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Jesus the fulfilment of the OT Jubilee.

Good Friday’s Message in English (Deeper Study)

The Tri-Sabbatical Jubilee of restoration for Mankind and the Earth fulfilled in Christ’s resurrection.

I am so grateful that throughout scripture we always see God having a plan, a better plan for doing things and living, a plumbline and a measure of living by which all of mankind can thrive if we will only listen and obey. We do not have to anxiously run around trying to make our own plans. “as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.” (2 Pet 1:3).

From all over the world, we hear about the positive effect that global lockdown is having on the ecology. From cleaner air to liberated wildlife, coronavirus lockdowns across the world appear to have had a number of positive effects on the environment.[1]

Seeing the impact that rest has on nature and the environment made me think of the biblical Jubilee. The tri-sabbatical rest: The seventh day, the seventh year, and after seven cycles, the 49th year Jubilee is a divine rhythm instituted by God for the benefit of man and nature. God knows humankind, how work and profit can consume us, how we do not know when to stop and rest. The end result is; work gets a bad name and what is intended to be a blessing becomes a curse. The truth is; however, work is good for us. All mankind should work and earn a living through their skill and contribution to each other. 

God’s intention and the reason why He instituted the Jubilee, was to build and heal a nation who were trapped in inhumane slavery for 400 years. Never again may people who were created in the image of God be treated as slaves.

Since the abolition of slavery, human rights, labour unions, and strict workplace codes of conduct, we do not see this kind of slavery anymore. It has been reduced to secret sweatshops and sex trafficking. Today the biggest form of slavery is how unequal our world has become, in a South Africa, the GINI poverty-wealth index is 63. 100 is a most unequal, 0 is a perfectly equal society. In RSA, 36% of the population lives on R36 per day. But more concerning is our high levels of debt. Fortunately, our country has strict lending criteria and credit rating measures. But with employment in the late thirties’ percentile, the coronavirus could not have come at a worse time.  

People’s greatest fear in SA is not our health, the virus, or death. The greatest question in people’s mind is; ‘how are we going to survive financially?!’ Many people’s income has been affected by the lockdown. However, it is in times like this, where people are willing to take drastic measures, not because they want to, but because they have to. If the virus is making us focus on the essentials, what are the Biblical essentials where God would have us focus on. What is God’s blueprint for getting us out of this mess? How has mankind lost its way? 

According to the Bible, poverty is a systematic problem of the heart. Poverty comes to those who are lazy or greedy. Poverty is man-made.

“Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made, and it can be overcome and eradicated by the action of human beings.”

Nelson Mandela

When a part of the population has opulent wealth, but the other part knows abject poverty, then there is an error in the financial model. Over the last decade, many writers and economists have started speaking out regarding the growing inequality of the economy. For the first time in history, a University book written from Harvard Press became a best seller. Thomas Piketty, an economist and mathematician, revealed how the current profit-driven capitalist economy is no longer sustainable. Roche and Jakub try to heal capitalism with their more Biblical-based proposed economy of mutuality: Their hypothesis is going to become a reality sooner than they could ever have estimated because of the virus. Most sustainable businesses are the ones who integrate their investment in economic, human, social and environmental capital. [2] 

The ultimate test of any religion, ideology or worldview is the benefits it ultimately brings to the poor, the marginalised and oppressed. If we say we are Christians, we have to take poverty seriously.

LandSummit – Thinktank[3]

But long before modern economists came up with some clever solutions, for the great wealth-poverty gap, God had a solution. This solution may seem impossible to implement, yet it reveals the heart of God for mankind. 

Jubilee was the Jewish declaration of war to never duplicate the inhumane system of the Egyptian pharaoh. It describes their battle of social justice for their people to keep them liberated, where each citizen remains the brother of the other, ensuring the future of the common whole. Remember, the poor person I ignore today can become tomorrow’s thief. When I purchase property that is returned after 49 years and I write off debtors after 7 years, I continue to remain in contact with my debtors to ensure they can make good on their promise in the given time. In so doing, society will not fall victim to accumulative debt. (Deut 15:1-5) The Jubilee created a society of givers, where greed-based capitalism created a society of debtors. Our biggest concern at this time is, how are we going to pay our debt? 

Sabbath is a form of emancipation, release, quitting, letting go. I give and liberate my body with which I perform work, to rest. In so doing, I also give the ground and animals who produce for me, a time of rest. I do this in humble faith in God that ultimately He is my provider, not my body, nor the land that I farm. 

For one day in the week, master and servant are equal. The servant does not serve his master, and he does not get served. Both are works of God’s creation created in His image who enjoy His grace with thankfulness. Therefore, Sabbath is a celebratory meal. The poor person saves during the week in order to at least enjoy fresh bread with butter, honey and salt; a king’s meal at Shabbat! The master is no longer in control of his servant’s body. During Jubilee, the master also surrenders his property. The principle of reviving the soil is to handle the ground in the same way as we would the human body; the crust of the earth is like the skin of the body, that must not be disturbed. Today, fresh produce has lost its nutritional value—I wonder if we could rest the soil for a year if the earth will not repair and restore the flavour and nutritional value of the fruit? Dr James Blignaut heads up the “restory” initiative to curb further land-people-degradation. [3] His restorative land movement publicise no-tillage, mulching, composting and rotation farming best practise.[4] 

The biggest consequence of modern western capitalism is, its total disrespect for anything sacred. In modern capitalism nothing is considered holy, sacred, or spiritual. Pharaoh did not want to release the people to go and worship for three days. (Ex. 5:1-2). Pharaoh typifies the inhumane industrialist who needs to make profit at all costs. The pharaoh constructed bigger storehouses, to profit the gains when harvests are poor, and prices fluctuate. He turned Joseph’s divine storage solution during the 7th year drought into a system to gain people’s land who cannot pay and eventually making them his slaves. Owning land is dignity; it is God’s provision for every man to remain free. This is why the word Adam, and Adama stems from the same root word – earth. The pharaoh’s greed is how the wealthy Jewish families, who started off as recipients through Joseph of the best land (Gen 47:5) became landless slaves. Joseph instituted that one 5th of the produce be given to Pharoah (Gen 47:20-25), but eventually the pharaoh who did not know Joseph wanted it all. (Exo 1:8-11) 

When God delivered His people, He wanted them to not think of themselves as slaves anymore. Through the Jubilee, each person become a type of Moses deliverer and kingly father that emancipates his people from slavery. One day a week, and each seventh-year people are freed from pyramid type hierarchies of positional imperialism and domination. Everybody gets delivered from systemic Egypt, the place of slavery. In the following verses, you can clearly see, God’s heart towards slaves. 

And if one of your brethren who dwells by you becomes poor, and sells himself to you, you shall not compel him to serve as a slave. (Lev. 25:39)

For they are My servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as slaves. You shall not rule over him with rigor, but you shall fear your God. (Lev. 25:42-43).

And you may take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them as a possession; they shall be your permanent slaves. But regarding your brethren, the children of Israel, you shall not rule over one another with rigor. (Lev 25:46)

He shall be with him as a yearly hired servant, and he shall not rule with rigor over him in your sight. (Lev. 25:53)

For years there has been criticism of the two monotheistic religions Jews and Christians, that we have ruled the earth and animals, at the expense of the earth and the ecology. Obviously, with the Jubilee, both the ground and the human being comes to rest. Both are important before God, and a provision for the other.

“You shall not pervert the judgment of your poor in his dispute. 7 Keep yourself far from a false matter; do not kill the innocent and righteous. For I will not justify the wicked. 8 And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the discerning and perverts the words of the righteous. 9 “Also you shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the heart of a stranger, because you were strangers in the land of Egypt. 10 “Six years you shall sow your land and gather in its produce, 11 but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave, the beasts of the field may eat. In like manner you shall do with your vineyard and your olive grove. 12 Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest, that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female servant and the stranger may be refreshed. Exodus 23:6–12.

“Speak to the children of Israel and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a sabbath to the Lord. 3 Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather its fruit; 4 but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the Lord. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. 5 What grows of its own accord of your harvest you shall not reap, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine, for it is a year of rest for the land. 6 And the sabbath produce of the land shall be food for you: for you, your male and female servants, your hired man, and the stranger who dwells with you.” (Leviticus 25:2–6

He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. (Leviticus 23:11

The Sabbath rest literally means giving up control, releasing your grip, giving up your control. 

The rhythm of rest is the rhythm of giving. We work hard and create tension; the tension then gets released like breathing through the tri-sabbatical Jubilee. God’s system is natural and mutually beneficial. 

The highlight of the Jubilee is after 49 years, the ownership of the land is restored to the original owner (Lev 25: 23-28, 54). This giveaway prevents owners from becoming magnates and super moguls who gain more than they need. Through this act, we are all reminded that everyone is stewards of God’s land. 

In Lev. 26:35 ground that did not rest due to disobedience will rest indeed in the time of punishment. 2 Chron. 36:21 explicitly connect Jeremiah’s figure of 70 to Lev. 26:34.35. “Those who survived the sword, God exiled to Babylon … in fulfilment of the word of Adonai spoken by Jeremiah’ until the land has repaid its Sabbaths, as long as it lay desolate it kept its Sabbath until seventy years were complete.” Then, in the Book of Daniel the 70 years became “seventy ‘weeks'” = 70 x 7 = 490 years. Only with the passage of that period would the sin that caused the exile to be fully expiated (Daniel 9:24). [5]

What is the connection between Jubilee and Good Friday, Easter and Jesus?

Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath. He is our tri-sabbatical rest. 

“At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!” 3 But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: 4 how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless? 6 Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple. 7 But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord [b]even of the Sabbath.” – Matthew 12:1-8

Christ Jesus’ death on the cross, His guidance, His sacrifice of obedience was the eternal, and greatest “reset” of all time! In Christ, everything and everyone in harmony with God and each other is reconciled. 

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. (I Cor. 15:22)

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. (2 Cor. 5:18)

When Jesus stood up in his home-town and declared these words, He announced the rest, reset, restoration, liberty, healing that will manifest through believing in Him.  

