“God hath had it much on His heart, from all eternity, to glorify His dear and only begotten Son; and there are some special seasons that He appoints to that end, wherein He comes forth with Omnipotent power to fulfill His promise and oath to Him: and these times are times of remarkable pouring out of His Spirit, to advance His kingdom; such a day is a day of His power.” – Jonathan Edwards
About three weeks ago I had a dream that a couple of people were coming to our house for prayer. But when I opened the front door a stream of people came in and kept coming…and coming. All different races of people. I wondered how they knew to come. They said
“We knew you’d be open!”
Our lounge was packed with people and I lifted up my hands and said “No social distancing here!”
The dream ended.
During the lockdown we had been doing a Bible study every morning and two others had been joining us via Messenger. So we just thought now we are “allowed” to have two people come to our house we will just invite them on a Sunday morning to continue this bible study, but now in person.
That was three weeks ago and every week more and more people have come on a Sunday. We have such a blessed time of worship, bible study, prayer and eat lunch together. Yesterday was beautiful. We had guys join us from a Christian halfway house, where they take in men who have come out of jail or rehab and give them a place to live and a job.
The Lord spoke to us about House of Saul versus House of David and the outcasts going to David in the cave at Adullum….
On Friday I said to the Lord “What is going on?” This home-Church thing seems to be taking off at our place FAST, like it’s almost out of our control.
we have literally just opened the doors and people have come.
He gave me this scripture in our family bible study and confirmed It the next day as I was reading the book “Anointed for Burial”
”Go and join this chariot” Acts 8:29
As my friend Tim Shey has said , I think we just need to follow the cloud at the moment guys.
Be willing to do things differently because suddenly all our plans have been interrupted. Like the old thing is dead now. We’ve got to just follow the Lord.
And as my other friend (and spiritual father) Bill Randles has said – the church needs to meet in flesh and blood.
Following on from Grace Gleanings – 3 Errors Regarding Law & Grace
Most Christians are aware that we are justified only by grace through faith, yet a lot tend to mix Law and Grace in sanctification.
That is, they believe that once they are saved by grace, they then need to keep to some sort of code of conduct to remain saved, be it the Ten Commandments, their own set of rules or their church’s. The church where I grew up had written rules and regulations for everything under the sun. There were also unspoken rules that everybody knew, such as, getting to both services on a Sunday was a must, otherwise you would be considered weak in the faith by everybody else.
Thus often a Christian is still under the Law even though he can easily quote “I’m not under law but under grace”.
We need to understand that Law and Grace are two complete systems in themselves, and they are mutually exclusive of each other. You cannot be under both Law and Grace at the same time, neither can you mix Grace with Law. This was the error of the Galatians. But what did Paul say to them :
”O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” Galations 3:1-3
Under grace our acceptance with God is based on the fact that we are in Christ by faith and He is acceptable to God. How we live after being saved is also by grace. He saves us and He sanctifies us, there is nothing we can do to save ourselves. We live now not by rules and regulations but by a new principle : the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:2)
That means that Christ lives His life through us. It is His righteousness , not ours.
”and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness , which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith” Philippians 3:9
more to come…
“Old-fashioned” but never-ending
“Old-fashioned” but never-failing
“Old fashioned” but ever speaking
Give me the old-fashioned power of the blood, that old rugged cross and the exaltation of Jesus Christ as Lord and there’s nothing that can stand in my way as a blood-bought child of God.
The old fashioned power of the Blood of Jesus Christ is still there on the mercy seat in Heaven before the Father. It has never been removed, it has never lost its power and it never will.
But the devil doesn’t want the Church to know the power of the blood. In particular there has been a sustained effort to cover it up over these last few decades. So let’s have a look at it.
What power does the Blood have?
What gives the Blood its power?
And how can we experience the Blood’s full power in our lives?
The Power of the Blood of Jesus
- Peace is made between man and God Colossians 1:20
“ and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”
- Forgiveness of sins Colossians 1:14
“ in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”
- Eternal Life John 6:54
“Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
- Satan is Overcome Revelation 12:11
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”
- Continual Cleansing from all Sin 1 John 1:7
“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
- Set Free from bondage to a Guilty Conscience to Serve God Hebrews 9:14
“how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
- Liberty to Enter and Remain in the Holy of Holies of God’s Presence Hebrews 10:19
“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,”
What Gives the Blood its Power?
