Daily Bread AUG/26/10
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 26 August 2010 15:09
John 1:14 - And the Word became flesh and came and lived with us; and we saw
his glory: the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and
truth.

The Greek word 'sarx' (which means "flesh") would not only have been very
specific concerning the humanity of God incarnated, but would have equally
been a strong rebuke to the Gnostics of the time - who viewed the flesh as
innately evil and unable to contain or express any attributes of God,
especially the Divine Person Himself. The Greeks, who admired the 'Logos' as
that which formulated the order or the world, aspired to be joined with God
through a mystic relationship in the Universe. To them the idea of
encountering the logos of God in the flesh was unthinkable. Yet God in His
love and mercy took on the likeness of sinful flesh, and condemned sin in
the flesh. The great grace and blessing of God can only be viewed with
wonder and amazement; as Paul said, "Great is the mystery of Godliness, God
was manifest in the flesh." (1 Timothy 3:16).

Today as God's people, we fully embrace this glorious reality that Jesus is
come in the flesh. He not only came 2000 years ago when he was born of a
virgin named Mary; but He has come into His temple, so that we can say,
"Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4).

The Authorized Version translates 'sarx': flesh 147 times, carnal 2,
carnally minded 1, fleshly 1. It occurs in the Septuagint 215 times, and its
Hebrew equivalent is 'basar'. The first occurrence in the Old Testament is
in Genesis 2:21; and in the New Testament, Matthew 16:17.
 
Daily Bread AUG/25/10
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 25 August 2010 10:41
Ephesians 5:23 - Because the man is the head of the woman, even as also
Christ is the head of His church: the savior of the body.

The common approach to understanding the meaning of ancient words is to
understand the culture and times in which the word or concept was used.
However, more important than Graeco/Roman culture (and even Hebrew culture)
is biblical culture; a culture defined by God. The kingdom of God culture is
distinct from all other cultures, and at the heart of this culture is love
and servitude. It is within this context that we must understand biblical
words, whether Greek or Hebrew.

Now with respect to the Greek language, 'kephale', which is translated
"head," may refer to the actual head of man or animal; also point, top,
superior, etc. Yet we must not get lost in the maze of definition, but
rather understand the meaning of the words by context and application. We
must look at the role of Christ to the Father, and the man to Christ, in
order to really understand the role of the wife to the man (1 Corinthians
11:3; Ephesians 5:25). The relationship of the Father to Christ Jesus is the
first and most important relationship to understand, if we are to understand
the proper relationship between the husband and the wife. The love between
the Father and the Lord Jesus is the model of the kingdom rulership: which
is not dictatorial or legislative, but a relational governorship born out of
oneness (John 17:21-23). To be ruled by someone who loves you, and to rule
based upon relationship - these are foreign to man; and we must be guarded
against raw definitions and human models when we attempt to conceptualize
this. This is governorship by oneness, servitude, and love. There are many
things to say, but consider what Paul says with regards to this hierarchy -
when he says that man is the glory of God, and the woman the glory of the
man (1 Corinthians 11:7-10). This must cause us all to pause and think about
the notion of what comes first, and then second; but within the framework of
conferring glory and honor upon that which is second. We must also consider
the partnership and companionship nature of both these acts: God creating
man to walk with Him in a glorious relationship; and God creating woman from
the man, ordaining that they should be as one in purpose and life.

Equally the same could be said of 'hypotasso', which means "to be subject,
submit, or subordinate." While it is a hierarchical term, it must be kept in
the context of the model of the love that Christ Jesus showed us. Remember,
God does not make us submit or become subject to Him; it is voluntary. He
does not force our will, but rather draws or romances us unto Himself with
His love and care for us (Colossians 3:18; Ephesians 5:22-24; 1 Peter 3:1;
Titus 2:4-5). Certainly there is a consequence if we refuse to walk in love
and obey God, because all those who refuse divine love and life abide in
death. Equally, when a woman is unwilling to participate with the divine
order of things, she fails to realize the glory of walking in the fullness
of Christ. Yet the important point to consider here is the relational
aspects of those who have given themselves to walk in divine love and in the
life of Christ. It is important to remember that Colossians 3:18 and
Ephesians 5:22 are as important as Hebrews 13:17. Wives are supposed to
submit to their husbands, and the people of the church are supposed to obey
and submit themselves to those in authority in the church. How does each
member of the church want to be treated by the pastor? Or better, how should
a pastor treat those that are supposed to submit to him? Well, he must treat
them as Christ Jesus treats the church; otherwise relational governorship is
not working. Should people in the church submit to a tyrant who is not
leading them in the ways of Christ? Should a woman submit to a tyrant who is
not leading her into the ways of Christ?

Why do we obey the Lord? We obey Jesus because we love Him. Where did we get
the love for Christ Jesus? He laid down His life for us - so that His love
may be poured into our hearts.
 
Daily Bread AUG/24/10
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 13:24
Acts 2:22 - Men of Israel listen to these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man
accredited by God to you through power and wonders and signs - which God did
through Him in your midst - as you yourselves know.

