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Today, when you hear His voice, … Featuring: • Entering the Rest of God
By Tanswell Davidse By Francois Du Toit By Andre Rabe
• The Mystery in the Seed • Time and Eternity • How Much are You Worth
By Mary-Anne Rabe By Dawie Blake
• Value Beyond Information
Dear Reader This is the first edition of this magazine, so a short introduction would be appropriate. The first and foremost motivation for this publication is the content itself. The success of what God achieved in Christ on our behalf, the unprecedented significance of that once-and-for-all event, is what compels us to make known, by every possible means, the character of God and His relation to man. We have so enjoyed the rich conversations on our website, hearhim. net, over a number of years. As we travelled through areas where the internet is not readily available, we have realised the need for a publication such as this in which we can extend this conversation. You will notice comments after some of the articles - these are only a small sample of the many coversations that have so enriched us. We pray that God would prepare you to receive insight and understanding that will transform you into that which He always knew was true of you. As you behold Him and see Him for who He truly is, your own identity and place in Him will become clear as well. In His grip Andre & Mary-Anne Rabe
These statements draw us into a dimension beyond our normal experience of time. A dimension in which time is a radically different entity from our normal experience of it. The use of the words: “before Abraham was, I am” seems to indicate two different dimensions. One in which there is a past, present and future, and one in which there is simply a present. However, it might say more about the nature of God than about the nature of time. Let’s start by looking at the Hebrew understanding of time as found in the Old Testament. We don’t find philosophical or abstract debates about the nature of time, as we do in the Greek philosophies of that period. Time is not described as a separate force or an extra dimension, but in rather more concrete terms. Events occurred and these events stood in relation to other events and this was in effect, time. Time has no substance apart from these events. Whereas the Greeks saw time as a separate dimension in which events happened, the Hebrews simply saw events happening and these ‘happenings’ were time. As such, eternity is never described as timeless, for there could be no events, no experience, no life without time. To be timeless would be lifeless. The quality of events are given greater significance than the order in which they happened or the duration it took. In some instances events and persons were arranged according to the impact of their occurrence, rather than their chronological sequence. The weightiness and significance of people and events were regarded more important than the exact date of the occurrence. People did things. God did things. Time is the story of these events and has no existence beyond these events. One of the reasons why eternity is often thought of as timeless is because of our understanding of time. Time is seen as temporal, subject to change whereas eternity is seen as changeless. However, it is the nature of change that is different in the eternal realm. There is ‘change’ that decays and there is ‘change’ that renews. 2 Cor 4:16: Therefore we do not become discouraged. Though our outer man is [progressively] decaying and wasting
Time and Eternity
Time is often experienced as an inescapable vehicle that carries us from birth to death; a relentless force that propels us from the present to the future. But what is ‘time’? We’ve become so familiar with our measure of time seconds, hours, days, years - that it is easy to confuse our measures of time with time itself. Our experience of time and our measures of time might be far too narrow because they are limited by our specific point of view. There are many interesting philosophies about time and even more interesting speculations about what the possibilities might be, if such philosophies were true. I won’t explore all these philosophies in depth in this writing - only enough to help us appreciate what the Word has to say about time. For that purpose I’ll adopt one of the most basic and helpful definitions of time, namely: a sequence of events. How we relate to this sequence of events and how God relates to it is very different. Some of the statements in scripture seem at first to contain some grammatical errors: the tenses are all wrong! For instance: “Before Abraham was, I am”. In other instances the Word speaks about future events as if they
By Andre Rabe
had happened in the past. Hundreds of years before the birth and death of Jesus, Isaiah speaks of His suffering on the cross as a past event: “…but He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed.” Is 53:5 I was bemused by an article I read about Tachyons. This is a scientific name for a theoretical particle that travels faster or at the speed of light. The nature of such a particle is truly astounding. For instance, let’s imagine one could build a fax machine based on the laws covering tachyons and we call it our tachyons fax machine. If one was to send a fax at 3pm it would arrive at 2pm! The effect precedes the cause. I immediately thought of Mat 8:16, 17 in which Jesus heals the sick who were brought to him. Verse 17 states that this was in fulfillment of what was prophesied by Isaiah. It’s again the passage in Isaiah 53 that we looked at earlier. We know that this passage refers to the suffering & death of Christ, but here again the effect (healing) of what He accomplished on the cross is experienced by people long before the cause. Another example of this inversion of time is found in Isaiah 65:24 “Before they call I answer”.
away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day after day. A blooming flower undergoes change, but every change just further establishes its beauty and essential reality. Proverbs speaks of the life of the righteous being like the rising sun, shining brighter and brighter. The eternal realm does have events and does have change, but every change further confirms the essential reality of this realm and consequently it is not temporal. There is an event that took place in eternity of such importance and magnitude that it overflowed into our time! This mystery was hidden for ages and generations … but then it happened: the infinite filled the finite; the eternal filled the temporal, the unknowable God revealed Himself in a way we can all understand. God became man! His mind was made known; His character unveiled; His opinion of you made clear. Like an ocean emptied into a pond, it filled and changed all time - out of all proportion to the fall of man, is the redemption of man. The Lamb, who was slain from the foundation of the world, was born and walked amongst us. It is this singular event that gives meaning to all other time. It is only within this one event that all other
have to wait any longer
all mankind in all ages; an achievement that occurred once and included all without exception. The fullness of time … so much can be said about it, where does one begin. The fullness of time means: No time to come can add to what was given in this event;Our sense of satisfaction, completeness, fullness has everything to do with appreciating the event that filled all of time, and nothing to do with any future event; We can never exhaust the wealth of understanding and insight that was lavished upon us in this event. Further on in this letter of Paul, he writes that all of eternity will be a further revelation of the exceeding greatness of God’s kindness toward us in this event - in Christ. Jesus said on a number of occasions: ” …the time is coming, and now is …”. He tapped into eternity in such a way that the present contained everything that the future had to offer! After speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4) about living water - water that not only satisfies but overflows, He ends off by saying: “I am he,” said Jesus. “You don’t have to wait any longer or look any further.” All that eternity has to offer is in Christ and He is present in this very moment. have yet to discover about God. Such as the mention in scripture that our praises rise up to God as a sweet smelling savor. He “smells” our praises? The mention of him spewing the lukewarm out of His mouth . . . He “tastes” the sincere passion or the indifference of men’s hearts? There are other such references and I don’t mean to anthropomorphize nor to overanalyze. These are just interesting things I have pondered. Maybe they don’t really matter much, but in digging around in the rich soil of God’s Word, it is fun to ponder the meaning of such things. Of course, as we read in I Corinthians 13, all we know now is partial and will be replaced with full understanding when we see Him who loved us first - face to face. Glory to God. God bless. - Jeanie
events can find purpose. This event is God’s reference within our time by which all other events are judged. Only in relationship to this event can the temporal, changing, time-bound events find eternal value. Although this single event was concentrated in one individual, Jesus, it included all men. And although it happened before you were born, it has a greater claim on you than your own personal past. Whether you are aware of it or not, this event affects you … in fact it is all about you. Paul refers to it as the ‘fullness of time’ (Eph 1:10). He describes it as a singular event that has consequences for our hearts that he has given us the Life of his Son that is eternal, able to grasp the eternal dimensions of our true existence in Christ. Declare it boldly …Love - Roddy. I really enjoyed your post on time and eternity. First I’ve ever heard, but wow thought provoking ..big time!!! - Suzy Beautiful, wonderful, glorious truths you have explored and so clearly conveyed in writing! May God continue to reveal more and more of Himself and His perspectives to you who so faithfully share with others seeking to know Him more deeply. I have often contemplated that what we, in our human existance, sense with our five physical senses hints at some things we
Hi Andre, Great stuff . The Lord seems to be be giving you much depth of insight into the mystery of Christ before creation, which is always Paul’s starting point for the believers: an understanding of who they are in Christ. Paul, with consummate ease, knew the believer had the ability to grasp the incomprehensible eternal dimensions of being in Christ. Eph 3v34 Paul confidently assumes that in reading his account of the mystery of Christ, made known by revelation, we would be able to understand his insight into the mystery of Christ . 1John 2v21 expresses the same idea that the believer has an innate knowledge of the truth built into his spirit. 1John 5v11 The testimony of God is in our hearts. This is Gods testimony in
The Word Eternal
Long before the first line of scripture was penned on papyrus scroll, the Word, unwritten, existed as the mind of God. Before the books were gathered collated as sacred text, the Word, intangible; invisible, was planning, was ordering the ages that were to come. This Word predates the Bible, this Word predates creation, this Word is alive and active and speaking still today. “Heaven is my throne room; I rest my feet on earth. So what kind of house will you build me?” says God. What kind of doctrine could enfold Him, What kind of information could define Him, What kind of book could contain Him? Yet, despite His boundless nature, within His infinite wisdom, He devised a crafty plan, by which His thoughts, His intents would fit themselves into the form of a humble seed: The DNA of His own life, encrypted within the written Word. And so began the writing of that which we now call: the Bible - the Scriptures. Within the limitations; imperfections of human words and human authors God placed His eternal perfect seed. A seed is not a tree; the Scriptures are not our God, Yet a seed is the beginning, the start provided with fruitful soil, encouraged by water and light, a seed gives birth to a being much greater than itself. His plan foresaw the day in which this seed would blossom no longer encrypted; no longer disguised but fully expressed in the person of Jesus - the Christ - the Son The One who was in the beginning revealed within our midst Immanuel - God with us the Word became flesh. His desire is still the same: for His Word to break free of the boundaries of letters and text and theories and yet again, became flesh, and yet again find expression in a person: you - the chosen - the offspring of God. So as we approach the Scriptures, do more than read what is written listen to what is spoken. So once again we can encounter the mind, the voice, the person who spoke long before pen or paper were born.
