Archive for category From the Pastor
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:1-4
The Church was born in the most difficult of circumstances. The early believers of the Lord Jesus Christ have to come against the great religious and political forces of their time. The first Christians, being purely Jews had to endure tremendous persecution among their countrymen for coming out of their Judaism, the Jewish faith based on the Old Testament Laws which, in reality, were foreshadows of the true Messiah which they rejected, the Lord Jesus Christ (Isaiah 26:16; Acts 4: 11-12; I Pet 2: 4-6). The ruling political power of their time was the great Roman Empire who have subjugated and oppressed Israel and was violently hostile against the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. Despite of all these tremendous odds, the believers multiplied vigorously and the word of the Lord, the gospel went from Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost part of the earth (Acts 1:8; 2: 41-47; 17: 6). What was the key to the early Church’s great success? Biblical history tells us the key: The outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon God’s redeemed people on the Day of Pentecost!
This week, we celebrate one of the important Feasts of the Lord: The Feast of Pentecost (Exo 23: 16; Lev 23: 15-16). Today, the whole Christian world celebrates Pentecost Sunday! The Lord Jesus Himself, appearing to His disciples after His resurrection, promised the coming of this special day of the Holy Spirit outpouring when he instructed His faithful followers (Acts 1: 5,8). It was exactly 50 days after the Lord Jesus’ crucifixion and death that the Holy Spirit came in power filling the 120 remnants of the Lord’s followers with His power manifested in cloven tongues of fire (Acts 2: 1-4). It was the birth of the glorious church of the Lord Jesus Christ! The Apostle Peter, explaining to the people in Jerusalem what they were witnessing declared that this phenomenon was what the prophet Joel declared in Joel 2: 28-29. The church grew in power from the Pentecost experience in that Upper Room and the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth.
It is important to remember that the First Pentecost that happened in Israel was marked by the giving of the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai, fifty days after their first Passover celebration the night before they came out of Egypt. The Second Pentecost came 50 days after the Lord Jesus, the Passover Lamb, offered His life on the cross for the redemption of all mankind. Today, we look forward to the third and final Pentecost when God will pour out His Spirit once again in an unlimited measure to all flesh of every nation, tribe and tongue! This is final Pentecost, the manifestation of the power of the “Age to Come” that will mark the freedom of those whom God will redeem from the power of Sin and death from the four corners of the earth! Indeed, God will have a people for Himself (Rev 7:9) and the Lord Jesus Christ will have His Bride (Rev 19:7).
Also published on Eagle Christian, Issue No. 388 on May 19, 2013
“And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’S.” Obadiah 1:21
Tomorrow, May 13, is a very crucial day for the nation not only politically but also prophetically. It is our 2013 mid- term elections that would put into our Senate and Congress the next set of lawmakers of the land. It will also the elections when new set of local executives like governors, mayors, provincial council members and city/ town council members will be elected. For many decades, the electoral process has deteriorated to rock bottom level. For many years, the democratic electoral process has been terribly marred by senseless violence and bloodshed, massive cheating and manipulation of the election results, vote buying and bribery, abuse of power of incumbent officials, massive use of blood money in expensive campaigns and many other acts of wickedness. Families in power have morally violated the constitutional prohibition against political dynasties blatantly and shamelessly boasted their political stranglehold in vast number of elective positions. Many provinces, towns and cities have been dominated by single families using the massive power and resources within their control to make sure that they will continue to rule protecting their vested interest enriching themselves by stashing away public funds in hundreds of subtle and cunning ways. The prophets declared that we are at the forked road of our destiny: One road leads to righteousness, restoration and blessings; the other one leads to worsening wickedness, destitution and destruction!
