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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!
 
Daily Bread - May 8, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 08 May 2018 07:39
1 Corinthians 12:12 - For just as the body is one, yet has many members and
all the members of the body being one; so also is the Body of Christ.

The glory given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ has resulted in a miraculous
oneness through the operation of the Holy Spirit (John 17:21-23). The Holy
Spirit has taken us collectively and baptized us into one Body: the Body of
Christ Jesus. Paul said to the Galatians that as many as have been baptized
into Christ have put on Christ (Galatians 3:27). Through this baptism, the
expressions of the glory and power of Jesus Christ are manifested through
us individually and collectively. However, Paul does not focus on the
individual expression of these gifts, but on the collective expression of
these works of Christ in the Church (1 Corinthians 12:7-11, 12:27-28). Each
person in the Church has the responsibility to submit themselves to this
baptism into Christ. When we enter the Church on every occasion, the Holy
Spirit desires to baptize us into the Body of Christ; so that the glorious
Church may manifest the Person of the Lord Jesus. In order for this to be a
reality, there must a submission and humility like that expressed when
Jesus took towel and basin in hand and washed the disciples feet (John
13:12-14).

Paul couples drinking of the Spirit with being baptized into the Body of
Christ. When we drink of the Spirit, the rivers of God's life and power
flow from our lives (John 7:38-39). The wellsprings of His goodness and
nature bubble up from the depths of our being (John 4:14). Here, in this
place of cooperating with the Holy Ghost, the realms of the miraculous life
of Jesus are revealed. If we do not allow the Holy Spirit to lead us and
guide us, and take control of our assemblies, then there will be no
expression of the Church, nor of Jesus, nor of the Kingdom of God. We must
recognize the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each person; but
unless we submit to Him and drink, there will be no river. We must honor
the Holy Spirit, and realize He wants to sovereignly divide these gifts to
each person according to His will. He was sent to take all that belongs to
Jesus and reveal it to us, so that the good things of God might be
expressed through our lives (John 16:13). He has come to glorify Jesus; and
without His work Jesus cannot be revealed. If we believe that the Church is
something placed within the framework of what men can do out of their own
abilities, we have altogether missed the message of the Gospel.

Sing this song of the Spirit for both you individually, and for the Body of
Christ collectively; that Jesus may be revealed in His Church as He desires
to be:

Holy Spirit, take control of me (and our assemblies!),
Come and rule every part for Your glory!
Holy Spirit, take control of me,
In You I delight!
 
Daily Bread - May 7, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 07 May 2018 11:16
Ephesians 4:16 - From Whom all the Body is joined and knitted together by
every ligament that provides support; so that each individual part
functions effectively, providing for the growth of the Body as it builds
itself up in love.

The whole physical body is under the control of the head, unless there is
some disconnection such as a broken or dislocated bone, or cut tissue. If
there is a broken or cut part, then the injury must be fixed immediately;
otherwise, the whole body will suffer prolonged trauma until it is fixed.
Within the framework of the Church, we must recognize Who the Head is and
be under His control. The Head is Christ Jesus and those special gifts He
appointed as leadership to represent Him (Ephesians 4:11-13). If the Head
is not in control, then the Body will not grow; and the results will be
completely dysfunctional. Of course, the growth is not a measure of
numbers, but of spiritual maturity.

Now in keeping with the allegory of a body that Paul uses to describe how
the Church is to function and operate, we know the human body is held
together by bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. By this anatomical
analysis, Paul expresses the interdependence each individual within a local
church must have with respect to each other. If we are unwilling to have
such a loving connectivity and interdependency, then it is not possible to
be submitted to Christ Jesus. This picture of submission and dependency can
only come from the love of God poured into our hearts.

Along with such grace, there must also be a consecration to functioning
with unbending devotion to a common goal, a Heavenly vision, and a Divine
purpose. Those individuals unwilling to connect in such a way will be
spiritually handicapped, being unable to respond to the commands of the
Head; and as a result, the Body will be crippled. It is therefore
contingent upon the Head to direct in the repair of whatever is wrong.
However, if each individual submits themselves to the love of Christ, and
are willing to allow the Holy Spirit to set them in their proper place
within the Body, then each body part will be properly connected. Through
this love and cooperation, the Church will grow into the fullness of the
measure of the maturity of Christ, both individually and collectively
(Ephesians 4:13, 5:30; 1 Corinthians 10:17, 12:13,18; Galatians 3:16;
Romans 12:4-5; Colossians 3:15). Using the same analogy: when an individual
attempts to establish their own place and purpose within the Body, it is
like a cancer producing dysfunctional tissue and making the entire Body
sick.

