Category Archives: Bible Study

120 Trumpeters

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by Joanne Panettieri              Photo credit 1 

The Glory Of The Lord Falls

The apostle Paul tells us that what happened to Israel in the past happened as examples for us. 1 Cor 10: 11Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition,”  and we can say with certainty that there are repetitive patterns in Scripture. One such pattern that I would like to explore here, is when the Glory of the Lord filled the temple. This story is given to us in 2 Chronicles chapter 5.

1 “Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house of the LORD was finished…. 2 Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion. 3 Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the feast which was in the seventh month. 4 And all the elders of Israel came; and the Levites took up the ark. 5 And they brought up the ark, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, these did the priests and the Levites bring up…….

God’s Glory Fills the Temple

V:11 And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place: for all the priests that were present were sanctified, and did not then wait by course: 12 Also the Levites which were the singers, …. being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets: 13 It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD; 14 So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.”

The Assembly:

The Glory of the Lord filling the temple is a picture of the future Glory of God, the Holy Spirit, filling the New Testament temple, the believers in Jesus, the Messiah.

2 Chronicles 5:3 “Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the feast”

During the dedication of the temple the people were assembled. The actual word that is translated “church” in the New Testament is  ekklesia which means “an assembly or congregation”, whereas the word “church” comes from the Scottish word “kirk” and refers to the building where the people meet. The believers in Messiah are actually the assembly of those who believe in Jesus Christ, the King of Kings.

The Work is Finished:

Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house of the LORD was finished”

Solomon’s name in Hebrew is from the root word Shalam, and means “amends”. In this story he is a type of Jesus, who finished the work of atonement.

Shalam: “make amends, make an end, finish, full, give again, make good” This is what Jesus did for us by dying on the cross and making amends between God and man. He has finished the work:  John 19:30 “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”

Because Jesus / Solomon had finished the work of building the temple, it could now be filled with the ark which held the presence of God. The temple that Solomon built was made of the materials of the earth, stone, wood, gold and silver. The Temple that Jesus has built is also made up of the things of the earth, because God created man out of the dust of the ground, but we are the living stones.

1 Cor 3:16 “ 16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”

1 Peter 2: “4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him – 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

The Temple is dedicated during the Feast of Tabernacles:

2 Chron 5: 3 “Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the feast which was in the seventh month.”

The appointed Feast in the 7th month is the Feast of Tabernacles. It begins with the Feast of the blowing of Trumpets, called Yom Teruah, then comes the Day of Atonement, called Yom Kippur and ends with the 8 day long celebration of Tabernacles or Sukkot, when everyone lived in booths for a week. This is significant because the Day of Atonement is the most holy day of the year in the Hebrew calendar. It was a day of deep repentance for the people. 2 Chronicles also tells us in verse 11 that all the priests were sanctified, or made holy. Because Jesus made atonement for us, we, as Kingdom priests, are also made holy.

Hebrews 2: 17 Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation (atonement) for the sins of the people.

Romans 5: 11 “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”

The Tabernacle of David is Brought Up

Solomon brought up the tabernacle and all the pieces of furniture that were in it up to the new Temple in Jerusalem. He also established the singers in the Temple, which is a type of New Testament worship.

2 Chronicles 5: “And all the elders of Israel came; and the Levites took up the ark. 5 ; And they brought up the ark, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, these did the priests and the Levites bring up…… 12 Also the Levites which were the singers, …. being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps.”

When David brought the Ark back to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6) he did not put it in the Tabernacle of Moses, which was still standing on Mount Gibeon, but he built a new tent for it on Mount Zion. Here he established 24 hour worship with songs and instruments.

….but in the midst of the Tabernacle of David on Mount Zion; and further that there were no animal sacrifices there, only sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving; and no priests, but only Levites, whom David appointed “to minister before the ark of the Lord, and to record,” that is literally to make mention of, or bring to remembrance, or in other words to proclaim or preach the mercies and the marvelous acts of God, “and to thank and praise the Lord God of Israel” (1 Chr. 16:4). This was a very remarkable suspension of the system of worship of the Law, and an equally remarkable foreshadowing of that of the Gospel. And so it was during the greater part of King David’s reign, during all the years the ark of God dwelt in the Tabernacle of David.2

Isaiah 16:5 tells us the the Lamb will rule from the Tabernacle of David: “And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness.”

The Bible promises in the book of Amos (Amos 9:11) that the Tabernacle of David would be restored at some future time. The Apostle James declared that this was fulfilled in the first century by the bringing in of the Gentiles to the assembly of believers:

Acts 15: 16 “After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: 17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.”

White Linen

The priests in Solomon’s temple were arrayed in white linen, which is symbolic of the righteousness of the saints when Jesus Christ washes away our sins.

Revelation 19: 7 “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”

120 Priests Sounding Trumpets

1 Chronicles 5: 12 …….“and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets ……. 13 It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the LORD”

What occurred here at the dedication of Solomon’s temple is a prophetic symbol of the dedication of the early church when the Holy Spirit filled the believers on the day of Pentecost. The believers were all together in one accord (they were as one to make ONE sound)

Acts 2: 1 “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place”

There were 120 waiting in the upper room, who were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues, trumpeting the praises of God with their mouths!

Acts 1: 12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem …. 13And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, ….. 14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, … 15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)…… Acts 2: 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance…… 5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, (they had gathered there for the Feast of Pentecost) devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6 Now when this was noised abroad, (They heard the believers speaking in tongues the trumpeters) the multitude came together, (and said in amazement)… we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.”