Entering the Rest of God
by Tanswell Davidse in His rest. “For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” Matt 12:8. Jesus declared himself to be Lord of the Sabbath. For Him to be Lord of the Sabbath He had to rest from all His works. This would have been impossible unless He had finished or completed his work. What work did Jesus come to do? Jesus came to restore man back to His rest. For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Eph 2:10 “Ascribe greatness to our God the Rock His work is perfect” Deut 32:3,4 “Look to the Rock from which you were hewn and the quarry from which you were dug”.
A good friend of mine made a very interesting statement the other day, she said: “We are called human beings and not human doings”. This is a profound truth concerning how God intended for us to live. We spend our lives trying to do things instead of being. We were created for His pleasure, to be all God intended for us to be. We accommodate the wrong idea or thinking about ourselves, due to all our own experiences in life. We often make the mistake of judging ourselves in the flesh and as a result we try our best to become better people. So we work and labour more. We are busy and we can’t seem to relax in His opinion of our lives. We need to live in His rest. “And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all the hosts. And by the seventh day God completed His work which He had done; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” Gen 1:31, 2:1-3 “I know that everything that God does will remain forever, there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from
it, for God so worked that men should fear Him.” Eccl 3:14 We need to realise that man was not created on the first day, to give God a hand. In fact, the first day man woke up to was the seventh day of creation, the Sabbath rest. Man awoke in the provision of God. He awoke in the satisfaction of His Father, because God was pleased with everything He had created and completed. God rested from all His works, because He was satisfied. Man realised he could not add to anything or take away from what He had created. “Therefore, let us fear, lest while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them because it was not united by faith in those who heard. For we who have believed enter that rest…” Heb 4:1-3 “There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who enters His rest has himself also rested from his works as God did from His” Heb 4:9,10 God designed and purposed for us to live
God is not a panel beater, but a master craftsman who completed a perfect work in us through Christ Jesus. He didn’t need our help in the process. We are His workmanship, His masterpiece. If I should add a stroke of paint to a painting of Van Gogh, I would depreciate the value of the painting. Likewise my contribution is not to feel I have to add to His work, but to simply adore and appreciate His finished work. “While the house was built there was no sound of a hammer or axe or tool” 1 Kings 6:7 God encourages us not to find our confidence in our own labour, but His labour on our behalf. Our own strength only leads to us being heavy laden. He desires us to soar like eagles, like those who wait on the Lord. Eagles soar in the slipstream of the wind and rely on the strength of the wind to take them higher and faster. “Come to me all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest” Matt 11:28 God desires that we find the unforced rhythms of grace to propel us in life. His grace is more than enough. “Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand”
“But by the grace of God I am what I am and His grace towards me did not prove vain; but I laboured more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.” 1 Cor15:10 The Sabbath rest is not the absence of work but it is an inward attitude of confidence in the finished work of Christ on my behalf. Grace is all God did in Christ on my behalf. By grace we have been saved through faith and not by our own works. His grace is sufficient for us. God does not want us to work harder but rest harder. The most active state we can be in is to live in the rest of God. (Inward attitude) We need to rest in God’s goodness and enjoy the “God factor”. “Return to your rest, O my soul, For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.” Ps116.7 Don’t worry that things will not happen if you don’t make them happen. He became sin so that you might become………… He became poor so that you might become………… He became sick so that you might become………… He became a curse so that you might become………… He became all that you were so that you can be all that He is. So what is it that we must do? Have faith in His finished work on your behalf. Just believe. Your unbelief will disqualify you from His rest. The disciples asked Jesus: “… what must we do, to do the works of God?” Jesus’ reply was: “Just believe in whom He has sent. We don’t do in order to receive something from God in return. We realised that grace is all that we have already received as a result of what Christ did, that enables and energises us to do. One ‘doing’ in order to receive, is one who is untrained in the knowledge of God and totally unaware of what he has
received in the finished work of Christ. It is like someone being troubled by a bill of R1000 when he is oblivious to the fact that he has millions in his bank account. Be aware of what you manifest and carry. You are a God container. Exodus 34;29, Ps82:5-7 Set your mind on His goodness. Col 3:1-4 Refuse to doubt, being swayed by different opinions. A double-minded man is unstable in all His ways.. James1:7-9, 1Kings18:20, 21. God’s Sabbath is no longer a particular day of the week. “He again fixes a certain day, “Today”, saying through David after so long a time, just as has been said before, Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts. For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that.” Heb 4:7-8 God so desires for us to enter His rest. We are the celebration of His love, the reason for His satisfaction. We are the product of His labour and what He saw pleased Him so much that He entered into His rest. God’s rest is not another day; it is YOU. “Jehovah has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling-place. This is My rest forever; here I will dwell; for I have desired it”. PS 132:13: 14 (MKJV) God is so at home in you that he came to make his permanent abode in you. He is comfortable in you and pleased to reveal Himself through you.
This is more than just being quiet, but a ceasing from all effort to try and gain His favour or approval, a knowing that He has made up His mind about us, before we could ever do anything to influence it. It is futile to seek to obtain something you already have! Rest, be still…and know. Be still and know that I am God, be still and truly know that I am God Quiet your mind and your thoughts in Me Let me reveal the depth of My word to you Let me show you how it will meet your need Rest completely in what I’ve promised and Be still and know that I am God, be still and truly know that I am God Perceive with certainty and understanding Remove all doubt and fear and trust in Me Let me touch you with my intimacy Know completely, rest securely and Be still and know that I am God, be still and truly know that I am God by Mary-Anne Rabe ©2000 Download this song at: http://hearhim.net/wordpress/music/
Hi Tans. Great, you open it up so beautifully, now I do understand: God’s rest is not another day - it is You - He has desired it for His dwelling-place. This is my rest forever, here I will dwell; for I have desired it. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly - AWESOME - Danie
no man could ever know by reason or study. There came out into the heart of Paul the knowledge of what went on in Divine counsels in eternity of old. It was all seen in the face of Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ interpreted everything - explained everything - revealed everything. This it was that made Paul the man he was. It was this that gave him the power of endurance, the power of suffering, the power of going on. He had seen the face of Jesus Christ… and what a realm, what a wealth, what fullness was in that face! He says, “We have this ministry” (2 Corinthians 4:1). What ministry? Why, this: God hath “shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Our ministry is simply to tell what we have seen in that face - the meaning of Jesus Christ - “the Man Christ Jesus” - the amazing wonder of a Man! Yes, not forgetting all that is extra to that - and ever was, and ever will be - of Godhead… but in the light of that, the amazing wonder of a Man! I confess to you that while I glory in Christ as Son of God… and while I glory in Him as very God, and in God as God… the real wonder of it all only comes to me as I see that wealth of glory coming down into the face of a Man - as I see that expressed in a Man - all taken up in a Man. Yes, Man of my manhood, but different! Man torn with all my passions, and yet without sin in Himself! That is to say, a Man beset by all my temptations, and knowing what it is to have to battle with that pressure which comes upon us in order to overwhelm us. In our case much of it arises from within; but, oh, we do know to some extent what it is to have that pressure come upon us from without and to have something evil impinging upon us. He knew the full force of that as you and I have never known it - the impingement of universal evil to try to make Him think other than He would think, act other than He would act, and choose other than He would choose… and that under all manner of circumstances which would facilitate the temptation and the tempter. Yes, a Man has triumphed. A Man has taken up the fight. A Man has come through. A
The Face of Christ
The face of Jesus Christ embraces all that is signified by “the Man Christ Jesus” from eternity to eternity in relation to God’s thought, God’s will, God’s design. It is all behind that face. That is what we mean when we say: Catch a glimpse of the face of Jesus Christ, and you have the wonder of all ages - the glory of God from eternity to eternity in the face of Jesus Christ: the Divine counsels; the creation, the redemption, and the glorification of humanity - of man - in “the Man Christ Jesus.” That is for those who see that Righteous One and hear the voice of His mouth. But for those who through disobedience and unbelief still allow that veil to remain which the god of this age hath cast over the hearts of the unbelieving, God “hath appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom He hath ordained…” (Acts 17:31). For the one, the Man represents the glory of God. For the other, the Man represents the judgment of God. It is to be in and through and by a Man. You see how God has summed up all things in Christ. It is all in the face of Jesus Christ. I do not know what that conveys to you. Let me make it clear that this is not the fruit of simply sitting down and studying.
By T. Austin Sparks
I did not sit down and study this. It came to me like the passing of something before my heart, and I tell you I was stirred in heart at what I saw to be the meaning of the face of Jesus Christ. I can understand now why Paul was revolutionized. He saw the face of Jesus Christ. He did not simply see a blazing light on the way to Damascus. He saw the significance of Jesus of Nazareth in the glory - the Man whom he had probably seen in Jerusalem… the Man whom he had hated - had loathed - as a blasphemer, as an apostate… the Man whom he thought had been rightly handled and given His due when He was crucified. He saw that Man… and what that Man meant as installed in heaven at God’s right hand; and there broke upon him something of the significance of Jesus Christ, as he saw the face of Jesus in that eternal, universal, and spiritual sense - that all-inclusive sense. Out from that beholding - for he never stopped beholding inwardly the face of Jesus there grew and grew the explanation of history, the explanation of the race, the explanation of man, the explanation of human destiny, the explanation of the Cross… this unveiling of things which
Man has realized in humanity God’s end in Himself and taken that perfected humanity back into the glory… and is installed and related. And now by the blessed Eternal Spirit, through faith, we are joined to that Man - joined to Him one spirit - to be one Body, one glorified humanity eventually, of which we now have the earnest in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. It is marvelous! It is beyond our apprehension, our power of expression! Oh, that the Lord would open our hearts - yea, break them open and give us a new apprehension and grasp of the meaning of the face of Jesus Christ! Dwell upon that, and ask the Lord continually to shine in, shine in, shine in… to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. the bounds of Israel and is the racial representation. Not Israel, but all men - He is the worldwide, universal Son of Man. How? By the Cross. The Christ has leaped over all the limitations of nationality, even of Israel, and has bounded the range of humanity. He took the title “Son of Man” as Israel refused their Messiah and the Cross came into view. He saw that the Cross was leading to a baptism of passion, which would mean a baptism of fire into all the earth. Not to Israel now! Say nothing about that! This is not the time to preach Israel’s Messiah! The time has now come into view when by the Cross all men are coming into God’s eternal thought. The Lord open our hearts to see the face of Jesus Christ.
God’s eternal thought
The Son of Man! Do you notice where He took that title? He asked: “Who do men say that I am?” Elijah! One of the prophets of old! “But who say ye that I am.” “The Christ of God!” Then He commanded them to tell no man but to keep that to themselves - to keep that covered. That was something which for the moment was to be suspended. At that point, for the first time, He took to Himself the title, “Son of Man” - “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected… and killed.” What is the import of this? Oh, He has leaped over the bounds of Messiahship. “The Christ of God!” That is all right for Israel, but He has gone beyond Israel now. Israel is refusing their Messiah. The title “Son of Man” passes far beyond
The Mystery in the Seed
By Francois Du Toit
The secret of the complex genetic detail of spontaneous life lies concealed within the seed. The seed is in fact the mirror reflection of the tree that bears the fruit. The word mystery, musterion in Greek, is only used three times in the gospels. Matthew, Mark and Luke use this word every time in the context of the mystery of the seed. An enormous harvest, beyond any possible calculation lies hidden within one seed. The mystery that was hidden for ages and generations was about to break through the soil of the invisible realm of Spiritrealities, and forever transform the lifeexpression and destiny of mankind.‘Unless the grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone’. The destiny of the
single grain of wheat, was to release its secret and become the harvest of life, multiplied according to its own kind, in mankind; the bread of life that would feed the hunger of the nations. He was never meant to become a mere doctrine of religious sentiment and tradition, but a life of the highest expression of virtue and integrity, to be revealed in every man. For this Paul labours, striving with all the energy that God mightily inspires within him, to present every man in the full stature of Christ! Col. 1:27-29. We have always maintained that perfect beauty is rare, like an Absalom who was without blemish from the soul of his foot to the crown of his head, (2 Samuel 14:25) yet God preserved the perfection of beauty, the blueprint of our original design, in Christ and through the gospel now reveals it as our life!
