Archive for June, 2012

A NEW AND LIVING WAY(Pt. 4)

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens-Jesus the Son of God-let us hold fast to the confession. Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.”(Hebrews 4:14, 16 HCSB)

We noted early that God has a new and living way for His people in this hour. But we saw that there were some definite steps that we must take to enter into the reality of the new way. The first thing that happens as we step in by faith is that we gain a new way of seeing things. God is both the Originator and the primary source of light and life. As is with the creation order so it is true in the new creation order. Regarding His Son, Yeshua (Jesus) we are told “In Him was life and this life is the light of the world”(John 1:4). Light originated with God and was separated from the darkness. So, too, the first priority in participating with the new way of God is to separate yourself from the works of darkness; those sinful habits and behavioral patterns that keep you from walking in the light of the Lord Jesus. For as the apostle Paul later exhorts, “What makes everything clear is light. Therefore it is said: Get up, sleeper, and rise up from the dead, and the Messiah will shine on you.” (Ephesians 5:14 HCSB)

We also saw that when we walk in God’s new and living way, it brings us to peace and rest. Again peace and rest do not come in our striving or fretting or performance to impress God (or others). That is what religion apart from God is constantly demanding of us to “Win or earn” approval from God. But the prophet Isaiah declared that “All our righteousness is as filthy rags”(Isaiah 64:6).  No. Our peace and rest does not come from our performance but the performance of another. “You are complete in Him (Jesus the Messiah) who is the head of all principality and power. (Colossians 2:10). Again, the apostle Paul declared whatever he may be facing, either suffering lack or enjoying plenty, “I can do all things through Christ Who gives me strength”(Philippians 4:13). Your strength and ability to be an overcomer is found in Jesus Christ alone. So even now in this life I have found life and peace and rest in Him. My position “in Christ” allows me by faith to find my strength to perform through Christ alone.

BOLDNESS

Finally, we must see that this new and living way requires faith and boldness to enter it daily. “Let us come boldly to the throne of grace in our time of need”(Hebrews 4:16). Why? Because it is in the presence of God, where our King abides at the Father’s right hand, with all power and authority made available to us to walk this new and living way. Not only His power and authority are ours through faith in His Word, but His prayers are being made for us before the throne of His grace as well. Jesus Christ is our great high priest and ” He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. “(Hebrews 7:24, 25 NKJV) 

COURAGE

It was this awareness that gave the early Church, from it’s infancy, the power and courage to persevere against the kingdom of darkness that sought to destroy it. They were bold in their faith and knowledge of God and did exploits in His Name. They believed and acted on His promise, “These works shall you do and greater works because I go to the Father”(John 14:12). Boldness and courage will come to us as children of the Most High God when we have confidence in His Name. We must learn the secret of boldly waiting upon Him for orders and direction in this hour. He will not fail or forsake us when we call upon His Name. “Wait for the Lord; be strong and courageous. Wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14 HCSB)

 

(c) Copyright 2012, Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights are reserved. This article may be copied at no charge provided that it is not altered in any way from its original content. Send all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com.

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A NEW AND LIVING WAY(Pt. 3)

“There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.” (Hebrews 4:9, 10 NKJV)

The writer to the Hebrew believers reminds us of the fact that Israel was given a promise of certain rest and yet they did not find it. Three times in two chapters (See Hebrews 3&4) he quotes the word of the LORD, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts”. He is not appealing to them on the basis of a 24 hour day as we would understand it. He is suggesting a special time or season in God; a moment chosen by God to do more for His people who embrace the moment that is offered them. It is important to discern the moment in our history or chronology that intersects with divine history; after all “History is His-Story”.

If we understand the time and season in God we enter into a new and living way, relationally, with Him. That way brings us into a day of rest versus a day of distress that has come upon the world. God does nothing but that He reveals His ways to His prophets. He wants us to understand His ways so that we may participate in His purposes in the earth.

