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Daily Bread - April 21, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 21 April 2018 10:30
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 1: According to the Gift of the Grace of God

Only by the working power of the Holy Ghost are we able to do anything for
God. Only by strict obedience to His Word will we learn the ways of the
Holy Spirit, and how to yield to Him in order to participate with this
glory realm of His power. The things we are willing to do of ourselves are
only a breach against the abundance of His grace and goodness that has been
extended to us. We must learn to do everything by the working of His mighty
power at work in us, a treasure we have received from Heaven (2 Corinthians
4:7; Ephesians 3:20; John 15:5; Jeremiah 17:5-8).

Additionally, God in His goodness and grace has freely given all of the
riches of His majesty and power, but there is no way He will compromise
with sin and wrongdoing. The things belonging to His power and majesty are
the most holy and precious things of a Holy God. The revelation of His
grace and power at work in us is all about the transformation of our life,
and the conformity of our will and actions to every holy and perfect thing
belonging to His life (Romans 12:1-2; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Peter 1:3-11).

Too many people have confused the grace of God with the idea they can do
whatever they please, in whatever way they choose; and somehow this
lifestyle will be acceptable to the Father, and blessed by Him. Nothing
could be further from the truth! Moses stood before a mountain on fire with
the glory of the Presence of the Lord; but we have come to the Heavenly
Jerusalem, which should invoke a far greater awe and honor within our
hearts (Hebrews 12:18-29). The High Priest of old stepped into the Holy of
Holies with the blood of goats, and feared and trembled at His Holiness.
Now that we can come into the Holiest place of all by the blood of Jesus,
can we possibly believe we can do it our own way? (Hebrews 9:1-14, 10:19-39)

Because of the gift of salvation brought to us by the grace of God, we are
one with the Father, one with Jesus the only begotten Son, and one with the
Holy Spirit (John 14:15-21, 17:22-23). We are the representatives in the
Earth of Who God is and what He desires. What an awesome and holy reality
that should cause all men to tremble (1 Corinthians 2:3; Isaiah 66:1-2;
Hebrews 12:18-24, 29).

May your whole spirit, and soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the
coming of our Lord Jesus Christ as you live according to the gift of His
grace working in you! (1 Thessalonians 5:23; Philippians 2:12-13;
Colossians 1:27-29)
 
Daily Bread - April 20, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 20 April 2018 06:35
Ephesians 3:6 - That the Gentiles should be co-inheritors, and of the same
body, and joint partakers of the promise in Christ through the Gospel.

Part 2: Joint Partakers of the Promise in Christ

The Greek work 'Christos' may indeed refer to anyone who is anointed.
However, in the New Testament the usage is specific for Jesus only. The
word 'Christos' translates the Hebrew word 'Masiach' in the Septuagint, and
is further emphasized as equivalent in John 1:41, "We have found the
Messiah (which means Christ)." If this usage referred to a Gentile believer
who through the grace of God had received the anointing through the gift of
the Holy Spirit, such reference can in no place be supported in Paul's
writings. Paul never uses the word 'Christos' in any other way than to
specifically refer to Jesus. The Greek word 'Christos' is applied to the
individual believer by its usage as 'Christianos' (Christian: Acts 11:26).
An equivalent in the Old Testament is found in the Septuagint in Psalms
104:15, "ton christon mou" for "my anointed ones". Paul speaks of "Christ
in you the expectation of glory", but in view of how he always uses this
word in reference to Jesus Himself, and not an anointing received by the
believer, we must recognize he is referring to the indwelling of Christ in
the believer (Colossians 1:27; John 14:23; 1 John 3:24).

The first time the Greek word 'Christos' appears in the Septuagint is in
Leviticus 4:5 referring to the priest. The first time this word is found in
the New Testament is in Matthew 1:1 referring specifically to Jesus. Paul
uses the word 'Christos' 43 times in the Book of Ephesians alone, and a
total of 382 times in all of his letters. The first time Paul uses the word
'Christos' without 'Iesous' (Jesus) is in Romans 5:6, in which case he is
specifically referring to Jesus. Paul uses the word 'Christos' many times
without "Iesous', and there is no question he is referring specifically to
Jesus.

