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Daily Bread OCT/30/10
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 30 October 2010 13:44
Revelation 1:12 - And I turned to see the voice which spoke with me, and
having turned I saw seven golden menorahs.

When John turned to see Jesus, he encountered His church, which is His body:
the fullness of Him who fills all things and His representative on the
earth. God instructed Moses to make a seven-branched Menorah
(Greek-'luchnia'), which was to be placed in the Tabernacle (Exodus
25:31-37). The Tabernacle was a figure and representation of the heavenly
tabernacle, which John saw in this vision. A new dimension of meaning was
given to the lamps by this revelation. We discover that the churches are
symbolized by the menorah (Revelation 1:20). The church is the light of the
world, as Jesus said: "A city set upon a hill that cannot be hid" (Matthew
5:14-16). The prophet Zechariah saw a similar vision in Zechariah 4:2. The
seven-branched Menorah was associated with the fullness of the Spirit of
God, and with the eyes of Yahoah (Zechariah 4:6,10). A similar revelation is
also drawn out here in the book of Revelation, where we observe the seven
Spirits indirectly associated with the menorah. The church is the visible
witness of Jesus Christ on the earth, and is filled with the fullness of the
Spirit to demonstrate the supreme authority of the conqueror of death and
hell: Christ Jesus. The church has been given the same anointing that Jesus
had. Yet at the same time, our Lord in His goodness has planned something
even greater for us (John 14:12). When men encounter the church today, they
should be encountering Jesus with all the fullness of His glory and power.

When we consider the seven Spirits of God, we may either understand it as
the fullness of God's Spirit or more specifically as seven attributes of the
Spirit. The prophet Isaiah revealed that the Messiah would come in the
fullness of the Spirit of God, and listed these seven attributes of the
Spirit: 1-The Spirit of Yahweh; 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; 7- The spirit of the fear of Yahweh (Isaiah 11:2). God
placed the fullness of His Spirit and power in the church; insomuch that He
refers to the church as the fullness of Him that fills all things (Ephesians
1:22-23; 1 Corinthians 12:28). It is through the church that God
communicates His will and makes Himself known, as the Holy Spirit reveals
Jesus through the lives of those who have been filled with His Spirit (John
16:13-15; Colossians 1:18,24; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27). The rivers of God's
nature and life should pour out of us in all the fullness of the Spirit. We
should be those baptized in His glory: the ensign for the nations, the balm
in Gilead - shining with the brightness of transfiguration (Isaiah 60:1;
Matthew 17:2; 2 Corinthians 3:13,18). We must all realize that we each share
a responsibility to cooperate with God's plan and purpose to reveal the
glory and majesty of Jesus through our lives, individually and collectively.
All men must know and see that Jesus - who is the same yesterday, today, and
forever - is alive and living through the witness of the Holy Spirit in the
midst of His assembly, the church.
 
Daily Bread OCT/29/10
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 29 October 2010 14:18
1 Corinthians 12:27 - Now you are a body of Christ; and members in
particular.

There are many different opinions about how the church is to function, but
the picture of the church in the New Testament should be the example that we
follow. The church was born in the baptism of the fire of the Holy Spirit:
endued with power to be witnesses of the resurrection. Everyone who was born
of the Spirit was also baptized by the Spirit into the body of Christ, to
both experience and express His glory. The church is the body of Christ and
intended to be the visible manifestation of Jesus on the earth today. The
church should function with the full display of the power and glory of
Jesus. Paul said the church was the fullness of God, with Christ Jesus being
the head (Ephesians 1:22-23). The idea that the church can be defined with a
liturgy and religious traditions is a departure from the truth that is
described in the New Testament. When we define the church, we must
understand it as the body of Christ, the fullness of God, and the revelation
of Jesus Christ both - in nature and power.

Paul described how we were supposed to represent Jesus: in the demonstration
of the Spirit and power (1 Corinthians 2:4; Romans 14:17; 1 Thessalonians
1:5). He described how the lost world would be impacted by the revelation of
the secrets of their heart manifested through prophesy (1 Corinthians
14:12-14; 1 Corinthians 14:23-25). When Peter described the birth of the
church and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, he quoted what the prophet
Joel said: the Holy Spirit was poured out so that we may prophesy, see
visions, and dream dreams (Acts 2:15-21; Acts 2:33,39; Acts 2:43; Acts 4:34;
Acts 19:11-13). The church is described by Paul as being the place where the
Holy Spirit divides to each person some manifestation of the gifts of power,
which testify of the presence and authority of Jesus Christ. The church is
the place where the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, the discerning of
spirits, the working of miracles, the gifts of healing, the gift of faith,
prophesy, tongues, and interpretation of tongues are to be experienced (1
Corinthians 12:7-11; 1 Corinthians 12:27-28).

