DIG for Sunday the 28th of December…..God is not about to do a new thing…..John 19 v 30

We are getting to the time of year when we will read and hear a flurry of prophecies about God doing a new thing in this new season, about God opening up Heaven and pouring out His Spirit on this part of the world or that part of the world, about God sending revival in this new time of more anointing in this new season of more.

God is not about to do a new thing; He has done “His thing”.

He sent Jesus, then sent the Holy Spirit and has given us His Word; as I said, He has done “His thing”.

Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, and His work is finished (Hebrews 10 v 12).

God is not about to open up Heaven and pour out His Spirit; He has already opened up Heaven and poured out His Spirit at Pentecost and according to my Bible He has not gone back yet, so He cannot be poured out again.

I used to wonder why God would pour out His Spirit on one part of the world and not on another. Was it to do with how good one part of the world was in comparison to another? Was it to do with how good His church was?

Now I know that this is not the case (through rightly dividing the Bible); God has already poured out His Spirit on the whole world, and if He had not He would not pour out on one part and withhold from the rest as he has no favourites, He is no respecter of persons (Acts 10 v 34).

If you trust in Jesus, have the indwelling Holy Spirit and have His Bible you have all that you need from God already; the rest is now up to you!

You already have all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1 v 3) and all you need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1 v 3).

You have all the revival you need already inside you (the Holy Spirit) or in your hand (the Bible).

This type of prophetic words increase the passivity of the church; we are always waiting for God to do a new thing, always waiting for a new season, always waiting for a fresh anointing, always waiting for more, more, more.

If this is indeed a new time or new season, it should be a new time or new season for the church to realise what it already has through the finished work of Jesus Christ.

It should be a new season of stopping waiting for God to do more.

It should be a new time of realisation of the power and authority that we already have from Jesus and through His indwelling Holy Spirit.

It should be a new season of understanding the importance of His Inspired and Holy Written Word, and a new time of rightly diving the Scriptures.

It is not a new season for God to move and do a new thing!

Speak tis out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus Christ, thank you that you have already poured out your Spirit, and than you for the Bible”.

John 19 v 30…..When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished, and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost


DIG for Saturday the 27th of December……behold the Lamb of God; but what about the sin…..John 1 v 36

As you probably know I love old covenant typology, knowing that these types and shadows point to Jesus and His finished work.

One of my favourite pieces of old covenant typology is from the first chapter of John when Jesus is baptised (and before you ask, most of the Gospels is under the old covenant).

John saw Jesus prior to His baptism and said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world” (John 1 v 29).

After the baptism of Jesus, John said, “Behold the Lamb of God” (John 1 v 36).

Why the difference, why no mention of sin after His baptism?

Water baptism is symbolic of our salvation experience, but also symbolic of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

We have seen from recent DIGs ( Dec 11th, 12th, 13th and 25th) that Jesus was born as our sacrificial lamb (1 Peter 1 v 19).

He was born to deal with the sin of us all (Matthew 1 v 21).

When Jesus died on the cross He dealt with all sin for all people for all time; He finished the sin issue in the eyes of Father God.

After Jesus died sin was no longer an issue for God.

So sin was an issue before His death but not an issue after His death.

Hence the typology of the baptism of Jesus is all about the sin issue; before His baptism John spoke about sin, but he did not after the baptism as he was telling us that it would not be an issue after the death of Jesus.

This is a wonderful piece of typology, a great picture about the work of Jesus.

He came to die to remove the barrier of sin, and once He had died, was buried and resurrected (remember this is what His baptism is pointing towards) sin was no longer a problem for God.

So John does not say anything about sin after His baptism, wonderful!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you for the finished work of Jesus Christ, and thank you that the barrier of sin between me and God has been removed”.

John 1 v 36…..And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God

DIG for Friday the 26th of December……meet to encourage and be encouraged, to be taught and to teach…..Hebrews 10 v 24 and 25

Many people have given up on church, on meeting together with other believers.

Can I be really blunt and say that I think this attitude is a selfish one?

You may not feel that you can be encouraged or learn from others (which if I can again be blunt, that is not true) but you are also missing out on the opportunity to help encourage and teach others.

People speaking with me at church inspired my last two DIGs; and if they had not come to church I would have missed out on some really encouragement and also what I would classify as good teaching.

They built on my sermon that day and really encouraged me; they added something extra that I had not thought about.

Also at church that same day another believer encourage me by saying that 2 Timothy 3 v 14 had been speaking to her, reminding her that being under my teaching at MGF was the place for her to be.

If she had not come to church I would not have had that real piece of encouragement.

I hope that these three friends were encouraged in return by my message, by the worship, by communion and by fellowship.

The point I am trying to make is that church (the gathering together of believers) is a place of encouragement and teaching, and these are to be given as well as received.

Go to church (or have fellowship with a group of like minded believers) and be encouraged and be an encouragement, be taught and do some teaching.

