The Crown of Revelation 12: What Is “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble”?

By admin On May 18th, 2013

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“Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it:

it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble;

but he shall be saved out of it.”

Jeremiah 30:7

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The Crown of Revelation 12:

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What Is “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble”?

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THE DAY OF THE LORD

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Most people, caught in an honest moment, would agree that events in the world are getting crazy, to say the least.

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Politicians leading various nations over a financial cliff, with seemingly little regard for the future! Rogue religions getting more and more hateful and violent every day! Morality fast disappearing! Crime steadily increasing! Daily news outlets, reporting crimes, hideous beyond belief! Innocent children kidnapped, are now reportedly in the millions! Growing sexual perversions of various types, now on a pandemic scale, for the first time in history! Learning institutions crumbling, morally and ideologically! 

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(For more on this subject, please read… “Flower of the Field Constellation, Part 3: ‘Signs of the World’s End'”)

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HAVE WE ARRIVED AT THE END?

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Many Christians now believe that current events are sounding the alarm, that we are now on the verge of that much-talked-about event, Armageddon. Listen… “So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.” Mark 13:39. This verse states that we can know the general time.

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And there are various theories and surmising, about just how events in this long-awaited Day of the Lord will take place. Many believe that day will be a day of black helicopters and blood-hounds chasing Christians through the wilderness.

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On the other hand, many others believe that Christians will be snatched away, prior to all this, leaving Jews to be the ones chased through the wilderness. And with the growing Anti-Semitism in the world, that would seem to be a very real possibility.

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MARTIN John Great Day of His Wrath wikipedia US public domain.

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CHURCH MUST BE PURIFIED

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With all the theories and dogmatism about the coming Great Tribulation, there is an aspect to this, that has been all but overlooked. And so this article willhttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Teachings_of_Jesus_38_of_40._the_rapture._one_in_the_field._Jan_Luyken_etching._Bowyer_Bible.gif hopefully bring out this wonderful truth concerning the Day of the Lord. And maybe by so-doing, it just might clear up some great misconceptions about the Day of the Lord.

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One great misconception being that the Church will be removed out of the Earth during all this trouble. The problem with that theory is, that the Church is a great reason for all this which is to take place! You see, it is God’s good pleasure for His people to be finally cleansed, and purified. And this fiery trial before us is specially designed for that very purpose. God wishes to show off His precious jewels (His purified Church) to this world, and to the Watchers (whoever they may be (see Daniel 4:17)).

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Christ’s Second Coming – by Jan Luyken – Wikipedia – Public domain

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FIERY FURNACE A PICTURE OF GREAT TRIBULATION

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This picture to the right is of the three Hebrews who were cast into the fiery furnace of Babylon. This is an allegorical picture of God’s people during the fiery experience just before us.

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God will allow us to be cast into great tribulation, in order that we might become purified of any remaining dross, that we may finally say with Job… “when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” Job 23:10.

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Just as gold is purified by fire, so too, God’s people will be purified by the fiery trials before us.

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Fiery Furnace by Gustave Dore’ courtesy of adelaide.edu.au

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A TIME OF CUTTING & POLISHING

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And so God has designed this hour before us to be a time of hewing and cutting and polishing those precious jewels, so as to be dazzling for the world to behold! Listen…

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“And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.” Malachi 3:17, 18.

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Ah ha! So here we have it revealed to us, just how God’s true-worshippers will be distinguished from the false brethren within God’s house! It will happen in the day when the Lord makes up His precious jewels!

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diamonds wikimedia commons

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A TIME OF PERFECTION

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And so here we see that this coming tribulation will be a time for God’s people to be perfected, howbeit in the fires of great tribulation!

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Listen… “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” Malachi 4:1, 2.

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Sunrise from Burrow Mump, Burrowbridge, Somerset wikimedia share-alike license

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DAWNING OF THE DAY (IN OUR HEARTS)                                                                                                                                                         

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Yes, the Sun of Righteousness shall rise, with healing in His wings. Peter speaks of that day in very similar terms… “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:” 2nd Peter 1:19.

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And so, it is such verses as these which reveal that God’s people will most certainly be part of this great tribulation.

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Pilgrim in a Rocky Valley by Carl Gustav Carus – Wikimedia – US Public Domain

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PURIFIED AS GOLD

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But for them, the fires of that great tribulation will only be God’s means of purifying the remaining dross (evil) which still remains in His faithful ones.

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Listen to Zechariah… “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on My name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is My people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.” Zechariah 13:9

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So come along and read and perhaps gain an understanding into what is before us, and how we might prepare.

