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.

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.

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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Lessons from the life of Moses (2)

August 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The life of Moses can be divided into 3 equal timeframes of 40 years each.

 This corresponds with the many “three-fold things” we find in the Bible.

  •  Holy Spirit, Son and Father,
  • Spirit, soul and body,
  • Way, truth and life,
  • Ask, seek and knock,
  • Peter, James and John,
  • Faith, hope and love,
  • Children, young men and fathers,
  • Beast, False Prophet and Dragon,
  • Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles,
  • Prophet, Priest and King,
  • Saul, David Solomon,
  • Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
  • And many more…

 

His first 40 years.

  • Moses grew up as one of the princes of Egypt.
  • According to Josephus[1], Moses was a very successful general of the Egyptian Army leading them into victorious battles against the Ethiopians.
  • Thus the first 40 years of his life, he became a prosperous and famous person in own wisdom, power and abilities. Acts 7:22
  • From this place of personal strength, at the age of 40, he came upon an Egyptian who mistreated his kinsmen and killed the Egyptian.
  • After being found out, Moses had to flee from Pharaoh and settled in Midian as a foreigner.

 ____________

  • We can liken this stage of Moses’ life to a new born-again child of God.
  • Although born from above (with the very seed of God in his heart 1 Pet 1:23), the sinful nature is not being crucified yet. Gal 5:24
  • Paul calls them “carnal, even babes in Christ” who can only be fed with the milk of the word. 1 Cor 3:1, 1 Pet 2:2
  • A carnal or baby Christian is those who not only need the milk of the Word (basic doctrines of Christ Heb 6:1-2) but are still governed by the sinful nature. Rom 8:5, Rom 13:14, Gal 5:13
  • His heart is not circumcised from the fleshly nature yet (Col 2:11-13) and he or she still follows that nature’s desires and thoughts. Eph 2:3
  • From that (sinful, fleshly, human) nature such a person wants to serve and please God. This can not be done as God is not pleased with that. Rom 8:8
  • God loves his children unconditionally but the nature and character need to change.
  • It is like any mother or father who deeply loves their child but do not accept the child’s rude behaviour – the attitude must change.
  • The difference is that we can not change our nature as a dog can not change his.
  • We need the Spirit of Christ to do that inner work. Rom 8:12-13, Gal 5:16
  • It is a pity that so many children of God, never grow beyond this place of spiritual childhood.

 

Moses’ next 40 years.

  • From the age of 40 until 80, he looked after sheep in the desert.
  • If that does not change a man, nothing will.
  • In this wilderness experience his own abilities and dreams died a slow death.
  • In the desert Moses lived with the priest if Midian (his father-in-law Ex 2:16, Ex 18:1), where he learnt the ways of God.
  • After 40 years the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, calling him to action – back to Egypt. Acts 7:30-33
  • Moses’ self-esteem was so low; he made excuses not to go – a different man than 40 years earlier. Ex 4:1-17
  • The man who was “powerful in speech” (Acts 7:22) has now become “slow of speech and tongue”. (Ex 4:10)

 _______________

  • When we continue to “hunger and thirst for righteousness”, the Spirit of God begins to deal with our sinful nature. That nature which is rebellious, stubborn, unclean, strife, envy etc. Gal 5:19-21, Matt 15:19, Mark 7:20-23
  • As the inner conflict between the Spirit and the human nature continues, He painstakingly changes our character (name) like he did with Jacob. From supplanter/deceiver to prince. Gal 5:17, Gen 32:22-28
  • It is here where we experience the painful work of the cross and where our human wisdom and power and abilities are slowly being nailed to death. Matt 10:38, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23, 1 Cor 1:18-25
  • The power of God can work through the weaknesses of man. The stronger, wiser, and smarter we are, the less of Him is flowing through us. How contrary to the ways of the world! 2 Cor 12:10, 1 Cor 1:27, Is 66:2, 2 Cor 3:5
  • You are ready for the higher calling when there is nothing left of you. Phil 3:14, Phil 3:7-8

 

