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How to Be a Better Sinner

March 18, 2011

We are all sinners. There is no escaping it. We are all at varying stages of our life journey, and our Christian walk. We all stand behind an ‘under construction’ sign at any time, even when we are on our knees worshiping God from the heart.

This fact is being lost in today’s multi-god, multi-religion, ‘pick and choose’ Christianity. We pick out what we want, ignore what we don’t, and then get angry at God when he doesn’t give us everything we want or answer our prayers. None of this is biblical.

Romans 3: 9-10 “…. for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin…”

Romans 3: 23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

I Believe in Jesus. I think.p>

What does it mean to believe in Jesus? Not just believing He existed. Even the demons believe in Jesus, yet their belief will not incite grace and forgiveness from God.

“He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36)

It doesn’t mean that we can say a sinner’s prayer and then receive a ‘Get Out of Hell Card Free’ from God, as we go living our lives anyway we want. We need to look at our hearts, for that is where salvation grows. This belief answers the question ‘Am I Saved?’ It is important, because no one can be saved without going through Jesus. The following answeres “What doe sthe bible say about Salvation, and are we saved by grace alone?” Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5; Ephesians 4:4; John 10:9. All these verses attest to the fact that we need to believe in Jesus.

    But there is more: The following verses have more to say.

  1. John 3:3b Except a man be born again, he cannot see Kingdom

    Matthew 18:3 Be converted and become as little children

    John 1:13 Born, not of blood, nor of the will of man, but of God

    Romans 12:2a Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind

    2Corinthians 5:17 If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature

    1Peter 1:23 Born again, not of corruptible seed, but…by the Word of God

    2 Peter 3:9 Not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

    Romans 10:9; 10-12 Confess with your mouth. For wohoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

    Acts 3:19 Repent Therefore and be converted’

    1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins

    John 14:15 If you love me, you will obey what I command and I will ask the father and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever

    1 Peter 3:21 baptism that now saves you

    Acts 2:38 Repent and be baptized

We notice that there is a pattern: Belief, Repentance; Confession; Baptism; Conversion into a new person.

The crutch of the message is that we are converted into God’s righteousness. We change. We act different. This doesn’t happen instantly. It is a life long journey. God is working on us – we are under construction. This is why Jesus said that you can tell a Christian by their love. They are a new person. God is love. God’s children love.

There are other testimonies to salvation. Faith is a strong one. Trust in God is a strong one. Action, not just sitting in church but continuing God’s kingdom, or being someone who does, not thinks about doing. These are all testaments to God’s presence in a person’s life.

We will all be sinners until the day that we die. However, we can work to become better sinners by working out our salvation on a daily basis by letting God and the Holy Spirit convert us into the righteousness and obedience that ignites God’s love within our hearts.

Women as Pastors – What Does the Bible Say?

January 27, 2011

I wrote a three pages series, the first in a series of articles that will be written by the GLM writers that are designed to answer the question ‘What Did Paul Mean In 1 Timothy.” How did Paul justify ordering the church to support women pastors, and even work alongside women apostles, but told the church that women must be silent and have no authority over a man?

I wanted to focus more on scripture and bible verses when referring to Paul’s teaching on women – than on traditional concept. In many places I went back to the Greek to get a clearer understanding of the verse. I used Strong’s Concordance, and modern translations. At no time did I ‘interpret’ beyond what the scripture said.

I do not expect everyone to agree. I just hope the Holy Spirit guides you as He sees fit. I also made it clear that Paul worked with women, but also admonished those who were arrogant and uneducated. This topic cannot be understood unless you look at the entire concept.

Women as Pastors is a controversial topic. It is one that the church is afraid to touch because it is steeped in tradition, both church and cultural. The best way to read this series is to read it as reflecting God’s opinion, not the one you were taught.

I also want to stress that Paul taught against ‘educated’ leaders, and for ‘Spirit filled’ leaders. It is important in today’s society to avoid those who go for quick online ordinations and do not come under the leadership of the church – male and female. This topic is also covered briefly in this series, and will be expanded on later.

If God ordains a pastor then he will make it possible for them to become properly educated and He will place them under the cover of His church. At no time in the bible does God ordain people to strike out on their own, away from Him.

I look forward to your comments.

Women as Pastors PT1: Women Paul Praised

Women As Pastors Pt2:What Does Paul Teach in 1 Timothy 2:12

Women as Pastors PT3: Does Paul Exclude Women as Pastors? 1 Timothy

Women as Pastors PT1: Women Paul Praised

Women As Pastors Pt2:What Does Paul Teach in 1 Timothy 2:12

Women as Pastors PT3: Does Paul Exclude Women as Pastors? 1 Timothy

The Prophet of the Five-fold Ministry (16th in Church Series)

September 24, 2010
Eph: 4:11-16: And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12: For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15: But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

 

Paul likened the body of Christ to a human body. He mentioned body parts such as eyes, ears, unmentionable parts. He did not mention the kidney, but all human bodies have to have at least one of them.

