Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Morning Devotions: 1 Corinthians 13:1 Make a joyful noise

Make a Joyful noise. 1 Corinthians 13:1

I want to give credit to whoever took this picture,
but I do not know who it is.
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 1 Corinthians 13:1 nasu

The Apostle Paul, the former butcher of Jerusalem, was zealous for the Almighty, hating followers of The Way (Acts 22:4-5). He was there when the first Spirit filled believer in Y’shua (Jesus) was killed for his faith (Stephen in Acts 7:57 to 8:1) and was responsible for dragging believers and their families to prison. He was filled with hate for followers of The Way... until Y’shua met him on the road to Damascus (Acts 22:6-11). You may ask, is there any evidence that Paul actually killed people? No there is not, but neither is their evidence that Hitler actually took a life, though we know he is responsible for the death of millions. Having hate in your heart makes you a murderer in the eyes of the Almighty 
"But I (Y’shua) say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ' You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.  Matthew 5:22 nasu 
Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.   1 John 3:15
Paul knew what it meant to have murderous hate for someone. Yet he was an expert in the Torah and Prophets. Yet the Almighty would one day use his testimony to bring understanding to an uncountable number of people through the ages. How can that be? It is because love redeems even the worst hater. 
Look at Paul’s example. Hypothetically, if a person (like Paul, the author of 1 Corinthians 13) uses the language of men to deliver the message of angels, but does it without love, he becomes like the clang of a gong making the noise of lament (sadness). 
Why did Paul use the "clanging cymbals-gong example? From the beginning of the temple era, singers were appointed to accompany the choir with the joyful noise of cymbals (1 Chronicles 15:19). Think of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. The climax of the piece involves cymbals and is truly joyful! Now think of the sad wail of a huge gong, struck once, struck again, often hit at a funeral. A heartbreaking tome from what is nearly the same instrument. Paul has been both of these. One sound is a lament, a heartbreaking, empty wail. The other is exciting, joyful, lively. The difference is that one is the cry of death and the other is the sound of the joy of life in Y'shua!
You have been given the message of love, play it forward. Do so out of duty or the vanity of the educated and it might sound like a message of death. But clang those cymbals with joy in chorus with others from the love of a heart filled by Y'shua-Jesus, and it is life giving! You get to choose. 
February 11, 2016
Mrs. Hagerty

Monday, May 30, 2016

Morning Devotions: More about the cloud

More on the significance of the cloud.

Mark 13:23-27 "But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance.  
"But in those days, after that tribulation, 
  • and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken.  
  • "Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN the CLOUD with great power and glory.  
  • "And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven. nasu

When things are at their worst, look up. Literally, look up to the clouds. Y’shua – Jesus, our Salvation will come in the Shekinah, the cloud of the Glory of the Almighty. Until then, stand firm in The Way, the powers that want to shake you up (Ephesians 6:10-12) and force you into slavery are nothing compared to the power of Y’shua! He is coming in the cloud, he is sending his messengers (the meaning of “angels”) to gather those who chose him (the chosen) to the kingdom of glory.  

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Ephesians 6:10-12 

Stand firm beloved! 

By the way, the secret word of the day is “ marigolds
Use it in a sentence in your work or simply to me for a tiny treat or bump in your grade 
February 3, 2013
Mrs. Hagerty

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Morning Devotions: Clouds and Rainbows

Rainbows and clouds. As children we draw pictures of them. The Irish search for pots of Gold under the rainbow, Dorothy (Judy Garland) sang a song about rainbows and Joni Mitchel sang one of my all time favorite songs about clouds (… .bows and flows of angel’s hair and ice-cream parlors in the air…) There are clouds and rainbows in one of the first Bible stories we learn as little children. Noah’s Ark. 
Went with a picture from an older blog post.
We have cloud covers in western Washington, not clouds. 

