Monthly Archives: November 2015

37. The sweet incense of prayer

Last week we had a look at the golden table of showbread and we learned that Jesus is now our bread of life. And He wants us to come to Him, to fellowship with Him and to take in this bread of life, Him. Then His life and life in abundance can flow through us.

Today we will have a look at the altar of incense. The golden altar of incense was in front of the curtain that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. God commanded the priests to burn incense there every morning and evening. The incense was to be left burning continually as a pleasing aroma to God.

The incense burning was a symbol of prayers offered to God. We learn that from:

"Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice." Psalm 141:2

"Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand." Revelation 8:3, 4

The incense was thus a symbol of the prayers of the saints. And God was pleased to have this aroma before Him day and night. God loves our prayers. He loves to hear from us. He loves to talk to us. And it is interesting to me that the altar of incense was right in front of the entrance to the Most Holy Place. Therefore God was saying prayer, in other words conversation with Him, was the way to enter into the Most Holy Place. Being close to Him, one with Him, gives access into the holiest of all.

Jesus said that we must pray using His Name:

"And whatever you ask in My Name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My Name, I will do it." John 14:13, 14

Therefore Jesus is the entrance into the Most Holy Place. Using His Name will give us the right to enter. Why? Because we are too sinful on our own. We cannot enter without a sacrifice. But Jesus came and was our perfect Sacrifice. His death tore the veil in two, giving all of us entrance, clothed with the righteousness of Christ. And then when we pray, our prayers will be granted and what we ask for will be granted. Why? Because we will be praying what Jesus would be praying. We will be thinking and breathing like Him and our requests will be in line with His will. All glory to Him! Then all things will be added unto us.

This year I have learned so much about prayer. Prayer is in essence communication with God, whether audible or not, whether in our soul or in our spirit, or whether it is just a constant knowing that God is close to you. Prayer is just being with Him, knowing everything will work out for my good as I stay close to Him in the Most Holy Place. This type of prayer is sweet incense unto Him and pleases Him. He simply wants your undivided love and attention directed towards Him and His Kingdom. That is why Jesus said all things will be added unto you if you make His Kingdom your primary concern.

Look up to Him, pray, communicate and love. He is good, always!

Father we love to come into Your presence. We love to spend time with You. Thank you for all Your faithfulness. In You lie all the answers to life! Amen

36. Receive life in abundance

Last week we had a look at the ten menorahs that were standing in the Holy Place in the Temple. These menorahs represented His Spirit Who wants to communicate with us and wants us to grow in maturity in Him so that He can entrust us with even more.

Today I want us to have a look at the golden table of showbread. This table had twelve breads on it, representing the twelve tribes of Israel. Once a week the priest would come in and exchange the old breads with new ones. He could eat of the bread, but only in the Holy Place. He couldn't take it outside as it was holy.

Now according to the 'Tabernacle place' website the symbolism was as follows:

"Showbread" also was called "bread of the presence" because it was to be always in the Lord's presence. The table and the bread were a picture of God's willingness to fellowship and communion (literally speaking, sharing something in common) with man. It was like an invitation to share a meal, an extension of friendship. Eating together often is an act of fellowship. God was willing for man to enter into His presence to fellowship with Him, and this invitation was always open."

Isn't it a wonderful symbol? God wants us to fellowship with Him. Jesus showed this to us too. Throughout His ministry He would eat with all kinds of people, with 'obvious' sinners, with His disciples and with religious people. He ate with everyone and fellowshipped with everyone. He came to show God's heart of love to all.

And in John 6:33, 35 He made a profound statement to the people of the day:

"For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. I am the bread of life."

Jesus was in fact saying the time for the showbread has come to an end. He is now the bread of life. He is the One fellowshipping with them. He even went a step further with the Holy Communion and said that they must eat the bread of life now:

"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." Matthew 26:26

Jesus wants us to eat of the bread of life, Him. He wants us to fellowship with Him and to take in the life that He came to give us. He came to give us life and life in abundance (John 10:10). But we must understand this principle. True life is in the Holy Place, surrounded by His Spirit, fellowshipping with Jesus. True life is found in being close to Him. True life is where He is. The question is where are you? If we are still running around in the outer court yard, chasing after this world, craving after things that will fade away, then we cannot have true life. We will get tired and worn out. We will get discouraged and lose hope. Our bodies wouldn't be able to cope and our minds will be racing. And at the end of the day we will be wondering where this abundance of life is that Jesus promised us. But you see we haven't been soaking in His presence, we haven't been fellowshipping with Him. We haven't been growing in the spirit as He wants us to. He has given us everything we need to succeed on a spiritual level, but we do not take it. We rather run around on the outside and Jesus is standing with all His fullness inside, waiting for us to come to Him.

