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Jesus and the Outer Court of the Tabernacle

The Outer Court (or Court of the Tabernacle) points to Jesus

source: ferrelljenkins.wordpress.com

source: ferrelljenkins.wordpress.com

Christ, just as does every part of the Tabernacle of Moses.  In this post we will see the beautiful picture of the holiness and the redemption of Jesus Christ in the walls and gate of the Outer Court.

Exodus 27:9-18

You shall also make the court of the tabernacle. For the south side there shall be hangings for the court made of fine woven linen, one hundred cubits long for one side. 10 And its twenty pillars and their twenty sockets shall be bronze. The hooks of the pillars and their bands shall be silver. 11 Likewise along the length of the north side there shall be hangings one hundred cubits long, with its twenty pillars and their twenty sockets of bronze, and the hooks of the pillars and their bands of silver.

12 “And along the width of the court on the west side shall be hangings of fifty cubits, with their ten pillars and their ten sockets. 13 The width of the court on the east side shall be fifty cubits. 14 The hangings on one side of the gate shall be fifteen cubits, with their three pillars and their three sockets. 15 And on the other side shall be hangings of fifteen cubits, with their three pillars and their three sockets.

16 “For the gate of the court there shall be a screen twenty cubits long, woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, made by a weaver. It shall have four pillars and four sockets. 17 All the pillars around the court shall have bands of silver; their hooks shall be of silver and their sockets of bronze. 18 The length of the court shall be one hundred cubits, the width fifty throughout, and the height five cubits, made of fine woven linen, and its sockets of bronze.

The Materials of the Outer Court

As we saw in Jesus and the Tabernacle Materials every item used in the construction of the Tabernacle had a divine purpose and meaning:

  • The walls of the Outer Court were made from hangings of fine woven linen = the Righteousness of Christ
  • Its 20 pillars and 20 sockets for the pillars were made of bronze = judgment against sin
  • The hooks and bands of the pillars were made of silver = redemption

The Outer Court is a picture of Christ. Christ came in His righteousness as our redemption. He took our place, as a substitutionary atonement in God’s judgment against sin.

The Outer Court and the Law of God.

source: signature9.com

source: signature9.com

The Outer Court is also a picture of the Law of God. The Tabernacle was surrounded by a wall of fine linen hangings. This wall kept the Holy of Holies, where God’s Shekinah Glory dwelt, separate from the outside world. Each person upon approaching God’s dwelling place, the Tabernacle, was confronted by this huge 7.5 foot-high wall of fine linen.

As we know, fine linen speaks to us of righteousness. At the front of the Tabernacle an individual was confronted with the wall of the holy standard of God’s righteousness upon their approach to Him. How could they enter this holy and righteous place? How could they scale this wall of righteousness? How could they get to a holy God?

The Bible says “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear” Isaiah 59:2

The sinner is separated from the holiness of God because of the defilement of his sin. The fact is, the sinner cannot approach a holy God in his own righteousness. The Bible says that:

“…we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;” Isaiah 64:6

Just as each person was confronted with the wall of God’s righteousness at the Tabernacle, so this is true of today as well. Each sinner needs to be confronted with God’s holy bible-cover-pagerighteousness – His Law, the 10 commandments, to see that he cannot measure up to God’s standards of holiness. God is perfectly good, perfectly Holy, perfectly righteous. But we are not.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

Once we are confronted with His righteousness we see that there is no way to scale the wall into His righteousness. There is no way we can get in on our own.

We are lost, without hope.

But…the Outer Court had a Gate.

The GATE

source: poliges.com

source: poliges.com

“For the gate of the court there shall be a screen twenty cubits long, woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, made by a weaver…”

God, in His marvelous grace, has of course made a way into His presence.

But…. there is only ONE way. And that is through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

An individual could only enter the Outer Court through one gate on the east side of the Tabernacle.

