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The Seed of Eve

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Had Jesus Christ been born as you and I were born, by natural conception through the line of Adam, He too would have been in Adam (The Mystery of Godliness, Maj. Ian W Thomas).

Introduction

imageI am delighted today to introduce my dear brother and friend, Joseph Pote. Joe is an avid Bible student since childhood and teaches Sunday School.

He lives with his wife and 12 year old son on a farm outside Hope, Arkansas, U.S.A. Joe is a structural engineer and has agreed to honor me today by being a guest writer at my blog. To visit Joe, just click on his picture. Thank you, friend, and over to you..

Born of a Virgin

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Impossible, yet, it happened…the virgin birth of Christ, an essential part of God’s plan of salvation.

We will look at three specific reasons for the virgin birth:

  1. to identify Jesus as the Messiah (Christ)
  2. to qualify Jesus as our Kinsman-Redeemer
  3. to illustrate how Jesus delivers us

Identifying Jesus as Messiah

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold a virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and she will call His name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

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Christ’s virgin birth fulfilled the prophesy that Jesus is the Messiah. It could only be made possible by God and was chosen as a sign to prove that Jesus is Christ…Immanuel…God with us.

Qualifying Jesus to be our Kinsman-Redeemer

And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel. (Genesis 3:15)

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This first Messianic prophecy was spoken by God, to the serpent, after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. God promised a coming Redeemer even before He banished them from the garden.

…her seed…

In scripture, the seed is pictured as coming from the man, while the woman’s womb is pictured as a fertile environment for the seed to develop into a child. Yet here God speaks of the woman’s seed.

Before creation God had already planned for Messiah to be conceived without an earthly father…to be born of a virgin. Jesus is the seed of the woman.

And I will put enmitybetween your seed and her seed…

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The seed of the woman is Jesus Christ. Who is the seed of the serpent?

Jesus said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do.

You are doing the deeds of your father. … You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him.

Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies…” (John 8:39-45 – emphasis mine)

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The seed of the serpent are those who do the deeds of Satan…those who are at enmity with God…those who walk in sin. The seed of the serpent are all the descendants of Adam who reject Jesus as Christ (1 John 5:1&19).

Adam was created in covenant with God (Genesis 1:27 & 2:7, Hosea 6:7). When Adam sinned, he entered into covenant with the kingdom of darkness.

This is the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil…being in covenant with both good and evil.

Remember those fictional stories about people making deals with the devil then despairing because Satan gained legal right to their souls?

This was the issue facing mankind after Adam’s fall…the devil had legal claim over Adam’s soul.

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In the Old Testament, covenant is a father-to-son inheritance. The sons inherited not only the father’s property, but also his covenant relationships, including his debts.

So, not only was Adam in covenant with evil…so were all his descendants. What a seemingly hopeless situation! How can we escape an evil legacy inherited from birth? Every human child is born into Adam’s covenant with evil.

Every child…except Jesus!

Jesus was born of a virgin! Jesus is the seed of the woman, conceived with no earthly father from whom to inherit Adam’s covenant.

Conceived of the Holy Spirit, Jesus was born in covenant with God but not in covenant with evil.

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As the only descendant of Adam born with no covenant ties to the kingdom of darkness, only Jesus was qualified to act as our Kinsman-Redeemer. Only Jesus could redeem us from the kingdom of darkness.

For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone,
A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed.

He who believes in it will not be disturbed.
I will make justice the measuring line
And righteousness the level;

Then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies
And the waters will overflow the secret place.

Your covenant with death will be canceled,
And your pact with Sheol will not stand… (Isaiah 28:16-18)

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Only Jesus was qualified to be our Kinsman-Redeemer, and His virgin birth was an essential part of God’s plan of redemption.

Illustrating how Jesus would Deliver Us

Every first-born male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord. (Luke 2:23)

Luke quoted from the book of Exodus to explain the infant consecration of Jesus.  This edict was given to Israel after the plague of the death of the first-born of Egypt.

In memory of God’s deliverance, they were to consecrate all first-born males to the Lord.

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Like many aspects of the Old Testament, this law also carried a foreshadowing of the coming Messiah and was only completely fulfilled in Jesus.

