Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Lukewarm

One day, when I was looking on some old floppy disks for photographs I came across a file entitled 'Judgment begins with the house of God', something I had written some time back. So I printed it out and read it.  The following evening, on a digital imaging course, I was given some homework by my tutor.  It was to take photographs on the theme 'Shadow and substance'.  Just before I made the bed on the following  morning I noticed the shadows falling across the crumpled sheets and pillow cases.  I thought of the sentence ' You make your bed and lie on it', and thought 'What a perfect title and photograph for a project, either as a fact or a suggestion, I could do something with this.'  The sheets were covered in a pattern of roses and I thought 'We can either make it a bed of roses or something else.'  So I took two photographs, one with the sheets crumpled and one with the bed make.  Then I remembered that within the piece I had written on Judgement there was a poem called 'Lukewarm' which contained a line or two referring to a bed.  I thought maybe this was not coincidence, that the Lord may be showing me something here.
Lukewarmness is spoken of in one of the seven churches in the book of revelations.  All the churches except one are tolerating something that is ungodly within its bounds, the difference with the Philadelphian church being shown in ch.3 v.8 'For you have a little strength and have kept my Word and have not denied my name.'
Just as in Isaiah's day the Lord's judgment had come upon His people because of their unfaithfulness, 'for Jerusalem has stumbled and Judah has fallen because their speech and their deeds are against the Lord, defying His glorious presence.' (Isaiah ch.3 v.8), and seven women were taking hold of one man in that day saying, 'We will eat our own bread, and wear our own clothes, only let us be called by your name, take away our reproach. (Isaiah ch.4 v.1), so too God's judgment is upon His people today, who can be likened to the seven churches who want to be called by one man's name (they want to bear the name of Jesus Christ, to take away their reproach), but they want to eat their own bread (their own doctrine ) and wear their own clothes, the clothes of a spiritual prostitute,(Isaiah ch.3 vs.18 - 23), instead of their robes of righteousness.
Verse 2 of 1 Peter ch.1 says that it is for obedience to Jesus Christ that we are chosen and destined by God and sanctified by the Spirit.  We are lukewarm Christians if we are only half obeying the Lord and half following our own way.  We are not exempt from God's judgment because we wear the name of Christ.  Indeed, judgment begins at the house of God as spiken of in 1 Peter ch.4 v.17, and here 'the house of God' refers to Christians, verse 18 saying that the righteous man is scarcely saved.  Today the church is in a much worse state than it was two thousand years ago.  We are in the end times, expecting our Lord's return, the time of the ten maidens and the servants accounting for the talents.  Without the oil of the Holy Spirit our lamps will go out, and if our talents are hidden and not invested with the bankers they will not make interest.
We are at the stage where 'even some of those with understanding shall fall, to try them and to purge and to make them white, even to the time of the end.' (Dan.ch.11 v.35).
Peter foretells that there will be false teachers in the church just as there were false prophets also among the people of Israel.  We can see this happening today with strange doctrines popping up in different places that are not in line with God's Word.  It has become fashionable to please man rather than to please God.
Some of us have become lukewarm Christians.

LUKEWARM
People say 'Don't speak about your king don't speak about this Jesus to me
Don't tell me I must follow Him down the road to Calvary'
They say 'We'll just be called by His holy name but leave us to eat our own bread
And we'll wear our own apparel' then they labour to make their own bed
But the covering on it is narrow and the bed itself is too short
Both getting smaller and smaller as they're judged by each ungodly thought
They're building mighty castles Lord, they don't have Your foundation
Building castles for themselves, strongholds big and wide
With hewn out stones and polished beams they've built their own creation
And now they put their images inside
Everyone right in their own eyes abiding in vanity
Spinning ever faster Lord towards total insanity
Not hearing the voice of the Master, but listening to a lie
Outside they appear to be living yet inside they slowly die
They're seeking to worldly physicians to bring about their release
Looking to man for deliverance yet never finding peace
Not willing to take Your chastening 'Too grievous for me' they say
Forgetting that at the end of each night there is always the light of day
And all the time Lord You're trying to take away our shame
Visiting each one in turn calling out each name
Saying 'Return unto me child, seek the face of your Lord above
For it is he who keeps my commandments that shall abide in my love'

