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Daily Bread - May 17, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 17 May 2018 10:35
Psalms 5:4 - For you are not a God that has pleasure in wickedness; neither
shall evil swell with you.

God's Holiness - Supreme Morality - Part 1

When Adam was created, He was created not only in the outward image and
likeness of God, but also in His inward image and likeness. Adam had God's
holiness, and this holiness defines what morality is. Consequently, in the
Garden was nothing less than moral perfection. When Adam was created, he
was as an infant. He had all the inward and outward likeness of God, but he
had yet to exercise and develop what was given to Him. If He was going to
live and grow into what God had planned and equipped him to be, then he
would have to be willing to will it himself. Tragically, before he could
mature in the splendor of what was given him, Satan plotted against him;
and he fell prey to the satanic lie. He transgressed against God, and the
power of sin and death took possession of him. Under the pretense of
becoming 'like God', he had instead become unlike God. God had no choice
but to judge Adam. Why? Because He cannot fellowship with evil -His
holiness demands it (Psalms 5:4; Habakkuk 1:13; Revelation 21:1-8). The
communion Adam had with God was broken at that point. He had to be cast out
of the Garden of God and forbidden access to God's life (Genesis 3)

The holiness of God is the absolute absence of anything impure, and we can
consider moral purity to be equivalent to God's holiness. Moral purity
might be best captured in the description Jesus gave of a pure heart, which
is the only means by which a person can see God (Matthew 5:8). The same
theme of purity is then taken up and developed further in the New
Testament, and set in opposition to all lust (2 Timothy 2:22). The pure
heart produces righteousness, faith, love, and peace (2 Timothy 2:22; 1
Timothy 1:5; 1 Peter 1:22). Furthermore, John described the purity of God
when he proclaimed how God is light and in Him is no darkness at all (1
John 1:5, 7, 2:8-10, 3:5; John 3:19).

God is dedicated to doing everything that is right, just, and good. He
alone sets the standard of morality from a pure heart (Deuteronomy 32:4).
The whole of God's divine nature establishes the ethical standard of
morality, and the divine nature was described by Peter as faith, virtue,
knowledge, self-control, godliness, patience, brotherly kindness, and love
(2 Peter 1:4-8).

Let God's supreme morality be in you and abound! (2 Peter 1:8)
 
Daily Bread - May 16, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 16 May 2018 16:55
Leviticus 19:2 - Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel,
and say unto them, "You shall be holy; for I, the LORD your God, am Holy."

The Holiness of God - Part 3

God is identified as being Holy more than by any other word used to
describe Him. God's holiness is revealed in His judgments, His statutes,
His commandments, and His decrees. His holiness is revealed through His
devotion to love, purity, and eternal life. In fact, even as the essence of
God is holiness, the essence of holiness is love. Therefore, by
understanding His love, we can more fully understand why He is at war
against everything that is evil and sinful. God's holiness defines life and
how that life can exist forever. All of life flows from the holiness of
God, as a river flows from a fountain's head. All of His goodness, being
the expressions of His nature of holiness, shine with the beauty of His
life: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, kindness, goodness,
meekness, humility, mercy, forgiveness, compassion, righteousness,
faithfulness, and purity. Those things we would refer to as the fruits of
the Holy Spirit bring to us a more complete revelation of the holiness of
God. Even though the entire Bible provides us with a revelation of God's
holiness, the more specific expressions of His holiness were first captured
in a song in Exodus and continued into Revelation (Exodus 15:1-11;
Revelation 15:3-4).

Who is like unto you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, glorious in
holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders? (Exodus 15:11)

And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the
Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God Almighty;
RIGHTEOUS and TRUE are your ways, King of the holy ones. (Revelation 15:3)

