Monday, December 31, 2012
Read Luke 1:65-80 God did a great sign and wonder in front of the whole synagogue that day to prepare the people for what was coming. This was just the tip of the iceberg. God was going to invade earth with miracles, signs and wonders like the earth had never seen before. When Zaccariah’s speech was returned to him he was filled with the Holy Spirit and gave forth this prophecy (68-79) about his son John. This baby was the proof that God was once again visiting his people to fulfill the words of the prophets of old. They prophesied that God would save them from their enemies and pour out his mercy and remember his promises he spoke through Abraham. He said that one day they would serve the Lord in holiness and righteousness. This child will be called the prophet of the Highest for he would prepare the way for the Lord to come. John would explain the salvation the Lord would bring of taking their sins away. This salvation would give light to those who lived in darkness and a way to walk in peace. John grew and was empowered spiritually. He lived in the deserts till God was ready to reveal him to the world. This reminds me of Moses, who left Egypt the first time and went and dwelt in the wilderness till God had grown him up in his inner man to be able to stand when it was time to return and lead his people out of bondage. There are times God leads us away from all the business of church and friends just to grow us up so that we can enter back in with power and fortitude to stand the tests he has for us. It is tempting to feel unuseful and condemned during this time, but don’t. Let God draw you to himself, dig into his Word and let him feed you with spiritual food that will sustain you when the time comes that you will need it. We need to learn to rest in the Lord. Lord, help us to take moments of time during our business and get away with you and be still and know that you are God.
Saturday, December 29, 2012
It is Saturday, so I thought I would share something personal with my fellow Bible studiers. A week before Christmas, we found out that our oldest son, Josh and his wife, Charm, had lost their baby. Charm was four and a half months pregnant with a boy and since they had a daughter, they were so happy about having a son, esp. Josh. Our second son, Caleb and his wife, Katy were also pregnant with a son who would be 2 months older. Josh and Caleb and talked about raising their sons together and coaching them, etc. Needless to say, when I got the text that they had just found out their was no heartbeat and they had lost their son, I was devastated for them and us. We left the next day for Shreveport to be there for the DNC and to comfort them. God reminded me of my prayer the night before. Dave and I were praying and out of my mouth came, "I pray that this Christmas you would bond our hearts together more than they are now." We have always been a close family, so I thought it was a strange prayer, but I had no idea how God would use it to do just that. There is nothing more bonding for a family than to experience loss together in the Lord. It was a bittersweet visit full of thoughtful friends, sweet text messages, and much thankfulness for the children they do have. Josh and Charm decided to name their son Samuel Bruce (Bruce is my husband's middle name), which was not a name they had considered before. Charm came up with it because she said every time she touched her stomach she would call him Sam. My third son, Daniel, has a new girlfriend named Hannah. How appropriate for God to send us a girl who was named Hannah. Hannah in the Bible had prayed and prayed for a son and finally when God granted her request, she gave him to the Lord and he spend his life dedicated to the Lord and serving in the temple. We now have a grandson named Samuel who will spend the rest of his eternity, in the temple ministering to God. Hannah went on to have many other children because she dedicated Samuel to the Lord. The day after Samuel left us I was praying and I felt the Lord say he was going to give them 2 sons. Then he reminded me of a dream I had years ago. I dreamed I was in heaven and I was keeping these 2 twin boys. They were going to be sent to earth. I wonder if these were Josh's boys! God is so good and he does everything decent and in order. We have to trust him. Lord, you alone have the words of life!
Friday, December 28, 2012
Read Luke 1:57-64 Finally, Elisabeth has her baby and everyone in her family celebrates. Eight days later he is to be circumcised according to the law (Gen 17:12). It was their custom to pronounce its name for the first time at the circumcism. Just like Abraham and Sarai got a name change at their circumcism (Gen. 17:5, 15), Zaccariah’s baby got a name change. Everyone knew the baby would be named after his dad as was the custom, but this baby was named by God and God chose “John”. God has only named a few babies : John and Jesus. Is. 62:2 says that when God calls the Gentiles in, he will give them a new name. Rev. 2:17 says that those that overcome in the last days will be given a new name. Circumcism has to do with a cutting away of the flesh in a very sensitive area. When we have allowed the Lord to circumcise our hearts, we are given a new name. “John” means “God is a gracious giver”. John’s message would usher in the greatest gift of all - God’s son. At the circumcism, they asked Elisabeth the child’s name and when she said “John”, they wouldn’t believe it till he husband confirmed it. As soon as Zaccariah wrote John’s name on the tablet, his mouth that had been silenced was opened. What a picture of what God was about to do. John’s birth came with signs and wonders. The sign was the opening of his father’s mouth to be able to speak again and the wonder was that a barren woman who was past child-bearing age would have a child. John’s ministry would be to call Israel to repentance so that God through Jesus could bring the promise of life to a barren world. In turn, this would open their mouths to praise God once again. Jesus ministry would multiply many times over the signs and wonders started with John. What would have happened if Zaccharias had disobeyed the Lord and named his son after himself? Would he have messed it up for his son and would he have remained dumb? Probably, but God chose him because he knew he would equip him with the grace to obey. God never calls us to do things he doesn’t first equip us with the power and desire to obey. We are not powerful enough to mess up God’s plan. We have been predestined for greatness!
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Read Luke 1:46-56 Elisabeth has just confirmed to Mary the future of her child and she burst forth into praise. Mary’s words sound much like Hannah’s prayer after Samuel has been born. Both proclaim praise from their heart to God. They both talk of God’s grace to the humble and judgment to the proud. Mary’s words sound so mature for a young girl of 15ish because she was speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Everything she said would describe Jesus’ ministry. He would show mercy to those who fear him for ever. He would unseat the Pharasees and Sadducees with godly wisdom that put theirs to shame. He would lift up the demon-possessed, the poor, and the sick. He would feed the people both physically and spiritually. To those who were rich and in need of nothing - he had nothing to give. He would be the promised one who has been spoken of all through the Old Testament. Mary stayed with Elisabeth for 3 months before returning home. That leaves me with too many unanswered questions. What did Joseph think about his fiancé leaving for 3 months while she was pregnant with someone else’s baby. No wonder it took an angel to convince him she was still a virgin. She could have been spending 3 months with the baby’s dad for all he knew. Then, I want to know what Mary and Elisabeth talked about. They were both carrying the long-awaited promise to the whole world inside their bodies. How good of God to let them have each other to be able to talk to and plan how they were going to raise these two boys. Mary stayed till right before Elsabeth was to deliver and came home. (Strange time to leave.) Lord, we like Mary, carry the hope of the world in our bodies. That is the mystery of the gospel: Christ in us. ( Col. 1:27) Help us to share him with those who have been waiting to hear.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Read Luke 1:38-45 The angel came and gave Mary the news about her baby and Elisabeth’s. How comforting to know that Mary had someone in her own family she could talk to. She speedily went to visit with Elisabeth and when she greeted Elisabeth, the baby inside of Elisabeth jumped and was filled with the Holy Ghost. I wonder what that felt like and how she knew that that was what happened. The angel had told Zacharias in verse 15 that John would be filled with the Holy Ghost in her womb, so maybe when it happened she just knew this was it. However she knew, as soon as that happened she started prophesying. Elisabeth had no way of knowing Mary was pregnant but out of her mouth came this: “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me , that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed; for there shall be a performance of these thing which were told her from the Lord.” That one speech is packed with usable information. She instantly knew Mary was pregnant and that she was carrying the Lord. She understood that her baby was not in distress, but leaping for joy. She also knew that because of Mary’s faith in the Lord, and that she believed what the angel told her, it would happen. That is a key we tend to overlook. God may make us a promise, but it will happen according to our faith. The Bible says of a prophet: “He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet receives a prophet’s reward.” Matt. 10:41. In other words, if a prophet gives you a word and you believe it, then you will receive the reward of his word coming true. If you don’t believe him, then it is possible his word over you won’t come to pass. Although, there are some things that are decreed of God and they will come true no matter what we think. God is sovereign. Lord, give us discernment to know what you are saying and the words to speak at the right time.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Read Luke 1:35-37 I pray verse 35 over us, “that the Holy Ghost will come upon us, and the power of the Highest will overshadow us: also that the seed inside us will be the Son of God.” (paraphrased!) That was the tidings the angel brought to Mary, only the seed inside her would be the manifested, in-the-flesh Son of God. Before she could resist or faint with shock, the angel gave her something to build her faith. He told her that her barren cousin, Elisabeth was six months pregnant. Elisabeth and Mary were pictures of what God was doing. Elisabeth was barren just as Israel was spiritually barren but God was about to heal them and bring them life. Mary was not married, yet pregnant, which was another picture of Israel. Israel was not married to the Lord in her heart, yet God was going to bring her life - supernaturally. It has never been about our deserving what God is doing, but about his timing. It was time for Jesus to come to earth even though the earth was not ready for him. Today is Christmas, and even though few will even take time to think about Jesus, he is the reason for the holiday and he IS coming again. Like before, few will be ready, but the whole earth will be changed. Let’s let verse 37 be our theme for the next year: “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” I pray that this word will speak to you over and over throughout the year when you are facing the “impossible”. Lord, prepare our hearts to receive Jesus when he comes again. Thank you for the promises of hope and resurrection in your Word. Happy Birthday, Jesus!
