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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.

Lost in Worship

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God’s Thoughts to Me

These people say they are mine. They honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. And their worship of Me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote (Isaiah 29:13, NLT)

Where Talk is Cheap

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Once upon a time I wandered in a lost world where talk was cheap, promises were empty and worship, a farce.

We were well-trained, yet lost, in the ways of bringing sacrifices of praise and worship to our God.

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A garish smile reflected my parched, barrenness … the nothingness of a little one who frantically tried to win the approval of the world; a world capable of loving only those who could sing a Babylonian song.

The rhythm of their music in all its religious genres, enslaved my soul and its worldly, earthly fortissimo and deceptive lure became the jailer of my imagination.

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But in lucid moments God opened my heart to the sweet pianissimo of life and the delicate joys of beautiful roses.

He gently led me, together with the beasts of the field, to a Garden in the east … to a river where He quenched my inmost thirst with the Fountain of Life.

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He brought me to a Heavenly Throne where I bowed down with all creation  in reverent worship to the King of kings … there where I could behold His glory.

Much love and sweet blessings xx

Mia

I am linking up with Lisa-Jo and all the gracious ladies at my Tea Time and Link-Up page. Due to a bad case of fibrofog and flue, I totally overspent on my five minutes.

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Fools Gold

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Jesus told him, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6, NLT)

Don’t bother! It is not me that matters; it is my teachings that should be propagated and adhered to throughout the world (Buddha’s words, James Fowler).

The Crux of Christianity

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Siddharta Gautama, better known as Gautama Buddha, is thought to have lived approximately 400 BC. He was the founder of Buddhism. When he was dying, his adherents wanted to perpetuate his memory.

He was adamant that he didn’t want to be memorialized, but gave his own “great commission” to preach his teachings throughout the world. This sounds so noble and self-effacing.

Yet, it is extremely dangerous and deceptive, for his teachings ushered in one of the greatest religions of all time into the world, Buddhism.

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Contrary to the teachings of Gautama Buddha, we find the words of Jesus, who told His disciples just prior to His crucifixion, that HE IS the Way, the Truth and the Life.

He invites us with such tenderness and love when He sees us bogged down and heavy-laden with religion to come to Him. He invites us to follow Him for He wants to give us rest and peace beyond our finite comprehension.

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Can you imagine where we would have been if Jesus told them not to bother to remember Him, but only His teachings? That would just have been a whole new bunch of disastrous laws that kill and contain no life (2 Corinthians 3:6).

Jesus did not tell us that He would show us the way to our Pappa. Neither did He teach us new truths about God or gave us a new way to eternal life.

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No, He boldly proclaimed, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). He boldly proclaimed that many will come to Him on judgement day saying to Him, “Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed miracles in your name” (Matthew 7:22).

Allow me to add another few favorite things that we might want to add today: we were teachers or preachers, pastors or priests, reverends or bishops, leaders of a worship team, taught Sunday School, spread the Gospel, spoke in tongues, didn’t drink … or danced … or smoked.

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We faithfully went to church every time the doors were opened, we attended all the prayer meetings, we selflessly served the saints in a church ministry, etc. Oh, the sorrow these ones will experience when He tells them He didn’t know them for they were mining for fools gold.

These things are not wrong in and of itself, but that is building on sand as far as Christianity is concerned. Christianity is built only on the Eternal Rock, the Sure Foundation; our Lord Jesus. He is the capstone rejected by the religious builders (Mark 12:10).

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In His wonderful prayer just before He was arrested, Jesus told us that eternal life is that we might know our Pappa and Him (John 17:3). Christianity IS Jesus Christ!!! HE IS the Great I AM.

If this is the truth, which it is, where does the approximately 41000 Christian denominations come from? This “knowing” is such an intimate union of our spirit with the glorious Holy Spirit.

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I personally think we will find the answer to this question in the Garden of Eden when the great deceiver deceived Adam and Eve into believing that they could be like God, knowing good and evil! In a human way I think we can compare this union to sexual intimacy between husband and wife; oneness personified.