The question is: did Paul ever use the word 'Christos' to refer to the one
who has been transformed by the Spirit? We know we have certainly received
the Spirit of Christ, or the Spirit of the Anointed One (Romans 8:9).
However, Romans 8:9 is referring to the same Spirit of Jesus Christ, and
not the anointing of the Spirit. Similarly, the same concept of the Spirit
of Christ is given in 1 Peter 1:11, referring to the Old Testament
prophets. We know the phrase "Spirit of Christ" is referring to the Holy
Spirit, which He was baptized in and has baptized us with.

When recalling how God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power, the
Greek word 'chrio' is used, such as in Acts 10:38. Although, this Greek
word 'chiro' is only used once by Paul, its usage is in contrast to
"Christos' in 2 Corinthians 1:21, "Now he which confirms us with you in
Christ (Christos) and has anointed (chiro) us, is God". The message being
conveyed is that the believer has received a 'chiro' that has united us
with the person 'Christos'. It cannot be said that the 'chiro' (anointing)
the believer received made him 'Christos' (the anointed one). The one other
Greek word specifically used of the anointing the saints receive is
"chrisma', which is used three times in the New Testament in 1 John 2:20,
27; and thus is never applied to Jesus.

Rejoice exceedingly! For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the
beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end. (Psalm 68:3; Hebrews
3:14)
 
Daily Bread - April 19, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 19 April 2018 10:45
Ephesians 3:6 - That the Gentiles should be co-inheritors, and of the same
body, and joint partakers of the promise in Christ through the Gospel.

Part 1: The Mystery of Christ Revealed

The mystery of the Gospel in now revealed to be more than just the
incorporation of the Gentiles into the family of God. It also includes the
indwelling of Christ in all those who would believe and be converted. Paul
writes to the Colossians saying, "To whom God would make known what is the
riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in
you the confidence of glory" (Colossians 1:27). The indwelling of Christ is
at the heart of the Gospel. It was in John Chapter 14 where Jesus announced
the mystery of the indwelling (John 14:17-23). Jesus announced He and the
Father would come and make Their dwelling in the obedient person through
the 'Paraclete' (Holy Spirit). However, it was still a mystery to the
Apostles that the Gentiles would also be included in this Grace. So when
the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the Gentiles at Cornelius' house, as He
had been on the Jews at Pentecost, there was much amazement (Acts 10:45,
11:17).

Paul had received of the Lord the grace to focus on the Gentiles and make
known their incorporation as co-inheritors of all of the promises and
blessings previously thought to belong only to Israel. The indwelling of
Christ, which is a result of being baptized into Christ, does away with Jew
and Gentile, and makes one 'new man' and one new family which all exist in
Christ. The benefits and blessings of God are not a result of the family a
person was born into, but of Christ Jesus, Who redeemed all men and by Whom
we now exist. "For in Christ Jesus, you are all sons of God through faith.
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There
is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither free nor slave, there is neither
male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:26-28).
When an individual is classified among those who are part of the promises
and blessings of God, they are not classified as either Jew or Gentile, but
"in Christ" (1 Corinthians 3:23, 15:23; 2 Corinthians 10:7; Galatians 3:29,
5:24; Mark 9:41). The privilege of being "in Christ" is the result of the
new birth that placed "Christ in us" (Galatians 2:20; Romans 8:10; 2
Corinthians 13:5; Colossians 1:27). The unity of all in Christ is further
emphasized by the description of the Church as the body of Christ
(Ephesians 1:23, 2:19, 4:4,12, 5:21-33; Colossians 1:18, 3:15; Romans
12:4-5; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27).
The unimaginable riches of God which have made us co-heirs with Jesus
Christ is for everyone who believes, whether they are Jew or Gentile. God
did not make a new covenant in which Gentiles were incorporated into the
covenant of the Law or Judaism. God made a new covenant allowing all men,
both Jew and Gentile, to be incorporated into the family of God through
God's only begotten Son, Christ Jesus. The only possible way to become a
part of this glorious promise is to be born of the Spirit. Therefore, what
Jesus told Nicodemus, who was part of the covenant of the Law, he must do;
was the same thing He told the Samaritan women, who was a Gentile and
separated from the covenant and the promises, to do (John 3:3, 4:14). There
is only one entrance into the presence of God, and that is Christ Jesus. He
alone died to pay our debt of sin and arose again from the dead that we
might be born again.

