“Father, Son, and Holy Bible???” Mark Virkler, Cheektowaga, NY
Does the Church Have a Problem With the Holy Spirit?
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:25 NKJV
Since the historical Church has minimized the role of the Holy Spirit, and replaced living by the Spirit (see Galatians 5:25) with living by the Bible, we need to restore Him to His rightful place in our lives.
Note the first part of the “Apostles’ Creed” below [used by much of the Western Church for centuries], (source: spurgeon.org):
– I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth.
– I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into Heaven and is seated on the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
– I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Church…
Notice that those who wrote this creed have absolutely nothing to say about the Holy Spirit other than He exists! Is the Bible itself really that silent about the Holy Spirit, or do we have a problem here? (Photo via Pixabay)
Well, we have written an entire book in which we guide the reader in looking up every Scripture verse about the Holy Spirit, and journaling about it, with the goal of discovering WHO HE IS and what He does and how we are to relate and interact with Him. This book is called Intimacy with the Holy Spirit.
I have condensed the five-page summary prayer at the end of the book (pages 209-214), to the following simple prayer you can hang on your mirror and pray every morning and evening:
Holy Spirit, come.
I come to You.
I welcome You.
I will not grieve You.
I look to see You, and You show me Your perspective.
You give me Your thoughts.
You tell me what’s on the heart of God.
I feel You.
You release God’s emotions within me.
You guide me.
You anoint my lips, my mind, my heart, my hands.
You make me creative.
You sanctify me for my life’s work.
You release Your personality through me.
You release in me the power to be holy.
You release the power of God to me.
Let Your words flow through me.
Authenticate Your words with Your power.
You take me away…
Holy Spirit, come.
How to Remove the Number One Block to a Prophetic Lifestyle: Value the Holy Spirit
Wouldn’t this be a good time to prayerfully explore every verse in the Bible on the Holy Spirit? This would allow you to discover all that He desires to do for you. Also, you will learn how you can effectively interact with Him every day, all day, thus ascending to your Biblically commanded posture of living and walking by the Spirit (see Galatians 5:25). You will be allowing the God of Scripture to guide your daily walk rather than displacing Him with a book He has written which describes other people’s experiences with Him.
I love what Bill Johnson says, “It’s hard to have the same fruit as the early Church when we value a book they didn’t have above the Holy Spirit they did have.” (Photo by Linda Harris-Iorio “Keeper of the Flame” via elijahshopper.com)
What are your insights on Holy Spirit and your experiences with Him? Let your testimony bless others and encourage them in their walk in the Spirit!
What it Feels Like to Walk by the Spirit
The testimony below is from Alexey, who only a few weeks ago learned to do two-way journaling as he worked through our Communion With God Course with a Personal Spiritual Trainer. Alexey is in the process of breaking away from the Communist heritage of his ancestors. The journaling below is an example of living by the Spirit, or out of the voice of God. Alexey has lived out of the Word for years and now is finding life in the Holy Spirit, and experiencing what it feels like to walk by the Spirit.
Alexey and Orshi Bogdanov
Nationality: Russian and Hungarian
Original language of journaling: Russian
Translated into: English
(My two-way journaling workshop with Jesus)
Good evening, Lord. I haven’t enough words that I could thank You enough, that You are calling me into Your actions. What does this mean, Lord? I am ready to hear and receive. Do You wish to tell me something? Today I lost focus, forgive me. I would like to learn to find You in my spirit.
“I would like to live through you. Would you like to give Me this opportunity?”
Yes, Lord, I would.
“Then don’t limit Me with your decisions that are controlled by fear.”
How to destroy this spirit of fear? Lord, I have no faith.
“Then ask from Me, I’ll give it to you.”
I am asking now for Your faith to defeat this fear. Are there steps I should take to remove this fear?
“Unconditional love chases out fear.”
What does this practically mean? I know it’s written in Your Word. How does it work?
“Where I am there is no fear. When My presence is manifested there is only love there, which remains. Where there is love, be there, abide in it. Everything that is won over by love will not pass away. This is the fruit that remains.”
I understand. Wonderful! How do I experience this in my life?
(Note: At this moment I experienced such an intense presence of God that I forgot everything.)
“You are just now experiencing it. I am with you, don’t you feel it?”
Absolutely! There – I feel fire inside of me…
“Don’t quench it, it is a standard, sign of My presence, don’t pour on it your own actions. Go after this, and you will know My presence in a practical way.”
Oh, Lord, it is so wonderful to worship You. I have no words now, they’re not enough… I now understand that it’s not as important to know answers to my questions as it is to realize Who is with me in this moment. The question will always be, “Am I living in an awareness of You, or am I living in self-awareness?”
“My Holy Spirit is the indicator that shows, teaches, leads, and creates through your human spirit. You can know Him by sensing Him in your inner man. Remember that I am in your heart. The sensation inside of you is the indicator of faith. Remember that the language of faith is different than the language of the mind. Protect this sensation inside of you; don’t let the seducing spirits injure your heart.” (Photo by Lillis Boyer “Set Me as a Seal upon Your Heart” via elijahshopper.com)
I want to worship You, Lord Jesus.
