Monday, May 21, 2018

THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST: SIGN OF THE MARRED GIRDLE

THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST: SIGN OF THE MARRED GIRDLE: (A LINEN BELT) Jeremiah 13: 1-11 King James Version (KJV) 13 Thus saith the Lord unto me, Go and get thee a linen girdle, and ...

SIGN OF THE MARRED GIRDLE

(A LINEN BELT)


Jeremiah 13: 1-11
King James Version (KJV)

13 Thus saith the Lord unto me, Go and get thee a linen girdle, and put it upon thy loins, and put it not in water.

2 So I got a girdle according to the word of the LORD and put it on my loins.

3 And the word of the Lord came unto me the second time, saying,

4 Take the girdle that thou hast got, which is upon thy loins, and arise, go to Euphrates, and hide it there in a hole of the rock.

5 So I went, and hid it by Euphrates, as the Lord commanded me.

6 And it came to pass after many days, that the Lord said unto me, Arise, go to Euphrates, and take the girdle from thence, which I commanded thee to hide there.

7 Then I went to Euphrates, and digged, and took the girdle from the place where I had hid it: and, behold, the girdle was marred, it was profitable for nothing.

8 Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

9 Thus saith the Lord, After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem.

10 This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.

11 For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith the Lord; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear. Matt. 24:24; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; 1 Tim. 4:1-2


KINGDOM DYNAMICS


13:1-11 The linen girdle is the first of the symbolic acts Jeremiah used to convey God’s word to the people. Linen is the material used for priestly garment (Ezek. 44:17, 18) and symbolizes Israel as a "holy people" a "kingdom of priests" (Ex.19:6). The sash as an emblem of Israel, speaks of the intimate relationship of God to His covenant people (v.11)

13:1 Girdle: A belt in oriental cultures indicates status, as "black belt" used for achievement in the martial arts. Put it not in water: Symbolic of Judah’s sinful pride, the belt was not to be washed (v.9)

13:6-9 Euphrates: On the basis of location, some suggest Jeremiah’s experience is only a symbolic vision or a parable because he would hardly have made two trips to the Euphrates River hundreds of miles away. Perhaps the reference is to Parah (Josh. 18:23) which is 3 miles, northwest of Anathoth. The geographical destination is less important than the message that the sash is marred (v.7), and so God will mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem (v.9).

In Christ,
Janet Irene Thomas
Playwright/Screen Writer/Director
Published Author/Gospel Lyricist &Producer
FOUNDER/CEO
Bible Stories Theatre of
Fine & Performing Arts



Monday, January 22, 2018

DIVINE SPIRITUAL MATURITY (8)

GROWING IN CHRIST


Recap - Discernment grows as we read and study God’s Word, practice holy living as God desires, pray and ask, and gain experience. The discernment of spirits, is a spiritual gift communicated by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:10). Associated with wisdom, it involves specific knowledge given supernaturally. Because of this, the gift of discernment is sometimes considered a special expression of the word of knowledge.

Resuming - As believers, we should always seek after wisdom. What’s more, as James 1:5 and 6 remind us, we can be sure we’ll receive it when we ask in faith! We must understand that discernment serves as a catalyst to spiritual development: “The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the discerning” (Prov. 14:6, NIV). Why? Because the discerning Christian goes to the heart of the matter. He knows something about everything, namely that all things have their common fountain in God. Increase in knowledge, therefore, does not lead to increased frustration, but to a deeper recognition of the harmony of all God’s works and words.

Discerning of spirits involves distinguishing between the three possible sources of spiritual motivation and activity. The three areas of spirit activity are:

- The Spirit of God: Utmost important is being able to discern the activity of the Holy Spirit; He will also give the ability to recognize the activity and presence of angels.

-The spirit of man: It involves perceiving the true motivation or intent behind a person’s words or actions. Peter, for example, determined that Simon’s heart was not right in asking for authority to lay hands on individuals to impart the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:17-24).