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-29) On the great day of Pentecost, when the new covenant was sanctioned, a Spiritual Jubilee took place. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. (Acts 2:44) It is our testimony that when people truly turn to God and become full of the Holy Spirit, they relinquish ownership of their own bodies and possessions.  

The Advantages of Christ-centred Jubilee

§ Jubilee is a form of “reset” for your body, the soil, and society. Like a computer or mobile phone that “hangs” needs a hard reset at times. All of humanity needs to return to Jesus’ value system and guidelines, the measure of the best life to live. Being born again, and receiving His righteousness is supernatural “reset” of our being. (2 Cor 5:17) 

§ In the Jubilee, both the working class and the master are equated, to give, and to place themselves under God’s rule. Jesus also gave His body to die on the cross to remove the middle wall of separation between slave and owner, and between race-superiority. (Eph 2:14-18) 

§ Everyone should work, and everyone should rest. In the current Western capitalist model, people want to make enough money, have so-called passive income and stop working. Retirement is not a biblical concept.  He who is loose and slack in his work is brother to him who is a destroyer and he who does not use his endeavors to heal himself is brother to him who commits suicide.  (Proverbs 18:9 AMP) Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. (Eph 4:28) 

A consumer-driven society becomes a creative, working, goodwill, benevolent driven society. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God created a new social eco-system, called His body, bride and church where we take care of another. (Col 2:19; 3:15; Eph 1:22; 4:4; 5:30; Rom 12:5) 

§ Both the soil and the human body can produce more optimally if we follow strict rest measures. We can only work harder, if we also maintain good rest! True rest is found in the rest of faith. (Rom 15:13)

§ The gap between rich and poor is drastically reduced, as we all take our responsibility of fraternity to one another seriously, to say, “I want to be my brother’s keeper.” The biggest systemic challenge of poverty is disconnection, exclusion, stigmatisation, distance in relationships. (1 John 3:17) 

A government as a Welfare State is replaced by a social system of decentralised localised interdependence, co-accountability which morph-develop from the ground up. These Jubilee changes will not be implemented from the top-down by the State. It will be implemented at ground-zero, the most local level, where authentic existing Farther-type leaders are gathering a Christ-centred value-based, new order of Social Covenant and mutual trust.[6] 

Our Agricultural Think Tank predicts that we will see Post-Covid19 a new form of financial collateral emerging: Currently, banks are only financing land value, and tradable shares. In the future, we will need to set up Development Banks, in order to see production as a collateral. Community banks, and community lending such as Stokvel will become mainstream. Communities will move closer with “social compacts” and “collaboratives”. We will see a new emphasis on localisation.[7] 

What is the Heart of Jubilee? GIVE, GIVE, GIVE!

God gave His only begotten son (John 3:16).

As we give, we become free from fear! 

As we open our hands, God is busy resetting us towards His purpose! 

As we receive Christ individually and collectively, we will see a new social order, and subsequent new economy develops God’s way.  

The biblical way to break through the uncertainty is to give up the fear of the future. Tobias and Dr Ruben Richards are currently leading an initiative whereby each Citrus producer in the OlifantsRiverValley will give a 10th of their local market earmarked oranges for the Western Cape Government to be part of the distribution of 50,000 food parcels a day for the winter season.

Beginning Tuesday, Wena Botha will be training the poor in Work4aLiving; to the community-led provision to 28 homeless people with a roof over their heads, daily meals. As a church, we are monitoring our people in the congregation’s situation, providing help through our apostolic fund so that everyone has food eat and is cared for.

In the weeks to come, we will give, even more, help and support, work for reconciliation, make peace, build bridges, the complete healing of the whole person. Because the Great Jubilee is abiding within us! 

  [1] Piketty, T. and Goldhammer, A., n.d. Capital In The Twenty-First Century.

 Roche, B. and Jakub, J., n.d. Completing Capitalism

[2] Piketty, T. and Goldhammer, A., n.d. Capital In The Twenty-First Century.

 Roche, B. and Jakub, J., n.d. Completing Capitalism

[3] https://landsummit.co.za/about/

[4] https://restory.co.za

[5] The Triple Shabbat and its Implications for Poverty, Accumulation of Wealth, and Human Freedom. Noam Zion, Hartman Institute, Noam.zion@gmail.com – excerpted from: Jewish Giving in Comparative Perspectives: History and Story, Law and Theology, Anthropology and Psychology. Book One: From Each According to One’s Ability: Duties to Poor People from the Bible to the Welfare State and Tikkun Olam. 

[6] http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GAC_NewSocialCovenant_Report_2014.pdf

[7] https://youtu.be/22wIcMMrrNU Tim du Plessis 

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Who Will Save?

Blogpost by Apostle André Pelser

Who can save us?

In Egypt, the 10 Plagues destroyed a nation to free another. God did signs and wonders to give Pharaoh a chance to repent and release the Jews to go and serve God, but he bluntly refused. There are many theories of how the plagues could have happened, like at a certain time of the year the red reeds in the Nile let off a substance that changes the color of the water to red, like how the plague of insects caused the plague of frogs, like how the Red Sea gets shallow at certain times, but the only true explanation is the plagues were supernatural. It was not a rare disease that killed the firstborn during the last plague, but the Angel of Death that flew over the homes of the Jews because they covered their doorposts with blood of a spotless lamb.

Revelation speaks of plagues that will come over the earth in the last days just like they did in the time of Egypt. According to Revelation, one-third of the earth’s population would die.

The Coronavirus has spread to over 27 nations from China where over 2 000 people have already died, and tens of thousands of Chinese are affected as a result of the virus. They have not found a cure for it yet. Wherever you travel you get confronted with a corona testing gun at customs and all officials wear masks. The epidemic has affected air and sea travel and passengers are stuck.

Chinese eat about everything. The coronavirus was transferred from animal meat to humans.

The SARS virus, also from China, has also struck fear in the hearts of people, as did the Ebola virus from West Africa.

One-third of Australia’s forests have been burned to the ground and many people died and others lost their homes. Then great hailstones the size of golf balls hit Australia and people had no answer.

Floods devastate many countries and heavy snowfalls cause havoc.

There are wars all over the world and cities look like ruins. People flee their own countries to seek refuge elsewhere. It is crisis upon crisis. The world leaders regularly meet to find answers, but they have none.

The world has become a fearful place and there is no safe place anymore.

Unless God protects us in these days, we have no protection at all. Unless the Lord protects the house, those who try to protect it do so in vain. Unless the Lord builds the house, those who try to build it will not succeed.

The answer is: only God. Only God can save us – no one else. The safest place is in the will of God for your life.

There are life-threatening diseases all over the world, malaria, yellow fever, hepatitis B and scores of other dangerous maladies. Inoculations help to prevent some of it, but unless the Lord protects us, we have no defense against the onslaught of evil infections.

Crime and violence have increased at a drastic rate, fraud and corruption bring nations to their knees, governments are dishonest and can no longer be trusted. Many nations are bankrupt in the world, and some that seem to be going strong is merely avoiding the collapse.

Paul said, in the last days terrifying times will come because of 3 causes: men will be lovers of money, lovers of self and lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. Greed is a result of the love of money; selfish interest is the result of self-love and lust results in loving pleasure. Europe speaks of a post-Christian era and no longer even believe in God. Young people everywhere are taught that Christianity is old-fashioned and religious.

Paul explained in the first chapter of the book of Romans that people who do not want to retain God in their thinking will be handed over to their own pleasures such as men doing unseemly things with men and women with women. The result of rejecting God is the cause of all the immorality, homosexuality and lesbianism in the world. God has handed them over to their own designs and lusts because they put God out of their minds.

Peter assures us that we can escape the corruption that is in the world through the great and precious promises of God in His Word, but people regard the Bible as outdated and no longer meditate in the Word. They have gone astray like sheep, because they do not heed the voice of the Great Shepherd. Most Churches in the world have rejected the Bible and priests and preachers give self-motivation lessons instead of preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

And yet, amidst the chaos in the world, the Spirit of God is still brooding like it did right at the beginning of creation when God created everything out of dark chaos.

Out of the chaos in the world God is creating a new nation, a holy nation, a kingdom of priests and a peculiar people who show forth the praises of God in the earth, people who know how to worship God in spirit and in truth, the way God desires it.

Only God can save us and protect us from all the terrible things that is coming over the earth. He protects us in several ways.

He protects us through dreams and visions. He directed Joseph the husband of Mary, through dreams of Angels appearing to him and telling him where to go and when to go. God has protected us as a family through many dreams that Nola, my wife, had.

He protects us by His Holy Spirit that leads and guides us into all truth and even shows us things to come. The Holy Spirit gives an inner conviction what to do and what not to do, where to go and where not to go and what to say and what not to say. He nudges us with promptings to do the will of God. Hilton, our youngest son, was in Sri Lanka when the Holy Spirit prompted him to get up and leave immediately. Later, the same day, a revolution broke out with much violence and they closed down the trains, busses and airports. If he did not head the voice of the Holy Spirit, he would have been stuck for a long time.

Jesus promised those who believe in His Name that they would not be harmed even if they drank deadly things. Twice I have been poisoned in Africa, but survived by the grace of God. The second time the doctors announced twice that I was going to die. My heart actually stopped beating and all my vital organs stopped functioning and I couldn’t breathe. But Nola blew into my mouth and said, ‘Ruach!’ which is the Hebrew word for ‘Breath of God’. God saved me and brought me back to life again.

God has given men & women knowledge in medical science to create vaccines to immunize people against deadly diseases such as polio, malaria, yellow fever, influenza and measles. Penicillin brought relief to many sufferers, blood transfusion saved lives and heart transplants lengthen the lives of many.

God uses the wisdom of the elderly to give advice to the young ones, if they listen, they will be safe. Going to Church is probably the best advice to give to anyone, because that is where you hear the Word of the Lord. His Word upholds all things in creation.

