Tag Archives: Messiah

Filled & Fed

Lev 24 “Lessons from the Tabernacle”

lev 24 menora2a

The Bible is replete with word pictures like the two pieces of furniture in the Holy Place in the Tabernacle. Each has a profound lesson about light and provision. The lessons should not be lost on us for us who are NT believers for each pictures Christ in His work.

The Menorah, a huge candelabra made of pure beaten gold, symbolized the Messiah. It was from this piece that branches, as pictured in John 15, must never be uncoupled from the center lamp. The cups were to be filled continually morning and night with pure beaten olive oil symbolizing the Holy Spirit. The shamesh, the center lamp, represents Christ as He illumines His church and His flock. It was never to be extinguished but filled regularly just as we once filled at salvation only need refreshing daily. Just as the priest was to fill each lamp daily, so Christ our High Priest should be filling us daily.  Be ye filled [Eph 5:18]

The table of showbread was filled weekly with 12 loaves of bread. The loaves of bread represent not just the 12 tribes of Israel but for the NT believer represent Christ as the Bread of Life, the Manna, the Bread of Heaven. We are to feed upon Him in His word for He is our provision.

Are we being filled daily as well as weekly? Tomorrow, as we begin our journey into Numbers, remember to be in His Word so we may be illumined and fed.


Jesus is the ONLY Door and the ONLY Good Shepherd!

john 10 door shepherd2The religious leaders were distressed, not joyful, over the healing of the blind man (if you missed it read the post on John 9: Is Jesus Your Messiah?) . These religous leaders did not consider the newly sighted “miracle man” to be part of the “flock,” but instead because said they do not “know” the Law and thus are they are accursed. (see Jn. 7:49) They saw themselves as a “fraternity” with rights and privileges and the “miracle man” just did not qualify! Jesus will now reveal to them the heart of the matter which is they are the evil shepherds Ezekiel spoke about and he is the Good Shepherd. What an indictment! They not only cursed the blind man but excommunicated him from the “flock.” It is in that context that Jesus comes and finds him in the Temple. That is what Jesus does when we face others who seek to destroy our faith. He comes to us and we hear his voice. We recognize him and fall down and worship him.

Did the “fraternity of Pharisees” get it? Jesus pointed out that they not only got it, but they were condemned because of it. When the LIGHT was revealed they chose to return to their father the devil because their deeds were evil. Jesus pointedly told the disciples “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees.” Leaven is hidden to the spiritually blind but revealed to those who see spiritual truth. The bllind/now seeing man “got it” and Jesus ministered to him as a tender Good Shepherd does.

Jesus is the Only Door and Only Good Shepherd! Do you know him?

Stop and Pray for your leaders that to hear the voice of Jesus. And, when you hear something that doesn’t sound right, be a Berean and examine it to see if it is true.

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Is Jesus Your Messiah?

john 9 once blind now see2John 9 is the greatest story ever told about what occurs when both physical and spiritual illumination happens in a person’s life.  The LIGHT came as a witness and a sign to the unbelieving; yet some continued, as they do today, to read the False Book of Assumptions; refusing to believe the evidence and thus stand before God condemned.  The glaring evidence of both physical and spiritual blindness is revealed that we might consider the words of Jesus to the Pharisees “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin, but now because you claim that you can see, your guilt remains.”

How do we react when God provides concrete evidence of a changed life and they stand “in our face?”  Do we honor God or are we like the three groups who witnessed the “miracle man” yet refused steadfastly to believe? All of the neighbors, the parents, and the religious leaders were witness to not just a physical change but a spiritual change as well–yet they refused to accept it from God. The neighbors scoffed and the parents were ensnared by fear. The religious leaders claimed to follow Moses but what about following God?  These are now without excuse because they wanted signs to authenticate Jesus. The “miracle man” stood as a work of God as prophesied in Ex 4:11 and Psalm 146:8. They stand guilty of unbelief.

How about you when you are confronted with the evidence? Can you say: “I once was blind but now I see?” This is God’s grace.