Yes, sometimes we as God's people can be lukewarm when it comes to following the Lord, and we can have 'itching ears', not wanting to endure sound doctrine but heaping to ourselves teachers after our own desires.  We can turn our ears away from the truth (2 Timothy ch.4 vs.3,4).  There is a warning in 2 Corinthians ch.11 vs 3,4 about listening to another Jesus, another gospel, being led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

If we make our own comfortable spiritual bed then we will have to lie on it, and the covering on it will be no protection against the judgement of the Lord.  Isaiah ch.28 v.20 says that the bed is too short to stretch oneself on it and the covering too narrow to wrap oneself in it.

After I had written this article my husband was making the bed one morning as I returned from the bathroom.  I could hardly believe what he said to me.  When I bought the sheets with the roses on they had been two box fitted sheets.  They did not have a top sheet to match, so I bought the two base sheets in order to make one of them into a top sheet.  However, the material available to me was not enough to make a full width sheet.  As I walked into the room my husband said 'You will have to do something about this sheet, it is too narrow.'
the message in Isaiah ch.28 was to those who ruled the people in Jerusalem.  When I added this line onto what I had typed, I opened my Bible twice to  Isaiah ch. 30 where I had verse one encircled.  It reads 'Woe to the rebellious children who carry out a plan but not mine, and who make a league but not of my Spirit.'
The same message applies to us as God's children today.  God is a loving God and He does not want us to stray from His protection.  We learn from Him line upon line, precept upon precept and He reveals to us where we are in danger of missing the mark, gently guiding us back to the light.
The project that I finally took into class on 'shaddow and substance' was:-
 

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Let us make man in our image


There are quite clearly two Adams spoken of in the Bible.  The first book of Corinthians, ch.15 v45  says ‘The first man Adam became a living being, the last Adam became a life-giving spirit .’  If we look in Genesis ch2 v7, we see that  this first man, Adam, was formed of dust from the ground  This  ‘man of dust’ was formed before any plant or herb had grown on the earth ( v5 ), even before the sun and the moon were created, which would have been on the second day, and is formed by God alone., who places him in the garden of Eden.  The word ‘Adham’, used here, is the Hebrew for ‘man’, which sounds like, and may be derived from, the Hebrew word for ground ( Adhamah ).  This Adam disobeyed God, and was tempted to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil when his wife was persuaded to question God's word   when the serpent said 'Did God really say?', thereby coming to know good and evil.  God had told Adam that he could eat of any tree in the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil .  Because of this disobedience,  eternal life was denied him (Genesis ch 3 v. 22,) and he and his wife Eve were sent with several curses from the garden of Eden ( which means ‘delight’ ), and this emphasises the loss of relationship with God suffered by them through disobedience to Him through the questioning of His word, a choice made by them which took them away from the blessing of eternal life. They were sent out of the garden and denied access to the tree of life.
In Genesis ch.1 v, 26 God says ‘Let us make man in our image’. This takes place on the sixth day, and the word used in verse 27  for ‘man’ ,adam, is a collective  referring to mankind, both male and female .
We are told that eternal life is not just to know God but to know God and His Son Jesus Christ, (John ch.17 v3 ), and Hebrews ch.1 v.2 tells us that God  made the worlds by Jesus.   We are also told in John ch.1 that Jesus is the word, and that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and that the Word was God.  From this we gather that the ‘ us ’ and the ‘our’, as in ‘Let us make man in our image,’ could well refer to God and Jesus .   God is Spirit, ( John ch. 4 v.24 ), and Jesus is the express image of God. (Hebrews ch. 1 v.3 ) so is this collective ‘man ‘, made in the image of God and Jesus Christ, the church , the spiritual man, the one spoken of by Paul in 1 Corinthians ch 15 v.49?    2 Corinthians ch. 3 v.18 says that we, the church, 'are being transformed into His image'.  These created beings were told to bear fruit and were sent out to  multiply, God referring  to everything He had made, including them, as being ‘very good’ (Genesis  ch.1 v.31 ).


