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Daily Bread - February 17, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 17 February 2017 09:03
1 John 2:2 - And He is the purgating sacrifice for our sins; and not for
ours only, but also for the whole world.

Though some traditional translations render 'hilasmos' as "propitiation,"
this involves a wrong interpretation of the term in question. Propitiation
is essentially a process by which one does a favor to a person in order to
make him or her favorably disposed. But in the New Testament, God is never
the object of propitiation, since He is already on the side of mankind.
'Hilasmos' and 'hilasterion' denote means of forgiveness, not propitiation
(Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament based on Semantic Domains, (New
York: United Bible Societies) 1988, 1989). 'Hilasmos' occurs 2 times in the
New Testament, and both occurrences are in 1 John (1 John 2:2 and 4:10).
The first occurrence in the Septuagint is in Leviticus 25:9, where it is
translated from the Hebrew word 'kippurim,' which refers to "Yom Kippur" or
the "Day of Purgation." An example of a similar use of 'hilasmos' is found
in Psalms 130:4, "There is forgiveness with you, that you may be feared."
Another example is found in Daniel 9:9, "To the Lord our God belongs mercy
and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him." An argument can be
made that this Greek word could be translated as 'wiping away' because of
its association with the Mercy Seat and Yom Kippur (The Day of Purgation).
Our sins have been forgiven, because they have been erased and washed away
by the blood of Jesus. Jesus is the Sacrifice for sins, Who through His
blood purified all who will come to Him (Hebrews 1:3; 2 Peter 1:9; Matthew
26:28; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 1:22).

The Hebrew verb 'kipper' ("purgation"/"atonement") is most often rendered
as 'exilaskesthai' in the Septuagint. The Hebrew word 'kipper'
("purgate"/"atone") is found 44 times in Leviticus. It is translated every
time in the Septuagint by 'exilaskesthai,' which does not occur a single
time in the New Testament. Purgation/Atonement is an Old Testament word and
concept that was transitory between the promise given to Abraham and the
New Covenant. The Old Testament cultic ritual of 'kipper' was powerless to
remove sin. This is best understood by the description given in Hebrews
10:4, "It is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take
away sin. The "purgation"/"atonement" was only a provision for the
purification of the Holy Place where God dwelt. The Akkadian equivalent is
'kuppuru,' which means "to rub" or "to rub off."

In Genesis 3:21, God made clothing for Adam and Eve so that they could
cover themselves. He made their clothing from skins or hides of animals.
The Hebrew noun 'or' is used 46 times in Leviticus. In each case, it is
used to describe the hides of the sacrificial animals used for
purgation/atonement. In effect, when God made clothing from the animal
hides for Adam and Eve, He was making a temporary covering for their sin
and shame. Finally, it should be noted that purgation/atonement does not
result in the removal of sin. The Hebrew word used in Leviticus for
forgiveness with respect to atonement is 'salach' (Leviticus4:22). The word
'salach' does not really mean 'forgive' in the sense that the transgression
was removed. When God granted 'salach' to Israel at the request of Moses in
Numbers 14:19-20, He did not forgive Israel of their sin, for every one of
them died for their sins in the wilderness (Numbers 14:29-35; Hebrews
3:17). Rather, God reconciled Himself not to abandon them. At best, it
could be understood as a postponement of judgment.
Daily Bread - February 16, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 17 February 2017 08:44
1 John 2:1 - My little children, I write these things to you so that you do
not sin. But, if anyone sins, we have a Paraclete at the Father's side,
Jesus Christ the righteous.

The Word of God is written so that we might have power over sin, because it
abides in us (verse 14). The psalmist said, "Your Word have I hid in my
heart, that I might not sin against you." We can be certain that John is
not saying, "believe that you are sinners and have sin, so you will not
sin," which of course makes no sense at all! He is rather saying that we
are in God, Who is Light, and that we have no fellowship with darkness.
Furthermore, if we say that we have fellowship with Him, but continue on in
sin, we are liars; because, the truth is, we have been equipped with the
ability through the power of the new birth to dwell in Him and walk as He
walks. Jesus placed the same absolute demand on the paralytic man that was
healed, when He said "sin no more" (John 5:14). Jesus also gave the same
command to the woman caught in the act of adultery saying, "sin no more"
(John 8:11). Similarly, Paul writes in Romans, "Shall we continue in sin
that grace may abound? God Forbid!" We are now dead to sin (Romans 6:1-2).

Additionally, the word 'paraclete' means more than simply an intercessor,
advocate, or spokesman. It is best to understand 'paraclete' by every
dimension of the help that both Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit supply.
The word 'paraclete' is first used to describe the Holy Spirit in the
Gospel of John. However, Jesus said that he would send "another
'paraclete,'" (John 14:16-17), thus implying that He was also a
'paraclete.' Although 'paraclete' means more than just intercessor, Jesus
indeed stands before the Father as both an intercessor and advocate (Romans
8:34; 1 John 2:1). Two of the great Old Testament intercessors were
Abraham, who interceded for Sodom; and Moses, who interceded for Israel.
Daily Bread - February 15, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 08:56
1 John 1:10 - If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His
word is not in us.

