“THE HOLY SEASONS OF THE LORD.”
“These are the appointed times of YHWH,
holy convocations which you shall proclaim
at the times appointed for them.”
view of the Passover, Good Friday, and Resurrection season which is
before us this month, I have been led to compile this timely message.
Let me start
WHAT SIGNIFICANCE DO THE OLD TESTAMENT
APPOINTED TIMES HAVE FOR US TODAY?
this: all the seven Holy Seasons have been fulfilled, or will be
fulfilled by our Saviour, Jesus, Y’shua the Messiah.
them point to the work and ministry of
and they all have challenges,
for each of us.
given through Moses
fact, an important part of the Biblical roots of our Christian faith.
church in general, believes in the actual events that the seven
but sadly the Biblical seasons have been ignored, minimized, or worse,
influenced and compromised by Hellenized or Romanized festivals and
pagan practices from “Mystery Babylon.”
read in Leviticus 23:4-44.
The first three are SPRING festivals. Around March/April. (In the
Southern Hemisphere you would call them Autumn festivals.)
2. UNLEAVENED BREAD,
3. WAVING OF THE FIRST FRUITS
4. The fourth is SHAVU’OT – PENTECOST.
after the Waving
— usually in
three are AUTUMN festivals.
in Southern Hemisphere - around Sept-Oct)
three Spring festivals, this year, fall
March 25th eve to April 2 eve,
concentrate at present on these
awesome Spring festivals —
PASSOVER, the UNLEAVENED BREAD,
THE WAVING (or OFFERING) OF THE FIRSTFRUITS.
three great events take place over eight days of Nissan, the first
month of the Biblical calendar.
is on 14th Nissan.
– 15th to 21st Nissan.
is on “the day after the Sabbath” -
the Sunday following Pesach.
are definite, but the days on which they occur, change. (Like, your
birthday does not always occur on Friday).
Pesach looks back to its deliverance from Egypt. It represents
freedom from bondage.
of Nisan, (around 1445 BC), according to God’s instructions, each
Israelite family, sacrificed a chosen unblemished lamb, and sprinkled
its blood on the doorposts and lintels of their homes. The blood on the
door was a covering, and protection, for the believing families,
from the 10th plague.
of Pharaoh’s unwillingness to release the Israelites from slavery; YHWH
sent nine plagues. And then, because of the Pharaoh’s
send a 10th plague which would hit at the
heart of Egypt. The LORD declared:
same night I will pass through the land of Egypt and strike down all the
first-born in the land of Egypt - both men and animals; and I will bring
judgment on all the gods of Egypt - I am YHWH.
blood shall be a sign for you on the door-frames of the houses
where you are; and when I see the blood I will pass over you.
No plague will be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of
Egypt. This day will be a memorial to you, and you shall
commemorate it as a feast to YHWH.
your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance.”
of the lamb then, was the provision for the salvation of God’s obedient
people, as the
passed over the homes where the blood was applied to the door.
be a free people, and
word that sums up the true meaning of Pesach is "Redemption."
was commanded by YHWH in Exodus 12 and Leviticus 23:4-5, to
including the sacrifice of the Passover lamb, continuously — every year
— until a new covenant was enacted.
primarily a family meal with prayers, singing,
and remembrance of
deliverance from slavery
- of being a free people.
The traditional Jewish Passover meal includes various ingredients that
cause the participants to remember where
they, or their ancestors, came
Originally God commanded the Israelites to eat only three things —
Roast Lamb, Unleavened Bread, and Bitter Herbs. (Exodus
12:8). Later on, the Jews added several ingredients including Salt,
Parsley and Charoset.
are used to remind
the bitterness of life in
remind us today of
bitterness of sin.
into which the herbs are dipped, reminds
the tears that
shed during the
— the bitterness that the Lamb endured.
a sweet mixture of apples, nuts, and honey, looks back to the mortar—the
mixture used to make
the bricks in Egypt.
of God's provision, and of the Manna in the wilderness.
of God’s constant logistical support of us on the way!
plate is a reminder of the lamb that was slain,
whose blood was painted on
the doorposts with hyssop.
is represented by the
on the plate.
table represent four aspects of Salvation – Sanctification, Praise,
Redemption and Completion.
have added also a 5th cup, called the Cup of Elijah. They believe
Elijah will come as a fore-runner for the Messiah, and so a cup is kept
ready in case Elijah turns up tonight. Yes Jews do expect the Messiah to
come, but tragically, the majority are looking for a Messiah who is
not Y’shua (Jesus).
Passover, the children
questions about the customs, and the father explains
everything to them.
