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A

Kingdom that

will know no end

A

King who

COME all who are weary COME and find rest!

Kingdom that

A is not of this world

paid the Ultimate Price

verses from

Isaiah 52

Awake, awake, O Zion, clothe yourself with strength. . . Shake off your dust; rise up, sit enthroned, O Jerusalem. Free yourself from the chains on your neck, O captive Daughter of Zion. . . And all day long My name is constantly blasphemed. Therefore My people will know My name; therefore in that day they will know that it is I who foretold it. Yes, it is I. . . How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring Good News, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” . . . Listen! Your watchmen lift up your voices; together they shout for joy. When the LORD returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes. . .

Jesus said, “My Kingdom is not of this world...” “You are a King, then!” said Pilate “You are right in saying I AM a King. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this reason I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of the truth listens to Me.” John 18:36-38

Burst into songs of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem, for the LORD has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem. The LORD will lay bare His holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God. . . Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Come out from it and be pure, you who carryMatt the vessels of the 18:36;38 LORD. But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the LORD will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard. . . See, My servant will act wisely; He will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as there were many who were appalled at Him - His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and His form marred beyond human likeness - so will He sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of Him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.


love multiply

In a hidden place, alive and well, was w formed something precious, something of great value: g Our

How a

Pearl P earl Issue Issue.

Pearl P earlrl is created:

Pearls earls arls are produced by a living organ organism, organis sm an oyster. It usually begins g forming arou a around aroun a grain of sand or any minute object that tha gained ained access into the oyster. The oyster oyste oy then n layers the grain of sand or object o obje with nacre - a substance that forms form a an object bj t off greatt beauty! b be t !

dominio ddominion mmi minii n authority tyy

The production duction of a pearl is a gradu gradual, ua even tedious, t di process. Slowly, Sl l th the oys oyster o t adds dds layer after thin layer of nacre until u the pearl is fully formed! fo W l Welcome to our

Pearl P earl Issue Issue.

Layer (section) n) upon laye layer (section)!

Presenting ting to you The Gospel of the Kingdom of Heave Hea Heaven. lliving iving My Word in yourr wor world makes the difference


“Our vision is to be a tree planted by the Living

Waters of Life and to bear fruit through leaves that bring healing.”

Lindie Gouws

Founder (MY World Ministries Trust) Editor, Conceptualization, Layout (Graphic Design)

Cherise Helena

Personal Assistant and Public Liaison

Liezl du Preez

Photographer and Assistant

Zoë Simani

Administration and Distribtution

Enocentia Maraya

Administration and Subscriptions

Andries Erasmus

Accountant and Office Manager

Registered auditors: AM Smith and Companies, Inc.

Erika J v Vuuren

Administration and Distribution (Accounts with various outlets)

MINISTRY DETAILS:

PUBLISHER:

MY World Ministry Trust

For purposes of the publication and distribution requirements of all ministry material: Phe-tiwe Media and Publications (Pty) Ltd. Managing Director: Lindie Gouws Phe-tiwe reserves the copyright to the content of MY World. All graphic illustrations conceptualized and created, remain the property of Phe-tiwe. All photos (unless otherwise stated) have been commissioned by the Editor and remain the property of Phe-tiwe.

MY World has over the past two years been transformed into a media ministry. We would like to thank our various partners for sowing into the work of God through MY World Ministries Trust. MY World Ministries Trust is subject to an annual audit.

CONTACT DETAILS Tel: +27(11) 475-0283; Fax: +27(11) 475-0283 EMAIL ADDRESS lindie@myworld.za.com ministry@myworld.za.com

Scripture references were taken from: The Amplified Bible. Grand Rapids: Zondervan (1965) King James Version The Message. Colorado Springs: Navpress (1993) New International Version. Colorado Springs: International Bible Society (1978, 1984) New King James Version. Nashville, TN: Thoman Nelson Inc. (1979, 1980, 1982) New Living Translation Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers (1996)

For all administrative requirements regarding publishing and distribution: CONTACT DETAILS Tel: +27(11) 662-6450; Fax: +27(11) 662-6550 SUBSCRIPTIONS Tel: +27(11) 662-6450 subscribe@myworld.za.com POSTAL ADDRESS Private Bag 2003, Krugersdorp, 1740 PHYSICAL ADDRESS No 1 Windsor Road, Mogale City, Gauteng


Thank you very much for the 12 past Issues I have been receiving from MY World. These Issues uplifted my faith and encourages me in my walk with the Lord Jesus my Savior.

Hi there

God bless

I just want to tell you how much I love your magazine. A friend lent me a friend’s old copies and I stood in awe how God touched me with these magazines. . .

Letta Lelaka

Thank you, thank you, thank you. . . May God bless you for the amazing work you are doing.

May all of you and your families be blessed far beyond any expectations. I received MY World “Amethyst” yesterday and thank you so very much for the CD’s inside. I have listened to it and thank you once again for the “Breath of God” part in the book as well as the CD. Love in Christ Heleen

I got my copy of the latest magazine. Wow, what an inspiration. Lindie, thank you for the testimonies and CD’s. Thank you that you explained in the introduction of the magazine that MY World is not a monthly magazine. May our Heavenly Father continue to bless you and may you always remain obedient to [the] Holy Spirit in order to be a blessing to millions. Yours in Christ Gerolene Sterley

I would like to start by giving my hearty thanks to all involved in releasing such a precious, God inspired gem as MY World. In Issue 11 - 2006, “Jacinth”, there were some stunning articles concerning Africa that really touched me. It reminded me of a piece I wrote a while back. . . Keep up the great work! Blessings in Christ Letisha Nel

Your magazine is a true inspiration to everyone. Thank you so much for the extra special effort you put into each edition (it is much more than a magazine). The CD’s in the last edition were also very inspiring and practical. May God grant you courage, energy and wisdom for every new edition.

Isabel Meyer Your magazine is such an inspiration, and truly God breathed.

Letters to

Thank you to all our readers for taking the time to write to us. Although we do not publish all the letters received, we are so thankful for each letter and testimony. To everyone who phones - your calls are much welcomed and so encouraging! We love you! Send your letters to letters@myworld.za.com or post them to Private Bag 2003, Krugersdorp, 1740. Please phone us at +27(11) 662-6450.

When I saw your magazine I was drawn to it immediately. What struck me was the beautiful pages and layout, the lovely striking photographs and the big portions of Scripture. May the words that His own Finger wrote upon the Mount of Sinai turn back our hearts to Him, our Elohim. Love in Messiah Yahshua Adrie Swart

I am pleased to receive your magazine as a donation to me which will really bring me closer to Christ. Your magazine can make me read the Holy Bible even more - Word, which brings everlasting happiness. I will be very glad if you can send MY World to me to bring me closer to Christ. . . God bless you all the time EM Ebongweni Correctional Centre

I would like to thank you for “Amethyst”, because I realise the truth that I never hear in life. I just want to notify you that “Amethyst” had taught me to make my way straight for the King to come in my life here in prison. I do not have words enough to say thank you.

Blessings Trudie Schoeman

Claudia Kotzen

MR Ebongweni Correctional Centre


The layers in

Pearl Issue

“See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.”

LAYER 1: Page 18-65 Divine Exchange

Isaiah 42:9

In this “layer” we take you through certain sections of God’s Word where He spoke and there was life! Also included are sections where God spoke to certain people and they responded in faith and obeyed God. We take a look at the Old Testament foreshadowing the New Testament. We see how from the beginning God told mankind to have dominion and multiply. We also take a look at the fall of mankind (in the beginning) and see God’s redemption Divinely through His Son Jesus Christ.

LAYER 2: Page 66-91 Adonai: My Lord, my Master Jesus teaches us through His Words in the Book of Matthew concerning the Kingdom of Heaven. Also, through His own life He taught us about the principles of the Kingdom of Heaven. Meet Jesus as Adonai - your LORD, your Master. He is the Son of God, our King!

LAYER 3: Page 92-109 Identity in Christ Once you meet Jesus and make Him LORD of your life, you have a new identity. You are hidden in Christ. Allow the truth of God’s Word to reveal this identity to you. Look into The mirror. . . God’s Word and see what God sees when He looks at you as His child, through His Son Jesus Christ!

love LAYER 4: Agape: Teach me to love You LORD

We pray as Jesus taught us to pray: The Father’s Prayer. And through praying God’s Word we pray for His Kingdom to come! He is calling us, beckoning us into His presence! Respond in love, come to the Father’s heart!


Our own

Pearl

in making

A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO OUR ENTIRE TEAM, Andries, Enocentia, Erika. . . But with this Pearl Issue, especially Zoë, Cherise and Liezl. As mentioned on page 1, in a hidden place, alive and well, was formed something precious, something of great value - our Pearl Issue. The Holy Spirit led the production of our Pearl Issue away from our offices. And as a Pearl is formed in a single oyster, so too, in the presence of the Holy Spirit, Pearl was produced. 85% of the production time I spent with my companion, the Holy Spirit, in “an oyster”, behind the computer, harkening unto Him! Yet it takes a supportive, understanding team to flow with this way of working. “Zoë, Cherise and Liezl, for all your assistance, love, support, flowers, reading . . . thank you!” And during production we were reminded that God’s ways are so much higher than our ways. As we were obedient in following His prompting, allowing Him to create a Pearl of great value in the family of MY World, He allowed everything to work out for the best because we again realised, He loves us! God removed the production off-site and out of sight, our production computer and relevant equipment, as He led, was safe when the enemy came and thought he would rob and destroy. During the production of Pearl we had a robbery at our offices but Pearl was safely hidden. Then when the computer screen (relatively new) decided that it was not going to display anything, anymore, this Scripture came to mind, “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12). But then, Pearl could no longer be hidden! We can truly say, “THANK YOU FATHER FOR YOUR GRACE!”

TO GOD BE THE GLORY! (Liezl’s testimony) Just more than two years ago Liezl applied for a position at MY World. Not as photographer but in administration. She was going to join our team in the subsequent January. Her friend at that time, Iwan, phoned and said that they were undertaking a trip to Thailand (it would have been a surprise for Liezl) and that they would only return in January. I placed a hold on filling the position and Iwan and Liezl did not go to Thailand. Well, at that specific time that they were going to be in Thailand, the Tsunami hit! They were protected by God’s hand. Liezl stayed in my mind and I kept on praying about her role. Liezl shares that she went through immense frustration and one evening told Iwan about it. Iwan said to her, “Liezl, what do you want to do? Ask God and He will provide it for you!” That night she told him that her heart’s desire was to do photography, and then she prayed about it.

1

2

The following evening I was sitting paging through photography books at an Exclusive Books and was prompted by the Holy Spirit to phone her. Although I had no idea of her deisre, I had to ask her if she had a photography portfolio. The next day I met Liezl for coffee at the Mugg and Bean. Liezl joined our team, in her correct position fulfilling the call of God upon her life! She became our photographer. She reached out in faith to Him, asked of Him her heart’s desire. And then, in 2006, Iwan and Liezl went to Thailand - on their honeymoon! Qualified in something completely different according to the standards of the world, Liezl, by God’s standard is anointed by His Spirit. In the beginning of 2007, one of our intercessors told her that she would experience how the Holy Spirit shows her what to capture. I would ask her for a specific look or photo, she would go in search thereof and come back with it captured on the lense. Take a look at Pearl and see how Liezl works, hand in Hand with the Holy Spirit!

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4

God has anointed her for a time such as this and she gives Him all the glory! We enjoy sharing this testimony, because Liezl is humble and childlike in her faith! Much like we must be, Jesus said in Matthew 18, to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven! Photo 1, 2 and 3 were all efforts towards photo 4! This time round, Liezl was in front of the camera: Liezl (far left), Lindie (second from left), Zoë (second from right), Cherise (far right).


seaSon

a word in

I asked Him, “LORD, how will You know that I love You?” He said,

“Trust Me!” And I knew that it was “a word in season” for our Pearl Issue.


Welcome to our Pearl Issue! Truly, in a hidden place, much like an oyster, was formed something of great value, a precious pearl, born into the family of MY World. But as a pearl takes time to be formed, so too through much testing, trials and yes even pain, came forth this precious pearl. And today I can truly say that I appreciate pearls so much more. A motor vehicle accident, two robberies at the office, problems with our equipment and printing processes are but a few challenges to be mentioned, but these could not keep our Pearl Issue hidden! These challenges had to happen so that we could appreciate the process and the message so much more. When I received “a word in season” for our Pearl Issue (as mentioned on pages 112 -113) I knew that the LORD was saying that I shoud trust Him always, in all ways and in everything. His words carried me through Pearl. It was however, close to the end of our production, one Sunday afternoon while sitting in my lounge and in the silence speaking to the LORD, that I said to Him, “LORD, when I look at myself and see all the flaws in my life, I’m not worthy.” I heard Him speak into my spirit, “It is for somebody like you, Lindie, that I sent My Son, TRUST ME!” I was reminded of Jesus’ words in the Book of Matthew 9:12 where He said that He did not come for those who did not need healing, but for the sick. He came for the sinner, He came for me and for you! Trust Him! It is all about Him, to see His Kingdom come, His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven, trust Him! In His Kingdom He is King! His Kingdom will know no end. It will be forever. He is King of kings and LORD of lords. He is above all. He paid the price, He loves you, trust Him! The Psalm writers wrote it well. Psalm 2:12 says, “Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him” and Psalm 52:8 and 9 says, “But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever. I will praise You forever, because You have done it; and in the presence of Your saints I will wait on Your name, for it is good.” Psalm 34:8 says, “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” I am once again reminded of John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Trust Him! Read with us through the “layers” of Pearl. Listen to the testimony on the included CD (page 14-15) of how God inspired the making of this precious Pearl and follow the testimony, in part, on the pages named “In His ways” (pages 18-19, 68-69 and 112-113). During this process the words in Proverbs 3:5 became life to us, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.” Through His words included “layer upon layer” see God’s grace, mercy, justice, righteousness and love. He has always and will always be there, we just need to reach out and trust Him! We extend a sincere thank you to all our readers for being patient during the making of Pearl!

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Readers’

testimonies

testimonies In our previous Issue, Issue 12, “Amethyst”, we included Audio CD’s. This is a new dimension of media ministry in MY World. We received numerous testimonies te from our readers and have decided to include some of these testitesti monies nies in the Pearl Issue. Issue

Testimonies imonies are very important. They encourage fellow believers to continue believing and to endure in faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

8

Just a short note written to you to thank you for your ministering. Last night I listened to the CD’s that accompanied the previous edition. We, the ladies in my family, mom and two daughters, were having great challenges and spiritual onslaughts against us. Spiritually, your ministering on the CD last night brought such peace over me. I experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit in such an awesome way while listening. This morning I woke up and again realised that Jesus Christ is Lord of our lives and He came to set the captives free. Thank you. Healing took place while you were ministering and I was filled with the Spirit of Wisdom. Please let us have more CD’s. Have a glorious, Spirit Filled day. Lisa du Plessis I just want to thank you for “Amethyst”. I bought this copy for myself, and after listening to the CD’s, I asked God what He wanted me to do with this information. Because I knew it is not information that I can keep for myself only. I have to share it. He gave me three names of people that are working with me. I have started to build a relationship with these girls, and talk openly about my one and only God. But “Amethyst” is an ideal gift for them because it starts at the beginning and ends at the end. Because they do not have Bibles, all the Scripture is at least a starting point. After all, it is a beautiful magazine. Is there any chance that you have three more copies? I will appreciate it if you will let me know. T van Rooyen


Well, Saturday evening I finished listening to them and landed up in tears as God confirmed a dream I had in this month and I did not really know what it meant.

Issue 12, “Amethyst”, is very different yet awesome. Your CD! What a wonderful surprise! Thank you and bless you. The story of Khulekani really touched my heart. You are a people full of the love and compassion of Jesus. There is no coincidence in life. It is Godincidences.

testimonies e

Anyway, I sat down to read and also listen to the CD’s inside it.

I now have all twelve Issues and the Key Issue.

Readers’

In the past month, my husband bought me your magazine, “Amethyst”. This is the first time he has done so and among his reason for doing this I think was because it was the colour purple which is my favorite colour.

MY World has been an inspiration to me. I get so excited with each Issue as I read it from cover to cover and feel blessed and uplifted.

I greet you all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! My husband and I were fortunate enough to go to the Christian bookshop in Eastgate Mall - where we found your “Amethyst” Issue and I was so touched and blessed when I made time to listen to your two CD’s that were inside this Issue. The tears just kept coming!

May the Lord bless you Lindie and your wonderful team as you witness God’s love through word and action.

Praise be to God! Thank you for being such a breath of fresh air especially when the mountains are huge and I feel like running away from it all - that is when God led me to listen to your CD’s and be swept away into His perfect will for my life.

I have already subscribed for the next twelve Issues “the gates”, as I do not want to miss God’s blessing and the spoken word on CD.

And all of a sudden life just becomes a sweet smelling rose yet again, being in the garden of my King!

God bless you abundantly.

I am looking forward to your book, the Celebration Bundle, and then I can willingly part with my MY World magazines without any worries.

I thank God for you all. May God’s blessing and His provision supernaturally supercede all that you can every dream or wish for in Jesus mighty name.

Your sister in Christ

A friend in Jesus

With all my love

Desireé Potgieter

Sheena Geddie

Yolandi De Sá

You spoke about the Breath of God which God illustrated to you in the colour gold and the story of the curtains. I realised that the Breath of God is like a refining fire that will ignite things in our lives or burn up things that should not be there. I prayed that God would grant me the closeness that you share with Him. I think it is awesome and I desire it with all my heart!

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Readers’

testimonies

testimonies My heart is overjoyed even as I am writing to you. I read a few Issues of MY World last year, which were all excellent. On January 15th, on our way home from prayer at church, my friend gave me the “Amethyst” Issue. I paged through the magazine and took out the CD’s so that I could listen to them on my way to work. As you spoke, something stirred in my spirit and I could not wait to go home so that I could continue listening. On my way home I became aware of an awesome Presence in my car, the Holy Spirit was so tangible.

Now you need to know that for a long time I longed for the Holy Spirit to speak to me in a special way, I just wanted to be real close to the Father. Everything you shared stayed in my heart and I thought about it all the time. . . Your obedience in being a voice brought a transformation in my life. Indeed, you have made the way straight for the King to come in!

May the blessing of the Lord overtake you. My heart is to be radically obedient. It will not be only living water to you but to many others. 10

Thank you for sharing the Father’s heart with us. Love in Jesus Christ our Lord and King. Vicki Brandt

I just wanted to let you know what a blessing your Audio CD’s, as included in the last Issue of MY World, have been to me! I have not been able to go to church for a while and really appreciate being able to listen to your CD’s and get touched through them! I really pray that I am one day as close to God as you are. Thank you for everything Desirée (Germany)

I was at the Eastrand Mall Gospel Shop buying CD’s and I was inspired by the picture of your magazine. You know, it said, “Look at me. Buy me.” And you know what? I bought it. As I read a few pages something drew me deeper inside, and I knew it was the Spirit of God and the anointing that this magazine has. Looking at the pictures I had a feeling which said, “This is the Lord Himself talking to you, listen.” That is why I want to be a subscriber and will you kindly send me the previous Issues as well...from Issue 1-12. Khosi Mashile


At conversion the new believers were baptized. Paul is therefore saying, “At your conversion you were clothed with Christ.” What does this mean? In plain English it simply means that you are wearing Christ. So when God looks at you, who does He see? That’s right, He sees Jesus! You therefore come under a name other than your own when you present yourself in the throne room of God! You present yourself in the name of Jesus. So you don’t need to stand far from God any longer. You are no longer one of the dim figures far out in the background. 100

No, in Jesus you have right of access to where the Father is. You may go right in front of the throne and stand there with your Heavenly Father. “But what about my sin?” you ask. John says this is now the impossible possibility! Whoever understands who they are in Christ, can sin no more! 1 John 3:6-9 he writes, “No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s

work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.” Does this mean that people like John did not sin any more? No, he did still sin, but he simultaneously also realized that he should start living as God sees him – sinless. A person who realizes this, is changed from the inside out. You start living in accordance with your identity. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul tries to help the congregation understand who they really are. AMONGST OTHER THINGS HE WRITES, IN CHRIST. . . You are holy and blameless Ephesians 1:4: “For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.”