Kidneys are glands which separate water and waste products. The kidneys are sophisticated reprocessing machines. Every day, your kidneys process about 200 quarts of blood to sift out about 2 quarts of waste products and extra water. Your kidneys measure out chemicals like sodium, phosphorus, and potassium and release them back to the blood to return to the body. In this way, your kidneys regulate the body’s level of these substances. The right balance is necessary for life, but excess levels can be harmful.     Taken from Modern Biology by Henry Holt and Company, Inc. Copyright 1956

There should be at least one kidney in the local body of Christ. I think prophets are kidneys. Sometimes prophesy comes by tongues and interpretation, but I’m talking about a gift certain people have whereby they care greatly about the condition of the body and are motivated to see that it is cleaned up and kept clean. They get their information and inspiration from God–the Holy Spirit and the Holy Bible.
Their purpose is to discern where the church is missing it and what needs to be done about it. They function in the body as God designed kidneys to function–doing what they were created to do to help the body be healthy, prosperous, and productive. They are not dangerous because they do not operate apart from the body–they are subject to the body just as the body must cooperate with them and be responsive to them.

I do not think today’s churches have kidneys. I think they were rejected by the immune system which interpreted them as foreign matter or as the enemy. This happened because the immune system could not discern their real function and thought they were accusers of the brethren or members who had a critical spirit.

To show you what I’m mean I will use an illustration. In that earthquake in San Francisco in October of 1989 the Bay Bridge collapsed and many people were seriously hurt some even crushed and some decapitated.

There are faultfinders for bridges. Their job is to thoroughly inspect bridges on a regular basis and determine where there might be weaknesses and to recommend measure to be taken to reinforce the weak areas. They are faultfinders and yet they are doing a good service. They are not the bad guy. They are needed. What happened in the case of the Bay Bridge, I don’t know whether their warnings were ignored, or whether the city was trying to dig up the money, or whether they neglected to consult a faultfinder. The results of not heeding a faultfinder were devastating.

Therefore in the body of Christ, I maintain that faultfinders are necessary, but they must have Christ’s Spirit and they must work as a team with the other body members. Their function must be understood and appreciated and their input must be heeded by the body.

What would be different?

The church would not get off the written Word of God to the left nor to the right.

Rev: 22:18-19: For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Ezek: 44:5-7: And the LORD said unto me, Son of man, mark well, and behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears all that I say unto thee concerning all the ordinances of the house of the LORD, and all the laws thereof; and mark well the entering in of the house, with every going forth of the sanctuary. 6: And thou shalt say to the rebellious, even to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; O ye house of Israel, let it suffice you of all your abominations, 7: In that ye have brought into my sanctuary strangers, uncircumcised in heart, and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in my sanctuary, to pollute it, even my house, when ye offer my bread, the fat and the blood, and they have broken my covenant because of all your abominations.

8-14: And ye have not kept the charge of mine holy things: but ye have set keepers of my charge in my sanctuary for yourselves. 9: Thus saith the Lord GOD; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel. 10: And the Levites that are gone away far from me, when Israel went astray, which went astray away from me after their idols; they shall even bear their iniquity. 11: Yet they shall be ministers in my sanctuary, having charge at the gates of the house, and ministering to the house: they shall slay the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister unto them. 12: Because they ministered unto them before their idols, and caused the house of Israel to fall into iniquity; therefore have I lifted up mine hand against them, saith the Lord GOD, and they shall bear their iniquity. 13: And they shall not come near unto me, to do the office of a priest unto me, nor to come near to any of my holy things, in the most holy place: but they shall bear their shame, and their abominations which they have committed. 14: But I will make them keepers of the charge of the house, for all the service thereof, and for all that shall be done therein.

15-18: But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord GOD: 16: They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge. 17: And it shall come to pass, that when they enter in at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and no wool shall come upon them, whiles they minister in the gates of the inner court, and within. 18: They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird themselves with any thing that causeth sweat.

© Sylvia Huffnagle

 

 

The Way is Straight and Narrow (15th in Church Series)

September 24, 2010

Matt: 7:13-14: Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

(I am here to proclaim that the way to eternal life is straight and narrow. Why would I want to do that when it seems that everyone is happy to proclaim God’s love, grace, and mercy? Because Jesus thought it was important and I see a need for it. Jesus not only said the way was straight and narrow, He also was the one who said, in Matt: 16:24-25: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25: For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. In the Amplified Bible it says, whoever is bent on saving his temporal life–his comfort and security here, shall lose eternal life . . .

