Jim Britt

School is never out for those who are followers of the Lord Jesus. As we walk in the Spirit there are lessons to be learned everyday. Jesus used things which were a part of His day and even ours to illustrate truth. There were ovjects he picked out and held up before His disciples which reflected lessons which have held relevance for all generations. Truth is eternal.

Years ago I stood atop of Masada in the Holy Land. I shall never forget the first time I walked in the dust of that imposing fortress constructed by Herod the Great. It was there that I caught the indominable spirit of the people of Israel. It has become a monument to their commitment to freedom which exceeds their love of life. In 73 A.D. 960 revolutionaries chose death rather than becoming slaves of Rome. In modern times Masada is the place where the young recruits of the Israeli Defense Forces hike up the trail called the "Snake Path" and gather in the oldest synagogue in the world to be sworn in to defend their beloved land. The declare in the pledge, "Never again!" They are determined that Israel will never fall again.

Masada is a fascinating structure of stone on three terraces jutting out from the north face of the rock where sheer cliffs fall away to the shore of the Dead Sea 1300 feet below, According to the Jewish historian of the first century, Josephus, Herod built it as a place of refuge from his enemies who threatened his crown, even his life. The fortress could not deliver him the ultimate enemy. It is believed he died from a heart attack.

It took the renown archeologist, Yigael Yadin, evelen months to unearth the site. He discovered the opulence of the palace containing frescos and tiles. There were baths and swimming pools which were supplied warer from cisterns designed to hold 1,400,000 cubic feet of water. Bins had been constructed to hold tons of grain. The hoarding of water and grain was in anticipation of a possible siege ever haunting the Edomite king who in fact was not Jewish.

The grain discovered in the bins holds a lesson. After 2000 years it still held the power to germinate. That fact surely illustrates our faith in the promises of God which is the seed of God's truth. Jesus taught about the sower who went out to sow the seed.

One of the most familiar and often quoted passages of Scripture pointing to the sure promises of God is from Isaiah: "For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth from my mouth: it shall not return to me void, but shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it" (Is. 55:10,11).

The promises of God can be scattered as seed in whatever the circumstances and will bear fruit according to God's timing. When Jacob blessed his son Zebulon, he spoke the prophetic (promissory) word of God: "Zebulon shall dwell at the haven of the sea, and he shall be a haven of ships, and his border shall be unto Zidon(Sidon)"(Ge.49.13). Haifa is the sole harbor of Israel. It is located in the ancient land of Zebulon. It was in 1933 that the word of God through Jacob came to pass when under the British mandate the harbor at Haifa was dredged out making it possible for giant ships carrying the Jews in the modern Exodus to come to the port of the land promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. On many a clear day I have stood at an observation point and looked up the coastline to see the remains of Sidon.

There is a promise which we hear little about in our time. Even some church leaders are quick to criticize the exposition of it. They much prefer themes dealing with time failing to address the Omega point of history. Jesus promised, "I will come again and receive you unto myself" (Jn.14:3). It is not a funeral test. It is a text for His "glorious appearing"(Titus 2:13) when "we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them(those sleep in Jesus) in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air and so shall we ever by with the Lord"(1 Thes. 4:17).

He is coming again! Preparation is made for His coming as we rest in the assurance of the promise: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved and thy house" (Ac. 16:31). That seed continues to bear fruit after 2000 years and will continue until He comes again!

Jim Britt