Friday, January 7, 2011

Spiritual Inheritance - do you possess ?

I know the title probably isn't enticing but in preparation of Ruth study I was reading through some notes from my Judges study. The setting of Ruth is during the time of "Judges". Seeing the setting of the book of Judges so reminds me of our nation today. Just read the following and see if you don't see some parallels.

Time of Apathy, Apostasy and Anarchy - "In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did which was right in his own eyes"

Judges 1-2 - The Failures of the nation

1. Fighting the enemy - victories and defeats, boundary lines had been determined for the 12 tribes but the
people had not fully claimed their inheritance by defeating and driving out the inhabitants of the land.

2. They spared the enemy - they neglected the Word of God. They did not endure sound doctrine but rathered had their
ears tickled. The Priests possessed a copy of the Book of Deuteronomy. They were commanded to read publicly
to the Nation every Sabbatical year during the Feast of Tabernacle (Deut 31:9-13). Deut 6 - parents were to teach
to their children.

They failed to conquer the land, they compromised with the enemy by sparing them and allowed them to live amongst them.

3. They imitated the enemy APATHY which means lack of emotion, lack of interest.
Moral Absolutes means Truth, the Word of God sets standards for life.
Situational Ethics - when we allow experiences and circumstances determine truth and not the Word of God.

The Jews became so accustomed to the sinful ways of their pagan neighbors that those ways didn't seem sinful any more. They became interested in how their neighbors worshiped, until finally Israel started to live like their enemies and imitate their ways.

Disobedience - they were to keep the Covenants with God by destroying the enemies, but Israel disobeyed the Lord and not only spared the Canaanites and their godless religious system but also began to follow the enemy's lifestlye themselves.

4. Obeying the enemy - the sin they failed to conquer, conquered them. They became enslaved to a pagan nation.

They forgot what the Lord had done, they did not know Moses or Joshua
They forsook what the Lord had said, they forgot the Word
They forfeited what the Lord had promised, they were defeated
They failed to learn from what the Lord did, he sold them into the hands of the enemy.

The nation of Israel had entered the land but they failed to conquer the land, why? They did not drive out the enemies and the nations remained.

Application: Many Christians today are "in between" in their spiritual lives. They have been delivered from Egypt by the blood of the Lamb, but they have not yet entered into their inheritance in Christ.

Canaan is an illustration of our spiritual inheritance in Christ. An inheritance that is claimed by faith. Canaan was a land of battles and blessings as is the Christian life today. Many Christians come to the place of decision (their own Kadesh-Barnea) and they fail to enter into their inheritance by faith. Instead of being conquerors (as in Joshua) they become wanderers, as described in Numbers. They will not cross the Jordah (which illustrates death to self) and step out by faith to claim what Christ has promised them.

The nation did not grow during their wilderness wandering. The nation wasted 38yrs. endured unnecessary afflictions, failed to gow and failed to honor God, all the while they were on their "death march". This is what unbelief does to Christians. We miss the blessings and spiritual growth.

Ephesians 1:3 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ"

Land of Canaan was a picture of the spirital inheritance that we can obtain, if we will only go in and possess it. Our obedience to God's Word and living by His Word, drives out the enemy as a result we have rest from our enemies. while on earth we will always have the enemy, and we are to continually drive out the enemy from our land. But God promises to go before us to drive them out causing them to be defeated in confusion.

Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7
Submit - means align yourself under God's authority. God is there to exercise authority, we are commanded to
receive it. Pray Matt 6:9-13. Think about the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives as we submit under
God's power.
Resist - urgent action, resisting is active not passive, subject preforms this action Eph 4:27 "do not give the
devil an opportunity" How laying aside deeds of darkness and putting on Jesus Christ.
Flee - future tense. Satan has no authority over the life of a Christian. As we submit to God and place
ourselves under His authority He will take care of the enemy.

Just as God told the nation of Israel I will drive out the enemy little by little until you become fruitful and take possession of the land (Ex 23:23-33. Did you notice that God says "I will drive out" that is an "absolute". They had the responsibility "You shall make no covenant with them or with their gods".

