"Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah."
(Ezra 1:2 KJV)
Our Awesome God started the rebuilding of Jerusalem with a visit to Cyrus king of Persia, which included Judah at the time (Ezra 1 tells of the preparation to go). Sheshbazzar, a son of the exiled king Jechoniah, was appointed governor of Judah by Cyrus (Ezra 5:14) and with his nephew, Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:2), led the first group of exiles from Babylon to Jerusalem. They took with them money and all the vessels of the Temple (Ezra 1:8, 11) which Nebuchadnezzar had taken (2 Kings 24:13). When they got there, they laid the foundation of the Temple (Ezra 5:16). Note that Sheshbazzar was about 60 years old when they left for Jerusalem. He died shortly after arriving and Zarubbabel was appointed governor of Judah (Ezra 5:1-2).
It took 23 years to complete the temple, including a space of 6 years that the next king of Persia told them to stop building (This was Esther's king, Ahasuerus, sometimes called Artaxerxes). Later Ezra went to Jerusalem to teach the people the law and establish judges (Ezra 7:8,10).
Then, 58 years later, Nehemiah went to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls. (Nehemiah 2:1) It took 12 years before he went back to king Artaxerxes (not Ahasuerus) in Babylon (Nehemiah 2:6). When he returned to Jerusalem it was as governor and he reorganized the government according to Mosaic Law (Nehemiah 12:26). In Nehemiah 12, Zerubbabel and Ezra brought priests and Levites to dedicate the rebuilt walls of Jerusalem.
It took about 93 years to rebuild the walls and the Temple before the people began rebuilding their houses, but through all the problems and delays, nobody gave up. Our Awesome God had His people chosen to help accomplish His purpose of rebuilding His Temple and city. He supplied different people with different skills for different parts of the task and they did it all in Our Awesome God’s sequence and timing.
We invite you to our church services on Sunday morning (9:30 AM) and Worship Service at (10:30 AM) Then again Sunday evening (6:00 PM) for Bible Study along with the children’s AWANA clubs, which run until 7:30 PM. Wednesday evening (7:00 PM) there is Prayer Meeting and Bible Study. When you come, ask about the Prayer Team. We love visitors and would enjoy meeting you and telling you about Our Awesome God!
"And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the Lord: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing."
(Genesis 29:35 KJV)
Jacob’s fourth son, Judah, whose mother was Leah, was a natural leader. It is important to note that Judah’s decisions were often shaped more by the pressures of the moment than by a conscious desire to cooperate with Our Awesome God’s plan. But once he did recognize his mistakes, he was willing to admit them and do something about them. There is a situation in Genesis 37:26-28, where Judah recommended that his brothers sell Joseph to the Ishmaelites instead of taking his life and his brothers listened. Then they actually sold him and took his torn and bloodied coat of many colors to Jacob, their father.
Judah's experience with Tamar, his daughter-in-law, (Genesis 38:1-11) and the final confrontation over Joseph (Genesis 37:26-27) are both examples of Judah’s willingness to bear the blame when confronted. Most people have problems seeing that the sin was theirs, then admitting it, and then doing something about it. But he didn't. In these instances, he tried to make restitution for what he had done. Our Awesome God uses sinners who know they have sinned and repent of that sin.
The experience with Tamar, when she became pregnant by Judah, produced the only set of twins recorded by the twelve sons. (Jacob was a twin.) And through one of those twins, Perez, Judah is in the lineage of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. God wants us to get involved in His (and our) ministry to the world. Our Awesome God used kings David and Solomon of the tribe of Judah to demonstrate leadership with His direction to make our efforts work the best (2 Chronicles 6) and later with Kings, Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:1,3,5) and Josiah (2 Kings 22:1-2). Jesus Christ now reigns as the King from the Tribe of Judah for eternity. Praise the Lord!
Our Awesome God can use an unsaved sinner as well as a saved sinner but prefers to use someone who can and does admit to his or her sins. God used the Tribe of Judah for leadership for His people in the Southern Kingdom or Judah after the Kingdom of Israel divided.
Our church is a loving church that wants to help others to a better understanding of Our Awesome God and His love, mercy and grace for all of mankind. Join us at Living Word Baptist Church as we love others while preaching and teaching from our Holy Bible about God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Our church has a Bible Study at 9:30 AM on Sunday and Worship Service at 10:30 AM and then at 6:00 PM there is another Bible Study along with a children's program called AWANA which goes until 7:30 PM. We love visitors! Are you a Judah?
"Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof."
(2 Kings 13:14 KJV)
Most of us know Elijah and his works better than Elisha but Elisha, the prophet, was dying of a terminal illness and King Joash (also called Jehoash), who did "evil in the sight of Lord" (2 Kings 13:11), came down to see him and cry over him. Notice that the Holy Bible never says that they ever met before this but the king was worshipping "other gods". So, was Joash crying over Elisha's coming death or was he crying because he would no longer have someone to get Israel out of trouble? Elisha had the king shoot arrows and strike them on the floor before he prophecied the future for King Joash (2 Kings 13:19). Then it says Elisha died and was buried.
