Holy Unto the Lord

(Exodus 39; 40: 34-38; I Cor. 6:16-19; II Cor. 6:16)

The ministry of Moses in the wilderness was one of sanctifying the people to present them holy to the Lord (Exodus 19:10-11). In Israel’s experience of Mount Sinai, when God descended to the Mount to meet with them, they experienced the unapproachable holiness of God: thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mountain…Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, for the Lord descended upon it in fire; its smoke ascended like that of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly (Ex. 19:16,18). God, desiring fellowship with men, formed the nation of Israel to be that vehicle through whom God would review Himself to the nations. They in return, would come to know the existence of the true and holy God. Forty years in the desert, a frame of time seemly long, but not in the mind of God, it took for the nation of Israel to be set apart and consecrated holy unto Him. Although they never achieved the position of complete holiness, they came to experience the extent of God’s holiness when trembling with fear, and falling back at the holiness of God, said, You (Moses) speak to us and we will listen, but let not God speak to us, lest we die (Exodus 20:18-19).

The Bride of CHRIST has never experienced such extent of God’s holiness; we have never realized the awfulness of sin and its power to destroy us, or we would have hated sin. In His holiness, the Son of God completed, paid in full the price of our redemption, satisfying His Father once and for all, so that we would be regenerated unto holiness and ultimately unto glorification. Living to satisfy the flesh’s sinful desires, defeats the purpose for which YAHSHUA died on the cross; Like Israel in the desert, the bride of CHRIST is left here for as long as God’s determined purpose of holiness will be accomplished in every believer’s life. For that reason, the Promised Holy Spirit came to earth to sanctify Christ’s bride and present her blameless and holy unto the Lord. As we think on how holy our God is, we find ourselves undeserving of His love and undeserving to come close to Him. As the Holy Spirit guides us, Moses guided the people to do what was right through their pilgrimage through the desert. When Israel chose to satisfy their fleshly desire instead, Moses faithfully stood before God to intercede for them, saying, Oh, these people have sinned a great sin and have made themselves gods of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin- and if not, blot me, I pray You out of Your book which You have written! Moses, as a go in between, offered to take the punishment of the people, so that they would not have to suffer the consequences of their doing. This is a true picture of what was to come in the Son of God, when He took yours and my place on the cross. Even though Moses’ ministry was not that of a substitutional ministry, He was a prototype of what was to come in the person of the HOLY SPIRIT. Until his death, he led the people in the direction God had shown him – the direction to God’s holiness.

Israelites Left in the Desert

After the number of days in which you spied out the land, even forty days, for each day a year shall you bear and suffer for your iniquities, even for forty years, and you shall know My displeasure (Numbers 14:34).

When God called Israel out of the Egypt, He gave them instructions and guidance on how to ordain their lives in order to enter the Promised Land successfully.  But Israel’s sin of unbelief and idolatry followed by the hardening of their hearts became a stumbling block on their way there.  In their stubbornness, Israel closed the eyes of their hearts to the miraculous deeds performed on their behalf, as in the opening of the Red Sea to save them from the Egyptian’s army;  how God had satisfied their hunger with heavenly manna;  the visible presence of God in their midst in a pillar of fire by night  to give them light on their journey and a cloud by day to protect them from the heat of the day. Nothing seemed to matter to them.

After having wandered for three days, they went through the wilderness of Shur, where there was no water. In panic, they murmured, complained and doubted and undermined the faithfulness of God. Yet, lovingly, God blessed them with twelve springs of water, one for each tribe, and seventy palm trees. God used the number seventy to form the nation of Israel; Jacob’s family consisted of seventy people when they left for Egypt. The number seventy is also connected with God’s punishment of Israel; so those seventy palm trees were speaking to them of future seventy years of captivity in Babylon. It is prophesized in the book of Daniel that seventy weeks of years (70×7) have been given to them to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness and to seal up the vision and prophecy and to anoint the most Holy (Daniel 9:24). That was the frame of time that God gave Israel for forgiveness in the number 70×7= 490 years. There is one more week of years left for the completion of God’s plan in the life of Israel.

Apart From Me You Can Do Nothing

(John 15)

The statements that YAHSHUA makes concerning the vine and branches relationship are as follow: (1) I am the vine (2) you are the branches (3) I am the life giver (4) apart from Me you can do nothing.

In the YAHSHUA’S analogy concerning the vine we see a beautiful process of sanctification through the cleansing, the cutting and through pruning. While YAHSHUA is the vine, God is the vinedresser. As such, He not only cuts off those branches which don’t bear fruit, but cleanses and prunes those who bear fruit, so that they would bear more, better, richer and more excellent fruit. The word spoken through YAHSHUA to the disciples cleansed and pruned them, because He Himself is the Word of God; The Word is alive and powerful; it is sharper that any two edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and the spirit and of joints and marrow, exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). YAHSHUA is the incarnate Word of God fulfilling God’s purpose in everyone’s life that abides in Him.

