Understanding and Embracing Christ Our Passover

Passover

Four weeks from today, many churches around the world will be celebrating services related to the resurrection of Christ, the Savior.  The Savior is also referred to as the Lamb of GOD. If you don’t properly understand the name, Lamb of GOD, and why the Savior gave His life at the time of the Passover, you could fail to appropriate a huge blessing for your life.

The children of Israel had been in captivity in Egypt for four hundred years, and when it was time for their deliverance, the Lord intervened in a mighty way. He sent judgment upon the false gods of Egypt in the form of all manners of plagues, while Israel was still in her midst, however in keeping His promise and glorifying His name, He preserved the children of Israel, as Egypt was destroyed around them. The final death blow from GOD to break the powers of Egypt was a plague of death, to all the first born of man and beast of Egypt. To avoid this final judgment, GOD commanded an extra precaution be taken by the children of Israel. Their homes had to be marked with the blood of a lamb without blemish, in order for this final judgment to “Passover” them and not destroy them as well.

Just as the Lord promised, when the Destroyer smote Egypt, the blood of the lamb preserved the children of Israel. Now we are living in a time of judgment, and a much greater offering has been given than that of an animal sacrifice, even the body of the sinless and righteous Son of the Most High GOD. How much more confident should we be, those of us who have taken His blood upon ourselves, as the dwelling place for His holy presence. Even before the lamb’s blood was shed in the days of Israel’s deliverance, the children of Israel had already been spared from all the other plagues. The deliverance surrounding the lamb came as the power of their oppressor was totally broken over their lives. These events were a foreshadowing of the great deliverance to come.

The power of Satan was TOTALLY broken 2000 years ago, when Christ gave His life upon the cross. He shed His precious blood to give us exceeding confidence in the days of judgment, that we might have peace, and that our hope and strength fail not. GOD has called His redeemed to be witnesses unto the world for the provision He has given in the Lamb of GOD during such times as these. The power to stand comes from the Passover meal. All the children of Israel were commanded to eat the flesh of the lamb from which the blood would be taken to cover the post of their homes. Likewise, our strength comes from eating the flesh of Christ. The gospel of John teaches us that Christ was the Word of GOD made flesh, therefore when we consume His words, we are consuming Him. If you want strength to stand in these days, you have to fill your self with His words. Read your bibles, get into praise and worship, gather with people of like precious faith and exchange teachings and testimonies.

I am sharing this to encourage all those which trust in the blood of the Lamb of GOD to be confident in His power to preserve you. And for those of you that have never heard the Gospel of Christ, know that He gave His life on earth as a sacrifice for your deliverance from anything which would try to separate you from knowing His love for you, and the life of righteousness, peace, and joy He has prepared for you. Even now, where ever you are and in whatever circumstance you find yourself, if you call upon the Lamb of GOD, He can give you His life in exchange for your current life, that going forward you may have the blessing of His protection and covering. He has promised that they which call upon the name of the Lord will be delivered. He is called the Lamb of GOD, the Son of GOD, The Savior, Heavenly Father, Jesus the Christ, Yeshua HaMashiach, just to name a few. Honestly, if you humble yourself and call earnestly from your heart in agreement with what I have shared hear from the testimony of His life, even with no words, He will hear you in the sincerity of your heart about wanting to know Him, and wanting to experience the life He desires so much for you. If you already know Him and recognize that you have been living in disobedience to what you know is right, turn from your disobedience and ask for forgiveness. Fear is a sign of broken fellowship, and you know in your heart if you are afraid of what tomorrow may bring. Ask your Father GOD to restore your faith through intimacy with Him. The bible teaches us the there is no fear in the assurance which the love of GOD gives. Intimacy comes from spending time in communication. Don’t let anyone or anything hinder your devotional time with GOD. I’ll list a few scriptures here to help build your faith through the knowledge of His love.

Peace, in the name of the Lamb of GOD.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=psalm23&version=NKJV

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=psalm+91&version=NKJV

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+10%3A12-13&version=NKJV

The whole book of the Gospel of John

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+1&version=NKJV

I Am the Lord’s

The Spirit

If people circulated the gospel of Christ with the same hope of salvation as they did precautions for the COVID-19, it would be powerful. If people forwarded messages from ministers of the Gospel, as authorities on life and safety, as they did messages from the CDC, how many souls could be saved. I just received another text with safety precautions forwarded from the CDC. I have also received emails forwarded from people who received advice from physicians. I am grateful for this being shared for the good of the community, but it makes me jealous for my GOD.