Israel's preparation for entering the promised land:
Just as God told the nation of Israel "watch for yourselves lest you forget the Lord who brought you from the land of Egypt and out of the house of slavery. You shall fear only the Lord your God and you shall worship Him and swear by His name.

God's promise to Moses was "My Presence will go with you and I will give you rest" Ex 33:14
The Jews had not rest in Egypt or during their wilderness wanderings but in the Promised land God would give them rest. Moses farewell address "For as yet you have not come to rest and the inheritance which the Lord your God is given you".

This Canaan rest is a picture of that rest that Christian believers experience when they yield their all to Christ and claim their inheritance by faith.

Question I ask - where are we, where are you in this picture of "inheritance" ?
Also when we drift away from studying God's Word and go to books of man instead where will that lead us?
Is there salvation in any other than Jesus Christ? why do we resort to man's books, wisdom, philsophy to feed us which cannot import spiritual life? Where are the pastor and teachers who hold to the plumbline of God's Word as the authority by which we live? Love is the greatest gift... may we Love the Lord God with all our heart soul and mind and as a result our love for man will be true love.

As Christ asked Peter "do you love me?" each time Jesus was asking Peter do you "agapao me" which means deeper than emotion, an unconditional deep spiritual love. but each time Peter's response was "You know that I love you" you know I "Phileo" you which means brotherly love, common interests.

Do we agapao Christ? or phileo?

Go deeper by meeting with Him in His Word. He will speak mighty and powerful and wonder truths and promises to you.

Blessings and Shalom in 2011

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The vine made into a wreath (Neil Anderson)

John 15:2
Every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit
Our goal is to abide in Christ, not to bear fruit. Jesus promised that if we abide in Him, we will bear much fruit (John1 5:5).
In order that we may bear more fruit, God the Father prunes us. Sometimes well-meaning Christians have cut too much too soon, hindering growth. A dear but sadly abused child of God pictured her experience in the following poem:
A friend of mine whose grapevines died was about to throw them away.
I said, "I'll take your vines and make something special of them today."
As I gently bent one vine, entwining round and round,
A rustic wreath began to form, potential did abound.
One vine would not go where it should, and anxious as I was,
I forced it so to change its shape, it broke--and what the cause?
If I had taken precious time to slowly change its form,
It would have made a lovely wreath, not a dead vine, broken, torn.
As I finished bending, adding blooms, applying trim,
I realized how that rustic wreath is like my life within.
You see, so many in my life have tried to make me change.
They've forced my spirit anxiously, I tried to rearrange.
But when the pain was far too great, they forced my fragile form;
I plunged far deeper in despair, my spirit broken, torn.
Then God allowed a gentle one who knew of dying vines,
To kindly, patiently allow the Lord to take His time.
And though the vine has not yet formed a decorative wreath,
I know that with God's servant's help one day when Christ I meet
He'll see a finished circle, a perfect gift to Him.
It will be a finished product, a wreath with all the trim.
So as you look upon this gift, the vine round and complete,
Remember God is using you to gently shape His wreath.
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your unconditional love and acceptance.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Ok I have to laugh I just spent an hour writing a new post and then lost it... oh well, I guess I needed to hear myself. God is good great lesson I learned about fasting.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Valiant Warriors

I've been strongly encouraged this morning In I Chronicles 12 seeing the mighty men of valor who helped David in war. They had been trained for war they could handle shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions and they were swift as the gazelles on the mountains. They crossed the Jordan while it was overflowing and put to flight many in the valley... the spirit came upon Amasai the chief of thirty "we are yours, O David & with you, O son of Jesse! peace, peace to you and peace to him who helps you; indeed, your God helps you!"
Sons of Issachar, men who understood the times with knowledge of what Israel should do... all these being men of war who could draw up in battle formation came to Hebron with a perfect heart to make David king over all Israel and all the rest also of Israel were of one mind to make David king.
May we be as sons of Issachar, one heart one mind, united together, we've been given the knowledge & understanding of HIM therefore may we be ready for action. Daniel 11:b-12a "the people who know their God will display stength and take action. and those who have insight among the people will give understanding to the many"
In my heart and mind there is peace knowing that the Lord of Hosts will go before us. I love Joshua 5:13-15 prior to Joshua crossing the Jordan to Jericho that the Lord of Hosts Jehovah Sabaoth meets Joshua, we do not enter the battle alone the battle belongs to Him. The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold Ps 46:7. May we be valiant warriors for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It's Kingdom Work!