God is  Spirit and until His Spirit is born in us we can not be like Him.  We are the ‘man of dust’, without hope and without God in the world (Ephesians ch.2 v.12 ), and bear the image of the man of dust until we are born again of God’s Holy Spirit.   Just like birds, who are first born into an egg and then have to break through that shell in order to fly, we have to break through the restrictive shell of our earthly sinful and disobedient to God nature, to be able to soar in Heavenly places with Christ Jesus.  This can only be achieved with the help of the Holy Spirit , made manifest through the diverse gifts within the body of Christ.  


Once we are born again and are in Christ Jesus and are actively walking in the Spirit, then we begin to become like Him.  We are encouraged by Paul in 1 Corinthians ch. 15 v. 49 to bear the image of the heavenly.  The first Adam became a living being.  We are not in the likeness of God as descendants of Adam because Adam sinned and all his descendants inherited his sinful nature, thereby becoming children of disobedience, all under God’s wrath, and ‘dead’ in our sins, (Ephesians ch.2 v.1.).  In 1 Corinthians ch.15 vs .45 - 49, we are told that there are two Adams, a physical which comes first and a spiritual which comes second.   We, as Christians are told that we shall bear the image of the first one and then encouraged to put on the image of the second one.  The second Adam, Jesus, was a life giving Spirit, and all who descend from him will be in His likeness and, because He is the express image of God, they will also possess the ability to be made in the likeness of God if they believe on Him., being obedient to Him.  We can only become sons of God through this life-giving Spirit.  Galatians ch.3 v.27 says ‘ For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith.  For as many of you as were baptised into Christ have put on Christ.’
‘ But as many as received Him, to them gave He  power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name, which were born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God ’  John ch.1 vs. 12, 13.


Jesus is God’s only begotten Son and we can become part of the body of Christ, thereby  spiritually becoming God’s Son too.   Is this the transformation spoken of in Genesis ch1 v26 , and is  God  speaking to Jesus (for the Gospel of John ch1 v1,2 and 3 says ’In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made .’)?
Genesis ch.1 v. 16 speaks of two great lights created on the fourth day.  Although God had created light on the first day, the sun and the moon were not created until the fourth day, ‘ a greater light  to rule the day, and a lesser light to rule the night ’.  If we take the natural meaning, it speaks of the sun and the moon coming into our world on the fourth day.   However, the scriptures are discerned spiritually as well. 
Psalm ch.90 v.4 says that one thousand years in God’s sight are as a day gone by.  Psalm 19 speaks of the heavens declaring the glory of God, and speaks of the sun being as a bridegroom, and Jesus is called  the bridegroom, and also the light that has come into the world ( John ch. 3 v.19 ).   John ch.1 v.9 says The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world.  This was talking about Jesus at the time of John the Baptist, it was not talking of the natural‘ light’ that was already in the world, but the light that was coming into the world.
The sun gives light in the day, and while Jesus was in the world He was the light.    John ch.3 v 19a says, regarding Jesus and the work that He came to do  ‘ and this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, ’.   In John ch,9 v.4 He says, ‘ I must work the works of Him that sent me while it is day: the night comes when no man can work.' 

