Just A Few Quick Thoughts While Studying…

Edens garden 2

(FreeImages.com/JennyW)

I am not going to elaborate, but I wanted to share just a glimpse into some of the amazing things I am looking at during my Bible studies.  Feel free to delve deeper because there are way more treasures to be gleaned!

Flesh Offerings and Baptism by Fire:

I have been thinking a lot about the meaning behind the “flesh” offering in the OT and the connection to the Baptism by fire in the NT.  I believe there is quite a parallel, but as usual, the OT is pointing ahead to a greater truth in the NT.

Just a small hint: Flesh will never crucify the flesh, but the Holy Spirit (typified by fire) alone can “burn off” the flesh (our fleshly or sinful/selfish nature).

Also, offering signifies the sacrifice or laying down something of ourselves. In this case, it’s the yielding of ourselves in obedience to the Holy Spirit.  I am still doing more studies on this, but God has highlighted this portion to me. There is so much to learn in the Word. May I “rightly divide the Word of God.”  (Further notes: https://www.bible-history.com/tabernacle/TAB4The_5_Levitical_Offerings.htm).

Matthew 3:11 New King James Version (NKJV)

11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit [a]and fire.

Acts 1:4-5 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Holy Spirit Promised

And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,”He said,“you have heard from Me;for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

1 Corinthians 12:13 New King James Version (NKJV)

13For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink [a]into one Spirit.

1 Thessalonians 5:19 New King James Version (NKJV)

19 Do not quench the Spirit.  (comparison to a fire — Holy Spirit)

Luke 3:16-17 New King James Version (NKJV)

16 John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”

The Garden Of Eden And Jesus Christ:

While studying Genesis, my attention was turned to the fact that gold and bdellium are mentioned in the Garden of Eden’s description.  I looked into bdellium, and it is a sister-tree to myrrh and frankincense. In fact, within this area is where myrrh is still known to grow.

bdel·li·um
ˈdelēəm/
noun
  1. a fragrant resin produced by a number of trees related to myrrh, used in perfumes.  (Google search)

In Matthew 2:11, we find that wise-men brought gifts of these same valuable items to present to the young Jesus.

There is significance in the very meaning of gold (royalty, signifying Jesus is the King of Kings), myrrh (used to embalm bodies and for medicinal purposes, signifying that Jesus would be the ultimate sacrifice, and by His death/stripes would be our healing) , and frankincense (used in temples by priests, signifying Jesus is our High Priest and able to make the final and perfect sacrifice).

When the wise-men brought these three gifts, they were bringing incredibly valuable gifts, but they were also showing prophetically (with actual objects) that Jesus had come to restore all that was lost to man in the Garden of Eden due to sin. Jesus came to restore all that was lost and in much greater and in perfect measure!

Some have suggested that the Garden of Eden was God’s first “temple.”  Incense was used in the temple for worship by the priests, and it was made from the resin of both myrrh and frankincense.  It’s interesting that both flourished in the Garden of Eden and still do in that area.

Gold was also used in the temple to form all of the priestly vessels, laths, mirrors, bowls, etc…  It was woven into the tapestries and hammered to cover the rods for the tapestries.  The candelabras (Menorah) were formed from this gold.

Notice what was central at God’s establishment of what we might call a “temple”: God’s Presence was there and fellowship/communion with His people was central to the “worship.”  It seems that worship and communion/fellowship are intertwined.  

Worship is truly entering into His Presence — into fellowship and communion with Him.  Yet, we often think that worship is about the programs, the presentation, and the elements.  The only elemental part of worship involves God’s Presence and our hearts in communion with His.

Yes, God encourages the gathering of the Body of believers to worship:

Hebrews 10:25 King James Version (KJV)

25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

God loves to use objects to be a visual picture of what He wants to teach us.  He gives instructions to include communion within our Church assembly times:

1 Corinthians 11:25-26 King James Version (KJV)

25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

Communion is a continual reminder to us of the sacrifices Jesus made.  It also can speak of more.

There is a saying that we are what we eat.  There is a lot of truth to this.  What we eat does become the building blocks (molecules and enzymes) for our body’s cells.  If we eat unhealthy food, we will have an unhealthy body.

By partaking of Communion, we are reminded that Jesus is to be our very source of sustenance and life.  He wants His very nature to be the “molecule” or “building block” upon which our lives are empowered and sustained.