Furthermore, to isolate oneself from the local church is to entirely
disconnect from the Body of Christ. To believe that such a person is in
submission to Christ is wrong. Rebellion and divisions are a satanic ploy
against the unity that belongs to the Spirit of God. There are so many good
people who think they can just "go it alone"; but such a concept is foreign
to the Gospel of Christ and the Kingdom of God. In fact, the whole
revelation of God is centered upon the order and community of family. If
the Church is unwilling to function as the family of God, and as members of
that family, there will be no representation of the love of God or the
Kingdom of God.

If the individual saint lacks a consecration to the love of God and the
unity, servitude, and submission it produces, then they fail to understand
the most fundamental concepts of the doctrine of Christ. With all the
wounded, hurt, suspicious, and critical people, how is the love and
goodness of God going to be seen when His Church represents Who He is in
the Earth? We must exercise great compassion to bring these people back
into the proper function of family. There is no one single person who can
change anyone's heart; but we can make sure each one of us individually
dedicate ourselves to not be a part of the problem! At the same time, we
all must be patient as the Spirit of God deals with those who are living
under the spirit of rejection, hurt, and even rebellion. We must all cease
to be so important in our own eyes; and instead, become servants clothed
with humility and walking in love (1 Peter 5:5; Ephesians 5:1-2). Reaching
those that believe is as important as reaching those who do not yet believe.

Be therefore, imitators of God; and allow His thoughts to govern your
thinking! (Ephesians 5:1; Romans 12:2)
 
Daily Bread - May 5, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 05 May 2018 12:18
Ephesians 3:12 - In Whom we have all boldness and access, by confidence,
through His faith.

Part 2: Confidence Through His Faith

Do you know in whom you have believed? Are you persuaded God will do what
He said He would do? From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is a message
about God's desire for us to trust Him and have confidence in His love. The
faith we walk in, which is the faith of Christ, should produce the greatest
confidence possible. The need for trust, courage, and faith are continually
repeated throughout God's dealings with His people. One of the great
"trust" words of the Old Testament is the Hebrew word 'batach.' Psalm 27:3
uses this word: "Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not
fear; though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident
(batach)." Now, when translators of the Greek Old Testament {LXX}
translated this word, they used the word that is translated "hope" in the
New Testament: 'elpitzo'. It is vital we recognize God has given us
something far more than just hope! He has given us a great consolation! He
has done more than just swear an oath! We must recognize His desire is for
us to trust Him, to feel safe, confident, secure, and unconcerned - all of
which the word 'elpitzo' conveys. In general terms today, when we speak of
"hope", it conveys uncertainty. Uncertainty can never be associated with
the faith of Jesus. Uncertainty leaves us vulnerable to satanic lies, and
spooked by every shadow. There needs to be a strong bond of confidence in
our relationship with the Lord. In the Old Testament, the word 'elpitzo'
conveys the meaning of confidently relying on God; and it should convey the
same meaning in the New Testament as well.

There are several good examples of 'elpitzo' being translated with a much
stronger meaning than 'hope' in the New Testament: Ephesians 1:12 - "That
we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted ('proelpitzo')
in Christ."; and Hebrews 10:23 - "Let us hold fast the profession
('elpidos') of our faith without wavering, for He is faithful who
promised." Unfortunately, there are many Scriptures that would have
conveyed this much stronger meaning of "confidence," but instead they were
reduced to "hope." Listen to these Scriptures speak when "hope" is replaced
with "confidence": Romans 5:2 - "By Whom also we have access by faith into
this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in confidence of the glory of
God."; Romans 5:4 - "And patience, experience; and experience,
confidence."; Romans 12:12- "Rejoicing in confidence, patient in
tribulation, continuing instant in prayer."; Romans 15:13 - "Now the God of
confidence fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may
abound in confidence through the power of the Holy Ghost."; Colossians 1:27
- "To whom God would make known what are the riches of the glory of this
mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the confidence of
glory."

The word for 'confidence' used here in Ephesians 3:12 ('pepoithesis') is
yet another word that equally expresses a state of certainty, and must be
regarded as a synonym with 'elpitzo'. God wants us to be persuaded in our
hearts that all of His promises are "yes" and "amen!" He wants us to be
confident about our salvation and relationship with Him. We cannot be left
to a mere hope when it is God who has spoken! We must have the greatest
confidence in the One who loves us so. We can be certain regarding those
things which we have not yet seen, because God has told us so! If we are
going to do what God expects, we must be valiant, certain, and confident.
We cannot expect to enter into the realm of all His power and authority if
we remain timid and uncertain (Ephesians 3:12). How can the skier release
from the edge of the steep mountain cliff without the utmost confidence?
Though others who had never skied might look with terror as the skier
released, the one with the confidence would have a smile of adventure and
pleasure. The skier would not throw herself down the steep slope with only
a hope to make it down alive! Confidence is vastly superior to hope - and
we are saved by faith, not by hope! Our confidence is a display of the
faith we now have, even the faith of Jesus! We must be strong and very
courageous if we are going to walk into our inheritance (Joshua 1:6-9).