That is profound and not at all how the church talks. What I mean by that is that the church has definitely conveyed the message that if you say you are a Christian and they don’t know of any dark sins in your life, they are content to count you as one of them.

This is so common that almost everyone who reads this will be perplexed as to what I am trying to say. I am saying that Jesus is responsible for the gospel. He provided the way to salvation and it is in applying His teachings that one walks out their salvation.

I am saying that Jesus is the whole nine yards here. It’s His plan. He executed it and He is the overseer to its getting done. I am saying that the plan the church is using right now is not His. The next verses will tell you how to judge if what I’m saying it true or not.)

15-20: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16: Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17: Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18: A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19: Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire 20: Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

(The fruit that the church should be producing is Christians who look and act like the New Testament image of them. What God says in Ezekiel 43 is instruction that we need to heed today.)

Ezek: 43:10-11: Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern. 11: And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them.

(God had Ezekiel measure the temple and everything of it and everything in it, then He said the verses above. God is saying, He laid out the whole form of the transformed life in Christ and He expects it to be followed fervently.

If we don’t heed God’s instructions now, many will have to go through the fire spoken of in verse 19 of Matthew 7. The fire that will consume many is spoken of in Isaiah 50: 10-11: Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light?  let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God. 11: Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow. In the Amplified Bible it says that the fire is teaching man’s plan of salvation instead of God’s)

Matt: 7: 21-23: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22: Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23: And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

(This statement of Jesus’ is pretty much being ignored now, but it is clear and it will not be obscured on judgment day. It will not be all those who say they are Christians that will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but those who do His will. Most of us know that there are some who swear by His name falsely, but I say according to Jesus’ teachings many are going to say, “Lord, lord, have we not attended church regularly and even put nice sums in the collection plate?” and He will say, “I never knew you.”)

24-27: Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26: And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

(These verses explain the difference. Many go to church and many say they are Christians, but it will be the ones who practice what Jesus and the whole New Testament teach who will make it. But I am writing this article about the church. It is the church that must know and understand what I am emphasizing here. And it is the church who must convey the truth to the congregation.

© Sylvia Huffnagle

The Love of the Great Body (14th in Church Series)

September 10, 2010

Matt: 24:11-13: And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12: And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13: But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

The general understanding of this passage is that those who get caught up in iniquity will not love the brethren as they should, but it could also mean that because iniquity abounds even among those who call themselves Christians, it is hard to do the loving things Jesus wants us to do for one another.

For example, the Christian Spirit wants to be hospitable with those in the church–invite them for a visit, but because Christian identity is so undefined these days, experience teaches that the effort will not accomplish anything, but for the giver to be taken from.

You may say, “So, at least I gave.”

But the point of this article is that though the true Christian Spirit is a giving spirit, the recipient merely takes it all for granted that the giver will give. He or she has no true gratitude. The New Testament exalts gratitude because the one who has gratitude will be in a humble state of mind whereby he or she will be able to receive more than material things. They will be open to good teaching. The humble state is a teachable state.

But where iniquity abounds and the gospel is too broad, the giver has no opportunity to really help with good advice or sharing a testimony because the recipient does not have an ear to hear or a heart to understand. They are still caught up in the mentality of expecting Christians to bail them out of their difficulty. It does not dawn on them that they may be able to avoid trouble by making better choices. Because of the way things are handled, they just want to do their own thing and get a helping hand when they need it.

What’s wrong here is that the person claims to be a brother or sister in the Lord and yet they have not repented of their sins or willfulness. This is wrong. This is due to a mishandling of the gospel.

In this day and age the gospel is mishandled, misrepresented, shortchanged, and adulterated. This is why iniquity abounds so that the true Christians cannot be the helper or witness that they so desire to be.

This is why they can’t call or visit those who have quit coming to church because they will get an earful of accusations, gossip, and self pity. The well intentioned person leaves feeling as if their ears have been assaulted and wondering what they should have done that they didn’t do and what they shouldn’t have done that the did do. The selfish Christian only had in mind to tell tales and recruit malcontents. The giver is robbed of the reward of knowing they were making a difference in the person’s life.

This may sound like a bitter writer to some, but I believe that it is important to point out to people the inevitable results of mishandling the gospel. This is the main reason for Christian burnout.

God had in mind for Christians to help one another in a Spirit of Christian love. The church is built on Christian love. All who profess Christ are to live by this Spirit. It is a Spirit of humility, unselfishness, and genuinely caring for the other party.

What’s missing in this accepting everyone as a Christian who says they are one is the beneficial interacting that Jesus had in mind when He set up His church.

Jesus had guidelines for believers and Paul also shared some:

Lk: 9:23-26: And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.24: For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25: For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? 26: For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.

Lk: 14:26-27: If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27: And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

Jn: 10:27-28: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

Jn: 15:1-2: I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2: Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

I Cor: 5:9-13: I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: 10: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11: But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 12: For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13: But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

Rom: 16:17: Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

2Thess: 3:14: And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.