Ignorance about GOD and the pandemic of Sin has caused more death than any other sickness which can be identified.  How deep is your faith in the savior Yeshua the Messiah (aka Jesus the Christ)? Not only does He save from sickness and disease, He also saves from the sickness of sin and ignorance. Christ is the only cure that keeps on working into the next life. We should care for our bodies, but we should care more for the salvation of the soul. People’s ignorance and sin is more detrimental to us than unwashed hands and open sneezes.

It’s time for the redeemed of the Lord to say so! The blood of Christ has redeemed me from all sickness and disease, I will not fear the fears of those who do not know Him! I’m not going to go licking door knobs to prove a point, but I refuse to dread and fear, and put my trust in man for my safety and well-being. I am the Lord’s!

Isaiah 44:2-8

Thus says the Lord who made you
And formed you from the womb, who will help you:
‘Fear not, O Jacob My servant;
And you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
For I will pour water on him who is thirsty,
And floods on the dry ground;
I will pour My Spirit on your descendants,
And My blessing on your offspring;
They will spring up among the grass
Like willows by the watercourses.’
One will say, ‘I am the Lord’s’;
Another will call himself by the name of Jacob;
Another will write with his hand, ‘The Lord’s,’
And name himself by the name of Israel.

 “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel,
And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
‘I am the First and I am the Last;
Besides Me there is no God.
And who can proclaim as I do?
Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me,
Since I appointed the ancient people.
And the things that are coming and shall come,
Let them show these to them.
Do not fear, nor be afraid;
Have I not told you from that time, and declared it?
You are My witnesses.
Is there a God besides Me?
Indeed there is no other Rock;
I know not one.’ ”  

If you have faith in Christ, the Redeemer, the Lamb of GOD, The Lion of Judah, the Risen Savior, then you are Abraham’s seed and the promises of GOD are for you. So, trust Him and fear not!

Galatians 3:29

And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

It’s Too Great For You

Too Great

I was reading in the book of 1st Kings chapter 19 recently and a familiar message from the Holy Spirit resonated once again with me. It is so apropos for today I felt compelled to share it yet again. This chapter recounts the peril Elijah felt at the opposition of evil in his day. The spiritual attacks on his soul, from within and without, left him feeling hopeless to the extent he just wanted to die. Our compassionate and merciful GOD sent Elijah an angel with bread and drink to nourish his soul and body. The message the angel delivered was, “Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.” Elijah did eat and drink the meal prepared by the angel. He went on the strength of that divine meal for 40 days.

Each of us has a journey before us which is too great for us, and like Elijah, we need divine nourishment to make it to our destinations. Nothing we get from this earth can sustain us adequately for the tomorrows ahead. There is a quality of being ordained for us to abide in, which enables us to get the most out of each day, so that life is not just survived but lived. One of the promises of our Savior Yeshua is that He would enable us to live more fully or as scripture says, “to have life more abundantly”. When Yeshua taught His disciples to pray, one part of that prayer was a request for “daily bread”. This request for daily bread is not for bread made with human hands, but bread from heaven. This same bread is symbolized through the actual bread given to Elijah, and the manna given to the children of Israel, and the bread given at the last supper. Look here at 1 Corinthians 10:1-4,

“Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.”

The bread and drank which is set before us is the life found in Christ, even the Word of GOD. It is written in Deuteronomy 8:3,

“So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.”

The first chapter of John tells us that the Savior Yeshua was the Word, in bodily form. The Word of GOD equips us for the demanding journey set before us by changing us internally, so that we become immune to the evil effects of the external. Without the power of the Word within, carnal nature takes over, and we become selfish and hateful, and begin to strive with those around us for the scraps of existence. By the transforming power of the Word, we see things the way they were meant to be seen and understand things the way they were meant to be understood, and therefore we live life as life was meant to be lived, according to the will of the Creator, who reigns in Love. The Word of GOD changes our perspective from the physical and temporal, to the spiritual and eternal. Children of GOD are governed by faith in His Word, not merely physical stimuli. The journey is too great to finish well, that is without the power of GOD’s Word inside, preserving us in Love.

