The Elijah and Elisha Principles (Part 3)

May 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The Elijah principle – the principle of continual provision.

Please first read Part 1 and Part 2 before you continue to read Part 3.

Solomon’s Wisdom

Another book in the Bible that speaks about giving first unto God, is the book of Proverbs. Written by the man whom God has chosen to be King David’s successor, this book contains wisdom about everyday situations and problems with practical, Spiritually inspired advice.

King SolomonIn his wisdom, with more gold and silver in his treasury than any other king before him, King Solomon wrote these words,

“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops. then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
    and your vats will brim over with new wine.” (Prov 3:9-10)

King Solomon did not have to give the firstfruits unto God. He was not in a financial desperate position like the widow with her son. He inherited his father David’s riches, which David acquired over his forty year reign! However, King Solomon chose to still honour God with his firstfruits and the best he had.

As one reads from verse ten, there is a promise for the person who decides to follow by faith and obedience in King Solomon’s footsteps. According to him, there will also be an abundant supply, even to the point where it starts running over!

A Prophet’s Challenge

When it comes to tithing, each church has its own interpretation of Malachi 3:8-10.

“Will a man rob God?
Yet you have robbed Me!
But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’
In tithes and offerings.
You are cursed with a curse,
For you have robbed Me,
Even this whole nation.
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,
That there may be food in My house,
And try Me now in this,”
Says the Lord of hosts,
“If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
And pour out for you such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it.

In order to understand the above verses, the following must be taken into consideration:

  • It was one of the 613 laws of the Old Testament (Lev 27:30-32). As with all the other laws, there were a blessing and curse attached to this law.
  • Tithing1“…all the tithes…” together were 23.3%. It was like income tax, which every male in Israel had to pay. The tithes consisted of 10% to the priests (Num 18:21), 10% of the harvest, which they brought to the tabernacle (or temple) three times a year and made a feast before the Lord as a thank-offering (Deut 14:22-24). And lastly, 10% every third year, which the Levites and Priests distributed to the widows, orphans and poor (Deut 14:27-29).
  • It is is only place in the OT where God said that the people of Israel could challenge him.
  • A tithe, or tithing, was the firstfruits of their harvest or livestock.
  • The Priests were the men of God which looked after the well-being of the people.
  • When the people of Israel gave first unto the men of God, God would bless them and look after them.

Jesus’ Words

When I open my Bible at Matthew 10 from verses 40 to 42, the heading reads REWARDS FOR SERVICE. 

“The person who welcomes you welcomes me, and the person who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. The person who welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward. The person who welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. I can guarantee this truth: Whoever gives any of my humble followers a cup of cold water because that person is my disciple will certainly never lose his reward.”

We see here that God is into rewarding any person who does the smallest of good to any of His children. Although we do not find any relevance to firstfruits in this passage of Scripture, we do find that that you and I will surely be rewarded for doing good to even the least of the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ – someone whose life is dedicated and committed in following after the teachings of Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul’s Teachings

I have heard many Christians quote the following verse from the New Testament when they were trusting God for a breakthrough in their finances:

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:19

Maybe you have also at some time in your life, quoted this verse and standing on this promise, trusting God for a financial miracle.

To be continued in Part 4

The Elijah and Elisha Principles (Part 2)

May 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

# 1The Elijah principle – the principle of continual provision.

The principle is this: First give unto God (or the man that works for God), and then God will give unto you. (Now before you think I am about to ask for some donation or offering, I’m not!)

I personally believe that if you and I want our lives to be rooted and grounded on Biblical principles, we have to find the same principle in different places/books in the Bible. Meaning, the same principle must be found in more than three places/books in the Bible through either what God has said to, or done for his people. (Deut 19:15, Matt 18:16, 2 Cor 13:1). Anyone can take a Scripture verse on any topic and then construct some ideology from that verse. But sound doctrine is based on truths found in more than three different teachings, stories, and examples in the whole of the Bible.

Let’s look at some examples of the Elijah Principle from other places in the Bible.

Remember what Elijah told the widow, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son”.

The emphasis here is on the word first.

  • First means that before she could bake bread for herself and her son, she had to bake for the man of God.
  • FirstFor her to bake the bread for Elijah first, it was an act of obedience and of faith.
  • She did not know what was going to happen after she baked the bread for him first.
  • She had no idea the meal and oil could multiply – it was never done before!
  • First does not imply that she baked for herself and what was left over, she then use to bake a small, tiny loaf of bread for the prophet – that would be second or the leftover.

Now that you understand the meaning of first, we can look at places where God required the first-fruits of the harvest, or first-lings of the flock to be given to Him or the servants working for Him.

God’s commandment to Israel

The Lord spoke to Moses, “Tell the Israelites: When you come to the land I am going to give you and you harvest grain, bring the priest a bundle of the first grain you harvest. He will present it to the Lord so that you will be accepted. (Leviticus 23:9-11)

In this passage of Scripture the Israelites had to take the first  sheaf of their wheat harvest and bring it to the priests. The priest, who was the middleman between God and the people, took the sheaf of wheat and literally waved it in the air as if to say unto God, “here is this man’s firstfruit offering of his wheat harvest that he offers unto you, please accept it as a token of obedience, thanksgiving and faith”.

But not only were they to bring the first sheaf  of the wheat harvest unto God, but also of all other produce of the land. The purpose of the firstfruits brought by the people to the priests, was specifically spelled out by God to Aaron the high priest.

God’s commandment to Aaron

aaron 2The Lord said to Aaron…“I am also giving you the first of the produce they give the Lord: the best of all the olive oil and the best of the new wine and fresh grain. The first of all produce harvested in their land that they bring to the Lord is yours.” (Numbers 18:8-14)

Because the priests were not entitled to any piece of land, God gave the first-fruits of all the people to Aaron, the priests and Levites. The priests were not to work land, breed cattle or do any form of trading. They were God’s servants and representatives, looking after the spiritual well-being of the nation. Therefore, when the people brought of their first-fruits to God, as per commandment, Aaron and the priests were allowed to take it for themselves.

And as long as the people obeyed God’s commandment, God blessed them with good crops, healthy livestock and rain in due season (Deut 28:1-14). As long as they brought the firstfruits or firstlings (Numbers 18:15-18) of their crops or livestock, God kept His word and they prospered.

Cain and Abel

I’ve met many Christians who have been puzzled by the way God has dealt with Cain. God seemingly accepted Abel’s offering but for some unknown reason, or so it seems, God rejected the offering Cain brought to the Lord.

Cain-AbleAnd Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LordAnd she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. (Genesis 4:1-7)

There are two things in this passage that look like the Bible either contradicts itself, or is very vague of what God expected them to do or not to do.

