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Daily Bread - March 14, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 14 March 2017 08:05
1 John 2:9-10 - He that says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is
still in the darkness even now. He that loves his brother abides in the
light, and there is no occasion of stumbling in him.

The contrast between darkness and light is used to describe the spiritual
state of a person. If we do those things that God does, then we have proof
that we are in the light, which is the realm where God dwells. This verse
helps us to more fully understand what it means to walk in the Light as He
is in the Light (1 John 1:7). Jesus said, "A new commandment I give to you
that you love one another with the same love that I have loved you." (John
13:34, 15:12; 1 John 3:23). God has called us to walk in His divine love
(John 15:19, 17:26; 1 John 2:15, 4:7-8) We know that love is the
fulfillment of the law, because love works no evil (Romans 13:10). We also
know that God's divine love has been poured into our hearts by the Holy
Spirit (Romans 5:5). All we have to do is to yield our members unto God,
and the glory of His love will flow out of us as rivers of living water.
Father has made it very clear to us that He demands that we walk in His
kind of love. If we fail to recognize that this love only flows from the
Spirit of God, then we have missed the most important point of the New
Testament. Walking in love is the realm where there is no occasion or
opportunity to stumble or fall (2 Peter 1:10). Everyone who has been
transformed by the life giving power of the Name of Jesus has been given
the life of the Holy Spirit. The very essence and proof of this life in God
is expressed by the love of God (1 John 4:7-8, 3:14; John 13:35). All we
have to do is to yield our members as instruments of righteousness unto God
and allow these glorious realms of the love of God to flow out of our
hearts.

The Greek word used for stumbling in this verse is 'scandalon', and
although it means, 'stumbling block', 'bait', 'snare', 'trap', 'blemish,'
it may be understood as offense. Those who walk in the light will not cause
others to stumble nor create an offense against Christ Jesus. In Leviticus
19:14, we read, "You shall not put a 'scandalon' in the way of the blind."
Those who walk in the Light as He is in the Light, where there is no
darkness, have no occasion to stumble; because deception and lies work in
the darkness, not in the light, where truth is revealed. They will not
stumble because the Light shines, and they are able to see what has been
laid out in front of them. A similar verse is found in the Septuagint in
Psalms 119:164, "Those who love your law have great peace, there is nothing
that can cause them to 'scandalon'." The word is said by the Psalmist to be
"a lamp unto my feet and light unto my path" (Psalms 119:105).
 
Daily Bread - March 13, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 13 March 2017 12:17
1 John 2:8 - Again, a new commandment I write to you, which is true in Him
and in you; because the darkness is past and the true light now shines.

The new commandment is to love with the same divine love that the Father
has for the Son (John 13:34, 15:12,19, 17:26; 1 John 2:15, 4:7-8). Prior to
men's natures being changed by the New Covenant, they were required only to
love with a human love as they loved themselves (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew
19:19). Now, the New Covenant calls us to a higher standard and empowers us
with divine ability by imparting the nature of God (John 1:12-13; 2 Peter
1:3-4; Ezekiel 36:26-27; Hebrews 14:14-16). The divine nature being now
reestablished in the heart of man, a new commandment is given: to love with
the same love that the Father has, divine love.
 
Daily Bread - March 11, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 10 March 2017 18:58
1 John 2:7 - Brethren, this is not a new commandment that I write to you,
but an old commandment, which you had from the beginning. The old
commandment is the Word that you have heard from the beginning.

God spoke in times past by the prophets; but in the last days, He has
spoken to us by His Son, Who was the Word made flesh (Hebrews 1:1-3; John
1:14). John introduces Jesus as the Word of Life in his first Epistle just
as he introduced Him as the Word in his Gospel (1 John 1:1-2; John 1:1-14).
Jesus is the Living Word that is revealed first by the written Word. Jesus
came in the volume of the book which was all written about Him (Hebrews
10:5-10; Psalms 40:6-8) . The entirety of the Word of God calls men back to
the union with God that was lost in the garden (2 Corinthians 5:19; 2 Peter
3:9) . Through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit
men are empowered to to walk in the love of God and fully express His
holiness and righteousness (Titus 3:4-6; 2 Peter 1:3-4).
 
Daily Bread - March 10, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 10 March 2017 08:57
Hebrews 1:3 - Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image
of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He
had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty
on High.

