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Consideration of Biblical Scripture Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Eve’s Calling – Addendum

A couple of weeks ago I posted about Eve’s calling, and the equality of women to men in the eyes of Jesus/Yeshua ( https://laruspress.com/eves-calling-perhaps-the-most-important-post-ive-ever-written/ ).

I have a little more to share on this topic, because I want to emphasise the importance of being led of the Spirit, not only for women but for all Believers.

Life in the Spirit

In our Father GOD’s New Testament church, there is no law. We are called to “walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16) The “flesh” is not only physical, but all things carnal; sin is living according to our will, rather than the will of GOD. It is possible to “be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48), as we surrender our will to live according to the will of the Father, walking in the Spirit rather than in the flesh.

The first step to living in the Spirit is surrender; just as we surrender our whole lives to Jesus, we enter into an existence where, “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)

It is in this realm of surrender that women are released to lead, to speak, to preach.

Life in the Flesh

However, when women lead out of their own will, havoc ensues. It is a different sort of havoc than that which men create.

Women who have sought to dominate men have done so from a spirit of control, and this is no better than men dominating women through aggression or abuse. Women who have strived for equality in the natural have pushed their equal rights beyond Godly endorsement to the degree that families are crumbling, babies are born out of wedlock at an astounding rate, and some are not born at all but are aborted. This is not equality but a denial of the unique qualities which women possess; it is sin and rebellion and lust for power.

All efforts in the flesh are dead works. These stem from pride or fear or lust and “I” is at the centre. All of us are capable of using our talents, gifts, education, aspiration to our own ends. But when they are to the glory of GOD, there is real life.

Just as men and women are equally capable of evil, so are they equally capable of goodness and all the other fruits of the Spirit when walking in the power and presence of Yehovah GOD.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

It is not for women to compete with men in the natural; but it is for each of us to live led by the Spirit in order to fulfil our unique purpose and calling in Christ. For “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25) “For where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (2 Corinthians 3:17)

Warning signs of the flesh

For me, the neon signs of my flesh rising up are strong emotion and strong sense(lessness) that I am right and others are wrong. Though the facts may bear this out, the reality is that when we feel our own anger and act upon it, the place for righteousness has been put aside. Women have a strong sense of justice, but Holy Justice is not the same as self-righteousness. We can put our feet wrong when we are certain what we sense is right but deliver a message out of anger, frustration or criticism. Righteous anger will not lose self-control which is a fruit of the Spirit; gentleness, peace and joy remain when we walk in the Spirit.

Rebuke from GOD is sharp and strong, but it is not emotional or critical. “There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.…” (Romans 8:1) If our message attacks or condemns, it is not of GOD. If I stew, am bitter or hostile toward others, I am not walking in the Spirit of GOD. The Spirit of GOD convicts, is sharper than a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12), but it does not cut, it does not seek to destroy. It speaks the word in season, and allows GOD to do the convicting.

Waves of Spiritual living

But we can take heart! Even Paul said that although he aimed to live a perfectly spiritual life, he had not attained it (Philippians 3). Like him, we strive to the upward call of Christ.

Living life in the spirit is a bit like living on the sea: waves of life and waves of flesh, ebb and flow. What does that mean for the woman with a call to lead? I believe it means that as we are called, we must do as the LORD leads, and we must do all that we can to ensure we are led of the Spirit. This is true for all Believers, but for women leaders, it is key to ensuring we are not deceived, we do not lead out of any sense of control or rivalry, and we depend fully on GOD.

My prayer for freedom and unity

I pray that women will be set free to witness according to their calling and that men will endorse this. I pray that there will be no glass ceiling but rather that all people are released to use their giftings, free from any man-made law or imposed assumptions. I pray that women will be “as Eve” in the garden and all men “as Adam” and we will all develop as children of GOD by the power of the Spirit and in the name of Jesus.

Amen.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ Supernatural & Prophetic

The End of Christian Tradition is not to be feared

The End of Christian Tradition as we know it

There are many signs which indicate to me that the end of Christianity as we have practised it has come.