  1. The Bible plainly states that God is not a respecter of persons (2 Sam 14:14, 2 Chron 9:7, Acts 10:34, Rom 2:11, Eph 6:9), while it clearly says in this passage… And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect, for no apparent reason.
  2. If one reads verse 7, it sounds like Cain did some sort of sin, or allowed sin to overpower him, but we do not find where God told him the reason why He did not accept his offering – this is where the facts are vague.

To understand both, we need to see where else in the Bible we find writings about Cain and Abel.

By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead. (Hebrews 11:4)

What sorrow awaits them! For they follow in the footsteps of Cain, who killed his brother. Like Balaam, they deceive people for money. And like Korah, they perish in their rebellion. (Jude 1:11)

All the men and women of Hebrews 11 have one thing in common – they walked by faith. And in order to walk by faith, or do anything in faith, you first need a word (or commandment) from God.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rom 10:17).

Abel’s offering was an act of faith whereby he came into right standing (righteousness) with God. To do an act of faith, God must have told them what He required of them when making an offering unto Him. Although we do not find the words of God, we do find Cain and Abel’s actions and therefore can read into it the commandment of God concerning their offering. Read the difference in the way Cain and Abel brought the offerings again:

  • And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.
  • And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof.

Cain only brought some of the fruit, while Abel brought of the firstlings… Can you see the difference?

From God’s point of view on firstfruitsofferings, there is a difference between of the fruit (and not the firstfruit), and of the firstling (and not just any lamb of his flock). God must have specifically told them that He required the first and not just some. Abel brought his firstling, which was an act of obedience and of faith. Cain did not bring any offering in faith (and obedience), because to bring any of the fruit and not the firstfruit, is not an act of faith. This is also the reason why God warned Cain in verse 7 not to let sin, which is contrary to faith, rule over him.

for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” (Rom 14:23)

If Cain would have brought the firstfruit as an offering to God, God would have accepted Cain’s offering as well because God is not a respecter of persons. The bringing of firstfruits and firstlings do not have its origin under the law of Moses, but hundreds of years prior to that.

In Part 3 we will look at…

  • Solomon’s wisdom
  • A prophet’s challenge
  • Jesus’ words
  • The Apostle Paul’s teachings

The Elijah and Elisha Principles (Part 1)

April 26, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

What are Principles?

PrincipleAccording to the Oxford Dictionary, a principle is…

  • a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behaviour or for a chain of reasoning, or
  • A rule or belief governing one’s behaviour, or
  • morally correct behaviour and attitudes, or
  • A general scientific theorem or law that has numerous special applications across a wide field.

We use the word principle in different ways like,

  • the basic principles of justice are…, or
  • she resigned over a matter of principle, or
  • he is a man of principle.

What are the Elijah and Elisha Principles?

Elijah and Elisha 1Both of them provided miraculously for two widows who were in dire straits financially. So, one could say that the Elijah and Elisha principles are two fundamental Biblical principles for having,

  • first, a constant flow of God’s provision, and
  • secondly, a breakthrough in financial provision for your future.

I am going to try and explain these two principles not only from the lives and miracles of Elijah and Elisha, but also from other Scripture verses confirming these two principles.

They are not laws in the sense of, when you don’t obey them, something terrible is going to happen to you. Neither are they rules which can be broken.

They are principles, which may become part of your own personal system of belief and if so, may result in extraordinary flow of provision and surprise breakthrough in your finances.

There is however one condition for these principles to work.

You have to believe that they are Godsend and will work if you apply them rightly. (Hab 2:4, Rom 1:17, Gal 3:11, Heb 10:38) But whether you are going to apply these principles in your own life is up to you.

If you already have a constant flow of finances, you will probably not implement these principles in your life – and that is okay. If you are not in financial difficulty and do not need a miraculous intervention, do not bother to add these to your life’s principles.

First some background on the lives of Elijah and Elisha

If you know your Bible stories, you will know that they are two of the greatest prophets serving God and the nation of Israel in the Old Testament.

Elijah was a man with great (spiritual) power and did eight  miracles in his fourteen years of being a prophet.

  1. elijahShutting heaven and stopping the rain for three years (1 Kings 17:1).
  2. The widow’s oil multiplied and the grain increased daily (1 Kings 17:8-16).
  3. Widow’s son raised from the dead (1 Kings 17:22-23).
  4. Fire from heaven on the soaked altar (1 Kings 18:38).
  5. Rain returns (1 Kings 18:45).
  6. Fire brought down on the soldiers (2 Kings 1:10).
  7. Fire brought down for the second time on the soldiers (2 Kings 1:12).
  8. The parting of the river Jordan (2 Kings 2:8)

Apart from the above miracles, Elijah was also did “space” travel 🙂 The Spirit of God would lift him from one geographical place and put him down in another geographical place. (1 Kings 18:7-12, 1 Kings 18:46). During the times of drought, God send ravens to feed Elijah (1 Kings 17:4) and he was also the only one of two persons in the Old Testament who was taken alive up to heaven (Gen 5:24, 2 Kings 2:11)

Elisha followed in the footsteps of Elijah with the difference of having a double portion of Elijah’s anointing (2 Kings 2:9-12) and therefore fittingly did sixteen miracles in his more than fifty years of being a prophet.

  1. He divided the river Jordan (2 Kings 2:14).
  2. He healed the waters (2 Kings 2:19-22).
  3. 42 cursing mockers were destroyed (2 Kings 2:23-24).
  4. Land filled with water (2 Kings 3:16-20).
  5. Continual oil flow and the paying off of debts (2 Kings 4:1-7)
  6. double portionBarren woman given a son (2 Kings 4:16-17).
  7. Raising a child from the dead (2 Kings 4:18-37).
  8. Poison food is made edible (2 Kings 4:38-41).
  9. Food is multiplied (2 Kings 4:42-44)
  10. Naaman’s leprosy cured (2 Kings 5:1-19).
  11. Gehazi gets Naaman’s leprosy (2 Kings 5:20-27).
  12. The axe head floats (2 Kings 6:1-7).
  13. Man being able to see into the spiritual world (2 Kings 6:17).
  14. People smitten with blindness (2 Kings 6:18).
  15. Restoring sight to the blind (2 Kings 6:20).
  16. Man comes to life by touching Elisha’s dead bones (2 Kings 13:14-21)

I have not come across a child of God who does not want a double anointing and blessing. What most Christians do not understand is that with the double anointing comes double the challenges and double the responsibilities. This I will explain in more detail later.

