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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Ephesians 4 (and a smidgen of 5)

It is so key, as we begin to look at the "walk it out" part of Ephesians that we remember the tremendous effort Paul gave to lay out very clearly our identity in the Messiah.  Only when we know the height, width, depth, breadth of His love for us can we proceed from that place of ultimate rest and trust to walking out love.
Paul assumed the communities that he was writing to would be living in close fellowship, rubbing up against each other daily which would require humility and patience and a putting up with each other.  Maintaining unity in the one Body in each locality was the high calling that he expected of them, verses 4-6.  There is no expectation in the Bible for separate groups meeting in separate buildings that I can see, repentance is needed.  This one body in each locality would be gifted with apostles, prophets, shepherds, teachers and evangelists.  This close knit community with functioning gifts of the Spirit is the soil in which true followers of the Messiah are grown.  They are not blown about by every wind of teaching.  The speak into each others life and the growth process of the believer continues.  The laying aside of corruption that is called for is really only possible in this soil, on our own, falling and drifting away is almost guaranteed. 
Be angry and yet do not sin.  The anger is directed toward sin and the spiritual powers that bring death and destruction.  Anger directed towards people almost always has its root in self-centered thinking that is disappointed that other people are not centering their thoughts and actions on my happiness.  Since self and pride are the favorite area's Satan moves in, wallowing in anger directed at people opens the door for him to come in.  From there like a snowball rolling down hill he will encourage bitterness then outbursts of rage, then a consistent anger, then open quarreling, then intentionally speaking to hurt someone (slander) then actually working in tandem with the one who has come to steal, kill and destroy by acting with malice toward another person or group. 
The solution that is meant to bring us back to our Messiah is to remember His tenderhearted, quickly forgiving, sacrificial love for us who he calls in 5:1 dearly loved children.  Our prayer for each other is to spend time in the arms of our Father, as much time as it takes, to come to the revelation that we are right now, dearly loved children, with a tenderhearted Father and a Holy Spirit who we can grieve if we forget our high calling and instead of being a touch point for people to see the love of God we begin to bring harm to the people He loves.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Go Out and Wait

1 Chronicles 14:8,9  "The minute the Philistines heard that David had been made king over a united Israel, they went out in force to capture David. When David got the report, he..."

How would you finish this sentence?

How you would finish it without looking will tell a lot about how you approach the enemy.

A community of Messiah, filled to all the fullness of the Messiah is hot on the offensive when they see the work of the enemy.


"...marched out to confront them."  But when we march out to meet them, we realize we cannot be, must not be, dependent on our own strength.

10" and David asketh of God, saying, `Do I go up against the Philistines -- and hast Thou given them into my hand?'"
 
We pause, we selah, we wait on the direction that the Lord gives, and we do not move until He speaks.


Thursday, November 22, 2018

Steal, kill and destroy.

When we see the footprints, the fingerprints, the tire tracks of the perpetrator, we can reach out in prayer and take the authority purchased by Yeshua over the enemy and his schemes.

A friend would come out into the light and seem to be walking in truth and understanding the revelation of God's forgiveness and then it would all just disappear and he would fall back into condemnation and feeling worthless because of his past. 

What was happening?

The thief had come to steal.  The truth had come to set him free, and the enemy who had gained a foot hold long ago as a result of child abuse was busy doing his destructive work of stealing.

The love and compassion of the Messiah is placed in His body, so that, at times like this, it will flow out of us in the full authority of the victorious warrior, and Satan and his hold will be bound up and cast out. 

A new day will dawn, a day of revelation, light and truth that cannot be stolen!

Monday, November 19, 2018

You Had One Job!

Praying with a friend on Thursday and I could feel the smile of God with even a twinkle in His eye, but with a very serious message to get across.  (I picture Him the same way when telling about taking the speck out of someone's eye while you have a plank in your own.)

The message was, "YOU HAD ONE JOB!"

The Holy Spirit is to convict of sin, righteousness and judgement.

Our job is to love.

The Father is busy drawing people to His Son.

Our job is to love.

Salvation is of God, that is what Yeshuah/Jesus means, so there is no situation where we could come in have someone pray the sinner's prayer and put another notch on our evangelist belt.

Our job is to love.