The walls were so high that anyone trying to climb over them could have plunged to their death. This speaks of the sinner trying to work his way, or climb his way, up to God. It doesn’t work, for we will never be good or holy enough to meet God’s standards. The way of the flesh only leads to death.

“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.” John 10:1

But there was this gate and it was the way, the only way, into the presence of God, into Life. The gate had a screen woven of blue, purple and scarlet thread as well as fine linen.

Jesus Himself said: “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved…” John 10:9 (NIV)

The gate, of course, speaks to us of Christ:

  • The fine linen= His righteousness,
  • The colours = His heavenly nature (blue), His royalty (purple) and His sacrifice (red).
source: catechismway.blogspot.com

source: catechismway.blogspot.com

We see that there is only one way into the presence of a Holy God, and that is through the gate, the Person of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Just as none could enter the Tabernacle and approach God from any other way except through the gate, so it is the same today. No one can approach God any other way than through Jesus Christ.

We come through Him, we come through the Gate.

Going through the gate we enter through Him. We come through His righteousness (linen), His heavenly nature (blue), His Kingship (purple) and His sacrifice (scarlet).

Then when a person was in the Outer Court of the Tabernacle they too were separated from the world. This speaks of the holiness of God and the separation of man from the world unto Him.

Upon entering through the Gate, immediately the individual is met with the Brazen Altar.

Next post:   Jesus and the Brazen Altar

Previous post: Jesus and the Tabernacle Materials


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Jesus and the Tabernacle Materials

source: templestudy.com

source: templestudy.com

This post follows on from The Tabernacle of Moses and the Cross

Firstly it is important to note that it is possible to study the Tabernacle in 2 ways:

  1. God unto man: From the Holy of Holies out to the Outer Court.  This is the path of Sovereign grace
  2. Man unto God: From the Outer court into the Holy of Holies. This is the walk of faith

 

source: tabernacleofmoses.org

source: tabernacleofmoses.org

The first approach, God unto man, shows that unless God first comes to man, man can in no way approach God and stand in His holy presence. This is the order of Sovereign grace – where God comes out from His throne in Heaven to earth to meet the sinner in redeeming love.

However we will study it the second way – man’s walk of faith unto God. “As man comes to God he must begin at the Gate, accept the Blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ. From there on he progresses step by step, line upon line, until he comes to the ultimate, the full Glory of God, as seen in the Most Holy Place.” (KJ Conner)

 

The Materials Used in the Construction of the Tabernacle

Nothing is by accident, coincidence or haphazard with God. He is ordered and everything has a definite purpose. Everything in His Word is there for a reason. Even the materials used in the construction of the Tabernacle communicate to us His eternal truths.

As we saw at the end of The Tabernacle of Moses and the Cross the materials used in the Tabernacle were willingly offered to God by the children of Israel:

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering. And this is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, and bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, and goats’ hair; ram skins dyed red, badger skins, and acacia wood; oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate. And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.” Exodus 25:1-9

Each material used speaks to us something important. As we look at each, something becomes apparent :

They all represent something about Jesus Christ and His atonement and point forward to Him.

Let us take a look at each material used:

Material Represents
Gold Deity, divine nature of Christ
Silver Redemption (the atonement of Christ, the money paid to Judas to betray Him, who is the ransom for us)
Brass Judgment against sin
Precious stones The gifts of the Holy Spirit, the preciousness of God’s own people
Fine linen Righteousness
Shittim (acacia) wood The Humanity of Christ
Oil The Holy Spirit
Spices Used in the anointing oil and the incense: represent Christ and His nature and the imparting of Christ’s nature to the believer. The incense represents prayer (See Jesus and Incense for more info on this)
Blue Heavenly/divine nature – like the colour of the heavens
Purple Royalty, Kingship – this was the most precious colour in ancient times
Scarlet Sacrifice – the colour of blood
Goats’ hair Atonement for sin – ie. a goat died to provide its hair
Rams skins Atonement for sin – ie. a ram died to provide its skin
Badgers’ skins The humanity or the outward appearance of Christ; atonement

 

Next post : Jesus and the Outer Court of the Tabernacle


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What I Learnt from an Imposter

maguires.movies.blogspot.com

maguires.movies.blogspot.com

I met him on the street and shared the gospel with him. Weeping bitterly on the street, not caring who saw him, he seemed to genuinely repent of his sins. The next time I saw him he seemed completely different, happy, in control. To me that demonstrated the “fruit” of true salvation.