Like the old hymn says “There’s power, power wonder-working power in the Blood of the Lamb”…
The Blood of the Lamb surely has power even now. We can testify to its power to cast demons out of people, save people and set them free..
But it is the power of the blood of the Lamb.
- Jesus Became the Lamb of God
Not a mighty warrior, a conquering superhero, but a Lamb. A lamb has a meek and humble disposition. A lamb doesn’t fight. A lamb is led to the slaughter quietly, a lamb doesn’t protest.
It is the power of the blood of the Lamb
“So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Rev 7:14
Jesus became the Lamb of God, who took away the sins of the world. He was the final Lamb in fulfilment of all those thousands of lambs in the Old Covenant that were killed on the altar for man’s sin.
He literally became the physical Lamb as an atonement, but it was more than that.
- The Disposition of the Lamb
He was also the Lamb in disposition. Jesus was meek and unresisting. In total submission to the Father He allowed man to do whatever they wanted to Him and He didn’t fight back, He didn’t resist, nor protest. He yielded the whole time, even to death.
“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Phil 2:8
“He’s not merely the Lamb because He died on the cross, but He died on the cross because He’s the Lamb.” Roy Hession
Hebrews 9:14 says “how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God…”
Truly Christ was so humble that He offered Himself to God as the Lamb, willing to do whatever the Father wanted.
It was because of this disposition of utter self-denial, of the complete surrender of the Lamb and of His deep humility that God exalted Him and gave Him the Name above every name.
So we see how valuable this disposition is to God. This was the disposition He was after when He created Adam. But Adam rebelled against his Creator and took the path of Self instead. Thus all mankind has followed Adam down this path of Self and rejected submission to our Creator and God. This is the essence of sin: self and pride.
But God found that disposition in one Man: the Man Christ Jesus.
And His shed blood is the ultimate expression of this humility.
“It was because the shedding of His blood so supremely expressed this disposition that it is so utterly precious to God and so all-availing for man and his sin” Roy Hession
Just as the shed blood’s power comes from the Lamb’s disposition, so too in our own lives, the power of the blood becomes available to us as we follow the Lamb and partake of His divine nature.
Just as He submitted fully to the Father’s will and yielded up His life to Him, so we too can know the full power of the Blood as we submit to the Father, willingly and quietly obeying His will, laying down our own wants, desires, rights and ambitions. As we offer up our bodies as a living sacrifice to Him, He fills us with His Spirit and the disposition of the Lamb becomes ours.
Lord, help us to truly submit to You. To lay down our life for you as You lay down Your life for us. As we do, fill us with your Spirit and may the fruits of the Spirit, such as meekness, gentleness truly become evident in our lives. We thank you for becoming the Lamb who took away our sins, may we become lambs now and follow You wherever you go. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
*Based on teaching from Roy Hession’s book “The Calvary Road”
“It is much easier to do something than to trust in God; we see the activity and mistake panic for inspiration. That is why we see so few fellow workers withGod, yet so many people working for God.”
Oswald Chambers “My Utmost for His Highest”
It’s about Him
And always will be
But not many see
That or care
But it is about His
We want to be set up
But God is setting up His kingdom
We want a name
But His is the Name above all names
We want a throne
But His is the Throne
At which our knee shall bow
Promotion His way is:
More of Christ;
More of Him in us
Less of us,
Christ’s kingdom ENLARGED
Who will see?
For an enlargement of Christ’s kingdom I pray
Much of what is missing in the organized Church today is the work, or move, of the Holy Spirit.
We totally underestimate the Spirit of God and what He can do if we let Him.
We have over- organized and created programs for this and that instead of seeking God and letting Him lead by His Spirit.
God has a will, an opinion, a way but we don’t even recognize that fact anymore.
I often feel like the organized church is a slave mill: keeping people over- busy, working them in to the ground, churning out program after program- and what for? “There is a way that seems right to man but the end of it is death”.