So, every day that you awake, “Arise and eat”. Seek YAHWEH for instructions to live, and for the grace and mercy which comes through the sacrifice of the Lamb of GOD, for strength to successfully complete the journey of the present day. Except that the journey is too great for you alone. Get to know the Savior Yeshua as your Shepherd and daily companion. In this way, whether it is pandemic, famine, or war, through reliance on the Spirit of GOD, you can live the way you were meant to live, in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Life is GREAT!

God is GREAT 3

A close brother of mine recently remarked that “Life” is fragile, and that “Life” is hard. Both statements just rubbed me the wrong way. It is because for me “Life” is YAHWEH; the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. YAHWEH is not easily broken or destroyed as defined by the word fragile. He is my firm foundation and the solid Rock on which I stand, He is from everlasting to everlasting, and of His kingdom there will be no end. YAHWEH is not hard, as He told us in Yeshua, by saying His yoke was easy and His burden was light, and He provides rest for our souls.

Perception and perspective are reflections of the heart. This is why if we are to see truth, our hearts have to be renewed and remain pure. Pure from the values and treasures of this world. If your hope in GOD is predominantly for the things of this temporary life, you will surely feel that your life is less than abundant and rarely beyond what you can dare ask or think. The Apostle Paul called the tribulations of this present time a “light affliction”. He could only have had that view point if his affections had shifted from his carnal existence to the eternal things of the spirit. Especially considering that he was shipwrecked, imprisoned, and beaten during his time on earth. This is evident as he concluded that these experiences were just a “light affliction” which lasted but for a “moment”.  His consciousness had already shifted in to the spans of eternity as he considered his time on earth but a “moment”.

One of the foundational works of salvation is the freeing of our minds. This can only happen through the surrender symbolized in the cross. We have to learn the lesson of the Children of Israel, Egypt released them, but they would not release Egypt. Holding on to Egypt kept them from grasping the things of GOD. They forfeited their inheritance. Christ has broken the powers of the world which held the church, now the church must release the world. Until the church does, it will be filled with the same desires, affection, fears and biases held by the deceived of the world. When you understand this as the problem, it makes sense why there is racism, greed, lust, anxiety, and hate rampant in the church. Christ has called us to inherit His life as heirs of the Kingdom of GOD, but we must release our lives to lay hold on His. You do this by opening your heart to the Truth of His word as revealed by the Spirit of GOD. Accept that the Word of GOD, which is Truth, is the only enduring reality. This will break the power of deception which obscures true vision. I am not advocating becoming more religious. Going to church and reading the bible will not change you unless the Word received is mixed with “faith”. The belief that your Heavenly Father loves you, even when the temporal things you see in your life seem to indicate otherwise. We can’t define the whole path based on where we currently stand in time. We must keep the perspective of the Word of GOD, since it comes from a viewpoint of the whole path. When we begin to see our lives from the viewpoint of GOD, then our testimony of life will reflect who He is, and in case you haven’t heard lately, GOD is GREAT!

 

How to Live in A Society Of Broken Hearts

walking on broken glass

Life on earth is traumatic. Sin creates debt, and the hearts of everyone have been heavily taxed. There is a saying, “Hurt people, hurt others.” We have all been impacted by the rejection, hate, envy, covetousness, strife, and contentions flowing from all the broken hearts. The lifestyles of extremism in the world today are a symptom of this brokenness. The failed attempts to self-medicate and to compensate for the weary heart is evident in the cries for more…more…more. Ecclesiastes 4:1-2:

“So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter. Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive.”

The grace of GOD has provided a balm for our hearts, a peaceful and soothing ointment poured from above, the Comforter. YSHUA the Christ said, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” (John 16:7) The Holy Spirit, also known as the Comforter, has been sent from Heaven to console us. The Comforter consoles us by fortifying our faith and hope, through bringing us to a deeper knowing of the Father’s love. Our hearts were made for the infinite love of the Father. The re-introduction of this holy knowledge to our hearts brings healing and restoration. This restoration of the heart gives us a greater capacity to be patient, hopeful, kind, merciful, compassionate, and empathetic. I have found when I become lacking in any of these virtues, it is only a sign that I am in need of more time in communion with the Holy Spirit. I commune with the Holy Spirit in prayer, in meditation, and in studying the Word. Lately I have found meditation to be one of the most effective ways to restore my well-being. YAHWEH tells us in Psalm 46:10,

