Grace and Truth

…all the words of this life…


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The Man in the Gap

The Man in the Gap - Acrylic on canvas

The Man in the Gap – Acrylic on canvas

Who can find a man to stand in the gap?

 

Where is he today?

 

He is hidden

He is not seen

He is behind the veil

Of what is seen with the natural eye

 

A hidden work

A secret mission

 

Not on stages

Not applauded

No recognition

No fame

 

Nothing

From this world

Is his

 

But him and Christ

Together

Behind the veil

One

 

That is his work

That is his joy

That is his life

 

May we be willing to join with Jesus and lay down our lives for the work of intercession!

God bless,

Belinda

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Jesus and the Golden Lampstand

TabernacleLeaving the Outer Court of the Tabernacle of Moses, we now enter the Holy Place, the place of fellowship with God.

 

The contrast between the Holy Place and the Outer Court is immediately apparent.

 

The Outer Court The Holy Place
The Outer Court is outside, lit by the daylight. The Holy Place is enclosed, lit only by the Golden Lampstand

 

The furniture is made of acacia wood overlaid with bronze The Holy Place’s furniture is made of gold or acacia wood overlaid with gold

 

The Israelites were free to bring offerings here Only the priests were allowed to enter the Holy Place to minister to God and for fellowship with Him.

 

hpThe Holy Place

Imagine stepping from the daylight, through the heavy door and into the Holy Place. Here there was no daylight, only the light from the beautiful golden candlestick to your left casting a soft glow over the Golden Altar in front of you and the Table of Showbread to your right.

It takes a moment for your eyes to adjust but when they do, you see that it is positively luminous within the Holy Place. Everything is shimmering gold, reflecting the light of the candlestick. In fact the wood-panelled walls are overlaid with gold and so the whole room seems to glow in the soft, golden light.

The Golden Lampstand

The Golden Lampstand was made from solid gold. It was not cast in a mould, neither was it made from acacia wood overlaid with gold. It was hammered from one piece of pure gold. The only other piece of furniture in the Tabernacle of Moses that was made of pure gold was the Mercy Seat with Cherubim, which was in the Most Holy Place.

“You shall also make a lampstand of pure gold; the lampstand shall be of hammered work. Its shaft, lampstandits branches, its bowls, its ornamental knobs, and flowers shall be of one piece….It shall be made of a talent of pure gold” Exodus 25:31, 39

 

The Beauty of the Lampstand

The Lampstand had a main shaft with six branches protruding out of it, three on each side. At the top of each branch was a small gold bowl in the shape of almond blossoms which held the olive oil for burning. So in total there were seven branches and seven bowls. Each branch had ornamental knobs and flowers hammered into it.

And six branches shall come out of its sides: three branches of the lampstand out of one side, and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side.  Three bowls shall be made like almond blossoms on one branch, with an ornamental knob and a flower, and three bowls made like almond blossoms on the other branch, with an ornamental knob and a flower—and so for the six branches that come out of the lampstand.  On the lampstand itself four bowls shall be made like almond blossoms, each with its ornamental knob and flower.  And there shall be a knob under the first two branches of the same, a knob under the second two branches of the same, and a knob under the third two branches of the same, according to the six branches that extend from the lampstand.  Their knobs and their branches shall be of one piece; all of it shall be one hammered piece of pure gold.  You shall make seven lamps for it, and they shall arrange its lamps so that they give light in front of it. And its wick-trimmers and their trays shall be of pure gold.  It shall be made of a talent of pure gold, with all these utensils.”

What a stunning piece of artwork! God certainly doesn’t do anything by halves, He is the ultimate artisan. And He is still creating beautiful artworks today in His church, ie, you and me.

Of course, not only was this lampstand beautiful, but it also shows forth significant truths.

 

How the Materials of the Lampstand Point to Christ

As we have seen from our previous studies, every single item contained within the Tabernacle had a purpose and a divine pattern. God uses the Tabernacle to reveal His precious Son; and the Golden Lampstand’s purpose is no different.

Gold: always points to deity/divinity. This shows us the divinity of Christ. The Lampstand was made of one piece of gold and hammered into shape.

Hammered: the hammering of the gold points to the sufferings of Christ

Seven: is the number of divine perfection/completion. It is the number given to the Holy Spirit, ie. “The seven spirits of God” (Rev 1:4; Rev 4:5, Isaiah 11:2-3) whom Jesus has, “He who has the seven Spirits of God…” Revelation 3:1

Almond blossom: were hammered into shape on the branches of the lampstand. The significance of the almond is also pictured in the story of the blossoming of Aaron’s rod in Numbers 17.