Every person in the church must recognize their responsibility to yield to
the Holy Ghost - in order to function as a member of the person of Jesus.
Each one must give place to the flowing forth of the rivers of living water;
otherwise the ministry of Jesus Christ will not be manifested. Where Jesus
is not revealed by the working of the Holy Spirit, there is no church. Just
because people go through the motions of gathering, singing songs, and
reading the Bible, they think that they are having church - but they are
mistaken. Oh that the people of God would become desperately hungry for a
revival of those things that God designed and purposed the church to be! Let
us return to the place of participating with the full manifestation of the
Holy Ghost, who has come to reveal the person and power of the resurrected
and exalted King of Kings and Lord of Lords: Christ Jesus.
 
Daily Bread OCT/28/10
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 28 October 2010 13:06
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 OCT/27/10
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 12:40
John 16:23 - And in that day you shall not ask anything of me. With absolute
certainty I tell you: whatever you may request the Father in my name, He
will give it to you.

A most amazing position has been made available to us in Christ Jesus. We
have been given the opportunity to cooperate with God in such a way that
whatever we ask, it will be done. Jesus said that whatsoever we ask in His
name, He would do it - so that the Father may be glorified (John 14:13). We
were called and chosen by the Father to bring forth this kind of fruit in
our relationship with Him (John 15:16). This kind of relationship with God
is the key to the greater works ministry, that is available to anyone who is
willing to be developed in consecrated life (John 14:12-14; 1 John 3:22; 1
John 5:15). If we will keep His commandments and do those things that are
pleasing in His sight, we will participate in the display of the power of
God and demonstration of the Spirit that will shake this world once again.

Where else could this kind of asking be developed except in prayer? Prayer
is not only the opportunity to ask God, but it is also a realm where a
deeper relationship and faith is developed. There are those who are so
impatient that they just want to run ahead in their ambition and zeal and do
whatever they can; but much greater things will take place if we are willing
to be led! Some say that the promise of this kind of asking is not true,
because it has not been their experience; but we must say God cannot lie (2
Corinthians 1:20). It is up to us not to weary in well-doing, because we
will reap if we don't faint (Galatians 6:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:13). If there
was no development time, no testing and preparation time, then there would
be no place to weary or faint (2 Timothy 2:21). If we will press in and
believe what God has said, then we will inherit the promise that He has
made! So come on, let's start asking in a more persistent and consistent
manner - and watch what great things God will do! (Luke 11:8-9; Luke 18:1).
 
Daily Bread OCT/26/10
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 26 October 2010 16:38
Proverbs 15:24 - The way of life is above to the wise: that they may depart
from hell beneath.

If we have been raised up together with Christ Jesus, then we must set our
affections on things above; and not on things of this world (Colossians
3:1-2; Romans 6:4). There are too many people who are under a delusion that
they can continue on participating in the things that are in the world, and
still hear, "Well done my good and faithful servant." Friendship with the
world is at best an act of hostility against God (James 4:4). Paul tells us
by the Holy Spirit to come out from among them and be separate (2
Corinthians 6:17). The world is supposed to be crucified to us; there should
be nothing of its lust that we desire (Galatians 6:14; 1 John 2:16). We are
commanded not to be conformed - which is to participate in its evil and lust
(Romans 12:2).

The only way that we are going to step away from all that is in the world
(and its lusts) is to set our affections and desires on the things that
belong to the abundant life, that has been given to us in Christ Jesus. The
gift of salvation that we have received does not leave us thirsty for the
world, rather it fills us with the wellsprings of life and the nature of our
heavenly Father (John 4:14). If we will labor for the meat that endures unto
everlasting life, we will not only be filled with all of the good things of
heaven, but we will escape the snares that Satan lays for our feet. Our
spiritual blessings, citizenship, and lifestyle are all in heaven (Ephesians
1:3; Ephesians 2:6,19; Philippians 3:20). The command of the Lord Jesus is
that we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. In order to do
this, we must follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit - who has come to
lead us in the ways that are eternal: the ways of God that are above.
 
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