Paul’s relationship: with the Holy Spirit

2 Corinthians 3:3

I now realize that in the previous two chapters of 2 Corinthians Paul spoke of his relationship in Christ with God and then with man. In the third chapter he described his relationship with the Holy Spirit, his power source. I summarize below my understanding. Indeed this is my favorite chapter!

Chapter 3: Paul’s Ministry of the Holy Spirit

  1. Paul described the Holy Spirit as: The Spirit of the living God, the Spirit of Christ, the Lord.
  2. The Holy Spirit writes letter in the heart, gives lives, changes lives.
  3. New covenant of the Spirit gives life.
  4. Ministry of the Spirit is far more glorious than the ministry of the Old Testament.
  5. Whenever the Scripture is read and the people turn to the Lord, the Holy Spirit removes the veil in hearts to see Jesus as the Christ.
  6. The Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
  7. The Holy Spirit transforms us into the same image of the Lord, from glory to glory.
  8. Paul’s sufficiency is from God who made him minister of the new covenant of the Spirit who gives life.
  9. The ministry of the Spirit is also called: the ministry of the new covenant, the ministry of righteousness and the ministry of glory.
  10. Holy Spirit causes: Boldness, unveiled heart when the truth is preached, liberty whenever one turns to the Holy Spirit, transformation of lives.
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a new message for Yom Kippur 2016 meditation (5): we have shalom with God

lightRomans 5 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

Shalom with God through Messiah
Therefore, having been made righteous by trusting, we have shalom with God through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. [a] 2 Through Him we also have gained access by faith into this grace in which we stand and boast in the hope of God’s glory. 3 And not only that, but we also boast in suffering—knowing that suffering produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Ruach ha-Kodesh who was given to us.

6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Messiah died for the ungodly. 7 For rarely will anyone die for a righteous man—though perhaps for a good man someone might even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Messiah died for us. 9 How much more then, having now been set right by His blood, shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him. 10 For if, while we were yet enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also boast in God through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Yet Sin Reigns through Death
12 So then, just as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, in the same way death spread to all men because all sinned. 13 For up until the Torah, sin was in the world; but sin does not count as sin when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in a manner similar to the violation of Adam, who is a pattern of the One to come.

15 But the gracious gift is not like the transgression. For if many died because of the transgression of one man, how much more did the grace of God overflow to many through the gift of one Man—Yeshua the Messiah. 16 Moreover, the gift is not like what happened through the one who sinned. For on the one hand, the judgment from one violation resulted in condemnation; but on the other hand, the gracious gift following many transgressions resulted in justification. [b] 17 For if by the one man’s transgression, death reigned through the one,[c] how much more shall those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the One, Messiah Yeshua.

18 So then, through the transgression of one, condemnation came to all men; likewise, through the righteousness of one came righteousness of life to all men. 19 For just as through the disobedience of one man, many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of one man, many will be set right forever.[d]

20 Now the Torah came in so that transgression might increase. But where sin increased, grace overflowed even more— 21 so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness, to eternal life through Messiah Yeshua our Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 5:2 cf. Isa. 54:17.
  2. Romans 5:17 Lit. judgment from one to condemnation . . . gift from many trespasses to acquittal.
  3. Romans 5:17 cf. Gen. 2:17; 3:6, 19.
  4. Romans 5:19 Lit. made righteous, cf. Rom. 1:17.

John 5 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

Healing on Shabbat
5 After this there was a Jewish feast, and Yeshua went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now in Jerusalem there is a pool by the sheep gate, called Bethzatha in Aramaic,[a] which has five porches. 3 In these a crowd of invalids was lying around—blind, lame, disabled. (4 )[b]

5 Now a certain man had been an invalid there for thirty-eight years. 6 Seeing him lying there and knowing he had been that way a long time, Yeshua said to him, “Do you want to get well?”

7 The invalid answered Him, “Sir, I have nobody to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up. While I’m trying to get in, somebody else steps down before me!”

8 Yeshua tells him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk!”

9 Immediately, the man was healed! He took up his mat and started walking around. Now that day was Shabbat, 10 so Judean leaders were saying to the man who was healed, “It’s Shabbat! It’s not permitted for you to carry your mat.”

