Cosmic Ventriloquist

We need a frame of reference when God wants to speak through us. Jesus tells us that when we are brought before governors and kings for His sake we will be given what to say by the Holy Spirit.

19“But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. 20“For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. (Matthew 10:19-20 NASB95. See also Mark 13:11 and Luke 12:11)

How will we know what to say unless we have His Words filling our hearts? I suppose He could do it like a supernatural ventriloquist, but that’s not the way He usually does things. Except maybe with donkeys (Numbers 22).

26“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. (John 14:26 NASB95)

We aren’t dummies (I’ll refrain from the puns) so it’s much more likely that He will bring to our remembrance what has been laid up inside of us for just that occasion. If we read His Words and do them on a regular basis, the Spirit has a full storehouse of living oracles from which to draw.

‘Whole Bible Christianity’ chapter 9 section on Read and Strive to do

Read and Strive

Some people say lots of reading is too hard. They can’t grasp it all. There is a preference for only doing a few verses at a time and “covering them in depth.” Based on tons of experience, my opinion is this attitude is smoke and mirrors. The real reason we don’t want to do a lot of reading is we don’t want to hear His voice. Then we’d have to do something about it – either move towards Him or away.

What does examining a few verses in-depth really mean? How many times have you read a section over and over, only to find out after years of “in-depth” study there was something you missed? How many centuries have been devoted to “in-depth” analysis and commentary, and we ignore Him still? If we really want to understand the Word, we have to read a lot of it. We also have to respond. Sitting like a bump on a log and listening to a pastor or rabbi drone on and on with opinions or stories about a bicycle trip through Ireland is not going to produce what God wants. It certainly doesn’t make fruit. All we’ve got to do is look at the church honestly and we can see that. Eating His body and drinking His blood is the ticket to life.

From ‘Whole Bible Christianity’ chapter 9 Read and Strive to Do

Right Standing

God never intends for His people to stand in one place once we gain right standing with Him. He wants us to move. The beginning of our movement should be in taking on all of His ways as spelled out in His Law. It is the best discipleship system ever designed, and is guaranteed to produce fruit that is pleasing to God.

The Holy Spirit uses it to tutor us in the way we should go, and when we get ‘all grown up,’ it still functions to guard and protect. His Word is the foundation on which we can build a house that honors Him in every area. His Law is love in action, and through it we learn how to love Him and how to love others as well.

Repentance

From ‘Whole Bible Christianity’ chapter 2 on Repentance

Repentance and love for God go hand in hand. We can’t have one without the other. If we repent, we stop going our own way and start going His (1 Kings 8:47; 2 Chronicles 6:37; Job 42:6; Jeremiah 8:4-13; Ezekiel 14:6; Matthew 11:20, 21). The first recorded word out of the mouths of John the Baptist (Matthew 3:2) and Jesus (Matthew 4:17) for their public ministries was ‘repent.’ If we are going the wrong way on a road, we would change directions once we realized our error.

‘Feeling sorry’ for what we have done or are doing, yet continuing to go the wrong way, is not repentance. It is certainly not love. Joel says “rend your hearts, not your garments” (Joel 2:13). A lot of times, ‘sorry’ feelings are very strong, to the point of weeping or other expressions of anguish. Herod was “exceedingly sorry” to behead John the Baptist, and did it anyway (Mark 6:26). Sorry feelings are not true repentance if they don’t produce a change in behavior (Jonah 3:8, 9; 2 Corinthians 7:9-10). True repentance is when we change what we are doing (Matthew 3:8; Luke 3:8). We go from ignoring His Law to following it.

Quick Summary of the Promise

Summarized from ‘Whole Bible Christianity’ chapter 4 The Promise

The Word is bound together with the Promise of a Savior. Sometimes called a covenant. God’s side of a covenant is always a promise, because no one can make Him deliver.

Genesis 3:15 The promise is made
Genesis 6:18, 9:9, 9:25-27 the promise is given to Noah
Genesis 12:1-3 Abraham inherits the promise, details of a land and descendants added
Genesis 13, 15, 17, 22, 24, 26, and 28 The promise inherited by Isaac and Jacob
Exodus 2:24, 6:8, 12:25 Israel rescued from Egypt because of the promise
Deuteronomy 6:1-4 the Law as part of the covenant or promise
Joshua 1:3 promise given to Moses
2 Sam. 7:11-16 Promise given to David, with more details of a son and a kingdom forever
1 Chronicles 16:14-18 David summarizes the promise or covenant
Acts 2:38-39 Peter says repent to receive the promise which is for all who are called
Acts 13:23-24 Jesus, son of David, brought to Israel as a Savior as promised
Romans 1:1-4 the gospel of God promised beforehand through the prophets concerning His Son
Romans 4:16 the promise guaranteed to all by faith through grace
Galatians 3:29 if we belong to Christ we are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise
Ephesians 2:12 we were separate from Christ, strangers to the covenants of promise
2 Peter 3:9 the Lord is not slow about His promise, wishing all to come to repentance
1 John 2:25 Eternal life is the promise

There are more verses scattered throughout the Word. Try the words ‘covenant’ and ‘promise’ in a good Bible software search and see what you can come up with. Good books on the subject are The Promise-Plan of God by Walter C. Kaiser Jr. and The Prophets and the Promise by Willis Judson Beecher.