His Word brings health to all your being. His Word guides you along your life’s path. His Word sustains you. His Word corrects you. His Word warns you of what is to come. God told Joshua to meditate in the Word day and night and then he would have good success and make his way prosperous. He needed wisdom to lead the Jewish nations into the Promised Land. Solomon desired wisdom above everything else and because he did that God also gave him fame and fortune. He had to govern a great nation after David, his father, passed away.

As God saved the Jews and brought them out of Egypt through the dry bed of the Red Sea after He made a miraculous way for them, so God will save those who trust in Him in these last days when Jesus returns to take His bride away from this earth. We are to encourage and comfort each other with these words. We have a blessed hope in Christ. We are not hopeless or helpless in this world. We have Savior in Jesus Christ. He will save us. We are to keep our eyes on Him, trust in Him and live for Him.

God will save us.

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Abide & walk in the Spirit – The only way to sustain life in triumph & victory.

Lord, you want to partner with us. Our prayers, Your answers. Our works, Your grace. Our possessions, Your blessing. Our obedience, Your call. Our weakness, Your strength. This is a great mystery. Please help us to make this sacred partnership more seamless and flowing, more reciprocal, intimate and natural.

In the same way, Jesus could do nothing without the Father, we also can do nothing without the Holy Spirit. Jesus could do nothing without seeing the Father do it (John 5:19-20, 30), He only did the Father’s will (John 6:38), only did what the Father taught (John 8:28), according to what the Father commands (John 12:49). In order for us to live and move by the way of the Spirit, or as the apostle Paul put it: “Walk in the Spirit” (Gal. 5:16), we must learn to be holy – devoted to and depending on the Holy Spirit. We literally can do nothing without Him! Jesus exemplified total reliance on the Father, we should learn from Him and become totally reliant on the Holy Spirit.
In the OT, people lived by the Law. In the NT, believers live by the Holy Spirit.
It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies (Zech 4:6).

ALL LIFE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT IS BY THE SPIRIT

Know God by the Spirit: No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit(1 Cor 2:11).
Walk according to the Spirit and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. It is the power of the Spirit life that free you from the gravitational downward pull of the flesh and sin (Rom 8:2-4; Gal 5:16). A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death (Rom 8:2; The Message).
Set your mind on the things of the Spirit (Rom 8:5-8).
Put to death the deeds of the body by the Spirit (Rom 8:13).
The main characteristic of being a child of God is being led by the Spirit (Rom 8:14).
Know the Fatherhood of God and subsequent ‘sonship’ by the Spirit (Rom 8:15-17).
Hope in the Spirit (Rom 8:23-25).
Pray in the Spirit (Rom 8:26-27). In other passages Paul mentions— (Jude 20)
Be filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18).
Serve in the Spirit (Rom 7:6; 15:16).
Love by the Spirit (Rom 15:30; Gal 5:22-23; Col 1:8).
Know one another by the Spirit. The way of the Spirit is more accurate and also quicker! Jesus knew the heart of Nathaniel even before He had met him (John 1:47). Similarly, the Lord revealed to Ananias not only the change in Saul (Paul), but also his destiny – before he met him (Acts 9:10). Phillip was divinely led to meet the servant of the court of Ethiopia (Acts 8:26). Jesus knew what was in the Pharisees’ hearts. He knew the woman at the well in the Spirit (John 4). Imagine a church where people know each other in the Spirit, where everyone knows their place and function, and they work together naturally without complaining and strife because they do not feel threatened by one another.
We are taught by that what the Holy Spirit teaches (1 John 2:27; 1 Cor 1:13).
People err when they try to interpret the Bible without the Spirit (2 Cor 3:6).
We can only know God by the Spirit because He is Spirit (1 Cor 2:10-12).
We cannot be regenerated and born again without the work of the Spirit (Tit 3:5).
The Eternal Spirit, through the Blood of Christ, cleanse you from an evil conscience (Heb 9:14).
Help me to walk, live and have my being in the Spirit alone. Let me be able to say like Jesus: I do nothing unless the Spirit, I say nothing unless the Spiritguides and instruct me.

ABIDING IN THE SPIRIT

It is only in the Spirit that we are safe. It is only in the Spirit that we cannot be deceived and misled (1 John 4:1; John 16:13). He will defend words and deeds done in the Spirit (1 Cor 2:13). In the Spirit we are accurate. In the Spirit we are holy and perfect (John 17:17). In the Spirit we are righteous. In the Spirit we will know the way in the Holy of Holies (Heb 9:8). In the Spirit there is liberty (2 Cor 3:17). In the Spirit we are whole and able to speak the whole gospel. In the Spirit we have access to all things: gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor 12:7-10) and fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:21-22). In the Spirit we are seated in heavenly places and will have authority (Eph 2:6). In the Spirit we know all things and intentions of the heart (1 Cor 2:10). In the Spirit we will know how to rightly discern and speak the truth. In the Spirit, the dead are made alive! It is by the Spirit that we are unified and become one like the God-head. It is by the Spirit that we are convicted, regenerated, filled, sanctified, justified and glorified. We have no life, existence nor substance outside of the Spirit. All spiritual life is by definition in the Spirit.
Life in the Spirit is a decision. It is a conscious, intentional and awakening partnership.  The Holy Spirit does not possess a person.  We need to learn to yield to Him, He is not an overpowering control. Being in the spirit is an awakening, not an unconscious, senseless, paralysed, cold, inert, insensate, insensible, lethargic, numb, passed out, stupefied, tranced state of being. Those are characteristics of being possessed by demons. Satan makes you like a zombie!
The Spirit gives life and unlocks supernatural inert abilities that God has already birthed in us. By the Spirit, we are united in the divine!

WE MISS OUT ON THE SPIRIT-LIFE BECAUSE OF:

Self: ego, pride, insecurities, flesh. The way of carnality and fleshly thinking is enmity to the Spirit (Rom 8:5). There is no middle ground, no compromise.
The Holy Spirit is Jesus who walks in our streets today. He is a Person. He does the same work that Jesus has come to do (John 14:15).
The people treat Him the same way they treated Jesus. Who crucified Jesus? The religious and so-called clergy of that time. The Holy Spirit wants to work through us. He wants to use us and let His gifts work through us and lead us to the Father. He wants to reveal Christ to us so that He will become a reality in our lives. He wants to make us His disciples. He wants to lead us into deeper dimensions in the Spirit.

HOW WE RESIST THE SPIRIT

Isaiah 63:10 But they rebelled, and grieved his Holy Spirit.
Asab: A verb meaning to hurt, to pain, grieve, to shape to fashion.
Through our own experiences, and culture we have formed a shape and an image of God, a construct in our minds, without having a face to face reality of His person. Rebellion is holding on to that construct, even when the real appears. Some people prefer the god of their own making, than the awesome fearful wonder of the true Creator God.
Matthew 12: 31-32 Therefore I say unto you, every sin and blasphemy shall men be forgiven; but the blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven of men. 32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; But whosoever speaketh against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him in this age, nor in the coming.
blasphēmía: Blasphemy, verbal abuse against someone which denotes the very worst type of slander mentioned in Matthew 15:19 with false witnesses; wounding someone’s reputation by evil reports, evil speaking.
By reading the context of this portion of scripture in its entirety, we will gain understanding by allowing scripture to speak for Himself.  Jesus healed a demonic blind, mute man. (v22) The people (multitude) were clearly amazed and were contemplating whether this could be the son of David the Messiah. (v23) The Pharisees were losing ground, how do they explain this? How do you defend you standpoint, after seeing such a powerful demonstration? They countered by saying Jesus did this miracle by the power of satan. Specifically that He was possessed by Beelsebub. (Mar 3:22) And Jesus disclose the reason for His stern warning at the end of the passage. “because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.” (Mar 3:30) Finally Jesus declares: “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.” (Mat 12:28) It is thus very clear that their attack was against the Holy Spirit, and therefor the very stern/fearful warning: “but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation” Why? There can be no salvation or repentance without the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor 12:3; 2 Cor 7:9; John 16:8)
Acts 5:3, 9 Then Peter said, Ananias, why did Satan fulfil your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep the price of the land? Then Peter said to her, Why did you agree to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who bury your man are at the door, and they will carry you out.
pseúdomai; fut. pseúsomai, mid. deponent of pseúdō (n.f.), to cheat, defraud, falsify. To lie, to speak falsely or deceitfully.
By God’s grace this never happened again, else more people will fall dead in churches all over the world. Many by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit make commitments and declarations publicly, to reverse, procrastinate, and never comply.  We sometimes forget the Holy Spirit is God.  He is in no way inferior, or less powerful than God almighty. He is fully God, like Jesus, and the Father! The way He reveals God’s nature is predominantly as a dove, being gentle, and not forceful. However, we should revere and acknowledge His person with holy fear.
Acts 7:51 You stubborn and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit; just as your fathers, so also you.
antipíptō; fut. antipesoúmai, from antí (G0473), against, and píptō (G4098), to fall. To fall or rush against or upon in a hostile manner, assault, resist by force and violence, fall or strive against (Acts 7:51).
Stephen the martyr, was addressing a generation, a culture, a system of revolt against God. We see this clearly through History, how the power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit can be suppressed, stifled and openly resisted. The tone of the words used in the accusation is violent and shows the open revolt of a culture against God.  The power of culture should never be underestimated. Many people who have come to the truth, have experienced the pain and suffering of families turning against them, being ostracized, persecuted and isolated.  To the point that they were willing to kill someone like Stephan, who only did good, publicly.
Acts 8: 18-22 And when Simon saw that by the laying of the apostles the Holy Ghost was given, he offered their money19 And said, Give me this power also, that whosoever shall lay my hands upon the Holy Ghost can receive. 20 But Peter said to him, Let your money go away with you, because you thought to receive the gift of God through money. 21 You have no part or fate in this matter, because your heart is not rightbefore God. 22 Repent therefore of this evilfrom you, and pray to God, whether the mind of your heartmay be forgiven you.
Some people are totally against spiritual things, then there are others who seek the power of the supernatural for personal gain.  It is interesting to see the words used: heart not right, evil heart, mind of your heart. This shows that Simon needed salvation. He had to repent, and tern form his wickedness.
1 Thessalonians 5:19 Do not quench the Spirit.
Sbénnumi: To quench, extinguish.
Oh, have we not all been guilty of extinguishing the small still voice of the Holy Spirit! You feel uncomfortable about going with friends, or about a TV program, or certain company, yet we ignore the prompting of the Spirit, and persist most often to our own detriment.  May we become more alert, and sensitive to adhere the small nudges of the Holy Spirit. The more obedient you become to His voice, the more you will hear and discern His voice.
Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
lupéṓ̄: to grieve, afflict with sorrow; to be grieved, sad, sorrowful, to offend.
Most Christians are more scared and sensitive not to offend man, than God.  We will go out of our way to not offend man, but think it nothing to offend God, knowing His will.  The more we do this, the weaker the voice of the Spirit becomes in your heart.  God can never be offended and thankfully He takes no offence.  May we see His heart! May we really feel what He feels! May the Holy Spirit reveal His heart to us, so that like Mary Magdelene we see the suffering Christ, soon to be crucified, and pour our love on Him. (John 12)