God Himself has a way. It is by His Spirit. It is the centrality of Christ. The Spirit of God when He is working will always point to and exalt Jesus Christ. If Christ is not center, if He’s not there, then it is a work of the flesh. Get rid of it! Stop wasting everyone’s time, repent and seek God’s face.
We often use this scripture “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Rev 3:20) as an evangelistic tool. But it’s not. Jesus said this to the CHURCH in Laodicea. He was outside the church. Pushed outside His own church because He wasn’t needed anymore, “we have a program”!!
Lord have mercy, wake up your church.
Sensitivity to the Spirit of God is driven primarily by being able to hear Him.
“The Lord God has given Me
The tongue of the learned,
That I should know how to speak
A word in season to him who is weary.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear
To hear as the learned” Isaiah 50:4
Again, sensitivity to the Spirit of God is driven primarily by being able to hear Him.
“He awakens my ear to hear as the learned”
This hearing happens within our spirit. This can be sometimes channelled through our physical ear as we listen to a sermon, or someone gives us an encouraging Word, but not always. But it is always through our human spirit.
What do I mean by our human spirit? When we are followers of Christ, His Holy Spirit comes to dwell in our human spirit and quickens (or makes alive) that inner part of us which was previously dead through trespass and sin. With our spirit now alive to the Lord and His Spirit dwelling within us we have the ability to hear His voice.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” John 10:27
Whether we hear a sermon, read something or feel a prompting in the spirit, we know it is of the Spirit of God when it bears witness with our spirit.
Sometimes you may listen to a whole sermon and nothing registers in your spirit. It could be an intellectual masterpiece, or it could stir our emotions, but if it doesn’t penetrate through the realm of our soul and into the spirit it is simply the flesh and profits us nothing spiritually. Another time you may hear a couple of words, a line of a song, read one verse and your spirit suddenly jumps. You know like you know that that is a Word for you. That is the Holy Spirit speaking, bearing witness to your spirit.
When that happens we need to slow down and listen. We need to allow it to really sink in and take root in our hearts because the Spirit of God is trying to tell us something. We need to wait on God. But even more than that, we need to be so intimate with Jesus that we are constantly in a pose of listening to Him. Remember Mary sitting at His feet… We are with Him where He is so that when He speaks a Word, or wants us to do something we are so close to Him that we know like we know immediately.
“He who has ears to hear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches”
Jesus said something similar to this multiple times through the gospels and also repeatedly to the churches at the beginning of Revelation. Since He repeated this phrase so often there must be a reason for it.
Hearing in the Spirit Leads to Speaking Forth in the Spirit
Notice in Isaiah 50:4 it says “The Lord God has given Me The tongue of the learned, That I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary…”
The hearing in the spirit and the speaking forth of a word in season to those around us are connected. How do we speak forth with the tongue of the learned into people’s lives in order to minister and be a blessing? By having our ears awakened to hear as the learned! We need to hear from Him first or else we will have nothing to offer others.
The deaf-mute man whom Jesus healed in Mark 7 is a picture to us. This man could not hear, thus he could not speak. Jesus first touched the deafened ears, then spat and touched his tongue.
“Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.”
Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly.” Mark 7:34,35
Are you wondering why you have nothing to give others? Do you not know what to say when someone comes to you for help? Do you feel like you have failed them?
You need your ears opened by the Lord. Go wait on Him. Confess your need, confess your desire to be able to feed others with the Word and ask Him to open your ears to the Spirit. Then when He tells you to do/say something, do it. Prompt obedience to the Lord is a sure-fire way He will keep speaking to us.
Here we are now in the Holy Place of the Tabernacle of Moses. No longer are we under the bright glare of the sun in the Outer Court and faced with the bronze furniture. (Remember: bronze = judgment) We now enter the soft, glow of the Holy Place. Here, as specified by God Himself, there are no windows and no natural light. The only light in this room emanates from the glow of the Golden Lampstand standing on the South side. It takes a while for the priests’ eyes to adjust, but once they do they behold a glowing golden room.
The acacia wood walls are lined with pure gold. The light from the pure gold Lampstand casts a glow on the Golden Altar of Incense and the Table of Showbread – both of which are acacia wood overlaid with gold.
Imagine the beauty of that room! The shimmering golden light radiating from the seven lamps of the Lampstand and bouncing off the gold walls and furniture. Truly this is a picture of the beauty of our fellowship with the Lord.