A Radical Change ….from Outlier to Acceptable

Mike S. Adams wrote an intriguing book titled “Letters to a Young Progressive.” One of the chapters is titled “The Law of the Outliers.” If I understand him correctly, he is saying that outliers are those who are outside the mainstream of society that want us to bend to their way of thinking and behaving. How are we to respond in a multi-cultural society when it seeks to undermine biblical principles? Basically, we can only respond in Christ’s love and by showing them through practical and biblical means that God has standards that are righteous and he will hold us accountable to those standards either here or in eternity.

In John 4 Jesus meets an “outlier” or a “Five Time Loser.” She is not seeking for others to change to accept her ways, but she teaches us what it must be like to be the “Scarlet Woman” in society.  We can learn some valuable lessons in what he does and how it turns out. and thus gives us a challenge.

john 4 living water 4aJohn interweaves dialogue with theology using Jesus’ words and pictures of water. Ch 2: water is turned into wine. Ch 3: man must be born of water and spirit. Ch 4: water is seen as both refreshing and life giving.  Into this John retells Jesus’ encounter with the “five-time loser” woman who is castigated and imprisoned from society much like Hawthorne’s scarlet lettered woman. She is the “outlier” or “outsider.”  In chapter 2 John introduces us to Nicodemus, accepted as the teacher in Israel, outwardly pure but inwardly unrighteous.  Jesus opened his eyes to see his spiritual need and he left still wondering.  Chapter 4 offers a  contrast and a glimpse into what society rejects: the outsider, the unclean, the women of ill repute defiled by Mosaic Law. These are our today’s street people, the homeless, and the addict. What are we to do with these? Houston, TX vote showed us one way to respond: reject that which is unbiblical. But also there are states now that say marijuana should be accepted. Really? Is that Jesus did? 

This  woman who has been married five times and now is “shacking up but is unmarried” is what I call the “five-time loser.” She has learned how to move and live in a world in which she is unacceptable. Into this, Jesus steps as a pilgrim weary and thirsty to reveal her spiritual need and He as Messiah. She says “give me” and this what he world asks without considering the long time ramifications. Yet Jesus will offer her something greater: a life-giving transformation if she is willing to take and drink.  Jesus met her where she lived and moved and that is what we as disciples are to do even if it means on a street corner, or at a coffee shop or a well. The need is the same: all need living water and Jesus is the giver of it.  We must meet their spiritual need.

The end result? As the scarlet woman’s heart is opened we see her go and tell others to “come and see.” Do we do the same? From the lips of the townspeople: “They said to the woman, “No longer do we believe because of your words, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this one really is the Savior of the world.”

Who is the outsider in your world that needs the life-giving drink from the fountain of life: Jesus the Messiah?

Be a Blessing Today

Matt 11 you were J+2As John the Baptist sat languishing in the Roman prison after he encountered and chastised Herod, Jesus took time to assure him and his followers that He was indeed “the One”, the Messiah, the Christ. Jesus said look and listen and see the evidence that I am the Christ as he recounts one miracle after another.

It is time for us as well to look and see what Christ has done when the gospel message full of grace and mercy is preached and received. Truly the blind see—that is the spiritually blind are given spiritual insight; the lame walk—those who are weak are given strength; the lepers are cleansed—those who are spiritually dead in their transgressions and sins are made alive; the deaf hear—ears are opened to hear the truth of the gospel message; the dead are raised—the spiritually dead are given new life; the poor have the good news proclaimed—and this is the message of the gospel as it goes forth. And that is why Jesus inserts this beautiful beatitude in vs 6 “blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me!”

From that point on Jesus reflects on John’s preparation for Him. This is a lesson for us that we too should bless those who have prepared the way for us. Who in our past prepared the way for us to receive Jesus? Stop and ponder. Then offer words of praise for those who were instruments of God to bring you to salvation.

Who brought you to Jesus? Bless them today for their work of faith.

And There was LIGHT!