Denominationalism is the result of that lie and the age-old characteristics of the flesh: pride, selfish ambition and dissension (Galatians 5:20). It seems that every denomination proudly proclaims that their doctrine/teachings of Jesus will show us the way, the truth and give us eternal life.

Not so! The person of Gautama Buddha might not be of much importance in Buddhism, but our living, resurrected Lord Jesus IS the crux of Christianity.

imageIn total contradiction to Gautama Buddha is the story of Sadhu Sundar Singh. He was a Sikh who converted to Christianity. A European professor of comparative religions, an agnostic himself, repeatedly asked Mr Singh during an interview why he exchanged one religion for another.

When Mr Singh answered him that he now had Jesus, the professor became quite impatient and wanted him to be more specific about the different principles or doctrines of the two religions. Mr Singh’s only answer was that the particular Person he had now found, was Jesus (James Fowler, Christ in You).

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The words of a friend of mine describes this so vividly, “You cannot eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and expect to live in the Tree of Life”. Thanks Grace Ann!

Much love and sweet blessings.

Mia

Linking-up with

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The Dance of Desires

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God’s Thoughts to Me

May He grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed (Psalm 20:4, NLT).

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4, NLT).

Sanctified Desires

I allow my mind to wander back down the avenues of time and desires … back to the time when I was living in a world of self-derivation. imageI was living a lie that man could be autonomous … the time when I was eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I was trapped in the fowler’s snare, believing I was able to determine, on my own terms, what good and evil were.

The time when I was wandering outside the Garden of Love, separated from the presence of our Pappa and His Majesty, King Jesus. I was residing in the Land of Shame … being the captive of that cruel dictator. Nothing I did ever seemed to merit his approval!

Whenever I did something honorable, he would pierce my heart with arrows of condemnation for having a prideful heart. But this coin had another side … every time I did something wrong, my heart was shredded into pieces for being such a detestable creature, a shame to mankind, an excuse of a human being.

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An unworthy Christian, unworthy of receiving the slightest consideration or love from anyone … least of all from my Pappa or His elite corps of Christians, according to my estimation, in the church. Receiving tons and tons of rejection seemed like business as usual and definitely what I deserved.

This was not a comfortable place to be, for I honestly believe that Pappa made a big mistake in creating me and the way I was treated by important people in my life only confirmed my suspicions about myself.

I was even indoctrinated by religious blah-blah-blah into thinking that this view of myself was proof of an extremely selfish heart. And this made me wander further and further down the road of self-loathing.

image Looking at the human race, I realize that we were all created with a big empty, yearning heart that can only find peace and love from the source of all love … the God who is Love! No one or nothing else can ever serve as a substitute! Bur our obstinate hearts need to go through the Valley of the Shadow of Death before we finally realise this truth and reach out to grab the waiting Heavenly Hand.

That was when I started to hear the sweet voice of the Holy Spirit whispering mysteries to my heart. His Wisdom was standing at the crossroads of my life, actually, my whole existence, calling me, urging me to enter into a Kingdom of Love … a Kingdom of Acceptance … a Kingdom of incredible beauty, with a King of Love, the Prince of Peace.

He was yearning for my return from my wanderings as I was searching, like the Shulamite, for my Beloved in the streets of Jerusalem … until I heard a voice calling from mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem.

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Yes, she was calling me out of Egypt of organized religion, but the Pharao of my Egypt only allowed me a few excursions into the wilderness to worship my Father. The desires of my heart kept calling me back to the same-old, same-old familiarity of the world.

What a blessed day when I was finally delivered from the slavery to that cruel king; when his whole army of soldiers was drowned in the Red Sea as they tried to recapture me, to force me back into slavery to the world and its ways. The Pharao realized that my days of free labour came to an end and this enraged him for he was losing another forced labourer. imageBut … I was also carrying a lot of gold from Egypt into my wilderness wanderings and sooner rather than later, I had a few golden calves erected as I grew tired of waiting on our Lord to show me His glory. I was dancing to my hearts delight around the idols of morality, theology, bibliolatry and a lot of Nicolaitan teachings.