James - the brother of Jesus
By Francois Du Toit
Lost and found identity From the first and the last verse of chapter one it appears that James sets this teaching up against the sense of a lost identity: the twelve scattered tribes, the widows and the orphans. This would be the greatest and most challenging test or temptation anyone can face: “to forget what manner of man you are.” (1:24, Deut.32:18.) As a flesh and blood brother of Jesus, James had to discover a greater identity to that of his physical conception. Beyond the desire of a natural parent, mankind shares a common origin, the ‘boulomai’
(original Greek), the affectionate desire and deliberate resolve of God, the Father of lights, with whom there is no distortion or hidden agenda, He conceived us by the unveiled logic of God, (truth, alethea, from a + lanthano, not hidden) “He brought us forth by the Word of truth.” Man began in God The truth about man’s genesis is that he is God’s personal invention. We are ‘anouthen’, from above. We are perfect and complete and lacking in nothing. (1:4) God’s Sabbath is the celebration of our perfection, both by design and redemption. “Every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father of lights with whom there is no variableness, and no shadow due
to change, He brought us forth by the Word of truth.” Born from above “No one ascended into heaven, who did not also descend from heaven, even the son of man.” John 3:13. John sees the same genesis. When he writes his gospel he is already more than 90 years old. Unlike Luke and Matthew he skips the genealogies of Joseph and returns to the Logos/Word that was from the beginning, before Adam was. The original blueprint thought of God. The Word that was always directed towards God, (the Word was with God, pros, a Greek preposition of direction, its predicted destiny is always to return to where
it comes from, (Is.55:10,11,) “Like the rain and the snow that come down from heaven and returns not thither but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, so shall my Word be that goes forth from my mouth (the eye of the fountain) it shall not return to me void, it shall accomplish my purpose and prosper in my resolve!” Jesus returned with the full harvest, the salvation of the human race). The Word is God; the Word equals God in essence, that same Word incarnated; the Word became flesh and dwelt within us; God finding accurate expression of Himself, His image and likeness revealed in human form. Genesis 1:26 lives again, man standing tall in the stature of the invisible God, “if you have seen me, you have seen the Father!” Christ in whom all the fullness of Deity dwells; and man realizing and returning to his own completeness only in Him. (Col.2:9,10.) “Unless a man is born from above, ‘anouthen’, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. (The kingdom of God - the reign of God’s image and likeness, His character) is made visible again on earth as it is in heaven; tangible in human form.” John 3:3. Nicodemus discovers that his attraction to Jesus was founded upon the fact that man is more than the fruit of his mother’s womb. That which is born of the flesh is flesh. Man’s natural features and identity reveals a glimpse of his parents’, but there is another womb that man comes from, the womb of the spirit; man’s birth is not merely by the desire of an earthly parent, (John 1:13) but by the desire of God. Man comes from above. “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.” (Jer.1:5.) If man did not come from above, then the heavenly realm would offer no appeal or attraction to him. In our make-up we are the God-kind with an appetite for more than that which bread and the senses could satisfy us with. We are designed to hunger for
... there is another womb that man comes from, the womb of the spirit; man’s birth is not merely by the desire of an earthly parent, (John 1:13) but by the desire of God.
the Logos that comes from above. From a dimension where the original thought remains preserved and intact without contamination, the Logos that comes from His mouth, the unveiled mirror reflection of our authentic design. Paul celebrates the same theme in Galatians 1:15, “God separated me from my mother’s womb and revealed His son in me in order that I may declare Him in the nations!” He understood what Jesus said to Peter, “flesh and blood cannot reveal to you who the son of man is, but my Father who is in heaven, blessed are you Simon son of Jonah, I give you a new name that reveals your original identity, you are rock” (petros, hewn out of the rock, petra, Is.51:1, Deut.32:3,4,18.) This revelation is the rock foundation that I will build my identity upon, (my image and likeness) and the strong gates of hades, (Greek, ha + ideis, not to see) that trapped man into the walled city of the senses will not prevail against the voice that surnames and summons man again.” (Mat.16:13,17.) (Church, eklesia, from ek, denoting source or origin and klesia from kaleo, to surname or identify by name.) Therefore Paul did not immediately consult with flesh and blood. He deliberately avoided the opportunity to get to know Jesus from a human point of view by visiting the eleven disciples who were still alive and living in Jerusalem. They could have
informed him first hand about the life, ministry, parables and miracles of Jesus. (2Cor.5:16.) But Paul does not make mention in any of his writings even of a single parable Jesus told or miracle He performed, because his mandate and revelation was not to reveal Christ in history, but Christ in man. Three years later only he returned briefly to Jerusalem specifically to visit Peter and James, the Lord’s brother. (Gal.1:18,19.) One is not surprised to discover that the first believers ever to be called Christians were the Greeks in Antioch who sat under Paul’s ministry. What James, John and Paul had in common was an understanding that Jesus came to reveal and redeem man’s original authentic spirit identity.
James 1:18, 19 It was His delightful resolve to give birth to us; we were conceived by the unveiled logic of God. (The Word of truth). We lead the exhibition of His handiwork, like first fruits introducing the rest of the harvest He anticipates. Consequently my beloved brethren, (when you are faced with temptation and contradiction) ponder the Word that reveals your true origin, do not ponder the problem; that is how frustration is conceived. Rather remain silent than to give anger your voice. (Quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.) Download this translation here: http://hearhim.net/wordpress/bookdownloads/
Does it matter what you believe?
For the truth
‘...for we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth‘ (2 Cor 13:8). Although we can do nothing against the truth, we can do something for it! We can allow it to have its full effect in us and through us. We can draw the maximum value and benefit from it as we combine it with faith, allowing God to persuade us fully, as He is persuaded. 1Cor 1: 6 speaks about the testimony of Christ that has been confirmed in us. Why do you think Paul, knowing that we can do nothing against the truth, would still risk his life and endure agonising persecution and torture for the sake of making this truth known. Well, we don’t have to guess, he wrote about his motivation. “For Christ’s love compels us, since we have reached this conclusion: if One died for all, then all died. And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised.” (2 Cor 5:14,15) Paul reached a conclusion - the conclusion that, what Christ accomplished, included all mankind … yet the full implication of this truth, the benefit of this truth still eluded the masses because of ignorance. The desire for others to enjoy the full benefit of these immutable truths, drove him to make this truth known as accurately as possible. So what can we do for the truth? We can allow it to have its full effect in and through us. Allow the testimony of Christ to be confirmed in you. We do this as we continue to live in awe at the revelation brought to us through Jesus Christ. We do this as we allow our enjoyment of Him to overflow into loving others - a love that compels us to live for more than just ourselves.The full value and benefit of the truth will be realised. He is not pressed by time or impatient to draw all men to Himself - He has all eternity to show us the full value and benefit of what He accomplished on our behalf “so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” until “all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honour of God the Father” (Eph 2:7; Phil 2:10,11)
We can do nothing against the truth
There are truths which remain true whether you believe them or not. Paul understood this and wrote ‘for we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth‘ (2 Cor 13:8). In the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, God did something for and with mankind that is immutable - not subject or susceptible to change or variation in form or quality or nature. The success of what He accomplished is unchallenged, unaffected by unbelief. In Christ, God removed every obstacle and hindrance that stood between Himself and man. He dealt with sin - all sin of all people. He invalidated guilt - it has no foundation. These are things He did for us, whether we are aware of it or not. But He also did something with us - in His death, we died. In His resurrection we were elevated to a new position of blameless innocence before God. “There’s no end to what has happened in you—it’s beyond speech, beyond knowledge.“ (1 Cor 1:5 MSG). These things do not become true when you believe them - they are true even if you are unaware of them. Even if no-one believed, the truth about man and God would remain true. “What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all!” (Rom 3:3)
no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said” (Heb 4:2). The truth has no value for you individually, if it is not combined with faith. Paul wrote about the ‘wealth’ or ‘riches’ of being fully persuaded (Col 2:2). There is a richness of life, a rest of satisfaction, an abundance of contentment, that is only found in being fully persuaded.
