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The Trial of a Prophet   Leave a comment

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This is from the blog Daily Meditation:

Jeremiah 20:2: Then Pashhur beat Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the upper Benjamin Gate of the house of the LORD.

The prophetic ministry of Jeremiah was dotted with various painful experiences. He once accused God of deceiving him (Jeremiah 20:7-8), because, when he called him into the ministry he was not presented with the full picture of the hardship he would face, for it.

Jesus, did not mince words, but came out from the onset to say that in the kingdom of God, great blessing accrues to those persecuted for righteousness’ sake (Matthew 5:10).

Times of persecution were rife in the time of the first century church and also in many places across the world even now. Persecution may not be regional but personal, in your own particular situation, even in a place that seems tolerant to Christianity.

Why people persecute you, even if they claim to be Christians is because your changed lifestyle is a judgment against them, just as the words of Jeremiah was judgment against his persecutors.

Trials are not convenient. You don’t choose them but they are inevitable as Paul said that he that would live godly in this world WILL suffer persecution (2Timothy 3:10-15). Your righteous lifestyle means that people cannot influence you into their wrong ways just because you are present.

They get pricked in their conscience; because, whether you like it or understand it or not, you are the light of this world (Matthew 5:14). Nevertheless the people of this world do not want to come to the light because their deeds are evil (John 3:18-21). They may even call you evil (2Timothy 2:8-9, 1Peter 2:12, 3:16) for their own conscience sake, mislabelling you to justify their persecution of you.

They want to repress you to not have your voice heard. They want to remain comfortable in their sins and the best they think they could do, is to do away with you. By your presence, you present the alternative to their rule, so they fight you because they want to maintain a sway of influence on the people.

People resist change and your mere presence as a Christian is a passive force of change (Matthew 13:33). In the full pride of their heart they want to remain the way they are. Also they don’t have an explanation for you; as Jesus said, those who are born of the Spirit are like the wind (John 3:7-8) beyond their control. Therefore the unbelievers are afraid of you, you make them uncomfortable because they cannot unravel you; they don’t know what makes you tick. They are amazed that you are not running around with them in the riotous living (1Peter 4:3-4); and they hate because in a way, you are better than them; you are not bound by the sin which binds them.

They see a light in you but their minds are so warped that the only reaction that they have for you is rejection. That was the same response that the Jews have for Jesus. He came to his own and his own received him not (John 1:9-11), they rejected him and condemned to the death on the cross.

The expression of your gift has the potential of drawing the ire of Satan and his cohorts. They hate your feeling of being special to God as to become used by him. They hate your confidence and your obvious air of sufficiency (2Corinthians 2:5, 9:8) and liberty in Christ (Galatians 2:4).

The impact of your spirit is what they reject or refuse to recognise because it is a threat, especially to the falsely religious, or those with religion that deny the power of God in Christ Jesus (2Timothy 3:4-5). You are a threat to their sphere of influence; you are an alternative influence, a judgment on the continuation of their power. Their pride, security in their position rather than in God, and resistance to change conspire to make them bent on persecuting you.

Stephen gave the reason such people instinctively persecute the true servants of God as their resistance to the Spirit of God. He called such people stick-necked (Acts 7:51-54), rigid in their pride and rejection of the will of God. That conclusion does not make sense to such people and their position also does not make sense to you, as it is written, what concord does light have with darkness (2Corinthians 6:14)?

Paul told Timothy to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (2Timothy 2:3, 11-12). This includes experiencing contradictions and confrontations from sinners (Hebrews 12:3-4).

Persecution is treated in the scriptures as the natural course of things for Christians. The apostles, after they were flogged for the course of Christ rejoiced for being counted worthy to suffer shame for Christ (Acts 5:40-42). They knew their own trial was small compared to the monumental pain Jesus endured at his own trial.

What we see from the persecution of Jeremiah is that there is always judgment on the persecutors (e.g. Jeremiah 20:3-4).