Just as the priests sang praises to God with the blowing of the trumpets on the day of the dedication of Solomon’s temple, so also, on the dedication day of the living temple of Jesus Christ, there were 120 trumpeter priests giving praise to God!

Peter’s Message is Atonement:

After Peter talks to the assembled crowd on the day that the ekklēsia of Jesus Christ is born, he tells them that the only way into this new temple is through the atoning work of Jesus through repentance:

Acts 2:37 “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call

Even as the glory cloud filled the temple of Solomon, the promise of the Glory of God, through the Holy Spirit, fills the Kingdom Temple of Jesus Christ. And as Peter tells us “this promise is for AS MANY AS THE LORD OUR GOD SHALL CALL”

Hosea 14: 1 “Return, Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall! 2 Take words with you and return (repentance) to the Lord. Say to him: Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips.” (This is the Torah portion read every year in every Synagogue on the Sabbath between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur during the Feast of Tabernacles)

1 Corinthians 5:8 “Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

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The Breaking of the Waters

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by Joanne Panettieri

For the past several days in prayer I have been hearing the Holy Spirit saying “Breakthrough, breakthrough, breakthrough”!

This brought to my remembrance the story of King David when he defeated the Philistines:

 2 Samuel 5: 17:   When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, they went up in full force to search for him, but David heard about it and went down to the stronghold.  18  Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim;  19 so David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hands?”

The Lord answered him, “Go, for I will surely deliver the Philistines into your hands.”

20 So David went to Baal Perazim, and there he defeated them. He said, “As waters break out, the Lord has broken out against my enemies before me.” So that place was called Baal Perazim. 21 The Philistines abandoned their idols there, and David and his men carried them off.

The term “Baal Perazim” literally means Baal “the owner or lord” of the perets, “breaking forth or breach” or literally the “Lord of the Breakthrough”. We use the term “breach” in English as a noun in referring to a “breach in the law”, a “breach of contract” or a “breaking of the law”. As a verb it means “to make a gap in and break through” as in “there is a breach in the wall”. David saying “as the waters break out” is a term referring to a child coming forth from the birth canal and is a reference to birthing and new life.

“During pregnancy, your baby is surrounded and cushioned by a fluid-filled membranous sac called the amniotic sac. Typically, at the beginning of or during labor your membranes will rupture — also known as your water breaking.” 1

This same term is used in Genesis 38 when we look at the story of Tamar and Judah.

Genesis 38: 27  When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. 28  As she was giving birth, one of them put out his hand; so the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it on his wrist and said, “This one came out first.” 29  But when he drew back his hand, his brother came out, and she said, “So this is how you have broken out!” And he was named Perez.   30 Then his brother, who had the scarlet thread on his wrist, came out. And he was named Zerah.

In the story of Tamar we find out that her husband, the son of Judah, dies. Judah then gives her his second son as a husband to have children in his brother’s name, as a kinsman redeemer. He refuses to impregnate her and the Lord also kills him. Tamar is then left to live as a widow, while she waits for Judah’s third son. When Tamar releases that Judah is not going to give her his third son to bring forth a child in her husband’s name, she seduces Judah and becomes pregnant with twins.

When the midwife says “So this is how you have broken out” she uses the same word “perets” that David used in referring to the Lord of the Breakthrough, because God was giving  him victory over his enemies.

Tamar, a barren woman, impregnates herself by Judah, whose name means “praise”. She then gives birth to twins, a double portion. The first one she names “Perez” or breakthrough. The second one Zerah, which means “to rise”, “come forth” or “to shine”.

This same word in verb form is zerach and is used in Isaiah 60: 1 referring to the glory of the Lord “rising” or “coming forth”.

Isaiah 60:

1 “Arise, shine, for your light has come,

and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.

2 See, darkness covers the earth

and thick darkness is over the peoples,

but the Lord rises upon you

and his glory appears over you.

As I write this today, it is the first day of the 3 part Feast of Tabernacles. The first part of that feast is called “Yom Teruah” or the “Day of Shouting” and the “Feast of Trumpets”. The blowing of the trumpets is a call to attention, to remind the people that the day of atonement, or repentance, is near. For the Christian, this is a reminder that we are to stay in a constant state of repentance before God. We can shout the victory because of the complete atonement that we have by the blood of Jesus.

During the Feast of Tabernacles there was also a breaking forth of water in the Temple. This was known as the “water libation ceremony” and it took place at on the 8th or “great day” of the feast. In Hebrew it was called Nissuch Ha-Mayim. During this ceremony the priests would bring a procession to the pool of Siloam (living water) and fill golden pitchers with water, which were then poured out on the altar in the temple as the priests and congregation recited the “Hallel”  or praise Psalms 113 – 118,  giving thanks and reminding God of his promises. It was at this juncture we read in John 7:

 37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38  Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”  39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

The “rivers of living water” are the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, which breaks out through the believer as the water of life, and is an essential part of the new birth.

The Feasts of the Lord are holy convocations and were required to be attended by all the males in Israel. They are all connected through water. In Passover we pass though the waters of baptism, and go from death to life. In Pentecost we are filled with the water of the Spirit, as Jesus said to the Samaritan woman in John 4 “whoever drinks of this water will never thirst”. And in Tabernacles the water of the spirit breaks forth from out of us into the world to bring forth the harvest. Let us always strive to keep the eternal feasts of the Lord in our daily lives!