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Goldkey logo removed – wikipedia – public domain

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But first, let’s introduce the host of this article. Actually there are two hosts…

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OUR TWO HOSTS

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GLORIOUS CROWN CONSTELLATION… 

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& THE REVELATION 12 WOMAN

 

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Let us meet our first host: The Glorious Crown of Revelation 12 Constellation!

Corona Borealis Wikipedia Taken from software Perseus

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This Glorious Crown Constellation looks like a wreath at first glance. It has 7 stars, plus another star in the middle. This Glorious Crown Constellation is commonly referred to as the Corona Borealis Constellation. This wreath reminds us of the victory wreath given to athletes who won races in the ancient http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lorbeerkranz_Zypern_rem.jpgcultures. This was spoken of by Paul as he compared those ancient races to the race that Christians must run…  “Know you all not, that they which run in a race run all, but one receives the prize? So run, that you all may obtain.” 1st Corinthians 9:24 (see also Hebrews 12:1) 

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Laurel Wreath, Wikipedia

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“A CROWN OF 12 STARS UPON HER HEAD” …

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But upon a closer examination if you have access to a very dark sky out in the country; if you watch this wreath, you will eventually see 5 more very faint stars, making a total of 12 stars, plus that single star in the middle. This wreath now becomes a crown of 12 stars. This goes along with Revelation 12, which tells of a crown of 12 stars upon the head of the Virtuous Woman of Revelation 12.

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Just listen to Revelation… “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman…and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:” Rev. 12:1.

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But this crown is not yet upon the head of the Virtuous Woman of Revelation 12 Constellation (also known as Ursa Major). It is just above her head, as if she has yet to attain it. Of course, the 13th star in the middle would represent Christ (Who is our true Crown of our rejoicing). Ok, so we have a picture of Christ and His twelve tribes of Israel. But also we have a picture of Christ and His twelve apostles, which is a picture of His Church. So this heavenly crown is a multi-faceted concept.

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“THERE IS A CROWN LAID UP FOR ME”

2nd Tim. 4:8

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summer constellations with doves & woman

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But as far as this article is concerned, the concept to remember is that this Revelation 12 Woman (Ursa Major) appears to be grasping for this 12-star crown. It represents the prize which God has promised to all who finally overcome the world.

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Wikipedia Star-Chart - Corona Borealis

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Listen… “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” Revelation 3:21

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And so, with this in mind, one can see that there’s a prize to win: a glorious crown! And so this article is dedicated to all those who wish to win that crown, and are willing to engage in a heavenly wrestling match, in order to do so.

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Wikipedia Star-Chart – Corona Borealis

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BEWARE OF DOGMATISM

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The fact is, Bible prophecy is far too vague to pin-point just exactly how all this is going to unfold. Beware-of-dogma-wikimedia-public-domain (2)And judging from the Bible account of Christ’s First Advent, Christians should learn the hard lesson from the past; being very humble and nervous about making bold predictions regarding the details of future events. While we can know certain things (such as the veracity of the “coming of the Lord”), the ambiguity of Bible prophecy just makes it far too difficult for us to get dogmatic about these things.

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1st ADVENT, A BIG SURPRISE!

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And let’s face it: God really knows how to take us by https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Willmann_Jesus_being_nailed_to_the_cross_(detail).jpgsurprise, doesn’t He? After all, it was the erroneous dogmatism of the Jewish theologians, which caused them to completely mis-diagnose how Christ’s First Advent was going to transpire. And that dogmatism ultimately led them to crucify Him on the Cross, as an impostor!

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But even though we cannot know everything about the coming crisis, let’s explore what we do know.

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For instance, the Bible speaks of “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble”.

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This seems to be a very important part of the Day of the Lord. And armed with the knowledge of this concept, we will be prepared to endure whatever else shall come our way in the very near future. 

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Nailing Jesus to the Cross – Wikimedia – Public Domain

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WHAT IS “THE TIME OF JACOB’S TROUBLE”?

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“Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it…. in the latter days ye shall consider it.” Jeremiah 30:6-8, 24

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Such strange language, God speaks in the above passage! How can a man travail in child-birth? And not only so, but God says that… “every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail…”.

summer constellations with doves & woman

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So God is declaring that every man will be laboring in child-birth! And if that’s not enough, God says that “all faces are turned into paleness”. This above passage is not speaking collectively. It is speaking individually to “every man”.