How wrong I was.

One may wonder if it is even possible that somebody could pretend to be a Christian. Yes, it’s definitely possible. Paul says in 2 Timothy 3:13

“But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived”.

So here are some things that I learnt from 4 confusing, consuming months with an imposter:

  • That it is so important to be able to recognize other people after the Spirit, rather than according to the flesh. 2 Corinthians 5:16.

 

  • That we need to be able to test the spirits. (1 John 4:1) Even though someone may have amazing “revelations”, quote scripture, do all the right things, seem spiritual, this can all be a facade. We need to listen to the Spirit. Is there a check in our spirit regarding this person? Ask God for the gift of discernment.

 

  • Never to put any human being EVER before my own children (yes, sadly I had to learn this lesson)

 

  • To listen to my husband and my father, especially because they are Christians. Sadly, as Eve was deceived by Satan, it does seem to be easier for women, in general, to be deceived than men.

 

  • That my desperation to see “results” of my work in the gospel had opened the door to the enemy.  Christ should always be the centre – not our ministry, not results, not fruit.

 

  •  That I should not be too quick to trust, but at the same time, not become hard and cynical.  Trust needs to be earned.

 

  • That the devil seeks to consume us. Consume time, energy, spiritual life, emotional well-being. Any way he can destroy us through exhaustion/burn out he will attempt it.

 

  • That God is not the author of confusion nor disorder, but of peace. (1 Corinthians 14:33). If there is confusion, disorder, if things seem to becoming undone and out of control then the situation is not of Him.

(On this note, God gave me a dream around this time:

In the dream I invited a new friend to my home I believed to be

maniacworld.com

maniacworld.com

spiritual.  Suddenly and unexpectedly this friend started throwing furniture around my home. It was scary, confusing and out of control. This is exactly what the devil will do if you give him right of access in any way.) 

  • That an imposter can have a lying spirit and so will tell you things that they can’t possibly know without some sort of supernatural help. What this guy told me I thought was from God, when his source was actually Satan.

 

  • That because God knew my heart was sincere towards Him  and that because I really did seek God’s will for my life, God did not let the situation go any further or for any longer than He had pre-determined according to His sovereign will. In a period of 48 hours God exposed the lies and deception of the imposter completely and entirely.

 

  • That God is kind. I mean really so KIND. Even when we make mistakes and mess things up. He was so gentle with me during this time, especially during the period that He removed the veil of deception from my eyes. By this time my body was steeped in physical exhaustion, my emotions were all over the place and my faith was flagging. God knew, and He was oh-so gentle with me. He upheld me and I will never, ever forget His gentle kindness towards me – His imperfect, erring servant.

 

  • That God is still in control in the chaotic situations of our lives – IF we are truly yielded to Him.

 

  • That God used this situation to teach us so much. Discernment, wisdom, knowing others after the Spirit can unfortunately only be learned through hard-experience.

 

The hard and confusing thing about this situation was that we really did love this guy. We sincerely wanted to see him saved. We truly wanted to be used of God. We had a zeal for God, but not the wisdom to accompany it.

Even though this was one of the hardest times I have experienced, God used it and taught us greatly and abundantly. Now years later, I see the fruit and depth of that experience in us and blessing others. I pray that this post will speak to someone who may be going through a similar situation. I pray others will learn through my mistakes.  May God bless you with His kindness, wisdom and discernment.