When we were born of the Spirit, we were then made one with Jesus Christ.
If a person has not been born of the Holy Spirit, then they are not part of
the family of God -no matter who they say they are. Through the new birth,
the Life of Jesus becomes our life, and our life becomes His -this is the
faith! Whereas before, we bore the image of the earthly, we are now
commanded to exist in Christ Jesus and be conformed to His image which is
the image of the Heavenly (Romans 8:29, 13:14; Ephesians 4:24; Colossians
3:10). The inheritance we have received is the inheritance which Christ
Jesus received. God's promise to Abraham of how all the nations would be
blessed through His seed is only comprehended in Christ Jesus, for there is
no other name whereby men must be saved (Genesis 12:2-3; Romans 4:16, 8:17,
16:26; Colossians 1:27; Galatians 3:16-21, 4:1-7).
May the eyes of our understanding be enlightened to see riches God has
given us! (Ephesians 1:17-18)
 
Daily Bread - April 18, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 18 April 2018 10:25
Jeremiah 9:24 - For if he is going to boast, then let him boast in this:
that he understands and knows Me. For I am Yahowah, Who exercises
lovingkindness, judgement, and righteousness in the Earth; for in these
things I delight, says Yahowah.

There are many today who fail to realize how God is a God of judgment and
righteousness, as much as a God of mercy and truth. We must understand that
God saved us and delivered us, so we may live in His Presence. The Life of
Jesus came into us through the shedding of His blood and the impartation of
the Holy Spirit, and we will be held accountable for how we live this live
of grace and glory.

In this passage of Scripture, as God begins executing judgment on the house
of Judah and upon Jerusalem because of their continued sin and rebellion,
He reminds His people what He delights in: lovingkindness, righteousness,
and judgment. They had forsaken the ways of God, and no longer desired to
walk in lovingkindness, righteousness, and judgment. God had suffered long
with them; and in His lovingkindness and tender mercies, allowed them to
blaspheme and profane His Holy Name. However, their space of time to repent
had come to an end, and the Almighty was stepping in to execute judgment
upon them. Many of that day complained saying, "Wherein have we sinned?"
They thought that covenant and ritual was all that they needed to guarantee
their acceptance with God, but they were wrong. They failed to realize that
they needed to repent and walk in obedience before the Lord if they were
going to continue in the covenant. John the Baptist, Jesus, and Paul all
faced the same kind of stubborn blindness from the Jews of their day
(Matthew 3:7-10; John 8:33; Romans 2-4). The children of Israel would have
to come under the judgment of God even though the rest of the world was not
held accountable at that time. Why? Because much had been given. The Lord
had chosen them from all of the families of the earth and given them the
revelation and gift of His Presence, but they choose rather to give
themselves to the lust that the Gentiles (all the other nations) had
followed after; and as a result, their circumcision had become
uncircumcision (Amos 3:2; Jeremiah 9:26; Romans 2:25; 1 Corinthians 7:19).

God's people had forsaken the Fountain of Life, and had lost their boasting
in His glory; and rather boasted in their own accomplishments. They boasted
in their wisdom, their might, their skills, and in their riches; but they
had forgotten altogether true spiritual understanding. They had forgotten
the God of lovingkindness, righteousness, and judgment. They had forgotten
how God had redeemed them so they could be a treasured people who were to
be devoted to walking in lovingkindness, righteousness, and judgment.
Instead, they became devoted to themselves and their own fame and
prosperity. We must recognize the Kingdom of God is not about ritual, but
is all about righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans
14:17). We must put life in its proper perspective, and labor for those
things which pertain unto eternal life (John 6:27; Hebrews 4:11; Matthew
6:19-34; Romans 2:7, 10; Matthew 16:26; Mark 8:36; Luke 9:25; 2 Peter
1:3-11).

Be diligent to make your calling and election sure showing forth that
Christ is indeed in you! Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how! (2 Peter
1:10; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Colossians 1:27-29)

And keep singing!
Holy Spirit, take control of me,
Come and rule every part for Your glory!
Holy Spirit, take control of me,
In You I delight!


Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
 
Daily Bread - April 17, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 17 April 2018 06:52
Jeremiah 12:2 - You have planted them; they also took root; they also bare
fruit. You are near in the their mouth, but far from what controls their
conduct.

The true evidence a person belongs to God is revealed by the conduct of
life (Matthew 7:16-23; Titus 1:16; Romans 8:1, 14-16). God gave the
children of Israel a covenant so He might plant them and build them as His
people. Each person in Israel was blessed with the grace to come into this
covenant. Many had become ritualistic with the covenant of God. They
attended church, participated in all of the rituals, and had a real good
story to tell about their trust in God; but it never came from their inward
parts. It was always a show, and never the truth of what they were
motivated to do inwardly. Inwardly, their desires and impulses were those
of a ravenous wolf -a people whose eyes were full of adultery which could
not cease from doing evil (Jeremiah 13:27, 23:14; Ezekiel 22:27; Zephaniah
3:3; Isaiah 1:21; Matthew 7:15, 23:27; 2 Peter 2:14).

The people thought all they had to do was offer a sacrifice to God and all
would be well, as though God was only interested in ritual. Then, without
conviction, they continued on in their sin and rebellion, justifying their
wickedness with no regard to the fact that God looks on the hidden man of
the heart. People often do wrong and say, "Well, God knows my heart." These
people did what seemed to be right, and God also knew their heart. If your
heart is truly right, then your deeds will be right. Your walk with God
will be far more than just lip service and ritual or legal obligation
(Matthew 15:8; Mark 7:6; Isaiah 29:13). Rather, you will love God and love
His ways and His presence, and will be unwilling to do anything to lose
that blessed place of fellowship with Him. When people can worship God in
His sanctuary, and then rejoice in sinning, their light has turned to
darkness (Matthew 6:23-24).

The greatest tragedy of all is the effect that the sin and iniquity of
God's people have on the rest of humanity. When the people of God commit
acts of sin and iniquity, they pollute the Name of the Lord (Jeremiah
34:16; Ezekiel 36:16-23, 39:7 ). Transgression among God's people causes
the Name of the Lord to be blasphemed among the Gentiles, Jesus is brought
to an open shame, the Spirit of Good is outraged, and the blood of the
Covenant trampled under foot (Romans 2:24; Hebrews 10:29; 2 Timothy 2:19).

Jeremiah was deeply concerned for the people of Israel who were being
deceived by these false preachers. He wondered why their ministries seemed
to prosper while he was left to be the sacrificial lamb, hated and
rejected. He did not realize they were going to treat him in the same way
they treated God Who had put His words in Jeremiah's mouth (Jeremiah 1:9).
These unfaithful leaders had an outward show of being those who instructed
the people of God in truth, but in reality they led the people astray. Why
was it allowed? The ministry of an unfaithful priesthood brought a spirit
of strong delusion upon the people. Because of this strong delusion and
deception, the people had no ears to hear the words that came from the
mouth of the true prophet Jeremiah. What everyone must understand is the
reality of how sin hardens the heart against God. The people of Israel had
developed itching ears through rebellious and disobedient hearts, and so
God sent them a spirit of strong delusion (2 Timothy 4:3; 2 Thessalonians
2:10-11). Instead of giving themselves to know the voice of the Lord
through obedience and submission to His will, they gave themselves to every
form of lust.

We must all remain sensitive to the Spirit of the Lord so our hearts may be
governed by His righteousness and holiness. We must give ourselves to
faithfully obeying His Word, lest we should be overcome by the spirit of
disobedience. Let there be a witness that God controls your passions and
emotions by turning away from the iniquity that opposes us and seeks to
influence us. Let us not only love the Lord in word, but also in deeds,
doing His will from our heart! (Colossians 3:1-3; 1 John 3:18; Ephesians
6:6-7)

Sing continually:

Not my will, Lord, but Your's be done,
Only Your will lasts forever!

Oh, the beauty and the majesty,
When only Jesus Christ is seen!

Oh, the glory and the honor,
When the Holy Spirit takes control!

Holy Spirit, take control of me,
Come and rule every part for Your glory!
Holy Spirit, take control of me,
In You I delight!
 
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