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But notice it says that Jacob “shall be saved out of it”. Just who is God referring to here, calling him Jacob? After all, Jacob dies thousands of years ago.

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The sketch to the right is of the Revelation 12 Woman Constellation, as she attempts to grasp for the crown of victory. These two constellations can be seen in the warmer months. And this heavenly scenario is a fitting portrait of the Christian, as he or she struggles to give birth to Christ, while at the same time reach out for that Crown of Victory which God promises to all who overcome the world.

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Listen… “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” 1st Cor. 9:25.

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So here God declares that there is a crown to be won.

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And so, this article’s key-note passage from Jeremiah speaks of a time known as “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble”. But He also declares that “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble;” Now it is beginning to be clear that this is a great day, unlike any other day.

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DUAL FULFILLMENT

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But what does this have to do with Christians? After all, wasn’t Jeremiah speaking to the Jews, when he made this prophecy? Well, it’s true that Jeremiah was writing to the Jews who were about to be taken captive into Babylon for 70 Years. But these Old Testament prophecies were double-entendres, that is, having a dual application: written for both the Old Testament Jews, but also for Christians as well.

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After all, Scripture reveals to us… “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” Romans 2:28, 29.

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This passage reveals that being a Jew is a spiritual condition, and not a matter of one’s ethic heritage. Oh yes, the Bible makes a distinction “a Jew, which is one inwardly”, and “Israel after the flesh” 1st Corinthians 10:18.

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Of course, “Israel after the flesh” would obviously be referring to those who were literally of the lineage of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

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These are just some of the questions which will be addressed in this article. So come along, and hopefully we will learn some important Bible truths regarding this subject. This article (among other things) will discuss how the Book of Jeremiah was actually written for Christians in the last days.

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Jewish Children with their Teacher in_Samarkand_cropped wikipedia public domain

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JEREMIAH FOR ALL NATIONS

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“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5.

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One principle must be laid ouJeremiah-at-the-Potters-House-Wikigallery-US-public-domaint: the Book of Jeremiah is not just for Old Testament Jews. God declares… “I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” OK, so here God is revealing that Jeremiah was a prophet unto all nations.

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So what does this mean? Perhaps this next passage will shed some light on this truth. “Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me (Jeremiah), Behold, I have put My words in thy mouth. See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant…Then took I the cup at the LORD’S hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the LORD had sent me…” Jeremiah 1:9, 10 & 25:17. 

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If anybody thinks that Jeremiah was a nice old book for the Old Testament Jews, they simply have not read this prophecy carefully enough! This cup of judgment from God, given by Jeremiah’s hand, was to be given to all nations. This above passage should dispel any misconceptions about this very relevant prophecy.

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Listen once again to just one more passage… “The spoilers are come upon all high places through the wilderness: for the sword of the LORD shall devour from the one end of the land even to the other end of the land: no flesh shall have peace.” Jeremiah 12:12

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“OPEN THOU MINE EYES”

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“Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.” Psalm 119:18

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Magnifying_glass_on_book_iconsThere are many things in the Bible, which are clear as noonday; The deity of Jesus; His death on the Cross; the call to repentance; judgment to come. These are just some of those biblical concepts which God has stated plainly in Scripture.

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But there are many other concepts which are not so easy to see. The above verse from Psalms is a prayer for understanding into the “Hidden Manna”, which are like precious gem-stones scattered between the lines in God’s Word… “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. ” Psalm 119:18.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PaulT.jpg

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Peter makes the declaration that the Apostle Paul wrote of some things which are hard to understand “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” 1st Peter 3:16

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And so, some of the concepts in this article are those which are not readily seen in the Bible. But by comparing spiritual things which spiritual, these difficult truths may begin to shine upon our upward pathway.

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Paul the Apostle-Artist-Valentin de Boulogne or Nicolas Tournier- circa 1500s wikipedia public domain

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THE NIGHT OF JACOB’S WRESTLING

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The story of Jacob and Esau is the story of two twin brothers. Both were very flawed individuals. But the big difference between them, is that Jacob desired to become spiritual while Esau loved the world and only desired the things which the world had to offer.

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You could say that Esau was a man of the flesh, while Jacob was a man of the Spirit. Esau desired the things of the world, while Jacob desired the things of Heaven. But Jacob was still unrefined. He still had sin in his life, which caused him to resort to much un-Christ-like behavior. And so, after deceiving his father into giving the long-promised and long-awaited family blessing which rightfully belonged to his elder brother, Esau, Jacob had to flee for his life. And God allowed all this, so that He could bring Jacob through the necessary life-experiences, to cleanse and purify Jacob’s deceitful and distrustful heart.

