Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Living and working in the spiritual sabbath´s rest (peace) of God

Psalm 92
Psalm 92:1-3 "It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto Thy Name, O most High: To shrew forth Thy loving-kindness in the morning, and Thy faithfulness every night, Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound."
The psalmist sang this psalm on the Sabbath and exalted YaHWeH with his song. In the Old Covenant God, according to His law, commanded for the Sabbath day to be kept holy.
Deuteronomy 5:12 "Keep the Sabbath day (the seventh day, with us the Saturday) to sanctify it, as the Lord Thy God (YaHWeH) hath commanded thee."
In the Old Covenant God expressed His will through a day of rest, which his people had to sanctify. God wanted to teach His people to dedicate their thoughts, works and their lives to Him alone, in order that He, through the inspiration of His Spirit, could fill His people with His will and His Word, so that they, being delivered from the influence of the enemy, could learn to rest fully in His will and Word. Even now, under the New Covenant, He wants this; He wants us to do this continuously, and not to desecrate this rest in Him.
In order to teach man this in the Old Covenant, He commanded in His law (the ten commandments), that His people should rest from their labors once a week, namely on the Sabbath day, and that they should sanctify this day by dedicating it to Him. In the Old Covenant He had to express His spiritual purpose for man through a shadow image, because man then could not yet understand His will, because the Rebirth of God did not yet exist; for only a bornagain person can conquer sin in His power and grace, and rest in His will and Word. This was really God's purpose when He introduced the Sabbath day in the Old Covenant.
Colossians 2:16-17 "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holiday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."
In the Old Covenant this was still to come, but now the Body of Christ must fulfil God's true purpose, namely to rest always in His will and Word, and must not desecrate this rest by falling into sin again. If, in the Old Covenant, God commanded this for ONE day, for us, under the New Covenant, we should dedicate EVERY day to Him, and rest in His will and Word continuously.
Romans 14:5-10 "One man esteemed one day above another: another esteemed every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regarded the day, regarded it unto the Lord; and he that regarded not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and gives God thanks. For none of us lived to himself, and no man died to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. But why dost thou judge Thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought Thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ."
The psalmist sanctified the Sabbath day, according to the Mosaic law, and he sang YaHWeH's praises and confessed Him to be the Most High in his life. We usually do this on the Sunday, but also EVERY day of the week. Let us then judge no one, whether he wishes to dedicate a specific day to God, or whether he wishes to honor Him every day. The same applies to food and drink. The one may not eat or drink in honor of God, the other does. The Lord Jesus said in
Matthew 15:11 "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth (our speech, when we judge or slight someone), this defileth a man."
Acts 10:15b "...What God hath cleansed, that call not thou (Peter) common (impure)."
Let us then judge no one, whatever he eats or drinks, because God cancelled these legalistic rules of the Old Covenant as they are symbolic of spiritual matters of the New Covenant. This also applies to the eating of black pudding. Everyone should be fully assured inwardly/in his or her own heart on the basis of God's Word (Colossians 2:16-17).

Psalm 92:4-5 "For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through Thy work: I will triumph in the works of Thy hands. O Lord, how great are Thy works! and Thy thoughts are very deep."
If we walk and live on the Way of YaHWeH's grace, and no sin or sinful state will accuse us anymore in our conscience, then there will be JOY in our hearts, poured in there by YaHWeH, and we will thank, honor and praise Him, and we will often accompany our praise with musical instruments.
Psalm 92:6-7 "A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this. When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed forever."
We praise His works and thoughts, but the unconverted people and fools are blind to these. They neither see nor understand. They do not seek God's will, but they seek worldly profits and carnal lusts and pursue pride/fame and power over people. If they continue in this they will be lost in God's condemnation, for they live and think thus in enmity with God and let themselves, unknowingly, be inspired by satan[1] in their king, their speaking and their works.
Romans 8:5-8 "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God."
We all did walk as they do (in the flesh, according to our own will), but we have now turned to God and are willing to enter into a deep and permanent relationship with Him (YaHWeH) in His heavenly Kingdom, also now that we are still on earth.
Ephesians 2:1-6 "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus."
The sinners, who do not convert to God and do not confess their sins to Him live outside/without God, even if the go to church and behave religiously, but God (Jesus Christ) does not see them, and does not hear their prayers/supplications.

CLICK HERE if you want to read more – the study is to long for the Blog.

By E. van den Worm

[1] We write the word satan not with a capital, as it is not a name, but a word meaning opponent or adversary, accuser.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

LUKE (Chapter 4) - Jesus, God’s High Priest, tried and despised by many, but... accepted by others


