Sunday, April 21, 2019

Excerpt from Seventh Dimension - The Castle, Book 3 in the Seventh Dimension Series


RESURRECTION SPECIAL BLOG POST



I sensed I was no longer in the garden. In front of me was a cave.
When I stood, I ached all over.
Somebody approached. I ran and hid.
A Roman official accompanied by two men in chains became visible. Another guard brought up the rear. The four men stopped at the entrance to the cave.
One of the prisoners said, “We rolled this huge boulder up to the entrance. It must weigh four thousand pounds. And we sealed it to make sure no one moved it—even if they were strong enough.”
The official picked up a rock and slammed it on the ground. “Yet it was moved. How did the rabble-rouser escape? A dead man doesn’t climb out of a grave.”
“A thief stole the body,” one of the men said.
“Did you fall asleep?” the official asked.
“No, we did not fall asleep. We took turns sleeping. Someone was always awake.”
The official glared at them. “How could someone have stolen the body if you didn’t fall asleep?”
They exchanged glances. “We don’t know.”
“We must make up a story,” the official said. “We’ll tell Pilate Yeshua’s disciples stole his body. We’ll give you money to keep quiet, and you can pray you aren’t executed for leaving your post.”
One of the soldiers insisted, “He was gone when we left. We didn’t leave our post.”
“You ran away,” the official insisted, “like cowards.”
Silence followed.
One of the men remarked, “See how the boulder is rolled away. Up a slope, not back from the entrance but away from the entire sepulcher. It would have taken several men to move it that distance. How could no one have heard anything? Other guards were nearby.”
The official smirked. “So the rock moved on its own. Yeshua’s disciples slipped in and stole his body, even though you were awake and saw no one?”
“We didn’t fall asleep. There must be another explanation.”
The official fumed. “You can give that other explanation to Pilate before your execution.”
The officials stomped off with their imprisoned former guards. After a couple of minutes, their voices faded in the distance.
The urgency to get Shale’s diary made me impatient to leave, but my body didn’t want to cooperate. I ached all over, including my head, but I was also anxious to examine the empty tomb. How fortunate I was to have stumbled upon it.
Before I moved, another person approached. I stayed hidden.
Soon I saw Mark riding on Truth.
I waved at him from behind the trees. “What are you doing here?”
He trotted over to me. “I found you at last.”
“What are you doing here?” I asked again.
“Well,” Mark stammered. “I wanted to follow you. I lost you when you galloped away, but I had a feeling you were going to the garden. I didn’t find you there, but I found your horse.”
Mark was too smart for his own good.
“After hearing what Mary of Magdala said, I wanted to visit the tomb. Alas, I find you here.”
“You seem to have a habit of secretly following people,” I remarked.
The boy dismounted. “Only people I care about. Besides, someone was about to steal your horse. I ran him off.”
I sighed. “Thank you. I didn’t think about that.”
I had an idea. “Mark, would you like to keep Truth for a while?”
“Truth?”
“The horse.”
“Sure,” Mark replied.
“I need to go to Galilee and return Baruch to his owner.”
“Who is Baruch?” Mark asked.
“The donkey. He’s near the garden entrance. And you can’t follow me to Galilee.”
Mark laughed. “I have no desire to follow you to Galilee. That’s a long way.”
I nodded.
Mark glanced at the tomb. “Did you check inside the sepulcher?”
I shook my head. “No. The Romans just left a minute ago. I haven’t had a chance.”
“Let’s go see.” Mark ran over and I followed.
All that remained was Yeshua’s grave clothes. The wrappings were in the position of a body, slightly caved in, and empty.
“It’s like he left his clothes behind,” Mark commented.
“You would know about that, wouldn’t you?” I responded.
Mark turned red in the face. “That’s not funny, you know.”
I ran my hand through my hair. “You’re right, Mark. I’m sorry.”
Mark shrugged.
I shook my head. That was poor comic relief. “I feel nervous being here. It’s too weird.”
“I know,” Mark said. “It’s creepy.”
I put my hand on his shoulder. “We need to leave before they discover something else.”
“Like what?”
“Don’t ask.” We lingered for a moment longer. Mark wasn’t ready.
“Mary must be right,” exclaimed Mark. “I had to see for myself.”
“Which way is it to the garden? I’m worried about Baruch.”
“How can you not remember?” Mark asked.
“I hit my head yesterday when I fell. It affected my memory.” That was partially true.
“Follow me,” the boy replied.
We returned to the garden and found Baruch waiting in the back where Shale and I had left him.
“Do you want some apples?” Mark offered. “I found these.”
“Sure.”
He pulled out several and handed me one. He also gave some to Truth and Baruch. “Donkeys love apples, too.”
As I put the apple in my bag, distant voices filled the garden. How long would it be before they found Judas’s body and the dead guard?
“Mark, we need to leave. Promise me you will take Truth and go back to Bethany now?”
The boy nodded.
I helped him on the horse. “Thank you for taking care of Truth.”
“I’m glad to,” Mark replied.
I slapped the horse’s rear and watched as they cantered away. Once they disappeared, I mounted Baruch.
“Let’s go, hurry.”
The donkey barely moved. I’d forgotten how slow donkeys were. But at last, he did move—at a donkey’s pace. When we reached the main road to Galilee, his slow speed didn’t matter. Hundreds of weary travelers were also traveling home.
While I was grateful for the crowds to help hide me from the Romans, getting there quickly was another matter. We would need to stay overnight in Dothan as the trip to Galilee would take longer than I anticipated.