Leviticus 23: 41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.

1 Cor 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of
malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

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How To Read The Bible: Introduction

How to Read the Bible: Introduction

by Herman Newtics

Today I would like to talk about how to read the Bible. I was prompted to write this article because of a post on facebook, where a friend of a friend stated that the recent defacement of monuments was a sure sign of the imminent return of Christ. When I challenged him on where this was in scripture he got insulting, which is what many people do when they can not answer your questions. Go figure.

How we read and interpret the scriptures makes all the difference in how we understand them. The science of the theory and method of interpretation is called “hermeneutics”.

Hermeneutics is derived from the Greek word ἑρμηνεύω (hermeneuō, “translate, interpret” and can sometimes be used interchangeably with exegesis, which literally means “to lead out”. In using EXEGESIS as our method of interpretation we TAKE OUT of the text what it is saying. We let the text interpret itself. By using the exegetical method of interpretation you are finding out what the author was actually saying, when it was said, and to whom was the author speaking. This is the correct way to read the Bible.

The opposite method of interpreting the Scriptures is called eisegesis. Eisegesis means “to LEAD INTO”. In this method you start from a basis of a per-conceived idea or notion and then try to make it fit into scripture. Exegesis and Eisegesis are conflicting methods of interpretation. In exegesis you take out of the text what it is saying about itself. In eisegesis you read thoughts and ideas INTO the text. For example, the letters to the churches in the book of Revelation were actually written to real churches that existed in the first century. They are not meant to be taken as allegory, but in fact this is how most preachers teach them. Unfortunately, most false doctrine today is based on the eisegetical method of interpretation.

In 2 Timothy 2: 15 the writer tells us to use the exegetical methods: “Present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” We must strive to be an exegete, allowing the text to speak for itself.

Eisegesis can easily lead to error, as the reader attempts to align the text with his own preconceived notions. Exegesis allows us to agree with the Bible; eisegesis seeks to force the Bible to agree with us.

When using the exegetical method we must ask ourselves the following questions:

What does the passage actually say?

To whom was it said?

When was it said and what is the timing of the text?

What does the passage mean?

How does the passage relate to the rest of the Bible?

How should this passage affect my life?

Eisegesis, on the other hand starts with a pre-conceived idea, such as a future fulfillment of prophecy, and then tries to fit the text into your idea.

A good question to ask yourself is, do you read FROM the Bible, or do you read INTO the Bible, and do you know the difference.

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11

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The Book of Hebrews

 

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The Book of Hebrews by Leo Fenton

 

The Book of Hebrews

The Revelation of Eternity

The Preparation of the Priests.

The Kingdom of PRIESTS– Mount Zion!

Leo Fenton

April 25, 2014

In examining the Book of Hebrews, if we are really attentive to its message, we might be astounded by what it clearly says.

To neglect this message is to ignore God’s Eternal Purpose and the tremendous salvation He has provided for us under the New Covenant.

This book is so unique from Chapter 1 to Chapter 13 that this document will point out some of this remarkable and unusual content.

This is the ONLY Book in the New Testament that bears this unique testimony.

While there are seven references to Zion in the New Testament, there are only two references to Mount Zion and only the Book of Hebrews tells us what that means.

Heb 12:18 For you have not come to a mountain that may be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, 19 and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word should be spoken to them.

20 For they could not bear the command, “IF EVEN A BEAST TOUCHES THE MOUNTAIN, IT WILL BE STONED.” 21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, “I AM FULL OF FEAR and trembling.”

Heb 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the Mediator of a New Covenant, and to the sprinkled Blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.

(1) Mount Zion,

(2) The City of the Living God,

(3) The Heavenly Jerusalem,

(4) To Myriads of Angels,

(5) To the general assembly and church of the first-born,

(6) To God, the Judge of all,

(7) To the spirits of righteous men made perfect,

(8) To Jesus, the Mediator of a New Covenant,

(9) To the sprinkled blood.

Is there any other Book in the New Testament that gives us this revelation?

Not even close!

It should be obvious that to dwell on Zion and in the location of these nine tremendous disclosures would be a very HIGH and important calling.

Most Christians are seriously lacking of any preparation to live in that high and lofty place.

Many Christians have barely left “Egypt” and its world system, let alone coming to Mount Sinai.

Some only have one Foundation for dwelling on Zion laid experientially in their life.

Some Christians have come as far as the foot of Mount Zion but the ascending up the Mountain to the Throne of God is the major problem for most Christians and the church in general.

How could that still be true since there are about 85 references to this Heavenly Zion in Scriptures?

  • First, most have never heard of Mount Zion,
  • Second, they didn’t know we were destined for Mount Zion,
  • Third, they have no idea how to ascend unto Zion,
  • Fourth they see no reason to think about it because “We are already saved” and “if there is a Zion we are already there,
  • Fifth, “we don’t believe that God dwells on Zion because He dwells in Heaven,”
  • Sixth, “even if His Throne is on Zion, all who are saved will sit on His Throne,”
  • Seventh, “If Jesus rules on Zion we will certainly rule with Him because we are ALL a Kingdom of Priests!”

“Anyway, the Bible says we have already come to Mount Zion, so what IS your point?”

The point is this; the example we are given is Israel when THEY came to Mount Sinai.

