Which god?    God or god?

“Thou shalt have no other god before me.”  (Exodus 20:3 KJV)

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March 4, 2012

From Why I'm doing this:

My favorite book of the Bible is Revelation, because it’s so intriguing to look at all the things that God will do – and yet so many people will not understand – and will be deceived.

From Water From The Temple (NASB - Ezekiel 47:1-12)

EZE 47:1 Then he brought me back to the door of the house; and behold, water was flowing from under the threshold of the house toward the east, for the house faced east. And the water was flowing down from under, from the right side of the house, from south of the altar. He brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate by way of the gate that faces east. And behold, water was trickling from the south side.

EZE 47:3 When the man went out toward the east with a line in his hand, he measured a thousand cubits, and he led me through the water, water reaching the ankles. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the knees. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the loins. Again he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not ford, for the water had risen, enough water to swim in, a river that could not be forded. He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” Then he brought me back to the bank of the river. Now when I had returned, behold, on the bank of the river there were very many trees on the one side and on the other. Then he said to me, “These waters go out toward the eastern region and go down into the Arabah; then they go toward the sea, being made to flow into the sea, and the waters of the sea become fresh. “It will come about that every living creature which swarms in every place where the river goes, will live. And there will be very many fish, for these waters go there and the others become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes. “And it will come about that fishermen will stand beside it; from Engedi to Eneglaim there will be a place for the spreading of nets. Their fish will be according to their kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea, very many. “But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. “ By the river on its bank, on one side and on the other, will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither and their fruit will not fail. They will bear every month because their water flows from the sanctuary, and their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing.”

From The Screwtape Letters (Chapter 2) <Where The Enemy is God; Wormwood is a devil in training; Screwtape is his mentor; the patient is a human - one of us>

My dear Wormwood,

I note with grave displeasure that your patient has become a Christian. Do not indulge the hope that you will escape the usual penalties; indeed, in your better moments, I trust you would hardly even wish to do so. In the meantime we must make the best of the situation. There is no need to despair; hundreds of these adult converts have been reclaimed after a brief sojourn in the Enemy’s camp and are now with us. All the habits of the patient, both mental and bodily, are still in our favour.

So - what do all these things have to do with each other?

The Why I'm Doing This - that's something I wrote back on October 2, 2009 - when I first started this site.

The Water From The Temple - that's from a session we did at church recently that was called Come Away With Jesus. We were given the verses from Ezekiel from several different versions of the Bible - then spent the next several hours on our own to have time with Jesus to pray over these verses. That's what I was going to write about today - but something else came up.

The Screwtape Letters - that's something I'm involved with at church now - a study of the C. S. Lewis book.

So - with this backdrop -

- with this backdrop - I had this "dream" this morning. I was half awake and half asleep. I knew my wife had gotten up and was feeding the dogs - but still wasn't really awake.

In this dream - I was watching a scene - but was also in the scene, watching myself.

There were a number of people in a church. It wasn't my regular church. It wasn't any church I'd ever been in before. It could have been any church in any town or city.

We were there because my brother asked me to help him get to know Jesus. You have to know - I haven't even spoken with my brother in at least 15 years - and that time he had some 4 letter words for me and asked why I was calling. (I was actually calling because our grandmother had passed away - and he was more than a little upset that I had bothered him at such an inconvenient time.) Before that - it was probably at least another 10 to 15 years since we'd seen or talked to each other. And yet - if he really wanted something like what was in the dream - I'd do it (I think / I hope).

So then I asked one of the pastors at my church to go along and pray with us.

He said yes - and that he was going to use Revelation 6.

Uh Oh.

Here's the text of Revelation 6 to let you know why I didn't have a good feeling about what was going to come -

The Seals

Rev 6:1 I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.

Rev 6:3 When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.

Rev 6:5 When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a day’s wages, and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”

Rev 6:7 When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.

Rev 6:9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.

Rev 6:12 I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.

Rev 6:15 Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

Heavy stuff - Armageddon time.

So - we get to the church scene.

The three of us - my brother, the pastor and me - are in the front of the church sitting.

