Seeing God’s Face

anna

36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;

37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. Luke 2:36-38

 

Hi, there…. (squinching at the lights) I’m so happy to be here tonight! I’ve been asked to tell you about the day my ministry really took off…

You see it is never too late…for us old timers. I’ve put in a lot hours…(fastin’ and prayin) before I got my big break…

 

It didn’t happen like I thought it would. All that work, fasting, praying, why I was a churcha, I mean workaholic for the church…I mean I was a faithful, trustworthy, God fearing Jewish woman who followed all the rules! I was even known as a prophetess, one who could forsee the future.

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Wait a minute… I forgot my introduction… let me start over….”

My name is, Evangelist Anna. Anna is the Greek Version but actually came from Hanna, which means favor and grace. I’m from the tribe of Asher, which means happy.

In Deuteronomy, Moses prophesies that for the tribe of Asher, (my tribe), “your strength will equal your days” (Deuteronomy 33:25).

My life shows evidence of that!

With all that being said you would think my life would be perfect! I am Jewish and I go to the Temple regularly, even 24/7 to pray and I’m usually ALWAYS fasting too. I love to serve Yeshua in the temple…

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It is my life… L_I_F_E -! Aah Life! LIVING_ IN_ FAITH_ EVERY DAY!

Why, Serving Him is what I was created to do. I come, I pray and I meditate on the Holy Scriptures… You see they are here and sometimes when no one is here but me, I will unroll them and hide them in my heart.

My father was Phanuel. His name meant Face of God. You will understand in a moment why that’s important.

When others talk about that day, my age is always mentioned! It’s even suggested that I was ancient! It has been of great discussion throughout the centuries. You see it is written that I was a widow of 84 years…. I was married for seven years before my husband passed…. And of course everyone tries to guess how old I was when I got married…. So, If I got married at 14, I could be maybe…105? Or some just think I was 84! What do you think? I think it really doesn’t matter, but what does matter is I had been around a long time and I had and continue to see a lot.

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There were many times the enemy tried to distract me from what I was really doing and from purpose and plan God had ordained for me from the beginning. I realize that listening is more important than talking. You just need to listen to God’s voice.

Along with listening, I was waiting…. Waiting for the day that God had promised to me. As a forseer I knew the day would come when I would realize my purpose for serving God would be revealed. It took a long time for me. Maybe it’s taking a long time for some of you too.

Is it taking a long time?

My husband died seven years after we were married. That’s when I started spending a lot of time alone with Yeshua. After he passed, God spoke to me and told me He would provide. And He has. It’s actually an honor and custom to take care of widows and orphans in the Jewish faith. I was blessed to have a family of believers at my side. I’d go to the Temple every day. To Fast, To Pray, To Read the Holy Scriptures! Yes, I was a woman who could read, and very highly regarded by my community.

Knoop, M.; An Old Woman Reading

My ministry took off after one long eternal look that changed my life forever…

It set my feet to dancin’! I know what you are thinking. She’s way too old… she’s probably a grandma… Grandma’s sit on the porch and baby sit. Let the young people do the dancin’ and preachin! Well, I’m living proof you are never too old! There is great debate over my age…. At the time… Is she 84 or 105? If she got married at 12 she could be 107!

BUT SHE DOESN’T LOOK THAT OLD!

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But that’s not the only reason I’m a little shocking! I’m quite infamous you know! Why in some churches today I would be considered eccentric, outlandish, out of place and even shameful! Being one of the first New Testament women evangelists! My name went down along with some others like Martha, Mary, oh and that Samaritan woman!

She was almost good as me, just kidding!

But one thing I know that my redeemer was alive, and continues to live…now and forever! No one is going to seal these lips…. I know who and what I saw that day!

You know some say women aren’t supposed to speak out, much less be one of the first to lay eyes on the King of Kings, Lord of Lords and the Creator of the Universe! Why that was shocking! But the truth is everyone was electrified that day.

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When I looked down into those beautiful little eyes, and touched those rosy red cheeks, I knew, yes I knew what, where, whom and why this little baby boy was here! Emmanuel the prince of peace… God was finally with us! Thousands of years of prophecy fulfilled in a little tiny baby boy.

Imagine this! My heart nearly exploded in my chest! Yes, it was mixed with great joy, and great sorrow at the same time. I knew my life purpose had just been fulfilled and my service was nearly over. But, I was ready! Ready to go home, because God had just unleashed every promise He had ever made me right then before my very eyes!

Joseph and Mary brought that baby in and when they entered the temple the atmosphere changed. It was if I had heard a clap of thunder break the sound barrier. Simeon saw, felt and heard it too… and most likely everyone else.

And then I watched and listened in wonder to Simeon. Simeon and I had been waiting, waiting a long time for the consolation of Israel.

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Simeon was full of the Holy Ghost and told me God had promised him, like me, that we would not see death before we saw the LORD’s Christ.

It was dedication day at the temple…. And when the young parents handed the baby to Simeon, Simeon began to bless God! Why he could barely contain himself! I thought to myself, well I’m the prophetess, but we were all blessing God! It was his jumping up and down that made me a little nervous….

Simeon was ancient like me, I was afraid he’d drop that baby! But he didn’t but I will never forget his words….

29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:

30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,

31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;

32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

33 And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him.

34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;

35Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

God himself spoke that day through Simeon and in one look from this Holy Child to us. I saw the Face of God! Praise God! My father Phanuel, that was what his name means Face of God!

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My Father, My Redeemer , My Husband was right before us all! What a glorious day!

Seeking God’s Treasure,

Marlene Hoenig
Cinderella Released from ashes to beauty to declare His Glory!

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Come Out of Death, Trauma and Darkness – Josh Miles Music

Removing the Grave Clothes

June 30, 2010 in life with 7 Comments


This is weighing heavily on my mind lately.

When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.  Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.

The story of Lazarus is the story of us.

If you’ve never read it, it’s in John 11. Take the time to read it if it’s new to you.  I’ve heard it and read it many times myself, and I’ve always focused on the fact that Jesus was deeply moved and mourned the loss of his friend (knowing very well that he was going to raise him from the dead).  This story amazingly shows the truth of Jesus being fully man and fully God.

But have you ever paid any attention to the last line?  I can’t say that I always have.  But it’s profound…

“Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

You see, Lazarus was indeed raised from the dead, just as Jesus intended.  However, to everyone watching he still resembled a dead man.  Why?

Because of the grave clothes.

All of the strips of linen with spices underneath to keep ‘ole Lazarus from smelling foul in the tomb was still on him after he was resurrected.

He still appeared dead.

But he didn’t need them any longer.  Jesus had called him into life, but Lazarus was still identified by what was on him.

I think that’s why Jesus told the people to remove the grave clothes.  They had served their purpose while Lazarus lay in the tomb, but now he was called into something better.

You and I have been called out of death and into life if we follow Christ, so my question to you (and most certainly me) is:

Don’t you think it’s time we remove the grave clothes?

Do we live our lives wrapped in grave clothes, when we’ve been called out of the tomb?  Are we identified by our bindings and fetters instead of our call to freedom in Him?

I think it’s time for them to go.

And I think Jesus thinks so even more.