talking theories here. I am not talking religious
activities here.

The Spirit has a mind and can speak. Examples from scripture:

1. 'Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will
depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits [other
spirits can influence your spirit too] and doctrines of demons' (1
Timothy 4:1).

2. 'For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us...' (Acts
15:28) --- agreeing with the Spirit.

3.  "As they ministered to the Lord and fasted,
the Holy Spirit said, 'Separate to Me Barnabas and Saul
 for the work which I have called them'" (Acts 13:2).

4. "He who has an ear [spiritual ear], let him hear what the
Spirit says to the churches" (Revelation 2:29).


WARNING:  "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1).   TWO TESTS:  (1) Must acknowledge: Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross and rose again.   (2) Another group of false teachers will acknowledge Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:5), but under this cover will deceive many and make themselves filthy rich by extracting money from gullible believers --- such as Kenneth Copeland, Mike Murdock, Todd Coontz, Benny Hinn, Paula White, etc.  (Let this not dissuade you from giving to the Lord's work; but prayerfully ask God whom/where to give, and let your contributions reach truly needy souls.)


Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Scripture: Genesis 22.

The Jews were startled (or riled) when they heard Jesus telling
them that Abraham had seen his (Jesus) day and rejoiced over it
(John 8:56-59).

There is no discord between the testaments. What is left a
mystery in the Old Testament can be understood by the light in the
New Testament. As someone has aptly said, the Old contains the New
and the New explains the Old. The person and works of Jesus
fulfills and explains the prophecies of the Old Testament. For
example, the prophets had a glimpse and tried to determine when
salvation would be wrought in Christ: "Even angels long to look
into these things" (1 Peter 1:10-12).

When Paul wrote of the inspiration of Scripture, he was
referring to the Old Testament (2 Timothy 3:16-17). It was the
Bible for Jesus and the early disciples. Jesus profusely quoted and
accurately interpreted its intent and spirit.

Jesus is the New Testament. All the 27 books accepted in the
canon (Matthew to Revelation) center around His person, His works,
and His teachings (Colossians 1:16-20). He is the wisdom of God and
the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:24). He is the author and
finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).

God spoke to Abraham both in vision and in person. One
prophetic picture he was led to experience was the call to offer his
son Isaac as a burnt offering: "Take your son Isaac, your only one,
whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer
him up as holocaust on a height that I will point out to you"
(Genesis 22:2).

Here God tested the faith of Abraham. It also demonstrates to
the world that when God chose people to do His works, He selects
those who will follow the ways of God and pass on the same to posterity (Genesis 18:19).
In His foreknowledge God saw this quality in Abraham and so chose him
to impart God's plan of redemption to the world (Genesis 12:1-3).

After both Abraham and Sarah were beyond any hope of having
their biological child, God promised them a son. But ten years
elapsed before this was fulfilled. God meant to convey that His
acts are supernatural.

Being advanced and beyond childbearing age, Sarah chuckled when
it was told she would bear a child. The Lord replied, "Is anything
too hard for God? (Genesis 18:11-14). When Mary puzzled over how as
a virgin she would get pregnant, the angel Gabriel replied, "For
nothing is impossible with God" (Luke 1:37).

The birth of Isaac was a miraculous act of God. The son of
promise. Knowing this Abraham did not hesitate when called upon to
offer his son as a sacrifice; he was convinced that if God can
supernaturally bring Isaac to the world God can also raise him from
the dead (Hebrews 11:17-19).

In Genesis 22:2, the word 'love' is used for the first time in
the Bible -- "your only son Isaac, whom you love". Sarah and
Abraham must be doting parents. Perhaps not wanting any competition
or conflict with any other female over the affection of Isaac, Sarah
may have kept Isaac from marriage. Only after his mother Sarah
died, Isaac married at age 40 (Genesis 24).

As far as God is concerned, Abraham had offered his son Isaac.
He was tested and found faithful. God provided a substitute and
Abraham came home with his beloved son Isaac (Genesis 22:10-14).
This is a beautiful picture of John 3:16. This time the beloved Son
of God truly died (Isaiah 53); but He rose again because He was
sinless (Psalm 16:10; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

The provision for salvation is complete (Romans 10:9-10). All
those who come to Christ may die physically, but they will rise
again and put on immortality (1 Corinthians 15:53; 1 Peter 1:21-
25). For with God nothing is impossible.

