Imbibing The Word Of God!

Imbibing The Word Of God

“Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives” (Col. 3:16, NLT).

Studying the Bible in a way that changes your life doesn’t take a bunch of expensive tools. You don’t need commentaries or Bible study software. In fact, if you were stuck on a desert island with just a Bible, you could simply use the method you’ll learn about in this devotional.

God says that if we meditate on his Word, we’ll be successful. Here’s a method you can use to meditate on God’s Word in a way that’ll please God.

The “pronounce it” method of biblical meditation is an easy method for meditating on Scripture—and getting every ounce of spiritual nutrition you can out of it.

You start with a verse and read it over and over again. Each time you read the verse, you emphasize a different word. It’s the simplest way to start unlocking Scripture. You can do it even if it’s the first time you’ve ever opened up a Bible. It’s simple but amazingly powerful. Each time you emphasize a different word, you get a different perspective.

Take the first part of Colossians 3:16, for example: “Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives” (NLT).

The first time you read the verse, emphasize the word “let.” “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you.” What does it mean to “let”? It means “give permission.” You open the door; it’s your choice. You have to choose to let the Word of God dwell in you richly. Gladly allow it to happen!

Then read the verse again and emphasize “message.” “Let the message of Christ dwell in you richly.” That means you need to get God’s Word in your mind.

Then emphasize the word “Christ.” You’re not dwelling on what some philosopher, guru or talk show host has to say. You’re dwelling on the words of Christ. You may not want to let the word of the world dwell in you, but that’s what happens when you spend your time watching TV instead of reading God’s Word.

Then you focus on the word “richness.” What does that mean? It means the opposite of “poorly.” In other words, “richness”  means lusciously, extravagantly and profoundly. God doesn’t want his Word to be a poor substitute in your life. He wants it to create beauty in your life.

Then emphasize the word “fill.” Don’t rush through God’s Word so you can get on with the rest of your day. To let the Word of Christ fill you is to let it live within you.

Finally, focus on the words “your lives.” The Bible isn’t just God’s Word for your pastor, a seminary professor or your small group leader; it’s God’s Word for you. The Bible is instruction for every single believer.

See all the great jewels you discovered in this passage just by focusing on one word at a time? You didn’t need a seminary degree or a great library of reference tools. You can do this.

Talk It Over

  • How will you dwell on God’s Word throughout your day?
  • How does your life reflect the richness of God’s Word and his grace? How would it look different to other people if you allowed God’s Word to make a greater difference in your life?
  • Practice the “pronounce it” method during your next quiet time. What difference does it make?

 

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JEW AND GENTILE, ONE NEW MAN

 

The Mystery Revealed

The full prophetic plan of the “One New Man” (Eph.2:15), is  the drawing together of Jew and Gentile and is an urgently  needed revelation for the time that we live in, and for the final age to come. The book of Ruth showed us the tremendous love that this Gentile woman Ruth, had, as she became a fellow citizen with Israel and the Jewish people, adapted to their way of life, and their belief in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In this article, I hope to impart to you, the mystery revealed  from the book of Ephesians regarding the joining of the Jew and Gentile as one in Messiah.

Although the body of Messiah today, which is the Church, has in fact joined themselves to believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the same God as the Jewish people, the separation between the Church and the Jewish people definitely remains. This “Oneness of Jew and Gentile” is not merely theoretical or theological. It is thoroughly real and practical.  At the same time, that the Jews cannot embrace the Church, whether as Gentile believers in Jesus or even a Jewish believer in Jesus,  this makes this joining twice as hard. As the Lord is preparing the stage for His second coming, many segments of His church are still definitely not recognising the significant role of Israel and the Jewish people in God’s prophetic plan. Without embracing this vision, the joining of Jew and Gentile as ONE NEW MAN cannot possible take place.

