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How nice of you to drop in and visit my page. It's actually not really about myself, but about the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a place you can come, should you find time, and find encouragement and free resources for spiritual growth. I pray you will be blessed and provoked to follow on to know the Lord intimately yourself. Seek HIM and HIS Face for HE alone is WORTHY!! He alone is lovely! Most of what is written on this blog is written by myself, during my study time with the Lord unless otherwise stated. If it's otherwise, the author's name will be included.

God is our refuge, a very present help in trouble. Psa 46:1


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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

We Must Choose The Way of Christ

This is posted on a wonderful website, Authentic Christianity.

We Must Choose the Way of Christ

**The following article is from the book - Living in the Heavenly Realms - and the chapter entitled "The Christian's Work: “ Believing and Yielding."

We often hear Christians condemning the Jews for choosing Barabbas over Jesus. And we wonder how this could have occurred. It may be helpful to realize that Barabbas represents someone who tried to further God's kingdom through his own efforts. The Son's way is to plant the seed in the ground in death and then to become fruitful in resurrection life. The way of Barabbas is to save self and then live for God through the zeal of human works. When presented with these two different ways, most people choose to save the flesh-life.

They will say, "Give us Barabbas."

But in the end it always results in the death of the Christ-life. And because it is effectively choosing carnality, this way of Barabbas is still killing others. Many have been turned away from Christ by the words that come out of the carnal hearts of professing Christians. Thus, we find this tragedy of the first century being repeated over and over again in the church today.
Someone once said, “Self is willing to permit the believer to do anything, give anything, sacrifice anything if it can only live.” People do not mind serving God if they can direct their own steps and have some of their own glory. But this is what permits Barabbas and Agag, with their carnal nature, to live.

Again, it has been said, “The Cross can only sever what you consent to part from. The severing of the Cross is not an actual experience, unless the will of the believer desires and consents to the actual separation in fact and practice.” God is very gracious. He patiently waits for each individual to make the choice to follow Jesus through the cross. Those who will honestly make the same decision that He did in the Garden of Gethsemane, can depend on the Spirit to then take them through the cross and into resurrection life in due time.

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh (Rom. 13:14)

Since the Holy Spirit only works through yielded faith, how can He provide a complete severance from the old man and all that pertains to the old creation if you are still making ample provisions for the flesh? Whatever becomes food to the flesh  is dry fodder, or the food that perishes,' to the Spirit, and vice versa.

Do not love the world or the things of the world. With the Spirit's guidance, look for the things of the world that you tend to use for your spiritual support. What is it that your flesh insists on having? Examine your habits and routines. What leads you to do what you do? Again, what do you rely on for your spiritual support? While the body does have natural desires that will need to be met, they should never have dominion over the Spirit. Are you being led by the flesh or by the Spirit? Are you still seeking to have some of your own glory through the works of your own hands? If Christ's rivers of Living Water are not yet consistently flowing out of the heart in both good times and bad times, there is something preventing it. There is a need to search the heart with the Spirit and be prepared to surrender the most dearly loved Isaac.

God has provided all things to enjoy. But He did not intend for us to live by the flesh and turn the things into idols. Once we are truly living through the life of Christ in the heavenly realms we are enabled to walk in this world without being dependent upon its things for our spiritual support. Jesus lived in the world, and He was able to enjoy God's creation, but He did not receive His life from the world. The Son came to dispossess, to displace and to dethrone that old self-life so that God may gain complete possession of the human personality. It will never do to intellectually crown Christ as a puppet King and then live under the rule of Self-desire.

Of self, for self, and by self has remained the threefold principle that governs the lives of countless members of Christ's church. A believer cannot wholeheartedly set his affections upon the things above while he is still living for the things of this world. And it is unimaginable to think that someone who has truly been seated with Christ in the heavenly realms, and has begun to share with Him in every spiritual blessing found in His life, could still be hankering for the things of earth and of time and of sense.

Some of our readers may have tasted of the heavenly life at some point in their past. But since that day they have slowly weighted themselves down with the things of this world. It has resulted in a loss of what they once possessed. If this is your case, may God give you the desire to lay aside every weight and once again look unto Jesus for His life in the heavenly realms. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. The only way to successfully combat the desires of the flesh is to implicitly obey every prompting or motion of the Spirit, be it ever so slight. Whether it be a warning, a check, a leading, or a teaching, all must be followed. Do not permit others to turn you away from truth with their human wisdom and rationalizations. You must listen to the Lord. Those who will yield to the leading of His Spirit in all matters, even though it may result in some difficulties and suffering, can depend on Him to faithfully take them into the life of promise where it is possible to reign with Him over all the works of the flesh.