11 But he answered them, “The man who made me well told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”

12 They asked him, “Who is the man who told you, ‘Pick up your mat and walk’?” 13 But the man who had been healed didn’t know who it was, for Yeshua had slipped away into the crowd in that place.

14 Afterwards, Yeshua finds him in the Temple. He said to him, “Look, you’ve been healed! Stop sinning, so nothing worse happens to you.” 15 The man left and told the Judean leaders that it was Yeshua who had made him well.

Sent by the Father
16 Because Yeshua was doing these things on Shabbat, the Judean leaders started persecuting Him. 17 But Yeshua said to them, “My Father is still working, and I also am working.” 18 So for this reason the Judean leaders kept trying even harder to kill Him—because He was not only breaking Shabbat,[c] but also calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.

19 Therefore Yeshua answered them, “Amen, amen I tell you, the Son cannot do anything by Himself. He can do only what He sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows Him everything He does. He will show Him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever He wants. 22 The Father does not judge anyone, but has handed over all judgment to the Son 23 so that all should honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

24 “Amen, amen I tell you, whoever hears My word and trusts the One who sent Me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed over from death into life. 25 Amen, amen I tell you, an hour is coming and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of Ben-Elohim. Those who hear will live! 26 For just as the Father has life in Himself, so also He has granted the Son to have life in Himself. 27 Also He has given the Son authority to judge, because He is the Son of Man.

28 “Do not be amazed at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear His voice 29 and come out![d] Those who have done good will come to a resurrection of life, and those who have done evil will come to a resurrection of judgment. 30 I can do nothing on My own. Just as I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, for I do not seek My own will, but the will of the One who sent Me.”

The Father Testifies about the Son
31 “If I testify about Myself, My witness is not valid. 32 There is another who testifies about Me, and I know that the testimony He gives is true. 33 You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth. 34 I do not receive the testimony of man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35 He was the lamp that was burning and shining, and you wanted to rejoice for a while in his light.

36 “But the testimony I have is greater than that from John. The works the Father has given Me to finish—the very works I am doing—testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me. 37 And the Father who sent Me has testified concerning Me. You have never heard His voice nor seen His form. 38 Nor do you have His Word living in you, because you do not trust the One He sent. 39 You search the Scriptures because you suppose that in them you have eternal life. It is these that testify about Me. 40 Yet you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life!

41 “I do not accept glory from men. 42 But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. 43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me. But if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that comes from God alone?

45 “Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father. The one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have put your hope. 46 For if you were believing Moses, you would believe Me—because he wrote about Me. 47 But since you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”[e]

Footnotes:

  1. John 5:2 Lit. in Hebrew. Bethesda (Heb.) means House of Mercy. Bethzatha (Aram.) means the place of poured out water.
  2. John 5:4 ASV adds: They waited for the water to be moved. Other mss. also add verse 4: because an angel of the Lord sometimes went to the pool and moved the water. Then, whoever went into the water first was healed from whatever disease he had.
  3. John 5:18 cf. Mk. 2:27; Lk. 13:16.
  4. John 5:29 cf. Ezek. 37:12; Ps. 16:10; Dan. 12:2.
  5. John 5:47 cf. Deut. 18:15-19.

Tree of Life Version (TLV)Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.

made holy

God made you holyOur God made us holy. This is the difference between Christianity and other religions. God made us holy by means of Jesus Christ. Jesus made us holy by becoming a holy sacrifice. The words of God (the Bible, the Truth) make us holy. The Holy Spirit makes us (all people who call on the name Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.)holy. God united us with Christ Jesus, joined to Him, one Spirit with Him. (1 Corinthians 6:17) God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy. God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ.
In summary: we were chosen by God. Obeyed His words. Cleansed by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Made holy by the Holy Spirit in us.

John 17:19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.

Romans 15:16 I am a special messenger from Christ Jesus to you Gentiles. I bring you the Good News so that I might present you as an acceptable offering to God, made holy by the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 1:2 I am writing to God’s church in Corinth, to you who have been called by God to be his own holy people. He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus, just as he did for all people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.

1 Corinthians 1:30 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin.

1 Corinthians 6:11 Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Ephesians 1:4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.

Hebrews 10:10 For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.

Hebrews 10:14 For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.