Jesus, while on the cross overflows with love for his persecutors and asked that they be forgiven for persecuting him (Luke 23:33-34). We should be careful to not harbour any seed of bitterness against our persecutors in us. This has the potential of growing a root of bitterness in us (Hebrews 12:14-15) that would starve the good seed of God in us from being expressed and that is what the devil wants.

The persecution he throws at us is not just to cause us to change our mind about God but to have us harbour un-forgiveness as we hold onto that pain rather than continue to look unto Jesus (Hebrews 12: 1-3).

When we look at the pain rather than looking unto Jesus, we become distracted from our journey with God and that is a plus to the kingdom of Satan. If he can’t cause you to turn back, he’ll be contented to slow you down. That is a good achievement for him if he can’t pressure into capitulating, to reject the truth you once embraced.

The writer to the book of Hebrews advised the believers to maintain the confession of their faith, in the face of persecution (Hebrews 3:6, 14, 4:14-16, 10:23, 32-39).

In trial, don’t shift but dig deep in the understanding of the truth of your position. Don’t back down. Jesus said that in the world, we would suffer persecution but we should be of good cheer because he has overcome the world (John 16:33).

With that, Jesus is now saying He is one with you in that persecution and trial. When Paul was persecuting the church, Jesus had to tell him that it was Him that he is persecuting (Acts 22: 6-8). Therefore, you are not alone, Christ is with you in the trial, you are his body, and the same overcoming spirit that was in Him, is in you; darkness will not conquer light but light darkness (John 1:5).

Peter has a word of assurance. He said after you have suffered a while, God would perfect, establish and settle you (1Peter 5:8-10). The final answer is not with your persecutor but with God who has promised you a crown (James 1:12).

WordFromGod: depend on my inspiration in the time of your persecution.

Locusts and Wild Honey

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Posted May 12, 2014 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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Rebuilding the Wall   Leave a comment

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Rebuilding  the Wall

I Will Seek God   1 comment

I Will Seek God

“Head knowledge does not bother the devil; it is spiritual knowledge that irks him. That is why he expends a lot of effort to blind the eyes of people so that the light of the gospel will not shine in them, to give them the true knowledge of salvation in Jesus Christ, of the deliverance and life that is in him. The devil knows that spiritual knowledge makes you liberated within (John 8:32). So he’ll rather have you chase shadows even as a Christian than embrace real spiritual truth, which you get from seeking God with all your heart. Therefore the devil wants to keep you from seeking God.”

—Kayode Crown

Addiction   Leave a comment

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Addiction

The Glory of the Lord   Leave a comment

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The Glory of the Lord

The glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord   Leave a comment

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This is from the blog Daily Meditation:

1Kings 8:11: so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.

The cloud being described is the cloud of the glory of God. A clod carries the potential for rain. And what the cloud of the glory of God rain down are healing and prosperity. In the wilderness the children of Israel were constantly under the cloud of God’s glory, by day they were under the pillar of cloud and by night, under the pillar of fire, tangible manifestations of the presence of God (Exodus 13:21).

The result was felt in their body. They were able to make the journey through the wilderness without anyone among them in need of medical attention (Deuteronomy 29:1-6, Nehemiah 9:21, Psalm 105:37), God rained down manna for them which they ate for forty years. They were under God’s provision and physical preservation; even their cloths did not wear out all the years under the cloud of God’s glory.

When the glory comes in the tangible expression of God, it comes to change the order of things. In the focus verse an order got changed. Priests were unable to carry out their routine work in the temple. They were overwhelmed by the glory of God, because “flesh” can neither adequately serve God nor stand in his presence (Acts 17:24-25).

The prevalence of the glory of God in a special way in the church (also called the house of God) makes a major difference between the reality of the believers in the Old Testament and the new. In the old, the glory can only be viewed outside of man, while in the new the glory through Jesus is inside of us.

What we have in the focus verse was a foretaste of the New Testament where the glory of God resides in man (as the temple of God) and God will be doing his own work in us and through us. Paul said that he is an earthen vessel, but has in him the treasure of the glory of God (2Corinthians 4:6-7). We are the house of God and the glory of God is in us.