 

The Significance of the Almond Blossomalmond blossom

Moses’ brother Aaron was the High Priest of Israel. This was a position to which God Himself called Aaron. When others rebelled and contested Aaron’s High Priestly role, God commanded Moses to :

“Speak to the children of Israel, and get from them a rod from each father’s house, all their leaders according to their fathers’ houses—twelve rods. Write each man’s name on his rod. And you shall write Aaron’s name on the rod of Levi. For there shall be one rod for the head of each father’s house.  Then you shall place them in the tabernacle of meeting before the Testimony, where I meet with you. And it shall be that the rod of the man whom I choose will blossom” Numbers 17:1-5

The next day it was Aaron’s rod that had “sprouted and put forth buds, had produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds.” Numbers 17:8

The miracle of a long dead piece of wooden rod sprouting new life was God’s confirmation to all of Israel that Aaron was the man he had endorsed to be in the High Priestly role.

But this miracle pointed to something even more significant.

Aaron as High Priest of the Old Covenant foreshadows Christ as our great High Priest now in the New Covenant:

“…We have such a high Priest who is seated at the right had of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected and not man.” Hebrews 8:1,2

Jesus is the Man whom God has ordained to be His Great High Priest. And God’s approval of Aaron’s High Priestly role foreshadows His endorsement of Christ’s High Priestly role. That is, through the resurrection.

You see, the almond tree was the first to blossom in Israel after the cold, winter months. The first tree to bring forth life from death. So Aaron’s dead rod physically brought forth life from death to show God’s approval of him. And of course, the anti-type is God raising Christ physically from the dead after His sufferings, being God’s ultimate seal of approval.

jesus tombThe Golden Lampstand’s branches have almond blossoms beaten into their golden shape to show forth Christ’s resurrection from the dead after His sufferings.

 

Next ….

  • more on how the Lampstand points to Jesus; and
  • The Lampstand also as a picture of the Holy Spirit

 

 

 


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Street Preaching and the Homeless

Friday we went into the city to street preach.  flinders st

Unfortunately my PA didn’t work properly, on every third word or so it would cut out.  So I couldn’t preach as my voice isn’t naturally strong.

But God sent Tony, the homeless man whom we met two times ago.

Tony used his God-given, very loud, male voice to open-air preach. Thank God for men.

Tony has no home, no money, hardly any clothes.  But I tell you what – he is one of the best preachers I’ve ever heard.  Not just one of the best street-preachers, but I mean, any preacher.  That includes pastors, televangelists, you know, the ones who’ve grown rich on Churchianity.

On the street, his home, Tony shares his testimony. He was a drug addict who’d done time in prison.  He was a murderer of the heart.  But one day he met Jesus.  And Jesus changed him.

“You may think I’m crazy!” he cries, “Well I am!  I am crazy for Jesus!”

Praise God for that.

open airWhere are all the pastors, the ministers, the ones who get paid to stand up in front of a nice, middle-class congregation on a Sunday morning?  Where are they?  I have not seen them on the streets.

Instead God is using us, a ragtag bunch of women, and one homeless guy.

“In that day I will assemble the lame and gather the outcasts and those whom I’ve afflicted.  I will make the lame a remnant and the outcast a strong nation.” Micah 4:6

 

Truly God uses the lame, the weak, the outcast.  Btw, of us women:

1 is an ex-muslim, ex-alcoholic, ex-agoraphobic (see From Muhammed to Jesus)

1 is an ex-atheist

1 is an ex-Christian cult

All glory to the Lord Jesus Christ!

 

So Jesus used us outcasts to save “D”, another homeless man, on Friday.  He came up to us and told us he is a thief and a drug addict. No hope for him.  I told him about the thief on the cross.  He said he shot up ice that morning.

Tony sat with him on the ground and talked with him.  He ended up leading him to Christ.

I have rarely seen a more beautiful sight than two homeless guys sitting together talking about the love of God.  One in the love of Christ leading the other to Christ.

“Christianity is one beggar telling another beggar where he found bread”

(Oh – and the Lord sent me a Christian after we finished on Friday who provided another PA for us! He is a good God.)

Blessings,

Belinda 🙂

 

 


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Finding the Balance of Grace and Truth in an Increasingly Dark World

scalesJesus said that we are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. As society continues on its rapid descent into darkness the church is called to be salt in the earth, a preserver from evil. But we also are to be a light in the darkness – a place to where people are drawn away from evil and unto good. The thing is, because this world, its value systems and philosophies, is so quickly changing into a post-Christian mind-set, Christians are often seen as the enemy rather than the light. We are the enemies of progress, enemies of other religions, enemies of certain groups of people, such as homosexuals.