1 Peter 1:2 God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace.

Hebrews 10:29 Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us.

persisting prayer

baptized with Holy SpiritHeed His call today! Be persistent in prayer.
Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our maker, for He is our God. We are the people He watches over, the flock under His care. If only you would listen to His voice today! (Psalm 95:6-7 NLT)

Today we learn what Jesus means by persistent prayer and why we need to pray persistently.
1. Keep on doing it until you receive what you need.
2. The key is in the spiritual realm.
3. Only the Holy Spirit can deliver it.
4. The persistence is for our good. Because otherwise we lose heart and fall away even though God has already given us through the Holy Spirit (in the unseen realm).
5. Note that the persistence is not because God is hard hearted or refuses to give until we have prayed long and hard.
6. It is not by our own might or power. It is by His Spirit. (Zechariah 4:6)
7. Stephen’s testimony demonstrated that only by being full of the Holy Spirit, being led by the Holy Spirit we can see God and His marvelous deeds in our lives. Spiritual blindness only leads to unbelief and loss of God’s favor.
8. Being born of the Holy Spirit is a must to see and enter God’s kingdom and living the Kingdom’s abundant lives. (John 3:3, 3:5)
9. Receiving the baptism (being filled/full) of the Holy Spirit is a must for manifesting the favor of the Lord just as Jesus did. (Luke 4:18-19)
10. Baptism with the Holy Spirit is linked to the Kingdom of God. It is not dispensable. Jesus baptized with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:1-5; Matthew 3:11)
11. God wants us to live a holy life. The baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire should lead us wanting to live a holy life. (1 Thessalonians 4:7-8)
12. The work of the Holy Spirit is a must for our daily living as the children of God. (Romans 8:12-14)

Matthew 7:7-11
Effective Prayer
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

Luke 11:8-13
But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.[a]
9 “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

11 “You fathers—if your children ask[b] for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? 12 Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! 13 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”

Footnotes:
(a) 11:8 Or in order to avoid shame, or so his reputation won’t be damaged.
(b) 11:11 Some manuscripts add for bread, do you give them a stone? Or [if they ask].

Acts 7:48-51 (Stephen’s testimony)
However, the Most High doesn’t live in temples made by human hands. As the prophet says,
49 ‘Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool.
Could you build me a temple as good as that?’
asks the Lord.
‘Could you build me such a resting place?
50 Didn’t my hands make both heaven and earth?’[a]
51 “You stubborn people! You are heathen[b] at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you!

Footnotes:
(a) 7:49-50 Isa 66:1-2.
(b) 7:51 Greek uncircumcised.

Acts 7:55
But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand.

1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives. 8 Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

Romans 8:12-14
Therefore, dear brothers and sisters,[a] you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature,[b] you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children[c] of God.

Footnotes:
(a) 8:12 Greek brothers; also in 8:29.
(b) 8:13 Greek deeds of the body.
(c) 8:14 Greek sons; also in 8:19.

week 11 day 7: Be led by the Spirit

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Be led by the Spirit. Be careful to offer to God at the appointed time. This is the message we read today. In the passage from Numbers 27-28 quoted below, we read of God telling Moses why he lost his credibility to enter the Promised Land and how Moses responded by asking God to appoint a new leader (a shepherd) to lead the people of God.

God appointed the military commander Joshua with just one qualification that mattered: ‘a man in whom is the Spirit’. Moses spoke of leadership. God spoke of being led by the Holy Spirit. What a difference between God and man! Moses lost his leadership position because he acted in one incident by flesh and not by Spirit, and thus brought shame to God’s name.  God did not say anything about the outside abilities of a man. He spoke of the inside condition and attitude. Is the man led by the Spirit? Or is he led by his own flesh?  Offering to God by flesh had led men to perish in the wilderness (the first example was the incident of the two elder sons of Aaron who were killed when they offered strange fire -not holy fire according to God’s instructions. Saul lost his kingship later when he too disobeyed God who spoke through the anointed prophet Samuel). This warning must not be overlooked today by churches. God looks for a king who is also a priest, a royal holy priesthood in his people. (1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6)

Jesus said, “For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.”(John 4:24)  The Holy Spirit said, “But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” (1 Corinthians 6:17) “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.” (Romans 8:14) “For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.” (Romans 8:16)

Romans 8:12-16 New King James Version (NKJV) Sonship Through the Spirit

12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

Numbers 27:12-28:1

12 Now the Lord said to Moses: “Go up into this Mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given to the children of Israel. 13 And when you have seen it, you also shall be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother was gathered. 14 For in the Wilderness of Zin, during the strife of the congregation, you rebelled against My command to hallow Me at the waters before their eyes.” (These are the waters of Meribah, at Kadesh in the Wilderness of Zin.)