Every first-born male that opens the womb…

Of the many first-born males in Israel, only one opened the womb as Jesus did. A betrothed Israeli virgin expected the physical barrier to her womb to be opened on her wedding night.

That was the night where the bride and groom became one flesh … the passion and intimacy of love by which the marital blood covenant was consummated.

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This rending of the barrier is essential for conception of a child. Jesus, however, was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. The barrier to Mary’s womb was intact until the time of Jesus’ birth.

John, speaking of the uniqueness of Christ’s birth, said,

This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood.

And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that bear witness, the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. (1 John 5:6-8)

Only Jesus is truly a “…first-born male that opens the womb…called holy to the Lord.”

So…what does this have to do with Jesus delivering us?

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In scripture, the womb is often used as a metaphor for Sheol, the place of the dead.  Sheol is pictured as a place of constriction where the Old Testament saints were confined, awaiting deliverance, much as a baby is confined in the womb.

The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up;
His sin is stored up.

The pains of childbirth come upon him;
He is not a wise son,

For it is not the time that he should delay at the opening of the womb.
Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol?
Shall I redeem them from death?

O Death, where are your thorns?
O Sheol, where is your sting? (Hosea 13:12-14)

The latter part of this passage was quoted by Paul as having been victoriously fulfilled in Jesus Christ.  Paul also said of Jesus:

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He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything (Colossians 1:18 – emphasis mine).

Jesus, who opened the womb, also opened the tomb. He is the first-born who opened the womb for His younger siblings to follow…and He is the first-resurrected who opened the gates of Death for His people to follow.

A midwife delivers a baby by working from the outside to assist the baby out of the womb into the mother’s arms.

Jesus delivers by joining us in our place of bondage and leading us out into liberating relationship with the Father.

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In His birth, Jesus opened the womb. In His death, Jesus opened the Holy of Holies, rending the temple veil both on earth and in Heaven. In His resurrection, Jesus opened the gates of Sheol.

Through Jesus Christ, our Deliverer, we are truly born again!

Hallelujah, what a Savior!

From what bondage has Jesus redeemed and delivered you?

Joe

Thanks again so much , dear Joe. I am linking this post at some of the places on my Tea Time and Link-Up Page.

Unlocking Mysteries

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God’s Thoughts to Me

And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 16:19, NLT).

It is time we find the Resurrection Stone, and discover the “key” to these religious mysteries, to interpret the gospel as it was intended (Resurrection:  The key to understanding the gospel – James Fowler).

Priestly Prattle

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The word “hieroglyphics” is a Greek word that means “sacred” or “priestly carving”. For more than a millennium, from the year 500 BC to 1822 Egyptian hieroglyphics were considered to be a secret code of priests and the key to unlock these mysterious writings was feared to be forever lost.

Until 1799 when some of Napoleon’s soldiers found the Rosetta Stone near the mouth of the River Nile. The same inscription appeared on this stone in three different languages: Egyptian hieroglyphics, Egyptian demotic and Greek.

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The Rosetta Stone

But it took the Frenchman, Francois Champollion, 23 years to discover the key to unlock these mysterious writings. In 1822 he translated the symbols and the mystery of hieroglyphics was something of the past.

From as early as I can remember, I was a member of some or other Christian Church, but I was still lost in darkness and didn’t really understand what the gospel was truly about. I was well into my thirties when I first heard about our need to be born again through the sweet Holy Spirit.

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Not unlike most of my contemporaries, I knew an awful lot about the gospel. I paid lip service, celebrated and paid homage to the gospel instead of the God of the gospel without ever really knowing or understanding what it was all about.

To say that the Scriptures were a lot like prophetic-apostolic hieroglyphics to me, is nailing the truth right on the head. I used to read everything I could lay my hands on, trying to find the key to unlock the sweet mystery of the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

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I was as blind as a bat and lent out my itching ears to a lot of priestly prattling of quite a few deceived teachers and blind guides.

But my ignorance proved to be no problem to our Pappa and in His usual gentle, patient way, He had to use nearly a full bucket of mud to open my spiritual eyes to the simple truth of Jesus. The simple truth we have made a monstrous complexity of!

Suffice to say that for a long time I was happily falling time and time again over the stumbling block, our dearest Lord Jesus, the Cornerstone of our salvation.