However, the reality is that in the same way they came to Mount Sinai we have come to Mount Zion and to the mighty Presence of God.

While the Presence of God was terrifying at Mount Sinai, that is NOTHING compared to Mount Zion where His Extreme Presence is much more terrifying.

The big Santa Clause waiting in heaven for you to take your turn sitting on His lap vaporizes into fantasy when we see Mount Zion as it is displayed in Scripture.

1Cor 10:5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness. 6 Now these things happened as examples for us, that we should not crave evil things, as they also craved.

1Cor 10:11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

Rom 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

The trip out of Egypt by Israel is an example for us and is reckoned by God as instructions for those upon whom the end of the ages has come.

They came to the foot of the mountain but refused to climb up the mountain.

If Israel had:

  • ascended the mountain,
  • heard His voice,
  • kept His Covenant, and
  • obeyed,

they could have become a Kingdom of Priests.

They forfeited their calling and destiny simply because they stayed at a safe distance from the Mountain and insisted that Moses go up the Mountain and then bring God’s Words down to them.

They were terrified by the extremely unpleasant and intense fire that was His Presence when He came down on Mount Sinai.

Deu 5:4 “The LORD spoke to you face to face at the mountain from the midst of the fire, 5 while I was standing between the LORD and you at that time, to declare to you the Word of the LORD; for you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain.

The Eternal City of God, the Heavenly Jerusalem, is directly related to Mount Zion.

Paul referred to this destiny as the High or Upward or the Ascending Call of God in Christ Jesus.

Phil 3:7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ,

9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;

Phil 3:12 Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect,

but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what liesahead,

14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

The “DEBILITATING GOSPEL” (that has seriously weakened the church) which is being nearly universally preached could soon be reversed if the total underlying message of this Book was accurately preached and taught.

Since there are 156 references to Zion in the Old Testament, much of our additional understanding must come from those Scriptures.

However, this document will focus upon the Book of Hebrews and why its message is essential for the universal church today.

It is the Book of Hebrews that should and could reverse the casual attitude and pitiful and pathetic testimony of the modern believers.

Psalm 50:1The Mighty One, God, the LORD, has spoken, and summoned the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.

2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God has shone forth.

3 May our God come and not keep silence; Fire devours before Him, and it is very tempestuous around Him. 4 He summons the heavens above, and the earth, to judge His people: 5 “Gather My godly ones to Me, Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.” 6 And the heavens declare His righteousness, For God Himself is Judge. Selah.

We are identifying the pressing onward and upward call to Harvest Perfection as our ascending call to the top of Mt. Zion and to the Throne of God.

This Mount Zion and His Sovereign Throne is central to the Eternal Kingdom and Purpose of God!

Our goal is to grow into Sonship and become a member of the Body of Our High Priest and His eternal function as the Sovereign King over the Kingdom of Priests.

The King / Priests will be the Government over the nations and our Great King will rule from Mount Zion over ALL the works of God’s Hands.

Psalm 48:1 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, in the city of our God, His Holy Mountain. 2 Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion in the far north, the City of the Great King.

3 God, in her palaces, has made Himself known as a stronghold.

4 For, lo, the kings assembled themselves, they passed by together.

5 They saw it, then they were amazed; they were terrified, they fled in alarm.

6 Panic seized them there, Anguish, as of a woman in childbirth.

Even in its Eternal Dimension, this Mount Zion will be a terrifying place to be for anyone not fully:

  • prepared,
  • consecrated,
  • perfected and
  • qualified

to dwell there.

Isa 33:14 Sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling has seized the godless.

“Who among us can live with the consuming fire?

Who among us can live with continual burning?

15 He who walks righteously, and speaks with sincerity, he who rejects unjust gain, and shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe; he who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed, And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil;

16 He will dwell on the heights; his refuge will be the impregnable rock; his bread will be given him; His water will be sure.

17 Your eyes will see the King in His beauty; they will behold a far-distant land.

When we truly understand that it is His Bondservants who see His Face, the whole area of Mount Zion takes on a much higher and intense goal within His Kingdom Government.

Rev 22:1 And he showed me a river of the water of Life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb,Rev 22:2 in the middle of its street. And on either side of the river was the Tree of Life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the Tree were for the healing of the nations.

Rev 22:3 And there shall no longer be any curse; and the Throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His Bondservants shall serve Him;

Rev 22:4 and they shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.

Rev 22:5 And there shall no longer be any night; and they shall not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God shall illumine them; and they shall reign forever and ever. Rev 22:6 And he said to me, “These words are faithful and true”; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His Bondservants the things which must shortly take place.

While the law of the Bondservant applies in this application to Mount Zion, we must leave that explanation to a former study.

It should be clear that His Bondservants, in this verse, are a special people that have attained to the ascending call and became “perfect” as Paul was anticipating.

While Paul considered himself to be a Bondservant he also knew he must still be made perfect like the Prototype Son.

Even though this “high calling” seems much too impossible, it is clear that this Eternal position will be attained by all those who are identified in Revelation 22 and those who stand on Zion.

The Throne on Zion is the source of the River of Life that flows out to the nations.

The LEAVES of the Tree are for the healing of the nations but the fruit belongs to the residents of the Eternal City.

While the “nations of the New Earth” will also be called “heaven” they will be inhabited by those who barely escaped the world system (Egypt) or those who only came to the base of Mount Zion.