When God began to define the limits on how close men could come to Him,
more of the sacredness of His holiness was revealed (Exodus 3:5-6, 19:1-25,
24:1-18). The first time God revealed His holiness by Name was when He
called Moses. It would be through God's interaction with Moses that we are
able observe how God prepares a man to approach unto Him, and imparts
holiness so that a man can fulfill His will. The fire of God was the means
by which God captured the attention of Moses. That same fire lit within
Moses the passion to know and interact with the One Who made all things. It
was that fire that drew Him near unto God where He could encounter God's
holiness, be touched by the power of His presence, and be empowered by His
Word to represent Heaven. From the moment that Moses encountered the
holiness of God, he no longer lived for himself, but entered into the realm
of the sacred and became an instrument of righteousness in the hand of God.
This would only be the beginning of the revelation of holiness God would
give to Moses. God would ultimately stand outside of the midst of the fire
and uncover His glory and describe Himself more fully to Moses saying, "I
am merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and
truth" (Exodus 34:6). God is the opposite of a tyrant who demands to have
everything his own way. God is the Keeper of all that pertains to life, and
the goodness and longevity of it. Life, and everything in it, is sacred to
the Lord. Unless men walk in the ways of God, they are only defiling and
abusing that sacredness and goodness of life.

Blessed is everyone that fears the Lord and walks in His ways! (Psalm 128:1)
 
Daily Bread - May 15, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 15 May 2018 07:24
Leviticus 19:2 - Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel,
and say unto them, "You shall be holy; for I, the LORD your God, am Holy."

The Holiness of God - Part 2

The words used to express holiness in the Hebrew language speak of God's
completeness and self-existence. They speak to His consecration to
everything right, just, and good. His absolute supreme and eternal
existence that is far above all things, and His complete separateness from
everything profane and impure, are all denoted by the Hebrew adjective,
'qādôš' (holy), and the noun, 'qōdeš' (holiness). The verb, qādaš,
which also refers to us being made holy, describes that which belongs to
the sphere of the sacred.

Everything in all of the universe was holy until a rebellion was led
against God. In this rebellion, every evil thing was born. God would not
tolerate the injustice and evil of iniquity. His holiness hates and detests
sin and iniquity; and He will not allow it to be in any part of His
Creation. He had given all of His Creation the capacity to continue in the
beauty of holiness and to do what was right; but some refused, and God
judged their sin and them. God, as the Righteous Judge, condemned those who
refused to walk in His ways. If He would have had any other response, He
would not be Holy. God is entirely good, and wholly without evil. If He did
not judge sin and iniquity, He would no longer be Holy. In fact, it is His
judgment against sin which establishes that He is Holy (Leviticus 10:3;
Revelation 15:3-4)

God created Adam in the midst of His holiness and in a Garden of every good
thing. Adam only had one requirement, and that was to learn to obey God
through one simple restriction. When Adam choose to be part of the
rebellion against God, he lost fellowship with God. When Adam was thrust
out of the Garden, God began to make known His unwillingness to have
anything to do with those who choose iniquity. Over the course of time, God
made known His judgments against everything evil, but it was not until the
days of Moses when He began to reveal more specifics about His holiness.
God had not dwelt among men from the time Adam was thrust out of the
Garden. He had only visited with men like Enoch and Abraham. Yet, when God
had prepared a family who He would dwell among, He began to reveal His
holiness.

Be holy, as He is Holy! (1 Peter 1:13-16)
 
Daily Bread - May 14, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 14 May 2018 13:16
Leviticus 19:2 - Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel,
and say unto them, "You shall be holy; for I, the LORD your God, am Holy."

The Holiness of God - Part 1

When the Lord tells us to be holy as He is Holy, what does that mean?
Before we can know how to properly respond to God's command, we must
understand what His holiness consists of. Holiness is not an attribute of
God, but His essence and nature. His holiness, which is also His glory, is
revealed by His righteousness: "The Lord Almighty will be exalted by His
justice, and the Holy God will show Himself Holy by His righteousness"
(Isaiah 5:16). Foremost, His holiness is defined by His love and goodness;
but it is even more specifically defined by His unwillingness to have any
association with any form of sin or iniquity. God and holiness belong
exclusively to each other. As the Creator of all things, holiness is only
derived from Him. Therefore, the essence of true holiness is only found in
God. Once again: holiness is not an attribute of God -it is His essence.
Everything God does is Holy, because His every action and deed flows out of
His holiness. God alone is holy, and everything that belongs to Him is
holy. It is God Who gives holiness to anyone who He brings into
relationship with Himself, and holiness cannot be obtained or possessed in
any other way (Revelation 15:4; Leviticus 8:12).