Go in and fellowship with Him. Take Holy Communion and share in His sacrifice. Drink in His blood filled with life and eat His body, the bread of life. See how His life flows through your veins. Be quiet with Him and be filled to the brim with His life and life in abundance.

Thank you Jesus that You came to give us life and life more abundantly! You have given it freely to us. The problem is that we are too busy to take it. We are so sorry about that. We want to fellowship with You and spend more time with You. We love to do that, with You alongside us. Amen

 

35. Mature and receive all that He has for you (2)

After discussing the Temple of God for several weeks now, we are finally through the entrance and into the Holy Place. We are finally a step closer to where God wants us to be ultimately.

Inside the Holy Place there were a number of things. There were ten golden menorahs, five on each side, there were the golden table with the showbread on and there was the golden altar of incense. Today I want us to have a look at the menorahs.

The golden lampstands (menorahs) are mentioned in a couple of places in the Bible. In Revelation 1:12, 13 we see Jesus standing amongst seven lampstands as He appears to John. Here it symbolizes the churches. But in Revelation 4:5 we read:

"And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God."

Here we see that the lampstands represent the Spirit of God. Also in Zechariah 4:10 seven lampstands are mentioned as the eyes of the Lord, which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth. The lampstands in my opinion therefore represent the Spirit of God. And where it symbolizes the churches, God was in fact saying that it symbolizes His Spirit working in each church.

The number ten is again very significant. Ten can refer to the perfection of Divine order, restoration, completion or fulfillment. The lampstands are also set as five on the one side and five on the other. 'The number five can also refer to true worship. Worship is an act of grace as no one can worship except those who are sought and called by the Father' - Hearing God: Numbers dictionary - Martin van der Merwe.

Therefore the lampstands symbolizes the presence of the Spirit of God in the perfection of Divine order. He welcomes us in to worship Him in Spirit and in truth. That is why Jesus says in John 4:24:

"God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

That is exactly what we must be doing. Our spirit is born again the moment we accept Jesus into our lives and from that moment on we must worship Him in spirit and in the truth of the Word. And how do we do that? By connecting with Him, by reading the Bible and knowing who we are in Him, by spending quiet time with Him connecting Spirit to spirit. God loves it if we communicate with Him not with our minds, but with our spirits nestled deep within. Unfortunately most of us exercise our bodies and our minds, but our spirits get left behind. That is why the Bible says that we must renew our minds (Romans 12:2), in order for us to start to know ourselves in the spirit. We are newly created beings, but unfortunately a lot of us stay babies in the spirit, we do not grow and move on in the spirit with Him. God wants us to grow; He wants us to get off milk and to start walking in the fullness of all that we are in Him and all that He has bought for us by His precious blood. He wants us to mature in Him. He can only entrust us with the amount that we have grown. No human being will give his four year old his company to run. He will wait for him to learn several things and to mature to a level where he would be able to take over. And the same is true of God. He cannot entrust us with a lot if we are still four year olds in the spirit. We can be 90 year old in the flesh and still be four years old in the spirit. This is not what God wants. He wants us to grow.

Where are you in the spirit? How old do you think you are? Don't you think it is time to grow up? God wants you to and He has so many things He wants you to do for Him. But He cannot give it to you if you don't grow in Him.

I personally want to grow. I am hungry for more and more. And you know what, the more I eat, the more He gives. It is true and it is wonderful! I look forward to what He has in store for me and to all the revelations He will still bless me with. And the same is true for you!

Thank you dearest Father for all that You are blessing me with. You are truly amazing. You provide me with so much and I glorify Your Name. You are the God of more than enough. I see that every day and I look forward to all that You have planned for me. Amen

 

34. Spend time in the presence of love

Last week we finished with the symbolism of the entrance of the Temple. But as we've seen the whole Temple inside is decorated in the same manner as the entrance, namely with cherubim, palm trees, open flowers and gold.

So let us take all these images together and see to what conclusion we can come.

Firstly we had a look at the cherubim engraved on the entrance. We came to the conclusion that it depicts that we must stay close to God, in His presence. We should be defenders of all that is good and continue praising His holy Name.