You have been marked with God’s seal Ephesians 1:13: “Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit . . .” The Holy Spirit is the seal upon your salvation Ephesians 1:14: “. . . who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s

possession – to the praise of His glory.” You see, when you and I grasp our identity in Christ, our whole life changes! Then we realize that we need not long for a sinless life. God has already declared us sinless. We only need to learn to live this way. A beggar who had inherited his elder brother’s millions, could probably live on the pavement in front of his new palatial home if he wanted to. He could be satisfied with bread and colddrink while a five-course meal had been prepared for him. No one would force him to enjoy his inheritance. But it would be such a terrible pity and an enormous loss. In the same way, believers could live in a lie for the duration of their lives: acquitted, but still caught up in condemnation. Renewed, but still in the snares of self condemnation. The writer of the Book of Hebrews also writes about this. He explains how our High Priest out of the New Covenant gives every person who believes in Him, the opportunity to experience as many times as they want to, that which the high priest out of the Old Covenant experienced once a year. For centuries the Holy of Holies was shut to all, except for one person. And that one person, the high priest, could enter the Holy of Holies only once a year. On his clothes were bells. The ringing of the bells was to the people


a sign that the high priest had not died in the holiness of God’s presence. To his ankle a rope was tied. If he should die, he would have to be pulled from the sanctuary; no one except for him was allowed in God’s presence. And now the writer of the Hebrews letter says that “the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God, [will] cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God,” (9:14) and that we have been made holy by Jesus (10:10). “. . . by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (10:14). “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His body... let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith. . . ” (10:19, 20, 22). The secret of an abundant Christian life lies in your and my standing up and living – which Jesus has accomplished for us. Stop focusing on your faults and shortcomings and start living who God in Christ has declared you to be! Take Jesus’ hand – He is your righteousness. Use His name and walk with Him to the Father. While you are walking closer, and the light of God shines on your life, you will become aware of your sins and shortcomings. Confess everything that

moves you away from God, and clothe yourself with Christ’s righteousness. Hebrews 10:16-18 tells of this new status and calls it a new covenant: “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time”, says the Lord. “I will put My laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then He adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin. God sees only Jesus when He sees you. In Christ you need not try to lead a better life, you have already been declared perfect! Simply begin to drop everything that does not testify of your perfection. Become who you are! Keep your eye fixed on Jesus, and then you will not drop out! That’s why Jesus can say in John 14:12-14, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it.” Eventually all who take up their full identity in Christ, arrive at a place where they accept as their own everything that Christ has obtained for

them. We are meant to approach God with great boldness. Fearlessly! Joyfully! Your new identity lies in Christ. You are becoming more like Christ. You bear His name. Your boldness before God lies in your oneness with Jesus: remain in Him as He remains in you! Live the truth! You have been declared sinless and acquitted. You have been reconciled with God and may fearlessly venture into the throne room in unity with Jesus. There in God’s presence you discover that He had been omnipresent all along – it was you who discovered only now how to live with Him, in Him and through Him all the time! Because what Christ has done for you, enables you to come very close to God, He whispers His dreams in your ear, He shares His plan with you and you come to know His will. You also share your deepest secrets with Him and when you speak and minister afterwards, you discover that now, as the “great men and women of God”, you also see God operate through your life! And the most wonderful of everything is: you did not earn any of it. Christ earned it all. Therefore you also cannot help giving Him all the honor!

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Springs of living water flow

SPRINGS OF LIVING WATER FLOW

“For the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd; He will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:17).

102

THE DRY HEAT CONSUMES me. I breathe in my own vacuous dust and swallow the heat shimmering off the road. How much further do I have to walk, God? How much longer do I have to travel? And He said, “I will give you rest.” “My soul finds rest in God alone. . . ” (Psalm 62:1). I pick up my feet and move forward. To me, the labour seams to be laboured in vain. I wonder what I’m doing here, how did I get here? “I brought you here,” He tells me. “But God, where is this in my life? Where is here? Why must I be filled with this drought?” “Plant yourself within My springs of living water, and you will suffer no drought. Your leaf will not whither. You will bear fruit in season.” I shuffle my feet in the dust and gaze at the distant horizon. The sun begins to set and the night air creeps in on a heavy rumble of warmth. There is no escape from the heat. “Gather under the shadow of My wings. I will keep you covered in the palm of My hand.” And like a lamb in His presence, I sit, knees pulled up to my chin, and wait at His feet.

We all know the desert experience. We understand the frustration of being in a place that feels ‘all wrong’, a place where nothing seems to go right. We claim that if God is for us, who can be against us? We scream breathlessly into the silence of the night and we cry: “God, why have You forgotten me?” God does not forget, our names are written on the palms of His hands (Isaiah 49:16) and our hearts beat within His heart. His ways are higher than our ways, and His mind stretches infinitely wider than ours can ever grasp (Isaiah 55:8). He carries us into our destiny and leads us onto the path of eternity. We need only submit and obey. There is no point in resisting God’s call.

One day I found my green pasture. God gave me rest. I picked up my Bible and read. God’s living waters washed over me. I look at my pets – of which I have many; two dogs and three cats – are they aware of the fact that I look after them each day? Much in the same way, I study my baby. She cries when I give her medicine to break her temperature. Does she realise that I am helping her? As our thoughts are higher than our pets or our children’s, so too are God’s substantially higher than ours. He told me to plant myself within His springs of living water. I thirsted after that water. I longed for the oasis. I longed for answered prayer, and I grew tired of running the comrades. There was no finish line in sight, and I felt like a nomad making my way across the Sahara Desert. One day I found my green pasture. God gave me rest. I picked up my Bible and read. God’s living waters washed over me.


The Holy Spirit refreshed my soul and enveloped my spirit with His cooling songs. He drenched my parched lips with water that satisfied the senses. I basked in His presence, and swam in His streams of refreshing. This wasn’t as easy as it seems. I had found myself deep in His waters, but I was struggling. I was fighting against the current; I was drowning. I was resisting God’s will in my life. I was trying to convince God that I knew myself better than He knew me (imagine a painting understanding itself and its purpose better than the artist who painted it)! I insisted on my will being done in my life; everything went horribly wrong. God once gave me a vision of myself swimming in a river. The current was strong and I was fighting to stay afloat. The minute I stopped struggling, I floated upon the water and gently moved to where it wanted to carry me. I remember seeing myself floating upstream – effortlessly – even up hill. This is God’s power in our lives. I eventually got to that point of surrender. I totally gave God control. He told me that I was not giving Him enough space to work and move in my life, so I stood back and waited. I gave God the space to do it all. “He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:8). When we give God the reigns, He promulgates success at every turn. Now, success does not always come without testing. God set the exams for me, and with His guidance, I wrote them. I reminded myself that God never sets us up for failure. He only gives us what He knows we can handle, and each task grows and matures us. He

makes Himself available to help us at all times; we can choose to ask Him for His help, or not. I grew. My growth came with growing pains. I cried at times, and fought with God, but in the end, I repented and gained perspective. God began to plant me by His water. I drew up life-giving words through my roots. I swallowed His ways and devoured His instructions. My roots tapped ever-deeper into Him. At times I would feel myself leaving His presence. Life grabbed a hold of me. I ran out of time. I was tricked into thinking that I didn’t have enough time to spend with Him until I realised that all I needed to do was remember Him in quite moments. I consciously brought Him to mind in my silence. I still feel like I don’t spend enough time with Him – I don’t know if I ever will feel like I’ve had enough! As my roots grew deeper in Him, my leaves began to grow green and my trunk became sturdier. Rough winds blew, but I did not crumble and I was unmoved. My faith in God’s grace covered me. I lost a leaf every now and then, but I was getting there. Then came spring. I blossomed. God gave me a new scent. I was blooming and was impregnated with new life and new opportunities. I was physically pregnant in the natural at the same time. God also gave me rest.

“He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers” (Psalm 1:3). “He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers” (Psalm 1:3).

I gave my worries to God. I cast my anxieties upon Him because He cares for me (1 Peter 5:7) and He sustained me. In due season, I bore fruit. This takes time and patience. One thing God grew in me was patience. It takes nine months for God to form that good and perfect gift of a baby, and it takes time to ripen the fruit that are ready to be picked in your life. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. . . ” (Ecclesiastes 3:1) and “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) in its time, not ours. Fruit ripens at the exact time that God calls it into ripening; no matter what we do, we can neither rush nor delay the ripening of the fruit. It is so perfectly juicy and sweet when picked just at the right time. God opens and closes the doors in your life. His will is done, and nothing you do can stop the will of God from taking place. Like a tree planted by streams of water, we should sink our roots into Him and surrender control. Our leaves will not wither, and we will bear fruit in season. When yielded to His will, whatever we do will prosper. God still teaches me to be obedient, and daily I have to spend time marinating in His presence. I often feel like I could try harder. Thank God for His goodness and His grace, and I thank Him for His refreshing. Like a tree planted by streams of His water, I will bear fruit in season and my leaf will not wither. Whatever I do will prosper.

“. . .humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you” (James 1:21).

103


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EEster t

IN

H IS ways

As I started to write how the Holy Spirit had inspired the design of the Ester logo, what its meaning was, He ministered the following to me: “The logo will explain itself!” He then gave these words:

WOMEN OF SOUTH AFRICA. . . You have been raised up for such a time as this. Walk in the principles of the Kingdom of your Messiah, your LORD, your God. Stand up, woman of God, for you are well formed, moulded, fearfully made, wonderfully created, in the image of your God, your Creator! Serve Him and Him only! And as you find favor with your King. . . bring them in, bring them in, pray in the men of God!

“...yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14

For the men will stand as chosen from on High! Mighty men of valour! Serving in a Royal Army, commanded by the LORD of Hosts, Jesus Christ! Rise up woman of God! It is your time! Live in the identity of your King! Jesus!


Lives were touched and transformed. Women walked out crowned as Esthers, with the favor of our King, for the sake of so many others. They were clothed in the righteousness of Jesus! And now we present this Conference throughout South Africa MPUMALANGA (White River) Date: 27 - 29 July 2007 Contact person: Antoinette Bester Contact number: (013) 751 2605 or 082 450 9434 WESTERN CAPE (Parow) Date: 17 - 19 August 2007 Contact person: Rev Arnold Nadel Contact number: (021) 939 1608 or 082 673 8787 Email: banadel@telkomsa.net alternatively contact Katrien Ferreira Contact number: (021) 939 1742 or 083 457 3612 Email: katrien ferreira@yahoo.com EASTERN CAPE (Port Elizabeth) Date: 16 - 18 November 2007 Contact person: Sarette Dawson Contact number: (041) 367 1485 or 083 415 2753

ELZA MEYER IS REVEREND at the Dutch Reformed Church, Moreletapark, Pretoria, South Africa. “I have known Elza for three years. Elza’s teachings are grounded in a sincere love and passion for our Lord Jesus Christ. She has an intense desire to see His will and mandate accomplished on earth as it is in Heaven. Her maturity in Christ allows her to fulfill the role of spiritual mother to many. She teaches the uncompromising Word of God. In March 2007, as fruit of her obedience to a mandate from God for the women in South Africa, Elza presented the Esther Conference in Pretoria. More than 7000 women from across South Africa gathered in obedience to our King. This conference was inter-denominational, multi-cultural and representative of the women of South Africa. Elza’s words: “South Africa, turn back to God!” When Elza contacted me just before our PEARL Issue went in for printing, and she said that they were going to present four more Esther-conferences throughout South Africa, I knew that this message had to be included in PEARL. She invited me to join her again as we take Esther to our nation. Come, join us in the presence of our King! Hallelujah to Jesus!” Lindie

“South Africa, turn back to God!” Hear the trumpet sound:

IT WAS A KAIROS MOMENT. A moment of decision, action and change. The Esther Conference 2007 in Pretoria, South Africa!

FREE STATE (Bloemfontein) Date still to be advised Contact person: Mathilda Breytenbach Contact number: (012) 997 8088 or (012) 997 8101 For all other queries, contact Mathilda at the above number.

ELZA MEYER


Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, and the people whom He has chosen as His own inheritance. Psalm 33:12 Declare the Word of God, this promise, over South Africa!

Blessed is South Africa whose GOD is LORD, JESUS, and we the people whom HE has chosen as HIS own inheritance!

South Africa belongs to Jesus!


“As the BODY OF CHRIST we are DECLARING WAR on CRIME and VIOLENCE and all related activities.” Join hands with us, register online at www.prayernetwork.co.za. Other related information available on the web site

Sunday Dear Fellow-Labourers The Lord has laid an intense prayer burden on my heart and on the hearts of other church leaders in our nation. Together, we have been challenged to share and pass on this prayer obligation to many prominent leaders across the nation. This is not the vision of any one man or any one church, and is not intended to bring glory to any person, except Jesus Christ. It is a pure “Kingdom of God” action and hopefully all members of the Body of Christ will respond and take responsibility in their own arenas of influence. The heart of the Father is for unity in His Church. So, we plead with you to take hands across all denominational barriers in this land. As we pray in one accord, we will see the power and presence of God manifest in our nation, government, churches and homes.

200

May

We are therefore asking you to join other churches in dedicating Sunday, 20 May to a nationwide day of humbling ourselves before God in prayer and fasting. (This is the Sunday closest to Ascension Day and could even become an annual event in local churches). By this action, local churches are signalling to the community that they are beacons of light and hope in a sick, crippled society. Every local church takes responsibility for their own congregation on this day, organizing times of prayer and fasting as the Lord may lead them. This burden of prayer rests squarely on the shoulders of the Church. This is our crucial responsibility and we cannot abdicate our spiritual authority or deligate this to anybody else. The solution for the healing of a nation is not in the hands of any government, but the Church was given the mandate to be the “salt of the earth” and “light of the world”. As leaders of all denominations we are making a stand and declaring war on crime and all its contributing factors that are tearing and dividing our nation. We will be praying concerning relevant topics, such as praying against. . . > The spirit of criminality and violence > Evil and disruptive elements like lawlessness, anarchy, corruption and bribery > Racism, prejudice and the incitement of hatred > Immorality, idolatry and godlessness. Through prayer we can believe for miracles to take place in the hearts of the people of our land. For this to come to pass, the Church nationwide needs to come into unity and seek God’s forgiveness, favor and mercy. May His Kingdom come and His will be done in our nation! HAROLD WEITSZ Senior Pastor Little Falls Christian Centre Roodepoort, South Africa

“Then en if Myy people p p who are e called byy Myy name will humble mble themselves and pray ayy and seek Myy face and d turn from their wicked ways, yys, I will hear from Heaven aven and will forgive g theirir sins and heal their land.” d.” 2 Chronicles 7:14-15


MY World often receives beautiful poems from our readers. Thank you for submitting your work. The following three poems have been placed. They will each be receiving a subscription gift of 3 Issues of MY World.

SONG OF LOVE Susan Pohl

JESUS I HAVE COME TO GIVE YOU MY ALL Michelle Grace Links

I was born to praise You Oh LORD of my life! I was born forever to sing! That You are our Savior, our Shepherd, our Friend, that You are forever our King!

Jesus I have come to give You my all You my Savior, that will never let the righteous fall You the One that will understand You my Daddy, my Counsellor, my Helping Hand

I was born to love You Oh God of all life! You give me a joy unspeakable I was born to come to Your Throne Here I will take up my calling to serve You A peace that is indescribable Here I will forever be Home. When life gets me down You the One I can count on. Jesus, dear Savior, to You be the glory You have come to make all things new You have become so real to me As I take up New Life In my darkest hour, You the One that set me To serve You, my LORD free. I know you will forever be true. Your child

I am so grateful to have You in my life Nothing can compare to You Jesus, thank you for paying the price!

TO THE SONS OF GOD; UPON NATURAL VOICE Zanele Waves of feather-light peace engulf me as I stand, in Your presence, tasting Your essence. . . That’s where I always want to be. Enclosed in Your throne room where there are no tables or chairs but the space is not bare . . . That’s where I always want to be. I love it when Your eyes are full of passion, and You offer me joy that will endure from everlasting to everlasting When You whisper in my ear, still and clear. When You clothe me in Your beauty, when Your face brightens up as I walk toward You, I worship You. . . and That’s where I always want to be. The fragrance of Your love perfumes my skin. Honeyed dew-drops is Your Word on my tongue. Goodness LORD! Is this how we become one? If it is, then. . . That’s where I always want to be!


AGAPE

teach me to love you LORD

And the king held out the golden scepter toward Esther.

So Esther arose and stood before the king, and said, “If it pleases the king, and if I have found favor in his sight and the thing seems right to the king and I am pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to annihilate the Jews who are in all the king’s provinces. For how can I endure to see the evil that will come to my people? Or how can I endure to see the destruction of my countrymen?” Esther 8:4-6 “Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep;

for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.”

Romans 13:10-12


H IS ways

IN

But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom.” Hebrews 1:8

I mentioned on pages 68-69 how the Holy Spirit has been ministering to me concerning the life of Esther. When Elza Meyer asked me what the LORD was laying on my heart concerning Esther, all I could answer was that He was showing me that in a person’s life, like in Esther’s life, it should be all about Him, the King. About truly loving Him. So when Elza asked me to minister the opening session at the Esther conference, “If you could ask for anything, even half of the kingdom, what would you ask for?” the words that came out of my mouth were, “AGAPE: teach me to love You LORD.” I asked God why He had chosen me for this specific task, I was not worthy. What was happening in my life over the past three years was a parallel process to what so many other women were and still are experiencing. That day, as I was praying I heard Him speak to me: “Do you remember when you were asked to lay down your rights, be humble and serve?” “Yes, LORD”, I answered. “You did not want to, however Me in you served.” “Yes, LORD”, I said. “That is a principle of My Kingdom.” “Do you remember when you were emotionally hurt by one that you loved?” “Yes LORD”, I answered. “You chose to forgive?” “Yes LORD”, I said. “That was Me, it is a principle of My Kingdom.” “Do you remember when after your hurt you chose to love again?” “Yes LORD”, I answered. “That was Me teaching you to love unconditionally.” “Yes LORD”, I said. “That is a principle of My Kingdom.” And at that moment I realised that it is so not about me. It is all about Him. To give Him glory and honor. So that people will be drawn to Him and worship Him, our King Jesus.

I then asked Him: “LORD, how will you know that I love You?” He said, “Trust Me.” These two words astounded me. It is so true. If you truly love someone you will trust that person unconditionally even with your life. You would know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they would always do what is best for you. I repented at that moment, because I realised how much I fall short from always trusting Him. “Trust Me” was “a word in season”. Now Esther and all the other women who were in line for the royal crown as queen, went through intense preparation processes. They had to fast, they received intense beauty treatments and they were adorned with all kinds of beautiful clothing. Yet Esther was different: I think she knew that all the treatments, the pain and the gain, belonged to the king. Nothing was hers, she was just being pampered and prepared for him. And in the process, he allowed her to become more radiant and enjoy the moments. She wanted to look beautiful for him, not for herself. She knew that what he wanted for her, would be the best and that she would be beautiful. She received the king’s favor. He pointed his scepter to her and said to her, “What is it queen Esther,? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you.” Esther knew that she received the favor of the king so that she could speak up for the sake of saving her people. I think Esther knew that true love was to be prepared to lay down your life for a friend. At that moment she was prepared to lay down her life for the sake of her people. She loved the king and she loved the people!


