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Daily Bread - May 15, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 15 May 2018 07:24
Leviticus 19:2 - Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel,
and say unto them, "You shall be holy; for I, the LORD your God, am Holy."

The Holiness of God - Part 2

The words used to express holiness in the Hebrew language speak of God's
completeness and self-existence. They speak to His consecration to
everything right, just, and good. His absolute supreme and eternal
existence that is far above all things, and His complete separateness from
everything profane and impure, are all denoted by the Hebrew adjective,
'qādôš' (holy), and the noun, 'qōdeš' (holiness). The verb, qādaš,
which also refers to us being made holy, describes that which belongs to
the sphere of the sacred.

Everything in all of the universe was holy until a rebellion was led
against God. In this rebellion, every evil thing was born. God would not
tolerate the injustice and evil of iniquity. His holiness hates and detests
sin and iniquity; and He will not allow it to be in any part of His
Creation. He had given all of His Creation the capacity to continue in the
beauty of holiness and to do what was right; but some refused, and God
judged their sin and them. God, as the Righteous Judge, condemned those who
refused to walk in His ways. If He would have had any other response, He
would not be Holy. God is entirely good, and wholly without evil. If He did
not judge sin and iniquity, He would no longer be Holy. In fact, it is His
judgment against sin which establishes that He is Holy (Leviticus 10:3;
Revelation 15:3-4)

God created Adam in the midst of His holiness and in a Garden of every good
thing. Adam only had one requirement, and that was to learn to obey God
through one simple restriction. When Adam choose to be part of the
rebellion against God, he lost fellowship with God. When Adam was thrust
out of the Garden, God began to make known His unwillingness to have
anything to do with those who choose iniquity. Over the course of time, God
made known His judgments against everything evil, but it was not until the
days of Moses when He began to reveal more specifics about His holiness.
God had not dwelt among men from the time Adam was thrust out of the
Garden. He had only visited with men like Enoch and Abraham. Yet, when God
had prepared a family who He would dwell among, He began to reveal His
holiness.

Be holy, as He is Holy! (1 Peter 1:13-16)
 
Daily Bread - May 14, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 14 May 2018 13:16
Leviticus 19:2 - Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel,
and say unto them, "You shall be holy; for I, the LORD your God, am Holy."

The Holiness of God - Part 1

When the Lord tells us to be holy as He is Holy, what does that mean?
Before we can know how to properly respond to God's command, we must
understand what His holiness consists of. Holiness is not an attribute of
God, but His essence and nature. His holiness, which is also His glory, is
revealed by His righteousness: "The Lord Almighty will be exalted by His
justice, and the Holy God will show Himself Holy by His righteousness"
(Isaiah 5:16). Foremost, His holiness is defined by His love and goodness;
but it is even more specifically defined by His unwillingness to have any
association with any form of sin or iniquity. God and holiness belong
exclusively to each other. As the Creator of all things, holiness is only
derived from Him. Therefore, the essence of true holiness is only found in
God. Once again: holiness is not an attribute of God -it is His essence.
Everything God does is Holy, because His every action and deed flows out of
His holiness. God alone is holy, and everything that belongs to Him is
holy. It is God Who gives holiness to anyone who He brings into
relationship with Himself, and holiness cannot be obtained or possessed in
any other way (Revelation 15:4; Leviticus 8:12).

The most basic and foundational understanding of the holiness God has is
that there is nothing evil, wrong, or sinful in it. Everything in the
Scripture that reveals Who God is, reveals some dimension of His holiness.
To fully understand God's holiness, we would have to fully understand all
He is. Nonetheless, much about holiness is revealed to us by all God has
disclosed about Himself in the Bible. The holiness of God is witnessed
through everything He says and does. All of His ways are perfect, all of
His ways are just, righteous, and true (Psalm 18:30, 145:17; Deuteronomy
32:4; 2 Samuel 22:31). Everything He asks us to do, all of His decisions,
and all of His judgments are pure; and are expressed to reveal how to walk
in the blessings and benefits of His eternal life. Therefore, those who are
unwilling to do what God says are not only unwilling to be part of His
family, but are also unwilling to learn the ways of the only kind of life
that lasts forever.