The prophets encouraged us to: “Contend for our destiny and fight for God’s promises!” These strong and urgent prophetic directives have been trumpeted over and over for the past three years during the National Prayer Gatherings (NPG) held by the Intercessors for the Philippines (IFP). From March 2010 when we prophetically declared our Jubilee season, it has been no less than an intense spiritual battle of attrition! Amazingly, the Lord has raised up a generation of “deliverers and saviours” as spoken of by the prophet Obadiah (Obadiah 1:21). While a significant part of the Body of Christ is still sleeping in a state of prophetic stupor, there is a generation of Jacobs (Psalm 24: 6)n that intensely seek the Lord, hear from Him and receive the spiritual strength to contend and fight for the nation’s prophetic destiny. These are the warriors of destiny: From pastors and intercessors who hear and believes the word of the Lord who contend through prayers and intercession to specially called men of God like Bro. Eddie Villanueva who put his life in the line running for a senate seat in obedience to the call of the Lord in this “kairos” hour.
The IFP leads these warriors of destiny. We blew the Jubilee “shofar” upon the revelation of the Lord for our change of season; we sound the alarm in different occasions when the Body of Christ needed to be awakened, assembled to worship and pray and rallied for the battle (Num 10), we mobilize the church to fast and pray nationwide as we enter the threshold of our destiny! Three years into our Jubilee decade, our destiny is within reach! Let us be the warriors of destiny that God is looking for! Let us pray, campaign and support those who have heard the prophetic call and put their lives on the line!
Also published on Eagle Christian, Issue No. 387 on May 12, 2013
“The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance” Psalm 33:11-12
The coming May 13 mid-term elections put our nation on a critical crossroad. The prophets declared that once again, the Lord is giving the nation a second chance to take hold of our destiny! Fittingly, the Intercessors for the Philippines (IFP) was led by the Lord to make the theme of the 24th National Prayer Gathering (NPG) to reflect this crucial hour: “The Philippines at the Threshold of Prophetic Fulfillment”. With all the recent manifestations of “almond branch” blessings of God to our nation like our miraculous economic resurrection, the government’s thrust towards “Daang Matuwid” or righteous governance and the restoration of the nation’s dignity and honour, there are so many things that we must thank God for since the proclamation of our Jubilee of Jubilees last March 2010!
With a few critical and decisive steps, we will be riding on the momentum of God’s blessings and favour. Like giving birth to a child, we have to press on and make the final push for the birth of a new nation. The prophet Isaiah declared: “Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.” (Isa 66:8). A new Philippines is about to be born! We need to press on in our travails of fasting, prayers and intercessions! The Lord spoke to us strongly through His prophets that we need to contend for our destiny! We need to fight the spiritual battles to bind the powers of darkness that is bent on preventing us in receiving the promises of God in this “Kairos” hour! We need to raise up the spiritual army of God who will persevere as watchmen over the walls of this nation until her righteousness goes forth as brightness and her salvation as a lamp that burns (Isaiah 62:1).
As we enter the last week of our 21 Days Prayer and Fasting Chain (April 21-May 12) which will be culminated with a 72- Hour Worship Warfare and Intercession (WWI) at the very doorstep of our 2013 Mid Term Elections, we need to be focused, determined and willing to pay the price to possess our inheritance! Bro Eddie Villanueva had taken heed of the mandate to contend for our destiny by running for a senate seat this coming May 13 elections. The whole Body of Christ have supported Bro. Eddie with faith, passion and positive actions campaigning for him the best way we can! Much strategic prayers and prophetic proclamations have been done! For the past three years, saturation prayers in the 24 Hour Houses of Prayers (24HHP) have been established in 76 provinces of the nation! We are trying to do the best we can; in the end, it will be the merciful hand of the Almighty God who will bring us to our promised land!
After decades of intercession, we are standing at the critical crossroad: Let us determine to choose the path of obedience to God’s prophetic words and receive His precious promises and blessings in our generation!