PURIFICATION FOR SINS

God became flesh so that He could offer His blood for the sins of all
mankind. When He poured out His blood at the whipping post and on the
cross, He provided the means by which all sins would be totally purged from
our lives. His blood was shed not for our sins only, but for the sins of
the whole world (1 John 2:2). It was then that the obedience of One became
more effective than the disobedience of Adam (Romans 5:12-21). All of
mankind was defiled with the power of sin and its iniquity; but through the
blood of Jesus, sin and its power was completely removed. Today, all one
must do is to lay hold on the blood of the covenant, and every sin will be
washed away. Through the blood of His cross, Jesus provided 'anyone who
will receive' the means by which they can be born again. His blood brings
to us His life, which is eternal life. Through Him, we are made alive to no
longer live as mere men, but to have the life of Christ Jesus.

When the concept of 'purification of sin' is mentioned, many think first of
the sacrifice offered on the day of Yom Kippur, which is also called the
Day of Atonement. What Jesus did for us on the cross is more than the word
'atonement' can account for. It is greater than the word 'expiation'
denotes. The correct and most reliable word to communicate what He did for
us is 'purification'. He purified a people that would be zealous for good
works (Titus 2:14). Yet, even in the offering of the goat on Yon Kippur,
what Jesus did when He removed our sins was testified to. The Hebrew word
that was used is כִּפֻּרִים, (kippurim), which many have translated
'atonement'. Yet, when the word was translated in the Septuagint in Exodus
29:36, the same word that is also found in Hebrews 1:3 was used καθαρισμοu,
and so what many called the Day of Atonement, the ancients call ἡμέρα τοu
καθαρισμοu, translated the 'Day of Purification'. The same is witnessed in
2 Maccabees 2:16, the Feast of Atonement is called καθαρισμός,
'Purification'. Some may say that the sins of the people were not purified
or completely removed, but what is more important is that the sanctuary of
God was purified. The sanctuary and the altars were contaminated by the
sins of the people.

When we look back in the time under the law, there were two purgative rites
on Yom Kippur. The first was for the purification of the temple and the
priest (Leviticus 16:16-19; Exodus 30:10). In this rite, the blood was
applied to the altar to remove the sins that had contaminated it and the
priest that offered the sin offerings. The altar had to be purified from
sin, otherwise it was not fit to serve as a place of worship. (Exodus
29:36; Leviticus 8:15; Ezekiel 43:20, 22, 23, 45:18). Also, if the
sanctuary were not properly cleansed on Yom Kippur, God would not dwell
there. The blood of the sacrifice was used to remove all of the sin from
off the altar and to cleanse the sanctuary - the blood acted as a detergent
that removed the sin that effected the sanctuary (Wright, D. P. (1992). Day
of Atonement. In D. N. Freedman (Ed.), The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
(Vol. 2, p. 72). New York: Doubleday.)

The blood of the Old Covenant was not applied to any person except the
priest, and therefore only has an indirect effect. The sins of the people
were taken care of on Yom Kippur through the goat designated to bear their
sins away. This is the second purgative rite (Leviticus 16:8-10). The sins
of the people were laid upon the goat, and the goat was then sent to the
place from whence they came (Leviticus 16:20-22). The sins were imparted to
the goat through the laying on of hands by the high priest. It was this
impartation of sin that more perfectly testified of what Christ Jesus did
for us, for Father laid upon Him the sins of us all. He took upon Himself
the sins of the whole world; He bore them in His own body on the tree and
carried them away.

Yom Kippur can only testify in part to what Christ Jesus did for us. In
fact, Christ Jesus is not referred to as the Yom Kippur goat sacrifice, but
as the Passover Lamb. It is in the Passover lamb that we can more perfectly
reflect on what Christ Jesus did for us on the cross. When Jesus offered
His body as a sacrifice for sins, He did so as the Lamb of God on the Day
of Passover (John 1:29, 36; 1 Peter 1:19; Revelation 5:6; Matthew 26:2,
27:62; John 18:28). It was on the night of that first Passover in Egypt
that the power of death was shown to be defeated. It was on the night of
Passover that the blood of the lamb was applied, and Israel was released
from slavery. They were redeemed from their bondage and brought out from
the land of Egypt so that they might serve the Living God as a holy and
consecrated people. It was that day which would mark their beginning and
was to be remembered as the first day of every year.