This verse highlights the past tense condition of those who have not been
born again and washed in the blood of Jesus. The statements of verse 8 and
verse 10 are for the most part repetitious statements. The only real
difference is one expressing the present tense condition of the unredeemed,
and the other, the past tense. First the present tense of verse 8 - "We do
not have sin" ('hamartian echein') and then the past tense of verse 10 "We
have not sinned" ('harmartein'). The two conditions thus expressed are
those who are in sin and refuse to admit it, and confess their sins, so
that they may be cleansed; and those who refuse to ever admit that they had
sinned at any time.

The First Epistle of John is the strongest epistle in the New Testament in
terms of condemning all sin in the life of those who have been born again.
From the arguments set forth contrasting those who are in darkness to those
who walk in the light, to the strong statements of 1 John 2:29, 3:6-9, and
5:18 which demand that we walk in righteousness and give no place to sin,
John makes his message explicitly clear. To make any kind of a defense that
somehow a sinful condition is the common condition of those born of God is
definitely not supported by this First Epistle of John.
Daily Bread - February 14, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 14 February 2017 08:51
John 10:18 - No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have
authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. I
received this command from my Father.

Jesus not only had authority to lay down his life, but also had the
authority to raise it back to life again. The offering that Jesus made of
His own life for the sins of the world was not a forced offering; He did it
on His own accord. His authority to lay down His life for the sins of the
whole world, and thereby ransom all who would believe from sin and death,
was witnessed in His right to conquer all death's power by the
resurrection. While men could only see the seeming defeat of the cross and
the subjugation of Christ to their will, He fought the greater enemy death
and all its power, and won. While men sneered and mocked the collapse of
His earthly body, He gained all power over death and hell (Revelation
1:18). Through death He destroyed him that had the power of death and
abolished death's claim (Hebrews 2:14; 2 Timothy 1:10). Jesus knew how
potent the offering of His life would be and the affect of His transition
into death's dark domain. There, in the regions of the damned, He executed
the righteous judgments of God, and displayed His conquest, when death had
no power to hold Him.

The willingness of Jesus to voluntarily lay down His life for the sins of
the world, and then to take it up again through the resurrection, makes Him
exclusively different from all others. At anytime, He could have called the
armies of heaven; but the stronger submitted His life into the hands of a
far inferior opponent for which He was willing to die (Matthew 26:53). On
the night that they came to arrest Him, He drove them all to the ground
with a word, then held out His hands for his these same men to bind. It was
impossible for men to capture Him or take His life; He offered it to them
freely. Christ Jesus never drew back or had a hesitation; but with joy He
laid down His life until at last He cried out, it's finished (Hebrews 12:2).

By His own power, He arose from the grave; and by Himself, defeated all the
armies of Hell. He took His life up again to now finish the work that He
began. Exalted far above all things, He ever lives to make intercession for
the saints. Vested with all power and authority far above all things, He
secures us from the lofty heights of eternity, and endues us with His own
power and might. He who has Authored our salvation is the Finisher. He who
began the good work in us will complete it, and by Him the Father will
freely give us all things.
Daily Bread - February 13, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 13 February 2017 10:35
John 10:27 - My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

There are many people who demand to have things their own way. They will
not listen to instruction, and will always find a reason why they can
disagree. God's house is different. There is great respect for those who
are in authority. Those whom God has anointed speak on behalf of the Lord
Jesus. Each person listens to that authority and submits themselves to God
for their safekeeping. They know the voice of the Master, and as His little
lambs, they walk in lowliness and meekness, knowing that they will be kept
by the power of God.

Today, as in the time of Noah, many want to do what is right in their own
eyes. Their heart has been made callous through defiance. They fail to
realize that they go out from among us, that they may be manifested that
they are not of us (1 John 2:19). They reject fellowship as a witness that
they are not walking in the light of God (1 John 1:7). They do not hear us,
because they do not hear God; and those who hear us have the witness that
they are born of God (1 John 4:6). Of course, the adversarial person would
say that it would be different if the Apostle John was speaking. However,
they fail to realize that when we are speaking the same words that he
spoke, there is no difference. The ministers of Christ who have been sent
by Jesus are to be received as Jesus Himself; those who reject them reject
Jesus (John 13:20).

These troublemakers pack up and move to the next church down the street. If
the people are of their same spirit, they may stay; otherwise they find yet
another reason why they do not have to listen. In their own foolish
thinking, they convince themselves that they are right, and that the
problem rests with the leaders. They become evil influences, always
stirring up strife. Their blindness of heart keeps them from seeing the
error of their own ways, and the tragedy of their lives is that they will
lose their own souls. They also cause damage by polluting the churches with
their rebellion and turning the souls of those who would have obeyed away
from the truth. They are always learning but never able to come to the
knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 3:7). These evil-doers are blemishes in
our feast, clouds without water, trees without fruit, waves of the sea
foaming out their own shame, and wandering stars (Jude 1:12-13). Oh, that
they would see the error of their ways and repent before it is forever too
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