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daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 26 February 2010 10:09
1 John 2:18 - Little children it is the last time; and as you have heard the
antichrist comes, and now there are many antichrists here; whereby we know
that it is the last time.

The antichrist spirit has been at work fighting against the anointing, and
those that are anointed of God, since the beginning of man (Genesis 3:1-5).
Satan’s antichrist spirit has persecuted the anointing, no matter where it
is found. When Christ Jesus was born, the attack of Herod against every boy
under three years of age was Satan’s ruthless strategy to destroy Jesus.
After the death of Jesus, the church went through one of its greatest
struggles: with the saints of God being persecuted, hunted, and killed. The
powers of darkness have not let up. That same attack goes on against the
church of Jesus Christ, and all of those anointed with the Holy Spirit. We
must not be ignorant of Satan’s devices. We must recognize that we are at
war, and in this struggle against the forces of hell. We must be
strengthened by the Spirit of the Lord, so that we can be strong for the
fight (Ephesians 6:10-12). Satan would like nothing more than to erase any
witness of Jesus Christ from the earth; and when the power of the Holy
Spirit is being revealed, nothing can be a greater provocation to the
kingdom of Satan.

The primary focus of the antichrist spirit is to eliminate all things that
belong to Christ from the heart and life of men. The attacks of the spirit
of antichrist work alongside the mystery of iniquity (2 Thessalonians 2:7).
Just as the spirit of hell tempted and even lied against the truth in the
past, even so today men find themselves bombarded with lies and compromise
that leave them vulnerable to sin and iniquity. hen we read of the beast
kingdoms of Daniel 7:1-28 and Daniel 8:1-27 and of Revelation 12:1-17 and
Revelation 17:1-18; we are allowed to get a glimpse of the satanic assault
that is against us now.

We must understand that the rage of the antichrist spirit will only continue
to get worse as the day of the Lord approaches, until ultimately the Man of
Sin himself will be revealed - who will sum up everything that is Antichrist
(2 Thessalonians 2:3-4; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12). The Antichrist is referred
to as the man of perdition, or the one full of iniquity. He is full of evil
and terror. He is everything that Satan can reveal of His character in a
single man. He rises up in a time when the transgression is full, when sin
and iniquity cannot get any worse (Daniel 8:23; Matthew 24:12). Let us
rejoice though; for we now live in the age of the church, and if we are
vigilant and sober we will defeat the powers of darkness everywhere they
attempt to oppose us; because greater is He that is in us that he that is in
the world!
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 25 February 2010 07:52
Matthew 17:1 - And six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John his
brother; and He led them to a high mountain by themselves.

What was so different about these three men that made them so special to
Jesus? It was Peter, James, and John that were permitted to go with Jesus
when no others were allowed. When Jesus raised the daughter of Jarius to
life, again only they were permitted to go with Jesus (Mark 5:37). When the
glory of Jesus was revealed in the mountain, it was Peter, James, and John
that were allowed to see the glory of Jesus like no one else. When Jesus was
in the most intense battle of His life in the garden, and looked around for
someone to stand with Him; it was Peter, James, and John that He called
(Matthew 26:37).

When Jesus first saw James and John, He saw such greatness that He called
them the sons of thunder (Mark 3:17). The passion and faith of these two was
featured in their readiness to call down fire from heaven on those who
mistreated Jesus (Luke 9:54). It was James and John that wanted to sit at
the right and left hand of Jesus when He came into His Kingdom (Mark
10:35-40). They were the two that were so bold and confident that they were
certain that they could drink of the same cup, and be baptized with the same
baptism of Jesus. John, in a similar fashion to Joshua's zeal for Moses,
refused to allow a person to cast out a demon because he was not with those
following Jesus (Mark 9:38; Numbers 11:28-29). It was John who was known as
the disciple that loved Jesus, and who rested his head upon the chest of
Jesus at supper when Jesus was betrayed. And finally it was that thunderous
zeal and passion of James that made him such a spokesman and leader of the
church, that Herod took and killed him.

Simon was given the name Peter, meaning "rock." It was Simon who was so
moved by the miracle of Jesus that he said: "Depart from me, because I am a
sinner" (Luke 5:8). Peter's heart was so attached to Jesus, and the words of
life, that when Jesus thought that the disciples might go away it was Peter
who said, "Lord, where shall we go? For you alone have the words of eternal
life" (John 6:68). Peter was the man of faith who called out to Jesus to
allow him to walk on the water. It was Peter who stood up when everyone else
was silent, and said of Jesus: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living
God" (Matthew 16:15-16).