When Jesus was offered as our Passover Lamb, He released us from the
bondage of sin and death. He removed our sins as far as the east is from
the west when He bore them in His own body on the tree (1 Peter 1:19, 2:24;
1 Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 9:28). Through the offering of His body for our
sins, all sins and trespasses were erased to be remembered no more. Never
again would there be a need for another sacrifice for sins. Christ Jesus
has purified us with His own blood and made us priests and kings. He has
removed all offense, allowing us to come boldly into the Holy of Holies
with His blood to be found faultless in Him (Colossians 1:22; Hebrews
10:19-23; 1 John 1:9; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 1:3; Jude 1:24; Philippians 2:15).
 
Daily Bread - March 9, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 09 March 2017 08:56

Acts 1:5 - For John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized
with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.

TONGUES: THE LANGUAGE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
"COME LET US REASON TOGETHER" - PART 2

Every person who has been born of the Spirit of God has a responsibility to
walk in the Spirit. We are responsible, above all other things, to come
into the assembly of the saints filled with the Spirit. Unfortunately, many
of God's people return time and time again to the church with the same
burdens, cares, and afflictions when they should be shining with the glory
of Jesus and functioning in the authority and power of the Holy Spirit
(Ephesians 3:19; Isaiah 60:1; 1 Corinthians 12:7; John 14:12; 2 Corinthians
3:18). Too much time is devoted to suffering, complaining babies in Christ
who should be living epistles walking in the glory of the fruits of the
Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:3; Galatians 5:22-25). It time to take up our
responsibility in Christ and walk in the light as He is in the light, and
show forth the praises of the One Who has called us out of darkness into
His marvelous light. We have been empowered by Him to live this life, but
we must submit to the Holy Ghost, Who alone can teach us how.

There is a powerful impact on the unbeliever and the unlearned when the
people of God flow in the Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:24-25). If the church is
going to be an assembly in which everyone has the overflow of the Spirit in
their lives, then each person is going to have to learn how to receive from
God. Jesus said that if we would drink of the spiritual water that He
supplies, it would produce the expressions of the Holy Spirit flowing out
of us like the rushing of rivers flowing together (John 7:38-39). Surely,
our heats should respond, "Oh God, evermore give me this water to drink!"

If Christ Jesus is going to be revealed in our lives, then we need to lay
hold on the resources that He gave to us to live His life. We are to be a
'light unto the world' and a 'city set upon a hill' in our conduct and
behavior. We are those who are supposed to lead the world into the Kingdom
of God by our deeds; but if we do not allow the word of God to govern our
actions, how will this ever be a reality? All of the good things of God are
expressed through a relationship with God in the Holy Ghost. If we are
neglectful of this relationship, then we are going to forfeit all the good
things of God that have been made available to us. We will be stuck in the
activities of human effort and ritual, and the world around us will only
see religion instead of the glory of God manifested by the working of the
Word and the Spirit of God. However, if we will allow God to teach us to be
conformed to His Word and His Spirit, then those things that we speak will
be filled with the power and authority of God; and the things that we do
will be the expressions of His nature and glory.

The 14th chapter of 1 Corinthians ends much in the same way it began. There
are a number of things that proper church order demands for the saints to
be aware of, but not at the expense of the manifestation of the Spirit. The
bottom line is: every saint of God should earnestly desire the spiritual,
and they should earnestly desire to prophesy. Every saint should recognize
that we are living in the last days; and as God has promised, He has poured
out His Spirit on all flesh so that Heaven might be revealed through our
lives (Acts 2:14-18). When the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the church,
the only vocal gift that was heard was the utterances of tongues. However,
tongues lead Peter into a realm, just as it did Paul, where he functioned
in the word of knowledge (Acts 2:14; 1 Corinthians 14:6), in revelation and
teaching (Acts 2:14-32, 34-38), and in prophecy (Acts 2:33; 39-40).

Tongues are the first expression of the Holy Spirit and the evidence that
the Holy Spirit was poured out on the church (Acts 2:3-4). In this Epistle,
Paul indeed gives it the highest ranking; for what could be more important
than the individual speaking directly to God (1 Corinthians 14:2)? What
could be more important than the manifestation of the fire of God (Acts
2:3)? Is there any greater activity than worshipping and giving thanks well
unto God (1 Corinthians 14:17)? What could be more important in our
meetings than to have a sign of the presence of God to the unbeliever (1
Corinthians 14:22). Paul instructs the whole church to prophesy, as well as
to speak with tongues. Through tongues, the saint will be built up; and
through prophecy, the whole church will be instructed in the Word of the
Lord, and the lost will be saved (1 Corinthians 14:22-24).

