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En Punto - How can you be sure you are where God wants you to be? How do you learn to hear and follow the leadings of the Holy Spirit? In fact, can we be sure that He even speaks to us today? At least one indispensable prerequisite exists for those who aspire to engage in what is described in this book - being in the specific place and in the specific timing - hearing and following. The practice of En Punto requires a pure heart that can only be the result of coming into covenant with God on God's terms. Man's schools, discipline and training can provide certain theological formation, but only a direct and sustained encounter with the presence of God will result in transformation.
Consumed By His Fire - Because there is a dimension in God beyond what is commonly called "the anointing," this book is a must read. John the Baptist said, "He shall baptize you in the Holy Ghost and Fire." By doing so, he was addressing that quadrant. The Spirit of God directed this text; He spoke about depths of understanding which had been undefined.
The fact that Moses and Elijah were on the Mount of Transfiguration was not coincidental to their exercises in fire. Moses' burning bush attuned him not to fear the fire of God while on Mount Sinai. Elijah's call for fire on the altar before the prophets of Baal was rewarded with a fiery chariot at his transmogrification.
Exploring the many Bible texts found in this book will forever imprint one's mind. No longer will there be room for a gospel with no fire or a fellowship with no flame. Those on the Emmaus road were not unique when they said, "Did not our hearts burn within us?" Theirs was a foretaste of what would occur in the upper room on the day of Pentecost and what would characterize all who walk with Jesus.
Association with those mentioned above will cause the reader to reassess his walk with God. The reader will soon recognize the compromised churches as the five oil less virgins who have lost their inward fire. The reader will discover Pentecost was but the ignition, the first strike, on an undaunted flame!
For those desiring an ever increasing fellowship with the Father through the Son, the truths found in this book belong, not on the bookshelf - but in their spirit.
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ZADOK PUBLICATIONS MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
December 1, 2018
"Paul's Heart-Rending Message" - Philippians Chapter 2
Before entering Philippians 2, remember how Chapter One ended with three admonitions:
- To Conduct one's life worthy of the gospel (manifested in having one spirit
and mind, while striving together for one purpose: to spread the gospel).
- To Not be terrified of any adversary (live a fearless life together as one unit).
- To Realize belief in Christ carries the obligation of suffering for His sake.
With these tenants in mind (along with the entire first chapter), one can understand Paul's use of three "Therefore Gates" in this chapter (vs. 1, 9, 12). Each of these "Therefore Gates" build on what was said previously. They serve as doorways to the next level of understanding. They are transitional in many ways by assuming the question: "Do you fully comprehend what was just said?"
THERFORE GATE NO.1:
Verse one opens the door to the very inner being of this great Apostle, who begins with four rhetorical questions. Each one is really a statement of belief when the reader drops the "if… any."
Therefore, if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy,
Writing from the Roman prison, Paul's main thrust was: "Do we believe the same things?" (Which is a valid question today among Christians.) Paul addresses being "like minded" five times in this chapter alone. I believe he understood the divisiveness of theology and took it out of that realm into a discussion of the inner man.
Consolation depicts the "solace" one feels while walking alongside Christ. Yes, there is consolation in Christ! It's like the Emmaus Road experience wrapped in a word. Pretense is gone and only the fellowship of companionship remains. The same is pictured in the comfort of love. Through love comes a breaking down of walls of resistance and becomes a bulwark against mistrust. Love is seen in facial expressions and eyes, experienced in the message of the voice as it creates an atmosphere of caring. It is the base of faith. So, when one experiences the "fellowship of the Spirit," a different perspective rules. (Fellowship in the Spirit is on a different level of interaction, for it reaches into spiritual understanding and surpasses worldly considerations. It is sometimes an "instant knowing" of another's belief system without asking. It is a supernatural equation requiring an openness between persons and a feeling of, "It seems as if I have known this person or persons for a long time." (Here, it is an entering into the life and being of another, which involves a mutuality almost unknown in the modern church setting.) Paul's use of the word "affection" conveys "interaction on a deeper level." The isolation and insulation of individuals within the body of believers today often inhibits such involvement in another's life. Without these four ingredients, thousands of church folk will never experience the "tender mercies" available from the kind of fellowship Paul envisioned for the Philippian church.