This , I believe, is a very good custom.
interesting Passover custom which Messianic believers practice with good
effect, is the breaking and hiding of “the
Three pieces of matzah are taken, and then the central matzah is broken
into two pieces. One piece, (called the
is wrapped in a white cloth and
hidden somewhere in the room. The children have to find this hidden
Traditional Jews will have an explanation for this
but believers explain that the three matzot (pl) represent the
Father, the Son and Holy Spirit. The central matzah represents the
Divinity and Humanity of the Son, whose body was broken at Calvary.
This central matzah is broken into two. The
humanity, is wrapped in
white cloth -
a burial shroud. It is hidden
the children are taught about the Resurrection
is a powerful illustration of how the Passover is all about our Saviour.
Y’SHUA WAS THE PASSOVER SACRIFICE FOR OUR SINS
Passover pictures our redemption and freedom, for our Passover Lamb was
Y’shua the Messiah; He was slain at Calvary
deliverance from the bondage of sin. And His shed blood covers all
faith in the Lamb of God,
His redemptive work.
know that it was not with perishable things like silver or
gold that you were redeemed from the futile way of life handed down
to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of the
Messiah, a Lamb without blemish or defect.” (1 Peter 1:18-19)
before OUR Saviour’s crucifixion, the high priest, Caiaphas, prophesied
that it was “expedient for one man, (Y’shua), to die for the
people, so that the whole nation should not perish." (John
of Caiaphas’ remark:
said not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied
that Y’shua should die for the nation; and not for the nation only,
but that He might also gather together into one the children of God that
are scattered abroad. So from that day forth they took counsel together
to put Him to death.” (John 11:51-53)
Scriptures reveal that Y’shua is our true Passover Lamb and that the
ancient Pesach ceremony pointed to Him and His sacrificial death on
behalf of the world.
contains the symbol of
a broken piece of unleavened bread represents
the broken body of our sinless Messiah.
Gospels show that the Messiah was slain on the very day of Passover.
we look back to that Passover - no doubt the most important
day of man’s whole history - we deeply appreciate the central
role of Y’shua in the removal of our sins, as foreshadowed by the former
know that He was manifested to take away sins; and in Him is no
is all about Y’shua the Messiah. Without His sacrifice, there would be
no deliverance, and no hope whatever.
forgotten how great was our deliverance from the harsh slavery of
CALVARY AND PASSOVER
ARE FOR “WHOEVER WILL”
Christians do not need to follow traditional Jewish practices. We have
freedom to worship and celebrate Messiah’s sacrifice as He leads us. We
celebrate in various ways. There is no hard and fast ritual. It
should not be a “ritual” at all. We don’t have to participate
in an annual Passover, just as we don't have to go to
“communion.” We can do either or both as we desire. There is no law
as such. There is only exhortation and invitation.
said: “This do in remembrance of Me.”
said: “Let’s celebrate the feast.”
I ask: Is
the usual weekly or monthly Sunday communion service the only way to,
“Do this in remembrance of Me.” ? Doesn’t each church have their
communion in whichever way they desire?
believers all around the world are finding that it
in a much
fuller way, praising and worshiping God, (in
the usual 10-minute church communion service that
are accustomed to).
believers who come from a Jewish background,
to have a program similar to the traditional Pesach, but
relate each part of the meal and practice to the centrality of Y’shua in
the Passover. They have Scripture readings, sing songs of Y’shua,
and pray in His Name
as we all do.
with roast lamb, vegetables, and matzah,
crispbread, or chapathis.
“hot cross buns” are leavened and are certainly not a suitable symbol of
the Lamb of God.
eggs” also have a pagan origin – they represent the fertility goddess
Estre. Buns and chocolate eggs may be nice to eat – but NOT at Passover
don’t need to imitate Jewish customs;
and we are NOT going back to Judaism in either our “communion” or
special annual celebration of our Saviour’s sacrifice.
observe God’s Holy Season as led by the Holy Spirit with love and
adoration for our Blessed Redeemer.
churches, especially in India, have a 3-hour service on Good Friday – 12
noon to 3pm, and teach and meditate on the seven words of the cross. It
can be very instructing
and a blessing. Some have an early morning service on Resurrection
Day. But Passover is an evening service – like the Saviour had
with His disciples on the evening of the beginning of Passover. The
Upper Room experience.
is what I would encourage each Christian family to experience. A blessed
time of remembrance, partaking in the unleavened bread, and the 3rd cup
the Cup of the New Covenant in the Saviour’s blood. (This year
Passover begins on
March 25th evening.)
you want to have your Passover on Good Friday, it’s ok. The main thing
is to observe and celebrate the Lord’s Appointed Season - to acknowledge
His redemptive work, and to worship Him. It.
surely pleases God for His people to reach out to Him in
UNLEAVENED BREAD -
15th to 21st of 1st month (Nissan)
starting the day after Passover,
is very important for observant Jews.