We are sent out by His love and compassion, filling us with all the fullness of God.  Together as members of the Messiah's community, He speaks, He sends and the laborer's go forth and they have

ONLY ONE JOB!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Dispensational Theology and Humility

 The word translated dispensation occurs 6 times in the Greek scriptures.  We should look at how it is used to get a correct understanding of what it means.  Luke 16:3,4 
 1 Cor. 9:17, Eph. 1:10 and 3:2 and Colossians 1:25. It has been used as a word that divides but when you look at the context you see that it is actually a word that explains that Paul was given a stewardship of the mystery of God that the Gentiles, (us) were going to be included in the Messiah's ever expanding loved family, under one Father.
Looking at the word stewardship/dispensation and seeing
that it seems to mean, something that you are given from someone
else and you are assigned to dispense it.
So, Paul was shown a mystery (which is something God has
always known but reveals to man at a set time) that the Gentiles
were going to be fully included in God's family because of the Messiah.
We looked at Acts 13:46-49 to see how incredibly happy the Gentiles
were when they heard that the Messiah's death and resurrection totally
brought them into the family of God. We are 2,000 years removed from
this being ground breaking, earth shaking news, but as we read Eph. 2 and 3
we can see how truly far away the Gentiles were and how absolutely
amazing it was for the Messiah to gather them into the Father's one family.
 God's love expanded to include
the Gentiles, this is what we read Paul saying when he speaks of his
dispensation, but some people (probably 90% of the Christian church) has
used the word dispensation to exclude the Jew and set apart the church
as God's new chosen people.  There is nothing in the text to indicate this.

That kind of thinking stems all the way back from this verse in Genesis 9:27
"May God enlarge Japheth, may he dwell in the tents of Shem, and may Canaan be his slave.”
It is key to remember we are descended from Ham(Canaan), Shem, or Japheth.
Most of European descent are from Japheth.  Japheth is always looking to
enlarge, or take over, so when Rome got a hold of the gospel, they tried to
take over and make the church the new chosen people, but the only way we
are to be blessed is if we (Gentiles) bow to enter the tents of Shem (Jewish)
people.  The key to understanding the gospel and coming into the "fullness of God"
is humility.  For Japheth to agree with God that the Jew is His chosen people, but
that we are being allowed to "dwell in the tents of Shem" is to express
humility.  "Thank you God for including me" is our attitude, not "look at me I'm the center."
Paul in Romans 11 makes it clear that Gentiles need a strong warning not
to become arrogant, that has not changed.

The Gentiles being included was foretold in Isaiah and Hosea and other places and
Simeon included it in his blessing in Luke.  Also it is key to see that Satan in Luke 4:5-8
was offering the Gentiles to Jesus if He would bow to him, but Jesus says, No I
am only worshipping God, but He would have had a little "twinkle" in His eye at
that moment, because as a result of worshipping God and going to the cross, He would
come to rule over more Gentiles from every tribe and tongue than a man could number. (Revelation)
All this was a mystery because if God had fully revealed it at the time Satan would
not have followed through with His plan to crucify Jesus.  (1 Corin. 2:8)

Once we (Gentiles) see and accept this with humility, then the way is opened for
us to truly see the love of God for us and to enter into what Eph. 3:19 calls
"all the fullness of God."  Wow!

Friday, November 9, 2018

And Jesus Got in the Boat and They Were at Their Destination

When we give up, when we cry out to God from a place of "I can't do this."
He hears our cry.
He gets into our boat.
And we reach our destination with absolutely no idea
how
we got there.


And once again.
It is truly not how,
but


Who!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Dispensation

"That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:"  Eph. 1:10


Some teachers use the word dispensation to divide.
Division is not from the Lord.  The Messiah has come to gather all into one body.
Eph. 1:10 makes this apparent, all you have to do is read the whole thought.


"For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:" Eph. 3:1-6


Eph. 3:2 in its proper context is just as clear, verse 6 standing in stark contrast to any attempt to pry the word out of context and make it a cause for division.




Now I could see where this verse could trip someone up if they only listened to one teacher, and if they did not know that Christ is more properly translated, Messiah, (anointed King of Israel).
 "Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;"
Col. 1:24,25


So the anointed King of Israel, their long awaited Messiah, through the power of the Holy Spirit now has a body on earth, His ekklesia, His gathering, His community to display His love and power for the glory of the Father.  There is nothing new about this, Acts 7:38  "This is he, that was in the church (ekklesia) in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him (Moses) in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:"  What is new, is now we know the identity of the Messiah and the purpose of the Holy Spirit, and all of it is a work of sacrificial love to gather all into one family under one Father.


Once you see this you cannot un-see it and the false division of a false understanding of the term dispensation fades away.  In its place comes the beauty of humility as you are amazed as Paul was at the end of Romans 11 as the plan of God and the wisdom of God is revealed.


"For God has shut up all in disobedience, so that He might show mercy to all.
33 O the depth of the riches,
    both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are His judgments
    and how incomprehensible His ways!
34 For “who has known the mind of Adonai,
    or who has been His counselor?”
35 Or “who has first given to Him,
    that it shall be repaid to him?”[
36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen."