This part teaches us to keep God’s Word of protective grace on the table of our purified and sanctified heart!
In the previous chapter we had a close look at the servant, namely the priest of the Lord, being a glowing candlestick in this dark world to bring to others the light of God’s truth unto their salvation; now we will see that the life of the priests, God’s children, themselves are as many wondrous signs in this world by their relationship with Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life. Their life, in the light of the Israeli Tabernacle, should be like a “shewbread”. In the Holy Place of the Israeli Tabernacle stood “the table with twelve shewbread”. Know, that 12 is the symbolic number of the Church, which should be the revealed fruit (or: the result) of the Holy Spirit. A “life like a shewbread” therefore means: a life, wherein the glory of God is revealed. Chapters 9 and 10 must now be seen in the light of the twelve shewbread.
The prayer life, the true gauge of our spiritual hunger
Beloved, we cannot be a shewbread in the world by our own strength. We must give Him access into our heart. And He will only come into our heart and being when we truly long for Him, and seek Him with all our heart… (Jeremiah 29:13). There also must be found a willingness in our heart to obey Him; a subjection of our whole being, whereby He can make us obedient. These are the conditions for being able to be baptized with His Holy Spirit. Only the wish to be baptized, without the act of seeking Him in prayer, which is characterized by a total surrender, in this case will not help you much further. Not for nothing it is written: “Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain…” (Zechariah 10:1a). The true gauge of your longing for the Lord is your prayer life. How much time do you spend daily on the seeking and admitting of Jesus? How much time do you spend on seeking contact (communion) with Him? You should add up the times of struggling, seeking prayer until you found contact (communion) with that great Shepherd (i.e. Jesus); until you actually reached the spiritual Rock (i.e. Jesus), on which you, together with Jesus, could build your spiritual house (Matthew 7:24); you will then discover how much you truly long for Jesus; in what measure you truly want to be used by Him.
I know, you all long for (more of) Him, but you are prevented by all kinds of things, and these things are as many fruits of the increasing iniquities, such as: watching TV too much, and looking at the wrong TV programs; reading novels or gossip magazines; maybe even lust-arousing (pornographic) literature; the desire for more (or more beautiful) material possessions, whereby and wherefore you have to work overtime. You see, the things which keep us away from Jesus, and from prayer, can be of different sorts! The devil will do his utmost to keep you from praying; because nowadays he is weakening the prayer-life by tempting you with all kinds of worldly things, just as he made that fruit in paradise desirable to Eve. He will take away that “continual sacrifice” – namely the continual dedicated prayer based on His finished work on Calvary (Daniel 12:11; 2 Corinthians 4:10-11)! Because of the sin of this prayerless or prayer-poor life (1 Samuel 12:23) we could never have communion with Him, and because of this we could never come to the status of “shewbread” in this life.
We must become wondrous signs in this world by communion with Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life
LUKE 9 verse 1-6, “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip (travel bag), neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart. And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them. And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.”
He called the twelve disciples unto Himself – namely the apostles sent (out) by Him; but here these apostles represent all the laborers of Jesus, high and low. Before sending them away He first gave them a portion of spiritual power over all demons and sicknesses (Luke 10:19). Here, they had not yet received the baptism with the Spirit, but they acted in the power of God which, as it were, was transferred unto them. The laborers of the Lord, from the time after the first Pentecost outpouring (see Acts 2:1-4), must act in His Name, under the guidance of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Essentially it remains the same: a child of God, by his communion with the Bread of Life, is put in this world as a wondrous sign! And it is only by this communion, and solely under His express guidance that he can fulfill the great mission, which is written in Mark 16:15-18, because the Spirit of God alone is the Binder and Looser of sins and powers of darkness! “And I will give 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” (Matthew 16:19). Compare this with Matthew 18:18. So all satanic powers and forces had to fall back before the apostles, and so all powers and forces of the (spiritual) darkness will still make way before each child of God, that is willed with the almighty Spirit, as long as he only does what the Spirit commands him to do. Do you then under-stand that the words of such a child of God are binding and loosing; that the preaching of such a person is binding and loosing; that such a ministry is binding and loosing? For the Spirit of God Himself is then active in and through His servant!
How wondrous such labor in the Spirit is, when the life of God’s servant has been completely crucified, and the Lord does not find any resistance anymore. In the end-time God will bring part of His Church to such a position. This then will be God’s Bride(church), namely that part of the Church which was willing to follow Him… in such a Bride-church; and, spiritually seen, they will be indeed “without spot or wrinkle”!
Verse 3 says: “Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip (travel bag), neither bread, neither money…” Nothing was to be taken that could support them (could help them). They were to completely depend on the omnipotence of God; there had to be faith which leaned completely on the almighty Sender. Verse 4 says: “And whatsoever house ye enter into there abide…” When someone of a town, wherein is preached, has accepted the Word, and offered the preacher lodging, and thus hospitality, then that preacher should not move to someone else’s house, because e.g. that house might be more comfortable; for so the love of the first one is rejected. And such behavior would not go with the Spirit of the Sender, and is unworthy of a laborer of the Lord! Verse 5 urges even to “…shake off the very dust from their feet…” of the towns that are not willing to receive God’s laborers. There is not to be any relationship between God’s laborers and those who reject His Word.
By E. van den Worm
If you want, see also the ‘verse by verse’ study of:
- LUKE Chapter 1
- LUKE Chapter 2
- LUKE Chapter 3
- LUKE Chapter 4
- LUKE Chapter 5
- LUKE Chapter 6
- LUKE Chapter 7
- LUKE Chapter 8