Is this right? Should this be the case?

Today Christians have to contend with issues that were never mainstream issues years or decades ago in a society based on Christian values. Today we are post-modern and post-objective truth.   Thus what was unacceptable years ago – adultery, fornication, porn, divorce, abortion, homosexuality, occult practices – is now acceptable.  It even may be argued that we have gone beyond mere acceptance and that these practices are now actively promoted.

In response to the post-Christian world around us one tends to find that Christians generally go one of two ways: They either accept society’s evolving standards, deny the truth, and be perceived as loving, (the “light”), in order to try to save some; or they go the other way and become so angry at the changing world and the fact that other Christians have denied the truth that they dismiss grace and preach the truth but with no love (the “salt”).

The thing is, we need to be both light and salt. We need to find the balance of grace and truth.

Okay, so this is what I can make of it: We absolutely, resolutely need to remain faithful to the truth of God’s Word. To change His Word, to faithfuldismiss parts of it, to pick and choose the easy bits is just not an option. What this world needs more than ever is clear, decisive, objective truth. As this world is decaying we need to be the salt that slows the corruption. We need to either take all of His Word or none of it. We can’t have it both ways. We need to be resolved because we will be tested on this time and again. Know that if you are going to stand by the truth of God’s Word then at times you will be perceived as sounding harsh, unloving, intolerant. For a Christian to just simply speak the truth now is an act of hate. And here’s the worst bit: Most Christians feel the same. (Generally speaking) Christians now, rather than denouncing the sinful acts, denounce the preacher who is denouncing the sinful acts.

But…..and this is a big BUT…. It all comes down to the state of our heart. As Christians we need to understand this. There is no point preaching the truth, or trying to live by the truth of God’s Word if our heart is not right.

I have seen preachers, street-preachers, Christians who seem to hate the people they are trying to save. They are so angry at them. They yell, they point their fingers at them. “It’s God righteous anger” they say. Well, maybe it is, but let me ask you this: are you so full of the Holy Spirit that you are absolutely, positively sure it is God’s anger and not your own that you’re venting?

Are we angry at our son, our daughter, our sister, our friend because of their sin? Because they haven’t done what we want them to do?  Are we angry at the world for changing around us?

As we stand for the truth are we full of spiritual pride because we are right and they are wrong?

Have we let a religious or a legalistic spirit take hold of us?

Listen my friends, this is really important as we stand for the truth of God’s Word. Because sinners know. They know I tell you. They know if you hate them. They know if you are angry. THEY know if your heart is not right.

They know the anointing of the Holy Spirit too. They don’t know what to call it but they see it and feel it.

They feel the difference between someone who is telling them the truth because the love of God constrains them to and someone who is telling them the truth because they have a religious spirit.

God sent me two homosexuals the very first night I street-preached. These two young men mocked me at first, they kissed in front of me (shock horror!), they laughed at me. But God loved those boys. His love shone through me to them and they stayed with me for one and a half hours. I told them the truth. I told them what they are doing is an abomination to God. Yes I used those words, but not in anger or contempt, and God’s love held them fast. I shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with them. At the end we all hugged, cried and I prayed for them. One fell to the ground crying, the other clutched his chest and begged me to stop praying. Six years later I am still in touch with the one who fell to the ground. He calls me his favourite Christian. He calls on me for help when he needs it and when he does I still speak the truth to him in love. I am believing that he will be saved one day.

The thing with grace and truth is that people in the world need the truth, oh how they are starving for it! And they need the grace of God to menorah-300x183temper it. It is speaking the truth in love that makes the difference. It is the truth that sets people free. Not one person will be truly saved by a  gospel that’s been sanctioned by this world. But not one person will be saved by speaking the truth in hate.

Let’s get our hearts right before our King and be full of His Spirit. Then His light shining through us will attract others to us so that we can speak the truth to them in love.

God bless!


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God’s Timing is Perfect

“I waited patiently for the Lord and He inclined to me and heard my cry…” Psalm god time40:1

 

God is always on time

He is never early, He is never late. He is a punctual God.

He is also a miracle-working God.

We see the evidence of God’s miraculous and perfect-timing in Esther.

Haman’s wrath against Mordecai had grown steadily by the day. This Jew who refused to bow or pay homage to him! How dare he? Who does he think he is anyway?