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith {so you may fully trust in God}, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now {in the lives of Christians in this world} and forever. Amen. (Jude 20-25)

In closing, we pray that each of God's called-out children will honestly seek the Lord in faith. There is a life of promise within the heavenly realms, and we need to begin living there today. Every member of the body needs to submit to the work that God has previously planned to work out through their lives. (Eph. 2:10) It is our only means for truly revealing His light of life and drawing other spiritually poor and lost souls out of the darkness of this world and into His heavenly kingdom on the highest plane.

He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things. And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. (Eph. 4:10-16)

When I read this article, I was very much convicted by the truth it contains. I can only add this quote from the late Pastor BH Clendennen "If we will make the right choice, God will enforce it."

Monday, January 9, 2012

Divine Order in the House of God, Part 1: The Tabernacle

This is a very revealing study on why there is such a famine for the actual Presence and Power of God among many of His people today. To read the entire notes, you may find them here. I must warn you, this is a word many will reject because it leaves no room for anyone but God's Holy Spirit to operate and be glorified. There is no provision for human nature, human wisdom, human effort in God's plan, in God's House. This is an offensive truth to many church goers. Still-we must realize it is so much better to listen to and take heed to this awesome God who never makes a mistake, is never wrong, never forgets or leaves anything out, and is infinitely wiser than we could ever be. 

I'm just going to list the highlights of this in depth study. Ask yourself how can we know the divine order-or God appointed order of His House? We go to the Word, we study, and we pray and ask Him to help us understand what He is saying in His Word. Specific Scripture References are given in the notes, but you can read this outlined in Exodus, Chapters 25-30, and chapter 40.

1. The first example of divine order in the House of God is that only God gives the Pattern for the House
of God, its service, its ministry, who is to operate in this ministry and service, how and when. It is not
up to man how to run the House of God, nor is it to be man's decisions on whom shall serve in the
House of God.  God set the requirements for their service.   

2. Every bit of material, every structure, every piece of furniture that was to go into the Tabernacle, everything  was going to be sacred, and set apart for divine service. (We are to live unto and for and by the power of God, serving Him in the power of His Holy Spirit, not serving ourselves, for we are not to live for ourselves, continuing to function in our own natural strength and reasoning and doing it our own way.)

3. The Tabernacle was called the Tent of the Congregation and the Tabernacle of Witness. These two
titles convey important truths. A gathering place of God's people, so He could be close to them, and a
place that would reveal to them His character, His nature and His Word. When we go to the House of God, it is to be a set apart place where we gather to worship God, learn of God, and fellowship with God and in the process be strengthened by God. We are to go to give ourselves, our praise, our worship, to God, not just going to get something from Him.The Word we hear should confirm what He has been teaching us at home. And yes, we should be seeking Him at home, spending time alone with Him ourselves. 

4. The Tabernacle was to be erected at the appointed time, by the people God appointed to set it up.  This was not work one could choose or not choose to do, or do it his own time or his own way; it was a calling God gave only to a select group of people. It was to be put up on the first day of the first month of the year. God told them it was to mark the beginning of the calendar year. He's the Beginning of everything, amen? And what would the Tabernacle be but a place, a vessel that would contain the Presence, Power and
Word of God? This leaves no place for people to get upset over something they don't like and go start their own church, now does it? It's God's way, not ours. He is to choose the minister, the singers, the teachers, the workers. Amen? He never makes mistakes for He knows the hearts. With God in control there will be no idolaters or adulterers in the pulpit, folks, nor in the Sunday school rooms or the choir.

5.  We see here a picture of the Tabernacle-a foreshadowing of Christ, surrounded by flesh. He was at
the Center. He is to have the Preeminence in all things. He is the Source of all life, of all that is holy,
and all that is true. The Divine Design of the Tabernacle speaks of the order of God.

6. The Tabernacle itself was to be anointed with the holy anointing oil, and all that was in it. Every vessel, every dish, every bowl, every piece of furniture, everything was to be anointed with the oil. This sanctified it and qualified it to be in the service of the Tabernacle of God.  It was to hallowed---pronounced, and observed, regarded  by all as holy or hallowed. (This illustrates the necessity of being born of, filled with and led by the Holy Spirit. His Presence in us sanctifies, or sets us apart for God's divine purpose.)