Monday, December 24, 2012
Read Luke: 1:21-34 The people were outside the Temple waiting for the priest to come out and give the final benediction so they could go home with their sins atoned for for another year. When he didn’t come in the accepted time they began to wonder what kept him. Then, when he did finally emerge he was speechless. He used sign language to try to explain to the people what he saw. They realized he had had an experience and seen a vision from God. How frustrating not to be able to tell it or hear it. After his tour of duty in the Temple he went home, and his wife, Elisabeth became pregnant and kept it to herself for 5 months. It was their custom to not show they were pregnant. We have come a long way from that. It seems stylish now to wear shirts so your belly button shows as if going from an inny to an outy is a rite of passage. Back to Elisabeth… she is finally getting her hearts desire and having her curse of barrenhood lifted. In her sixth month the angel Gabriel makes another visit to earth, but this time to Mary, who was a teen-age girl engaged to Joseph. It is very likely they didn’t even know each other since marriages were arranged between parents. Gabriel appears to Mary and tells her that she is highly favored which means she has been chosen for a great honor. Before she could process this, he went on to tell her she would conceive a son whose name will be Jesus, and he will be great and be called the Son of the Highest. God will give him the throne of David and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever and his kingdom will last forever. I want to stop here and think about this. I can’t imagine what she thought about this then and especially later when he was beaten mercilessly and nailed to a cross. Did she think back to what the angel said, and think something had gone wrong? It is truly one of those things you file in the folder labeled: “God’s ways are higher”. Lord, when our plans don’t turn out as we thought they would remind us of today’s passage. Your ways truly are higher than ours and your will is what we want, even if it doesn’t look “right” to us. Tomorrow we celebrate this very birth and tell you that we are so thankful for your son, our Saviour, Jesus. I pray that all my readers have a very blessed Christmas with their friends and family. I love you!
Friday, December 21, 2012
Read Luke 1:5b-20 There was a priest whose name was Zacharias and whose wife was Elisabeth. His name means “remembered of Jehovah” and her name means “God of the oath”. God is going to make a promise to them that he will perform. They had no children and God was going to give them a child that would usher in the Messiah. They had faithfully served the Lord, even though they were now old and had never saw the blessing of children. God saw their hearts and chose them to raise Jesus’ forerunner. John was chosen by lot to go into the Holy of Holies with the incense this year. While the people were praying outside, he approached the incense altar and was met by an angel which scared him (obviously) and he fell to the ground. The angel spoke to Zacharias and told him not to fear but his wife would have a baby to be named John. His birth would bring joy and happiness to many and be great in the Lord. He was not to drink any wine or strong drink and he would be filled with the Holy Spirit in Elisabeth’s womb. He would be instrumental in turning many of Israel’s children back to the Lord. He would have the same anointing that Elijah had and his ministry would be to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, the disobedient to wisdom, and to prepare the people for the Lord’s coming. John questioned the angel about his prophecy because he and his wife were so old. Then the angel pulled out his rank. He was Gabriel who stands before God’s throne and was sent by God. Since John questioned the angel’s word he would be dumb and unable to speak until what he said happened. (In case you are visited by an angel who tells you anything - the only response is “Whatever you say, I believe”. It will save you a lot of humiliation. :) Lord, let this remind us that you have sent a generation, of which we are a part of, to be forerunners of your coming. May we be those who turn the hearts of fathers back to their children. May the wisdom you give us bring obedience in others and may our hearts be prepared to receive you.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Read Luke 1:1-5a I have a real desire to look into the Gospels and study the words of Jesus. I felt led to go to Luke and study his account of Jesus’ ministry so today we will start Luke. I’m excited to see what the Holy Spirit has in store for us. Luke wrote this book and the book of Acts and dedicated both of them to Theophilus. His name means “friend of God”. In the 3rd verse he addresses Theophilus as “most excellent” which might mean he was a person of rank, perhaps a Roman officer. God has his people strategically placed in the enemies houses. This might come as a surprise to you, but their were believers in Hitler’s army. Luke was a doctor so he wanted a detailed, accurate account of what Jesus did. I’m sure he was careful to verify every fact and word correctly so that people who were not able to actually eye-witness Jesus life could read an accurate account. He starts at the beginning before Jesus arrives on the scene and sets the stage. Herod was the king of Judea. Herod was responsible for putting the apostle James to death, and casting Peter into prison (Luke 3: 1 Acts 12: 1 19). This is what the Eason Dictionary has to say about Herod: On the second day of a festival held in honor of the emperor Claudius, he appeared in the great theatre of Caesarea. "The king came in clothed in magnificent robes, of which silver was the costly brilliant material. It was early in the day, and the sun's rays fell on the king, so that the eyes of the beholders were dazzled with the brightness which surrounded him. Voices here and there from the crowd exclaimed that it was the apparition of something divine. And when he spoke and made an oration to them, they gave a shout, saying, 'It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.' But in the midst of this idolatrous ostentation an angel of God suddenly smote him. He was carried out of the theatre a dying man." He died AD (Acts 12) of the same loathsome malady which slew his grandfather (Acts 12: 21- 23), in the fifty- fourth year of his age, having reigned four years as tetrarch and three as king over the whole of Palestine. After his death his kingdom came under the control of the prefect of Syria, and Palestine was now fully incorporated with the empire. God chose to have Jesus come to earth in a time where the government was hostile to God and his laws, much like the time we are living in. God has chosen to send us to earth to live now which is a great privilege. We can shine brighter because the atmosphere is darker. Lord, let us never fear our government or the times we are living in. We choose to put our hope and faith in you.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Read Ex. 40:17-38 It looks to me like the first year they set the tabernacle up it was more like a trial run. The second year they set it up, the glory of God fell. A cloud covered the tent and the glory of God filled the tabernacle so thick that they couldn’t even enter the door. Amazing they went through the same motions both times. They reared the tent, posted the fence, put everything in place, prepared the priests… all the same way, but God showed up the second time. It just reminds me that God can show up at anytime and proclaim his glory. The same thing happened when Solomon dedicated the temple he built to the Lord. 2 Chron. 5:13-14 says, “then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord; 14 So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.” In Numbers 12 Miriam and Aaron had a complaint against Moses because he married an Ethiopian woman. God came down in a cloud and spoke to them about the matter. Jesus took Peter, James, and John to the mountain and they saw God’s glory put on Jesus. As they looked they were covered in a deep cloud and God spoke from the cloud. (Mark 9). One day Jesus was speaking about the end of time and he said he would come in a cloud. ( Luke 21:27) The cloud is the vehicle God uses to come to earth. It was also the vehicle he used to leave the earth in Acts 1:9-11, “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” This cloud led the children of Israel by day and a pillar of fire by night all through their journeys. Lord, may your glory come down and fill our earthly temples with your Holy Spirit.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Read Ex. 40:1-16 It is time to set up the tabernacle and get it running and God chose this to happen on the first day of the first month. If you remember in Ex. 12:1 God gave them a new first month. There first month used to be Nisan but God changed it to Tishri. So the 7th month became the 1st month and the 1st month became the 7th month. Confusing, but it makes sense. They were given a new month because they were being birthed into a new nation- a spiritual nation. If we are Christians, we have two birthdays, our literal birthday and our spiritual birthday. So it was for the children of Israel. The first day of the first month was Tishri 1. This is the day Christian scientists believe that God created the earth. This is the first day of the Feast of Trumpets. It is the time of initiation and renewal. Jesus will come back on that day and the trump will sound. Then he will start putting things in order for his new Millennium. On this day, the church will be raptured up to heaven to the marriage of the Lamb and spend the next 7 years in honeymoon with Jesus. Several books will be opened on that day( 2 Co. 5:10) . One is the book of remembrance (Mal. 3:16) and the other will be the Book of Life. On earth, the earth will experience Yom Kippor, or the Days of Awe, or the Great Tribulation (all terms describing the terrible things that will happen on earth). This will be a time of great tribulation and great repenting on earth. So it is fitting, that this would be the day that the tabernacle would be put into operation and there would be a great shift of activity. They went through the motions of what will go on that day in heaven. Everything is cleansed and sanctified with oil. The priests get a new robe to wear just as we will be given new garments. Heaven and earth will start going through a cleansing process. Verse 15 says that the new priests will be anointed just as their fathers so that they can forever be a priest. Aaron was a picture of Jesus as our High Priest. Heb. 8:1,2 says, “We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; 2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” Lord, help us to prepare and sanctify our earthly tabernacles now so that we might be part of the bride.
