SEEING THE BIBLE AS GOD’S VIEW OF HISTORY

I do hope this account of the first five books of the Bible by RABBI ERIC TOKAJER will bring them alive for you as it did me.

The Bible is a history of the world from beginning to end, and that history is told over and over, one page at a time. Every word written adds more colour to the picture, and every phrase written provides more depth and contrast to help us see the fullness of the story as it is retold. To lay the foundation for what I am saying, let’s simply look at the first words of each of the five books of the Torah.

The book of Genesis begins with the words, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1, TLV). So, Genesis begins by introducing us to GOD.

The book of Exodus begins with the words, “Now these are the names of the sons of Israel who came into Egypt with Jacob, every man with his family” (Ex. 1:1). ” Exodus begins with the word “and,” connecting us to the book of Genesis, which introduced us to GOD. Exodus introduces us to the children of Israel, who are in bondage because they went to Egypt.

The book of Leviticus begins again with the word “and.” “And the LORD called Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying ..” (Lev. 1:1, MEV). The “and” connects Leviticus to Exodus and Genesis as the picture continues to be painted. In Leviticus, GOD calls Moses from inside of the Tent of Meeting while Moses is outside of the Tent of Meeting. We are introduced to a GOD who is inviting His people into His home.

At this point, we have been introduced to GOD. We have been introduced to His people in bondage in Egypt. We have been introduced to GOD calling to man.

The book of Numbers also begins with “and.” “And the LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai in the Tent of Meeting on the first day of the second month in the second year after they went out from the land of Egypt, saying” (Num. 1:1). The “and” in Numbers connects the book of Numbers to the book of Leviticus. In Leviticus, we are introduced to Moses as one who has entered GOD’s home.

So, in Genesis, we are introduced to GOD. In Exodus, we are introduce to GOD’s people in trouble/bondage. In Leviticus, we are introduced to a GOD who invites His people into His home. In Numbers, we are introduced to a GOD who has welcomed His people into His home.

The Book of Deuteronomy begins with the words, “These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel on this side of the Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel and laban and Hazeroth and Dizahab” (Deut. 1:1). Deuteronomy, like Genesis, does not begin with the word “and” because it is the conclusion of the story being told in the Torah. What story, you may ask? The same story told with every word and every stroke of paint: the Gospel.

Genesis tells us about GOD. Exodus tells us we are in bondage. Leviticus tells us GOD wants us to dwell with Him. Numbers tell us how we dwell with Him. Deuteronomy tells us to tell others about Genesis through Numbers so they can participate in Deuteronomy themselves. You see, the Bible/Torah isn’t a bunch of commandments and a burden too heavy to carry.

The Bible/Torah is our history, yours and mine. Each word is a stroke of colour that introduces us over and over to GOD. And when we view it from the right perspective, we are impacted by the beauty and intricacy of the Good News in every word and phrase that GOD loves us so much that He wants to spend eternity with us.

ARE WE BLOCKING THE FLOW OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?

“Do not quench the Spirit.” 1 Thess. 5:19  “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit..” Ephes. 4:30

This testimony by J Lee Grady will challenge you. He was editor of Charisma Magazine for 11 years before he launched into full time Holy Spirit led ministry.

flow-of-holy-spirit

A few years ago the Lord challenged me about my level of spiritual hunger. He showed me that even though I had stood in many prayer lines and repeatedly sung the words, “Lord, I want more of You,” I wasn’t as passionate for Him as I thought I was.

My church sponsored a conference on the Holy Spirit. At the close of one service, I was lying on the floor near the altar, asking God for another touch of His power. Several other people were kneeling at the communion rail and praying quietly for each other.

Suddenly I began to have a vision. In my mind I could see a large pipeline, at least eight feet in diameter. I was looking at it from the inside, and I could see a shallow stream of golden liquid flowing at the bottom. The oil in the giant pipe was only a few inches deep.

I began a conversation with the Lord.

“What are You showing me?” I asked.

“This is the flow of the Holy Spirit in your life,” He answered.

It was not an encouraging picture; it was pitiful! The capacity of the pipeline was huge—enough to convey tons of oil. Yet only a trickle was evident.

Then I noticed something else: Several large valves were lined up along the sides of the pipeline, and each of them was shut.

I wanted to ask the Lord why there was so little oil in my life. Instead I asked: “What are those valves, and why are they closed?”

His answer stunned me. “Those represent the times when you said no. Why should I increase the level of anointing if you aren’t available to use it?”

The words stung. When had I said no to God? I was overcome with emotion and began to repent. I recalled different excuses I had made and limitations I had placed on how He could use me.

I had told Him that I didn’t want to be in front of crowds because I wasn’t a good speaker. I had told Him that if I couldn’t preach like T.D. Jakes does, then I didn’t want to speak at all. I had told Him that I didn’t want to address certain issues or go certain places. I had placed so many cumbersome conditions on my obedience.

After a while I began to see something else in my spirit. It was a huge crowd of African men, assembled as if they were in a large arena. And I saw myself preaching to them.

Nobody had ever asked me to minister in Africa, but I knew at that moment I needed to surrender my will. All I could think to say was the prayer of Isaiah: “Here am I. Send me.” (Is. 6:8). I told God I would go anywhere and say anything He asked. I laid my insecurities, fears and inhibitions on the altar.

Three years later I stood at a pulpit inside a sports arena in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. As I addressed a crowd of 8,000 pastors who had assembled there for a training conference, I remembered seeing their faces in that vision. And I realised that God had opened a new valve in my life that day when I was on the floor of my church. Because I had said yes, He had increased the flow of His oil so that it could reach thousands.

Many of us have a habit of asking for more of God’s power and anointing. But what do we use it for? He doesn’t send it just to make us feel good.

We love to go to the altar for a touch from God. We love the goose bumps, the shaking, the emotion of the moment. We love to fall on the floor and experience one filling after another. But I am afraid some of us are soaking up the anointing but not giving it away. Our charismatic experience has become inward and selfish. We get up off the floor and live like we want to.

Pentecost is not a party. If we truly want to be empowered, we must offer God an unqualified yes. We must crucify every no. We must become a conduit to reach others, not a reservoir with no outlet.

Search your own heart today and see if there are any closed valves in your pipeline. As you surrender them, the locked channels will open, and His oil will flow out to a world that craves to know He is real.

MOVIE “THE ATHEIST DELUSION” – DESTROYS ATHEISM WITH ONE SCIENTIFIC QUESTION

Evangelist Ray Comfort’s “The Atheist Delusion” movie, claims that it’s able to “destroy atheism with one scientific question.” It is set to premiere at the Ark Encounter, a life-sized Noah’s Ark theme park in Kentucky.

“From the start, we were concerned that people wouldn’t take seriously a movie that ‘destroys atheism with one scientific question.’ But it does exactly that by scientifically confirming the existence of God. Having a respected, scientifically based organisation like Answers in Genesis being willing to premiere it is such an honour,” Comfort said.

Thousands have already viewed the movie within the first two days of its pre-release as a paid download, but on October 22, its official release date, it will be streamed live from the Ark.

Comfort said, “This film isn’t likely to convince the average proud and closed-minded atheist.” But hopefully, countless others who are open-minded, will be convinced by seeing the irrefutable proof for the existence of God.

The best-selling author and filmmaker, whose movies have been viewed by millions, added, “We would love for millions more to watch ‘The Atheist Delusion,’ and invite Christians to host the live-streaming event from their church or home. The world premiere will be highly evangelistic, as well as thoroughly encouraging, equipping, and inspiring to seasoned believers.”