Well I'm looking the world over
Looking far off into the East
And I see my baby coming
She's walking with the village priest
I feel a change coming on
And the last part of the day is already gone

We got so much in common
We strive for the same old ends
And I just can't wait
Wait for us to become friends
I feel a change coming on
And the fourth part of the day is already gone

I'm listening to Billy Joe Shaver
And I'm reading James Joyce
Some people they tell me
I got the blood of the Lamb in my voice

Everybody got all the money
Everybody got all the beautiful clothes
Everybody got all the flowers
I don't have one single rose
I feel a change coming on
And the fourth part of the day in already gone

I Feel A Change Comin' On

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I want to tread carefully with this song, because it's one that could easily be "read into" by way of interpretation. However, when the words are looked at carefully, all the words, there is something to be said about biblical spirituality and the return of Christ, believe it or not.

The most significant part of the world today is the middle part of the East, the Middle East, of course. The center of the world is and always has been at least since Christ came to earth, not the United States of America, but the city of Jerusalem.

How often does the New Testament speak of spiritual members of the Church, also the body and bride of Christ, as children or little children or infants or like a baby? Fairly often. But we need to have the assurance there is one walking with us always who is there to reassure and guide, to help and strengthen, and he is our High Priest, Jesus.

We've heard a lot about how we need to consider the world as one big village. A village can be a community within a city. As believers, we have come to the heavenly city and we are citizens of heaven because of our dependence on or faith in our Priest, whose priesthood is perpetual. He is always there to make intercession for us. We know he does this by faith because we cannot see him, yet. However . . .

A change is coming soon that will instantaneously translate us into his presence where we will see him face to face. It will be a "time" and place of glorious rejoicing. This takes us to the "last" or "fourth" part of the day already gone. In Nehemiah 9, Israel spent one fourth of the day listening to the Law. Then since the Law revealed their sins they spent another fourth of the day confessing and then worshipping because their God was a forgiving God. But what of the other two fourths of the day? It does not say. But thinking about four parts to the day, the third would be for usual service, one would think, and the fourth part perhaps for sleeping.

We know from Scripture that the hour has come for us to wake from sleep, because ultimate salvation is nearer than when we became believers. It is imminent. The next prophetic event will be the sudden translation of the Church before the time of testing and judgment begins on this earth. That's called the Day of the Lord and the Tribulation period. Believers are not destined for that and are promised to be kept from or out of that hour. The admonition and blessed hope found in the Bible is for believers to constantly be looking for this imminent event (often referred to as the rapture, but the sudden or great snatch may be more accurate). With Bob's song, we constantly look for it because, after all, the fourth part of the day, the time of sleeping, is already gone, too! His return is mighty soon. Just look to the East, Middle East, and events in and around Jerusalem.

I really like what Bob says next. As members of the body or bride of Christ, we certainly have so much in common. We fight the good fight of the faith as we wait, striving for that same old expectation as described above. That event will be amazingly glorious and we will see and be with all of our loved ones in Christ forever. There will then be time for Bob to get to be friends with all of us who love him as he loves us since we love the same Lord and Christ. He can't wait for that event because he does love us, and we should have the same disposition toward him and one another in Christ, too.

It's coming. That instantaneous change is comin' on soon, and what a day of gathering and eternal friendship and great rejoicing in the presence of Jesus our King that will be!

But never forget. A significant part of these future events is to draw Israel to her God through Jesus our High Priest as a bride is drawn to her bridegroom.

What is Bob listening to in Billy Joe and James? The thing they have in common in an anti-institutional faith in Jesus.

And yah I know, the Columbia Records approved site has "land" where it really sounds like "Lamb," but hey, what would Bob say?

The Bible does teach that God chooses the weak and the despised and the poor to this world. Many cannot afford even one rose. But hope is on the horizon.
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You will no longer be called "abandoned," and your land will no longer be called "Desolate." Indeed,
you will be called "My Delight is in Her," and your land "Married." For the Lord will take delight in you, and your land will be married to him. As a young man marries a young woman, so your sons will marry you. As a bridegroom rejoices over a bride, so your God will rejoice over you.

Jeremy 62:4-5

On the twenty-fourth day of this same month the Israelites assembled; they were fasting and wearing sackcloth, their heads covered with dust. Those truly of Israelite descent separated from all the foreigners, standing and confessing their sins and the iniquities of their ancestors. For
one-fourth of the day they stood in their place and read from the book of the law of the LORD their God, and for another fourth they were confessing their sins and worshiping the LORD their God.

Nehemiah 9:1-3

Owe no one anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For the commandments,
Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not covet, (and if there is any other commandment) are summed up in this, Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

And do this because we know the time, that it is already the hour for us to awake from sleep, for our salvation is now nearer than when we became believers. The night has advanced toward dawn; the day is near. So then we must lay aside the works of darkness, and put on the weapons of light. Let us live decently as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in discord and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to arouse its desires.

Romans 13:8-14

Now this is what I am saying, brothers and sisters: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I will tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but
we will all be changed – in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. Now when this perishable puts on the imperishable, and this mortal puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will happen,
Death has been swallowed up in victory.
Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! So then, dear brothers and sisters, be firm. Do not be moved! Always be outstanding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

I Corinthians 15:50-58

But our citizenship is in heaven – and we also await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform these humble bodies of ours into the likeness of his glorious body by means of that power by which he is able to subject all things to himself.

Philippians 3:20-21

For people everywhere report how you welcomed us and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus our deliverer from the coming wrath.

I Thessalonians 1:9-10

Now we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters,
about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, so also we believe that God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep as Christians. For we tell you this by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not go ahead of those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

I Thessalonians 4:13-18

Now on the topic of times and seasons, brothers and sisters, you have no need for anything to be written to you. For you know quite well that
the day of the Lord will come in the same way as a thief in the night. Now when they are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction comes on them, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will surely not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in the darkness for the day to overtake you like a thief would. For you all are sons of the light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of the darkness. So then we must not sleep as the rest, but must stay alert and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But since we are of the day, we must stay sober by putting on the breastplate of faith and love and as a helmet our hope for salvation. For God did not destine us for wrath but for gaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that whether we are alert or asleep we will come to life together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, just as you are in fact doing.

I Thessalonians 5:1-11

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people. It trains us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,
as we wait for the happy fulfillment of our hope in the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He gave himself for us to set us free from every kind of lawlessness and to purify for himself a people who are truly his, who are eager to do good. So communicate these things with the sort of exhortation or rebuke that carries full authority. Don’t let anyone look down on you.

Titus 2:11-15

Listen, my dear brothers and sisters! Did not God choose the poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him?

James 2:5

Because you have kept my admonition to endure steadfastly, I will also keep you from
the hour of testing that is about to come on the whole world to test those who live on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have so that no one can take away your crown.

Revelation 3:10-11