7. It was to be a sacred place, set apart by and for the ministry to God and of God and His high priest. Nothing else. Service was to be done in there to God, that the people might be blessed and fed spiritual truth-the Word of God. There was to be bread, which is the Word of God. There was to be oil for the light in the Tabernacle. This is the Holy Spirit who gives light, or understanding to the hearer of the Word, and makes it alive within them-makes it a reality not just a dead letter. There was to be light--revelation-again from the Holy Spirit who alone is able to reveal truth to us, to reveal Christ to us.

8. There was to be incense offered up before the Ark, on the golden altar of incense which stood in
front of the Ark just outside the veil in the Holy Place. This golden altar represents the intercession of
the High Priest, Christ, that is before the Throne with the prayers of the saints. The incense is the prayers of the saints, offered up to the throne of God with the coals of fire from the brazen altar of sacrifice that tested the purity of the incense, offered with the fragrance and intercession of Christ to make them acceptable. This means these prayers must also be inspired by and aided by the Holy Spirit for we know not what or how to pray as we should. Anything that is not hid in Christ, or tries to goes to the throne not through Christ will be rejected. He said His House was to be a House of Prayer. There was to be regular and special times of communication with God. Prayers from people not sanctified, not set apart who are casual about the things of God can and will bring judgment and wrath-not answers. (See Lev. 10) For a minister to lead people who aren't serious about the things of God in prayer is to lead them into gross sin against God. They offer strange fire-something that is the result of human inspiration, human effort, human desires, to God. There is no provision for flesh in His Presence. 

9. Every vessel in the Tabernacle, including the Tabernacle itself, every instrument had its own God
appointed service just as we are to abide in the calling wherewith God has called us. He did not
consult with Moses and ask Moses who he wanted to do any of these things. God chose the people He
wanted to do what needed doing when it was to be done. The leadership is to be chosen by the Holy Spirit and the resulting choices men make concerning those who will be serving and ministering in the House of God must be given to them by the Lord as they seek Him in prayer. 

10. Every vessel (person operating in the ministry or service of the Tabernacle) had to be sanctified-which means it was or they were set apart by and for God for the purpose He chose.  This Tabernacle was only to be used in the service to and for God-as He prescribed. He alone was the Source of life, help, provision and deliverance to His people.

*****God never granted any reason or precedent to even wonder if there were any exceptions. He left no room for drama teams and plays, no political activism, no skits, no bake sales, puppet shows, dance and praise teams, no singings or fund raisers, power teams or pagan holiday celebrations-except for those He prescribed which pointed to spiritual truth and His Son. This is flesh trying to raise money to fulfill its religious desires because God will not. Sometimes these are sincere and want to do good, but we must operate within the bounds God set.

11. Right outside the Door of the Tabernacle-another illustration of Christ who is the Door-the only
entrance into God's Presence, was to be the bronze laver. This was a basin to be filled with water. The
priests were commanded to wash their hands and feet before entering the holy place inside the
Tabernacle. To enter without washing meant death. This shows us it's necessary that those who
approach God must have clean hands and clean feet. They must be living clean and honest lives-according to God's ways not man's nor their own ideas. 

Now you ask yourself this: when Israel walked in the will of God, did He not provide for their every need?  Did He not ensure they left Egypt with everything they would need in a wilderness to build this Tabernacle? He provided everything.  It's only when we operate in the natural realm we run out of provision and have to either hit our knees and cry out to God or resort to other methods and human effort.  

There were to be no worldly things or events in or around the Tabernacle, like bingo games, trunk or treat or any other thing that would entertain the flesh. This is an offensive truth to people and it provokes that human nature that is always opposed to God and what is holy. I have diligently searched this Holy Word of God and can find NO precedent, no allowance for any of these things that are so common in what is supposed to be His house today.  It's simply not there. Maybe that is why His glory and His presence isn't either. I do find Him instructing us to put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make NO provision for the flesh. To do so, to bring any of the world's methods of operating in to the Sanctuary is to profane it, defile it and can and will result in bringing God's judgment and wrath down on it and the people. He will not bear witness of what is not truth nor what He refuses to sanction.