Longing For God’s Presence


images-3The Ark of God was stolen by the Philistines a few years before Saul became the first king of Israel, 1 Samuel 4:3-11.  After plagues and other calamities the Philistines decided that they had better send the ark back.  It was placed on a cart and sent on its way pulled by two cows.   Knowing of God’s awesome power, the men who intercepted the cart could not keep back their curiosity.  They had to open the ark and look in.  God killed 50,070 men that day because they touched the ark.

It was then taken to the house of Abinadab and there it stayed for 20 years because they were afraid to move it, 1 Samuel 7:1-2.  It is here that some believe that David wrote of the opportunities to huddle himself down before the ark of God as the light would shine on it through the window of Abinadad’s home.

Psalm 91:1, He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Finally, David determined that the ark had been gone long enough and retrieved it, but incorrectly.  As a result a man died for touching the Ark.  Until he could find out how to correctly transport it it was left in the house of Obed-Edom for three months.  During that time God blessed Obed-Edom and everything he had, 2 Samuel 6:11; 1 Chronicles 13:14.

Once David finally had the Ark safely transported to Jerusalem, guess who also moved to Jerusalem to help care for the the Ark.  Obed-Edom.  God’s presence was so impacting that he could not live without it.

My question is, what ever happened to Abinadab who had the Ark for 20 years.  Did he begin to take God’s presence for granted?

True Worship Example 2


picture-141 Chronicles 21:24 Then King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will surely but it for the full price, for I will not take what is yours for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings with that which costs me nothing.”

Ornan tried to give David a piece of land to worship God on, but David insisted on paying for it.  As I give myself as an offering of worship, like incense, my praise and prayer becomes a sweet fragrance at the throne of God.  The more effort I put into my time spent with God the more it cost me and the sweeter it becomes.

True Worship Example


images-1Luke 7:37-38 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.

Here is worship.  It was costly… humble… personal… broken… poured out… fragrant!

Jesus had just sat down at the table of a Pharisee to eat.  It would seem that this Pharisee was anything but hospitable.  He did not follow the courtesy customs.  He did not wash the dust from Jesus feet and wipe them.  And, he did not anoint Him with perfume to refresh Him from His sweaty journey.

While Jesus is reclining at the six inch high table, this sinful woman barges in and begins to cry at His feet.  Because Simon the Pharisee did not wash Jesus’ feet for Him, her tears made puddles of mud.  She begins to wipe the mud from His feet with her hair.  Then she pours her perfume on Him.  Notice, this woman is still a sinner until verse 50.

The PEACE of God


Shalom

Shalom

I have been to Romania several times. The first Romanian word I learned was Pace (poch-ay) which means peace. But, it is a sacred word used only as a Christian greeting.

Even today in Israel the Jews use the word Shalom as a greeting meaning peace. But peace is an over simplified definition.

It is derived from the root word Shalam which means wholeness, complete, to make good or restore, have friendship, keep safe and make secure.

The first letter, Shin, means consume. God’s completeness in us needs to consume us.

The second letter, Lamed, is the tallest letter as well as the center letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It represents the King of kings, but also means control as in a shepherd’s staff. In the ancient writings the Lamed was a hooked staff that a shepherd would carry. God’s peace seems to evade us when things are out of control. But when we rest in His peace the out of control is in His control. This comes through the King of kings, our Great Shepherd.

The third letter in Shalom is the Vav. This letter represent the nail or hook that holds everything together. In one blog I show how it represents Jesus. It can also represent “and,” holding two thoughts together. God’s peace holds it all together through Jesus Christ.

The final letter is the Mem which is water. Some have said that it is the wellspring of the Torah. True Shalom could not come from the Law until Jesus became the fulfillment of that law.

The first time it is used in scripture is following God’s description to Abraham of the future of his children in Egypt. Then He assures him, Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age Genesis 15:15.

Abraham is promised to live long and die in completeness.