The Elijah principle

Now we come to the first principle – the principle of continual provision.

If you know the above stories, you will know which one of miracles Elijah performed, was about provision. If you do not know the story, please go and read the following Scripture verses (1 Kings 17:8-16).

The principle is this: First give unto God (or the man that works for God), and then God will give unto you. (Now before you think I am about to ask for some donation or offering, I’m not!)

I personally believe that if you and I want to base our lives on Biblical principles, we have to find the same principle in different places/books in the Bible. Meaning, the same principle must be found in more than two or three places/books in the Bible through either what God has said to, or done for his people. (Deut 19:15, Matt 18:16, 2 Cor 13:1)

So let us look at some examples of the Elijah Principle from other places/books in the Bible.

  • God’s commandment to Israel
  • Cain and Abel
  • Solomon’s wisdom
  • A prophet’s challenge
  • Jesus’ words
  • The Apostle Paul’s teachings

In Part 2 – 4, I will elaborate on these points.

(How to…#8) have less Stress

January 12, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Proverbs 12:25 KJV

Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.

The word heaviness is a Hebrew feminine noun meaning anxiety, care, and worry.

Some other Scripture verses with the same word are Josh 22:24, Jer 49:23, and Ezek 4:16

A better version of Prov 12:25 would be from the God’s Word Translation, which reads,

A person’s anxiety will weigh him down, but an encouraging word makes him joyful.

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Other words for anxiety according to the Oxford Dictionary are worry and STRESS.

According to medical research, stress arises from when you view change, pressure, and circumstances as burdens and perceive the demands as threats. You feel a sense of frustration and helplessness.

Repeated or prolonged stress can trigger physiological reactions that may involve more than 1500 different chemical changes in the brain and body! This may lead to an exhaustion of mental and physical energies and increased susceptibility to disease.

In a Harvard study, people who coped poorly with stress became ill four times more often than those with good coping skills. Stress affects our immune system, heart function, hormone levels, nervous system, memory and thinking, and metabolic rate. It raises cholesterol, blood pressure, and uric acid levels. Furthermore, stress kills brain cells and appears to prematurely age the adult brain.

Not good!

In a paper entitled Spirituality and Immunity, Stephen Marini, Phd, lists studies that shows the following results of stress at the cellular level:

  • Wound healing takes nine days longer.
  • Intercellular communication is decreased.
  • The immune system is suppressed.
  • Increased bacterial infections.
  • Decreased ability to handle invading toxins.

“We don’t have pills for this”, says Moshe Frenkel, MD, medical doctor of the Place of Wellness at the M.D. Anderson cancer clinic in Houston, Texas.

Science is confirming what King Solomon knew more than two thousand five hundred years ago, a person’s anxiety will weigh him down!

—————————————–

The answer?

There are many ways to cope with and learn to manage stress. A list of practical things we can do to nudge ourselves toward joy and happiness according to the book The Genie in your Genes are,

Positive beliefs, spirituality, prayers, positive images and visualizations, optimism, intention, energy psychology, positive attitude, gratitude, happy social networks, acts of kindness and meditation.

The wise Solomon said a good word maketh it (the heart) glad. The word good also means well-pleasing, fruitful, proper, kind, and that which is appealing and pleasant to the senses according to the Hebrew Dictionary.

Therefore, a pleasant, well-pleasing, and kind word, will make the heart joyful.

Many times when a person is under stressful circumstances, he or she withdraws from positive influences, happy social networks and forgets to be grateful for the many blessings they still have. They are only focused on what they don’t have or the worst thing that can happen under these circumstances. Fear is really the ability to imagine the worst. Fear is the underlying root of all stress.

When our prayers are filled with positive words that come from our hearts and we can still say thank you, our perception of the world changes and many times our situations as well.

——————————————-

I am reminded of where Jesus had to feed five thousand people with only two fishes and five loaves of bread. He looked up to heaven with the two small fishes and five loaves of bread in his hands and thanked his Father. A situation, which would cause enough stress for you and I to have an anxiety attack. In today’s terms, we could say that there are suddenly some unexpected bills, for which there is no provision made. Stress, anxiety, worry, and fear.

With a sincere heart of gratitude for the little we have, we not only open heaven’s doors but also cause our heart and mind to experience joy and happiness.

Our attitude of gratitude, positive beliefs and prayers, precede the changes we so desperately need!

The ability to experience joy and happiness is not dependant on other people or favorable circumstances but really within our own hands, or rather, within our own hearts, minds and mouths.

Analysis of thirty studies by Dutch professor Ruud Veenhoven found that happiness adds between seven and ten years to your lifespan.

Not only is happiness healthy, it’s contagious. In a large scale study researchers found that having a friend who’s happy increases your chances of happiness by 15%.

Now, since our social networks are largely under our control, it is again up to you and I to socialize with those who add joy and peace and inspiration and love to our lives!

——————————————————-

Psalm 1:1-3 NLT

God blesses those people who refuse evil advice and won’t follow sinners or join in sneering at God.

Instead, the Law of the LORD makes them happy, and they think about it day and night.

They are like trees growing beside a stream, trees that produce fruit in season and always have leaves.

 Those people succeed in everything they do.

 

(How to…#7) have a breakthrough – part 3

December 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Apply new ideas and do not be afraid to challenge the status-quo.

In the book of one Samuel the nineteenth chapter, we find the story of how King Saul tried to kill the young David. (1 Samuel 19) David the newly anointed king over Israel had to wait until King Saul either stepped down or died before he could ascend the throne. The immature and inexperienced successor to the throne fled from the presence of King Saul, who tried to kill him, and took refuge at the old prophet’s house.

Prophet Samuel governed Israel for forty years before God appointed Saul the first king over the nation of Israel. After Saul’s disobedience and rebellion, God took the kingship away from him and let Samuel anoint a shepherd boy, called David. 1 Samuel 16:1

Samuel’s wisdom gave David the invaluable practical lessons in the ways and laws of God concerning the duties of the priests and of a king. What felt like a refugee camp for David, became his “spiritual laboratory” where his relationship with God was further shaped.

When David eventually mounted the throne, he did something only the High Priest was allowed to do. Until that time, the Ark of the Covenant resided in the most holy place of the Tent of Meeting. Here God met with the High Priest once a year, appeared on the mercy seat, pardoned the sins of the nation, and communed with him. The Bible states how David pitched a new Tent on Mt. Zion, placed the Ark of the Covenant therein, and worshiped before God in the tent on that mountain. (1 Chron 16:1 & 2 Chron 5:2) The answer to why God allowed someone who was not the High Priest to worship before the mercy seat may be found in the training he received from his mentor, the Prophet Samuel. David not only was a king but also thoroughly knew the ways of the priesthood and had a pure heart before God.