BEING IN THE SPIRIT DOES NOT MEAN YOU ISOLATE YOURSELF

Being most connected and in tune, in the Spirit, enables you to connect on a higher level with people, and being really present in their deep hidden needs, wants, desires and motives.
Be connected in the Spirit first, then He will connect you with man, but on a higher level, so that you can pull them up and not be pulled down by man’s devices.
Being in the Spirit does not disconnect you with man to become ascetic, it connects you to man on a deeper, divine, spiritual level. People are most carnal and do not understand the ways of the Spirit. It is foolishness and strange to them. There are very few people who live and abide in the Spirit. Life in the Spirit is like living by the natural law of helium, but the way of carnality – by contrast – cannot escape the natural law of gravity. Therefore, people who do not live in the Spiritwill always pull you down. They do not even realise it, but that’s what they do.

THE SPIRIT AND THE WORD

The WORD and the Spirit is One. The Sword of the Spirit is the Word (Eph 6:17).
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life(John 6:63).
The language of the Spirit is the Word of God. Every single word we speak in the Spirit is based and founded on Scripture. It is like someone who has memorised all of Scripture and has understanding and insight into the whole of Scripture. Your spiritual vocabulary is Word-based. They only speak from the Word (Josh 1:8). The Spirit gives life to the Word. By the Spirit, the Word becomes flesh in us.
You cannot be like Jesus without the Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who resurrects, reveals and manifests Christ in us. Only the Spirit reveals Jesus in us.
It is simply not in man to be like Christ, any human attempt is of the spirit of the anti-christ.
The way of the Spirit is holy and sacred. Life in the Spirit is holy, consecrated, sanctified, precise, accurate, on the mark – Jesus.
The only way to be sinless, is to be in the Spirit. It is He who works it in us and draws us closer into a more holy consecrated lifestyle.

WE CAN EVEN WORK IN THE SPIRIT

Oh God, may we walk in the Spirit continually! Help us to remain and abide in the Spirit. Help us to find our complete habitation in the Holy Spirit. Work done in the Spirit is worship and glorifies God. Work can be done in the Spirit, for daily labour is not ungodly, secular nor sinful (Ex 31:3, 5; 35:31). Work is part of our creational purpose – to subdue and multiply (Gen 1:28). When we work by the Spirit it will not be laborious, but innovative, precise and intentional. In the Spirit, you will be able to focus and accomplish what you set out to do. Your work will be a blessing! Your work will be a sermon, an extension of His grace and character in you. Your work will reveal God in the same way His creation reveals Him. Your work will be excellent and spectacular, creative and rich in precise detail and order.
Believers being in the Spirithave created many new inventions.
Work done in the Spirit makes this world better because it resonates and reflects heaven! (Matt 6:10)
When living in the Spirit, our constant focus and attention are on His ability, not ours. His strength, power, fruit, gifts, testimony and riches. We are dead to our capabilities, efforts, methods, trying and achievements. Our confidence is in Him. Our default is Christ. We have died to self, our dreams and ambitions. We have died to our mistakes, failures, inabilities and incompetence. The life we now live, we live in the Son, by the Spirit.  It is the Spirit that enables.

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❤Almal het ‘n storie!❤

❤Almal het ‘n storie!❤

Daar is genade stories, lekker lag stories, seerkry stories, liefhê stories en dan ook die lekkerste hartmense stories!

Ons almal se stories loop nie presies eenders nie, maar ons het almal stories,  stories van hartseer, van swaarkry, alleen wees en weer probeer!

Aarde tyd, nou tyd is tydelik, en wanneer jy trauma beleef voel die nou baie meer werklik as die later, as die ewig!

Daar is altyd dinge wat ons seermaak, bangmaak en aan ons siel wil vasklou! Dinge wat ons wil terughou, vashou, ons geloof in ons lieflike Here wil steel.

Op sulke af-been terughou dae hou ons vas aan die beste storie ooit, ons redder storie. ‘n Redder is gebore, Jesus Christus wat vir ons verlossing gebring het, ook in die nou, met Sy oë gerig op die ewig!

Soms het ons gedagtes ‘n wil van hul eie, maar o wee, ons moet dit vasvat, kortvat, sommer vinnig ook, anders maak hul sommer stories van hul eie op, sulke wanhoop weghol stories, stories sonder geloof, stories sonder ‘n redder!

My lewe kan nou getuig van ‘n nuwe lewe vol stories van onmoontlikhede wat moontlikhede geword het. En het die pad en lewe van Jesus Christus gekies. Nou skryf Hy die beste stories ooit, stories op my hart, ware stories van geloof, hoop en liefde, en die grootste storie is die liefde storie!

Hy gee mooi mense-stories, ware stories! Daar is aardse stories … hemelse stories, en ook daaglikse stories van Sy goedheid, ook in ons swaarkry!

Daar is ‘n storie oor jou lewe! ‘n Storie wat Hy in ink geskryf het, ‘n liefhê en genade storie, ‘n storie wat ewig is!  ‘n Mooi storie, ‘n harts-storie … Hy het ‘n plan … ‘n ewige plan, die beste liefhê storie!

Mag jy Sy liefde en genade in die storie van jou lewe ervaar, diep, en intens bewus wees van Hom, ook nou in die Christusfees, dis die fees van genade en dankbaarheid! Die beste storie ooit, ‘n Redder, ons Jesus Christus is gebore.

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7 ways how you can make you relationships more spiritual.

I believe our deepest desire for oneness and intimacy in relationships can only be met on a spiritual level. Although there is much to explore and discover on an emotional, and psychological level, the most neglected connection is a spiritual one. Our Spiritual connection is also our eternal bond, the permanency we all seek in intimate relationships.
God is a relational God, as revealed in the mystery of the Trinity. We do not worship three Gods, but one God. Yet He is revealed to us in three different distinct persons, Father, Son & Holy Spirit. Oneness or unity originates from the Triune Godhead: Jesus said: “I and My Father are one!” The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, and therefore He is in unison with God the Father and God the Son. The most profound prayer in the Bible is the one where God the Son, speak and pray to God the Father. It is God speaking His desire to Himself, that we would be one with Him as He is one with the Father and the Spirit. (Joh 17:21b) Unity brings peace and tranquillity into a group. Unity draws the presence of God onto the scene. The blessings of God include protection and prosperity to all who are part of that unit. The Greek word ‘homothumadon’ means to be ‘one mouthed’. The Hebrew word for unity is ‘yachad’ and it refers to a unit or a commando group.
God created two pathways for us to attain the unity and oneness that exists in the Godhead: Marriage and Church.
Today we see various models of ‘church,’ both historical and modern. What seems to be very rare is a spiritual expression of “church,” a manifestation thereof that goes beyond the church member cards and orientation programs; the superficial get-to-know-one-another-better functions and large crowds gathering to attend various special programs. These activities and program have its benefits, but we seek a deeper connection. Remember, the church is a spiritual entity! God is a Spirit and wants to be worshipped in Spirit and in Truth. The church should be more than just activities, programs, and buildings.
The Spirituality of church ultimately means: How spiritual are the members? A simple biblical definition of Christian maturity is to grow into the likeness of the character and life of Jesus Christ. The spiritual maturity of church members is thus determined by how much they do and act like Jesus. The same applies to the two partners in a Marriage Covenant relationship. The oneness we seek in marriage can be obstructed when one partner is not saved. If both are saved, often they attend different churches, making spiritual union difficult and strained. It is thus imperative for a spiritual union to take place that couples attend the same church, both take the same Bible courses together, to remain in spiritual sync else the one can Spiritually outgrow the other.
God commands His blessings where brothers dwell together in unity. Ps 139. Unity is one of the most important keys to create an atmosphere where God reveals His manifest Presence. Like in the book of Acts, powerful things happened to the church when they were together in unity, of one mind, heart and soul.
Acts 1:14 Early apostolic gathering – continued with one accord
Acts 2:1 they were all with one accord in one place
Acts 2:46 continuing daily with one accord in the temple
Acts 4:32 those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.
Acts 5:12 they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch
Acts 8:6 and the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Phillip

UNITY/ONENESS IS A GIFT

Being made righteous in Christ, we are made one with Him. (Rom 7:4; Rom 9:1; 1 Cor 15:22; Eph 3:6, 12, 21; Col 2:6, 10, 11-1; Rev 1:9) According to Eph 4:1-4 We cannot create, or work for unity, we can only preserve the Unity we received as a gift in Christ Jesus. We never want the unity of man. Man build Babel to their own glory, and God had to divide their languages. In the church and marriage, we should always operate and work from this point of unity, the Unity that God gives. Doing this is a fundamental point to consider and understand, especially when one does not feel or experience unity with your partner or friend. We are already one. “What God has joined, let man not separate.” Mat 19:6 Practically it is constructive when we are in disagreement on something, to take one step back, begin in unity, and that what we agree on, before discussing the issue causing the conflict. We do not allow our emotions and carnal mind deceive us into believing we are separate, distant, and isolated. Adam & Eve believed this lie, which when they eat of the fruit, they will be like God. They already were made in His image, had communion and free fellowship with Him, they were already one. They did not have to do anything to become more one.