King David understood these factors came from God to man. In Psalm 103 he said,
Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
3 Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
Paul urged them to make his joy about them complete by being like-minded and of "one mind."
He introduced the ingredient that should be the essence of the church. Unity! Unity can be arrived at by no other means. Having the "same love" and "being in one accord" smells different than the taciturn atmosphere of most religions. Unity is a sweet-smelling savor to God and God's people.
2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
The "mind, will and emotions" of congregates soon become the corporate mind of the church, and this factor alone speaks volumes about a church (which is greater evidence of what a church really practices, regardless of its dynamic worship services, magnificent media production or public image). Paul's admonition about selfish ambition would make a wonderful sermon, but just who would preach it? (Especially when the Greek word actually says "let nothing be done by strife or vain-glory.")
"Lowliness of mind" is the antithesis of vain-glory. It is this kind of mind that "esteems others better than himself" and "looks out for the interest of others as well as for themselves." To be a part of a fellowship where these traits prevail would be refreshing in these days. Things coming upon the earth will one day necessitate such behavior for mutual survival.
Next, is a verse well quoted and famous.
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Jesus' mind in the believer is a matter of "letting." Verse thirteen says this is facilitated by God, who "works in us both to will and to do for His good pleasure." To think like Jesus means that fear and doubt flee. Perfect confidence of communication with the Father becomes a continual reality, as well as a constant assurance of His will (all this comes with His mind). This is the mind Paul displayed and what defined his preachment about the mindset of believers. Later, Paul outlined what a Christ Mind's thought pattern should be (Philippians 4:6).
Notice the bold segments in verses 7 and 8. Jesus "made Himself of no reputation."
Is that a model for those of His mind? He "humbled Himself and became obedient." These are voluntary acts flowing from His person (His heart). This defined who He is and those actions flowing out of the believer's being defines them as well. Vain-glory cannot connect with "the glory of God."
Every temptation satan used against Jesus contained the element of "vain-glory." Jesus, whom John defined beautifully as the "Word was God," emptied himself of his privileges and became a servant. He came as a man and humbled himself in obedience to the will of God (the cross).
THEREFORE GATE NO. 2
9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
What was the end result of Jesus' actions? He was highly exalted and given a name above every name. Verse nine declares that every knee will bow; every tongue, wherever it resides, will confess "Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Hallelujah!
Christ's mind is the kind of mind Paul was describing in this second chapter. Paul humbly displayed this as the mind he possessed. Christ's mind should be ours as well. His mind in us allows us to use His Name, for His Name is above every Name. His Name is above sicknesses and demons and circumstances; they all must bow before Him. Who can capture all the ramifications of using His Name? Paul does a great job when he encapsulates the foundational aspects in six verses (vvs.5-11).
THEREFORE GATE NO. 3
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
17 Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me.
Passing into the third "Therefore Gate" brings one into some of the most beautiful descriptions of the Christian walk to be found in Paul's epistles. He is writing to his beloved church body with pathos.
First, he acknowledges their faithfulness in obeying the voice of the Lord. Clearly, obedience was better than sacrifice even in Paul's absence. It is one thing to be very upright when the prophet is present, but what happens when he is away (v.12)?
Second, Paul set the stage for "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" as a lifelong pursuit for the things God has deposited in the believer. Talents, opportunities and spiritual attributes are things that manifest themselves as one is prompted in the Spirit to obediently "mine" for the treasures of His will. Paul is referring to those facets that make for the uniqueness of the individual believer which God has planned for in the great scheme of history; His point is made in his use of "fear" and "trembling," which are the attributes of "reverential awe and humility." Seeking God's will for one's life is not a casual investigation. It is a daily and continual process. "Work out what has been worked in," explained one commentator. God, working in the believer, generates cooperation with His will and from that obedience comes action in His will (which is pleasing to Him).
Third, one must do His will without complaining and disputing. When someone knows he is "in" the will of God, the struggle against it ceases. A pastor recently said, "I was not pleased with my surroundings or circumstances, but I knew it was God's will for me to serve in this particular place." (Such was his confidence, for he served that small community for over forty years. However, he now finds himself in a worldwide Religious Media.)
Look at the results of this pursuit of Divine origin: one stands Blameless, Harmless, a Child of God, without fault and shining as lights in a dark world. Does this describe you? It should!