Friday, September 24, 2010

3 Keys to the Kingdom

Well it's been a while since my last post. I recently did a study on the book of Acts and in the midst of that study I realized the significance of Matthew 16:13-20 being fulfilled in Acts 2, 8 and 10. Now we all have heard of the Apostle called Peter. He was one of the 12 disciples that walked with Jesus while He was here on earth. Peter seemed over zealous on many occasions for Jesus, cutting off the soldiers ear when they came to arrest Jesus before His crucifixion.(Matt 26:51). The night of Jesus arrest, people recognized Peter as having been with Jesus. But all three times that Peter was asked that question "he denied" knowing Jesus. (Matt 26:69-75) Can you imagine the heartache of denying Jesus when you've been with Him for those 3 1/2 yrs. Yet in our flesh we do deny Him by our actions, flirting with the world. If you think about the transformation of these disciples to apostles. Disciple means learners, Apostle means ambassador or messenger. (Zodhiates Dictionary). As you read the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John you will get the big picture of Jesus earthly ministsry and the life of these disciples. Jesus was so loving and patient with these men, even the two sons of Zebedee who asked Jesus if they could sit, one of His right and one on His left, in Heaven. (Mark 10:35-40). Or when Jesus in Matthew 26 asked them to "keep watching and praying" for one hour but yet sleep overcame them. Isn't that what happens to us at night, weariness from our day, we are trying to pray but next thing you know you've fallen asleep, what's up with that. My heart's intention is to pray but my flesh is weak. Back to the disciples and apostles, we have to remember that the Holy Spirit had not come at that time to permanently indwelt believers. Previous blogs talk about being "baptized with the Holy Spirit". Now Acts is a bridge between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, the church is birthed. The power of the Holy Spirit comes to permanently indwell believers.

Moving onto Peter, who was once a learner from Jesus, Jesus has now ascended on high into Heaven sitting at the right had of the Father forever interceding on our behalf. Awesome Truth, well worth stopping right now and meditating on this Truth. In Acts we see a major change in Peter and the others... they are now called Apostles. Ok, now my brain just took a quick turn to what is an Apostle? Bear with me a moment. From the study on Spiritual Gifts, the gift of Apostle is one sent forth (Vines Dict). We see this in Eph 4:11 "He gave some apostles" Apostle, ambassador. The Lord used the word apostle to indicate the distinctive relation to the twelve whom He chose to be His witnesses, office instituted by Christ. Then we have the word Apostleship - a sending, a missions. The original 12 according to scriptures. Equipping the saints, ,appointed by God, authority over unclean spirits, healed diseases, delegated orders, wonders & signs, they were part of the foundation of the church, they revealed the mysteries of Christ, they discerned false apostles. (Heb 3:1, Eph 4:11-13, I Cor 12:28-29, Matt 10:4, Acts 1:25, 2:43, 5:12, Heb 2:1-4)