I valiantly got up again after every fall, nursing my wounded ego for a while, dusting off my behind and then tried again from scratch.

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Until the Rock of All Ages reminded me. “Anyone who stumbles over that stone will be broken to pieces, and it will crush anyone it falls on (Matthew 21:44)”.

When enough was enough, this Stone kindly fell on me, broke me into many pieces and took my legs from right under me through my illness. Gone were the days of my “self” being able to get up again and again.

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This became extremely difficult and I had to hoist the white flag in surrender. I knew I needed to start building cautiously on the only Cornerstone through all the ages.

The Master Builder gathered all my broken pieces and glued them all together with His tender love and gentle discipline until I was just a fragile jar of clay with many cracks to allow His Light to shine through.

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When one is blessed with a disabling disease, your time of dancing when the religious folk played wedding songs and crying when they played funeral songs, has passed.

I realized that I was not able to carry this burden of Fm/CFS on my own and I was soon knocking earnestly on Heaven’s Door.

True to His wonderful promise, He soon opened the Door to His Kingdom and gave me a wonderful key. This key unlocks the secret of our Resurrected Lord living His Resurrection Life in and through us.

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Once we truly realize our need to decrease like John did and we fill up and straighten the roads of our hearts for our King of Glory to enter, we come to know the joy of denying ourselves daily to experience the life in our Pappa.

Through the above-mentioned article of James Fowler, I discovered the Resurrection key; the key to unlock the glorious gospel of Jesus.

Scales fell from my eyes and my heart soared like an eagle that has been released from years of captivity in the prison of religious jargon.

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Many Bible verses that used to scare the living daylights out of me, became beautiful flowers in the garden of my heart. The Gardener, none other than the Holy Spirit cultivating flowers with the sweetest nectar to feed my thirsty heart.

The will of our God is one example of the secrets He revealed to my stubborn heart. I used to go on many a wild goose chase trying to determine the specific will of our Pappa for everything pertaining to my life; totally ignoring the sacred gift of common sense that doesn’t seem to be common anymore!

This glorious key unlocked many mysteries of our Pappa’s Kingdom and opened the doors of many prison cells where I was a captive for many, many years; a prisoner of the cruel jailer called Fear!

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In my next post, I would love to invite you along a few of the roads to freedom our Pappa has led me and few mysteries He lovingly revealed to me.

Much love and sweet blessings.

Mia

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Playing With Stars

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God’s Thoughts to Me

I will climb to the highest heaven and be like the Most High (Isaiah 14:14, NLT).

The Place Where We Belong

Once upon a moment in eternity, before the creation of time, the rambunctious murmuring amongst the angels in heaven, erupted into total anarchy.

A third of the legion of angels rebelled along with the morning star and revolted against His Majesty, King Jesus.

Lucifer, the maestro of heaven’s glorious music, proudly declared in his heart that his beauty belonged above the brightest stars; above the throne of God.

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Like lighting, the son of dawn was thrown from heaven along with all those magnificent creatures who fondled and caressed devilish pride in their hearts.

Like hungry lions they are now roaming the desolate plains of the world, roaring their damnable lies like venomous, fiery arrows of hate and rejection.

They are determined to steal, kill and destroy the last fragments of hope in the broken, desolate hearts of humanity.

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The crown of creation who were formed with tender love to behold the glory of God … the glory of their Farther to whom they once belonged.

But on a hill called Golgotha, the Bright Morning Star once and for all defeated, disarmed and shamed all the evil spiritual rulers and authorities.

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He paid the ransom for His bride … He brought her back to the place where she belonged since the beginning of time … a place where she plays with stars.

Much love and sweet blessings.

Mia

I broke all the rules today due to bad Fibrofog!!

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The Sinai Encounter

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Either you will find yourself opening up more and more to the Lord – and you will know it – or else you will find yourself constricting and tightening, in which case the atmosphere will become intolerable (Terry Fullam, Miracle in Darien).

Parable of A Father’s Love

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In 1979 Terry Fullam, an Episcopalian priest, was trekking in the footsteps of the Israelites during their exodus from Egypt.

At Mount Sinai he had an encounter with God and was directed to the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Darien, Connecticut. They needed a minister and had called Mr Fullam a few weeks prior to the Sinai encounter.