Secondly we had a look at the palm trees engraved on the entrance. We concluded that we must walk in the victory that Jesus bought at the cross for us. We should give honor to Him, praise Him and then flourish where we are planted.

Thirdly we had a look at the open flowers engraved on the entrance. The flowers depicted for us God's deep love for us, His special way of surrounding us with flowers and saying 'I love you'. Flowers also serve as a warning to us that things done for the glory of man will fade, but things done for God will last forever.

And lastly we had a look at the meaning of gold. Gold reflects the absolute majesty and infinite richness of God. The gold is used to lure us into the Temple and once there, we must be honest and open with Him, genuine in our faith.

So once we enter into the Temple God wants us to know the following:

We should stay close to God, knowing that He loves us dearly. We should give honor to Him and praise Him. He wants us to talk to Him and to be honest and open to Him. And then flowing from that intimacy, He wants us to walk in the victory Jesus brought for us. He wants us to be defenders of all that is good and do everything to the glory of His Name and in the process lure others in as well.

God's heart is a heart of love. God IS love (1 John 4:8), and everything He does flows out of it. Therefore in a nutshell He is telling us to come closer to Him, to stay near to His heart of love. And then He wants us to go out and attract others to Him as well. He loves to love. He wants us and all His wayward children close by His side. He wants to protect us like a hen protecting her chicks. Go and read Psalm 91 again. God has such fabulous promises for us in that Psalm, but all of them will only realize when we 'abide in the shadow of the Almighty'. In other words close to Him. All answers lies up, close and personal. Jesus died and gave access to us to have this wonderful relationship with Him. Stop running around and appreciate the fullness of what He has given us. Stand in awe of the wonderful gift you have, the amazing invite that has been extended towards you. And grab it with both hands. Enter into the Temple and just be with Him. With an earthly mindset we will feel as if we are not doing anything. But in effect we are doing infinitely more than we can ever imagine or think. God will then go behind the scenes and fight for us and help us in ways we never even thought possible. Just come. That is all.

Thank you Jesus for opening the way for us. Thank you for dying for us to make all of this possible. We thank you and praise You forever! We are sorry that we do not always make time for You. We are sorry that this world becomes too important for us. Here we come. We are entering into Your presence and we rejoice in all that You are. Amen

 

 

33. Your genuine faith is more precious than gold

Last time we had a look at how God wants to say 'I love you' in a very special way. He wants to bless us with flowers that will never fade away in His Presence in the Temple. He wants us so close to Him that He can flow through us and produce even more flowers that can never fade away, flowers that will have eternal value.

Now today I want us to explore the entrance and the engravings in the Temple further. As I've mentioned last time, basically everything was overlaid with gold.

Gold is a symbol of wealth; it resembles kings and all their glory. Gold is the underlying wealth of all monetary value. The amount of gold that one has truly reflects your wealth. The prosperity of the kings in the Old Testament was truly measured by the amount of gold that they had. And the kings were truly overflowing with riches when even their clothing was woven with it:

"The royal daughter is all glorious within the palace; her clothing is woven with gold." Psalm 45:13

So when God's wealth and splendor is depicted and explained to our frail brains, gold is used as a way for us to understand the infinite riches that He possesses. When the New Jerusalem is described it is not surprising that an overwhelming amount of gold is mentioned:

"The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass." Revelation 21:18

A whole city made of gold. Wow! Our limited minds cannot fathom the expanse of God's overwhelming richness and glory. I think the golden image was given to us, so that we can try and comprehend in a small way the wonders of God. But I think it is so much more, so much deeper and intricately woven, that we won't understand it now. But it excites me to know that there is more, it flutters within me knowing that our God cannot be fathomed by our restricted minds. Gold is just a miniature piece displaying who our God really is!

Now as wonderful as gold is, it is amazing to read in 1 Peter 1:7 that God says that the genuineness of our faith is more important to Him than gold. He wants us to be genuine when we approach Him. He wants us to be honest, frank and open. The gold means nothing to Him. It reflects a small part of His glory, but it doesn't mean anything to Him. Our honest faith is all that matters now.