Monday, December 17, 2012
Read Ex. 39:28-43 The mitre was a tiara or diadem only not like the tiara’s nowadays studded with diamonds. This was made of linen and only worn by the High Priest. The other priests wore bonnets which resemble the kippas worn by devout Jews today. On the mitre they made a gold sign that said “HOLINESS TO THE LORD”. Eph. 6 describes all of these articles of clothing and tells us what they are and why we need them. Ephesians 6:11-17 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, in which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: The priests needed this armor because he is suppose to be ready to fight the enemies of God’s people as well as atone for the sins of the people. When everyone was finished with their assigned projects they brought them to Moses an he blessed them. Lord, you have given each of us a project to do in the kingdom. May we be equipped and ready to fight so that we might complete our assignments.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
A note from Ginny: It is Saturday and I usually don't post on the week-end, but I feel the need to respond to what happened yesterday morning in New Town, Connecticut. What a tragedy and a sad day. I came home early and spend hours sitting before my tv watching the news and praying. We no longer live in a nation of God's blessings and our walls of protection have come down due to our choice as a nation to turn away from God. In the midst of that tragedy, I heard the words "pray" and "faith", but never "God" or "Jesus", that just wouldn't have been politically correct. It is sad to have to say, but we are going to see more and more of these horrific crimes in our country. Woman trafficking happens every day in our country and we still go about our day concerned about the silliest things. I am guilty. So what is our response to all of this? Number one: we can not live in fear because we know God and he is perfect love. We cannot hide our families in a bubble of protection. We must teach our kids to love God with reckless abandon. What can mere men do to us. Greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world. We all have a mission and we don't need to let the devil scare us from our destiny. Number two: we do not need to write more laws to outlaw guns. That is what the Saduccees and the Pharasees do and it doesn't work. The problem is not the law it's the heart. Evil people will find a way around the law no matter how strong it is. Number three: We need to know who our enemy is. Our enemy is not flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Eph 6 goes on to talk about our weapon which is the Word of God. We wield that for our kids and repent for our nation. Holy Spirit, I pray that you will cover this town, these parents and the nation with comfort and strength in you. Humble our hearts to see that our total dependence has to be on you. Turn our nation's heart back to God. Give us boldness and power to walk in these evil days. We love you with all our hearts.
Friday, December 14, 2012
Read Ex. 39:22-27 The robe of the priest was blue, the color of spiritual; divine revelation. It is the color of the heavens which is where we are suppose to be living- “in heavenly places”. It had a hole in the middle which sounds like it was a lot like a poncho. Along the hem were pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet. Pomegranates represent God’s laws since the number of seeds corresponds to the number of laws in the Torah. Bells were placed between the pomegranates to send forth a heavenly sound. Linen was used for all of the coats of the priests. Linen is a fabric that is not suppose to make you sweat. God chose linen because: the priest were not to sweat (they were to enter God’s rest where God does the work), linen is light-weight and not burdensome- God’s yoke is easy and his burden light, linen is used from taking flax and beating out the seeds which represents Jesus who was beaten for us, and who knows why else. All through the Bible there are these men in linen garments who just show up and watch, record, and sometimes get in the way, like the one who was caught in the garden where Jesus was arrested. He ran away naked and left his linen garment in the hand of the soldier. (Mark 14:51) I think these must be priests from heaven, maybe from the order of Melchizedek, who are sent down to watch and record what they see. Anyway, linen is a symbol of purity and righteousness as one set apart for service. Their linen was more like a silk. Jesus left his linen clothes on the stone when he went to heaven. He no longer needed his earthly linen, he was going to be given a heavenly linen garment. One day we will all be clothed in white linen. Lord, clothe us today in white linen and may we walk set apart in righteousness unto you.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Read Ex. 39:8- 21 Since I went into detail about the breastplate on 10-25 and 10-26, I’m not going to do it again. It is important for us Gentiles to realize that we are a member of a tribe also. We have been grafted in to this family of God, so this is pertinent to us as well as the Jew. If you don’t know what tribe you are a member of just ask God. I asked him for 3 confirmations and I was amazed at what he gave me. The first one was given to me while I was studying the tribes in the library. I found an article that said that the Levites changed their names to escape persecution to names like Levy, Levine, Levin. My middle name is Levine named after the last name of my grandmother. The next confirmation was given to me at a church meeting. That day I had come home from playing tennis and when my foot crossed over the threshold of my living room I felt the Holy Spirit so strong I had to squeeze into the room. It literally took my breath away and I had to sit down. I had no idea what was going on or what I was suppose to do so I cried. Then I got the thought that I should ask for something out loud. I had no idea what to ask for so I opened my mouth and this is what came out, “Lord, I just want to teach your Word and rightly divide it.” I waited for what seemed like a long time and the presence slowly left and I was able to go take a shower. Later that day a friend called and invited me to a little country church where a husband and wife from Israel would be speaking. After that encounter I knew I had to go. I got there and the first thing the lady said was, “we are all members of a tribe of Israel.” I knew that, but I had never heard anyone else say it. She talked on the different tribes and when she got to the tribe of Levite and described it, I knew that was my tribe. So that was #2 confirmation. The third one was even more exciting. She finished her talk and had these colored flags of the colors of the different tribes and said she was going to pass them out as God told her to. When she got to me she said, “You are from the tribe of Levite and you will teach my Word and rightly divide the Word of truth.” I was undone. God is so good and perfect. I would encourage you to ask God what tribe you are from…. he will tell you! Lord, I pray that you surprise everyone who prays this prayer and show them their tribe and their purpose in the body.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Read Ex. 39:1-7 Today we are going to begin to construct the priest’s garment. The colors are gold, blue, purple, and scarlet which we’ve learned gold stands for wisdom and glory; blue - spiritual, purple - royalty; scarlet - blood and passion. They would take gold and beat it till it was just strands and weave it into the textile threads. The blue color came from crushing snails and smearing them into the thread and the red came from crushing an insect and the purple was a combination of the snail and the insect. What a picture of what Jesus went through on the cross. Is. 53 says “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Jesus, like us, learned obedience by the things he suffered. 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; 10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec. (Heb. 5:8-10) Jesus was our high priest who rose to heaven to wear this robe and forever be our high priest. The ephod was the vest-like piece that was called the curious girdle. On the shoulder of this girdle was to be placed two onyx stones that have the children of Israel’s names engraged. The priest was to wear their representation before the Lord as intercession. When God looked down he saw them on the shoulders of the priest whose job it was to carry them as his burden before the Lord. I looked up the word “curious” in the Hebrew and it means to plot or contrive; value, compute; thing, consider, find out forecast, hold, imagine, invent, purpose. These were just a few of the adjectives for the word but we can get a picture of what the priest was to do. Jesus, as our high priest carries us on his shoulder and he values us so much he has considered us and plotted out and imagined our lives in a wonderful way that will bring us joy and him glory. Lord, I thank you that we have been grafted into your family and you live to intercede for us.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Read Ex. 38:25-31 More numbers. The silver that the people gave was a hundred, and a thousand seven hundred and threescore and fifteen shekels. “Hundred” means “fullness”; “thousand” means “maturity”; “seven hundred” means “complete fullness”; threescore means “conformed to holiness” and “fifteen” means “grace and liberty”. That describes what giving to the Lord will cause us to reap: full maturity, everything we need, holiness and freedom. (Where’s my checkbook!) They were all required to give a bekah if they were 20 years old and older. This was their tabernacle tax. The total people that gave were six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred. Using the meaning of these numbers it describes them as complete and mature, fully conformed to God’s image, and full of grace. This was how God saw them and this is how God sees us. They took this money and used it to make the sockets, pins, pillars, brazen altar, and its grate. Everything was meted out exactly and precisely. See how meticulous God was in making the tabernacle which was a temporary dwelling place for his presence? He is that meticulous in building us into his image because we are his tabernacle that houses the presence of God. Everything about us, he planned strategically for his purposes. I am in the middle of a project that should have taken a day, but instead has taken all week and I’m still not through. Though it has been exasperating and time consuming (which is something I don’t have enough of) it has taught me several ways NOT to make this window treatment. It has helped me see how every measurement and every fold is strategically important and effects the whole look of the curtain. That is how it works in the body of Christ. We all need to be it the right place doing the right thing so that we will flow as one unit. Lord, thank you that we are wonderfully and fearfully made and you know our needs and our every thought. We praise you!
Monday, December 10, 2012
Read Ex. 38: 21-24 Today we have a list of the names of the people who were key players in constructing the tabernacle. We’ve already talked about these men in Ex. 36 but I’ll add a little more. Ithamar was Aaron’s youngest son of four. Aaron’s first two sons Nadab the firstborn, and Abihu were killed by the Lord when they offered strange fire (Lev. 10:1,2). That left Eleazar and Ithamar. Their family were ordinary priests until Eli who became a high priest. Ithamar’s name means “island of the palm trees”. Palm trees symbolized someone flourishing and upright. So, Ithamar was a God-fearing man who stayed righteous during prosperous times. Bezaleel means “the shadow of God; God’s protection”. He worked with the metal, wood, and stone. I would certainly need God’s protection if I worked with those mediums because I tend to hurt myself. He worked with the “weightier” things while Aholiab, who helped him and was under him, had the charge of engraving and the textile fabrics. If you are reading from the King James, which is the only way to really study, you’ll see that the cost of gold reads: “twenty and nine talents, and seven hundred and thirty shekels” instead of 29 plus 730. It is because every number is important. “Twenty” means “holy”. “Nine” means “harvest”. This describes the talent. A talent is equal to about 3,000 shekels of silver but the word “talent” means a “circle”. It could describe anything that completes it’s orbit or mission. It could be your ministry or your life or just a project you are doing - It should be holy and reap a harvest. “Seven hundred” means “fullness of rest”. “Thirty” means “obedient”. This described the shekel. Everyone was to bring one shekel to the sanctuary so their obedience was required for them to enter into God’s rest. This was the amount of gold required. “Gold” stands for wisdom so God’s wisdom is holy; it brings a harvest of full rest to those who are obedient. Lord, may our obedient service to you be holy and reap fullness of rest.
