daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 14 December 2009 13:54
Zechariah 4:6 - And he answered me saying, "This is the word of Yahoah
unto Zerubbabel: saying not by might and not by power; for it is by my
Spirit says Yahoah of armies!"

After Zechariah looked on the seven lamps of the menorah, he asked the
angel what it was that he saw. The angel was surprised that Zechariah, a
prophet and a priest, was unable to identify the menorah. The angel
revealed to the prophet that the work of the Lord would be accomplished
by the Spirit of the Lord, and not by the strength of men! Zechariah was
familiar enough with the menorah that had to be tended every day, but
this was a unique menorah; one that would burn perpetually, being
supplied directly from the throne room of God. The one point of
clarification that he needed was the two olive trees. When he inquired
further, the angel said that these are the "two son of oil" (Beney
ha-yitzhar) that stand before the Lord of all the earth. The angel also
revealed that the seven lamps were the eyes of the Lord. In order to
understand this expression, we have to rely on the book of Revelation.
There we learn that these seven eyes are another symbol expressing the
seven Spirits of God (Revelation 5:6; Revelation 4:5).

When we realize that the prophecy has more to do with the temple being
built and established by the Messiah, rather than Zerubbabel,
understanding the seven Spirits of the Lord becomes less elusive. We
realize that Jesus received the fullness of the Spirit of God when He
was anointed by the Holy Ghost (John 1:14; John 3:34; Colossians 1:19;
Colossians 2:9; Acts 10:38). Looking in the book of Isaiah, it was
revealed what that fullness of the Spirit consisted of (Isaiah 11:2).

Jesus, who is both Messiah and Lord, is now baptizing anyone who will
obey Him with the Holy Ghost and fire (Acts 5:32; Matthew 3:11; Mark
1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33). It is from this fire of God that the light
of God's glory shines through our lives. It is from the oil that pours
forth from heaven, supplied by God and not by men, that we burn with His
Spirit and the image of Christ. There is no room for the works of men.
There is no need to supply the oil and trim the lamps, for the fire and
anointing of God has been poured out upon us by Jesus Christ! Let us all
arise and shine, for our glory has come! Let us take up the mantle of
the sons of God, and walk in the anointing of the Holy Ghost and fire.
The only true light is the light of Christ Jesus, which is all the
expressions of God in our conduct and life (Matthew 5:14; 1 John 1:7; 1
Thessalonians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 6:3,7; Romans 8:29; John 17:21-23). We
are to continually shine with the brightness of God's presence; and
always be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in
the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom we shine as
lights in the world (Philippians 2:15; Luke 12:35; Ephesians 5:8).
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 12 December 2009 13:47
Leviticus 24:2 - Command the sons of Israel that they shall lay hold of
clear oil for you, of crushed olives: that the light may ascend up from
the lamp continually.

The menorah, or lampstand, was to burn continually before the presence
of the Lord (Exodus 27:20-21; 1 Samuel 3:3). It was lit with the fire of
God, and that fire was never to be allowed to go out. The fire came from
the fire cloud of God's glory that descended upon the tabernacle in the
wilderness, and consumed the offering from off the altar (Leviticus
9:23-24). To bring any other kind of fire into the tabernacle of the
Lord would result in death (Leviticus 10:1-2). The light of God from the
lamp, which was produced by the fire of God, was seen as the seven
Spirits of God by the prophet Zechariah and by the Apostle John
(Zechariah 4:2,10; Revelation 4:5). The oil that feeds the fire of His
presence is symbolized by the prophet Zachariah as that which comes from
the anointing of God (Zechariah 4:11-14).

The light of God, that shines in the darkness of this world, has now
risen upon everyone who has been born of the Spirit (Isaiah 60:1-3). The
seven spirits of God now fill our lives, causing us to be as a lampstand
or menorah. Because we have been baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire,
we are the light of the world: a city set upon a hill that cannot be hid
(Matthew 5:14). It is the light of the gospel - the light of Christ
Jesus - that is the light of the world. He is the light that shines unto
every man in the world, and His light shines through our lives (John
1:9; John 8:12; John 9:5; John 12:36; 2 Corinthians 4:4). The light of
Christ Jesus shines by the fire of God, burning in our lives and
producing the manifestations of the Spirit of God: 1- the spirit of the
Lord, 2- the spirit of wisdom, 3- the spirit of understanding, 4- the
spirit of counsel, 5- the spirit of might, 6- the spirit of knowledge,
and 7-the spirit of the fear of the Lord; these are to burn continually
in our lives. Many only talk about the destructive power of the fire of
God, not realizing that the fire of God is creative: producing the
revelation of His presence in the temple of our lives.
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 11 December 2009 14:38
John 10:22 - And the Feast of Dedication took place in Jerusalem, and it
was winter.

