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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Nehemiah


Map of the Walls of Jerusalem.


Nehemiah– Part 9  Refuse Gate
 
In last week's teaching we showed the meaning of the Valley Gate. Our “valley” experiences help us remove the garbage in us.
The next gate is the Refuse (Dung) Gate. This gate leads downhill. This gate was used to take the garbage of Jerusalem down to the Hinnom Valley to be burned. The inward parts of the animals sacrificed to God were carried out of God's holy city through the Refuse Gate to be burned also. Three valleys met at the garbage pit called Gehenna where all rubbish is burned.
God wants to remove the junk in us so we will shine brightly for His Son. He wants to remove the things in our hearts and minds that hinder our walk with Him. Untruth and sin reduce the power of the Holy Spirit's flow within us and out to others. God will use the fire of the Holy Spirit and the Word to reveal our rubbish and burn it out of our inward parts like the Israelites did with the inward parts of the sacrificial animals. We are His living sacrifices. Our inner parts—heart and mind—must be cleansed. (see 2 Corinthians 5:12) Jesus continually taught about the condition of mankind's hearts.
Jesus said to His disciples as He washed their feet, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” John 13:8 In Exodus 30:17-21, the priests were instructed to wash their hands and feet before serving in the Tabernacle and Temple. Our feet are what touch the dirt of the earth. Jesus stripped down and put on the garment of a slave and washed the feet of his disciples. Jesus was fulfilling this portion of the Law in Exodus by doing this. Our feet are the dirtiest part of the body because they touch the dirt of the earth. Jesus was showing us in this act, that we must allow Him to cleanse our dirtiest part – our sins and earthly nature. He used this “natural” act to teach a “spiritual” truth. Jesus will progressively cleanse us of sin to prepare us for service in His holy temple. We are the living temple of God as Jesus is the Living Temple of God. God is a God of preparation. He must prepare us to step out in ministry for Him.
It is important for the Body of Christ to know that everything that Jesus said and did while He walked on this earth was fulfilling scripture. He came to fulfill the Law and the prophets. Therefore, He had to do everything the Law required in order to fulfill it so we are no longer under its rule which brought death. Jesus paid the penalty of death in the Law for all of us by obeying it perfectly. Jesus didn't do this because He was Jewish. He did it because He is God and only God could live up to His high, holy standard. The flesh of man is too weak to do what Jesus did. Jesus never gave into the flesh nature He took on through His earthly mother Mary. God honored the Jews by letting the Savior of the world come through them even though the Israelites were sinners and disobedient to God. But make no mistake, Jesus is not just a Jewish man. He is the Lord of glory who as the Word spoke all things into existence at creation. Jesus was in the Father as one as the Word of God in the beginning. Jesus said in the Gospels that He and the Father are One. The Holy Spirit planted the seed/Word of God in a Jewish woman who was a virgin to also fulfill scripture. The Bible said that the Savior and Messiah would come through the Jews. The Bible also said that it would be the seed of a woman who would defeat the serpent. So Jesus had to come through a woman and a Jew to fulfill scripture.
Jesus was the fullness of the Godhead bodily as He walked the earth. In other words, Jesus had the fullness of the Father because He did only as the Father told Him to do and spoke only what the Father told Him to speak. He had the fullness of the Holy Spirit because He had no sin to block its power and flow, and He had the fullness of Truth/Word of God because He is Truth—all Truth. Jesus was also “fully” Man, meaning the fullness of what Mankind can become when they walk in the ways of God. Jesus was Man in fullness because He was sinless. Because of Jesus' willingness to fulfill all of the requirements of the Law once-for-all, we are now under His law of love, not the ritual and demands of the Law. Jesus is concerned with our heart attitudes in all things. He isn't impressed with ritual! The Israelites didn't have the power of the Holy Spirit to help them obey the Law. Only certain prophets, priests, kings and gifted artisans were filled with the Holy Spirit in the Older Testament. But Jesus shed His sinless blood so all who believe in Him could receive the power of the Holy Spirit to help us know the truth and walk in it out of our love for the Godhead. Love was God's motivation; love must be our motivation. (see 2 Corinthians 5:14-15)
When we are in Christ, the old has passed away and the new has come. (see 2 Corinthians 5:17) When we allow Jesus and the Holy Spirit to individually get rid of the sin in each of our lives, collectively the Body of Christ will be powerful and victorious.
Jesus wants to be fully known so we can walk in the fullness that His death on the cross and His resurrection power gave to us. In order to grow in this fullness, we must allow Jesus, the Word, and the Holy Spirit to remove the refuse in our hearts. When the refuse goes, the water flows. We must be sanctified.
The next gate is the Fountain Gate.
 

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