Thursday, 10 June 2010

LUKE (Chapter 8) - Like a sevenfold candelstick for God


Part II:
The life in the HOLY PLACE of the resurrection person

In the previous chapters of the study of luke, we saw how the priest of God was formed; namely out of sinners, lost in sin and guilt. For Jesus was willing to cleanse us, who were sinners, in His blood, and to renew us in and by His Spirit. In Chapter 7 we saw, that in Christ we may be resurrected into NEW LIFE.
In this Chapter we shall have a close look at the different kinds of priestly labor we may perform in and by Him after having been anointed for it by Him. We will discover that we have been saved by Him in order to save others! We will also discover that this labor, in its totality, makes God's light to shine as by a sevenfold, gold candlestick which was also to be seen by those who, deliberately coming out of the Forecourt, entered that Holy Place.
This candlestick consisted of a shaft (one arm with a foot on which the whole candlestick rests) in the middle, and of six branches, which come out of the shaft by twos. That shaft and those branches together give a sevenfold light. The same way the spiritual candlestick of God (namely our testimony in and by the Holy Spirit) today gives its sevenfold light in this dark world for the glorification of the wonderful Name of God. So a child of God, cleansed in the precious blood of Jesus, and renewed in and by the power of the Word and the Holy Spirit, must walk in priestly service in this world; in order to proclaim to that same world the sevenfold light of God's glory, and to reveal it. Let us have a closer look at this sevenfold Light, in sequence.

1. We must deny ourselves things and be prepared to bring sacrifices in honor of Jesus
Luke 8 verse 1-3: "And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him. And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, And Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance."
We see here, as the first light of God's candlestick, the willingness to bring a sacrifice for the use of the Gospel of God... We see here women willingly going with Jesus, Who is the Word of God, Who proclaimed His Father's Word, namely the Gospel, the Good News. They took care of all the material and financial things He needed for this. The life of each servant of God should be like this. Everything he possesses materially, should be dedicated to the increase of God's Kingdom.
There is a clear characteristic in the life of a servant of God: he is not stingy for the work of Jesus! His purse is always open for the work of his Lord. He even put all his belongings in Jesus' hands. When you see someone who is stingy with regard to Jesus' work (think of the biblical "tithe"), then you know such a person is not yet born again. Which is not to say, that a servant of God is wasteful with his money, but the Lord has full control over it. Jesus knows that His children still need money in this world for all their activities.

2. We must dedicate our life to Jesus, and labor in honor of Him alone.
A servant of God is a revealer of the Word, a proclaimer to the world of the Gospel. God's Word must be heard from his mouth. He must be a sounding board of God, that is always ready (and thus pure); an open and not a clogged channel.
Luke 8 verse 4-15: "And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be (mean)? And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. Now the (explanation of the) parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with (daily) cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth (spiritual) fruit with patience."
Here we see a sower sowing seed. The Lord explained that the seed is the Word of God that is proclaimed to the world. The Word of God comes forth from the heart of the Father. And it is God's servant, who in prayer must be open to this and having received it must sow this Seed into the hearts of the people.
Elsewhere in Scripture we read again, that the Word is the Sword of the Holy Spirit. Therefore it is the Holy Spirit, Who must wield this Sword, and neither you nor me... Again: we should not wield the Word; it is the Holy Spirit within us, Who through us must wield the Word. Then it will be a Sword. To what purpose? For the destruction of bonds of sin and powers of sin. The Word must cause the souls of the people to want to die to bonds of sin, and must deliver them from the powers of sin. But if we are not willing to be delivered, then this Sword will be judgment to us! But when we are prepared to see the evil within ourselves – by the Word revealed to us; and when we are prepared to lay our (old and sinful) life in the hands of Jesus Christ, our Lord, then this Sword of the Spirit will kill all sin in us and... deliver us from all works of satanic powers in our life (Romans 8:2).
Seen in this light, who do you think the Sower is? It is God's Holy Spirit, Who works in and by His servants... He builds the Kingdom of God! He alone is the Builder of the Kingdom of God and of the temple of our heart (Matthew 16:18; John 15;:5; Psalm 127:1-2). We are merely channels; human channels in His hand, through which the Word may flow which must come directly from the heart of the Father; and for which we pleaded, wrestling in prayer before His throne. It is His bread, the Bread of life, which we must pass on in His Name. And this Word, this Seed, is mighty Seed, which must be sowed by Him Himself working through His servants. In this parable are mentioned four cases of reception of this Seed (namely the Word) in the heart, and only in one case this event has eternal value!

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By E. van den Worm