The Kingdom of God: Repentance

“Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent…‘” (Acts 2:38)

Jesus emphatically states that one must be “born again” if he is to see the Kingdom of God.  God is Spirit (John 4:24) and His Kingdom is of the spiritual realm.  Jesus describes His Kingdom as not “being of this world” (John 18:36).  This tells us that the kingdom of God is not a physical place in the physical realm.  It is not a place that one can travel to, not a destination, it doesn’t have a current address.  The Kingdom is of the spiritual realm or the invisible realm around us.  The physical realm we experience with our five senses but the spiritual realm requires a spiritual re-birth in order to experience.

Humans are born into a natural fallen selfish and sinful condition that is generally incapable of spiritual insight.  Paul writes, “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” ( I Corinthians 2:14)  In order to see into the spiritual realm, one needs the Sprit of God living inside of them.  The only way to receive the Spirit of God is through the remission of sin.   God is Holy and cannot live in the presence of sin.  Therefore, sin must be atoned for in order for the presence of God to take up residence and remain.  The only way to atone for sin is through the shedding of blood. (Leviticus 17:11)  Hence, a sacrifice is required.  A sacrifice that is powerful enough to change the inner man to allow humans to become the dwelling place of God.  There is no greater love for a human than for one person to lay down their life for another.  Consequently, the willful sacrifice of Jesus qualifies to minister the Spirit of God unto us.   Upon the belief that Jesus was fully God and fully man, that he died for ones sins and that He has risen from the grave, a person may begin to sow into the spiritual Kingdom.  With this faith, in the person and work of Jesus, confession of sin can be made and the supernatural work of repentance begin inside of the soul.  The Spirit of God invades the persons heart and takes up residence making them a “new creation”.  Once this happens, we have entered into and can now see, the Kingdom of God.  The invasion of the Holy Spirit causes this “born again” experience.  We have become sons and daughters of the Royal Family and our now heirs with Christ.

The pre-requisite to receiving the Holy Spirit, is a conviction of sin that leads to a heart change with a subsequent impact on lifestyle.  This change is called repentance.  The word repent, in Greek, is actually a combination of words that mean “after” and “to think”.  Repentance is a decision that results in a change of mind which in turn leads to a change of purpose and action.(1).  Repentance is the ultimate act of humility.  It is admitting to oneself and God that my thinking and my lifestyle have been in error and I recognize this and desire to change it.  It’s the admission that my mind, thoughts and opinions are not great sources of edification but actually are a source of stumbling.  It is both a supernatural act (One that is driven by the Spirit) and an act of the will.  .  Benny Hinn writes, “Repentance is a daily experience.  And it‘s supernatural experience, not something you can humanly accomplish by yourself.  It‘s a gift of the Holy Spirit…That‘s the true meaning–not only confessing, but also forsaking.  Have nothing to do with it anymore.  You get on you knees and you say, ‘Lord, never again‘ and you don‘t walk out until the thing is dealt with.” (2)  Having a repentant heart is essential for growth in the kingdom.  Jesus says, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.” (Matt. 4:17)

The degree to which we have a repentant heart, is the degree that we move into the deeper things of God.  Frank Bartleman of the Azusa Street revival writes, “the depth of revival will be determined exactly by the depth of the spirit of repentance.” (3)  Christians will continue to go deeper into the kingdom so long as we are willing to have the Spirit show us and remove areas of sin from our character.  Any revival, either corporate or individual, will cease growth when the repentance of the heart ceases.

Endnotes

1.  Hayford, Jack, The Spirit-filled Life Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN page 1407.

2.  Hinn, Benny, “The Anointing”, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN, 1992, page 130.

3.  Bartlemann, Frank, “Azusa Street”, Whitaker House, New Kensington, PA, 1982,  page 19.

Dead Men Don’t Care

Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead…”(Romans 6:11)

Dean men are not interested in self advancement, self promotion and selfish interest.  They are dead!  They don’t care because they can’t care, they are dead.  It is impossible for a dead person to be selfish, they just don’t have that capability.  Only living people have it.  This is the fallen nature of the human condition.

We are all born with a sinful and selfish nature. We just can’t help but pursue selfish interest and we are “by nature children of wrath.” (Eph 2:3) We innately served and advanced the kingdom of darkness by advancing self. (1)  However, when we are born again (John 3:3) and become a “new creation” (2 Cor 5:17) and a citizen of heaven. (Philippians 3:20)  We are spiritually quickened into the Kingdom of God.  Our spirit man has come alive and is given the power to kill the carnal man or the selfish, sinful, and fleshy nature.  We are to consider self as dead.  Dean men don’t grumble, they don’t complain and James tells us that when we strive and war with each other it is because self is not dead. (James 4:12)  Self must be killed.  We must become dead men that are alive to God.

Paul exhorts us to “reckon ourselves to be dead.” (Romans 6:11)  Having lived out in the country for some time now, the word “reckon” can take on various meanings depending upon who you ask.  However, Daniel Webster’s dictionary defines it as “to reason with oneself and conclude from argument.” (2)  So, if we are to do the reasoning with ourselves, this makes us the “reckoner” which Webster defines as, “the one who compares or reckons.” (3)  Paul is, therefore, urging us to consider if any self advancement, self promotion, or selfish interest if of any value in advancing God’s Kingdom.  The biblical conclusion is NO!  Selfish ambition always wars against the Spirit.  We must reckon self to be as dead.  This is the lifestyle of the apostle Paul who wrote; “I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives within me, and the life I live now in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20) Death to self is an everyday event.  We must pick “up the cross daily” and join Christ in the fellowship of His sufferings.

