daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 09 February 2010 11:33
2 Samuel 1:21 - Upon the mountains of Gilboa, no dew and no rain and
field offerings; for there the shield of the mighty was defiled, as
though Saul was not anointed with oil.

Saul fell in battle that day because he had lost his place as the one
that God had anointed. By the Spirit of God, David laments that Saul
had fallen as one who had not been anointed; for so long as the
anointing is on anyone's life, it is a shield and a defense. The
anointing represents the glory and presence of God that surrounds
those who have been anointed (Deuteronomy 33:29; 2 Samuel 22:36; Psalm
5:12; Psalm 28:7; Psalm 35:2; Psalm 84:9; Psalm 115:9-11). The use of
the Hebrew word 'magen' (shield) may signify Saul's divine protection,
or the defensive weapon in His hand. It was there in the battle at
Gilboa that it became plain for all to see: that Saul no longer had
the protective presence of God; which he had received when the Spirit
of God had rushed upon him, and anointed him with the special
abilities to be king over Israel.

Today the Lord has anointed us and surrounded us with His presence, as
a defense and a fortress against all of the powers of darkness and of
men. Because of His glory, no evil thing can come near our dwelling.
He has given us His sword and shield: the sword of the Spirit, which
is the word of God; and the shield of faith. It is the presence of the
Almighty, who has come to dwell on the inside of us, who wields the
sword and raises the shield to protect us from every device of the
wicked one. Satan cannot touch us as long as the mighty presence of
God upon us; for His glory is impregnable (1 John 5:18; Job 1:10;
Psalm 34:7). The glorious One, the greater One who lives on the inside
of us, has conquered all; and has made us conquerors too (1 John
2:13-14; 1 John 4:4; 1 John 5:4-5). The anointing that we have
received from Him teaches us to abide in Him (1 John 2:27).
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 08 February 2010 11:59
Mark 6:13 - And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many
who were sick; and they were cured.

Oil was used to represent the anointing of the Holy Spirit in the Old
Testament. Priests, prophets, and kings were anointed with oil -
signifying that God had granted them a special grace to function in a
unique authority and gifting. In similar fashion, the oil was placed
on those who were demon-possessed and who were sick, signifying the
touch of the presence and power of God. When the woman with the issue
of blood touched the garment of Jesus, the power that was resident in
Jesus' life flowed out to the woman, and she was healed. In similar
fashion, the power that was in the lives of the disciples (through the
anointing that they had received) flowed out to those who they prayed
for (Matthew 10:1). The anointing that they had became that much more
visible and apparent - by the application of the oil of anointing,
that they were instructed to place upon those that were
demon-possessed and sick. When the anointing came upon them, they were
made perfectly whole.

When Samuel took the horn of oil to anoint Saul or David, he was not
acting on His own, but was moving by the instruction of God. Even so
the disciples were not acting on their own, but under the instruction
of Jesus. They had come with the power to impart the virtue of His
presence, that would empower the sick to be made whole. When the oil
was placed upon a Jewish person, they recognized that the anointing of
God's unseen presence and power accompanied it. Their thoughts were
taken back to the time when Moses poured out the anointing oil upon
Aaron, and when Samuel poured out the anointing oil upon David (Psalm
133:2; Psalm 89:20). The anointing oil was sacred, and could only be
used by God’s ministers (Exodus 30:31). Only at this time it began to
be used in a uniquely different way: it was being poured out on the
common ordinary person. The same effect was observed when the garments
of Paul or handkerchiefs that touched his body were placed upon those
who were sick or diseased (Acts 19:12). The the anointing that each of
them had received was transferred into the person that was in need.
Neither the oil nor the clothing had any special powers by themselves;
it was rather the anointing, and the authority of the one who was
administering it.

The oil was used in the process of consecrating a thing or a person to
the Lord (Genesis 28:18; Exodus 29:7-9; Exodus 40:9). It was common
for the people of Israel to believe that sickness had come upon them
because God had forsaken them - because of their sins (John 9:2-3).
When the oil of consecration came upon them, they had a testimony that
they belonged to the Lord. According to the instruction of Moses, when
the oil was placed upon a thing or a person, it became holy to the
Lord. It was then through this act of consecration that every unholy
thing was expelled.
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 06 February 2010 15:41
1 John 5:6 - This is the one who came through water and blood: Jesus
the Christ. Not with the water only, but with the water and with the
blood; and the Spirit is the witness, because the Spirit is the truth.

Of the three witnesses that are in the earth - the water, the blood
and the Spirit - the water is the one most associated with the word of
God. Although, all three of these are very clearly identified as the
agents by which we are both consecrated and begotten of God, the water
is revealed to be that which flows out of the believer as rivers.
These rivers of living water that pour out of the believer are the
expressions of divine empowerment, which enable us to be the witnesses
of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the Gospel of John water is
identified with the Spirit as essential to being begotten of God (John
3:5). It is again identified with eternal life springing out of those
who drink of this spiritual water (John 4:11). In John 7:37-39, water
is once again applied to the gift of eternal life and the outpouring
of the Holy Spirit. Additionally from a purely traditional Jewish
perspective the drawing of the water on the last day of the Feast of
Tabernacles symbolized the appearing of the Holy Spirit.