His challenge of the status-quo did not come from a proud and arrogant heart but from someone who was quick to ask forgiveness and always displayed a soft and humble heart of reliance on God. (Ps 34:18, Ps 51:17, Is 57:15) From this literal place of worship and figurative place of dependence, God gave David all the answers, victories, and breakthroughs he needed.

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When Dr. Jonas Salk accepted the invitation from University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine’s Virus Research Laboratory as an associated research professor, he encountered a laboratory, which had no experience in the basic research he was accustomed to. It took considerable effort to bring this laboratory up to standard. Not only did he spend a lot of time building a respectable laboratory but he also devoted his time to writing scientific articles. Through these papers, the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis got hold of Dr. Salk and became his research sponsor.

The status-quo for the research for vaccine of that day was the use of live-virus vaccine. Salk challenged it and believed it was essential to use a killed-poliovirus rather that a live-virus in the vaccine. His colleagues were skeptical and thought a killed-virus could not be effective. Taken into effect that Salk was new in polio vaccine research, this unorthodox idea caused a division in the field.

However, Dr. Jonas Salk continued with his experiments and in early 1952, he administered a type I vaccine to children who had already been infected with the poliovirus. He then measured their antibodies and the results were positive. Under the supervision of his mentor, Dr. Francis, and sponsored by the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, over one million children took part in the largest medical experiment ever to be conducted by the United States of America in 1954. On 12 April 1955, the vaccine was officially pronounced affective and safe in almost 90% of cases.

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After Roger Bannister finished a disappointing fourth in the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games, he said the following, “the important thing was not the winning but the taking part – not the conquering but the fighting well”. However, he nearly quitted from running after this event but eventually decided to continue with a new goal: to run the mile in under four minutes. Because of his tight time schedule due to his medical studies, he had only 30 to 45 minutes available for running each day. This called for something new, a fresh approach to training. The status-quo during the 1950’s was long hours and distances in training, which the other athletes of his day applied. Furthermore, some people believed it was God-ordained for man not to run the mile under four minutes. They used to say, “four quarter miles, four laps, and four minutes – it is how God planned it”.

Bannister however, decided to try the Swedish training concept of fartlek. Only one other well-known athlete successfully used that method in the 1940’s. Fartlek is a Swedish word for “speed play”. With only 45 minutes every day and an unfamiliar training program he not only was the first person to run a sub four-minute mile, he also won the 1954 Commonwealth Games and took the 1500m title.

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There are times when we believe things can never be done in another way – a different way. We even believe it is God’s will for things not to change. Somehow, we (or others) have convinced ourselves of the impossibility of a breakthrough. The answer may be in a fresh approach. We must seek the solution outside the well-known barriers of our own mind. Outside the “what do the others do or, what would others think”-mentality. We must be able to move beyond the limiting beliefs of those around us. Einstein said, “Insanity is when we are doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

King David moved “outside” the will of God for a king (to worship before the Ark of the Covenant) but God accepted David’s way because of the sincerity and attitude of his heart and mind. This new, fresh, and unorthodox way of King David, brought him numerous breakthroughs.

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How do we receive such unconventional, fresh, and against-the-status-quo ideas, which may lead to our breakthrough?

Well, whether through direct Divine inspiration or through the guidance of a mentor, an article read or the insight of a friend,you still have to:

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Keep on asking, keep on seeking, and keep on knocking.

You will find your answer, the much sought after breakthrough will surely come and the door of opportunity will open for you.

Matthew 7:7-11

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(How to…#6) have a breakthrough – part 2.

December 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Every now and again, most people come to a place in their lives where a breakthrough is needed.

During the past year, my wife and I twice needed financial breakthroughs. Some people need a leap forward in their business and for others an improvement in marriage relationship is of paramount importance. Others must find a dramatic improvement in their health, while some is in a crisis about the way their children behave. It does not matter in which area of one’s life a breakthrough is needed; there is a systematic and proven way of ensuring such a sudden development.

The Oxford Dictionary gives that explanation to the word breakthrough, a sudden important development, or success.

The Webster’s says it is a decisive or dramatic advance, especially in research, knowledge, or understanding. In a military sense, it means an attack that penetrates an enemy’s defensive system into the rear area.

For the purpose of this topic, I want to use three people from different aspects of life who experienced great breakthroughs as proof for this structured, even scientific method of securing a breakthrough. They are King David from the Bible, Dr. Jonas Salk who invented the poliomyelitis vaccine, and Sir Roger Bannister, the first athlete who ran a sub 4-minute mile. We shall see the similarities in the methods employed by the three men, although each needed a breakthrough in a different area of life.

The similarities are:

  1. All three trained under excellent mentors. (previous article)
  2. All three, for a number of years, worked very hard prior to their breakthrough.
  3. They were unafraid to apply new ideas not previously tested and to disagree with the status-quo.
  4. They pushed the boundaries of what were previously thought to be impossible.

 

2. Hard work

The wise King Solomon once said (in Proverbs 12:11 and 14:23), Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense and, all hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. This man Solomon, the son of King David, wrote from personal experience as he followed in the ways and footsteps of his father.

King David established the kingdom of Israel through forty years of fighting on the battlefield until all his enemies were subdued. It was on one of those occasions that he needed a breakthrough – “an attack that penetrates an enemy’s defensive system into the rear area” – as the Webster’s dictionary defines the word breakthrough. In 2 Samuel 5:17-20, David inquired of God if he should attack or not. God gave permission to proceed but did not do some supernatural act in delivering Israel from the Philistines. King David had to take up the sword and go down to the theatre of war. There was work to be done!

 

Dr. Jonas Salk was born in New York in a family that was materially poor and uneducated. Nevertheless, his parents urged their children to study and work hard. After completing his medical studies, he accepted residency at the Medical School of the University of Pittsburgh. It was here that he worked for 8 years to develop the polio vaccine. Eight years of commitment, perseverance, and hard work before the breakthrough came.

 

The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win” and achievement was something which came by hard work” were the sayings of Sir Roger Bannister.

His methods in training differed from the other 1500m- and mile-training athletes. He used his scientific background – he was a medical student – to understand the stimulus responsible for improvements in fitness and performance. He used to say, Does it work? Does it not? You learn by your mistakes…” Not afraid to make mistakes, he pushed through one of the boundaries of athletics. A boundary which all thought was impossible to break.