This understanding of Mount Zion and the Throne of God is an integral part of the FULL GOSPEL of the KINGDOM which has been nearly totally neglected.

Without the Book of Hebrews this evaluation of Zion would be very obtuse.

Much of what we share about the Priesthood and God’s Eternal City originates in this Book.

Understanding that the Tabernacle of God is related to the World yet to Come originates in this Book.

Without this Book of Hebrews we would be ignorant of the two distinct and separate Altars from which the two priesthood Covenants have a right to eat.

Since our Covenant is so much higher than the Old Covenant, we must be equipped to eat from the OTHER altar that is forbidden to the lesser priesthood.

Nevertheless, it is this Book of Hebrews, coupled with Revelation 21 and 22, that defines the ultimate Purpose of God to have a Kingdom of Priests who are Bondservants and have grown up in ALL things to become the Bride of Christ.

“But, Brother, how do you arrive at that conclusion?”

That is because it seems untenable that the Bride would not see His Face and rule with Him. She will sit with HIM on His Throne.

The fact that she will also be called “Mature Sons” or a “Kingdom of Priests” who are Bondservants should not seem strange.

Mature Sons refer to those who receive the Full Inheritance while these other names will define her function in the Tabernacle of God.

The Throne will be the seat of His absolute and Eternal Government so we should reject the foolishness that there will be a honeymoon that will last for eternity.

The seriousness of these five warnings in the Book of Hebrews should indicate the demanding and distinctive character of God’s Ultimate Purpose.

To approach eternity in the casual manner presented by the visible church indicates a pitiful lack of understanding.

To say that these warnings only apply to the Hebrews is ridiculous.

While we can see the warnings that Paul gives about going back under the Law, only the Book of Hebrews explains why the Law was set aside.

It clearly says that the Law could make nothing perfect because it was weak and useless.

Only the Book of Hebrews tells us why the priesthood after the order of Aaron was changed and a higher Priesthood was established.

That former priesthood could bring no one to perfection.

This clearly indicates that this higher Priesthood can and should bring the church to perfection.

Even though the Book of First Peter speaks about the Royal Priesthood, it does not evaluate it in relation to the former priesthood.

However, Peter does relate this Royal Priesthood to Zion.

1Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

6 For this is contained in Scripture: “BEHOLD I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM SHALL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”

1Peter 2:9 But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him Who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous Light;

Only the Book of Hebrews tells us the limitation and value of the blood of bulls and goats as it relates to “sins.”

Heb 10:3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year.

4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

That earthly blood could only cleanse the flesh but could not cleanse the conscience.

Only the Book of Hebrews explains the limitation of the animal sacrifices and how they were offered for the cleansing of the flesh but could provide nothing further.

The implication is that now with the Higher Blood of Jesus:

  • our SINS can be TAKEN AWAY,
  • the conscience can be cleansed and
  • we can ascend to a much higher place in the Plan of God.

The former sacrifices could not provide us with an Eternal Redemption.

It is the Book of Hebrews that introduces us to the fact that ONLY Jesus and His Sacrifice can correct these deficiencies of the Old Covenant.

It had to wait for Jesus to come to establish a totally New Covenant.

It is the Book of Hebrews that clarifies for us that Jesus is the ONLY Mediator of the New Covenant which is built upon much better promises.

Whatever was lacking in the Old Covenant that prevented anyone from coming to perfection is now available to those who are participating in the New Covenant.

The Greater Priesthood, after the Order of Melchizedek, administers the New Covenant which is now sufficient to bring the Church He is Building to Perfection.

It is ONLY the Book of Hebrews that gives us a detailed description of the Priesthood after the Order of Melchizedek.

Without this revelation the Kingdom of Priests would be another lifeless doctrine.

When we ignore the “Kingdom of Priests” and the Eternal Government of God, we might falsely assume that everyone who said “yes” to Jesus was a member of this Eternal Priesthood.

It is the Book of Hebrews that makes a clear distinction between the earthly sanctuary and the Heavenly Sanctuary.

Aaron and that priesthood ministered in the earthly sanctuary but now this Eternal Priesthood ministers in the Heavenly Sanctuary.

The First Covenant was limited to the earthly sanctuary but the New Covenant relates us to the Heavenly Sanctuary.

However, the main point that we are sharing is that without the Book of Hebrews, the Tabernacle of Moses would only berelated to the Old Covenant and have NOTHING to say to us.

In this book alone is the Tabernacle of Moses declared to be a copy, a type and a shadow of heavenly and eternal things.

The Tabernacle of Moses is a picture of heaven itself.

No other Book gives us this revelation that ultimately reveals the Tabernacle of God. Why?

The Tabernacle of Moses is an earthly copy of the real Tabernacle that is currently in Heaven.

This fact alone gives LIFE to Revelation 21 and the final and ultimate Tabernacle of God.

The Tabernacle of Moses is an inadequate and ineffective picture of the Tabernacle of God, but it reveals enough to define Heaven as in three distinct places.

This fact, when understood and accepted, will reveal the real reason the Church He is Building MUST come to perfection if it is going to participate in God’s Eternal Purpose!

It will clearly explain why each individual in the Body of the High Priest must come to the measure of the full stature of Christ Jesus.

This is the reason that we all are called to grow up in ALL things into the Head, which is Christ Jesus.