You may ask: “How does Esther relate to us today?” Across the world we hear of people identifying with the process in Esther’s life. What makes it so different? We should understand that when we receive the favor of our King and His seal, His Name, it is not for ourselves, it is to love Him and in turn to love His people! When I was preparing to speak at the Esther conference, the Holy Spirit showed me another passage in Scripture. It astounded me when I read that there was another woman, a queen’s daughter who received such favor with a king. Mark 6:21-27, “Finally the opportune time came. On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests. The king said to the girl, ‘Ask me for anything you want, and I’ll give it to you.’ And he promised her with an oath, ‘Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.’ She went out and said to her mother, ‘What shall I ask for?’ ‘The head of John the Baptist,’ she answered. At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: ‘I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter.’ The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head.” This young woman did not know the heart of the king. She would never have asked for the head of the one who said in the desert, ‘Prepare the way of the LORD’, she would not have asked for the head of John the Baptist who baptized Jesus. He spoke prophetically about the coming of our Messiah, Jesus. And this young woman, instructed by her mother, asked for his head.

This is a warning! There will be those who would want to silence the voice of God’s people. We must be aware of it, yet it will never be able to silence the voice of God. But also, we, raised up as Esther’s for a time like this, must take it as a cautioning. We must ALWAYS focus on the King, on what Jesus would want at that specific moment. The Holy Spirit will teach us (much like Mordecai taught Esther while she was in preparation). He has and will always love us, yet in loving Him, we in turn will experience His love in such awesome ways, more and more everyday, and we will experience His love for His bride! PSALM 45 captures it so beautifully: MY HEART IS STIRRED by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever. Gird your sword upon your side, O mighty one; clothe yourself with splendor and majesty. In your majesty ride forth victoriously in behalf of truth, humility and righteousness; let your right hand display awesome deeds. Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the king’s enemies; let the nations fall beneath your feet. Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of Your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; from palaces adorned with ivory the music of the strings makes you glad. Daughters of kings are among your honored women; at your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir. Listen, o daughter, and give ear: Forget your people and your father’s house. The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord. The Daughter of Tyre will come with a gift, men of wealth will seek your favor. All glorious is the princess within [her chamber]; her gown is interwoven with gold. In embroidered garments she is led to the king; her virgin companions follow her and are brought to you. They are led in with joy and gladness; they enter the palace of the king. Your sons will take the place of your fathers; you will make them princes througout the land. I will perpetuate your memory through all generations; therefore the nations will praise you forever and ever.


The

Kingdom of Heaven

Then He said, “I assure you, unless you turn from your sins and become as little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on My behalf is welcoming Me.� Matthew 18:3-5


JESUS SAID IN LUKE 4:43, “I must preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God in other towns, too, because that is why I was sent.” The Kingdom of God is Good News . . . It is Good News for us because it means freedom from slavery to sin and selfishness. The Kingdom of God is here and now because the Holy Spirit lives in the hearts of believers. Yet it is also in the future because Jesus will return to reign over a perfect Kingdom, where sin and evil will no longer exist. (Commentory: Life Application Study Bible, NLV, Tyndale). For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, Jesus, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). Jesus, after His crucifixion and resurrection, when He appeared to His disciples and believers, when He reinstated Peter (after Peter denied Him), asked Peter the following: “Simon son of John, do you truly love Me more than these?” “Yes, LORD,” he said, “You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed My lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon, son of John, do you truly love Me?” He answered, “Yes, LORD, you know that I love You.” Jesus said, “Feed My sheep. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then He said, “Follow Me!” (John 21). Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12 & 13 “. . .And now I will show you the most excellent way. . . Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. . . And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” The truth is, God is love. He loved us so much that He sent Jesus to die for us. Yet, as we have read through the layers of this Pearl Issue, we see how it has been difficult for mankind to resist the temptations of this world, of the evil one and our own sinful natures. That is why Jesus left us with a Helper, His Spirit, the Holy Spirit! Do you see how much He still loves us? He sends us a Helper! Jesus said in John 20:21-22, “’Peace be with you! As the Father has sent Me, so I AM sending you.’” And with that He breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. . .’” In Acts 1:6-9 we read the following, “So when they met together, they asked Him, ‘LORD, are You at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ After He said this, He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid Him from their sight.” Jesus said in Matthew 24:14, “And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I AM with you always, to the very end of the age.” God said to Adam in Genesis 1:28, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. . .” SO WHAT SHOULD WE DO? We should love Him! And allow the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, through the Word of God, to teach us how. He will work in our hearts, circumsize our hearts, change our hearts so that we will turn back to our true First Love and walk in the ways of His Kingdom! We should take this mandate of dominion in the authority of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through us, to go forth and “be fruitful and increase in number (multiply) in the Kingdom” by making disciples of all nations, feeding His lambs, His sheep - His people and following Him! Jesus asked Peter if he truly loved Him. . . and if he did, then he would feed His sheep and follow Him! Do we truly love Him? Do we truly know Him? Allow the Holy Spirit to teach you His ways! To know Him intimately, to love Him, to follow Him. Imagine Jesus asking you today: “(place your name here), do you love Me?” Take this prayer seriously when you pray, “Teach me to love (agape) You LORD!” “But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is Mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is Mine and make it known to you” (John 16:13-15). “. . . being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).


love multiply

Jesus taught us how important it is to speak the Word of God (Matthew 4). He also taught us how to pray (Matthew 6).

“‘Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name . . .

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on My own; but He sent Me.” John 8:42 For whoever does the will of my Father in Heaven is My brother and sister . . . Matthew 12:50 Jesus said, “. . . Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I AM returning to My Father and your Father, to My God, and your God.” Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the LORD!” And she told them that He had said these things to her. John 20:17-18 (Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene)

. . .Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me I will never drive away. For I have come down from Heaven not to do My will but to do the will of Him who sent Me. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I shall lose none of all that He has given Me, but raise them up at the last day. For My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:37-40

ddominion mmini n authority

Going a little farther, He fell with His face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” . . . He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may Your will be done.” Matthew 26:39; 42

Give us today our daily bread.

Then Jesus declared, “I AM the bread of life. He who comes to Me will never go hungry, and he who believes in Me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35 Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:25-26


Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. . . Matthew 9:6 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “LORD, how many times shall I forgive my brother when He sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18:21-22 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent Me, I AM sending you.” And with that He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” John 20:21-23 (Jesus Appears to His Disciples)

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the Heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the Word of Truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all He created. James 1:13-18 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. The tempter came to Him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took Him to the holy city and had Him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command His angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the LORD your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from Me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the LORD your God, and serve Him only.’” Then the devil left Him, and angels came and attended Him. Matthew 4:1-11 A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all; He protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. Psalm 34:19-20


love multiply For Thine is the

Kingdom

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Romans 1:20 For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the Kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. Colossians 1:13-16

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For Thine is thePower

ddominion mmini n authority

What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in His Father’s Glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what he has done. Matthew 16:26-27 You are worthy, our LORD and God, to receive Glory and Honor and Power, for You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being. Revelation 4:11 You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because You were slain, and with Your blood You purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth. Revelation 5:9-10


Glory For Thine is the

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. Colossians 2:9 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own Glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 2 Peter 1:3-4

Amen

Forever and ever

The God who made the world and everything in it is the LORD of Heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And He is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He Himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. ‘For in Him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your poets have said, ‘We are His offspring.’ Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the Divine Being is like gold or silver or stone - an image made by man’s design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent. For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the Man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising Him from the dead. Acts 17:24-31

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“dear dear

friends”

A SPECIAL THANK YOU!

First and foremost we thank our Heavenly Father for what He has done in MY World. Especially with Issue 12, “Amethyst”, the Issue that concluded our foundation series. All thanksgiving, praise and glory belongs to Him! Then we would like to thank all our readers for supporting MY World! We stand in awe at your response to our previous Issue, “Amethyst”, that was not only sold out in the various outlets, but we also had to make second and third deliveries to certain of these outlets. Our distribution and subscription base has grown and it is encouraging to know that God’s children are so hungry for more of Him. . . especially His Word.

CALLED FOR MEDIA FOR A TIME LIKE THIS

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It is important that we share the following with you. Media is a very powerful tool of communication and a tool currently used to shape the value system and references of people all around the world. Media is developing at such a fast pace and coupled with that, is the influence it has on our lives. That is why we at MY World have heard the call of God for a voice in media. We have taken up this call and thereby acknowledge that MY World is a media ministry in the hands of God! As stewards of this precious ministry, we wait upon Him - to hear His voice. I thank God for a team that understands how vital it is to wait upon Him and to obey His promptings. Sometimes it seems illogical, yet we have come to understand the significance. We walk in reverential fear and respect towards God to only include that which is on His Heart! And that we hope and pray to present in every Issue. To this extent we would like to thank all our readers for continuing in prayer for MY World. A special thank you to Ann Wilkonson, who through her encouraging words, captured the essence of MY World so well. Ann, your words encouraged us to continue in pressing forward toward the goal! “You have a magazine that is an end-time magazine, unique because you are hearing God’s voice and not according to the opinion of man. The timing is not according to the following, ‘It is Easter, I have to get the magazine out’, but by waiting on God.” The frequency of MY World is that the magazine format is available approximately every three months (it has become thicker in pagination). However, as mentioned, we wait upon the perfect timing of God. In the next paragraph I explain the next phase of media for MY World. The Ministry CD’s and DVD’s are more frequently available! But be sure that you will receive each printed Issue as soon as it is published. Furthermore, from a personal point of view, I want to encourage every publisher, editor, journalist, producer. . . every person involved in media who represents Jesus, “Stand strong in our Lord Jesus Christ. Be directed and moved by the Holy Spirit. We have all been given an assignment by God. Stay true to the character of that which God has raised you up for. May we pray for each other, each of us a different member of the Body of Christ in media. May we fulfill His mandate as a media army.”

OTHER FORMS OF MEDIA CD’s We continue to produce and include the ministry CD’s with each Issue. However, we have recently started to make other teaching CD’s available of events where Lindie has ministered. Should you require more information or want to order any of these CD’s, please feel free to log on to our recently updated dynamic website for a list of teachings available.


“For there are three who bear witness in Heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.� 1 John 5:7-8


And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying,

“All authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the

Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded to you;

and lo,

I AM with you always, even to the end of the age.�

Amen.

Matthew 28:18-20


DVD’s The visual ministry message of this Pearl Issue as well as a special television interview, is also available on DVD from selected outlets, or on special order by contacting our offices on (+27) 11 662-6450. We will continue, as the Holy Spirit leads us, to produce ministry DVD’s. CELEBRATION BUNDLE Then, our Celebration Bundle has also been completed after the production of “Amethyst”. Our entire foundation series complete in one Coffee Table Bundle! The Bundle is currently being printed overseas and delivery is expected in approximately 8-10 weeks. For orders, please phone Erika at our offices. OUR WEBSITE: www.myworld.za.com Our website has gone through two transition phases. And now finally, we are able to make the various forms of media available on our site. You can download “the printed word” (all previous MY World Issues are freely available in e-mag format on our website) as well as special encouraging ad hoc written messages, or “the spoken word” (special recorded messages and ministry items which are also included in the ministry CD’s). We hope to continue to make our website as user friendly and dynamic as possible for all our viewers.

OUR NEXT SERIES As with our first series, our foundation series, God inspired the vision for our next series. It is based on twelve gates. This theme was, as was the first series, inspired through a sequence of events through which God spoke to me. He also confirmed this through the following Scripture. “Also she [the city] had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and the names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. . . The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl” (Revelation 21:12,13,21). “Lift up a banner on the high mountain, raise your voice to them; wave your hand, that they may enter the gates of the nobles. I have commanded My sanctified ones, I have also called My mighty ones for My anger - those who rejoice in My exaltation. . . The LORD of Hosts musters the army for battle” (Isaiah 13:2,3,4). “The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12). This series of 12 Issues will be unique in the sense that we will be addressing things that are very relevant in our lives today. We will be looking at spiritual issues that are affecting the Body of Christ, His Church in this age. Things that are real but that we tend to perceive in the natural dimension and that we do not address in the spirit. These issues were real in the Old Testament, they were real in the New Testament and they are real today. And we need to identify it correctly, for God’s Word teaches us in Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Our future contributors will focus on teaching from God’s Word, real case studies (testimonies) as well as counselling. Now, as we published a “Key Issue” as introduction to the first series of 12 MY World Issues (Foundation Series), so too, God inspired the making of this “Pearl Issue”. The Pearl Issue introduces (unlocks) our new series. The cover is very significant as it signifies the opening of a gate. When I chose this format of cover, I was unaware that this format is called “a gate cover” in the publishing industry. Once more, God knew exactly why He inspired this format. We just had to obey! Although this “Pearl Issue” is the introduction to our next series, the message is clear: The Kingdom of Heaven. The making of Pearl was, as each previous MY World Issue, very unique and precious. Please listen to this testimony on the included CD on page 14. Once again, thank you for your loyal support. If you feel led to support or assist us in MY World, please feel free to contact our offices. We greet you in the name of our KING, our LORD Jesus Christ.


Through a sequence of events God drew me closer and closer to His heart. On asking Him, “How will You know that I truly love You LORD?” He spoke so gently:

“Trust Me!”

Then, as He drew me closer and closer into His presence, I asked Him, “Father, what would You like me to present in the Pearl Issue?” The Holy Spirit ministered to me:

“Teach My people about My Kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven!” - Lindie Gouws -

The testimony of Pearl


Listen to the testimony of the creation of Pearl, how God inspired every “layer� as well as the message of the Kingdom of Heaven on this enclosed CD.


In our previous Issue, “Amethyst” we announced:

K ing !

Make the way straight

the

for

to come in

We presented to you JESUS, the KING of kings. We declared the words of John the Baptist, “Prepare the way of the LORD” and JESUS spoke through His own words as recorded in the Bible, the Book of John.

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Now, after announcing “Make the way straight for the King to come in!” and after working through this specific teaching in “Amethyst”, we present to you in this Pearl Issue, The Kingdom of our KING. So as we abide in making the way straight so that He can come in, our KING JESUS - we present

The Kingdom of Heaven.

We again publish the message of John the Baptist and of JESUS Himself: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Welcome to our Pearl Issue!

JESUS said,

“Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the Kingdom of Heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old!” Matthew 13:52

Therefore, in MY World, when writing about the Kingdom of Heaven, our only reference is the Word of God, the Old and the New Testament!


David says to “Seek the LORD!” He says that the angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and delivers them. He adds, “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the LORD,” he says, “There is no want for those who fear and seek the LORD.”

Psalm 34

Jesus confirms this by teaching us to prioritize correctly and to first seek the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all these things shall be added to us.

Matthew 6:33

And Paul reminds us by teaching that what we seek for first (the Kingdom of God), “For the Kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

Romans 14:17

David says that we should “seek the LORD”; Jesus Himself taught that we should “seek first the Kingdom of Heaven” and Paul helps us by bringing perspective that the Kingdom of Heaven is not about food and drink, but about righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ first teaching was about the Kingdom. He said in Matthew 4:17, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” As God’s children, it is vital that we learn more about His Kingdom. Join us as we work our way through certain Books in the Bible from the beginning (Genesis) to the end (Revelation) and share in the revelation from God’s Word concerning His Kingdom. We pray that through this teaching and by delving into the riches and Wisdom of God’s Word, many questions in your heart concerning the Kingdom of Heaven will be answered. And you will discover the fullness thereof! May the Holy Spirit guide and teach you!

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DIVINE EXCHANGE Then God said,

‘Let there be light’; and there was light And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. Genesis 1:3-4 “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”

Hebrews 11:3


H IS ways

IN

I was asked to minister at a Ladies Camp in February 2007. The theme was “Divine Exchange”. As I prayed and truly sought God’s heart for the ladies at the camp, He revealed certain parts of Scripture. From the beginning in Genesis to the end in Revelation. Little did I realise at that moment that the theme of that Ladies Camp would become the first “layer” in our Pearl Issue about the Kingdom of Heaven. Romans 1:20 says, “From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see His invisible qualities - His Eternal Power and Divine Nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God.” 2 Corinthians 1:19 says “. . . because Jesus Christ, the Son of God, never wavers between yes and no. He is the One Timothy, Silas, and I preached to you, and He is the Divine Yes - God’s affirmation. For all God’s promises have been fulfilled in Him. That is why we say ‘Amen’ when we give glory to God through Christ” and then 2 Peter 1:4 says “And by that same mighty power, He has given us all of His rich and wonderful promises. He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in His Divine nature.” Clearly God is Divine! When He exchanges our limitations for His Divine plans and thoughts He imparts faith into our beings, we discover His Awesomeness. As I searched God’s Word and walked in His ways, I began to understand “Divine Exchange” and the relevance thereof to His Kingdom. On this page I will share in part some of the Scripture references. However, the entire layer shows certain parts of the Old Testament foreshadowing the New Testament. So let’s commence our journey on “Divine Exchange”. The first “Divine Exchange” the Holy Spirit showed me was when God spoke in the beginning (Gen 1:1-4).

Through His Words he created the heavens and the earth. God also said, “Let there be light”. A “Divine Exchange”: From darkness to light. Furthermore the Holy Spirit highlighted when God spoke the words to create man in His Image (Gen 1:26-28). By the will of God and the power of His Word, God created man and Divinely Breathed into man the Breath of Life. He gave man dominion and authority on earth. But then I noticed another exchange. This one was between man and Satan, the tempter. Man, by being tempted into sinning, exchanged his dominion and lost what God had intended for him to have. As I was walking “in His ways”, a certain event made me very aware of mankind’s attitude towards nature and it grieved me. This led me to read Genesis 6:6, where God’s heart was broken that He created man. God said that man’s heart was exceedingly wicked. At that stage God wanted to destroy all mankind. Yet Noah, a man who I believe loved God and obeyed God unconditionally, found grace in God’s sight. I noticed a “Divine Exchange” of God’s grace. Furthermore, Noah had to believe the instructions given to him by God. He believed God and did that which seemed illogical: He built an ark. I furthermore saw God’s continuous compassion on humanity and how He forgave man’s sins: “Divine Exchange”. God would allow a high priest


to yearly come into His presence and make atonement for the people’s sins by bringing a blood sacrifice - an animal (read about this in the Book of Leviticus). I was reminded of another “Divine Exchange” that took place when I had to I minister at another Ladies Camp on Hannah. Hannah desired to have a son (1 Samuel 1). She was exceedingly vexed and cried out to God. Yet, although nobody understood her desire, she pushed through in faith and when the priest, Eli, eventually perceived that she was not drunk on wine but sorrowful, he spoke a prophetic word into her life. Hannah exchanged her grief for the hope and promise of her son Samuel. After the birth of Samuel, Hannah then after a fiew years brought him back to the temple of God. There, (1 Samuel 3) when he was with Eli, although he did not perceive it correctly in the beginning, heard the voice of God calling him, “Samuel, Samuel.” Samuel answered the call of God upon his life. Then Samuel had to anoint David as king (1 Samuel 16). Chosen by God, a “Divine Exchange” took place in David’s life. God did not look at the outer appearance of David but at his heart. From a shepherd boy he eventually became king. And out of his lineage was born our Messiah, King Jesus. Notice the “Divine Exchange” that took place when the angel of God appeared to Mary and spoke a word that she would give birth to the Messiah (Matthew 1). She received and believed

the word: A “Divine Exchange” took place. Then Joseph also had to make an exchange. When he heard that Mary was pregnant an angel of the LORD appeared to him. On hearing the word about the Child Jesus, Divinely conceived by the Holy Spirit, who would be called Immanuel - God with us, that was going to be born to Mary, he traded his opinion for the truth of God. During Jesus’ ministry on earth, as He healed the sick and performed many miracles, “Divine Exchanges” took place. Often Jesus would speak the Word and people would respond in faith. When I was in Israel in 2006, the Holy Spirit clearly ministered to me while standing in the Garden of Gethsemane. There Jesus prayed to the Father that not His will be done, but the will of the Father be done. He gave Himself over completely to the will of His Father. And on the cross when He gave His Life and said, “It is finished!” He “Divinely took” our sin, our sickness, our weakness upon Himself. By believing in Jesus as our Savior, we receive salvation in and through Him. We are made right with the Father. Jesus freely gives us until this day a “Divine Exchange”, a new life and identity in Him. And lately when I am quiet in His Presence, the Holy Spirit ministers to me about the change that will take place when we go to Heaven. The reality of the promise of eternal life, the “Divine Exchange” from this life into eternal life with Him in Heaven. It is real!