The second great light created on the fourth day was the moon, to give light in the night.   The moon is a simile of the church, ‘ to be established as a faithful witness (psalm 89 v.37 ) ’.  Jesus has commissioned the church to do the work He did on earth.  He said to His disciples ‘As my Father has sent me, even so I send you ’ ( John ch. 20 v.21 ).  We can do nothing without Him, the Holy Spirit has been sent to equip  us to do His work. Within the body of Christ is the ability, through the spiritual gifts, to do all the works that He did while He was in a physical body on Earth , both within the house of God and in the world.
Just as the moon has no light of it’s own, but can only reflect the light of the sun on the world at night, so we have no light of our own to shed on the world while it lies in darkness. We must reflect the light which comes from our Lord Jesus,    ( hence  ‘no man can work ’)   The church is the spiritual body of Jesus Christ which has been forming for nearly two thousand years, or two days  in God’s time.  Jesus said in  Luke ch. 13 v. 32,   ‘ Today and tomorrow I do cures, on the third day I will be perfected. ’  Is He talking God’s time, has He been doing  ‘ cures ’ for two thousand years, and are we in the sixth day when the full measure of Christ’s body on earth will be reached, ( Jesus’ body being perfected ), being told to multiply and subdue the earth through His Spirit. ? Have the last two thousand years been used to form the ‘ man made in God and Jesus’ image’,  the collective, spiritual one spoken of in 1 Corinthians ch.15, and is this spiritual, collective one about to be perfected in Jesus ?  Romans ch.6vs3-5 says ‘ Do you not know that all of us who have been baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into His death?  We were buried with Him therefore, by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from death by the Glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.  For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His.’
 
As far as time is concerned many people may say that we have gone past the  six thousand years, but whose calendar do we go by?  The Jews have a different calendar to us, the Mayans a different one again.  Also the Genesis day starts in the evening.

The earth lay in darkness cold as a tomb, there was no warmth or light
It lay without life like the barren womb of a woman alone in the night
...... It waited for Jesus
Once again the Earth waits as in days of old
Again there is darkness, again it is cold
But now there’s a moon to reflect the sun
To announce the return of God’s Holy One
To tell of salvation from sin and death
By receiving God’s Spirit .... His life-giving breath

God has given Jesus a name above every other name, ' for you have exalted above all things your name and your word ',Psalm 138 v.2b.     The king James version puts it  'for thou hast magnified Thy Word above all Thy name' , and I believe this is what the Father did, gave Jesus the authority to even blank out the curse that God had put on mankind by becoming the spotless lamb without blemish required as a sacrifice to do this.  ( Jesus means ‘ Yahweh saves ’), and because of this He is able to save mankind from the spiritual death inherited as a result of the sin of Adam.   Lazarus, Mary and Martha’s brother was dead for four days before Jesus raised him from the dead.  The name ‘ Lazarus ’ means ‘ whom God helps ’, and this is exactly what God did to mankind after they had been spiritually dead in their sins for four spiritual days, (four thousand years ) .   He made a way for all of mankind to regain the spiritual life they had lost through Adam by sending Jesus, to whom He has given all authority, even authority over death itself.   In Luke ch.9 vs. 28 -36, when Jesus was talking on top of the mountain with Moses and Elijah, Peter wanted to make booths for the two of them and one for Jesus.  However, as he said this a cloud came and overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud saying ‘This is my Son, my Chosen, listen to him’ and the other two disappeared, leaving Jesus alone.  The law and the prophets no longer carried the divine authority, only Jesus did.   When Jesus was born as the Son of man and the Son of God it was the end of mankind having the curse of the fleshly inheritance of the first Adam.  Joseph did not father the child Jesus, the Holy Spirit did.   Man was once again given the opportunity of eating from the tree of life ( Jesus, the Word of God ).  
Jesus said to Martha, when she confessed belief in the resurrection on the last day, ‘I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me, though he die yet shall he live ’( John ch.. 11 v.25 ).   Paul was confirming the creating of this new spiritual being in 1 Corinthians ch.15 v.22 by saying ‘For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive ’.  We are collectively the body of the new Adam spoken of in Genesis ch. 1 v.26   ( the life giving spirit ), in Christ Jesus, when we believe in Him, Jesus being the head.   Philippians ch.2 v.9 tells us that 'God has highly exalted Jesus and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.'  God is spirit and must be worshipped in spirit and in truth. 