It’s one of Israel’s main national festivals.
(or yeast) is a
which ferments in cooking and rapidly spreads through the whole of a
batch of bread to puff it
is a symbol of sin, which puffs up.
the week of Unleavened Bread was a solemn time to emphasise the need for
sanctification – separation from all evil.
preparation for this 8-day season, all leaven had to be removed
from the peoples’ homes.
Yahweh, the Almighty, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
had commanded very strictly:
very first day you shall remove leaven from your houses, for
whoever eats anything leavened from the first day until the seventh day,
that person shall be cut off from Israel.” (Exodus 12:15)
days Israel was to totally reject all leaven (an agent such as yeast or
baking soda that causes bread to rise), during the festival, as
leaven represents sin.
an observant Jewish home there is much preparation for the
cleansed from front to back, so that there
leaven anywhere in the house.
father would take a feather, a wooden spoon and a lighted candle or
torch, and the children would help search under every chair,
for any trace of leaven. It was like the game Hide and Seek.
leaven was found,
it was taken out with great ado, and burned outside the house. This
practice was to emphasize the seriousness of
Spring Cleaning originated, I believe, from the Spring Cleaning
of the houses
Israel, according to
God’s command at the Passover season.
And I ask
you, my dear believing reader, would not this holy season,
a very appropriate time to go through our homes and lives and
remove all symbols and evidence of sin?
very good opportunity to give
instruction for Christian believers,
about the need for holiness.
There are many spiritual lessons for Believers here. The leaven (sin)
must be cleaned from our house and hearts.
Should we not go through our homes and remove everything that is
filthy, idolatrous, or occultic, anything questionable,
whether in books or magazines, CDs, DVDs, videos, or on our computers,
pen drives, or mobiles
anything at all that’s dishonouring to our Heavenly Father; and burn
them in the back yard?
we must use the light of the Word of God
expose our sin.
Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.”
Oh the seriousness of sin!
to tolerate the symbol of sin was so serious, what about actual
central to the Passover
there was a
God’s provision for the sins
of the people. And that
was a graphic type of
the ultimate sacrifice of the Lamb of God whose blood,
shed at Calvary,
would take away
of all who take refuge in Him.
“Y’SHUA IN US,
THE UNLEAVENED BREAD OF LIFE
the feast of Unleavened Bread is fulfilled in Christ who is made to us,
a reminder to us
our responsibility to be holy, for our God is Holy;
of the need to daily feed on the Living (unleavened) Bread.
Y'shua said to them, 'I am telling you the truth! Unless you eat the
flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. He
who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has everlasting life, and I will
raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:53-54)
taking some bread, after He had given thanks, He broke it
and gave to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do
this in remembrance of Me." (Luke 22:19)
apostle Paul admonished the gentile believers in Corinth to observe the
Feast of Unleavened Bread because they are days of
out the old leaven, that you may be a new batch without leaven -
because in reality you are unleavened. For our Passover Lamb,
the Messiah, has been sacrificed for us. Let us therefore
celebrate the feast, not with old yeast, nor with the leaven of
malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity
and truth.” (1 Corinthians 5:7-8)
apostle Paul compares leaven to sin with its tendency to grow and
spread. Y’shua also, referred to leaven as representing hypocrisy (Luke
12:1), false doctrine (Matthew 16:12) and moral depravity (Mark 8:15).
These are some of the sins Y’shua's true followers must overcome by the
grace and power of God.
unleavened bread of this feast reminds us that Y’shua is the perfect
example of a sanctified life. And we should desire with all our
beings to have that Holy One living out His life in us.
Days of Unleavened Bread remind us that it is not our own
righteousness that causes us to overcome sin. Rather, it is the
righteousness that comes as a result of Y’shua living His
righteous life in us, empowering us to conquer sin.
am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ
who lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live
through faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me."
love to see churches
really serious about this. I would love to see each evangelical church
have a series of meetings during this Passover week, teaching on
HOLINESS and SANCTIFICATION. I remember when I was a youth,
some assemblies would have an “Easter
Conference.” Some may still do, but I don’t hear much about it these
years ago I remember reading a book from such a conference held in
theme of the conference was HOLINESS. And I will never forget one of the
statements that was uttered by Montague Goodman. He said: “Brethren,
God has called us to holiness; and unless we are holy we are nothing and
worse than nothing.”
included a reprint of that article below.)
is one more deeper meaning to the days of Unleavened Bread. These days
picture the fulfillment of the promise of the Saviour to rise again.