“Be still, and know that I am GOD: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”

In the age in which we live, there is always a lot going on around us to keep our minds occupied and running. Even when we are physically still, our minds are often far from at rest. I love the 10th verse of Psalm 46 because it gives special instruction on how we are to be still. We are told to holt all things and focus our consciousness on the knowledge of GOD. When I meditate, I rid myself of all other thoughts, and focus in on the awareness of who and what GOD is to me as my Father. I focus on His face in the person of YESHUA. I focus on His beauty as seen through His glorious creations. I focus on His loving essence revealed through His laws, precepts, and counsel. It is here that I find a rest like no other place. If I do not prioritize this time and seek it with intentionality, I will never slow down long enough to give my mind, soul, and heart time to rejuvenate.

The drive for bigger and better things, greater success and acceptance, and more sensory stimulation, is just displaced desire for the comfort that only GOD can provide. The ministry of the Holy Spirit can be seen most clearly in the nurturing care of a loving mother. Her main focus is the well-being of everyone in the family. Proverbs 4:23 says,

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

The sin, along with many of the other faults in our lives, will continue to plague us until our broken hearts are renewed. Yeshua says in Matthew 11:28,

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

This rest is the promise of comfort that comes through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Revelations from the Eye of the Storm

The Exercise

I had a discussion recently with a white male friend of mine about the different perspectives people can have based on their life experiences. The conversation led to him sharing how he knew he was a beneficiary of white male privilege in America and how that privilege has led to a disconnect sometimes when it comes to him understanding the Black perspective. The next day he sent me a couple of different links to videos of Jane Elliot’s “Brown Eyed/ Blued Eyed” exercises. Some of you may be familiar with the work of Jane Elliot but in case you are not, she is an educator that has done some good work on exposing the racism innate in American culture. Her work began the day after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. She did an exercise with her primary school students, who were all white, to help them understand the struggle Dr. King was involved in, which ultimately cost him his life.

In her exercise, she poses two groups against the other; one group represents people of color (brown-eyed participants) and one group represents white people (blued-eyed participants). Jane Elliot then has the brown-eyed group partner with her as she subjects the blue-eyed group to the reality of American racism as experienced historically by America’s non-white citizens. It was very surprising to see the level of anger and frustration exhibited by the Blue eyed participants as Jane treated them with contempt and disrespect, even though they had been forewarned and knew it was a staged exercise. For me, it had the effect of validating my own experiences in a new way. The experiment showed me how mentally disruptive even small doses of racism could be on its victims in less than 30 minutes, not to mention its potential impact when endured for over 400 plus years. I always knew that Black people were strong, but it was illuminated in a whole new way as I watched people buckle under weights I carried as a child; weights that only got heavier with the increased gravity that comes with age and the responsibilities of life. It reinforced the belief I have that if all men are created equal, then there are external forces creating the large disparities seen throughout American society.

The impetus of racism is the need to justify a system of oppression. Ta-Nehisi Coates in an article from “The Atlantic” quotes David Blight, A Yale Professor, on the subject of The Civil War and Reconstruction. Blight says that at the maturation of Slavery in America it was the largest financial asset in the entire U.S. economy, worth upwards of $3.5 billion, exceeding the profits of all manufacturing and railroads combined. The bible says that the love of money is the root of all evil. This would explain America’s wicked obsession with oppression as a means to profit. See Ava Duvernay’s “13th” production for a well-documented illustration of this point. Racism is perpetuated in America because oppression is still government policy. How can the poor and oppressed gain equality in a society where law and law enforcement favors the rich? Bryan Stevenson is the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative. He is also an American lawyer and Social Justice Activist. Bryan states that in the USA you are treated better if you are wealthy and guilty, than if you are poor and innocent.

If equality in the pursuit of happiness is to become a realization, the epidemic heart disease of greed must be dealt with. Greed is incubated and hatched through selfishness and nourished by fear. Desire infected with greed distorts perception and perverts judgment. The only cure is Love. Love breaks the power of selfishness and eliminates fear. The kind of Love as taught through biblical principles. The love that gives at the expense of self for the benefit of all, contrary to selfishness which takes for the benefit of self without consideration for anyone else. The false dearth created through racism will continue to ravish society, until we all learn to love one another as ourselves. There is but one race, the human race.

[Image is from janeelliott.com]

 

Where Do We Go from Here?