Falling in love
Faith is so much more than correct information … as much as falling in love is more than knowing the facts about another person. When I met Mary-Anne, I did not not even know how to spell her name, her date of birth or background, but that did not stop my heart from responding with a ‘wow’. When a beautiful landscape appears before me, I instantly respond with appreciation without needing facts and figures. Faith is such a gift - it’s an instant response when encountering God. Whenever He reveals Himself we automatically respond with awe and adoration. Seeing what He sees causes us to believe what He believes. It is so much more than the pathetic ‘Statements Of Faith’ that some organisations publish. I’m so glad that neither Jesus nor Paul ever wrote a ‘Statement of Faith’ - they knew that the adoration they had in response to the beauty of the Father could never be reduced to a set of principles or be neatly categorised into a doctrine. All we could ever hope to express is an introduction, an invitation for others to see what we see.
So if the truth remains truth no matter what I believe, does my faith really matter? Absolutely yes, in every way. We only experience the benefit of truth as we embrace it. “For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of
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Christ: the revelation of my value. ...until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the full and accurate knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ’s own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him. Eph 4:12 Seeing Him is the most captivating and satisfying experience. It has nothing to do with ministry in the first instance - it has everything to do with enjoying Him and enjoying others from this perspective. Promoting this gospel is not the aim - it is the natural consequence of delighting ourselves in Him. If your understanding of this gospel does not motivate you to include others, then you have not seen & enjoyed what God intended. The love of God is not a passive force, but a compelling force. It compelled Jesus to offer the ultimate sacrifice - His own life. It compelled Paul ... it compels anyone who understands it. Imagine the thoughts and temptations presented to Paul, while in prison. Prison was as shameful then as it is now. Even though he knew his innocence, the situation he found himself in undoubtedly would have closed some doors to him. And even the doors that remained open to him were unreachable because he was shut behind a cell door. It must have seemed as if all opportunity to declare this gospel was taken from him. He had no internet access! Not even the printing press was invented yet. It was him alone, isolated ... with the greatest revelation of the love of God ever known. That revelation was the source of his confidence - the Word
the Word of God is not chained
Never underestimate the effect of this Word in and through you. Never disqualify yourself from the full benefit of what God made available for your enjoyment. The enemy will try anything to persuade us that we are disqualified from both enjoying and proclaiming this relationship with God. Distraction is His ultimate strategy. Even what we consider ‘ministry’ could be a distraction from God’s point of view! Let me illustrate. A couple of days ago I casually started thinking about the ways, methods and resources we use to ‘promote’ this gospel - everything from the weekly fellowship, the occasional weekend function, books, CDs and internet site came to mind. It wasn’t long before I found myself comparing what we did, with what I knew others were doing. The moment that happened a sense of inadequacy came! My first reaction was: I’ve got to do more! But God is so faithful. He reminded me of this scripture: “...when they measure themselves with themselves and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding and behave unwisely” 2 Cor 10:12 (AMP). He then pulled my attention off others ... and off my own efforts, onto the one and only measure that accurately reveals me -
unveiled in his heart could not remain hidden even while He was imprisoned. In one of His letters he wrote: “For this Gospel I am suffering affliction and even wearing chains like a criminal. But the Word of God is not chained or imprisoned!” 2 Tim 2:9. The integrity of this message, not what people thought of him, is what gave him unwavering boldness to speak about that which he enjoyed - an enjoyment not hindered by circumstance. “ ... for I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am ...I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want.” Phil 4:11-12 Never ever, for whatever reason, allow your focus to be diverted from this message that produces intimacy with our Creator, to any other message. For I am persuaded beyond doubt that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Nothing else is worth taking your attention off this inexhaustible truth.
Prisons do not exclude God
By Madame Guyon
Strong are the walls around me, That hold me all the day; But they who thus have bound me, Cannot keep God away; My very dungeon walls are dear, Because the God I love is here
They know, who thus oppress me, ‘Tis hard to be alone; But know not, One can bless me, Who comes through bars and stone; He makes my dungeon’s darkness bright, And fills my bosom with delight.
Thy love, O God, restores me From sighs and tears to praise; And deep my soul adores thee, Nor thinks of time or place; I ask no more, in good or ill, But union with thy holy will.
‘Tis that which makes my treasure, ‘Tis that which brings my gain; Converting woe to pleasure, And reaping joy from pain. Oh, ’tis enough, what’er befall To know that God is All In All
How Much Are You Worth
by Mary-Anne Rabe
Let’s look at the birds of the air. We don’t see them frantically storing in barns or fretting about where their next meal will come from.They are simply careless in the care of God. We can take a lesson from the flowers too, who effortlessly display such beauty without even holding one clothing account. “What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving.” Matt 6:31 I don’t see Matthew 6:25 as a ‘howto-stress-less’ teaching. But, more importantly, a beautiful lesson in the care of God and a reminder of just how valuable we are to Him. “Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds. “ ...how much more are you worth! You see, how do you not worry about tomorrow? It’s only when you are convinced that the One who is your life, is already there. There is nothing in tomorrow, or any other day for that matter, that could in any way subtract from your value before God. And if He loves you, He is most certainly going to care for you. There was no length, breadth, width or height that could keep God from redeeming you and I. There was nothing that could withhold Him from loving us... not even death. No matter what comes your way, He is never going to think differently about you or stop loving you. “What is man that You are mindful of Him?” Heb 2:6 His mind is filled with thoughts concerning you! We need to allow ourselves to be consumed with His thoughts. Understanding your value, has everything to do with understanding His thoughts concerning you - partaking of His knowledge. What does He know about you? That you are redeemed, fully reconciled to Him, raised with Christ and seated with Him in heavenly places... Colossians 3:1-3 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. The Message says it this way: So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. Focus on that which is above... this is our life and our true abode. Matt 6:19 speaks of storing up for yourselves treasures in heaven...and where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. I believe that your greatest treasure is understanding - the greatest stockpile of wealth cannot compare to the understanding of the treasure that lies within you. Your heart will be at rest and content in the understanding of who you are in Christ, and just who He is in you! The wise accumulate knowledge—a true treasure...Prov 10:14 ...turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, Prov 2:2-4
Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. Prov 3:13,14 Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, Prov 8:10 How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver! Prov16:16 With me(wisdom) are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity. Prov 8:18 Prov 3:13 You’re blessed when you meet Lady Wisdom, when you make friends with Madame Insight. She’s worth far more than money in the bank; her friendship is better than a big salary. Her value exceeds all the trappings of wealth; nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her. With one hand she gives long life, with the other she confers recognition. Her manner is beautiful, her life wonderfully complete. She’s the very Tree of Life to those who embrace her. Hold her tight—and be blessed! The value of investing your thoughts and attention on the things which are above is eternal, but the benefits of peace, joy and contentment will be enjoyed by you now. You can begin to live careless in the Father’s care.