ONE MIND COMES THROUGH DEVOTING TOGETHER TO STUDY THE WORD.

Dr. Roy M. Gray taught in Miracle Valley, Arizona that unity cannot be created it can only be preserved. He explained that unity comes through the preaching of the Word. The saints are a band of God that is inwardly transformed by the Word of God. Only when the focus is on Christ and His Word, will unity become the standard in the spirit. Dr. André Pelser
The early church devoted themselves daily to Apostolic Doctrine. (Acts 2:42) The Word is a discerner, and when you study the Word prayerfully, it will transform you. (Heb 4:12; 1 Tim 3:16) In this instance doctrine is important to achieve spiritual oneness because one is taught to think right, that will lead to believing right, that leads to right-living. This right-living enforces the bond of unity, whereas when people live as they like, they are carnal minded not spirit-minded making oneness impossible. Unity means to be in one accord or to agree. (Amos 2:3) In the Book of Amos, the prophet asks: “how can two people walk together, except they are in agreement as one?” How can there be a spiritual union, if there is a doctrinal disagreement of beliefs? Study all these NT scriptures referring to being of one mind. (Rom 12:6; 14:5; 15:6; 2 Cor 13:11; Phil 2:2; 1 Pet 3:8)

WE EXIST FOR THE SAKE OF ONE ANOTHER, COLLECTIVE MIND.

Paul explains the dynamics of the church using the metaphor of a human body. Remember that in a body there are no dead parts, no passive, inactive members! No spectators. “The kingdom of God come not with observation” Luk 17:20 In a body, every part exists for the sake of the other parts. The human body is a magnificent collective genius of parts functioning as one! Spiritual unity is thus not achieved until you become more conscious of the other than of self. We are not to seek our interests, but the interests of others. (Phil 2:1-11) Moreover, in our pursuit of deepening our spiritual connection, we should become aware of another’s needs as the Spirit reveals it, not because these private needs were made known in usual ways. Spirit-led actions strengthen the bond of unity, building confidence not only in God’s love but in the other person’s sensitivity to hear and obey. (Phil 1:9)
If one member suffers, even slightly, the whole body suffers. (1 Cor 12:26) This verse reveals a collective consciousness. Doubtlessly everyone immediately feels the weight and pressure if one ‘part’ malfunctions. For the body to operate efficiently, each person in the group must serve! In the body of Christ, we have equal care for the house of God. (1 Cor 12:25) Each one serves according to his/her level of faith, expertise, internal natural gifting, and grace. This spiritual union is proof of how God intended His body to function supernaturally. Look at this beautiful poetry as Paul define the operation of a church as a body. “Speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” (Eph 4:14-16)

KNOW ANOTHER BY THE SPIRIT

For any deep relationship to develop, we need to know one another in the spirit. Judging people by their cover is a common problem in the world, but it ought not to be so in the True Church. When I grew up, our church had “get-to-know-one-another” events, usually after the Sunday evening service. I believe most people only came for the snacks and cake! Is it possible to get to know someone by casually chatting 10 minutes after the church service? Some suggest that you get to know a person by working with him or her; however, this is not altogether true either for many people portray a different persona in the workplace. Another suggestion is to undertake a hike or to experience a crisis together. There is truth in this, but does this mean that we all have to have some shared crisis before we get to know a person? Surely not! The way of the spirit is more accurate and also quicker! Jesus knew the heart of Nathaniel even before he had met him. (John 1:47) Similarly, the Lord revealed to Ananias not only the change in Saul (Paul) but also his destiny before he met him. (Acts 9:10) Jesus knew what was in the Pharisees’ hearts. Jesus knew the woman at the well in the spirit. (John 4) Imagine a church where people know each other in the spirit, where everyone knows their place and function, and naturally work together without complaining and strife because they do not feel threatened by one another.

FELLOWSHIP IN HIS SUFFERING

That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death. (Philippians 3:10) The word ‘know’ at the beginning of this verse means to know firsthand, to have proof of, to be entirely sure. Paul’s desire is to know God personally and intimately. But, in the same sentence, he explains that this knowledge of God is to have fellowship in His sufferings – note the word sufferings is in the plural! There is nothing that binds people together more than facing trouble together. Paul goes a step further; we should conform to His death. This word, “summorphos”, means: to take on the same form and likeness of someone. We should, therefore, live in the same manner as Jesus did, because He gave His life in obedience to the Father. We should too, daily and in every circumstance be willing to deny self and surrender, yielding in obedience completely to Him. This attitude and lifestyle of every person in the group become the adhesive that unites us on a higher level. In serving one another, we lay down our lives for each other. Joh 15:13
The understanding of Spiritual fellowship also gives us a whole new perspective on our personal suffering. Like Paul, we know that our suffering is to the benefit of the body, and therein we fulfill the sufferings of Christ. (Col 1:24) For example, being publically corrected is humiliating. Nevertheless, by receiving it positively personal growth is established, and everyone learns.

DIVINE CONNECTIONS

In the discussion of the first principle, I have used biblical examples of how people were brought together, not by circumstance, but by Divine guidance, e.g. Ananias and Paul. Another example is Peter and Cornelius. (Acts 10) Phillip was divinely led to meet the servant of the court of Ethiopia. (Acts 8:26) A spiritual church is also a spiritually connected church! It even goes beyond this. In Paul’s letter to Philemon (with whom he has a good relationship), Paul asked Philemon to accept Onesimus, his former slave as a brother. His relationship with Philemon was the stepping stone to introduce Onesimus. This example provides us with a powerful insight into the spiritual mechanisms of the church. For instance: I call on my friend Johan in Cape town, asking if he knows someone in the printing industry… one of his friends owns such a business. By linking us, Johan acts as the catalyst and originator of a new relationship. Without knowing each other, Johan’s friend, and I begin our relationship on a deeper level, due to our common friend, Johan.
We need much integrity concerning this methodology. Looking in the spirit is the way that the Spirit helps us to interact and relate on multiple levels.

MAKING YOURSELF PRESENT ALTHOUGH NOT PHYSICALLY PRESENT.

Although Paul was not present in the flesh, he was present in the spirit. (Col 2:5) This means church goes beyond the parameters of meetings and address lists. This is not an excuse for not meeting or attending church services. However, it does imply that if I have revealed my heart and is in unity with a group, I can physically be far away and still be one with that group. On the other hand, if I take offense and become bitter towards the group, and thus choose not to attend any further meetings, I’m not only cut off physically but spiritually as well. A while ago Chantál attended a Conference in America and was away for 21 days. She shared her notes with me every day, and she could follow what was happening at home base via our Church app. We experienced a wonderful spiritual union during this time, by making an effort of being present in one another’s lives. In this way, people who cannot attend meetings regularly can stay present by following and keeping tabs on Social Media. The opposite is also true, some people live in the same house, but they are not present in each other’s life. They have already turned their hearts away from the other, and will eventually separate and divorce.
Becoming more and more spiritually one is a wonderful gift and provision God has made for us, as revealed through Jesus. He often said and declared His oneness with the Father. It was this union that gave Him the power, authority and right to do what He has done, while on earth. God wants our churches and marriages to experience this same spiritual union, so that the World can believe in the Son, whom He has sent. Joh 17:21
 
 

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Holy Communion / Nagmaal

KINGDOM DYNAMICS
1 Cor 11:23 Faith At the Lord’s Table, FAITH’S CONFESSION. Just as the act of water baptism outwardly declares or confesses an inward experience of salvation through the blood of the Lord Jesus, each observance of the Lord’s Table is a powerful occasion for faith’s confession. In the ordinance, the Christian confesses before all heaven that he not only has believed, but that he has not forgotten. “In remembrance” involves more than just memory; the word suggests an “active calling to mind” (Wycliffe).
The word “for” introduces the reason the Supper is continually repeated. It is an acted sermon, for it “proclaims” the Lord’s death. The outward act of faith, as the bread and cup taken, is explicitly said to be an ongoing, active confession—literally “you are proclaiming” (1 Cor 11:26). Each occasion of partaking is an opportunity to say, proclaim, or confess again: “I herewith lay hold of all the benefits of Jesus Christ’s full redemption for my life—forgiveness, wholeness, strength, health, sufficiency.” The Lord’s Supper is not to be simply a ritual remembrance, but an active confession, by which you actively will to call to memory and appropriate today all that Jesus has provided and promised through His Cross.
At Jesus’ institution of the Lord’s Supper with His disciples (Matt. 26:26–29; Mark 14:22–25; Luke 22:15–20) the bread and cup were part of a meal, with the bread probably broken near the beginning (cf. “when He had given thanks,” 1 Cor. 11:24) and the cup taken at the end (cf. “after supper,” v. 25). By the time Paul wrote, the Lord’s Supper was celebrated in two stages which consolidated the partaking of the bread and cup at the end of a communal meal. The worship with the bread and cup came to be called the “Eucharist” (Didache 9:1; Ignatius Letter to the Philadelphians 4), from the Greek word for “thanksgiving” (eucharisteō). The communal meal was called the Agapē (Jude 12; Pliny Letters 10. 96. 7), a Greek word for “love.”
one factor contributing to those divisions is evident here, namely, economic differences in the church (1 Cor 11:21).
1 Cor 11:20–21. The Lord’s Supper should have been the remembrance of a preeminently selfless act, Christ’s death on behalf of others. Instead the Corinthians had turned the memorial of selflessness into an experience of selfishness and had made a rite of unity a riotous disunity. While one brother went hungry because he lacked the means to eat well, another brother drank to excess.
The Communion:
1 Cor 11:24 Broken for you refers to both Jesus’ substitutionary role as Savior as well as the One who bore our pain and sicknesses (Isa 53:4-6)
1 Cor 11:25 The new covenant, sealed by the blood of Jesus, was prophesied in Jer. 31:31-34. That covenant was new in its nature and in its content, securing the forgiveness of sins and writing the law of God in the hearts of believers. The old ritualistic system is replaced by the gospel of Christ, which He established by His death (see Heb. 8:7-13).
To act in a spirit of selfish disregard for the needs of a brother was to despise the church of God, composed not of lifeless stones but of living people who could be grievously hurt. The bread represented the incarnate body of Christ unselfishly assumed (Phil. 2:6–7) and unselfishly given on the cross for the benefit of others (2 Cor. 8:9; Phil. 2:8), that kept needing to be remembered (cf. 1 Cor. 4:8–13).
1 Cor 11:25. The wine was a poignant reminder of Christ’s blood, without the shedding of which there could be no forgiveness from sin (Heb. 9:22) and through which cleansing and a new relationship (covenant) with God was made (Heb. 9:14–15). The word “covenant” referred to a relationship in which one party established terms which the other party accepted or rejected. The focus of the Old Covenant was the written Word (Ex. 24:1–8). The focus of the New Covenant is the Living Word (John 1:14–18). Christ intended the cup to be a representational (cf. John 10:9; 1 Cor. 10:4) reminder of Him: do this … in remembrance of Me.
The body of Christ is the church, which consists of individual believers (cf. 1 Cor. 12:12, 27). His body, the church, is also pictured by the bread of Communion (1 Cor 5:7; 10:16–17). Thus to sin against another believer is to sin against Christ (1 Cor 8:12).
One body of diversity – (1 Cor 12:13; Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:11)
They should seek out the wronged brother and ask his forgiveness. Only then could a true spirit of worship flourish (cf. Matt. 5:23–24)