No human that ever lived was more emptied of selfishness than Jesus Christ. (Philippians 2:5-11)  Christians are called to be imitators of Him (Eph 5:1)  We are now called to consider self as dead and to allow the Spirit to manifest in this world through us. Thus, when we empty ourselves we create space for Him.  The degree to which we are dead to self will be the degree to which we can flow in the Kingdom Power and Spiritual Authority.  Anything but this standard is pseudo-spirituality and counterfeit authority.  Spirituality to advance selfishness is Satanism. (see footnote 1)

“So death is working in us…” (2 Corinthians 4:12), this was Paul’s description of the spiritual life of the apostolic minister.  When the apostle would die to self life would be manifest in others.  The rest of the verse (2 Cor 2:4:12) says, “but life in you”.  Our sacrifice produces life in others.  The famous missionary teacher Watchman Nee once said, “We ought to do the same today. (referencing 2 Cor 4:12)  We must have the outward man broken that the inner life may flow out.  When a man’s outer shell is broken he is brought very near to others and life may easily flow forth.  Otherwise the life will remain enclosed, the spirit hard to come out, and thus the way to life for others blocked.  It is when the grain of wheat falls into the ground and has its shell broken that life begins to flow.  Hence, the Lord says, ‘Whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it.’ (Matt. 16:25).” (4 parenthetical note mine for clarification)  Let us reckon ourselves dead in order to minister life to the dead and dying world around us.

Endnotes

1.  Satanism as a religion is rooted in selfishness; one of the religions current leaders writes, “Satanists do not believe in the supernatural, in neither God nor the Devil. To the Satanist, he is his own God. Satan is a symbol of Man living as his prideful, carnal nature dictates.”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LaVeyan_Satanism. Satanism is the exact opposite of Christianity.  Undetected selfishness in the Christian life, advances the kingdom of darkness.

2.  Webster, Daniel, American Dictionary of the English Language, Foundation for American Christian Education, San Francisco, CA, 1995.  This dictionary first published in 1828 was written expressly for Christian educators and their pupils.  It’s definitions are rooted in the King James Translation.

3.  Ibid

4.  Nee, Watchman, Spiritual Authority, Christian Fellowship Publishers Inc., New York, New York, 1972, page 173.  This work is relevant as it was not written by Nee but transcribed from his teachings for missionaries.  In it, he was teaching missionaries spiritual truth to exhibit in the field to advance the gospel.  This is significant for the topic at hand.

The Keys of the Kingdom

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind declare to be improper and unlawful) on earth must be what is already bound in heaven; and whatever you loose (declare lawful) on earth must be what is already loosed in heaven.”    (Matthew 16:19 the Amplified Bible)

It is important to note that it is the keys “of” the kingdom and not the keys “to” the kingdom.  There is a difference.  The key to something gets you inside of it.  The keys “of” something, allow you to operate freely and move around as one desires within a place once the individual is on the inside.  For example, if I give someone the keys to a school, they can get inside the school but there may be doors that are inaccessible to them.  But, if I give you the keys “to” the school, you could open any door and move freely at will.  This is the point that Jesus is making.  He is giving us the keys to move freely at will within the Kingdom of God and to exercise the authority of that Kingdom.

The giving of keys symbolizes the ability to move freely at will is a biblical concept.  We read in Isaiah, “The key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder; so he shall open, and no one shall shut; and he shall shut, and no one shall open.” (Isaiah 22:22) Eliakhim in this chapter replaces Shebna who was over the house (22:13)  Shebna’s conduct has been selfish and he has taken advantage of his position and is being replaced.  On the contrary Eliakhim is called “My servant” (22:20) and because of his humility and heart for God, he is awarded the keys.  He becomes an authority. (It is important to remember that God requires a human co-laborer to bring about His Will on earth)  God has appointed Himself a man He could trust with rulership of His House.  This also pre-shadows Jesus.  Jesus was a man anointed with the Holy Spirit and He was completely submitted to and obedient to the Father.  Therefore, He was given authority (Matthew 28:18) and Keys (Revelation 1:3)

Jesus tells us how we can operate and bring the Kingdom to earth as it is in heaven.  He tells us that what we “bind” will be bound.  Meaning that it will be forbidden or prohibited from operating.  Basically, He is telling us that if something around us is operating that is not in heaven, then we are obliged as God’s representatives and co-laborers  to bind or prohibit it by the power/authority given to us by God.  (Please see http://www.kingdomidentity.wordpress.com the blog entitled,  A Word about Words).  Conversely, once we have prohibited the operation of darkness, we now “loose” or allowor release what is free to operate in heaven. Therefore, through our spoken words, we release the realms of the Kingdom around us.  If it is free to operate in heaven , then it is free to operate around us and into our lives.

This is the keys to the Kingdom.  What we open is open and what we close is closed and the gates of hell will not prevail against us.  Charles Capps writes, “Someone might ask, ’What good would that do if it is already bound up there?’  Jesus is saying, ‘I will give believers authority and power to loose things on earth that are allowed in heaven and to bind things on earth that are not allowed in heaven.’  Just ask yourself, ’What things are not allowed in heaven?’  There is no sickness or disease in heaven, nor is there poverty.  There is no evil, no lack of any kind.  Heaven is a healthy, happy place.  Jesus said, “You have authority to bind evil forces upon earth that cause sickness, disease, poverty, and sin.’  What is loosed in heaven?  Life, health, abundance, happiness, joy, and peace.  Now you can understand why Jesus called the power of binding and loosing the keys of the Kingdom! (1)

In essence, we must understand authority in order to use the keys of the kingdom.  Our authority is twofold.  First, as a man on the earth (see previous two post called The Kingdom and the Kingdom and the Spirit man).  As God’s representative in the physical realm we have authority over all the earth. This was God’s original intention.  Secondly, our authority rests on what Christ has done for us.  We read in Ephesians, “according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion and every name that is named not only in this age but also in the which is to come.  And He put all things under His feet…(Ephesians 1:17-22)  Shortly thereafter we read, “and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph 2:6)  We have been seated above all principalities and power with Christ.  Therefore, we have the God ordained authority to prohibit the works of the devil on our lives and the lives of those around us and in any circumstance where we encounter the enemy.