But thankfully Pappa sent a whole brood of poisonous snakes to bring me to my senses. As I was at the gates of death and hopelesness, I finally looked up to the cross and SAW … really SAW our Lord Jesus. That was the time when I was crying like the Israelites in the wilderness, when they were testing our Pappa and the poor Moses, longing for the pots of Egypt, filled with meat, watermelons and all the bread I thought my heart needed (Exodus 16:3). I had a heart of stone with many rules written on its tablets.

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These two Scripture verses were my ticket to everything my deceitful heart desired and I thought delighting myself in the Lord meant singing praise and worship songs Sundays at church. I know now that I was only delighting my flesh and this offer had to be repeated week after week after week, just like the altar system of the old covenant of law … a never-ending cycle.

Pappa, though, never seemed to keep His side of the bargain and I was frustrated with His lack of fulfilling His promise, for my soulish desires were as unfulfilled as ever … with me being convinced that it was the yearnings of my heart!

Yet, He was not procastinating … He was bringing me to the end of myself. He brought a debilitating illness into my life and just like Paul, I was overwhelmed beyond my ability to endure. Just like him, I stopped being my own source of strengh and trust (2 Corinthians 1:8-9). I started to draw my whole existence from the Life of our Lord Jesus … living from the Bread of Life … feasting and drinking from the Fountain of Love! I was finally able to cross the Jordan river into Canaan … into our Lord Jesus. The shadow of the Sabbath became flesh and reality in my life … Emmanuel … God with me … God in me.

image The cry of my heart changed dramatically from expecting Pappa to cater to my fleshly, carnal desires, to desiring only His will … needing to live in Him moment to moment. He gracefully changed my desires and plans as I learned to praise Him from the depths of my being, living where it is only Him and me … in a never-ending communion of love … a beautiful dance of being ( The Shack).

There in our secret place nothing could close the windows of heaven as He showered me with all His spiritual delights. Looking back at 2012, I fall to my knees and thank my Pappa for His wisdom and grace for allowing this illness and using what I thought of as evil, as an incredible good, to draw me into His life … into His love … into His heart … into His Loving Embrace.

Much love XX

Mia

FCB Member

I have the honor  today to be part of a new link-up at My Freshly Brewed Life. Thank you, Barbie, for your new Weekend Brew. Come join us at http://myfreshlybrewedlife.com/.
I am also linking up with Mindy at http://www.newequus.com/author/mindybowman/. Thank you for the opportunity Mindy!
And the Extraordinary Ordinary.
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Cinnamon, The Fragrance of Love and Peace

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18, NLT)

You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain. Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates with choice fruits, with henna and nard, nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon. (Song of Songs 4:12-14, NIV)

The merchants of the world will weep and mourn for her, for there is no one left to buy their goods. (Revelation 18:11 , NLT)

Cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and bodies and souls of men. (Revelation 18:13, NIV)

My bed is spread with beautiful blankets, with colored sheets of Egyptian linen. I’ve perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. Come let’s drink our fill of love until morning. Let’s enjoy each other’s caresses. (Proverbs 7:15-18, NLT)

The Scent of a Woman

A while ago a South African artist released a song about the scent of women. The love of his life is captured in the fragrance of a naartjie …. his grandmother hides in the memories of cinnamon ….. the aroma of aniseed searches for lost dreams …. In every fragrance, a woman waits to be discovered.

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And I recall the most beautiful Ode to Love ever written, the Song of Songs, with the Composer, none other that the Lover of our hearts, our Heavenly Bridegroom. The words He whispers to His Beloved is beautiful to behold and cherish.