 

Many people want their breakthrough on a golden plate. I know many people, good people, Christian people that are praying and believing for their breakthrough. They want the golden plate, the supernatural act, the divine intervention while they are doing nothing. I do not say you cannot have it that way. What I am saying, judging by the lives of some of the extraordinary people of the Bible and some of the great men who lived the past 100 years whom all experienced astonishing breakthroughs, is that none of them just prayed, and believed. They all did what the Apostle James wrote about 2000 years ago, “but do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?” and “for as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:20, 26)

 

If you are hoping for a breakthrough in your marriage, what are you doing about it? If your financial position is looking very bleak, do you have a plan of action? Do you have a mentor who can give you the necessary advice? How many books or articles have you read about that specific area where you need a breakthrough? It is not likely to happen while watching a movie or lying on the beach.

Your breakthrough needs your effort, your time, and energy to start the momentum towards the breakthrough, the sudden improvement, or success.

 

After King David got his breakthrough against the enemy, he called the place Baal-Perazim, which means the God of the breakthrough. David did the fighting but gave God the honour and acknowledgement for the victory. (2 Samuel 5:20) He could take the credit for himself, calling attention to his fighting skills and strategic abilities. However, this characteristic of King David is one of the reasons he was called a man after God’s own heart. (Acts 13:22)

 

Keep on asking, keep on knocking, and keep on seeking.

You will find your answer, the door of opportunity will open, and the much sought after breakthrough will surely come.

(How to…#5) have a breakthrough – part 1.

December 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Every now and again, most people come to a place in their lives where a breakthrough is needed.

During the past year, my wife and I twice needed financial breakthroughs. Some people need a leap forward in their business and for others an improvement in marriage relationship is of paramount importance. Others must find a dramatic improvement in their health, while some is in a crisis about the way their children behave. It does not matter in which area of one’s life a breakthrough is needed; there is a systematic and proven way of ensuring such a sudden development.

The Oxford Dictionary gives that explanation to the word breakthrough, a sudden important development, or success.

The Webster’s says it is a decisive or dramatic advance, especially in research, knowledge, or understanding. In a military sense, it means an attack that penetrates an enemy’s defensive system into the rear area.

For the purpose of this topic, I want to use three people from different aspects of life who experienced great breakthroughs as proof for this structured, even scientific method of securing a breakthrough. They are King David from the Bible, Dr. Jonas Salk who invented the poliomyelitis vaccine, and Sir Roger Bannister, the first athlete who ran a sub 4-minute mile. We shall see the similarities in the methods employed by the three men, although each needed a breakthrough in a different area of life.

The similarities are:

  1. All three trained under excellent mentors.
  2. All three worked very hard prior to their breakthrough for a number of years.
  3. They were unafraid to apply new ideas not previously tested and to disagree with the status-quo.
  4. They pushed the boundaries of what were previously thought to be impossible.

 

1. Mentors

A mentor is an experienced person in a specific field who trains and advises new employees or students. Any guide, friend, teacher, or advisor who has more experiential knowledge in the area where you need help, insight, or a breakthrough, can be your mentor.

King David’s mentor was the prophet Samuel. Samuel reigned over Israel for 40 years and according to the Bible, God withheld the enemy form the nation because of the way Samuel lived and worshipped before God. See 1 Samuel 7:13. When David fled for his life from King Saul, he stayed with the prophet and learnt the ways of God. Although not known to him at that time, his mentor imparted practical wisdom, which came to his aid the day he was crowned over Israel and needed a breakthrough against the enemy lines.

Dr. Jonas Salk worked under Thomas Francis Jr. who was an outstanding virologist and epidemiologist. Thomas Francis Jr. was the first American to isolate the influenza virus and was professor of bacteriology and chair of the department of the New York University College of Medicine from 1938 to 1941. It was under this man that Dr. Jonas Salk learnt the methodology of vaccine development, which ultimately led to his polio vaccine.

Sir Roger Bannister did have a coach for a short time but had a fall out (his own words) with him. He trained on his own but did not succeed in the way he wanted to. He came fourth in the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games and nearly retired from athletics. Then the track and field coach Franz Stampfl developed a new training method and helped Bannister in his preparations for the sub-4-minute-mile attempt. The rest is history….

I know that not everyone can afford a mentor or know a person with the required knowledge, insight, or understanding. Nevertheless, nowadays the internet can take the role of a mentor where at the click of a button (or a mouse) we can have the latest news, reports, and even videos. Last year my 13-year-old daughter competed in the long jump event at her school’s athletics. This was her 3rd year of competing. The previous two years she got a 3rd place and so she asked me to coach her. Not knowing anything about long jump, I searched the internet and got hold of YouTube videos, techniques, and training tips. Armed with all this information we began our training sessions, which in the end, resulted in a 1st place for her and she progressed to the next round of the athletics championship.

Jesus said, Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Your breakthrough will not come with your current level of knowledge, methods, or expertise. You need a mentor! (To be continued…)

Lessons from the life of Moses (3)

November 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

When we compare the life of Moses and that of Jesus, we find many similarities.

Should a person just have a quick glance or casually read their individual stories, one may not be aware of those parallelisms.  However, taking the time to study their lives, the student will be amazed by the fact that two lives could have such resemblance.

Firstly, as was the case with Moses, and I have written in the previous article about that, the birth and life of Jesus began with an oppressor.  Only this time it was King Herod, ruler over Judea.  The Magi from the East brought him the disturbing news of a new Jewish king to be born in Bethlehem, so the Bible says in Matthew chapter two.  Upon hearing their message, he decided to kill all the baby boys under the age of two in the land.  Supernaturally, by way of an angel, his parents were warned and they escaped the genocide. Matthew 2

Have you ever felt you were the lucky one to escape an ordeal?

Was that coincidence or Providence?  Did you brush the experience aside?  On the other hand, did you take some time to contemplate the hows and whys of your nightmare?

Maybe there is a greater reason for your existence than what you may realize!

When the Joseph-family returned from their place of refuge, they settled in a town called Nazareth.  In the Bible there is not anything written about the life of Jesus from the age of twelve until the age of thirty.  Although there are a few books written on the whereabouts of Jesus in that period, no factual confirmation has ever been documented.  Thirty was the age for priests and rabbis to be anointed in their offices of duty.  John the Baptist was thirty when his ministry began and no different was the case with Jesus.  However, before Jesus stepped into his office, God ordained him at the river Jordan and sent him for a time of testing.  Here at the river, He received his supernatural anointing as the heavens open and the Spirit of God settled on him. Luke 3:21-23

The second correspondence between the life of Moses and that of Jesus is their time spent in the desert. Moses lived for forty years in the wilderness before he had his burning bush encounter and God sent him to be a deliverer for his people.  Jesus spent forty days in solitude, being tested with the desires of the flesh (food), the desires of the eyes (riches), and the pride of life (ego),  before he returned in the power of God’s Spirit and became the deliverer for a spiritual people – those who would follow his ways, learn his truths, and experience his life. (compare Luke 4:1-12 and 1 John 2:15-16)

The tests in life are not for God to see if we will make it or not.  He already knows.  They are for our own insight and understanding.  We have to see and realize our own weaknesses, shortcomings, and areas of growth.  A series of tests are called a trial according to the Bible.  The Oxford dictionary explains that a trial is a test of performance, qualities, or suitability.

