May 11, 2009 at 3:29 pm (Advancement)
Rev. E. Anderson
ADVANCEMENT THROUGH RE-EMPHASIS
Quite a number of factors are repeated yet again and serve as a reminder and thus underscore what has been previously said and taught. The reason for this was due, in the main, because a fresh congregation had emerged to adulthood and the fact that they were soon to move in and take over the land. Added to this is the obvious awareness of the danger of forgetfulness, indifference and negligence. There are occasions when has got to be a going back to basics and fundamentals. Peter mentions in his epistle the need to repeat in order to remind even though they were familiar with things. Here are a few factors to be left unattended.
1/. THE ISSUE OF GIVING – DEUTERONOMY 16: 10, 17; 17:1
They were to be a giving people, especially to the Lord. As they had been greatly blessed by God, so the need to show their gratitude and to give back to Him. They were to acknowledge the source of their blessedness and to create a spirit of gratitude and to bless others.
2/. THE ISSUE OF FEASTS – DEUTERONOMY 16:16
The calendar listed the Feasts that had to be commemorated and these served as a reminder of certain events and experiences they had known of an historical, physical and spiritual character: the Passover, Harvest and Tabernacles. These stirred up memories of divine deliverance, provision and in their journeying.
3/. THE ISSUE OF JUSTICE – DEUTERONOMY 16: 18-21; 17:2-13; 19: 1,21
Justice was to be the foundation of the nation. It had not to be corrupted by bribes and not only had it to be done but seen to be done. There had to be no perjury or travesty of justice. They served a just God who demanded righteousness in all things.
4/. THE ISSUE OF HOLY LIVING – DEUTERONOMY 18: 19-22
They must above all be a holy nation and this required more than anything else, holy living. They must not allow themselves to be corrupted by anyone or anything and strong remedial action must be taken against such.
5/. THE ISSUE OF WARFARE – DEUTERONOMY 20
This deals with who should go to war and how it should be tackled.
It is apparent that a great deal of divine forethought is contained here and such must be our forethought and not the afterthought. By proceeding on these lines there would be a good foundation and structure of life laid.
May 5, 2009 at 5:46 pm (Advancement)
Rev. E. Anderson
ADVANCEMENT THROUGH SOLICITATION, SUCCESSION AND DEDICATION
Some interesting factors are made known in these three chapters that are noteworthy and are seen at an individual level, in two cases, and a principle of procedure on a broader front that had to be instituted, and affected all the people, and it touched every day, month and various days in the calendar. The thing that is revealed that progress was to be made in relation to each one.
1/. SOLICITATION – NUMBERS 27: 1-11
There was the issue of the new census and the rightful dividing of the land, how the new territory was to be inherited by the tribes. It is noticeable that Israel never grew in the wilderness because of their sins but a new generation was being born that would advance. The daughters of Zelophehad felt that things were not just fair because the no provision was made for the man who had no sons and so they spoke up and made solicitation over the matter. As Moses presented the case and cause to the Lord, He responded and recognised their appeal. He must have been highly delighted by their keenness.
2/. SUCCESSION – NUMBERS 27: 12-23
This is a choice section and is a record of the concern of Moses after being informed of his soon exodus. He is deeply burdened as to who is successor should be and does not automatically assume that Joshua is the one to take over. He was quite happy about it because he had seen the spiritual capacity of this man and noted his remarkable relationship with God and his developments in God. Joshua had been a huge success and he knew what leadership entailed. It was time for him to be advanced in an undisputed divine manner so that all the people would know who the right man for the task was. He was to be appointed and anointed in the presence of all.
3/. DEDICATION – NUMBERS 28-29
Quite a deal is mentioned in these two chapters about the burnt offerings that were to be offered to the Lord. The burnt offering signified a pleasant dedication and devotion to the Lord and was to be offered regularly on a daily, monthly, seasonal and annual basis. This offering stood out amongst the sacrifices and would underscore that fact that there must be the constant presentation of ourselves to the Lord – Romans 12:1.
Every opportunity must be seized upon and by all means to make essential progress. Nothing should be overlooked or by-passed because there are so many things that must be wrought in order to obtain maximum advancement.
