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The Holy Spirit in God’s Plan (50)

October 31st, 2010
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Scripture of the Day: John 7:39

By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. (NIV)

Now the original question was: What is new about the Spirit’s coming at Pentecost?

Yet we know from scripture the Spirit was very active from creation, inspiring the prophets of old and present in Israel’s history, fully working in Jesus ministry.

So what was this special way the Spirit was to be given, which depended on Jesus being glorified?

In the prophets there was an expectation of a special work of the Holy Spirit. Joel was quoted at Pentecost as we have already commented on this in previous messages.

In Ezekiel 36:24 -25: For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.

The hope of their new exodus from exile and the atonement of Israel.

Ezekiel 26-28: I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God

This cleansing is also associated with a new heart and putting the Holy Spirit in us and moving us to obey God’s laws.

Message for the Day

The Holy Spirit in God’s Plan (49)

October 30th, 2010
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Scripture of the Day: Zechariah 14:8

On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea [a] and half to the western sea, [b] in summer and in winter. (NIV)

Throughout the Feast there also was a Messianic expectation of a New Exodus and a restoration under the Messianic King. This is quite vivid in Zechariah 14 with its Temple and Feast of Tabernacle references which is built on an atonement description in

Zechariah 13:1:  On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity

This language of living waters also is expressed in Ezekiel 47, after a very detailed description of the temple in the restored House of Israel and the house of Judah with it descriptions of the sin offerings , especially during the holy days.

Ezekiel 47:1, 12-13: The man brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar

Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.

The source of the river is the restored temple.

So Jesus is standing in front of the temple with all this contextual background and expectation and makes the remarkable declaration:

“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”

Jesus is announcing a new source of living waters.

Jesus is the source. But remarkably he is saying that we too will share this with him.

To listen to I heard the Voice of Jesus Say click here

Message for the Day

The Holy Spirit in God’s Plan (48)

October 29th, 2010
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Scripture of the Day: John 7:37-39

37On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38Whoever believes in me, as[a] the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” 39By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. (NIV)

What is new about the Spirit’s coming at Pentecost?

Significant to our discussion is Jesus’ statement on the LGD of the Feast of Tabernacles near the Temple in Jerusalem:

This is a very rich set of verses.

The setting is important. This is one of the great pilgrim Feasts.

It looked back to the dwelling in booths as the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years in temporary dwellings. In their midst was the tabernacle of the witness in which the Shekinah glory resided. God was dwelling with his people, guiding them in the fire by night and the cloud by day.

They were a people led by the great prophet Moses who alone could talk on their behalf with God face to face. Inside the tabernacle was the Holy of holies that only Aaron once a year could enter to release Israel from their sins on the Day of Atonement.

As they journeyed God provided for their physical life – he gave them living waters out of the rock.

All of this was rehearsed in the festivities of the Feast of Tabernacles once the day of Atonement was past.

This included the water service at the temple.

During the days of Feast of Tabernacles a sacrificial pouring out of water (called a “water libation”) was performed at the Temple. The water was drawn by the High Priest from the pool of Siloam)and carried back to in the courtyard of the outer Temple in a golden pitcher. When the High priest would pour out the water, the people would wave their palms and sing:

Psalm 118:25 “Save now, I pray, O LORD; O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity.” Psalm 118 was viewed as a Messianic Psalm.

Message for the Day