Passover 2013

The Passover meal is Monday March 25th. Tuesday the 26th and Monday April 1st are Sabbaths. From Monday night through Monday we will be eating unleavened bread with our meals. Before Passover we will remove all the food products with leaven in them from our home.

The Passover meal is a family time with a lamb barbecue. The lamb we roast with a marinade discovered by Susan and some allspice. We have walking sticks (staffs) and coats close by, and we don’t dally over the meal. We also eat some cheroseth (apples and cinnamon) and we use horseradish for the lamb (bitter herbs). There is some prayer and bread from His Word (Bible reading) to remember what Jesus did for us with His death and resurrection. He is the one who makes Passover and all it means possible. That’s why we burn up all our leftovers, and return a small part of His love by abiding in His commands.

If you’ve been celebrating the godless whitewashed pagan fertility feast of Easter, nowhere to be found in Scripture, consider abiding in His whole Word instead. Let the pagans have their day back, and worship with us in the God-anointed festival of Passover instead. Touch God and be touched through the new covenant of love from a heart of flesh for every Word from His mouth.

Return with All Your Heart

“Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the LORD your God? (Joel 2:12–14, ESV)

Having Jesus

‘Whole Bible Christianity’ chapter 2 ‘Having Jesus’

Having Jesus, or salvation, is about regaining the intimacy with God that we lost in the Garden. It is not just about mouthing some words, or ‘going forward,’ or attending a meeting at least twice a year on Christmas and Easter. We simply do what He says in love. Fruit (all kinds) will come if we really have Him. It’s like, if we were to grab hold of a live electrical wire, we would certainly act differently than we would otherwise! (Disclaimer: do not try this at home.)

He is like a live electrical wire, and when we really get a hold of Him (or He gets hold of us) we are certain to act differently. If He gets a hold of us that means His life flows through us causing actions in line with His Word. By acting different, He doesn’t mean wearing the name Christian, going to church meetings, or being “emergent.” It’s not ‘speaking in tongues’ or healing services. Holy-looking actions, without His Word being present, are like empty songs.

32“Behold, you are to them like a sensual song by one who has a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument; for they hear your words but they do not practice them. (Ezekiel 33:32 NASB95)

If we want true sensual and spiritual satisfaction, if we want to be truly Spirit filled, we need actions in keeping with His Law. We know Him because we keep all His commandments.

3By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. (1 John 2:3-6 NASB95. Deuteronomy 10:12-13.)

The way to become saved is to repent of going our own way and go His way instead. We don’t need ‘four spiritual laws’ or ‘sinner’s prayer’ (neither of which is biblical). We don’t need membership in a club (church, synagogue). We don’t need to be accepted by any group for that matter. We don’t need approval from modern-day Pharisees and Sadducees.

Verses for Today

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers. 4 The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish.

The Reign of the Lord’s Anointed.
Why are the nations in an uproar And the peoples devising a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, 3 “Let us tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us!” 4 He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them. 5 Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury, saying, 6 “But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.” 7 “I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. 8 ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession. 9 ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’” 10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth. 11Worship the Lord with reverence And rejoice with trembling. 12Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!

Morning Prayer of Trust in God. A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.
3 O Lord, how my adversaries have increased! Many are rising up against me. 2 Many are saying of my soul, “There is no deliverance for him in God.” Selah. 3 But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head. 4 I was crying to the Lord with my voice, And He answered me from His holy mountain. Selah. 5 I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustains me. 6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people Who have set themselves against me round about. 7 Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God! For You have smitten all my enemies on the cheek; You have shattered the teeth of the wicked. 8 Salvation belongs to the Lord; Your blessing be upon Your people! Selah.

Evening Prayer of Trust in God.
For the choir director; on stringed instruments. A Psalm of David.
Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Be gracious to me and hear my prayer. 2 O sons of men, how long will my honor become a reproach? How long will you love what is worthless and aim at deception? Selah. 3 But know that the Lord has set apart the godly man for Himself; The Lord hears when I call to Him. 4 Tremble, and do not sin; Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. 5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, And trust in the Lord. 6 Many are saying, “Who will show us any good?” Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O Lord! 7 You have put gladness in my heart, More than when their grain and new wine abound. 8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.

Psalms 1 – 4.

Always amazed at how I can pick up the Bible when I most need it, turn to whatever it is I intend to read – and it’s exactly what I need to hear this morning:).