I realize now what God wants to tell us with the gold in the Temple. The gold is there to lure us in. It is there to bring us closer to Him. Nowhere in the outer court is gold, only from the entrance onwards. And the reason is, because God wants to attract us closer to Him. It reveals a part of His character, and it reveals His authority as King. And once there, He wants us to be genuine and honest with Him. He wants us to lay our souls bare and to talk to Him. He wants us to just 'be' in His presence and to trust Him with everything. He wants our total surrender.

What attracts you to God? What about Him blows your mind? Go and think about it this week. Tell God and talk with Him about how amazing He is. Glorify Him in everything you do and exalt His Name on high. Then be open and honest with Him. Tell Him what you are worried about, tell Him what your concerns are and even tell Him if you are disappointed with 'Christianity'. Open up to Him, it means more to Him than all the gold in the Universe. His children coming to Him and being close to Him is all that He wants.

Come and enter into the Temple, all the answers are there, all the comfort and all the love. You simply need to enter in.

Father Your Temple is truly glorious. It is so wonderful! Thank you so much that we are allowed to enter in. Thank you that Jesus opened the way for us. We praise Him on high! And we glorify Your Name. Amen

 

 

 

95. Easter 2019

It is Easter and I am once again reminded of how much God loves us. He gave up His most precious Son, in order to have us as His sons and daughters. And as His sons and daughters, we have access to His liberal fountain of love. Psalm 36:7-9 in the Passion Translation displays this perfectly:

"O God, how extravagant is Your cherishing love! All mankind can find a hiding place under the shadow of Your wings. All may drink of the anointing from the abundance of Your house. All may drink their fill from the delightful springs of Eden. To know You is to experience a flowing fountain, drinking in Your life, springing up to satisfy."

Isn't it beautiful? We can find a hiding place from all terror, all crime, all stress under the shadow of His wings. But notice that it says 'under the shadow'. To be under someone's shadow, one needs to be close to him. And that is exactly what God desires. We can be His children, but not necessarily be close to Him. But that is His heart's desire, our closeness to Him. He wants us to experience Him as He truly is and He wants us to experience His unconditional love up close and personal.

It is when we are up close and personal that we can drink from the anointing of the abundance of His house. We can drink our fill from the delightful springs of Eden. We will never thirsty, but we will be hydrated, ready to take on anything that the world might throw at us.

Then when we spend the time with Him and in His Word, we get to know Him, truly know Him and His heart beat for this world. It is then that we experience a soothing flowing fountain springing up inside of us. This fountain will provide life for us as it should be and we will be satisfied. We will have true Shalom, the way things ought to be. We will be content with where we are and with what we have, we will be filled to the brim with Him and more and more of Him. Hallelujah! We will have our heart's desires because it will be in line with His heartbeat.

And all this is ours because Jesus died on the cross. Life in abundance is there for the taking because Jesus opened the way for us. We have free access to the delightful springs of Eden, preserved for the sons and daughters of the Most High. We can commune in His presence and spend quality time with Him, because the veil was torn. And there in His presence are the answers of all of life's questions. There is all that we need for our time here on earth. There is all the wisdom, health, peace, wellness and strength that we need. We simply need to enter in.

Are you ready to enter in? Are you ready to experience so much more in this life? It is freely available to you, Jesus opened the way. He is the way, the truth and the life. Take His hand and allow Him to lead you on His destined road for you. So many Christians wander off the best pathway for their lives. Do not allow that to happen to you. Stay close to Him, He will lead and guide you. He wants what is best for you. Trust in Him, give over to Him and allow Him to breathe His life into you. He wants to; you simply need to allow Him.

Father, thank you for sending Your precious Son to us. Thank you that we can rejoice and honor Him! Thank you that He opened the way for us to enter into Your holy presence. It is such an honor and a privilege and yet we take it for granted so many times. We are sorry and want to stay under the shadow of Your wings. There we are safe and secure, able to drink of the fountain of life. Hallelujah! We praise and honor You! Amen

32. See the spiritual flowers in your life

Last week we had a wonderful revelation of the meaning of the two pillars in front of the Temple. It is so amazing to see that all the symbolism surrounding the Temple is there to draw people closer to God. That is His hearts' desire. To have people close to Him. And when we are close to Him, life will make sense and we can have a clearer view of what is going on in our lives.

Today I want us to have a look at the entrance of the Temple:

"The two doors were of olive wood; and he carved on them figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold; and he spread gold on the cherubim and on the palm trees." 1 Kings 7:32

Again symbolism is locked in the carvings used. In fact the whole Temple inside had these three symbols namely cherubim, palm trees and open flowers.