The holiness of God is not only revealed in God the Father, Who is called
Jehovah God in the Old Testament; but also in God the Word, Who is Christ
Jesus, and God the Holy Spirit. The sum total of all Their actions and
judgements reveal the meaning of holiness. Although all Creation reveals
His glory, God's holiness is more beautiful in the majesty of its
sacredness, and forever and eternally unchanging in its splendor (Isaiah
6:3; Psalm 8:1, 19:1, 97:6, 113:4, 148:13; Romans 1:20). The holiness of
God is far beyond the wonder, beauty, and splendor of all His Creation
combined; for it is from His holiness they came into existence (Exodus
15:11; 1 Samuel 2:2; Isaiah 40:25, 57:15). His holiness not only uniquely
describes Who He is, but also is a statement to the moral perfection of His
character, as well as His absolute power and authority over all things
(Isaiah 5:16; Job 34:10, 38:1-41:34). God is distinct from all things, and
above all as the One Who created all things and sustains them. He alone is
the supreme example of what all things are to be (Psalm 89:5-7; Isaiah
57:15). God's absolute and total purity defines His self-existence. He
alone is the One Who can do no wrong. All He does is witnessed by the
entirety of His Creation as being Holy, and that holiness is just and good.

Therefore be holy, as He is Holy, in all manner of conversation! (1 Peter
1:13-16)
 
Daily Bread - May 11, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 11 May 2018 07:14
1 Corinthians 12:13 - For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one Body,
whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been
all made to drink into one Spirit.

Baptized into the Body of Christ - Part 3

The baptism of the Holy Spirit that took place when Pentecost had fully
come was an event that should set the pace for every meeting. If Pentecost
does not describe what the Church is supposed to look like, and what we are
supposed to expect in the assembly, then what does? The baptism in the Holy
Spirit is not something that is supposed to take place once in our lives
and then be set aside for special occasions -it should instead occur again
and again! Being filled with the Spirit is the same as being baptized by
the Spirit in the New Testament. This point is verified in the first two
chapters of Acts. Jesus told the hundred and twenty who would end up being
there on the Day of Pentecost they would be baptized in the Spirit; and
when that day came, the Scripture says they were all filled with the Spirit
(Acts 1:5, 2:4).

It is a reproach that Christ Jesus is allowed to be misrepresented by
sinful and sorrowful men. In so doing, we present to the world that the
life of the flesh is the life of the Spirit, and that the fallen nature of
men is the example of being born again. With our sad and sorrowful faces
and our songs that are far less than spiritual and supernatural, we deny
the power of God. We walk all over the anointing and give no place to the
Holy Spirit, and wonder why the sick are not healed and the captives not
set free. How long will we pretend? How long we will make excuses for our
lack of power and the expression of Jesus' ministry -Who healed all who
were sick and diseased and set those tormented of devils free (Matthew
4:23-24; Acts 10:38)? This kind of laborer, ones that do exactly what Jesus
did, are the kind God is looking for; and it is only by being yielded to
the Holy Spirit this can happen (Matthew 9:34-36; Romans 15:19; Luke 4:18;
Acts 26:18).

Instead, however, we bow to the peer pressures of men and make the things
of Heaven, earthly; and we make the workings of the Spirit less excellent
than the workings of disciplined men. God filled us with the wellspring of
the Spirit so we could worship in Spirit and truth (John 4:23-24, 7:37-39);
but instead, we would rather sing the popular songs of our religion. We
have been given the rivers of the Spirit so that we might pray with all
prayer and supplication in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18; Romans 8:26-27), but
we would rather pray a prayer of the mind and human understanding. We have
been given the life of Jesus Christ (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 1:27), but
we are too in love with our own.

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit! (Galatians 5:25)
 
Daily Bread - May 10, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 10 May 2018 11:28
1 Corinthians 12:13 - For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body,
whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been
all made to drink into one Spirit.

Baptized into the Body of Christ - Part 2

Jesus told us we could do nothing without Him (John 15:5). He showed us how
every dimension of His ministry was dependent on His submission to the Holy
Spirit (Luke 4:1, 18; Acts 2:22, 10:38; John 5:30, 8:28). He desires that
we pray in the Spirit, and then out of that expression pray with the
understanding also. He desires that we sing in the Spirit, and then out of
that overflow sing in the understanding also (1 Corinthians 14:15-16).

Look at what we do instead! Yet, there is no Biblical instruction for the
common everyday church service! We are to be continually filled with the
Spirit, speaking to ourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, so
how much more should those activities be the expression of what we have in
the assembly that reveals God in all of His fulness and the Heavenly
ministry of Jesus (Ephesians 5:18-19). Instead, we have turned Father's
House into a place of showmanship and merchandizing. We pay little regard
to any expressions of the Holy Spirit, and in many cases, forbid them
outright! Pentecost is not our model, but a historical event that has
little significance in our Sunday morning meetings. Our church meetings are
geared towards attracting men to our powerless religious social clubs. We
are supposed to be impressed by the entertainment and oratory of men; while
all the time, it falls far short of the revelation of Jesus Christ and His
Heavenly ministry (Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8, 16:20; Luke 3:16, 24:49; John
1:33; Acts 2:1-4, 4:29-33).