GOP 2016 Trump

When trying to reach a destination, knowing where you are is just as essential as knowing where you are going. For those who were unsure, as well as for those who were disillusioned, it has become very apparent where we are in America; divided. America is so divided that her history is told differently by her native-born people based on their race, gender, or religion. The different accounts of history do not result from just varied opinions but is rather the result of how the American government has chosen to unequally extend rights and privileges to its diverse population. The disparities created by this inequality have subjected the people of America to distinctly different experiences based on their race, gender, and in some cases their religion. This discrimination also accounts for the different levels of patriotism visible in America today. America’s division is directly due to the inequalities created and sustained by government policies that were never intended to provide equal opportunity to all people in their pursuit of happiness. This is where we are in America and it is where we will remain, until all of its people are ready to accept the liberating truth. I say liberating because we will be stuck in this divided state until we acknowledge that we are here and acknowledge that the founders of this country were racist and sexist, and enacted governing policies reflective of that.

When you study American history, you find that after America won its independence, it took almost a century and a half before the basic freedoms of American citizenship were enjoyed by anyone other than white males. These basic freedoms still had to be fought for and gained by native-born Women, Blacks, and Native Americans. The aforementioned demographics were not included in the vision under the Constitution for liberty and justice for all. As such, they were excluded from the rights and privileges protected under the constitution. This exclusion of rights to some groups wasn’t an oversight; it was intentional. Bearing this in mind, we have to be careful when we say we want the Constitution interpreted in the same mind as the generation that drafted it. It is very clear that the men that drafted the Constitution didn’t consider women or people of other races as equals, hence unworthy of the same rights and privileges. When people refer to a point in history where America was considered to be great, it is false if the wealth and strength was not equally available for all to enjoy. The people of this land make up America, for America to be great ALL of its people must be great. When we look at American history from a perspective that takes into account the journey of ALL its citizens, we see there is nothing in the past to return to. If Americans continue to dismiss the inequalities permeated from its origins then we will never mend the divide and neither a house nor a nation divided can stand.

One factor that obscures American history from being seen in true light is the deception of America’s heritage as a Christian nation. If you define Christianity in terms of the teachings of Christ, then America’s historical treatment of people is not in line with Christianity. Were followers of Christ around at the founding of this country?…I am certain there were. Did the presence of these Christians have enough influence on American society for it to be called a Christian nation?… Absolutely not! One of the foundational principles of Christianity is that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. I don’t think I have to make an argument for how un-neighborly America has been to Native Americans or to Blacks or to minority immigrants. The other major tenant of Christianity is that Christians are to love GOD with all their heart, mind, and strength. Christ measures love for GOD in relation to obeying of His commandments…does America or has America ever put all her strength toward keeping GOD’s commandments?…Let us not even go there. The standards of a Christian nation should be set by their GOD not by comparison to how other countries treat their people. It’s time to awake!

Christians should be leading the charge in this country towards peace and unity. Based on our intimate knowledge of the love and teachings of Christ, we should be the best equipped for loving our neighbors as ourselves. We should be best equipped with the humility and compassion involved in putting ourselves in the place of others to understand their condition that we might know better how to relate to them, in order to pray for them and to offer them what they are missing of the life that Christ sacrificed for them to enjoy. Instead, I am seeing so-called soldiers of Christ immersed in secular skirmishes, slinging mud with the republican and democratic parties. Instead of aligning themselves with the Kingdom of GOD, I see Christians aligning themselves with political parties through promoting particular party viewpoints and echoing news articles reporting on all the political rubbish that is common place during election years. Regardless of who gets into the office of President, our foe remains the same. Our battle is against spiritual wickedness working to divide and conquer. Our enemies are not white people or black people or Democrats or Republicans or Muslims or Police. None of those groups are responsible for keeping us divided. The real enemies that keep us divided are the enemies of Love: they are hate, fear, greed, selfishness, lies, deception, despair, envy, unfaithfulness, and idolatry just to name a few. These are issues of the heart that can be present in any man regardless of race, gender, financial status, or party affiliation.

As Christians, we have to be in the battle to free hearts for the Kingdom of GOD. Christ taught,

“What comes out of a man is what defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”

These are the things that corrupt men and corrupt men spread corruption throughout countries.

The only way America will be great is by repenting of its evils. 2 Chronicles 7:14,

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”