Ps 43 jesus2May 8th Ps 43 “Light”

The psalmist prayed “O send out your light and your truth” and God answered. He sent the Light of the World to illumine the darkness of men’s souls that they might be see and be redeemed. God sent forth the Way, the Truth and the Life that men might come to Him, the Messiah Jesus Christ. Again the psalmist said ‘light is sown like seed for the righteous’ reminding us of the parable Jesus taught on the soils. The seed lies waiting in the darkness for the abundance of rain to soften its hull. And when the light/seed finds entrance into our soul it germinates and grows it produces a crop 100 fold… if the soil is fertile. That is God’s promise to the children of light who have received and are being enlightened and are growing in maturity with his truth.

The psalmist who wrote: “The Lord is my light and my salvation”[ Psalm 27] prayed that God’s light and truth might lead him to God’s holy hill, his dwelling place. Jesus promised that the Iluminator of Light, the Holy Spirit would come to reveal all truth to us and lead us into everlasting life. Jesus said I am the Light of the World, believe in me so you may become sons of light. The promise is given; He who follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life. To those who have received the gospel message it is required that a man be found faithful so that when the Master returns we may hear “well done, thou good and faithful servant. Go forth and share the gospel message.

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Are We Being Transfigured/Transformed?

Jesus chose mark 9 earley unveiled2three disciples out of the 12 to accompany him to the mountain top. Each would later draw strength from this as their message of encouragement to others.  Peter, the denier would later write: “we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” And John would write: “we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father…” James would draw strength as he faced the sword of Herod. God gives us these mountain top experiences as His powerful picture that the goal is not the cross but only its path to glory.

Why did Jesus reveal this to just three of his disciples? Perhaps because he knew that soon Peter would deny him; James would be beheaded, and John would be the one chosen to write the Revelation of the Transfigured Christ. Recently a precious friend left his earthly dwelling and now sits at the feet of Jesus. As I pondered this I considered this thought: Jesus’ Transfiguration has given each of us  a glimpse into what awaits each believer at death which is comforting for those that are now grieving but also a picture of what we can become even now as we reach our mountain top with him.In addition, Paul gave us a glimpse of what will happen at death:  1Co 15:52 in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. Did you grab that thought? We will all be changed just as Jesus was changed on that mountain top and forever changed these men’s lives.

But until then we must return to the valley but are reminded that it is a process as Paul reflected: “And we all, with unveiled faces reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another,” And now the crux of the whole purpose! We return from the mountain top so that we may reflect God’s glory before the world that we inhabit day by day.

Only the transfigured Jesus has the power to change us from the inside out for He is the Messiah, and why we are to “listen to Him.”

PhotoCredit: christianity.about.com


People of the Cross

acts 19 crossThis image has gone viral across the internet. The words of ISIS reverberate across our consciousness and the question arise: Are we really the people of the Cross? It is then that I recall the words of Joseph: “Gen 50:20 As for you, you meant to harm me, but God intended it for a good purpose….” What good can come out of something like this? It is this that OM Harris a blogger friend recently wrote: “We have a mandate to live in anxious anticipation, and in so doing I preach a gospel of repentance” Am I living in anxious anticipation? Do I really believe that God’s good will come from this?  That is what a true “people of the Cross” do.

This is the same message Paul left with the Ephesian elders as he met with them for the last time. “testifying …about repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus….But I do not consider my life worth anything to myself, so that I may finish my task and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the good news of God’s grace.” [vs 21/24]. Later Paul would write: “I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith!” [2Ti 4:7]

But the race is not over! Until then we are the “people of the cross” with the message of truth: Jesus alone is The Way, The Truth, and The Life!  We are to be busy about testifying about the gospel message even when the wolves rear up. Remember this promise:  Indeed, the Lord who commands armies has a plan,” and it will be fulfilled. [Isa 14] Listen to these words: “Obedience is better than crumbling to the fears of speaking out.” [O.M. Harris]  Be faithful to pray that God release his angelic legions, miraculous signs and wonders so that the wolves’ mission of destruction is hindered; that they may have dreams that will convict and turn them from unbelief  to the true Messiah.  And how do we pray for ourselves? We must pray that we remain steadfast as the “people of the cross” and join Paul in saying: “I do not consider my life worth anything to myself.”