In Matthew 16:13-20 we see another encounter of Jesus with His disciples. He asks them an amazing question and guess who answered right Peter! Jesus asking "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" some made a few comments but Peter is the one who says "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" and Jesus response to him was "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you but My Father who is in heaven. "I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church (future tense) and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. Now Peter's name means Petros, now Petros always means a stone, never a rock. It is a large stone, a piece or fragment of a rock, such as a man might throw. Now the word "rock" that Jesus uses is the word "petra" which means massive rock. Now Jesus is telling Peter that upon His confession upon who Jesus is, Jesus will build His church upon that confession, not upon Peter himself. Hint Hint! 3 keys. Now we see this played out in Acts 2 when Jesus laid the foundation of the church among the Jews on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) Samaritans (Acts 8) also among the Gentiles in (Acts 10). I love Ephesians especially about the "mystery of the church" Jew and Gentile in one body. Ephesians 2:19-22 "we are no longer strangers and aliens but we are fellow citizens with the saints and are of God's household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles (12) and prophets, Christ Jesus being the corner stone, in whom the whole building being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in hom you also are built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit"
What I see is the 12 disciples learners now being called apostles who were being prepared during Jesus earthly ministry to go forth as messengers with the "gospel" they were eyewitness to Jesus death, burial and resurrection. Who better to help lay the foundation of the church with Christ being the precious corner stone. Now in Peters confession of who Jesus was we go further as to what Jesus told Peter "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven". Zodhiates footnote gives a great explanation of what could be a very difficult passage. "before these verses can be correctly understood, a distinction must be made between the "church" and the kingdom of heavens. The Church is representative of the body of believers here on earth while the kingdom of the heavens is made up of both the earthly and heavenly realms. The teaching here is that those things which are conclusively decided by God in the kingdom of heaven, having been so decided upon, are emulated by the Church on the earth. The Church is made up of true believers who acknowledge the deity of Jesus Christ as Peter did. Christ is the "Rock" upon which the Church is built (I Cor 3:11). There is no reference made here to the binding or loosing of persons".

Hopefully to bring this thought to a conclusion. When we go to Acts we see Peter as the head and mouthpiece of the Twelve. He was the first to confess and the first to deny His Lord and Savior. He was the leading apostle from the day of Pentecost to the Council of Jerusalem. As Jesus told him He would give him the "keys". We see in Acts 3 doors being unlocked for the gospel to go forth. First in Acts 2 to the "Jews", Acts 8 to the "Samaritan" th Acts 10 to the Gentiles.
The mystery of the church is unveiled, Jew and Gentile in one body. There was a foundation to be laid Jesus was preparing these 12 Apostles during His earthly ministry, they were human beings like you and I, yet they were all vessels used by God to do a supernatural work. The foundation has been laid and the building is being built, we the body of Christ are being built upon the confession "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" the gospel. The great commission "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age" Matt 28:19-20. While you are going be a witness that's what the Apostle's did and amazing doors were open. We've been equipped, we are those living stones that make up the church. Our foundation is strong and will never be destroyed because it was built by God Himself. So no matter what the world may say about the Church, the gates of hades will not prevail.
Are you significant, yes so be that living epistle to be seen and read of by all men. Grace to you my friends. Denise

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Covenant Study

Today was our first time to gather for introduction to Covenant. I've done this study multiply times but I have to say after being 3 weeks into homework I'm amazed at what God shows me once again. I'm so excited for the ladies in what they will be learning in the next 12 weeks during this course. Once you've done Covenant and then you start building up this truth with other scriptures you see God's redemption at work. One thought that comes to my mind is "soothing" kinda of an odd thougt but it's exactly how I feel. Our Sovereign God at work before the foundations of the world until the end when He makes all things final. The big picture the final picture. Yet in the midst of this He was thinking of "you" and His love for you that He provided a way that we might all be set free from the penalty of sin, power of sin and the presence of sin. In previous blogs I wrote on Pentecost and the Holy Spirit. The beauty of the transformation within by the power of the Holy Spirit so that we might want to walk in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. Our Covenant keeping God has a plan for each one of us and that is by hearing of the gospel and believing by faith we enter into a Covenant with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus paid it all, Jesus blood was shed, His blood does truly wash us whiter than snow... it is not by my works but only through the shed blood that we now have access to the One and True living God. Our Covenant keeping God, it is an eternal Covenant. What freedom we have been given.... if you have trusted Him as your Lord and Savior you are now wearing His robe of righteousness. What an honor and high calling that we have been given, may we bring Him everlasting glory. So much more to say, we will be discovering much more truth in the weeks ahead in our study. Time to go, heading out to the night class.... Blessings

Monday, August 16, 2010

Our identification in the body of Christ

Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but wait for what the Father had promised, “Which, He said, “you heard from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’ Acts 1:4-6