The Feast of Dedication referred to here is Chanukkah (dedication),
which is a feast celebrating the Maccabean victories. The Syrians, led
by one of the generals of Alexander the Great, Antiochus Epiphanes (a
forerunner to the Antichrist), had profaned the temple for three years
(167-164 B.C.). Epiphanes means: "God made manifest." He had erected an
idol called Baal Shamem on the altar in the Holy Place, and set about to
change the laws and customs of temple worship. Judas Maccabeus drove out
the Syrians and built a new altar, and led in the rededication of the
temple.

When the Greeks entered the Sanctuary, they defiled all the oils, and
when the Hasmoneans (the Maccabees) defeated them, they searched and
found only one remaining jar of oil with the seal of the Kohen Gadol
(the High Priest). Although it contained only enough oil to burn for one
day, a miracle occurred, and the oil burned eight days. A year later the
Rabbis designated these days as Yomim Tovim (Holidays), on which praise
and thanksgiving were to be said (Tractate Shabbat 21).

"52 Now on the five and twentieth day of the ninth month, which is
called the month Kislev, in the hundred forty and eighth year, they rose
up betimes in the morning, 56 And so they kept the dedication of the
altar eight days and offered burnt offerings with gladness, and
sacrificed the sacrifice of deliverance and praise. 59 Moreover Judas
and his brethren with the whole congregation of Israel ordained, that
the days of the dedication of the altar should be kept in their season
from year to year by the space of eight days, from the five and
twentieth day of the month Kislev, with mirth and gladness.'' (1
Maccabees 4)

The light of the world, Christ Jesus, lit up the temple that year for
the feast of dedication, or what came to be called the feast of lights.
Yet few realized that the Light Himself had come into the world. While
all of the religious busied themselves with honoring God for the miracle
of light in the sanctuary, the true Light was being rejected. God had
restored the temple and its altar for one reason: so that the Messenger
of the Covenant could suddenly come to the temple (Malachi 3:1).

One Day in the not too distant future, another like Antiochus Epiphanes
will go into the temple in Jerusalem and proclaim himself God. Only this
time his abomination that will make the temple desolate (as spoken by
the prophet Daniel) will end when the King of Kings and the Lord of
Lords leads the armies of heaven against him (Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14;
Daniel 7:8-11; Jude 1:14; Daniel 2:44-25; Revelation 19:11-16).

This evening begins the first day of Chanukkah,

Happy Chanukkah!
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 10 December 2009 11:18
Luke 7:20 - And coming to Him, the men said: "John the Baptist sent us
to you to ask you if you are the Coming One; or do we wait for another?"

The greatest prophet that ever lived found himself questioning who Jesus
was. John the Baptist, who was a cousin of Jesus, was anointed by God to
prepare the way for the introduction of Jesus to Israel (Luke 1:17;
Matthew 11:10; Mark 1:2-3). He had also been commissioned by God to
identify the Messiah for all Israel (John 1:31-33). There were certainly
many preconceived ideas that the prophet John the Baptist had of Jesus.
Like all of the many other leaders in Israel, he knew the scriptures
that prophesied of the coming Messianic age. It was not within the
framework of their thinking however to see this mounting opposition
against Jesus - much less a rejection and crucifixion.

John had prophesied many things of Jesus that was not taking place. He
had prophesied that the axe was already laid to the root, and that the
Messiah would cut down the unfruitful; but he did not see the judgments
taking place that were written in the scripture (Matthew 3:10; Luke 3:9;
Malachi 3:1-3; Malachi 4:1). He announced to the people that Jesus would
be the One who would baptize them in the Holy Ghost and fire; but Jesus
was not moving like that. The judgments were more silent and invisible
to the eyes of Israel at that time; and the Baptism in the Holy Ghost
would not begin until Jesus was enthroned in the heavens, rather than
over the nation of Israel! They would have to wait for the next age at
the time of His second coming before all of their expectations would be
realized. Jesus simply did not look like what they had expected!