While the atheists would like to see the end of it because it is antagonistic to their beliefs, this is not the reason it is dissipating.

While the Muslim extremists would like to see the end because they do not want any theocracy but theirs, that is not the reason it is finishing.

While the pagans and other belief systems are disdainful or lukewarm tolerant to contemporary Christianity, this is not the reason for its end.

The reason Christian tradition is on the decline is because Father God would have it so. The foundation, Jesus, is sound. However the early Church lost its way with Constantin and pagan festivals replacing God’s feasts. Christianity needs to get back to its roots; it has strayed very far from the tree. It needs again to become recognisable to the Jewish people.

The time of the Gentiles is finished; the time for God’s Chosen, the Jewish people has come. It is time for them to recognise and acknowledge their LORD, and prepare: their Messiah has come.

We of the Christian tradition must let go of those traditions so that we can embrace the traditions GOD instituted for us. He wants His people jealous (Romans 11:11) and so we must take what GOD has given us, practice it and allow the Jews to see.

We must let go of our festivals. We must let go of our traditions. We must let go and allow GOD to re-educate us and reform us. The root: Sunday worship, Communion, Christmas, Easter and the like, must go, to be replaced with GOD’s ordained day of rest, His sabbath, His passover, His several feasts. We don’t pick up the LAW but we embrace GOD’s gifts to us.

Christianity is not the festivals, it is Jesus. Christianity is not our denomination, it is Jesus. Following Jesus is not a tradition, it is salvation and glory to GOD. So, when can we begin to do it His way?

“I will build my church,” said Jesus. “And the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”

(Matthew 16:18)

Let us let go of the constructs of men and allow ourselves to follow our Saviour, Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). He did not destroy the law but fulfilled it (Matthew 5:17). He came to set us free from sin and death (Romans 6:18). But he did not release us from the festivals ordained by GOD.

It is time. We who love our Father in Heaven are being called. He has bought us, paid the price, forgiven us and loved us. How can be not hear and follow?

Categories
Consideration of Biblical Scripture Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Psalms and Total Surrender: beginning to explore Hebraic Roots

As you read Psalms you’ll see over and over again the phrase,

“Oh, how I love your law” (Psalm 119:97) or a derivative of it. “Teach me your statutes”, “I seek your precepts”, “I made haste and did not delay to keep your commandments,” fill Psalm 119 and appear elsewhere too.

But we who know and follow Jesus are saved by grace and are not under law, except the law of love. So David and the other psalmists are out-dated, correct?

Jesus came to fulfil the law (Matthew 5:17). It infuriated the Pharisees when he claimed this. And yet, we need to look closely at the life of Jesus and his words to be sure we live in the freedom salvation gives us without license and  without denying the character and intention of God in our lives.

Last week I asked readers which of five topics they most wanted me to explore:

1. Marriage

2. Total Surrender

3. Preparation for God’s Call

4. Preparation of the Bride of Christ

5. Politics and Christianity

A resounding message came back: “Share about Total Surrender”, “I want to be totally surrendered to God but I’m not there yet; it’s hard”.

And so I’m going to develop this theme newsletter by newsletter. First, may I take this opportunity to thank publicly those who responded to my request for feedback. Bless you all!

Psalms is part of the Hebrew Bible from the Old Covenant or what we typically call the Old Testament. But although Jesus’ witness and walk begins on earth in Matthew, the beginning of the New Covenant, we would no more ignore or throw away Psalms than we would Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, would we? Jesus is everywhere in the Bible, because he is the Word of God made flesh. (John 1) He was from the beginning and will be forever. And so, Psalms is as much a part of the Word of God as is John or Galatians or Hebrews.

And in Psalms David and other psalmists speak to us of God’s blessed law.

“I will walk at liberty, for I seek Your precepts.” (Psalm 119:45)

And so salvation comes through Jesus, and freedom – also known as liberty – comes through seeking God’s law, according to the Psalms.

