Monday, July 14, 2014

A New Paradigm



I have been hearing much lately about the need for the church to have a "new paradigm". As I understand the term, it simply means a new way of seeing and understanding our role as the "Body of Christ" here and now on planet earth! We have operated for years under an old paradigm, and now must leave the old behind, in favor of the new. Something similar to the "New Covenant", which replaced the "Old Covenant". Our Bibles are clearly divided into these two parts that we call the Old Testament and the New Testament, with John the Baptist being the dividing line between them. (Matt 11:11) One thing that has helped to shape our old paradigm was the introduction by Dr Scofield of what he called the seven "dispensations" of history, instead of two! His teaching is known as "Dispensationalism", and has greatly affected the church in the last century. A more important thing that has shaped the old paradigm has been the church "structure" introduced by Constantine back in the fourth century. We see God's plan for church structure in the NT writings, especially the book of Acts, and Paul's letters. And a big part of the new paradigm for the church will simply be getting back to the original model set up by Jesus! There have been many restoration movements in the history of the church that have brought changes to doctrine, but not to this old structure of how we "do church"!


One big problem as I see it, is our understanding of heaven being our "goal". Everybody wants to get to heaven as soon as possible, to escape the wickedness in the world we are called to live in. That has never been God's intention for His children, in spite of what we have been told. Bob Mumford stated recently in a teaching given at Elim Bible Institute, "Heaven is not the goal!", the goal is found in (Rom 8:18-25), and in (Eph 4:11-13), and would seem to be that we are to become the "mature children", who can properly demonstrate to the world what God's Kingdom is all about! The world has never really seen that in the church, which has always been focused on getting to heaven and avoiding hell. The world around us needs to see Jesus in all His Fullness and Beauty! That's why God left us here on planet earth after He redeemed us, to be "shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people" (Phil 2:15)!!

Sincerely submitted.

Dave Jamer                                        20/03/12                                                                          

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Careful Walk



This was the title of the devotional in ODB today, June 2, 2014 by Dave Branon. He based it on (Eph 5:15-21) which in the NLT version starts with the heading "Living by the Spirit's power". This passage from verse 15-21 gives us some wonderful advice from the Apostle Paul about how we should live our lives. Verse 15 starts with "So be careful how you live. Don't live like fools, but like those who are wise". And 16 carries on with "Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days". I don't think anybody would disagree with that statement that we are living in evil days in this 21st century. We see the results of it every day on the evening news broadcasts. But Paul doesn't leave us there, but goes on in verse 17 to say "Don't act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do". This is probably where many people are today in their walk with the Lord!


Paul goes on in verse 18 to state one of the most important verses in all of scripture "Don't be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead be filled with the Holy Spirit". The tense of the verb he uses for being filled in Greek is one that implies a "continuous action", in other words be continuously filled with the Spirit at all times. We hear a lot today about the need to receive the "Baptism with the Holy Spirit", once you are born again. And we know from (Acts 2:4) that the initial sign of being filled with the Spirit is to speak with tongues as He gives the ability. These tongues can be either "of men or of angels" (1 Cor 13:1), or in other words on the day of the original outpouring of the Spirit they were definitely "known tongues" of the 14 different nations listed in verses 7-11 of Acts chapter 2. Then in (1 Cor 14:2) we understand Paul explaining speaking in a "heavenly" tongue of angels, to communicate directly to our Father. So apparently there are 2 different types of tongues, one for communicating with people of a different nation, and the other a "prayer language" for use in communicating directly with God. Not everyone I have met in Pentecostal or Charismatic circles seem to understand this, and certain confusion has been the result. The fruit of this being constantly filled is given in verses 19-21. Notice that speaking in tongues is not mentioned, but things like "Singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God". NKJV We certainly need the Holy Spirit infilling to do these last few things mentioned, especially "submission to others"!!

Sincerely submitted.