We have looked at the meanings behind the cherubim and the palm trees, so today we will have a look at the open flowers. The Bible talks a lot about flowers. Let us have a look at a couple of verses and see to what conclusion we can come.

"I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys." Song of Solomon 2:1

"The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land." Song of Solomon 2:12

If we look at these two verses Jesus compares Himself to the rose of Sharon. And in His love language for His bride He mentions flowers quite often. Today we also associate flowers with a gift of love, friendship or even sympathy. Flowers are beautiful and there to be enjoyed. It says 'I love you' in so many ways.

But of course flowers can fade away as well as we see in 1 Peter 1:24, 24:

"All flesh is as grass and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the Word of the Lord endures forever."

God compares all the glory of man to flowers that falls away. All our own efforts, all our own striving will amount to nothing at the end of the day. But fortunately the Bible says that the flowers in the Temple are open flowers. In other words it is symbolic of flowers that will never fade away, because they are blooming in the presence of God.

Thus the open flowers in the Temple tell us that God loves us dearly. He wants to give us flowers and say 'I love you' in a special way. Nowhere outside the Temple were flowers except for the lilies depicting God's provision. But otherwise, if we want to be surrounded by His love, we need to enter into the Temple and stay there. And there the flowers will last, because all the flowers inside is to the glory of God and not to the glory of man. All we do whilst inside the Temple is to His glory and the fruit of what we do led by His Spirit will last forever, it will never fade away.

Walk in this life and see the open flowers that God wants to bless you with. See Him in everything and glorify Him in all. Then you will have treasures in Heaven, where it will never fade and stand the test of time.

Father thank you for all the flowers all around us. Thank you that when we do see physical flowers, that they are a reminder to us of all Your love, blessings and goodness. You are so amazing, so wonderful, such a blessed God. It is wonderful to know that everything we do flowing out of Your presence have eternal value. We praise You for that. Amen

31. Follow Him into the Temple

Last time we had a wonderful revelation of the meaning of the two pillars and their names (please have a look at it again to refresh your memory). We learned that God established a new covenant with us through the sacrifice of His Son and now He wants us to walk in agreement with Him. He wants us to enter into the Temple, unto a deeper revelation of Him.

Now today I want to finish off the two pillars by looking at the detail on the pillars themselves. The top of the pillars were in the shape of lilies and there were pomegranates on the pillars too:

"The capitals on the two pillars also had pomegranates above, by the convex surface which was next to the network; and there were two hundred such pomegranates in rows on each of the capitals all around." 1 Kings 7:20

Okay, so let us take a look at these two symbols. First of all we've seen in previous weeks that lilies resemble God's provision and care. God would look after them and provide for them.

Secondly let us have a look at pomegranates in the Bible. In Numbers 13:23 we see that the scouts brought back pomegranates to show how wonderful the Promised Land was. The pomegranates were a sign of a prosperous new future. Also in Deuteronomy 8:8 Moses mentions pomegranates to tell them how full of abundance the Promised Land is. Amongst so many things he could have mentioned he mentions pomegranates along with milk and honey and a couple of other things. But the point is, it was a sign of good things, God's unearned favor bestowed upon them. Another place where pomegranates are mentioned is in Song of Songs 6:11 and 8:2. Pomegranates are mentioned here as abundance provided and as a delicatessen to be enjoyed. It was certainly a sign of good things to be enjoyed. Therefore we can conclude that pomegranate is a symbol of prosperity and life to be enjoyed with God.

Interestingly there were two hundred on each pillar. Now the meaning of two hundred is complete deficiency. 'It is a strong expression of a person that is completely devoid of solutions or not able to provide sufficiently' (Hearing God - Numbers dictionary - Martin van der Merwe). Now, if we add the two together we come to four hundred and this means: full dominion/power/authority. So for me the meaning is clear, if Israel were to walk alone they would be completely deficient, devoid of solutions, but if they walk together with God they will have full dominion.

So, let us take all these together and see what God wants to reveal. He is saying that if Israel will walk with Him in full dominion, He will look after them and provide for them like the lilies. He will give them life to be enjoyed in abundance like the pomegranates.

If we take all this together with what we learned last week we can apply it to our lives today as well. God is saying that we need to walk with Him in agreement in the New Covenant that He has established for us. Alone we are completely deficient, but together with Him we can walk in full dominion. He will look after us and will give us access into His Promised Land where there is prosperity and a wonderful life to be enjoyed.

