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In this Issue

Discerning Dangerous Dogs
The Law of Trepass


In Other News


“Where Oh Where Can We Go”

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Discerning Dangergous "Dogs"!

“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine …” Matthew 7:6.
This instruction was given to the disciples regarding their relationships with the religious of the day.
And he said to them, `To you it has been given to know the secret of the reign of God, but to those who are without, in similes are all the things done; that seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand, lest they may turn, and the sins may be forgiven them Mark 4:11-12 YLT.
Some believers do not want to know the truth because it would inconvenience them and interfere with their plans.
We typically view dogs as friendly family pets and refer to them as “man’s best friend.” However, in Bible times, dogs freely roamed the countryside. In this wild and hungry state, they presented a constant danger to those who encountered their fury.

Wild dogs are highly symbolic in Scripture, representing that which is low and contemptible. When a wicked man cursed King David, David’s General reacted, “… Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king?” II Samuel 16:9. Paul warned in Phil 3:2, “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers ”
We are not to judge people’s motives, but we are to discern the dangerous nature of “dogs” and “swine.”
God condemned the leaders of Israel by stating: “His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, and loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs, which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain Isaiah 56:10–11. Solomon uses a characteristic of the dog to describe the nature of a foolish man: “As a dog returned to his vomit, so a fool returned to his folly” (Proverbs 26:11).

To help us understand the analogy in this command, we must realize that the nature of wild dogs and swine is different from our human nature. They are not impressed with the jewels that we have. They are concerned only with satisfying their physical appetites, and they do not care whom they hurt or abuse in the process. If we offer jewels to them, they will lunge for them, but when they realize that they were misled by our attention to them and see our failure to fulfil their expectations, they will trample the jewels we have given them and turn to attack us and try to rend us.

The primary point of Jesus’ command is that we cannot give that which is holy to one whose very nature has no appreciation for holy things.

As we seek to share Christ and the treasures of His Word with those around us, it is important for us to remember that carnal Christians do not appreciate holy things; Often our offer can have the opposite reaction; “Lest they turn and rend you” Mat 7:6…..

Matthew 5:6 blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Let’s purpose to discern the ability of listeners to appreciate or comprehend the spiritual truths we want to give them, and let’s follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit in what we share. Selected


The Law of Tresspass Offering

The theme of this issue is “integrity in fellowship and daily living”.
A. Sin is to fall short of the mark. The consequences of which if not confessed are far-reaching.
The soul that sins shall die Ezek 18:20.
B. Trespass is to overstep the mark and unlawfully possess another’s property. Trespassers will be prosecuted. Iniquity is lawlessness; Transgression is to cut across. See Psa 32:1, 2; 53:5-10.
Trespass requires reimbursement if it is to be forgiven.
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us.
Restitution for trespassing was required by God in every case under the Law.

(I) Lev 5:1; concealing truth. The person who withholds evidence when demanded in the name of justice becomes a co-conspirator to the crime. It’s known in British Common Law as “aiding and abetting”. The legislators doubtless took this straight out of the bible.
The swearing here does not refer to blasphemy, but the taking of an oath as in a court of law.
To keep crime in check and protect the innocent God demanded judgment.

(2) Defilement Lev 5: 2, 3; Eph 2: 1, 5. Worldliness is when we touch sin with our eyes ears and our hands; like thoughts, pictures, films, books. These things defile us.
Genesis 15: When the fowls came down upon Abram’s offerings, he drove them off. The moral here is you can’t stop the birds from flying over your head, but you can stop them from nesting in your hair.

(3) Making rash vows. Lev 5: 4 this is different to the act of swearing under oath in a court of law.
To make a promise and fail to keep it is to trespass against the Lord. A true Christian’s word is his bond.
This relates to entering into covenants, commitments, contracts, or making vows; such as promising to support a project or a missionary, in the name of the Lord and failing to fulfil it.
The signing a covenant, or swearing “By the help of God to promise to do this or that etc” is not permissible, and the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. This is a snare.
Exodus 20:7 this is swearing rashly. We should never bring the name of the Lord into the affairs of life unless we are determined at all costs to keep our word; but even then it’s wrong.
The only covenants we are called to be party too are those that He and He alone initiated.
Matthew 5: 33-37. James 5:12; Psa 141: 3. Set a watch before my mouth; keep a watch upon my lips.
When Jacob fled from Esau he was met by God at Bethel where in a state of shock he vowed a vow. Gen 28:20-2 later in Gen 31:13 God held to account for his vow.
Ignorance of Holy things Lev 5:15, 16.
God set standards under the old covenant, for giving, tithing, dress, appearance and speech. And He has set standards for us in the New as well. We must learn to abide by them.

