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Posts tagged ‘Mount Sinai’

Living Words.


For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12

Recommended Reading
Proverbs 4:20-22 ( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs%204:20-22&version=NKJV )

Wildfires race up a mountainside like they are alive; the flames in our fireplace spread the same way. God compared His words to a fire (Jeremiah 23:29) and the disciples on the Emmaus road said Jesus’ words “burned” within them (Luke 24:32).

Listen to Today’s Radio Message ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/radio.aspx?tid=email_listenedevo )

What sets God’s words apart from any other? Moses gave the first clue, telling the Israelites that the word of the covenant “is your life” (Deuteronomy 32:47). Stephen, in his speech to Jewish leaders, describes the words Moses received on Mount Sinai as “living oracles” (Acts 7:38). Finally, the writer to the Hebrews expands the idea of “living” words, saying the “word of God” is a “discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). It’s not that God’s words seem to be alive like fire — they are alive. God is life, His words are life, and they create life in us as the Holy Spirit conforms us to  them.  Life begets life!

As you read the Word of God today, read it with expectancy and anticipation for the changes it will make in you.

The only true reformation is that which emanates from the Word of God.
J. H. Merle d’Aubigné

Read-Thru-the-Bible
Revelation 5-9

By David Jeremiah.

The Secret to Intimacy With God.


(Brandon Johnson/creationswap.com)

It is not hard to recognize someone who has spent extended time at a newsstand: His conversation overflows with the drama of current affairs. And it is not hard to discern a person who has come from a sporting event, as his face reveals the outcome of the game. Likewise, people can tell when an individual has spent extended time seeking God. An imperturbable calm guards his heart, and his countenance is radiant with light, as with the morning dew of heaven.

Beloved, to seek and find God is everything. It is to our shame that in our era church services do not focus more on actually seeking God. Yes, we do honor God and thank Him for what He has done. We hear a sermon and perhaps enjoy a time of fellowship with others. Yet only rarely do we depart a congregational meeting with the fire of eternity reflecting off our faces. Instead we fill up with information about God without actually drawing near to Him. Most of us are largely unaware of God’s presence.

While we rightly need church programs, fellowship and times for ministry training, we must not assume that religious indoctrination is the same thing as actually seeking God. And while I am often blessed listening to contemporary Christian music, even godly entertainment is no substitute for my own worship encounter with God.

Therefore let us ask ourselves: Is there a place and a time set apart in our spiritual lives where we can give ourselves to seeking God? What is the Spirit of God actually desired to manifest Himself during our worship service? Would the Lord have to wait until we finished our scheduled program? I respect and recognize the need for order; we need the scheduled times for announcements and the defined purposes that currently occupy Sunday mornings, but have we made room for God Himself?

When we first determine to draw near to God, it may seem we have little to show for our efforts. Yet be assured: Even the thought of seeking God is a step toward our transformation. Still, we often do not notice the early signs of our spiritual renewal—for as we grow increasingly more aware of God, we simultaneously grow increasingly less aware of ourselves. Though we may not see that we are changing, others certainly will.

Consider the experience of Moses. The Lord’s servant had ascended Mount Sinai and there stood before the living God. The eyes of Moses were actually filled with God’s sun-like glory; his ears actually heard the audible sound of the Lord’s voice. Yet when Moses returned to the people, the Bible says he “did not know that the skin of his face shone” (Ex. 34:29). When the Israelites saw the fire of God’s glory on the face of Moses, “they were afraid to come near him” (v. 30). They saw he had been with God.

The church needs more people who have, like Moses, climbed closer to the Almighty—people who have stood in the sacred fire of God’s presence. Instead we exhaust ourselves arguing over peripheral doctrines or styles of music in our song services. Perhaps there are benefits to constantly debating the nuances of our doctrines, but are we not more truly thirsting for the reality of God?

What happens when we seek God? The Bible says at the very moment we are drawing near to Him, the living presence of God Himself is drawing near to us (see James 4:8). Help is coming, redemption for our situation is on its way, strength will soon be arriving, and the powers of healing are activated.

But, we may argue, what if we seek Him and He does not come near? Fear not, He will. He may not manifest as we supposed, but He will come.