Verses 14-16, concisely picture the general will of God for every believer. Since Paul's time, believers have lived in the midst of "crooked and perverse generations," so this scripture is for the current time as well. If ever there was a time for Christians to shine, it is now. Notice how this light is to be used in the "midst" of gross darkness. There is no room for timidity. How is this to be accomplished? It is done.by holding fast the word of life. Taking a firm grip on the Word through faith is the key!
…holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
Paul wanted to rejoice now and in the last days, showing his labors had not been in vain. Little did he know, in that prison cell, his epistles would span the world and impact all ages, especially affecting the current generation. For in this we rejoice with him and tighten our grip on Paul's Bible truths.
Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me.
Paul's reference to a "drink offering" is a valuable description of his inmost being. The drink offering was poured out before the Lord because there was to be no portion which could be redeemable. It was like pouring out his inward being on the sacrificial altar and seeking no retraction. He was akin to Jacob at Bethel.
So, Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He talked with him, a pillar of stone; and he poured a drink offering on it, and he poured oil on it. 15 And Jacob called the name of the place where God spoke with him, Bethel.
At this point, Paul directed his attention to matters at hand and commended Timothy and Epaphroditus to them, each with a special task. The Philippi Church supported Paul's endeavors when others did not and he was grateful. He wanted to hear how the Lord was repaying them and rejoice in their testimonies about it. By sending Timothy as one of the family, "like a son," their reticence to share would be diminished.
19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. 20 For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. 21 For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus. 22 But you know
therefore, I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see how it goes with me. 24 But I trust in the Lord that I myself shall also come shortly.
Verses 20-21 offer insight into church behavior during early times (a matter which still prevails). Thousands of congregations are defined by verse 21.
For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus.
Name building, crowd pleasing, empire erecting and resource centered ministries abound with full congregational support in many places in modern times. Verse 21 flashes like an irrefutable summary statement of spiritual indictment against such behavior. God help us all! But it doesn't have to continue-things can and must change and will, through the unity of having the same mind of Christ. When preachers lay emphasis on these areas, an awakening must occur!
Verse 23 indicates how Paul did not know the extent of his further incarceration, but showed his desire to visit Philippi upon his release. Until such time, he was sending Epaphroditus with further duties for him.
25 Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need; 26 since he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. 27 For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I sent him the more eagerly, that when you see him again you may rejoice, and I may be less sorrowful. 29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem; 30 because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me
It would pay to read several times the underlined verse 25. What a marvelous commendation from the Apostle Paul. Brother, fellow worker and fellow soldier are accolades that hail to persons of rare distinction. Would to God there were more! Fellowship in the Flame of two hearts linked in Christian love with that kind of unanimity is an estate shared by few. Billy Sunday had Gypsy Smith, Billy Graham had Cliff Barrows and George Beverly Shay for example. God brings together those couplings that breathe the same rarified air through experiences only known to each other. Such is the case with Paul and Epaphroditus. Even in sickness, near death, he ministered. That kind of relationship cannot be purchased in the world market. Such connectivity is bonded only by the Spirit and blessed are those who are so linked.
The church at Philippi was instructed to receive him with "gladness and high esteem." Epaphroditus was one of God's dignitaries, a trait often missed in the appraisals of men. He held an ethic few have emulated, yet is a vital part of Revelation 12 ("and they loved not their life to the death"). "For the work of Christ, he came close to death, not regarding his life." Through the ages, men and women have embraced this trait and laid down their lives for service to Christ. Heaven alone will witness a grand awakening as to who they are and the saint's rejoicing will be immense.
Somehow, the Philippian church had not supplied enough and Epaphroditus took it upon himself to
fill the gap. In doing so, he exhausted and hazarded himself as a personal sacrifice to God and His servant. Many testimonies of such faithfulness never find themselves in the chronicles of history-but they are recorded in God's book of remembrance. Such lives are not in vain.
When Paul gave God glory for Epaphroditus' recovery, one gains insight to Paul's spirit.
…but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.
We are not privy to the amount of sorrow endured by this servant of the Lord, but somehow it must have been great enough to elicit this comment. Often castigated by men, beaten, misunderstood, falsely accused, condemned by organized religion, slighted by society, imprisoned and shackled are but some of the contributors to a hard life, but none so devastating as being betrayed by those claiming the gospel. When one's sorrow turns to joy, God is in it!