Embrace God's gift of salvation in Christ Jesus today --- now! (2 Corinthians 6:2).


Sunday, June 9, 2013


Canaan Given to descendants of Abraham:  Genesis 15

The term 'covenant' is derived from the Hebrew word "berith",
which means to cut, or cutting. It is used in various transactions
between God and man, and man and his fellow beings.

In verse one God declares that He is the shield of Abraham.
God has just granted Abraham victory in battles (chapter 14). He
protected Abraham. The implication for Christians today is that we
fight spiritual battles by faith (Gen. 15:6; Ephesians 6:16).

God also reveals a great reward for Abraham (v.1). This reward
is twofold: heavenly (Hebrews 11:10) and earthly. In this passage
only the earthly reward is discussed. Having no children of his own
Abraham wondered what good a reward would do in his old age. God
assures him of physical descendants which will multiply and become
countless like the stars. And Abraham believed (v. 2-6; Hebrews 11:12).

"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who
comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of
those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6).


V.7-22. God reaffirms the purpose why He called Abraham from
Babylon (the symbol of rebellion), to a promised land called Canaan,
a land of rest in God. The Bible says that the wicked are never at
rest; hence one can find rest and peace by surrendering to God alone
in Christ Jesus (Matthew 11:28-30).

A piece of real estate is promised to Abraham. So in effect,
Abraham asks, where is the title, the legal document of ownership
(v.8)? God took Abraham to the local Notary office to seal the
deal. But in ancient time, the system is different.

Animals are cut and placed on two sides with a path in
between. The persons entering the covenant will walk through as a
symbol of declaration that should one party fail to keep its part,
the other party has the right to cut the delinquent into two -- that
is, impose death penalty. (See Jeremiah 34:18-20 for a biblical

This covenant is as serious and sacred as life itself. As
binding as the constitution of a nation. By this covenant God
deeded Canaan to Abraham and his descendants (v.12-21). (God-
willing, shortly I hope to write a simple article on the present-day
conflict between Jews and the "so-called Palestinians" --- it will
help you understand the situation better).

Notice one glaring omission here: Abraham fell into a trance
and did not walk between the carcasses (v.12). All the significant
works of God are not achieved by human efforts, but by God working
through men and women who are called. That is why life in the
Spirit and the power of the Holy Spirit is the only way true works
of God are accomplished. (John 6:63; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 5:18,
etc.) (Anyone entering full time Christian ministry ought to learn
how to fast and pray and move in the power of the Spirit).

There is no doubt God will maintain His part of the covenant;
and knowing Abraham and his descendants will fail to fulfill
their part, God entered into it on their behalf (because the
covenant is deemed complete even without Abraham walking between the
animal parts).

God passed between the pieces in the form of smoke and fire
(v.17). Four hundred years later (v.13), this same God led the
children of Israel, on the way to Canaan, by a pillar of cloud by
day and a pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:21-22).

The question remains: Who will die when Abraham and his
descendants violate the covenant? God will provide, for He walked
between the covenant animals on their behalf.

This is where Jesus steps in. Read John 1:1,14,29. See also 1
Timothy 3:16. God loves the world and did for them what they could
not do (John 3:16). What a wonderful and loving God we have. Live
for Him and share your faith. Support those who are sharing the
Gospel with your prayers and your finances. Remember, God rewarded
Abraham, and He rewards all those who walk in faith and obedience.

(Charles Wesley)

Friday, June 7, 2013



 "By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice..." (Hebrews 11:4).

In the Bible we see God making decisions concerning mankind,
and He exercises the prerogative of changing them according to human
responses. Such as conditional promises, or heeding the
intercession of penitent hearts.

But as far as His essence is concerned, God is immutable
(Malachi 3:6). His attributes and character remains the same. As a
holy God, He cannot compromise with sin. When Adam and Eve sinned
by their disobedience, God followed through His warning and brought
death to them (Gen. 2:16-17).