April 24, 2009 at 3:01 pm (Advancement)
Rev. E. Anderson
ADVANCEMENT THROUGH VICTORY, SONG AND THE PROPHETIC
There is definite movement forward in this section as they near once again the Promised Land. It would appear that they have more-or-less accomplished their probation period and are about to see the covenant fulfilled that had been given to their forefathers in taking the inheritance. It had been a long drawn out stretch of time but things looked more hopeful although there were elements amongst them that need to be removed – e.g. the complainers – 21: 4-9; the idolaters and adulterers – 25: 1-15. However, there was some advancement occurring:
1/. THROUGH VICTORY – NUMBERS 21: 1-3, 21-35; 25: 16-18
They are now to becoming a fighting force. Although they did not seek for confrontation and conflict, nevertheless, it came and they had to contend for their existence against these evil powers. But the Lord stood with them and enabled them to succeed and deal with the Canaanites, Amorites and Moabites. At this juncture, they started to get a taste for victory and possession and things began to fall in their favour. The Lord was with them and brought conquest. It would now begin to dawn that they could win through and see even bigger victories.
2/. THROUGH INSPIRED SONG – NUMBERS 21: 16-18
They found themselves in a desperate situation and the need for water. Instead of falling to murmuring again with their tongues, they responded to the word of the Lord through Moses. It was to be by a unique method that the answer would come. It would not be by a previous procedure. This time the leaders had to start to dig with their staves and as they did so they began to sing inspiringly. The wonderful consequence of their action was that water bubbled forth and so the situation was resolved.
3/. THROUGH THE PROPHETIC – NUMBERS 22-24
Attempts were made by the Moabite king to secure the services of Balaam from afar to come and curse the people of God. He reckoned without Israel’s God. He was able to speak to Balaam on the whole matter and let see how matters stood. Three times he prophesied and all that could see was the blessing of this people. All that he could declare affirm was a glorious future for this unique company. He proclaimed advancement for this newly formed nation and nothing and no one would be able to withstand or alter what Jehovah proclaimed.
These are signs of improvement and fresh developments for God’s Elect, especially amongst the leaders – 21:8 and also with Phinehas 25: 6-13. What happened at this point must have heartened Moses immensely. All was now set for the great take over of all the land. Everybody was beginning to have that sense this was the time and now they would do it with the help of the Lord.
April 12, 2009 at 2:40 pm (Advancement)
Rev. E. Anderson
ADVANCEMENT THROUGH THE PRIESTLY BLESSING
There are additional things recorded and required in this section, namely that of the Nazarite vows and the high priestly blessing, the dedicatory offerings of all the tribes, emphasis on the Divine Cloud besides the fact of the dedication of the priests, being set apart by the people and by God. God was ever seeking to guide and keep them on track with Himself and His ways. Thankfully they had a Moses who was an intimate with God and had immediate access to the Tabernacle into His presence and was capable of receiving His instructions and directions that enabled the continuity of fellowship and revelation on matters of importance and progress. But it was through the high priestly blessing Israel were to know much more. The words were simple yet significant. It is referred to as ‘a special blessing.’
1/. THE SOURCE OF THE BLESSING – vv14-16
Three times the name ‘LORD’ is mentioned thus underscoring the origin of the benediction. It is none other than Jehovah, their covenant God, the One who always is. He was the One that had been with and blessed their forefathers in so many ways and was still existent and in the situation to extend His presence and blessing. HE IS EVER TO BE RULED INTO LIFE AT ALL TIMES AND CONDITIONS. He is the real, personal Blesser. His nature is to bless. This form of blessing had to be consistently used so that the people would ever be aware of the spiritual fact that this was God’s permanent intention for them
2/. THE NATURE OF THE BLESSING – vv14-16
It refers to His protection, smile, favour and peace and these are positive factors that embody and cover the whole welfare and well-being of life. Nothing is omitted. Living under these ensures and assures the total, perfect measure of His benevolence that makes for utter increase, a state of serenity, security etc. The Lord had omitted nothing and in the briefest of terms expresses the truth that they can expect, experience and enjoy to the full of His grace and goodness.
3/. THE PERSONAL ASPECT OF THE BLESSING – vv14-16 “YOU”
The whole nation is in mind and everyone is included. Each individual is in the mind and heart of God and is a candidate to receive to the maximum the rich grace of the Lord in blessing. No one is to be left out. All are to enjoy this unique special blessing. At the end of the day it is up to each individual to expect this to occur at every level in life.
The statement at the end reveals it is no meaningless act. It is more than a passing ritual. The blessing is to become actual. The Lord says categorically: “I myself will bless them’ – V27. God’s elect people have no need to be anxious about the future because it was assured in this unique benediction.
