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Daily Bread - April 27, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 27 April 2018 07:19
Ephesians 3:11 - According to the plan of the ages which was made in Christ
Jesus our Lord.

God set forth a plan to redeem men through Christ Jesus. This plan was only
faintly revealed through the ages until God was manifested in the flesh.
The mystery of the fellowship that was hidden from the ages would only come
to light through the redemption Jesus would accomplish by dying on the
cross and defeating death in His resurrection. God first announced the plan
of sending His only begotten Son in Genesis 3:15. The entirety of the plan
of God to redeem man and deliver him from the snare of the devil was "set
forth" in Christ Jesus from the beginning. Jesus was not only the One Who
created all things and planned them, but He was the plan by which all
things would become new after having been corrupted.

Paul captivates us in this verse with the use of an important word
describing Jesus as the One "set forth." He used the word 'prothesis',
translated "set forth" or "plan." The Greek word 'prothesis' is translated
"showbread" in the Old Testament, and is also called the Bread of Presence
(Hebrew- lechem happanim) or the bread set before the Holy Place. The
showbread was twelve loaves of unleavened bread that was set in the Holy
Place just outside the veil of the Holy of Holies (Exodus 26:35; Leviticus
24:5-9). Anytime the priest would approach close to the veil, they would
see the bread "set forth" before it. In fact, one might say they could see
the plan even though they did not understand what they saw. The bread was
treated with many of the same sacred procedures as the Ark, which
highlighted its importance and significance (Numbers 4:5-8, 9-14). The
bread represented a covenant for all times (Leviticus 24:8). The bread in
the Tabernacle also represented the unleavened bread of the Passover which
both predated it and which launched the ministry of the Tabernacle in the
Wilderness. The bread that was set before the veil throughout the age of
the Law would ultimately be made flesh; and would, with His sacrifice for
sin, rend the veil, so all men could enter into the Presence of God.

When Jesus came, He revealed that He was the Bread of Heaven (John 6:32-51;
Matthew 26:26). He was the Passover Bread Whose body was broken for us
(Matthew 26:26; Exodus 12:8; 1 Corinthians 5:7). The Bread of Heaven gave
us His body so we might partake of His life, and live forever in Him. The
plan and election of the Scripture are all focused on Jesus Christ as the
Redeemer and Savior of fallen, corrupted men. God, Who wills that all men
be saved, has extended His love to the worst of His enemies, and is not
willing that any should perish. He has revealed His grace to all men and
has set forth Jesus Christ, the plan of redemption, so that all who partake
of this Bread may step into His Presence and live in communion with Him
forever (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9; Titus 2:11; John 12:32, 3:16; Acts
17:30; 1 John 2:1-2).

Partake of and live by the Bread of Heaven! (John 6:56-57)
 
Daily Bread - April 26, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 26 April 2018 11:31
Ephesians 3:10 - In order to now make known, through the Church, the
manifold wisdom of God to the rulers and authorities in the heavens.

The rulers in the heavens are watching the Church, observing the glorious
transformation of each sinful man being made one with God through Christ
Jesus, and empowered with authority by the Holy Spirit. One thing we must
understand is that 'heaven' refers to several things, as noted by Paul when
he referred to the third Heaven for example (2 Corinthians 12:2). The most
common understanding of heaven is the place where the stars and galaxies
exist. Equally common is the reference to where God dwells, and the place
where the saints go when they die. However, heaven also refers to the
unseen realm in general. Therefore, it is used in reference to the place
where Satan and fallen angels exist (Ephesians 4:10, 6:12; 2 Peter 3:10-12;
Galatians 1:8; 1 Corinthians 8:5; Revelation 12:3-12; Daniel 8:9-10). The
heavenly realm may also be referred to as "high places," even though it is
integrated with the sphere in which we exist (Ephesians 6:12; 2 Kings
6:17). Satan is presently confined there and rules as the prince and the
power of the air, the god of this world (Ephesians 2:1-3). Though Christ
Jesus has spoiled the devil and his angel's power and authority, giving the
saints of God the rule over them, they will yet in the future be ultimately
cast out of this realm forever (Colossians 2:15; 1 Corinthians 15:24).

The Church is the fullness of God and the expression of the Person of
Christ Jesus on the Earth (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18). The
individuals in the Church are seated with Christ Jesus in His place of
power and authority over all principalities and powers (Ephesians
1:3,19-23, 2:6; Matthew 28:18; Luke 10:19). We have the authority of God as
the sons of God, the heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ Jesus to
execute the will of the Father in all things (John 1:12; Galatians 4:7;
Romans 8:17). We are on center stage in the grand theater of life (Greek
word 'theater', meaning "a spectacle"), engaged in a battle against angels
of darkness and against the threats of men (1 Corinthians 4:9). Although
the battle rages strong against us, we have been given the place of all
authority over everything in Christ Jesus' place (Ephesians 6:10; John
20:21).