- The spirit of Satan: Discerning the spirit of Satan or demons includes identifying when someone has a demonic problem, or determining when something is from Satan rather than God. Jesus demonstrated this type of discernment when He rebuked Peter by saying, “Get behind Me, Satan.” He rightly determined that Peter’s declaration came from Satan and was contrary to God’s purpose (Matt. 16:22-23).
  
How is such discernment to be obtained? We receive it as did Christ Himself—by the anointing of the Spirit, through our understanding of God’s Word, by our experience of God’s grace, and by the progressive unfolding to us of the true condition of our own hearts.

That is why we also should pray, “I am your servant; give me discernment” (Ps. 119:125, NIV).

Finally - Refining These Powerful Gift

But solid food belongs to those who are of full age… who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Heb. 5:14)

Our Lord is bringing new heights of discernment to His people—discernment is like a weapon we can shoot and use often. If we desire to grow in the gift of discernment:

- Ask! We have a good heavenly Father who gives good gifts.

- Resolve to fellowship with believers who can help guide us as you gain experience.

- Pursue wisdom.

- Keep in mind that, like all gifts related to the prophetic, the purpose of discernment is to bring life and to build up the body of Christ—not to tear down.

By means of holy and divine discernment, we will be able to expose deception as well as recognize the presence of angels in order to cooperate with them to bring in the harvest!


In Christ,
Janet Irene Thomas
Playwright/Screen Writer/Director
Published Author/Gospel Lyricist &Producer
FOUNDER/CEO
Bible Stories Theatre of
Fine & Performing Arts



Tuesday, January 9, 2018

DIVINE SPIRITUAL MATURITY (7)

GROWING IN CHRIST 


Recap: The writer of Hebrews tells us that everyone who lives on "milk" (rather than the "solid food" desired by the mature) is untrained in the word of righteousness; however, the mature Christian has been "trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil."


Resuming: Growing in Discernment - We must know the genuine so well that, when the false appears, we can recognize it. By knowing and obeying the Word of God, we will be "trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil." We will know God’s character and will. This is the heart of spiritual discernment – being able to distinguish the voice of the world from the voice of God, to have a sense that “this is right” or “this is wrong.” Spiritual discernment fends off temptation and allows us to “hate what is evil; cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9).

 “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” (John 7:24)

·       Godly discernment is the divine ability to rightly judge what is going on. In its broadest sense, discernment is closely related to wisdom as an expression of the spirit of God. By this Spirit, we can function in the manner that Jesus did: “He [did] not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears” (Isa. 11:2-3).

As believers, we ought always seek after wisdom. What’s more, as James 1:5 and 6 remind us, we can be sure we’ll receive it when we ask in faith!

Discernment grows as we read and study God’s Word, practice holy living as God desires, pray and ask, and gain experience.

A more specific form of discernment, discerning of spirits, is a spiritual gift imparted by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:10). It is also closely related to wisdom, but it is to some extent different in that it involves specific knowledge given supernaturally. Because of this, the gift of discernment is sometimes considered a special expression of the word of knowledge.
                                                           … ...to be cont'd

In Christ,
Janet Irene Thomas
Playwright/Screen Writer/Director
Published Author/Gospel Lyricist &Producer
FOUNDER/CEO
Bible Stories Theatre of
Fine & Performing Arts

   

Monday, January 8, 2018

DIVINE SPIRITUAL MATURITY (6)

GROWING IN CHRIST



Recap: God who delivers wisdom to the "foolish" and the "weak" by way of a relationship with Jesus Christ. This way, “no human being can boast in His presence


Resuming: We should understand that it is not wrong to retain knowledge or have an education, and it is not wrong to use reason and logic to solve problems. Nevertheless, spiritual discernment cannot be accomplished that way. It must be given by the revelation of Jesus Christ to the believer, and then developed by way of training in righteousness (Hebrews 5:14) and prayer (Philippians 1:9). Hebrews 5:11-14 shows how spiritual discernment is developed. 