And Y’shua was resurrected during the Feasts of Unleavened Bread – on
the very day — the first day of the week.
also promised that He and the Father would make Their home in our hearts
(John 14:23), and that His Spirit, the Comforter, would also be in
them. (John 14:16-17). Indeed, El Shaddai - the risen Messiah, and the
Father, and His Spirit - lives within us (if we are indeed His redeemed
people). And His resurrection life in us, gives the sure hope (promise
and assurance) of our future glorification as the children of God.
mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations;
but has now been revealed to His saints (His set-apart, holy people),
to whom God has chosen to make known among the nations, the glorious
riches of this mystery, which is Messiah in you, the hope of glory.”
YOM HA BIKURIM
is a harvest thanksgiving - a dedication of the barley harvest,
on the day after the Sabbath following Passover – which means, it was
always on the first day of the week which begins
at sunset on Saturday. A sheaf of the first fruits of the harvest was
brought to the priest who would wave it before the LORD.
unblemished lamb would then
offered as a burnt
the waving of the Firstfruits is fulfilled by the resurrection of
Christ – He was the “firstfruits of the resurrection.” Y’shua,
of course, rose on the day after the Sabbath following Passover, and
thus fulfilled this “holy event,”
fact is that the Messiah has been raised from the dead, and He became
the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep (believers who
have died) ... The Messiah is the firstfruits;
those who belong to the Messiah,
time of His coming.” (1 Cor 15:20, 23)
died on the Feast of Pesach; He was buried on the
Feast of Unleavened Bread, and rose on the day of the
waving of the Firstfruits.
So we see
included in the Week of Unleavened Bread, the celebration of the
resurrected Messiah who saves us from our sins, and who lives in each
one of us who are indeed saved by His Sacrificial Death and His
while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of
His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His
harvest festival has yet another deep spiritual meaning. The offering of
the first of the barley harvest was an
in anticipation of the promise of a full harvest.
And in this
waving the sheaf of firstfruits, (fulfilled
rose from the dead as the first-fruits of the spiritual harvest),
promise of the whole harvest of
being gathered in
Kingdom of Heaven.
it not be good to abstain from leavened bread for the whole week
to remind us of the need for a
clean home and
continuous holy life?
“Therefore having been justified by faith,
with God through our Master, Y'shua the Messiah.”
HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD
by montague goodman
Message given at the
Conference of Brethren,
Swanwick, U.K. in 1957.
“You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession,
so that you should proclaim the praises of Him
who has called you out of darkness into
His marvelous light.”
if we are not a holy people we are nothing at all, and worse than
nothing. Our teaching and preaching will be but “sounding brass and
tinkling cymbals.” We shall be a contradiction in terms. For God is
holy, and if we are not holy, how can we call ourselves the people of
gave to Moses on the Mount, the pattern for the Tabernacle in which He
would dwell in the midst of His people, He dwelt upon each item of that
building in meticulous detail, and warned him to make all things
according to the pattern.
His priests and the dress they were to wear; then as a climax to it all
He directed a golden plate to be made and attached it to the turban of
the high priest as he ministered before the LORD, and before Israel.
on that plate these words should be inscribed :
“Holiness to The LORD.”
was the keynote of it all. God wanted a people for His own possession.
They were a chosen generation redeemed out of Egypt and separated unto
Himself. They were a nation born in a day. But they must be a holy
nation or He did not want them at all. And when they were not
holy, He rejected them and put them out of His sight; He loathed and
hated the very worship He Himself had ordained.
under the very shadow of Sinai He saw them dancing naked around a
golden calf, He openly repudiated them.
are not My people, Moses! They are the people you brought out of Egypt.
I will never go with such a people, I will keep My promise to
Abraham; they shall have the land, but they shall not have Me.”
only after fierce judgment in which 3,000 were slain, and after
prolonged intercession by Moses, that God consented to go any further
is true of the holy nation under the new covenant.
did not escape when they refused him who spoke on earth, much less
will we escape if we turn away from Him who warns from
Heaven.” “For our God is a consuming fire.’’ (Hebrews 12:25, 29)
If we are
indeed a holy nation, God’s peculiar people, then we are utterly and
irrevocably committed to a holy life, and God is not prepared to
compromise with us for anything less.
the lesson of Ananias and Sapphira. Their action was not of intrinsic
gravity in itself. They were free to give or withhold, but not to lie
to the Holy Ghost, and not to assume a position before men which
they knew to be untrue. It was a deviation from holiness. It was the
first introduction into the church of the leaven of malice and
wickedness. And that, God will always judge, if not publicly, yet
as surely in the secret experience of the individual believer.
the outstanding marks of a holy nation, a holy church, or a holy man?