Sounds too good to be true doesn't it? Sounds like a fairy tale, and yet it is the Word of God teaching us this. We are more inclined to believe what the world tells us than what the Word of God says, so sad. And you know what; it is when we run around in the outer court, in the world, that we get hurt. It is when we rush around and are too busy to go up the steps to the entrance of the Temple that we get frustrated and discouraged.

I have seen this with my own life. I actually liked the outer court at one stage of my life because I truly succeeded in it. I received acclaim and I received the medals. So it was nice for me there. But God wanted more for me, He wanted me to go deeper, He wanted me to enter into the Temple with Him. He wanted me to walk in agreement with Him. But I didn't want to go, I resisted. I wanted to stay where praises could be seen and experienced. I wanted to stay where the world clapped their hands for me and looked up to me. And then God had to take me through a journey where it became unbearable for me to stay in the outer court. All acclaim vanished and the medals were given to others. I was thrown with mud and I stained my most precious dress. I got hurt and I lay there for a long time. I didn't want to get up and I felt very sorry for myself and I was angry with God too. I was truly angry that He allowed this to happen to me. How could He? But ever so gently He worked with me, He gently came and washed off the mud from my face. He extended His hand and lifted me up. And slowly but surely my heart softened through the care of the Holy Spirit, and I started to walk after Him. Up the steps, past the pillars and into the Temple. And I can honestly say, wow. Deeper and deeper with Him, wow. It is nothing compared to the acclaim I received in the outer court, nothing! It is SO much more. It is exhilarating. Walking with Him is amazing. I will tell more of my journey later. But for now ask yourself the question as to where you are? Where is God in your story? Are you ready to follow Him? Don't shun Him. He won't force you to follow Him into the Temple, but He really wishes you would. He wants to look after you and bring you into the Promised Land. Most Christians stay outside and never experience the fullness that He has for them, what are you going to do?

Father, wow. Thank you for my journey, for my story. All of us have a story to tell. Thank you for loving me too much to leave me in the outer court. I love and praise You. You are My Provider, the One I will love forever and ever! Amen

 

30. Stop running and walk in agreement with God

Last week we finished off the water basins and carts that surrounded the Temple. And what a wonderful revelation we obtained from these. Please go and read it if you have missed it and have the time.

Today I want us to start moving towards the Temple and have a look at the two bronze pillars at the entrance of the Temple. These two pillars were made of bronze and the top of the pillars were in the shape of lilies. They also had pomegranates as decorations. These two pillars also interestingly had names:

"Then he set up the pillars by the vestibule of the Temple; he set up the pillar on the right and called its name Jachin, and he set up the pillar on the left and called its name Boaz." 1 Kings 7:21

So let us have a look at the symbolism of the two bronze pillars and their interesting names.

First of all. Why two pillars except that it is practical? Two symbolizes agreement. And I believe that God wanted to tell the Israelites that He wants to walk in agreement with them. He and them should be a team. The Temple was in effect there to draw them closer to Him. So the one pillar symbolized Him and the other the Israelites themselves. And together they were in total agreement.

Secondly the bronze symbolized God's righteous judgment against sin. And this whole Temple typifies God's grace and forgiveness of it once they came to Him for forgiveness.

Thirdly let us have a look at the names. Jachin means 'Yah establishes' and Jachan means victorious. This is the pillar on the right. The pillar on the left is Boaz, which means 'Bearer of the covenant'. Put together it would seem that they mean that Yah (meaning God) establishes the covenant and is victorious. Isn't that wonderful?

So put together these two pillars seem to indicate the following to us:

God is righteous to judge all sin, but He established the covenant for Israel, so that they could walk in agreement with Him into victory. Wow. This statement really made me think, because it is saying the same to us today.

