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Access to God
February 7, 2007
Dear Friend of Mary Craig Ministries,
We had just returned from Ethiopia. I was listening to E.D. Hill on Fox News, a special on Radical Islam and the ideology behind blowing up Americans and Jews for Islam. "These martyrdom operations are the shortest way to Allah." (Hizbullah's Secretary General, Hassan Nasrallah)
It made me think about access to the one true God. Fresh in my mind was the day we needed to go to the place where the Ark of the Covenant is said to be housed in Axum, a small village in the northern part of Ethiopia. Our guide Sisay led us through several historic sites until finally we approached the Ethiopian orthodox church and the small building where the Ark is said to reside. It is guarded by priests and only one priest specially chosen has the privilege of seeing the Ark.
I was denied access. I am a woman. Boys and men may enter the compound, but not females. I could only see the building from a distance. I transferred the mantle to Stephen. He felt the power of God on him as he went with Sisay through a maze of testing to see if he was worthy to stand at the gate in front of the building. Stephen took off his shoes, gave his camera to Sisay, paid a small sum of money to the priest, received a staff, saw some of the treasures housed in the building, and finally found himself at the gate.
Stephen praised God and declared the prophetic word for Ethiopia before the gate. He took hold of the gate and declared that Jesus Christ is the Ark of the Covenant. He declared the scriptures found in Psalms 2, 96, and 110. But then he was to declare Revelation 11.19 and needed a Bible. No one had one. He said, "My mother has a Bible." Sisay came to where I was waiting in the courtyard, got my Bible, and ran back to Stephen at the gate. It was finished. Stephen stretched forth his hand and raised his arms to heaven, praising God.
I was outside. I felt the grieving of the Holy Spirit as I took hold of the main entrance gates to the larger church compound. Several women and young girls copied my action. I commanded the gates to open to women. One little girl touched my skin, touched my hair, pointed to my sea-green eyes, and asked me my name. I told her my name but also told her about Jesus.
After all, Jesus is the Ark of the Covenant. He is the Word made flesh. He is the embodiment of the Law of God. He came to fulfill all righteousness. He is the Manna, the Bread of Heaven. He is the Resurrection and the Life, what the Budding Rod of Aaron symbolized. Jesus is the Mediator of a new covenant in His Blood. The walls of partition are broken down. Through Christ's once for all time sacrifice on the cross we have access to the Father.
"For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestsick, and the table, and the showbread which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; and over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercy seat." (Hebrews 9.2-5) Only the high priest entered the Holy of Holies once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the errors of the people. The way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest during this time. It was a figure, a shadow of what was to come.
Jesus Christ by His own blood entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. "For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9.13, 14)
Jesus offered His body a sacrifice for sins forever. Jesus sat down at the right hand of God from henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool and through faith in Him, we have remission of sin and iniquity. (Hebrews 10)
It is a new and living way which Jesus has consecrated for us such that we have boldness to enter into the holiest by the Blood of Jesus. (Hebrews 10.19, 20) Thus we are to draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith. Jesus' Blood is on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant over the Law. We have access to God!
Men and women, boys and girls, have access to God. Jesus is the chief corner stone of a building not made with hands, a habitation of God through the Spirit. There is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, male nor female, for all are one in Christ Jesus. It is by grace one is saved through faith, and that not of oneself. It is the gift of God and not of works, lest any one of us should boast.
In Addis Ababa we worshipped with the 14,000 member congregation of the Assemblies of God church there under Pastor Wolde Dagnachu, The people applauded, cried "Amen!," and participated with their whole hearts as the prophetic words for Ethiopia were declared to the nation. They prayed with earnest for their nation and their worship exuded the joy of the Lord. It was a pleasure to be there.
Your gifts of financial help and suitcases full of toys, shoes, clothing, books, toothbrushes, and more will be used to help the large number of street orphans in Addis Ababa. These items give entrance to the gospel and are greatly needed by the people.
God moved mightily in Ethiopia as we broke the blood curse, poverty, and bondage. The Ethiopians are beautiful people, practical and efficient, helpful and friendly. They desire the one true and living God and seek Him with their whole hearts. Like all peoples everywhere, they need to know how one has access to the Father, for after all, salvation is about getting back to the Father, the Creator who also is our Redeemer in Christ.
Thank you to all who pray that the gospel of Christ penetrates the darkness of souls and that many are saved, healed, and delivered from the ravages of sin by God's grace. We need your help to continue going to the nations with the message of God's love and grace.
Let this year be a year of prosperity for the gospel!
P.S. Go to www.marycraig.org for more reports on Ethiopia. Order from our Catalog section using PayPal. Worship with us 4:30 p.m. Sundays. Grow and flourish in small group ministry at Craighouse®, located in the Pompano Plaza at 114 E. McNab Road, Pompano Beach, FL 33060. Log on to www.craighouse.org for a map and more events and Bible studies. Reach MCM at 954-491-7270. Send in your prayer requests. Join us 6:00 p.m. Saturday, February 24th at Craighouse for Africa Night. Mary Craig Ministries, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Federal ID 65-0429517. Be blessed! We love you.
But now the righteousness of God
without the law is manifested,
Being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness
Of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:
For there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the
Glory of God; being justified freely by His grace through
The redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
Mary Craig Ministries is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
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