“I know that. This kind of worshippers does My Father look for, and you are one of them.”
“You want to ask Me how to follow Me, right?”
“You see that My presence takes away all your questions. Where there are no more questions, there are no more problems.”
Then what is left?
“You and I…our fellowship together…this is a time of joy in our union. This is the culmination of all: My union with My creation. This is the celebration of love. This is better than money. Do you agree?”
“My life swallows up everything. Literally everything! Celebrate the feast of My Life!”
Hola my Sisters and Brothers,
This morning around 7 , one of my dearest new sisters. , Antonia, came up to the Mission. She was accompanied by another sister and good friend, Trinidad. I automatically assumed they were coming to GET something, beans rice, medicines. Ten days ago I accompanied her thru the birth of her 1st child and she walked very carefully up the hill, protecting her liitle bundle in a used rebozo tied about her
Slim shoulders. Her first trip out since the. Birth took place and she was tired.
I was wrong about her reason for coming.
This sweet little 16 year old mother had another intention entirely.
She had made the trek a mile plus uphill to bring us her tithe!!
Barely allowing me to say god morning she reached into a small hand sewn seed bag that most traditional mixtec women carry like purses. From it she extracted exactly 43 pesos in small coins (equals now about $3.15 US) She breathlessly counted it out and I cried and prayed over her sacrifice.
It represents a billion dollar victory for her. She started to learn about Yahweh s law of sowing and reaping in January. At that time my father and pastor was visiting us and upon seeing one day of how we give food staples away that evening he very gently rebuked us. He said that we would never do any lasting good for the poor if we did not teach on giving in a practical way. He saw that we gave away 30 eggs. To each family and asked if we might not try to encourage the people to start by sharing just one egg or one cup of flour or what they receive with a neighbor or someone in need, Frank and I have struggled with asking for offerings/tithes from our people for years because a) they are outwardly the poorest people you’ve evet met apparently having nothing TO give and b) because any other missionary here NEVER teaches on giving kind of causing an unspoken taboo. Those though were really just our excuses for our own pride at not wanting to be seen as TAKING from those “poor people. Sadly, our pride was holding them back.
But we had a breakthrough and
As soon as he left, we began doing just that, encouraging them to share what they got & backing it up with Gods Word on the subject.
Little Antonia & her unemployed. 15 year old husband Adrian, began sharing eggs with family and flour with neighbors and today she brought her first tithe into the Storehouse! Along with the coins she brought news that her husband has gained a job! Not in the greenhouses where most underage men must start but miraculously on the packing house floor! Out of the sun of summer and cold of winter. She declared simply, Hermana! It really works!
I was taken aback and overjoyed for I know that only a person who gets a real personal revelation like she has will always be a cheerful giver…….one willing even to walk over a mile uphill with a handful of God given coins. and a smile on her face………..
*in this foto we are resting on the back stoop and laughing as she is showing me proudly how Yahweh has blessed her with abundant milk, which is normally a problem for malnourished teen moms……but not for Tonia! (And it surprises her how the milk overflows and she jokes it is enough to feed even her neighbors children. Tiny little gal that she is, she is now hilariously well endowed and full of wonder. True belly laughs ensued when she admitted her new gifts “frighten” her young husband.
It seems that either thru my own ignorance of other interference most
everyone missed last weeks miracles. The original which I wrote on my
laptop has disappeared and it bums me out, because when I am truly writing
inspired things seem to come out so easily. Those of you who know me know
that I can only really write anything worth reading when I am in the
Presence. At times I pressure MYSELF to make things/whatever flows thru my
fingers to this keyboard ends up unreal and not really exact. d of story.
……………….I have to be in His Presence to write . End of story.
No other way. But when something so magnificent happens and I write it,
it is to encourage my brethren and I feel ripped off that it disappeared
into cyber-space. Usually , I’ll just sadly just let it go. But this was so
bizarre that I feel the need to attempt to re-create what I wrote on
Monday…which no-one received….I hope I can. Here I go.
Last Sunday, we had several of the indigenous men come here to the mission
and help with heavy work. Landscaping, planting , mixing cement and
generally banging on things, too. Forget sleeping till 5:30am, Pas. Frank
wanted to be ready so I set to making food for the coming workers.
Around 12ish, the men we never see but know their children started arriving
from their own regular jobs, and they set to mixing cement and planting
(they are best at planting it seems). So by about 2pm , the women folk,
wives upon wives started showing up. We had a 25lb hunk of frozen chicken
legs that I had marinated my way, but I turned it over to them. They, the
women and girls started gathering firewood and got a good fire
going.offering. Then put on the pollo and so very much lovely asparagus.
If we had bought the asparagus it would have cost at least $50 dollars, but
they are cutting the first fields so it was an offering. By 4pm serious
workers were laid out under the few trees we have , and on picnic tables
and just having a siesta. The women were laughing and admiring their
offspring. Had to of been maybe 60 people hanging around……
Out of nowhere I thought it was either a dying cat or a kitty wishing for
death. I looked down by the new playground under the miracle tree and
there was an old fellow banging on an instrument that looked like a mix
between a guitar and a banjo and a bizarre looking harp. (When he first
started playing it sounded like Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody……….I know I
sound totally nuts, okay…)but it did.It was something I’ve not been able
to find on Google. But this guy was banging away an banging fiercely on
this odd instrument.