Jesus gave a simple answer to those who had come from John. He gave them
the strongest proofs possible that the age of the Messiah was underway.
At the moment of their arrival, He was busy doing those things that He
was sent to do: He was healing the diseased and those who had plagues.
He was casting out devils and making the blind to see. He told the
disciples of John to go and report to John what they both saw and heard:
the blind see, the deaf hear, the crippled walk, the lepers are
cleansed, the dead are raised, and the poor have the gospel preached to
them. This would be all the proof that John would need; for this is
indeed the evidence of the age of Christ and the reign of the Messiah
(Isaiah 26:29; Isaiah 29:18-19; Isaiah 35:5-6; Isaiah 61:1; Matthew
8:16-17).

There are many today that want to pretend as though Jesus healed the
sick from time to time, when in reality it was the continual ongoing
purpose of His ministry. When the disciples of John came, they were not
receiving a special show; rather this was a snapshot of what it was like
to be around Jesus. The proof that Jesus was and is the Messiah, and
that He is now seated at the right hand of God and reigning with power,
is the same today as it was for John the Baptist. Jesus sent the Holy
Spirit to be with us to empower us not only to do the same works that He
did, but to do even greater works. The purpose of the church is to
reveal Jesus! The purpose of our assemblies is that the fullness of God
might be revealed, as the Holy Spirit both reveals and glorifies Jesus
in our midst with the same mighty signs and wonders of His power that
took place nearly 2000 years ago (Ephesians 1:18-23; 1 Corinthians
12:7-10; 1 Corinthians 12:28; 1 Corinthians 14:1; 1 Corinthians
14:12-15, 1 Corinthians 14:24-26). God demands that we provide the proof
and the evidence of the age of Christ, and that proof is only realized
in the demonstration of the Spirit and power (Luke 24:49; John 7:38-39;
John 14:12; John 15:5,16; Mark 16:17; John 17:21-23; Acts 1:8; Acts
2:33; 1 Corinthians 2:4; 1 Thessalonians 1:5; etc.).
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 09 December 2009 12:28
Ephesians 4:8 - On which account He said, "Ascending up on high He lead
captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men."

The first time that this message appears in the Bible is in Psalm 68:18;
"You have ascended on high, you have led captivity captive: you received
gifts for men; yes, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might
dwell among them." The gifts that Jesus received and then gave to the
church are listed below in Ephesians 4:11 as Apostles, Prophets,
Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers. These special abilities and
anointings exist in the church so that God might dwell in our midst in a
special way. It is through these gifts that Jesus ministers to His
church. Just as the prophets of the Old Testament, God has made them His
mouthpiece to the church; and they bear the responsibility of
representing Him to His church. The examples of this are the 11 Apostles
and Paul. The authority expressed in their lives was then extended to
every aspect of these five gifts - and their function in the churches
that were around them (1 Peter 4:11; Acts 11: 1-18; Galatians 2:1-9; 1
Peter 5:1-2; Acts 20:28; 1 Timothy 4:12-14; 2 Timothy 4:2; Hebrews 13:7,
17; Hebrews 13:24; Revelation 1:20; Acts 1:8; Acts 4:8-10; Acts 5:32;
Acts 10:38; Acts 13:2-3; Acts 15:28)

The supply of the Spirit flows to every member of the church from the
head, which is Christ Jesus (Ephesians 4:15-16; Colossians 2:19).
However, each member must make their proper connection to the head,
according to the divine order that God has established in his church. It
is through these gifts (Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and
Teachers) that God supplies to His church the riches of the Spirit that
perfect, mature, and produce the work of the ministry; so that everyone
may grow up into the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:12-13). If we fail
to cooperate with and submit to God's divine order, then we will miss
out on the supply of the Spirit and the work of Grace that is being
given by God who dwells in our midst.

The best way is to begin to grasp the authority that Christ Jesus gave
to His church is to start with an overview of why the church exists.
First, recognize who Jesus is - and the fact that He and His church are
inseparable. The next step is to begin to understand how He set up the
authorities and governorship of His church. The authority of the church,
and those gifts which Christ Jesus gave, are for the purpose of
providing a corporate representation of Christ Jesus in the earth
(Ephesians 1:22-23; Ephesians 5:30; 2 Corinthians 4:10; Galatians 2:20;
Philippians 1:21; 1 Corinthians 12:28). The authority of the ministry
gifts in the church has its fingerprint on every scripture in the New
Testament.
 
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