“I will also tear off your veils and deliver My people out of your hand, and they shall no longer be as prey in your hand.  Then you shall know that I am the Lord.  Because with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad…” Ezekiel 13:21, 22

Belinda 🙂

 


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The Tabernacle of Moses and Jesus

source: templestudy.com

source: templestudy.com

God gave Moses a divine plan in building the Tabernacle :

“According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so shall you make it.” Exodus 25:9

Moses was required to build the tabernacle exactly to the plan which God gave Him.

“They served in a system of worship that is only a copy, a shadow of the real one in heaven. For when Moses was getting ready to build the Tabernacle, God gave him this warning: “Be sure that you make everything according to the pattern I have shown you here on the mountain.”” Hebrews 8:5

It was divided into three different areas within it.

source: tabernacleofmoses.org

source: tabernacleofmoses.org

There was the Holy of Holies, the Holy Place and the Outer court.

Each area had its own pieces of furniture. The furniture was also to be made exactly to the pattern that God gave Moses.

 

The Purpose of the Tabernacle

When Moses was on the mountain with God, God said to him:

“…let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.” Exodus 25:8

The purpose of the Tabernacle was for God to dwell among His people, in order to guide them and to bless and provide for them.

God has always desired fellowship with man. We see this with God’s dealings with Adam and Eve, with Israel and with the followers of Christ – His Church. In fact the Tabernacle of Moses points ultimately to Jesus Christ as it is a picture of God dwelling amongst man.

In John 1:14 we read:

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

The word “dwelt” here literally means to “pitch a tent”. It is from the Greek word skenoo

“…This word skene (tent) is the very word used in the New Testament to refer to the tabernacle of God used by Israel in their early worship of God. If you remember, the tabernacle was a wooden structure with a tent pitched over the top. In the Greek New Testament therefore, the word translated “tabernacle” is skene — “the tent” (Acts 7:44; Hebrews 8:2, 5, and chapter 9). Hence, when the glory of God descended to the earth to take up residence in the midst of Israel as described in Exodus 40:34-38, it could be said that God “pitched His tent” among men. The writer of the book of Hebrews calls it “the true tent [skene] that the Lord set up” (Hebrews 8:2). The glory of God went camping with Israel as Israel wandered in the wilderness.” (source: http://www.awordfromtheword.org/dwelt)

When Jesus became a Man and dwelt among us, it was the ultimate fulfillment of the Tabernacle of Moses. Here was God not only dwelling amongst human beings, but God dwelling in human flesh Himself. How merciful that God would take on human flesh to bring about fellowship with man again!

And now, as believers in Christ, God Himself dwells (tabernacles) in us. By His Holy Spirit God now dwells not only with man, but inside of man. The incredible kindness and mercy of God!

“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? ” 1 Corinthians 6:19 

The Tabernacle of Moses shows us many things:

  • That God desires fellowship with His people;
  • That God always is the one to initiate fellowship between Him and man;
  • That God has a plan to bring that fellowship about;
  • That God clearly shows man how to have fellowship with Him
  • That man must approach God in the way in which God appoints;
  • That the tabernacle points to Christ dwelling with and in man and
  • That Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of the tabernacle

 

Blessings in Christ! 

 

Next…The Tabernacle of Moses and the Cross

 


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In the Secret of His Presence

In the secret of His presence

Source: favim.com

Source: favim.com

  How my soul delights to hide!
Oh, how precious are the lessons
  Which I learn at Jesus’ side!
Earthly cares can never vex me,
  Neither trials lay me low;
For when Satan comes to tempt me,
  To the secret place I go

When my soul is faint and thirsty,
  ’Neath the shadow of His wing
There is cool and pleasant shelter,
  And a fresh and crystal spring;
And my Savior rests beside me,
  As we hold communion sweet;
If I tried, I could not utter
  What He says when thus we meet.