Our goal is to—day by day—draw nearer to God. He has commanded that we come boldly to His throne of grace. To receive the help we need, we must arrive at His throne. Remember also that our confidence comes from Christ Himself. He promises, “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matt. 7:8).

We are seeking a lifetime of increasing devotion, though it may certainly begin in a season of drawing near. In spite of natural and spiritual obstacles, as we persevere, the Lord assures us, “How much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (v.11).

If we do not cease seeking and knocking, we will discover unfolding degrees of intimacy with God. Even now, He’s drawing near. The Lord promises, “Everyone who … seeks finds.”

I Will Be Found By YouAdapted from I Will Be Found by You by Francis Frangipane, copyright 2013, published by Passio from Charisma House. In forty-three years of seeking after God, the author has learned that it is in seeking God that we actually find Him. This book contains a collection of his best writings on the subject. It will encourage you to pursue the Lord and reap the reward of finding Him. To order your copy click here.

PRAYER POWER FOR THE WEEK OF 10/28/13

This week make it a priority to seek God’s transforming presence with worship, meditation and prayer. Set a time and put aside all distractions that would divert your attention away from Him. Let Him speak to you from His Word and thank Him for the promise that if you seek Him you will find Him. Once you’ve spent time enjoying His presence and giving Him worship, expand your prayer to include those who need salvation, revival and provision. Ask Him to direct your steps where you can be a blessing to those in need. Continue to pray for global revival and for more laborers for His harvest fields. Lift up our government leaders and pray that they will seek the Lord’s guidance to govern. Remember Israel and the persecuted church. Matt. 7:7-8; Ps. 9:10

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ SPIRITLED WOMAN.

Three Surprising Ways to Grieve the Holy Spirit.


Three Surprising Ways to Grieve the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is often described as light. He shines into the dark places of the heart and convicts us of sin (John 16:7-11). He is a lamp to illumine God’s word, teaching what is true and showing the truth to be precious (1 Cor. 2:6-16). And the Spirit throws a spotlight on Christ so that we can see his glory and be changed (John 16:14). That’s why 2 Corinthians 3:18 speaks of becoming more like Christ by beholding the glory of Christ. Just as Moses had his face transfigured when he saw the Lord’s glory on Mount Sinai (Ex. 34:29; 2 Cor. 3:7), so will we be transformed when, by the Spirit, we behold God’s glory in the face of Christ.

The Spirit, then, is a light to us in three ways: by exposing our guilt, by illuminating the word of God, and by showing us Christ. Or to put it another way, as Divine Light, the Holy Spirit works to reveal sin, reveal the truth, and reveal glory. When we close our eyes to this light or disparage what we are meant to see by this brightness, we are guilty of resisting the Spirit (Acts 7:51), or quenching (1 Thess. 5:19) or grieving the Spirit (Eph. 4:30). There may be slight nuances among the three terms, but they are all speak of the same basic reality: refusing to see and to savor what the Spirit means to show us.

There are, then, at least three ways to grieve the Holy Spirit—three ways that may be surprising because they correspond to the three ways in which the Spirit acts as light to expose our guilt, illumine the word, and show us Christ.

First, we grieve the Holy Spirit when we use him to excuse our sinfulness. The Spirit is meant to be the source of conviction in the human hearts. How sad it is, therefore, when Christianstry to use the Spirit to support ungodly behavior. We see it when people—whether genuinely deceived or purposeful charlatans—claim the leading of the Spirit as the reason for their unbiblical divorce, or for their financial impropriety, or for their new found sexual liberation. The Holy Spirit is always the Spirit of holiness. He means to show us our sin not to excuse it through subjective feelings, spontaneous impressions, and wish fulfillment disguised as enlightened spirituality. If the Holy Spirit is grieved when we turn from righteousness to sin, how doubly grieved he must be when we claim the Spirit’s authority for such deliberate rebellion.

Second, we grieve the Holy Spirit when we pit him against the Scriptures. The Spirit works to reveal the truth of the word of God, not to lead us away from it. There is no place in the Christian life for supposing or suggesting that careful attention to the Bible is somehow antithetical to earnest devotion to the Holy Spirit. Anyone wishing to honor the Spirit would do well to honor the Scriptures he inspired and means to illuminate.