In summation, we must use our God given authority, by faith, to bind the spiritual forces of darkness and loose the kingdom of heaven over those same circumstances to yield an increase for the kingdom.  We should accept and dominate the earth until He returns.  This is the kingdom business.  Kenneth Hagin writes the concluding statements. “All authority that was given to Christ belongs to us through Him, and we may exercise it.  We help Him by carrying out His work upon the earth,  And one aspect of His work that the Word of God tells us to do is to conquer the devil!  In fact, Christ can’t do His work on the earth without us!  He can‘t get along without you any more than you can get along without Him.” (2)

Endnotes

1.  Capps, Charles, Your Spiritual Authority,  Harrison House, Tulsa, OK, 1994 page, 138-139.

2.  Hagin, Kenneth, The Believer’s Authority, Faith Library Publications, Tulsa OK, page, 27-28.

The Kingdom Rulers Require Water and Spirit

“Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5)

There are two requirements that Jesus has set before us.  They are being “born of water” and being “born of the Spirit.”  The latter (being born of the Spirit) we have already covered in the two post entitled, “The Kingdom” and “The Kingdom and the Spirit Man.”  The reader is encouraged to read these two before continuing here.  In this post, we will focus on the water portion of the verse and the role that Jesus played in opening this door for us.

Generally, there are two standard arguments for the meaning of being “born of water.”  The first is water baptism by immersion and the second is the actual physical birth.  In essence, being birthed on the earth as a human being created in the image of God.  (Again, See “The Kingdom and the Spirit man” for details).  When both arguments are considered, we will find that the answer lies in both positions.

Water baptism is a symbolic/prophetic act in the physical realm that expresses a spiritual reality.  FF Bruce summarizes, “Christian baptism even more emphatically symbolizes the new beginning for every one who by faith-union with Christ shares His death and burial in a spiritual sense and rises with Him to newness of life.” (1)  Baptism is an outward physical manifestation of a spiritual reality.  Thus, in order for one to demonstrate to the world his being “born of the spirit” one would declare it through water baptism.  Contextually, Jesus is speaking with Nicodemus, in the third chapter of John, and He uses language that would have been familiar to Nicodemus.  “Converts to Judaism were said to become ‘as newborn children’ when they were baptized to remove Gentile impurity.  ‘Born of water’ thus clarifies for Nicodemus that  ‘born from above’ means conversion, not a second physical birth.” (2)   Nicodemus became confused that he needed to be converted because, in his mind, he was already converted. (see also the Kingdom post).  Hence, it seems relevant that “born of water” in this context can be-speak of water baptism as it is the only expression in the physical realm of the spiritual reality of the Christian entering the Kingdom.  David Stern explains further the position on water baptism, “Immersion in water is connected with ritual cleansing of the body….while the Holy Spirit gives power for turning from sin and living a holy life; both bespeak of aspects of purification.  This is why being born of water does not mean ordinary human birth; moreover, since everyone is born of water in that sense, it would be silly for Yeshua to make a condition out of it with the word ‘unless.’” (3)

Agreed, the interpretation of water baptism is most applicable for this verse. However, there is the argument of being “born of water” as being born a human that may have a deeper spiritual reality than Mr. Stern’s will allow.  To reiterate, water baptism is a physical act of a spiritual reality.  It is what we do in the physical realm to demonstrate being “born of the Spirit” in the spiritual realm.  If this is the only application then Jesus is being extremely redundant.  To paraphrase, Jesus would be saying that “unless one performs the physical act of the spiritual reality and is born-again which is the aforementioned spiritual reality, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”  It would appear to be a redundant statement.  Perhaps the physical birth itself has some application here as well.

To understand this we must look at what man was created to be and to do in the beginning.  “Then God said, Let us make man in our image and according to our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, overall the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26) Man was created to have authority over all the earth.  The bible says that “The heavens, even the heavens, are the Lord’s; but the earth He has given to the sons of men.” (Psalm 115:16)  God designed that dominion over the earth is in the hands of men.  Hence, it takes a human to become the image bearing representative of God on earth, to usher in the Kingdom of God.  God has limited Himself to utilize His Creation in order to have dominion on the earth.  The spiritual Kingdom of Heaven cannot invade the physical  realm of earth without the utilization of God’s representative on earth.  This is why it is necessary to be a person, a human being, born of water, to enter the kingdom.  One must first be a human before one can demonstrate heavenly power on earth.  It is a prerequisite that one must be a person in order to enter the kingdom by the blood of Jesus.

God, because of His character, will not revoke the authority that he gave to men.  God must redeem and use men to display and destroy the works of the devil because He doesn’t take back what he has given.  Therefore, God had to become a man sot that a man could save that which was lost.  Adam gave away the authority over the earth to the devil at the fall of humankind.  A man had to come and retrieve that which was given away.  Hence, it was essential that Jesus be “born of water” to qualify in the physical realm to be the image-bearer and representative of God.  Hence, the requirements are exactly the same for the Christian.  Jesus called Himself, “The Son of Man” which identified Him more with His Humanity than with His Divinity.  He came as a man, anointed by the Holy Spirit, go get back what man had lost.  This could only be accomplished by a man, a human being.  Charles Capps concludes, “Jesus came by the legal entry, through birth.  He had all the authority of a man.  He lived as a man and was anointed with the Holy Ghost.  He went before us and destroyed the devil’s works.  He went to the cross, gave up His life, and became the supreme sacrifice…The fleshy birth is the legal entry into the earth.  But because Jesus is the Head of the Church and the firstborn from the dead, He became the door, or legal entry, into the Kingdom of God.  There is no other way.  You can’t get there by the church door.  You can’t get there by being baptized.  You can’t get there by paying your tithes or by being good.  You must be born again, and Jesus is the door of that new birth.  Just as physical birth is the legal entry into earth, the spiritual birth though Jesus Christ is the only legal way into heaven.” (4)

Hence, when we, as Christians, exercise our God-given authority as His Image bearers, and our rights as “citizens of heaven” having been born again, then the Kingdom of God comes to earth through us.  Indeed, one must be born of water and Spirit to enter the Kingdom of God.
Endnotes

1.  Bruce, F.F.  The Gospel and Epistles of John, Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI, 1983, page 84.

2.  Keener, Craig, The IVP Bible Background Commentary New Testament, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL, 1993, page270.

