The river

About ten years ago I had a memorable dream.  I was wading into a clear river holding my Bible in one hand and the Kingdom story in the other.  The river got deeper and deeper until I was waist deep. 

I’m not sure what it meant, but I know when God wants to tell me something.  Looking in my Bible, I was reminded of the river in Ezekiel which seemed to fit my dream.

Ezekiel 47 describes a river that flows from a future Temple in the Millenial Kingdom that goes from ankle deep, to knee deep, to waist deep, to a river deep enough to swim in.  A real river, a future river, the river of life.  A river where the trees on both banks will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them.  Ezekiel writes, “where the river flows everything will live.”

I have heard revival being compared to a river.  I think it’s great that people want more of God, they want this river.  But be discerning.

NAR (New Apostolic Reformation) author Rick Joiner wrote about a river in ‘Epic Battles of the Last Days,’ saying “This River of Life is coming to His church.  This River is going to overflow all of its present banks.  None of the dikes erected to keep it in place will be able to restrain what is coming,  No stronghold can stand before this River.  You are called to be a part of it, and no evil will stand before you as you flow with Him.”

That’s a bold claim.  His statement is at odds with the Assemblies of God Statement on RevivalThey compare the Holy Spirit to a mighty river, and the Scriptures to the banks of that river. Great harm occurs when the river overruns the banks, but that the river does great good when it stays within the banks.

My advice is come to the river, but test the water.  Is the river flowing within the banks of Scripture? 

“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”  1 John 4:1

Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” 1 Timothy 4:16

Ezekiel 47-9

The Te Waihou River, NZ


Related posts:

Salus per Aquam, Healing through waters

Come to the River

 

 

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What happened when Jesus rose from the dead …

happy-easter

Weeping broke the early morning silence.  It was the first day of the week.  While the world woke up, an uncomprehending woman cried her heart out beside a tomb. 

It was a world stricken with death.  It came to them all, sooner or later.  But this was a day unlike any other.  Resurrected feet trod the earth.

“Woman, why are you crying? Who do you seek?” the King asked, approaching her.

Standing at the empty tomb, Mary Magdalene didn’t recognise him.  With the light and the tears blinding her eyes, she cried “They’ve taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they’ve laid him. If you have taken him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”

Mary,” the King said.

“Teacher!” she cried in recognition, turning to him.

The risen Lord had been in the belly of the earth for three days and nights, even preaching to those who’d perished in the flood of Noah.  Now, he had returned from death.  (1 Peter 3:19)

He said, “Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father, but go to my brethren, and say to them, I ascend to my Father, and your Father, and to my God, and your God.” (John 20)

Obeying him, Mary, Joanna and Mary the mother of James went and told the disciples the Lord had risen, but they were not believed.

Ascending to his Kingdom, the King was greeted with songs, shouts, and cries of joy.  Walking across the sapphire pavement, the resurrected Son of God approached the throne of his Father, the keys of Death and Hell in his hands. The gates of Hell had not prevailed against him.

All of Heaven rejoiced.  The eyes of the creatures hailed their creator as the angels formed a rank of honour.  All bowed down as he passed.

A throne awaited him.

But first, before mounting the stairs to take his place at the right hand of the Father, the Son of God presented himself as the first of the harvest.

Looking ahead to the harvest of mankind that awaited, the angels sang for joy. The creatures added their voice, “Hail to the First-fruits of the earth.”

All of Heaven rose to their feet as the Father rose from his throne, accepting the sinless offering of the earth.

The Son of Man would serve as the High Priest of the New Covenant in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being.

The sanctuary built by Moses was a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain. (Hebrews 8)

The only man-made thing in this place were the scars on the King’s body.

Now all of Heaven would await the arrival of the Church of the Firstborn.

And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. Colossians 1:18


This story is taken from Mark 16 and Luke 24.

Kernels of truth

Here are some interesting facts I found while writing The Lord of the Harvest. I wrote it to clear up some confusion over the end times harvests known as the rapture. 

Did you know Jesus likened himself to a grain of wheat?  There are fifty grains in a stalk of wheat and the Church began on the fiftieth day, a day which the Jews celebrated as the “Beginning of Harvest.”