His 40 years in the wilderness

  •  The last third of his life, Moses spent on leading the Israelites out of Egypt into their own wilderness experience. Acts 7:36
  • The one who through experience, knows the ways and processes of God, is the person who is qualified to help others.
  • God chose him not because of his competence or expertise neither in the Egyptian Army, nor of his genius and “powerful speech” but because Moses has become the most humble man on the face of the earth. Num 12:3
  • God could speak face-to-face to Moses, revealing the beginning of His creation to him. In fact, the face of Moses shone after dialoguing with God. Ex 34:29-35, Deut 5:4, Deut 34:10, Ex 33:23
  • Only a few people in the Bible were prophet, priest and king simultaneously. Moses was one of them. Deut 34:7, Deut 33:5, Ps 99:6
  • “Moses was 120 years old when he died, yet his eyesight was clear, and he was as strong as ever.” Deut 34:7

 __________________

  • He makes us ministers of the spirit – the spirit that brings life. 2 Cor 3:6
  • This ministry of the New Testament exceeds the ministration of condemnation and death (the Law of Moses). 2 Cor 3:8-9
  • As Moses received his strength from fellowshipping with God and ministering to the people, so we are also changed from “glory to glory” as we spend time in the presence of Christ Jesus and then ministering with the Spirit of Life. 2 Cor 3:18, Rom 8:2
  • As we behold (look at, discern, take notice, and set our eyes on) the nature, character and peculiarity of Christ Jesus, we are being changed into that very image. 2 Cor 3:18, Rom 8:29, Rom 12:1-2, 1 Cor 15:49, Col 3:10

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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[1] The new complete works of Josephus: Kregel Publications 1999

Lessons from the life of Moses (1)

July 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The story of Moses is also the story of the Lord Jesus Christ and is also a precursor to our own lives.

  • Moses was born in a land that was ruled by an oppressor. Ex 1:8-11
  • This oppressor wanted to kill all the male children in the land. Ex 1:15-16, 22
  • Although he succeeded, God had a way of protecting Moses supernaturally. Ex 2:1-9
  • The name Moses means, drawn out. Ex 2:10. He became the ruler (prince), deliverer and redeemer to his people. Acts 7:35AMP
  • Moses tried with his own wisdom and strength to help his fellow brothers but failed miserably. Ex 2:11-14
  • But as in the case of Abraham trying to fulfill God’s promise in his own way, Moses had to flee from the consequences of his own effort. Ex 2:15
  • The place of refuge became the place of learning. Ex 2:16-21; Ex 3
  • Only after Moses did not believe and trust in himself anymore, could God call him. Ex 4:1-17 (How contrary to the ways of the world, where we are constantly motivated and encouraged to believe in oneself.)
  • God’s call was never for Moses’ own safety and comfort but for His people’s rescue and deliverance! Ex 5:1

 

The similarities in the life of Jesus are:

 

  • Jesus was born in a land that was also ruled by an oppressor. Matt 2:1
  • Herod, just like Pharaoh, killed all the Hebrew baby boys, aged two years and under. Matt 2:16
  • Although Herod slew all the children, Joseph was instructed to flee beforehand and Jesus was saved. Matt 2:13
  • Jesus was God’s chosen in order to bring deliverance and became the Redeemer of mankind. Matt 12:18; 1 Pet 2:4; Titus 2:14
  • Jesus did not do anything from His own power but waited until he received the Spirit and power from on high. Luke 3:21-22; Luke 4:14-19
  • God’s call on his Son was for the benefit of others (us). Luke 4:14-19

 

Our calling

  • We are physically born into a spiritual kingdom of darkness, which is ruled by an oppressor. Eph 2:1-3; Acts 10:38
  • That’s the reason we need to be born again (form above) into the kingdom of light. John 3:3-8; Col 1:13-14
  • This oppressor (the devil) will do anything to kill you or your relationship with the Lord. John 10:10; 1 Tim 3:71 Pet 5:8
  • God has called us and chosen us to be His children. (the word church means called-out-ones.) Matt 22:14; Eph 1:4; 2 Thess 2:131 Pet 2:9; Rev 17:14
  • The fact that you are reading this article is a proof of God’s protection on your life, His calling and the fact that He has chosen you for a specific purpose!
  • We can try to do many good things for the Lord. But our own strength and wisdom is not what God needs. We need to be anointed, empowered and equipped from on high in order to be able to do His work. Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8; Eph 4:11-12; 1 Tim 4:14
  • God has called us to be co-workers with Him. 1 Cor 3:9; 2 Cor 6:1
  • Our calling is not for our own comfort but for the benefit of others. 2 Cor 5:18; 1 Tim 4:6-16

 

May we realise we are not here by accident but are called and chosen.

 

May we, like Moses, come to the end of our own efforts and labour and,

 

May we all be anointed, empowered and equipped to do His work.