The writer speaks to those who had become “dull of hearing,” meaning they had fallen out of practice discerning spiritually. The writer of Hebrews tells us that everyone who lives on "milk" (rather than the "solid food" desired by the mature) is untrained in the word of righteousness; however, the mature Christian has been "trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil." The keys, according to this passage, are becoming skilled in the Word of God (by which we define righteousness) and "constant practice" (through which we gain experience)… ...to be cont'd



In Christ,
Janet Irene Thomas
Playwright/Screen Writer/Director
Published Author/Gospel Lyricist &Producer
FOUNDER/CEO
Bible Stories Theatre of
Fine & Performing Arts

www.biblestoriestheatre.org.

Friday, January 5, 2018

DIVINE SPIRITUAL MATURITY (5)

GROWING IN CHRIST


Recap: We are to come to an understanding that God-given awareness of evil or good spiritual presences—the ability to tell if a demon is in the room is not the biblical meaning of discernment. Spiritual discernment has to do with wisdom and the ability to distinguish truth from error. 


Resuming: In the Book of Proverbs 1, wisdom is described as someone that we can "get to know" (vv. 20-33). The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ is "wisdom from God" (1 Corinthians 1:30). 


Therefore, wisdom, or spiritual discernment, is something that comes from knowing Jesus Christ. The world’s way of getting wisdom is different from God’s way. Hence, how does one increase spiritual discernment? First, recognizing that God is the only one who can increase wisdom, pray for it (James 1:5; Philippians 1:9). Then, knowing the wisdom to distinguish good from evil comes by training and practice, go to the Bible to learn the truth and, by meditation on the Word, reinforce the truth. 

The well-educated of the world gain knowledge and apply reason to fact to solve problems, construct buildings and create philosophies. But our God does not make the knowledge of Himself available by those means. 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 says the "wisdom of the wise" is frustrated by God who delivers wisdom to the "foolish" and the "weak" by way of a relationship with Jesus Christ. This way, “no human being can boast in His presence” (verse 29). We learn to be spiritually discerning by knowing Him. 

                                                           ...to be cont'd
 In Christ,
Janet Irene Thomas
Playwright/Screen Writer/Director
Published Author/Gospel Lyricist &Producer
FOUNDER/CEO
Bible Stories Theatre of
Fine & Performing Arts


 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

DIVINE SPIRITUAL MATURITY (4)

GROWING IN CHRIST  

Recap: Our life experiences contain numerous moving parts, and each of those parts are coming into position to allow new possibilities. Divinely-opened doors will present opportunities to accomplish what has been beyond our scope of imagination.


Resuming: We know now that our Lord, has gone before us and readied our way, and as we prepare to walk through Divinely-opened doors, we ought to commit to our hearts scripture’s Isaiah 2:5 ... come and let us walk in the light of the Lord. And as we read and meditate on the Word of God, knowing that….

Greater discernment will require spiritual purity



·      Discernment is defined as "the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure; an act of perceiving something; a power to see what is not evident to the average mind." The definition also stresses accuracy, as in "the ability to see the truth." Spiritual discernment is the ability to tell the difference between truth and error. It is basic to having wisdom.

Influences and deliberations surround spiritual truth because it is obscure. Jesus, speaking to His disciples about the Pharisees, said, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given" (Matthew 13:11). Satan has "blinded the minds of unbelievers"                       (2 Corinthians 4:4), so God must shed light on the human mind to enable us to understand truth. It is impossible to attain wisdom without God. He gives discernment or takes it away (Job 12:19-21).

Some have mistakenly defined spiritual discernment as a God-given awareness of evil or good spiritual presences—the ability to tell if a demon is in the room. While some people may possess this capability, it is not the biblical meaning of discernment. Spiritual discernment ultimately has to do with wisdom and the ability to distinguish truth from error.
                                                ...to be cont'd

In Christ,
Janet Irene Thomas
Playwright/Screen Writer/Director
Published Author/Gospel Lyricist &Producer
FOUNDER/CEO
Bible Stories Theatre of
Fine & Performing Arts