  • Jesus said of Himself, “I am the Bread of Life.”
  • Bethlehem, where Jesus Christ was born, means “House of Bread.” 
  • Unleavened bread is eaten for seven days from Passover.  The bread is striped and pierced.  These stripes were seen by the prophet Isaiah 700 years before the birth of Jesus Christ; “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”  Isaiah 53:5
  • Jesus likened himself to a grain of wheat.  A stalk of wheat has fifty grains. Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.” John 12:24

50

  • The Church began on the fiftieth day after the Feast of First Fruits which was called “the Beginning of Harvest.”the-wave-sheaf-offeringIt was when the very first sheaf of the harvest was offered and waved before the Lord north, south, east, and west.
  • The fiftieth day is also celebrated by Israel as the Feast of Shavuot when seven lots of seven weeks are marked off after the first three spring festivals of Passover, The Feast of Unleavened Bread, and Feast of First Fruits.  Shavuot marks the all-important wheat harvest.
  • The distinguishing feature of Shavuot is the offering of two leavened loaves of bread made of fine flour.  The Greek word for leavened bread is ‘artos,’  meaning a raised loaf of normal, natural regular bread.  With the leaven, it’s sure to rise.
  • The temple at Jerusalem was built on Araunah’s threshing floor.  Araunah means ‘ark.’  David paid Araunah fifty shekels of silver for it, denoting a full price and a full purchase.  (2 Sam. 24:24)
  • Jesus mentioned the First Fruits, the Beginning of the Harvest when he was in Sychar, a Gentile area.

“Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” John 4:35.

  • Sychar means ‘end.’

As for the end, there has been much speculation about when this will be.  Jesus said it’s not for us to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. Acts 1:7

But we can know the season.  Jesus did leave a clue about it when he said in Matthew 24; “no man knows the day or the hour.”  The autumn Feast of Trumpets was the only festival where the Jews did not know the day or hour it would be, as it was dependent on the first sighting of the new moon.

Paul wrote about the Church being gathered at the last trumpet; “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:51

Two loaves, two harvests

  • The autumn festival of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles marks the ingathering.  These are people from the Great Tribulation who have responded to the worldwide preaching of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists.  They show up in Revelation 7, waving lulavs – a closed frond of the date palm tree waved at Sukkot.

The Autumn harvest will begin when the Times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

First fruits


These facts are summed up from my story The Lord of the Harvest.

Here’s another interesting site:  The Biblical Feast of Firstfruits, How It Explains a Great Mystery

The Lord of the Harvest

Do you have trouble understanding what the Bible has to say about the end times and how the Church fits into it all? I do. There’s talk about a possible rapture in September 2017 because of a planetary alignment in Virgo, as there was in September 2015. I don’t follow that – it just adds to our confusion and then people get put off when it doesn’t happen, as happened with Harold Camping.

It’s much better to get our information from the Bible.

But can we work out where we’re at now from things that were written 2,000 years ago?

The Word of God can be quite enigmatic. Sometimes it seems like code. And Jesus put events that happened thousands of years apart in one paragraph! How are we supposed to understand?

When I worked as a programmer, and I had poorly documented “spaghetti code” to decipher, I’d plunge into the code by setting up a watch on the variables – things that were running through the code, to see if the logic was correct.

So I did the same thing with the Word. I put myself in the story as a character, and met with the Lord who was already there in his assigned role as “Lord of the Harvest.” Then I set a watch on the scene, dialogue and events as they unfolded.

I’ve come away with a good story and a satisfying understanding of end times events.

And I believe I get to talk to God while I am in the story. I call it “going into the Kingdom.”

So here’s the first chapter of my quest. From this, I am already beginning to piece things together.  I will sum it all up in a further post.  Enjoy.


The Lord of the Harvest, part 1

Wheat field 1

Smiling, she met the Lord in a grain field near his birthplace at Bet Lehem, the ‘House of Bread.’

Plucking a head of grain, the Lord put it into her hand.
“You will find fifty grains in that head of wheat” he informed her.

His eyes had an intent look as she studied the wheat grain.

He said “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.” John 12:24
The wind rippled wheat bowed to him as if to thank him for his word.