3.  Stern, David, Jewish New Testament Commentary, Jewish New Testament publications, Clarksville, MA, 1992, page 267.

4.  Capps, Charles, Your Spiritual Authority, Harrison House, Tulsa, OK, 1994, page 147-148.

The Experience of God

“And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love…”
(I John 4:16)

This verse emphatically states what God “is.”  There are many verses of scripture we could debate over meaning, but “God is love” is really undebateable.  One may ask, “What is God like” and the response can easily be made that God is love.  Hence, when we experience god we are experiencing love.  This verse states that, “we have known and believed the love that God has for us.”  This means that God is both knowable and can be experienced.  The word “know” in this verse, in Greek, is better translated as “to know by experience.”  The Amplified Bible translates this verse, “And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us.  God is love…”  The theological implication here is truly amazing!  What it is really saying is that God can be experienced and this experience is of a loving nature.  As a direct result of this experience, we can now, put our faith and trust in the revealed character of this God.  Once He has revealed His Nature to us, the natural bi-product of this exchange leads humanity into faith.

The next logical question one may ask is, “what is love?”  Society or psychiatry or psychology may offer a large range definitions but it seems best to define the Bible by the Bible itself.  Therefore, in defining biblically what love is, this definition will reveal the nature of God.  Ultimately, it will reveal His Character and Actions toward humanity.

The classic verse on love is found in I Corinthians 13:4-8.  They read, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, Love never fails…” If one can take the word “love” out and put “God” in its place within this verse, then the character of God will be revealed.  Let’s examine a few passages.

The first verse states that, “love suffers long”; consequently, God suffers long as well.  It means that God endures evil without complaint.  This is an amazing expression of God’s love toward humanity when one considers that His Son died for all of us.  Let’s put this into perspective.  Imagine the one person you love the most in all the world (For God this was Jesus).  Now, imagine that this one person sacrifices their life for an unknown individual.  Later on, at a memorial service, you see the person and ask them, “Wasn’t that an amazing heroic thing that my loved one did for you?”  Imagine if that person looks at you and says, “Whatever!” and turns and walks out without even the hint of appreciation.  This would certainly provoke many fathers, sons, daughters, wives, and grandparents to wrath.  This is what happens to God the Father everyday and yet, he endures this evil without complaint.  The very fact that He has not completely destroyed all of us is an illustration that His love endures evil and is long-suffering.  Jonathan Edwards said it best, “Sinners in the hands of an angry God!” and He would certainly be justified in His wrath.  However, God doesn’t destroy all of humanity because His love for us suffers long.  The Bible states, “For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the un-just.” (Matthew 5:45)

God is kind.  The meaning of this word is “goodness in action.”  The implication is wonderful.  God, who loves us so much, puts His Goodness into motion to set up circumstances so that we obtain favor.  Once His plans come to pass in our lives, it looks outwardly that we have been very successful.  The reality is that God really set it all up.  Then, He in His Love, let’s us get the credit for it.  This is evident in the life of David.  The Lord strikes down Goliath (I Samuel 17:47) and David got the credit (I Samuel 17:50)  God is not interested in promoting Himself (another characteristic of love), He is interested in watching us be successful.  He enjoys watching blessings come into your life.  The Bible says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17) God takes pleasure in blessing all of humanity.  It works like this:  Have you ever received an unexpected gift that you really wanted  but didn’t expect?  Have you ever given someone a gift that you knew they wanted but didn’t expect?  Remember the emotions that you felt in both giving and receiving, and if, we could take these emotions out and give them life, power, mind, purpose, and authority, that would be God.  That is what the experience of God is like, it is just to good to be true.  These emotions are the most pure and powerful in humanity.  It is a direct reflection of the Divine Heart.  God is the embodiment of love in all of love’s splendor, radiance, and glory!

Love hopes all things.  Therefore, God hopes all things.  The biblical definition of hope is the “joyful expectation of good.”  When God looks at us, He doesn’t see us as we see ourselves.  He doesn’t view our future with all of our habits, sins, and faults.  He sees us as the finished product.  When I look at a large stone, all I see is a large stone.  However, if a sculptor looks at a large stone, he sees art.  He sees something that can be beautiful, have purpose, and impact future generations.  This is the way that God sees us.  He looks at you with the joyful expectation that he can sanctify you and mold you into a thing of beauty.  A human crafted into the image of His Son with purpose, power, and a destiny that will have an impact for His Kingdom and for future generations.

The Great Kingdom Sell-Out

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had an bought it.”  (Matthew 13:44-46)

These parables identify Kingdom principles people experience that bring about radical fulfillment and radical change in each of their individual lives.  The essence of these parables is value.  Both are seeking something that they greatly value and when they find it, it comes with such a fulfillment, that everything else must be sacrificed in order to obtain it.
The purpose of the parables are described in the prefacing statement, “The kingdom of heaven is like…”  Jesus is here giving us divine spiritual principles that demonstrate what happens in the kingdom.  What happens both with us and with God.  What happens in our response to God and in His response toward us.  Remember that value is the underlining theme.

The man in the first parable could represent Jesus.  The field could represent the world (Mathew 3:38).  Hence, Jesus has come into the world.  He is seeking something.  He is seeking something of great value to Him and He is willing to sacrifice all in order to obtain it.  The treasure that he finds in the field is you.  It is the human soul that would receive Him and fellowship with Him for all eternity.  I am absolutely convinced that if only one person would have ever gotten saved as a result of the ministry of Jesus, He would have still endured the cross for the sake of the one.  It is the value that He places upon humanity.  He values it and it is worth sacrificing for.  When it is found, it brings about radical changes is His life and the life of the believer. If we measure the value of something by what someone else will pay for it; then; you are the greatest treasure that God has ever created as He has sacrificed everything in order to have fellowship and relationship with you.  God is completely “sold-out” and He has taken radical steps to enter into convenental relationships with us.  He has given all that He has to all of us.  He purchased the world that is filled with human treasure by the price of His life and blood.  For Him, it was the only way to live.