Read through this layer of Pearl, “Divine Exchange”. . .from beginning to end.


In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Genesis 1:1-2

20


And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters He called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:9-10


Creation

words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:3-5; 26-28)

Divine Exchange

Old Testament

THEN GOD SAID, “LET there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. . . Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

“. . . let them have dominion. . .” “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. . .” Temptation of Man words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Genesis 3:1-5)

NOW THE SERPENT WAS more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’” And the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Fall of Man

words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Genesis 3:6-7)

SO WHEN THE WOMAN saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

Judgment on Man

words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Genesis 3:8-24)

AND THEY HEARD THE sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” Then the man said, “The woman who You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” And the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” So the LORD God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I wil put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise His heel.” To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them. Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us, to know good and evil. And now lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” - therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.


The Eternal Word words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (John 1:1-5)

Divine Exchange

New Testament

IN THE BEGINNING WAS the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Light John’s Witness: The True Light

wo r d s : T h e Wo r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( J o h n 1 : 6 - 13 )

THERE WAS A MAN sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him. And the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of the man, but of God.

The Word Becomes Flesh

words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (John 1:14-18)

AND THE WORD BECAME flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ ” And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

Satan Tempts Jesus

w o r d s : T h e W o r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( M a t t h e w 4 : 1 - 11 )

THEN JESUS WAS LED up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every WORD that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you.’ and ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’” Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only shall you serve.’” Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

Humility Cures Worldliness

words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (James 4:7)

THEREFORE SUBMIT TO GOD. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

The Light of Christ’s Gospel

words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 4:6)

FOR IT IS GOD who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.


The Wickedness of Man words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Genesis 6:5-7)

Divine Exchange

Old Testament

THEN THE LORD SAW that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”

Noah pleases God wo r d s : T h e Wo r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( G e n e s i s 6 : 8 - 12 )

BUT NOAH FOUND GRACE in the eyes of the LORD. This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generation. Noah walked with God. And Noah begot three sons. Shem, Ham and Japheth. The earth was also corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth. . .

The Ark Prepared

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

wo r d s : T h e Wo r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( G e n e s i s 6 : 13 - 2 2 )

AND GOD SAID TO Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of Gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch. And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark - you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them.” Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did.

The Great Flood words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Genesis 7)

THEN THE LORD SAID to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two of each animals that are unclean, a male and his female; also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth. For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made.” And Noah did according to all that the LORD commanded him. Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters were on the earth. So Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives went into the ark because of the waters of the flood. Of clean animals, of animals that are unclean, of birds, and of everything that creeps on the earth, two by two they went into the ark to Noah, male and female as God had commanded Noah. And it came to pass after seven days that the waters of the flood were on the earth. In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights. On the very same day Noah and Noah’s son, Shem, Ham and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark - they and every beast after its kin, all cattle after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort. And they went into the ark to Noah, two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life. So those that entered male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the LORD shut him in. Now the flood was on the earth forty days. The water increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the earth, and the ark moved about on the surface of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered.


Divine Exchange

New Testament

The Beatitudes wo r d s : T h e Wo r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( M a t t h ew 5 : 1 - 12 )

AND SEEING THE MULTITUDES, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:

Mercy y

“Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for theyy shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, p for theyy shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted ed for righteousness’ ess’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely alsely for My sake. Rejoice Rejoic and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in Heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” yo

Believers Are Salt and Light

wo r d s : T h e Wo r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( M a t t h ew 5 : 13 - 16 )

YOU ARE THE SALT of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, avor, vor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light ght a lamp lam and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men,, that at they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.

Righteousness Righteo h Fellowship with Him and One Another

words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (1 John 1:5-10)

THIS IS THE MESSAGE which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the Blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us. words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:1-2)

MY LITTLE CHILDREN, THESE things I write to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

The Glory of the New Jerusalem words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Revelation 21:23)

Revelation

New Testament

THE CITY HAD NO need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.


The Great Flood (continued)

words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Genesis 7)

Divine Exchange

Old Testament

The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved on the earth: Birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died. So He destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground: both man and cattle, creeping things and birds of the air. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive. And the waters prevailed on the earth one hundred and fifty days.

Noah’s Deliverance

wo r d s : T h e Wo r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( G e n e s i s 8 : 1 - 19 )

THEN GOD REMEMBERED NOAH and every living thing, and all the animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided. The fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven were also stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained. And the waters receded continually from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters decreased. Then the ark rested in the seventh month, the seventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat. And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month. In the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen. So it came to pass, at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made. Then he sent out a raven, which kept going to and fro until the waters had dried up from the earth. He also sent out from himself a dove, to see if the waters had receded from the face of the ground. But the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, and she returned into the ark to him, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her, and drew her into the ark to himself. And he waited yet another seven days, and again he sent the dove out from the ark. Then the dove came to him in the evening, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth; and Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth. So he waited yet another seven days and sent out the dove, which did not return again to him anymore. And it came to pass in the six hundredth and one year, in the first month, the first day of the month, that the waters were dried up from the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and indeed the surface of the ground was dry. And in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dried. Then God spoke to Noah, saying, “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. Every animal, every creeping thing, every bird, and whatever creeps on the earth, according to their families, went out of the ark.

Then God spoke to Noah, saying, “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you.

. . . and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.”

God‘s Covenant with Creation

words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Genesis 8:20-22; 9:1-7)

THEN NOAH BUILT AN altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.” So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is its blood. Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man. And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth and multiply in it.”

“And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth and multiply in it.”


No One Knows the Day or Hour words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 24:36-44)

Divine Exchange

New Testament

BUT OF THAT DAY and hour no one knows, not even the angels of Heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your LORD is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Spiritual Wisdom wo r d s : T h e Wo r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( 1 C o r i n t h i a n s 2 : 6 - 16 )

HOWEVER, WE SPEAK WISDOM among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the age for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew, for had they known, they would not have crucified the LORD of glory. But as it is written, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

The Promise of Rest words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 4:1-10)

Spirit

THEREFORE, SINCE A PROMISE remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the Gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said, “So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest,’” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”, and again in this place. “They shall not enter My rest.” Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today” after such a long time, as it has been said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

The Word Discovers Our Condition

of Truth

w o r d s : T h e W o r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( H e b r e w s 4 : 11 - 13 )

LET US THEREFORE BE diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

29


SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS PHOTO: By the time we needed a photo of a rainbow for our PEARL Issue, the rainy season had not yet started in Gauteng. I recall one day, while I was travelling I phoned our offices and left a message for Liezl. I told her that we needed a photo of a rainbow and that she should be on the lookout for one. I remember we chuckled, as the rain had not yet started. But we believed that if God wanted a photo of a rainbow, He would send us one! So, one day when we least expected it, and as I was driving in at a shopping centre after work, the rain came pouring down. I recall standing on the paving infront of one of the stores, while the rain was gushing down, and I phoned Liezl. I said to her, “Liezl, today the LORD is going to give us our rainbow. Be on the lookout.” At that moment Liezl was busy taking photo’s at her home. So Liezl reached out in faith to God and asked Him to please send her a rainbow, but she was very specific, she asked for one right above her house. Well, she was prompted by the Holy Spirit to go outside . . . and above her house, the result is seen on this photo. . . a rainbow! God answers prayer and provides! He provided a rainbow for this photo!


And God said: Genesis 9:12-13

“This is the sign

of the covenant which I make between and you, and every living creature that is with you,

Me

for perpetual generations:

I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant

between

Me and the earth.�


Abram Is Named Abraham

w o r d s : T h e Wo r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( G e n e s i s 17: 1 - 8 ; 15 - 16 )

Divine Exchange

Old Testament

WHEN ABRAM WAS NINETY-NINE years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I AM God Almighty; serve Me faithfully and live a blamesless life. I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to make you into a mighty nation.” At this, Abram fell face down in the dust. Then God said to him, “This is My covenant with you: I will make you the father of not just one nation, but a multitude of nations! What’s more, I AM changing your name. It will no longer be Abram; now you will be known as Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations. I will give you millions of descendants who will represent many nations. Kings will be among them! I will continue this everlasting covenant between us, generation after generation. It will continue between Me and your offspring forever. And I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you. Yes, I will give all this land Canaan to you and to your offspring forever. And I will be their God.”

“I AM God Almighty; serve Me faithfully and live a blamesless life. I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to make you into a mighty nation.”

“Kings will be among them!” “It will continue between Me and your offspring forever. And I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you”. 32

THEN GOD ADDED, “REGARDING Sarai, your wife - her name will no longer be Sarai; from now on you will call her Sarah. And I will bless her and give you a son from her! Yes, I will bless her richly, and she will become the mother of many nations. Kings will be among her descendants.”

“Kings will be among her descendants.” The Son of Promise wo r d s : T h e Wo r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( G e n e s i s 18 : 1 - 15 )

THEN THE LORD APPEARED to him [Abraham] by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. So he lifted his eyes and looked and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground, and said, “My LORD, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant. Please let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. And I will bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh your hearts. After that you may pass by, inasmuch as you have come to your servant.” They said, “Do as you have said.” So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quickly, make ready three measures of fine meal; knead it and make cakes.” And Abraham ran to the herd, took a tender and good calf, gave it to a young man, and he hastened to prepare it. So he took butter and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree as they ate. Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” So he said, “Here, in the tent.” And he said, “I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.” (Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.) Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being also old?” And the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. And He said, “No, but you did laugh!”


Divine Exchange

New Testament

Justification by Faith

faith h

words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 3:7-8)

THEREFORE KNOW THAT ONLY those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preach the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”

Israel Rejects the Gospel

w o r d s : T h e Wo r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( Ro m a n s 10 : 17 )

SO THEN FAITH COMES by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

By Faith We Understand

w o r d s : T h e W o r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( H e b r e w s 11 : 1 - 3 )

d

NOW FAITH IS THE substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

Faith at the Dawn of History

w o r d s : T h e W o r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( H e b r e w s 11 : 4 - 7 )

BY FAITH ABEL OFFERED to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous. God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”, for before he was taken, he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. By faith, Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

Faithful Abraham w o r d s : T h e W o r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( H e b r e w s 11 : 8 - 12 )

BY FAITH ABRAHAM OBEYED when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was passed the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude - innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.


Abraham Intercedes for Sodom

wo r d s : T h e Wo r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( G e n e s i s 18 : 16 - 3 3 )

Divine Exchange

Old Testament

THEN THE MEN ROSE from there and looked toward Sodom, and Abraham went with them to send them on the way. And the LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring Abraham what He has spoken to him.” And the LORD said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.” Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the LORD. And Abraham came near and said, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” So the LORD said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.” Then Abraham answered and said, “Indeed now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to the LORD: Suppose there were five less than fifty righteous, would You destroy all the city for lack of five?” So He said, “If I find there forty-five, I will not destroy it.” And he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose there should be forty found there?” So He said, “I will not do it for the sake of forty.” Then he said, “Let not the LORD be angry, and I will speak: Suppose thirty should be found there?” So He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” And he said, “Indeed now, I have taken it upon myself to speak to the LORD: Suppose twenty should be found there?” So He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty.” Then he said, “Let not the LORD be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.” So the LORD went His way as soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place. 34

COMMENTORY ON GENESIS 19 IN THE SPIRIT FILLED BIBLE: God gave the men of Sodom a fair test. He was not ignorant of the city’s wicked practices, but in His fairness and patience He gave the people of Sodom one last chance to repent. Was God being unfair to the people of Sodom? Did He really plan to destroy the innocent with the guilty? On the contrary, God’s fairness stood out. He agreed to spare the entire city if only ten innocent people lived there. He showed great mercy toward Lot, apparently the only man in the city who has any kind of relationship with Him (and even that was questionable). He showed great patience toward Lot, almost forcing him to leave Sodom before it was destroyed.

Isaac Is Born

words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Genesis 21:1-7)

AND THE LORD VISITED Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him whom Sarah bore to him - Isaac. Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. And Sarah said, “God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me.” She also said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? For I have borne him a son in his old age.”

For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him whom Sarah bore to him - Isaac.


Divine Exchange

The Promise Granted Through Faith

New Testament

wo r d s : T h e Wo r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( Ro m a n s 4 : 19 )

AND NOT BEING WEAK in faith, he did not consider his own body already dead (since he was about a hundred years old) and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.

God’s Sovereignty words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Romans 9:9)

Promise m

FOR THIS IS THE word of promise: “At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.”

Abraham and Sarah

w o r d s : T h e W o r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( H e b r e w s 11 : 11 )

by faith

BY FAITH SARAH HERSELF also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because beca sh she judged Him faithful who had promised.

The First Disciples words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (John 1:35-42)

AGAIN, THE NEXT DAY, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, walk he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” G The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour). One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone).

The Day of The Lord is Coming w o r d s : T h e W o r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( 2 P e t e r 3 : 8 - 11 )

BUT YOU MUST NOT forget dear friends, that a day is like a thousand years to the LORD, and a thousand years is like a day. The LORD isn’t really being slow about His promise to return, as some people think. No He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so He is giving more time for everyone to repent. But the day of the LORD will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and everything in them will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be exposed to judgment. Since everythinig around us is going to melt away, what holy, godly lives you should be living!

Since everything around us is going to melt away, what

holy, godly lives you should be living!


Abraham’s Obedience Tested

words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Genesis 22)

Divine Exchange

Old Testament

LATER ON GOD TESTED Abraham’s faith and obedience. “Abraham!” God called. “Yes,” he replied. “Here I am.” “Take your son, your only son - yes, Isaac, whom you love so much - and go to the land of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will point out to you.” The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son Isaac,. Then he chopped wood to build a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place where God had told him to go. On the third day of the journey, Abraham saw the place in the distance. “Stay here with the donkey,” Abraham told the young men. “The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back.” Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac’s shoulders, while he himself carried the knife and the fire. As the two men went on together, Isaac said, “Father?” “Yes, my son,” Abraham replied. “We have the wood and the fire,” said the boy, “but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?” “God will provide a lamb, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both went on together. When they arrived at the place where God had told Abraham to go, he built an altar and placed the wood on it. Then he tied Isaac up and laid him on the altar over the wood. And Abraham took the knife and lifted it up to kill his son as a sacrifice to the LORD. At that moment the angel of the LORD shouted to him from Heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Yes,” he answered, “I’m listening.” “Lay down the knife,” the angel said. “Do not hurt the boy in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld even your beloved son from Me.” Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a bush. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering on the altar in place of his son. Abraham named the place “The LORD will provide.” This name has now become a proverb: On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided. 36

Then the angel of the LORD called again to Abraham from Heaven. “This is what the LORD says: Because you have obeyed Me and have not withheld even your beloved son, I swear by My own self that I will bless you richly. I will multiply your descendants into countless millions, like the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore. They will conquer their enemies, and through your descendants, all the nations of the earth will be blessed - all because you have obeyed Me.” Then they returned to Abraham’s young men and traveled home again to Beersheba, where Abraham lived for quite some time.

This is what the LORD says:

“Because you have obeyed Me and have not withheld even your beloved son, I swear by My own self that I will bless you richly. like the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore.”

Rebekah Conceived

words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Genesis 25:21-26)

NOW ISAAC PLEADED WITH the LORD for his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived. But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If all is well, why am I like this?” So she went to inquire of the LORD. And the LORD said to her: “Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall be separated from your body; one people shall be stronger than the other, and the older shall serve the younger.” So when her days were fulfilled for her to give birth, indeed there were twins in her womb. And the first came out red. He was like a hairy garment all over; so they called his name Esau. Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau’s heel; so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.


Jacob’s Vow at Bethel

words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Genesis 28:10-22)

NOW JACOB WENT OUT from Beersheba and went toward Haran. So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he laid down in that place to sleep. Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth and its top reached to Heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And behold, the LORD stood above it and said: “I AM the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth. You shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Behold, I AM with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.” Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of Heaven!” Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously. Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God. And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”

Jacob’s Return to Bethel wo r d s : T h e Wo r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( G e n e s i s 3 5 : 1 - 15 )

THEN GOD SAID TO Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there; and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother.” And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments. Then let us arise and go to Bethel; and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me in the way which I have gone.” So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods which were in their hands, and the earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree which was by Shechem. And they journeyed, and the terror of God was upon the cities that were all around them, and they did not pursue the sons of Jacob. So Jacob came to Luz (that is Bethel), which is in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him. And he built an altar there and called the place El Bethel, because there God appeared to him when he fled from the face of his brother. . . Then God appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Padan Aram, and blessed him. And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name.” So He called his name Israel. Also God said to him: “I AM God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body. The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you; and to your descendants after you I give this land.” Then God went up from him in the place where He talked with him. So Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He talked with him, a pillar of stone; and he poured a drink offering on it, and he poured oil on it. And Jacob called the name of the place where God spoke with him Bethel.

Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you,

and kings

shall come from your body.

Jacob’s Twelve Sons words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Genesis 35:22-26)

NOW THE SONS OF Jacob were twelve: the sons of Leah were Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, and Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun; the sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin; the sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s maidservants, were Dan and Naphtali and the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s maidservant were Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Padan Aram.


“Arise, shine;

For your light has come!

And the glory of the is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people;

Lord

But the

Lord will arise over you,

and

His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall

come to your light,

and kings to the brightness of your

rising.�


Israel’s Suffering in Egypt

words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Exodus 1:1-14, 2:23-25)

Divine Exchange

Old Testament

NOW THESE ARE THE names of the children of Israel who came to Egypt; each man and his household came with Jacob: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; Dan, Naphtali, Gad and Asher. All those who were descendants of Jacob were seventy persons (for Joseph was in Egypt already). And Joseph died, all his brothers, and all that generation. But the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them.

But the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them. Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, “Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happened, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land.” Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel. So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor. And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage - in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in the field. All their service in which they made them serve was with rigor. NOW IT HAPPENED IN the process of time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. So God heard their groaning and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God ackowledged them.

Moses at the Burning Bush

words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Exodus 3)

NOW MOSES WAS TENDING the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.” So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Moreover He said, “I AM the God of your father - the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God. And the LORD said, “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taksmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to a place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” So He said, “I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt you shall serve God on this mountain.” Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’ ‘Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, ‘The LORD God of you fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob appeared to me, saying, “I have surely visited you and seen what is done to you in Egypt; and I have said I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Presites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, to a land flowing with milk and honey.”’

And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”

“Then they will heed your voice; and you shall come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt; and you shall say to him, ‘The LORD God of the Hebrews has met with us; and now, please, let us go three days’ journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God. But I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not even by a mighty hand. So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in its midst; and after that he will let you go. And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be, when you go, that you shall not go empty-handed. But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, namely of her who dwells near her house, articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing; and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So shall you plunder the Egyptians.”


The Patriarchs in Egypt words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:9-10)

Divine Exchange

New Testament

AND THE PATRIARCHS, BECOMING envies, sold Joseph into Egypt. But God was with him and delivered him out of all his troubles, and gave him favor and wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house. wo r d s : T h e Wo r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( A c t s 7: 13 - 14 )

AND THE SECOND TIME Joseph was made known to his brothers, and Joseph’s family became known to the Pharaoh. Then Joseph sent and called his father Jacob and all his relatives to him, seventy-five people.