© Sylvia Huffnagle

The Writer’s Ink (13th in Church Series)

September 10, 2010

Ezek: 9:1-4: He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand. 2: And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar. 3: And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house.  And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side; 4: And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.

(I believe the destroying weapons are the media, in this case especially magazines and text books, etc.)

5-7: And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: 6: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary.  Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. 7: And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth.  And they went forth, and slew in the city.

(I believe this has to do with the same thing we are warn about in Gal: 6:7-8: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8: For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

These verses tell us that if we sow to the flesh we will reap corruption. Apparently most people think this means if you sow corruption you will reap corruption, but it does not say that. It says, if you sow to the flesh, you will reap corruption. It does not say you might reap corruption–it says you will reap corruption.

Many who call themselves Christians are watching things and reading things that Jesus suffered on the cross and died to save us from. This ought not be. Jesus paid the ultimate price to free people from degrading things and from lower life thinking and it is imperative for Christians to stop wallowing in the filth and the mud and to come up higher–renewing their minds with the Word of God.

They aren‘t the only ones going to be slain by the five men with the destroying weapons–all those who continue to sow to the flesh–entertain the flesh and neglect the spirit–will be slaughtered because they will not be able to discern between the lethal lies being sown and the Truth. I do not know why the teachers have not grasp the truth and taught the truth that Christians must have on the full armor of God in order to stand in the evil day. To be carnally-mind is death.

What I’m saying is a lot of people spend their reading, watching TV, and/or playing on the computer time, feeding their carnal minds. They are often bewildered about why they never seem to get more spiritual–why they stay at the same place or seem to be going backward, after all, they go to church at least twice a week.

This class of people is vulnerable not because they didn’t mean it when they chose to be one of God’s children, but because they cannot recognize danger when it presents itself to them in the guise of clean entertainment or of further wisdom.

The man in linen with the writer’s ink represents Christian writer’s inspired by the Spirit of Christ. Those who are sowing to the spirit read their Bibles and these articles and it is as if a mark were placed on their forehead so that when the one who roams around like a roaring lion, the one who masquerades as an angel of light spouts his the lies, his subtleties, his theories, and imaginings they are not affected by it. They have on the full armor of God.)

Ezek: 9:8-11: And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord GOD!  wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem? 9: Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The LORD hath forsaken the earth, and the LORD seeth not. 10: And as for me also, mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will recompense their way upon their head. 11: And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me.

(I think the biggest perversity of Christians in general is that they do not believe the Bible. They do not believe that they must seek the kingdom of God with all diligence. They do not believe that they must protect their spirit for out of it are the issues of life. They do not believe they must put on and keep on the full armor of God. And they do not believe that if they sow to the flesh they will reap corruption.)

© Sylvia Huffnagle

What Church is all About (12th in Church Series)

September 3, 2010

I heard a song that said something about if one soul is saved, isn’t that what it’s all about. I think it was about going to church–if one soul is saved then church is worth it because that is what it’s all about. But this article is to declare that that is not what church is all about.

Church is about Eph: 4:11-16: And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12: For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15: But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

It’s about: Eph: 5:19: Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Col: 3:16: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

It’s about: Eph: 2:22: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

It’s about: Heb: 10:19-27: Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20: By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21: And having an high priest over the house of God; 22: Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23: Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24: And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 26: For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27: But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

Some go to church to be petted and pampered.

Some go to be ministered to.

Some go to sing praise and worship songs together.

Some go to hear a message.

God wants us to go to church to interact with one another and to be built together and to urge one another on to love and good works. He wants us to come in the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God unto one perfected man or body. This talks about training. This talks about sharing experiences. This talks about a fellowship of believers. This is what God is doing with church, any thing else that’s being done there is secondary.

Someone will say, “Well, isn’t it a Christian’s first priority to win souls.” It is a Christian priority to win souls, but first things first. First a Christian must be trained to walk the walk and talk the talk. Then they must learn to work as a body in unity of spirit in agreement that this is all about Jesus’ ministry. Church is about learning to function as Christ’s body.

© Sylvia Huffnagle

God’s Plan of Salvation (11th in Church Series)

September 3, 2010

Ezek: 13:1-16: And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2: Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the LORD; 3: Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! 4: O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts. 5: Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD. 6: They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD saith: and the LORD hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word. 7: Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The LORD saith it; albeit I have not spoken? 8: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord GOD. 9: And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD 10: Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered morter: 11: Say unto them which daub it with untempered morter, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it. 12: Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, Where is the daubing wherewith ye have daubed it? 13: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even rend it with a stormy wind in my fury; and there shall be an overflowing shower in mine anger, and great hailstones in my fury to consume it. 14: So will I break down the wall that ye have daubed with untempered morter, and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof: and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 15: Thus will I accomplish my wrath upon the wall, and upon them that have daubed it with untempered morter, and will say unto you, The wall is no more, neither they that daubed it; 16: To wit, the prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and which see visions of peace for her, and there is no peace, saith the Lord GOD.