One of things Peter, James, and John had in common was their bold faith. Not
only were they ready to call down fire or walk on the water, they were
always right in the middle of whatever was going on. They were the faithful
companions of the Lord Jesus, whose desire was to be as near to Him as
possible. They were chiefly His servants, faithfully serving Him and always
at His side (Luke 22:8). Like Joshua of old, when they saw the glory - they
did not depart from His presence (Exodus 33:11; Exodus 24:13). Even when
they all fled away in terror and fear, it was John and Peter who followed
close behind Jesus (John 18:15; Mark 14:54). Of all the disciples, it was
Peter and John who had the mention of a special and devoted love for Jesus
(John 13:23; John 19:26; John 20:2; John 21:17,20). Let us follow their
example - and press into the realms of His glory.
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 23 February 2010 19:37
Acts 10:4 - And he stared at him in fear and said, "What is it Lord?" And he
said, "Your prayer and your alms has ascended as a memorial before God."

These prayers and offerings of Cornelius were viewed as the ascent offering
(whole burnt offering) and memorial portions of the Old Testament, that were
turned into smoke for a sweet-smelling aroma to the Lord (Leviticus 2:2,9;
Leviticus 2:16; Leviticus 5:12; Leviticus 6:15). Paul also likens the
offering in which the saints sow into the ministry as an ascent offering,
that the Lord receives as a sweet-smelling aroma - because it is holy and
acceptable to Him (Philippians 4:18).

The response of God's favor towards those who offer such offerings is
underscored here. Because of the prayers and offerings that Cornelius gave
continually, he was chosen to be the first gentile to receive the riches of
heaven: the gift of the Holy Spirit.
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 22 February 2010 16:26
Acts 15:1-2 - And there came down from Jerusalem those teaching the brethren
that unless they were circumcised after the Law of Moses, they could not be
saved. But this caused dissension, and no small controversy between Paul and
Barnabas and them. And it was arranged that Paul and Barnabas and some of
the others from them should go up to Jerusalem to the Apostles and elders
concerning this issue.

The revelation that had been given to Paul completely abolished the need for
any part of the Law to be included with the New Covenant. The idea that Paul
would be the one most opposed to bringing any dimension of the Law along
with the New Covenant was certainly a miracle. Paul, being a Pharisee who
had been instructed by one of the most venerated teachers, Gamaliel, was
absolutely certain that there was no longer any need for any dimension of
the schoolmaster - the Law (Acts 22:3; Acts 5:34; Acts 23:6; Acts 26:5;
Galatians 3:24-25).

In that the New Covenant resulted in the transformation of the nature, Paul
emphasized that through being born of the Spirit, the heart was circumcised;
and thus the believer by nature fulfilled those things contained in the Law
(Colossians 2:11; Romans 8:4). It was not the Law that would produce
fellowship between God and man, but the life that was in Christ Jesus, which
had made them new creatures (Romans 10:4; Galatians 6:14; 2 Corinthians
5:17-21; Colossians 3:10). Paul was so violent about this one issue, above
all others, that earlier he had to be sent away from Jerusalem because of
the trouble that he was causing (Acts 9:28-30). It was also over a similar
issue that Paul was compelled to publicly rebuke Peter (Galatians 2:11-17).
In order to bring a resolve to this issue, Paul went up to Jerusalem to meet
with the company of the Apostles and elders mentioned in Galatians 2; which
may have correlated with this event. Paul was determined to bring an end to
this misunderstanding concerning the New Testament, and would not give place
to those who taught such things; "no, not for an hour" (Galatians 2:5).
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 20 February 2010 11:52
1 John 4:17 - In this the love is perfected within us, that we may have
confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this
world.

The most yielded state of the heart is being at rest, knowing that you are
loved. God wants us to know His love. In this state of confidence and faith,
we will receive everything that Jesus wants to transmit into our hearts by
the Holy Spirit. When Father wanted to convince Abraham of the things that
He promised, He swore an oath to Him. Today, He has done something even
greater for us. In order to convince us of His love and commitment to us, He
sent His only begotten Son to die for us at Calvary. We must respond to His
love, and accept the fact that He loves us and cares for us so intensely
that He spared not His own Son for our sakes. It is essential that we
continually recline in the love of God, that we may be “rooted and grounded
in love: in order to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and
length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ that passes
knowledge, that you might be filled with all of the fullness of God”
(Ephesians 3:17-19).

If we will dwell in this love and acceptance that we have in Christ Jesus,
we will find confidence and boldness in every area of life; but most of all
in our interaction with the Living God. What greater confidence could the
child of God have at the time of Judgment - than knowing that he belongs to
God, and that God belongs to him. Through the death of Jesus Christ, Father
paid for all of our sins. Through the power of the blood of Jesus Christ,
all death and sin is washed away. We find in Him all our worthiness, all our
confidence, and all of our acceptance. We have been given the absolute
certainty of God's love for us, and His devotion to our perfection. We will
always be accepted by Him when we come by the blood of Jesus. We will always
be admired by Him when we put all of our confidence in Him. He will never
reject us, so long as we call out for His help and are willing to be molded
by His hand. If we will abide in this love, not only will we find ourselves
in the midst of all His glory; but we will also find a realm that drives out
all all fear and concern.
 
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