"I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth."  God said, "This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations;  I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth.  "It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud,  and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh.  "When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth."  Genesis 9:11-16  nasu
 A covenant: an agreement There will never be another flood of water to destroy the earth. That is the promise to the earth (Genesis 9:13) The promise to the descendants of Noah is hidden behind the English word “this” but that study is for another day.  Back to the cloud…. Is Genesis 9 the end of the story for the cloud and the bow? 
Flip back to Revelation chapter 10. Between Genesis and Revelation there are literally dozens and dozens of references to this cloud, but for now look at Revelation 10:1 A mighty messenger (that is what an angel is often called in the NT) comes in a cloud with a rainbow on his head. Who is this angel? We are not given a name but only One that I know of is described the way this one is described. 
Now flip to Revelation 14:14-16
Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand.  And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, "Put in your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe."  Then He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped. Revelation 14:14-16

Because of all the languages we are using, Hebrew, Greek and English, I am not sure that the bow and the sickle are the same but I’m thinking that they are. Look again. In Genesis 9 The bow was hung in the cloud, and a promise was made about not judging the world by water ever again. Then in Revelation 14 we see another cloud and a sickle... a bow shaped instrument used to reap a harvest. Matthew 13:30f tells that a harvest of souls is coming. The wheat will be separated from the weeds (tares) and the weeds will but burnt with fire. But did you know that before the wheat is gathered into the barn, before believers are ushered into the kingdom of heaven, they are separated from the chaff, which is burnt.  Are you worthy of the harvest? If you are a believer in Y'shua then you are ready. But let me ask this... has the Almighty called you to do something for him? Are you doing it? Will YHVH ignore your disobedience? I wonder what the prophet Jonah would tell you about that?
By the way, today’s secret word is “ maple” Use it in a sentence today for extra points on your school work or a chocolate if you are in day school today. 
February 2, 2016 
Mrs. Hagerty

Friday, May 27, 2016

Morning Devotions: Mark 13:3-13

Two passages were brought before me today. Each of them speaks of the ideas of being anxious (concern based on apprehension of possible danger or misfortune—to worry about… Louw and Nida) and being a watchman (a guard) 
From today’s passage in Mark, you may wonder, where is the encouragement? This is a passage about the frightening events at the end of times; what does this have to do with me? (Probably more than you think!). Religious people will try to mislead you, there will be frightening conflicts between countries, earthquakes, the weather will be so horrible that food will be difficult to find and expensive to buy when you do find it. That is just the beginning of the coming trouble. (Note: I wrote this devotion in January of 2016, I am preparing it for my blog in May of 2016. As of this morning there are reports that people in Venezuela are so hungry that they doing crazy things for a bag of flour or rice, this prophecy is not so far away) 

13:3-8 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew were questioning Him privately, "Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?" And Jesus began to say to them, "See to it that no one misleads you.  Many will come in My name, saying, 'I am He!' and will mislead many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened; those things must take place; but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.   

13:9-13 "But be on your guard; for they will deliver you to the  courts, and you will be flogged in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them.  The gospel must first be preached to all the nations.  When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.  You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. 
Mark 13:3-13 nasu

Be on your guard…. 
Mark 13:9 
To be on guard is to protect a treasure. The treasure is the gospel of Y’shua-Jesus. This is our treasure which the enemy wants to steal from us. In order to steal your faith, you will be drug into court, publicly beaten in your place of worship; you will need to give your testimony before some of the most important people you will ever meet (described as kings and governors). All of this so that the gospel, the treasure, can be offered to souls, everywhere. 
Following that, as in the days of Hitler, you will be arrested and “delivered up." To all of this Y’shua says… 
Do not be anxious… 
Mark 13:11 
Will it even be possible to obey that command? Have you been born again? Then you have the Spirit of the Almighty God in your heart. When you are brought before people who think they control your fate (they do not!) and demand that you beg for your life by denying Y'shua-Jesus and as a show of your sincerity, give them names of others who guard the treasure. Do not be anxious about what you will say. The Holy Spirit in you will give you the exact words exact moment. 
What kind of advice is that? Years after Y’shua spoke the words of Mark 13, a man we know as Paul, a man who knew by experience that the enemy is vicious and filled with cruel hate, a man who had been arrested for loving Y’shua, beaten by religious people, hated for the name of Messiah; said the following to an assembly of believers in a Roman colony we call Philip-pi.