There is a tremendous spiritual war against the union of these two people groups joining together, because the ultimate result will be the manifest glory of God upon the earth, and will unlock the healing of all God’s creation. Today we have many divisions among the entire body of Messiah, between denominations, churches, movements, and believers throughout the whole earth, Why? The root of all divisions has never been healed, it is the most ancient of divisions, one which the apostle Paul, seeing into the future, addressed in the book of Ephesians, the separation and division of the Jew and Gentile. Paul is speaking to Gentile believers in Ephesus, revealing a mystery to them regarding this “ONE NEW MAN”. As we briefly look at parts of this book, we must remember the overall theme of the book, which is this joining of two people groups becoming one in Messiah. In chapter 1:17-18, Paul states that he always prays for the believers to have wisdom and revelation into the plan of God, that their eyes will be opened to this. Of course, we can take this to mean God’s plan for our own individual lives, but we must also see the larger plan, the joining of the Jew and Gentile in Messiah.

In Ephesians chapter 2:11-13, it is clearly stated that the Gentiles were at one time estranged from the rights of Israel as a nation, and also strangers from the covenants, but through the shed blood of Messiah they are now brought near. One of the biggest problems believers have in interpreting the New Testament scriptures is that most of the time there is  little knowledge of the Old Testament. In the next two verses, 14-15, we need to take a closer look at certain words in order to understand what the Apostle Paul is saying, “For he (Messiah) is our peace, who has made us both Jew and Gentile one body, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, the law of commandments contained, in ordinances; for to make in himself of two one new man, so making peace.”

Most interpretations of these two verses would say that the word enmity refers to the Old Testament law of commandments, and that through believing in Jesus, these have been done away with. First we must clarify that the word law, actually means teachings, and if it were not for the Old Testament teachings we would not have any foundation at all, and we would not have the Messiah Jesus.

Jesus himself said in Matthew 5:17, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” The root meaning of the word fulfil is: to clarify or finalise, to perfect a foundation on which to build further. Jesus never meant to do away with or abolish the Old Testament teachings. Without knowledge of any Hebraic root teachings we will not be able to understand what Paul is referring to in “the enmity of ordinances”. Remember, Paul was a learned Jewish scholar who knew the Old Testament, and also the oral rabbinic laws. The enmity between Jew and Gentile was not the commandments, but it came because of mutual dislike of each other’s customs. This is common between cultures, but in this case, most Jewish customs are different. They did not just evolve; they were the obedience of the Jewish people in response to the Old Testament teachings given them by God.

In Ephesians 2:19, Paul continues speaking to the Gentile believers, “Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s family.” 

The word fellow citizen means to be in union with or together with by resemblance, companionship, or association. When someone becomes a citizen of a nation, they are required to learn the laws, customs, history, and language of that nation. A person becoming a citizen must also pledge loyalty, faithfulness, and commitment to that nation. We need to remember that it says in Romans 11:17, that the Gentiles were grafted in among the nation of Israel, and the Jewish people. When you graft something, you join or fasten it in such a way as to bring about a close and permanent union. This is what Ruth did as she attached herself to Naomi, a type and shadow of the Gentile becoming a fellow citizen with Israel and the Jewish people. The Gentile believers (Christians) should be thoroughly involved with the Jewish people, both Messianic and non-Messianic; thereby fulfilling scripture. Unfortunately, this union that Paul spoke about never really developed into the ONE NEW MAN relationship. In Ephesians 2:20, Paul states that these Gentile believers are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus The Messiah being the chief cornerstone. It is okay to apply this verse for today, that apostles and prophets are the backbone of the Church, but we also must remember that when Paul was writing to the apostles and prophets he was referring to were all Jewish. The rich biblical inheritance that believers in Messiah have worldwide has been passed down to them by Jewish spiritual parents. In verse 21 it states, “In whom all the building fitly framed together grows into a holy temple in the Lord.” The Jew and the Gentile are to be fitly joined together.

Jesus Is A Jew

Jesus The Jew

The most important thing about Jesus is almost completely ignored or overlooked and disregarded by all His followers.  I refer to the fact that He was born, lived and died as a Jew. The Gospel is also diminished by the fact that Jesus is a King and preached the Gospel of the Kingdom. He also commissioned His disciples to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom.  The fact that this is overlooked by so many today is despite the fact that the Bible is so filled with the vital nature and characteristic of Jesus and this greatly significant fact. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus, demonstrate so clearly that Jesus was totally Jewish in every aspect of His assumed humanity.