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JACOB’S LADDER

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And one night, during his flight, as Jacob lay down his head upon a Rock, God declared to Jacob in an amazing dream, the Covenant which He was to make with Jacob, and with his progeny. In this dream, Jacob saw a magnificent stairway, reaching from Heaven to Earth, with angels ascending and descending upon it. (see Genesis 28:10-22)

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JACOB’S PAYBACK FOR HIS DISHONESTY

Jacob Meets Laban by Antonio Balestra www.wikigallery.org public domain

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And finally, upon reaching the land of his Grand-Father Abraham’s birthplace, so began Jacob’s spiritual pilgrimage. Now living with his uncle’s family, God allowed Jacob to go through many years of being swindled by his Uncle Laban, in order to make Jacob come to hate the sin of deceitfulness. Jacob was getting paid back for his own previous deceitfulness; paid back at the hand of greedy Uncle Laban. (See painting to right of Jacob and Laban). But God doesn’t merely pay somebody back without leaving a blessing. And in Jacob’s case, the blessing was to show Jacob just how evil it is to defraud another person.

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Jacob Meets Laban by Antonio Balestra  www.wikigallery.org public domain

 

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NIGHT OF TROUBLE

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But after all the years of suffering at the hand of Uncle Laban, it was now finally time for Jacob to return to his homeland to confront his angry brother, Esau. Jacob had learned many life-lessons during his years serving Uncle Laban. But on this return-trip home, Jacob was accosted by a man, one fateful evening, with whom he wrestled all through that entire night. But at the dawning of the day, the man pleaded with Jacob to let him go. But Jacob refused, saying… “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” Genesis 32:26. 

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You see, in this early morning light Jacob now could see that this mystery-man was not the enemy, but actually was an agent sent from Heaven. Now Jacob realized he had been wrestling with the Angel of the Lord. And so Jacob refused to let his Lord go until he had God’s blessing.

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JACOB’S PERSEVERANCE PAYS OFF

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And God did indeed give Jacob the true blessing that he desired. The http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jacob_Wrestling_with_the_Angel.jpgangel replied… “What is thy name? And he said, “Jacob”. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.” Genesis 32:27, 28.

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Now that Jacob had prevailed with God, he was no longer known as Jacob, which means “Deceiver”. Now God gave him the glorious name, “Israel”, which means “He strives with God”. And now Jacob realized that the angel of the Lord, with whom he had wrestled through the night was none other than Jesus.

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This is why he exclaimed… “And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after My name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” Genesis 32:29, 30 

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This was what the Prophet Jeremiah referred to as “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble”.

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THE TIME OF JACOB’S TROUBLE

Jeremiah 30:7

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“Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see everyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jacob_Wrestling_with_the_Angel.jpg man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Jeremiah 30:6, 7 

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What in the world could this above verse be speaking of? And how does this verse apply to me as an individual Christian?

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OK. So by examining that story of Jacob wrestling with the angel of the Lord, there can be seen a great picture of just what we must endure in the coming trial before us.

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Listen… “And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day…And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.” (see Genesis 32:24, 26-28) 

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OUR GREAT STRUGGLE

James Tissot - Jacob & Esau - The Mess of Pottage - wikipedia - US public domain

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Jacob represents all Christians. Esau, a hunter, represents “the man of flesh” within us. And just as Jacob and Esau were born as twins, so too, the Christian has a dual personality, so to speak. There still exists in every Christian, a struggle between the spirit and the flesh. Like Jacob, the Christian desires to gain the spiritual blessing of a fully sanctified life. But like Esau, the Christian still longs for the earthy and sensual cares and pleasures of the world. And so, the Christian constantly battles against the flesh.

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Listen to Scripture… “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” Galatians 5:17. 

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So it now is evident that there exists a struggle in the life of each and every  Christian.

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James Tissot – Jacob & Esau – The Mess of Pottage – wikipedia – US public domain

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THE OLD MAN & THE NEW MAN

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But as for Esau and Jacob representing the “Man of Flesh” and the “Man of Spirit”, just listen to this next verse… “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him:” Colossians 3:9,10

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And just as Jacob was trying to escape Esau, so the Christian is trying to flee from his or her own fleshy desires. Oh the Christian wants very much to have a consistent walk in the Spirit. But it seems that so many of us sincere Christians are too often falling into our fleshly lusts: pride, anger, judging, lusting, gluttony, worldliness, and a host of other sins are constantly rising up, making us to doubt our Salvation.