There is, in Jesus, a divine forgiveness which keeps no record of the death producing sins, which was not there in the old covenant between mankind and God, ( ‘ Let it be known to you therefore brethren that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by Him everyone that believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. [ Acts ch. 13 vs. 38, 39 ] ) and gives access to eternal life which had  previously been denied us.( Genesis ch.3 vs 22-24.).   Once we believe in Jesus and have become part of His body He, being the head,  instructs us to remove the grave clothes from dead mankind with the commission He gives to His disciples in Matthew ch.28 vs. 19 and 20  ‘ Go therefore and make disciples  of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father  and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age .’ 


It is God Himself who has made Jesus Lord, and in Him alone is the ‘life’ that is eternal.  He is the manna  from heaven, the  bread of the face, the ‘word of God ’, the  door to the sheepfold , the  mediator between man and God,  and the only means by which man may be reconciled back to God.  There is no other name under Heaven by which we might be saved.   He is the tree of life that Adam and Eve could not eat from because of their disobedience, the fruit of which enables mankind to know God and have eternal life.    The‘ Word’, which is Jesus, has the power to create.  It was there in the beginning, when God used it to speak the world into existence, and was there when God said ‘Let us make (create) man (the word used is mankind in the original text) in our image. ’.  God and  His only begotten Son Jesus, the Word of God, who was with Him in the beginning (John ch.1 v1),  and who was taken up into heaven to sit at the right hand of God after His time on earth ( Mark ch. 16 v.19), are making mankind ( formed from dust), in their image, speaking of our spiritual re-creation which God is doing through Jesus, ( curing us from our disobedient nature ) and has been doing for two thousand years since the Spirit was given, to those that believe, after Jesus was crucified, (for the Spirit was not given until after Jesus was crucified).  We are a new creation in Christ Jesus.
In Acts ch.2 v.36 we are told that God has made Jesus both Lord and Christ, and in John ch.3 v.16 we are told that God has allowed Jesus to be crucified for our sins because He loves us and does not want us to perish but have everlasting life.  Eternal life cannot be attained without Jesus, otherwise Adam and all mankind would have automatically received it 
The time allotted by God for Jesus to save is a time of grace, when the door is open to us.  It has been granted to  us to eat of the tree of life, a thing previously denied us all by God because we were under the curse of death, inherited  through Adam’s sin.(Ephesians ch.2 v.5 says we were dead in our sins )  The right to eat of this tree has not been earned by us but by Jesus, through His crucifixion.  It is a gift!

Son of the Father

The ultimate sacrifice of all time took place when Jesus was chosen to be crucified and Barabbas was set free.  Jesus represented the lamb without blemish that, in the priestly rituals of the old testament, was used as an offering to ward off the punishment due to the Israelites for disobeying God, while Barabbas represented disobedient mankind, being a son of Adam by nature. 
The name Barabbas  means ‘son of the father,’ and his crime was sedition, which is ‘conduct tending to promote treason or rebellion against a governing authority’.   Adam’s original disobedience in the garden of Eden  was  exactly that, and the governing authority that he was rebelling against was God.  His act caused all of mankind to inherit the sin of rebellion against the governing authority of God.  
It is not coincidence that the one who was set free from being put to death at Calvary was named Barabbas.  He represented fallen mankind, the children of Adam.   On that day  the Son of the heavenly Father was releasing the son of the earthly father from spiritual death and opening the way to eternal life to all of mankind.   1 Corinthians ch. 15 v 49 says , we have borne the image of the man of dust and we are destined to bear the image of the man of the Spirit.  As God Himself is  Spirit, (2 Corinthians ch.3 v.17 ) so too the new image is a spiritual one.  We are made alive together with Christ, being saved by grace, and are raised up with Him, and made to sit with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
If we turn the word ‘ evil ‘ around we get the word ‘ live ‘.  If we turn the Hebrew word for evil, Ra, around, we get Er, which means waken.   Verse 18 of 1 Corinthians ch.15 speaks of  ' those who have fallen asleep in Christ ' When we are in Christ we have turned around from evil, and shall waken one day ( on the third spiritual day after Jesus came to earth, at the end of the sixth day according to 'one day being as a thousand years ) to a life of no death, no tears, no sorrow.  How wonderful is our God!  