Jesus performed miracles and signs. He healed the sick, raised the dead, quelled storms of nature, fed the multitudes and exercised absolute authority over the spirit world—yet He wasn’t accepted as Israel’s Messiah.

One might think that with those credentials, He would be automatically proclaimed Messiah. We are told, however, that “He came to His own [people], and His own did not receive Him” (John 1:11). After a 3 1⁄ 2-year ministry, only 120 followers were there for the miraculous beginning of His Church (Acts 1:15).

One of the prophecies about the Messiah foretold that He would be “despised and rejected by men” (Isaiah 53:3). The great works Jesus did that brought about His popularity in the country, were not enough to overcome the disfavour He incurred from the religious authorities—or enough to secure loyalty from the fickle hearts of the common man.

His mission and His teachings were at cross purposes to those who held high positions in the nation, and His purpose was also misunderstood by most of those who saw and heard Him.

 

What Were The Jews Looking For?

The Jews were acquainted with many of the prophecies about the Messiah, the chosen or “anointed one” as the word means in Hebrew. They firmly believed that the Messiah would be a strong and glorious earthly king who would deliver them from their Roman oppressors and form once again a great and independent Jewish kingdom. The wise men who came from the east seeking the newborn Jesus inquired at Jerusalem, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?” (Matthew 2:1-2).

King Herod, who ruled Judea under the Romans, clearly understood that the Messiah the Jews expected was to be another king and thus a rival to himself. He then asked the chief priests and scribes “where the Christ was to be born” so he could eliminate the threat to his power (Matthew 2:3-16).

In the Greek language in which the New Testament was written, Christos (Christ in English) has the same meaning as the Hebrew word Mashiach (Messiah in English) — “anointed one,” signifying one who was specially chosen by God (see “What Do ‘Messiah’ and ‘Jesus Christ’ Mean?” beginning on page 68). Herod and the Jewish rulers considered the title “Christ” as synonymous with that of “King of the Jews” in accordance with the general expectation of the time (compare Matthew 2:2 and Matthew 2:4).

The expectation that the Christ would be a king fit with their understanding that He would also be a descendant of David, the most famous of all the kings of Israel and the one by whom all other kings were measured. We see this illustrated in Matthew 22:42, when Jesus asked the Pharisees, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” Their response was, “The Son of David” (Matthew 22:42).

Jesus was addressed as “Son of David” by two blind men (Matthew 9:27), by the woman of Canaan (Matthew 15:22) and by the blind men at Jericho (Matthew 20:30). When Jesus healed a demon-possessed man who was both blind and mute, “all the multitudes were amazed and said, ‘Could this be the Son of David?’” (Matthew 12:22-23). At His entry into Jerusalem He was greeted with shouts of “Hosanna to the Son of David!” (Matthew 21:9).

The number and scope of the miracles Jesus performed—miracles not equalled in the history of Israel even by the great prophets—led people to the conclusion that He had to be the prophesied Messiah. “And many of the people believed in Him, and said, ‘When the Christ [Messiah] comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?’” (John 7:31).

Satan’s Darkness And God’s Light

The world is becoming filled with a greater darkness in all regions of the earth.  Human hearts and minds are becoming more bent toward evil, and more cold day by day. Arrogance, rebellion, entitlement of flesh, hatred, violence, etc. are so thick at times that it’s hard to breathe.  Why is the world so dark, when YHVH gave His people such incredible light to share with the populations of the globe? I believe the answer is that the people entrusted with the light of YHVH’s truth have been hiding it under a bushel.  Why?

DIVINE TRUTH IS NOT NEGOTIABLE … it is absolute.