THE REST OF GOD

There are three references to “Rest” in the Book of Hebrews. They are found in Chapter 3. First, the rest of God in His Creation order. “On the seventh day God rested from all His works”(Hebrews 4:4). He is quoting from the Genesis account of the fact that God ordered and arranged His universe (And earth in particular). After the fifth day when all things that pertained to life and godliness were in place, God brings forth a man from the earth on the sixth day. But God rested from His creation work and invites Adam who by now has his work assignment in the garden to enter into the rest of God. Adam’s work was to be a “no sweat” arrangement. He was to flow in the rhythm of unending “rest” while he tended (and extended) the boundaries of God’s garden. But sin and rebellion entered the picture and the “rest” that he knew was broken. As a consequence, the curse was placed upon the ground and Adam would toil with sweat for what formerly was freely given from the earth.

JOSHUA

The second instance mentioned in Hebrews is the rest that Joshua led Israel into as a result of defeating their enemies. “The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand” (Joshua 21:44 NKJV). Of course, we know that Joshua did not bring them to ultimate rest. There were still enemies that had been driven up into the hill country that were a source of unrest (Especially when they grew stronger due to Israel’s straying away from the LORD). And there was much more territory to be inhabited, and so forth.

TRUE CONQUEST

Joshua’s conquest was to be seen as a type and picture of Yeshua (Jesus Christ). The true conquest that brings the Sabbath rest that we can experience comes through Jesus the Messiah(See Mark 2:27-28).  The true conquest was done for us by Jesus at the cross over all the power of the enemies of our soul(See Colossians 2:14-15). The battles we face today are not the physical challenges merely, but challenges of faith. And the land or territory that must be repeatedly confronted is inside of us; the advance of the enemy to hinder the growth of our soul. “Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. (Hebrews 10:38, 39 NKJV).

Not only will it take faith; it will require obedience to the Word or voice of God. He says regarding entering into His rest, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts”(Hebrews 4:7 KJV). Hearing God’s voice in His leading and guidance is essential to possessing our spiritual inheritance. “See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven. Now this, Yet once more, indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear “Hebrews 12:25-28 NKJV).

Finally, true rest comes as we cease to struggle to have our will and way and can say truly from the depths of our heart, “Conquer and triumph in me, Lord Jesus”…”Not my will but Thy will be done”. With this the writer to the Hebrew writer agrees, “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His” (Hebrews 4:9, 10 NKJV). The place in your life where the battle for the will is won is the place of power and blessing.

“From Ivory Towers let me flee,

Giving glory alone to Thee.

From a pillowed bed of quiet ease,

Let me find my rest in Thee.

Not “Game-boy” battles of no retreat,

Victory is found in none but Thee.

From carcasses dead and buzzing bees,

Come food and honey, spoil from Thee.”-WF

 

(c) Copyright 2012, Walter Fletcher Jr., All rights are reserved. This article may be copied free of charge provided that it is not altered in any way from its original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

A NEW AND LIVING WAY(Pt.2)

“All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” (Matthew 11:27 NKJV)

Never in history have we had more “time saving” devices at our finger tips and yet we have less time to do the things we want. Time may be of the essence and yet we make no true progress as Mankind in history. Never have we had more access to information and yet we cannot understand what is going on in the world. Never have we offered more formulas and gatherings for peace and yet there is no peace from these accords. The more we strive in the flesh the more we exhaust time and can not find the key to the peace we so desperately long for. Why so? Because man apart from God only runs faster and further afield in his quest for peace and fulfillment apart from God.

THE WAY OF PEACE

The path of peace is a spiritual path that cannot be found by our political correctness nor our religious formulas. The way of peace is a person before it is a personal experience. “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:19-22 NKJV).

The writer to the Hebrew believers calls to mind what had for fifteen hundred years been an understood part of Israel’s religious history. And yet, up until that moment in time, although it had functioned continually as a religious observance, it brought no peace to the worshipper. Why not? Because it was never an accomplished work. The blood atonement and sacrifices of animals could “cover” the sin for one more year on the Day of Atonement (See Leviticus 23) but it could never “cleanse” from sin. Thus there was never peace nor rest that the work was completed or that God was satisfied.