Friday, December 7, 2012
Read Ex. 38:9-20 The court area was 100 cubits on the north and south side and 50 cubits on the east and west side. The north side of the court was to be filled with lots of twenties: twenty pillars, twenty brass sockets, etc. Twenty means separated and tried, or holy. The west and east side was filled with tens. Ten means something has been measured out for testing. This tabernacle was to be a holy structure to test their allegiance to Him. There were 15 hangings on either side of the gate. Fifteen means free; grace; sin covered. It had three pillars and three sockets. The number three means to conform to the image of the seed. (Read what God created on the 3rd day.) The brass signifies the Word of God, and silver - the knowledge of God. So all who entered into this place were to be conformed to God’s image and filled with the Word and knowledge of God. The curtains that hung in the gate were 20 by 5 cubits. Five is the number for “works”. So their works were to be holy. These beautifully crafted curtains had 4 pillars with brass sockets and silver hooks. Four means to rule and reign which God wanted to do forever for them. The pegs were made of brass. Everything about this structure had meaning - it all glorified God. Once the pin was put in the socket it looked like the cross. God thought of every clue he could give us. Lord, don’t let us neglect your signs to us. Let everything about us glorify you just as everything about the tabernacle glorified you.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Read Ex. 38:1-8 Next was the brazen altar which is where they burned the sacrifices. It was 7.5 feet by 7.5 feet by 4.5 feet. It had to be big to support the big animals that would be laid on it. This altar was the picture of the cross. It also had horns on it which the people could run to and take hold of when they needed mercy. Isn’t that what we do when we are being chased by conviction or condemnation; we run to the cross and appropriate Christ’s blood for our situation. This altar was like a big brass bar-b-que pit. There was nothing pretty about the crucifixion yet underneath all the blood and suffering was the silver lining of our salvation. I wonder if they polished this brass everyday because I know how quickly brass tarnishes. Maybe God chose brass because he knew how quickly the power of the cross would tarnish in our minds and hearts. All the vessels were made of brass also. It stood right in front of the laver which was also made of brass which came from the looking glasses of the women. Since this laver was where the priests would be washing their hands ceremonially as a picture of being cleansed within, I think seeing their reflection in this brass reminded them of who they were. 1 Co. 13:12 says, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” We read the Bible and can see ourselves in it but we will never see ourselves as God sees us till we get to heaven or he gives us a divine revelation. James 1:23 says, ‘For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholds himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgets what manner of man he was. 25 But whoever looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. So James, Jesus brother, tells us that if we meditate on God’s Word and obey it, then our ways will be blessed. That sounds like a good deal to me! Lord, thank you, thank you, thank you, for your Word and your Holy Spirit. Speak to us today and show us your ways.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Read Ex. 37:25-29 The incense altar is the place where prayers and intercession is made. I had a dream one night where I was looking down into this huge ancient room. It reminded me of an old cathedral. There was no furniture in this room but the floor was covered with different kinds of oil-burning lamps. They were made of different metals and all different sizes and shapes. Out of them was pouring incense and I could hear voices in every language praying. I woke up and knew I had visited the prayer room of heaven. Our prayers rise up to God mixed with sweet incense. David wrote in Ps. 141:2 “ Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” And Rev. 8:3-4 says, “And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.” It is like we pray and the angels add the incense which makes our words pure and sweet to the Lord. They had to make their incense by a special formula; the angels make ours! The incense altar was square and had a crown and horns at the corners. Horns are emblems of power, dominion, glory, and fierceness, and are the chief means of attack and defence with the animals endowed with them. The expression "horn of salvation," applied to Christ, and means a salvation of strength, or a strong Saviour. Luke 1:69 says, “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, For He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David.” Amen! Blessed by the Lord!
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Read Ex. 37:17-24 Next they constructed the candlestick with was a menorah, beaten of pure gold. It had 6 branches and a 7th that was the main trunk for the branches. Three times in John, Jesus said that he was the light come to the world and as long as he was here the world would have light. In John 9 a man who had been blind since birth was brought to Jesus. The people that brought him wanted to know if he was blind as the result of the sin of his parents, and Jesus said no. He was born blind so that the works of God should be revealed through Jesus. He then said, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Then he spat on the ground and made clay and anointed the man’s eyes. He told him to go and wash in the pool of Siloam and when he did he came back seeing. Why did Jesus go to such theatrics to heal when all he had to do was say, “be healed” and he would have been? He was giving us a picture. The people’s eyes were spiritually blind just as this man was physically blind. When Jesus took that dust from which man was first formed and mixed it with his own saliva he was mixing heaven with earth. Jesus came to invade earth with the presence of God. We are to invade heaven to get it to come down to earth. He sent the man to the pool of Siloam which means “the sent one”. Jesus was the sent one. Once he was baptized in Jesus, the earthly mud was washed away and he could see. In Matt. 5:14, Jesus said, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Jesus has anointed us with his light so we should do the things he did. Lord, give us boldness to let your light shine through us that all may see our good works and glorify you.
Monday, December 3, 2012
Read Ex. 10:10-16 Next he made the table for the shewbread. This table is made of the same wood as the ark, with the same crown, rings, and poles all covered with gold. (My personal opinion is that all the furniture in the ark that is covered with gold is what we are going to see in heaven since these are copies of the real objects in heaven. (Heb. 8:5) The brazen altar and the laver were not covered with gold since there will not be a reason to cleanse ourselves from sin or atone for it in heaven. There were 12 plates set in rows of 6 where the shewbread was placed every Sabbath and the old eaten by the priests. The family of Kohath was in charge of the shewbread and the holy things in the tabernacle. Kohath means “obedient; waiting”. If we want God to entrust us with the deeper things then we must learn to wait and obey what he tells us to do. Back to the shewbread table: This constant display of bread was to remind the people that God always provides and never runs out and even deeper - his Word never grows old and is forever relevant. Remember when Joseph sat his brothers around the table in their birth order and fed then in the time of famine. This is a picture of that shewbread. Benjamin’s plate had 5 times as much. We are at that time in history. Benjamin was the youngest and last son of Jacob. He had not killed Joseph and was not guilty of that act. We are not living in the time of the law, but the time of grace. We are not guilty of killing the Lord because we have appropriated his grace that covers that sin. We will be abundantly supplied in times of need in these last days! That is so comforting when we look at the circumstances around us. Lord, thank you for your faithfulness! Thank you that you are so alive and active in our lives. May we be Kohathites that wait on you and obey your every whisper.