The Faith of the Patriarchs w o r d s : T h e W o r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( H e b r e w s 11 : 2 1 - 2 2 )

BY FAITH JACOB, WHEN he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones.

Humility Cures Worldliness w o r d s : T h e W o r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( J a m e s 4 : 6 - 7,10 )

BUT HE GIVES MORE grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Humble yourselves in the sight of the LORD, and He will lift you up.

Submit to God, Resist the Devil w o r d s : T h e W o r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( 1 P e t e r 5 : 6 - 11 )

THEREFORE HUMBLE YOURSELVES UNDER the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Philip and Nathanael words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (John1:43-51)

humble

THE FOLLOWING DAY JESUS wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote - Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said to him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see Heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

41


The Exodus wo r d s : T h e Wo r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( E xo d u s 12 : 31 - 4 2 )

Divine Exchange

Old Testament

THEN HE CALLED FOR Moses and Aaron by night, and said, “Rise, go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. And go, serve the LORD as you have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also.” And the Egyptians urged the people that they might send them out of the land in haste. For they said, “We shall all be dead.” So the people took their dough before it was leavened, having their kneading bowls bound up in their clothes on their shoulders. Now the children of Israel had done according to the word of Moses and they had asked from the Egyptians articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing. And the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.

And the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians. Then the children of Israel journeyed from Ramesses to Succoth, above six hundred thousand men on foot, beside children. A mixed multitude went up with them also, and flocks and herds - a great deal of livestock. And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they had brought out of Egypt; for it was not leavened, because they were driven out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared provisions for themselves. Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years - on that very same day - it came to pass that all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. It is a night of solemn observance to the LORD for bringing them out of the land of Egypt. This is that night of the LORD, a solemn observance for all the children of Israel throughout their generations.

Bread from Heaven wo r d s : T h e Wo r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( E xo d u s 16 : 1 - 16 ) 42

AND THEY JOURNEYED FROM Elim, and all the congregations of the children of Israel came to the Wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they departed from the land of Egypt. Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. And the children of Israel said to them, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not. And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.”

“Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you.” Then Moses and Aaron said to all the children of Israel, “At evening you shall know that the LORD has brought you out of the land of Egypt. And in the morning you shall see the glory of the LORD; for He hears your complaints against the LORD. But what are we that you complain against us?” Also Moses said, “this shall be seen when the LORD gives you meat to eat in the evening, and in the morning bread to the full; for the LORD hears your complaints which you make against Him. But what are we? Your complaints are not against us but against the LORD.” Then Moses spoke to Aaron, “Say to all the congregation of the children of Israel, ‘Come near before the LORD, for He has heard your complaints.’” Now it came to pass as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud. And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “I have heard the complaints of the children of Israel. Speak to them, saying, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. And you shall know that I am the LORD your God.’” So it was that quails came up at evening and covered the camp, and in the morning the dew lay all around the camp. And when the layer of dew lifted, there, on the surface of the wilderness, was a small round substance, as fine as frost on the ground. So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” for they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat. This is the thing which the LORD has commanded: ‘Let every man gather it according to each one’s need, one omer for each person, according to the number of persons; let every man take for those who are in his tent.’”


The Bread from Heaven words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (John 6:22-40)

Divine Exchange

New Testament

ON THE FOLLOWING DAY, when the people who were standing on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, except that one which His disciples had entered, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with His disciples, but His disciples had gone away alone - however, other boats came from Tiberias, near the place where they ate bread after the LORD had given thanks - when the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they also got into boats and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will you perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from Heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from Heaven and gives life to the world.”

“For I have come down from Heaven not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” Then they said to Him, “LORD, give us this bread always.” And Jesus said to them, “I AM the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from Heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Rejected by His Own words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (John 6:41-51)

THE JEWS HAD COMPLAINED about Him, because He said, “I AM the bread which came down from Heaven.” And they said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from Heaven’?” Jesus therefore answered and said to them, “Do not murmur amoung yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I AM the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from Heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I AM the living bread which came down from Heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”


Israel at Mount Sinai

wo r d s : T h e Wo r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( E xo d u s 19 )

Divine Exchange

Old Testament

IN THE THIRD MONTH after the children of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on the same day, they came to the Wilderness of Sinai. For they had departed from Rephidim, had come to the Wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness. So Israel camped there before the mountain. And Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel - ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” So Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before them all these words which the LORD commanded him.

“Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine and you shall be to Me

a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Then all the people answered together, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do.” So Moses brought back the words of the people to the LORD. And the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I come to you in the thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you and believe you forever.” So Moses told the words of the people to the LORD. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. And let them be ready for the third day. For on the third day the LORD will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, ‘Take heed to yourselves that you do not go up to the mountain or touch its base. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. Not a hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot with an arrow; whether man or beast, he shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds long, they shall come near the mountain.” So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and sanctified the people, and they washed their clothes. And he said to the people, “Be ready for the third day; do not come near your wives.” Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice. Then the LORD came down upon Mounat Sinai, on the top of the mountain, and the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. And the LORD said to Moses, “Go down and warn the people, lest they break through to gaze at the LORD, and many of them perish. Also let the priests who come near the LORD consecrate themselves, lest the LORD break out against them,” But Moses said to the LORD, “The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai; for You warned us, saying, ‘Set bounds around the mountain and consecrate it.’” Then the LORD said to him, “Away! Get down and then come up, you and Aaron with you. But do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the LORD, lest He break out against them.” So Moses went down to the people and spoke to them.


Jesus Christ is God’s Son words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 1)

Divine Exchange

New Testament

LONG AGO GOD SPOKE many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. But now in these final days, He has spoken to us through His Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son He made the universe and everything in it. The Son reflects God’s own glory, and everything about Him represents God exactly. He sustains the universe by the mighty power of His command. After He died to cleanse us from the stain of sin, He sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God of Heaven. This shows that God’s Son is far greater than the angels, just as the name God gave Him is far greater than their names. For God never said to any angel what He said to Jesus: “You are My Son. Today I have become Your Father.” And again God said, “I will be His Father, and He will be My Son.” And then, when He presented His honored Son to the world, God said, “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” God calls His angels “messengers swift as the wind, and servants made of flaming fire.” But to His Son He says, “Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. Your royal power is expressed in righteousness. You love what is right and hate what is wrong. Therefore God, your God has anointed You, pouring out the oil of joy on You more than on anyone else.”

“You are My Son. Today I have become Your Father. Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever.

Your royal power is expressed in righteousness. You love what is right and hate what is wrong. Therefore God, your God has anointed You,

pouring out the oil of joy on You more than on anyone else.” And, “LORD, in the beginning you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. Even they will perish, but You remain forever. They will wear out like old clothing. You will roll them up like an old coat. They will fade away like old clothing. But You are always the same; You will never grow old.” And God never said to an angel, as He did to His Son, “Sit at My right hand until I humble Your enemies, making them a footstool under Your feet.” But angels are only servants. They are spirits sent from God to care for those who will receive salvation.

“Sit at My right hand until I humble Your enemies, making them a footstool under Your feet.” The Glorious Company wor ds: The Wor d of God, inspired by the Hol y Spirit (Hebrew s 12:18-24)

FOR YOU HAVE NOT come to the mountain that may be touched and that burnt with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. (For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.” And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”) But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in Heaven, to God the judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.

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The Ten Commandments

w o r d s : T h e Wo r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( E xo d u s 2 0 : 1 - 17 )

Divine Exchange

Old Testament

AND GOD SPOKE ALL these words, saying, “I AM the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image - any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

The Sin Offering

words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Leviticus 4)

NOW THE LORD SPOKE to Moses, saying “Speak to the children of Isael, saying: ‘If a person sins unintentionally against any of the commandments of the LORD in anything which ought not to be done, and does any of them, if the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, then let him offer to the LORD for his sin which he has sinned a young bull without blemish as a sin offering. He shall bring the bull to the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the LORD, lay his hand on the bull’s head, and kill the bull before the LORD. Then the anointed priest shall take some of the bull’s blood and bring it to the tabernacle of meeting. The priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle some of the blood seven times before the LORD, in front of the veil of the sanctuary. And the priest shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the LORD, which is in the tabernacle of meeting; and he shall pour the remaining blood of the bull at the base of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. He shall take from it all the fat of the bull as the sin offering. The fat that covers the entrails and all the fat which is on the entrails, the two kidneys and the fat that is on them by the flanks, and the fatty lobe attached to the liver above the kidneys, he shall remove, as it was taken from the bull of the sacrifice of the peace offering; and the priest shall burn them on the altar of the burnt offering. But the bull’s hide and all its flesh, with its head and legs, its entrails and offal - the whole bull he shall carry outside the camp to a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn it on wood with fire; where the ashes are poured out it shall be burnt. Now if the whole congregation of Israel sins unintentionally, and the thing is hidden from the eyes of the assembly, and they have done something agaianst any of the commandments of the LORD in anything which should not be done, and are guilty; when the sin which they have committed becomes known, then the assembly shall offer a young bull for the sin and bring it before the tabernacle of meeting. And the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands on the head of the bull before the LORD. Then the bull shall be killed before the LORD. The annointed priest shall bring some of the bull’s blood to the tabernacle of meeting. Then the priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle it seven times before the LORD, in front of the veil. And he shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar which is before the LORD, which is in the tabernacle of meeting; and he shall pour the remaining bllod at the base of the altar of burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. He shall take all the fat from it and burn it on the altar. And he shall do with the bull as he did with the bull as a sin offering; thus he shall do with it. So the priest shall make atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them. Then he shall carry the bull outside the camp, and burn it as he burned the first bull. It is a sin offering for the assembly. When a ruler has sinned and done something unintentionally against any of the commandments of the LORD his God in anything which should not be done, and is guilty, or if his sin which he has committed comes to his knowledge, he shall bring as his offering a kid of the goats, a male without blemish. And he shall lay his hand on the head of the goat, and kill it at the place where they kill the burnt offering before the LORD. It is a sin offering. The priest shall take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and pour its blood at the base of the altar of burnt offering. And he shall burn all its fat on the altar, like the fat of the sacrifice of the peace offering. So the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his sin, and it shall be forgiven him. If anyone of the common people sins unintentionally by doing something against any of the commandments of the LORD in anything which ought not to be done, and is guilty, or if his sin which he has committed comes to his knowledge, then he shall bring as his offering a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he has committed. And he shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering, and kill the sin offering at the place of the burnt offering. Then the priest shall take some of its blood with his finger, put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and pour all the remaining blood at the base of the altar. He shall remove all its flood, as fat is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offering; and the priest shall burn it on the altar for a sweet aroma to the LORD. So the priest shall make atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him. If he brings a lamb as a sin offering, he shall bring a female without blemish. Then he shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering, and kill it as a sin offering at the place where they kill the burnt offering. The priest shall take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and pour all the remaining blood at the base of the altar. He shall remove all its fat, as the fat is the lamb is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offering. Then the priest shall burn it on the altar, according to the offerings made by fire to the LORD. So the priest shall make atonement for his sin that he has committed, and it shall be forgiven him.


Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 10:1-18)

Divine Exchange

New Testament

THE OLD SYSTEM UNDER the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were reoeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once and for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared. But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. That is why, when Christ came into the world, He said to God, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings. But you have given Me a body to offer. You were not pleased with burnt offerings or other offerings for sin. Then I said, ‘Look, I have come to do Your will o God as it is written about Me in the Scriptures.’” First, Christ said, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings or other offerings for sin, nor were you pleased with them” (though they are required by the law of Moses). Then He said, “Look, I have come to do Your will.” He cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect. For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time. Under the old covenant the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never takes away sins. But our High Priest offered Himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then He sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. There He waits until His enemies are humbled and made a footstool under His feet. For by that one offering He forever made perfect those who are being made holy. And the Holy Spirit also testifies that this is so. For He says, “This is the new covenant I will make with My people on that day, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then He says, “I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.” And when sins have been forgiven there is no need for anymore sacrifices.

Jesus Institutes the Lord’s Supper

grace and mercy

words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 26:26-30)

AND AS THEY WERE eating, Jesus took bread blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Hear the Heavenly Voice

wor ds: The Wor d of God, inspired by the Hol y Spirit (Hebrew s 12:25-29)

SEE THAT YOU DO not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from Heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a Kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and Godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.

Living Stones for God’s House

words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (I Peter 2:4-5;9-10)

COMING TO HIM AS to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. . .But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now a people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.


words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 5:32-33)

Divine Exchange

Old Testament

THEREFORE YOU SHALL BE careful to do as the LORD your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. You shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.

You shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.

The Greatest Commandment words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:1-9)

NOW THIS IS THE commandment and these are the statutes and judgments which the LORD your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, that you may fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the LORD God of your fathers has promised - ‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’ Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.


The Scribes: Which is the First Commandment of All? words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 22:34-40)

Divine Exchange

New Testament

BUT WHEN THE PHARISEES heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

The Test of Knowing Him w o r d s : T h e W o r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( 1 J o h n 2 : 3 - 11 )

NOW BY THIS WE know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him, ought himself also to walk just as He walked. Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in the darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in Him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

The Greatest Gift

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wo r d s : T h e Wo r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( 1 C o r i n t h i a n s 13 )

THOUGH I SPEAK WITH the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clinging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophecy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

love

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, an, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know ow just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.


BLESSINGS FOR OBEDIENCE If you fully obey the LORD your God by keeping all the commands I am giving you today, the LORD your God will exalt you above all the nations of the world. You will experience all these blessings if you obey the LORD your God: You will be blessed in your towns and in the country. You will be blessed with many children and productive fields. You will be blessed with fertile herds and flocks. You will be blessed with baskets overflowing with fruit, and with kneading bowls filled with bread. You will be blessed wherever you go, both in coming and in going. The LORD will conquer your enemies when they attack you. They will attack you from one direction, but they will scatter from you in seven. The LORD will bless everything you do and will fill your storehouses with grain. The LORD your God will bless you in the land He is giving you. If you obey the commands of the LORD your God and walk in His ways, the LORD will establish you as His holy people as He solemnly promised to do. Then all the nations of the world will see that you are a people claimed by the LORD, and they will stand in awe of you. The LORD will give you an abundance of good things in the land He swore to give your ancestors - many children, numerous livestock, and abundant crops. The LORD will send rain at the proper time from His rich treasury in the heavens to bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them. If you listen to these commands of the LORD your God and carefully obey them, the LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always have the upper hand. You must not turn away from any of the commands I am giving you today to follow after other gods and worship them. words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 28:1-14)


God’s Commission to Joshua words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Joshua 1:1-9)

Divine Exchange

Old Testament

AFTER THE DEATH OF Moses the servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: “Moses, My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I AM giving to them - the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.

Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I

AM giving to them - the children of Israel.

Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.

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Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

The Order to Cross the Jordan words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Joshua 1:10-18)

THEN JOSHUA COMMANDED THE officers of the people, saying, “Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess.’” And to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh Joshua spoke, saying, “Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying,‘The LORD your God is giving you rest and is giving you this land.’ Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side of the Jordan. But you shall pass before your brethren, armed, all your mighty men of valor, and help them, until the LORD has given your brethren rest, as He gave you, and they also have taken possession of the land which the LORD your God is giving them. Then you shall return to the land of your possession and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD‘s servant gave you on this side of the Jordan towards the sunrise.” So they answered Joshua, saying, “All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we heeded Moses in all things, so we will heed you. Only the LORD your God be with you, as He was with Moses. Whoever rebels against your command, and does not heed your words, in all that you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage.”

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth but you shall meditate in it day and night,

Be

strong and of good courage; do not be afraid,

nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”


IN OCTOBER 2005 THE Holy Spirit started ministering to me in a very specific way about a tent peg, of which I wrote in the “From my heart” editorial letter in Issue No 10, Chrysoprase. This Issue was published in AprilMay 2006. I partly wrote about the woman, Jael, in the Book of Judges who by means of using a tent peg pierced the head of the enemy while he was sleeping and Israel became victorious. In February-March 2007, the Holy Spirit started ministering to me concerning Boaz and Ruth from the Book of Ruth, of which now, AprilMay 2007, this section is also included in our Pearl Issue. I could ignore this sequence, yet on reading the following I once more understood that God’s ways are far above our own ways and we need to just hear His voice, listen to what He is saying and allow Him to over time, reveal His message and purposes completely to us. Remember, God’s timing is perfect!

H IS ways y

IN

UNDERSTANDING THE BOOK OF JUDGES (Taken from, “What the Bible is all about” Regal Books) SOMEONE HAS CALLED THE Book of Judges the account of the Dark Ages of the Israelite people. The people forsook God (Judges 2:13) and God forsook the people (Judges 2:23). Judges covers the period after the death of their great leader, Joshua, to the ascension of Saul to the throne of Israel. The people were ruled by Judges whom God raised up to deliver His oppressed people. We read, “In those days there was no king in Israel” (Judges 17:6). It covers the history of the 350 years in the land of Promise. It gives us a record of great exploits. It was a new hour in the history of Israel. Remember, Israel had come from a long era of bondage in Egypt to a period of forty years when the people lived in tents and wandered in the wilderness. Now the march was over. The nomads were to become settlers in a land of their own. The change was not as easy for them as they expected it to be. The Book of Judges is in a way another Book of beginnings where we see a new nation adjusting national life. It is filled with struggle and disasters, but also with the moral courage of a select few. UNDERSTANDING THE BOOK OF RUTH (Taken from, “What the Bible is all about” Regal Books) THIS DELIGHTFUL STORY SHOULD be read in connection with the first chapters of Judges, as no doubt it gives us an idea of the domestic life of Israel at the point of anarchy. Ruth was the great-grandmother of David. This Book establishes the lineage of David, the ancestor of Christ. It tells of the beginning of the Messianic family within the Messianic nation into which, over a thousand years later, the Messiah was to be born. There are some interesting things to notice in this Book. Ruth was a Moabitess. These people were descendants of Lot. They were pagans, worshiping many gods and goddesses. God, in establishing the family that was to produce the world’s Savior, chose a beautiful pagan girl, led her to Bethlehem where she met Boaz, her “kinsman redeemer”, a relative of Naomi who first made her a family member and then made her his bride. This is God’s grace. He adopts the Gentiles into Christ’s family. Of course we know that although Ruth was born a pagan, through her first husband, or through Naomi, she learned of the true God. Boaz was the son of Rahab, the harlot found in Jericho. See Matthew 1:5. So we see that David’s great-grandmother was a Moabites and his great-grandfather was half Canaanite. This is found in the bloodline of the Messiah.

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Israel’s Disobedience words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Judges 2:1-6)

THEN THE ANGEL OF the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, “I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you. And you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed My voice. Why have you done this? Therefore I also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; but they shall be thorns in your side, and their gods shall be a snare to you.’” So it was, when the Angel of the LORD spoke these words to all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voices and wept. Then they called the name of that place Bochim; and they sacrificed there to the LORD. And when Joshua had dismissed the people, the children of Israel went each to his own inheritance to possess the land.

Deborah

words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Judges 4)

WHEN EHUD WAS DEAD, the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD. So the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who dwelt in Harosheth Hagoyim. And the children of Israel cried out to the LORD; for Jabin had nine hundred chariots of iron, and for twenty years he had harshly oppressed the children of Israel. Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time. And she would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the mountains of Ephraim.