God is also merciful. The death sentence will take effect, but
its execution is delayed. In mercy, God let Adam and Eve live for
several centuries. A window of opportunity for redemption is
extended --- in their place, animals were killed (Gen. 3:21).
Imagine the first humans seeing blood, which is the essence of life
(Leviticus 17:11), spilled for the first time. Death too. In this
object lesson God made it clear that something died to cover the
failure and shame of Adam and Eve.

   God is eternal and outside time.  To Him a day is like a thousand years or a thousand is like one day (2 Peter 3:8).  On the day Adam and Eve sinned, the effect began immediately, but the full result awaited several centuries.  But no human on earth lived to be one thousand years --- the oldest person by the name Methuselah lived 969 years (Genesis 5:27).  The flood came on the year he died.  Adam and Eve did not die on day one of their disobedience, but no human lived to be one thousand years.

God continues to directly converse with the children of Adam and
Eve. When Cain got upset over the rejection of his offering, God
replied, "If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?" (Gen.

The parents of Cain and Abel must have shown to them the
requirement of blood sacrifice. From Genesis 4:1-16 we find that
Abel followed it and got accepted; but Cain disregarded it, and
following his rejection, committed murder in jealous rage.
Disobedience leads to further sin and trouble unless prompt
repentance is exercised.

Abel exercised faith in God through his sheep sacrifice
(Hebrews 11:4). Cain exercised willful disobedience and strayed
further from God. From here on mankind moved away from God and away
from proper understanding of God and His ways. This was how
wickedness increased (Gen. 6:5). Mankind followed this pattern even
after the flood. From this example we can glimpse an idea how the
world's population multiplied without knowledge of the true God,
thereby creating false religions and philosophies which entraps men
and women right to our time.

But God has not given up on man. Adam was still alive (Gen.
5:3-5) when Noah was born. Noah's father mentioned the curse on the
ground (Gen. 3:17-19), an indication that his great grandfather Adam
told them the story (Gen. 5:28-29).

Hence Noah was aware of all that happened hundreds of years ago
in the Garden of Eden. Like Abel, by faith Noah chose to follow God
(Gen. 6:8-10; Hebrews 11:7). After the flood was over, the first
thing Noah did was offer animal sacrifice to God (Gen. 8:20-22). We
can also assume that Noah's great grandsons were told the stories of
God's dealings with the people in the past right up to the story in
Eden. Job offered sacrifice and is called a righteous person by God.
Abraham is another example.

Even before the law mandating animal sacrifice was passed under
Moses, the earlier generations knew that was what pleases God. This
concept of animal sacrifice was never lost throughout the Bible.

The penalty for sin is death (Gen. 2:17; Romans 6:23). But in
mercy, God is willing to accept a substitute to spare our lives.
God is willing to pardon and bless mankind and that is the
reason He revealed His ways.

Jesus said, "...all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of
Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me" (Luke 24:44).

Today we no longer offer animal sacrifice because Jesus the Son
of God, the ultimate Lamb of God (John 1:29), offered the ultimate
sacrifice on our behalf on the cross.  Believe and come under the
covering of the blood shed at Calvary.

We have a God who bless.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Leviticus 14:1-7.

(A grateful ex-leper, Luke 17:11-19).

In this passage we find the ceremonial regulations to pronounce
healing from infectious skin diseases. The diseased person lives
outside the camp and cannot come to the community and mingle with
others until the priest declares him clean. QUARANTINE.

The procedure includes two live birds. One is killed over a
clay pot with water, making it red with the blood; the other is
dipped in the red water and released. The same water is then
sprinkled seven times on the healed person. Then he is
pronounced "clean".

Remember God is able to heal a person without this procedure
(Luke 4:27; 2 Kings 5:1-15). In His sovereignty, God has the
freedom and the ability to make exceptions. But He passed this
Jewish law to protect the community and also to carry a message.

In Leviticus 14 the two birds represents the death and
resurrection of Jesus Christ. Blood is shed. The skin disease, or
leprosy, represents sin. The judgment of sin is death (Genesis
2:17; Romans 6:23). It includes spiritual death, which is eternal
separation from God.

Because God is holy, He cannot condone sin. So humans are left
in a hopeless situation. Because God is love, He provides a way for
us to return to Him. This provision is fulfilled by Jesus who is
altogether holy and perfect and sinless --- He paid the ultimate
penalty of sin for us by His death on the cross.