For surely, as the Outer Court was the place of the judgement for our sins, placed upon the lamb, the Holy Place is the place of our fellowship with God and our enjoyment of Him.
Fellowship with God
God does not intend for His people to stop outside in the Outer Court, He wants us to progress through into the place of fellowship with Him.
God’s intention has always been to have a people in right relationship with Him. He longs for those with whom He can share His heart, for those whom will pray His prayers and walk with Him in the glow of His light. God has so much to give of Himself and He is calling for a people who are willing to receive of Him.
Indeed, we see in John 1:14 that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…”. When God sent His Son to earth it was to dwell amongst us. In fact it has always been God’s desire to dwell among His people.
The word “dwelt” here is the same as “tabernacled”.
So when God gave Moses the instructions to build the Tabernacle it was in order that He would dwell amongst His People. Of course sin needed to be dealt with first, as it has been at the cross (the Brazen Altar in the Outer Court), and now God wants to dwell among His people to fellowship with them. In the Old Covenant He dwelt nationally amongst His people. In the New Covenant He dwells both individually in the believer and corporately in the Church.
The Purpose of the Golden Lampstand
The function of the Golden Lampstand in the Holy Place was to give light: to provide illumination for the priests as they ministered to the Lord. If the Lampstand had not been there it would have been pitch black and the priests wouldn’t have been able to carry out their ministry. God would never have us groping in the dark. He has provided His light to the Church, both in His Son Jesus Christ and through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
The priests entered the Holy Place twice daily to minister to the Lord:
- To eat the showbread from the Table of showbread : The Showbread is both a picture of the Word of God and the Bread of God who came from Heaven to give life to the world : Jesus Christ Himself
- To top up oil in the lamps of the Golden Lampstand : The oil is a picture of the Holy Spirit
- To burn incense at the Golden Altar of Incense: The Altar of Incense is a picture of prayer and intercession
The Lampstand is a Picture of Jesus
|The Lampstand||Jesus Christ|
|The only light source in the Holy Place||Jesus is the light of the world. John 8:12|
|Was made of pure gold. Gold = deity||Jesus is God. He is deity, divine, the second person of the Godhead. John 1:1|
|The gold was hammered and beaten into shape||Shows the sufferings of Christ. Isaiah 53:5|
|The Lampstand had seven branches||Jesus has the 7-fold spirit of God. Isaiah 11:1-2; Rev 3:1, 4:5|
|Was decorated with almond blossoms and almonds||The almond tree was the first to blossom after winter in Israel. This speaks of the resurrection of Christ.|
|No natural light in the Holy Place||The natural, fleshly man can’t see His deity. It has to be revealed (illuminated) to us by the Holy Spirit.|
The Lampstand is Also a Picture of the Holy Spirit
|It illuminates the Table of Showbread||1. Holy Spirit reveals Christ to us as the Bread of Life. John 6:35
2. Holy Spirit illuminates the Word of God. Matthew 4:4
|It illuminates the Altar of Incense||The Holy Spirit leads us to prayer, and prompts us to pray and intercede according to God’s will. Romans 8:26|
|It had seven branches||7-fold Spirit of God. Isaiah 11:1-2; Rev 3:1, 4:5|
|It illuminated the Altar of Incense and the Table of Showbread in order that the priests could fellowship with and minister to the Lord||The Holy Spirit leads us to prayer and reading the Word in order that we can fellowship with and minister to the Lord, as His “royal priesthood”. 1 Peter 2:9|
And so we see that just as God provided the Golden Lampstand to the priests of the Old Covenant, in order to fellowship with Him, so too has He provided us, the Church, with Light so that we too can have fellowship with Him. Firstly through the Light of the World, the person of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind. And secondly through the ministry of the person of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit shows us how to have fellowship with God – it is through the eating of the Bread (the Word of God) and ministering at the Golden Altar of Incense (prayer). In fact, God’s way hasn’t changed. It is only through His Son, the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world, that any fellowship with God is possible at all. Once we are put back into right relationship with God through Jesus’ shed blood, then the Holy Spirit leads us to prayer and the Word.
May our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ bless you!