Also published on Eagle Christian, Issue No. 386 on May 5, 2013
“Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.” Psalm 24:7
The past two weeks after the 24th National Prayer Gathering (NPG) was a super busy week for me and the Board Members of the Intercessors for the Philippines! The Lord has impressed to Prophets Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj and Vincent Selvakumar that they need to visit and pray in these Seven Gateway Cities of Revival (SGCR) of the Philippines that the Lord supernaturally spoke through Prophet Vincent last 21st NPG. They were instructed by the Lord to proclaim the word of the Lord to these SGCRs and impart to the churches of these cities the prophetic and watchman anointing so that the Lord’s prophetic purposes shall come to pass. Right after the 24th NPG and the subsequent 1st National Youth Prophetic Training held at CCT Campsite in Tagaytay City, we have to embark on a number of rigorous, intense and highly strategic prayer assignments to these gateway cities led by the two Indian prophets that the Lord sent to speak our nation’s destiny before God’s people.
These Gateway Cities that were prophetically revealed are Legazpi, Cagayan de Oro, Lipa, Pampanga (province), Pateros, Baguio and Manila. The prophets, together with the IFP Board and some IFP Key leaders, went to each one of these gateway cities, did prayer walks, intercessions, prophetic proclamations and released Aaronic blessings to them. After these prayer walks and intercessions, Prophets Sadhu and Vincent spoke in prophetic prayer gatherings hastily but effectively organized by IFP Coordinators of those places. These prophetic prayer assignments were met with tremendous and overwhelming response of the churches of these chosen revival places! Except for Manila who was not able to have a prophetic prayer gathering, all the rest of the places were able to organize half day prophetic conferences to give a chance for the pastors and intercessors of their cities to hear the prophets release the specific prophetic word of the Lord. Outstanding among them in terms of attendance were Cagayan de Oro (3,500 pastors and intercessors in attendance at Limketkai Mall Atrium); Pampanga (1,500 in attendance at Heroes Hall of San Fernando); Legazpi (1,200 at International School Gymnasium) and Baguio (550 at Albergo de Ferroca Hotel). It was indeed a strategic prophetic season for those cities who received the word of the Lord with wide open hearts! They also commit themselves to do everything that is needed to make sure that God’s great and wonderful plan to make their cities as the passageways of the mighty revival that shall sweep upon the land!
Indeed, 2013 is our Passover Year where we are entering the threshold of our prophetic fulfillment! The month of April, in this third year of our Jubilee Season, coincided with the Passover month of Israel where they were set free from 400 years of slavery in Egypt! For the Philippines, this is our 490th Year, our Jubilee of Jubilees! The gateways have been opened! It is now for us, the end time prophetic church, to make the final push and vigorously and valiantly contend for our destiny! Let us usher in through our prayers, fasting, proclamations and actions the coming of the Lord Jesus, the King of Glory upon our beloved land!
Also published on Eagle Christian, Issue No. 385 on April 28, 2013
Center for Community Transformation (CCT), Tagaytay City
“Your people will volunteer when you call up your army. Your young people will come to you in holy splendor like dew in the early morning.” Psalm 110:3
The Intercessors for the Philippines (IFP) once again spearheaded a ground-breaking event for the youth last April 15-19, 2013 as it hosted the First National Youth Prophetic Training (NYPT) at the beautiful and scenic campsite of the Center for Community Transformation (CCT) in Tagaytay City. Following the heels of the just concluded, powerful 24th NPG, more than 550 eager and excited young people attended the first- ever event participated by youth leaders from all over the nation with ages 29 and below. Some 50 pastors were also there to provide spiritual covering over their young people and assist IFP staff in facilitating the event. It was a dawning of a new prophetic movement among the young people whom the prophets declared as God’s secret weapons for these Last Days!