Only this I know: I tell Him
  All my doubts and griefs and fears;
Oh, how patiently He listens!
  And my drooping soul He cheers;
Do you think He ne’er reproves me?
  What a false friend He would be,
If He never, never told me
  Of the sins which He must see.

Would you like to know that sweetness
  Of the secret of the Lord?
Go and hide beneath His shadow;
  This shall then be your reward;
And whene’er you leave the silence
  Of that happy meeting-place,
By the Spirit bear the image
  Of the Master in your face.

Ellen Lakshmi Goreh, 1853


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Where is Jesus in the Church?

cropped-girl-praying1.jpgThe state of the Church breaks my heart. Yes it does.  I weep over it, and I believe so does Jesus.

The deadness, the formality, the coldness.  Where is the life?  Where is the joy?  Where is my Jesus?

I don’t seem Him in it.

I don’t see Him in the dry formality, I don’t see Him in the ritual, the “way we’ve always done it.”

Why do people’s faces look sad and somber in church?  Why do we feel we have to pretend to be serious to be spiritual?

Jesus where are You?

Not there.

 

The thing is, we know it.  We know it’s not right, that something is missing. We know that Jesus’ death on the cross wasn’t so we could sit and be bored in Church for two hours every Sunday morning.  We feel it.  Something in our spirit says this is not the way it was in the early Church, there is something more.  What are we missing?

 

So, we try to fix it in our human-ness.

Entertainment, rock concerts, frenzied behavior, yelling, emotional manipulation.  Get people to cry, yes, if that brings emotion, ANYTHING but that dead dryness.  Oh God, anything but that.

Entertainment for true joy.

Emotional manipulation for true broken-ness

Frenzied behavior for the real work of the Holy Spirit.

 

Jesus where are You?

Not there.

 

After awhile, the yelling makes us tired, the emotive manipulation falls on dead ears, and, after all, we are not changed.

That didn’t work either.  Oh  God, what next?

Look at pubs, worldly concerts, sporting events.  They are full of happy, excited people.  There are crowds.  They must know something we don’t.  We must learn from them.

Advertising, marketing surveys, seeker-sensitive churches.  Things not to mention:

  • the cross
  • sin
  • the Blood
  • God’s holiness
  • never ever use the word “sinner”
  • hell
  • judgment (shriek)

(But make sure you use the word “unpack” in your sermon at least 5 times.)

 

Jesus where are YOU?

Not there.

 

Something wrong. something missing.  something different than the Church in Acts.

Spirituality.  Candles, liturgies, labyrinths, darkness.  Ooooh, we get goosebumps again.  This is it! we feel again, we are not dead, not bored, we are spiritual.

We feel.

JESUS where are YOU?

Not there.

 

Don’t we see?  don’t we know where He is?

He is outside the Church.

He is outside the door.

Long ago He was asked to leave.  Oh yes, we use His Name, but we don’t really want Him.  We want to be comfortable, we want convenience at all costs.  We don’t want our formality and rituals confronted or thrown away.  We want to feel good, positive emotions. We don’t want to be convicted.  We want to feel intellectual and deep and have wonderful spiritual experiences.  We want lots of people around us because that shows we are on the right track.

But we don’t want HIM.

 

Him – the goodness, the holiness, the righteousness, the kindness, the love, the truth, the mercy, the conviction, the call to the lost, the call to obedience, the faithfulness to Him that is required, the cost of the cross of Christ…

 

Jesus is a gentleman, He will not stay where He is not welcome.

 

There is only one way back to Him.

Let us cast off everything else and fall on our knees before Him.

There is only one thing that is required:

BROKENNESS

Utter broken-ness.

Let us fall on our faces before our Lord and weep for the state of our own hearts, for the Church, for the lost around us.  Let our hearts be broken.  It is only when our hearts are broken before the Lord that LIFE, the real life of the Holy Spirit enters in.