It is the Tabernacle of Moses and the preparation of the Priests to function in the Holy Place ministry (the Heavenly Sanctuary) and to stand before the Lord to minister to HIM that gives us the insight to pattern our own development and maturity in the Christian Life.

The Seven Foundational Preparations for the Old Covenant Priesthood are a pattern for us and relate to our seven stage preparation for the Priesthood after the Order of Melchizedek.

Without the Book of Hebrews we would be very limited in our understanding of the Kingdom of Priests and how they are prepared to function in the Eternal Government of God.

Hebrews is the Book that reveals that AFTER the prescribed Foundations are laid experientially in our lives, we MUST still go on to perfection or what we refer to as Harvest Maturity.

It is this Book that warns us not to remain as baby Christians. Of course everybody begins there.

We are instructed to at least press on to become teachers rather than those who can only consume the very least of spiritual food, the milk.

These babies must NOT always need more teaching instead of becoming teachers for the next generation.

To be a “baby Christian” is a shameful thing if by this time you ought to be teachers.

In the visible church to be a “baby Christian” is considered as normal.

Even to have a “baby Christian” in the pulpit is acceptable if they have been trained by the leadership of that group.

It is this tremendous Book of Hebrews that confirms again that within the New Covenant provision God has chosen Man and appointed Man to be over all the works of God’s Hands.

It is exclusively in this Book that we learn that God has chosen to bring MANY MATURE SONS to the same glory as the only begotten Son, Christ Jesus.

It is in this Book that the Son of God is called “God.”

It is disappointing that this Book does not explain what that means but the mystery will be revealed within the preparation expounded in this Book.

It is this and similar reasons that I have guessed that this BOOK of Hebrews was Ultimately written by the Holy Spirit, even though a man must have held the pen.

It is for that reason that we insist that all who will not embrace the necessary transformation will eventually stagnate into a lifeless religion.

I am NOT using “necessary change” as a cliché or as an abstract term.

This means transitioning into the “New Covenant Priesthood Ministry after the Order of Melchizedek.”

This is the ultimate reason He is insisting upon and expecting “Harvest Maturity” (pure Gold) within the Church He is Building.

This will be required to participate in the end time Priesthood Ministry.

While the “titles” of these 6 Foundations are listed in Hebrews 6, the details are not given.

However, it is the Book of Hebrews that focuses upon the Tabernacle of Moses as a copy of the Eternal Tabernacle that alerts us to the reality of the preparation of those priests.

It is the preparation of those former priests that we arrive at the details for the preparation of the Ultimate Priesthood after the Order of Melchizedek.

These details, found in the Book of Exodus and the Book of Leviticus are essential for us to understand the New Covenant Priesthood after the Order of Melchizedek. Why?

Jesus became our Great High Priest after that ultimate Order.

Psalm 87:1 His Foundation is in the holy mountains.

2 The LORD loves the gates of Zion More than all the other dwelling places of Jacob.

3 Glorious things are spoken of you, O City of God. Selah (pause and understand).

In the beginning “GOD” (Genesis 1) at least implies that we must always begin our understanding with God.

When we always begin with the absolute Sovereignty of God, we will begin on His Holy Mountain.

Beginning with man (and earth) and reasoning UP to God is the source of so much wrong emphasis.

God always BEGINS His Foundations in the ultimate realm of His Sovereignty.

That means on HIS HOLY MOUNTAIN, Zion and His Design for the City of God!

When man begins with man and his needs it turns into a man-centered gospel that is stupefying to the believers.

This is what we are referring to as the “DEBILITATING GOSPEL.”

The Book of Hebrews BEGINS with God and how He spoke.

Now He speaks in His Son.

Then it exposes the wonderful Superiority of Christ Jesus and His position at the Right Hand of God.

From there it reasons down to “What is Man?”

It was GOD, His God, Who anointed Jesus above His companions.

Even though the current heavens will perish and disappear, the Ultimate Son will remain and retain His Ultimate Glory forever, seated at the Right Hand of God.

This IS the Stone that was laid in Zion.

Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a Stone, a tested Stone, A costly cornerstone forthe Foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.

17 “And I will make justice the measuring line, and righteousness the level; then hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the secret place.

This “Higher Priesthood” seems to be the underlying and the basic message of this Book.

It lays a background for the coming New Jerusalem, the City of the Living God.

It presents Jesus as the High Priest Who is the sole Mediator of the New Covenant reality so that we may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

This is NOT referring to “going to heaven when we die.

Hebrews 5:8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. 9 And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,

10 being designated by God as a High Priest according to the Order of Melchizedek.

It should be forcefully pointed out that our Eternal Salvation is directly related to our obedience to our High Priest (the Perfect Son) after the Order of Melchizedek.

The authenticity of this statement may be challenged by the ignorant who esteem doctrine above reality.

Unless we clearly understand that our Salvation is so much greater than the salvation under the Old Covenant, some will attempt to disparage the Book of Hebrews as Not for us.

The warning in Chapter 2 addresses this point of our higher and greater salvation.

Heb 2:2 For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? 3 After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, 4 God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His Own Will. Heb 2:5 For He did not subject to angels the world to come, concerning which we are speaking. 6 But one has testified somewhere, saying, “WHAT IS MAN, THAT THOU REMEMBEREST HIM? OR THE SON OF MAN, THAT THOU ART CONCERNED ABOUT HIM? 7 “THOU HAST MADE HIM FOR A LITTLE WHILE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS; THOU HAST CROWNED HIM WITH GLORY AND HONOR, AND HAST APPOINTED HIM OVER THE WORKS OF THY HANDS;

8 THOU HAST PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET.”

For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him.