Dishonesty, whether it’s practiced against men or against God will not go unpunished.
Punishment for breaking commandments even ignorantly seemed unjust, however much of our ignorance is wilful, therefore its sin. Man reasons if he ignorant, he’s not responsible. That’s wrong.

Many people are perplexed regarding the story of Jephthah and cannot accept that he offered his daughter as a sacrifice. Therefore they seek to explain that she lived a life of virginity, their reasoning being that God did not permit human sacrifice. This is true, but neither does God allow His Name to be taken in vain. The heart of the incident is that Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord and said, “if thou shall without fail deliver the children of Ammon into my hands, then I will offer her up for a burnt offering” (Read Judges 10:29-40). Better to offer a human sacrifice than profane the name of a Holy God.

All this is borne out by yet another scripture: “If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth. If a woman also vow a vow unto the Lord, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father's house in her youth; and her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand” Num 27:2 - 4.

Thoughtfulness and integrity are the safest paths to take. Let our yea be yea, and our nay, without the addition of oaths and promises with which we bind ourselves. God binds the man who binds himself with an oath. So think carefully about what you say lest you make a snare for yourself.

It needs to be noted that if a man swore to do evil, and then changed his mind and did not do it, he was still adjudged guilty and must offer a Trespass Offering. This man is at an impasse. If he did the thing he declared, he sinned. If he did not do it he still sinned and must offer his Trespass Offering, which means that in the mind of God breaking a vow is more serious than fulfilling an evil intent. In the light of this, our prayer should always be, “Let the words of my mouth be acceptable in thy sight Oh Lord” “And put a watch upon your lips”.

Dishonesty in Holy things:
Don’t make rash statements i.e. “I'm going to fast every Tuesday for the next six months”.
“ If a soul commit a trespass, and sin through ignorance, in the holy things of the Lord; then he shall bring for his trespass unto the Lord a ram without blemish out of the flocks, with thy estimation by shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for a trespass offering: And he shall make amends (restitution) for the harm that he hath done in the holy thing, and shall add the fifth (20%) part thereto, and give it unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering, and it shall be forgiven him”.

Dishonesty is two edged sword. Lev. v. 15-16.
It can be against God or against man. In these immediate verses, concerning ignorance, the sins were against God. The remaining details of the Trespass Offering were sins against man.

It should always be remembered that everything belongs to God, and that includes man.
God is the Creator and the sustainer of all life. He is the Sovereign Ruler of the earth. “All things were made by Him; without Him was not anything made that was made” John 1: 3.
God claimed for Himself the firstborn of man and beast Exod.13: 2.
God claimed the firstfruits of the harvest Lev. 22.10-14.
God claimed tithes of all that man possessed including time, service, and possessions Lev 27:30-32.
When Israel entered the Land of Promise, under the leadership of Joshua God commanded that the first city, Jericho, should be dedicated to Himself by fire Joshua 6.
In the New Testament He has claimed much more because, because He has given man much more.
He has given Himself, He asks that we should give ourselves to Him in return; but man has ever been slow to give to God the things He requests.

For example His invite to sit and sup with Him at His Table Rev 3:20. Instead we have pushed it aside and ignored His invitation. The last supper was more than an incident that took place on that fateful night, it was a precedent set up for us to follow. “Do this in remembrance of Me”
Ignorance is not bliss. This is a trespass and God will not hold the trespasser guiltless.

Will a man rob God? It may be true that we are no longer obligated to tithe in the manner of Israel, but the Malachi question is as applicable today as is was 3500 years ago.
We could rightly ask today as they did in the days of Malachi, “will a man rob God” and the answer would still be the same-yes, even though he is ignorant in his understanding of holy things.

God is robbed when we fail to give Him that one day in seven for worship and quiet meditation. He has given us six days and asks that we give Him one. Is He asking for too much? As a nation we have robbed Him of that day in the pursuit of pleasure and treasure, so how can we expect His blessing? The curse causeless will not come. We are unquestionably cursed as nations; but what about ourselves as individuals?
God is robbed of our presence.
God is robbed by our lust for money.
God is robbed by our selfish indulgence.
God is robbed by our lack of concern for the less fortunate.