 

I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand the deadness any more.  I have had enough of formality and boredom.  I have had enough of human solutions to the problem.  I can’t handle any more extraneous rubbish – I WANT HOLY GHOST REVIVAL!  This world needs men and women who have the fire of the Holy Ghost.

 

Lord, send Your Spirit.  Revive us again. We need You Lord.  I repent of my hardness of heart Lord. My heart breaks for the state of the Church Lord.  My heart breaks for those around me on their way to Hell.  Enough Lord !  Rend the heavens and come down!!!  In Jesus’s Name, Amen

 


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Missionary Quotations: CT Studd3

“Christ’s call is to save the lost, not the stiff-necked; He came not to call scoffers but sinners ctstuddto repentance; not to build and furnish comfortable chapels, churches, and cathedrals at home in which to rock Christian professors to sleep by means of clever essays, stereotyped prayers, and artistic musical performances, but to capture men from the devil’s clutches and the very jaws of Hell. This can be accomplished only by a red-hot, unconventional, unfettered devotion, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to the Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

Oh hallelujah!


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Do You Have a Secret History?

With God I mean.wind

Do you look back at all the times when you were alone with Him in His presence? When He had called to you “Come away” with Him and you hearkened His voice and went?

Do you have a “secret place…in the clefts of the rock
Where He can see your face,
Where He can hear your voice;” ?  (see SoS 2:14)

Do you remember those times when you sat at His feet and wept?

When you sat there like Mary and learned of Him…?

When He shared Himself with you and He was revealed…?

When your eyes were opened to His beauty and glory…?

When He unfolded the work He has for you…?

 

Do you have a golden thread running through the tapestry of your life?

gold threadAll those times when nobody else knew or saw, but you were with Him, where He was?

Times that you look back on with almost painful joy….

When the household was dark and quiet, asleep, but you were there on your knees wrapped up in the glories of heaven, tears streaming down your face?

All those times in the dark quietness of the prayer closet, where your roots went down deep.  Where you were established. Where nobody else saw.

Only your Creator.

It is those times spent with God, where nobody else sees – where if you were to try to describe it to another that words just woudn’t do justice – that is the place where your relationship with Jesus is rooted and established, like the roots of a tree. That is where true Holy Ghost ministry is born. That is where His life is imparted to you and to me.

 

A secret history with God is necessary first to establish roots in each of us. Once the root system has been established below in the dark then the tree is able to begin its slow emergence up into the sunshine.   This is the realm where others can see the result, or the fruit, of the work of the unseen deep.

“Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls…” Psalm 42:7

The result of your time spent alone with God.

It’s never too late to start….Jesus2

Get alone with God.

Spend time with Him. Don’t count the minutes.

Just be unhurried…

 

The secret is unhurried prayer.

 

 

God bless you friend.

 

 

 


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Street Preaching Last Night – An Epic Battle

soldiersThe Hare Krishna’s came back as we were preaching.  Two weeks ago, as I wrote about here, they came and did their dance to Krishna but left after only a few minutes.

Well last night they came as I began to preach.  But this time they stayed.

This time they had an amp with them and sang songs and chanted mantras to Krishna whilst they danced.  It was loud.

I kept preaching though.  I kept on, like last time:

“Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the LIfe. No one comes to the Father but by Him…”  etc

“There is no other Name under heaven by which humankind can be saved than the Name of Jesus…”

On they stayed.

On I kept preaching.

“Jesus is Lord.  And at the Name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord to the glory of the Father!”

It went on.  Multitudes of people came over to see what was going on. They were fascinated.  It was a battle and everyone knew it.  Many people video-ed all of it on their phones (if you see it on YouTube, let me know!)

10 minutes – I began calling out the words to “Amazing Grace”.

hareThe Hare Krishnas became frenzied. Faster and faster they got, they worked themselves into an ecstatic frenzy. They reminded me of the prophets of Baal as they cried out to their “god” to answer them on Mount Carmel.