The main speakers and spiritual trainers for this event were prophets Bro. Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj and Bro. Vincent Selvakumar of India with Pastor Joe Sweet of the USA. Pastor Ed de Guzman, Bro. Wyden King and I provided the apostolic covering for the young people speaking in their early morning devotionals while Pastor Bong Valencia of our CLSF U-Belt and Pastor Joel Bataclan helped in facilitating the intensive, five- day program. Ate Nona Londonio handled the huge administrative aspect of the event ably assisted by the whole complement of the ever efficient IFP Staff headed by Ate Jasmin Sapungay and Ate Raceli Advincula, both from CLSF. Like laboring in birth pains for a new baby (Gal 4:19), the IFP leadership determined to make the push for Christ to be formed among the hundreds of youth leaders who enlisted in God’s End- Time army. Waves upon waves of prophetic revelations were poured out by the prophets Sadhu, Vincent and Pastor Joe Sweet! Rivers of prophetic anointing and impartations were released from ankle deep waters, then knee deep, waist deep until it became a river that could not be crossed, so deep and wide prophetically correspondent to the anointing that the prophet Ezekiel saw in Ezekiel 47 1-12 that will come upon the whole earth! Indeed, it was a prophetic moment that we seized, a “kairos” time that boldly redeemed for our destiny as a nation!
For five days, the Lord poured out generously His power and grace upon the young people. A call for martyrdom were made by the prophets to which the young people responded with tremendous and serious acceptance willing to pay the ultimate price for God’s Kingdom to come upon the nation and His will be done throughout the earth! Tears of brokenness, repentance and cleansing flowed so generously day after day, hour after hour as the prophets released such anointed utterances unheard of by the Church in many generations past! Heavenly manifestations of angels, wind and fire came upon the participants as torrents of prophetic mysteries flowed to 550 willing and thirsty hearts! The five- day event was capped with a commissioning prophetic prayer for the pastors and a solemn and powerful anointing service for all the young participants! The Warrior Bride has risen, and the young people have willingly taken the frontline!
Also published on Eagle Christian, Issue No. 384 on April 21, 2013
“Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree. Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it” Jeremiah 1:11-12
Once again, thousands of pastors and intercessors from all over the country filled the cavernous, 10,000 seating capacity Cuneta Astrodome last April 9-12, 2013 for the 24th staging of the annual National Prayer Gathering (NPG) of the Intercessors for the Philippines (IFP). The NPG has become a yearly pilgrimage for intercessors from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao with full representation from all the provinces and regions of the nation. It is a solemn assembly to corporately worship the Lord as one, united Body of Christ, listen to His prophetic “now” word for the Church and the nation and intercede for God’s destiny and purposes for the Philippines and His End Time plan for the Last Days. Through the years, the NPG has become the main national venue for God’s prophetic voice to be trumpeted to His people and a powerful assembly where Holy Spirit- directed intercession and prophetic proclamation reach its highest intensity and spiritual authority as the Lord speaks through His servants, the prophets.
The theme of this year’s 24th NPG is “The Philippines at the Threshold of Prophetic Fulfillment. The number 24 is a very significant number in God’s time table being the number of divine government and also of prophetic fulfillment. After twenty four years of intercession, the Lord has brought us in a strategic time when we are about to experience His great mercy and favour powerfully anchored on the revelation of our 490 years Jubilee season (Dan 9:24). With the Lord showing His “Almond Branch” blessing to the nation since the historic prophetic proclamation of our Jubilee of Jubilees last March 16, 2010 in Cebu City, the thousands of pastors and intercessors who gathered for four days at the Cuneta Astrodome received with open hearts the prophetic messages and instructions of the Lord ready to pay the price and do everything that is needed to fulfill His divine plan for the nation. The anointed foreign speakers namely prophets Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj, Vincent Selvakumar and Pastor Joe Sweet declared extremely important and timely prophetic utterances from the Lord concerning the church and the nation. The prophetic words were so profound, sharp and specific that the people were caught in wonderment and deep conviction readily responding in prayers of repentance, mercy and forgiveness as well us burst of praise and thanksgiving of God’s wonderful and great promises for the nation! The local speakers namely, myself, Bishop Eddie Villanueva, Bishop Efraim Tendero, Pastor Ed de Guzman, Bro. Wyden King and Bro. Diwa Guinigundo on the other hand took turns in bringing the messages of the Lord in the specific context of what the Lord is doing in the nation and what is needed to be done by the Philippine church.