And because Jesus is holy and sinless, He rose from the death.
He conquered death. So by accepting the death and resurrection of
Jesus we are pronounced "clean" before the holy God.

Jesus lived under the law to fulfill all the demands of the law
(Galatians 4:4; Matthew 5:17-18). Just as God healed Namaan of
leprosy, Jesus demonstrated His power to heal the same disease. He
healed a leper in Matthew 8:1-5 and instructed him to fulfill the
ceremonial law passed under Moses in Leviticus 14.

Jesus has power over both physical and spiritual diseases. We
can be cleansed only in Jesus Christ alone (1 John 1:7). Everyone is
welcome to avail of this cleansing (Revelation 22:14-21).


Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Are you washed in the blood,
In the soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless?
Are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
(Elisha A. Hoffman)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Exodus 15:26. The Healer.

Right after revealing a tree to heal the water, God continues on
to declare: "If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your
God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his
commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you the
diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord who heals you."

God has proven his mighty power by the ten plagues and the
crossing of the Red Sea before the eyes of the people. Here he
provides additional revelation as a healer by first healing the
undrinkable water. By now the Israelites should not doubt his power
even to heal their physical infirmities.

But the promise is conditional -- "IF". Now the people have to do
their part, that is to trust and obey him (TRUST AND OBEY --- I love
that hymn). Here the carrot and stick principle is applied --- if
the people obey, God will keep them healthy; if they disobey, they
may be afflicted with the diseases of Egypt.

(See some of the diseases of Egypt in Deuteronomy 28:27-28 & 60-

The two conditions . First, "if you listen carefully to the
voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes" (Exodus

God is about to give them the 10 Commandments and other
instructions on how to walk worthy before the Lord and live in peace
in the community. They have to 'listen'.

The song of Simon and Garfunkel has a line: "people hearing
without listening".

In Revelation chapters 2 and 3 Jesus admonished the 7 churches
to listen. The church in Laodicea (3:14-22) felt self-suffifient and
failed to listen; so Jesus was left outside knocking (3:20).

Today a big problem of individuals and churches is the failure
to listen to the voice of God. In their history the Israelites on
many occasions failed to listen to the voice of God through the
priests and the prophets and ended up in many tragic situations.

Did you know that in some cases the devil can inflict people
with diseases? If God's people fail to live within his protection,
they expose themselves to attacks of the enemy. This principle
applies both spiritually and physically --- sin opens us to demonic
attacks, and by promiscuity millions have been infected with
sexual diseases including AIDS.

Some of the diseases of Egypt were serious mental disorders (see
verses above). To a lesser degree, but still with potential for great
harm, one can add undue stress, severe emotional problems, disharmony in the
family, etc.

Obedience to God is not only to please him, but for our own
good, because it keeps us from harm's way.

Ecclesiastes 10:8 says ... "whoever breaks through a wall may be
bitten by a snake". There is a wall of protection in God's
guidance. Snakes lurks outside the wall, ready to bite. Let me

We all have heard of Kobe Bryant, the young dazzling Lakers
basketball star who rocketed to fame and wealth in so short a time.
In his sexual escapade that went public in July 2003, he broke through the wall of marriage and got bitten by a poisonous snake (public humiliation and big money lawsuit).  Ouch!!! One can only imagine his emotional pain, along with the legal, moral, financial and reputation problems. He must have felt sorry a million times.

Secondly, "... if you pay attention to his commands and keep all
his decrees" (Exodus 15:26). Knowledge has increased and we have
advanced medical knowledge today. In the past God protected the
Israelites through the ceremonial laws.

Encoded in the ceremonial laws were medical hygiene such as
washing of hands, proper handling of dead bodies and disposal of
human wastes (Deut. 23:13, indoor plumbing is a modern adaptation),
sanitation, quarantine, etc. Centuries before modern science
discovered medical hygiene, the religious Jews were already following

Here God protected the Israelites from plagues and other
communicable diseases, while the world waited until the eighteenth
centuries on to modern times to catch up with the medical hygiene in
the Bible.