What is very interesting is the definition of this word "baptized". As you look at the context of where a word is mentioned. The context will determine the definition.
Baptized defined:
• The word “baptized” baptizo, comes from bapto (meaning to dip) and is “to immerse, submerge, overwhelm, or saturate.”
• It is “the introduction or placing of a person or thing into a new environment or into union with something so as to alter its condition or relationship to its previous environment or condition.” It means to be identified with.
• Boice says, “The clearest example that shows the meaning of baptize is a text from the Greek poet, and physician Nicander, who lived about 200 B.C. It is a recipe for making pickles and is helpful because it uses both words. Nicander says that in order to make a pickle, the vegetable should first be ‘dipped’ (bapto) into boiling water and then ‘baptised’ (baptize) in the vinegar solution. Both verbs concern the immersing of vegetables in a solution. But the first is temporary. The second, the act of baptizing the vegetable, produces a permanent change.’ Bible Study Magazine, James Montgomery Boice, May 1989.

What's the difference in the Old Testament verses New Testament in regards to the Holy Spirit?
Old Testament we know that when we see the mention of the Holy Spirit as coming and going. The Holy Spirit did not permanently indwell a believer. Ezekiel 36:25-27 we see the promise of the Holy Spirit to come.
In Acts we see the transition of the Old Covenant to the New Covenant. The Holy Spirit has come to permanently indwell believers. The pickle definition confirms that it cannot be undone. What you see through the Epistles is that each letter is addressed to believers, alot on their "walk" "their behavior" "fruit of the spirit" etc. How to live in our Christian walk. Our Sanctification. How the Spirit works in the life of a believer.

The Term “baptism of the Holy Spirit is not used in the Word of God. However, there are six references in which the words “baptized with the Holy Spirit” are used.
A preposition precedes “Holy Spirit” in each of these verses. The preposition en is translated either “with”, “in” or “by”.

• Mark 3:11 “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire”
• Mark 1:8 “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit”
• Luke 3:16 “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire”.
• John 1:33 “He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit”
Matt 28:18-20 “Although “baptized with the Holy Spirit” is not used in these verses, this is the other place in the gospels where both “baptizing and” and “Holy Spirit” are used together.
• And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go, therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always even to the end of the ages.”
• I Corinthians 12:13 is the last passage in the Word of God that uses the words “baptized” and the “Holy Spirit”. The prepositional phrase en “by” can be translated “in,” “with”, or “by”.
o For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

Jesus speaking to the Apostles:
Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
• We see the fulfillment of Acts 1:4-8 in Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost. Mystery of the church. Our identification into one body. No longer separated. Jesus tore down that barrier wall at the cross. Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek (Gentile).
o When? Day of Pentecost – Fifty days after Passover & Firstfruits.
o Who? Jew and Gentile into one body = beginning of the Church
o What? Baptized = identification into one body.
• Who? When? Acts 2 – Salvation to the Jews first. (However not all Jews believed)
• Who? When? Acts 8 – Salvation to the Samaritans – more later
• Who? When? Acts s10 – Salvation to the Gentiles – more later

Day of Pentecost has come, the Apostles who were told to wait in Jerusalem for the promise to come. You will be baptized (identified) with the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be My witnesses…. Permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit. There was now a permanent change within. What was once not there is now living within each believer. We are about to hear Peter who once denied Jesus now witness about Him with great boldness. What must take place for this gift of the Holy Spirit to take place? Allowing scripture to interpret scripture, Ephesians 1:14-15 "In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, Who is given as a pledge of our inheritance,....

According to scripture they were sealed with the Holy Spirit upon listening to the message of truth and believing they were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (back to that promise in the Gospels).

The baptism of the Holy Spirit according to scripture takes place at salvation. The believer upon hearing and believing the gospel is baptized "identified" into the body of Jesus Christ. Acts is the beginning of the church what was a mystery is now being revealed to the 12 Apostles first and then Peter with boldness "declares the mighty acts of God" to others and many more were added to the church that day.

Continuation to follow………………