Paul, who had experienced nearly everything Y’shua foretold in Mark 13 was still willing to say to the believers who would be guardians of the treasure, the gospel of our Salvation, to not be anxious but rather, pray with thanksgiving. To do so is to have peace (shalom) that can not be understood because of circumstances. We guard the treasure, but the Peace of the Almighty will guard us.
Stand firm beloved watchmen, valiant warriors
Mrs. Hagerty, January 29, 2016

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Morning Devotions: 1 Timothy 6:11-21 with a word study-guard

Before you begin I want to encourage you to read and pray through all of 1 Timothy 6:11-21 
O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called "knowledge" -- which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith. Grace be with you.  1 Timothy 6:20-21 nasu
SHAMAR (all this work and I forgot an A; and that reference is John 14:15

We are the warriors of a hidden kingdom. We serve a king that we only see by faith. Even the weapons we use are unlike anything the world has. When we sharpen our weapon, it is actually we who are sharpened. We guard each other with love. We tie our hope to treasure we cannot see instead of to treasure that we can exchange for comfort and stuff. Because our kingdom is hidden, we are instructed to seek it, to look for it above anything else, knowing that as we do, the Almighty, our King, will supply us with everything we need.
But seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness; and all these things (needs) will be supplied to you. Matthew 6:33
Our fight is one of faith (a word that means stand firm on the Word of the Almighty... from the Hebrew word, a'men) In fact, it is the Word of God that is the treasure of the Kingdom. Like our King, Y’shua-Jesus, our treasure is in an earthen vessel.
2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;
I want to talk about what we do as warriors. We Guard the treasure of the Kingdom. The word guard comes from the Hebrew word, SHAMAR, which means to preserve, to put a protective hedge of thorns around it, to protect, to attend to it. We are not to hide it somewhere, we are to use the treasure to make it grow. (remember the good and faithful servant of Matthew 25:14-30?) In today’s passage, 1 Timothy 6:11-21, Paul told Timothy
guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called "knowledge"--  1 Timothy 6:20
The treasure of the Kingdom of God has been entrusted to you (if you are born again). We have a real enemy, one we cannot see with earthly eyes (Ephesians 6:12), but we can see evidence of how he works.
Worldly  and empty chatter.
Worldly is a Hebrew idea. It means anything that comes from outside the kingdom of the Almighty. For instance, yoga is about getting the body in balance in order to open your mind to the spiritual world. That is an example of “worldly” for a warrior of the kingdom. The Almighty himself has shown us the good and perfect way to stand before him and will not tolerate the way of the heathen.

Empty chatter is what we do to try to justify things like yoga. It leads nowhere. You either decide to seek first the Kingdom or you miss it because of compromise with the world.

Protect the Word of the Almighty and it will protect you, more then protect, it will provide everything your earthly vessel requires as you Seek the kingdom.

January 28, 2016

Mrs. Hagerty 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Morning Devotions: John 13:1-17

Our word of the season is  'esher. It is a Hebrew verb that communicates what we do with endurance that will (or does) bring a sense of bliss (extreme happiness). The same word translated into Greek is  makarios (mak-er’-ee-os) The Apostle John chose this word to describe the feeling we get when we serve fellow servants in secret-love, without fanfare. 

Y’shua got up to serve before the Passover Celebration. He knew who he was, He knew where he came from and the glory that he was about to return to. He knew the suffering he would endure before the glory… and still he arose and served the servants.  After returning to his rightful place at the head of the table, He asked, “Do you know what I have done for you? You are not greater than me… I gave you an example to follow.” Without an announcement, without asking for recognition, serve the servants. You are being sent out to serve because that is what Y’shua did for you. If you understand this then you are ‘esher (blessed and filled with happiness).
 "If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them." John 13:17 nasu

I did the math. Only 8% of those that Y’shua-Jesus served in John 13 even noticed what he was doing. One of twelve, the one who did notice, wanted more than he was offered.

How beautiful upon the mountains  are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, "Your God reigns."    Isaiah 52:7 

And how can men preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach good news!" Romans 10:15
Do YOU understand? 

Mrs. Hagerty, January 21,2016 

John 13:1-1813:1-11 Now before The Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. And during supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper, laid aside his garments, and girded himself with a towel. Then he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which he was girded. He came to Simon Peter; and Peter said to him, "Lord, do you wash my feet?" Jesus answered him, "What I am doing you do not know now, but afterward you will understand." Peter said to him, "You shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part in me." Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!" Jesus said to him, "He who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but he is clean all over; and you are clean, but not every one of you." For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, "You are not all clean."

 13:12-17 When he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and resumed his place, he said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.      rsv

Monday, May 23, 2016

Morning Devotion: 'Esher (happy)

Blessed are you if...