And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood there is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.  Hebrews Ch. vs.22,23






 

Thursday, 10 November 2011

One Day

The other day I was watching 'Songs of Praise' on the television and Glen Campbell was on it.  He spoke of his life, I think he is 84 now, and then sang a song which he and another person had written called ' A better place awaits you'll see'  It was absolutely beautiful and spoke of how the Lord's presence had been in his life, bringing him happiness, and what awaited those who trust in Him.  It reminded me of a poem I had written some time ago and I would like to share it as an ' amen ' to what Glen had sung.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Spirit Song

Spirit Song is a small booklet containing a selection of poems and songs that I have written, through which I have spoken to God and, also, I have felt the Spirit of God speaking to me and, in some instances, others.
It is a testimony of light coming into darkness - the light of God, through Jesus Christ, coming into the darkness of my world.
There are many areas of darkness in my world still, but the light that has come into my life is a far greater power than that darkness, and is able to rescue me from it.

'In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it.'     John ch.1 vs.4,5

Good and evil
Is it by choice or predestined, that we do good or evil?  What is good, what is evil, where is the plumbline?  Is my evil somebody else's good, is my good somebody else's evil?  To whom somebody else's evil is good, then it is good.  To whom somebody else's good is evil then it is evil.  To establish a common good or a common evil there must be a plumbline.  Without a plumbline there is no such thing as good or evil - only chaos.

'Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.'    Genesis ch.1 v.2

Let Go
Let go of the things that are holding you child
the things that will keep you from me
Each sin you hold on to is forming the crown
that was placed on my head can't you see
Let the chains round your heart be unlocked by My love
let the light of My truth enter in
There's no longer a sentence of death on you child
if you'll only let go of your sin

Let go, let go of your burden my child
lift your eyes and look into my face
See the blood running out from the wound in my side
as I'm nailed to this cross in your place
See the water that flows from beneath my torn heart
It's a river of life to you now
But while you're holding on to the things of this world
there's a thorn pressing deep in my brow

So let go of the things that are drawing you back
to the world and its pleasures again
for although they appear to be joy for awhile
they can only bring suffering and pain
I was wounded and pierced for the sins of this world
My stripes show the terrible price
And if you turn again to what I've saved you from
there remains no more scrifice

Returning Prodigal

Lord I'm lost in the darkness
Lost, alone and forlorn
My garments are tattered and filthy
My sandals are battered and worn
Lost, I'm injured and frightened
With wounds all open and sore
The life that I thought I had wanted
Has left me rejected and poor

Lord I'm sorry I hurt You
Now pain is the path that I roam
Discovered when I chose to desert You
Father I want to come home
Now as I lay on my pillow
My slumber is broken by fears
My shelter is the ash and the willow
My friends are repentance and tears

Father I'll never deserve You
You love me in spite of my shame
I run to You longing to serve You
Proud to be wearing Your name
Yes I run to You now longing to serve You
I'm so proud to be wearing Your name

Messiah

I watch in anguish every day
as killing, torture, hatred reign
In horror turn my eyes away
hoping somehow to reduce the pain
I cry
Despair and sorrow gripping me
Then Jesus comes
saying 'Child I see'
and the burden is removed from me

I stumble blindly down life's road
through shifting sand and mists of sin
Bent low by fortune's heavy load
deep loneliness and fear within
I scream
Held tightly by frustration's hand
Then Jesus comes
saying'Child - I understand'
and shows to me a promised land

I reach towards this man of love
this gentle lifter of my head
Empowered by Spirit from above
to wake from sleep the living dead
I breathe
as new life stirs within my soul
then Jesus comes
saying 'Child - I make you whole
and give you back what Satan stole'

I listen - now familiar sound
A still small voice dispels the gloom
My step a dance upon the grouond
as I arise from earthen tomb
I praise .....
my song 'Emmanuel'
The Christ has come
saying 'All is well
For I have conquered death and hell'