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“RENEWED IN KNOWLEDGE”

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But let’s not allow the remedy listed in the above passage escape our notice.

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Listen once again… “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him:” Notice that it says that the New Man is “renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him”.

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So the New Man is renewed in knowledge after the image of Jesus. This answers just how this New Man begins to thrive within us: knowledge: knowledge of Jesus. So this New Man thrives in the knowledge of the image of Jesus. So the more we know God’s Word, the more we understand just who Jesus is. And the more that we know about Jesus, the more perfectly can this New Man live within.

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We need to escape from our Esau within. The “Old Man” still wants to “run the show” so to speak. What we need is to wrestle with God, just as sure as Jacob wrestled with the angel.

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FAITHFUL VS. UNFAITHFUL WOMAN

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Now as with so many Bible parables and allegorical stories, there can often be a dual application. That is, many Bible stories and parables can apply to the individual Christian, but also to the Church, historically.

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And this story of Jacob and Esau is no exception! In a very real sense, Jacob and Esau also represent the Church-Faithful and the Church-Unfaithful. Both portions of the Church are dealing with personal sin. But there is a big difference between these two portions of the Church. While everybody in the Church currently has sin in their lives, the True-Worshipper is remorseful for his or her sins. The True-Worshipper will not rest content until that sin is forever eradicated out of the heart.

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On the other hand the false-brethren in the Church are conteJezebel John_Liston_Byam_Shaw wikipedia public domainnt to remain worldly. While they may establish a certain amount of morality, they have no desire to die-to-self. They have just too many worldly desires. And to die-to-self-will would kill their ability to continue to seek after worldly pleasures and pursuits, which they love so much. And so, the false-brethren will not confess his or her faults. They are like the adulterous woman.

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Just listen to Proverbs… “Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.” Proverbs 30:20.

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The adulterous portion of the Church are compared, many times in Scripture to a harlot and an adulteress.

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Listen again… “Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.” Isaiah 3:3. And so, like the adulterous woman, the apostate Church refuses to blush, or even to acknowledge her sins.

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Jezebel John_Liston_Byam_Shaw wikipedia public domain\

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DAVID’S SORROW

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On the other hand, the True-Worshipper can relate to the following passage… “Wash me thoroughly from David's sorrow - Wikigallery - Public Domainmine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.” Psalm 51:2, 3.

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In this psalm, David gives us a right example of the proper spirit of true repentance. His sin was constantly tormenting him, causing him much grief and sorrow.

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This was the exact same situation as Jacob and Esau. Esau was seeking after the earthly blessings, while Jacob sought after the heavenly blessing. While Jacob was willing to die-to-self-will, Esau had just too many earthly plans and dreams.

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To gain a greater understanding of this, just go to… “Mystery Babylon: Who Is This Harlot Of Revelation?”

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David’s sorrow – Wikigallery – Public Domain

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THE “TWO DOG THEORY”

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“For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God…Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry…seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;” Colossians 3:3, 5, 9

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Two_dogs_seems_like_fighting_but_are_NOT_Jan_2008_Shot_in_Jalandhar_Punjab_India_by_gopal1035_003.jpg

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There is a notion which has circulated through Christendom for years, known as the “Two Dog Theory”. Very simply put, this theory says that the Christian life is like two dogs: one good and one evil. And as this theory goes, in order to get rid of the evil dog you must feed the good dog more than you feed the evil dog.

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The problem with this theory is, the evil dog must be completely starved to death. No food whatsoever! Because in truth, evil, just like a noxious weed needs little nourishment in order to survive.

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And so too, the struggle between the “Man of the Flesh”, and the “Man of the Spirit” can only be resolved by completely choking-off the “Man of the Flesh”. Just as the opening passage of this little section says…

“For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God…Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry…seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;” Colossians 3:3, 5, 9.

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This passage puts it very succinctly: we must die…to self-will. Christ cannot not live His life through us any other way. We must be crucified with Christ.

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Listen to Paul… “For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:19, 20

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Photo–Two dogs seems like fighting  wikimedia share-alike lic.

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WHY DO WE NEED TO WRESTLE?

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“We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen.” Isaiah 26:18

Francken_Hieronymus_the_Younger_-_Parable_of_the_Wise_and_Foolish_Virgins_-_c__1616-wikipedia-pub_-dom_

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The big problem is found in the above passage from Isaiah, in which the Lord pronounced this sad judgment upon His Church, in the very last days. God is revealing here that His people have been laboring in vain. The Church has not given spiritual birth to Christ. We gave birth to wind. We have failed to finish up the work which God gave us to do, and all our evangelistic efforts have been in vain. The inhabitants of the Earth have not fallen. That is to say, our failure to become a Christ-like Church has resulted in a failed attempt to evangelize the world. They remain more defiant than ever.