The Christian life was not meant to be lived in isolation, that is why God inspired Hebrews 10 v 24 and 25 and also why He instigated the church.

Please don’t tell me that there are no good churches or decent fellowships; that is just not true.

I admit, that any fellowship or church that you find will not be perfect, there will always be something that you could find wrong with it.

But please believe me when I tell you that the encouragement and teaching that you could potentially find would be worth looking past the “bad stuff”.

And you could also be the encouragement and/or teacher that other believers really need.

Make a resolution for 2015 (if you have not already done so); decide to make a real difference to the fellowship that you are in, and if not in fellowship, decide to find one!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the encouragement and teaching that I can find in the church”.

Hebrews 10 v 24 and 25…..And let us consider to provoke one another unto love and good works: Not forsaking the assembling together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much more, as ye see the day approaching

DIG for Thursday the 25th of December……even the swaddling clothes was a picture of His death…..Luke 2 v 7

If you have been reading my DIGs for a while or listened to some of my Christmas sermons you will know that I believe that Jesus was not born in a stable by an inn, but in Migdal Eder, the place near Bethlehem where the temple sacrificial lambs were born.

The place of His birth pointed to His death, pointed to the fact that He was born to die as a sacrificial lamb (1 Peter 1 v 19).

A brother told me to read up about how they treated lambs when they were first born, telling me it fitted in with my theory about His birth.

So I read some articles about this and it is very exciting.

According to the Mishnah (an early Jewish “commentary” noting down oral traditions of the Jewish faith) the sacrificial lambs were wrapped in swaddling cloths immediately after their birth.

This was to protect them and keep them safe, so that they could be presented to the temple without spot or blemish.

The shepherds who first saw Jesus were the temple shepherds and the typology of these circumstances would not have been lost on them.

They were told that Jesus was the Christ, that He was the Lord, and that He had come to be their Saviour (Luke 2 v 11).

They were also told that there would be a sign for them, with the sign being Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes.

Finding Jesus born in the same place as the sacrificial lambs, wrapped up in swaddling clothes like a sacrificial lamb and lying in a manger like a sacrificial lamb could have only pointed to one thing; that Jesus was born to be a sacrificial lamb.

He was born to die for the sins of the people, but we know that He would only do this once, for all sins forever (Hebrews 10 v 12 and 14).

Jesus was THE sacrificial lamb, and He was our sacrificial lamb.

The place and manner of His birth clearly points to this.

He came to save the people (all people if they trust in His finished work) from their sins; He came to bring reconciliation and forgiveness.

He did this by shedding His blood and dying on the cross (Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossians 1 v 14).

The other sacrificial lambs could only cover sin but Jesus as THE sacrificial lamb dealt with it once and for all, and I believe that the temple shepherds were the firs people to recognise this.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that Jesus was my sacrificial lamb, ad thank you that all my sin has been dealt with”.

Luke 2 v 7…..And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn

DIG for Wednesday the 24th of December…..sit and rest, He will do the rest…..Ruth 3 v 18

I wrote in DIG recently about Boaz being a picture of Jesus and I preached on this at MGF today.

After the service a sister came up to me looking really excited and said, “Look at Ruth 3 v 18”.

I had read the whole of Ruth a number of times preparing for the message yet Ruth 3 v 18 did not impact on me as it did when I read it after the service.

Ruth had asked Boaz to be her redeemer (Ruth 3 v 9) and then returning home told Naomi all that had occurred.

Naomi told her to rest and wait for Boaz to finish his work with regards to being her redeemer.

Jesus is our redeemer and like Boaz, His work is now completed.

Boaz completed what he needed to do in order to redeem Ruth, Jesus has done all He had to do to redeem mankind.

He went to the cross and shed His blood for our redemption (Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossians 1 v 14).

Ruth could do nothing to redeem herself, that was the role of her kinsman redeemer.

In the same way there was nothing we could do to redeem ourselves, we could not deal with sin in order to bring about reconciliation and forgiveness.

Jesus was the only one who could do this for us.

The same is true of our ongoing salvation i.e. healing, joy, peace, prosperity etc.

Faith in belief in Jesus and His finished work is what is required for our ongoing salvation; we simply rest and let His finished work be enough.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus Christ, and thank you that my “job” is to rest and enjoy the benefits”.

Ruth 3 v 18…..Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day

DIG for Tuesday the 23rd of December…..there was no mention of sin at the first communion…..Luke 22 v 19

In Luke 22 we see Jesus setting in place what has become known in the church as communion.

We see Him giving His followers bread and wine as a symbol of His body and blood.

We read a passage telling His disciples what this was for; it was an act of remembrance.

Communion is about (and only about) remembering Jesus.

It is a time to focus on Him and it is not a time to focus on our ourselves or on our sin.