Value Beyond Information
by Dawie Blake
The Bible points to a reality greater than itself. Jesus said: You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me! And here I am, standing right before you, John 5:39,40. There is value to be discovered in the scriptures far beyond ‘right’ information. The pages within the Bible are like a mine... as you delve into it, you find the gold. Many people unfortunately read the Bible as a mere instruction book, and what should bring life instead brings confusion, condemnation and even things like disunity, pride etc... in short, spiritual death. More people have been confused and side-tracked by the Bible than any other book. Dearly beloved, it is not an instruction book! The message of the Bible stands between the lines. Its message is very simple and Paul warns that you should not be deceived from it’s simplicity. As you ponder the history and people and events within, your eyes open to the message that runs throughout - God’s original thought for man restored successfully in Christ. This is the gold the human spirit is nourished by; the rest gives it context. This thought of God could never perfectly be communicated or understood, except through the manifestation of His Son, Jesus Christ. “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but You have prepared a body for Me, to do Your will”. In the last days God spoke to us in His Son... Everyone just loves the story in which He came to earth; not with flashing lightning and trumpets and power that would bring all men to their knees, but he came as a baby born in a stable so that the very least of us (from a human point of view) could identify with Him. He wasn’t after awe and fear because that alone doesn’t nurture fellowship, but distance. He was after our identification with Him, His original thought of likeness restored in man’s own mind. “I came to do Your will, O God” (Heb 10:7). He referred to Himself as the “son of man” – he was saying hereby “I am like you”. In
another instance the glory of the son of God/man is manifested on the mountain and God the Father refers to Him as: “... my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, listen to Him”. Peter writes saying that in this we have the message of God to mankind confirmed, namely the son of man is the son of God! He writes “you will do well to heed this word as a light that shines in a dark place until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your own heart!” In the next verse he continues saying “knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation”… Jesus didn’t come to display his unique glory, but to reveal man’s - the revelation of the glory of the Son of God was the revelation of the glory (doxa) of the son of man! Just think about it for a moment. This amazing God with infinite ability and love – we can only expect the most wonderful things pertaining to Life in great capital letters from Him! Eph 1:3, Eph 3:19. Rom 8:32. Mat 7:11, Mark 1:4041. Joyful fellowship with Him, His great desire, is restored when we see and know ourselves as He sees and knows and enjoys us – we are after all the product of the success of the cross. Paul’s prayer is that we may see as He does. Eph 1:17-18. Jesus quotes Ps 82 to the Pharisees who were offended by a “common” man (Jesus) identifying himself with God. Ps 82 is a fascinating portion of scripture! In a beautiful and sinless world of absolute completeness and perfection created by God and restored through the cross, righteousness is not there to point out the wrongs and condemn the doers, but to restore order by making the blind see the truth about their identity. It is a simple but powerful gospel for it restores the source of life. “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he”. Ps 82:2 – “How long will you judge unjustly, and show partiality to the wicked?” … in other words, how long will
you continue to live twisted lives, void of righteousness? Ps 82:3-4 “Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked.” … these are the things God desires… but why does man not walk this way?... Ps 82:5 – “They do not know, nor do they understand; they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are unstable.” Ps 82:6 – “I said, ‘You are gods (elohim – the same word used in Gen 1:26: ‘And Elohim said let us make man in our image, after our likeness…’) and all of you are children of the Most High. But you shall die like mere men, and fall like one of the princes.” While man does not know and understand who they are and where they come from, they are in darkness and as rulers they cause chaos in this world – its very foundations are threatened by the fruit of the lies they live. They were made vessels of the very glory, image and likeness of God, but without knowing this, they die like mere men and fall like those who strive in the strength of the flesh. So what is God’s message to these: “I said, ‘You are gods and all of you are children of the Most High.’” The gospel is a call to sanity, to share God’s insight, to walk with our eyes open to the truth. There is only hurt, confusion, pride etc. etc. in darkness but as David says (Ps 17), “I will be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness!” When God made this beautiful world and everything in it, He used His boundless creativity and intellect. But when He made you, He looked at Himself and made a copy… We can also say He didn’t make you, you were born from Him to be as He is. Therefore He is the blueprint of you, the mirror-image. It is the mystery that was hidden for ages and generations but now has been made known…. “Christ in you the hope of glory!”
He came as the light of the world that all may see… there is so much in this statement! I am the Way, the Truth and the Life – once again, we can write books about this statement! In the spirit of man there is a yearning that no earthly thing will ever satisfy - except the knowledge of their inner identity the knowledge of Christ. This knowledge bursts over into sweet fellowship with God and man, which is His original thought in action. If you read the Bible in any other way, you will miss the point. Paul says what gain he had from his religious instruction, he counts it all dung! Why? For the all surpassing excellence of the knowledge of Christ! The Gold is God’s original thought, fully expressed in His Son, found in your spirit identity. Read the Bible as a mine for this Gold. 1Jo 1:2-4 For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us; That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
1Jn 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. - David B The word ’spirit’ can be used in many contexts. One can speak about the spirit of a person, or the spirit of a meeting. Spirit refers to the essence; the core. For instance, a major sporting event will have a spirit of anticipation in the crowd. In this case spirit refers to the one essential quality that defines the event. In the Hebrew and Greek languages the same word is used for ‘wind’ and ’spirit’. Wind is an unseen influence – we can see the effect of it, but not the wind itself. In the French language ’spirit’ also means ‘concept’ or ‘mind’. Can you see from these descriptions how ’spirit’ refers to the unseen essence, motivation, concept and influence. Paul speaks about two types of messages and ways of ministering or imparting a message. Both these messages can be based on the same Scriptures, but one produces death while the other produces life. - Andre Rabe John 8:31-32 ‘Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed on Him, if you continue in my word, then you are my disciples indeed.And you will know the truth and the truth will make you free’ Hebrews 4:12 ‘ For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow’ - Debbie I love .... “ and you will “know” ( as in an intimate relationship) the TRUTH - and the TRUTH will make you FREE” For HE writes HIS words upon the tablets of our hearts - we should hear what he has said and taught and follow that -.... for the letter killeth - but the Spirit comes to give LIFE. - Lesleanne
The biggest holy cow of them all, the Bible. Yet, if one reads it with the foundation of Truth firmly established, there is a very clear and visible golden Thread running through it, from Genesis, right through to Revelation. There is so much more beyond scriptures. Paul had revelation of Christ before any of it was written down. There is not one book or canon of books, especially the Bible, that can box up someone as infinitely great as Christ, the Anointed, who dwells not within letters, but within us. - Elmer Awesome!!! 1Jn 5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.
Words of life - letters that kill
by Andre Rabe
crowd. In this case spirit refers to the one essential quality that defines the event. In the Hebrew and Greek languages the same word is used for ‘wind’ and ’spirit’. Wind is an unseen influence – we can see the effect of it, but not the wind itself. In the French language ’spirit’ also means ‘concept’ or ‘mind’. Can you see from these descriptions how ’spirit’ refers to the unseen essence, motivation, concept and influence. Paul speaks about two types of messages and ways of ministering or imparting a message. Both these messages can be based on the same Scriptures, but one produces death while the other produces life. A key difference between these messages is that one is focused on the ‘letter’ while the other is focused on the ’spirit’ or as we saw, the essence. One of the trademarks of dead religion is nitpicking the details; obsessed with the details of the Law. Jesus once said to the religious leaders: “There is far more at stake here than religion. If you had any idea what this Scripture meant—’I prefer a flexible heart to an inflexible ritual’— you wouldn’t be nitpicking like this.”