Thursday, April 11, 2019

Knowledge Shall Be Increased

by Lorilyn Roberts

“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: …and knowledge shall be increased.” Daniel 12:4 (KJV)




“…and knowledge shall be increased.” The amount of information available at our fingertips has exploded in the last few years. Scientists tell us until the early 1900s, knowledge was doubling every hundred years. At the end of 1945, that rate had increased to every twenty-five years. In today’s world, thanks to the Internet, the doubling of knowledge happens in as little as twelve hours.

 Examples of the exponential increase in technology are endless. The Chinese robot, Sophia, is the most advanced robot ever created. We ask Seri and Alexa questions as if they were human and smarter than we are, No more do we need wires running through our house to connect us to the other side of the world. We have wireless. We can call anywhere for free—or send an email or enjoy videos and jpegs on social networking sites from Antarctica to Timbuktu. This expansion of knowledge is linked to the Worldwide Web. Scientists predict every place on earth will be connected by the super-information highway in the next few years.



The three “W’s” in Worldwide Web are represented by the letter Vav in Hebrew, and it is the sixth letter in the Hebrew alphabet. Is there any coincidence that WWW, the symbol for the Worldwide Web, becomes 666 when switched to a numerical value in Hebrew? Because the number one source of information today is shared on a platform symbolized in Hebrew by 666, interesting questions arise. To quote Sir Francis Bacon, “information is power.” 

Most Christians know the number 666 is associated with the most powerful ruler that will walk the earth. He will control the information highway, including all buying and all selling. Those who want to survive will be forced to receive his mark on their right hand or forehead. Satan’s deception will come through this lawless one as well as others because they will not know the knowledge of the Holy One. The minds of unbelievers will be blinded, and because of hardened hearts, God will send a strong delusion that, if it were possible, could deceive even the elect.



 Too many will believe what is false. Too many will reject the truth because they prefer pleasure in unrighteousness. We are already seeing that today, and things will only get worse. Some will be enticed away from God because of their own lusts. Others will not be willing to endure sound teaching. We live in a “me-my-mine” world, where people believe they are entitled, are easily offended, and self-indulgent, where truth is relative and moral values reversed. Evil is called good and good is called evil.


Despite the chaos that is coming, God’s definition of knowledge in Daniel 12:8 is a different kind of knowledge that will increase, a knowledge that will fill the minds of Christ followers with understanding that far surpasses the knowledge of the heathen, knowledge far more significant and compelling than what can be found on the Worldwide Web.


When the Bible refers to “knowledge” in Daniel 12:5, the context does not refer to man’s knowledge bolstered by artificial intelligence or a beast system that’s coming. God’s promises include discernment that will help us to know the difference between real news and fake news, what’s right and what’s wrong, absolute truth and relative truth, and the difference between good and evil.


God created good and evil. He put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden. Just as Adam and Eve were tested, a time of testing is coming upon us, to separate the wheat from the tares—those who love the truth from those who love the darkness.

Where evil abounds, God abounds more. All manner of wisdom in the form of art and craftsmanship will be magnified. God only requires our complete obedience. By faithfully following our Lord and Savior, we can understand all knowledge and all mysteries.


No matter how dire the circumstances, the Word of the Lord is forever. God’s wisdom is sweet, like manna from heaven. Knowledge of the Lord will be as the waters cover the sea, and everything hidden will be revealed. We can take heart that those who love Jesus and are called according to his purpose will be full of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, from now until eternity.