Friday, November 30, 2012
Read Ex. 37:1-9 I know we have been over this before in Ex. 26, but every time I study this I get fresh revelation; so let’s go over it again. Beezaleel, which means the shadow or protection of God made the ark first, which would embody the presence of God. It is made of shittim wood (the acacia tree) which has scourging thorns on it. The wood was good for building but you had to endure the thorns to get to the good wood. God had to endure seeing his son scourged and brutally crucified in order to reap a people of his own. Jesus had to endure the cross that we might obtain the inheritance. Roses grow amidst thorns. This ark was 3 and 3/4 feet x 2 and 1/4 feet x 2 and 1/4 feet deep. It was crowned with gold and totally covered with gold just in case we couldn’t figure out this stood for God. It had 4 rings on the corners where the wooden poles were put to carry it. The poles were made from the branches of the acacia tree then covered with gold. Is. 11:1 says, “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: and the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him.” Then he made a mercy seat to sit on top of the ark with two cherubim’s kneeling on top of it. They were both hewn from the same gold rock. I Co. 10:4 says speaking of the children of Israel in their wanderings: “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” Jesus was put in a grave hewn from one stone. The angels were beaten into form just as Jesus learned obedience through the things he suffered. These cherubim’s bowed in the presence of God just as all heaven does. They spread out their wings to cover the mercy seat. There are so many references to the shadow of God’s wings but here is a great one: “How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.” Ps. 36:7. Malachi prophesied of a people that would fear his name and for them, the Sun of righteousness will arise with healing in his wings. I am contending for the day we will do the “greater works” Jesus talked about. Lord, we worship your holiness and your great wisdom.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Read Ex. 36:35-38 The door of the tabernacle was a tapestry of blue, purple, and scarlet which are colors of royalty and blood. Jesus told us that He is the door and the only way to God is through this door called salvation. Four posts were made of wood to represent the cross; the hooks were made of gold which represents God’s wisdom and glory. It was God’s perfect plan to have Jesus nailed to a cross. The sockets were of silver to represent redemption. Every nail that pierced Jesus spoke redemption clear and loud. I wonder if these 4 posts represent Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They are the ones that penned the crucifixion for us to read and understand. Then 5 pillars were made with gold hooks but their sockets were made of brass. A pillar is a support for a building standing as a monument of victory. Brass represents “word” whether God’s or man’s and in this case it would be God’s. I wonder if these didn’t represent Old Testament heroes like: Noah, Moses, Abraham, Elijah, or David; people who only had the spoken Word to lead them. I don’t know…only speculation but these would be my picks! God, however has a hall of fame written in Hebrews 11 and the first four mentioned are Abel, Enoch, Noah, and Abraham. If I had the space I would write out Heb. 11:32-40 because it brings me to tears. They are the posts and pillars of the faith. I would encourage you to read it because these are the ones who are our cloud of witnesses in Heb. 12:1 who watch us and cheer us on. They are watching to see us complete what they started. We can be the fulfillment of their prophesies if we will appropriate the kingdom into our lives. Lord, may we fulfill our destiny.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Read Ex. 36:20-34 Throughout the Bible men and kingdoms are symbolized as trees (ex: Exekiel 31). I wonder if these boards represent people or nations in the end that will stand around the throne. They were all held together by silver tenons and sockets. Silver is a picture of grace. The sockets were the basis of building; the strength of the structure depended on the strength of the socket. Tenons means an open hand of power. In the end every nation will stand by grace before the throne and yield all power and allegiance to the one who sits on the throne. (Rev. 9:9-12; 15:4). Bars were made of shittim wood to support the boards. This is the wood that they used to make Jesus’ crown of thorns. Because of the cross, we can stand before God and endure to the end. It is our support. The middle bar was made to shoot through all the boards just as the cross has to have permeated our hearts. We have to have born the cross ourselves to stand before God. Last of all these boards were overlaid with gold. When we embrace the cross then God makes even our sufferings result in wisdom - pure gold. Ps. 43:13,14 talks about the bride of Christ who is clothed in gold and whose clothes are beautiful tapestries. What a picture of these boards that have been pierced but overlaid with gold. Jesus could endure the cross for the joy that awaited him and so can we. Lord, give us kingdom thinking. Renew our minds in You.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Read Ex. 36:1-19 Moses called for all the craftsmen to help Bezaleel and Ahioliab. I have a new appreciation for artists; God calls them “wise hearted”. If you look up those two words in the Hebrew they mean “men with skills that come from their feelings, will, and intellect.” They took the offerings of the people - all the precious metals, gems, and cloth and made the furnishings and clothes for the service of the tabernacle. The people gave so much more than they needed that they had to tell them to stop giving! I’ve never heard a church ask the people to stop giving because they had too much. Last week I went to a client’s house that had an arched window over 20 feet tall. She wants me to make a curtain for it. I was extremely intimidated but I kept reminding myself that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” The curtains for the tabernacle weren’t that tall but they were 42 feet long and 6 feet tall. There were 5 curtains per side joined together with loops. The loops attached to pins that held them together. It is almost like being surrounded by a protected army that have looped their arms together so nothing can come in. There were 50 of them on each curtain. Fifty speaks of a service being either accepted or rejected. How fitting for the very place the people would bring their atoning sacrifices. The covering over the top of the tabernacle was made of goat’s hair made of 11 curtains 45 feet long and 6 feet wide. This was the first covering over the tabernacle. Goats stand for sin. This sin had to be covered which is the only thing the Old Testament gave provision for. They could cover their sin, but not give them a clean conscience or freedom from sin - only Jesus could do that. Lord, I thank you that we are covered with the blood of Jesus and no longer have to worship under the weight of sin. We are free to worship you with abandon!
Monday, November 26, 2012
Read Ex. 35:30-35 God called Bezaleel by name to fill with his spirit: the wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and craftsmanship to construct the pieces for the tabernacle. Bezaleel’s name means “shadow of God”. He is from a lineage of names meaning “light, white, and praise”. So he was a shadow of God on earth creating this work that would represent the righteous glory of God so that all would praise him. He molded the metals, carved the wood, and cut the stone for the various ornamental pieces. God also gave him the knowledge and ability to teach what he had been given to Aholiab, son of Ahisamach, from the tribe of Dan. These names mean “tent of his father”, “brother of support” and “judge”. How appropriate that his very name identifies his ministry. He was to help in the constructing of the “tent” of his father, God. He was to support his brother, Bezaleel and the very things he was anointed to make would sit as a judge to the people. God loves beautiful things because they bring him glory. We should not feel guilty when we appreciate the finer things of life, only if they distract our hearts from the maker of such things. This beautiful gold-laden tabernacle was to be a reflection of God so that the people could understand just how glorious and holy he is. The key is that the closer the person got to the Holy of Holies the more bright, elaborate and glorious the pieces became. The closer we get to the Lord, the more glorious He becomes and the less glittery the world becomes. It is all a matter of perspective. Where are we standing? Lord, draw our hearts to your presence and your glory.
Friday, November 23, 2012
Read Ex. 35:1-29 Moses met with the people to give them more of God’s commandments. They are to work 6 days and the 7th will be a sabbath rest. If they work on that day they will be put to death. Since all the laws are to teach us a deeper meaning we know that he is also speaking about the sabbath rest at the end of time. Romans 7:14a says that, “we know that the law is spiritual:” They were not to kindle a fire which would constitute making light because we will be living in the land where God is the light and all the work has already been done. Then God gave the people a chance to give. They were to give gold, silver, brass for the furniture ; blue, purple and scarlet linen for the priest’s robe; goat’s hair, ram’s skins dyed red, baggers’ skins to cover the tabernacle, and shittim wood to build it with; and oil, spices for incense. They could give stones for the breastplate. Others that had talents in building and could give their time and talents. With all these things they were to make the tent, the furniture (ark, mercy seat, table of incense, candlestick, table of shewbread, the laver, and the brazen altar); the coverings, the nails and the cords; and the priest’s garments. When Moses finished with his list, the people went home and gathered these things as they felt in their heart to give. Notice how many times the word “heart” is mentioned. God wanted them to give out of their heart, not obligation. On earth, is the only time we will be able to give to the Lord… after this it will be all given to us. God is looking for a people whose heart is fully given to him and if it is it will show in our giving. Lord, show us opportunities we have to give and may it be out of a willing heart.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Read Ex. 34:27-35 According to medical science your body can’t live 40 days without water and food, but supernaturally you can run through a troop and leap over a wall so you can go 40 days without food and water. Which is what Moses did. He entered into heavenly places where earthly laws aren’t effective. During this fast he wrote and wrote on stone tablets. He descended from the mountain with the tablets and a new countenance that shone so brightly it scared the people and he had to vail his face. Spending time with God will cause you to wear his glory. I believe we are going to come to a time when those who love God and spend time with him will shine again… literally. I want to be one of those people. New Age people know that we all have a certain glory they call aura. They actually have it right. We do carry a glory that has color and as we are purified in God’s presence it will be white. Job 11 says that the righteous shall shine like the morning. Ecclesiastes 8 says that a man’s wisdom causes a man’s face to shine. Dan. 12 says this about the last days: “3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” Jesus said in Matt 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Again Jesus was talking about the last days in Matt. 13:43, saying, “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” Phil. 2:43 says the same thing. And last of all, Jesus was transfigured on the mountain and his face shone as the sun. Even his clothes shone. Lord, shine through us today and show your glory to bring many to you.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Read Ex. 34:9-26 God loves to extend mercy and love but he is also a holy God that has to deal with sin. Moses knew this and he also knew that he was leading a very stubborn and quick-to-sin people, so he was constantly interceding and repenting for them. God promised to miraculously drive out their enemies and warned them not to make any covenants with the original people of the land or they would be a snare to them. They were to destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves (meeting places) because another name of God is Jealous; God wanted to be their only god. He warned them against making covenants with the inhabitants of the land or intermarrying or making any metal god. Then God told him the three times a year that the men of Israel were to appear before the Lord: Unleavened Bread, Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), and the feast of ingathering which is the same thing as Roshashana. When they do this, God will cast out the nations before them and enlarge their borders. There are actually 7 feast of the Lord but they are coupled together in 3 different seasons. The first group (Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits) occur during the harvesting of wheat. The next feast is Pentecost which is by it self. It is the harvesting of the barley crop. The last group is Roshashana, Yom Kippor, and Feast of Tabernacles which happens in the harvesting of the fruit crops. These all represent great harvests of souls that will happen during the course of history. Here is a brief synopsis of what they represent. Jesus died on Passover, was buried on Unleavened Bread, and rose on First Fruits. He sent his spirit on the Feast of Pentecost. He will come back on Roshashana, judge the nations during Yom Kippor, and set up his millennial kingdom on Feast of Tabernacles. Everything God does is a picture to show us himself and his ways which is why it is so important to read the Old Testament. Lord, may we honor your word and not allow the ways of the world to infiltrate our borders. Spread us out to expand your borders for your kingdom.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Read Ex. 34:1-7 The Lord told Moses to make some new stone tablets so he could write the laws on them since Moses broke the first ones. It didn’t take long for them to “break” the law! Moses was told to come alone and make sure no person of cattle came near the mountain. There he would proclaim his name. This time we get to here what he calls himself: “The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by NO MEANS clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” I capitalized “no means” because we tend to have a sloppy attitude about sin. We…I, forget that I am serving a holy God and that my righteousness is like filthy rags to him. We think that we can just ask God to forgive us and its over, but it is not. We ARE forgiven but we will still reap the benefits of our sin. Moses, God’s friend, who God said was the most humble man on the earth, sinned, and it kept him from the promised land. Their sin, and our sin is passed down up to 4 generations. This is so true when you are dealing with generational curses. We can sin against our body and end up with a cancer. This cancer can be passed down to our great, great, grandchildren. I know a man whose grandfather had an affair at 40 and so did his father, and so did he. We can break those curses by speaking to them out loud and breaking their power over us and our posterity. They must be proclaimed out loud because Satan cannot read your mind. It must be a declaration. Lord, like Moses, when we read this it make us want to bow our head to the ground and worship you. Please forgive our sins and the sins of our nation.