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And the children of Israel came up to her for judgment. Then she sent and called for Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali, and said to him, “Has not the LORD God of Israel commanded, ‘Go and deploy troops at Mount Tabor; take with you ten thousand men of the sons of Naphtali and of the sons of Zebulun; and against you I will deploy Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitude at the River Kishon; and I will deliver him into your hand’?” And Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go!” So she said, “I will surely go with you; nevertheless there will be no glory for you in the journey you are taking, for the LORD will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh. And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; he went up with ten thousand men under his command, and Deborah went up with him. Now Heber the Kenite, of the children of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses, had seperated himself from the Kenites and pitched his tent near the terebinth tree at Zaanaim, which is beside Kedesh. And they reported to Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam had gone to Mount Tabor. So Sisera gathered together all his chariots, nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people who were with him, from Harosheth Hagoyim to the River Kishon. Then Deborah said to Barak, “Up! For this is the day in which the LORD has delivered Sisera into your hand. Has not the LORD gone out before you?” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men following him. And the LORD routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army with the edge of the sword before Barak; and Sisera alighted from his chariot and fled away on foot. But Barak pursued the chariots and the army as far as Harosheth Hagoyim, and all the army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; not a man was left. However, Sisera had fled away on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite; for there was peace between Jabin king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. And Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Turn aside, my lord, turn aside to me; do not fear.” And when he had turned aside with her into the tent, she covered him with a blanket. Then he said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.” So she opened a jug of milk, gave him a drink, and covered him. And he said to her, “Stand at the door of the tent, and if any man comes and inquires of you, and says, ‘Is there any man here?’ you shall say, ‘No.’” Then Jael, Heber’s wife took a tent peg and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly to him and drove the peg into his temple, and it went down into the ground; for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died. And then, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said to him, “Come, I will show you the man whom you seek.” And when he went into her tent, there lay Sisera, dead with the peg in his temple. So on that day God subdued Jabin king of Canaan in the presence of the children of Israel. And the hand of the children of Israel grew stronger and stronger against Jabin king of Canaan until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.


Elimelech’s Family Goes to Moab

words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Ruth 1:1-5)

Divine Exchange

Old Testament

NOW IT CAME TO pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech, the name of his wife was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion - Ephrathites of Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to the country of Moab and remained there. Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. Now they took wives of the women of Moab: the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years. Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband.

Ruth Meets Boaz words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Ruth 2)

THERE WAS A RELATIVE OF Naomi’s husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech. His name was Boaz. So Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I might find favor.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.” Then she left and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers. And she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech. Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers, “The LORD be with you!” And they answered him, “The LORD bless you!” Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, “Whose young woman is this?” So the servant who was in charge of the reapers answered and said, “It is the young Moabite woman who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. And she said, ‘Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves.’ So she came and has continued from morning until now, though she rested a little in the house.” Then Boaz said to Ruth, “You will listen, my daughter, will you not? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women. Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Have I not commanded the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.” So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” And Boaz answered her and said to her, “It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before.

“Let me find favor in your sight, my lord. . . ”

The LORD repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.” Then she said, “Let me find favor in your sight, my lord; for you have comforted me, and have spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants.” Now Boaz said to her at mealtime, “Come here, and eat of the bread, and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed parched grain to her; and she ate and was satisfied and kept some back. And when she rose up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. Also let grain from the bundles fall purposefully for her; leave it that she may glean, and do not rebuke her.” So she gleaned in the field until evening, and beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. Then she took it up and went into the city, and her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. So she brought out and gave her what she had kept back after she had been satisfied. And her mother-in-law said to her, “Where have you gleaned today? And where did you work? Blessed be the one who took notice of you.” So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said, “The man’s name with whom I worked today is Boaz.” Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “Blessed be he of the LORD, who has not forsaken His kindness to the living and the dead!” And Naomi said to her, “This man is a relation of ours, one of our close relatives.” Ruth the Moabitess said, “He also said to me, ‘You shall stay close by my young men until they have finished all my harvest.’” And Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, and that people do not meet you in any other field.” So she stayed close by the young women of Boaz, to glean until the end of barley harvest and wheat harvest; and she dwelt with her mother-in-law.


The Family of Elkanah

words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (1 Samuel 1:1-7)

Divine Exchange

Old Testament

NOW THERE WAS A certain man of Ramathaim Zophim, of the mountains of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, and Ephraimite. And he had two wives: the name of one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. This man went up from his city yearly to worship and sacrifice to the LORD of Hosts in Shiloh. Also the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD were there. And whenever the time came for Elkanah to make an offering, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daugthers. But to Hannah he would give a double portion, for the love of Hannah, although the LORD had closed her womb. And her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the LORD had closed her womb. So it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, that she provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat.

Hannah’s Vow

words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (1 Samuel 1:8-18)

THEN ELKANAH HER HUSBAND said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?” So Hannah arose after they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the tabernacle of the LORD. And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the LORD and wept in anguish. Then she made a vow and said, “O LORD of Hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant, a male child then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.” And it happened as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli watched her mouth. Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!” But Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but I have poured out my soul before the LORD. Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now.” Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.” And she said, “Let your maidservant find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.

Samuel Is Born and Dedicated wo r d s : T h e Wo r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( 1 S a m u e l 1 : 19 - 2 8 )

THEN THEY ROSE EARLY in the morning and worshiped before the LORD, and returned and came to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. So it came to pass in the process of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked for him from the LORD.” Now the man Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to the LORD the yearly sacrifice and his vow. But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “Not until the child is weaned; then I will take him, that he may appear before the LORD and remain there forever.” So Elkanah her husband said to her, “Do what seems best to you; wait until you have weaned him. Only let the LORD establish His word.” Then the woman stayed and nursed her son until she weaned him. Now when she weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bulls, one ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the LORD in Shiloh. And the child was young. Then they slaughtered a bull, and brought the child to Eli. And she said, “O my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to the LORD. For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition which I have asked of Him. Therefore I also have lent him to the LORD; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the LORD.” So they worshiped the LORD there.


Samuel’s First Prophecy

words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (1 Samuel 3)

Divine Exchange

Old Testament

NOW THE BOY SAMUEL ministered to the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation. And it came to pass in that time, while Eli was lying down in his place, and when his eyes had begun to grow so dim that he could not see, and before the lamp of God went out in the tabernacle of the LORD where the ark of God was, and while Samuel was lying down, that the LORD called Samuel. And he answered, “Here I am!” So he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you callled me.” And he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” And he went and lay down. Then the LORD called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” He answered, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” (Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, nor was the word of the LORD revealed to him.) And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. So he arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.” Then Eli perceived that the LORD had called the boy, therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. Now the LORD came and stood and called as other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant hears.” Then the LORD said to Samuel: ‘Behold, I will do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them. And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned by sacrifice or offering forever.” So Samuel lay down until morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel was afraid to tell Eli the vision. Then Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son!” He answered, “Here I am.” And he said, “What is the word that the LORD spoke to you? Please do not hide it from me. God do so to you, and more also, if you hide anything from me of all the things that He said to you.” Then Samuel told him everything, and hid nothing from him. And he said, “It is the LORD. Let him do what seems good to Him.” So Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel had been established as a prophet of the LORD. Then the LORD appeared again in Shiloh. For the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.

David Anointed King wo r d s : T h e Wo r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( 1 S a m u e l 16 : 1 - 13 )

NOW THE LORD SAID to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.” And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” But the LORD said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’ Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; you shall anoint for Me the one I name to you.” So Samuel did what the LORD said and went to Bethlehem. And the elders at the town trembled at his coming, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” And he said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, “Surely the LORD’s anointed is before Him!” But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” So Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen these.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.” So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.


David Reigns over All Israel words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Samuel 5:1-5)

THEN ALL THE TRIBES of Israel came to David at Hebron and spoke, saying, “Indeed we are your bone and your flesh. Also, in time passed, when Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel out and brought them in; and the LORD said to you, ‘You shall shepherd My people Israel, and be ruler over Israel.’” Therefore all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the LORD. And they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah.

The Conquest of Jerusalem wo r d s : T h e Wo r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( 2 S a m u e l 5 : 6 - 12 )

AND THE KING AND his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who spoke to David, saying, “You shall not come in here; but the blind and the lame shall repel you,” thinking, “David cannot come in here.” Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion (that is, the City of David). Now David said on that day, “Whoever climbs up by way of the water shaft and defeats the Jebusites (the lame and the blind, who are hated by David’s soul), he shall be chief and captain.” Therefore they say, “The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.” Then David dwelt in the stronghold and called it the City of David. And David built all around from the Millo and inward. So David went on and became great, and the LORD God of Hosts was with him. Then Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters and masons. And they built David a house. So David knew that the LORD had established him as king over Israel, and that he had exhalted His kingdom for the sake of His people Israel.

The Ark Brought to Jerusalem

wo r d s : T h e Wo r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( 2 S a m u e l 6 : 1 - 19 )

AGAIN DAVID GATHERED ALL the choice men of Israel, thirty thousand. And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, whose name is called by the name, the LORD of Hosts, who dwells between the cherubim. So they set the ark of God on a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drove the new cart. And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill, accompanying the ark of God; and Ahio went before the ark. Then David and all the house of Israel played music before the LORD on all kinds of instruments of fir wood, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on sistrums, and on cymbals. And when they came to Nachon’s threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of the LORD was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God. And David became angry because of the LORD’s outbreak against Uzzah; and he called the name of the place Perez Uzzah to this day. David was afraid of the LORD that day; and he said, “How can the ark of the LORD come to me?” So David would not move the ark of the LORD with him into the City of David; but David took it aside into the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. The ark of the LORD remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gitite three months. And the LORD blessed Obed-Edom and all his household. Now it was told King David, saying, “The LORD has blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with gladness. And so it was, when those bearing the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, that he sacrificed oxen and fatted sheep. Then David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet. Now as the ark of the LORD came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart. So they brought the ark of the LORD, and set it in its place in the midst of the tabernacle that David had erected for it. Then David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD. And when David had finished offering burnt offerings and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of Hosts. Then he distributed among all the people, among the whole multitude of Israel, both the women and the men, to everyone a loaf of bread, a piece of meat, and a cake of raisins. So all the people departed, everyone to his house.


The Ark Brought to Jerusalem (continued)

Divine Exchange

Old Testament

words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Samuel 6:20-23)

THEN DAVID RETURNED TO bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, “How glorious was the king of Israel today, uncovering himself today in the eyes of the maids of his servants, as one of the base fellows shamelessly uncovers himself?” So David said to Michal, “It was before the LORD, who chose me instead of your father and all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel. Therefore I will play music before the LORD. And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight. But as for the maidservants of whom you have spoken, by them I will be held in honor.” Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.

God’s Covenant with David

w o r d s : T h e Wo r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( 2 S a m u e l 7: 1 - 17 )

NOW IT CAME TO pass when the king was dwelling in his house, and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies all around, that the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of Cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains.” Then Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the LORD is with you.” But it happened that night that the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying, “Go and tell My servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Would you build a house for Me to dwell in? For I have not dwelt in a house since the time that I brought the children of Israel up from Egypt, even to this day, but have moved about in a tent and in a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved about with all the children of Israel, have I ever spoken a word to anyone from the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd My people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of Cedar?’” Now therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD of Hosts: “I took you from the sheepfold, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people, over Israel. And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you, and have made you a great name, like the name of the great men who are on the earth. Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously, since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel, and have caused you to rest from all your enemies. Also the LORD tells you that He will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity; I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.”’” According to all these words and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.

The King of Glory and His Kingdom words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Psalm 24)

THE EARTH IS THE LORD’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters. Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face. Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of Hosts, He is the King of glory.

The LORD of Hosts, He is the King of glory.

59


“FOR BEHOLD, THE DAY is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up,” says the LORD of Hosts, “That will leave them neither root nor branch. But to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings; and you shall go out and grow like stall-fed calves. You shall trample the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day that I do this,” says the LORD of Hosts. “Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4


“But to you who fear the

My Name,

Sun of Righteousness shall arise with

healing in His wings; And you shall and

go out

grow like stall-fed calves. . .� says the LORD of Hosts. Malachi 4:2


The Coming Messenger

Divine Exchange

Old Testament

words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Malachi 3:1-7)

“BEHOLD, I SEND MY messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the LORD, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” says the LORD of Hosts. “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the LORD an offering in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasant to the LORD, as in the days of old, as in former years. And I will come near you for judgment; I will be a swift witness against sorcerers, against adulterers, against purjurers, against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans, and against those who turn away an alien - because they do not fear Me,” says the LORD of Hosts. “For I AM the LORD, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. Yet from the days of your fathers you have gone away from My ordinances and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD of Hosts. “But you said, ‘In what way shall we return?’”

Do Not Rob God wo r d s : T h e Wo r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( M a l a ch i 3 : 8 - 12 )

“WILL A MAN ROB God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me in this,” says the LORD of Hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of Heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” says the LORD of Hosts; “And all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land,” says the LORD of Hosts.

The People Complain Harshly

wo r d s : T h e Wo r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( M a l a ch i 3 : 13 - 15 )

“YOUR WORDS HAVE BEEN harsh against Me,” says the LORD, “Yet you say, ‘What have we spoken against You?’ You have said, ‘It is useless to serve God; what profit is it that we have kept His ordinance and that we have walked as mourners before the LORD of Hosts? So now we call the proud blessed, for those who do wickedness are raised up; they even tempt God and go free.’”

A Book of Remembrance

wo r d s : T h e Wo r d o f G o d , i n s p i r e d b y t h e H o l y S p i r i t ( M a l a ch i 3 : 16 - 18 )

THEN THOSE WHO FEARED the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name. “They shall be Mine,” says the LORD of Hosts, “On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.


Christ’s Birth Announced to Mary words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:26-38)

Divine Exchange

New Testament

IN THE SIXTH MONTH the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the LORD is with you; blessed are you among the women.” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the LORD God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His Kingdom there will be no end.” Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the LORD! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His Kingdom there will be no end. Mary Visits Elizabeth words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:39-45)

Jesus,

NOW MARY AROSE IN those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women. And blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me that the mother of my LORD should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the LORD.”

The Song of Mary

Holy is His Name

words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:46-56)

AND MARY SAID: “MY soul magnifies the LORD, and my spirit has rejoiced rejo in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations ns will call me blessed. esse For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from rom generation tion to generation generation. He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent empty. He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever.” And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her house.


PSALM 33 SING JOYFULLY TO THE LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise Him. Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to Him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to Him a new song; play skilfully, and shout for joy. For the word of the LORD is right and true; He is faithful in all He does. The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of His unfailing love. By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of His mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; He puts the deep into storehouses.

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Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere Him. For He spoke and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm. The LORD foils the plans of the nations; He thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people He chose for His inheritance. From Heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from His dwelling place He watches all who live on earth - He who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.

PSALM 34 I WILL EXTOL THE LORD at all times; His praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt His name together. I sought the LORD, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, He delivers them. Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. Fear the LORD, you His saints, for those who fear Him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their cry; the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.

No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear Him, on those who hope is in His unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.

We wait in hope for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His Holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.

Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned. The LORD redeems His servants; no one will be condemned who takes refuge in Him.


Before and during the production of this Pearl Issue, there were certain Scripture references that the Holy Spirit laid very heavily upon my heart to include. I typed these specific Scriptures out and saved them all in one file. As I worked my way through Pearl, I saw each Scripture find its place. There was one section that I was yet to understand why the Holy Spirit included it (Acts 16:25-31). What was the relevance of this Scripture to the message of the Kingdom of Heaven? Now looking back, I am only permitted to say that I am but only a vessel in His Hands. After including Psalm 93 and the commentary out of the the Spirit Filled Life Bible, NKJ, Acts 16:25-31 found its place! I tasted and I saw the LORD is good! God is SO real. . .and His Kingdom is SO real. . . and He is SO Faithful. . . just allow Him into your life!

H IS ways y

IN

COMMENTARY ON PSALM 93:2

PSALM 93 The Eternal Reign of the LORD THE LORD REIGNS, HE is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed, He has girded Himself with strength. Surely the world is established, so that it cannot be moved. Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting. The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voices; the floods lift up their waves. The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, than the mighty waves of the sea. Your testimonies are very sure; Holiness adorns Your house, O LORD, forever.

(Spirit Filled Life Bible) - Inviting God’s Rule, Worship and the Kingdom “Your throne is established from of old.” The notion that kingdom advance “‘establishes” God’s throne needs clearer understanding. It is foolish to think man could add to or diminish the power or glory of God’s Kingdom rule. However, it is equally unwise to overlook the responsible place the redeemed have been given. We are to welcome the Kingdom and administrate situations on Earth by inviting the overarching might of God’s Spirit to move into difficult or impossible circumstances and transform them. This is done by praise: “In everything [not ”for” everything] give thanks [fill the situation with praise], for this is God’s will for you” (I Thessalonians 5:17). Thus we welcome the overruling power of God’s presence into any situation we face. Pray, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done - Here.” Then, set up a place for God’s throne to enter by filling your life’s settings with praise. As Gideon’s trumpeters (Judges 7:17-22) and Jehoshaphat’s choir (2 Chronicles 20:20-22) confounded their enemies and paved the way for the victory the LORD said He would give, so praise brings the same entry of the King’s kingdom today.

ACTS 16:25 16:25-31

praise His Holy Name

AROUND MIDNIGHT, NIGHT, GHT, PAUL AND Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. listening Suddenly, Suddenly there was a great Sudden grea earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. But Paul shouted to him, “Don’t do it! We are all here!” Trembling with fear, the jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down before Paul and Silas. He brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe on the LORD Jesus and you will be saved, along with your entire household.”


ADONAI:

my LORD, my Master

Also he said, “Bring the shawl that is on you and hold it.” And when she held it, he measured six ephahs of barley, and laid it on her. Then she went into the city. Ruth 3:15

May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamor bore to Judah, because of the offspring which the Lord will give you from this young woman. So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife... Ruth 4:12-13

Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel!” Ruth 4:14


SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PHOTO The meaning is two-fold: The young woman represents Ruth as in the Scripture on the opposite page. Having been redeemed (bought back) by Boaz, her “kinsman-redeemer”, she walks under his covering. The young woman signifies us, the Church of Jesus Christ, ultimately His bride. We have been redeemed by Jesus, our “Kinsman-Redeemer” who paid the Ultimate Price. Giving His life, He brought us out of sin into a life, free in Him, covered by His Blood, filled and anointed by His Spirit, the Holy Spirit. As this young woman walks out of the tunnel of darkness into the openness and light, so we can walk away from a life of darkness into His marvelous Light. . . and ultimately, eternal life!