Holiness is a quality that defies definition. It is beyond comprehensive
description as is the person and character of God Himself. Yet it ever
demonstrates itself in marks that are unmistakable and unique. And these
marks are inherent wherever holiness is seen.
cannot be simulated or assumed. They are there in every holy man or
community and they carry their own conviction everywhere. Men who have
no use for religion are quick to acknowledge holiness wherever they meet
it, as was King Herod when he met John the Baptist and feared him,
because he was “a just and holy man.”
HOLY CHARACTERISTICS DISPLAYED
marks first manifested themselves at the coming of the Holy Spirit at
Pentecost. For He came for the express purpose of making men holy, of
calling out from the world a holy nation, consisting of holy men. And
they at once displayed holy characteristics that have never been
displayed by men before, and are never displayed apart from holiness.
four such characteristics that are named as marking the early church as
holy, four “great” things that manifested themselves at Pentecost and
after, and are recorded in Scripture as distinctive of the people of
God who constituted the Church in its earliest days which should, and
do indeed, thanks be to God, manifest themselves in measure in every
holy life and in every true church or assembly of God.
is the first. It is recorded that “great
them all.” The converts at Pentecost and after, were men who manifested
the grace of God; they all did. It was “upon them all.” How lovely a
thing is grace! And holiness is a very lovely thing. There is nothing
more lovable, nothing more lovely than a holy life or a holy community.
Barnabas, sent by the apostles from Jerusalem to Antioch, where
multitudes were reported as having “believed and turned to the Lord,” it
is recorded that “when he had come and had seen the grace of God,” he
was glad. Have you ever seen the grace of God? Have you recognized its
transforming power in those in whom it appears?
saw the beauty of the grace of God; it is the beauty of holiness. The
psalmist prayed. “Let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us.”
is something very beautiful whether in a holy man or a holy woman. It is
wonderfully attractive; there is never anything cold or repellent about
second mark was “GREAT
holy man is a happy man, for holiness and happiness are inseparable; no
man has ever been able to sunder them. “What God has joined let not man
set asunder.” Show me a holy man, and I’ll show you a happy man, Show me
a truly happy man and I will show you a holy man. For the only truly,
consistently, permanently happy people in the world, that I have ever
met, as I have travelled in all parts of the world, are people who have
known something of the holiness of God in their experience and are
unhappy Christian is an unholy Christian, just as an unhappy child is an
unhealthy child. The joy of the Lord is a real, overflowing thing,
radiant in the face of a man who knows it, and is walking in the light
with God; he is the happiest man out of heaven! It’s a happy thing to be
holy. Is your assembly happy? If it is not, there is something unholy
apostles witness.” Their Lord promised, “You shall receive power after
the Holy Spirit has come upon you,” and they did.
the Church lost this power to-day? Is it because it has lost holiness?
Why is not the world turned upside down to-day? Why does not the power
of Christ rest upon us as it did most certainly upon Paul? Can it be
that we are not prepared to pay the same price that Paul paid?
Can it be because we are just not willing to be holy?
not in danger, grave danger, of the sin of complacency?
fourthly, there was “great
came upon every soul”; “and great fear came upon all the church, and
none of the rest dared join them.” (Acts 5:5, 13)
always manifests itself in the fear of God, a quality that is often
strangely lacking among Christians to-day. “To this man will I look,
declares the LORD, to Him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who
trembles at My Word.” (Isaiah 66:2)
of the early Friends in their most saintly period, when they were a
power in the land, was such that they were dubbed “Quakers.” I wonder,
do we ever quake? Do we fear the LORD? If we are holy, we most
Great grace, great joy, great power, great fear;
are these things outstanding in our assembly life? No wonder it was
added that “none of the rest dared join them.”
said they, “we can’t go there, it is dangerous to join them unless we
are prepared to be holy.”
purging there would be in our assembly life, if the spirit of all
desiring fellowship were this: “God forbid that I should mar the
assembly, and merit the judgment of God by bringing something unholy
into their midst!”
searching there would be! What holiness would mark our assemblies in the
land, as in those first early days in England, when to be a brother was
equivalent to being one who was humbly setting out “to perfect
holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1)
“TAKE UP THE CROSS AND
BY A. W.
“And he who does not take his cross and follow
after Me is not worthy of Me.”
“If anyone wants to come after Me,
he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily
and follow Me.”