The day he preached his debut sermon, the congregants were looking at him with great expectancy when he delivered  the words above.

Yet, they were stunned into silence when he remarked that some of them might even find it necessary to leave the congregation.

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For three successive Sundays he preached about nothing else but the great, scandalous love of our Pappa for each one of His children individually.

When the elders tentatively enquired when he was going to start preaching about something else, he replied that only when all of them really and truly believed this vital truth.

I had the honor of reading the book, The Miracle in Darien, a few years ago and was impressed by how our Pappa whispered His life into the heart of a congregation that was not much more than a heap of dead, dry bones.

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I  was also deeply convicted of my unbelief and knew that I did not really have the saving kind of faith … the kind that knew my Pappa’s love … the twinkle-in-the-eye-song-in-the-heart kind of childlike faith.

Valiantly and with an unhealthy dose of fear and trembling, I tried my utmost to get my head faith to somehow find the road less traveled to my heart for I had often heard sermons on our need to do this!. Oh, I failed miserably and completely!

Eventually I realized that only as I admit my total lack of not only not understanding faith and grace, but also my inability to supernaturally conjure up some magical fairy faith, could Pappa bless me with abundant faith and mercy!

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Unbeknownst to me, I was actually at a very good place for I had to admit my failure to my Pappa. I told Him that if He doesn’t give me faith as a free gift of His grace, I will forever be a heathen.

I reminded Him that even Jesus told us that with us nothing is possible, even the simple act of believing. This He did with gladness.

The angels were rejoicing in heaven over this stubborn child who at least had the common sense to go home when she was at her wit’s end. He led me to another little book, He Loves Me, by Wayne Jacobsen.

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Through this book, our Pappa opened my eyes to another central focus of the parable of the Prodigal Son: the love of the Father.

This Father acted shockingly when His good-for-nothing son claimed his inheritance while his Father was still alive; He gave it to him. Have you ever heard of such audacity!

To add injury to insult the son squandered all his riches on wine, women and song while his Pappa was waiting with longing on the farm.

When he ended up destitute, his Pappa didn’t rush to rescue His child, neither did He nag or prodded his son to get his life in order.

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No, He allowed him to hit rock bottom, hoping that he would remember his Pappa’s unconditional love and come home willingly. When he was still a far way off, His Father, who was waiting with longing since the day he had left, saw him.

He hiked up His robes and ran down the road to meet His wayward son whose famished stomach made him prepare a good repentance speech.

The Father didn’t hear a word of His child’s apology, but smothered him with hugs and kisses of delight. There was not even a hint of anger or retribution.

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No, instead of receiving punishment, this child received a feast fit for a prince to celebrate his homecoming. He told His servants to dress His child in royal robes and to put His signet ring on his finger.

Our Pappa showed me how He is totally the opposite of an earthly parent. Here on earth we make such a big issue of obedience and respect.

But this is not what my Pappa wanted. He desires nothing else but my whole heart, my love and my life from the moment He formed me in the seclusion of my mother’s womb.

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He is not interested in our sacrifice and service to Him and reminds us that He is not served with human hands (Acts 17:25). No, not at all!

He wants each and every one of us to truly know how much He loves us. He desires an intimate relationship with all His children, as if that one was His one and only, hoping that we would willingly love Him in return.

Oh, what joy when the Heavenly Light of Love flooded my heart with the sunshine of understanding.

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He took my hand and invited me to stand on His big Father feet while He taught me how to dance to the rhythm of the heartbeat of His love.

Much love and sweet blessings.

Mia

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A Gate Called Beautiful

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Each day he was put beside the Temple gate, the one called the Beautiful Gate, … “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk” (Acts 3:2-6, NLT).

Beggars at The Narrow Gate

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Once upon a time, in the year 1 AD, in the city of Jerusalem, a beggar, lame from birth, was lying beside the double gate in the wall of the Temple Mount. As was his custom, he was begging for alms.

This gate was called Beautiful and was at the end of a monumental stairway from the lower plaza. It was used by pilgrims from all over Israel to enter the temple to worship the King of Heaven.

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Suddenly the beggar was walking, dancing and leaping into the Inner Court of the Temple, accompanied by two men who used to follow the Man from Nazareth, the One who was crucified on Golgotha.