I briefly taught on this passage in Luke 22 before communion last Sunday and I had a brother quite new to the fellowship come up to me afterwards with a wide smile on his face.

“I always knew deep down that communion should not be about sin, now I understand what it is for”, was his opening remarks.

He said he enjoyed communion this time, looking to Jesus instead of his sin as he was asked to do in previous churches.

I could see that in a little way this brother had been set free, he had been changed as his understanding about a Biblical truth was corrected.

Communion is a time to remember the sacrifice and great victory of Jesus over sin and death.

It is not a time to look at our sin; this will only result in grief and condemnation.

Communion is a time for celebration not condemnation.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you for the finished work of Jesus Christ and thank you for communion, a time to focus on that great work”.

Luke 22 v 19…..And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, saying, This is my body which is given for you: do this in remembrance of me

DIG for Monday the 22nd of December……the virgin birth was important…..Isaiah 7 v 14

I got a reply from a brother yesterday about the DIG concerning the importance of the Old Testament; he reminded me about Isaiah 7 v 14.

This is a prophecy about the birth of the Messiah, saying He will be born of a virgin.

We see this in the Gospels also, in Matthew 1 v 21 to 23.

Many liberal theologians and churchmen now say that the virgin birth was not possible, and indeed not important.

They state that the Greek word in Matthew 1 v 23 does not explicitly mean virgin (although it is often translated as virgin).

The virgin birth however was very important.

It was a sign that Jesus was the Messiah and it was vital that Jesus was born without the sin of a father.

The Hebrew word for virgin is very interesting, and once again it does not explicitly mean virgin.

It means maid, lass and implies a virgin, but its literally meaning is “something kept out of sight”.

I will not explain this further but I think you’ll see what I mean when I believe that this verse does mean a real, literal virgin.

The Word prophesied that Jesus would be born of a virgin and in the Gospels we see this happening.

Jesus was born sinless so that He could deal with our sin and the New Testament confirms this.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the miraculous birth of Jesus, and thank you that He came to earth in the flesh and purchased my forgiveness and reconciliation”.

Isaiah 7 v14…..Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name immanuel

DIG for Sunday the 21st of December……all Scripture is for our use…..2 Timothy 3 v 16

I used to have a tendency to ignore the Old Testament when reading the Word of God.

I was living under the New Covenant therefore thought I should be reading New Covenant Scripture.

But I realised that the whole of Scripture is for me, that the Old Testament is pointing toward Jesus in picture, types and shadows.

I now know that there is a pattern in Scripture that is very exciting; the Old Testament tells us what Jesus is going to do, the Gospels shows us Jesus doing this and then the rest of the New Testament tells us what Jesus did and what we receive as a result.

Take for example the scourging of Jesus prior to His death and resurrection.

In Isaiah 50 v 6 we see this being predicted in a word of prophecy.

In Matthew 27 v 26 we read about Jesus being scourged.

In 1 Peter 2 v 24 we see the confirmation that He was scourged and what He obtained for us as a result i.e. our healing.

I’ve been preaching about the birth of Jesus for a few weeks at MGF now, and to be honest there is not a lot about this event in the Gospels.

However, there are many prophecies in the Old Testament instructing us about this monumental event.

It can be quite difficult to understand at times, however I would encourage you, that with the help of the Holy Spirit you will be able to read and understand the Old Testament.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for all of the Holy Scriptures, thank you that they are a wealth of information about Jesus”.

2 Timothy 3 v 16…..All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

DIG for Saturday the 20th of December…..the gift that will never break or get lost and is FREE…..John 3 v 16

So Christmas is just about upon us again; the gifts have been wrapped, the movies have been decided upon, the crazy jumpers have been bought (and in or house put on) and the food has been prepared (I am so far behind with the DIGs this year that I am writing this on Christmas Eve).

For many people Christmas is all about the gifts, and the excitement is mounting wondering what is currently lying under the tree.

I have had a number of great gifts in the past, and a number of ones that I was not too excited about; I hope mine are great ones this year!

Isaiah 9 v 6 says that unto us a son was given, and John 3 v 16 tells us that God gave us Jesus.

Jesus was the ultimate gift from God; a gift who came to do what we could never do; deal with sin and reconcile us back into relationship with God.

The truly amazing thing about this gift is that it is free.

I don’t know how much money would have been spent on Christmas gifts this year; the amount of pounds, dollars and euros spent on gifts must have been huge!

Jesus was given as a free gift; the only payment required is belief in Him (Romans 10 v 9).

Jesus came to bring you back into relationship with God and bought you the “sozo” gift through His finished work on the cross.

You now have the free gift of safety, acceptance, forgiveness, healing, wholeness, joy, peace and prosperity; all you need to do is believe and accept it.

Now, isn’t that a great gift to receive?

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the free gift that is Jesus; and thank you for the gift of sozo”.

John 3 v 16…..For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life