Monday, March 25, 2019

What No Eye Has Seen

by Lorilyn Roberts

"What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him.”—I Cor 2:9



Many years ago I traveled to Nepal to adopt my first child. Nepal, located between India and China, is one of the poorest countries in the world. I had waited many years to become a mother, and now as a single woman, I felt God leading me to adopt a three-year-old girl. Her mother had died and her father was unable to provide for her.

I arrived in Kathmandu trusting God to lead the way. I was sure He would go before me, and I had no reason to doubt I would go home with my new daughter. But after two weeks of bureaucratic delays and attempted bribery, the adoption was denied. My hope that God would give me a daughter seemed impossible now despite my prayers and those of my friends. After spending hours in a remote village in Nepal, I headed back to Kathmandu, lifting my sorrowful pleas before God. Was there any way to reverse what seemed like a final decision?

A pastor of a local church in Kathmandu had been helping me, and he had an idea—that we would appeal directly to the Home Minister. Only he and the Prime Minister had the authority to reverse the decision that had been made against me.

That day arrived. We took a taxi to the courthouse, and I waited outside and prayed as my friend went in to meet the Home Minister. Within a few minutes, the decision was reversed, allowing me to adopt Manisha. I praised God for touching the Home Minister’s heart. I had no doubt, without God’s intervention, I never would have become a mother.



A flurry of activity followed to get all the paperwork completed to bring her back to the United States. On one of the many trips we made through the Himalayan Mountains, I was sitting in the van with Manisha waiting for Pastor Silas to finish up inside. It was quiet and cool as the sun hung high in the sky, and I was struck by the immense beauty all around us. The mountains seemed to reach up into the heavens and touch the throne room of God.

The passage came to mind as I was admiring God’s splendor:  “…no eye has seen.. no ear has heard…no human mind has conceived  the things God has prepared for those who love Him.”

I felt caught up to heaven at that moment anticipating the greater eternal home that awaited us, when we would walk with Jesus and live with Him forever, when there would be no bureaucratic red tape or governmental bribery or endless forms to fill out; where God’s love would be known in the remotest regions of the world, and we would see all of God’s majesty and splendor that we can only dimly imagine now.



In reflective moments, I’ve thought about that experience many times. Recently, however, God revealed to me something I failed to grasp. That vision wasn’t for heaven—it was for the earth. God was showing me my future.

As I thought about God’s glory that day, I failed to see His glory revealed in me—the joy of adopting not one daughter but two, returning two decades later and bringing Christian books to Pastor Silas’s church to start a library, working as a kitchen helper at a camp for kids in Juneau, Alaska; visiting inmates in prison and giving them hundreds of books to review for Christian authors; donating devotional books to an organization helping women caught up in the sex trafficking trade—God had plans I couldn’t have fathomed at that time.

While it’s exciting to think about what awaits us on the other side, God gives us gifts and talents in furtherance of His kingdom here. People need the Lord—the rich, the poor, the downtrodden the homeless, the drug addicted, the businessman, the nomads in Africa. The needs are great and the workers are few.

God gives us inspiring examples of people in the Bible who were just like us. People no one would have guessed were destined for greatness in the kingdom of God. Moses was a young baby left in some reed bushes in the Nile River. Joseph was sold into slavery and spent years behind prison walls. Esther was orphaned and hid her identity to protect her adoptive family from persecution. Ruth had no Jewish lineage but became the bloodline for the King of kings.

These mighty men and women are only a sampling of those God used. They simply loved God and served Him.

We are God’s workmanship, His hands, and His feet. We are His heart in a world becoming more and more godless and more corrupt, where good is seen as evil and evil is seen as good. Jesus told His followers, “Pick up your cross and follow me.”



God has given us gifts to serve Him in His kingdom here. He has knitted us together to love, teach, admonish, and encourage, and He wants us to share His artistry that moves hearts and souls. Jesus prepared the way so that others could see His glory in us.

What gift has God given you? Use it. What calling has God put on your heart? Pray about it. What longing keeps you awake at night? Ask God to fulfill those desires. What inspires you to be more like Christ? Study His character. What grieves your soul? Ask God to show you wisdom—what can you do to make a difference? What grieves our hearts grieves the heart of God even more.

Until God’s work is done, we can’t escape the tares of sin, but we can work towards sharing His kingdom with others. Christ’s body is a formidable weapon, and He works through imperfect people like you and me. His vision is beyond measure, His dreams outlandish, and His redemption incalculable. God has destined all those who love Him with a destiny we can’t imagine. If you hear His clarion call and long to see His glory in your life, don’t delay in responding. No bribes, scandals, or sin can hold back His kingdom here for those who want to serve Him.



To read my award-winning memoir, visit:  http://bit.ly/lpcod