God's High Priest tried
As we know the Lord Jesus Christ is the revelation of the NEW MAN in his perfection. He is the First Citizen of the NEW CREATION and as such is also the High Priest of God. The NEW CREATION begins in us when we are reconciled with God, on the basis of our faith in the dear blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God, and when we – in and by the Holy Spirit – come into relationship with the risen Christ, in order to live a priestly life, a life that is in complete service to God.
The Gospel after Luke reveals both to us, Jesus as the High Priest Himself, as well as the royal priesthood, namely Christians as priests of the most high God, whom He bought from sin with His sacrificial blood (His blood shed for our sins as an offering [a ransom]), by His excellent grace. We got to know the first three chapters as a good and necessary basis of the repentant life God wants to establish in man. It is God, Who comes to us and calls us to repentance. And it is this repentance, together with the faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and Him crucified, which, as we have seen, forms the gateway to this NEW LIFE in God. Now we will look at this NEW, pure, priestly LIFE in all its facets, which God will give to those people, that, in repentance and faith, long for it intensively here. Long to share His death and resurrection (see Romans 6:3-5), which Jesus' baptism in the Jordan (river) points to. We will first look at the trial of Jesus, the High Priest, Himself; thereafter at His rejection by the one, and acceptance by the other. In the next chapter we will be able to look at the royal priesthood; these are all Christians who followed Him in His death and resurrection, and who could walk after Him by the inward working power of His relationship.
Jesus Christ, our High Priest, after He was baptized with the Holy Spirit, was tried; as also each priest of God, when he must stand in his (divine) ministry, is tried; namely herein: whether he be willing to do God's will in his life. Of a priest it is demanded that he count all of his own will and life as nothing, in order to be able to do that wonderful will of God in his life. All of one's own will, all hobbies, all desires of one's own, the social job; in short: all we have and are, what we as a human being want and desire; all these must be laid on God's altar of (burnt) offering. God must be able to do with his priest what He, in His sovereign (almighty; independent of any higher authority) Love, wants and desires. Do not we pray: "Thy will be done in heaven, as also in the earth"? Beloved, this then is God's demand for a priestly ministry, in any degree and of any nature. Hence, in regard to this demand, a priest is tried by God again and again. We are confronted with the choice again and again whether to choose the (sinful) enjoyments of the world or His pure will and service, because He calls us to a voluntary priesthood in His purity and holiness. Should we fail in our choice, and if we choose to do our own will, then God will not continue with us until we will have learned to lay off this stubbornness; until we humbly begged the Lord to deliver us from all reasons which cause us to be stubborn... Let us learn to obey and fulfill His will heartily, then we can proceed like that spiritual racer from Philippians 3:14 in increasing revelation of this NEW LIFE in our everyday life; ready to lay down all that hinders us in the race to that goal in Christ.
4 verse 1: "And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,..."
It is the Holy Ghost Who leads us into trials and puts us opposite the foe! The enemy tempts us with all the "beauties" of this world, and the Holy Spirit puts us before the choice whether to obey God's Word or... to choose that which is the enemy's. After all, He calls a voluntary people that is willing to serve faithfully and as a priest, being completely in God's service.
4 verse 2a: "(Jesus) Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing..."
For forty days Jesus was tempted by the devil! God Himself allowed this to happen. The High Priest, God's own Son, had to prove His faithfulness and willingness in His service as High Priest.
4 verse 2b: "...and when they (the forty days of fasting) were ended, he afterward hungered."
Here is a forty-day fast, prompted by the Holy Spirit! Jesus' fasting was proof of His desire to only fulfill the will of the Father in His life. One is only moved to such fasting by the work of God's Spirit. Then all hunger disappears; then the spirit experiences an intense relationship with the Holy Spirit, and we will experience His sweet dominion over us. Thus it was with Christ.
"Sacrifice and offering thou (God) didst not desire; mine (Jesus') ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. Then said I (i.e. Jesus), Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart" (Psalm 40:6-8). Then the Spirit suddenly takes away His strength from Jesus; the Spirit's protection falls away, and the Man Jesus is set before the tempter; as a result of a forty-day fast He now feels a gnawing hunger in His body, and the tempter comes to Him with all the fullness of his demonic cunning and force of temptation. This temptation really was a trial for Jesus! He was truly Man; He was the second Adam. But, He did endure and overcome; He proved to really want to serve God the Father, and not Himself, not in any respect!
He proved to be willing to be God's Servant unto the fulfillment of the sacrifice on the cross, the offering of His own life! So Jesus knew intense hunger that hurt his body! And in that situation satan[1] came to Him.
4 verse 3: "And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread."
In other words: "Use Your creative power if You are God's Son; make from this stone bread to satisfy your hunger; what stops You?"
4 verse 4: "And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God."
The Lord Jesus beat off this temptation. No, He did not want to make bread out of that stone. He first had to continue this fast until God told Him that He could stop; He wanted to live by the Word of God only; to be completely obedient to the will of God. This was the temptation of Jesus after the body. He was put before the choice to either continue serving God or to give in to His stomach's cry. A temptation of the body with the one is whether to give in to the stomach,
with the other to a different physical desire, against God's will.
Will we resist him when he comes to us in his satanic power of temptation, as Jesus resisted the devil herein? Will we let God's pure will take the upper hand in our life or... will we give in to the (strong) desire of our senses, of our body, when temptation makes it hot for us? Whom or what will we choose then? Let us follow the example of our High Priest and say, that man shall only (truly and eternally) live by every Word of God! Jesus was not to be tempted on the physical level, and the devil departed to prepare a new attack of satanic temptation.

CLICK HERE if you want to read this study (Chapter 4) – that is to long for the Blog.

By E. van den Worm

[1] We write the word “satan” not with a capital, as it is not a name, but a word meaning opponent or adversary, accuser.