Paul was candid in his comments and open in his address to the Philippian congregation. It is time to be "real" again with each other and for preachers to be candid and open as we all seek the mercy of God for ourselves and in world matters.
Until Next month,
Have a Merry Christmas,
Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.
From the Mailbag:
David W., Texas (reading from the Sept. newsletter):
Dear Bro. Oliver,
I was reading your last (very controversial) teaching on 1Cor. 6 and Col. and Ephesians concerning sin, and especially sexual sin. All of a sudden, while reading it, it just up and disappeared. It even disappeared from my email register.
I am writing this because I suspect the internet is purging certain subject matter,
Has this occurred to anyone else with this latest teaching?
David and Heather R., Northern Ireland:
Dear Dr Oliver
Since last emailing, my husband and I have been doing Song of songs Bible Studies with a couple of groups and we also listen to your videos which are very encouraging as it's pretty lonely walk here.
Just a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go to the Canary Islands - Gran Canaria. I was asked to speak at a Lydia (little groups of praying women-global) conference. I chose to speak on the Garden of the Heart in the Song of Songs and we meditated on the parable of the sower as well. It was such a great blessing as I had never done anything like this before. I referenced some of your quotations and also referred to Zadok publications web page. My husband shared from his heart at the Sunday am services also, a great blessing also.
In this, the final newsletter of 2018, we would like to revisit some of the organizations and missionaries we have been privileged to highlight in the past year. We are honored to have been able to share their vision with you and grateful to the Lord for His calling and provision for each of these.
I. Robert & Mary Grindley
P.O. Box 2487
Office: 011 267 261 1746 (Landline)
Cell: 011 267 7421 8210 (Rob)
011 267 7285 5461 (Mary)
P.O. Box 432
Lunenburg, MA 01462
Office: 978 400 7285
Cell: 978 549 7436
We want to thank you for the amazing opportunity to share our ministry and needs with you and your partners.
Our story begins as we mentioned with supernatural direction to Botswana via praying in tongues. Mary received her leading while at bible school during her missions class but later had a vision of stepping onto Africa and her heel landing in Botswana. This was her first open eyed vision. This supernatural direction was important to us in so many ways. When we arrived in Botswana Mary began to hemorrhage and bled for the first forty days, it was very serious and became life threatening. The Lord heard our prayers and she was healed. It is true however that this issue continued to plague her for seven years before receiving her final healing through the laying on of hands.
Botswana is a nation the size of Texas, with a population of 2.2 million people
A stable democracy gaining independence in 1966 without violence as one of the poorest countries in the world. With the discovery of diamonds in 1967 the government has used this to develop the nations infrastructure.
Religious background is traditional religion, animism and ancestral worship with a mix of Christianity.
Governmental position is it is a Christian nation so opportunities are here to spread the gospel without governmental hindrance. In fact, the Government has asked the Church to step forward and play their role.
II. Pastor Samuel Karunanithi and Anusuya; Missionaries to India:
"Go ye into all the world." This is the word I got from the Lord in 1971. I have been going to over 50 nations. To some countries such as India and France, I have been preaching there every year for the last 39 years. Glory to God.
In each service we see a crowd of 20 to 30 thousand in India and thousands in France. Now we have also reached out to help 10 widows. The need for the Gospel and the needy pastors, orphans and widows keeps on growing. As of now, we are supporting 76 pastors in India, one pastor in Sierra Leone and one pastor in Jerusalem.
We have 20 children in the orphanage. Beside this, there is a lot of persecution in India taking place.
Pray for the government to change.
My wife and I made 2 trips to India and one trip to Europe since hurricane Harvey hit us last September. In spite of the damages in our church, we went to the mission field. Their need is greater than ours.
III. The Brown Family of Waxhaw, N.C. and their Nicaraguan missions' involvement:
Furniture Factory Outlet World of Waxhaw, N.C.
This is a family business dedicated to Nicaraguan missions' as well as other mission endeavors.
"Our Mission is to show the Love of Jesus while making Disciples for Jesus. We work in the areas of feeding centers, education, drug and alcohol recovery, general health care and sanitation, mental health issues, recovering from mental health issues such as depression, bi-polar, ptsd, and multi-personality.
