Zoe: my spiritual life
ζωή — zoë — The divine life; the life that enlivens the human spirit; the spiritual life. This is about God’s search for man, and man’s search for God.
In my reading from Numbers, I noted the following outstanding things:
Num 3:47 You shall take five shekels apiece per head; according to the shekel of the sanctuary you shall take them. (The shekel is twenty gerahs.)
48 And you shall give the money, by which the excess number of them is redeemed, to Aaron and to his sons.
49 So Moses took the redemption money from those who were over and above those who were redeemed by the Levites;
In Hebrew, “money” is “silver.” These verses clearly establish that in the Bible, silver typifies redemption.
Num 8:18 And I have taken the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel.
19 And I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and to his sons from among the children of Israel, to do the service of the children of Israel in the Tent of Meeting, and to make expiation for the children of Israel, that there may be no plague among the children of Israel, when the children of Israel come near to the sanctuary.
Num 18:6 And I Myself have taken your brothers the Levites from among the children of Israel. They are a gift to you, given to Jehovah, to do the service of the Tent of Meeting.
In these verses, the Levites were men given as gifts to Aaron. This is comparable to Eph 4:7-8, where the Father gives certain men as gifts to Christ, and Christ gives these men as gifts to the church:
Eph 4:7 1But to each one of us 2agrace was given according to the 3bmeasure of the cgift of Christ.
8 Therefore the Scripture says, “Having aascended to the 1height, He led captive 2those taken captive and gave 3bgifts to men.”
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It really is so important that we establish a habit to read the Bible every day on our own. No matter how many messages we hear or how many spiritual books we read, nothing can replace directly hearing from the Lord through His word. Even something as simple as reading one chapter a day (which takes no more than 5 to 10 minutes) will get you through the entire New Testament in just under 9 months. Reading one chapter a day will get you through the entire Bible in just three years and three months. That might seem slow, but compare how long...read more
In my reading from Exodus, I noted the following outstanding things:
- Pharaoh’s concept of what is real work and idleness is in stark contrast with God’s concept. I’ve written about this in a separate blog entry.
Ex 13:12 You shall set apart to Jehovah everything that opens the womb and the first offspring of every beast which is yours; the males shall be Jehovah’s.
13 And every first offspring of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you do not redeem it, you shall break its neck. And every firstborn male among your sons you shall redeem.
14 And when your son asks you in time to come, saying, What is this? you shall say to him, By strength of hand Jehovah brought us out from Egypt, from the slave house.
15 And when Pharaoh hardened himself against letting us go, Jehovah slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of beast. Therefore I am one who sacrifices to Jehovah all that open the womb that are males; and all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.
These verses show that in the typology of the Passover, Christ died to not only redeem those men who take His blood as their covering, but He even died to redeem the animals in God’s created world. (Not that He died that they might be forgiven their sins as men are, but that His death included the restoration of the corrupted creation to its original God-created intention.) This corresponds with:
Heb 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little inferior to the angels because of the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death on behalf of everything.read more
Col 1:20 And through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross — through Him, whether the things on the earth or the things in the heavens.
Whenever we are at a point where it is unclear how the Lord would lead us on in our lives, it is so important, more than ever before, to just rest and enjoy Him. If we are not enjoying Him in peace, then we will always be confused about where He is leading us, because we will be seeking God’s will as a thing to do or as a place to go, rather than as a Person to join ourselves to and follow. God never puts upon us more than we can bear, so if we feel overloaded, especially with “serving the Lord”, then we should be careful to...read more
Here’s an excerpt from the Life-Study of Luke message 12 (page 98):
A person who has not lost anything would not look forward to the year of jubilee. In fact, to such a one, the jubilee might be a suffering. But the one who has lost everything, including his land and himself, would surely look forward to the year of jubilee. When the year of jubilee came, he would rejoice at being released and recovering the right to his portion of the land.
The experience of jubilee is only for those who realize that they are captives of sin, of the world and of Satan:
Every fallen human being has lost the right to enjoy God as the tree of life and the right to enjoy Christ as the good land. Furthermore, every fallen one has sold himself to sin, the world, and Satan. In Romans 7:14 Paul said of himself, “I am fleshly, sold under sin.” Even Paul had become a slave to sin.