Jesus said that he has bestowed on us the glory that he has with the father at the beginning (John 17:22-23). The glory is the concentration of the presence and power of God in full essence. Moses asked God to show him his glory (Exodus 33:18-23), he wanted to experience his presence and power, but in the human condition such was impossible, that was why God said to him “no, you can’t see my full glory, it will kill you.”

It is said that no one can see God and live, but you ask: “what about those who say they are taken to heaven and see God. Are they all lairs?”

Not necessarily.

People can see God in his full glory (in this life) if that experience was not a bodily revelation, i.e. the experience is not physically (i.e. bodily) taken to heaven. But a revelation that involved their spirit being taken to the presence of God, you are see God, because your spirit has the perfection of God. But the body is still mortal.

Paul said that he had a revelation, in which he was taken to heaven, but he does not know whether it was in the body or out of it (2Corinthians 12:1-4), showing the two ways we can be taken to heaven. If he went to heaven and he could stand glory of God, then he went there in his spirit, otherwise he went there in his body and will need some form of protection from the full blaze of God’s glory there, as covered Moses with his hand.

But people can see Jesus either in body or out of body revelation experience, because after he became man, he had the eternal capacity to disguise his glory in the garb of human body, just like he did on earth. So don’t be quick to dismiss those who said they have seen Jesus in whatever form it is.

The cloud of glory brings the active presence of God to the people. Though we know that God is everywhere, his expression has been restricted since the sin of Adam in the Garden of Eden. But there is restoration in Jesus Christ.  Jesus said that where two or three of us are gathered together in his name, there he is in our midst, to manifest his glory (Matthew 18:20).

When Philip told Jesus: “show us the father,” he wanted to experience Him, but Jesus was disappointed, saying: “don’t you know that if you see me you have seen the father, I am in the father and the father is in me (John 14:6-11).”

The writer of the book of Hebrews says that Jesus is the full expression of the father (Hebrews 1:1-3); Paul said that Jesus is the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9); there is no greater experience of God and his glory than the experience of Jesus.

He brought the way of God to us, communicating his truth and introducing us to his life. Christ in us is the hope of the glory of God, i.e. He brings to us all the possibilities of the glory of God (Colossians 1:27). When we take him (Christ) in, he releases the glory of God in doses in us, transforming us from inside out. That is what Paul described as moving from glory to glory (2Corinthians 3:17-18). That is the empowerment within, which is the “treasure earthen vessels (2Corinthians 4:6-7).”

We are vessels of his glory, which he communicates through our lives as we shine as light in this world (Matthew 5:13-16). Jesus said that we are the light of the world; a city set on a hill cannot be hid. He said that we should let our light so shine before men so that when they see our good work, works that show forth the glory of God, they will give glory to God, they will be drawn to Him.

The focus verse shows that the ideal situation is for the house of God to be filled with the glory of God. That also means that sometimes the house of God is filled with some other things other than the glory of God.

In the time of Jesus, he complained that the house of God which was supposed to be the house of prayer for all nations has been turned to the den of robbers (Luke 19:46).  It therefore seems that to get the house of God full of the glory of God, we need to take the route of prayer. This is because the house of God is to be both full of the glory of God and also be a house of prayer. Prayer is what we can do as humans and we can expect the glory of God to manifest as a result of that.

In the book of Acts, when the disciples were threatened by those who wanted them to stop preaching Jesus (Acts 4:1-33), they prayed, the power of the Holy Spirit shook the place where they were staying and they preached with more boldness in the name of Jesus, manifesting his glory. That means there is a relationship between prayer, the operation of the Holy Spirit and the manifestation of the power and presence of God, being the reality that the Holy Spirit brings, in the expression of the glory of God.

Jesus was not diplomatic when he made the whip and chased away those who do not have any business in the house of God. Jesus came with the mandate of heaven to clean the house of God; many are being called in the same way today, to restore the house of God to its glory.

 

Posted December 12, 2013 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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