Tremendous worship and praise lead by the IFP Worship team filled the whole Cuneta Astrodome punctuated by beautiful and breath taking pageantry by an excellent prophetic dance ministry called Dance Move Ministry led by Sis. Rose Rivera. The extremely breath-taking dance portraying the Bride of Christ tearfully warmed the heart of everyone in the gathering increasing their resolve to ever more intimate with the Lord! Sommer Haven Ministry from Lancaster California led by Sister Theresa and Bro Gordon Skinner did a full- 45 minute drama presentation of “Casaq, the Eagle” portraying the journey of an Eagle who discovered his true identity and destiny as the King of the Birds. Seventeen participants of the play, mostly American Indians, travelled all the way from California, USA and paid for their own expenses just to be part of the historic 24th NPG! They were joined by about a hundred local dancers to enhance the play together with our very own tribal groups from the Cordilleras and Mindanao. The highlight of the gathering was the turn-over of 17 “menorahs” or lampstands to the representatives of 17 Regional Prayer Centers that will host the 24 Hour Houses of Prayers (24HHP) to cover the whole nation in 24/7 non- stop prayers and intercession to usher in God’s promises for the nation and at the same time protect the land from judgment and calamities that characterizes the last Days. Pastor Kum Pui of Singapore sly donated the 17 menorahs in his obedience to the Lord’s mandate for him.
The Lord indeed brought us to the cusp of our prophetic destiny! Let us persevere and pursue it with all our hearts, soul and might knowing that we are indeed at the threshold of our prophetic fulfillment!
Also published on Eagle Christian, Issue No. 383 on April 14, 2013
“Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come” Psalm 102:13
The 24th National Prayer Gathering (NPG) of the Intercessors for the Philippines (IFP) will finally take place next week! Some 10,000 pastors and intercessors from all over the nation are expected to gather for four days at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City this coming April 9-12, 2013. The NPG is an annual solemn assembly spearheaded by IFP to gather together to worship the Lord, listen to His prophetic word and intercede for the Philippines and other global concerns in connection with God’s prophetic purposes in our generation. This is a unique gathering that has been faithfully taking place in unbroken succession for the past 24 years as one Body of Christ from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, across denominational lines, join their hearts together to humble themselves, repent for the sins church and the nation, pray and intercede seeking the face of God for His will and His Kingdom to come upon the land. This 24th NPG is very crucial in the sense that 24th is the number of Divine Government. We anticipate that for the next seven years of our Jubilee decade (March 2010-March 2020), the Lord will significantly fulfil His promises to us in line with our historic 490 Years Jubilee of Jubilees which we proclaimed last March 16, 2010 at the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) in Cebu City.
The main speakers for the 24th NPG are mighty prophets of God from India namely, Bro. Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj, Bro. Vincent Selvakumar and Pastor Joe Sweet of the USA. The local speakers are myself, Bishop Eddie Villanueva, Pastor Ed de Guzman, bro. Wyden King and Bro. Diwa Guinigundo. Worship will be led by the IFP worship team with prophetic dance and pageantry to be rendered by a composite team of dancers from different churches in the country. A special presentation from Lancaster, California on an ethnic drama on the story of “Casaq, the Eagle” will be staged by Sommer Haven dance and drama group headed by Sister Theresa Skinner with some 16 participants coming from the USA and about 100 volunteer dancers from the Philippines.
The Philippines, being recipient of a glorious prophetic destiny as a righteous, “sheep” nation; a prosperous “prince” nation; and a missionary-sending, evangelizing and discipling nation has long been waiting for this glorious time of favour (Psalm 102:13)! That time has come! Let us therefore continue to be fervent and unrelenting in our prayers, zealous in our gospel proclamations and persevering in discipling our nation to establish a righteous and God-fearing people. Most of all, let us continue to enlarge the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of God, building Him a house of worship, prayer and sacrifice so that He will continue to dwell with us enable us to fulfil our God given destiny as a righteous nation, a blessed nation and a missionary sending nation in these Last Days! Indeed, this is our time! Let us seize our destiny in this moment of our prophetic fulfillment!