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And even those who came into the Church, quickly left the Church out of disgust at all the problems within. And those who remained, most likely became so leavened by the worldliness within, that they only helped to bring the Church into even deeper and deeper apostasy.

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The Apostle, Paul puts it this way… “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2nd Timothy 4:3, 4.

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Many believe that this day has fully come.

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Francken Hieronymus the Younger Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins – c 1616-wikipedia pub-dom

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WHY THE BREAK OF DAY?

 

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Now the question must be asked, “Why did this wrestling match culminate at the breaking of the day?” Well, this seems to be a wonderful prophecy of the future time before us.

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Just listen to Peter… “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts:” 2nd Peter 1:19.

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So Peter here, speaks of a time called “The Dawning of the Day”, in which the Church will receive a great spiritual blessing. And this Day-Star which will arise in our hearts is the very same concept of which this article is speaking of, howbeit in somewhat different allegorical terms. The Day-Star is obviously speaking of Christ.

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Through the Old Testament, there are various stories which concern the “dawning of the day”.

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dore_084.jpg

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The conquering of Jericho occurred at dawn. The destruction of Sodom occurred at dawn.

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The story of the Levite & His Concubine (Judges, Ch. 19) culminated with the concubine reaching the threshold at dawn.

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And if one looks at all these and all the other allegorical stories concerning the “dawning of the day”, “comparing spiritual things with spiritual”, then there will be a greater understanding about just what is in store for God’s people.

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To gain a greater understanding of this, just go to… “Castor and Pollux (Part 2: The Return of Christ & The Dawning of the Day)”

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Lot Flees Sodom by Benjamin West- www.christimages.org US public domain

By G. Dore 084 The Levite & his Concubine wikipedia US public domain

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CAN A MAN TRAVAIL IN CHILD-BIRTH!?!

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“Ask ye now, and see whether a man does travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?  Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.”  Jeremiah 30:6

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 Jeremiah shows that Jacob’s night of wrestling was a picture of that time known as “the time of Jacob’s trouble”.

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The question, “Ask ye now…does a man travail with child?” shows that this is speaking metaphorically.

woman of Revelation 12 In Travail-www.signsofheaven.org

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Listen to Paul’s language, his strange language regarding a church that’s having spiritual problems…  “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you…” Galatians 4:19.

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The churches of Galatia were being leavened by false teaching that propped up the notion that Christianity is just a mere “following rules and regulations”. Paul was trying to dispel that notion by showing how the very essence of Christianity, is all about growing into a Christ-like character (“But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” Galatians 5:18).

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It is a “new birth” experience. But it is also an experience in which the Believer finally comes to the Day in which Jesus fully lives out his life through that Believer.

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JACOB & ESAU: FRIENDS AGAIN

http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/francesco-hayez/meeting-of-jacob-and-esau-1844#close

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At the end of the story of Jacob and Esau, the time finally arrives for the long-dreaded reunion between the two twin-brothers. Jacob, with much apprehension, prepares to meet his angry brother. Jacob and his huge family and flocks are confronted by Esau and his small army. But when the time fully comes, much to Jacob’s surprise, his brother, Esau, hugs Jacob, and greets him in peace and love.

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In spiritual terms, this seems to be a picture of the time when the tried and tested Believer finally and fully overcomes the world. At that time we will have completely overcome the “Old Man with his deeds” Col. 3:9 

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meeting-of-jacob-and-esau-1844_ wikipaintings public domain

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OVERCOMING JUST AS PAUL!

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That Believer will now have his or her body fully in subjection. And the Believer will now be able to say with http://lavistachurchofchrist.org/Pictures/The%20Early%20Church%20Artwork/target8.htmlPaul… “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” 1st Corinthians 9:27.  

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Paul kept his body in complete subjection. He had fully mastered his rebellious flesh. And this will be the purpose of the coming tribulation. The Church will be fully purified by the fiery trial before us. At that time we will have completely overcome the “Old Man with his deeds” Col. 3:9 

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Paul Shipwrecked – Acts 27:41-44 – www.lavistachurchofchrist.org – Public Domain

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QUEEN ESTHER

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“And the letters were sent by posts into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day…and so will I (Esther) go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.” Esther 1:10-12, 4:16 (condensed)

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The above passage is an extremely abbreviated description of Esther as she went uninvited into the king’s throne room, to plead for the doomed Jews.