Yes, our Heavenly Bridegroom sings a song of love to His Bride …. His Shulamite …. His Lady Ekklesia. He compares her heart to their private garden filled with the most exquisite and delicate aromas of love, the aroma of costly spices: henna, nard, saffron, sweet smelling calamus and cinnamon. All the odours associated with an intimate love relationship …. their intimate spiritual love relationship …. a mingling of hearts in quiet love and peace. Cinnamon is the symbol of His Beloved’s sheer delightfulness. (Song of Songs 4:12-14)

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But there is another love affair, another woman, a seductress …. the great harlot. She is called Babylon The Great. She was introduced to the apostle John as being drunk with the blood of God’s holy people …. the Shulamites, all those being witnesses for and who stayed true to our Lord Jesus. (Revelation 17:5-6).

She bought and traded in the worldly commodities of religion and its counterfeit love. We see that the inventory of her purchases included the most costly spices, including cinnamon. Even more frightening is the fact that she traded in the souls of men. Through her counterfeit love, false acceptance and false security, she deceived many dear souls into her commodity of religion!!! (Revelation 18:11)
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This woman was beautifully dressed in all the finest purple and scarlet linen of this world. She seemed immortal and eternal for she already started her deception in the Garden of Eden.

We find her in the streets of Proverbs where she seductively seduces those without common sense and discernment into her house. She uses the counterfeit fragrance of love, sprinkling her bedding of Egyptian linen with costly spices and cinnamon. She uses all her wiles to make her proposal appealing to the senses of seeing and feeling, provoking lust, drawing them into her deadly religious embrace. (Proverbs 7:16-17).

This woman is proud, blaspheming against the Most High God. She forms alliances with kings of the world … the political, economical and religious kings. Those who commited adultery with her, grew rich because of her extravagant, luxurious lifestyle!
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But we hear His still, small voice calling us, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins.” (Revelation 18:4, NIV).

This woman is not immortal …. she will be destroyed. The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over the destruction of religion, because no one will then be able to profit any longer from her profanities. (Revelation 18:11)

Coming out of her is a spiritual exodus, an exodus from our slavery to the spiritual Egypt. This is a spiritual journey to Canaan, a journey into the life of our Lord Jesus … a journey into the bedchamber of our King … a journey into His Loving Embrace.

Much love to you XX

Mia

I am honored to link up again at the Run- a -Muck where I join Amber and the other ladies from the December Abstractions Community. We write about truth using the abstract. This is a challenge I enjoy so much. We would be glad for you to join us at http://therunamuck.com/ . Thank you, Amber!

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I am glad to be linking up with Jane at Girl Meets Paper and the all the ladies at Monday Morning Meditations. Thanks Jane. Join us at http://girlmeetspaper.com/
Monday Morning Meditation

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A Sweating, Striving Sweater

God’s Thoughts to Me

But as I looked at everything I had worked to accomplish, it was all so meaningless – like chasing the wind. (Ecclesiastes 2:11, NLT)

“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless! What do people get for all their hard work under the sun?” (Ecclesiastes 1:2-3, NLT)

The Futility of Striving

Solomon was a great man of divine wisdom. His words in Ecclesiastes show the depth of his wisdom when he acknowleded that all his striving and sweating caused him a severe case of burnout. A burnout caused by his relentless efforts in building his search for fulfillment, meaning and happiness on the wrong foundations: the shaky foundations of the world’s riches, values and ways.

Another foundation, much more subtle and dangerous, I have found myself building on, trying to find meaning in life, was religion. The etymology of the word “religion” shows that it is derived from the Latin word “religare”, a word aligned to the root word “religio”, meaning “to tie back” or “to bind up”.

During Paul’s visit to Athens, he noticed their numerous idols. Not to offend any god, they even had an idol to “an unknown god”. He told them,”Men of Athens, I notice that you are very RELIGIOUS in every way…” (Acts 17:22) The Greek word he used was “deisidaimon”, “deisi” meaning “to fear or respect” and “daimon”, demon!! Paul was actually likening religion to the worshipping of and paying respect to demons! To be totally honest, that frightened me to such a degree that I knew I was standing at the crossroads of my life and I knew I had to choose.

I realized I was swallowing all the lies the father of religion was feeding me, like Eve did in the Garden of Eden. Our Pappa gently showed me that my mind was veiled, darkened and wandering far from the abundant life our Lord Jesus longed to give me, free of charge! Before my Pappa gave sight to my blind spiritual eyes, I was striving and sweating, trying to cover my spiritual cold and nakedness with the fig leaves of religion.