Also published on Eagle Christian, Issue No. 382 on April 7, 2013
For more information about the 24th National Prayer Gathering, visit the IFP website.
Image source: http://www.intercessorsforthephilippines.com
“And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.” Exodus 12:13
The Passover in the time of Israel’s slavery in Egypt was a crucial event that powerfully set a nation free from their 400 years of slavery in Egypt. For the Jewish people, it was a night of contrasting predicament: the terrible 10th and final plague of the death of all the firstborn of Egypt, both from man and beast of the Egyptians and the merciful and mighty deliverance and protection for all the children of Israel, descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Exo 12: 11-14). The Lord commanded Israel to observe the Passover as a Feast, a memorial throughout their generation. The Feast of Passover commemorates not only their deliverance and freedom from Egypt but also Israel’s birth as a nation. The Passover was a prophetic type of the ultimate “Passover Lamb” who was slain for the redemption of all mankind- the Lord Jesus Christ some 1,200 years from the time that it was first observed by Israel on that fateful day of judgment on Egypt and mighty deliverance for God’s people. The day Jesus was crucified was the exact day of the Passover celebration. While every household in Israel was slaying the Passover lamb, the Lord Jesus hanged on the cross, His sinless blood shed for us and His life offered to atone for the sins of mankind. It was at 3:00, when Jesus finally cried out, “It is finished” giving up His spirit – the exact moment that the Passover lamb was sacrificed and the shofar was blown from the Temple. At the very instant, the veil of the Temple (a three-inch thick, several story high cloth that demarked the Holy of Holies) tore from top to bottom- representing a removal of the separation between God and man.
Unknown to many Christians today, the Lord made seven promises connected with the keeping of the Feast of Passover and the subsequent feasts of Unleavened Bread and Firstfuits. These seven promises were embodied in Exodus 23: 20-29 when the Lord instituted the Feasts before all Israel. These seven blessings that we can claim through our Passover Lamb who is the Lord Jesus (I Cor 5:7) are:
- God will assign an angel to His people (Exo 23: 20, 23)
- God will be an enemy to the enemies of His people (v. 22)
- God will give prosperity to His people (v. 25)
- God will take sickness away from His people (v. 25)
- God will give long life to His people (v. 26)
- God will bring increase and inheritance (v. 30)
- God will give a special year of blessing (v. 31)
Indeed, the blessings of our Passover Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ did not only set us free from sin and death but place us in a position of His grace and favour to enable us to live in the abundant life that He has promised to His people (Deut 28: 1-14; John 10:10). Let us celebrate the essence and fulfillment of the Feast of the Passover, Unleavened Bread and Firstfruit. Their essence and fulfillment is our Lord Jesus Christ!
Also published on Eagle Christian, Issue No. 381 on March 31, 2013
“And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I Am the LORD.” Exodus 12:11-12
This coming week is the celebration of the Holy Week for the whole Christian world. It is a tradition that originated in a time that Christianity has taken the Greek pagan holidays and gave it a Christian essence and content, an attempt by Emperor Constantine to make Christianity acceptable to the pagan Roman Empire. While the whole essence of the Holy Week is about the passion of Christ- His precious last supper with His disciples, His agony at Gethsemane, His betrayal by Judas Iscariot, His trial, His humiliation, His punishment and sufferings, His crucifixion and death, His burial and finally, His resurrection, His ascension and glorification, the Holy Week tradition veered us away from the essential Hebraic feasts that coincided with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. The biblical feasts that prophetically foretold with what will be celebrated next week are the three summer feasts of the Lord namely: The Feast of Passover, the Feast Unleavened Bread and the Feast of First Fruit (Lev 23: 4-10).