Spiritual Detox – The True Fast

(Isaiah 58; Psalm 139:23-24; I John 1:9; Psalm 32:1-5; 51:2-12)

At the end of forty days and forty nights fast, YAHSHUA was hungry. The devil then came to tempt Him by suggesting, “If You are the Son of God, command the stones to be made bread.”  Satan found YAHSHUA physically weak (hungry) but His Spirit was and would never be weak. YAHSHUA replied, It has been written, man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God (Matt. 4:2b -4).  Here the Lord expressed that man is not only flesh and blood, but also spirit and soul. When the physical body is in need of cleansing through a fast, the spirit and soul are also benefited. Fasting should be done not only for physical purposes but also for the spiritual. Here is the kind of fast chosen by the Lord from Isaiah 58: Is not this the fast that I have chosen; to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to divide your bread with the hunger and bring the homeless poor into your house – when you see the naked, that you cover him and that you hide not yourself from your own flesh and blood? Then these  promises: Then shall your light break forth like the morning, and your healing  shall spring forth speedily; your righteousness shall go before you, and the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard; then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, Here I am. If you take away from your midst yokes of oppression, the finger pointed in scorn, and every form of false, harsh, unjust and wicked speaking, and if you pour out that with which you sustain your own life for the hunger and satisfy the need of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in darkness and your obscurity and gloom become like the noonday. And the Lord shall guide you continually and satisfy you in drought and in dry places and make strong your bones. And you shall be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters fail not.

Why Men Suffer

In the school of life, suffering is very much a part of it. Because we were born in sin and born of sinful parents, suffering will follow us until death, in one way or another. When sin entered the Garden of Eden, then the curse entered with it. Therefore, suffering, generally speaking, is a result of sin. David confessed it this way when he was found guilty of adultery and homicide: Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity; my mother was sinful who conceived me (Psalm 51:5-6). The Apostle Paul confirms: therefore, as sin came into the world through one man and death as a result of sin, so death spread to all men, because all men sinned (Rom. 5:12). And we were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation (Eph. 2:3b). The Prophet Jeremiah puts all in perspective: Why does a living man sigh [ and why does] a man complain for the punishment of his sin? Let us test and examine our ways and let us return to the Lord; let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven (Lam. 3: 39-41).

The Matter of Taking Offenses

After John had been in prison a while, he sent a message in the form of a question: Are You the One Who is to come, or shall we [continue to] look for another (Luke 7: 20b) One to come-the Messiah. John seemed to have lost focus and seemed to have forgotten the experience he had at the time when he baptized YAHSHUA and God had revealed and confirmed to him by showing him the Spirit in the form of a dove out of heaven descending and resting on Him, as  he  had said, I did not know Him nor recognize Him, but He Who sent me to baptize in water said to me, Upon Him Whom you shall see the Spirit descend and remain, that One is He Who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. I have seen and my testimony is that this is the Son of God! John looked at YAHSHUA and declared, Look! There is the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1: 29-36) But while in prison, things became obscure to John without outside reports from his disciples of what was happening. YAHSHUA, meanwhile, was healing many of sicknesses and destressing bodily plagues and evil spirits, and to many who were blind He gave sight (Luke 7:21). Seemly, John became offended in YAHSHUA when doubt entered his mind concerning YAHSHUA’S role as the Messiah. As a precursor of Christ, He needed to have evidences that demanded his beliefs that YAHSHUA was the One Who was to come.  That was important to him as a prophet, who had introduced YAHSHUA as the One. YAHSHUA promptly sent John an answer that confirmed once again, Whom He was –the Son of God! He sent the message to John saying, Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the dead hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the good news; blessed is he who takes no offense in Me and who is not hurt or resentful or annoyed or repelled or made to stumble (Luke 7: 21-23).

Two Trumpets of Silver

(Numbers 10:1-10)

The trumpet, an amazing instrument from all the other instruments, is of most significance in fulfilling God’s purposes in the past and in the future of the world.  It was and will be used as a signaling instrument. The sound of a trumpet interprets meaning of hope of our salvation to be finalized at the time when God’s trumpet will be sounded. The word of God tells us that He will call us up to heaven through the sound of His trumpet. Through that sound I believe we will hear each our names being called. The dead in Christ will receive life at the moment they hear God calling their names, just as it was in the case of Lazarus. Had not YAHSHUA called Lazarus by name the entire graveyard would be filled with resurrected bodies.  In Revelation four John hears a voice like a war trumpet calling him to go up to heaven. God’s judgment will be preceded by trumpets in Revelation 8. The seven trumpets will be used to announce certain God’s judgment upon the earth at the time of tribulation. Exodus nineteen expresses the picture of the rapture in relationship to Moses when God called him up to the top of Mount Sinai after loud blast of the trumpet (vs.19-20).

Wilderness, a Place For Temptation

(Luke 4)

Then YAHSHUA, full of and controlled by the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led in [by] the [Holy] Spirit for during forty days in the wilderness, where He was tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they were completed, He was hungry (Like 4:1,2). The devil came to YAHSHUA at the point of His need – hunger. Forty days and nights without eating can starve the body and lead it to death, that is, for some people, depending on their health factors. Forty days is long enough time for the body to have used all the resources it had to be sustained. YAHSHUA, as a man, was subject to the weakness of a human body, but not to man’s sinful nature. He was led to the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted in preparation for the ministry He was going to fulfill. Like us, He was also subjected to temptations, and to the extent of sufferings that we experience. So after fasting forty days and forty nights, His obvious need of that moment was hunger. Hunger and thirst in the desert are something hard to overcome without having knowledge of how to survive in such environment which lacks everything that benefits the body. The Bible does not say if He went without water however, I assume so. Whatever the situation, He went hungry after forty days.