This same healer in Exodus 15:26, manifest himself in the New
Testament as the Great Physician. As a part of his credential
(Matthew 11:1-6), or proof of his Divine Power, Jesus healed the
sick, raised the death, and cast out demons. He healed individuals
as well as crowds en mass (Matthew 4:23-25).

I am the Lord that healeth thee (Ex. 15:26). Jesus is God the Son (1
John 5:20). He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews
13:8).  Yahshua still heals today.  Obey Him and call on Him to heal you!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Before the NT was written, Jesus said: "You search the scriptures, for in them you 
think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me" (John 5:39). 

One amazing relevance and beauty of the Bible is that of its
unity. One major theme throughout is the Gospel centered
around the life and works of Jesus Christ.

In Genesis 2:2-3, we find God resting from creation. Ever since
nothing new has been created. It completely agrees with the
scientific law of thermodynamics.

But since the fall of mankind from the disobedience of Adam and
Eve, Jesus said that God the Father has been working (John 5:17) ---
referring to the work of redemption.
God set in motion the plan of SALVATION for mankind (Revelation
13:8). Because God is holy, He cannot accept man as he is. Because
He is love, He provides a way for man to return to Him.

The answer is Jesus Christ. Right from the beginning God began
working to reveal Jesus to the world. So in the Old Testament, we come across
symbols, types, and prophecies that look forward to the coming of
Jesus into the world to show God's love for mankind (John 3:16).

This series will continue. My prayer is that you will learn of Him
better and strengthen your faith as you live and serve God.

After His resurrection Jesus discussed about Himself to two
disciples on the way to Emmaus: "And beginning with Moses and all the prophets,
he explained to them what was said in all the scriptures concerning
himself" (Luke 24:27).


Exodus 15.
Verses 1-21. The children of Israel miraculously crossed the Red Sea, and their enemies can pursue them no more; but new enemies will come later --- the Christian journey include warfare against spiritual enemies (Ephesians 6:10-18).  The deliverance is celebrated with dancing (its alright to dance in worship) and
a memorial song.

Verses 22-25. And now comes the test of character. The people are
thirsty but the only water available is bitter. The people turns bitter too.
The grumbling begins.

(God is fully aware of their need, yet waited to see if they could patiently
depend on His provision without murmuring and unbelief -- a sign of maturity).

TEST SCORE: "F" for grumbling (mercy for baby Christians).

God shows Moses a tree to heal the water. Why did God not simply ask Moses
to speak to the water or raise his rod over the water as he did in parting the
Red Sea? (Exodus 14:21-22). There is a reason.

Because God intends to reveal the symbol of the cross (tree) where one day
Jesus will be crucified on it. The TREE made the water sweet and satisfied the
thirst of the people, thus saving their lives.

Is your life bitter? Have you been mourning because life has been
difficult and unfair to you?

Come to Jesus to receive joy and eternal life. The water of life Jesus
gives will make you thirsty no more (John 4:13-14).

If you are already in Christ, learn to pray and stop murmuring. Live one day at a time and above your circumstances.  If God were to test your fruit and grade your obedience, will you make passing grade?


Saturday, June 1, 2013


    "It is written..."  This is one famous line of Jesus in quoting the Torah.  In defeating the devil (Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3).

     What is Torah?  Glad you asked.  It could mean several things, such as the Old Testament, or the Laws of God in it.  The word 'Torah' means 'teaching' or 'instruction' --- a manual for walking with God.  God (Yahweh: personal name), the God (Elohim) of Moses is the author of Torah and commissioned Moses to put it in writing, hence the first five books of the Bible came to be known as the Book of Moses:  Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. 

     Who defines Torah?  Ah, we can clear up the confusions surrounding it by discovering the proper definition for Torah.  For this who better to consult than the author Himself: God.  Are you ready to receive it?  Let us turn to Joshua 1:7-8 (God speaking)...

     "Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the TORAH, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.

     This book of TORAH shall not depart out of thy mouth; but that thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success." 


     Is it clear now?  The first five books are called Torah by God Himself.  God commissions Moses to write it and Commands Joshua to meditate daily on it and observe the teachings.  The New Testament counterpart would be the Great Commission wherein Jesus commands the disciples to teach and observe "all things whatsoever I have COMMANDED you" (Matthew 28:20).