Sometimes Christians will cite the promise in John 16:13 that the Spirit “will guide you into all the truth” as reason to expect that the third person of the Trinity will give us new insights not found in the Scripture. But the “truth” referred to in John 16 is the whole truth about everything bound up in Jesus Christ, the way, the truth, and the life. The Spirit will unpack the things that are to come, insofar as he will reveal to the apostles (see v. 12) the significance of Jesus’ death, resurrection, and exaltation. The Spirit, speaking for the Father and the Son, would help the apostles remember what Jesus said and understand the true meaning of who Jesus is and what he accomplished (John 14:26).

This means that the Spirit is responsible for the truths the apostles preached and that in turn were written down in what we now call the New Testament. We trust the Bible—and do not need to go beyond the Bible—because the apostles, and those under the umbrella of their authority, wrote the Bible by means of the Spirit’s revelation. The Bible is the Spirit’s book. To insist on exegetical precision, theological rigor, and careful attention to the word of God should never be denigrated as stuffing our heads full of knowledge, let alone as somehow opposed to the real work of the Spirit.

Third, we grieve the Holy Spirit when we suggest he is jealous of our focus on Christ. The Holy Spirit’s work is to serve. He speaks only what he hears (John 16:13). He declares what he is given; his mission is to glorify another (John 16:14). All three persons of the Trinity are fully God, yet in the divine economy the Son makes known the Father and the Spirit glorifies the Son. Yes, it is a terrible thing to be ignorant about the Spirit and unwise to overlook the indispensable role he plays in our lives. But we must not think we can focus on Christ too much, or that when we exalt Christ to the glory of God the Father that somehow the Spirit is sulking off in the corner. The Spirit means to shine a light on Christ; he is not envious to stand in the light himself.

Exulting in Christ, focusing on Christ, speaking much and singing often of Christ are not evidences of the Spirit’s dismissal but of the Spirit’s work. If the symbol of the church is the cross and not the dove, that’s because the Spirit would have it that way. As J. I. Packer puts it, “The Spirit’s message to us is never, ‘Look at me; listen to me; come to me; get to know me,’ but always, ‘Look at him, and see hisglory; listen to him, and hear his word; go to him, and have life; get to know him, and taste his gift of joy and peace.’”

Again, to know nothing of the Holy Spirit is a serious mistake (cf. Acts 19:2). But when Christians lament an over-attentiveness to Christ or moan about too much emphasis on the cross, such protestations grieve the Spirit himself. The Holy Spirit is not waiting in the wings to be noticed and lauded. His work is not to shine brightly before us, but to shine a light on the glory of Christ. To behold the glory of God the Father in the face of Jesus Christ the Son is not to sideline the Holy Spirit; it is to celebrate his gracious work among us.

Whether we are talking about holiness, the Bible, or Jesus Christ, let us never set the Spirit against the very thing he means to accomplish. We do not honor the Spirit by trying to diminish what he seeks to exalt. And we do not stay in his step by pushing others (or ourselves) in the direction of the very things that grieve him most.

Kevin DeYoung, Pastor, Author

Kevin DeYoung is Senior Pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan. He is married to Trisha with five young children. This article originally appeared on Kevin DeYoung’s blog, “DeYoung, Restless, and Reformed,” at The Gospel Coalition website. Used with permission.

The Feet of Yeshua: A Fivefold Scriptural Meaning.


Feet of Jesus
(YouTube)

The expression “feet of Yeshua” has a fivefold meaning in the Scriptures, parts of it present, past and future.

1. Devotional intimacy. Perhaps the most well-known meaning today comes from the special, intimate, devotional expression we find in Miriam (Mary), one of Yeshua’s closest disciples.

  • Luke 10:39: Miriam sat at Yeshua’s feet and heard His word.
  • John 12:3: Miriam took very costly oil, anointed Yeshua’s feet and wiped His feet with her hair.

By positioning herself at Yeshua’s feet, Miriam serves as an exquisite model for us not only of devotion and intimacy but also of humility and vulnerability.