The merchant could represent the Christian.  He, too, is seeking something of great value.  In his pre-salvation state, he may have shopped various religions seeking the one that brought about the most fulfillment.  We are hard-wired for relationship with God.  When it is lacking, we are unfulfilled individuals seeking the ultimate forms of fulfillment.  Oftentimes, they come through sinful experiences.  When we attempt to put sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll in the place of our soul that is built for God, we ultimately end up dissatisfied.  Hence, these actions require extreme repetition. (see my other blog: http://www.kingdomidentity.wordpress.com for the blog entitled, “The works of the flesh.”)  If we could take that one pill, that one drink, that one experience that would bring the eternal buzz and fulfillment, that would be amazing!  However, no such substance or action exist.  The works of the flesh require repetition.  The basis of all sin is fulfillment and these two statements are the foundation and basis of all addictions.  I can remember a time right after I had my first intoxicating effect of alcohol.  It brought about a sense of fulfillment in my soul that I had been seeking for years.  I was “sold-out” to drinking, and spent all that I had on “prodigal” living.  It became my identity and every activity in my life revolved around drinking and drugging.   We will sacrifice for what we value and for what we believe will bring fulfillment.  This was my life before I found the “Pearl of great price.”  Because my addiction required repetition and required more of the substance over time, I continued to seek the ultimate expression of fulfillment.  On May the 7th of 2000, I had a radical encounter with God that changed my life.  Suddenly, Jesus became so real to me.  He was not just doctrine and an unknowable God.  I was having an intense encounter with Him.  He was, in fact, alive and I now knew why He was called the “Living God.”  The Holy Spirit invaded my soul and I understood that everything that I was seeking from drugs and alcohol I could get from God.  It was the invasion of His love into my soul that made radical changes in my life.  I had found the “Pearl of Great Price.”

It was at this time that I became “sold-out” to God.  I knew that what I had been looking for in fifteen years worth of drug and alcohol addiction I had found.  Hence, I have sold all that I had for the purpose of the Kingdom of God.  I’m a radical!  For me, anything less than a complete “sell-out” for Jesus is to exalt this cursed and fallen world with its fleshly pleasures and pursuits against the “Pearl of Great Price.”  The Great Kingdom sell-out is the only option and it’s the only way to live.  This Kingdom dynamic applies for me, for you, and for Jesus.

The Kingdom and the Spirit-man

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead.”    (Romans 1:20)

God created man from “the dust of the earth.” (Genesis 2:7)  This implies that God took something in the physical realm and created a life with it.  This was the created “likeness” of a physical body. Scripture states that God said, “Let us make man in our image; according to our likeness…” (Genesis 1:26).  God said that He would create man “according to His likeness.”  The Hebrew word for likeness is the word “demut.”  It is best translated “resemblance.” (1)  It is the word that Ezekiel most often used to describe the theophonic appearances of God. (Ezekiel 1:26)  The implication here is that we look like our Daddy.  He formed us into a physical being in the physical realm.  This likeness is the physical body.  God created the earth as a physical realm and He created the physical body of man to function in this realm as being representational of Him and His actual appearance. (That being the pre-incarnate appearances of Messiah).

The Bible also says that “God is Spirit.” (John 4:24)  He operates in the invisible realm of the spirit.  God desired that a representative of Him be placed in the physical realm to “have authority over it.” (Genesis 1:28)  However, only a physical body is not enough to be representational of God.  In Genesis we read, “He blew into his nostrils the ‘breath of life’ and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7)  When God said that He would create man, “in His Image”, He was creating a spiritual being with a physical body.  The Hebrew word for image, is the word “zelem.”  It is most often translated “idol”, and it means “the image as a representation of diety.” (2) This means that man bears a physical and spiritual representation of God.  In fact, Romans 1:20 declares that, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead.”  His invisible attributes are clearly seen the physical realm by the creation of human beings as His image-bearers representing Him, in the physical realm, as He is, is the spiritual realm.  As it is written, “As He is, so are we in this world.” (I John 4:17)

The spirit man inside of us influences us toward holiness.  The spirit man is in contact with the Holy Spirit and then communicates to the soul the mind and will of God.  The soul is the center of emotion, will, desire, thought, and the free will.  The soul is capable of exercising the free will toward obedience toward God.  The Apostle Paul prays that we would be “strengthened with might through His Spirit in our inner man” (Ephesians 3:16) because Paul knew that a strong spirit man would move the soul and the physical body towards holiness.  John G. Lake wrote, “The real Christian, whose being is attuned with God and in whose consciousness the Christ-life is a divine reality, knows that the life of the spirit of man in contact with the Spirit of God supersedes every other endeavor to harmonize the nature of man and God…” (3)

Endnotes

1.  Harris, Laird; Archer, Gleason; Waltke, Bruce; Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament.  Chicago, IL, Moody Publishers, 1980.  Page 192.

2.  Ibid, page 1923.

3.  Liardon, Roberts, John G. Lake, The Complete Collection of His Life Teachings, Albury Publishing Co, Tulsa, OK 1999, page 870.