The most basic and foundational understanding of the holiness God has is
that there is nothing evil, wrong, or sinful in it. Everything in the
Scripture that reveals Who God is, reveals some dimension of His holiness.
To fully understand God's holiness, we would have to fully understand all
He is. Nonetheless, much about holiness is revealed to us by all God has
disclosed about Himself in the Bible. The holiness of God is witnessed
through everything He says and does. All of His ways are perfect, all of
His ways are just, righteous, and true (Psalm 18:30, 145:17; Deuteronomy
32:4; 2 Samuel 22:31). Everything He asks us to do, all of His decisions,
and all of His judgments are pure; and are expressed to reveal how to walk
in the blessings and benefits of His eternal life. Therefore, those who are
unwilling to do what God says are not only unwilling to be part of His
family, but are also unwilling to learn the ways of the only kind of life
that lasts forever.

The holiness of God is not only revealed in God the Father, Who is called
Jehovah God in the Old Testament; but also in God the Word, Who is Christ
Jesus, and God the Holy Spirit. The sum total of all Their actions and
judgements reveal the meaning of holiness. Although all Creation reveals
His glory, God's holiness is more beautiful in the majesty of its
sacredness, and forever and eternally unchanging in its splendor (Isaiah
6:3; Psalm 8:1, 19:1, 97:6, 113:4, 148:13; Romans 1:20). The holiness of
God is far beyond the wonder, beauty, and splendor of all His Creation
combined; for it is from His holiness they came into existence (Exodus
15:11; 1 Samuel 2:2; Isaiah 40:25, 57:15). His holiness not only uniquely
describes Who He is, but also is a statement to the moral perfection of His
character, as well as His absolute power and authority over all things
(Isaiah 5:16; Job 34:10, 38:1-41:34). God is distinct from all things, and
above all as the One Who created all things and sustains them. He alone is
the supreme example of what all things are to be (Psalm 89:5-7; Isaiah
57:15). God's absolute and total purity defines His self-existence. He
alone is the One Who can do no wrong. All He does is witnessed by the
entirety of His Creation as being Holy, and that holiness is just and good.

Therefore be holy, as He is Holy, in all manner of conversation! (1 Peter
1:13-16)
 
Daily Bread - May 11, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 11 May 2018 07:14
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 3

The baptism of the Holy Spirit that took place when Pentecost had fully
come was an event that should set the pace for every meeting. If Pentecost
does not describe what the Church is supposed to look like, and what we are
supposed to expect in the assembly, then what does? The baptism in the Holy
Spirit is not something that is supposed to take place once in our lives
and then be set aside for special occasions -it should instead occur again
and again! Being filled with the Spirit is the same as being baptized by
the Spirit in the New Testament. This point is verified in the first two
chapters of Acts. Jesus told the hundred and twenty who would end up being
there on the Day of Pentecost they would be baptized in the Spirit; and
when that day came, the Scripture says they were all filled with the Spirit
(Acts 1:5, 2:4).

It is a reproach that Christ Jesus is allowed to be misrepresented by
sinful and sorrowful men. In so doing, we present to the world that the
life of the flesh is the life of the Spirit, and that the fallen nature of
men is the example of being born again. With our sad and sorrowful faces
and our songs that are far less than spiritual and supernatural, we deny
the power of God. We walk all over the anointing and give no place to the
Holy Spirit, and wonder why the sick are not healed and the captives not
set free. How long will we pretend? How long we will make excuses for our
lack of power and the expression of Jesus' ministry -Who healed all who
were sick and diseased and set those tormented of devils free (Matthew
4:23-24; Acts 10:38)? This kind of laborer, ones that do exactly what Jesus
did, are the kind God is looking for; and it is only by being yielded to
the Holy Spirit this can happen (Matthew 9:34-36; Romans 15:19; Luke 4:18;
Acts 26:18).

Instead, however, we bow to the peer pressures of men and make the things
of Heaven, earthly; and we make the workings of the Spirit less excellent
than the workings of disciplined men. God filled us with the wellspring of
the Spirit so we could worship in Spirit and truth (John 4:23-24, 7:37-39);
but instead, we would rather sing the popular songs of our religion. We
have been given the rivers of the Spirit so that we might pray with all
prayer and supplication in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18; Romans 8:26-27), but
we would rather pray a prayer of the mind and human understanding. We have
been given the life of Jesus Christ (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 1:27), but
we are too in love with our own.

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit! (Galatians 5:25)
 
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