Only this realization makes the New Testament jubilee, the age of grace, a real joy and jubilation to us. Lord, make me daily so conscious of the burden of my sin, that I might daily by so thankful and joyful in the release that You have proclaimed over me.read more
This past weekend I attended the 2008 Thanksgiving Weekend Conference in Toronto. One of the messages was titled, “Being Intensified to Be the Overcomers Who Follow the Lamb Wherever He May Go for the Consummation of the New Jerusalem.” I was particularly touched by the following points:
- “Before the Lord’s crucifixion the disciples followed Him in an outward way; now, after His resurrection, we follow Him in an outward way, because in resurrection Christ has become the life-giving Spirit dwelling in our spirit, and we follow Him in our spirit.”
- Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone wants to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.
The cross is the will of God. To do God’s will in this sense is to put aside your own preference and follow the Lamb.
- Being led by the Spirit in Romans 8:14 depends on the following points from the preceding verses:
- The Spirit’s indwelling (8:9,11).
- Putting to death the practices of the flesh (8:13).
- The Spirit gving life to the mind, the spirit, and the body (8:6,10,11).
I came across a chart that lays out God’s complete salvation. I believe it was composed by a number of different people over time, mainly from Texas. It is based on the following quotation from The Glorious Church by Watchman Nee (pages 19-20): Redemption is comparable to the valley between two peaks. As one descends from one peak and proceeds to ascend the other, he encounters redemption at the lowest part of the valley. To redeem simply means to prevent man from falling any further and to uplift him. On the one hand, God’s will...read more
Today, I was really cherished by this portion from Messages Given to the Working Saints, by Witness Lee, chapter 4, page 41: Afterwards in my studies, I came in contact with missionaries from whom I learned English and had more opportunity to know the Lord. After my graduation, the Lord caused my living to be not too poor nor too rich, but just right for serving the Lord. Because I knew English, I could know the Bible in a more convenient way, even making footnotes to the Bible, and expounding the truths. Nevertheless, I did not know English...read more
Today I finished Deuteronomy in my Bible plan for this year. Here are a few fresh, striking points from my reading of this book:
Deu 9:12 Then Jehovah said to me, Arise, go down quickly from here, for your people, whom you have brought out of Egypt, have spoiled themselves; they have turned aside quickly from the way that I commanded them; they have made for themselves a molten image.
20 And Jehovah was very angry with Aaron, enough to destroy him. But I prayed also for Aaron at that time.
I had always wondered why Aaron was spared, and even permitted to continue as the high priest, when he had been so involved in such a gross sin. Now I realize it was specifically because of Moses’ intercession.
Deu 12:5 But to the place which Jehovah your God will choose out of all your tribes to put His name, to His habitation, shall you seek, and there shall you go.
6 And there you shall bring your burnt offerings and your sacrifices and your tithes and the heave offering of your hand and your vows and your freewill offerings and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock;
7 And there you shall eat before Jehovah your God, and you and your households shall rejoice in all your undertakings, in which Jehovah your God has blessed you.
8 You shall not do according to all that we do here today, each man doing all that is right in his own eyes;
9 For until now you have not come to the rest and to the inheritance that Jehovah your God is giving you.
These verses show that God permitted His people to sacrifice to Him whenever and wherever while they were still wandering in the desert. But when He brought them into the good land where they had real enjoyment, then He enforced His real desire that they only sacrifice to Him in the unique place of His choosing. In the same way, God does not burden Christians today with His command to meet only on the ground of oneness while they are still “wandering in the desert,” living a Christian life in their souls. He first brings us to know, experience and abide in the enjoyment of the all-inclusive Christ (our good land today). Only when we are dwelling in Christ in such a way does God bring us on to see that His heart’s desire is that this Christ be enjoyed in the place of His choosing—the unique ground of oneness. The corollary of this is that it is impossible to practice the unique ground of oneness without first abiding in Christ as our all-inclusive good land.
Praise the Lord for His grace day by day. I’ve been musing for a long time over Isa 7:14-15, concerning enjoying the Lord as the heavenly butter and the heavenly honey, our rich grace and sweet love that empower us to choose the good and refuse the evil. In brother Nee’s article (Collected Works of Watchman Nee, volume 17, pp. 111-120), it seems that all the examples he gave were of Jesus rejecting standing upon His uplifted position as the Son of God, choosing rather to stand on His lowly position as the Son of Man. I read today...read more