Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Assisting Others

Read a little booklet "Hints for Workers" by Jessie Penn-Lewis. Some good tips in the first chapter on assisting others. Here is a summary in point form  (we may know these but reminders are necessary):

1. Look at the troubled soul from where they stand.

2. Sympathize and encourage.

3. Gently lead them to focus on the blood of Christ being their peace. His  blood has reconciled us to Him. We have peace with Him. He is our Father who gives us peace (“I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give so don’t be troubled or afraid” [John 14:27]

Remind and teach that their peace is in the blood of Christ not their feelings and not the circumstances.

4. Focus on being just a “voice” to direct souls to Christ. Seek not honor. ( Say as Paul said “I am glad to give myself and all I have for  your spiritual good even though it seems that the more I love you the less you love me”  [2 Corinthians 12:15]

 “ So they came to John and said, “Master, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River—the one you said was the Messiah—he is baptizing too, and everybody is going over there instead of coming here to us.  

John replied, “God in heaven appoints each man’s work. My work is to prepare the way for that man so that everyone will go to him. You yourselves know how plainly I told you that I am not the Messiah. I am here to prepare the way for him—that is all.  The crowds will naturally go to the main attraction[—the bride will go where the bridegroom is! A bridegroom’s friends rejoice with him. I am the Bridegroom’s friend, and I am filled with joy at his success.  He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less)” [John 3:26-30])"

Follow Jesus and practice the discipline of silence. Never talk of where people are in their spiritual growth. Be fervent in prayer and silent in speech over all un-Christlikeness
["Above all love each other deeply because love covers a multitude of sins"  1 Peter 4:8]
6. Philippians 2:3: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
2 Timothy 2:3 Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments because you know they produce quarrels
7.  Lead souls to search the Word to know the mind of the Spirit for themselves. Leave it to the Lord to teach. 
8. Live in unbroken communion with God so that there may be unbroken flow of the divine life in us and we may speak of what we know and experience (no just head knowledge). If we draw from Him, He uses our experiences, circumstances, gifts and capabilities. He uses. We do not depend on them. If we are instruments, we do not say "I think". We do not cling to views and opinions. We say "it is written" and rely totally on Him. 
9. Our interior and exterior life should correspond.
10. Let our goal be: Philippians 3:10
 "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings becoming like Him in his death and so somehow to attain to the resurrection from the dead".

Thursday, December 18, 2014

New Testament fulfilment of Old Testament references to the Messiah (Part 1)

OT reference to the Messiah
1.Genesis 3:15

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and her Offspring: He will bruise and tread your head underfoot and you will lie in wait and bruise His heel”

Revelation: Enmity between your offspring and her Offspring

Your offspring refers to the seed of the serpent. Who is this seed of the serpent? Natural humanity who was led into rebellion against God. So the reprobate (the flesh) against the spiritual.

The enmity is between the serpent and the woman, between the serpent’s seed and her seed. Eventually the head of the serpent and his seed will be crushed. Since we know that this is the end result, why do we choose the way of the flesh?

NT fulfilment of Genesis 3:15

Galatians 4:4

“But when the proper time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born subject to the [regulations of] the Law”

Revelation: It was God who sent His Son (as mentioned in Galatians 4:4). It was God who said “I will put enmity between you and...” (Genesis 3:15). It was all God’s action.

This Son was from the seed (off spring) of the woman (“born of a woman” in Galatians 4:4 and off spring of Eve in Genesis 3:15). The genealogy of Yeshua in Luke 3:38 also traces his generational line to the first man, Adam, whose wife was Eve. Yeshua had only an adopted earthly father, i.e., Joseph (Matthew 1:20- Yeshua was conceived of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:26, Joseph named Yeshua, taking him as his adopted son)

OT reference to the Messiah 
2. Micah 5:2

“But you, Bethlehem Ephratah*, you are little to be among the clans of Judah; [yet] out of you shall One come forth for Me who is to be Ruler in Israel Whose goings forth have been from old, from ancient days(eternity)”

*Traditionally used to refer to Bethlehem. Also used to describe members of the Israelite tribe of Judah and founders of Bethlehem( 1 Chronicles 4:4 and 1 Chronicles 2:19). If used as a personal name, it means “fruitful”

[Also in Genesis 49:10- “The sceptre will not depart from Judah nor the ruler’s staff from his descendants until the coming of the one to whom it belongs, the one whom all nations will honor”]

NT fulfilment

Matthew 2:1, Matthew 2:4-6

Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea during the reign of King Herod...

(King Herod) called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?” In Bethlehem, Judea,” they said, for this is what the prophet wrote: And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel

Revelation: The Messiah comes from Bethlehem and from the tribe of Judah.

OT reference to the Messiah
3. Isaiah 7:14

“ All right then, the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (God with us)”

NT fulfilment

Luke 1: 26-33

“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favoured woman! The Lord is with you! Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favour with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”

Revelation: The passage in Luke specifically mentions that Mary was a virgin and that she will conceive a child who will be the Son of God. In Isaiah  7:14, the virgin will conceive a child- a sign from God Himself.

OT reference to the Messiah
4. Genesis 12:3

To Abraham the Lord said :

“And I will bless those who bless you and curse him who curses or uses insolent language toward you; in you all families and kindred of the earth will be blessed”

Genesis 17: 19

To Abraham the Lord said:

“But God said, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son indeed and you shall call his name Isaac and I will establish My covenant or solemn pledge with him for an everlasting covenant with his posterity after him”

Genesis 22:17- 18
To Abraham the Lord said:

“...And your Seed will possess the gate of His enemies. And in your Seed shall all nations of the earth be blessed and bless themselves because you have heard and obeyed My voice”

Genesis 49:10

“The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh* come, and unto him shall the gathering of the people be”      
*Shiloh: In the Bible, it is the prophetic name for the Messiah.

NT Fulfilment

Matthew 1:1

“The Book of the ancestry of Jesus Christ (the Messiah and the Anointed), the son (descendant of David), the son (descendant) of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers”
Romans 9:5

“To them belong the patriarchs and as far as His natural descent was concerned from them is the Christ Who is exalted and supreme over all, God blessed forever! Amen”

 Galatians 3:8

“And the Scripture foreseeing that God would justify (declare righteous put in right standing with Himself) the Gentiles in consequence of faith, proclaimed the Gospel [foretelling the glad tidings of a Saviour long before hand] to Abraham in the promise saying In you shall all nations [of the earth] be blessed”

Luke 3: 33

“Which was the son of Aminadab, which was the son of Aram, which was the son of Esrom, which was the son of Phares which was the son of Judah”

Hebrews 7:14

“For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah, of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood”

Revelation: First thing that came to me was that the Messiah was to be one to bring blessing to all the earth and the blessing was justification of all gentile and Jew by God.

Second that He will possess the gates of the enemies. This means He is in control. Today when we see evil so prevalent, He is still in control.

And the obvious, that is intended to illustrate in the scriptures above is that the Messiah  was the seed of Abraham and Isaac.

He would also, more specifically come from the tribe of Judah (Also see Micah 5:2 above).