April 6, 2009 at 3:34 pm (Advancement)
Rev. E. Anderson
ADVANCEMENT THROUGH DIVINE ORDER
There came the time when there had to come some proper ordering of the vast congregation so that things could be done smoothly and successfully to the advantage of all. They were a large community of people on an important journey and there was a demand for some sort of planning, discipline and unity if real advancement was to be effected. It was the Lord who initiated the census and issued directions that would cause everyone and everything to come together. He was the mind behind the programming and processing. For Him, there is a rule of procedure: “Let everything be done decently and in order.” God is not into chaos but cosmos – and ordered whole – A place for everything and everything in its place.”
This was twofold:
1/. THE TRIBES
There was the enumerating and placement of the tribes in allotment around the camp and in their order of movement. All the men of the tribes over 20 were counted and the tribes appointed a place around the Tabernacle so that the sanctuary was surrounded by all the people belonging to Israel It reflected the closeness and equality of all in the sight in the presence of Jehovah. It would look quite an impressive sight and especially when it was on the move, it created a threatening factor. Everybody had to pitch under their family banner when moving and setting up camp. It is where Judah = praise, comes to the fore to lead the marching host. They maybe divided into tribes and settings but the vision was of one people under one head, Jehovah, the Lord of Hosts. All the tribes had to pitch around the central tent, The Tabernacle, the residence of their God.
2/. THE TABERNACLE – NUMBERS 3-5
It held the place of prominence and around it were the Levites a unique tribe that was to fulfill an important role of safeguarding its interests and to serve within its ministry when stationary and on the move. The various ones within tribe had various callings and functions to perform. Nobody was to be regarded as a non-essential put vital to the Church’s progress. There had to be no ‘familiarity’ with it, to do so would be unwise and would become very threatening and dangerous. –v10. In all they were assigned their respective duties and as they did so everything went well. There would be no conflict or confusion.
By this procedure, it meant they could strike and set up camp quickly and so they could make good progress and reach their destiny speedily. It also meant they could attain rest and renewal as the Lord planned. Everything was so arranged as to make things easy and to facilitate the outworking of the ultimate purpose of moving them into the appointed place of possession.
March 29, 2009 at 2:49 pm (Advancement)
Rev. E. Anderson
ADVANCEMENT THROUGH THE OFFERINGS
The priesthood was initiated by God so as to function on the part of the people with respect to himself. One of the main truths was that of giving offerings to and before the Lord so that a meaningful relationship be constantly sustained from which so much good ensued. Whatever they did on this line was not simply to be merely legalistic and ritualistic but possess a spiritual and dynamic significance that affected the bond of oneness with Himself and from which everything flowed. It was a provision that could be answered by all, for rich and poor so that none were left out. There were a variety of sacrifices to be made dealing with a number of aspects.
1/. THE BURNT OFFERING SPOKE OF ENTIRE CONSECRATION – LEVITICUS 1
This was the first mentioned and denoted a great attitude to God and life. It meant the utter self-giving and must have satisfied and gratified the heart of God as He saw it purely in evidence. Here was a people wanting to fully surrender themselves to Him and be wholly consumed by Him for Him – “Take my life and let it be.”
2/. THE GRAIN OFFERING SPOKE OF A LIFE FREE FROM EVIL – LEVITICUS 2
The grain had to be ground to fine flour or baked but it had to be free from all lumps and be pure white and free from yeast that symbolised evil. It was the Lord feasting with them and blessed with this provision.
3/. THE PEACE OFFERING SPOKE OF DESIRE FOR CLOSE FELLOWSHIP – LEVITICUS 3
In this sacrifice there was an implicit declaration from the spirit and heart affirming this truth: “I love you and this accord and I desire above all its continuance and its increase.”
4/. THE SIN AND GUILT OF OFFERING SPOKE OF DEALING EVIL DONE – LEVITIUC 4 & 5
How it was essential that nothing interfere with the divine fellowship so that all would move pleasantly ahead into more meaningful experiences. But there was the fact of human transgression and sin. God made it possible for evil to be attended to by means of these offerings. It could be put out of sight and memory so there would be no impairing of relationship.
It can be seen above all, it was not a senseless procedure. They were to be a distinct people of sacrifice. The air would be filled with the fragrance of these offerings with satisfied God and brought mind the truth of divine accord.