His voice was ringing like heavenly bells as his song of thanksgiving was rising up to heaven where angels were rejoicing for another prodigal who found his way back Home

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Rumors were that Death was unable to keep this Man, this King who’s Kingdom was not of this world, captured in its claws. The Spirit of Life descended from Heaven and raised Him from the portals of Hades.

The beggar’s joyful noise was like sweet-smelling frankincense, praising and thanking the Prince of Glory for the wonder of being cured of his lameness. He was suddenly filled with unspeakable joy.

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A still small voice whispered softly in his inmost heart ,”I am the Gate called Beautiful … the Narrow Gate made of a single Pearl of great price. I am the Entrance into the Kingdom of my Father,  the stairway into the Castle of His heart.”

“All who comes to me, I will in no ways cast out. I will gather them with the feathers of my love. I will cover them with my mercy and hold then forever, safe in My Loving Embrace.”

Much love and sweet blessings.

Mia

P.S. Sorry , I went a bit over five minutes!

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The Sons of Terror

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God’s Thoughts to Me

These are the nations that the Lord left in the land to test those Israelites who had not experienced the wars of Canaan … These people were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the commands the Lord had given to their ancestors through Moses (Judges 3:1-4, NLT).

The Fearsome Hittites

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Earlier this year Metro Goldwyn Mayer, in co-operation with History Channel screened a new television drama about early medieval Scandinavia. It is the story of a famous Norse hero, Ragnar Lodbrok.

This Viking farmer, his brother, Rollo, his wife, the shield maiden, Logertha, and a few other warriors loyal to Ragnar, were the first Norsemen who sailed west to England.

They raided the English of tons of gold and silver ornaments, precious gemstones and jewelry. They even took a few Englishmen back to Norway as slaves. These warriors were formidable, fierce and powerful and filled many a brave soul with terror just on hearing their names.

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As I was reading an article on the book of Judges, I met another tribe of people who were just as fearsome and powerful as these Norsemen: the Hittites. They were the third major nation our Lord left in Canaan.

God did not allow Joshua to conquer all Israel’s enemies for He knew their hearts. The new generation was already turning away from their Lord and prostituting themselves by worshipping other gods (Judges 2:17).

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Our Pappa wanted to teach them how to war against these formidable foes who each represented a fleshly, worldly or satanic principle that have been with man since the day Adam decided to live life on his own.

The Hittites were a formidable nation and were spread out over an immense area. Their name comes from the name “Heth”, meaning “Sons of Terror”. These fierce warriors were big, strong and fearless opponents.

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They may have long come and gone, but their gremlins of fear, that spirit of terror certainly has not. This spirit holds the whole world in its iron grip of hatred, violence, corruption, terrorism and wars.

When we look at our Lord Jesus’ words, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world”, why is it that so many of our Pappa’s children are still held captive and controlled by the Hittite enemy? (John 16:33).

Can it be that the Hittites have masqueraded themselves in religious garb or Angel of Light attire? It might just be. Way too many Christian lives are held captive and controlled by the Hittite enemy.

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It should come as no surprise. Paul warned us, “I know that false teachers , like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock … distort the truth in order to draw a following” (Acts 20:29-30).

One thing the world has no shortage of, is preachers and teachers doing their own thing in Jesus’ name, each having their own set of followers. They fleece their flock for their own gain, leaving their sheep shivering and starving in the winter cold.

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I used to be one of these naked, poor sheep. I have seen my fair share of hirelings running away as fast as they could when wolves were attacking and scattering the flocks.

Our Lord told us the reason, “The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep” (John 10:13).

But I have also experienced the love, the mercy, the grace and goodness of the good Shepherd who sacrificed His life for me and reconciled me to my Pappa. I have experienced perfect Love that casts out all fear (1 John 4:18).

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I have the privilege of drinking daily, deeply from the Fountain of Life … of experiencing life in His Loving Embrace. I have the joy of having a Pappa who picks me up when the wolves come … a Father who comforts me with the beat of His heart.

Much love and sweet blessings.

Mia

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The Twelve Pearls

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God’s Thoughts to Me

The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl (Revelation 21:21, NIV).

In Between Time

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Once upon a time the King of Heaven looked down upon the earth drifting in space, in a moment of eternity, in between time … a world He painted with beautiful, vivid colors of His love.