H IS ways

IN

Since 2004 the Holy Spirit has been ministering to me about Esther. The first significant moment was one evening after reading from the Book of Esther, I prayed to God that if Esther could fast for her nation for three days, then I could do it too. I did not know the significance thereof yet, but I decided to obey the prompting. I fasted for three days. Then one Sunday after the fast, during a church service, I recall singing the following song, “Ask and I’ll give the nations to you, oh LORD, that’s the cry of my heart.” That song impacted my heart. Just after that God led me into MY World and I can still clearly recall a prophecy spoken to me by Pastor Ray Bevan. “My daughter, you read the Book of Esther. Don’t discount that word. Take it. I AM putting a magazine into your hand . . .” He added that if I did not do it, God would raise up somebody else. It was then that the Holy Spirit started to lead me on a very specific path concerning certain things in my life. It was a process in the natural, yet it had great spiritual significance. For three years, from March 2004 - March 2007 I went through an intense process of change and renewal. One example was when, at the end of 2006 the Holy Spirit led me to give away all high heel shoes in my wardrobe. I had to go completely flat. I did not resist this prompting and I obeyed. When I asked Him what the significance was, He ministered to me, “Who told you to wear those high heels?” I could only answer, “Nobody LORD.” I heard Him speak into my spirit, “I want you to come down to the height I created you to be.” The lesson I learnt was one of submission. My dresscode also changed. From very formal to less formal and more feminine. I had to start seeing what He sees when He looks at me. Now I see myself through His eyes, wonderfully and fearfully created, wearing that which He guides me to wear. I believe that which pleases Him. So the Esther process continued. On the 10th of October 2006, we moved into our new offices. It was a significant date. That day we dedicated everything that went into the office as separated, sanctified and holy unto the LORD. I literally went through each box to see that we did not take any clutter in with us. Then on the 19th of October during a morning prayer meeting, Dewald, one of our intercessors, gave me the following Scriptures, Esther 5:2-3 and Psalm 2:8. He was

unaware that the previous evening I had opened my Bible on this same passage in Esther and at approximately one o’clock in the morning I woke up and the Holy Spirit led me to watch the Christian Television Channel, TBN. Tommy Tenney was presenting “One night with the King” based on the Book of Esther. So on the 19th of October 2006 Dewald said that I should take to heart Esther 5:2-3, “So it was when the king saw queen Esther standing in the court, that she found favor in his sight, and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther went near and touched the top of the scepter. And the king said to her, ‘What do you wish, queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given to you - up to half of the kingdom!’” and Psalm 2:8, “Ask of Me and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession.” “Ask God for anything today Lindie,” Dewald said. I took those words very seriously. I had the reverential fear of God upon me and I knew that there would be a time during that day that I would come into the presence of my Father and speak to Him concerning this request. What would I ask of Him? Well, that evening I invited Cherise along with me to friends for supper, André and Christa. We enjoyed a lovely evening of fellowship and before we left we had a prayer. Each of us prayed, yet as I started to pray, I realised, that although I thought my moment with God would be on my own, the Holy Spirit led me to the Father’s heart at that specific moment. I truly wanted to pray that which God wanted me to pray. As I prayed, a tenderness engulfed me. It felt as if I was standing in front of my Father, looking up at Him like a little girl, yet so close I could feel His heart. Out of my being came forth the following words: “LORD, if there is one thing I can ask of You, please teach me to AGAPE You. Teach me to truly LOVE You LORD.” And that was it. Tears filled my eyes as I was so aware of Him.


I kept on hearing this word: Adonai. . . Adonai. As we ended the evening, I shared this with André, Christa and Cherise. On my way home André and Christa sent me a text message on my phone. Adonai means: my LORD, my Master. I realised that that evening the Holy Spirit taught me to cry out, “my LORD, my Master”. In January 2007 one Friday afternoon during a prayer meeting at our offices, Dewald and Marelies (our prayer intercessors) were praying with us and Dewald said to me, “Lindie, our Father says that He is going to show you His AGAPE Love.” Dewald was unaware of my prayer in October. Just think of this for a moment, I asked the LORD to teach me how to love Him and He responded to me by saying, “I’m going to show you My LOVE for you!” During the same time the Holy Spirit prompted me to read the Book of Ruth. Specifically the section where Boaz redeemed Ruth. Subsequently two of my friends who I was in contact with during that time - although they were unaware of what the LORD had been sharing with me concerning Boaz and Ruth - said that they were led by the LORD to give me the word on Boaz redeems Ruth. Then I only understood in part why the Holy Spirit led me to this passage of Scripture. Now you may ask, “Adonai, Esther, Boaz and Ruth. How does it all come together?” ESTHER Esther found herself in a kingdom where she found favor in the sight of her king (the significance and relevance of Esther I explain on the audio CD (page 14-15) and partly in the fourth (last) layer of PEARL, “AGAPE: Teach me to love You LORD” pages 112-113). Yet, that day in October 2006, the words in Esther 5:2-3 prompted me to call upon Jesus as Adonai (my LORD, my Master). BOAZ AND RUTH The Old Testament is a foreshadowing of the New Testament and on page 53 I mentioned the significance of

including the Book of Judges and the Book of Ruth. In Ruth 4 we read how Boaz redeemed (bought back) Ruth. The significance of why the Holy Spirit allowed this into Pearl: Boaz presents one of the most dramatic figures found anywhere in the Old Testament to foreshadow the redeeming work of Jesus Christ. The role of the “kinsman-redeemer”, so beautifully fulfilled in Boaz’s actions bringing Ruth’s personal restoration, speaks eloquently in this regard. His actions accompany her enfranchisement in the blessings of Israel and bring her into the family line of the Messiah (Ephesians 2:19). Here is a magnificent silhouette of the Master [Adonai], foreshadowing His redemptive grace centuries in advance. As our “Kinsman”, He becomes flesh - comes as a man. By His willingness to identify with the human family (as Boaz assumed the duties of his human family), Christ has worked a thorough-going redemption of our plight. Further, Ruth’s inability to do anything to alter her estate typifies absolute human helplessness (Romans 5:6); and Boaz’s willingness to pay the complete price foreshadows Christ’s full payment for our salvation (Commentory: Spirit Filled Life Bible: Book of Ruth). ADONAI I had to minister one morning at a prayer meeting. The previous night the Holy Spirit brought these words to my mind, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” He led me to the Book of Matthew. As I read afresh through the Book of Matthew, the Holy Spirit led me again to Jesus’ words. And as in our “Amethyst” Issue we placed all Jesus‘ words from the Book of John, I was led to place all Jesus’ words out of the Book of Matthew. I noticed His teachings concerning the Kingdom are mostly found in the Book of Matthew. In September/October 2006, the Holy Spirit led me to call this Issue the Pearl Issue, and only once I read the parable where Jesus compares the Kingdom of Heaven to a merchant who found a pearl of great value and sold everything to buy this pearl, I realised this Issue is about the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus as King of kings and LORD of lords!

I understood: The Book of Ruth, foreshadowing Jesus (Adonai). The Book of Matthew (Jesus, our Adonai’s words). As you read Jesus‘ words in this layer, “Adonai: my LORD, my Master” allow Him as LORD to teach you the ways of His Kingdom!


MATTHEW 1:18-25 THE BIRTH OF JESUS THE MESSIAH NOW THIS IS HOW Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her fiancé, being a just man, decided to break the engagement quietly, so as not to disgrace her publicly. As he considered this, he fell asleep, and an angel of the LORD appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do 70

MATTHEW 3:13-17 THE BAPTISM OF JESUS

not be afraid to go ahead with your marriage to

THEN JESUS WENT FROM Galilee to the

Mary. For the child within her has been conceived

Jordan River to be baptized by John. But

by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a Son, and you

John didn’t want to baptize Him. “I am the

are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people

one who needs to be baptized by You,” he

from their sins.” And all this happened to fulfill the

said, “so why are You coming to me?” But

LORD’s message through His prophet:

Jesus said, “It must be done, because we must do everything that is right.”

“Look! The virgin will conceive a Child! She will give birth to a Son, and He will be called Immanuel

So then John baptized Him. After His

(meaning, God is with us).”

baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the Heavens were opened and He saw the

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of

Spirit of God descending like a dove and

the LORD commanded. He brought Mary home to

settling on Him. And a Voice from Heaven

be his wife, but she remained a virgin until her Son

said, “This is My Beloved Son, and I am fully

was born. And Joseph named Him Jesus.

pleased with Him.”


IN MATTHEW 4 WE read that when Jesus began His public ministry, He preached and said, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Yet, just before He started with His public ministry, He was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. This reminds us of when the devil tempted Adam and Eve in the beginning. However, Jesus, the Son of God, did not succumb to the tempter. For God is not tempted. Jesus resisted the devil when he took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. The devil said to Jesus, “All these things I will give to You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’” Jesus did not bow down to the temptation and test set by the devil. He resisted and spoke the Word of God. He was not deceived by the glory of the kingdoms of this world. Because Jesus was the Son of God He knew that He had a Kingdom that was not of this world. Jesus taught us one of the most important principles of His Kingdom. It is vital to submit to God (Jesus submitted through His separation in the wilderness, spending time with His Father and through fasting). When we submit to God, we will, by the power of the Holy Spirit working in us, be able to resist the devil and he will flee from us. The devil’s strategy has always been to tempt. That is why Jesus taught us to pray, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”. God does not tempt us, He leads us. James 1:13 says “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil nor does He Himself tempt anyone.” Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you through the words of our Lord (Adonai) and King - Jesus, as recorded in the Book of Matthew. As Jesus teaches us we discover His Kingdom ways. And although we often fall short thereof, through Him and by His grace, He makes us part thereof!


and

it will be opened

72

A tree is known by its

fruit

JESUS WENT THROUGHOUT Galilee teaching in their synagogues, preaching the Good News of the Kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about Him spread all over Syria, and people brought to Him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and He healed them.

Follow Jesus!

words: Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit, Matthew 4:23-24

Knock

He cares

for all

His sheep


Faith like a

mustard seed

Become like

little children

Feed

the hungry:

miracle of multiplication

Pearl

of great value

Jesus said:

BLESSED ARE THE POOR in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. words: Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 5:3;10)

DON‘T MISUNDERSTAND WHY I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to fulfill them. I assure you, until heaven and earth disappear, even the smallest detail of God’s law will remain until its purpose is achieved. So if you break the smallest commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God‘s laws and teaches them will be great in the Kingdom of Heaven. w o r d s : J e s u s ʼ Wo r d s ( M a t t h e w 5 : 17 - 19 )

OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN, hallowed be Your name. Your Kingdom come, Your will be done. On earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory forever. Amen.” wo r d s : J e s u sʼ Wo r d s ( M a t t h ew 6 : 9 - 13 )

DON’T STORE UP TREASURES here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in Heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves. Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be. Your eye is the lamp for your body. A pure eye lets sunshine into your soul. wo r d s : J e s u sʼ Wo r d s ( M a t t h ew 6 : 19 - 2 2 )

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NO ONE CAN SERVE two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. So I tell you, don‘t worry about everyday life - whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn’t life consist of more than food and clothing? Look at the birds. They don‘t need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your Heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to Him than they are. Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not. And why worry about clothes? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won‘t He more surely care for you? You have so little faith! So don’t worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. Why be like pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your Heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. So don‘t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. words: Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 6:24-34)

We must make the Kingdom of God our primary concern!

Don’t worry about tomorrow, walk in faith!

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KEEP ON ASKING, AND you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks. You parents - if your children ask for a bread, do you give them a stone instead. Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him. Do for others what you would like them to do for you. This is a summary of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. words: Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 7:7-12)

YOU CAN ENTER GOD’S Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for many who choose the easy way. But the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it. words: Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 7:13-14)

NOT ALL PEOPLE WHO sound religious are really godly. They may refer to Me as “LORD”, but they still won‘t enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey My Father in Heaven. On judgment day many will tell me, “LORD, LORD, we prophesied in Your name and cast out demons in Your name and performed many miracles in Your name. But I will reply, “I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.”

Seek to truly know Jesus as your Lord!

Anyone who listens to My teaching and obeys Me is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse, because it is built on rock. But anyone who hears My teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will fall with a mighty crash. words: Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 7:21-27)


I TELL YOU THE truth, I haven‘t seen faith like this in all the land of Israel! And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven. . . Go on home. What you have believed has happened. words: Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 8:10,11,13)

Have faith. . .

TAKE HEART, SON! YOUR sins are forgiven. . . I will prove that I, the Son of Man, have the authority on earth to forgive sins. . . Stand up, take your mat, and go on home, because you are healed! words: Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 9:2,6)

in Him. . .

HEALTHY PEOPLE DON‘T NEED a doctor - sick people do. . . Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: “I want you to be merciful; I don’t want your sacrifices.” For I have come to call sinners, not those who think they are already good enough. words: Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 9:12-13)

GO AND ANNOUNCE TO them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received! words: Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 10:7-8)

in who He is!

A STUDENT IS NOT greater than the teacher. A servant is not greater than the master. The student shares the teacher‘s fate. The servant shares the master’s fate. And since I, the Master of the household, have been called the prince of demons, how much more will it happen to you, the members of the household! But don‘t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything will be revealed; all that is secret will be made public. What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ears, shout from the housetops for all to hear! words: Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 10:24-27)

DON’T BE AFRAID OF those who want to kill you. They can only kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Not even a sparrow, worth only half a penny, can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don‘t be afraid; you are more valuable to Him than a whole flock of sparrows. If anyone acknowledges Me publicly here on earth, I will openly acknowledge that person before My Father in Heaven. But if anyone denies Me here on earth, I will deny that person before My Father in Heaven. Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! No, I came to bring a sword. I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. Your enemies will be right in your own household! If you love your father or mother more than you love Me, you are not worthy of being Mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than Me, you are not worthy of being Mine. If your refuse to take up your cross and follow Me, you are not worthy of being Mine. If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give it up for Me, you will find it . . .

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Anyone who welcomes you is welcoming Me, and anyone who welcomes Me is welcoming the Father who sent Me. If you welcome a prophet as one who speaks for God, you will receive the same reward a prophet gets. And if you welcome good and godly people because of their godliness, you will be given a reward like theirs. And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of My followers, you will surely be rewarded. words: Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 10:28-42)

Jesus is the One. . .

King of kings GO BACK TO JOHN and tell him about what you have heard and seen - the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor. And tell him, “God blesses those who are not offended by Me.” . . . I assure you, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the most insignificant person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is! And from the time John the Baptist began preaching and baptizing until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing, and violent people attack it. words: Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 11:4,11-12)

O FATHER, LORD OF Heaven and earth, thank You for hiding the truth from those who think themselves so wise and clever, and for revealing it to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased You to do it this way! My Father has given Me authority over everything.

to whom has been given

and to whom belongs all authority. . .

No one really knows the Son except the Father, and no one really knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.

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come to Him and find true rest. . .

Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I AM humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light. words: Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 11:25-30)

because in His Kingdom it is about righteousness; peace and joy in the Holy Spirit!

ANY KINGDOM AT WAR with itself is doomed. A city or home divided against itself is doomed. And if Satan is casting out Satan, he is fighting against himself. His own kingdom will not survive. And if I am empowered by the prince of demons, what about your own followers? They cast out demons, too, so they will judge you for what you have said. But I AM casting out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you. Let Me illustrate this. You can‘t enter a strong man’s house and rob him without first tying him up. Only then can his house be robbed! Anyone who isn‘t helping me opposes Me, and anyone who isn’t working with Me is actually working against Me. Every sin or blasphemy can be forgiven - except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which can never be forgiven. Anyone who blasphemes against Me, the Son of Man, can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come. words: Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 12:25-32)

A TREE IS IDENTIFIED by its fruit. Make a tree good, and its fruit will be good. Make a tree bad, and its fruit will be bad. . . A good person produces good words from a good heart, and an evil person produces evil words from an evil heart. And I tell you this, that you must give an account on judgment day of every idle word you speak. The words you say now reflect your fate then; either you will be justified by them or you will be condemned.

love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control words: Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 12:33-37)


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Whenever I visit my friends on this farm (I have been visiting them for ten years), I always spend time in nature. However, this year, for the first time, I noticed that this specific tree is a Pomegranate tree! It was the first time that I visited during this time, its fruit bearing season and the only way I could tell that it was a Pomegranate tree, was by its fruit! For ten years I noticed the tree, yet I was oblivious to what kind of tree it is. It brought to life the words of Jesus, “A tree will be known by its fruit�. I just had to re-examine myself again and yes, ask Jesus to prune me so that I would bear only the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. - Lindie


Jesus spoke in parables JESUS ALWAYS USED STORIES AND ILLUSTRATIONS LIKE THESE WHEN SPEAKING TO THE CROWDS. IN FACT, HE NEVER SPOKE TO THEM WITHOUT USING SUCH PARABLES. THIS FULFILLED THE PROPHECY THAT SAID, “I WILL SPEAK TO YOU IN PARABLES. I WILL EXPLAIN MYSTERIES HIDDEN SINCE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD.” words: Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 13)

THE PARABLE OF FOUR SOILS

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A FARMER WENT OUT to plant some seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The plants sprang up quickly, but they soon wilted beneath the hot sun and died because the roots had no nourishment in the shallow soil. Other seeds fell among thorns that shot up and choked out the tender blades. But some seeds fell on fertile soil and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted. Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand! Then He explained to them, “You have been permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others have not. To those who are open to My teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have abundance of knowledge. But to those who are not listening, even what they have will be taken away from them. That is why I tell these stories, because people see what I do, but they don’t really see. They hear what I say, but they don’t really hear, and they don’t understand. This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah, which says: ‘You will hear My words, but you will not understand; you will see what I do, but you

will not perceive its meaning. For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes - so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to Me and let Me heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. I assure you, many prophets and godly people have longed to see and hear what you have seen and heard, but they could not. Now here is the explanation of the story i told about the farmer sowing grain: The seed that fell on the hard path represents those who hear the Good News about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches the seed away from their hearts. The rocky soil represents those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But like young plants in such soil, their roots don’t go very deep. At first they get along fine, but they wilt as soon as they have problems or are persecuted because they believe the word. The thorny ground represents those who hear and accept the Good News, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares of this life and the lure of wealth, so no crop is produced. The good soil represents the hearts of those who truly

principle:

accept God’s message and produce a huge harvest - thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted.

THE PARABLE OF THE WEEDS Here is another story Jesus told: THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as everyone slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat. When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew. The farmer’s servants came and told him, ”Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds!” “An enemy has done it!” the farmer exclaimed. “Shall we pull out the weeds?” they asked. He replied, “No, you’ll hurt the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds and burn them and to put the wheat in the barn.” Jesus explains the parable of the weeds I, the Son of Man, am the farmer who plants the good seed. The field is the world, and the good seed represents the people of the Kingdom. The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one. The enemy who planted the weeds among the wheat is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the world,


and the harvesters are the angels. Just as the weeds are separated out and burned, so it will be at the end of the world. I, the Son of Man, will send My angels, and they will remove from My Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil, and they will throw them into the furnace and burn them. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the godly will shine like the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand!

THE PARABLE OF THE MUSTARD SEED Here is another illustration Jesus used: THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN is like a mustard seed planted in a field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants and grows into a tree where birds can come and find shelter in its branches.

THE PARABLE OF THE YEAST 79

Jesus also used this illustration: THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN is like yeast used by a woman making bread. Even though she used a large amount of flour, the yeast permeated every part of the dough.

THE PARABLE OF THE HIDDEN TREASURE THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field - and to get the treasure, too!

THE PARABLE OF THE PEARL MERCHANT AGAIN, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN is like a pearl merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!


Jesus called out to them,

“Come, be My disciples, and I will show you how to fish for people!”


WHEN JESUS CAME TO the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” Then He asked them, “Who do you say I AM?”

THE PARABLE OF THE FISHING NET

AGAIN, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN is like a fishing net that is thrown into the water and gathers fish of every kind. When the net is full, they drag it up onto the shore, sit down, sort the good fish into crates, and throw the bad ones away. That is the way it will be at the end of the world. The angels will come and separate the wicked people from the godly, throwing the wicked into the fire. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Do you understand?. . . Every teacher of religious law who has become a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a person who brings out of the storehouse the new teachings as well as the old. Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 13)

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because My Father in Heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. Now I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you lock on earth will be locked in Heaven, and whatever you open on earth will be opened in Heaven.” Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 16:13-19)

IF ANY OF YOU wants to be My follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow Me. If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for Me, you will find true life. And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process? Is anything worth more than your soul?

I ASSURE YOU, EVEN if you had faith as small as a mustard seed you could say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it would move. Nothing would be impossible. Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 17:20)

ABOUT THAT TIME THE disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Which of us is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” Jesus called a small child over to Him and put the child among them. Then He said, “I assure you, unless you turn from your sins and become as little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on My behalf is welcoming Me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who trusts in Me to lose faith, it would be better for that person to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around the neck.” Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 18:1-6)

IF A SHEPHERD HAS one hundred sheep, and one wanders away and is lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others and go out into the hills to search for the lost one? And if he finds it, he will surely rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! In the same way, it is not My Heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish. Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 18:12-14)

For I, the Son of Man, will come in the glory of My Father with His angels and will judge all people according to their deeds. And I assure you that some of you standing here right now will not die before you see Me, the Son of Man, coming in My Kingdom.