CONCEPT of spirituality varies among different Christian groups. In some
circles the highly vocal person who talks religion continually is
thought to be very spiritual; others accept noisy exuberance as a mark
of spirituality, and in some churches the man who prays first, longest
and loudest gets a reputation for being the most spiritual man in the
vigorous testimony, frequent prayers and loud praise may be entirely
consistent with spirituality, but it is important that we understand
that they do not in themselves constitute it nor prove that it is
spirituality manifests itself in
These are ever-present,
sufficiently powerful to motivate and control the life. For convenience
let me number them, though I make no effort to decide the order of their
the desire to
be holy rather than happy.
The yearning after happiness found so widely among Christians
professing a superior degree of sanctity is sufficient proof that such
sanctity is not indeed present.
spiritual man knows that God will give abundance of joy in His own time,
after we have become able to receive it without injury to our souls, but
he does not demand it at once.
Wesley said of the members of the early Methodist societies that he
doubted that they had been made perfect in love because they came to
church to enjoy religion instead of to learn how they could become holy.
A man may be considered spiritual when he wants
to see the honour of God advanced
his life even if it means that he himself must suffer temporary
dishonour or loss.
man prays, “Hallowed
be Your Name,”
silently adds, “at any cost to me, Lord.” He lives for God’s honour by a
kind of spiritual reflex. Every choice involving the glory of God is for
him already made before it presents itself. He does not need to debate
the matter with his own heart; there is nothing to debate. The glory of
God is necessary to him; he gasps for it as a suffocating man gasps for
air. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
The spiritual man
wants to carry his cross.
Many Christians accept adversity or tribulation with a sigh and call it
their cross, forgetting that such things come alike to saint and sinner.
is that extra adversity that comes to us as a result of our obedience to
Christ. This cross is not forced upon us; we voluntarily take it up with
full knowledge of the consequences. We choose to obey Christ and by so
doing choose to carry the cross.
a cross means to be attached to the Person of Christ, committed to the
Lordship of Christ and obedient to the commandments of Christ. The man
who is so attached, so committed, so obedient, is a spiritual man.
Again a Christian is spiritual when
he sees everything from God’s view-point.
ability to weigh all things in the divine scale and place the same value
upon them as God does is the mark of a Spirit-filled life.
at, and through, at the same time. His gaze does
not rest on the surface but penetrates to the true meaning of things.
The carnal Christian looks at an object or a situation, but because he
does not see through it he is elated or cast down by what he sees. The
spiritual man is able to look through things as God looks and thinks of
them as God thinks. He insists on seeing all things as God sees them
even if it humbles him and exposes his ignorance to the point of
Another desire of the spiritual man is
to die right rather than to live wrong.
A sure mark of the mature man of God is his nonchalance about living.
The earth-loving, body-conscious Christian looks upon death with numb
terror in his heart; but as he goes on to live in the Spirit he becomes
increasingly indifferent to the number of his years here below,
but increasingly careful of the kind of life he lives while he is here.
not purchase a few extra days of life at the cost of compromise or
failure. He wants most of all, to be right, and he is happy to
let God decide how long he shall live. He knows that he can afford to
die, now that he is in Christ, but he knows that he cannot afford to
do wrong, and this knowledge becomes a gyroscope to stabilize his
thinking and his acting.
to see others advance at his expense
another mark of the spiritual man. He wants to see other Christians
above him and is happy when they are promoted and he is overlooked.
There is no envy in his heart; when his brethren are honoured he is
pleased because such is the will of God and that will is
his earthly heaven. If God is pleased, he is pleased for that reason,
and if it pleases God to exalt another above him he is content to have
The spiritual man habitually makes eternity judgments instead of time
judgments. By faith he rises above the tug of earth and the flow of
time and learns to think and feel as one who has already left the world
and gone to join the innumerable company of angels and the general
assembly and church of the Firstborn which are written in heaven. Such a
man would rather be useful than famous and would rather serve
than be served.
all this must be by the operation of the Holy Spirit within him. No
man can become spiritual by himself. Only the Holy Spirit can make a man
MY DEAR BELIEVING READER, WHAT SHOULD
BE OUR RESPONSE TO THESE MESSAGES
OF MONTAGUE AND TOZER?
we given up on the need for HOLINESS? Do we feel it is just too
difficult — and say, I’ll just try to do the best I can?
in the Redeemer, the Saviour and His power in us, is the answer. “Be
filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18-20)
How to be
filled with the Holt Spirit?
answer in these four words:
to receive a cleansed heart. (1 Jn 1:9)
to God to walk in fellowship with your Master and to be available moment
by moment to the Spirit’s control. (Romans 12:1-2)
Put things right as much as possible, so that hindrances to your
spiritual life will be cut off. (Matthew 5:24)
Go forth trusting in your Master, Y’shua, to fill you, and to live out
His life in you. (Matthew 21:22)
A PRAYER OF CONSECRATION
Take my life and let it be,
Consecrated Lord, to You.