15 Then Moses spoke to the Lord, saying: 16 “Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, 17 who may go out before them and go in before them, who may lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the Lord may not be like sheep which have no shepherd.”

18 And the Lord said to Moses: “Take Joshua the son of Nun with you, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him; 19 set him before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation, and inaugurate him in their sight. 20 And you shall give some of your authority to him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient. 21 He shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire before the Lord for him by the judgment of the Urim. At his word they shall go out, and at his word they shall come in, he and all the children of Israel with him—all the congregation.”

22 So Moses did as the Lord commanded him. He took Joshua and set him before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation.23 And he laid his hands on him and inaugurated him, just as the Lordcommanded by the hand of Moses.

Daily Offerings

28:1 Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Command the children of Israel, and say to them, ‘My offering, My food for My offerings made by fire as a sweet aroma to Me, you shall be careful to offer to Me at their appointed time.’

Bible reading: Psalms 40:11-17; Numbers 26:52-28:15; Luke 3:1-22; Proverbs 11:16-17

a day to receive: just ask, seek, knock

Holy Spirit pours 2A day to receive Good Gifts even though this may not be your birthday. Someone who is able and willing to give you His best gift has made this generous offer. And He says He is your Father in heaven. He is God.

Matthew 7:7-12New King James Version (NKJV) Asking, Seeking, Knocking

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! 12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Luke 11:9-13New King James Version (NKJV) Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking

“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks for bread[a] from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

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Some may wonder why you need the Holy Spirit. Here are some of the many reasons:

He concerns your new birth into the Kingdom of God

Matthew 3:11 (witnessed by John the Baptist)
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
He concerns your worship of God
But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.

God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
He concerns your knowing God and God’s truth – the Bible
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 things that I said to you.

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
He concerns your effectiveness (power) in witnessing Jesus
[ The Holy Spirit Promised ] And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me;

for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

[ Coming of the Holy Spirit ] When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.

And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,

And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.

These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
He concerns your true status
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

a grandma’s testimony

The watchman was recently given the opportunity to meet an elderly intercessor grandma in late 70s. Her own mother died when she was a baby and she was raised by her grandparents until she was old enough to attend elementary school. She encountered Jesus and the awesome love of God when she was a young girl filled with hunger and hurt. The experience transformed her. She forgave those who inflicted the hurt. She rose above the past and emerged a victorious overcomer! When she spoke of her first encounter with Jesus and how God has loved her so much to send Him to die for her, her eyes turned red and teary.

One thing that struck the watchman was this godly woman’s firm faith and love for God. She has walked closely with Jesus for over 60 years. She is still filled with passion for souls and her greatest and first love Jesus. She declares that all she wants to do is to share the Gospel with those who are still lost. She has done this one thing over the last 60 years and is still going strong. She has many spiritual children and grandchildren. She has raised her own godly children too.

When asked how she had walked so intimately close with the Lord, she said,

“I hungered for His words after I was Spirit-filled, so I read the Bible. When I read the words of God, I believe they are real and I practice them. The more I read and believe and practice the more real they become to me. The more they become alive to me, the closer I experience God.” She then shared some of her own and others’ divine healing examples and the power of the Holy Spirit in the words of God she proclaimed when she encountered any form of injuries or sicknesses. I could perceive that she is filled with the Spirit of the Lord and she lives the life of the citizen of the Kingdom of God. She uses the Sword of the Spirit. What a godly grandma!

Another thing that stood out was that while evangelizing, she had her own successful and fruit-bearing tent-making profession until retirement. She raised a godly family and ministered to her ‘unbelieving’ (for many years until conversion) husband too. She said her key word is, ‘hold fast’ to her confession of Jesus as her number one! To equip herself in the words of God she took a part-time course for three years and graduated with honors.