Monday, November 19, 2012
Read Ex. 33:20-23 Verse 11 says that the Lord spoke to Moses “face to face” then in verse 20 God tells Moses that he couldn’t see his face and live. Which one is right? I looked up the Hebrew word for “face” and in both verses “face” is the same: “paniym” which means “countenance; favor; forefront part; heaviness”. In Duet. 5:4 Moses told the people that God spoke to them face to face when they were on the mountain receiving the law. They didn’t actually see his face but they did see wonders he did on the mountain (fire and smoke), hear trumpets and God’s voice, and feel the earth shake. These were equated with seeing God “face to face”. Duet. 17:10 says that God knew Moses face to face. I Co. 13:12 talks about a day when we will see face to face because we now just see through a glass darkly. So I think this “face to face” could read “heart to heart” or “understanding to understanding”. Then God give us a little prophetic snip-it when he says, “There is a place by me, and you shall stand upon a rock.” We know that there is a place God has prepared for Jesus that is on his right hand. The only way Moses could see God was to be hidden in Christ. That rock was Jesus. God hid Moses in the cleft of the rock and covered his eyes till he passed by. When he had passed he took his hand away so he could see his back side. I wonder how God could cover his eyes with his hand and walk in front of him all at the same time till I think of my dreams at night and see how God could be at 2 places at one time. God is omnipresent! Moses’s human body could not have taken God’s full glory. As it was, Moses absorbed some of this glory and shone from that day on. I think we will literally shine in the last days. After all, we are the light of the world because the glory of God dwell in our earthly tents. Let’s go out and leak today! Lord, we long for an encounter with you “face to face”. I pray that you grant us this so we will shine your glory to a very dark world.
Friday, November 16, 2012
Read Ex. 33:11-19 There were only two people in the Bible that were called a “friend” of God, - Moses was one (Abraham was the other.) Moses spoke to him face-to-face. In this conversation Moses reminded God that it was God’s idea to bring the children of Israel out of Egypt. God told Moses that he knew him by name and that they had found grace in his sight. So if that was so, Moses wanted God to show him is ways that he might know God and God might advise this nation. Then God gave Moses a promise that should be our theme song, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” That is the true test of your maturity in the Lord: if in any situation you can walk with God and live in his rest. Moses knew there was no other way to travel…better than American Express. Then Moses asked the question he had been leading up to. “Show me your glory.” God’s response was probably not what he was expecting. He told Moses that he would make all of his “goodness” pass before him and he would give him his name. Then he adds that he will be gracious to who he chooses to be gracious to and merciful to who he wants to be merciful to. That was a strange answer to Moses question in my opinion. So God’s glory comes in his goodness. I looked up “goodness” in the Strongs and it means “beauty, gladness, joy, welfare”. We don’t often think of God in the Old Testament as revealing himself as beautiful and happy. We think of him as mad and wanting to kill someone if they sin. But, when Moses asked to see him, this is the side of him he chose to reveal. Then God spoke of being gracious and merciful. Moses probably needed to hear that after seeing God’s strict judgment on the people when they made the golden calf. Lord, today, help us to know you as Goodness: beautiful, full of gladness and joy and wanting the very best for us. May we extend your name to those we come in contact with today.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Read Ex. 33:4-11 God called Israel a “stiff-necked” people and because of this he said he would not dwell with them or he might get so mad he killed them all. Instead, he would send an Angel to go before them. What a rebuke! At least they took it hard and mourned. God had told them to take off their costumes they had made for their orgy. They probably looked like Bourbon Street during Marti Gras. Then Moses picked up the tabernacle of God and pitched it outside the camp. This was to be a visible picture to the children of Israel to see that God had moved outside the camp. The people would watch Moses walk out to the tabernacle and once he entered in, a cloud would descend and stand at the door of the tabernacle and God would talk to Moses there. This picture would evoke the people watching to rise up and worship God also. Joshua was with Moses wherever he went. He was on the mountain when God gave Moses the commandments and now he is in the tabernacle with him. Even though he watched from afar, he was learning from his great mentor, Moses how to lead the people and how to communicate with God. When Moses would leave to go home, Joshua stayed. He must have lived in the tabernacle, always in the presence of the Lord. No wonder he grew up to be such a great leader and was the one to lead them into the Promised Land. Moses was the epitome of the law - which took a conscious effort to be in God’s presence. Joshua is the epitome of a child living in the promise land. He lived in the presence of the Lord, and never left it. Lord, give us a heart to want to dwell in the midst of your presence all day long like Joshua.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Read Ex. 33:1-3 At the end of the last chapter God told Moses to lead the people into the land that he had told Moses about and that He would send an Angel (capital “A”) before them. He also said that he would blot the sinners names out of his book and judge their sin of making the calf so he sent a plague. In this chapter he tells Moses again to lead the people into the land and that He will drive the people that live there now out. When we get saved (go through the Red Sea) we land on new territory that has enemies. Once we become a child of God we become a direct enemy of Satan’s and he has demons assigned to us to make us stumble and not get our inheritance and our spiritual destiny. These are our “giants in the land”. He gives us a list of them: Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and the Jebusites. They sound like members of the Termite Family! Let’s look at the meaning of their names and meet our enemies. Canaanites: They are the peddlers and their wares are humiliation. They tell you that you aren’t worth being used by God and they find ways to make you feel unqualified, useless, without gifts, etc. They lead you down the path of self pity. The next group are the Amorites. These men were of tall stature and dwelt in the mountains. They were know for their pride. They try to make us compare our selves with others, think more highly than we ought, think we don’t need God and a plethora of other lies. The Hittites were warriors who also lived in the mountains and they stood for “terror”. Fear is directly opposite of faith. The Perizzites lived in the open country and their meaning is “division”. They are the spirits that try to bring division in marriages, churches, friendships, etc. The Hivites which live in villages and are the “life-givers”. They are the spirits that want you to love your life and enjoy it instead of losing it for the gospel and allowing God to give you his life. Last of all we have the Jebusites. They occupied the land of and around Jerusalem. Their name means to fasten down and drown. They love to suck the life out of people so that they don’t have time or strength to follow God. They attack people in their jobs, finances, families - anyway they can to draw their strength so they won’t be able to fight back. These are our enemies we have to conquer to enter the land of promise. Lord, we thank you that our weapons are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds!
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Read Ex. 32:33-35 What is this book that Moses knew God had with names in it of all who know Him? The word “book” is found 175 times but only eight of them have to do with this book of life. One of these scriptures is in Phil.4:3 and the rest are in Revelations. Our Bible is called the Living Bible for a reason. Not only is the word alive and active but it is coded. For centuries godly scholars have known this only they haven’t been able to crack its code. Now that we have computers this goal is more attainable. Scholars have taken the original Hebrew and broke the letters down into matrixes and have found amazing information about people and events that have been coded into the writings of the Old Testament. I believe that we hold and read daily from the book of life - that our names and destines are coded into this book and as we read it we are reading our very own destinies and if we read it out loud we are proclaiming our destinies into operation. That is why it is important to read the whole Bible, even Numbers and Leviticus - the ones that are hard to understand why they are there. 2 Tim. 3:16,17 says, 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” That means that even the genealogies are inspired and can teach us something if we read them. God hides his truths in a mystery. 1 Co. 2:7 says that the mystery of God is his hidden wisdom that has been hidden since before the world was made. We know that the most important mystery is Christ; but there are many more. Lord, write your Word upon our hearts that we might fully live out our destinies.
Monday, November 12, 2012
Read Ex. 32:26-33 Moses has just come down from his “mountain-top experience” with the Lord to walk into a camp full of idolatry. He stands in the gate and shouts, “Who is on the Lord’s side? Let him come to me.” The Levites are the first to repent and come stand with Moses. Then Moses told them to strap on their swords and kill everyone at the party. So the Levites went through and killed everyone within the gates which ended up being about 3,000. If you study the feasts you find that the Lord visited his people on the mountain on the first Pentecost. As a result of this 3,000 were killed. In the New Testament God also visited his people on Pentecost and gave his Holy Spirit to them and as a result 3,000 were saved (Acts 2). On the first Pentecost the mountain was on fire; on the second Pentecost the people were on fire. We are to live in the state of Pentecost - on fire for the Lord and full of the Holy Spirit. After the slaughter, Moses told them to consecrate themselves and their families so that God could bless them. They did and the next day Moses met with the people and told them he was going to ask God to forgive them. Moses went back to where he had spent time with the Lord and begged him to forgive the people. He placed himself on the same level of the people and identified with their sin just like Jesus did for us. The Lord told Moses that he would blot the people’s name out of his book that had sinned against him. Tomorrow, I want to talk about this book he is talking about. Lord, you say in Ps. 18 that your judgments are true and righteous altogether and that they are to be desired more than fine gold and that they are sweeter than honey. Thank you for being a just and merciful judge for in keeping your commandments there is great reward.