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Lessons from a place called Bethel

July 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 


As Featured On EzineArticles

  • We find the word Bethel sixty times in the Bible, all of it in the OT.
  • Bethel means House of God.
  • The first occurrence is in Gen 12:8 when Abram pitched his tent at Bethel and called upon the name of the Lord – the God of glory. See Acts 7:2
  • At Bethel, Jacob used a stone as a pillow and sleeping, had a dream of a ladder with angels going up and down to the throne of God.
  • Jacob took the stone, poured oil upon it, and named the place (again) – “The house of God”.
  • He also made a vow to give unto God a tenth part of his substance if God would provide and protect him. Gen 28:10-22
  • Samuel used Bethel as one of the places/towns where he judged Israel. 1 Sam 7:15-16
  • It was also the residence of the sons of the prophets in the days of Elijah and Elisha. 2 Kings 2:3
  • And the priests taught the people the ways of God at Bethel. 2 Kings 17:24-29

No mention is made of the place Bethel in the NT.

But, here we find a person, a man who was the house of God.

His name is Jesus Christ – the living house of the God of glory. John 1:14

It is His plan that we corporately as well as individually become the house of God.

May we grow together unto this spiritual house, where the glory of the Lord becomes visible to all.

 

May we function as the royal priests of God, hearing, living and teaching the ways of God.

 

May we all come to that place where we manifest the divine nature and character of God.

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Lessons from Jacob’s flock

July 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

After Jacob worked 14 years for his 2 wives at his uncle Laban’s farm, he made an unheard-of deal with his uncle.

“Let me go through all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb and every spotted or speckled goat. They will be my wages. Jacob, however, took fresh-cut branches from poplar, almond and plane trees and made white stripes on them by peeling the bark and exposing the white inner wood of the branches. Then he placed the peeled branches in all the watering troughs, so that they would be directly in front of the flocks when they came to drink. When the flocks were in heat and came to drink, they mated in front of the branches. And they bore young that were streaked or speckled or spotted.” Genesis 30:32, 37-39

We know that in the book of Genesis we find many figures of spiritual truth. These figures contain spiritual insights for Christian living and for understanding the ways of God more fully.

Therefore, we can learn important maxims from this unorthodox ways of Jacob. Was it the imagination of his own mind or some divine inspiration (with or without his knowing)? 

May we often come to drink from the waters of Life.

Not in haste but taking our time to reflect, to behold, to meditate on the truths revealed.

May we all gradually change into the image of the Son of God.

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Lessons from the life of Abraham

July 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Lessons from the life of Abraham


As Featured On EzineArticles

God’s promise to Abram was like a “light that shineth in a dark place”. It gave him direction and purpose. Genesis 12:1-9, Genesis 13:14-18, Genesis 15:3-5, 2 Peter 1:19

  • Without a word from the Lord our lives lack vision and it feels like we are groping around in the dark. Do you have a word from God? Proverbs 29:18

God’s word to Abram was within God’s timeframe and not according to Abram’s. Genesis 12:2-3, Genesis 12:16, Genesis 15:5

Abram thought he would help God out – he could make God’s word come to pass by having a son with Sarai’s handmaid, Hagar. Genesis 16:1-4

  • Trying to help God with the His word over our lives will have repercussions – sometimes lifelong consequences! Genesis 13:11-12

To strengthen His promise, He changed Abram’s name to Abraham – Father of a great multitude. Genesis 17:5 (I’m sure it must have been very embarrasing to Abram when everybody would call him “Father of a great multitude”, seeing that there was no evidence yet.)

  • “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” Hebrews 11:1

Abraham did not see the fulfillment of God’s promise in his lifetime. Hebrews 11:8-10, 39

  • God’s word to us is not a guarantee that we will see the fullness of it in our present lifetime. It may only be the start of something that will carry over to many generations to come. Psalm 105:8, 106:31 (The life of Paul is also an example of this. Ephesians 3:1-13)

God sees the end from the beginning when He gives a promise or word. Isaiah 46:10

  • We only see in part but one day, when we have grown to maturity, we will know as God knows. 1 Corinthians 13:12

Abraham did not understand God’s promise but still he trusted and obeyed. Genesis 12:4, 13:18, 15:6

May we all have a word/promise from the Lord.

May that word be our beacon of light in the storms of life.

May we hold on to the promise, whether we understand it or not.

May we not try to help God work out His promise but just stay faithful, obedient and willing.

May God bless you with all the riches in Christ Jesus!

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