She shared an example of how she practices God’s words, “After I read the teaching on tithing, I decided and started tithing. I earned a monthly wage of $350 then and I tithed $35. After that my income increased and I continued to tithe. By the time I earned $2000-$3000 I tithed $200-300 comfortably. After I retired I asked the Lord to give me a monthly income so that I could continue to tithe and the Lord has done that. The sum of money I receive monthly from my children is at the level which affords an unchanged amount of tithe.”

Prior to saying goodbye, she held our hands and blessed all of us who were present. The watchman perceived the blessing flowing with the power of the Lord in her and the Bible verses she pronounced with such strength and conviction came alive.

a godly business woman LydiaWatchman’s end notes: I have been shown more and more of these old guards of the faith in recent years. Many have walked with Jesus over 50 years. what is the message for me? ‘Hold fast and press forward’.

3 am class: watching by the Spirit

Sometimes the watchman receives a message at midnight. It has not been an easy season due to the weather. As this is an arid land and it has not rained for months even the deep wells are drying up too. At night it cools down slightly and people try to sleep and rest after a really hot and tiring day. So, what important words the Lord wants to say when a person is kept wide awake at midnight and carries the first watch for the time 12-3am?
This is the message today. Romans 7 and Romans 8, the contrast between walking by the Spirit of God (Christ) and walking by one’s own flesh (physical and mental efforts). I shall use a table to present the summarized points taken from Romans 7 and Romans :1-27. Please read the two chapters yourselves. I included verses from both KJV Bible and NLT Bible.

Romans78

How to have long life, wisdom, riches and honor?

Today we read Proverbs on one theme: “the fear of the Lord”.

This is a spiritual attitude. A prerequisite for blessings from above. When we have the Holy Spirit empowerment, we can have the ‘fear of the Lord’. It brings knowledge of God, wisdom, understanding, confidence, satisfaction, long life, riches and honor among other good gifts from the Lord. It comes with humility, submitting to God’s words, understanding and aligning with God’s heart. It means the opposite of evil.

Isaiah 11:2-5 New Living Translation (NLT) Here is a prophecy through prophet Isaiah of the Messiah Jesus with the ‘Spirit of the Lord’ upon Him. Jesus is the Son of God. He has revealed to us what God is like. When we emulate Jesus we actually emulate God. The Holy Spirit in us makes this possible for the believers of Jesus.

A Branch from David’s Line

1 Out of the stump of David’s family[a] will grow a shoot—
    yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.
And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
    the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
    the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
He will delight in obeying the Lord.
    He will not judge by appearance
    nor make a decision based on hearsay.
He will give justice to the poor
    and make fair decisions for the exploited.
The earth will shake at the force of his word,
    and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked.
He will wear righteousness like a belt
    and truth like an undergarment.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge.

In mercy and truth Atonement is provided for iniquity; And by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil.

The fear of the Lord leads to life, And he who has it will abide in satisfaction; He will not be visited with evil.

True prophets: 1 Samuel 3

Now in those days messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon. Samuel was a little boy given to the Lord after he was weaned by his godly mother Hannah. A true prophet can respond to God’s Spirit and hears God accurately and the messages he delivers faithfully come true. God’s Spirit was with Samuel and not only he prophesied, he had a group of student prophets under him and they prophesied too. Even Saul and his messengers could prophesy when they went near to where Samuel (with his students) was. ( 1 Samuel 19:20-24)

Key verses:

“So Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel had been established as a prophet of the Lord. 21 Then the Lordappeared again in Shiloh. For the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord.” 

1 Samuel 3 New King James Version (NKJV)

Samuel’s First Prophecy

Now the boy Samuel ministered to the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation.And it came to pass at that time, while Eli was lying down in his place, and when his eyes had begun to grow so dim that he could not see, and before the lamp of God went out in the tabernacle[a] of the Lord where the ark of God was, and while Samuel was lying down, that the Lordcalled Samuel. And he answered, “Here I am!” So he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.”

And he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” And he went and lay down.

Then the Lord called yet again, “Samuel!”

So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” He answered, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” (Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor was the word of the Lord yet revealed to him.)

And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. So he arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.”