Honestly, at first I was just overcome with laughter. (I know it sounds
irreverent) But hey, the noise was wild. But suddenly I felt a burning
need to SING in the Spirit. An d I did. The women looked and laughed
shyly, the men seemed cool with it. The many kids , well they thought it
was better than the tortilla. They were watching me and this old guy (at
least like 70?) just in the Presence. Within a few minutes I guess, I do
not really know, I started gathering the kids and whichever mamas that
wanted to follow. I had them rounded up and started praying for each one,
and I was praying for the Infilling, because I knew who had recognized
Yeshua as King.
Within say 30 minutes I’d touched their throats and sang (accompanied by
this great instrument man) for all of the kids. Now about 16 children
were singing in tongues. Some mothers, too.
Realize this was OUTSIDE at the mission, people wandered about eating
chicken legs and getting ministry. The neighbors saw and heard it all.
By about 6pm, as twilight set and people began to go their ways, I asked
Theo who the guitar man was. She responded that she had assumed he was our
“Tio”, (which to Mixtecs,means any man who is not your father or
husband….. In Spanish it means “Uncle”). I told her he waS NOT my Tio)
she said it wasn’t hers either. I lit out after the old guy. WHO WAS HE? I
was thinking “dang we can use him every week for worship. But as I ran
from dish duty under the Pila(cistern) asking, “Hey where’s that guy??”
People looked at me like , “What guy?” Your Tio?” I’m like NO YOUR TIO!.
In the end he was never found. The people who got filled with the Holy
Ghost recall him, those who just came to eat do not. In all I think I had
16 total either saved, or filled. They all recall him. But even tonite, he
is fading from my memory. I can’t really tell you what he looked like, how
tall or short he was. I just know he was here. It was one of the most
awesome times in Yahweh’s Presence i have ever experienced. I was pain free
from my torturous bladder for a whole day. PAIN FREE. Had a bit of a a holy
Ghost hangover, but not suicidal pain. I find that only being in the
Presence His anointing is when I am free.
All week we’ve had those kids a lot of new ones returning to watch the
work and listen to stories we tell;some about Noah, some about the Son and
the Father and their Spirit.
I keep looking out for that old guy. But he hasn’t come back. BUT HE WAS
It was the best afternoon I have had in a long time. IT IS MOSTLY
INEXPLICABLE. I know if you only believe what you can see and touch you
won’t get it But I pray that whoever reads this WILL understand the
necessity of putting yourself in Yahweh’s Presence.
As you gather with the Ekleesia tomorrow or as you gather with your mate
or child at home, seek Him. He desires to be found.
The account I have now written is not close to the inspired Word I wrote
and lost, but you get the gist……………..
Love each other, in deed and word and appreciate the Presence, We love you
all so much in Christ,
Had no internet yesterday. The storms down in Los Cabos (#1 Odile and
now #2 Polo) are messing up my internet connection thru the Hughes
/Starband system I have.
It’s a mess down there. I mean a true cluster-mug. So far they have
tourists/foreigners……the Army is in charge and they have such
antiquated equipment it is not even believable. Cell towers are down
all over and no-one can call relatives to verify they are okay or
where they are. The refugees are being transported in troop carriers
on that long long 2 lane highway 1, so u can imagine. Hotels have
been commandeered in TJ , Rosarito and even some here in Ensenada.
I feel bad for the folks but it still concerns me that people don’t
really understand that Mexico is really not all that advanced and they
don’t seem to get why they cant just pick up a phone or email somebody
and they get all worked out, which gets the Mexicans all worked out
and well it does no good. I am just praying that people have patience
and get home safe. I am growing weary of hearing idgits on the telly,
in high-pitched voices with bad comb overs (which after 5 day trips in
troop carriers on Highway 1 look more like a porcupine than a comb
over and I am not sure which is worst.) But I am tired seeing them
filmed by news crews in those tinny fear laden voices how “they damn
well wont be treated like THIS! Why the Australian Consulate will have
In my experience threatening to call one’s Consulate (as if it is
their own mercenary group at beck and call 24/7) these threats really
piss Mexican authorities, especially the sort who carry guns,totally
off. Best just let it roll off your back like a duck or whatever rolls
off a duck . I forget.
So, Clinic went great. Dulce was out of town for like two weeks , so
I had another Doctora. come in. Her name is Delilah Kennedy Garcia
(and yes she is a Mexican) .
She is in her 50’s, not a
Christian (yet) and referred by Dr. Vasquez. It worked out well,
although it’ll be better when Dulce returns because the people really
have a relationship with her.
We had 10 patients. Two newborn (5 day old both) exams. Both were born
in a nearby camp, one I don’t think I’ve taken you to.it is down in
the riverbed and pretty big. 50 or so families. We’ve been reaching
out to them with food. and were blessed to give away 6 solar power
mp-3 New Testaments that we were given by a Wycliff Translation couple
who has been down in Guerrerro for 40 or so years. The mp-3’s are
neat because they require no batteries, and they can reach people in
their own dialect and no reading is required. They are also sturdy
little things that seem to resist water. I saw one lady listening to
hers as she washed clothes on her washboard yesterday. Water was
being flung willy-nilly and the guy just kept on doing his best “Paul the Apostle” which I must say, was pretty good. I need to procure some
these little jewels.