Recently, I was reading Leviticus.

I rarely look at Leviticus, but it came to me as I opened the Bible one day so I decided to read it. I read chapters 1 to 5 and then stopped.

It wasn’t easy reading, because it was full of blood and pain and loss.

In ancient times in Israel, animals lived with their owners. Sheep lived with the shepherd and whilst having pets wasn’t a part of the culture, I suppose these animals were well known to the families. When a lamb was born, wouldn’t it be as adorable to a child then as it would be to a child today?

In order to be forgiven of an unintentional sin, an animal sacrifice had to be made. The one who sinned was to put his hand on the head of the animal as it was being killed. There was much blood, pain and loss on behalf of the sinner. And there would be regret, repentance from the sinner as he surrendered the animal in exchange for his human mistake.

All this has been done away with now and Jesus has taken the place of the animal sacrifice.  But let us not despise the beginnings of God’s law. His ways are perfect and though the sacrifice has been fulfilled once and for all, let’s look a the beauty of the Law and why God devised it.

At the heart of the matter is God’s love for us. He created us to be in fellowship with Him.

Eventually, He created law which reveals sin and enables people a way to “get right” with God. But from God’s perspective, what does He make of His law? Is it punishment for sin, prevention against sickness, or beauty that He delights in? I think it is all of these things. And so, even as Jesus fulfils the law, it doesn’t change the fact that it is God’s law, which is a beautiful thing that He created.

In Psalms it is written, “I love your law”.

Today, we are called to keep the Law of Love, within which is all of God’s law.

Although we do not have to keep the law of God in order to be saved, why would we not consider valuing it as something God created and something He loves? And therefore why would we not consider practicing it?

Paul makes it abundantly clear in his letter to the Galatians that we are not under the Law and gentiles do not have to convert to Judaism in order to receive the salvation of Jesus. He even goes on to suggest that if we keep a part of the law we are obliged to keep all of it. But leaving aside the motive to practice law because we must, what about celebrating the law because it’s something beautiful that our Father created and which He loves? There are feasts and festivals and foods which are beneficial.

What about loving the Father, not based upon what we are supposed to do, but based on our relationship with Him and in what He would delight in our doing?

We will, thankfully, never go back to animal sacrifices. But there is so much more to God’s law that offers joy and delight.

I believe in order for us to truly surrender to our Father, we need to allow ourselves to love Him entirely.

We love Jesus, and in that loving salvation, God’s law is fulfilled. But also, to love the Father, we can love the law and study, learn and discover it, not for our salvation, not as religion, but as an act of love toward the Father, and as a  means to love All of God.

Over recent years, I’ve been convicted and keen to learn the Hebraic roots of Jesus and of the Gospel. Piece by piece, I am discovering more of the character of God and yearn to have a deeper relationship with Him, one that is truly intimate, truly unconditional and fully reciprocal. I’m nowhere near to attaining this, but I am happy to sense that I am now embracing my faith, not only for what I can receive but for what I can give, not because I have to, but because I want to.

Perhaps we’ve all heard the debate about tithing. It goes like this: we’re called to tithe (or some say that’s the law and so we’re not forced to) but of the 10% of our income we’re meant to give back, is that net or gross? Really! If we’re quibbling about that, aren’t we missing the point about tithing, which is to give back to the LORD some of what He’s given us, often in order to sustain ministries who need practical, financial support.

Well, I am currently considering, isn’t keeping the law of God the same? If we love Him, don’t we do it out of love for Him, to please and delight Him, rather than to save ourselves?

I have far more questions than I do have answers. But what I do know is that as I’ve asked the LORD to help me surrender fully to Him, I’m discovering He’s taking me to the end of myself, beyond my own understanding, and I’m learning a lot more about love and devotion in the process.

Total surrender? What’s that look like?

We don’t know. But we do know that we have a tremendously wonderful Father who will take us on the journey if we allow Him to.

Shalom: God’s Peace, until next time….