This was the theme of Jesus intimate prayer in John 17. This prayer followed His last meal with the disciples and was one of the last things He did before heading off to the garden to pray in preparation of His betrayal.

It was here that Jesus prayed for oneness between His followers, Himself and the Father.

What was the very first thing Jesus said to His disciples following His resurrection as He walked through the locked doors in John’s gospel? “Peace be unto you.”

In an out-of-control word I say to you . . .

Shalom!

Salvation Through Joseph Who?


picture-191From the standpoint of many the very simple means of salvation is elitist. They feel that the simple message of Jesus is unfair because it offers only one way to God. According to scripture salvation is through Jesus Christ. Simple? It should be and yet many want to find other doors.

  • John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
  • Acts 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
  • 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.

But this is not what the Mormon church teaches (LDS). Take a look at the following and discover their idea of salvation:

  • “This church…only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth” (Doctrine and Covenants, 1:30)
  • Apostle Bruce McConkie states: “There is no salvation outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Mormon Doctrine, p.670).
  • Marion Romney said, “This Church is the ensign on the mountain spoken of by the Old Testament prophets. It is the way, the truth, and the life” (Conference Report, April, 1961, p.119).
  • Mormon president and prophet Brigham Young declared: “he that confesseth not that Jesus has come in the flesh and sent Joseph Smith with the fullness of the Gospel to this generation, is not of God, but anti-christ” (Journal of Discourses, vol.9, p312).
  • (There is) “no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith” (Joseph Fielding Smith, in Doctrines of Salvation, vol.1, p.190).
  • “No man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith” (Brigham Young, in Journal of Discourses, vol.7, p.289).
  • Bruce McConkie states: “If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation” (Mormon Doctrine, p.670).
  • Brigham Young stated: “Every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are” (Journal of Discourses. vol.7, p.289).

Either Jesus was right or He was wrong. If He was wrong then that why is scripture so incorrect. If scripture is incorrect then it is a free-for-all on what truth really is. Could I not start a teaching that says that only those who eat at KFC will enter heaven? Come on!

Do not fall for the story lines of anyone who has a teaching that is contrary to what the Bible says! The message is simple; it is through Jesus Christ and Him alone!

New Ear, New Life


Pierced

Pierced

Luke 22:50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear.

The setting is on the Mount of Olives, where Jesus often went to pray. But, on this night it was interrupted by a group let by Judas to take Jesus away.

Peter had warned Jesus that he would be willing to fight to the death for Jesus and now he is ready to prove it. Ok, he didn’t go after any of the leaders, but it was the servant of the High Priest. Ok, he did not fatally wound him, but he did happen to catch his ear.

Peter meant well, he just could not get past his fears. And yet, how interesting that God was able to take lousy aim and bring about a blessing.

Until about 10 years ago, I always pictured Jesus picking up the servant’s ear and putting it back on him and healing it. But that is not what happens.

Luke 22:51 But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.

Dr Luke is detailed here. It was the right ear. Jesus did not put his old ear back on but touch what was left of his ear and healed him. Do you see what has possibly happened here? Let’s look at the facts:

  1. This man, named Malchus, was a servant, a servant of the High Priest.
  2. It was his right ear that was cut off.
  3. It would seem that Jesus gave him a new ear.

Now, let’s put that together. Exodus 21:6 and Deuteronomy 15:17 say that if a servant desires to stay with his master for life than he will allow his ear to be pierced with an awl. Neither of these verse give which earlobe but great significance is always given to the right side; ear, hand, thumb, toe, etc.

So, is it possible that this man had committed his service to the High Priest for life and had his right ear pierced? If so, then is it possible that in receiving a new ear, one without a hole, he was given his freedom?

Just something to think about.

Can You Forgive Sins?


picture-171John 20:23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.

Can we forgive sins? The King James calls it remitting which means to release, to acquit, to surrender.  God forgives sins, but you must also.  You are releasing them from the sins against you.  Don’t hold it in your heart.