This morning after getting ready for work, I walked into the lounge, picked up a Bible that was lying on a coffee table and started reading somewhere in the Psalms. At some point I became aware that I was no longer simply reading; I was no longer a casual observer, but somehow I had entered into a conversation. It was no longer me taking time to read the Bible, but ’someone else’ taking time to speak to me! It became personal. Far from simply reading some historic document in which I could observe the wisdom of people who lived thousands of years ago, I realised that the One who originally inspired these stories still speaks and He had something to say to me! The words I read were no longer static containers of intellectual information, but they became a clear and distinct voice – a voice that resonated within my spirit. These words confirmed what I sensed the Lord had been saying to me for a while; they gave explicit direction and inspired me to take specific action. “Andre, breakfast is ready” called MaryAnne. 20 minutes later I was in the car on my way to work. Gratitude filled me as I thought about the many times in which the Lord spoke to us so clearly through the Scriptures. The content of what the Lord
spoke to me is not relevant for anyone else, but the process and experience of hearing Him, is. The Scriptures have been a constant and reliable source of direction and inspiration for so many years. What is it about this relationship with the Word that makes it so … so alive? Memories about my earliest experiences with this living word came back. I also remembered a time when the Bible was simply a religious book to me – of no real interest or value. There are so many teachings and attitudes toward the scriptures that rob people of this most beautiful encounter. So in this place of being overwhelmed with gratitude and simultaneously disgusted at how wrong attitudes have given the scriptures such a bad image for many, I knew I had to write about discovering His living voice within these writings. “He has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit produces life.” 2Cor 3:6 The word ’spirit’ can be used in many contexts. One can speak about the spirit of a person, or the spirit of a meeting. Spirit refers to the essence; the core. For instance, a major sporting event will have a spirit of anticipation in the
Let me illustrate this further: Imagine a person who has never seen a sparrow before, but would love to learn as much as possible about the bird. What would be the most effective way for us to help this person learn about sparrows. One way would be to supply him with a specimen and the necessary equipment to dissect the bird. One can gain a lot of information about a sparrow by dissecting it. All manner of interesting facts can be gained by this method, such as the size of its heart, the location of its stomach, the weight of its lungs. Unfortunately one kills the bird in this process. Alternatively, we could teach this person about sparrows by taking a live one and setting it free. Observing this sparrow flying and being what it’s designed to be would impart much more accurate knowledge about it. Studying the Bible can so easily become a type of dissection that kills the very message within it. If one loses sight of the essence; the spirit of the Word, and carves up the message into categories, analysing each word and letter, then
the end result is lots of information … without much life. Doctrine that is based on these dead letters does not have the life to inspire action, rather it needs to be enforced through rituals to have any influence. The fact that the scriptures were divided into chapters and verses promotes such a segmented approach to reading the scriptures. Such an approach is very common partly because of religious pressure to ‘read your Bible often!’ The result is that people dutifully performs this chore … but the chore is much lighter if one can chop it up into little parts like chapters and verses. Much of the rhythm … or spirit of the writing is lost through such an approach. I have found it to be of tremendous benefit to take a book like ‘John’ and read it in one go. (It’s actually not that long). One can sense the movement, the soaring, the unseen wind of the Spirit in a way which is not visible when dissecting the scriptures. This approach is as different as observing a bird in flight as opposed to studying a feather. It is good to keep in mind that most of the scriptures were not written by academics, but by ordinary people that encountered the extraordinary God. The essence of what they had to say is remarkably accessible! But even more importantly: the One who originally inspired these writings is still active and ready to reveal Himself. This should give you more than enough confidence to read and understand.
One can sense the movement, the soaring, the unseen wind of the Spirit in a way which is not visible when dissecting the scriptures.
by Andre Rabe
Based on Luke 24: A few days after the cruxifiction of Jesus, two disciples were walking to a town called Emmaus. The events of the past two days were fresh in their minds and naturally formed the basis of their conversation. However, the meaning of these events eluded them – truth is rarely found on the surface, on the mere appearance of things. A third traveller joined them – Jesus Himself – but they did not recognise Him. Jesus did not immediately reveal Himself or offer His opinion on the subject. He was interested in conversation, not onesided instruction. Verse 17: And He said to them, What is this discussion that you are exchanging between yourselves as you walk along? And they stood still, looking sad and downcast. Cleopas answered and gave a factually accurate description of events. But we can see that their perspective of these events left them with the wrong conclusions: they were sad and downcast. Faith lifts us to a place where we can see from God’s point of view. Jesus sees the same events, but from a different perspective: verse 25-27 And [Jesus] said to them, O foolish ones [sluggish in mind, dull of perception] and slow of heart to believe (adhere to and trust in and rely on) everything that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary and essentially fitting that the Christ should suffer all these things before entering into His glory? Then beginning with Moses and [throughout] all the Prophets, He went on explaining and interpreting to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning and referring to Himself. It is significant that at this point, Jesus once again refrains from simply revealing Himself. Instead He considers it important for these disciples to understand the scriptures … thoroughly! The journey was about 7 miles (12 km) so they had time for a comprehensive discussion. Perception, understanding, insight is obviously part of God’s strategy for us to encounter Him – it is part and parcel of the experience of Christ. Had He simply revealed Himself, without engaging in conversation, without expounding the scriptures and without presenting to them a completely new point of view, their experience of Christ might well have been more shallow, not engaging their whole being.
I can continue writing about this, but I want you to experience for yourself what I, rather clumsily, tried to express. So here is the challenge: Read Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts in a week; no academic study of single words or sentences, rather allowing the rhythm and spirit of this message to transport you into this wonderful world of God’s story. For this type of reading I suggest the ‘Message’ translation.
Verse 28-31 Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. Our Lord so often surprises us with His initiative and goodness, with His willingness to do exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or imagine. But there are times when He wants us to push the boundaries, to constrain Him, to seek, that we might find, to ask, that we might receive, to knock until the door is opened, to go further than the hour Bible study, or the mid-week fellowship. He desires to draw us into a place of intimacy that exceeds the norm, the usual, the familiar.
there … we allow the greater revelation and encounter to pass by. Constrain Him! “But they urged and insisted, saying to Him, Remain with us” (AMP) Push beyond the usual – this is not religious effort, but an energy that has its origin in the heart of a lover. We love Him because He first loved us. Allow His initiative to stir more than a response – allow His initiative to birth initiative in you. Constrain Him to abide, until He opens your eyes to see Him with a clarity that surpasses anything you’ve seen before.
For He was wounded for our transgressions He was bruised for our iniquities In His death we have died In His life we’re made alive It is in dying that the grain of wheat becomes a mighty field. Now we walk down that same road Our hearts rejoicing all the way We speak of the One who we know as our Saviour Now in us, His life is revealed For it’s no longer I, but Christ who lives in me And the life I now live, is filled with urgency To make all men see what God sees That His death was not the end, but the releasing of His seed For He was wounded for our transgressions He was bruised for our iniquities In His death we have died In His life we’re made alive It is in dying that the grain of wheat becomes a mighty field.
Road to Emmaus
Lyrics by Mary-Anne Rabe Walking down the road to Emmaus As we talked, we were sad Speaking of the One we hoped would be our Saviour Now He’s gone...this is not how it should end.
Then we met a man, oblivious to our doubts and fears After He opened the scriptures, He made Who showed us how this “mystery”, in us as if He was going further – it was up to would be revealed! them to constrain Him. How often does Suddenly, the scales fell from our eyes the Lord open the scriptures to us, and As He broke the bread, we understood our hearts burn within us … and we stop The meaning of His life.