1 Corinthians 6:17 King James Version (KJV)

17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

 Once again, it’s all about Jesus!  

Just a side note: I would encourage you to look at how myrrh is processed.  Did you know that it is a thorny tree/bush?  Sound familiar?  The resin from the myrrh is also “farmed” by taking a spike or similar instrument to pierce the trunk of the tree.  This can be repeatedly done until the myrrh resin pours out and is then “harvested” for use.  Sound familiar again?  …spikes!  …resin  poured out!  So many analogies…!

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An Act Of Worship

this would be a sweet background!

(http://www.everystockphoto.com/photo.php?imageId=358948&searchId=f7b0e354b768a2e09b31aa55744ef613&npos=16)

Sometimes, it’s easier to “do” church, to “do” worship then it is to really worship. 

Ever been there? 

I have been there before, thinking I was so “righteous” in my worship because I could state certain “Church-ese” phrases so eloquently.  I have thought in the past that I was worshiping God because my manner was so “holy”.  I have thought I was worshiping God because I was in a place that appeared to be worshipful.

The truth is worship is never about the outward.  It’s not about the look or feel of a place.  It’s not about the people in the place.  It’s not about the appearance of the other worshipers — their sobriety or their demonstrative expressions of worship.  Worship isn’t limited to a specific emotion.  Worship isn’t limited to a place or a group of people.

Worship is about a Person.  It’s about Jesus.  It’s about God the Father who sacrificed His very Son to give us a tangible example of what love really is.

I Googled the definition of worship off Thesaurus.com.  The following list includes other words that describe worship:

According to these other words, worship expresses a heart attitude (awe, love, veneration, adulation, adoration, glory, praise, etc…).

Worship describes a heart attitude that then expresses itself in adoration, praise, service, love, prayer, devotion, etc…

Exodus 20:3

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

God is to be the object of our worship.  Ultimately, He has the right to ask this of us as He is the One to Whom we owe our very lives, life, and eternity. 

Atheists refuse to recognize that there is a Sovereign Power that holds this universe together.  Yet, there is a “Force” keeping atoms from flying apart.  There is a Force that started matter/life in the beginning.

Even our very breaths pay homage to our Creator.  Here’s a quote from Jason Gray’s blog http://www.rabbitroom.com/2011/08/is-the-name-of-god-the-sound-of-our-breathing:

“…God’s name, YHWH, is comprised of aspirated consonants that, spoken, are the sound of breathing.”

So every time we breathe, our bodies literally say God’s name!  Is this just “happenstance,” or is it not significant to know that the God who created us would put His very name within each breath we take to remind us that our lives are truly and literally dependent upon His life within us?

Worship occurs every time we place ourselves in full surrender to God and hand over the reigns of control to Him.

So often we want everything on our terms — even our so-called “worship”.  We want to think God is limited to specific places, people, positions, practices, phrases, etc… The reality is God is worshiped among any and all who are surrendered to Him.

Every time, personal ambitions are put aside and we are surrendered to God’s working in and through our lives, God is worshiped.

Today, maybe you are feeling overwhelmed by the drudgery of your current affairs.  Perhaps, life feels bitterly cruel to you today because of current trials you are experiencing.  Perhaps, you are lonely or alone.  Perhaps, you are living in a home with an unsaved spouse or unsaved parents and siblings.  Perhaps, you are the only individual at your work who is saved or appears to be saved.

This is for you, my friend.  No matter where you are, with whom you are, how you are feeling today, you have something to offer to God.  You have yourself!

The gift God asks and wants more than anything else is You!  Yes, You! 

God doesn’t ask you to wait to come to Him or to wait to be used by Him until you are “all-beautified” or “perfected”.   God wants us to come as we are to Him.  God asks us to give ourselves to Him — just as we are. 

Dear friends, He will take the rubbish.  He will take the wounds.  He will take the sickness.  He will take the hurts.  He will take the past.  He will take us just as we are, and He will transform and redeem what we give to Him.

Yes, dear friends, this is grace!  Jesus just wants you.  It means though that you have to surrender to Him, offer yourself to Him, and stop trying to fix what you can’t fix.

It’s all about the holy act of surrender — that is the essence of worship.

Surrender to God, and allow yourself to be a gift of worship to Him, revealing the matchless grace and power of Jesus!

The glory is and always has been His all along.

He is the reason we live and breathe and hope!

Job 33:4

“The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”