He was righteous in judging all our sin in His Son. He had to deal with sin, so that He could establish a new covenant with us. And in this new covenant there is only one thing for us to do and that is to walk in agreement with Him. Isn't it just amazing how the same message comes through the whole time while we are discussing the Temple? And that is that God wants us close to Him by His side, walking in agreement. That is all. That is the whole secret to life. And yet it is too simple, it is too easy and now we run around frantically trying to 'figure' everything out. We rush around and try on our own. We sweat, we fight, we go to war in our businesses and we struggle to survive. We reason everything out, we blame the government and everyone we can for the way things are. We want to excel and to reach the top; we want to make something of our lives, frantically searching for meaning. We look around and we see a sick world, we see people struggling and we conclude that we need to toughen up to make it. We grit our teeth and we become determined to show the world that we can. We put unrealistic pressure on our children and we teach them to dance to the melody of this life. We teach them to cope under pressure and we teach them that life isn't fair. And all the while God is standing at the entrance of the 'Temple' waiting for us to get into agreement with Him. He sees us running around in the outer court, sacrificing, sweating and crying. And all the while He is crying too, because He has so much more for us. So much more. He is waiting for us to give up on our own efforts and rather to walk further with Him.

Are you ready to stop running, to stop trying, to stop forcing things to happen? He is waiting at the entrance. He is ready to lead you in, in agreement with Him. Are you ready?

Father I see Your tears of frustration. I see You agonizing for Your children determined on doing their own thing. Father, we know that in agreement with You all things are laid out for us. In agreement with You we can walk and not grow weary, run and not faint. You will give us the strength. Here we come Father; we look forward to walking in agreement with You. In Jesus' Name. Amen

29. Do things the right way around

Last week we finished with all the symbolism locked up in the ten water basins and carts alongside the Temple. Today I want us to draw all the meanings together and see if we can come to one message portrayed to us today concerning the water basins and carts.

First of all we had a look at the number of water basins and what it represents and we came to the conclusion that it means that we are living under grace and not under the Law anymore. We are cleansed and received the righteousness of Christ as a gift from Him.

Secondly we had a look at the oxen engraved on the panels. They represent Christians who are strong, loyal, hardworking, groundbreakers, dedicated to Him and Him alone.

Thirdly we had a look at the lions engraved on the panels. We found that lions depict to us ruler ship, boldness and mighty power. We have all of this, because of His mighty Spirit inside of us! All majesty and power and glory are due to the Lion of Judah that overcame sin and Who will rule this world for all eternity.

Fourthly we had a look at the cherubim engraved on the panels. We came to the conclusion that it depicts that we must stay close to God, in His presence. We should be defenders of all that is good and continue praising His holy Name.

And lastly we had a look at the palm trees engraved on the panels. We concluded that we must walk in the victory that Jesus bought at the cross for us. We should give honor to Him, praise Him and then flourish where we are planted.

So let us see what message God wants us to hear loud and clearly through all of this. He wants us to stay close to Him, clothed with His righteousness, standing in His victory. There in His presence we are surrounded by mighty power and the ultimate Ruler ship, equipping us for the road ahead. We realize that this is all grace and then (and only then) can we step out and be strong groundbreakers for Him, standing up for what is right, all the way praising His glorious Name and flourishing where we are!

Wow, what a powerful message!

In our society we often get the order wrong. We are well-meaning Christians, trying our utmost best. But we start running, trying to be strong, groundbreakers, loyal and hardworking. We try to stand up for what is right and we try to do the right thing. And when things get tough, when things are not running as smoothly as we would have hoped, we get tired, discouraged and run down. But it is because we have it all wrong. We need to start first and foremost in His Presence. We need to dwell there, breathe in His heavenly air and soak up His presence. We need to listen; we need to allow Him to love us and to guide us on the right route. And in His presence, we need to KNOW that we are forgiven, righteous and surrounded by His power. We need to understand that He is Ruler overall and will lead us, we need to know that He has already won, that He has already brought the victory for us and that we needn't fight for it anymore.

Then and only then, are we ready to step out. Our minds need to be renewed with this knowledge, we need to be filled to the brim with Him, we need to hear His Voice clearly as to the road we must walk in and then we can step out. Then we can walk and praise His Name as far as we go. We can break the hard ground for Him, we can be strong by His power and doing the right thing will just come naturally. When you flow by His grace in the wisdom of His Spirit, you will not get run down or discouraged, because you will be led by Him. He will be beside you, taking every step with you. He will lead and guide you where He wants you. And that is super special. A life lived in His will is a successful life in His eyes. And that is good enough for me.

So come, follow Him, be with Him, and listen to Him. In His presence you will find everything, all life's questions answered. He is waiting for you.

Father we glorify and praise Your Name. You are amazingly awesome. Thank you for everything that You bought for us. Thank you for Your grace and love towards us. You gave it all for us even though we are undeserving. We glorify Your Holy Name and praise You forever. We love You. Amen