I ALSO TELL YOU THIS: If two of you agree down here on earth concerning anything you ask, My Father in Heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together because they are mine, I am there among them.

Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 16:24-28)

Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 18:19-20)

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THE PARABLE OF THE UNFORGIVING LET THE CHILDREN COME to Me. Don‘t stop THE PARABLE OF THE VINEYARD them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs WORKERS DEBTOR to such as these.

THEN PETER CAME TO Him and asked, “LORD, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No!” Jesus replied, “seventy times seven! For this reason, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. He couldn’t pay, so the king ordered that he, his wife, his children, and everything he had be sold to pay the debt. But the man fell down before the king and begged him, “Oh, sir, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.” Then the king was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt. 82

But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment. His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. “Be patient and I will pay it,” he pleaded. But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and jailed until the debt could be paid in full. When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him what had happened. Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, “You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?” Then the angry king sent the man to prison until he had paid every penny. That’s what My Heavenly Father will do to you if you do not forgive your brothers or sisters in your heart. Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 18:21-35)

Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 19:14)

WHY ASK ME ABOUT what is good?. . . Only God is good. . . you can receive eternal life if you keep the commandments. . . Do not murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself. Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 19:17-19)

I TELL YOU THE truth, it is very hard for a rich person to get into the Kingdom of Heaven. I say it again - it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God! Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 19:23-24)

I ASSURE YOU THAT when I, the Son of Man, sit upon My glorious throne in the Kingdom, you who have been My followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for My sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will have eternal life. But many who seem to be important now will be least important then, and those who are considered least here will be the greatest then. Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 19:28-30)

principle:

humble principle:

forgive

FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN is like the owner of an estate who went out early one morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay the normal daily wage and sent them out to work. At nine o’clock in the morning he was passing through the marketplace and saw some people standing around doing nothing. So he hired them, telling them he would pay whatever was right at the end of the day. At noon and again around three o’clock he did the same thing. At five o’clock that evening he was in town again and saw some more people standing around. He asked them, “Why haven’t you been working today?” They replied, “Because no one hired us.” The owner of the estate told them, “Then go on out and join the others in my vineyard.” That evening he told the foreman to call all the workers in and pay them, beginning with the last workers first. When those hired at five o’clock were paid, each received a full day’s wage. When those hired earlier came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more. But they, too, were paid one day’s wage. When they received their pay, they protested, “Those people worked only one hour, and yet you’ve paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.” He answered one of them, “Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage? Take it and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be angry because I am kind?” And so it is, that many who are first now will be last then; and those who are last now will be first then. Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 20:1-16)


THE PARABLE OF THE TWO SONS

YOU KNOW THAT IN this world kings are tyrants, and officials lord it over the people beneath them. But among you it should be quite different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must become your slave. For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give My life as a ransom for many.

BUT WHAT DO YOU think about this? A man with two sons told the older boy, “Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.” The son answered, “No, I won’t go,” but later he changed his mind and went anyway. Then the father told the other son, “You go,” and he said, “Yes, sir, I will.” But he didn’t go. Which of the two sons was obeying the father? Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 21:28-31)

principle:

obedience

So the servants brought in everyone they could find, good and bad alike, and the banquet hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to meet the guests, he noticed a man who wasn’t wearing the proper clothes for a wedding. “Friend,” he asked, “how is it that you are here without wedding clothes?” And the man had no reply. Then the king said to his aides, “Bind him hand and foot and throw him out into the outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen. Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 22:2-14)

”WELL, THEN,” HE SAID, “give to Caesar what belongs to him. But everything that belongs to God must be given to God.”

Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 20:25-28)

Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 22:21)

serve

“’YOU MUST LOVE THE LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

principle:

I ASSURE YOU IF you have faith and don‘t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, “May God lift you up and throw you into the sea,” and it will happen. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 21:21-22)

faith principle:

THE PARABLE OF THE WEDDING DINNER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN can be illustrated by the story of a king who prepared a great feast for his son. Many guests were invited, and when the banquet was ready, he sent his servants to notify everyone that it was time to come. But they all refused! So he sent other servants to tell them, “The feast has been prepared, and choice meats have been cooked. Eveything is ready. Hurry!” But the guests he had invited ignored them and went about their business, one to his farm, another to his store. Other seized his messengers and treated them shamefully, even killing some of them. Then the king became furious. He sent out his army to destroy the murderers and burn their city. And he said to his servants, “The wedding feast is ready, and the guests I invited aren‘t worthy of the honor. Now go out to the street corners and invite everyone you see.”

Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 22:37-40)

love

principle:

AND THE GOOD NEWS of the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then, finally, the end will come. Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 24:14)

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THE PARABLE OF THE TEN BRIDESMAIDS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN can be illustrated by the story of ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. The five who were foolish took no oil for their lamps, but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. When the bridegroom was delayed, they all lay down and slept. At midnight they were roused by the shout, “Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and welcome him!”

“Father, please help us to stay awake and to not fall asleep! Holy Spirit, fill our lamps with fresh anointing daily. May Your Word, God, be the extra oil we always carry in us and take with us. Jesus, may we be ready and prepared when You return! Amen”


All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. Then the five foolish ones asked the others, “Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.” But the others replied, “We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves. But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, “Sir, open the door for us!” But he called back, “I don‘t know you!” So stay awake and be prepared, because you do not know the day or hour of My return. Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 25:1-13)


THE PARABLE OF THE LOANED MONEY AGAIN, THE KINGDOM OF Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a trip. He called together his servants and gave them money to invest for him while he was gone. He gave five bags of gold to one, two bags of gold to another, and one bag of gold to the last - dividing it in proportion to their abilities - and then left on his trip. The servant who received the five bags of gold began immediately to invest the money and soon doubled it. The servant with two bags of gold also went right to work and doubled the money. But the servant who received the one bag of gold dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money for safekeeping. After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of gold said, ”Sir, you gave me five bags of gold to invest, and I have doubled the amount.” The master was full of praise. “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let‘s celebrate together!” Next came the servant who received the two bags of gold, with the report, “Sir, you gave me two bags of gold to invest, and I have doubled the amount.” The master said, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!”

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Then the servant with the one bag of gold came and said, “Sir, I know you are a hard man, harvesting crops you didn‘t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth and here it is.” But the master replied, “You wicked and lazy servant! You think I‘m a hard man, do you, harvesting crops I didn’t plant and gathering crops I didn‘t cultivate? Well, you should at least have put my money into the bank so I could have some interest. Take the money from this servant and give it to the one with the ten bags of gold. To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who are unfaithful, even what little they have will be taken away. Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 25:14-30)

principle:

be faithful ful

in the little


BUT WHEN THE SON of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit upon His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in His presence, and He will separate them as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at His right hand and the goats at His left. Then the King will say to those on the right, “Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed Me. I was thirsty, and you gave Me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited Me into your home. I was naked, and you gave Me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for Me. I was in prison, and you visited Me.” Then these righteous ones will reply, “LORD, when did we ever see You hungry and feed You? Or thirsty and give You something to drink? Or a stranger and show You hospitality? Or naked and give You clothing? When did we ever see You sick or in prison, and visit You? And the King will tell them, ”I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these brothers and sisters, you were doing it to Me.” Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, “Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his demons! For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed Me. I was thirsty, and you didn‘t give Me anything to drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite Me into your home. I was naked, and you gave Me no clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn‘t visit Me.” Then they will reply, “LORD, when did we ever see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help You?” And He will answer, “I assure you, when you refused to help the least of these My brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help Me.” And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life. Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 25:31-46)

principle:

reach out and help the needy p p principle:

do unto others as you would have them do unto you JESUS ASKED, “WHO IS My mother? Who are My brothers?” Then He pointed to His disciples and said, “These are My mother and brothers. Anyone who does the will of My Father in Heaven is My brother and sister and mother!” Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 12:48-50)

YOU SHOULD REMEMBER THE Words of the LORD Jesus: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” words: Apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Acts 20:35)

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THE CRUCIFIXION SOME OF THE GOVERNOR’S soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters and called out the entire battalion. They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. They made Him a crown of long, sharp thorns and put it on His head, and they placed a stick in His right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt before Him in mockery, yelling, “Hail! King of the Jews!” And they spit on Him and grabbed the stick and beat Him on the head with it. When they were finally tired of mocking Him, they took off the robe and put His own clothes on Him again. Then they led Him away to be crucified. As they were on their way, they came across a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, and they forced him to carry Jesus‘ cross. Then they went out to a place called Golgotha (which means Skull Hill). The soldiers gave Him wine mixed with bitter gall, but when He had tasted it, He refused to drink it. After they had nailed Him to the cross, the soldiers gambled for His clothes by throwing dice. Then they sat around and kept guard as He hung there. A signboard was fastened to the cross above Jesus’ head, announcing the charge against Him. It read: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” Two criminals were crucified with Him, their crosses on either side of His. And the people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. “So! You can destroy the Temple and then build it again in three days, can You? Well then, if You are the Son of God, save Yourself and come down from the cross!” The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the other leaders also mocked Jesus. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but He can‘t save Himself! So He is the King of Israel, is He? Let Him come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him! He trusted God - let God show His approval by delivering Him! For He said, ”I am the Son of God.’” And the criminals who were crucified with Him also shouted the same insults at Him.

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At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o‘clock. At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought He was calling for the prophet Elijah. One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to Him on a stick so He could drink. But the rest said, “Leave Him alone. Let‘s see whether Elijah will come and save Him.” Then Jesus shouted out again, and He gave up His Spirit. At that moment the curtain in the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead after Jesus’ resurrection. They left the cemetery, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people. The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “Truly, this was the Son of God!” And many women who had come from Galilee with Jesus to care for Him were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James and Joseph), and Zebedee‘s wife, the mother of James and John. As evening approached, Joseph, a rich man from Arimathea who was one of Jesus’ followers, went to Pilate and asked for Jesus‘ body. And Pilate issued an order to release it to him. Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a long linen cloth. He placed it in his own new tomb, which had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a great stone across the entrance as he left. Both Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting nearby watching. The next day - on the first day of the Passover ceremonies - the leading priests and Pharisees went to see Pilate. They told him, “Sir, we remember what that deceiver once said while He was still alive: ‘After three days I will be raised from the dead.’ So we request that you seal the tomb until the third day. This will prevent His disciples from coming and stealing His body and then telling everyone He came back to life! If that happens, we‘ll be worse off than we were at first.” Pilate replied, “Take guards and secure it the best you can.” So they sealed the tomb and posted guards to protect it. words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 27:27-66)


THE RESURRECTION NOW AFTER THE SABBATH, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the LORD descended from Heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the LORD lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.” So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, worshiped Him.

“Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and

Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.” words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:1-10)

Jesus said: Rejoice! We are taught to praise Him, to worship Him, amidst any situation! Remember the example of Paul and Silas in Acts 16, written about principle: on page 65. We too should sing praise, we should rejoice and worship the King! That is a principle in His Kingdom.

For He is risen!

THE GREAT COMMISSION THEN THE ELEVEN DISCIPLES left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.

When they saw Him, they worshiped Him - but some of them still doubted! Jesus came and told His disciples, “I have been given complete authority in Heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I AM with you always, even to the end of the age.” words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:16-20)

CHRIST’S DEATH FULFILLS GOD’S WILL

It is finished!

THEREFORE, WHEN HE CAME into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin, You had no pleasure. Then I said, ’Behold, I have come - in the volume of the book it is written of Me - to do Your will, O God.’” words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 10:5-7)

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Jesus su KING LORD of lords

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He taught us

principle:

humility

THEREFORE HUMBLE YOURSELVES UNDER the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. . . words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 5:6)

He humbled Himself. . . AS JESUS AND THE disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead. “Go into the village over there,” He said, “and you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them here. If anyone ask what you are doing, just say, ‘The LORD needs them,’ and he will immediately send them.” This was done to fulfil the prophecy, “Tell the people of Israel, ‘Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey - even on a donkey’s colt.‘” words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 21:1-5)


“MY FATHER! IF IT is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from Me. Yet I want Your will, not Mine.” Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 26:39)

“MY FATHER! IF THIS cup cannot be taken away until I drink it, Your will be done.” Jesusʼ Words (Matthew 26:42)

principle:

submit to the will of the Father THEN THE HIGH PRIEST stood up and said to Jesus, “Well, aren’t You going to answer these charges? What do You have to say for Yourself?” But Jesus remained silent. Then the high priest said to Him, “I demand in the name of the living God that You tell us whether You are the Messiah, the Son of God.” Jesus replied, “Yes, it is as you say. And in the future you will see Me, the Son of Man, sitting at God‘s right hand in the place of power and coming back on the clouds of Heaven.” words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 26:62-64)

SOME OF THE GOVERNOR’S soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters and called out the entire battalion. They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. They made Him a crown of long, sharp thorns and put it on His head, and they placed a stick in His right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt before Him in mockery, yelling, “Hail! King of the Jews!” And they spit on Him and grabbed the stick and beat Him on the head with it. When they were finally tired of mocking Him, they took off the robe and put His own clothes on Him again. Then they led Him away to be crucified. words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 27:27-31)

and He will be exalted! THEN I SAW HEAVEN opened, and a white horse was standing there. And the One sitting on the horse was named Faithful and True. For He judges fairly and then goes to war. His eyes were bright like flames of fire, and on His head were many crowns. A name was written on Him and only He knew what it meant. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His title was the Word of God. The armies of Heaven, dressed in pure white linen, followed Him on white horses. From His mouth came a sharp sword, and with it He struck down the nations. He ruled them with an iron rod, and He trod the winepress of the fierce wrath of Almighty God. On His robe and thigh was written this title: KING of kings and LORD of lords. words: The Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Revelation 19:11-16)

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IDENTITY IN CHRIST J esus s For as many of youu as were baptized

For you are all sons of God od thro through faith in

Chris hrist Jesus. hr

into Christ have put on Christ.

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 3:26-28


SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PHOTO This photo was not taken intentionally for this layer, “Identity in Christ”. Liezl was experimenting with orange beads and water and on designing PEARL, we saw the significance of this photo. As the beads were dropped into the water, the water splashed and formed an “i”. So too are we when baptized in Christ, washed by the Living Water of Life. As a new creation, we find a new identity in Christ.


Do we not all sometimes feel unworthy of accepting our identity in Christ? Have you ever felt that way, especially when you continue to make the same mistakes? But it is then that we should realise that it is not about feelings. It is about Who we know, Jesus. It is about what we know, that through His grace He has done it all for us. And that makes all the difference. And by accepting Him as our LORD and Savior, we are forgiven and free! Let us continue to find wisdom from the words of Apostle Paul, for he knew that the only wisdom he could marvel in was the Wisdom of God. The only Person he could ever boast about was our LORD Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Therefore we include of his writings as inspired by the Holy Spirit from the Books of Ephesians and Colossians. p

CHRIST: Jesuss 94

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before God made anything at all and is supreme over all creation. Christ is the one through whom God created everything in heaven and earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see kings, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities. Everything has been created through Him and for Him. He existed before everything else began, and He holds all creation together. Christ is the head of the church, which is His body. He is the first of all who will rise from the dead, so He is first in everything. For God in all His fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and by Him God reconciled everything to Himself. He made peace with everything in Heaven and on earth by means of His blood on the cross. This includes you who were once so far away from God. You were His enemies, separated from Him by your evil thoughts and actions, yet now He has brought you back as His friends. He has done this through His death on the cross in His own human body. As a result, He has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault. But you must continue to believe this truth and stand in it firmly. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed by God to proclaim it (Colossians 1:15-23).


The word “identity” is defined in the Oxford Dictionary of English as “the characteristics determining who or what a person is”.

I AM

IDENTITY:

The question you may ask now is how do I find my identity in Christ. Firstly, remember that there is only ONE I AM. That is God. We so easily say “I am for example ‘an overcomer.’” We have to realise that we are only because of Jesus! So allow Paul to continue to speak to you through his words, inspired by the Holy Spirit. Thereafter we have placed two articles. One written by Elza Meyer on “In His Presence” and Claudia Kotzen, “Streams of Living Waters”.

Paul writes:

AND NOW, JUST AS you accepted Christ Jesus as your LORD, you must continue to live in obedience to Him. Let your roots grow down into Him and draw up nourishment from Him, so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all He has done. Don’t let anyone lead you astray with empty philosophy and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the evil powers of this world, and not from Christ. For in Christ the fullness of God lives in a human body, and you are complete through your union with Christ. He is the LORD over every ruler and authority in the universe. When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. It was a spiritual procedure - the cutting away of your sinful nature. For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with Him you were raised to a new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ. He forgave all our sins. He cancelled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross. In this way, God disarmed the evil rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by His victory over them on the cross of Christ (Colossians 2:6-15).

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Raised to a new life. . .

Jesuss

God made you alive with Christ. SINCE YOU HAVE BEEN raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of Heaven, where Christ sits at God’s right hand in the place of honor and power. Let Heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth. For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your real life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all His glory. So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust, and shameful desires. Don’t be greedy for the good things of this life, for that is idolatry. God’s terrible anger will come upon those who do such things. You used to do them when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old evil nature and all its wicked deeds. In its place you have clothed yourselves with a brand-new nature that is continually being renewed as you learn more and more about Christ, who created this new nature within you. In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and He lives in all of us. Since God chose you to be the holy people whom He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the LORD forgave you, so you must forgive others. And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are all called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the words of Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts and make you wise. Use His words to teach and counsel each other. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the LORD Jesus, all the while giving thanks through Him to God the Father (Colossians 3:1-17).


So I tell you this, and insist on it in the LORD, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

Living as children of light You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of Him and were taught in Him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. Your were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old slef, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do no let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

About Jesus is written in the Book of John 1:4 In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.

And then Jesus said:

“I’M LEAVING YOU WITH a gift: Peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27

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words: Elza Meyer

In His Presence


REINHARDT BONNKE UNDERSTANDS IT and millions come to repentance, find deliverance and stand up in a living relationship with God. KATHRYN KUHLMAN HAD IT and literally thousands were physically healed through her ministry. SMITH WIGGLESWORTH had it and miracles characterized his ministry. His wife forbade him to resurrect her when she died, as he often raised people from the dead. PAUL HAD IT and radically impacted the then known world with the Gospel. I SAW IT OPERATE at the Esther Conference March 2007. Wherever it has happened, God’s presence enfolds people like a soft blanket and restores, delivers and heals them! It is the ability to understand what is necessary to move into God’s presence. To satisfy the conditions for divine intervention. I have seen the Lord operate in a supernatural way on various occasions. Under what circumstances will God reveal His presence in such a way? Can it only happen when certain people facilitate the occasion or process? Does one need to reach a certain milestone for God to operate

in this way? Does one have to be virtually sinless before being able to enter God’s presence? When you have chosen Jesus and accepted Him as your Savior and Redeemer, something wonderful happens to you. Your entire existence and identity change in one single moment. You are immediately declared sinless. Paul writes about it in 2 Corinthians 5:14, 17-19, 21: “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. . . Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. . . ; . . . that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. . . God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” When you take hold of Christ and ask Him to take over your life, God no longer counts your trespasses against you. Because you have chosen Jesus,

you are regarded as someone who is one with Christ. He has been acquitted by God; therefore you are also acquitted by God. God does not condemn Him; therefore God does not condemn you! Somewhere in our world of thought we grow far from God, because deep in our being we know that we are not without sin. You know that you are not without sin. You know when you lose your temper, when you have said something nasty about someone, when you have told a lie! And immediately you feel imperfect and sinful again. And without doing it consciously, you withdraw from God since you cannot remain standing in His light! In all of Paul’s letters he writes about this. All of his converts, all the congregations that came into being through his ministry, battled with this: their new identity in Christ. You and I do not fall into and out of our new identity in Christ. In Him we are NEW in God’s eyes! He sees us as sinless. Maybe Paul’s words to the Galatians will make it easier for you. In Galatians 3:27 we read, “. . . for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”

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