17-23: Likewise, thou son of man, set thy face against the daughters of thy people, which prophesy out of their own heart; and prophesy thou against them,18: And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the women that sew pillows to all armholes, and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls!  Will ye hunt the souls of my people, and will ye save the souls alive that come unto you? 19: And will ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to my people that hear your lies? 20: Wherefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make them fly. 21: Your kerchiefs also will I tear, and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand to be hunted; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 22: Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life: 23: Therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations: for I will deliver my people out of your hand: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

I believe this can be applied to these times. I believe that the gospel has been grossly mishandled. And the above scriptures apply–God would address much of the church today in this manner.

How have they mishandled the gospel? Many believe and understand the gospel to be about Jesus shedding his blood so that sinners don’t have to go to hell because God is love and he had to make a way to heaven even though people sin.

You may say, “So, isn’t that just what he did? It looks right, but let me reveal the subtlety of the way it is put and understood. Jesus came and walked the walk and talked the talk and suffered and died on the cross and rose the third day to restore those who chose him to eternal life–to spiritual life.  That’s the truth.

You may ask how that differs from modern thought. When you choose to repent of your ways (that’s the repentance we are suppose to do–not just repenting of actual sin, but repenting of handling things the way you want to instead of the way God said to) and receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior (that also is in the plan of redemption) you are born again of God’s Spirit.  I say, again, because Adam and Eve were spiritually alive i.e. born of God’s Spirit before the fall. They were therefore the children of God. When you get born again, you are readopted back to God and are his child. Rom: 8:15, Eph: 1:5

You may ask what that has to do with my saying the gospel is misunderstood today. It has this to do with it: God was reconciling us to himself.  He was restoring us to eternal life. Eternal life is for those who have and give life. Those who walk by the spirit and not by the flesh are walking in life.

The truth is that Jesus did what he did to save us from sin and death.

The truth is you are going to spend eternity with your father whether that be God or the devil. Jn: 8:44

The truth is that you must enter into spiritual life to be saved from sin and death. Rom: 8:1-14, Jas: 1:21-22, 1Jn: 5:11-12

The subtlety is that we are saved from sin and death, not that we are saved from hell, though if you receive salvation from sin and death, you will be saved from hell.

The subtlety is that God loves us and that is why he sent his Son, but he loves everyone and that is why he had to restore spiritual life. The wages of sin is death. Rom: 6:23 Love is eternal. Sin is selfish. Selfishness caused death. Gen: 3:21 records the first bloodshed. Matt: 27:4 Jesus sheds his innocent blood. All the bloodshed on the earth can be blamed on selfishness. Jesus came to restore righteousness. A righteous person will do what is right.  A selfish person will do what they choose to do whether it is right or wrong.

The scripture below prophesy of the Savior–savior from darkness, from sin, and from death.

Isa: 9:2-7: The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. 3: Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. 4: For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian. 5: For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire. 6: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7: Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.  The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Isa: 11:1-10: And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 2: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; 3: And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: 4: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. 5: And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. 6: The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. 7: And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8: And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.  9: They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. 10: And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

Isa: 29:8-24: It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion. 9: Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. 10: For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. 11: And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: 12: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. 13: Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: 14: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. 15: Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us?  and who knoweth us? 16: Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not?  or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding? 17: Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest? 18: And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. 19: The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. 20: For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off: 21: That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought.  22: Therefore thus saith the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale. 23: But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel.  24: They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.

Isa: 50:1-11: Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away?  or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you?  Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away. 2: Wherefore, when I came, was there no man?  when I called, was there none to answer?  Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem?  or have I no power to deliver?  behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst. 3: I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering. 4: The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. 5: The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. 6: I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. 7: For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. 8: He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me?  let us stand together: who is mine adversary?  let him come near to me. 9: Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who is he that shall condemn me?  lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up. 10: Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light?  let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God. 11: Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled.  This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.