Back to Clinic…………we had those two new babies in great shape,
we had 5 ear infections a PID in a younger girl (13) and one child
that just comes every time , like clock work, for vitamins. He is only 5, but
quite consumed with those chewables, not those new fangled
gummi-vites either, he prefers the
old Flintstone kind. The ones that taste like a sugary dirt substance
and leave your chopppers orange, purple or green with no apparent
correlation to whatever the color was of the little figure that you
ingested. (I am not big on vitamins for myself but part of the job as
pharmacy director requires that I actually must consume at least one
of each thing prescribed to each patient, just so I can be POSITIVE
they “get it.” (I learned this the first time I ever gave out a bottle
of ear drops that the mama put in the childs mouth instead. She kept
coming back saying “It isn’t working. It isn’t working.” I finally
figured it out and there was born a new procedure. I guess there is in
fact a reason for every little annoying thing we must learn in
elementary school afterall.
Back to VIta-muchacho (as I call the vitamin boy) I have to
practically scare the beejeezis out of him to make sure he
doesn’t just eat them like candy as soon as he is out of my sight.
He’s cute as a button and healthy as a horse, but has a sneaky-gene.
Whenever we have leftover tortillas after mealtime, he’ll get me by
myself and ask me for exactly 8 of them .’ OCHO, Hermana. GRACIAS
HERMANA!GRACIAS YAHWEH!” (ALL RUN TOGETHER LIKE ONE BIG WORD.) Then if I don”t give him a bag fast enough, he’ll roll em up and place them in
a back pocket and off down the hill he goes, dragging a milk crate on
wheels with 5 2 liter plastic bottles of water and his little sister
who hangs on for dear life (she’s about 18 months and he watches her
everyday) anyway she hangs on tight because he likes to push the milk
crate down the hill and let go and it goes pretty quick for an 18
month old. Not to mention it at times fails to make that sharp turn at
the bottom and upends everything requiring him another gruelling trip
back up the hill for band aids (he likes those too, the more the
I’ll try to video it. It is really like something out of a
Peanuts cartoon, the brother with that Pig-pen aura and the baby
girls crooked and tangled pigtails flying out behind her. (I keep
expecting Snoopy too sweep down in his bi-plane and pluck her up but
it hasn’t happened thus far. And I probably never will video it. It’s
one of those things you would have to set yourself up in the brush,
pestered by scorpions and snakes for hours only to find out he isn’t
coming that day. So maybe best just imagine it. It would probably be
more entertaining for you that way. Bosh that, “I picture paints a
thousand words, I’ve learned what you can imagine paints a jillion
things that probably did not even happen.
Jose has a great new job now, praise God. They have a black and white
tv, too. WE miss his help but he needs to support his family and I
think Theo is on baby # four , not SURE, but time will tell.
The playground is almost ready for me to send pictures. We have the
welder making the last two toys, a merry-go-round and two big teeter
totters. Things are being delivered and the kids just think we can’t
move fast enough. The big metal stand for clubhouse One is in the
front yard and has been for a while. When delivered it came wrapped in
plastic, well, somehow someone took it off. So yesterday evening I see
Ivan, age 7, but tiny and
Pablito same age but bigger. They have absconded from downstairs my
huge roll of saran wrap and in 35 mile an hour hot sandy winds are
trying to wrap the stand back up. At first I was ticked off because
they had my saran wrap (of which I consume a lot of) and where
attempting to rewrap this 12 foot metal stand . It was hilarious. I
didn’t let on that I was watching but just left them to their
methods.Now , see I have a fairly good idea of who unwrapped it in the
first place. Anyway, they went round and round that things with a
COSCO sized box of Saran Wrap and by twilight Pablito had enrolled
some help from his little friends and I HAD to go down their because
all they succeeded in doing was wrapping up Ivan in quite a think
layer of plastic. NONE was stuck to the stand. I acted all mad, and
tried to simultaneously wave a broom around in a menacing manner
while tears of laughter oozed out of me– and put them on rock
gathering duty today.
Thankfully for them, it only took two hours of brutal rock-searching
for the wheelbarrow tire to pop and they got off easy for now
anyway. Till Frank gets back today anyway. Wheelbarrow tires are super
expensivo down here and also pretty sturdy and also pretty
necessary right about now.
I’m sure they’ll get the moral of some story when Frank arrives,
although they’ve been rather scarce since they turned in their busted
barrow and about 8 medium sized rocks,
What else? What else? Oh,tomorrow about 5 of the men who work just
till noon on Sundays are coming to help with landscaping the
playground perimeter. I am shocked and amazed by this. It will also
leave room for a message and prayer.
Carlos (guy with broken leg) is doing nicely. He’s coming to spend
the night tonight. He is returning to his home,, he still can’t work
and so has no place to live. He has to be at the bus depot at 5:15am
and Frank is taking him. Sad to see him go, but glad he got some of
the Eternal Seed really implanted in him. I’ve held back one mp-3 New
Testament as a going away gift and Theo will make him food for the
3 day trip (at least) home.