I was knitting a sweater with a wide variety of religious knitting yarn: church attendance, giving to the poor, serving, Bible reading, praying and some more. My sweater closely resembled Joseph’s colorful coat. Instead of providing spiritual warmth and life, this sweater only birthed another sweater, me!! I was perspiring profusely trying to earn everything in life, especially love, worth and acceptance.

My late father once remarked that I always seemed to be chasing after love and he was spot-on with his words. I was completely baffled and left in the dark, for I had no idea why I acted this way. Was it because my earthly father’s love was the only love I had ever experienced without any strings attached or because my biological mother passed away when I was only 3 years old?

I suppose I will never know the answer, but I do know that from a young age the sweet Holy Spirit has been drawing me into the source of all love, compassion, grace, kindness and mercy, the abundant Life of our Lord Jesus.

What joy the day when our Lord Jesus started to free me from all the chains that were keeping me captive. He also revealed to me the true meaning of His words,”I came that you might have life, and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10), because to me it meant something along these lines, “For I came that you might have religion and have it more abundantly, to practise it more faithfully and committedly, defending it with all your might and behaving more morally!”.

What joy when our Lord took me by the hand and showed me a better way, a long walk to freedom, freedom from all this striving, sweating; freedom from the dark, futile road of self-effort and fear. Our Pappa promises us that there is no fear in love for His perfect love casts out all fear. ( 1 John 4:18).

I want to pay tribute to all those dear saints from the past who in the face of extreme opposition and persecution  refused to accept another gospel which was not a gospel at all (Galatians 1:6-7). Saints like Paul and many others who preferred to be beaten with rods, to be shipwrecked, fed to lions, to go hungry, cold and without sleep, rather than to bow the knee before the idol of religion.

Thank you, Amber, and all you dear Ones for allowing me to share the freedom, love, joy and abundant life of our Lord Jesus with you for a short while along my journey of life.

Hugs and blessings

Mia

I’m linking up with Amber Haines again with gratitude and joy. Other  “abstracts on the sweater” can be found here http://therunamuck.com/2012/11/05/an-abstraction-on-the-sweater/.

Eden’s Delight: A River Song (Part 2)

Creation through the eyes of Michelangelo, Sistine  Chapel

God’s Thoughts to me

A river watered the garden and then flowed out of Eden and divided into four branches. The first branch, called the Pishon, flowed around the entire land of Havilah, where gold is found. The gold of that land is exceptionally pure; aromatic resin and onyx stone are also found there. (Genesis 2:10-12, NLT)

Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. (Revelation 22:1, NLT)

A Song of Love

Special Assignment, an investigative current affairs program on a South African television channel, broadcasted a disturbing story of Megan Adams and Alecia (a pseudonym). They are two teenage girls living on the streets of a township near Cape Town, the Cape Flats. These precious girls are addicted to crystal methamphetamine, locally better known as Tik.

This crystalline substance has become the city’s drug of choice, being cheap and widely available. In most cases Tik is smoked in a glass pipe. The girls sell their bodies into prostitution to feed the cruel monster that is consuming and destroying their lives. They are only two of the hundreds of addicts and have been brave enough to tell their stories of growing up in extreme poverty and subsequent falling into drug abuse. Many of these girls are just continuing on this wicked road of destruction.

Looking at the world-wide problem of drug abuse only confirms the reality of John’s words, “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” (1 John 5:19, ESV). He only comes to steal, to kill and destroy everything and anything he can possibly lay his hands on.