March 22, 2009 at 3:54 pm (Advancement)
Rev. E. Anderson
ADVANCEMENT THROUGH THE TABERNACLE
What industry and work was to be introduced for the people of God in the making of this unique tent that was to house the Presence of God, and that was to become His habitation and home. God was to set up His residence amongst them in a special way. How different the construction of this sanctuary to that of the making of an idol earlier in the form of a golden calf! Here they are constructing a temporal residence for the true and Living God! The former meant their desolation and destruction: this, in contrast, for their instruction and progression. In the making of it we see:
1/. THE COMMENCEMENT – 36: 2
The moment came when they were told to begin and make a start. They had to wait for the go ahead from God. The providential hour arrived when it had to be initiated. It must have been with a sense of awe and wonder that they engaged themselves and their talents in a very vital task that was to affect their future. Building with the idea and knowledge that God was actually going to come and live and abide with them.
2/. THE CONTINUANCE – 36: 8 – 39
There was a proper scheduling of the program as each furnishing was made, piece by piece. There was nothing haphazard in the task. Nothing was overlooked as they steadily progressed in this major enterprise. The divine instructions were faithfully adhered to in the forming and fashioning of every item, even to the making of the gold and brass clasps – 39:42. The blueprint was known and followed through and perfectly accomplished.
3/. THE COMPLETION – EXODUS 40
The time arrives for the erection of the sacred house that had been carefully wrought in perfection and this again was in accordance with divine timing – v1. There was the putting together of everything piece by piece and then the instituting of certain matters in precise manner. Nothing was done slipshod but all according to the divine mind and pattern. When all was perfected and completed the most wonderful thing of all took place: God came down in His glory and filled the Holy of Holies and became resident. It was a memorable moment for Him and for the people of God. So awesome was the event that even Moses could not enter the sanctuary by reason of the majesty within it.
God came down and did not disappoint the hard work and loving labour that had been put into this holy service. He made it obviously known that He had come to permanently dwell with them and to act in a presidential capacity. From now on He would direct the journeyings and encampments by His sovereign movement with the cloudy pillar – vv36-38.
March 16, 2009 at 7:11 pm (Advancement)
Rev. E. Anderson
ADVANCMENT THRO’ SANCTIFICATION, CONSECRATION, ORDINATION AND CONFIRMATION
Here is highlighted and underscored the Lord setting apart the priesthood and people to Himself and ordaining the priesthood to their role. He also gives a special revelation of Himself in an awesome fashion that was quite staggering. The Lord is beheld as taking them on in their meaningful relationship and association as His priests and people.
1/. SANCTIFICATION – LEVITICUS 6: 1-7; 8: 14-17; 9: 1-4,15
It was needful for both to have their sins dealt with. Neither was perfect and so this basis of divine fellowship meant the removal of sin and the blessing of forgiveness experienced. Before a dynamic union with God could be formed and a theocratic manifestation of Himself occur then they must be sanctified, become cleanse and clean and separated to God and this was via the sin-offering.
2/. CONSECRATION – LEVITICUS 6: 8-18; 8:18-21; 9: 3,16
There had to come on the part of priests and people the freewill offering of themselves in utter dedication to the Lord. This was the procedure and process. Sin having been atoned for and attended to, they were now in a fit state to present themselves to the Lord. There had to come the moment and experience of total commitment as reflected in the offering of the ram of consecration.
3/. ORDINATION – LEVITICUS 8: 22-36; 9: 18-21
For the priests it was now the Lord ordaining them. He was doing His part in this offering, especially in the anointing of the ear, hand and foot with sacred blood and oil. They were now His employees in holy service. The peace offerings of the people signif8ied they were now a holy people in hallowed communion with their God.
4/. CONFIRMATION – LEVITICUS 9:6, 22-24
The final factor was in the Lord coming and expressing Himself in a dynamic fashion. He came as fire to wholly consume the burnt offering. It must have been quite an amazing sight and it bore witness to what they had done. Whilst they were awed by it the important thing was the Lord was revealing how pleased He was with what had taken place.
Regrettably, in such a brief while, the sons of Aaron spoiled things by behaving irresponsible in expressing strange fire and so were consumed by the fire of God – 10:1. This served as a warning to the people that they should not become familiar and act foolishly. It is more than like these two sons were drunk at the time hence the directive given to avoid any further violation of the Tabernacle.
March 8, 2009 at 3:54 pm (Advancement)
Rev. E. Anderson
ADVANCEMENT THROUGH PRAYER, VISITATION AND GIFTING
A new phase was to open up that was to lead to astounding events. God’s people had grown numerically in an extraordinary manner and to an alarming degree to the Egyptians. They saw them as an up and coming threat and felt the need to get a firm hold upon them and did so by introducing slavery and servitude. The Israelites were to be victimised and brought under the heel of their tyranny. Life and future was to be of miserable bondage, but in spite of the evil the good hand of the Lord was to be upon them in multiplication and preservation. The Lord was watching over their affairs, mindful of His covenant promises and with a future time factor in mind to act.