If? Sometimes I have the odd thought. I wonder things like, isn't "if" a flag word for a cause - effect relationship? So I wonder, aren't blessings by the "grace of God"? Was  Y'shua-Jesus telling us that there are conditions to blessing?  And why do some people insist that the word translated "blessed" should be translated "happy"?

Back to Hebrew. Did you know that there are two Hebrew words that we translate "blessed"? The one most of us are familiar with is  barak something given to another in worship. It means to kneel, to praise. It is the exact opposite of curse. The other word for blessing, the one that is often translated "happy" is ' esher.

' Esher is an action verb. You are doing something when you ' esher. It is something you do with a goal in mind. The reason it is sometimes translated "happy" is because you do something that leads to bliss. It is a human (believer) word about our choices and the bliss-joy that follows those choices. While it is not "unmerited favor" it is important.

Here is today's sample  'esher verse.
Proverbs 8:32   Listen (shama) children, bliss--joy comes to those who guard The Way.

What choice must we do to be happy? Guard The Way, the path of life. Do not let anything into your life that is not of the Almighty.

Does that mean you will feel joy not watching the movie that everyone else is going to see? Maybe not. But when you see  Y'shua face to face , the joy you will experience because you do not need to hang your head in shame will be bliss!
Mrs. Hagerty, January 9, 2016

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Morning Devotions: Psalm 57

...in the shadow of thy wings I will take refuge. Psalm 57:1b
Such pretty words, in the shadow of thy wings I will take refuge. In this second Mikhtam of David, a Psalm of things hidden to the physical eye, David is in a lot of trouble. He is among those who want to destroy him. They will try to take his life (my soul is among lions, vs 4) and if they cannot do that then they will say things about him to destroy his reputation (those who breath forth fire… their tongue is a sharp sword). As far as David’s enemies are concerned, he is a dead man (they dug a pit before me vs 6).

How does David respond? Like us, he cries out to the Almighty in prayer. In his experience, the LORD is his refuge, his hiding place. With eyes of faith David sees what is hidden to our physical eyes.
My heart is steadfast, oh God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises!
To be steadfast is to stand firm. This is the exact thing that the Apostle Paul reminds us to do in the dressing room where we put on the full armor of the Almighty! (Ephesians 6:10-20) Be steadfast, stand firm. Encouraging words.

Acts chapter 12 tells the story of Peter in prison, chained up between two guards. Outside of the prison was a cross with Peter’s name on it. You might think that Peter was up all night praying for mercy, but Peter knew the same secret that David knew. What you can see with your eyes is not what is going on in the world. Strangely enough, Peter slept so peacefully in prison that the Angel had to whack him in the side to wake him up. Peter was free even though men had already planned his death. 

The world is going crazy. Hate grows stronger day after day, but the encouragement is still the same. Be steadfast! Stand firm! The Almighty sees you with loving eyes. He will never leave you alone, keep your heart steadfast in truth and mercy (which is grace) ...under the shadow of His wings.

Stand firm beloved,
Mrs. Hagerty, January 7, 2016

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Psalm 16 and Hidden Treasure

My thanks to the unknown artist. 
Today’s Scripture is Psalm 16. For the most part it seems straight up and easy to understand.

Psalm 16:1 A Miktam of David.
Preserve me, O God (El), for in thee I take refuge. I say to YHVH, "Thou art my Lord ('Adonay); I have no good apart from thee." 
As for the saints (qadowshm- dedicated ones) in the land, they are the noble, in whom is all my delight. 
Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows; their libations of blood I will not pour out or take their names upon my lips. 
YHVH is my chosen portion and my cup; thou holdest my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. 
 I bless YHVH who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.  I keep YHVH always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. 
Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also dwells secure.  For thou dost not give me up to Sheol, or let thy godly one see the Pit. 
Thou dost show me the path of life; in thy presence there is fullness of joy, in thy right hand are pleasures for evermore. rsv+

Look again at verse one. What is a Mikhtam?

Mikhtam literally translates to “hide,” but what does that have to do with praise to the Almighty?

Things that are hidden are precious, treasure. Y’shua –Jesus spoke of Mikhtams, or hidden things. Parables are Mikhtams.

"The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind; and when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach; and they sat down and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away. Matthew 13:44-48 nasu
Treasure found, re-hidden; you are "sold out" to the treasure.