He saw only fractals hidden in between the chaos and darkness of an orphaned planet … a world lying in the cruel, merciless clutches of the serpent of evil.

The jaws of some fractals were like the gaping wounds of a shelled mollusk, crying silent, desolate tears of despair.

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The King took the sand of the redemption bought by His Son and planted a living grain in each fractal, silencing the heart rendering cries with His tender love.

Just like His Son, every grain of sand suffered in silent seclusion until it finally died and a beautiful pearl was formed. (Stop)

Gemstones for the diadem of His Majesty … pearls shining brilliantly with the different hues of His love, entering through the Pearly Gate, singing and dancing with joy.

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The Gate was built from a humble Pearl who once was formed from a grain of sand in an in-between moment of eternity; in utter seclusion, within the soft tissue of the mollusk of a dying world.

This grain of Sand willingly suffered relentlessly, finally died and became the Entrance into the Kingdom of God.

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This in-between moment was planned and purposefully weaved into the blue print of eternity from the beginning of time.

Much love and sweet blessings.

Mia

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Desert Snippets

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Then Aaron took the gold, melted it down, and molded it into the shape of a calf. When the people saw it, they exclaimed, “O Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt!” (Exodus 32:4, NLT).

Egyptian Gold

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The saying goes that it took the Israelites only a few days to leave Egypt, but they had to wander the desert for 40 years before God finished uprooting all the stubborn roots of Egypt from their hearts.

The ancient Egyptians had 8700 gods and after living in Egypt for 430 years, we can just imagine how much they have been influenced by the Egyptians and their useless religious ways.

It is therefore no big surprise when they wanted to revert back to the familiarity of a god they could see when they felt lost in the desert. They longed for the security of the familiar streets of hell they knew so well!

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We are all well acquainted with the story of how the Israelites became impatient with Moses for staying too long on Mount Sinai. They pestered Aaron until he built them a golden calf from the golden earrings they brought from Egypt.

I used to shake my head in exasperation and disgust at the stupidly of these people, while silently patting myself on the shoulder, believing I would never be so shortsighted and foolish!

How could they think for a moment that their golden-earrings-turned-golden-calf was able to lead them out of Egypt? Preposterous, to say the least!!

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But our Pappa knows me best and showed me how I used to wander in my own desert for a long, long time. He showed me all the mountains I loved trekking around numerous times before He could lead me further.

He opened my eyes to see how often I cried for the fleshpots of Egypt when the going got tough and the tough seemed to have no plans to get going!

He showed me the many times I saw the wonderful, luscious grapes of Canaan in my mind’s eye, but turned back. It took Him quite a while to usher me across my Jordan into Canaan … into the life of our Lord Jesus.

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Even though I have been a member of a church all my life, I still didn’t know Jesus. My heart was empty, starving and yearning to know this strange God. I needed to experience His love which was not much more than a mystery to me at that stage.

One day, out of sheer frustration, I took my Bible and read that wonderful verse, “All that the Father gives me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37).

As I used to battle rejection issues most of my life, my heart rejoiced when I saw the words about not being cast out!! Glorious light and joy flooded the darkness and despair of my heart.

I realized that although I have been a diligent church member for many years, I have never gone to Jesus personally.

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I could only fall to my knees and cry out to Him that I was coming to Him and Him alone. I was in awe of this Jesus who didn’t speak the only language I knew so well: rejection!

I thanked Him for the assurance that I would never be sent away like a dog with its tail between its legs, when being rejected was about the only language I knew!

That was my Red Sea moment! But little did I realize that this was only the beginning of my journey to Canaan. I had my own treasure chest filled with lots of Egyptian gold and silver and a heart overgrown with the weeds of this world.

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I didn’t take long for me to realize that the love, joy and peace I heard of so often, were still very absent from my heart and my eyes started lusting after the familiarity of Egypt!

Very soon I forgot my days of slavery and all the tears I cried when I sat down at the rivers of Babylon!

Very soon I complained about my monotonous diet of manna and I longed for the fleshpots of Egypt! How I missed the false security of belonging to a religious church, of finding my worth in a set of theological doctrines, of not thinking for myself and just gobbling up everything that was dished up onto my religious plate!