Isa: 53:1-12: Who hath believed our report?  and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 2: For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3: He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4: Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5: But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6: All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7: He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 8: He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation?  for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. 9: And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. 10: Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11: He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12: Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Isa: 55:1-11: Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2: Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread?  and your labour for that which satisfieth not?  hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. 3: Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. 4: Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.  5: Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee. 6: Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9: For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10: For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Jer: 5:1-31: Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it. 2: And though they say, The LORD liveth; surely they swear falsely. 3: O LORD, are not thine eyes upon the truth?  thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return. 4: Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the LORD, nor the judgment of their God. 5: I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the LORD, and the judgment of their God: but these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds. 6: Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities: every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces: because their transgressions are many, and their backslidings are increased. 7: How shall I pardon thee for this?  thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses. 8: They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbour’s wife. 9: Shall I not visit for these things?  saith the LORD: and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? 10: Go ye up upon her walls, and destroy; but make not a full end: take away her battlements; for they are not the LORD’s. 11: For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously against me, saith the LORD.  12: They have belied the LORD, and said, It is not he; neither shall evil come upon us; neither shall we see sword nor famine:  13: And the prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them: thus shall it be done unto them. 14: Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them. 15: Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from far, O house of Israel, saith the LORD: it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say. 16: Their quiver is as an open sepulchre, they are all mighty men. 17: And they shall eat up thine harvest, and thy bread, which thy sons and thy daughters should eat: they shall eat up thy flocks and thine herds: they shall eat up thy vines and thy fig trees: they shall impoverish thy fenced cities, wherein thou trustedst, with the sword. 18: Nevertheless in those days, saith the LORD, I will not make a full end with you. 19: And it shall come to pass, when ye shall say, Wherefore doeth the LORD our God all these things unto us?  then shalt thou answer them, Like as ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not yours. 20: Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying, 21: Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not: 22: Fear ye not me?  saith the LORD: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it? 23: But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone. 24: Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest. 25: Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you. 26: For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men. 27: As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich. 28: They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge. 29: Shall I not visit for these things?  saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? 30: A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; 31: The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

Jer: 31:9: They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.

Jer: 31:31-35: Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:  33: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.  34: And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. 35: Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: Heb: 10:10-13

Dan: 9:24-26: Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and 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. 25: Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 26: And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

Ezek: 11:19-20: And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: 20: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.

The Good Shepherd: Ezek: 22:24-31: Son of man, say unto her, Thou art the land that is not cleansed, nor rained upon in the day of indignation. 25: There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof. 26: Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. 27: Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain. 28: And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken. 29: The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully. 30: And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.31: Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD.

Ezek: 34:1-31: And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2: Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves!  should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3: Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. 4: The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. 5: And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. 6: My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them. 7: Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; 8: As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock; 9: Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; 10: Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them. 11: For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. 12: As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. 13: And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14: I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. 15: I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD. 16: I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment. 17: And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats. 18: Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures?  and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet? 19: And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet. 20: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle. 21: Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad; 22: Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle. 23: And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. 24: And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it. 25: And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods. 26: And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. 27: And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them. 28: And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid. 29: And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more. 30: Thus shall they know that I the LORD their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord GOD. 31: And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord GOD.

Ezek: 37:21-28: And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: 22: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: 23: Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. 24: And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. 25: And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. 26: Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. 27: My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 28: And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.

Ezek: 44: 5-16: And the LORD said unto me, Son of man, mark well, and behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears all that I say unto thee concerning all the ordinances of the house of the LORD, and all the laws thereof; and mark well the entering in of the house, with every going forth of the sanctuary. 6: And thou shalt say to the rebellious, even to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; O ye house of Israel, let it suffice you of all your abominations, 7: In that ye have brought into my sanctuary strangers, uncircumcised in heart, and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in my sanctuary, to pollute it, even my house, when ye offer my bread, the fat and the blood, and they have broken my covenant because of all your abominations. 8: And ye have not kept the charge of mine holy things: but ye have set keepers of my charge in my sanctuary for yourselves. 9: Thus saith the Lord GOD; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel 10: And the Levites that are gone away far from me, when Israel went astray, which went astray away from me after their idols; they shall even bear their iniquity. 11: Yet they shall be ministers in my sanctuary, having charge at the gates of the house, and ministering to the house: they shall slay the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister unto them. 12: Because they ministered unto them before their idols, and caused the house of Israel to fall into iniquity; therefore have I lifted up mine hand against them, saith the Lord GOD, and they shall bear their iniquity. 13: And they shall not come near unto me, to do the office of a priest unto me, nor to come near to any of my holy things, in the most holy place: but they shall bear their shame, and their abominations which they have committed. 14: But I will make them keepers of the charge of the house, for all the service thereof, and for all that shall be done therein. 15: But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord GOD:  16: They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge.

© Sylvia Huffnagle

Call the Solemn Assembly (10th in Church Series)

August 27, 2010

Joel 1:1-4: The word of the LORD that came to Joel the son of Pethuel.  2: Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land.  Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers?  3: Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation. 4: That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpiller eaten.

(I liken this to the post-modern church of today. The churches could take up this lament: Isa: 26:18: We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen.

I am not trying to ridicule or put down the church. My intent is to convince her that it is time to call the solemn assembly. In chapter two I will show just what needs done. I believe that the churches’ crops have been destroyed as described above.

When God sent Jesus and called us to repentance he had in mind what is written in Jer: 24:7: And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.