A pearl of GREAT value, that causes the seeker to "sell out," emptying them-self of everything else, just for the one!

Good things hidden from view, under the surface of the sea.
Treasure so precious that you sell off everything else you have for this precious life.

Mrs. Hagerty, January 6, 2016

Friday, May 20, 2016

On Strongholds

In one way or another I have been involved with the Christian church and Christians since I was 22 years old (in addition to vacation bible schools and a short time in Jr. Choir as a child). I have been hearing about strong holds and strong men who must be bound again and again by believers who are convinced that they can stop the actions of the spirit world if only they are strong enough and clever enough to bind an unseen strong man in their life. I am not sure that is an effective way to be free.

During this school year I have been teaching my ladies the book of Joshua. I think that I am the one doing all the learning.

We love the story of Rahab who lived in the most dangerous place in the city, the wall that would come down; but the Almighty kept her alive and not only put her into the community of Israel but into the line of their Messiah.

After Jericho, Joshua sent spies to little Ai, attacking that village as recommended by counsel. What a disaster! Dear friends and family members were struck down as the "IDF" of that day fled in humiliation. Joshua's response was to throw himself on the ground before the ark and whine like his parents probably did in the wilderness. Still, the Almighty spoke to him. He was given direction by YHVH on how Ai would be taken. Half of Israel would attack and run as before. This time all of Ai would join in the fun and chase Israels army. Meanwhile, Joshua and his hidden soldiers would enter the city from behind and burn it to the ground. A pattern was begun.

Later, ambassadors from the Hivite's mountain stronghold of Gibeon came directly to Joshua acting as if they had come a very long way (with all the proper props) to make an unlawful treaty with Israel. Israel was to utterly destroy the Hivites. Again, Joshua and the politicians of Israel do not consult the Almighty about the treaty, they simply enter into an agreement with men who represent a kingdom that is apparently far away. If Joshua had to run for office that year he would have lost. The general population was angry with Joshua for being deceived into this treaty.
...to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of YHVH, that he might be glorified.           Isaiah 61:3b 

Beauty for ashes It just so happens that the kings of five other cities were so angry with Gibon, that instead of attacking Israel, they attacked Gibon to punish them for their alliance with Joshua. This is where the idea of Strongholds and strong men comes in. 

If I understand the teaching behind the story of Ai and the attack on Gibon, then the enemy must come out of his stronghold to be defeated. In their arrogance, all of Ai left the stronghold of their village to do what Jericho could not do, defeat Israel. Their stronghold was destroyed and they were "put to the sword" (killed). When Gibon was under attack from the five southern kings, they were able to hold out in their own strong hold. They were even able to get a messenger out of the city to ask Joshua to help them. 
YHVH said to Joshua, " Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands; not one of them shall stand before you." Joshua 10:8 nasu 
Do no fear The Amorite armies (vs 6) had come in mass to punish Gibon. The word to Israel? Do not fear. Even though the enemy looked frightening, they were doomed. The strongmen had been drawn from their strongholds. Israel might have had to lay siege to each of their cities one by one. The losses to Israel would have probably been substantial. Instead the Almighty drew the strongmen from their strongholds and they were defeated.
"If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished!   "But no one can enter the strong man's house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house.  Mark 3:26-27
I've always wondered, how can a strong man be bound in his own stronghold (house)? I doubt that he can. However if the Almighty draws him out of his stronghold, then he can be defeated and we who belong to the king and his kingdom can occupy the stronghold. But it does not become our stronghold.
"But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.  Or how can anyone enter the strong man's house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. Matthew 12:28-29 
The kingdom of the Almighty has come upon you. How do you know when that happens? When you are able to enter the strongman's stronghold. The squatters in the kingdom are cast out and we participate in their demise, not coveting their friendship, there pleas for peace or their luxuries. We are all about YHVH and his Word made flesh, Y'shua our Messiah. 
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Romans 8:31-32 
YHVH is for us! We struggle and fuss about things that we perceive as strongholds in our life. Nothing changes. We lay siege to the walls of those strongholds and are shot with the fiery darts of our enemy. We listen to preachers tell us how to deal with strongholds, we gladly receive the teaching of our bible study leaders on how to defeat strongholds and nothing seems to happen. Only the Almighty is able to draw the strongman from the stronghold. He is helpless outside of his house. Do not fear, only be strong and courageous. The Strongman is defeated, not by our effort, but by the Almighty's. The day will come when you are given the privilege of cutting him down with the sword of Truth, the Word of God. Until then your fight will be as effective as Israel against Ai... the first time. So what are we to do? One of my top three life verses is Micah 6:8 which teaches me to live a just (Torah observant) life, to love mercy, toward others and toward myself, and to walk (live) with humility before the Almighty. Your enemies are defeated at just the right time but right living starts right now.