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It is also the story of today’s Church as we are called to enter the Most Holy Place with Christ. And just as Esther fearfully (but not presumptuously) entered the king’s Throne-Room, so too must God’s Elect enter with trembling, God’s Throne-Room by faith, to plead for God’s people, who are now under God’s judgment.

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WE ARE A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD!

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Listen to that fiery little Book of Joel… “Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?” Joel 2:17.

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Now this verse is concerning the Day of the Lord. And yet it speaks of priests and of the sanctuary.

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Well just listen to Peter’s Epistle… “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” 1st Peter 2:9

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And how do we accomplish this? Well, that is what this website,  theheavensdeclare.net is all about. For a good start in comprehending this big subject, you can go to such articles as… “The Revelation 12 Woman & The Narrow Way”. 

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WE TOO MUST ENTER THE KING’S THRONE ROOM

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“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 

Tissot Moses and Joshua in the Tabernacle wikipedia public domain

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God is wanting His people to enter into His Throne Room…the Most Holy Place in Heaven. But though we are encouraged at any time to “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16, there is a further calling.

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Once we are saved, we are not to be content to remain in our wretched and worldly condition. We are commanded to be… “leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection” Hebrews 6:1.

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As the Apostle John puts it… “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” 1st John 5:4.

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Most Christians are not aware that just because they have been called into the Gospel, does not mean that they can lay down their armor. Rather, the battle has just begun. Only those who are truly the Chosen and Faithful, will overcome the world. This is what separates the Believers from mere “Make-believers”, so to speak. No, this self-purification is not to earn Salvation, but is the RESULT of Salvation. It is a desire that comes by the indwelling of God’s Spirit of Holiness.

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Tissot_Moses_and_Joshua_in_the_Tabernacle wikipedia  US public domain

 

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ENTERING GOD’S THRONE ROOM

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And so, as the New Testament Priesthood, we are called to live by faith in the Most Holy Place.

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Just listen… “And [God] hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: ” Ephesians 2:6. 

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This verse declares that we are to be seated together in Christ in the heavenlies. This is an awesome concept, to say the least! Christ is currently in the Most Holy where Heever liveth to make intercession” for His people. And so are we to ever live to make intercession for God’s people.

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THE BOOK OF JOEL

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“Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare Thy people, O LORD, and give not Thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: Joel the Prophet www.wikipaintings.com public domainwherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?” Joel 2:16, 17

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This Book of Joel is an incredible and startling prophecy. It speaks of the apostasy of the Church. It is a call to repentance. But it is written especially for our day.

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Just listen… “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.” Joel 3:14.

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The above passage is speaking of the Day of the Lord. But it speaks of the priests. But God is no longer using priests. That was done away with, forever, after Christ went to the Cross. So what is the answer to this perplexing question?

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Simple! God is now using Christians as priests. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light” 1st Peter 2:9. Here is a New Testament verse, declaring that we are a royal priesthood.

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To read more on this subject, just click here… “Ark of the Covenant Constellation, Pt. 2: How To Enter The Most Holy Place”

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Joel the Prophet www.wikipaintings.com public domain

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“A GREAT WONDER IN HEAVEN…

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“A WOMAN…TRAVAILING IN BIRTH”

star-chart ursa major summerr

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“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.” Revelation 12:1, 2 

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And so, it now becomes more apparent why God has placed this headless woman with child in the heavens. She is to present that glorious concept: that God’s people are to strive with God, as God has planted the Gospel seed within His people. And striving, as did Jacob, there will finally come that glorious dawning of the day, in which we will be finally victorious. And in our victory, Christ will be fully formed within the hearts of each Believer. And then we will shine as the Sun to a world still held captive in sin and darkness.

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star-chart ursa major summer

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CHRIST FINALLY BORN IN US

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Just listen to Scripture… “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,” Galatians 4:19.

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OK, so now this verse from Galatians is a big help in understanding this spiritual concept about men (and women too!) giving birth…to Christ. This is all about overcoming the world. And if I am truly a child of God, then eventually I will indeed overcome this world… “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world” 1st John 5:4.

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And what about this verse… “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” Revelation 2:11. This passage is for all those who have “an ear to hear”.