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What to do when God feels distant

WHAT TO DO WHEN GOD FEELS DISTANT
We all regularly experience moments where God feels distant. There is a difference between sin and sins. Ultimately sin is our arrogance to break relationship and union with God, thinking we can live without Him. Sins are the things we do as a result of a broken relationship. But we have made peace with God through Christ Jesus. Rom 5:1
David knew about this feeling Psalm 27:8-9
IT IS ONLY A FEELING GOD IS OMNIPRESENT
the Bible instructs us when God feels absent, remember it is a feeling because God is omnipresent. omnipresent (i.e., God is everywhere present): 1 Ki 8:27; Job 26:5–6; Ps 139:7–12; Pr 15:3; Je 23:23–24; Ac 17:27 (cf. Ge 28:16; De 4:36; Is 57:15; Jon 1:3–4; Mt 28:20; Ac 2:25; 17:24, 27–28; Eph 1:23; Heb 13:5; Jam 4:8 He is always with us. will never leave or forsake us. Jos 1:5; 1 Chron 28:20; Heb 13:5
So we are talking about His manifest presence: God making Himself visible to our senses.
WAITING FOR THE LORD
♦ general references: Ge 49:18; Job 35:14; Ps 25:5; 62:5; 119:74; 130:5; Is 8:17; 25:9; Mk 15:43 ♦ exhortation concerning: Job 35:14; Ps 27:14; 37:7; Hos 12:6; Zep 3:8 ♦ results of: Ps 25:3; 37:9; 40:1; 147:11; Pr 20:22; Is 40:31; 49:23; 64:4; La 3:25–26; Mi 7:7; Heb 6:15 (cf. Je 8:15) ♦ lack of: Ps 106:13
WHAT DOES BIBLICAL WAITING LOOKS LIKE?
It is more clearly seen in setting up an ambush for the one who promised, “I will be found by you” (Jer. 29:14). Like fishing, i am actively waiting with expectation.
REST H1826. דָּמַם dāmam: A verb meaning to be silent, to be still; to stand still. It depicts the state of being motionless (1 Sam. 14:9; Jer. 47:6). It can be used to command something to be motionless, to stand still (Josh. 10:12, 13), such as the sun. It means to refrain from speech (Lev. 10:3) at an appropriate time (Amos 5:13). It refers to persons being traumatized, rigid, or frozen from fear and fright (Ex. 15:16) like a stone or the silencing of persons through war or other means (Jer. 8:14; 48:2; 49:26; 50:30). It indicates, on the other hand, the absence of emotional distress and churning and the ability to be quiet and relax (Job 30:27; Ps. 4:4[5]; 30:12[13]; 131:2), which Job could not accomplish.
WAITING PATIENTLY H2342. חוּל ḥûl, חִיל ḥiyl: A verb meaning to whirl, to shake, to fear, to dance, to writhe, to grieve. This word has many different meanings, most of which derive from two basic ideas: to whirl in motion and to writhe in pain. The first of these ideas may be seen in the shaking of the earth (Ps. 29:8); the stirring of the waters (Ps. 77:16[17]); or the trembling of the mountains (Hab. 3:10). At times, this word is used in a context of shaking with fear (Deut. 2:25; Jer. 5:22); worshiping in trembling awe (1 Chr. 16:30; Ps. 96:9); or anxiously waiting (Gen. 8:10; Ps. 37:7). It is also used to describe dancing women (Judg. 21:21, 23). The second idea of writhing in pain can be either physical, as when Saul was wounded in battle (1 Sam. 31:3), or emotional, as when Jeremiah grieved in anguish over Jerusalem’s refusal to grieve (Jer. 4:19). This word is often used to describe the labor pains of giving birth (Ps. 29:9; Isa. 26:17, 18; 51:2) but can also imply God’s creating work (Deut. 32:18; Job 15:7; Ps. 90:2; Prov. 8:24, 25).
OUR ACCESS TO GOD HAS BEEN OPENED
Through a new and living way: Heb 10:19
We have access through his righteousness Mat 6:33
Permanent Glory 2 Cor 3:9-18
ABSOLUTE FOCUS:
I was once driving from Northern California to Southern California on Interstate 5. South of Bakersfield I found myself in a dust storm that almost completely blinded me. It covered the entire freeway. There were cars immediately behind me, so I knew stopping could be disastrous. As I got into this cloud of dust I could faintly see cars and trucks scattered all over both sides of the freeway with people waving frantically. Talking with friends, listening to music, and the like are acceptable activities while driving, but they could have been deadly in this moment. Absolute silence filled the car as I worked to maintain my speed and focus on the lane ahead of me. After a minute or two, we made it through that terrifying cloud of death by God’s grace alone. Intense focus restricts what you are willing and able to see. And while this approach will keep you from seeing many things, it will also open your eyes to see more of what you hunger for. Self-control is not the ability to say no to a thousand other voices. It’s the ability to say yes to the one thing so completely that there’s nothing left to give to the other options. Bill Johnson Hosting His presence Unveiling Heaven’s agenda
In die onlangse fliek ͞The Avengers͟ word dit uitgebeeld hoe een van die Agente Phil Coulson besig is om te sterf: In sy sterwens oomblik sê hy: Agent Phil Coulson: You’re gonna lose. Loki: Am I? Agent Phil Coulson: It’s in your nature. Loki: Your heroes are scattered, your floating fortress falls from the sky… where is my disadvantage? Agent Phil Coulson: You lack conviction. Loki: I don’t think I… [Coulson shoots Loki with his BFG, causing Loki to be blown through the wall behind him]
Heb 11:1 NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. For by [faith—trust and holy fervor born of faith] the men of old had divine testimony borne to them and obtained a good report. By faith we understand that the worlds [during the successive ages] were framed (fashioned, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose) by the word of God, so that what we see was not made out of things which are visible.
Heb 10:22 Let us all come forward and draw near with true (honest and sincere) hearts in unqualified assurance and absolute conviction engendered by faith (by that leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness),
 
 

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Learn to love and honor God's Judgments

Love and honor God’s Judgments

We live in an age where the following statement has never been more accurate and relevant; “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” Judges 21:25 We have more information available than ever yet people appear to be entirely ignorant of their lifestyle decisions, and it’s consequences. Our alienation from God and Truth has set us onto a course of deep darkness.
The sad truth though is that many Christians and believers are also just as ignorant of their behavior, habits, and incompetence in certain areas. This ignorance became very apparent to us in our recent encounters to Uganda. These are beautiful people, but they are totally ignorant of their incompetence in the workplace. Maybe in some way this is a good thing, for ignorance is bliss. Samuel Lwandasa, who have lived in the USA for more than 15 years relayed a little story to explain the problem with Africans. One man has five cows, he is very proud and feels like a wealthy man, because his neigbor only has two. Not realizing there are people who have more than thousand cows.
Against this backdrop of Earthly reality, I see in the scriptures an incredible hidden truth.
David loved God’s Judgments!
Psalms 18:22 For all His judgments were before me, And I did not put away His statutes from me.
Psalms 19:9-10 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Psalms 36:6 Your righteousness is like the great mountains; Your judgments are a great deep; O Lord, You preserve man and beast.
David sings a song on God’s Judgments, about how he loves it! Psalms 119:7, 13, 20, 30, 39, 52, 62, 66, 75, 102, 106, 108, 137, 156, 160, 164, 175
Loving Judgements is a difficult concept to comprehend at first; most children writing exams surely cannot agree that they love it! We as adults are not far behind; we’re just happy that we do not have to write them anymore. An interesting read on the subject is the study done by Justin Kruger and David Dunning.

People tend to hold overly favorable views of their abilities in many social and intellectual domains. The authors suggest that this overestimation occurs, in part, because people who are unskilled in these domains suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it. Across 4 studies, the authors found that participants scoring in the bottom quartile on tests of humor, grammar, and logic grossly overestimated their test performance and ability. Although their test scores put them in the 12th percentile, they estimated themselves to be in the 62nd. Several analyses linked this miscalibration to deficits in metacognitive skill, or the capacity to distinguish accuracy from error. Paradoxically, improving the skills of participants, and thus increasing their metacognitive competence, helped them recognize the limitations of their abilities. 1

I also remember a most interesting TED talk, we reviewed in BibleSchool class on Being Wrong by Kathryn Schulz. https://youtu.be/QleRgTBMX88 She explained how like the Wolf in the Road Runner animation, we run over the edge believing we can walk on air, to then suddenly realize we’re dead wrong. We all have moments like this, and it is what makes us human. The problem is when decision makers are wrong and want others to believe their error. Not knowing I am wrong, is possible one of our biggest handicaps.