After watching this broadcast, my heart hurried back to our Pappa God to tell Him of their terrible suffering, asking our Lord Jesus to rescue them from the Kingdom of Darkness. I begged Him to break down all those fortresses of lies in their minds that are holding them captive. I nearly suffocated in a cloud of sorrow when I thought of the total mess and destruction the human race, the crown of our Father’s creation, brought to the beautiful world our Pappa created and  prepared in the beginning for their enjoyment and sustenance. The words our God spoke through the prophet Isaiah, suddenly had a much more and deeper meaning to me, “Lift up your eyes to the heavens and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens vanish like smoke, and the earth will wear out like a garment, and they who dwell in it will die in like manner, but my salvation will be forever. And my righteousness will not wane.” (Isaiah 51:6, ESV). Yet, because of love, God provided a way out of this darkness through the cross of our lord Jesus.

I sighed contentedly as my heart gratefully followed our Lord back to Eden and sensed a love story being told by the river in the garden which divided into four branches. To my delight I found this river flowing all through the Scriptures, the river of life, providing the eternal life of our Lord Jesus. Because of our Pappa’s keen eye for even the smallest detail (like the number of hairs on my head), I realized that the names of the four river branches was not randomly chosen, but for a specific reason and asked Him to reveal to me this chapter of the Divine Story of Love.

Picture of mosaic representing Pishon from Church of Theodorias ca 539CE

The name of the first river branch, Pishon, means bursting forth; fast and strong flowing. I am humbled by the strength and force of the life of our Lord Jesus, bursting forth into the wasteland of our hearts after the Holy Spirit has planted that first little mustard seed of eternal life. The river Pishon surrounded the Land of Havilah, a land noted for its gold, bdellium (aromatic resin) and onyx.The name Havilah literally means circular. The gold was of the finest quality and indicative of the purity, the acceptance and security of our God’s love encircling and protecting that exquisitive relationship between our King and us. I am reminded of the golden censer filled with incense and the prayers of the saints, “And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and He was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne.” (Revelation 8:3, ESV)

Bdellium, a tree resin, is an aromatic tree gum like myrrh containing essential, aromatic oils and is largely used for therapeutic purposes, perfumes and incense. This land of Havilah, the Eden of our hearts, is beautifully described by the Lover of our souls, “You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared.” (Ezekiel 28:13, NIV). It reminds me of our prayers being a sweet smelling sacrifice that brings so much joy to our Pappa’s heart. I love spending time with my sons and, to their chagrin, I always want to know everything about everything that happens in their lives! Our Heavenly Father, being the Father of all fathers, surely longs for His children spending time with Him, trusting Him enough to talk to Him about anything!

The onyx is a gemstone and was widely used in jewelry, ornaments and carvings since antiquity. In the book of Exodus our Lord instructed the Israelites to use onyx stone in the tabernacle and the garments of the priests. The breastplate of an Old Testament High Priest contained twelve gemstones, representing the twelve sons of Jacob. The eleventh stone had to be an onyx, representing Josef. To me it symbolizes the abundant life of our Lord Jesus, delicious fruit of the Spirit and inner strength that would be added unto us and abundantly increased daily according to our need (Josef means, God will increase/ adding on).  Since our Lord Jesus is our only High Priest in heaven, taking us all, in Him, to our Pappa’s throne of Grace, we can rejoice in the fact that we are all little gemstones in His breastplate of Righteousness. He carries us so close to His heart that we can hear the heartbeat of His love. Even the world considers the onyx stone a symbol of “spiritual” strength and protection, peace and confidence.

Breastplate of a High Priest

Dear Ones, as Fibromites we are all acquainted with fibrofog! Clear thinking does not come easily to us, even less to me since my husband firmly believes that I was born with my head in the clouds anyway! Nevertheless, I hope and pray that by now you can perceive, if only a little, the treasure of love our Lord has hidden for us curious ones to seek and find in the garden of our hearts.

In a following post I would love to continue on this expedition, seeking all the wonders buried deep in the ancient soil of Eden, and its rivers, waiting patiently to be discovered and enjoyed by our Pappa’s children. I am so grateful to be able to share that beautiful River Song bubbling up in my heart, singing of my love for my God, praising His goodness and glory.

I want to love you and leave you with the following: suffering causes only one of two things; it either breaks you or creates a passionate love for God in the depths of your heart!

Hugs and blessings

Mia

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