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star-chart ursa major winter

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THE END

 

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A HEAVENLY HOBBY

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“Lift up your eyes on high, and behold Who hath created these things; that brings out their host by number: He calls them all by names by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power; not one faileth.” Isaiah 40:26

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vermont night stargazing panorama 2009 wikipedia share-alike lic.

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The above verse is a plea from God to look up at the Heavens and behold Who has created these things.

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In this busy work-a-day world, there are many very interesting things which can occupy one’s time and energy: hobbies, and careers, and entertainments and worries, and habits, to name just a few.

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But as the child of God devotes his or her life to God, there should be a jealous guarding of one’s own heart… “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23.

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The Christian wants nothing to get in the way of running that Christian Race.

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 New York Times Square – terabass – Wikipedia – Share-alike License

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“AND WHEN YE SEE THESE THINGS…

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LOOK UP, LIFT UP YOUR HEAD”

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But having said this, there is one hobby which every ‘Noble Berean’ may take up, which only compliments the pursuit of the heavenly Prize.

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Yes, Signs Of Heaven becomes a wonderfully rewarding hobby which, unlike many less meaningful hobbies, pays off with rich, heavenly rewards. Everlasting rewards!

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And unlike these people in this photo with equipment, all you need is fairly good vision, and a dark, starry night.

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And once a person really gets to know these heavenly messengers, it will become very apparent that the message connected with these signs is truly a message to be heeded.

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Thus will the Christian be able to share this message with others. And there are perhaps many nuances and hidden biblical truths to these signs which have yet to be discovered.

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Astronomy Amateur Wikipedia share-alike license

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“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;” Luke 21:25

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ABOVE STAR-CHART – Summer Constellations with Two Turtledoves (Sagittarius) & Flower of the Field (aka: Scorpio) & The 12-Star Crown (aka: Corona Borealis) & The Cross-Scepter (aka: Ophiochus & Serpens) & Revelation 12 Woman (Ursa Major) & Arcturus Star – www.theheavensdeclare.net

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FIRST FIND ORION & 7 STARS

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The very first step in finding these many constellations, should be to find the two main constellations: Orion, and the 7 Stars (aka, The Big Dipper).

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These two constellations represent Christ (Orion), and His Church (7 Stars).

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And just as these are the easiest constellations to find, so too, the first place to begin studying the Bible is the Four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John).

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These four books present Christ and His Church, when He walked the earth, just as Orion and the 7 Stars represent Christ and His Church, as seen up in the heavens.

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Then, once you are comfortable finding these two constellations, you can begin to locate the next closest constellations, and so on.

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ABOVE PICTURE – winter constellations – Orion & Revelation 12 Dragon (Hyades, Pleiades, etc…) seen at Eagle Ridge – Signs Of Heaven.org – Not for profit use!once you are comfortable finding these two constellations, you can begin to locate the next closest constellations, and so on.

ABOVE PICTURE – 7 Stars Constellation as the Cross (aka Big Dipper) – winter – signsofheaven.org – not for commercial uses

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ANOTHER HEAVENLY HOBBY: PRAYER-WALKS

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Now if you’re fortunate enough to be able to go on nightly walks, and you live in an area where you can safely view the stars, here is another Heavenly Hobby which Signs Of Heaven endorses…

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Why not combine star-watching with prayer, as you walk? What a great way to draw closer to God!

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It cannot be over-stressed, just how wonderful it is to walk under the dark canopy of Heaven, while lifting up one’s heart to our Heavenly Father! There is a closeness to God that cannot be described with words!

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(And even if you cannot safely do this, you can always do such prayer-walks in the daytime, in a safe place, such as a mall, which is every bit as effective, prayer-wise.

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And for those who are in confinement, one can view these starry signs on the Internet, or simply listen to Scripture on audio.

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Either way, all such may enjoy God’s richest blessings at this very time in which God is pouring out all Heaven’s treasures upon anyone willing to forsake all, and follow Jesus!)

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Starry Night at La Silla Wikipedia share-alike license

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THRICE-DAILY PRAYERS

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Now of course, the Bible commands us to, “pray without ceasing“. The Christian is to constantly talk with our Heavenly Father throughout the day.

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But the Bible also holds up the godly life of Daniel, who, when captive in Babylon, still set aside three times daily, in which he knelt for special prayer.

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And furthermore the Bible also says… “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice.” Psalm 55:17.

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Even those who are bed-fast or in a prison cell can begin to imitate Daniel in this way. And if one is fortunate to be able to walk, then this thrice-daily prayer regimen can be combined with three walks daily and even nightly.

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Marines at Prayer by Alex Raymond wikimedia public domain

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