The Kingdom

There is a tremendous difference between the spiritual realm and the physical realm.  The physical realm is experienced by the five senses.  We see, touch, taste, hear, and smell and this gives us information about the physical realm.  The spiritual realm is the invisible realm around us.  It is the unseen world where God reigns supreme.  God is Spirit (John 4:24) and His Domain is in the spiritual realm and there He is King.  The Jews took Jesus to Pilate to have Him crucified.  Their accusation against Him was treason according to Roman law.  He says, “He is a King” and Pilate asks Jesus if He is a king and Jesus replies, “My Kingdom is not of this world.  If my kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” (John 18:37)  God’s Kingdom is a Spiritual one.  The Kingdom of God is not currently a place that you can travel to.  It is not a physical destination in the physical realm and won’t be until the millennial reign.  Nevertheless, Jesus tells us He is King and that His Kingdom is not of this place, implying that it is of the spiritual or invisible realm around us.  This is where the Kingdom of God exist today.  In the unseen realms of the invisible supernatural spiritual place.

There is also a tremendous difference between religion and spirituality.  Religion is focused on the physical realm while spirituality is focused on the unseen invisible realm.  Religion tells us what we can and cannot do in the physical realm.  It tells us what to eat, what to wear, how to dress, how often to pray, and how often to read scripture.  Religion is very focused on behavior and not focused on faith or belief.  Spirituality is focused on the unseen realm of faith and belief and relationship with God.  Religion advocates that we can behave our way into stronger belief.  Spirituality teaches that we believe our way into better behavior.  Religion promises holiness but it can only produce death because it is focused on self-driven power which will ultimately fail.  Its works will only produce sin, and reveal sin, but the only promise of overcoming sin is in self power which will ultimately fail and lead into death.  Spirituality promises holiness as a work of grace (unmerited favor and the ability for God to do through me what I am incapable of doing myself) and faith (confidence toward God) when I trust in God to sanctify me and not myself.  It is based upon relationship with an inner dwelling God of my soul who guides and empowers me to overcome areas of sin by administering inner power greater than the sin.  In essence, God works in my heart to produce holiness through my relationship with Him.  Spiritual disciplines are driven out of a heart that desires to be obedient because of an experiential love through relationship.  When I experience God’s love for me and when I know that to sin would be to break God’s heart, I desire to not grieve Him who loves me so much.  Religion cannot teach it.  Relationship and experiencing the presence of God produces sanctification by the Spirit.  Jesus Christ never died to give us religion.  Religion existed long before the time of Jesus.  It was Judaism.  If Jesus only wanted religion, then we could have all become proselyte Jews or perished without it.  But, what Jesus accomplished is much greater than religion, it achieved the relationship that was lost on account of sin.

The barrier that separated us from God was sin.  The perfect fellowship with God was shattered in the garden by a man-made attempt at spiritual self-promotion.  Humans have been separated from God since that day.  Sin cannot be in the presence of God.  He is way to Holy.  Jesus removed the sin barrier and this has enabled us to again have fellowship with God.  How is this possible?  By removing the sin barrier from us, by our faith and trust in His accomplishments, our sins are forgiven through His Sacrifice (Lev 17:11).  The shedding of His blood is the giving of the life that is required for my sin.  The Bible says that the “the day that we sin we will surely die” (Genesis 2:17)  The penalty that we all deserve for sin is death.  Jesus has taken this penalty for us; thus, He has set us free from sin and death, and alive to God.  This allows the Holy Spirit to invade our hearts and awaken us to see and enter into the spiritual Kingdom of God.  This Holy Spirit invasion births us into spiritual beings connected to His Spiritual Kingdom.  Thus, I can now have a spiritual relationship with a Spiritual God and can move and operate in His Spiritual Kingdom.  This spiritual re-birth by the Spirit release the Kingdom of God into our lives.  Jesus says that the Kingdom of God is around you (Matthew 4:17) and inside of you (Luke 17:20-21).  With this spiritual invasion, God births us into His Kingdom.  The Presence of God lived behind the huge veil in the temple.  When Jesus died, removing the sin barrier, the Presence of God burst out of the Holy of Holies like a football team running through a banner on Friday night.  Thus releasing the Kingdom of God to be available for all people. (Matthew 27:51)

Jesus has  a discussion with a very religious man that solidifies all these points.  We read in the gospel of John, “There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. (John 3:1).  Nicodemus was a very religious man.  One might say that he was the ultimate religious guy.  He was a Pharisee, and they were regarded as the most religious sect of Judaism at the time of Jesus.  Furthermore, he was on the ruling council.  Only 70 of the most religious men in the entire nation were appointed to this council and Nicodemus was one of them.  Nicodemus, therefore, represents the ultimate expression of religiosity at the time.  He comes to Jesus at night.  Why?  Because to be seen with Jesus during the day and be seen with the people Jesus hung out with, would not have been very religious.  Nevertheless, Nicodemus has some question for Jesus.  “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God for no one can do these sings that You do unless God is with him.” (John 3:2) Nicodemus is really asking, “We don’t know how you are doing all these miraculous works because you are not as religious as us.”  Another way of saying it would be, “You are doing miracles being less religious than us and we want to know why.”  Nicodemus can’t see the spiritual because he is so focused on the religion of the physical realm.  Jesus begins to teach Nicodemus about His Kingdom.  Jesus tells Nicodemus that without a spiritual invasion of the God that births one into the spiritual realm one can’t see the kingdom of God (John 3:3)  This really freaks out the religious man.  He doesn’t understand.  He states, “How can a man be born when he is old?  Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” (3:4)  Nicodemus is so focused on the physical realm that he can’t see the spiritual truth that Jesus is illustrating.  Jesus begins to explain the difference between the physical realm and the spiritual realm.  He states, “That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’  The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes,  So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:6-8)  We can’t see the wind.  We can see the effects of the wind but not the wind. (Interesting side note: often time the word for “spirit” and the word for “air/wind” is the same word).   The same happens with the spiritual Kingdom.  People will see the effects of God in our lives; oftentimes,  before we will realize it.  People only focused on the physical realm can not see the spiritual kingdom at work around you, they see the effects that it causes and they wonder where it came from .  This is the quandary that Nicodemus was in.  He saw the effects of the Kingdom, but not the Kingdom itself.  Nicodemus still doesn’t understand, “How can these things be?”  Nicodemus is dumbfounded because it has nothing to do with religion and the physical realm.  Jesus counters, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?  Most assuredly, I say to you, we speak what we know and testify what we have seen and you do not receive our witness.  If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?  No one came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.” (John 3:10-13)  The only person on earth that was ever qualified to teach about Heaven or the Kingdom of God was Jesus.  He was the only one who had ever been there.  He relates a spiritual experience from the Old Testament to illustrate a Kingdom principle about how He would remove the sin barrier. (John 3:14-15).  Then, He gives us the motive behind the Divine Intervention.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Fasting and the Kingdom Sacrifice