There's all these people sitting in the pews.

And me - the watcher - I'm watching all of it.

I see a bunch of people trying to take over the prayer meeting - but no one seems to be paying attention to them - at least not directly. Then a group comes over to me while I'm sitting with my brother and the pastor - they want to pray for me. I'm telling them no - but don't really know why not - I just don't want them to be praying for me.

The next thing I realize - I'm still sitting down - but my brother and the pastor have stood up in front of the congregation and are talking - without me.

I got up and went over to them - explaining that this other group had distracted me - but I was holding someone's hand to keep me safe.

They didn't know what I was talking about. They didn't see anyone with me.

Then me - the watcher - realizes - no one in the church actually sees any of the other "people" - the distractors - except me.
Me as the watcher - I can see all of them.
Me as the person in the dream sitting - I could see the ones that were talking to me but only them.

I told the two of them I didn't really know what was going on, but I had been holding someone's hand for safety and came over to them as soon as I realized they had started the prayer session.

Me - as the watcher - didn't see whose hand I was holding. I assume it was Jesus - maybe the Holy Spirit - but it was Safe.

My brother had a specific verse he wanted us to pray on.
I don't remember what it was. (more on the significance of that later)
The pastor started to pray.

Then I (The me in bed dreaming) woke up.

After I got up, I was walking the dogs - thinking about what this meant.

It could actually be intended for different people in different ways.

The key seems to be the passage from Ezekiel.

For the Christian - who is walking with Jesus -

While we're in the "Water From The Temple" - also called "The Life Giving River" in the HCSB - we are with Jesus. As we go farther along the river - we are less and less in control of our lives - and Jesus more and more in control - until we eventually (hopefully) go where He wants us to go.

But even as we are with Him - we are asked - “Son of man, do you see this?”

He wants us to go back to the edge of the river - to see what He is doing - and to help those who don't yet know Him - or to help those that aren't quite as far along to reach the point where we are - to spread His word. And all the while - we are invited to go further - into deeper and deeper water- helped by those in front of us.

He wants us to hold on - hold His hand - see things that we wouldn't otherwise be aware of - and to help those who don't yet see.

For the ones who are seeking Jesus -

If you're walking along the edge of the river - if you see something that you think you want to become a part of - to have Jesus become part of you - receive the help from those already in the river. We are reaching out to you - we want to help you. We'll hold on to the Hand of God - and hold yours too.

In my dream - my brother had a verse for us to pray for him. Like I said - I don't remember what it was. I do remember for myself - it was from John 14:1-4 -

Jn 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

For you - if you're seeking Jesus - you likely already have a verse.
If not - feel free to use the one I chose. It's a good one - I promise.

For the ones not actually looking for Jesus -

If you're in the swamps or the marshes - but you're still reading this - maybe you'd like to find out more.
If you are still reading - I'd say you likely are looking for more -
maybe you don't have a verse yet.

Here's one to get you thinking -

Jer 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,

Think about that - before you were born - God knew you.
He created you - and He has known you since before you were born.
Whether you know it or not -
Whether you even believe it or not -
It's true.

“Son of man, have you seen this?”

The brother in my dream -

maybe it's my real "brother" (or sister) -

maybe it a "brother" (or sister) in Christ -

maybe it's a "brother" (or sister) human being.

In any case - it's you.

The question - which one are you?

“Son of man, have you seen this?”

And now that you've seen it - or at least read it -

What are you going to do?


Postscript - I decided to call this distractions this morning while walking the dogs - because to me - it represented all the distractions that keep us from being able to answer yes to the question in Ezekiel - “Son of man, have you seen this?”

After church today - I talked with the pastor in my dream - and told him about it. He said during his quiet time this morning, he had been thinking about distractions - from the book of Daniel - who was also a prophet writing about the end - the Armageddon times.

“Son of man, have you seen this?”

I always feel like God is with me when I write these.

Today - as I'm closing - I'm also crying.

But it's tears of joy.

If you're seeking Jesus - someone in the River of Life is reaching out a hand to you. Please take it.