Seek criticism from friends and peers

Elon Musk explains in an interview about Starting up a new business on how important it is to seek Criticism. 2 He calls it “rigorous self-analysis.” Obviously, you should ignore the ignorance of people that do not understand your cause and is just sowing doubt and unbelief. Learn and attract criticism from your friends, invite them to speak into your life. Make yourself vulnerable. Prayerfully extract the gold from every criticism, reproof, rebuke, admonishment, exhortation that comes your way. Say thank you, the person correcting you is taking a significant risk, and a show of courage to point out a possible error.
Peer review analyses: Because it ‘s hard for most professionals to recognize and improve on their weaknesses on their own, aviation has developed structured mechanisms of check questions to a relative peer. Like flight attendants checking each other on door closing procedures, Pilots going through checklists with Co-pilot etc, and flight crew awareness of problems reported to the captain. This system was only introduced after the fatal crash of Trans World Airlines (TWA) Flight 514, a Boeing 727 inbound from Columbus, Ohio, that was scheduled to land at Washington National Airport. The crew had flown a normally functioning Boeing 727 aircraft into a hill at an altitude of 1669 feet, just short of the hill’s peak of 1764 feet. The 85 passengers and seven crew members died in a horrific fiery crash 29 miles northwest of Dulles International Airport. Human error and Pilot’s misunderstanding each other was the cause of this accident.
How many people have suffered terrible harm because of the absence of correction in the offender’s life?

Elite athletes, musicians, and other top performers understand that excellence occurs through extensive study and practice, with constant feedback, and by adopting techniques and tools that have led to others’ success. For elite performers, this extends well beyond the formal training period. (An entire scientific discipline is devoted to this topic, as detailed by Ericsson 34.)

 Maybe this is why Weigh-less is so successful in helping people loose weight, the weekly weigh-ins.  The AA has sponsors.  Covenant eyes provide a accountability software program for Internet Porn Addicts, where you share your online traffic with a partner.

Take regular tests, to evaluate your ability, performance, and development.

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified 2 Corinthians 13:5. Doing inward self-analysis is fruitless and futile. Paul says that he does not even judge himself. 1 Corinthians 4:3. Judgment has to be external. Our own hearts are too deceptive. Jeremiah 17:9.

The Word and the Spirit is the perfect Judge

Jesus learned His judgment from the Father. Do not trust your own judgment, seek His judgment. John 5:30 I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me. John 7:24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” John 8:15-16 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me.
The more we Study the Word, the better we can judge. The Word is a discerner. Hebrews 4:12. Like not judging a matter by the first testimony, cross-examine and then make a conclusion. Proverbs 18:17.
David made several prayer requests to God to search Him, test Him and examine him. Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, Ps 139:23

The judgment of the Father

In recent times so many worship songs focus on loving God, and His amazing enduring love for us. Although this is important, yet the context of our relationship is always explained in terms of that of a disciple, a bond-slave, a child, a friend. Even our love is contextualized: if you love me you will obey my commandments. John 15:10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
We do not fear His judgment because of His perfect love. 1 John 4:17-19 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us. Love is made perfect through obedience. Hebrews 5:8.
Having God as our Father, does not only mean we are now protected, He will take care of everything. It means He will correct us, chastise, and rebuke us if nessasary.
And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”
If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Hebrews 12:5-7
See Prov 15:31-32 Today’s scripture reading…

  1. “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments” Justin Kruger and David Dunning Cornell University  ↩︎
  2. Elon Musk https://youtu.be/NU7W7qe2R0A “Constantly seek criticism” 11minutes into video 
  3. Ericsson KA. The influence of experience and deliberate practice on the development of superior expert performance. In: , Ericsson KA. ed. The Cambridge handbook of expertise and expert performance. New YorkNew York: Cambridge University Press, 2006; 683–704. CrossRef
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Die krag van 'n vrolike hart in Jesus

“Die blymoedige mens se hele lewe is ’n fees” (Prov 15:15) Blydskap laat ‘n mens se gesig straal; smart maak ‘n mens terneergedruk. (Prov 15:13) ‘n Vrolike mens is ‘n gesonde mens, ‘n neerslagtige mens raak uitgeput. (Prov 17:22) Die Bekende KIPP Skole baseer onder andere hulle sukses met kinders deur te fokus om die kinders se “zest” passie te ontwikkel.  Gelukkige en “happy” kinders leer makliker. Hulle droom is om 100% van alle leerders te laat kwalifiseer vir Nagraadse Studies. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAsSdyb6YMY&app=desktop

Scientists have been studying the effect of laughter on human beings and have found, among other things, that laughter has a profound and instantaneous effect on virtually every important organ in the human body. Laughter reduces health-sapping tensions and relaxes the tissues as well as exercising the most vital organs. It is said that laughter, even when forced, results in beneficial effect on us, both mentally and physically. Next time you feel nervous and jittery, indulge in a good laugh. —Executives’ Digest[i]

Die Here wil nie hê ons moet Hom dien soos slawe sonder vreugde nie.  Deut 28:47 Daarom was die Joodse Kalender gevul met 7 feeste. God wil hê ons moet kan feesvier! (Ezra 6:22)
Jesus was so ‘n vrolike blymoedige mens.  (Luk 10:21) “rejoiced in spirit” (agalliō) – to leap. To exult, leap for joy, to show one’s joy by leaping and skipping denoting excessive or ecstatic joy and delight.  Hy het die krag van vreugde in die Gees verstaan, en dit het Hom die krag te gee om Sy lyding te ontbeer. (Heb 12:2) Hy het geleef vanuit ‘n intieme verhouding met die Vader, wetende dat die Vader Sy gebede antwoord. (Joh 11:41-42) Hy het die guns ontvang van die Vader. (Mat 3:17) Die Vader het hom verheerlik (Joh 8:54) Sy verhouding met die Vader, en gehoorsaamheid aan die Vader, was die bron van Sy vreugde.  “the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Neh 8:10) Sien die klem in hierdie vers. Sy vreugde gee ons krag. Soos ‘n man krag kry uit sy vrou wat gelukkig is, kry ons krag wanneer ons weet ons lewe behaag die Here.
Alhoewel Jesus ‘n man was wat lyding en pyn geken het, het Hy nogtans met vreugde gelewe. Sondaars was aangetrek na Hom en onthou hulle is nie juis bekend dat hulle die ernstige, gewyde, hoog heilige mense opsoek nie! Jesus se gelykenisse, en teenvraag stellings, wys op sy fyn sin vir humor.
Een van my gunsteling outeurs John Eldredge beskryf Jesus op die volgende manier vanuit die perspektief van die natuur wat van Hom getuig in sy boek Beautiful Outlaw.

I was sitting out back yesterday morning sipping coffee, watching the young chipmunks chase one another at breakneck speeds across the deck. One clever daredevil, hoping to get the advantage, jumped up on the fence rail and continued the chase from above, leaping at the last moment upon his littermate like a Hollywood stuntman. This morning one of them adopted a new strategy. The little rascal found an ambush spot, clinging from the side of the house, where he waited for his playmate to wander by unawares; he then pounced, and the two somersaulted off the deck and into the grass, squealing. Only to dash off and do it again. And again. Now—what does this tell us about the personality of Jesus, who created these little dynamos with striped masks and boundless enthusiasm? What do they say about his heart? Polar-bear cubs will hurl themselves down snowy hillsides headfirst and upside down, just for fun. Spinner dolphins love to romp in the bow-wake of a boat, cavorting, leaping into the air and, well, spinning. Otters play tag. Our horses play tug-of-war with a stick—which is really quite funny when you think of how nobly a horse normally likes to carry himself. [ii]