The spirit of this world rejects the idea that there is anything absolute; but most especially it proclaims that there is NO ABSOLUTE TRUTH. In this way, the institutions and the individuals of this world can openly reject YHVH, and feel justified in doing that.  To declare the truth about the Lord, and about His word, is becoming more personally costly in this present age.  That is because the world rejects and mocks YHVH’s truth tellers as arrogant, destructive, and ignorant.  In order to blend in, and to avoid being rejected, persecuted, and punished for sharing the truth, much of the church has chosen to be silent.  Many of the shepherds have stopped teaching/preaching the bible as THE authority, lest they be fired from their jobs. Others edit the truth; dropping the blood atonement reality … even the sin reality, as the reason for the need of atonement. God forbid that they might speak about the alternative of going to , them to bear.  They don’t want to appear to be judgmental or negative. In the opinion of many leaders, the belief that the bible is THE authority is arrogant, unfair, and far too discouraging to preach in their popular religion of inclusive love. The offense expressed by the humanistically inspired church members, who hold the power of the purse, is just too threatening for many pastors. As a result, they go to silence and into the practice preaching short, safe, weak, erroneous, ear-tickling sermons. Within these compromised leaders, we find that the fear of man is stronger than the fear of YHVH.  Isaiah declares that when deepest darkness covers the earth in the Last Days, God’s glorious light will shine upon Jerusalem.

Isaiah 60:1-3
1  “Arise, shine Jerusalem; for your light has come, And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
2  “For behold, darkness will cover the earth And deep darkness the peoples; But the LORD will rise upon you And His glory will appear upon you.
3  “Nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.

 We can surely recognise that deepest spiritual darkness is presently covering the earth which means that God’s glorious Light will also shine on Jerusalem. The prophetic moment which God predicted approximately 2,000 years ago is happening now upon the earth. We are obviously entering the finale of this age and the Kingdom of God will soon be established on this earth.  Are we truly ready for this momentous time?

Knowing The Names Of God

If you are a Christian, you will know God. As believers, we are always seeking to develop our relationship with our Father in heaven, and to get to know him more. One of the ways in which we can do this is by understanding his name. It might sound random, but the different names for God, recorded in the Bible, can teach us a lot about his character

  1. Elohim: Creator (Genesis 1:1)
    “It all started with a Creator–our God who pieced together the Universe with His hands and great attention to detail. When you acknowledge the name Elohim in your prayers, you are calling out to the One who holds all things together, brings beauty to the world, and structure out of nothing. You’re calling out to the God who knitted you together in your mother’s womb. Acknowledging His creative power and ability to hold all things together reveals your trust in His infinite ability.”
  2. Adonai: Lord, Master (Psalm 16:2)
    “It’s important to remember and acknowledge your place and His authority; to refer to God as your Master. You don’t have it all figured out and there will be times you try something on your own, only to fail. In these moments, call out to Adonai and recognize Him as your Master. Surrender to His will and care for your life.”
  3. Jehovah-M’Kaddesh: The God Who Sanctifies (Leviticus 20:7-8)
    “Our God is a holy God; set apart and unlike anyone. When you put your faith in Him, He extends that sanctification to you and makes you holy. This transformation changes your life and should be celebrated in acknowledging Jehovah-M’Kaddesh. Ask God to help you live in this new transformation extended to you and thank Him for this incredible gift.”
  4. Yahweh Roi: The Lord is My Shepherd (Psalm 23:1-3)
    “A shepherd is someone who watches over a flock, but more so, protects and cares for the ones in their charge. You have this great privilege of being in the care of Yahweh Roi who sacrifices His own life to watch over you. Shepherds would even sleep at the gates of where the flock slept in order to protect them. God watches over you, cares for you, protects you, and leads you by still waters. Pray for Him to always lead you and be willing to always follow.”
  5. El Roi: The God Who Sees (Genesis 16:13-14)
    “This is perhaps one of my favorite names; calling it out comforts me in my loneliest moments and hardest days. When Hagar fled and God called to her in the wilderness, she called Him El Roi–that moment has felt so familiar to me many times. When you feel alone, forgotten, hurt, or scared, call out to the God who sees you, no matter where you are or what you’ve done.”
  6. Yahweh Tsuri: The Lord My Rock (Psalm 144:1)
    “When the world seems to shake around you, you don’t have to be shaken either because you have a firm rock as your foundation. Calling out to Yahweh Tsuri is calling out to His faithfulness, strength, and stability. When times are uncertain, cry out to the Lord who is your rock and firm ground.”
  7. Yahweh Nissi: The Lord My Banner (Exodus 17:15-16)
    “This is the name you want to call out in your spiritual battles. A banner was carried in battle to be a sign to others of what you stood for and to rally the troops. When you go through your own trial, you can be confident that Yahweh Nissi is standing over you. He is the strong and powerful–undefeatable–God on your side when you’re up against any struggle or foe.”
  8. Jehovah Jireh: The God Who Provides (Genesis 22:13-14)
    “As Abram was about to sacrifice his son, an angel of the Lord appeared and provided a ram for the sacrifice. God knows all and sees the bigger picture; He knows what you need before you do. You can trust in Jehovah Jireh to provide for all your needs when you need them. If you’re in need of provision, cry out to Him and trust He has you covered.”
  9. Jehovah Rophe: The God Who Heals (Exodus 15:22-27)
    “When it comes to healing–physical, emotional, or spiritual–there’s no source worth putting your hope into besides Jehovah Rophe. He is the source of all healing and when you’re in search for it in any capacity, God is the One to turn to. If you’re battling a physical ailment or an emotional scar, cry out to the God who heals.”
  10. Abba: Father (Luke 15:20)
    “A child in the care of a loving father has a confidence about them; an assurance of their place as a child and in the unconditional love of their parent. As a child of God, you can be confident in your relationship with Him and the love He has for you. When the prodigal son returned, his father saw him coming from far off and ran to him. When you pray to Abba, you are praying to a Father who cares deeply for you and would go to great lengths for you. Rest in that relationship and love today.”