2. Physical resurrection. When Yeshua was crucified, His hands and feet were pierced. After He rose from the dead, He showed His disciples the scars remaining on His body (John 20:27).

  • Luke 24:39: “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”

Yeshua proved that He really was resurrected and that the resurrection was physical and not merely spiritual. It also shows that the resurrected body is a continuation and glorification of our current body and not a totally distinct entity altogether (1 Cor. 15:35-50).

3. Eternal divinity. There are appearances of Yeshua in His pre-birth, pre-incarnation form throughout the Law and the Prophets. Some two dozen of these mysterious appearances of YHVH in the form of a man are documented in my book Who Ate Lunch With Abraham?

  • Exodus 24:10: They saw the God of Israel, and under His feet was the work of sapphire stone.

In this case, 74 people saw this divine-human figure on Mount Sinai. The fact that the God of Israel appeared repeatedly in this “down to earth” form prepares the way for understanding Yeshua as the eternal and divine Messiah, the manifestation of God in human form.

4. Literal return. As Yeshua was physically raised from the dead, so will He return to earth at the Second Coming in bodily form.

All the nations will attack Jerusalem. Yeshua will descend from heaven with a mighty army to destroy those nations.  As He ascended from the Mount of Olives, so will He return. He will not come halfway down and hover in the air, but He will come all the way back to touch the ground—once and for all.

5. Millennial glory. After Yeshua returns, He will set up His kingdom of peace over the whole earth. Ezekiel had a vision of a divine Man speaking to him from the Millennial Temple:

  • Ezekiel 43:6-7: “A man stood beside me. He said to me, ‘Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever.'”

Yeshua will reign for 1,000 years in a glorified form with His spiritual and governmental capital in Jerusalem. The kingdom of God comes down to earth from heaven, and Yeshua’s glorified feet symbolize this reality.

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ STANDING WITH ISRAEL.

Asher Intrater, along with his wife, Betty, is the director of Revive Israel Ministries, an apostolic ministry team dedicated to revival in Israel. The Intraters are committed to world evangelism, the power of the Holy Spirit, personal integrity, the lordship of Yeshua, the unity of the church and the restoration of the nation of Israel.

Is Your Church a Kingdom Colony or a Country Club?.


Trevin Wax

One of the oldest monasteries in the world is Saint Catherine’s. Built by Emperor Justinian to protect the monks in the region, St. Catherine’s sits at the foot of Mount Sinai in Egypt. The walls are made of granite and are between 8 and 35 meters tall.

Up until last century, there was only one way into the monastery: a tiny door more than thirty feet above the ground. People entered the monastery through a system of pulleys and ropes. The monastery itself contains ancient icons and many treasures. But up until recently, it was largely inaccessible to the outside world.

Our churches naturally drift toward becoming like St. Catherine’s monastery: a fortified, doorless organization that focuses upon its own preservation rather than its specific mission.

Our hearts drift toward tribalism, the tendency to gather with people just like us and to reflect ourselves rather than the missionary heart of God. We’re always putting up mirrors around the light of the gospel when we should be putting up windows.

Kingdom Colony or Country Club

The church is intended to be a colony of heaven, living according to the gospel announcement. But too often we turn the kingdom colony into a country club. Our focus becomes the comfort and preservation of our tribe rather than the mission that accompanies the gospel announcement.

Battleship or Cruise Ship

I’ve heard it said that the people of God either have the mentality of a battleship or a cruise ship. Both may sail, but they have very different purposes. The battleship exists for others. It is on a rescue mission, set to penetrate the enemy’s territory and do battle for the commander. The cruise ship exists for the comfort of its passengers. Luxury and comfort are the core values, and everyone seeks to make the journey comfortable and memorable.

When we adopt a cruise ship mentality, the cross and resurrection of Christ will is reduced to a message of personal comfort. The core value of our worship services is to be memorable and entertaining. Our theological debates become about upholding doctrine for doctrine’s sake, rather than seeing theological reflection as an aid to fulfilling our mission. Instead of seeing our gatherings as a base from which individual Christians scatter into the world as salt and light, we wall ourselves off from the outside world and neglect the prophetic nature of our gospel announcement.

