Archive for February, 2015

ALL THINGS NEW (Pt. 2)

In our last article, I mentioned two events recorded in the scriptures that are given to help us understand the story of God and Man.  The first is the Creation Story.  God made the heavens and the earth, creating human beings to walk & work in partnership with Him.  One day (in spite of the Fall), we will give account to God for our obedience to His desire and design for our life.

The second part of the Biblical narrative that is essential to our understanding is the story of the Exodus.  We must understand how God has journeyed with Mankind through history. The apostle Paul wrote in the Letter to the Believers in Corinth, “Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ”(1 Corinthians 10:1-4 NKJV).  When he says, “I would not have you unaware (or ignorant)” he is saying, “Pay attention! This is important for your spiritual consideration and growth.”  The story of the children of Israel’s exodus from Egypt into the Promised Land is a typical model for our exodus to spiritual freedom today.  Here are some points in the story of the exodus that mirror the climate for deliverance.

(1) Egypt’s Bondage.  Israel went into the land of Egypt as a “free” People.  God arranged for Joseph to be sent to Egypt to preserve his father and his brothers from a famine coming upon the whole of that North African region.  The children of Israel settled into the land of Goshen and began to thrive there.  But a new Pharaoh came to power, “who knew not Joseph”, and did not want the children of Israel to grow & prosper in Egypt’s land.  So he conspired with his “Cabinet” and began to mistreat them and to cruelly enslave them.  But, the more they were oppressed, the more they continued to multiply!  So this king thought that the “final solution” was to destroy their potential future growth and influence by ordering all the Hebrew baby boys to be thrown into the river Nile (Exodus 1&2).   This is application for us.  Please be aware, that if the enemy can’t defeat you, he’ll try and destroy your future and hope (See John 10:9).

(2) God raises up a deliverer.  His name was Moses. He was drawn out of the river of the Nile and would eventually be used to deliver his people out of Egypt.  But he also would be used to see that Pharaoh and his Army were drowned in the Sea! (Exodus 15)  God will never give us more than we can bear.  He has a person.  And He has a plan for our deliverance.  

God’s people came out of bondage, under the hand of Moses by the blood of the Lamb.  Likewise, God has made a way for our deliverance.  This the rest of the story, found in John’s Gospel concerning John the Baptist.  He was sent by God to announce our Deliverer, “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 NKJV).  Jesus came as the atoning sacrifice to set people free from their sins.

(3) God had a purpose for their freedom. “The LORD spoke to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him,’ thus says the LORD: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me” (Exodus 8:1 NKJV).  God wanted His people to be free to choose to do that for which they were created…To “Serve” and “Worship” Him.   Jesus affirms that this was the Father’s purpose. “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24 NKJV)

We were created to worship the LORD God (& have no other gods besides Him).

What does true freedom look like?  It looks like a people who have gained their freedom by the blood of the Lamb.  And they have learned to sing the true Song of redemption.   John saw this from a heavenly view:”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! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! (Revelation 15:3 NKJV)

May we cry out for true spiritual freedom to be what God created us to be…’Lovers and Ministers’ of/and in His presence. Tune your heart and enter into the Song…Singing your part.

 

(c) Copyright 2015, Walter Fletcher Jr.  All rights reserved.  This article may be copied and shared free of charge provided that it is not sold or altered in any way from its original content.  Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

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ALL THINGS NEW (Pt. 1)

“By faith we understand that the universe has been created by a word from God so that the visible came into existence from the invisible”(Hebrews11:3 CEB).

To understand what God is doing today, we must understand what He has done, as we have given in the Biblical narrative.  As someone observed, “History is His-Story”.   If we can see & understand what God has made known and done in the history of His people Israel, we will able to discern what He is doing in this day and hour.

CRITICAL EVENTS

Two events that are critical to our faith and understanding: The Creation narrative and the Story of the Exodus from Egypt. In this article, I will only address the issue of creation.

God made known to Moses that the origin (and the order) of creation was not a random act but an intentional design.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth….God saw all that he had made, and it was very good”.  (Genesis 1:1, 3a1 NIV) “Thus the heavens and the earth were created in all their vast array.  By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work”(Genesis 2:1-2 NIV).

The heavens and the earth were created, arranged and framed by a Creator for a specific purpose. To declare and proclaim His majesty.  “Heaven is declaring God’s glory; the sky is proclaiming his handiwork. One day gushes the news to the next, and one night informs another what needs to be known. Of course, there’s no speech, no words— their voices can’t be heard— but their sound extends throughout the world; their words reach the ends of the earth. God has made a tent in heaven for the sun. (Psalms 19:1-4 CEB)

 Further, God who is Creator is also the Owner of all.  Again, the psalmist declared, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters. (Psalm 24:1-2NIV).

This understanding that God is Creator and Owner comes with an implication.  God is in charge and we are not. And it  follows that one day we must give account.   The prophet Daniel, who was given the privilege of a vision of the end of the age, wrote, ““As I looked, “thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened” (Daniel 7:9-10 NIV).

YOUR DAY IN COURT

This court scene was not on earth. It was the court of heaven, where everyone who has ever lived will have “their day in court”!  They will give account for themselves before the “King of kings” and the “Judge of judges”.  The Judges decision will be final with no “Court of Appeal”.

Daniels vision was collaborated by John the beloved, “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done…Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire”(Revelation‬ 20:11-13,15 NIV).

God’s judgement on that day will not be “rigged” nor merely “fair”.  His judgement will be just.  He will give to each one a just verdict based on the choices they have made in life.  John records in his vision, “All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world”(Revelation 13:8 NIV).  Or alternatively, John recorded, “Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away….Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life”(Revelation 21:1-4, 27 NIV).

God is both Creator and in the end…the only Redeemer.  He has made a way for all men to be assured that they can be secure, for all eternity.   God has revealed Himself as a loving Father, longing for His wayward children to return home.  This is why Jesus was sent into the world, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him”(John 3:6-17 NIV).

(c) Copyright 2015, Walter Fletcher Jr.  All rights reserved.  This article may be copied and shared free of charge provided that it is not sold or altered in any way from its original content.  Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com