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How I missed that wonderful gooey feeling of singing the beautiful gospel songs on the great rhythmic beat of drums. I soon forgot how I cried out to Pappa when I was a slave in Egypt.

But, I knew there had to be more to life than the empty futile striving, forever trying to be good enough to be loved. I was tired of empty rote practices of piety.

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I was tired of being told to cry when the religious elite played funeral songs and to dance when they dished up wedding songs! (Matthew 11:17).

Like Abraham who trekked into the unfamiliar, I also set my face like flint and travelled into the unknown, never alone, for the Rock of All Ages was and always will be my constant companion!

Much love and sweet blessings.

Mia

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God vs Goodies

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God’s Thoughts to Me

The Christian understands God as the unique source of all good and himself as absolutely needy in relation to Him (Karl Barth).

So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him (Luke 11:13, NLT).

“Why do you call Me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good” (Mark 10:18, NLT).

God’s Good Father Heart

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There was a time when I used to have a totally inflated opinion about anyone carrying a lofty title like pastor, bishop, reverend, priest, prophet, evangelist and so forth.

I had a unique way of acting in the presence of any “man from God”. I think when we want to be honest, most of us are quite familiar with that hushed, pious tone of voice, quoting as much Scripture as possible.

We subtly recite our latest list of “good” deeds, using only high-sounding language, lavishly laced with all the latest religious jargon.

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In other words and just plain good old English: I was a humongous hypocrite trying very hard to impress our Pappa through this person!

And mentally I was tallying everything I should rather not talk about in this holy man’s presence. Oh, why do we do this kind of nonsense? But I had an even bigger problem.

Whenever I read Jesus’ words to the religionists who had a big goody-bag to hand out nice thingies like bread instead of stones, or an egg instead of a scorpion to their children, I thought that I had found the key to unlock the storehouses of heaven.

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My religious mindset was deceived into believing that being and doing good would result in health, wealth and prosperity.

Conveniently, I didn’t see the part where Pappa offers us His Spirit as His “good things”. Until it finally dawned on me that goodness according to the world’s and religious standards differs greatly from the goodness of God.

Paul does not beat around the bush when He tells us that no good thing dwells in man and there is no one who truly does good (Romans 3:11-12).

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In the Garden of Eden Adam already thought he could decide for himself what good and evil were. I don’t think he realized that evil existed only in the absence of God, for goodness is the exclusive attribute of God.

We, as mere mortals, are incapable of exhibiting the righteous, good character of our Pappa. When we look at the Law, we see that it is an expression of His character and His alone.

We are created as derivative creatures and we derive our spirituality from one of two sources: either the evil one, or our heavenly Father! In the Garden Adam had one of two choices: believing God or lending out his ears to Satan.

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Only in the absence of God’s goodness, do we find evil … in the absence of His love, hate … in the absence of His life, death … truth, lies … light, darkness. He alone is the preserver of life, content, personal and relational!

How absurd to think that we can somehow formulate a prayer as a sort of discipline or work with which we can get our Pappa to cater to our desires through our persistent nagging.

I sometimes wonder what happened to, “Into your Hands I commit my spirit. Father, glorify your Name!”.

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When we trust a law of prayer, especially when we put our hope in a proper prayer technique or words, we are back to trusting ourselves!

Those dear ones who are illiterate or those who don’t have a Bible, cannot pray the words from the Bible back to their Pappa; a new bandwagon on the religious scene!

They do not have the “advantage” of their educated brethren of using the written words of their God as a talisman to charm their Pappa into compliance.

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I often cannot even think two straight thoughts in a row due to Fibrofog, never mind remembering the rules of prayer. At such times, I can only sigh in His Presence.

Before the Truth had set me free of this folly, my inability to pray “important” prayers, would usually send me on a major guilt trip!

Oh, what a joy when His freedom dawned on me and I realized that in order to receive the good things of God, His sweet Holy Spirit, I only had to ask!! So simple … so uncomplicated … so incredibly childlike!

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Our Pappa God is the greatest friend of mankind. He loves us with an everlasting love. He knows all our needs and mostly ignores our greeds. Even “No” is sometimes the best answer!

When we are willing to rely on Him, and on nothing or no one else, as our sole provider, we are finally able to go to Him, empty-handed and without any religious garb.