Friday, November 9, 2012
Read Ex. 32:8-25 God sends Moses back down the mountain to discipline the people who couldn’t stay faithful for 40 days! God wanted to just annihilate all of them and start over but Moses interceded for the people. If God killed all the people he so miraculously delivered from the Egyptians, what would the Egyptians say when they hear that God took them out to kill them. Moses reminded God of the promises he had given to Abraham, Isaac, and Israel of a multiplying their seed as the stars of heaven. So the Lord repented of the plan to destroy them. That is the power we can have with God as intercessors and that is why it is so important to know what God has promised so you can use them to remind the Lord. So Moses left with the tablets God had written and the visions he had in his mind of the heavenly priesthood and started his climb down the mountain. He picked up Joshua who had been patiently waiting and they headed toward camp. They could hear the party and Joshua thought it sounded like a war. But Moses knew what was going on because God had told him they had made a molten calf and were worshipping it. As soon as they got close enough to see what was going on with their own eyes Moses was so mad he took the stone tablets and threw them down and broke them (just as the people had already broken them in their hearts). Then Moses took the golden calf and ground it into powder and mixed it with water and made the people drink it. Moses approached his brother, Aaron, and asked him what the people had done to him to entice him to do such an abomination. Aaron tried to blame the people who were “set on mischief” and Moses because he was gone so long. Then he told the most preposterous lie in the Bible. He told Moses he gathered the earring of the people and the calf just jumped out! Moses looked around and saw that the people were naked like the Egyptians were when they worshipped their idols. Aaron had just failed Leadership 101. Lord, raise up intercessors like Moses to pray for our nation and the nations of the world. Help us to repent and not cast blame on others. Give us leaders who will take responsibility.
Thursday, November 8, 2012
I wanted to address the election since I have talked to so many distraught Christians since then. First I want to remind us that God is in control and He alone is our leader. The president is a pawn in His hand to move our hearts toward Him. It is not a time to shrink back in fear but to realize that when God created the earth, he looked down the halls of eternity and picked US to be born during this time. This is our finest hour because we will shine like the moon. The church is a picture of the moon. We have no light of our own, just what we reflect from the sun (God). We shine the brightest during the night when things are very dark. If we had gotten a Republican, once again, we would have been lulled back to sleep thinking "everything will be OK". God never wanted us to look to our government to be our source just like he never wanted Israel to have a king because He wanted to be their King. Well, good news for us: God is our President! and he is really good a taking care of his people and providing everything they need. So rise up, Church of God - This is our finest hour. Lord, we pray like David did when he was afraid: "Enlarge our hearts to love you"!
Read Ex. 32:1-7 Moses has been up in the mountain with the Lord for a while and the people are getting antsy. They have seen the power Moses had with his God and now they want a god for themselves. It sounds to me like they were being stirred up by Satan to jealousy. Aaron might have felt a little left out himself or jealous too so he took this opportunity to be the leader. He told the people to give him their earrings. Apparently everyone wore earrings. So everyone in the family could give to this idol. With the gold from the earrings he took a special tool and fashioned a calf and gave the calf to the people. Then he told then to worship this calf because it was what delivered them from Egypt. He built an altar for it and proclaimed a feast for the next day to celebrate. So the next day they offered sacrifices and peace offerings and had a party. Meanwhile, God interrupted his time with Moses and told Moses to get back down because the people had corrupted themselves. I want to say it is amazing that they had just witnessed all the miracles of the plagues, the Red Sea, the fiery mountain, (which was still in plain view), God’s audible voice, and countless other miracles, only to so quickly get off track and go after a new god; but experience has told me it is not so amazing. I look at my own life and see the fear and stress I have been under since the death of my mother and am tempted to get really defeated. The truth that I know is that when we are in a storm we only need Jesus in our boat. He can stand up and say, “peace be still” and the waters will obey. Lord, help us to take the authority you have given us in your Word and speak to our mountains instead of giving up and following the way of the world.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Read Ex. 31:1-18 God called Bezaleel out of the tribe of Judah to fill with His spirit and give him the ability and knowledge of how to do all the artistic work in the tabernacle. He gave him the ability and gift to work in gold, silver, brass, gems, and wood carving. “Bezaleel” means “in God’s shade”. His father was Uri which means “fiery light”. His grandfather was Hur which means “white”. We are called to be a cleansed, fiery light dwelling under the shadow of God’s wing. When we live that way we have the anointing to minister in things only God can do. Bezaleel was also a clean, fiery light dwelling under the shadow of God’s wings. God gave him a helper named “Aholiab” which means “tent of his father”. His father was Ahisamach which means “brother of support” from the tribe of Dan which means “judge.” Like Aholiab we are called to dwell with the Lord and to love our brothers and work together in love. Together these two men were to make all the furnishings of the tabernacle, the utensils, the priest’s garments, the anointing oil,and the incense. Then God spoke to Moses about the Sabbaths. The sabbaths are holy days to the Lord. To us, they give us a picture of Millennium. No work is to be done and no one is to defile it or they are put to death. Ever noticed how when Jesus got caught healing on the Sabbath, he was healing in mass - everyone that heard him was healed on those days. It is a picture of Millennium, when everyone will be healed. They were to observe the sabbath forever to remember the covenant they had with God. To us, right now, the sabbath is a rest in the Lord. We should live in the rest of God everyday. Lord, help us to rest in you, under your shade.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Read Ex. 30:17-38 The Lord told Moses to build a bronze laver (which is a basin) so the priests could wash their hands and feet as a sign of cleansing themselves before they approached God. According to Ex. 38:8 it was made from the bronze mirrors of the women. The Word is compared to a mirror that we use to see ourselves in. It reveals our hearts to us. If the priests didn’t wash they would die. Since we are under a much better covenant, we are all called priests and all can enter into God’s presence; but we too must be cleansed. James 4:7,8 says “7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” We don’t do this with natural water but by the water of the Word. (Eph. 5:26) God also gave Moses the recipe for making holy anointing oil. This oil described the Holy Spirit. It was invisible, sweet-smelling, soothing, and calming. The Holy Spirit is to be out Comforter, our invisible support and our peace-bringer. He is very sweet and sensitive. Every vessel, piece of furniture and priest had to be anointed with this oil. No one was to try to copy this recipe or make it themselves because the Holy Spirit cannot be duplicated; there is only one Holy Sprit. God also gave Moses the recipe for a special perfume to be put before the testimony in the tabernacle. It was not to be duplicated also. If we walk in the anointing of the Lord, we have a sweet fragrance that we extend to all who come in contact with us. This perfume and anointing oil covered the stench of the sacrifices just as the Holy Spirit make the cross a sweet fragrance to those who are saved by it. Lord, may your anointing be on us today that others might smell your sweetness and come to know you.
Monday, November 5, 2012
Read Ex. 30:11-16 At certain times they were to number the people and everyone was to pay for their redemption. Their price was half a shekel which was approximately .2 of a an ounce of metal. This was known as the ransom money or the atonement fee for their lives. This ransom money made sure that there was no plague among them. The money was to be used for the service of the tabernacle. Jesus said in Matt. 20:28 that “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” This ransom money made sure that there was no plague among them. The money was to be used for the service of the tabernacle. When we are in Christ we should have no plagues among us. Plagues were sent by God to discipline those who chose to disobey. In 2 Sam. 24 God was angry with Israel so he told David to go number Israel and Judah. He did this without telling the people to pay the ransom money so a plague was sent across Israel. It stopped at the threshing floor of Araunah when David offered a burnt offering. In 1 Chron. 21 Satan stood up and enticed David to number the people. God sent a plague and it was stopped on the threshing floor of Ornan where he offered God a burnt offering. This became the spot he later built the temple. Numbering has to do with judgment. Since there was no ransom for their souls, every time they were numbered some judgment fell. Hosea 1:10 says that the number of the people of Israel shall be as the sands of the sea…innumerable. In Revelations the word “number” is used 8 times and every time it is counting the evil people there is a number, but when it is talking about the saints it is a number that cannot be counted. The exception is the 144,000 that were sealed which kept them free from the judgment. We don’t live under the law where our sins are counted against us, we live under grace where our sins are covered and removed. Lord, I thank you that we are living under the covenant of grace and not judgment. May we live in your freedom and healing.
Friday, November 2, 2012
Read Ex. 30:1-10 God commanded Moses to build an altar to burn incense on. It was to be 1x1x2 cubits and be made of wood then overlaid with gold. It was to have a crown around the top edge with horns on the corners. The horns were to remind the people of the ram caught in the thicket who was the replacement for Isaac just as one wearing a crown of thorns would be our replacement. The wood spoke of this natural realm covered with the heavenly gold. Jesus came down as a natural man but rose a victorious ruler of heaven and earth and is now seated with God on a throne of glory. This box had rings on the corners to carry it. It was the last piece of furniture that the priest stopped at before he entered the Holy of Holies. On this table was the incense which stood for the prayers of all the people and the priest. The priest would enter behind the last curtain into the Holy of Holies bearing blood from the brazen altar and incense from this table. This is the intercession of others and Jesus who “ever lives to make intercession for the saints.” (Heb. 7:25) And, Romans 8:26,27 says, “Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” I dreamed one night that I was looking down into an ancient room full of different kinds of lamps all burning incense. I could hear mumblings in every language. It was a very holy place and when I woke up I knew I had been in the prayer room in heaven. Lord, we thank you that your spirit prays for us constantly praying what we need to grow in you.