Probably the easiest argument to make for the meaning of the "water"
in the Gospel of John - is that it represents the activity of the Holy
Spirit flowing through the life of the believer. When Jesus
ministered, He only spoke the words that the Father gave him to speak;
and therefore these words could be viewed as the rivers of living
water flowing out of His belly - much the same as the 120 on the day
of Pentecost. In fact, the argument can be made that every expression
and attribute of God witnessed in the life of God's people is an
expression of this living water. The water that Jesus desired to give
to the woman at the well was simply received through the testimony of
His words. The wellspring on the inside of this woman resulted in
"many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him because of the
woman testifying..." (John 4:39).

The only other application of water is in baptism. John the Baptist
compared water baptism to the baptism in the Holy Spirit: a baptism
that produces an expression of the heavenly language, and more (Luke
3:16, Acts 1:5, Acts 2:4). Paul takes up the message of baptism in
association with the immersion into the life and identity of Christ
(Romans 6:3-4, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Galatians 3:27, Colossians 2:12).
Finally the water is symbolized as the Word of God (Ephesians 5:26,
Isaiah 55:10-11, Deuteronomy 32:2). Furthermore, it is the Word of God
that is declared to be the active agent of God by which men are saved
and matured in Christ (Acts 20:32, Romans 10:8, Colossians 3:16, 1
Thessalonians 2:13, Titus 1:3, Hebrews 4:2,12, Hebrews 6:4, James
1:21, 1 Peter 1:23, 1 John 2:14). Therefore, we conclude that the
water symbolizes the word and the life of God, which comes forth by
the indwelling Holy Spirit.
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 05 February 2010 11:32
2 Timothy 2:21 - If then one cleanses himself from these things, he
shall be a vessel unto honor: consecrated and useful to the master,
prepared unto every good work.

The Lord calls us to come out from among them, and touch not the
unclean thing (2 Corinthians 6:17; Isaiah 52:11). The instruction is
not just against sin and iniquity, but also against those who would
steal the word of God from our hearts with their false doctrines. We
must be willing to fight for the faith that was once delivered unto
the saints (1 Timothy 6:11-12; Jude 1:3). We must recognize that every
evil spirit in hell is set against the glorious church. Men and devils
fight against that glory of the Holy Ghost that fell on the day of
Pentecost. There is no power in heaven and in earth that can withstand
a church filled with the fire of the Holy Ghost; therefore demons do
their utmost to turn the hearts of God’s people from that which God
has poured out - so that the power and ministry of Jesus may continue
to be revealed on the earth. The primary offensive of these devils is
not through the world, but through religious people who are in the
community of the saints.

Hymenaeus and Philetus were two examples of vessels of dishonor; who
through their teachings were attempting to draw the people of God away
from the truth of God’s word. We can turn back the pages of time and
see the same kind of opposition against God’s leadership in the days
of Moses. Korah, being an influential man, stood up and sought to
impose his influence on the people of God. In response Moses said,
"Tomorrow the Lord will show us those who are His (who He has chosen)"
(Numbers 16:5). God knows those who are His, and ultimately He will
make it known (2 Timothy 2:19). Moses cried out to the people: “ I beg
you, depart from the tents of these wicked men; and touch nothing of
theirs, lest you be consumed in all their sins" (Numbers 16:26). The
influence of those who would turn us from the truth of God’s word and
leadership are like an unclean thing, that contaminates all who are
touched by it. Their words are like the rottenness of gangrene: it
spreads like a disease in the hearts of men, until there is nothing
left but corruption and putridity (2 Timothy 2:17). We must not allow
the influence of these men to infect our lives. You will not find
Jesus in these political and religious churches. Their leaven has
polluted the whole lump; and there is nothing holy or of God there.
Their influences must not be allowed in our thinking - much less in
our church communities - if there is going to be a revival of the Holy
Ghost among us (1 Corinthians 5:7; Mark 8:15).

If we will believe the word of God as little children, and believe
that His word has not changed and that the working of His Spirit and
power have not changed; then we will be consecrated, useful, and
prepared to both receive and function in all those glorious works of
Jesus - that we were ordained to have (John 15:16; Ephesians 4:13;
Luke 24:49; John 7:38-39). It is the word of God that qualifies us and
equips us to function in that which the Lord requires of us (2 Timothy
3:16-17). We must believe what God has said, and pursue it with all of
our hearts! We must keep our hearts with all diligence, and be both
inspired and moved only by the word of God. These lies and fables of
men that seek to corrupt the truth must not be allowed to infect our
hearts. Who will you listen to - God or man? Let us all cry out
continually for the Fire of the Holy Ghost to fall in power on our
lives!
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 04 February 2010 16:29
1 John 4:11 - Beloved if God so loved us, we ought to love one another.

This verse of scripture in John's First Epistle defines for us the
true meaning of love. The kind of love that we are to have one for
another is the love that was expressed in Jesus Christ: when He gave
His life for us, so that we might live. God has empowered us to walk
in His love, which is the expression of His own nature. There is no
justifiable reason to ever stop loving the people of God, even to the
point of laying our lives down for them. Such love takes us far beyond
the possibility of unforgiveness or hatred towards one another.
 
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