August 2008

The Monthly View is always a joy to share. It is my prayer that God will use it to speak to your heart. “For God to give you complete understanding of what He wants to do in your lives, and I ask Him to make you wise with spiritual wisdom. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and you will continually do good, kind things for others. All the while, you will learn to know God better and better.” 1

A Time of Dryness...

So many of my Christian friends are experiencing a time of dryness in their lives. A friend wrote recently, saying: “At times I wonder if I really know God. You have a much better relationship with God than I do.” Another said: “I need the presence of God so badly. I am full of guilt and shame.” Others are going through times of troubles and depression, asking “Where is God?”

Alfredo my barber, was experiencing this same dryness. As soon as I sat down in the chair, he said: “Charles, do you have a book I can read. I need a boost in my relationship with God. No matter what I do, I feel so out of it.” He went on to explain that he reads the Bible and his devotion every morning, but it’s like he’s just doing his duty. He asked: “What can I do?”

Maybe it is the same for you. Are you having a hard time relating to God? Has your relationship with Him become a ritual, without experiencing His presence? You are not alone. We all go through these times, but there is an answer. It will take action on your part since God has already done His part. He is waiting on you to step out in faith. That is, act on what you believe as a Christian.

A Pilgrimage through Psalms

This month I am meditating through the book of Psalms. Many were written by King David, a man after God’s heart. Psalm 1 tells us that happy is the man who meditates day and night in God’s word [His covenant with us]. It states that the one who meditates on the covenant” …shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” (vs. 1-3)

Psalms is full of precious promises one after the other, but they are conditional. Psalm 78 says that in the wilderness, the children of Israel provoked, grieved, tempted [tried God and found Him guilty, did not believe the promises], and “…limited the Holy One of Israel.” (vs. 40, 41) Could it be that you are limiting God as well?

God told the children of Israel in Psalm 81 to “Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it” (v. 10). Have you heard the clique, “A closed mouth doesn’t get fed?” Picture a baby spoon fed, who clinches his mouth shut while his mother flies the spoon around in the air making the airplane sound only to crash into his lips. He refuses to eat, similar to us refusing to feast on God’s word. The Lord goes on to say: “My people would not heed my voice, and Israel would have none of Me. So I gave them over to their own stubborn heart to walk in their own counsels.” (vs. 11, 12). God cries: “Oh, that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways! I would soon subdue their enemies, and turn My hand against their adversaries. The haters of the Lord would pretend submission to Him, but their fate would endure forever. He would have fed them with the finest of wheat; and with honey from the rock I would have satisfied you.” (vs. 13-16).

The Lord had blessed the children of Israel years earlier with the covenant made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but they turned their back on the promises of God, refusing the blessing by not meditating the covenant. 2 In reality, they refused the finest of wheat and honey out of the Rock [Jesus Christ], who would have satisfied them. The promised covenant to Abraham’s seed, 3 was fulfilled by Jesus Christ. 4In their covenant we now share. “And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and now all the promises God gave to him belong to you.” 5 Are you limiting the promise blessing?

The Lord says: “For I will pour water upon him that is Thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my Spirit upon your seed, and my blessing upon you offspring.” 6

The Blood of Christ

I had only one answer for my barber, Alfredo. I brought to his remembrance the blood covenant of Jesus Christ, something we do each time we partake in Holy Communion. I explained to him how we can partake of the blood sacrifice daily by faith, which the children of Israel failed to do. He said, “I hear you teaching that years ago at another prison.” I said, “Yes, that message works and never changes because it’s all about the blood of Jesus Christ that breaks spiritual bondage and frees us to experience the presence of God.”

I reminded him how the covenant blood in Scripture always precedes the outpouring of the Spirit. After the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, the blood of slain animals covered sin, then the glory of God would come. One example is at the dedication of Solomon’s temple. After the animal sacrifices, the priests could not stand to minister because “…of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.” 7

In the New Testament [Covenant] 2000 years ago, the blood of Jesus Christ was shed at Calvary for the sin of all mankind and then the Holy Spirit was given to us on Pentecost. 8 The blood of Jesus never loses its power, and the love of God never ceases from being “…poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” 9 The message is the same, even in the Millennium Kingdom to come, the priesthood will be sacrificing animals in remembrance of the blood of Jesus Christ.10 Under the New Covenant, God desires the praise and thanksgiving of His people rather than offerings of animals or grain.

Remembering the Blood

As New Testament believers, we are all priests, giving offerings of praise and thanks to God. 11 For the past 30 years, I have given out a brochure with thirty blood verses called “The Blood of Jesus Christ.” I gave a copy to Alfredo so he could easily bring to remembrance the blood Scriptures and confess them with his mouth daily. I reminded him: “And they [the Saints, us] overcame him [the devil, the accuser of the brethren] by the blood of the Lamb [Jesus Christ] and the word of our testimony [confessing the blood Scriptures], and they did not love their lives unto death [saying “no” to self].” 12

I’ve known many Saints who broke the bondage and power of the devil by testifying the blood of Jesus daily. At first, it may take 20 minutes affirming the blood verses, but with persistence, the bondage will break and the Holy Spirit will flood your body, the temple of the Holy Spirit. The time it will take to experience God’s presence becomes shorter until just mentioning the blood of Jesus will cause the Holy Spirit to break through and shine upon your face. “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ…always carrying about in our body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifest in our body.” 13

“Let us hold fast the confession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised) and let us consider one another to Provoke unto love and to good works.” 14

Please affirm the blood of Jesus with me out loud: “I believe in Jesus Christ and partake in His body and blood for eternal life. I belong to God. He purchased me with the blood of Jesus Christ. I am bought for God’s purpose, causing me to reign as a priest in God’s kingdom. I am made right in God’s sight by the blood of Jesus and saved from God’s wrath. I am free through the blood of God’s Son and my sins are forgiven. I have peace with God through the blood of the cross. I am God’s property, once far away from God, but now I’m near to Him by the blood. I have boldness to enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. I have a new and living way to enter into God’s presence through the blood of Jesus. I am loved and washed from sin by Jesus’ blood, Who made me a king and a priest. I overcome the devil by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony for I love not my life unto the death.” For a complete list of the blood verses to experience the presence of God, click here. (Study Chart, B6).

“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice Of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks To His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for With such sacrifices God is well pleased.” 15

A Prayer For You ...

Our Father in heaven, You are the redeemer of our lives. You gave Your son, Your only Son, Jesus, as the sacrifice for our sins. His blood gives us permanently, what animal sacrifice could only provide temporarily. The blood of Jesus can redeem all people, and we seek to tell the world of this good news – that Your love has provided the righteousness that allows us to come boldly into your presence. Father, we pray that we may love people as you have. That we understand that we are not our own, but have been purchased by You with a price. That price is the blood of Jesus Christ. It is therefore in His Name we can say: Amen!”

News Flash: To view a video of where I live in prison done recently, click here.

Scripture References:

1 Col. 1:9, 10
2 1 Chr. 16:15
3 Gen. 17:7, 8
4 Gal. 3:16
5 Gal. 3:29
6 Isa. 44:3
7 2 Chr. 5:14
8 Acts 2:1-4
9 Rom. 5:5
10 Eze. 44:15, 16
11 1 Pet. 2:5, 9
12 Rev. 12:11
13 2 Cor. 4:6, 10
14 Heb. 10:23, 24
15 Heb. 13:15, 16

Acknowledgement: A special thanks to Sherry for transcribing this months view!

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