Our Awesome God also says they were burying another man when a band of Moabites attacked. So the people in the funeral let the body of the dead man down onto the bones of Elisha where he revived "and stood up on his feet" (2 Kings 13:21). Can you imagine the shock of the funeral party when they saw the dead man run by. Even after he died Elisha performed one more miracle.
Elisha’s words to Joash may have been spoken in a weak and faltering voice. But the resurrection of that corpse spoke volumes to Joash and the people of Israel about the power of God through His prophet. It assures us that what Our Awesome God says, He will do.
If all that was true of Elisha and the unnamed corpse, how much more true is it of our Lord Himself, who died, was buried, and who was raised from the dead on the third day. How seriously would we take the words of our Lord if His body were still in the tomb? But His bones were not there the next morning after He died on the cross, for He conquered death. He is alive and willing to help us. Jesus Christ is our salvation! Our Awesome God will do what He says He will do! Read and learn God's Holy Bible so you know Him and the things to come in the Book of Revelation.
LWBC is a Bible believing church that tries to live Jesus Christ's commandment to "love one another as I have loved you." (John 15:12 KJV). Join us this Sunday as we learn more about Our Awesome God and how to teach others from His Holy Bible. Our church starts with small groups on Sunday at 9:30 AM and Worship Service at 10:30 AM. On Sunday evening at 6:00 PM, a Bible Study meets along with AWANA for children (September through May) who go until 7:30 PM There is more during the week, especially Wednesday at 7:00 PM. We love visitors!
"But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the Lord liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him."
(2 Kings 5:20 KJV)
While there is some similarity between Gehazi taking care of Elisha as Elisha took care of Elijah and then Elisha becoming the "chief prophet," these are different men. Gehazi had seen all the things Elisha had done and he still didn't realize that Elisha was doing it because his heart was right with Our Awesome God, that God was the important ingredient, not Elisha.
What was wrong with Gehazi?
1) Gehazi was a shepherd without the heart of a shepherd. We see this in the way he acted towards the Shunamite woman who was in pain following the death of her only son and ran to meet Elisha with the problem, expecting him to come and raise him back to life. He wanted to push the woman away when she caught the feet of Elisha but Elisha intervened and stopped him. Could this kind of attitude be the reason why Gehazi couldn’t raise the son when he was given the rod by Elisha to go and pray for him? (2 Kings 4: 24-31)
2) Gehazi had no fear of God. Do you have the fear of God? (Proverbs 1: 7, 9:10, Ecclesiastes 8:12). The Bible tells not to call, use or repeat the name of the Lord in vain. But to express his strong determination to pursue something evil, Gehazi said, "as the Lord lives." (2 Kings 5: 20) God chooses His man because He knows.
3). Gehazi was dishonest. Gehazi demonstrated a serious lack of honesty on one occasion, in the matter of Naaman, the Syrian, in which Gehazi received the leprosy that Naaman had been cured of. And while Elisha was able, by means of the Holy Spirit of God, to raise the dead as Elijah had done, in the matter of the raising of the Shunammite woman's son, Gehazi was unable to do it even when given the use of Elisha's staff by Elisha himself. Our Awesome God demands more from His children than Gehazi had (a true love of God) but he was given a chance, as we all are, to improve, though God knew he wouldn't. So he could never become "chief prophet" as he wanted to be. Praise the Lord!!
We invite you to our church services on Sunday morning (9:30 AM) and evening (6:00 PM), and Wednesday evening (7:00 PM). After Labor Day, there is also AWANA for children on Sunday evening at 6:00 PM. When you come, ask about the home Bible studies during the week and the Intercessory Prayer Team. We love visitors and would enjoy meeting you and telling you about Our Awesome God! On 8/30/15 this website will have #4 Elisha's Death.
"And he went up from thence unto Beth–el: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them."
(2 Kings 2:23, 24 KJV)
This sounds horrible when we read what happened to these teenage to 25-year-old men. The term used by the author to refer to these young men is one that is quite flexible. It is used for a young child, but it can also refer to what we would call a “young man.” It is apparent that these are not “little boys” who accost Elisha, but “young men.” They were mocking God's chosen one - they were mocking Our Awesome God. What did Elisha "see" when he "turned back and looked on them?" Did he "see" all the sins they (God's people) had committed against God?
Scripture doesn't say that Elisha called up those bears. Our Awesome God called the bears. If God did it, He did it for a definite purpose or reason. So let's look at this for a moment and see what the reason could have been. This was a time that God's people were worshipping those "gods" made by the hands of man. Was Our Awesome God warning His people of the upcoming destruction of all Canaan by the Babylonians under King Nebuchnezzar? They needed to turn from their wicked ways and return to Yahweh. God always warns us! We just don't listen. And neither did they listen. They just kept insulting God!
Is Our Awesome God warning us of the coming Tribulation? Or maybe He is telling us with this long ago story that we, as a nation, are following false "gods" as the nation of Israel did. Are you following the true God? Or are you following a "world god?"
Come join us at our church or join any church that preaches and teaches that Jesus Christ, died for you and took your sins upon Himself, arising the third day to sit by God, interceding for you when you sin. Read the Book in the Bible called Revelation which talks about the time coming called Tribulation. Read the website tomorrow, 8/29/15, for #3 Elisha's Servant, Gehazi.