"Our main geographic area of work in Central America is Nicaragua; we currently work in all 17 departments of the country --our main focus is sharing the Love of Jesus through feeding centers. We also help homeless shelters located in the North and South Carolina area within the USA.
"We work to supply vitamin enriched soy rice to malnourished children, pregnant mothers, elderly, and disabled people of all ages. In Nicaragua, there are many families who struggle to have nutritional food, so the children are under weight and sick. We are working to change those numbers."
Their work includes:
Their goals: "To make disciples for Christ, while helping these communities understand the love God has for them.
Impact the lives of all Nicaraguan people for the Kingdom of God, and thereby bring this country under His Love and Reign.
That poverty would be ended and this Nation prospered. That people would be broken free and liberated from any mental, physical, or spiritual bondage."
IV. Missionary Portia Sharp (Sharp Ministries):
Phone: (832) 326-3474
From a recent trip to Rongai, Nakuru County, Kenya
I was invited today to speak after morning service to the ladies at AIC Boito. When we arrived for the morning service the men insisted that I should share in the main service also. We had a great time sharing the Word of God. One young man received Jesus into his heart when I gave the invitation. So many churches have been established in this region since 1964 when believers moved to this area and began to share the gospel. Generations have continued to hold forth the faithfulness of the Word of God. I've included a picture of 4 ladies from the original congregations who are encouraging the younger generation to continue sharing the Gospel of Jesus. After service we visited with one of the Gogos (older lady-grandmother) in her home where she served us lunch and told us how they started with their families visiting and sharing Jesus. What a powerful testimony of the faithfulness of Gods people being disciples and fulfilling the Great commission. I told Gogo I want to be like her when I grow up ??. I love meeting and sharing with heros of The Faith all over the world.
V. Ron and Rina Kinnear from Praetoria, South Africa:
U. S. Mail: Africa Missions, P.O. Box 1931, Tahlequah, OK 74465
Africa Mail: Africa Missions, P.O. Box 16860, Pretoria North 0116, Republic of South Africa
The ministry of Ron and Rina Kinnear is located in Praetoria, S. Africa. Not only were we privileged to have these wonderful people in our home for a recent visit, but the Lord spoke to us to sponsor a school of evangelism which they sought to open in October in Ethiopia. Their goal is to make this school available for neighboring South Sudan to send participants to be trained. S. Sudan is very dangerous at this time.
So, once again those who give to Oliver Evangelistic Assoc., are co-founders of this work.
Ron estimated $3000 US would allow them to move forward with the Ethiopia project.
The prompting of the Spirit urged us to "make it happen." To God be the glory!
Ron and Rina have a vision to bring Africa to Christ; their motto has been, "From Cape Town to Cairo" with the gospel. For a number of years and overcoming many obstacles, they have worked their way from one nation to another establishing lasting works in each country as they moved forward. With the Ethiopian work, they stand on the threshold of Egypt.
Because of their endeavors, The Fellowship Network awarded them Outstanding Missionaries' in 2018, a prestigious honor.
I urge you to write them encouragement and let them be assured of your prayers, especially as they re-enter S. Africa and the events taking place there. Pray for their safety and the protection of their base of operations.
VI. Ghiorghi and Cristina Cazacu:
GMI Gospel Ministries International
Web Site: https://www.gmii.org/
Email - Personal: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email - Office: email@example.com
Phone: (618) 239-0215
Cell: (618) 698-1214
Mailing Address: PO Box 661; Belleville IL 62222
These are modern-day Apostles. They have a myriad of speaking engagements in the states and crusades including a recent trip to Peru.
Their heart for people and their love for Christ keep them constantly involved with evangelistic efforts, building churches, orphan homes, widows lodgings and seeing after the needs of the common folk around them. (They recently spent all the monies saved for their own future home and built one for a widow-- whose living quarters were falling down, and she was cooking outside and trying to stay warm in a house where snow was inside due to a falling roof. She now has a new dwelling, and they even stocked her refrigerator [she never had one before] brimming with food. Now they must start saving again.)
Nonetheless, their work continues establishing bible schools, adoption services and rehab centers---a tremendous financial load.
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