But instead it seems to me to be as in Jer: 51:51: We are confounded, because we have heard reproach: shame hath covered our faces: for strangers are come into the sanctuaries of the LORD’s house.

Below is what God says must be done to get back on tract. A little dab will not do you. We need to do this God’s way. We cannot make a few adjustment. We cannot try new ways. We must do this God’s way.)

5-8: Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth. 6: For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion. 7: He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white. 8: Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.

(Why does he call us drunkards? It is because we have drunk fermented wine in abundance, but we have not feasted on God’s new wine–Eph: 5:18: And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

A nation has attacked God’s church. Who is it? Babylon. All the post-modern beliefs and teachings that take away from the written Word of God or from the truth that Christ has come in the flesh are Babylonian and anti-Christ. The world should not influence the church. In the church, the church should be living and acting like the church. Strangers to the gospel should not feel at home there. They may be made to feel like welcomed strangers, but they should not fit in until they receive Jesus–the Jesus in the Bible. The one who says: You cannot serve God and mammon. The one who says: Why do you call me Lord and do not the things that I say? The one who says: You must forsake all to be my disciple.)

9-13: The meat offering and the drink offering is cut off from the house of the LORD; the priests, the LORD’s ministers, mourn. 10: The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth. 11: Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished.

12-13: The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men. 13: Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God.

14-15: Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD, 15: Alas for the day!  for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.

(That’s what we are going to talk about in chapter two. The things described above and below sound to me like the baroness of the church. Some may look at the works of some churches and say: “See how much they do. At least they are trying.” But there is more to this than getting people to come to church. They must be given the Spirit and the Word of the Lord. They must be brought into a condition of holiness–set apart for the Lord–and they must be taught how to live.)

16-20: Is not the meat cut off before our eyes, yea, joy and gladness from the house of our God? 17: The seed is rotten under their clods, the garners are laid desolate, the barns are broken down; for the corn is withered. 18: How do the beasts groan!  the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture; yea, the flocks of sheep are made desolate. 19: O LORD, to thee will I cry: for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burned all the trees of the field. 20: The beasts of the field cry also unto thee: for the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness.

Joel 2:1-11: Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;  2: A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. 3: A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.  4: The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run.  5: Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. 6: Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness. 7: They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: 8: Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. 9: They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. 10: The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: 11: And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?

(Everyone thinks this mighty army is the church, but it is not. It says in verse eleven that it is God’s army, but it is His army to execute His wrath. Look at verse 20.  It is Babylon–New Age–Gnosticism–Post-modern thinking. It has crept into every venue of life on planet earth.)

12-14: Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: 13: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. 14: Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?

15-17: Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: 16: Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. 17: Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?

(What God wants us to do–what has to be done to gain the restoration we need is to call all those who love God–all those who care about the church–all those who want God to manifest Himself in a mighty way–to the house of prayer. They are to drop everything. Don’t worry about meals. Don’t worry about duties. Get to the house of God and fall on your face and cry out for God to restore all that has been taken away. Below, God tells us what He will do for us when we do this.)

18-20: Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people. 19: Yea, the LORD will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen: 20: But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things.

21-27: Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things. 22: Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength. 23: Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. 24: And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil.  25: And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. 26: And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.  27: And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.

(He will send His teachers and preachers and they will teach all–the full council of God. Afterwards He will pour out His Spirit upon all flesh.)

28-32: And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:29: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.30: And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.31: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. 32: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

(As the song says: These are the days of Elijah…  This is the end of the age. The war is between Christ and the anti-Christ spirit in the world. God wants to pour out His Spirit. God wants people to call on His name and be saved. Let’s do it! Call the solemn assembly.)

© Sylvia Huffnagle

Strangers in the Sanctuary (9th in Church Series)

August 27, 2010

Ezek: 44:1-3: Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it was shut. 2: Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut. 3: It is for the prince; the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same.

4-6: Then brought he me the way of the north gate before the house: and I looked, and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD: and I fell upon my face. 5: And the LORD said unto me, Son of man, mark well, and behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears all that I say unto thee concerning all the ordinances of the house of the LORD, and all the laws thereof; and mark well the entering in of the house, with every going forth of the sanctuary. 6: And thou shalt say to the rebellious, even to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; O ye house of Israel, let it suffice you of all your abominations,

7-8: In that ye have brought into my sanctuary strangers, uncircumcised in heart, and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in my sanctuary, to pollute it, even my house, when ye offer my bread, the fat and the blood, and they have broken my covenant because of all your abominations. 8: And ye have not kept the charge of mine holy things: but ye have set keepers of my charge in my sanctuary for yourselves.

(I think this scripture can be applied to the church today, because all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 2 Tim: 3:16  How has the church brought the uncircumcised into the sanctuary? Jesus established the church as a place for believers to meet and worship their God together. It was to be a place where they gathered together in His Name.