If you are a Christian who has strayed away from Our Awesome God or someone who has never been a Christian or a person who needs to help minister to others, join us at Living Word Baptist Church on Sunday at 10:30 AM for praise and worship, Sunday at 6:00 PM is Bible Study along with AWANA for children until 7:30 PM (September through May). On Wednesdays, we meet at 7:00 PM for Prayer Requests, and a Bible Study. We welcome all people and love them!
"He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the Lord God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over."
(2 Kings 2:13 -14 KJV)
2 Kings 2: 12-14 describes the transition of power from Elijah to Elisha. While there were a number of prophets in Israel, it would seem that Elijah was Our Awesome God's “chief prophet" of this time. After his departure, it was necessary that his successor be designated in a way that would make it clear he was the one in whom the spirit of Elijah had come to abide. By parting the waters of the Jordan River while 50 prophets watched him do it, Elisha proved he was now the "chief prophet."
Elisha means "God is salvation." He was anointed by Elijah as Our Awesome God instructed while plowing in his father, Shaphat's field with 12 yoke of oxen. So Elisha knew he was to take Elijah's place as "chief prophet" in Israel. Elisha asked for and received a "double portion" of the spirit of Elijah before or as Elijah left with his "chariot of fire". Elisha served as a prophet of the northern kingdom for more than 50 years, through the reigns of kings Jehoram, Jehu, Jehoahaz, and into the reign of Joash.
The first thing Our Awesome God did through Elisha was to "cure" the bitter waters of the spring in Jericho. Elisha threw some salt into it when the men of the city asked to make the waters better (2 Kings 2:18-20). It sweetened the waters and the land was no longer barren. Yes, he had the double portion of Elijah's spirit. Would he always use it wisely? Or was he human enough to mess things up? We know that Elijah was depressed and afraid. Tomorrow, 8/28/15, read the #2 Wise Prophet?
Our Awesome God was in charge of this universe when Elisha was here and He still keeps charge, but His Son, Jesus Christ, will be the ultimate authority into eternity. So learn as much as possible about this God that loves and wants you in His kingdom forever to mature as you get older not just wait but be active in His kingdom. Read His Book, the Holy Bible, and pray to Him.
Join us at LWBC every Sunday at 9:30 AM, we have small group Bible Studies and at 10:30 AM, we meet in the sanctuary for Worship Service. Sunday evening at 6:00 PM we have Bible Study along with AWANA for children until 7:30 PM (September through May). Our programs include Home Bible Studies and a Wednesday Prayer Meeting but are varied as we teach and preach from Our Awesome God's Holy Bible. We love visitors and practice the "love one another" commandment to all.
"And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven."
(2 Kings 2:11 KJV)
Elisha, who was to replace Elijah as chief prophet for Our Awesome God, was staying very close to Elijah since he knew that Elijah was to be taken up that day to Heaven. When Elijah asked Elisha what he could do for him, Elisha said he wanted a double portion of Elijah's spirit. Elijah told him if he saw Elijah go up to heaven he would have his double portion. Now we don't know exactly what Elisha knew, but the "chariot of fire" was not mentioned in the Bible before Elijah ascended.
The chariot was a powerful religious symbol of Our Awesome God for ancient Israel: not the ordinary chariots used for war, but what the Bible calls "chariot of fire." The first mention of a chariot of fire is in 2 Kings 2:11, cited above. This is the story of Elijah being caught up into heaven. Although tradition imagines it was the chariot that carried Elijah away, the Bible says a fiery chariot and its horses separated Elijah from Elisha, his disciple, while a whirlwind snatched Elijah away and, some think, into the fiery chariot. If it was a fiery chariot that Elijah rode in, was it a symbol to Israel?
So Elijah didn't die, he went to up with or in, a "chariot of fire". His time on earth was over and his replacement on earth was Elisha. Our Awesome God had fulfilled his wishes to die by taking him up with a spectacular "chariot of fire" in full view of God's prophets. Did God plan it that way? Of course He did. Everything God does is with the purpose of having His children (Christians) know He will give them the best. Are we watching carefully as Elisha did? Elisha got his double portion of spirit and he used it spectacularly.
Are you a "child of the King"? God will give you what you have earned when you get to heaven. But for any awards, you must be a Christian. Our Awesome God wants anyone who realizes that they are sinning and is ready to stop sinning and do it God's way. Come just as you are and tell Him. Even Christians have to admit their sin because only our Lord can get rid of sin for you. Don't wait! Get to God and then to a church that preaches and teaches that Jesus Christ died for you, taking your sins upon Himself and arose the third day to sit by God, interceding for you when you sin. He was Elijah's God!
Join us at Living Word Baptist Church as we pray and worship Him this Sunday at 9:30 AM for Bible Study and 10:30 AM for worship Service. Sunday evening at 6:00 PM for Bible Study along with a children's program called AWANA which goes until 7:30 PM (September through May). On Wednesdays, we meet at 7:00 PM for Prayer Requests and prayer. There are more programs during the week. We love visitors!
Flo & Bill