There was no day like that before it or after it, when the LORD listened to the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel. Joshua 10:14 
The Almighty hears you when you pray and he fights for you. Stand firm in YHVH and in HIS strength, Stand firm against the schemes of the devil (don't fight him at his stronghold). Our battle is not against people, it is against the spirits of darkness. Stand firm in the full armor of YHVH! (Ephesians 6:10-20) 

I love how Paul ends Chapter 6 of Ephesians. He asks us to remember him in his chains as he looks for open doors for the gospel... he is not bound even in chains and prison. He is not looking for open prison doors either. It is the Strongman, the devil himself who is bound and defeated. We are to not be afraid but to stand firm. 

Stand firm beloved
Mrs. Hagerty, January 5, 2016 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Morning Devotions: Isaiah 7:9-15

….If you will not believe, you surely shall not last. Then the LORD spoke again to Ahaz, saying, "Ask a sign for yourself from the LORD your God; make it deep as Sheol or high as heaven." But Ahaz said, "I will not ask, nor will I test the LORD!" Then he said, "Listen now,O house of David! Is it too slight a thing for you to try the patience of men, that you will try the patience of my God as well? "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:9b-15

Do you know what a sign is? A sign from the Almighty is something only he can do. The first sign ever was the sun, the moon and the stars. They were created primarily as signs (Genesis 1:14).
Then God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years;  Genesis 1:14-15 NASU
 The bow in the sky is also a sign

I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. Genesis 9:13
In Exodus chapter 4 Moses was given multiple signs to convince Pharaoh to let Israel go. God gave another great sign to his people. A sign that could not be done by pretenders.
… the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
Often we read the Gospel of Luke and think that the sign is for shepherds to “find the child wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12) There are so many problems with this verse in its English translation, but I will tell you of just one. The sign is not what you have been led to believe. The sign was the fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14; a virgin had a son she named Immanuel (God is with us). Matthew gives a sharper image of what happened but Matthew does not make as kewl of a christmas program as Luke does.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.  And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus (Y’shua means salvation), for He will save His people from their sins."  Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:  "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means, "GOD WITH US." And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus (Y’shua). Matthew 1:18-25
Joseph knew the sign of Isaiah 7. He also knew that he was a descendant of David, a man who would have inherited the throne of David if not for circumstances of history. He knew Mary was a virgin, yet she was pregnant. He also knew that “the house of David” was the only family that could receive the sign. His virgin bride, a woman who would be the final queen of David’s royal line, was about to become the fulfillment of the sign!
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.  There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore.  The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:6-7
My dear friend and fellow teacher, Mrs Swale, has been singing a song under her breath, over and over for the last few days. “Mary Did You Know?” I believe Mary DID know, so did Joseph. The real question is, did Israel know?, Do you know?
Straightening up, Jesus said to her, "Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more."… Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, " I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."  John 8:10-13
The Light of the world, the Word made flesh was conceived on the last great day of Chanukkah when the light of the celebration of the dedication of the altar, the place where we meet with the Almighty, was brightest. Nine months later he was born on the first day of Tabernacles and circumcised at the Temple on the eighth day of Tabernacles. The light of the world was not wrapped in rags but in the bloody garments of the priests who served in the Temple. Their soiled robes were cut into strips and used as wicks to light the Menorah (candle stick) in the Temple. How appropriate because Y’shua-Jesus is the Light. 
The shepherds did not find “the babe” in a barn but in the Innkeepers Sukot- his booth built for the eight day celebration of Tabernacles. Tabernacles is all about being a wander, a pilgrim on this earth. Y’shua had no place to lay his head because the booth of Tabernacles, the movable tent, was his place.
At that time the Feast of the Dedication (Chanukkah) took place at Jerusalem; it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon. The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, "How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly." Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father's name, these testify of Me. But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one."  John 10:22-30
Mary knew. 
Joseph knew. 
Do you know? 
Mrs. Hagerty, December 18, 2015