Then in Acts 5: 12-14 we read: And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch. 13: And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them. 14: And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)

And in Eph: 4:1-16: I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2: With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3: Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4: There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5: One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6: One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 7: But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8: Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9: (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10: He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11: And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12: For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15: But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Eph: 5:19: Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; (I picture a place where believers can share and grow without fear of offending the heathen.)

Col: 3:16: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Heb: 10:24-26: And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 26: For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

(These verses are not conclusive, but I do believe that God provided a sanctuary for believers where they can come together in unity of faith and purpose to build one another up in the faith.

A sanctuary is: 1  a holy place, as a building set aside for worship of the divinity or of one or more deities; 2 a place of refuge or protection; asylum: orig., fugitives from justice were immune from arrest in churches or other sacred places b) immunity from punishment or the law, as by taking refuge in a church, etc. 

Notice it started out as a holy place. To me that means a place where everyone is conscientious about doing things God’s way. The church is the pillar of truth–a place where Christians are strengthened and encouraged by being among those who believe as they do.

Pertaining to sanctuary–it is a place where believers can rest from dealing with the pressures of the world and enjoy the kingdom of God together. There is no place in church for ungodly behavior, speech, or dress. I’m not talking about rules here, I’m talking about one body and one Spirit.

Today church has a dual purpose–to do the above and to be used as an evangelistic center. To have the church be an evangelistic center is to take away the sanctuary part. There may be a little strength in knowing that others in the building believe as you do, but because of the way things are handled today, the true believer must be very careful what he or she says for fear of offending the disobedient and unbelieving. The result of this dual purpose is a mixed multitude which causes confusion of doctrine.

God doesn’t want heathens in the sanctuary, for the above reason. He does not want pollution. Not only are Christians now taught to wear blinders as far as offenses go, they are also taught not to discern between the righteous and the wicked. The teachers thought they were teaching the Word, but the Word was talking about true believers overlooking one another’s faults. God wants us to discern between the righteous and the wicked.)

Mal: 3:13: Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD.  Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee? 14: Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts? 15: And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered. 16: Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. 17: And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. 18: Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

God has instruction for how to handle those who come in among us:

Num: 15:14-16 it says: And if a stranger sojourn with you, or whosoever be among you in your generations, and will offer an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD; as ye do, so he shall do. 15: One ordinance shall be both for you of the congregation, and also for the stranger that sojourneth with you, an ordinance for ever in your generations: as ye are, so shall the stranger be before the LORD. 16: One law and one manner shall be for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you.

Ezek: 44:9-14: Thus saith the Lord GOD; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel. 10: And the Levites that are gone away far from me, when Israel went astray, which went astray away from me after their idols; they shall even bear their iniquity. 11: Yet they shall be ministers in my sanctuary, having charge at the gates of the house, and ministering to the house: they shall slay the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister unto them. 12: Because they ministered unto them before their idols, and caused the house of Israel to fall into iniquity; therefore have I lifted up mine hand against them, saith the Lord GOD, and they shall bear their iniquity. 13: And they shall not come near unto me, to do the office of a priest unto me, nor to come near to any of my holy things, in the most holy place: but they shall bear their shame, and their abominations which they have committed. 14: But I will make them keepers of the charge of the house, for all the service thereof, and for all that shall be done therein.

(God wants there to be a clear distinction between the circumcised in heart and the uncircumcised in heart. God only wants those who have entered into the crucifixion and resurrection to take communion and or to call themselves Christians.  If this were so, then the leaders could insist upon certain things such as everyone dressing modestly, and everyone living a sanctified life, and everyone doing all for the glory of God, etc. Meddling comes in when the leaders dictate precisely how these things must be done.)

Notice how God feels toward those who a zealous for His precepts:

15-22: But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord GOD:  16: They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge. 17: And it shall come to pass, that when they enter in at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and no wool shall come upon them, whiles they minister in the gates of the inner court, and within.  18: They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird themselves with any thing that causeth sweat.  19: And when they go forth into the utter court, even into the utter court to the people, they shall put off their garments wherein they ministered, and lay them in the holy chambers, and they shall put on other garments; and they shall not sanctify the people with their garments. 20: Neither shall they shave their heads, nor suffer their locks to grow long; they shall only poll their heads. 21: Neither shall any priest drink wine, when they enter into the inner court. 22: Neither shall they take for their wives a widow, nor her that is put away: but they shall take maidens of the seed of the house of Israel, or a widow that had a priest before.

(God condones those who are zealous for the truth. He has called some in the church to be prophets. They are to show where the church is going to the left or the right off of the written Word of God. Read the last two verses.)

23-24: And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. 24: And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies; and they shall hallow my sabbaths.

© Sylvia Huffnagle


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