OUR PEACE, OUR HIGH PRIEST

Knowing peace ultimately is knowing Jesus (Yeshua) our Messiah. He not only was sacrificed for all our sin and failures. He offered Himself as our great High Priest once and for all. When He hung upon the tree which symbolized one who was cursed, He ushered us into a blessing…the promised Holy Spirit; given on the Day of Pentecost. The peace and the abiding presence of God was given to a people who waited for “the promise of the Father”. Faith received what works never could produce. Jesus called for all who were weary from themselves and their never ending “works of the flesh” to come home to the Father, through Jesus, His Son. The veil of His flesh was rent for us, as the Veil of the Holiest of all was rent from top to bottom. This was to indicate that the Way to the Father, relationally, was made by God NOT man. Fellowship is restored and all who come by faith in the blood of Yeshua are part of the family of God. What peace and rest we find in Him, Who is the new and living way.

PEACE & LOVE

There is the witness of the Spirit of God that we are truly possessors of this peace. His peace not only guards our heart from the distress and unrest around us. It manifests His love under many and various pressures in life. We come up victorious in Christ. Peace may elude the world, but it is an open secret to you and I the believer.

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:1-5 NKJV).

(c) Copyright 2012, Walter Fletcher Jr., All rights reserved. This article may be copied free of charge provided it is not altered in any way from its original content. Please send all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

A NEW AND LIVING WAY(Pt. 1)

“By a new and living way He has opened for us through the curtain (that is, His flesh), and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water”(Hebrews 10:20-22 HCSB).

THE WAYS OF GOD

The wise Solomon wrote, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun.”(Ecclesiastes 1:9) I believe A.W. Tozer said, ’’God takes the same path through His created universe’’. Again Solomon wrote, “The sun rises and the sun sets; panting, it returns to its place where it rises. Gusting to the south, turning to the north, turning, turning, goes the wind, and the wind returns in its cycles. All the streams flow to the sea, yet the sea is never full. The streams are flowing to the place, and they flow there again” (Ecclesiastes 1:5-7HCSB).

THE MYSTERY OF HIS WAYS

The natural proceeds the spiritual. And yet, the spiritual is more real than the natural order. Therefore when we talk about God’s “new thing” we know that in the spirit realm, God’s “new” has been in His heart from of old. Therefore, we must seek Him out to discern and understand the mystery of His ways. “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter but the glory of kings to search it out”(Prov. 25:2).

ORIGINALITY

His “new” is not a novel or unique idea. It is original, in the sense that we have not experienced it “like this” before. For example, in the Book of the Revelation, John sees Yeshua (Jesus). But this was not the first time he had seen Jesus. John had walked, talked, leaned his head upon Jesus bossom, and shared food and fellowship with Him while here on earth. But when sees Jesus Christ, the Heavenly Man-Exalted, it was quite a different experience. John said, “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead”(Rev. 1:17). He was seeing Him as it were for the first time…In an original way.

A LIVING WAY

God is inviting His people into a “new and living way”; a way in which they have not known Him before. This new and original is like a new dawning of the sun. “The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, shining brighter and brighter until midday”(Proverbs 4:18). As the sun rises with a new color and beauty every morning, so the LORD God brings new mercies and fresh revelation of Himself to His children. Just like the sun’s ascent into the sky so “The son of righteousness rises with healing in His wings”(Mal.4:2). He wants to banish the shadows of our doubts, fears and worries and assure us that His love for us is constant, never changing. He wants to heal us of all our hurts,wounds and broken places in order that we may SEE Him as He really IS and not as we have thought Him to be. Our life experiences (or even religious experiences) can distort Who God really is. This distortion ultimately began when Adam turned his focus and allegiance from God His Father and he accepted a perverted self-image from the enemy of his soul. This is why Jesus declared, “The thief comes to steal, kill and to destroy. But I have come that they may have Life and have it abundantly”(John 10:10). There is “a new and living way” we must respond to. It originated in heaven and will bring us into God’s heart and purpose for our lives in the earth if we dare to walk with Him. May we,like David, cry out in this hour, “ Make Your ways known to me, LORD; teach me Your paths” (Psalms 25:2-5 HCSB).

 

(c) Copyright 2012, Walter Fletcher Jr., All rights are reserved. This article may be shared free of charge provided that it is not altered in anyway from its original content. Address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com