The Apostle James provides us with an explanation why we need to be tested in this life.

Firstly, he said, consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.  You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors .  So do not try to get out of anything prematurely.  Let it do its work so you become mature and well- developed, not deficient in any way. James 1:1-4

Secondly, God will bless you, if you do not give up when your faith is being tested.  He will reward you with a glorious life, just as he rewards everyone who loves him. James 1:12

Both Moses and Jesus received their individual time of pressure, challenges, and tests.  They did not get out prematurely and thus were crowned with a glorious life.

Therefore, because God is no respecter of persons, we will also go through tough times and should we stay the full course of trials, be one of those who will receive an outstanding life!

Stay on the course!  You will need His help, wisdom, and strength to make it.  He gave it to Moses and Jesus.  He will give it to you.

He, more than what you can believe, wants you to succeed in life.

(My) Father’s Nakedness

September 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

There is this irregular phrase – so it seems – that we find in the Bible. Although at first it looks like an obvious interpretation to a common expression, there is more than meets the eye in this Biblical account.

Noah and his grandson 

The first place we find the phrase my/his father’s nakedness is with Noah, his sons, and grandson after the flood.

Genesis 9:18-27

18 The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) 19 These were the three sons of Noah, and from them came the people who were scattered over the earth. 20 Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. 21 When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father’s nakedness and told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s nakedness. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father’s nakedness. 24 When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him, 25 he said, “Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers.” 26 He also said, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem. 27 May God extend the territory of Japheth; may Japheth live in the tents of Shem, and may Canaan be his slave.”

 

Before I am going to decipher the phrase his father’s nakedness, let me first give some clarification about the above scenario.

If we just casually read this piece of Scripture, it may sound like Ham did something terribly wrong and was therefore cursed by his father. Whenever sons are named in the Bible, it is always from the eldest to the youngest (see also Gen 5:32, 6:10, and 10:1). According to verse eighteen Shem was the eldest son of Noah, Ham the middle and Japheth the youngest. Also the middle son’s son was Canaan, the only grandson mentioned in this chapter. Ham had three other sons but is not disclosed until the next chapter of Genesis (see Gen 10:6). The reader may very easily become confused with the storyline here because it says that Ham went in and saw his father’s nakedness (v22), the eldest and youngest sons then covered their father’s nakedness (v23), and when Noah awoke he discovered what the youngest son had done to him (v24) – consequently cursing Canaan (v25) his grandson, which was the son of Ham.

 

To understand this we have to know some Hebrew figure of speech. The expression the youngest son is a Hebrew idiom and refers to the grandson and in this case Canaan. Henceforth, also the reason why Canaan is the only grandchild mentioned in this chapter. It was therefore Canaan that did something (we don’t know what) to Noah. I have heard some ministers explain how in this passage Ham took advantage of his drunken father and had an homosexual act with him. There is however, no ground for such a conclusion, neither for the belief that black people are under a curse of slavery (servanthood) because of this occurrence. The word Ham does mean hot and has been translated black, hot or dark, man with a dark skin, and coloured. There is much to say about Ham but suffice to mention here that Noah cursed Canaan (not Ham) and thus the reason for the Israelites to go conquer and subdue all the Canaanite nations in the Promised Land. Ham appears seventeen times in the Bible and not once a curse on him is found! Christ has become the curse for us (Gal 3:13) and once we have placed our faith in Him, being baptised in water we are free from any curses of the past!

 

Coming back to the story, we may then conclude that it was Canaan that dit something to Noah. His father Ham went in and took him from Noah’s tent and told his two brothers. They then went into their father’s tent, backward, to cover their father’s nakedness. This in itself seems strange as there is no occurrence anywhere in the Bible, neither an Old Testament law against seeing one’s father naked.

 

The story here must have some meaning to us otherwise God would not have thought it important enough to include in the Bible.

 

OT law about the father’s nakedness

Under the Law of Moses we have again this particular phrase. This time however, the consequences of seeing or uncovering your father’s nakedness is punishable with death. In the book of Leviticus the phrase we are dealing with was perfectly clarified so that everyone understood both the commandment and the repercussion when disobeyed.

Leviticus 18:7-8 (KJV)

The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover: she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness. The nakedness of thy father’s wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father’s nakedness.

The word uncover means, to bare, to strip, to expose ,to make naked,  to shame, and to uncover the nakedness of which implies sexual relations.

The NIV translate the passage as follows

‘Do not dishonor your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; do not have relations with her. Do not have sexual relations with your father’s wife; that would dishonor your father.

According to the meaning of the word uncover, the nakedness of your father is not the nudity of the father, whether seen or not by the sons, but the sexual act of a father’s son with his mother or another wife of his father – a second wife or a stepmother. This is clearly explained in another verse in the book of Leviticus.

 

Leviticus 20:11 (AMP)

And the man who lies carnally with his father’s wife has uncovered his father’s nakedness; both of the guilty ones shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon their own heads.

 

Therefore, what Canaan did in Noah’s tent while Noah was drunk, was the sexual act with Noah’s wife. Ham the father of Canaan came in the tent and saw what his son did (and probably removed him) and then told Shem and Japheth. They went in backward and covered their mother with a blanket. When Noah came to his senses he knew (whether told by his wife or his sons is not stated) what his grandson did and then cursed him. Hence the curse on the Canaanites from that day forward. If they have lived under the Law of Moses, both Canaan and Noah’s wife would have been put to death.

 

Another case of the uncovering of a father’s nakedness.

Genesis 35:21-22

Then Israel journeyed on and spread his tent on the other side of the tower of Edar. When Israel dwelt there, Reuben [his eldest son] went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine; and Israel heard about it. Now Jacob’s sons were twelve.

Bilhah was Rachel’s handmaid which her father Laban gave her. (Gen 29:29) Because Rachel was found barren, she decided to give her handmaid to Jacob for a wife. (Gen 30:3-5) So, when Jacob’s eldest son Reuben slept with Bilhah, he slept with his father’s wife. Reuben’s father, Jacob (later named Israel as seen in Gen 35:21) did not do anything about it, so it seems. I’m sure Reuben thought he had gotten away with it but in the end it caught up with him and had a long term affect on his offspring, just like with Canaan.