“I will not sacrifice anything to the Lord that cost me nothing.”  1 Sam 24:24

The Biblical sacrificial system demands that only the best animals are to be sacrificed.  It was designed to cost the worshipper, set up to put the worshipper in a position of dependency upon God.  When one considers a fast, it should be done prayerfully and it should cost the worshipper.  Sacrifice demands faith and faith is the currency that releases the Kingdom.

“The Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee.”  (Luke 4:14)

If sin is the willful taking of that which is unlawful; then fasting is the willful sacrifice of that which is lawful.  Jesus learned obedience by willfully sacrificing that which was lawful when He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, the beginning of His 40 day fast.  The Bible says that Jesus was filled with the Spirit when He went into the wilderness, but something happened upon His return.  “He returned in the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14).  The willful sacrifice of fasting, led to an increase in “power.”   Jesus illustrates this point with the disciples.

“Assuredly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “move from here, to there” and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.  However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.’” (Matthew 17:19-21)

The willful sacrifice of fasting (obedience and sacrifice), leads to a faith that can move mountains.  “Faith needs fasting for it’s full growth … In nothing is man more closely connected with the world of sense than in his need for, and enjoyment of, food.  It was the fruit with which man was tempted and fell in Paradise.  It was with bread that Jesus was tempted in the wilderness.  But He triumphed in fasting … The first thought suggested by Jesus’ words in regard to fasting and prayer is that only in a life of moderation and self-denial will there be sufficient heart and strength to pray much … Without such voluntary separation, even from what is lawful, no one will attain power in prayer.  Such power comes only through fasting and prayer” (1).

“Blessed are those who hunger … for they shall be filled” (Mat 5:6).

There is a certain humility that comes with hunger.  It’s a good thing to know what it means to be hungry.  “Hunger is a mighty good thing.  It’s the greatest persuader I know if.  It’s a marvelous mover.  I wish we all had it spiritually.  I wish to God we were desperately hungry.  Wouldn’t it be glorious?  Somebody would get filled before this meeting was over” (2).  The hungry get fed.  The exercise of fasting is birthed from a spiritual hunger for more of God and His world.  It is a sacrifice of lawful things, a physical hunger.  This hunger impacts the soul with desperation for feeding.  Heidi Baker, a missionary in Africa, speaks of the power of the desperation of hunger:  “The people there are so hungry that when it comes time to eat, they literally stomp on each other.  They are so desperate that they push and shove each other out of the way in order to get to the food first.  It does not sound nice, I know, but the ones who scream the loudest and push the hardest get fed first.  The ones who press in always get the bread.  I have witnessed this happen time and again, so I asked God, ‘what is this, God?’  He said: ‘the ones who are hungry get fed.  The ones who are thirsty get to drink.  It is as simple as that’” (3).  When we get desperate for an increase of God, and that desperation leads to sacrifice and we will not be disappointed in God’s response.  We will be filled.

1.)  Murray, Andrew, With Christ in the School of Prayer; Whitaker House, New Kensington, PA; 1981; pp 100-103
2.) Liardon, Roberts, John G. Lake, The Complete Collection of His Life Teachings; Albury Publishing; Tulsa, OK; 1999; p 452
3.)  Baker, Roland and Heidi, Expecting Miracles; Chosen Books; Grand Rapids, MI; 2007; p 48

Teruah: The release of spiritual power.

Teruah:  The release of spiritual power.

“It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat.” (Joshua 6:5)

The Hebrew word “teruah” is the word translated as “shout”.  It’s meaning is difficult to convey into English because not only does it denote a human voice but also the sound from the “shofar”, or ram’s horn trumpet.  The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament defines it as, “The primary meaning is to raise a noise by shouting or with an instrument, especially a horn (Numbers 10:7) or the traditional ram’s horn, the shofar.” (1).  The noise that is transmitted is invisible.  It is a spiritual force similar to language.  One cannot see the sound because it is invisible, and because it is invisible and its  mode of communication is spiritual.  A good sense of the word, in our culture, occurs at sporting events when the favorite team scores, and “the crowd goes wild”.  They release shouts that transmit spiritual energy that can be sensed.  In the Kingdom of God, it is a “war cry” that releases the power of heaven and opens spiritual doors.

In the destruction of Jericho, God’s weapon of choice to destroy this great city was the “Teruah”.  We read, “So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat.  Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. (Joshua 6:20).The Teruah released in unity of the shofar and the human voice opened heaven and God crushed the enemy. ( Isaiah 64:1).  There are several other biblical examples of this action.

Abijah was king of Judah.  He went to war with Jerobaom the king of the Israel.  Jeroboam had set up idolatrous worship in the northern kingdom.  Abijah, being obedient to the commandments of the Lord, took the shofar into battle against the enemy. (Numbers 10:9).  He knew the power of the Teruah as a weapon of warfare.  We read, “And when Judah looked around, to their surprise the battle line was at both front and rear; and they cried out to the Lord,  and the priest sounded the trumpets.  Then the men of Judah gave a shout; and as the men of Judah shouted, it happened that God struck Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah.” (2 Chronicles 13:15-15).

