Thursday, 29 July 2010

The Spirit of Jehovah

No human being feared God as much as Jesus did. This Jesus, upon whom the Spirit of Jehovah rested upon(Isa.11:2) delighted in the "fear of Jehovah" (v.3). He neither judged by what His eyes could see, or by what His ears could hear (v.3b). Instead "He walked by the Spirit and lived a life in, with,by and through the Spirit. In His human living the Spirit was manifested with all the attributes mentioned in this verse" (verse 2, footnote 1). Through His human living Jesus showed us a pattern of the Christian life, the God-man living, which was according to the Spirit (Luke 4:1). We too, as those indwelt by Christ ("the Spirit is the reality of Christ", John 14:16-20, 2.Cor.3:17) are not to judge according to what we see or what we hear but live according to the Spirit.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

The Age of Restoration

Isaiah 11 reveals a marvellous picture of life in the millennium as the dispensational age of restoration. In this chapter we see the wolf dwelling with the lamb, the leopard laying down with the kid and even the lion eating straw like the ox! (vv.6-9a). Such a description indicates a dealing with the sinful element originally injected into the creation through Satan's rebellion through the administration of Jehovah, with Christ's restoring power causing a change in the inward nature of even the animals. Therefore we see a pleasant, peaceful and loving situation accomplished through the knowledge of Jehovah filling the whole earth.

Since the church life today, is a foretaste of the millennial period, so we too should expect to see the restoration of life, with the absence of "wolves", "cobras", "vipers", "lions" and "bears" etc. (in this instance, persons) with the opportunity to "sleep in the woods", indicating a safe and secure environment (Ezekiel 34:25) free from the "beasts". As the Life Study of Ezekiel makes clear (p.83) this state of affairs characterises the proper church life in which saints should not be afraid to talk to an elder, and through transformation, Christ should arbitrate (or referee) among the saints, accomplishing a "pleasant, peaceful and loving" environment.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Caring for God's Interests

Hosea continues to show us the extent of Israel's degradation and iniquity in chapter 9. Here the prophet is considered a "fool" and the "inspired man" (or "man of the spirit") mad (v.7).  Such a consideration of these ones in such a negative light, shows that they did not care for God's interests, and indeed, "they thought that caring for God's interests was foolishness" (footnote 1). Sound familiar? As God-men we too, are often viewed in such light in this present world situation. Even as we seek to migrate, some may also consider us crazy, especially, when we have moved before, giving up jobs in the process and not seeking to be settled.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

The Third Day

Hosea 6:1-2 shows us Jehovah's discipline with the intention to bring Israel back to Himself (Hosea 5:15). As verse 2 states: "He will enliven us after two days; On the third day He will raise us up, And we will live in His presence". Praise the Lord, there is a third day. While this corresponds to Israel, in the principle of a day like a thousand years (2 Peter 3:8), with the Jews scattered, without a king, a sacrifice and a temple for 2,000 years,  having been left by God in a "dead condition" (see footnote), yet the third year of restoration --the millenium--will come! Hallelujah! In the reality of Christ's resurrection, Israel will be raised up and restored.
However, for us believers today there is also a significant aspect to this prophecy. Christ was resurrected on the third day to be the Life-Giving Spirit (1 Cor.15:45b). He is the reality of the third day. So, as footnote 1 continues: "Whenever we contact such a Christ we are brought from the desolation of the two days to the resurrection of the third day". Praise the Lord, there is a third day in which we can experience Him as our restoration through our contact with Him!

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Christ Has Come to Be Life...

Christ became two things, praise the Lord. He became flesh to condemn sin in the flesh (Rom.8:3) and He also became the Life-Giving Spirit to impart His life into us. Hallelujah! We have His life indwelling us. It is through such a life and His growth in us, that we become the dwelling place of God, the real Bethel, the House of God (Eph.2:22; Gen.28:12,17). So, today this All-inclusive Christ who was on the cross, is in resurrection and is now in the Third Heaven interceding for us (Rom.8:34) is living in us. What's more we were with Him on the cross, and we are  in Him in resurrection and we are one with Him in his intercession to fulfill God's economy.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Being Filled

Enjoyed Acts 2 in a fresh way this morning. On the day of Pentecost the saints were "all together in the same place" and subsequently experienced the outpouring of the economical Spirit, having been filled inwardly (Greek pleroo in verse 2) with the essential Spirit. Then "tongues of fire" "sat on each one of them" (verse 3). The Recovery Version footnote indicates that "tongues" is a symbol of speaking "symbolising that God's economical Spirit is mainly for speaking". Furthermore, "fire" symbolises the "burning power for purging and motivating in God's economical move". Therefore, the result of this outpouring is that the saints begin to speak and speak forth, as the Spirit gives them utterance. We need such an outpouring to be burning for our Christian ministry.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Calling on the Lord

Reading the Life Study of Genesis this week I had a fresh appreciation for calling on the name of the Lord. In Genesis 4:26 we see that "men began to call on  the name of  Jehovah", beginning with Enosh, in the third generation of man. Since Enosh means "frail, mortal man" this shows us that man realised his need for Jehovah - the name of God which denotes His intimate fellowship with man. To call means to "cry out, to cry unto" and to "invoke a person".

Furthermore, similarly just as Abel means "vanity", so in our human life - apart from God - we are just vain and weak. But, when we call on Him, He is rich to us and we become rich and strong (Rom.10:13). Whatever our situation, we can call on Him out of the "lowest pit" (Lam.3:55-56); even during our darkest, and most depressing of times we can still cry out and cry unto Him. Hallelujah! Our calling is our breathing and when we call He draws near to us (v.57; James 4:8).