 

Genesis 49:1-4

And Jacob called for his sons and said, Gather yourselves together [around me], that I may tell you what shall befall you in the latter or last days. 2Gather yourselves together and hear, you sons of Jacob; and hearken to Israel your father. 3Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, the beginning (the firstfruits) of my manly strength and vigor; [your birthright gave you] the preeminence in dignity and the preeminence in power. 4But unstable and boiling over like water, you shall not excel and have the preeminence [of the firstborn], because you went to your father’s bed; you defiled it–he went to my couch!

 

The Young’s Literal Translation reads verse four as unstable as water, thou art not abundant.

 

Reuben was due the firstborn’s blessing – the double blessing. It was his birthright. (Deut 21:17) Unfortunately, he forfeited the best portion and only got the crumbs of the blessing. The word excel in verse four has the meaning of the residue or excess, the smaller part which is left over.

To paraphrase verse four it could read; because you are without self-control and discipline and can not be counted on, you shall have the smallest portion of the blessing.

When one studies the tribe of Reuben, you will find it had declined in numbers from the time they came out of Egypt to the time they had to enter the Promised Land. Furthermore, they never entered and settled in Canaan but stayed on the East side of the Jordan. The act of Reuben followed his descendants all the way to the Promised Land. Again, was he living under the Law of Moses, death would have been unavoidable.

 

In the New Testament

We could easily think that this all was happening in a time where people was not cultivated, somehow still barbaric and that such an act would never occur in the times of Jesus or the Apostles. But, as the Bible so aptly states, the nature of all people is sinful until being made holy by the Holy Spirit.  (Eph 2:3) The expression of that sinful nature may differ according to culture, country or gender. (Gal 5:19-20)

One of the Churches in the NT which flowed in the gifts of the Holy Spirit was located in Corinth. In fact, they operated so freely with the gifts in their meetings that Paul had to write two chapters (1 Cor 12 & 14) on exactly what the gifts are and how to operate with those gifts. It is also in this particular Church that we find the same kind of sexual sins than those of Canaan and Reuben.

 

1 Cor 5:1 (NIV)

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife.

 

Canaan received a curse from his father. Reuben inherited the smallest portion of Jacob’s blessing and under the Law of Moses; such a person received the death sentence. Paul did not hand out any of these punishments per se. No, he uses his authority and did something that was not done or said before.

 

1 Cor 5:3-5 (HCSB)

For though absent in body but present in spirit, I have already decided about him who has done this thing as though I were present. In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, along with my spirit and with the power of our Lord Jesus, turn that one over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the Day of the Lord.

 

The word Satan means adversary and is used in the Bible for a people, a nation, a person or a spiritual being.

(See Numbers 22:22, 32; 1 Sam 29:4; 2 Sam 19:22; 1 Kings 11:14, 23, 25; 1 Chron 21:1; Job 1:6-9, 12; Ps 109:6; Zech 3:12; Mark 8:33; Luke 10:18; 22:3; 2 Cor 11:14; etc)

The Scripture here does not say in what form the adversary will appear but what is certain, is that this person’s flesh (physical body) will be destroyed. The word destruction in the Greek has the meaning of ruin, to destroy and to kill. It does sound like an indirect death sentence, which will obviously have an impact on his immediate family – just like with Canaan and Reuben.

 

Dispensational Truth

Unless we understand the different ages of God, we may get confused with the way each person was punished or with the many different forms of punishment for the same sinful deed. It is not the purpose of this writing to expand on this topic but I have to put all of this in dispensational perspective.

Noah lived in the first 2000 years after the formation of Adam. Reuben lived in the second 2000 years since then. Paul and the Church in Corinth came on the Biblical scene after Jesus’ resurrection – making it the past 2000 years.

In each of these 2000 years God had a different standard for righteousness and displayed a different character trait of Himself to His people.

During the first 2000 years the standard for righteousness was a physical one and God appeared as the Creator (Elohim) God to mankind (Gen 6:9; Gen 2:4). With Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, God was the Almighty (El-Shaddai), the Giver and bountiful God. Since Moses until Jesus, God appeared as Jehovah – the One who is in covenant relation to those He has chosen (Ex 6:3; Lev 19:2). The standard for righteousness was the keeping of the 613 laws of Moses.

The last 2000 years God manifested himself through His Son (1 Tim 3:16) and holiness does now come through the baptism with the Holy Spirit (Matt 3:11) and God has shown Himself as the Most High God (Mark 5:7; Acts 7:48; 16:17).

And because of these different dispensations, God dealt in a unique and distinctive way with His people in each 2000 year time-frame. What applied in the one was not allowed in the next and what was law in the one, became a curse in the following age. (Gal 3:1-3)

 

NT perspective

 

As said before, this must have some application to our lives; otherwise we may as well tear those parts of the Bible out and only keep the parts we think apply to your lives.

In every past age the focus has been progressively more towards the spiritual and a personal close father-son relationship with God. At first – after Adam was expelled from the garden of Eden – God was far-of, only showing Himself with outward miraculous acts every now-and-then, until the time came (thousands of years later) where He could manifest Himself in and through Jesus Christ (His son).

Now, in this age, we are not looking to the outward anymore but to the inward. (2 Cor 5:16) It is the inner workings of His Spirit that make us realise that the kingdom of God is in us (Luke 17:21) – it is Christ in us which is our hope of glory and not the outward appearances of God’s glory like in the OT (Col 1:27).

Because of this very reason we now look at the OT with its stories and laws as like unto a shadow. It is not the reality anymore (although it all did happen once) but it only points towards Christ, his life and Spirit and wisdom and power and glory, which must grow and also become ours! (Col 2:17; Heb 8:1-5) Just like a road sign is not the destination but shows the way to it. In like manner, all of the OT is a direction indicator – directing us to Him and then to experiencing His life becoming a certainty in each one of us individually.

 

Connecting the dots

The Church of Christ, globally as well as every single church on this planet, is His wife – His bride. (Eph 5:23-27; Rev 21:9-10) And we all belong to a church, a called-out group of people. (The word church means called out ones.) It doesn’t matter the size of your Church, anything from 3 to 30 000, it still is the bride of Christ – His wife. His Spirit baptises (immerses) us into this body in order for us to grow up (1 Cor 12:13). We are then taken care of in that body. We are fed the milk of the Word (1 Pet 2:2) and the Bread of Life (John 6:35, 48). God uses the Church (or group of believers) to function like a caring mother, obviously under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. God works through people, His own (broken) called-out-people! And just like a natural mother who tries her best to give her children all her love and care but also has her own brokenness and shortcomings, so every Church has its imperfections. You will not find a perfect Church. And even if there was one, the moment you walk in it becomes imperfect.