For now, I’d better go. I am amazed the internet has stayed working
this long because the winds are whipping up dust devils and one of
my wicker chairs just got whisked off of the
Love and Blessings to all,
THE BLOOD COVENANT
I n ancient times the blood covenant was common among
almost all of the people of the middle east. It was a way of
establishing a binding contract between two men. What we call the
Old and New Testaments could easily be called the Old and New
Covenants. The typical blood covenant contained nine parts, or steps.
These steps are as follows,
1) The two people exchange coats or robes. To a Hebrew, the
coat or robe represented the person himself; so when he offered the
other person his robe, he was offering himself; even his very life itself.
2) They take off their belt and offer it to the other person. The
belt, also called the girdle, was used to hold your sward, your knife,
and other fighting instruments. In this way you were saying to the
other person that you were offering him your protection. If someone
attacks you, they also have me to deal with. Your battles are my
3)”CUT THE COVENANT”. In this part, an animal is killed
and cut down the middle and the two halves are laid opposite each
other. The two parties to the covenant pass between the two halves
of the animal and are saying, “May God do so to me and more if I
break this covenant. This is a blood covenant, and can not be broken.
4) Raise the right arm and cut the palm of the hand and clasp
each other’s hand and mingle your blood. This is saying to the other
person, “We are becoming one with each other. To intermingle the
blood is to intermingle the very life of both people.
5) Exchange names. Each one takes part of the others name and
incorporates it into their own.
6) Make a scar or some identifying mark. The scar was the
outward evidence of the covenant that others could see and know
that the covenant was made. Some times they would rub the cut in
the hand to make the scar, then anyone who wanted to fight you
would know that he not only had to fight you but another as well.
7) Give terms of the covenant. Both parties to the covenant
stand before a witness and list all of their assets and liabilities, because
each one takes all of these upon the himself. You are saying, “Every
thing I have is yours and everything you have is mine. If something
happens to you, your covenant partner will see to it that your wife
and children are taken care of.
8) Eat the memorial meal. A loaf of bread is broken in half. Each feeds his half to the other saying, “This is my body, and I am now
giving it to you.” Then they take wine as a symbol of his blood and
says, “This is my blood which is now your blood.”
9) Plant a memorial tree. The two then plant a tree as a
memorial to the covenant and sprinkle it with the blood of the animal
that was killed for the covenant offering.
These nine steps do not have to take place in the same order
that they are listed here. There are a lot of covenants listed in the
Bible and there is not great detail about them because everyone is
familiar with the procedure and the writer assumes that we know
what was done.
In our Bible we have the old and new testament,(or covenant).
The old covenant was made with Abram and we have a record of it in
the Bible. We can look in on it starting in the fifteenth chapter of
Genesis. In verse one we read; “After these things the word of the
Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, `Do not fear, Abram, I
am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great.’.” Here we
see God offering His robe and belt to Abram. He offers to be his shield
and His rewards. He cuts the covenant in Genesis 15:7-21 “And He
said to him, `I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the
Caldeans, to give you this land to possess it.’ So He said to him,
`Bring Me a three year old heifer, and a three year old male
goat, and a three year old ram, and a turtle dove, and a young
pigeon.’ Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two,
and laid each half opposite the other; but he did not cut the
birds. And the birds of prey came down upon the carcasses,
and Abram drove them away. Now when the sun was going
down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, terror and
great darkness fell upon him.” And God said to Abram, `Know
for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land
that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed
four hundred years. But I will also judge the nation whom they
will serve; and afterward they will come out with many
possessions. And as for you, you shall go to your fathers in
piece; you shall be buried at a good old age. Then in the fourth
generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the
Amorite is not yet complete.’ And it came about when the sun
had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a
smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between
these pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with
Abram, saying, `To your descendants I have given this land,
from the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river
Euphrates; the Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite
and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Rephaim and the
Amorite and the Canaanite and the Girgashite and the
Jebusite.’.” Here God is giving the terms of the covenant to Abram.
But who are the ones passing between the pieces while Abram is in
the deep sleep? I submit to you that it is the pre-incarnate Christ. In
the Revelation 1:14-15 we see a description of Christ as
follows, “And His head and His hair were white like wool, like
snow, and His eyes were like a flame of fire; and His feet were
like burnished bronze, when it has been caused to glow in a
furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters,”
Here we see Christ, a descendant of Abram, standing in for Abram in
the covenant procession. In Genesis 17:4-5+15 we see the exchange of
names as follows, “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you,
and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No
longer shall your name be called Abram, But your name shall
be Abraham; for I will make you the father of a multitude of
nations….Then God said to Abraham, as for Sarai your wife,
you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.”
In Hebrew, God was called YHWH. Here we see Him taking part of His
name and combining it with that of Abram and Sarai. From that time
on God was known as, “The God of Abraham”. Next we see the
making of a scar or symbol of the covenant. In Genesis 17:10-12 we
see, “This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me
and you and your descendants after you; every male among
you shall be circumcised. And you shall be circumcised in the
flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be the sign of the covenant
between Me and you. And every male among you who is eight
days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations, a
servant who is born in the house or who is bought with
money from any foreigner, who is not of your descendants.”