God's divine testimony (or accreditation) of the ministry of Jesus comes by
way of the mighty deeds (or miracles, called 'dynameis' or 'dunameis') which
He did. This is the same power that the disciples were promised in Acts 1:8.
This power to do mighty deeds was given so that those who are in bondage to
sin, sickness, and poverty might go free. The power to do mighty deeds has
been made available to everyone who will believe. The promise was first made
to the general audience that John the Baptist addressed - when he first
spoke of the ministry of Jesus, and proclaimed that Jesus would be the one
that would baptize in the Holy Spirit and Fire (Luke 3:16; John 1:33; Acts
1:5; Acts 19:4). Jesus said these mighty deeds would follow those who
believe, as signs (Mark 16:17). These are the same mighty deeds manifested
in Steven's life in Acts 6:8; in Philip's ministry in Acts 8:13; and also in
Paul's ministry in Acts 19:11.

Today all one has to do is believe, and they will receive the authority to
be sons of God. The promise of being endued with the Holy Spirit and power
is just as fresh and certain today as it was when Jesus said: "If any man is
thirsty, let him come to me and drink. He that believes on me, as the
scriptures have said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water"
(John 7:37-39). The voice of God can still be heard right now saying,
"Nothing shall be impossible unto you" (Matthew 17:20).
 
Daily Bread AUG/23/10
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 23 August 2010 13:02
1 Kings 18:41 - And Elijah said to Ahab, "Come up, eat and drink: for I hear
the sound of an abundance of rain."

After three and half years of drought, God told Elijah to go and stand
before Ahab (1 Kings 18:1). Elijah challenged Ahab, the company of Baal's
prophets, and the whole assembly of those gathered around: that the God who
could answer by fire be the one that all would acknowledge as God; and to
this everyone agreed (1 Kings 18:24). God was about to send an abundance of
rain - but before the rain of refreshing, the fire of God's judgment had to
burn. The mixture of the doctrines of devils and men had to be removed, and
the sin of idolatry put to death.

Once the fire of God fell, all the assembly that were gathered around fell
to the ground and said: "Yahoah is God, Yahoah is God" (1 Kings 18:39).
Surely now that God had shown Himself to be the only true and sovereign God,
Ahab would step up and restore worship to the true God of Israel, and send
Jezebel and her idols back to Sidon. Therefore Elijah invites Ahab to come
and feast at the table of the Lord, to eat and drink; for the provision and
blessing of God was about to fall, and an abundance of rain was about to
come. Ahab, who had seen the mighty cloven tongues of fire fall and lick up
the water and the stones of the altar, would need to be strengthened for the
great task that was before him. He must hurry so that his assignment would
not be delayed by the abundance of rain. He could not delay to execute the
will of God - and be the champion of a great national revival - anymore than
Elijah could have delayed to execute the prophets of Baal. The rain was
about to fall that would wash away the blood and the bodies of those sinful
men, and it was necessary that Jezebel and her idols be washed away too.

To insure that there would be no delays, Elijah ran before the chariot of
Ahab as a servant to the king. He was there to assure Ahab that God was on
his side. The same God that had answered by fire, and had shown Himself to
be the sovereign power over the rain, would also give aid to Ahab: so that
he could carry out the will of God for the nation. When they reached the
gate of the city, Elijah stood still; for now Ahab would have to make the
decision - would he serve the One True God who had revealed Himself at
Carmel? Would he follow through with His vow? Would he be willing to step up
and do what was necessary to restore the nation of Israel to God? Ahab stood
at the precipice of greatness: all he had to do was to make a stand for what
was right, and God would do the rest. Elijah waited hopefully to hear the
cries of revival in Israel before he entered into the gates; instead he
heard the rebellious and demonic shrills of Jezebel, who vowed to kill the
one whom God had anointed, so that she might retain control of God's people.
Instead of a great revival and glorious restoration of the people of God,
Ahab's disobedience sealed the fate of the Northern Tribes of Israel (1
Kings 19:13-17).
 
Daily Bread AUG/21/10
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 21 August 2010 12:20
Acts 2:16-21 - But this is that spoken through the prophet Joel: "And it
shall be in the last days says God, I will pour out my Spirit upon all
flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men
shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. And upon my male and
female servants I will pour out my Spirit in those days; and they shall
prophesy. And I will give wonders in the heavens above, and signs upon the
earth below: blood and fire, and a cloud of smoke. The sun shall turn to
darkness and the moon to blood, before the great day of the Lord comes. And
it shall be that all that call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

This is not an exact quote of what is written, in either the Septuagint or
the Hebrew Bible (MT). However the differences are only minor, and may be
understood in light of the Holy Spirit speaking expressly through Peter of
its New Covenant application.

The following is a quote from both the Hebrew Bible and the Septuagint: "And
it will happen after this that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh: and
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your elders will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions. And also upon the slaves and upon the
maidservants in those days I will pour out My Spirit. I will give wonders in
the heavens and in the earth: blood and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun
shall turn to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the great
and awesome day of YHWH. And it will be that anyone who calls on the name of
YHWH will be saved" (Joel 3:1-4 Hebrew MT, same as Joel 2:28-32 KJV).

Peter makes a few initial changes by the Holy Spirit: he changes "after
this" to "in the last days;" and he adds "says God." Both of these changes
result in a clearer picture of the prophecy: by establishing that this is an
event for the last days, and that this was said by God (and not merely by a
prophet named Joel). Also "your servants" is changed to "my servants;"
removing the limitation of servants just to the nation of Israel, and
opening the door to all of God's servants in every nation. Finally, "they
shall prophesy" is added underscoring that the effect of the outpouring of
the Spirit will be the same for the servants as for the masters. Now this
broadened scope of "servants" would include all men everywhere in every
generation (Acts 8:1-40, Acts 10:1-48).
 
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