Sometimes, because of the Church’s faults we get hurt and feel they have treated us wrong or unjustly. Whether this is so or not, it does not later the fact that it is still Christ’s wife, busy transforming into the very image of her Husband (Rom 8:29; 2 Cor 3:18).

Therefore to summarise; although we are members of the church, the church as a whole (with all the members) functions also as a mother to each individual. And the bible says that the husband and wife is one flesh – the husbands body belong to the wife and vice versa (Gen 2:24, Matt 19:5, 1 Cor 6:16-17, Eph 5:31, 1 Cor 7:3-4).

 

Conclusion and application

Uncovering our father’s nakedness would be when we go and speak against the people who are the wife (bride) of Christ. He is also our Father (Is 9:6). The very people who have looked after you, fed you and made sure you are cared for, are now being put to shame and every imperfection and shortcoming is exposed to others. This may be because you have been hurt, misunderstood or rejected.  It still makes no difference in their relation to Christ Jesus.

Many Christians live with this illusion that belonging to a church (group of believers) they will only get acceptance and unconditional love. Yes, this is the spiritual maturity we all want to achieve. But the reality is still far from that.

In any group of called-out-ones (church), there will be some individuals who have grown to a more spiritual and Christ-like state of being, but there are also numerous others who are still struggling with their own brokenness, trauma, grief and touchiness.

 

  • The consequences of this deed will have a direct impact on your spiritual growth. As in the case of Canaan, you will not be a physical servant, but you will always stay under tutors and governors and never grow unto Sonship (Gal 4:1-6). They stand out from the rest when they open their mouths. They talk of what their previous Church(es) has done to them and how wrong these people are. How God will surely judge that Church for what they did and they feel it is their duty to warn others of the “sins” in that Church. These “Canaanites” group together and build high walls (in their hearts) in order to keep others out. They focus on right-and-wrong together with sin-and-judgment.

Those who have grown unto Sonship understand people’s brokenness. They are quick to show grace and know it is the Spirit’s work to convict people through their own consciences (John 8:1-11).

 

  • As with Reuben they will not inherit the fullness of Christ but they will stay in the wilderness, living from miracles instead of the overflow of God’s blessings. They constantly have to believe for a miracle, a breakthrough of some sorts to live through their wildernesses. It just seems to them that they always have to trust for another blessing – a healing blessing then a financial blessing then a marriage blessing etc.

These people can not grasp that in Christ is everything they need and in that relationship with Him, all will be supplied (Col 1:19, Col 2:9-10).

 

  • On a more serious note, uncovering your father’s nakedness (exposing your fathers wife), was punishable with death under the Law of Moses. By putting to shame your current church or your previous church, spiritual death is inevitable. This has nothing to do with heaven or hell but with the life of Christ flowing through your being. If the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, flow through you, it will bring life to your whole being! (Rom 8:11) Spiritual death means the absence of that Life of Christ in you – that abundant, overflowing life is not a reality to such a person (John 10:10). And if there is no life, there is no (inner) healing. By seeking sympathy (and healing) from others while putting the very people in a bad light who have cared for you, is counterproductive.

 

  • The Apostle Paul gave such a person over to the Adversary (Satan) (1 Cor 5:5). As written above, there are many things which may be an adversary to us. Things like ill-health, dis-ease, poverty, friends, your employer, family, circumstances, etc.

Peter was an adversary to Jesus at one stage (Matt 16:23) and Hadad the Edomite was an adversary to Solomon when he strayed from the Lord (1 Kings 11:14. When Solomon served God with all his heart, God kept the adversary from him (1 Kings 5:4).

Life can be a struggle when it feels like one is always up to an adverse situation. Life can also be a flow where God orders our every step and we experience His inner rest and peace (Ps 37:23).

 

I can sense (in the spirit) that someone needs to repent. I had to! This uncovering of your father’s nakedness – the putting to shame of your Father’s wife is more serious than you may think.

Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life…  Gal 6:7-8 Message Bible

 

May we all grow up to that place of Sonship, inheriting everything He has for us.

May we come to the place of abundant living, in every area of our lives.

May we experience the Life of Christ, flowing through our beings.

May we stay in the flow of the river that runs from the throne of God.

Lessons from the life of Aaron (1)

August 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

 

The Bible states that Jesus Christ is a high priest and we are a royal priesthood. Therefore, we can learn a lot from the life of Aaron and his sons – the first high priest and priests of Israel. Heb 3:1; 1 Pet 2:9

 

  • The Bible states that Aaron and Moses were brothers (Aaron three years older than Moses) and from the tribe of Levi. Ex 4:14; Ex 7:7
  • Aaron became the “middleman” between Moses and Pharaoh and then later between God and Israel. Ex 4:29-30; Ex 7:1-2;
  • Aaron had four sons, which became the first priests and Aaron the first High Priest. Ex 6:23; Ex 28:1-2; Ex 29:4-7
  • To be a priest, one had to be of the tribe of Levi. Num 3:6; Num 3:32; Deut 8:1; Deut 21:5
  • Only those of the bloodline of Aaron could be priests. Ex 28:1; Ex 30:30; Lev 1:8; Num 3:10
  • Furthermore, a son of Aaron could only be a priest if he had no blemish or physical deformity. Lev 21:21
  • And only those of thirty years old could minister at the Tabernacle. Num 4:4-39
  • Aaron had special clothes made for him and had to be anointed with uncommon oil. Ex 28:3-39; Ex 29:21; Ex 30:25; Lev 8:10-12; Lev 21:10
  • His clothes were for glory and honour. Ex 28:4
  • The four colours of his garments were gold, blue, purple and scarlet. Ex 28:6
  • Aaron and his sons were first washed before they could be clothed with the high priest’s and priests’ clothing. Ex 29: 4; Lev 8:6
  • The high priest was the only one who could carry the Urim and Thummim. Ex 28:30; Lev 8:8; Ezra 2:63; Neh 7:65

 

Jesus Christ was not a Levite but from the tribe Judah (the same as King David). Matt 1:1; John 7:42; Rom 1:3; 2 Tim 2:8; Heb 7:14

He changed the priesthood from a natural, Levitical to a spiritual, after the order of Melchisedec one. Heb 5:10; Heb 6:20; Heb 7:11

 

 

What is true for the Master can be true for His disciples. Luke 6:40

 

 

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Pet 2:9

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