Finally the day came when Haman’s hatred is unleashed. Queen Esther invites Haman to a feast, and when he, being filled with pride and his own self-importance, is once again confronted by this humble man who will simply not bow to him in the gate, he has had enough!

He builds a gallows with the intention of suggesting to the King in the morning that Mordecai be hanged on it.

Haman goes to bed happily.

 

But God had other plans….

“That night the king could not sleep….” Esther 6:1

That one little sentence sets the ball rolling for the events to follow. The king not being able to sleep is seemingly insignificant, yet it is the very thing that God uses to set in motion the overthrow of the enemy. But even more than that, that seemingly insignificant event is the beginning of the honouring of God’s servant.

The King calls for the book of records to be read before him. It is found in the records that a man called Mordecai had uncovered a plot by two of the king’s eunuchs to “lay hands on King Ahasuerus”. Mordecai had saved the king’s life.

“Then the king said, ‘What honor or dignity has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?” Esther 6:3

Mordecai had been overlooked, but the king wanted to rectify that.

“So the King said, ‘Who is in the court?’ Now Haman had just entered the court of the king’s palace to suggest that the king hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him.” Esther 6:4

We see God’s amazing timing here. We see God’s hand upon His servant, Mordecai. While the enemy was plotting for his downfall, God set events in motion that end up having Mordecai  honoured and the enemy being brought low.

“So Haman took the robe and the horse, arrayed Mordecai and led him on horseback through the city square, and proclaimed before him, “Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!’ Afterward Mordecai went back to the King’s gate. But Haman hurried to his house, mourning and with his head covered.” Esther 6:11, 12

god on timeHallelujah!

Brothers and sisters, we do not need to fear when we have the Lord on our side. Our Father knows how to look after His own, and if you are a child of His then He will not let you down. Remember that ultimately Haman was killed on the very gallows that he had built for Mordecai. The very thing the enemy is trying to destroy you with will be the very means of his downfall.

Whatever your circumstance is, whatever your prayer need, the God who is outside of time, is always on time.

 

God bless,

Belinda 🙂


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Street Preaching & Something the Devil Doesn’t Want You to Know

IMG_4333[1]I’ve just come back after preaching on the city streets this morning with two other ladies.  The thing that has impressed me most is this : there is power and authority in the Name of Jesus Christ.

The devil knows it.  But he doesn’t want us to know it.

The devil was trembling and tried everything to stop us going in today. He wasn’t fearful of us.  He was fearful of the gospel being preached in the power of The Name.  I had horrible nightmares last night, two ladies who were supposed to come with us got sick, the road into the city was literally blocked and our usual car park closed off.

Within minutes of being there one of the young ladies with me was reduced to tears after a conversation with someone.

I knew it was the devil trying his hardest to stop this girl from preaching the gospel.  I advised her not to take it personally, the devil is doing his best to stop us and her in particular. She has just recently turned from sin and God is moving powerfully in and through her. So praise God she kept going.  And wow, she preached today!  First time ever on the PA and she preached the gospel!  Praise God.

A severely handicapped man tried to unplug me as the anointing fell.  I  politely told him to remove his hands from my property.

Another man tried to shut us down because we didn’t have a permit.  (We don’t need a permit).

I think Satan was particularly scared because yesterday as I prayed and fasted about street-ministry today Holy Spirit gave me this scripture:IMG_4329[1]

“…You are to cross over the Jordan today, and go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourself, cities great and fortified up to heaven, a people great and tall, the descendants of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you heard it said, ‘Who can stand before the descendants of Anak?’  Therefore understand today that the Lord your God is He who goes over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and bring them down before you; so you shall drive them out and destroy them quickly, as the Lord has said to you.”  Deuteronomy 9:1-3

I am here to tell you that there is power in the Name of Jesus.  At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord!  The devil cannot stop the gospel going forth.  No man can stop it.  There is no power on earth that is more powerful than the blood of Jesus Christ! Hallelujah to the Lamb!  He is a great and mighty God and He is mighty to save.  The devil is aware of his own defeat at the cross, but he would like to stop us from finding that out.

“Satan cannot stand against us when we dare to believe God and claim the power God has for us, the same power God showed when He raised Christ from the dead and gave Him a place above all principalities and powers.” Joshua – Victorious by Faith, Theodore Epp

IMG_4331[1]Do not fear.  People are just people.  They are not nearly as scary as we imagine them to be.  What can man do to us? Kill us?  Maybe, but we will go to be with the Lord and the gospel will go out even stronger.

But God is God, and He is calling each one of us to go forth in the power of the Name of Jesus and wage war against sin.

All honour praise and glory to the Lamb!