They walked along in silence for a while.
“Where are we going?” she asked.
“We are going to my Father’s house in Jerusalem six miles to the south, to the temple that was built on 1Araunah’s threshing floor.  David paid fifty shekels of silver for it.”

“Why fifty?” she asked.

“Fifty denotes a full price and a full purchase” he answered. (2 Sam. 24:24)

“What does Araunah mean?” she asked.

“Ark” he replied.

They arrived in Jerusalem to joyous crowds, who had gathered at the temple for a spring festival.

“What are they celebrating?” she asked.

“The feast of Shavuot, also known as the Feast of Weeks, when the First Fruits are brought into the temple seven weeks after Passover. Today is the fiftieth day.”

Leviticus 23,15-16

As a pilgrim brought the First Fruits to the Temple she heard him declare the word the Lord had commanded; “I declare today to the Lord our God that I have come to the country which the Lord swore to our fathers to give us …” Deuteronomy 26:3-10

Observing the offering, she was sorely aware she was a stranger here, a Gentile without Jewish roots.

“Can you please tell me about the festivals, beginning with Passover?” she asked.

1You know the lamb’s blood was put on the lintel of the houses so the angel of death passed over my people in Egypt,” he reminded her. “My people celebrate for seven days in remembrance of this, without realising I am the Lamb of God. The Passover lamb is sacrificed at twilight. During this time, they eat Matzo, bread without leaven. The Greek word for unleavened bread is ‘azumos.’ The bread is striped and pierced, like my back.

Then there is a seven-week counting period after the three festivals of Passover, First-Fruits and Unleavened Bread.

Shavuot, the next festival means ‘weeks.’ It happens on the fiftieth day and marks the all-important wheat harvest.  The distinguishing feature of Shavuot is the offering of two leavened loaves of bread made of fine flour.”

Putting the emphasis on leavened, he used the Greek word ‘artos’ for bread. It meant a raised loaf of leavened bread – normal, natural regular bread.

“Doesn’t leaven mean sin?” she asked.

“No, in this case, it means to permeate. The clue was in the three measures of meal – the amount used in baking the shewbread, ‘the Bread of Presence‘ for the Temple. (Exodus 35:13)

The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.” Matthew 13:33

“Ah, so it’s sure to rise!” she quipped.

“Yes, anyone who believes me will be saved and I will raise him up on the last day,” he replied.

He continued, “I AM the Bread of Life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” John 6:48

There were two leavened loaves for the two distinct groups celebrating the fiftieth day; The Jews celebrating Shavuot – the Feast of Weeks, and the Church observing Pentecost.

LastSupper2 resized Taking the loaf for the Church, he broke it and offered her the bread.

“This is my body, given for you. Take, eat in remembrance of me” he said.

The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.” 1 Corinthians 10:17.

Taking the bread, she knelt, thanking him for his body.

“Can you please tell me about Pentecost?” she asked.

“The Church began on the fiftieth day,” he began; “After my suffering, I presented himself to my disciples and gave many convincing proofs that I was alive. I appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while I was eating with them, I gave them this command: “Do not leave but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 1:3-5.

“Fifty days after Passover, the Holy Spirit was poured out on 120 followers who waited in Jerusalem on the day of Shavuot when the first-fruits were being brought into to the Holy Temple. That day was called ‘Pentecost,’ meaning fifty. From this day, the spirit has been and is being poured out.”

“What does that look like?” she asked.

“Like the birth of a new person,” the Lord marveled. “I told Nicodemus, a teacher of the law that he had to be born again. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ John 3:5-7

Watching the wind move through the wheat, the Lord said, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

After the Holy Spirit was received by the 120 people, Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old men shall dream dreams.
And on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
And they shall prophesy. Acts 2:12-17

Leading her back to the wheat fields, the Lord said, “The spring harvest of first fruit has begun.” (1 Corinthians 15:20-23)

Reminding her of the first group of seventy, who had worked two by two, he said, “The harvest truly is great, but the are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” Luke 10:2

“How long will the harvest go for?” she asked.

“It will continue until the end.”

Taking her to the fields of Sychar, he said “Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” John 4:35.