Then Eli perceived that the Lord had called the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10 Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”

And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.”

11 Then the Lord said to Samuel: “Behold, I will do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. 12 In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13 For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them. 14 And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”

15 So Samuel lay down until morning,[b] and opened the doors of the house of the Lord. And Samuel was afraid to tell Eli the vision. 16 Then Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son!”

He answered, “Here I am.”

17 And he said, “What is the word that the Lord spoke to you? Please do not hide it from me. God do so to you, and more also, if you hide anything from me of all the things that He said to you.” 18 Then Samuel told him everything, and hid nothing from him. And he said, “It is theLord. Let Him do what seems good to Him.”

19 So Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel had been established as a prophet of the Lord. 21 Then the Lordappeared again in Shiloh. For the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 3:3 Hebrew heykal, palace or temple
  2. 1 Samuel 3:15 Following Masoretic Text, Targum, and Vulgate; Septuagint adds and he arose in the morning.

Isaiah 63:7-10 a praise song for God

Prophet Isaiah received from God prophecies, messages, warnings and good news. He faithfully recorded and expressed his responses as well. Today we read Chapter 63. For the Lord’s Day, we sing a song of praise to God together with Isaiah. We can identify with him. We have gone through the darkness in lives just as the Israelites did. We have been rescued, saved and delivered and transported into God’s Kingdom of marvelous light just as they experienced. For Christians we have more to rejoice and give thanks because we have the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Christ) who stays in us and will never leave us!

Within this little passage below, we read of the Holy Spirit:

  1. He can be grieved when God’s people rebelled against God.
  2. God sent Him to be in the midst of God’s people. (Only after Jesus, the Holy Spirit came and stayed inside each believer. Prior to that the Holy Spirit came and left).
  3. The Holy Spirit gives rest.

~~~~~~~A Song of Praise (from prophet Isaiah)

7 I will tell of the Lord’s unfailing love.
    I will praise the Lord for all he has done.
I will rejoice in his great goodness to Israel,
    which he has granted according to his mercy and love.
He said, “They are my very own people.
    Surely they will not betray me again.”
    And he became their Savior.
In all their suffering he also suffered,
    and he personally[a] rescued them.
In his love and mercy he redeemed them.
    He lifted them up and carried them
    through all the years.
10 But they rebelled against him
    and grieved his Holy Spirit.
So he became their enemy
    and fought against them.

11 Then they remembered those days of old
    when Moses led his people out of Egypt.
They cried out, “Where is the one who brought Israel through the sea,
    with Moses as their shepherd?
Where is the one who sent his Holy Spirit
    to be among his people?
12 Where is the one whose power was displayed
    when Moses lifted up his hand—
the one who divided the sea before them,
    making himself famous forever?
13 Where is the one who led them through the bottom of the sea?
    They were like fine stallions
    racing through the desert, never stumbling.
14 As with cattle going down into a peaceful valley,
    the Spirit of the Lord gave them rest.
You led your people, Lord,
    and gained a magnificent reputation.”

Footnotes:

  1. 63:9 Hebrew and the angel of his presence.

John 14 Jesus has given this assurance of sending the Holy Spirit to every believer and the truth about Jesus. When the Holy Spirit dwells in us, Jesus is dwelling in us, because the Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus Himself (Christ).

15 “If you love me, obey[d] my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate,[e] who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.[f] 18 No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you.

John 14 Holy Spirit

Isaiah 60 God gathers His children

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Whilst the world is preparing to celebrate popular commercialized pagan festival, today we read Isaiah 60, and listen to the marching sound of the Lord’s heavenly armies, just as the Lord has commanded King David to do, listening to the marching sound above the mulberry trees. (2 Samuel 5:23-24)

“And it shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall advance quickly. For then the Lord will go out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.”

Isaiah 60 is all about this future joyous time for God’s ingathering of His children scattered all over the world, both Jews and Gentiles. When is the God-ordained celebration day for Christians towards the year end?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ …On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the Festival of Sukkot, seven days for the L-RD. -Leviticus 23:34 Tabernacles is also called ‘the season of our joy’, the ‘Feast of Ingathering’ (Ex. 23:16), the ‘Feast of YHWH’ (Lev. 23:39) or ‘the Feast’ (1 Kings 8:2). But the Feast really anticipates the time of God’s harvest, when the remnant of Israel and the residue of the nations are reconciled and gathered to Him – the harvest of souls – hence ‘the Feast of YHWH’.

The fulfilment of Tabernacles is linked to the work of Messiah, ‘the Branch of the LORD’. Most importantly, Messiah would be the dawning of THE GREAT LIGHT: Jesus Christ is the Light. (John 1:9; 3:19-21; 8:12; 9:5)

Isaiah 4:2-6 ‘In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, Isaiah 9:1-7 ‘… in the future God will honor Galilee of the Gentiles..The people walking in darkness have seen a great light…For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace…The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.’

Acts 3:19-21 “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began”

God’s plan through Jesus the Redeemer for mankind involves restoration. The Feast of Tabernacles symbolizes the restoration process. What did Jesus say about this? What will bring the refreshing? Again, we read of the coming of the Holy Spirit and the work of the Holy Spirit.

In John 7 Jesus announces the promise and the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit’s out pouring on the Pentecost Day on the disciples augurs the beginning of a new era. Many miraculous signs have accompanied the preaching of the Gospel, healing and transforming lives, just as Jesus has promised before He went back to heaven (Mark 16:15-29)

John 7   Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. 37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing[g] in Him would receive; for the Holy[h]Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