We steal His time to pursue our pleasures; to engage in commerce and sport seven days a week, in lieu of fellowship.
I’m talking about Christians?
The following instructions are with regard to more profitable ways in which to serve Him.
When you give? Not “if”
When you pray? Not “if”
When you fast? Not “if”
He expects us to do each of the above; but to do them in secret.
Mathew 6:6 when you pray, enter into your closet, and after you shut the door, pray to your Father in secret; and your Father which sees in secret will reward you openly.
Ephesians 6:18. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit; watching with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. Even Paul solicited personal prayer.
God is robbed when we fail to maintain His testimony before men.
The body of Christ have yielded ground on every front to the Devil by of our lack of interest in His will.
We have failed to support God's Kingdom because our abysmal ignorance of its importance to Him as well as ourselves.
Haggai 1:11 and so He called for a drought? Are we the victims of Divine resistance? Absolutely we are.
“ And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon all which the ground brings forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands.
He taught us to say “Thy Kingdom Come”, and to prayerfully promote His Kingdom wherever we are; in particular by opening our homes to one another and “commemorating Him” around two elements “bread and wine” as we share Christ together.
We are robbed when the ascension gifts He sent us are ignored.
Luke 13:35 Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Eph 4: 11-12.
God is robbed when we withhold our worship, the fruit of out lips which is due to His Holy Name.
He is robbed when we neglect the study of His Word. What is done today amounts to nothing more than a constant asking God for favours, and rarely giving anything in return; such as our obedience, gratitude, spiritual praise, and worship to the Father? John 4: Heb 13:16.

As a result our want has come upon us like an armed man, and like the thief that Satan is we have allowed him to rob us, and to inflict us physically and spiritually. There are many reasons for our spiritual poverty. Are we honest with our time, our possessions, our abilities, and our activities?
Do we take seriously our responsibility as good Samaritans with regard to our neighbours?
As I write I know families supposedly “Spirit filled” whose sons live under their roof with their girlfriends with their permission in adultery.
This behaviour in holy things is a trespass against God that will not go away. If you are ignorant it is because you have chosen to be that way. God has made every provision for our instruction in righteousness and holy living.
Ignorance: And if a soul sin, and commit any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the Lord; though he wist it not, yet he is guilty and shall bear his iniquity.
Provision has been provided under the new covenant for repentance and confession that we may receive forgiveness, and readjust our lives accordingly.

Heb 13:10. We have an altar which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. At this altar of sacrifice all business with God is transacted. He has promised to meet with us here, and no other place.

What about you’re Altar? God has left us in no doubt as to what the nature of our relationship with Him is founded upon when He said in Psalm 50:1 “gather my people together those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice”. Sacrifice is central to everything we possess, and all we do. We approach God through the sacrifice of His Son and all business with God is transacted around this holy theme. No other method is acceptable to God.

Every offering pointed forward to the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The lives of the patriarchs and Israel revolved around the altar of sacrifice. Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Samuel, David all these men, under varying circumstances raised altars. They turned times of tragic sorrow, or great joy; of victory or defeat into opportunities for raising an altar. When they sinned or had been overcome they always returned to the altar. These men were always building altars. And so should we, for we too have an altar.

As well as being a place to meet with God it stands for the benefits of the death of Christ. Paul also goes on to compare the sacrifice of animals to that of Christ; the animals being burnt without the camp, prefigures Christ being crucified outside the gates of Jerusalem. From Moses time careful instructions were given for the raising of private altars. It was not just ceremonial; it was central to everything.

The whole nation camped around the tabernacle in the form of a cross, with the Altar guarding the way to the presence of Jehovah. Today the Mosaic ritual has been superseded, except that essential element that the altar symbolized has remained.

When they built an altar what did it mean? At the altar they “got back (returned) to God.” As they watched the sacrifice being devoured by fire “they thought about what they were doing”- and what was that? They were slaying the sacrifice for the readjustment of spiritual things; to make a new beginning; to worship Him for making it possible. It was made of common earth and stones. Just bread and wine is all it takes. But the symbolism is all powerful.

If you have read this far don’t just dismiss it by saying “it doesn’t apply to me because I’m not under law” for we will all stand before Him to give an account.

1 Cor 9:21 To those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law. My desire is to hear Him say to me, “Well done thou good (Godlike) and faithful servant” as I am sure every true servant of Christ does.

Ephesians 4:25-28 wherefore, having put off falsehood, speak truth every one with his neighbor, because we are members one of another. Be angry, and do not sin; let not the sun set upon your wrath, neither give room for the devil. Let the stealer steal no more, but rather let him toil, working what is honest with his hands, that he may have to distribute to him that has need.


 
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Shaun Kearney
en engape!