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Archive for March, 2013

Just a quick thought I had …

One of the recurring issues I hear about is that the Old Covenant is still valid because Jesus had said that He didn’t come to destroy the Law but to fulfill it, and that until Heaven and Earth pass, not a jot or tittle would pass from the Law until all be fulfilled.  How is that possible if the Old Covenant is no longer in place?

The other day I was reading Colossians slowly, trying to absorb each thought Paul was delivering.  I came to the passage about legalism in Colossians 2:16-23, and I stopped in my tracks –

“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. “  

The first word that made me curious was “rudiments”.  In the Greek it is “stoicheion”, which mean to put or to go in a row, as in a series.  Basically it means the primary principles that other things are based on … or in a word, the rudimentary elements. Paul is in a discussion here about the Old Law so it is obvious that these “rudiments of the world” are pointing to the carnal ceremonial elements of the Mosaic Law.  Okay, I don’t want to get over complicated here – this is just about the carnal ordinances of the Law – I got it.

The next word that reached out and grabbed me was “the world”.  This word is Kosmos, or cosmos for all you Carl Sagan fans.  This is an interesting word in that it means that which pertains to space, the sum total of the material universe, all the beauty in it, and all the persons … but not time! Are you with me so far? This is huge!  Not time!

If I am reading this passage from Colossians correctly, it is saying that all the carnal ordinances that constitute the covenant of death that Paul repeatedly disavowed (see: http://www.revivalfire.org/covenants.htm) are not supposed to affect us because we are no longer in the Kosmos.  We are outside time! When we received Eternal Life, something more than a warm feeling happened to us – our soul transcended the dimension of Time.  The Law hasn’t passed away – it’s still valid in the carnal world and will never pass away and it still stands as a testament of judgment against all flesh – but we are no longer part of that world.  We are dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, we don’t live in that old system, and so therefore we are no longer subject to those old ordinances that Christ nailed to His Cross.

Wow. I was stunned. When we accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, we passed from death unto life and left behind the ordinances of touch not, taste not, handle not. We no longer have to put the blood of bulls and goats on our right ear, our right thumb, and our right toe. We don’t have to keep the dietary laws or the festivals that foreshadowed Christ and the New Testament. We don’t have to deal with the sacrifices of dead animals.

The Old Law is still there and still valid as a condemnation to all who live in the Kosmos, but we left the building when we got saved! We are no longer creatures of Time. We are free.

 

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“And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.
(1 Kings 17:1)

 A reflection of the last days can be seen in this chapter in Elijah’s life.  Israel had forsaken the true faith of their fathers for an idolotrous religion that was pressed upon them by Ahab’s marriage to Jezebel – a satanic union of church and state . The land seemed to flourish in prosperity that was undoubtedly attributed to this new religion of Baal.  Baal, or course, is the god of love who preaches a kinder, gentler gospel message than that old, stern and judgmental Jehovah and is more in tune with the pleasures of the world.  Satan’s job is not to try to convince us that sin is not sin, but rather that we can get away with sin because God will always forgive us, understand our human failings and cover our sin with His love.  That is the god of Baal, and that is precisely why the people loved Baal and hated the prophets of God.

How like today!  We have a form of godliness, but we have denied the power thereof because we have pulled away from the holiness and fear of God that our grandfathers preached to us.  We denigrate the old Brush Arbor revivals, and then wonder why the modern church is so anemic.  But although we are disenchanted with the old message, we still adhere to the idea of Jesus … we just manufactured it into a different form that has an uncanny resemblance to the golden calves at the foot of Mt. Sinai.

Elijah was chased to the Brook Cherith to be fed by the ravens until the brook dried up.  Every morning and every evening the birds came to sustain him.  I’m not sure how Elijah felt about being fed these delicacies from birds, but this is certainly not the same picture that we see in how today’s ecclesiastical royalty is being served.  But then, neither are they the type of preachers that we would expect to march into Ahab’s throne room and tell him that he is going to Hell. (more…)

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The Sign of Jonah

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In ministering to a church recently, I prayed for God to manifest a miracle of healing right in their midst so that this church could really see and believe. These were good-hearted people who honestly wanted to hear what I had to say and, in some cases, hung on every

It is a difficult thing to trust your life to something you can’t see.word I spoke.  They believed me about the abundance of miracles that I had experienced in Africa; they applauded all the wonderful things that had been done and the souls that had been saved; they even hungered for the marvelous outpouring of the Spirit that had been poured down on the services over there … they just couldn’t seem to take that extra step of faith off the edge of that secure religious cliff they were on and have enough blind trust to fall off into the invisible hands of God.

So I prayed for God to manifest a supernatural miracle right before their eyes so they could see. Sounded like a good idea to me. But when I took it to prayer, the Lord answered me back with,

An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas”  (Matthew 12:39)

Yikes! Kinda harsh, aren’t you, Lord?  But I remembered back to when the Lord spoke to me several years ago when I was praying for the churches and complaining that they were really nice people. His answer to me then was, “I will spue the lukewarm out of my mounth.  And you think they’re nice?”  Ooops.

Well, if they were so “nice”, why weren’t they cut to the heart for the lost? Where was the fire? Where was the kind of zeal that had eaten them up? Where was their brokenness at the altar of prayer? If th

ey were so “nice”, why were they so complacent and lacksidaisical?  Why were they so much like the Church of Laodicea in Revelations?

I thought back to the rich man and Lazarus.  The message there was that we have the Word of God, but if we won’t hear the Word of God, we wouldn’t listen to someone even if they came back from the dead.  Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah, but how many of us have forsaken our ways that are so cemented in this world to take up a challenge of ferocious faith to hold up the Blood Stained Banner?  Oh, we say we do … and then we make excuses of why we do not.

It is not miracles that we need to see, but the reproof of the Word of God.  Proverbs 1:23 encourages us:

Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.” (Proverbs 1:23)

(The rest of that chapter in Proverbs is not so “encouraging” but rather terrifying.)

But hey, we read what we want and believe what we choose, and that, more than anything else, determines our level of faith.  We determine our own level of faith.  Miracles won’t do it.

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