      Jesus lived and taught the Torah.  In essence Jesus Christ is the New Testament.  All the prophets in the Old Testament uttered their warnings on the people based on whether the nation or individuals were living according to the Torah.  For example, the wickedness, spiritual adultery and apostasy of Israel was because the Torah was not taught to the people.  They were not only losing out in blessings, but perishing in ignorance.  Why? Because the priests ignored the Torah:  "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou has forgotten the TORAH of thy God, I will also forget thy children" (Hosea 4:6).

     Historically, after the reign of Solomon, the Kingdom split into two: ten tribes in the North as Israel and two tribes in the South as Judah (Jerusalem as capital).  The apostasy of Israel reached the point of no return and God gave them over to Assyria in 722 BC.  After another 100 plus years of warnings by prophets, Judah will not repent and so God allowed Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon to conquer and exile the people, beginning in 606 BC and completely by 586 BC.  The two nations failed to study and observe the Torah!

     Did God abandon the Torah after punishing these two rebellious nations?  No.  While Judah was being punished (Yes the loving God punishes rebellious people), God announced through prophet Jeremiah a New Covenant:  "Behold... I will make a new covenant..." [ And what is in the New Covenant?  The TORAH! ]... "I will put my TORAH in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts" (Jeremiah 31:31-33). (2 Corinthians 3:2-3)

     This verse is quoted in Hebrews 8:10; 10:16.  Listen up grace preachers, don't run away from the Torah and peddle a 'prosperity gospel' that is not sanctioned in the Bible.  Except for circumcision, dietary rules, Levitical service, and laws pertaining to ancient agricultural close-knit society, all the principles and commandments of the Torah are still applicable to followers of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:1-14; Luke 24:25-27; Acts 17:1-3; etc).  Paul the grace preacher said:  "We establish the law" (Romans 3:31).  Did you know that it is from the Torah that we learn we are to love God and our neighbor? (Matthew 22:36-40 --- Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18).


     No one can be saved by keeping the Law (Galatians 5:4), a message to the Jews;  all Gentiles are sinners and in need of a Savior (Romans 1:18-32).  All have sinned (Romans 3:23).  Jew or Gentile, Jesus is the Savior of all (John 14:6).
     Only after receiving salvation by grace, we follow the Law as obedience to the ways of God contained in the Bible.  Grace delivers you from the power of the Law, but grace does not give you license to break the Law.  Check the Ten Commandments for a summary of all that God designed for His children to follow.  To maintain your 'Liberty' in Christ (Galatians 5:1), avoid 'Legalism' (Galatians 5:4) and 'License' (Galatians 5:19-21).  A balancing act with LIBERTY between legalism and license.


       I needed to interject with the insert above, otherwise many people get confused about Grace and Law (grace without law can turn into license, and law without grace is legalism) and live in vagueness, thereby opening themselves to wolves in sheep's clothing who come to preach only the positive or feel good side of God and take their money.  These wolves steal the glory of God (celebrity status and bragging of their favor with God) and the hard-earned money of the gullible listeners. These wolves will avoid warnings of hell, sin, repentance, abomination, sexual purity, judgment, trials, holiness.  They will promise a Santa Claus god blessings to the people and brainwash them into sending money for their lavish pay, perks, and lifestyle.  Stop chasing after prosperity preachers and repent before Jesus convulse with disgust and throw up all the distortions spewed by them (Revelation 3:14-22).  O yes, Jesus the Lion of Judah can get angry; you better believe it (Mark 11:15-19; John 2:15-17; Matthew 23:33; etc).  Repent!

    The word 'prosper' in Joshua 1:7-8 is contextually not talking about increase in wealth.  It is referring to the wisdom Joshua will learn and be successful in achieving his mission.  Then some measure of prosperity might follow, not as a priority but as a reward of obedience in minutely learning the ways of God and strictly observing them.  Do not be fooled by prosperity preachers who will distort this promise by claiming the prosperity without learning and obedience of the Torah.  Keep the priority straight and keep meditating... "... but his delight is in the TORAH of God..." (Psalm 1).

    Let the Torah thoroughly convert your soul (Psalm 19:7; 119:105; James 1:21).  Shalom!