Dave Jamer                                               03/06/14                                                                                                                                        

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

God's Lost Treasures



When we read (2 Cor 1:3-11) we see the Apostle Paul offering some good advice on how to express comfort and encouragement to anyone going through a time of loss. When we know someone who has recently endured the loss of a loved one through death, or some other tragedy, this is a good passage to turn to. Bible scholar W. E. Vine, who wrote "Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words", says the Greek word that is translated as "comfort" in this passage means "A calling to one's side". Paul uses this word several times in this passage, for example in verse 7 we read "We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us". So in other words when we take time to share in another person's suffering, we can also share in the comfort we both will receive from God, as Paul expresses it so well in verse 4. "He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us".


I recently read a line someone had written, "God comforts us so that we can comfort others". And this is certainly a true statement that we find repeated often in scripture, because our God is defined by the Apostle John in his first letter (1 John 4:8) as [Agape] the Greek word for "love". Actually there are two Greek words that are both translated into English as love. They are [Agape] and [Eros] and have a completely different meaning, [Agape] is the word used for God, but [Eros] is used for sensual or erotic love, the word that the world uses to express love. Sometimes the word used to express the true meaning of Eros is taken from it and is "erotic". It is much used today in our sinful society, and shows the weakness of English as a language compared to either Hebrew or Greek.


Our God wants to comfort us in any trouble we might find ourselves in at times, because He loves us with His unending unconditional Agape love. And this is the kind of love and concern for others that He gives us once we become part of His Eternal family when we place our faith and trust in His Son Jesus Christ. When anyone who does this is "born again" as Jesus told Nicodemus he must be in (John 3:1-8). At that moment Father God adopts them into His family, and they become citizens of heaven, and a member of the "the Holy city, the New Jerusalem" that John saw coming down from heaven to earth as recorded in (Rev 21:1-4), our eternal home!!

Sincerely submitted.

Dave Jamer                                                                              26/05/14



I was inspired by the devotional in ODB today by Joe Stowell, May 29, 2014. When Jesus gathered His group of 12 disciples at the start of His ministry He simply called them "come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people". (Matt 4:19). Apparently He considered all people to be lost and needed to be found, in other words they represented "His Lost Treasures". We are all of infinite value to God because of His unconditional love for all of His creation, and therefore He declares in (2 Peter 3:9) that "He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance". The well known scripture (John 3:16) tells us the same thing, so we can be sure we are all precious treasures to Him. In fact the Apostle Paul refers to us as "God's Masterpiece" in (Eph 2:10), where he gives a good summary of the gospel in the first 10 verses of this chapter.


Men and women are all lost in the grip of sin that we all inherited from our first parents Adam and Eve. But thanks be to God who allowed His only begotten Son Jesus to die on that cruel Roman cross as our "Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world" (John 1:29). He became our one and only "Redeemer", who could satisfy our account registered in heaven, when we acknowledged our sin debt and repented of it and received Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Once we become a new creature in Christ (2 Cor 5:17), then we can help others find our mutual King Jesus, so they too can become one of Father's children, and a committed follower of Jesus. That is why you and I are left here on this earth after we are "born again" by God's Spirit. So that we can testify to others what a change Jesus can make in our lives.


Our common enemy Satan with his huge number of earth bound demons on earth, plus the "fallen angels" who followed Lucifer in his pride and rebellion that caused him to be caste out of heaven, and now are the "rulers and authorities" in "heavenly places" (Eph 3:10) NLT. These combined forces of demons and fallen angels, make up Satan's kingdom of darkness that is constantly at war with those of us who are part of God's Kingdom of light. This is what we refer to as "spiritual warfare", but what we must realize is that the "Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8), and Paul confirmed this in (Col 2:13-15). So really all that the devil is left with is his character as "the father of lies" (John 8:44), his only weapon against God's children is lies and deception!!

Sincerely submitted.

Dave Jamer                               29/05/14