1/. ADVANCEMENT WAS TO COME BY MEANS OF PRAYER – GENESIS 2:23, 25; 3:7
It was when the heat was on and when the pressures were being applied that the people began to pray and cry out to the God of their fathers. What could they do? How could relief come from this powerful, despotic rule? By supplication they were making clear their desire for freedom from this wicked yoke and this meant, if need be, moving out from what had been a comfort zone. Only by persecution would they start praying and be ready to leave the land. The prayer factor appears to be over a long considerable period of time and the situation reaches an extreme state. It did look as if they were not being heard and there was no grounds for hope!
2/. ADVANCEMENT WAS TO COME BY DIVINE VISITATION – EXODUS 3: 1-22
If there was to be a breakthrough then the Lord would have to sovereignly act and this He did by visiting Moses, a child of destiny – Exodus 2. In a unique way and by remarkable testimony He confronts this disappointed and seemingly despairing man by calling him to a divine vocation of impossible proportions. He was to cease being a shepherd of a flock to become the shepherd to his people. Moses was to have a distinct revelation of the meaning of the name of the LORD – “I AM THE ONE WHO ALWAYS IS.” There was no need to worry because He who had been with the forefathers imparting His mind and good purpose was still on the scene to live up to their expectations. There was the Unchanging One amidst the changing situations and He was about to bring to the fore His reliable promises.
3/. ADVANCEMENT WAS TO COME BY EXTRAORDINARY GIFTING – EXODUS 4: 1-9
There was to be the manifestation and bestowment of the miraculous. Unique and amazing signs were to be used in confirmation and judgment. The rod was to a symbol of divine authority and power and as it is used under God’s command tremendous things would take place. It was to play a major role in salvation and deliverance. This failure was to bring success in the midst of circumstances that would bowl over the strongest in their own strength. Sufficient warranty was granted in the evidence of the supernatural and the Lord was laying the groundwork for a phenomenal event by gifting this man.
When all was dark, difficult and impossible, the Lord was working behind affairs to bring release, fulfillment and divine freedom. He waits His time for the proper developments and for those whom He has been preparing to come forth and achieve His designs.
March 2, 2009 at 4:21 pm (Advancement)
Rev. E. Anderson
BACKWARD TO GO FORWARD
God came with a new directive at the right time to guide and govern Jacob in order that he might make a greater advance in his spiritual career. From outward observation, it looks as if it was a backward act, but in point of fact, it was of a challenging order to take him further ahead, and this course of action would require faith and courage but it would ultimately effect real changes on many fronts.
1/. THE SUMMONS TO RETURN TO THE PROMISED LAND – GENESIS 31: 1
He had prospered where he was, in spite of major difficulties, and it would have been easy to try and accommodate this situation and make the best of it. He could have sought to further manipulate and bring amendment and good will into the relationships but this was not God’s mind. Jacob’s place was in the Promised Land and he needed to go back if things were going to go ahead on other major fronts.
2/. THE SUMMONS TO RETURN AND FACE AN ENRAGED BROTHER – GENESIS 32
Being Jacob, he knew he had to face the awful prospect of meeting a brother whom he had deceived and diddled out of the birthright and blessing and it was a hard and brutal ordeal to consider. Going back meant dealing with this. Again, he resorts to his own natural instincts and plans appeasement. He is not wanting in methods on this front but at the end of the day it is God that does the appeasing and effects the reconciliation. His fight with the angel at Peniel must, in the first instance, meant an attack by Esau unawares. No wonder he fought!
3/. THE SUMMONS TO RETURN TO THE PLACE OF CONSECRATION – GENESIS 35
This was after his encounter with the situation his sons had created with the slaughter of Shechem and his family and others. Jacob was utterly disturbed over the rape of his daughter and the outrage of his sons and the possible consequences. They had practiced deceit just like him. Into this experience God brings relief with a word – 1 and gives a preservation order and takes decisive steps - v5. There is the removing things of an idolatrous nature that had been gathered over the past years and a spiritual renewal effected. An altar was raised in gratitude.
In going back he had a greater experience of God’s goodness and power. He found the Lord dealing with Laban, Esau, enemies, family and self. In going back to Canaan he was to have a Peniel experience, a name and nature change. Going out was his Bethel encounter: coming back was his Peniel visitation.