The Passover or “Pesach” in Hebrew is one of the Jewish religion’s most sacred and widely observed holidays. It commemorates the story of the Israelites’ departure from ancient Egypt, which was recorded in the book of Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. The Jews observe the weeklong festival with a number of important rituals, including traditional Passover meals known as “seders”, the removal of leavened products from their home, the substitution of matzo for bread and the retelling of the account of Israel’s exodus from Egypt. The Passover celebration recounts the time when God sent the final plague upon the Egyptians and Pharaoh, the tenth plague which was the death of every firstborn child in the land of Egypt. The Lord instructed Moses to tell the children of Israel to kill the Passover lamb and apply its blood on the door posts and lintel of their dwellings. At midnight, the angel of death will pass through the land smiting all the firstborn of every family, both man and beast. Those without the blood on their doors shall be smitten. The Lord promised the children of Israel: “When I see the blood, I will Passover you”. They must eat the meat of the lamb that night, roast with fire, with unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs. They must eat the meat of the lamb and nothing of it must remain in the morning. Anything that remains, they must burn with fire. They must eat with their loins girded, with shoes on their feet, and their staff in their hand; they shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S Passover (Exodus 12: 3-14)! The Lord instructed them to keep it for a memorial as a feast to the LORD throughout their generations; they shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever (Exo 12: 14)!
The Lord Jesus is the Passover Lamb of the whole world. Through His blood, man will be saved from the eternal judgment of hell! Every man and woman who received Him as their sacrificial lamb will be saved from eternal damnation. He was called by John the Baptist: the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world! Yes, when God, our merciful Heavenly Father sees the blood, He will Passover us!
Also published on Eagle Christian, Issue No. 380 on March 24, 2013
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” Ephesians 6:17
The End Time Church is approaching a critical time when it will enter the greatest war of attrition against the forces of darkness that has imprisoned billions of people all over the world. The “Ezer” Bride of Christ shall arise clothed with power and glory of the Kingdom of God and will be joined by the armies in heaven to fight the final spiritual war against satan and his host of demonic spirits. The Lord Jesus declared that the Church or “Ekklessia” that He will build is a militant and powerful church that will assault the gates of hell and destroy them (Matt 16: 18)! It will have the connection to heaven and is given the keys of the Kingdom of God (Matt 16:19)! The great Apostle Paul clearly taught the early believers that the church is at war (II Cor. 10: 4-5; Eph. 6: 12) with the hierarchy of fallen angels and demonic spirits. These are supernatural beings whose realm is the world of darkness that will only be overcome similarly, with the supernatural weapons of God! The Apostle Paul listed down the armour of God (Eph. 6: 12-17). All of the different pieces of the armour were meant to defend and protect the warriors of the Lord; but there is one that is meant to be such a powerful and effective offensive weapon: the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God!
The writer of the Book of Hebrews described the Word of God as a sharp, two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12)! The sword was the ancient army’s most powerful man-to-man combat weapon. Before the invention of the gunpowder, the spear and the sword were the most effective conventional weapon in ancient warfare. The apostle Paul called the Word of God the Sword of the Spirit! It is sharp, powerful and will pierce through the most hidden and protected encampments of the enemy, satan. The effectiveness of its use will depend on the mastery and skillfulness of those who use it. A soldier of olden times cannot afford to part with his sword. He has to sleep with it, walk with it, eat with it, etc. The sword must always be fitted securely on his belt, secured in its sheath. In times of war, losing your sword is synonymous to losing your life or being captured by your enemy.
In the same token, God’s people are given the most powerful weapon known in heaven and o the earth: the Word of God! The Lord Jesus said: “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mat 16:19). The word of God has to be spoken and declared with understanding, faith and boldness against the enemy! This was how the Lord Jesus fought and defeated the enemy (Matt 4: 1-11)! The Lord Jesus overpowered, rebuked and cast satan away by declaring the Word of God against the temptations and crafting lies of the devil. The Lord said to the Prophet Jeremiah: “I put My Words in your mouth and I set you over nations and Kingdoms to root out, pull down, destroy, throw down, build and plant! (Jer. 1:10). The Word of God is an extremely powerful weapon! It is the Sword of the Spirit! Let us read, study, understand, meditate and proclaim it with the Holy Spirit- imparted faith and boldness against the enemy!
Also published on Eagle Christian, Issue No. 379 on March 17, 2013