The scar of circumcision bears witness of the covenant. Abraham was
tested when God told him to sacrifice his only son Isaac on a small
mountain called mount Mariah near the town of Salem. Abraham
passed the test. Two thousand years ago, the other party to the
covenant was to sacrifice His only Son. The names had been changed
by then; Salem was then called Jerusalem, and Mariah had been
changed to Calvery, but the places were the same.
The new covenant took place in the same area of the world and
contained some of the same players. God was there, of course, and
Jesus; now incarnate, and the descendants of Abraham. This time
Jesus was not only the representative of Abraham’s descendants but
He was also the offering; the Lamb that was slain. This time it was
God’s only Son and not Abraham’s. Let us see how the new covenant
was completed in Christ.
1) EXCHANGE COATS OR ROBES. We come to this covenant
clothed in sin and unrighteousness. He comes clothed in holiness and
righteousness. We put on His righteousness. IICorinthians 5:21, “He
made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we
might become the righteousness of God in Him.” He takes our
sins upon Him and we take His holiness for ours. What an exchange!
2)TAKE OFF BELT: He protects us and provides us with
protection. Luke 10:19, “Behold, I have given you authority to
tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of
the enemy, and nothing shall injure you.” Ephesians 6:13-17
“Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be
able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to
stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with
truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and
having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of
peace; in addition to all, take up the shield of faith with which
you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the
evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sward of
the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
3)CUT THE COVENANT: Hebrews 10:14-18, “For by one
offering He has perfected for all time those who are
sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for
after saying, `This is the covenant that I will make with them
after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws upon their
heart, and upon their mind I will write them, And their sins
and their lawless deeds I will remember no more. Now where
there is forgiveness for these things, there is no longer any
offering for sin.” Jesus was not only the one making the covenant,
but he was also the sacrificial lamb.
4)RAISE RIGHT ARM & MIX BLOOD: Jesus was both man and
God. He was holy and also human. As we have the shed blood of
Jesus Christ applied to our hearts, His blood cleanses us from all sin
and we are also made holy. Our lives are forever intermingled with His. 5) EXCHANGE NAMES: Jesus took on the name, “Son of Man”
and we take on the name Christian. We are forever in the family of
6) MAKE A SCAR: Jesus has the scars of the nails in His hands
and the feet and the spear in His side. We have the circumcision of the
heart. Romans 2:29, “But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and
circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by
the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.”
7) GIVE THE COVENANT TERMS: Jesus gives the terms of the
covenant in the whole Bible. It is our responsibility to know it so that
we can live by it.
8) EAT MEMORIAL MEAL: I Corinthians 11: 23-26, “For I
received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that
the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took
bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said,
`This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of
Me.’ In the same way He took the cup also, after supper,
saying, `This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as
often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ For as often as
you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”
9) PLANT A MEMORIAL TREE: The cross that Jesus died on was
the tree that the blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled on and it still is a
memorial of His covenant with us to this day.
This is our covenant with the God of the universe. He will live up
to His end and He expects us to live up to ours.
We had a good Meeting today. (Friday) . We have been bringing in a few new people from a work camp in Maneadero. They met us thru the Clinics that we have This one man heard about free medical care from some relative who lives over here in the local Cuarteria.
> >> The poor guy had broken his leg when he fell somehow attempting to cross the US border. It happened days prior to finally getting to the Clinic…..he had been gimping along in unimaginable pain until he showed up at the last clinic.
> He didn’t know his leg was broken….. just knew it hurt really bad and he had no money.
> The *coyotes* stole what money he had (plus obviously kept the $4000 his family was extorted up front) and left him for dead in the desert. So, he and his family are having a very hard time. They were so happy to get the beans, rice and other foods we give out. He was so hungry he was eating raw oatmeal as we passed out food. I’ve seen quite a few people adults and children alike, do this over the years, but it is always unsettling.
> They were so broken by the whole experience which had engulfed them, that their hearts were totally open and receptive to the Word. FRANK had laid hands on him at the last Clinic, but today he heard the Gospel of Resurection and got saved along with his 12 year old son. My belief honestly, is that had we just preached salvation and.not focused on Resurrection, this man would not have responded. For I see now, that his concern; at that moment was; his age and the condition of his body and what, if anything, ( besides chubby little Raphael-esque Cherubim angels floating lazily on a sea of puffy clouds, some playing instruments in the nude) which to people who are actively suffering and reaping abuse) seems superfluous and even possibly painful…. No, this man was wondering what for him, lay beyond.
> This boy , Carlos’s son, had actually gotten placed in a different group than his dad, (it is common practice with coyotes to know in advance that they are going to place certain people in a ‘bait group ‘or a ‘diversion group’ and usually they use the older people or weaker individuals for this purpose. ) Carlos is a very old version of 65 and thus an easy target for mistreatment by hid fellow man.