~~~~~~Isaiah 60 (NKJV) Arise, shine; For your light has come!
And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.
For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
And deep darkness the people;
But the Lord will arise over you,
And His glory will be seen upon you.
The Gentiles shall come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising. “Lift up your eyes all around, and see:
They all gather together, they come to you;
Your sons shall come from afar,
And your daughters shall be nursed at your side.
Then you shall see and become radiant,
And your heart shall swell with joy;
Because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you,
The wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you.
The multitude of camels shall cover your land,
The dromedaries of Midian and Ephah;
All those from Sheba shall come;
They shall bring gold and incense,
And they shall proclaim the praises of the Lord.
All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together to you,
The rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you;
They shall ascend with acceptance on My altar,
And I will glorify the house of My glory. “Who are these who fly like a cloud,
And like doves to their roosts?
Surely the coastlands shall wait for Me;
And the ships of Tarshish will come first,
To bring your sons from afar,
Their silver and their gold with them,
To the name of the Lord your God, And to the Holy One of Israel,
Because He has glorified you. 10 “The sons of foreigners shall build up your walls,
And their kings shall minister to you;
For in My wrath I struck you,
But in My favor I have had mercy on you.
11 Therefore your gates shall be open continually;
They shall not be shut day or night,
That men may bring to you the wealth of the Gentiles,
And their kings in procession.
12 For the nation and kingdom which will not serve you shall perish,
And those nations shall be utterly ruined.  13 “The glory of Lebanon shall come to you,
The cypress, the pine, and the box tree together,
To beautify the place of My sanctuary;
And I will make the place of My feet glorious.
14 Also the sons of those who afflicted you
Shall come bowing to you,
And all those who despised you shall fall prostrate at the soles of your feet;
And they shall call you The City of the Lord,
Zion of the Holy One of Israel. 15 “Whereas you have been forsaken and hated,
So that no one went through you,
I will make you an eternal excellence,
A joy of many generations.
16 You shall drink the milk of the Gentiles,
And milk the breast of kings;
You shall know that I, the Lord, am your Savior
And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. 17 “Instead of bronze I will bring gold,
Instead of iron I will bring silver,
Instead of wood, bronze,
And instead of stones, iron.
I will also make your officers peace,
And your magistrates righteousness.
18 Violence shall no longer be heard in your land,
Neither wasting nor destruction within your borders;
But you shall call your walls Salvation,
And your gates Praise. God the Glory of His People 19 “The sun shall no longer be your light by day,
Nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you;
But the Lord will be to you an everlasting light,
And your God your glory.
20 Your sun shall no longer go down,
Nor shall your moon withdraw itself;
For the Lord will be your everlasting light,
And the days of your mourning shall be ended.
21 Also your people shall all be righteous; They shall inherit the land forever, The branch of My planting, The work of My hands, That I may be glorified.
22 A little one shall become a thousand,
And a small one a strong nation.
I, the Lord, will hasten it in its time.”