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Your love.
Take my feet and let them be,
Swift and beautiful for You.
Take my voice and let me sing,
Always, only, for my King.
Take my lips and let them be,
Filled with messages from You.
Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
Every power as You shall choose.
Take my will and make it Yours;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Your own
It shall be Your royal throne.
Take my love; my Lord I pour
At Your feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be,
Ever, only, all for You.
THE PERSECUTED CHURCH
PRAY FOR THE MILLIONS OF
AROUND THE WORLD.
“Remember the prisoners as if you were imprisoned with them;
and those who are mistreated,
since you yourselves are also in the body.”
CHINA PLANS TO WIPE OUT HOUSE CHURCHES
Govt.-sponsored persecution rose 42% in 2012.
FEB18/13. China's Christians felt a noticeable rise in persecution in
2012 as the Communist government began the first of a three-phase plan
to eradicate unregistered house churches.
132 incidents of persecution affecting 4,919 Christians - 442 of whom
were clergy - were reported in the country in 2012. This was an
increase of about 42% in 2012 compared with 2011, 372% worse than in
2006, according to a report by human rights group China Aid.
administered directly under the central government, witnessed the
highest number of persecution cases, at 62, affecting 934 Christians The
Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwest China followed with at 11
cases involving 382 Christians. Persecution was also high in central
China — comprising Henan and Hubei Hunan provinces — where 1,056
Christians were affected. East China witnessed harassment of 750
recent appointment of Xi Jinping as the new leader of China's Communist
Party has so far made no difference in the treatment of Christians, said
a member of the Shouwang Church in Beijing, a congregation authorities
have harassed for more than two years.
a new three-phase approach was adopted to wipe out unregistered house
churches, which the government saw as a hostile group of dissenters, and
to force them to join the official Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM)
first phase, from January 2012 to June, the State Administration for
Religious Affairs (SARA) secretly investigated house churches across the
country and created files on them, the report says. This was followed by
a wave of crackdowns on house churches, which has continued into 2013,
as part of the second phase.
second phase will also entail strongly encouraging unregistered churches
to become part of the TSPM - at which point they would become known as
"house gatherings," with the government banning the term "house
says its statistics are just "the tip of the iceberg." -
Death penalty for holding A Bible
Christians face the unthinkable in North Korea.
possessing a Bible still can be cause for a death penalty in North
Korea, so it’s no surprise that the hermit kingdom remains No. 1 on
this year’s World Watch List of the world’s most notorious persecutors
of Christians, a project assembled by Open Doors USA.
Persecution of believers also increased sharply across Africa,
eight out of 10 worst offenders are ruled by Muslim theocracy, and
Egypt, under the Muslim Brotherhood, actually saw its ranking lowered,
but not because of any improvement there. It was because of worsening
conditions elsewhere, the report said.
Korea, a possible lesser penalty for someone having a Bible would be for
the offender, and three generations of his or her family,
to be sent to prison camps, where an estimated 50,000 to
70,000 people are held in virtual concentration camps.”
Korea doesn’t allow Christians any freedom in any of the five spheres
used in the process.” “We have not heard any reports of improvement for
Christians in the country and have no reason to believe anything has
changed,” Morgan said. - www.wnd.com/
EGYPTIAN CHRISTIANS TARGETED BY
NEW TERROR GROUP
21/13. A group of Christian priests from a local Coptic church in Egypt
were told to convert to Islam or face death. The incident, which comes
in the midst of continued persecution and pressure on Egypt’s Christian
community, took place this week in the town of Safaga, near the Red Sea.
to El Balad, an Arabic news site, the threats are from a new
group in Egypt, Jihad al-Kufr, whose name translates to “Jihad
against non-believers or non-Muslims.” The group targets non-Muslims,
and reportedly pressures them to convert to Islam.
the first time. This is happening every day,” said Adel Guindy,
president of Coptic Solidarity and a member of Egypt’s Coptic community
who travels between Paris and Cairo. “This one incident caught the
attention of the news agencies, but there are worse things happening to
the Christians every day in Egypt,” he said.
have felt increasingly at risk since the fall of former President Hosni
Mubarak in 2011, which resulted in the rise of President Mohammed Morsi
and the Muslim Brotherhood movement. “It has definitely worsened under
the revolution. Once the worst part of the society surfaced -- the
Islamists -- the Copts are paying a heavy price. The West doesn’t really
feel our pain. It’s a war of attrition,” Guindy said.
the largest Christian community in the Middle East, and the most
prominent religious minority in the region. Christians make up about 10%
of Egypt’s 85 million people.
new constitution has come under scrutiny by many for including elements
of Sharia, or Islamic law, while simultaneously legitimizing the
marginalization of the country’s religious minorities by denying them
legal protection. It also granted increased powers to Morsi, who
self-declared sweeping powers in a Nov. 22 power grab that prompted
heavy international criticism.
constitution was ratified after its second referendum in late December,
winning more than 70 percent of the vote. Moderate Egyptians took to the
streets to protest the rushed ratification, but the demonstrations were
believe members of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic extremists,
emboldened by the constitution’s passage, have stepped up attacks
against Egyptian Christians.