HOE ONTVANG EN LEEF JY IN HIERDIE BLYMOEDIGHEID?
Ons verbondenheid met Christus, die Vader en die Heilige Gees – (Joh 15:11-12) Dit sê Ek vir julle sodat my blydskap in julle kan wees en julle blydskap volkome kan wees. Dit is my opdrag: Julle moet mekaar liefhê soos Ek julle liefhet. Ons verbondenheid met Jesus gee ons ewige vreugde. Soos ‘n wingerdtak in die boom ingeënt is, en sy lewe ontvang van die boom, so leef ons in Christus.  Maar ons kan nie in die boom ingeënt wees sonder dat ons outomaties nie ook in mekaar ingeënt is nie.  Vergelyk (Col 1:27) in die ou vertaling en die nuwe vertaling: Christus IN en Onder ons.
Ons verbondenheid met mekaar in Sy liggaam – Todd Adkins post op sy Twitter blad: “Geen mens kan Jesus alleen volg nie.” Ware Apostoliese leiers soos Johannes se teenwoordigheid het sy vriende en medegelowiges se harte met vreugde gevul. (2 Joh 1:12) In Johannes se eerste Brief weerklank hy Jesus se gebed in Joh 17:21 “Hom wat ons gesien en gehoor het, verkondig ons aan júlle, sodat julle aan ons gemeenskap deel kan hê. En die gemeenskap waaraan ons deel het, is dié met die Vader en met sy Seun, Jesus Christus.” (1 Joh 1:3-4) Dit skryf ons sodat ons blydskap volkome kan wees. John Piper volg dieselfde gedagterigting wanneer hy verduidelik dat dissipels-maak eintlik ‘n korporatiewe en groeps-gebeurtenis is.  Want jy word deel van die “Jesus” groep.
Sy tasbare teenwoordigheid en heerlikheid – Deur ons verhouding en intimiteit met die Vader behou ons die vreugde. Hy is vreugde! Sy teenwoordigheid is loutere vreugde en ekstase!
ekstase = ecstasy, rapture
(Ephesians 5:18) Nie dronk van wyn nie, maar dronk/gevul met die Heilige Gees.
Full of joy, filled with HS.  (Acts 13:52) vergelyk (Acts 2:2) Die uitstorting van die Heilige Gees.
Shekhinah “that which dwells” the radiance, glory or presence of God dwelling in the midst of his people, is used by Targumist and Rabbi to signify God himself, for legal Judaism dislikes ascribing form or emotion to deity.[iii] It refers to the instances when God showed Himself visibly, as, for example, on Mount Sinai (Ex. 24:9–18) and in the Holy of Holies of the tabernacle and in Solomon’s Temple.[iv] This term is not found in the Bible. It was used by the later Jews, and borrowed by Christians from them, to express the visible majesty of the divine Presence, especially when resting or dwelling between the cherubim on the mercy-seat in the tabernacle and in the temple of Solomon[v] The Shekinah, nearest Jewish equivalent to the Holy Spirit,[vi]
Early Christian Prophetic Ecstasy The early church included an element of ecstatic prophecy. John describes his ecstatic encounter in stating, “I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day” (Rev 1:10 NRSV). This incident and others that he recounted involved an out-of-body experience during which John had visions into the heavenly realm and received instructions and revelations from God and/or the exalted Christ. Peter (Acts 11:5) and Paul (2 Cor 12:1–7) had similar ecstatic experiences.[vii]
Eugene Peterson says that the Hebrew root word for “prosperity” is more accurately translated “leisure”—“ the relaxed stance of one who knows that everything is all right because God is over us, with us and for us in Jesus Christ.” [viii]
Vrug van Sy karakter permanent in ons – Blydskap is deel van die vrug van die Gees. En die vrug is enkelvoud. Die primêre vrug is liefde! Al die ander 8 vrugte is ‘n voortvloeisel van liefde. Vergelyk (1 Cor 13:3-4), Liefde is geduldig, vriendelik ens. Blydskap, vreugde, vrolikheid is ‘n inherente eienskap van liefde.  Daar is net hoofsaaklik 2 primêre emosies wat ons as mens beleef, of liefde of vrees.  Woede/wraak/haat is die hoogste emosie van vrees: Euforiese sprankelende, huppelende, vreugde is die hoogste emosie van liefde! Om met God versoen te wees, en met Hom reg te wees – bring vrede en vreugde in die Heilige Gees. (Rom 8:17)
BLYDSKAP ROWERS:
Hierdie eenwording met Hom en met mekaar, is net moontlik as ‘n mens se hart heeltemal skoon is van “Offense”. Ons afrikaners sukkel maar met dié woord die woordeboek vertaal “offense” as volg: Gebelgd, gekrenk, beledig voel, gesteurdheid, afgehaal, gekwets, geraaktheid.  Luk 17:1-5 leer ons die stappe om met iemand te maak wat jou te na kom.  Hoe meer jy hierdie stappe volg, hoe sterker word jy, en hoe minder voel jy te na gekom.
BLYDSKAP EN VROLIKHEID IS ‘N WAPEN IN ONS GEESTELIKE ARSENAAL

  • Vreugde gee ons krag tydens verdrukking. In al ons sorge is ek vol moed en oorstelp van blydskap. 2 Corinthians 7:4
  • Mag God, die bron van hoop, julle deur julle geloof met alle vreugde en vrede vervul, sodat julle hoop al hoe sterker kan word deur die krag van die Heilige Gees! (Romans 15:13–14) Vreugde versterk jou geloof.  Hoop en vreugde is vennote.  Joy is the keeper and vehicle of hope. Joyful expectation of hope. Vreugde hou jou in die atmosfeer van geloof, hoop en die bonatuurlike!
  • Vreugde maak ons beter getuies van Sy lewe.  Jesus se vertelling van gelykenisse en slim humor het sy luisteraars ontwapen om met ‘n vars oor en oop hart te luister.  ‘n lewendige, opgewekte, en opgeruimde onderwyser sal nie sukkel om sy of haar kinders se aandag te kry nie.
  • Innerlike vreugde en vrolikheid is ‘n teenmiddel teen verslawing.  Iemand wat innerlike vreugde beleef gaan nie probeer om dit chemies aan te vul of te kry nie. Jy is vol!
  • Vreugde ontlont moeilike situasies.  Dink maar hoeveel keer ‘n bietjie humor op die regte tyd, ‘n argument met jou huwelikmaat ontlont het.

WAT VREUGDE EN VROLIKHEID NIE IS NIE.
Dit nie sarkasme nie, ek lag vir jou.
Dit is nie ligsinning nie.
Dit is nie onkenning nie. Onkenning is ‘n vorm van “presumptuous” geloof. Jy het nie ‘n sekre Woord van God nie, maar wens maar net dat die probleem self sal verdwyn. Nou maak mens grappies en deel nie met die kern van ‘n probleem nie.
INSPIRASIE!
‘n pragtige voorbeeld van die krag van ‘n positiewe uitkyk op die lewe en die krag van blydskap is die film “Life is beautiful”. Rick Lawrence verduidelik dit pragtig in sy boek Shrewd.
Pain is a predator, and all of us have felt its bite—some have been eaten alive by it. But laughter raises its fist to a corrupted world and proclaims, “This cannot destroy me!” This is, in the end, the message delivered in the 1997 Oscar-winning foreign film Life Is Beautiful. In the film a Jewish-Italian man named Guido (played by writer/ director/ actor Roberto Benigni) uses laughter to help his four-year-old son survive a Nazi concentration camp. He convinces his son that the camp is just an elaborate game, and that the boy will win an actual tank if he’s the first child to earn one thousand points. He will lose points, explains Guido, if he cries, complains about missing his mother, or begs for food. Despite his stark and horrific surroundings, the boy believes his dad’s version of reality—the killing factory becomes his playground. In the end, as American liberators are closing in on the camp, Guido is caught trying to find his wife and led off by Nazi guards to be shot. He sees his son watching as he’s taken away, so he mimics and satirizes the guard as he marches behind him, to the delight of his son. The father is killed, but the son and the mother survive. Later, when the boy is old enough to understand what happened, he realizes that his father’s shrewd sense of humor saved his life. [ix]
George Mueller would not preach until his heart was happy in the grace of God; Ian Ruybroeck would not write while his feelings were low, but would retire to a quiet place and wait on God till he felt the spirit of inspiration. It is well-known that the elevated spirits of a group of Moravians convinced John Wesley of the reality of their religion, and helped to bring him a short time later to a state of true conversion. The Christian owes it to the world to be supernaturally joyful. —A. W. Tozer[x]
Nog verdere Skrifgedeeltes:
Ps 63:5; 66:1; 89:15; 96:12; 149:5-6


[i] Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (p. 678). Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc.
[ii] Beautiful Outlaw – John Eldredge
[iii] Stewart, R. A. (1996). Shekinah. In D. R. W. Wood, I. H. Marshall, A. R. Millard, J. I. Packer, & D. J. Wiseman (Eds.), New Bible dictionary (3rd ed., p. 1090). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
[iv] Youngblood, R. F., Bruce, F. F., & Harrison, R. K., Thomas Nelson Publishers (Eds.). (1995). In Nelson’s new illustrated Bible dictionary. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.
[v] Smith, W. (1986). In Smith’s Bible Dictionary. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[vi] Stewart, R. A. (1996). Shekinah. In D. R. W. Wood, I. H. Marshall, A. R. Millard, J. I. Packer, & D. J. Wiseman (Eds.), New Bible dictionary (3rd ed., pp. 1090–1091). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
[vii] Seal, D. (2016). Prophetic Ecstasy in the Ancient Near East. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
[viii] Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience In the Same Direction (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), 45.
[ix] Shrewd: Daring to live the startling command of Jesus. Rick Lawrence
[x] Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (p. 679). Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc.
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Why persecution is a blessing, and how to endure it

Scripture indicates that believers can expect to face hardship, ridicule and oppression, from individuals and state authorities, on account of their faith. It encourages believers to remain faithful in the face of such persecution and to draw strength from the example of Jesus Christ himself.

THE SOURCE OF PERSECUTION

Jesus warns of the leaven of the Pharisees (Religious order) and Herod (Government Order) Mark 8:15 A reminder that this persecution can also be very subtle.
In Revelation we see the Beast rising out of the sea (Worldly Governments) and the Beast from the Earth (Religious Order) These two orders Crucified Jesus – Rome and the Jews. Since the beginning these are the two greatest enemies of the true church. Gal 4:29 The greatest persecutor of evangelical Christianity is probably liberal Christianity.
Persecution is an intrinsic part of Christianity. In Acts 4:1- 32 are some tremendous insights that we can learn from the way the Apostles handled persecution. For the early church, persecution was a blessing. That is still true today–persecution is a blessing to all churches and all believers.
Persecution is characteristic of this world
Ps 10:2 See also Amos 1:6,9; 2:1; Hab 1:6-11; Rev 6:8; 9:7-10

EXPECT PERSECUTION

2 Tim 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution Mk 10:29-30; 1Th 3:4
Persecution for doing what is right not your own wrongs 1 Pet 3:13-17 “rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings that you may rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed” 1 Pet. 4:13.
Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
We need to endure persecution so that the seed of the Word can take deep root
Mark 4:16-17 These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.
Family and friends can also be guilty of persecution Mt 10:36 See also Mic 7:6; Ge 4:8; Mt 10:21; Mk 3:21; Gal 4:29
Fear of persecution leads to doctrinal error: Gal 6:12 

TOOLS TO ENDURE PERSECUTION:

Against the Culture, feels like aliens – Citizenship in Heaven Phil 3:20 
Keep yourself unspotted from this world. James 1:27 Do not love the things of the World John 2:15 
“If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also (Luke 6:29);
do not resist an evil person (Matt. 5:39);
A soft answer turns away wrath Prov 15:1 
Let the Spirit speaks Mark 13:11 

ENCOURAGEMENT:

the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world 1 Pet 5:9 
it hated Jesus before it hated you. John 15:18-20 
blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness (Matt. 5:10)
a crown that will last forever 1 Cor. 9:24–25