Are we truly the “people of the Cross?” That is the question of the day.

Salvation for All!

ImageWe marvel at how God planted the seeds of salvation in the hearts of the early believers and how it has been transmitted to us via that same train of thought and action. One of the basic principles of the early church and Paul’s ministry has been this: “Gentiles do not need to become Jews in order to be saved. Jews who are saved do not need to completely forsake their Jewish heritage.”[Deffinbaugh] So whether you who are reading are a Gentile or a Jew, know this—God’s gift of salvation is for you based upon faith alone. Secondly, the truth of the gospel message causes one to make a choice…either for Christ or against Christ. It matters not whether you are a Gentile or a Jew, when Christ the Messiah is preached all men must choose to believe or to reject.

“In Acts, it is the Hellenistic Jews who took up the cause of opposing the gospel.” [Deffinbaugh] This occurred when Paul by saying the word “Gentiles” opened the door to reveal the heart of the Jews and their hatred of the Gentiles. They ignored the OT prophecies and the fact that God would choose to bring His salvation to them freely and that they would not have to become a proselyte to Judaism. To a Jew that would equality and that was an anathema to them. Today we find that this intolerable acceptance of certain people groups to receive salvation has raised its head. Thus what we saw in the first century has filtered down to us.

In addition we also saw that it does not take very much to incite a crowd to draw illogical conclusions. We saw it in Acts 19 when one lone man, Demetrius, incited and encouraged an entire city to drown out any presentation of the gospel message and thus that city lost the opportunity to have the precious Light of the Gospel message. But, God is in control and He is fulfilling the prophecy about Paul that he would bear witness before Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel. [Acts 9] Oh the wonder and majesty and mercy of God who has continued to draw his children from apostasy and yet as Jesus said: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would have none of it!” [Luke]

Beloved, Do you have misconceptions about others to whom the message of salvation is to be preached based upon a racial or cultural bias and ignore the avenue God has placed before you? The fields are ripe and we are to be the workers in the harvest. Will you come and work?

I AM is coming soon!

ImageThe entire Bible from Genesis to this last chapter points out the earnest desire of God—that we dwell with Him and He with us.  This last chapter brings to the conclusion our devotional thoughts of Revelation. The last vision opens to the marvelous expanse of Heaven which Jesus said He was going away to prepare for us. As in the Garden a river flowed from Eden to water the orchard, and from there it divided into four headstreams. In heaven there is a river of the water of life flowing unimpeded from the throne down the middle of the street. The tree of life once forbidden and guarded after the fall by “angelic sentries who used the flame of a whirling sword to guard the way to the tree of life” is now not only freely producing fruit but is available for all to pick and enjoy. No more curses, no more separation. When God calls “Where are you?”  we will answer here am I, and join in conversation with him just as Adam and Eve did prior to the fall. We will now walk with him freely conversing as He did in the beginning. There will be no more day and night but the Lord God will shine upon us forever and ever and ever and ever. Oh Beloved are you ready to experience this?

And what will we be there? 22:3 says we will be servants, absolutely devoted to Him and worshiping Him, able to see His face unlike what God told his servant Moses: Exo 33:20 But he added, “You cannot see my face, for no one can see me and live.”

 God closes this marvelous vision and tells John, unlike Daniel who was told to seal up the vision, to leave this vision opened so that we may know and be prepared for what is ahead. It is to be read and read and read again. Jesus, the Alpha and Omega, the root and descendant of David, the bright morning star, speaks and reminds the reader: Look! I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy expressed in this book.

How awesome heaven will be for those who have chosen Jesus as their Savior, their Messiah. May you be blessed because you have “read the words of this prophecy aloud, heard and obeyed the things written in it.” Beloved —the time is near!” Are you ready?

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