> The sad part is that even knowing this is a very real possibility, ( being used and abused) people will continue to pay coyotes and try, time and time again, to cross illegally ….nevermind horrifically daunting obstacles, because the allure of the American Dream is so strong.
> >> So , his son, a 12 year old boy, DID make it across ; all the way in to the USA, to the rondevoux point in L.A.. . Upon finding that his father did not succeed, he panicked , THANKFULLY escaped his ‘guides’, and returned to distant relatives in Maneadero, where, as the Lord would have it, he was was reunited with his father eventually.
> >> So, all of this, plus the broken and now infected leg had put them in a place of such humility,such a state that their hearts were opened to the idea that “some god” (Carlos’s words) was at work….FRANK explained it was the Great I AM.
> >> For a guy who has been through such a bitter experience, Carlos holds absolutely no bitterness against anyone! (and this humble acceptance of failure I find as a common denominator smong the Indians here )
> The Lord told him, thru Frank, that this attitude of humility,(not acceptance), is going to cause a huge blessing to come upon his entire family in addition to being healed. It was magnificent to see and hear. Yahweh is great. I was so amazed to find Carlos touched that we, being strangers expecting no return would GIVE him food and care…..it was so heartbreaking to be appreciated so much….I dont know if I can get across how happy and at the same turn broken, i felt, being in the presence of this man’s gratitude….its has had me weeping on and off all day.
> >> And not that God caused any of these bad things to happen to the man, for He did not, but it was a great showing of the Lord working all these things together for the Good, you know?
> I mean he COULD have died alone in the desert. He COULD have been separated from his son forever, and likewise his son could of fallen into yhe hands of every type of evil awaiying the innocent in Los Angeles, alone. The coyotes could have killed the son to make an example of what happens when families don’t or can’t pay the extravagant fees that they charge. Apny number of horrible alter- endings could have come to pass……
> But even as horrifying as the situation was, Yahweh was mercifully working every circumstance together for His Good. And ours. He remains Ever Faithful, Ever Loving, no matter how grave our circumstances appear, He will work it all out for our good, At times we just need to rest in Him and allow that.
> love and blessings, sis dee
> ** people who make their livelihood charging huge sumd of cash to guide other individuals across the Mexico/ USA Border. Their services are wildly illegal and their motivation is greed. They are unequivocally dangerous and not to be trifled with & are usually affiliated with drug cartels.
Today’s thoughts due to last weeks meeting-
When I was a small girl about 8 years old, actually in the beginning of my father’s perpetual LAST slide into alcohol and the delights of cocaine, my mother had a very large mole removed. At the time in my eyes it was a dire situation and my mother relished treating it as such.
Neighbor women arrived to sit watch, whatever that was. From my perspective it was all about a period of time when the neighbor/school ladies who you gossiped fiercely about at all other times were welcomed into your home with graciousness. Casseroles seemed to have a great deal to do with the whole ritual. Looking back on it, it was the closet thing to a family reunion that I ever experienced. In general Cali’s don’t sit watch and in all due cases rarely give a rip about a mole removal or a death in the family, so it was actually a big deal.
So, for 3 days after the Great Mole Removal, our house was a wonderland of gossip and casseroles. I recall with trepidation- the Great Tinfoil Shortage……several large women I didn’t know in a panic about how to cover and thus preserve arriving casseroles once Reynolds aluminum was wiped out. That was about as deep as it got, but there was one wonderful thing that happened……
For the 3 days that women arrived to sit and guard food, it seemed to me, anyway, my father was even more scarce than normal. See. Some of the neighbors, were what he called “church ladies” and he found it difficult to sneak round and drink incessantly while under such a watch. Mostly he was a beer man then , but was just acquiring his scotch taste. He viewed the women as deacon harlots (hi s term) and remained in a constant fit of paranoia while they were in house. In fact fter the 1st 24 hours he spent most of his time after work in front of the TV tightly gripping a spiked Coca-Cola and shooting the evil eye at the helpful women.
As for me, I have awfully fond memories of it, truth be told! Our home never had such warmth and so damned much hot food. By that age was accustomed to heated up a bagel for myself if I desired any breakfast. And packing the Barbie lunch box was always a solitary affair. To have these people doting on me and feeding me, well it made me feel all warm and fuzzy. They were the aunts, uncles, and grandparents I had left behind. For three days I was part of a family.
The local Methodist preacher, Pastor Lester, even came and visited. I fondly remembered him as the guy who gave a rousing sermon at Easter, the one time my parents took me to a church. He was funny.
After the successful cosmetic procedure my mother was invited to that Church an dwe actually went at least 3 times in a row. I had my name on acute cutout at Sunday School and was learning some neato for the next few Sunday when bamo-! Someone offended my mother. Then Bro. Lester got run off for an indiscretion,which I never fully understood and the church split wide open. My dad DELIGHTED in this and harped on it 24/7 until I suppose Mom just gave it up. The Bubble Bus still picked me up the next few Sundays but I found myself feeling unnerved at facing my inebriated father and I gave up too.
Still , those few Sundays when I was scrubbed and dressed and hauled off to “church” were probably the fondest memories I have of my folks marriage.