Let’s ask God for more of Him more today! His name reveals His glory, and his unending care for His children. Praise Him! Amen!

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A Message From Asapah!

It is recognized that Asaph was best known as King David’s music director, and probably wrote much of the original, music for David’s Psalms, but much more importantly, he wrote twelve Psalms. We know the times Asaph lived in (circa 1020 – 920 BC), from David’s reign, through Solomon’s to Rehoboam’s. We also know he lived in Jerusalem. We know that he worked as the director of music at David’s Tabernacle and at Solomon’s Temple. We also know a great deal about his personal and family life.  Asaph served in Jerusalem for all of David’s reign, and no doubt set to music, many of the Psalms that God gave David. He was in Jerusalem when God gave David the great promise that David would have a son who would be the Messiah, and reign forever. He had to have been very close to David. He was probably influenced by a little hero worship of David. However, the main things we should know about Asaph in the context of current events is that he was also a prophet of God and that one of his prophetic psalms vividly describes a war that will be waged upon Israel in the Last Days.

Asaph the Prophet/Seer 2 Chronicles 29:30

2 Chronicles 29:30 King Hezekiah and the officials ordered the Levites to praise the LORD with the psalms of David and Asaph the seer. So they offered joyous praise and bowed down in worship. NLT

Asaph was called a “seer” or prophet. This would make Asaph a spiritual leader, and a  man of God. In the days before Christ, God used prophets to teach men about Himself. Prophets were not born into their positions because of their family heritage, (such as the priests being born into the tribe of Levi), but were rather people who answered the personal call of God on their lives. Their holy testimony and close walk with God allowed them to know the heart of God in an intimate way. Many Old Testament prophets or seers were given divine vision to allow them to foretell future events. In Psalm 83 Asaph provides a powerful End Time Prophecy to which we all should give urgent attention. It describes the next great Bible prophecy that will happen, for which we desperately need to be prepared.  We are rapidly moving into what the Bible calls the Last Days and we need to be wide awake, alert and thoroughly prepared.  This will require much more than a slight interest in Bible prophecy. It will require from us a fresh and full surrender to the prophetic purposes of God.

The whole Middle East is currently in a state of turmoil. Revolutions, protests, riots and violence are sweeping the Arabic nations. Governments are being overthrown. Something huge and devastating is about to happen there. On May 15th 2011 which was Israel’s 63rd birthday, thousands of Arab protestors tried to breach Israel’s borders on four fronts. The Israeli army showed great restraint but defeaated their enemies. The prophecy of Psalm 83 is about to be soon fulfilled. Israel will be attacked on four sides by the Arabic nations who have vowed to totally destroy the Jewish State. Asaph the psalmist vividly predicts what the response will be. Psalm 83 is composed by Asaph, a psalmist and prophet whose words apply very precisely to our present day. A survey of current events around the world strongly suggests that this predicted attack will be the next major Bible prophecy to be fulfilled and will happen in the very near future. The world needs to hastily prepare for this huge apocalyptic event