 

15 minutes…

My voice started hurting, my chest was heaving. I prayed to God that He would sustain me to keep going.  I saw why He has prompted me to get fit lately.

I looked into the crowd as I proclaimed that “Jesus is Lord” and there was a gift from God.  A young lady with her hands in the air crying out “Amen! Jesus is Lord!”

She became my lifeline.  I looked to her as it went on.  She encouraged me to keep going.

I didn’t know what else to do.  I lifted my hands in the air and shut my eyes and cried out:

“Jesus, I proclaim that You are Lord over this station!  You are Lord. I praise the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world!  I praise you Lord! Hallelujah to the Lamb!”

The Hare Krishna’s left.battle

Praise God.

I kept preaching for another minute, then the gift-from-God young lady came over and asked if she could sing.  She had never sung by herself in a public street before but the presence of God was so strong.

She sung a beautiful song all about Jesus.

Some people from the crowd hung around to talk to some of the guys.

There was a great battle last night, but there was a great victory for the kingdom of God too!

Needless to say, it has taken me all day today to recover…:)

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14

 


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The Place of Enlargement

I believe it is God’s heart to bring His children to the place of enlargement.meadow

Even so would he have removed thee out of the strait into a broad place, where there is no straitness; and that which should be set on thy table should be full of fatness” Job 36:16

It is not His desire that we should stay spiritual babes, rather it is His design to bring us forward, to help us grow and enlarge.

At the moment we are extending our little house. As a result, things are busy, messy and chaotic here. Currently we have no phone line, no proper plumbing in the kitchen and big holes in the wall where our back door and kitchen window used to be. It is winter here, I might add…. It is difficult, painful, inconvenient. However, with the greater vision in mind of the complete transformation at the end of all this, I find I can grin and bear the mess and disorder (so far at least).

The process of the enlargement of our home somewhat reflects the process of enlargement in the spiritual life…

Enlargement always comes through straitening.

I love this old-fashioned word. The KJV uses this word and I don’t think any other translation can beat it.

Jesus said: “But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!” Luke 12:50

It means to constrict, pinch, restrict, squeeze, distress, compress.

straight jacket(A “strait-jacket” in its purpose to confine and restrict gives a good picture of this word.)

We see that Jesus Christ Himself went through a straitening process in His sufferings and ultimately His death on the cross.   He was straitened. He was God wrapped in human flesh yet His eternal divinity was compressed into the limitation of humanity.

This limitation could be removed only by the baptism of dying on the cross. Then the unlimited divine eternal life within the Lord Jesus could be released.” The Experience of Christ, Witness Lee

So why did the Lord of Life have to be straitened?

He was straitened so that we could be brought to the place of enlargement.

It was through His death that His divine Life was able to be released and imparted to us limited, small human beings.   He interceded for us by becoming a human-being like us. He was confined, restricted, distressed and squeezed for us so that we could be brought to the place of enlargement by partaking of His divine life.

Verily, verily I say unto you, unless a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” John 12:24

It is only through the impartation of the divine life of Christ that we are enlarged and there is no enduring enlargement apart from Him. But in order for this to happen we are taken through many afflictions, trials and suffering.

potterUnfortunately there is no other way – we also need to be straitened to be brought into the enlargement that God intends for us.

As with the renovations all around me : for the new to be brought in, first the old has to be removed. And sometimes that’s painful, noisy and messy.

It is His way of conforming us to the image of His Son.

So if you are feeling pinched, restricted, squeezed and in distress – know that God has a purpose in it. Know that He has not abandoned you, nor is He finished with you. No! Instead He is busy working on and in you to bring you to a place of enlargement.  Like clay in the hands of a potter, simply yield to Him, allow Him to do His work and you will be brought through it into a broad and spacious place.

He sent from above, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, From those who hated me, For they were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, But the Lord was my support. He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me” Psalm 18:16-19

 

God bless you!