Missional or Tribal

Tullian Tchividjian explains the difference between a missional and a tribal people:

“The highest value of a community with a tribal mindset is self-preservation. A tribal community exists solely for itself, and those within it keep asking, “How can we protect ourselves from those who are different from us?

“A tribal mindset is marked by an unbalanced patriotism. It typically elevates personal and cultural preferences to absolute principles: If everybody were more like us, this world would be a better place.

“But in a missional minded community, the highest value isn’t self-preservation but self-sacrifice. A missional community exists not primarily for itself but for others. It’s a community that’s willing to be inconvenienced and discomforted, willing to expend itself for others on God’s behalf.”

This blog post is adapted from Counterfeit Gospels142-144.

What Pentecost Means to Both Christians and Jews.


Steve Strang on Mount Sinai in 1979
Steve Strang on Mount Sinai in 1979

Today, May 14, marks the 65th anniversary on the Gregorian calendar of Israel’s Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel. It is also the beginning of Shavuot, also called Pentecost, in which Jews around the world celebrate as if they are standing at Sinai together. As one of my Jewish friends said, this is about “not just receiving the Torah, but accepting and embracing it.”

In many ways, there is no holiday we celebrate that is more evocative of the binding connection between Jews and Christians than this. At Shavuot (Pentecost), the Jews celebrate receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai, which was literally the beginning of Judaism. For Christians, Pentecost, which we celebrate next Sunday, was literally the beginning of the church, when the Holy Spirit was outpoured and 3,000 were saved as Peter preached about the risen Christ.

My same Jewish friend pointed out that many of Israel’s neighbors and other detractors “mourn Israel’s rebirth as a catastrophe.” However, “this intolerance is all the more reason to celebrate this joyous occasion,” and this is why it is imperative that Christians and Jews stand together.

Thirty-four years ago today, I was in Jerusalem with Jamie Buckingham when Israel celebrated its independence. I remember it was difficult to sleep due to the Israelis celebrating all night long in the streets.

We went from Jerusalem on a pilgrimage to the Sinai Peninsula, controlled in 1979 by Israel (it is now part of Egypt). There we climbed Jebel Musa, which means the Mountain of Moses. There are actually three mountains that people think might have been the original Mount Sinai, but this is the one accepted by most Protestants.

It was a moving experience to be able to climb that mountain and spend time at the top with my friends, contemplating what happened on that spot and how God revealed himself to Moses in a way that has affected all of mankind to this day.

While in Jerusalem, we also visited “the Upper Room,” where the book of Acts says the Holy Spirit was outpoured. Our group of nine American pilgrims had a wonderful time of worship. I remember being overwhelmed with emotion as I prayed that day in my prayer language. It was from that experience on the Day of Pentecost that those of us who believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit call ourselves Pentecostals.

Cover-Holy-Spirit-Issue-SmallI am encouraging those who call themselves Pentecostals to celebrate Pentecost Sunday next week. Billy Wilson’s ministry, called Empowered21, is taking the lead and providing materials for your church. We are also posting information about the Holy Spirit online.

As you may know, we devoted our May issue of Charismato the work of the Holy Spirit. We have gotten a wonderful response, and now the printed issues are gone. So we are making that digital issue available free of charge during the month of May. You can get it by clicking here. It’s a wonderful way to experience the beauty of the digital issue. You can also share it with friends on social media.

Please leave your thoughts about Jewish independence, about the Jewish festival Shavuot (pronouncedShuhvote) and Pentecost Sunday. And let me know how you like our digital issue.

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE

By STEVE STRANG


Steve Strang is the founder and publisher of Charisma. Follow him on Twitter at @sstrang or on Facebook (stephenestrang).

Shavuot: Celebrating the Torah and the Holy Spirit.


Ron Cantor
Ron Cantor

From Tuesday evening until sundown on Wednesday, Israelis will celebrate the feast of Shavuot. Most Christians know this feast as Pentecost and some are not even aware that it is a Jewish Feast.

In this video, Israeli/American pastor Ron Cantor breaks down this holiday for us, sharing the biblical significance from both the Old and New Covenants. What do you think of these revelations? Please comment below.

 

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

RON CANTOR/MESSIAH’S MANDATE

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