A similar example exist in the book of I Samuel.  Israel goes to war with the Philistines.  When the ark of the Lord enters the camp, the Israelites release a “Teruah”.  This force strikes fear into the demonic realms and into the camp of the enemy.  We read, “And when the ark of the covenant of the LORD came into the camp all Israel shouted so loudly that the earth shook.  Now when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, ‘What does the sound of the great shout in the camp of the Hebrews mean?’  Then they understood that the ark of the Lord had come into the camp.  So the Philistines were afraid, for they said, ‘God has come into the camp!’  ‘And they said, ‘Woe to us!  Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods?  These are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness.” (I Samuel 4:5-9).  The teruah opened heaven and the enemy perceived the entrance of a great power.

When we release a Teruah into our circumstances, we are inviting the armies of the Lord of Hosts to invade our situation.  We are also imitating God, who on occasion, releases a teruah Himself.  (see Joel 3:16, Hosea 11:10).  Todd Bentley explains, “Sometimes the Lord calls us to roar just as He does.  At God’s leading, we can release a roar by faith just as we would a victory shout.  A roar like this often releases holy indignation within our spirits, as a declaration to the enemy that ‘enough is enough!’  Roaring not only looses tied-up promises but it also tears down demonic principalities.  When we roar like a lion something happens in the spirit real.  Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, and sometimes He cause His Spirit to rise up on our hearts with a groan or a roar of judgment on principalities.” (2).  This roar that Bentley is referring to, in a Hebrew context, is a teruah.  Once this is released, it drives out the demonic and heralds in the angelic forces of the army of the Lord of Hosts.  The Bibles says, “When you go to war in your land against the enemy who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, and you will be remembered before the LORD you God, and you will be saved from you enemies.” (Numbers 10:9).  Dominick Zangla explains further, “On one occasion, at the beginning of a congregational meeting, I struggled to blow the Teruah and only succeeded after three tries and the Spirit of God girding me up.  The cries that came for immediately were, ‘Did you feel the atmosphere change?’  Later three different women asked if I had continued to sound the shofar outside the building and how was I able to blow all those different notes!  I had not touched my shofar since the opening of the service,  I suddenly realized God had sent His angels to do battle on our behalf as He honored my call for help!  At the end of the meeting about 25 people raised their hands saying they had heard shofar sounds during the praise and worship.” (3)  This is a great example of the power in the Teruah.  In my personal experience, my wife and I have both felt like everything “got brighter” after blowing the shofar.  It is an instrument of breakthrough to victory!

As stated previously, voice is the medium to release the teruah.  Evangelist Todd Bentley gives an example, “But suddenly I felt something like a deep groan and cramp in my belly, as though something was going to erupt.  I had heard about some meeting s where people would roar like lions, and I thought it ridiculous, but my hears said, ‘Do it…do it!’ and my mind said ‘Don’t!’  But my heart won out, and all at once, it was as thought a river came out of my mouth, and I fell to my knees and roared!  I fell under the power, and the Steve did!  His arm flew into the air, still holding the sandwich, the lettuce flying everywhere.  Now picture Steve-the humble, soft spoken-nice guy who’s hardly ever noticed, now turned old time, turn-or-burn revivalist!  Even his voice gained an attention-getting edge, ‘IF YOU DON’T CHANGE YOUR WAYS, YOU WILL GO TO HELL!’ he yelled at the top of his lungs.  Well, the spirit of fear hit that place, I’ll tell you.  The clerk and his friends dove behind the counter, cowering.  Finally, the clerk stood and pointed over the counter with one finger shaking and said, ‘Is….is that your God?’” (4)  That is how the teruah works.

If we can raise a teruah and open heaven from here on earth, than God can do the same thing from heaven.  In fact, we read in scripture that when Jesus returns, it will be accompanied by a Great Teruah.  The Bible describes the event as such, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God…” (I Thessalonians 4:16).

Furthermore, God is so impressed with the Teruah, He ordained an entire feast day solely devoted to spending the day worshiping Him with Teruah’s.  The Feast of Trumpets is the first fall feast day and is a day of joyfully worshipping God with shouts of victory, triumph, and adoration.  The Bible says, “Sing aloud to God our strength; Make a joyful shout to the God of Jacob. Raise a song and strike the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the lute.  Blow the trumpet at the time of the New moon, at the full moon, on our solemn feast day.  For this is a statute for Israel, a law of the God of Jacob.  This He established in Joseph as a testimony.” (Psalm 81:1-4).

In the history of revival, we also see the joyful shout used to open heavens and birth revival. At the beginning of the Red River Revival (which sparked the second Great Awakening in America), we read the report of a minister who used a teruah, unbeknownst to him, to begin the revival.  John McGee was a Methodist preacher attending the communion service at the Red River congregation.  At the end of the service. A solemn presence came over the congregation and McGee stood to make a final appeal to the lost.  He writes, “I exhorted them to let the Lord Omnipotent reign in their hearts and submit to Him, and their souls should live.  Many broke silence.  The woman in the east end of the house shouted tremendously.  I left the pulpit to go to her…Several spoke to me:  ‘You know these people.  Presbyterians are much for order, they will not bear this confusion, go back and be quiet.’  I turned to go back, and was near falling, the power of God was strong upon me.  I turned again and losing sight of the fear of man, I went through the house exhorting with all possible ecstasy and energy.” (5)  When McGee turned around to look over the church, he states that, “the floor was covered with the slain; their screams for mercy pierced the heavens.” (6)  It was the shout, that opened the heavens and began a revival that shook the nation.

Endnotes

1.  Harris, R. Laird; Archer, Gleason L; Waltke, Bruce K.; The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament; Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL, 1980. Page 839.

2.  Bentley, Todd, The Reality of the Supernatural World, Destiny Image Publishers, Shippensburg, PA 2008, page 79.

3.  Zangla, Dominick, Jewish Roots, Part One, Shofar and Prayer Shawl; Messianic Vision Press, Brunswick, GA 1998, page 7.

4.  Bentley, Todd, Journey Into the Miraculous; Destiny Image Publishers, Shippensburg, PA, 2008, page 150.

5.  Marshall, Peter, Manual, David, From Sea to Shining Sea, Revell Cp, Old Tappan New Jersey, 1986, page 62.

6.  Ibid