It is the mystery of the fellowship (which is Christ in us) that God wants
to demonstrate to the rulers and authorities in heaven (Ephesians 3:9,
4:24; Colossians 1:27; John 17:22, Philippians 1:21; Galatians 2:20; 2
Peter 1:3-4; 2 Corinthians 5:17). We have been empowered to make disciples
out of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). We are to take charge over all demon
spirits which would torment men through sin, sickness, and disease. We have
been empowered to cast down and to build, to pluck up and to plant
(Jeremiah 1:9-10; John 14:12; Mark 16:17-21). We have been put in charge of
all these things in the world of men. We serve directly under Christ Jesus
our Head; yet, someone is going to have to believe this and engage in the
battle that rages against the truth. We have submitted ourselves under too
many things that are nothing more than satanic tricks to neutralize the
authority we have been given in Christ. It is time to rise up and begin to
shine; for our Light has come, and the glory of Almighty God is upon us
(Isaiah 60:1-2)!

Arise, shine, and allow God to make known His manifold wisdom through you!
 
Daily Bread - April 25, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 25 April 2018 11:34
Ephesians 3:9 - And to give light to all of the mystery of the fellowship,
which has been hidden from the ages in God, Who created everything through
Jesus Christ.

We cannot limit the 'mystery of the fellowship' to a fellowship between
Jews and Gentiles; that would be a narrow view of the greatest and most
glorious relationship between God and His saints. The fellowship God
purposed for all of us to have with Him predates the existence of Abraham
and the nation of Israel. The mystery of the fellowship is actually Christ
in us (Colossians 1:27). God created Adam and everything that has ever
existed through Christ Jesus, Who was called the Word (John 1:1-2,14). It
was also through Christ Jesus that the new man came into being -those who
have been born of God, made heirs and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, the
only begotten Son of God (Ephesians 4:24; Romans 8:17; Galatians 4:7).

The mystery is discovered in what God created us to be through Jesus.
Through the unfathomable riches of Christ, we have been given the same
glory Father gave to His Son (John 17:21-23; Ephesians 3:19; John 1:12,16).
We may now boldly say Christ is in us, and we are the dwelling place of the
Most High. Everything Jesus did, He has made us a part of. We may now say:
we are crucified together with Christ, we are buried together with Him, we
are raised up together with Him, we are alive together in Him, and are
seated together with Him in the Heavenly realm (Galatians 2:20; Romans
6:3-11; Ephesians 2:5-8; Colossians 2:12, 3:1-4; 2 Timothy 2:11-12; Romans
8:14-18). He has not only redeemed us but also glorified us together with
Himself (Romans 8:29-30). Therefore, because we are in Christ and made
partakers of His divine nature and possessors of His life, for us to live
is Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17; 2 Peter 1:3-4; 1 John 5:12; Galatians 2:20;
Philippians 1:21).

The mystery of the fellowship was hidden from men until the time when
Christ Jesus purchased us with His own blood and made a way for us to be
born again (Colossians 1:12-27)! It is impossible to be more acceptable to
God than being one with Him (John 17:21-23). We now have an acceptance and
oneness with God that did not come through a mystical process of some
esoteric concept of God-consciousness, nor through a legal process of an
earned relationship, but through the instantaneous and miraculous change
brought to pass by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy
Spirit (Titus 3:4-7; John 3:5; Ephesians 5:25-27).

Thank God for His indescribable and inexpressible gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15)
 
Daily Bread - April 24, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 24 April 2018 07:13
Ephesians 3:8 - I, who am less than the least of all the holy ones, is this
grace given, to announce to the Gentiles the good news of the unfathomable
riches of Christ.

What happens to a person who spends his whole life doing everything he can
to make himself worthy of God's acceptance, and then mets Jesus? Paul is an
example of one who, concerning the righteousness of the law, was blameless
(Philippians 3:6). His whole life was devoted to living after the strictest
sect of the Jews, a Pharisee (Acts 26:5). The Jewish historian Josephus
wrote: The Pharisees are believed to have originated from those called the
Hasidim (The Righteous) during the Maccabean revolt. However, it is also
believed that they find their origin in Ezra and the Great Assembly. They
were essentially classified as a movement dedicated to obeying the Torah in
daily life. Their name means "separated ones," from the Hebrew Perushin .
It was the Pharisees who were believed to be the producers, or at least the
strong influencers, of the rabbinic literature contained in the Mishnah,
Gemara and the Talmud. Some scholars view the Pharisees as those who were
devoted to an uncompromising dedication to holiness in every dimension of
life (Josepheus. The Antiquities of the Jews. pp. 13.5.9; Baeck, L. 1927;
The Pharisees and Other Essays. New York. 1947.) It was within this
environment and dedication where Saul of Tarsus met Jesus and was promoted
into a whole new dimension of righteousness.