Church should be the very description of Who Jesus is, and also His
heavenly ministry and power. It should be filled with all the splendor and
power of Heaven. The awe of God presented should be more impacting than
what was seen and felt at Mount Sinai when God spoke audibly to all the
people of Israel (Hebrews 12:18-28). Our God is a consuming fire; and if
His fire falls upon our meetings, then there will be nothing seen but Him
(Hebrews 12:29). We say that we want Jesus to receive all the glory and be
the only One seen, but only the Holy Spirit can reveal Jesus and make Him
known (John 16:13-15). If we refuse everything the Holy Spirit is described
to be and do in the Bible, how then is it possible for Jesus to be
glorified and revealed?

Those who have ears to hear, let them hear. (Matthew 13:43)
 
Daily Bread - May 9, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 09 May 2018 10:29
1 Corinthians 12:13 - For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one Body,
whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been
all made to drink into one Spirit.

Baptized into the Body of Christ - Part 1

Jesus is the One Who builds His Church, and He builds His Church on the
revelation that He is the Son of the Living God, Who is also standing in
the midst of His Church (Matthew 16:16, 18, 18:20; Revelation 1:13-16). He
purchased the Church with His own blood, and it is suppose to reveal His
life and person (Acts 10:38). Christ Jesus is the Head of the Church, and
the Church is to be the revelation of the fullness of His ministry
(Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18; 1 Corinthians 12:13, 27). As His Body,
we are to reveal His deeds and nature to the world around us, which is only
possible by the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8; John 7:38-39, 20:21;
Colossians 2:6; Romans 8:17, 29). The Church is glorious, and is also the
fulness of Him -which testifies to the splendor of Christ Jesus that can
only be revealed because we allow the Holy Spirit to be manifested through
our lives (Ephesians 1:22-23; 3:19-20). If we are unwilling to be baptized
in the Holy Ghost and fire in our assemblies today, then how is it possible
for both the life and ministry of Jesus to be revealed in His Church? If we
are unwilling to yield to the Holy Spirit, Who alone reveals Christ Jesus,
then Christ Jesus is not being held up as the Head. If we are unwilling to
let Him be the Head of all we are doing, then it is impossible for us to be
those who reveal His person, or mature and grow up into Him in all things
(Ephesians 4:15-16). Men who believe they can participate in the revelation
of Christ Jesus without the power of the Holy Spirit are deceived, for the
body without the Spirit is dead (James 2:26).

The sacredness and awe of His Church should be appreciated, because He
purchased it with His own blood and washed it with the water of His Word
(Acts 20:28; Ephesians 5:26-27). Christ Jesus baptized His Church in the
Holy Ghost and fire, and thereby set into place the Divine order by which
it was to operate -for this was the birth and model of the Church. God put
the Holy Spirit, not men, in charge of the Church. Those who are born again
and full of the Spirit are supposed to oversee that which God has ordained.
We are supposed to ensure that only the Holy Spirit be in control of
everything we say and do, just as it was modeled in the life of Jesus, and
also on the day of Pentecost. If the Church is lacking the manifestation of
the Holy Spirit, then it is evident He is not in charge of the meeting
(Acts 2:4; 1 Corinthians 12:7-11, 28-29). In Acts 1 verses 5 and 8, Jesus
gave us instruction as to how every Church service was to take place -not
just a description of an initial event! We are all supposed to be baptized
by one Spirit into one Body every time we come together (1 Corinthians
12:13). To think this is something that happens one time, and then it is
done, is completely out of context. The context, instead, is how the
assembly of the Church is enabled to function as the Body of Christ by the
power of the Holy Spirit every time we come together. When we consider what
Paul has written in 1 Corinthians 12-14, it is hard to miss this point.
This was not an example of what happened one time in a meeting, but the
precedence for all meetings. We think God is impressed by our prayers,
songs, and preaching, but He is not. He desires everything we do flow out
of the operation and administration of the Holy Spirit. We are to worship
Him, and draw near unto Him, with the fire of the Holy Ghost (John 4:22;
Ephesians 2:18; Matthew 3:11; Luke 3:16).

Honor the Lord Jesus by giving proper honor to His Body, the Church!
 
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