Extremists over the weekend set fire to a Christian Church in the
Province of Fayoum, the second such assault against the town’s Coptic
population in a month. The attackers ripped down the church’s cross and
hurled rocks at church members, injuring four people including the
priest, according to a report by Morning Star News.
week, an Egyptian court forced two Coptic Christian boys, aged 10 and 9,
to face trial for “insulting the Koran,” according to reports. The boys
were arrested after playing in a pile of trash, which authorities
claimed included pages of the Koran.
SILENT EXODUS OF SYRIAN CHRISTIANS
midst of terrible war and chaos, Syria's Christian minority is facing
insurmountable challenges due to distinct persecution. Vicious attacks
have been made by militant Islamists and criminals,
resulting in a
massive exodus of believers who are being forced to flee the country.
to Archdeacon Emanuel Youkhana of the Assyrian Church of the East, who
is trying to cope with the overwhelming refugee crisis, Christians in
Syria are fleeing en masse from threats, kidnappings, rapes and murders.
"Behind the daily reporting about bombs," he says, "there is an
ethno-religious cleansing taking place, and soon Syria (will) be emptied
of its Christians."
the official number of Assyrian Christians who have already fled is not
known, hundreds are crossing the border into Turkey and Lebanon daily.
Sadly, these panic-stricken refugees have faced horrific circumstances
and ongoing threats. Some point to a government that failed to protect
them; others to the Islamist rebels who drove them out. One woman
explained that her husband and son were shot in the head for no reason.
"Our only crime is being Christians," she responded.
The Christian Post. (The following link to a previous report also
reveals the seriousness of Syria's mounting persecution:
these displaced Assyrian believers be mindful that our Lord Jesus, who
was Himself rejected by those in His homeland, understands their plight.
Pray that His reassuring Presence and comfort will sustain them in their
hour of need. Ask our Almighty God to provide greatly needed protection,
strength and divine guidance as they seek refuge and safety in other
lands. May the promised blessing of Matthew 5:10 serve to further
encourage them: "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness'
sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven."
LIBYA ARRESTS FOUR
SUSPECTED CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES
authorities have arrested four foreigners on suspicion of distributing
Christian books and proselytizing in the eastern city of Benghazi, a
charge that could carry the death penalty. Evangelism in the
"100% Muslim" nation is a crime, assert police, who have allowed
Islamist extremists to drive Christians out of Libya.
FIRE-BOMBINGS TARGETED AT CHURCHES
of four churches on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi were attacked
recently by arsonists using homemade bombs. While no one was injured,
the attacks resulted in property damage to the church buildings, as well
as increased anxiety among the local communities.
to police, it appears the assailants intended to stir up religious
tensions between Christian and Islamic groups on the island. More than a
decade ago, an anti-Christian campaign by extremists had destroyed
hundreds of churches and thousands of homes. Reports indicate that
thousands of Christians from both the Sulawesi and Moluccas islands were
killed in the conflict and approximately half a million others were
driven out in what has been described as an ethnic cleansing effort.
recently stated by Human Rights Watch, religious intolerance is growing
noticeably worse in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority
country. The latest report, which compiled information on 264 incidents
of religious intolerance, revealed that these statistics are almost
double those of 2007.
The Jakarta Globe, International Christian Concern, Barnabas To learn
more about the situation in Indonesia, go to www.persecution.net/indonesia.htm.
TWO CHRISTIANS BEHEADED IN U.S.
FEB18/13. Authorities in New Jersey allege a Muslim man beheaded two
Coptic Christians, burying their bodies and heads and hands in separate
graves near Philadelphia, bringing the horror of the persecution of
Christians in Islamic nations to the United States.
to New York’s WABC-TV, the Muslim was identified as Yusuf Ibrahim, 28.
He was taken into custody after the bodies were found.
report said investigators alleged Ibrahim killed the victims then
severed their heads and hands, and buried the remains in the back yard
of a home in Buena Vista, N.J.
report said the victims were from the Coptic Christian
Do pray for our persecuted brethren!