When Paul met Jesus, he was given as a free gift far more than he ever
thought attainable; he stepped into the unfathomable riches of Christ. The
concept of continual spiritual elevation by the observance of the law lost
all its value when he was instantaneously lifted into the righteousness of
God by faith (Romans 3:21-22; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9;
Ephesians 4:24). By the miracle of salvation, Paul described an
instantaneous union with God through the miracle of salvation that brought
to pass the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus Christ
(Galatians 1:16, 2:20, 3:27; Colossians 1:27; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19; 2
Corinthians 6:16, 13:5; Philippians 1:21; Titus 3:5). Paul was not demoted
into some lascivious compromise with the world that many would call grace,
but elevated into a righteousness and true holiness that could only come to
pass by faith in Jesus Christ. It was not a righteousness having no
outworking in reality; but, instead, the very image of Christ and glory of
God produced by the Holy Spirit in all who would believe (Romans 10:10;
Ephesians 4:24, 5:9; Philippians 1:11; Romans 6:16,18,19,22).

Having received the righteousness of God, he lamented over his brethren who
were missing out on a righteousness that far surpassed what they understood
by going about to establish their own righteousness through observance of
the law (Romans 9:31-32, 10:3). The beauty of stepping over into the
righteousness of the Kingdom of God and the knowledge of the full
acceptance and approval of God all by the faith of Jesus Christ was indeed
unsearchable and incomprehensible riches (Romans 14:17; 2 Corinthians
3:9,18). The unfathomable riches of Christ were not looked upon as
something off in the future, but as what had been freely and abundantly
poured out upon all those who, by faith, received heirship with God being
made co-inheritors with Jesus Christ the Lord (Ephesians 1:18, 3:18-20;
Romans 8:17; Galatians 4:7)!

Thank God for His indescribable and inexpressible gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15)
 
Daily Bread - April 23, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 23 April 2018 11:44
Ephesians 3:7 - Of which, I have become a minister according to the gift of
the grace of God given to me according to the mighty working of His power.

Part 2: According to the Mighty Working of His Power

Paul was able to represent Jesus in His own life by signs and wonders
because he was given the same miracle power (Acts 19:11-12, 15:12; Romans
15:19; Hebrews 2:4; 2 Corinthians 12:12). The same miracle power of the
life of Jesus resides on the inside of each one of us who have been born of
God, but will only be revealed if we learn to move with the Holy Spirit's
direction (John 1:12-13, 15:5; Mark 16:17; Acts 1:8; 1 John 4:4; Colossians
1:27).

There are two Greek words used here for power: 'energeia' (working
power/supernatural strength/ divine activity) and 'dunamis' (the power of
Pentecost/ God's power). The ability Paul had to represent Jesus and live
the Christian life was supplied directly to him through the Holy Spirit
(Galatians 3:5). This is not some esoteric activity of God that takes place
absent of our will and consciousness. Rather, it is an activity of the Holy
Spirit in our life -not unlike any other relationship (Ephesians 3:16,
6:10; Colossians 1:11; Isaiah 40:29-31). We must recognize His presence,
and both obey and yield to His direction. The Holy Spirit desires to supply
us with miracle working power every day. We must learn to depend upon the
ability God supplies to us through His power at work in our life. Through
interacting with the Holy Spirit in praise and worship, reading of the Word
of God, and giving ourselves to prayer, He trains us to yield to Him. He
builds up our faith and expectation to do everything He said we can do
(John 14:12, 15:7; Philippians 4:13).

As we walk with God, we learn to expect a miracle instead of wondering how
things are going to work out. Miracles should be an everyday experience for
the children of God, who are in expectation of seeing God at work in their
lives. Our life in Christ Jesus began with a miracle. As we yielded to the
Holy Spirit and responded to the promise of salvation, He performed the
greatest miracle of all transforming our lives us into a new creation (John
1:12-13, 3:6; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 8:9). As we learn to walk in the
love, joy, and peace of the Holy Spirit, we will find ourselves continually
overwhelmed with His Presence. As we grow and mature in Christ, we become
more confident of what God will do than what we can do (Philippians 3:3,
1:6; 2 Corinthians 9:8; 2 Thessalonians 1:11; 2 Timothy 2:21; Hebrews
13:21; Zechariah 4:6). If we will simply take hold of the reality that
without Jesus we can do nothing, then we will begin to put our faith in the
activity of God working through us.

Right now, the Holy Spirit has a supernatural supply of power for you; and
it is God's will that you be endued with His divine ability (Romans
13:12,14; Galatians 3:27; Ephesians 4:24, 6:11; Colossians 3:10,12,14).
 
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