James Fowler describes it so beautifully where he says, “I cannot; only You can. I have not; only You have. I seek; only You can supply”.

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Our Pappa’s father heart rejoices whenever His children come to Him, assured of and trusting His unconditional love and shamelessly, yet desperately admit their total dependence on His goodness, His love, His grace, actually, on Him and Him alone!

Much love and sweet blessings

Mia

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Jack and Jill

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God’s Thoughts to Me

You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men” (Matthew 15:8-9, NIV).

But the time is coming – indeed it’s here right now- when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (John 4:23, NLT).

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after

So Far Away from Me

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In 1985 Dire Straights released their album, Brothers in Arms, with the hit song, So Far Away. Poetry through music, according to me!!!

Whenever their lead singer, Mark Knopfler, laments his loneliness, shivers of delight run up and down my spine! “I’m tired of being in love and being so alone when you’re so far away from me”.

These words from the song capture the heart of our Pappa when Isaiah brought His message to the Israelites about His distaste for the farce of their religious show and pretense.

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He informed them through Amos that He was tired of their religious festivals and solemn assemblies.

He refused to accept any of their offerings and sacrifices or to listen to their noisy hymns of praise (Amos 5:22-23). Our Pappa turned a deaf ear to their prayers for their hearts were so far away from Him.

Another peculiar thing has surfaced amongst the churches nowadays: Praise and Worship teams to lead the congregation into the presence of our God!

In many instances, these bands have become the main feature or attraction to lure people into joining the congregation.

But we read in Hebrews and 1 Timothy that there is only one mediator between man and his God, and it is definitely not Peter, Paul, Mary, the Pope or the pastor.

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Our Lord Jesus has not abdicated His position to anyone or anything. He is the Narrow Gate, the Way and the Truth, the only One who can usher us into the presence of our Pappa.

I recall the words of a youth pastor friend of mine on how the worship leaders know which set of notes to play just before the altar call.

Apparently this specific octave has the ability and great potential to manipulate the minds of the congregants and stir up their emotions.

As I was pondering the act of worship, I was heartbroken to see how so many have cheapened this holy act of love.

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I  knew I had to find the true meaning of Jesus’ words to the Samaritan woman at the well about the kind of worship that would bring joy to our Pappa’s heart.

Worship and praise have become like Jack and Jill, hoping to draw living water from the Fountain of Life by going up the hill of the modern interpretation of praise and worship. We all know that they, together with their empty bucket, tumbled down this hill.

Religious worship is totally self-centered and focuses on the worshiper’s actions and experiences.

It is bound by time, place and all the different procedures involved. This kind of worship is defined by what we do and plays along in the game of humanism.

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We gather together in the parameters of a program, a place and time … we sing … we pray … we listen … we give … we serve.

We do and do and do and do some more. This is truly a do-it-yourself kind of worship experience!

When we look at true Christian worship, we find it totally the opposite of what we have become accustomed to.

Worship in spirit and in truth is a daily lifestyle where we always express the “worth-ship” of our Pappa’s character through an intimate bond of love between two kindred spirits.

As we allow our Lord Jesus to worship our Pappa by His Spirit of Truth by living His life in and through us, He enables us to love our Pappa with total abandon, unashamed, unbound and totally free.

This is the mystery Paul spoke about to the Colossians; God’s mysterious plan which is Christ Himself (Colossians 2:2).

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Religious worship has taken the “in spirit and in truth” part and replaced it with things like emotion and mind … enthusiasm and orthodoxy.

Of this kind of worship A.W. Tozer wrote in the 19th century, “We have lost our spirit of worship and our ability to withdraw inward to meet God in adoring silence … I wonder if spiritual worship was ever at a lower ebb.”

I know I am taking the risk of being misunderstood and want to clarify my argument. I am not against beautiful gospel music; in fact, I love it.

I am not against a band playing when saints assemble together in the unity of the Spirit … there where everyone is captured by the beauty and love of our God … there where every heart is closely knitted to our Lord Jesus.

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Dear Ones, let each one examine her own heart and cease from man-centered religious worship.

Let us learn from a dear old saint, Brother Lawrence, who explained this mystery of worship of our everyday life, as the moment-by-moment privilege of practising His presence.

Much love and sweet blessings xx

Mia

Linking-up with

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