But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him.

9 But we do see Him Who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. 10 For it was fitting for Him, for Whom are all things, and through Whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the Author of their salvation through sufferings.

It is the Author of this Great Salvation Who relates us directly to the world yet to come.

At last now God has provided everything for “man” to fulfill what He purposed in the very beginning.

That is to give “man” dominion over all the works of His Hands.

Following Calvary God has received His First Man with this ultimate calling, Christ Jesus.

Now God’s Purpose is to bring MANY SONS to this same glory.

What other Book can we mention in the New Testament that reveals this extreme and achievable calling?

It would be wonderful if we could boldly proclaim that this is an ultimatum and Not a suggestion to the visible church, but who would permit that today?

The “DEBILITATING GOSPEL” has been dumbed down to a doctrine of just believe something about Jesus and be “saved.”

What is the real message?

Don’t turn back or be dissuaded for the ultimate goal but be faithful to the Word of God which He spoke through Jesus, which we have now heard.

Remember, we have received so much greater Salvation than anyone that came before Calvary.

Still, we have their testimony in Chapter 11 before us that was so real that many gave their lives for that lesser salvation.

We must reject any ignorance that compares our New Covenant salvation with the salvation of any who came before Calvary and the Kingdom / Priesthood Dimension of Eternal Salvation. Why?

That is because of all the tremendous provision that is available to us, that was NOT available to them.

All these excuses offered today for the pitiful state of the visible church will prove to be invalid and rejected simply because of this testimony from the Book of Hebrews.

To reduce this “provision” down to a very simple statement we could say “Everything is BETTER now.”

Of course this is a colossal “UNDERSTATEMENT.”

It is because of these much greater and more powerful provisions offered to the New Covenant believer that the warnings which are given are valid and necessary.

The ignorance of rejecting these warnings by offering some ridiculous doctrine about grace is difficult to understand.

(How ignorant is this; “The God I know would not require that!”)

Heb 2:1 For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense,

3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard,

4 God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His Own Will.

“SO GREAT A SALVATION” is certainly not another mystery.

This is clearly explained by what follows.

This “so great a salvation” is positively linked to the dominion over all the works of His Hands and the “Bringing many Sons to that Ultimate Glory.”

This wonderful fact was first revealed by Jesus and then it was re-told by those who heard Him say it.

What Jesus told His disciples involved this “So great a salvation” and the dominion over all the Works of God’s hands and in bringing many Sons to Glory.

Jesus obviously taught His disciples many things that are not recorded in the four Gospels and this is one of them.

However, in John 6 several of His disciples were offended by what Jesus taught about Passover and quit following Him.

John 6:66 As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew, and were not walking with Him anymore. 67 Jesus said therefore to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” 68 Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have Words of Eternal Life.

Peter reported that Jesus used to teach them about the coming Holy Spirit and the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and must have informed them about speaking in tongues because of Peter’s witness in Acts 11.

Act 11:14 and he shall speak words to you by which you will be saved, you and all your household.’ 15 “And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, just as He did upon us at the beginning. 16 “And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’

17 “If God therefore gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?”

John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

My point is this; Jesus, obviously taught His disciples many things that are not directly recorded but that show up several months or years later in other letters.

I am guessing that Peter’s references to the Royal Priesthood and the Spiritual House in 1 Peter 2 is one of those things.

1Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

1Peter 2:9 But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him Who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous Light;

Again, I am guessing that the Book of Hebrews contain many of those things that were recalled a few years later by someone who heard Jesus teach them.

Maybe before and maybe during those 40 days when He taught them about the Kingdom of God after His Resurrection.

Regardless of the way we received the Book of Hebrews it is certainly apparent that this Book contains:

  • the foundation for the Christian Life,
  • the vision of Eternity and
  • the revelation of our SO GREAT A SALVATION and
  • the clear reason for it.

That reason revolves around the World Yet to Come which is called “the Tabernacle of God” in Revelation 21.

Why anyone would set out to deny this obvious reality is a great mystery.

If the devil could persuade us this Book of Hebrews is invalid he would enlarge his days and delay his demise in the same way he deceived Adam and Eve and is still here after 6000 years.

Understanding the underlying message of this Book will reveal the “issues of Life” as viewed from God’s Eternal Viewpoint!

This was first spoken to my wife and me in December of 1970 and is still true today.

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The Tabernacle of Moses by Leo Fenton Parts 7, 8, 9, and 10

 

 

 

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The Cost of Discipleship

A great sermon by the late Leonard Ravenhill 

 

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In Defense of Job: Does God Allow Suffering?

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In Defense of Job

by Joanne Panettieri 

Job 1: 1 “In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.”

The book of Job is considered by scholars to be the oldest book of the bible and its theme is “why the righteous suffer”. The author, according to Rabbinic sources, is accredited to be Moses. There are writers who have said that because the Book of Job is the oldest book in the Bible that it is a foundational teaching. And according to the “law of first mention” it should be studied as a most important theme, since God gave it to us first. One author stated that if you do not understand the God of Job, you do not understand God.

Having gone through personal suffering over the past several years, my husband and I have gleaned a lot of wisdom from the life and sufferings of Job. And God has deepened our understanding of Himself and His ways in the lives of his children. It has become our belief that God not only allows suffering in the lives of His saints, but sometimes He actually orchestrates it. But more on that later!