In the past couple of weeks I hve seen parents action s in the Church, their response to an offense real or imagined deeply hurt their children and their children’s friends. I am not judging but feel I should share the reminder to be careful about accepting “offenses” and jerking your fmily up to change churches-I beg you to be aware of how it might affect your child or family members…..It is harder to stay nd work things out where the Lord has set you that it is to up and leave in THE SHORT RUN. But I gurantee you that cutting and running in a time of conflict in your church in the long run can destroy lives!
It ‘s been unseeingly humid down here lately. We even had a
thunderstorm, reminding me of Mississippi…………..the hot summer rains
that arrive from a gunmetal sky and drench the red delta dirt of my
childhood visits to “home”. Those rains inevitably caused the old
white men in the Kroger’s to fret and grumble if the cotton had yet to
be picked up. But that’s another story. For some reason I always
thought of Mississippi as home, even though at an early age I was
uprooted and transported to California. In California, it seems that
no one has roots there, that everyone originated from somewhere else.
I ‘ve never felt entirely comfortable calling it “home.” And so.
But here I am completing my 16th unlikely year in the unlikely
environs of Baja California Mexico.
Who’d of ever thought I’d wind up here…….and call it “home?”
Back to the weather, though. It had me feeling a bit homesick and out
of sorts………………….but the clouds broke around 5:30 and the air brought
the smell and chill of the ocean so close by. I decided to say
“forget it, for now” and procrastinate on gathering the receipts for
last month for which my crazy bi-polar accountant is hounding me
already, and to sit on the balcony with little green coca-cola.
No sooner than I arranged myself on a lounge chair with my icy soda,
than I see puffs of dirt on the trail thru the weeds from the
cuarteria to the mission. Voices carry thru the now brisk air, and
little ones start appearing getting larger and larger as they
approach. Still most are only about 3 feet tall. It’s “toddler’s hour”
when the littleun’s come to get their 2 liters of water. At the end of
the line is a bigger one though.
I cant tell who it is , just another brown round face in the setting
sun, but as the silhouette nears a bright white smile appears. Big
white teeth and dinner-plate eyes. It’s Aquilino. I am trying to
figure why the big smile which is visible for some 400
As he gets below the balcony, I’m bursting with questions. (It’s been
a slow day at the mission, and I’m a Mexican neighbor now, and well,
we thrive on NEWS. Not CNN, or MSNBC, neither of which I get, but
neighborhood news. Who had a baby, why did the police come, who’s
arriving or leaving from or to Oaxaca……………….the lifeblood of a “slow”
The news is actually minor so far. But I feed him a sandwich as he
regales me with tales of someone’s grandmother and his cousin (both
the same person, go figure but everyone but me is related) and I
continue to ply him with chips and half my soda to get the real source
of the smile on his dirty little face.
See I ‘ve learned that here nothing is fast or easy, watches are
scorned and dates not really applicable unless you own money and even
then, well , it’s Mexico, right? So I am impatiently playing patient
pastora, because this guy is just grinning like a madman.
Finally, I can’t hold it. “So Filli, (which is what everybody calls
Aquilino, only the Lord knows why, but no one in Mexico goes by their
birth name , but an “apodo” or nickname that has usually no bearing or
reason in it’s assignation). When I call him Filli, he gives me a sly
look. Like okay down to business.
“Hermana! They are back. THEY are back. The Ixpa’s. The funny people.”
And I am instantly hungry for details and so intrigued as he tells me
of two families who were moved OUT of the Camp to make way for these
curious Ixpa’s. They were here like 5 years ago. And Filli was totally
on love with the oldest Ixpa girl. Ayela.
The thing is tho that the Ixpa’s are not from Mexico. They are a part
of a Brazilian tribe, who somehow stole over Mexico’s Southern Border,
then got stuck in Puxtla, Oxa. Then got to know some triques and made
their way up here. Really rare and a bizarre group to the Mexican
Indians. An “exotic” people.
Filli and I bust open another Coke and reminisce to his 7th birthday
when this exotic group arrived. They are exotic, more so to me than
even the Zapotepos which rarely arrive from Guerrerro. They are so
otherworldly, like something from a National Geographic page as the
women go topless and bath in the open…………………….and the little boys wear
a little leather pouch around a strategic area, and even the big boys
revert to this on the days off. They will live in the Camp but apart
in their yurts, thee mud and stick huts that they are already
constructing…………(I sent Aquilino down with my camera tonight hopefully
he’ll have pics by manana. He ‘s on a secret correspondent’s
So I look forward to seeing if they will remember me, if they are the
same families who were here years ago and a million other things.
There is a buzz of excitement as I now here other children telling
Frank downstairs that “they” are back.
I am blessed to live this excitement. But MOSTLY truly the blessing is
the smile on Filli’s face when he arrived. And the way he included ME
in the neighborhood excitement. Taunting me with his “knowledge” but I
m grateful that I have been accepted. Like the news arrived and it
needed to be delivered and though I am a foreigner, I am on the
“pipeline”. A neighbor. It is a privilege for which I thank Jesus.
For me it is a big deal to feel a PART of the community, not a visitor
but a member. It is the Gospel that has made us such for no other
glue exists between us but that we all BELIEVE in HIM.