For the church to shine with the radiant splendor of the life of Jesus,
then each person must know how to yield to and function in the
manifestation of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). Every member in the
body of Christ should have a hymn, a revelation, a tongue, and an
interpretation so that the whole church can be edified. There should be the
baptismal glory of the Holy Ghost from which each one is filled, speaking
to themselves in 'songs and hymns and spiritual songs'. The overflow of
'joy unspeakable and full of glory' and 'the love of Christ which fills us
with all God's fullness' must reign in our lives. Therefore, let no one
forbid anyone else to speak with tongues. When Paul told the Thessalonians
not to quench the Spirit, we can be certain that tongues was at least, in
part, what he was referring to - if not the very focus of the statement (1
Thessalonians 5:19). Paul uses a word specific to putting out fire,
'quench' (sbennumi). Thus, Paul warns that the fire of God can be
diminished, or even put out, if the Holy Spirit is resisted. In fact, even
if you consider someone wrong and out of order, to forbid them to speak
with tongues is as if you threw cold water on the fire of God. "To quench
the Spirit was to suppress or restrain the Spirit from manifesting itself
in charismatic activities like speaking in tongues and uttering prophecy
within the life of the community" (see F. Lang, TDNT VII, 168). The tongues
of fire should fill the tongues of every person; and we should desire, as
Paul did, to flow in this glorious language of the Spirit more than them
all (1 Corinthians 14:18)!

We received this great outpouring of the Holy Spirit to go into 'all the
world and preach the gospel'; and until we will step out in faith and obey,
maturity will languish. We were baptized with the presence of the Living
God to be witnesses of the life giving power supplied through the
resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead! Religion will try to stop you,
and kill you, as it did James. The satanic powers of darkness will fight
against you, and attempt to turn the truth of God into a lie; but you must
stand! Every evil thing will try to kill the working of the Spirit of God
and persecute the anointing. Out of weakness, you will be made strong; and
through the great fight of faith, you will grow and mature into all the
fullness of the ministry of Jesus (Ephesians 4:12-13). The cost will be
laying down your life and pursuing the heavenly vision at the expense of
all other things (Mark 8:34-35; Matthew 13:44-46).

The gift of tongues is among the most controversial subjects in the Bible.
There are those who say it is a gift that has passed away. Others believe
that the gift is ours, but rarely function in it. Still others believe that
it is something that should be active in church, but should not be allowed
except under strictly defined parameters. But what does the Bible really
say? What was Paul's true intent? What compelled him to devote such a
lengthy exhortation to a single gift? One thing we may be certain: Paul not
only spoke in tongues (a language that could not be understood by men), but
he also promoted the activity of it along with all of the other gifts. All
these things can only point to one thing: the importance of tongues in
developing and maturing God's people into the power and manifestation of
the ministry of Christ Jesus.

Tongues was first in the manifestations of the Spirit. Tongues was first in
the birth of the church. Tongues was first in the heart of Paul, and it
should be first in our hearts as well. Its precedence and outworking in the
New Testament church is unimpeachable. If you want to move in the power of
the Holy Spirit like the Apostle Paul did, then you should participate with
the Holy Spirit as he did. Tongues in the New Testament is one of the
miracle signs that earmarks the believers (Mark 16:17). The gift of the
Holy Spirit has been poured out upon all flesh, to wit: anyone who will
believe (Acts 2:17-18; Joel 2:28-29). There is no legitimate reason for
anyone to refuse a special gift that allows us to speak to God after the
manner of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:2). We may be certain Paul believed
that tongues was a unique gift placed in the church by God; and
furthermore, he expected the gift to be exercised in various ways by all
believers (1 Corinthians 12:10, 28; 1 Corinthians 14:5, 26, 39).

God has given His people a 'rest and refreshing' through the language of
the Holy Ghost (Isaiah 28:11-12). What is misunderstood more than anything
else is the powerful function of these miraculous utterances of the Holy
Spirit. They are supernatural, and supply a supernatural strength to the
believer, and are a springboard for every manifestation of the Spirit. They
are a witness that the Holy Spirit has come to reside in you with all the
power of Heaven.

 
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