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Read Ex. 29:36-46 Next we have instructions for cleansing the altar. An altar is a place of sacrifice and offering. In the tabernacle there were two altars: the brazen altar which was where the priests offered the sacrifices where the public could watch. The other was the altar of incense where the prayers were offered in a more intimate setting. If the brazen altar stood for the cross then to receive it into our hearts we need our hearts clean and consecrated to God. When we ask Jesus into our hearts then we can still offer up sacrifices to God. Heb. 13:15,16 says, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. 16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” So our sacrifices are first our hearts and lives then our praise, the fruit of our hands and the fruit of our lips. Notice that the priest was to perform these sacrifices morning and night. This altar was where God would meet with his children and dwell among them. The same goes for us. The altar we have built in our hearts for the Lord is where we meet with God and he changes us. This is what the world looks on and knows that we are called by his name. This altar is a place of death, where our old man dies daily so that we might walk in newness for life. Lord, may we sanctify our hearts to receive your glory.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Read Ex. 29:10-35 The ceremony for sanctifying a priest consisted of 3 sacrifices. The first one was a bull sacrificed for the sin. The priest put his hand on the head of the bull transferring his sins to the bull. The second sacrifice was a ram that was to be totally burnt. This offering represented the total surrender of the priest to God. The third offering was the peace offering. Blood was applied to the extremities of the priest signifying that his whole body was atoned for. This was to give him peace with God. All of these offerings describe Jesus’ offering on the cross. Jesus as the sin offering became sin for us and our curse fell on him. As our burnt offering he gave everything and was totally burnt on the cross. He was our peace offering that brought us fellowship and right standing with God. Hebrews 7:26-28 says that Jesus was our high priest who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who doesn’t need to daily offer up sacrifices, as the Old Testament priests, because he did this once, when he offered up himself. For the law gave us high priests that had sin; but the Word, which was since the law, makes the Son our High Priest, who is consecrated for evermore. Next, the flesh of the sacrifice was to be divided between God and the priest. Part was to be waved up and down and side to side making the symbol of the cross which they had no way of knowing what it meant. This was his way of offering it up to God. This meat was burnt on the altar to God and the other part eaten by the priest. This feast was a picture of our fellowship with God. This ceremony was done everyday for 7 days. Since we know that a day to the Lord is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day (2 Pet. 3:8) then we know that Jesus sacrifice covers us till millennium is over. Thank you Jesus, for being our High Priest who offered his own blood to be our sin offering, our burnt offering and our peace offering.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Read Ex. 29:1-9 The priests were to be consecrated or hallowed to minister to the Lord in the office of a priest. It involved great pomp and circumstance to show the people and the priests how important and holy the office of a priest was. It taught the priests that the service was for them as well as for the people because first they had to offer offerings to cleanse themselves before they could offer sin offerings for the people. Aaron and his sons were to come to the door of the tabernacle which was the space between the court where the people stood, and the dwelling- place of God. There the people witnessed the ceremony of inauguration. I thought it was interesting that they were to bring their offerings in a basket since Moses himself was put in a basket which saved his life. Being righteous before God saves our lives. Notice that they all had a covering over their head. Our covering over our head is the blood of Jesus. I am constantly needing that blood to cover the thoughts of my mind. I have never felt so out of my element trying to navigate my brother through the Social Security system and come out sane. I constantly need washing with the water or the word or fear will overwhelm me. I could use some of that Holy Spirit oil on my head also. The priest stood as the people’s mediator to God. Heb. 10:11, 12 says that “every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.” Jesus became our High Priest who once and for all dealt with sin. Heb. 10:14 says that “For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” So we, who are in the process of being made into the image of Jesus, are perfected forever… even if we don’t feel like it! The holy garments of the priests in Exodus signified their being clothed with righteousness (Re 19: 8) and equipped as men active and well- prepared for the service of God. Is. 61:19 says that Jesus has clothed us with the garments of salvation, and covered us with the robe of righteousness. Jesus, thank you for becoming our High Priest of a much better covenant.
Monday, October 29, 2012
Read Ex. 28:22-43 Not only did the breastplate hold the stones with the names of the different tribes engraved on them, but it held the Urim and the Thummin. These were two stones that were kept in a pocket over Aaron’s heart. These were used in judgment if the priest didn’t know how to answer a situation. He would put his hand in the pocket and pull out one of these stone. One of them meant “no” and the other meant “yes”. On his head he was to wear a mitre which is like a turban. On the turban was a gold sign that said “holiness to the Lord” This head covering was to bear the sins of the people that brought the sacrifices to God. Aaron’s sons were to make all these articles of clothing, anoint them, consecrate, and sanctify them that they might minister to God in the office of priest. God was to be able to look down from heaven and only see righteousness in these priests. They were to offer to God a perfect sacrifice that would be acceptable to him. Hebrews 9 tells us that the Old Testament tabernacle and order of service was to show us that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. It was symbolic for that time to show us that the gifts and sacrifices which were offered could not make the priest perfect in his conscience. But Christ came to be our High Priest of a better tabernacle not made with hands, but with the blood of his own son which is able to cleans our conscience and give us eternal life. The tabernacle of the Old Testament was to give us a picture of what God would one day bring through his son, Jesus. Lord, thank you for allowing us to live during the season of grace and freedom. Thank you for our forefathers who went ahead of us. May we walk worthy of the day we live in and honor the blood of your son, Jesus.
Friday, October 26, 2012
Read Ex. 28:13-21 The breastplate was to be a vest with the stones that represented the 12 tribes of Israel. God showed me about 10 years ago that we are all a member of a tribe of Israel spiritually. See if you can see yourself in one of these tribes. These stones were to be set in gold settings and arranged in 4 rows, 3 stones each row. They were arranged in birth order. So the first was sardius, which is a ruby, and represented Reuben and the blood of Jesus. Rueben was a leader of righteousness so members of his tribe would be the god-given leaders, evangelists, pastors. Just like Rueben, Jesus was God’s first son. The next was topaz which is the color of oil and gold. Simeon was the second son who began as an angry son and was refined by the Holy Spirit to become as gold. The next stone was carbuncle which was a bright yellow. It represented Levi and the anointed priests. They were given the ability to understand the deep things of God. They are the teachers who receive insight from God. On the second row the first stone was the emerald. It represented Judah and was green. They are the prosperous ones who fund the kingdom. Next was sapphire which was the tribe of Dan. They were the last in battle so they brought the victory. Next was the diamond which represented Naphtali. It stood for purity and redemption. These are those that have been redeemed from the devil’s strongholds like drugs, etc. On the third row was the ligure which is a orange/yellow stone. These are the warriors that are trained in spiritual warfare. They love a good fight with the devil. Next is the agate, which represents Asher. It is pink and stands for child-likeness. They are full of faith and break “religious spirits”. The last one on that row is the amethyst which is dark purple and represents Issachar. It stands for authority, royalty and describes those who are clothed in spiritual robes of favor everywhere they go. They also understand the times they live in prophetically. The last row is the beryl first which represents Zebulim and is aqua. These are those who bring us refreshment from God. These are the writers like Max Lucada; the nature-lovers, etc. Next to the beryl is the Onyx which is black. It represents Joseph who was a shadow of Jesus. These are the ones who bring mercy and new beginnings. They invoke repentance in those around them because of their presence. Last is the jasper which is white. It represents Benjamin and the bride of Christ. They are this who understand revelation. Hopefully, we found ourselves in several of these tribes but one should stand out above the rest. We march with our tribe and tend to network without trying. Lord, show us our tribe and our function in the army you are raising up.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Read Ex. 28:1-12 Who says God doesn’t love fashion? He adorned the High Priest in a garment like none other. The priest was the central figure of the Old Covenant system and the whole nation because he represented the nation before God. He wore 7 different pieces of clothing which means he was perfectly clothed for his position. His garments were made of fine linen and red, blue, purple, and gold. This garments was to reveal the character of the one wearing it. They all pointed to Jesus, our High Priest. First, he wore white linen breeches and a white linen coat over it that hung to the floor. This was what all the priests wore every day. They represented perfect righteousness. Over this, he wore a blue robe which hung down almost to the floor. Blue is a picture of heaven. Embroidered on the bottom of the hem were golden bells with pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet. Gold represents deity and purple and scarlet to royalty and blood sacrifice. The bells allow the people to hear the priest moving within the curtain to know that he is moving in their behalf. The pomegranate is a symbol of fruitfulness and the Torah, because of its many seeds. The pomegranate is said to have 613 seeds which corresponds to how many laws in the Torah. On top of this robe, the priest wore an ephod which was like a vest made of thing gold wires which were woven into the linen of blue, purple and scarlet. It consisted of two pieces that were joined at the shoulders with chains. Two onyx stones were set in gold and attached to the shoulders. On these stones were the 12 tribes of Israel, 6 on each stone. So the priest bore the children on his shoulders like a person would bear a burden. When he went into the Holy of Holies God could see the names of his children. A sash fastened around the ephod and held it in place. It reminded the priest that he was a servant to God and the people. Tomorrow we will talk about the breast plate. The High Priest was a token of the Hight Priest that was to come - Jesus who would not only be the Priest, but the sacrifice and our way to God. He would bear our names on his shoulders and ever live to make intercession for us. Thank you Lord, for being our High Priest.