Satan is the enemy of God and His saints. He makes war against us through
every means within his power. Some of his primary instruments of war are
the lies and propaganda he speaks against God and His saints. He would
intimidate us and bring God's love into question. His strategy is to first
discourage, and then defeat. Demon spirits would create doubt, confusion,
and uncertainty in the mind of God's people in order to neutralize us and
ultimately prevent us from walking in the glory that is ours. We must have
a great confidence, which only comes through faith -the confidence that
comes from the God of all confidence. His Word must be our sword, and His
presence a shield about us! When assailing thoughts would rise up against
us along with accusations from our enemy, we must have a certainty that God
is on our side!

Our access, confidence, boldness, miracle ministry, and relationship with
God exist by the faith of Jesus Christ acting on our behalf (Acts 3:16;
Romans 3:22; Galatians 2:16,20). We most certainly must have faith in Jesus
Christ; but we should also recognize our Lord also has faith He exercises
on our behalf. We read in this verse of Scripture "dia tes pisteos autou,"
which is translated "through the faith of Him." Paul also expressed to the
Galatians how he "lived by the faith of the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20).
There would be those who would perhaps feel better saying we "live by the
faithfulness of Jesus", which of course is also true; but there should be
no reluctance to accept how the faith of Jesus is involved in our lives. If
Paul and other ministers can be helpers of our faith, then why would there
be a problem with the concept of Jesus being a Helper of our faith (2
Corinthians 1:24; Romans 1:11). Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our
faith; and by what He has done, and continues to do, we find our provision,
protection, and perfection!

The power and dominion of sin that once prevented our access into the
Presence of God has been completely eliminated by the One Who died and rose
again, and Who also lives to make intercession for us. Our acceptance to
God has been sealed and guaranteed by Jesus, Whose blood is the only means
that we continue to enjoy the confidence and boldness to enter into the
Presence of the Lord. This is due to the active participation of Jesus
helping us and strengthening us by those things He is doing now on our
behalf. He is the Greater One on the inside of us, Who strengthens us; and
by Whom, we overcome the world because He is in us (John 16:33; Ephesians
3:16; Philippians 2:13; 1 John 4:4, 5:4-5; Jude 24-25).

Walk in the Light as He is in the Light, and His blood cleanses from all
the contamination of the world! (1 John 1:7)
 
Daily Bread - May 4, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 04 May 2018 07:08
Deuteronomy 32:20 - And He said, "I will hide My face from them; and I will
see what will happen afterwards. For they are a perverse generation, sons
who have no faith in them."

Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Unless we are
willing to walk in truth and faithfully do those things which God has
declared, then we are not walking in faith. Everything Israel had was a
miraculous provision from God. He blessed them and made them great, but
they were unwilling to faithfully walk with God and put their trust in Him.
Therefore, God said that He would turn His face from them. When God's face
is turned and His presence is no longer in our midst, then all of the
divine supply of His Spirit is also gone. There is nothing left but human
ability faced with the adverse elements of life.

Faith does not exist apart from relationship with God. Faith does not come
from a set of beliefs and preferences; faith comes from God (Romans 10:17,
12:3). The faith God supplies is the faith God demands. He demands we
believe in His power and authority; but more than that, we must believe in
His love for us (1 John 4:16). What springs up from this love relationship
is an obedience which is pleasing in His sight. When we do those things
that are pleasing in His sight, then whatever we ask, He will do it (1 John
3:22; John 15:16). God is the only one that can give faith, and it does not
work unless we are willing to absolutely trust Him (Isaiah 26:3-4; Jeremiah
17:5-8). Of course, there is no real evaluation of faith and confidence
towards God when everything is going in a beneficial way; but what happens
when things get difficult, and even become impossible? Who then will we
turn to? In fear and panic, we will turn to man for help; but if we are
willing to abide in His love, we will not take our eyes off of our
confidence, our sure defense, and provider of all we have need of - Jesus:
the Author and Finisher of our faith!

Without God's presence, our end will be ruin and destruction. Who can
afford to do anything but trust God, for He alone has the words of eternal
life! He alone can truly deliver us from the plague of death! There is no
safety outside of God; there is no cure outside of His healing power -only
God can save us! He is a faithful God, Who will do all He has promised!
When God tries and examines our faith, it is not for our destruction, but
for our perfection and maturity. God desires our faith to increase and to
be found with no impurity of fear. God desires to remove every doubt from
our lives and bring us into great boldness and confidence in Him. He
desires our faith to be found unto praise, honor, and glory at His
appearing (1 Peter 1:6-9). Therefore, no matter how late the hour, no
matter how intense the situation, do not turn to man! Turn to God, and put
your whole life safely in His hands!

He will keep you in perfect peace as you trust Him alone! (Isaiah 26:3)
 
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