Inspired Words, spoken from man to man, remain God’s ultimate language. Hebrews1:1 “Throughout ancient times God spoke in many fragments and glimpses of prophetic thought to our fathers. 1:2 Now, the sum total of His conversation with man has finally culminated in a Son; He is the official heir of all things, He is after all the author of the ages. In Him everything find their destiny. (Christ is the crescendo of God’s conversation with us.) 1:3 He makes the glory (intent) of God visible in radiant reflection, He gives stature to the character and person of God. (Gen.1:26,27.)This final powerful utterance of God (the incarnation) is the vehicle that carries the weight of the universe. The content of His message celebrates the fact that God took it upon Himself to successfully purge and acquit mankind. Jesus is now His right hand of power, seated in the boundless measure of His majesty. He occupies the highest seat of authority.” The Mirror Translation Col.1:15 “In Him the invisible God is made visible again; in order that every one may recognise their true origin in Him, He is the firstborn of every creature. (In Him we clearly see the mirror reflection of our original image and likeness.) 1:19 The full measure of everything God has in mind for man indwells Him.” The Mirror Translation The Hebrew words traditionally translated ‘every word of God’, can better be translated, ‘the complete word of God’. (Hebrew, KOL, complete) Christ is the most exhaustive and authentic expression of God in human form. Nothing feeds us more and imparts life more dynamically than the incarnation does. He is the Word that was from the beginning, the Word that is God and became flesh and tabernacles in us. “Beholding His glory as in a mirror we are awakened again in His likeness.” 2 Cor.3:18. “I shall be satisfied when I awake, beholding Your form.” To study Scripture in any other context is to become snared in a maze of dead doctrine that leaves man striving, starving
by Francois du Toit “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Man is designed to live – to be nurtured, energised, inspired, comforted, edified and sustained – by the original blueprint Thought, in its most comprehensive form, the Incarnation. The Word that was before time was, the Word that proceeds from the mouth of God, not diluted by traditions of men, or compromised to compliment, or excuse an inferior interpretation of life. For human life then to be reduced to feed on bread alone, is certain suicide. Jesus suggests that we take no thought for what we shall eat, drink or wear! How radical can you go! How boring can that be? Or does He have different information about our make-up? Remember, He came so that we may have life more abundantly; He is certainly not the thief trying to cheat us out of our next meal! The most successful way in which the thief can steal life from us is to reduce our appetite to the flesh. Isaiah says that God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts, just like the heavens are higher than the earth; often we stop reading there thinking that it’s supposed to be like that! In Christ God cancelled every definition
of distance! No informed man has any valid excuse to feel lonely, seperated, isolated or neglected any longer. The words that come from His mouth, (the authentic thought, the eye of the fountain) will impact you just like the rain and snow that come down from above, and return not there without first saturating the soil, awakening the dormant seed, causing it to sprout into a full harvest, ready to feed and repeat the ongoing cycle of life, “giving bread to the eater and seed to the sower.” Just like our daily bread, the Word comes to us from above. Even though the seed is already buried in the soil, without the rain and the snow, there will be no bread! It is amazing how rain awakens seed even in the driest desert. He desires to feed us with the finest of the wheat and nourish us with honey from the rock. He counsels us to buy from Him wine and milk without money and without price. Is.55:1. The only valid currency in that realm is to pay attention to the original Word that proceeds from His mouth like rain. God has never been silent; day to day pours forth knowledge, night by night utters wisdom; and like the sun, there is nothing that is hid from its influence. Ps.19. This is as 24/7, 365 days a year as you can get. While the universe articulates His voice in every vibrating atom and molecule, He spoke in many and in various ways of old through the prophets. “Men moved upon by the Spirit of God, spoke from God.” 2Pet 1:21.
and confused. “Thy words were found, and I ate them, and thy words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart; for I am called by thy name, O LORD, God of hosts. (His Name, our identity.) If you utter that which is precious and not that which is worthless, you shall be as My mouth.” Jer.15:16,19. No wonder Paul’s desire was “that when I open my mouth to speak, utterance will be given me to speak the mystery of Christ as I ought to.” The word of faith, the language of the righteousness of God, “is near unto you, it is in your mouth and in your heart.” Rom.10:6,8. 10:8 “Faith-righteousness announces that every definition of distance in time, space or hostility has been cancelled. “The Word is near you, it is as close to you as your voice and the conviction of your heart.” We publicly announce this message (because we are convinced that it belongs to every man.) 10:9 Now your salvation is realised! Your own words echo God’s voice. The masterful act of Jesus forms the words in your mouth, inspired by the conviction in your heart that God indeed raised Him from the dead. (Salvation is not reduced to a recipe, or “sinners prayer” formula, it is the spontaneous inevitable confession of a convinced heart!) 10:10 Heart-faith confirms the fact of man’s righteousness, and ignites the kind of conversation consistent with salvation. (He restored us to blameless innocence) Mirror Translation. THE BLUE-PRINT The mystery that once was hidden, for ages and generations, which God decreed for man’s glorification, is now revealed. 1 Cor 2:6-9. Col.1:25 “God entrusted me with the revelation of this mystery as a responsible administrator of His household, so that in my ministry to you I will make the word known in its full consequence. 1:26 This mystery was concealed for ages and generations but is now fully realised in our restored innocence before Him.
In Him we clearly see the mirror reflection of our original image and likeness
1:27 (God knows the mineral wealth that He deposited in the earth on man’s behalf ) in the same way He now eagerly anticipates the unveiling of the riches of the ultimate treasure in all the nations; which is Christ in you! The revelation of His indwelling fulfills His dream for you. 1:28 This is the essence and focus of our message; we awaken every man’s mind instructing every individual, bringing them into full enlightenment in order that we may exhibit the whole of mankind as perfect (without shortcoming and fully efficient) in Christ.” The Mirror Translation Temptation has only one target, which is to make you forget what manner of man you are. It will seek to distract you with any excuse to reduce you again to a “mere man” when you are the god-kind in your essence and design. Thank God for the knowledge of the truth about ourselves, as it is on exhibition in Christ; it sets us free to be free indeed! In 2 Cor 3 Paul says, “you are a letter, delivered by us, written by the Spirit of the living God on tablets, not of stone, but human hearts, known and read by all men”! Your life and testimony carries universal appeal! “Even as the testimony of Christ is confirmed in you! “ 1 Cor.1:6. Notice that Paul says our ministry is the job of a postman! We are simply delivering the message! “Already you are filled, already you are rich, without us you have become kings!” 1Cor 4:8 “All this is from God who has made us ministers of a new covenant!” He has made us… we or our ministry are not the product of our own making. “Of God’s doing are we in Christ, whom God made unto us, wisdom from God! His wisdom knows how righteous we now are; and how holy! This is what redemption is all about.” 1 Cor. 1:30. He is our only boasting.
While we may commend ourselves to every man’s conscience, we are not preaching ourselves, we are proclaiming Christ! 2 Cor 4:2, 5. RELOCATE YOURSELF MENTALLY “The mystery that none of the rulers of this age understood, otherwise they would never have crucified the Lord of glory” is revealed in the fact that when one died for all, all indeed died. 1Cor.2:68, 2 Cor.5:14. It further unfolds in the fact that while we were still dead in our sins. He made us alive together with Christ and raised us up together with Christ and seated us together with Christ in heavenly places. Eph.2:5,6. Now in Colossians 3 Paul says, that all this may be true, but while we continue to focus our minds on the earthly dimension, (knowing ourselves and one another merely from a human point of view) all the old habits of a sinful inferior lifestyle will continue to dictate to us and dominate us. To be renewed after His image and likeness in all of our conduct and attitude begins with a new mindset. Set your mind upon the things that are above, where Christ is seated in the right hand of God! His thoughts concerning us, our joint inclusion in Christ, remains our exclusive reference and testimony. Col. 3:1 “Pursue with diligence the consequence of your co-inclusion in Christ. Relocate yourself mentally! His resurrection co-raised you to the same position of authority, seated in the strength of God’s right hand. 3:2 Becoming affectionately acquainted with Throne Room thoughts will keep you from being distracted again by the earthly (soul-ruled) realm.” Mirror Translation Because we were raised together with Christ, let us now engage and occupy our thoughts with Throne Room realities and not with the futile contradictions and distractions of a lesser life. “Incline your ear!” No one else can do that for you! Is.55. “Let the Word of Christ richly indwell you in all wisdom.” Col.3:16.
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