In sharing some of my thoughts on Job and suffering, I have run across great opposition by other Christians. There are two great divides in the minds of Christians about Job. One, that his life was “before the cross” and therefore does not apply, since Jesus suffered and died for us and therefore we do not have to suffer. The second is that God would never ALLOW us to suffer. The argument I keep hearing is this: “Job had fear in his life and this opened the doorway for the devil to attack him”. Where this “blame the victim” mentality about Job came in, I do not know, but it is totally erroneous regarding Job!

Job Was Blameless!

The book opens by describing Job’s character as being upright and blameless. A man who feared God and shunned evil. Job 1:1

It is rather hard for anyone to believe that God would allow such a man to suffer! Reading on we find that Job was a very blessed man:

Job “He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East. “ Job 1: 2-3

Job was also a loving and caring father who regularly gave burnt offerings to God on behalf of his children, just in case they sinned.

God himself initiates the attack against Job!

In the beginning of Job Chapter 1 we see that the sons of God (some form of divine beings) appear before God and Satan (the deceiver) appears with them.

Job 1: 6 – 12

One day the angels (Sons of God) came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”

Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”

Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”

Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.”

God tells Satan that his servant Job is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and there is no one like him. At this Satan throws in God’s face that it is only because God has a hedge around him and that Job is blessed, that he is like this. No where in this exchange does it mention that Job had a fear problem, or was in sin, or that there was a doorway open for Satan to attack him! God initiated the entire event! God knew beforehand what would happen to Job and God allowed it.

God allows Job to be tested!

At the end of Chapter 1, after we see that Job has lost all his children and everything he has, that Job falls on his face and worships God! This is the lesson we are to glean from the example of Job, a righteous man who suffered! A man who praised God in the midst of horrific circumstances.

Job 1: 21 – 22

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.”

In all of this Job did not sin, even when his wife told him to “curse God and die”! And in the end Job has a double portion of wealth and new children.

Job 2: 9-10

His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.”

Job acknowledged that both good and trouble come from God himself!

The apostle Peter makes a comparison to the trial of Job when he encourages the believers in the first century. The goal of testings and trials is the refining of our faith!

1 Peter 4: 6 -9

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

God’s great concern is the proving of our faith. God will allow trials to come into our lives to accomplish that end.

Does God direct and allow suffering under the New Covenant?

Let us not forget that the first century church endured much suffering. All of Jesus’ 12 apostles, except for John, suffered martyrs deaths. And many saints were persecuted by the Jews, and suffered and died under Nero. (For more information on this see Fox’s Book of Martyrs).

If you are a born again Christian, bought by the blood of Jesus, the devil can NOT randomly touch you! The common teaching of today is that you yourself give Satan legal access by sinning. This is partly true, but even for the saint who sins there is forgiveness if one repents. The only way the devil can attack you is if he gets permission by God, because YOU BELONG TO HIM!

It is my opinion that we have a misunderstanding about God. Isa 45:7 tells us: “I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things.”

I heard Derek Prince once say that God is ruthless in carrying out his preordained purposes! The eternal purpose of God in Ephesians 1 is “to bring all things together in Christ”. In order for us to be brought into the fullness of Christ we must apply the cross in death to our selves, and the cross is ruthless. Jesus told us If you love your life (your soul) you will lose it. We are called to live a crucified life and to constantly put to death the misdeeds of the soul!

The apostle Paul states in Galatians 2: 20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me”

1 Peter 4: 1-2

Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.”

God Disciplines His Children

Hebrews 12: 4 – 11

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,

My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he (God) rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he (God) chastens everyone he accepts as his son.

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

The word “chasten” in the above verse means:

mastigoó: to scourge

Original Word: μαστιγόω
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: mastigoó
Phonetic Spelling: (mas-tig-o’-o)
Short Definition: I flog, scourge
Definition: I flog, scourge, the victim being strapped to a pole or frame; met: I chastise.

The meaning of this is that God will scourge you in order to get out of you what is not conforming to the image of Christ in your life! Sometimes this is very painful, but it is an act of love given in love by God himself.

God sent a trial to the apostle Paul:

In order to keep Paul from being conceited the Lord allowed a messenger of Satan to attack him:

1 Cor 12: 7 – 10

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

As Christians we will always have trials!

Isaiah 43: 2 Does not say “if” but “when”

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

Living sacrifices:

We are encouraged to live our lives as living sacrifices. The sacrifice was put on an altar and slain! This is a paradox of the Christian life: We are to be living dead men.

Romans 12: 1 – 2

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

We are encouraged by the apostle Peter to rejoice in our sufferings because they are revealing the glory of Jesus Christ in us!

1 Peter 4: 12 -13

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.”

Jesus himself, as the author of our salvation and the pattern son over God’s house, also suffered by the hand of God.

Isa 53: 10 “Yet it was the Lords will to crush him and cause him to suffer”

We are made perfect through suffering

Hebrews 2: 10 – 11

In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. “

The principle here is that if God made Jesus perfect through suffering, and we are of the same family as he, He will also make us perfect through sufferings! The word “perfect” in the above verse means “to bring to an end”, “complete”. God’s will is that we are conforming daily to the image of Jesus Christ in the earth. It is the ultimate goal of our faith!

Please take a moment to listen to this song!


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