Sychar wasn’t a Jewish village.

“Why did you go to Sychar, when you said you were sent for the lost sheep of Israel?” she asked, wondering at the Lord’s strange detour into Samaria.

Reminding her of what he told the woman of Sychar, he said Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.” John 4:30-23

“Ah” she said, getting it. He was speaking of two harvests. First Fruits represented Himself and the Church he had begun on the fiftieth day. It was already underway. The Autumn harvest, representing the Jews, would begin at its conclusion when the Times of the Gentiles were fulfilled.

“What does Sychar mean?” she asked the Lord of the Harvest.

“End” he replied.


Seeking 1 out of 99 readers

God plays an active and unapologetic role in my book.  He appears as ‘The King’ in various roles.  Sometimes he refers to Himself as the Shepherd.  Why?  Well, we are all like sheep who have gone astray. 

Sheep can get into a lot of trouble.  Growing up on a New Zealand sheep farm I’ve rescued them from creeks, mud, and barbed wire.

I loved finding the lost lambs, and so does Jesus.  Here’s me back from the lambing beat, with a lamb in my arms, about a hundred years ago …

Lambing Beat Aug 197452

Ever heard the parable of the lost sheep?

Jesus told the Pharisees and teachers of the law this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15:3-7

My book won’t appeal to ‘Pharisees’ or ‘Teachers of the Law.’  It will appeal to those who understand the wilderness.  The reader I am looking for may not know the Bible, or God – but will love redemptive romance and a great good versus evil story.  I’m not writing for 99 people – I’m writing for one.  Come into the pages of my book.  The path will begin in a field.  Follow the butterfly.

I am offering my eBook free this month in return for a review on Amazon or Goodreads.  Offer ends on the 16th November.

book_by_fantasyart0102-dabdbjlSource of image: Deviant Art, Book by FantasyArt0102

A great site for Christian authors and readers

harvestHere’s an excellent site, Reality Calling for Christian authors and readers working in the harvest field.

They want to encourage authors to participate in the final harvest as we prepare for the Coming of our King.

They say “it’s a glorious time to be alive and the Lord is looking for authors to help Him save all possible before the Wrath which is to come falls on the Earth.”

They also need and serve readers.  Their vision is to provide resources for Christian authors and readers, focusing on God’s call, the production of anointed materials, and vetted book reviews.

Christian authors and readers are both essential to their effort!

I highly recommend them.  http://radiqx.com/


Books are a brilliant non-threatening way to reach people if it’s quality, redemptive fiction.  So we don’t have to be a writer for this task, just a reader who likes reading and loaning books!

As a writer, their vision matches mine because I write for the sheep without a shepherd.

harvest-016

Lord Of The Harvest

When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
Ask the Lord of the Harvest therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Matthew 9:37-38

One in a million

The inspiration for my book “The Kingdom, Here Be Dragons, Here Be Dreams” came from Psalm 45 – which speaks of a King who is the most attractive man on the planet; “fairer than the sons of men.”  In the world his appearance was rather ordinary.  The prophet Isaiah wrote of Jesus 700 years before His birth saying “He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him.  He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.  Isaiah 53:2-3. 

To start with, I admit I too saw him like that.  As I began to know him from the Bible and from experience, I got to see him as beyond handsome – wise, witty, subtle and gentle with unimaginable power.

Here’s a screen shot of page 1 of “The Kingdom,” circa 1997.  I took a trip down memory lane and came back with a screen shot of page 1 the original story.  I’ve still got the story on the old software in DOS, which I run in DOSBox just because I can.

Now I’ve got to promote the story.  I’ve discovered that’s not going to be an easy matter!  There’s been millions of eBooks published.  My book is literally ‘one in a million.’  Sigh.

If you want to read an inspirational story where Jesus is the mighty one clothed with splendour and majesty with his sword girded on his side, this is the one.  It’s Jesus from the point of view of His Kingdom.  It’s Jesus without the religious exoskeleton.  Come and read all about him.

Kingdom 1997

For my WordPress followers – I hope you can come visit on Facebook.  Thanks for following my posts.

If you have any ideas how to market this ‘one in a million’ book I’d love to hear from you.