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Dear Friend of Mary Craig Ministries,
While the Apostle Paul makes it very clear that the true Jew is not the outward in the flesh but the one inwardly, that circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter (Romans 2.28, 29); and while the Apostle Peter makes it clear that God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation the one that fears Him and works righteousness, is accepted with Him (Acts 10.35), there is something about Israel in the heart of God.
Peter goes on to speak of it in Acts 10; Paul in Romans chapters 9-11. It was to these people, the Israelites of old, that God chose to reveal Himself, deliver from the bondage of Egypt, initiate covenants with Abraham, Moses, and David, provide a Law to show what love looks like and how to separate life from death. It was to the Israelites of old that God provided an acceptable way to worship and serve Him and to whom He gave promises. It was from the covenant line of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the line of promise, of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever. (Romans 9.1-8)
MCM has now received a fifth call to Israel. Among the 72 nations where we have been called to go, we have been called to Israel the most. There is something about this place on the planet, this place where God chose to put His Name. In the OT, God speaks of My land, My city, My people, My mountains, etc. His heart's desire, OT and NT, is revealed in this: I will be your God, and you will be My people. When Jesus came, He made it clear that those of the family of God are those who do the will of the Father (Mt. 12.46-50, Luke 8.19-21, Mark 3.31-35) which is to believe in Him (John 6.25ff).
Now Leviticus isn't the most popular book in the Bible, but its purpose is to tell how the people of God are to maintain a relationship with a holy God who is both Creator and Redeemer. It seems odd to us today, with its regulations for the whole of life, because when Jesus came, the civil and ceremonial laws were no longer necessary in the new age of the new covenant in Christ's blood. Jesus fulfilled all righteousness and the sacrifice of His life became a once-for-all-time sacrifice that needs not to be repeated. (Read Hebrews and Galatians.)
Jesus didn't ignore Leviticus. He quotes it and clarifies what it is to be holy, what it is to walk in love and life and light and truth. Jesus did, however, up the ante, so to speak, because now it is not about outward religious observance, but about an inward reality of relationship. God writes His Law in our hearts; He wants us to trust and obey Him willingly. Today it is not, Do this and you will live; it is, Believe in Jesus and believe Jesus, and you will live. Abide in Christ.
The thing is, when I queried the Holy Spirit about what the Spirit is saying to the churches, I heard to write on, "The Land is Mine." We find this verse in Leviticus 25, which speaks of Sabbath years and the Year of Jubilee. Leviticus 25.23 says:
land shall not be sold forever: for the land is Mine;
For you are strangers and sojourners with Me.
What are some implications of this?
- God owns everything. We are just tenants; God is the Land Lord. (Psalm 24.1; Leviticus 25.23; Haggai 2.8)
- Everything comes from God. He is the Source of all life and blessing and wealth. (Deut. 8.17, 18; 1 Chronicles 4.2; 1 Chronicles 29.14; 1 Timothy 6.10, 17-19)
- In the OT, the Promised Land was a grant conditioned on faithfulness to God. (Leviticus 25; Deuteronomy, e.g.) Today, Jesus is the only true Holy Place. Jesus came with a new teaching, a new covenant, a new Zion, a new age, a new heart center, a new temple, a new calling and direction, a new Jerusalem. (Mark; Matthew; John 4; Luke-Acts; Galatians; Hebrews 12; Revelation 21, e.g.)
- We are immigrants, aliens, strangers, tenants, sojourners. Leviticus 25; 1 Peter 2
- We are to be faithful stewards and live in that mindset. (Mt 6.19, 20; Romans 14.12; 1 Corinthians 4.2)
- We are sojourners now but one day the tables will turn. The power shifted with the coming of Christ in grace, and the glory of Christ will bring the consummation of the covenant of grace when Christ returns. Now are we in Christ alien to the world and its systems; but in the end the unbeliever is the stranger thrown to the wind like chaff, separated from the wheat and scattered. (Matthew 13; 1 Peter 2, Ephesians 2)
- Therefore, we are to live simply, give generously, care for the earth, honor God, and love one another. We are to let Jesus make us whole. Our attitudes reflect our relationship with God. What we have is on loan. We are to have dominion, not dominate; nourish, not exploit; give, not grasp in greed; love in deed and truth. (2 Corinthians 8, 9; Mt 6.19, 20; Luke 12.48; Phil. 4.12, 13; Deut. 28; Leviticus 26; 1 Timothy 5 and 6; Luke 12.15; Matthew 6.24, 25; Luke 8.14; 1 John 3)
- We are Sabbath bound. We are to embrace the spirit of liberty, reflecting God's heart and embracing the Jubilee with an understanding of "rest". (Leviticus 25; Matthew 11.25-30; Hebrews 4 and 12; James 1.25; James 2.12, 13)
The forefathers of the USA understood something about liberty, about the fact that God says, The land is Mine. Our Liberty Bell is inscribed with words taken straight from Leviticus 25: "…Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all its inhabitants thereof" (Lev. 25.10). The people who came here came first as immigrants and some unwillingly. The liberty of Jubilee speaks of the cancellation of debts, freedom from slavery, letting land lie fallow, of rest, of the use of land. When God says, The land is Mine, He is telling us how we should live and treat all that He has created and owns. We are not to oppress, remembering what it meant to be oppressed. We are to be good stewards. We are to remember the Lord our God.
I have felt God's pleasure in Israel, on top of Mount Nebo [Deut. 32:48-52]. I know the Holy Spirit's joy in having me see the land called "the promised land" in Israel. We are called back to Israel this May to its mountains and its valleys, to proclaim God as the Faithful God who will keep His promises. God will be leveling mountains and raising valleys and making crooked places straight. He is preparing a Highway of Holiness for His people. (Isaiah 35) He is preparing a bride in holiness. He is moving all over the earth in a way unprecedented in human history. He is moving in power and also in quietness, and nothing stops Him. I hope you will pray for this next mission and for what God purposes now.
Today it is Jesus who is central to our faith. It is Jesus with whom we must identify. We live in a new spiritual reality and must be prepared. We must watch and be ready. We must remember…who owns the land.
Mary Craig Ministries actively ministers to those seeking healing, deliverance, help, and hope in Jesus Christ. More are seeking to worship and learn at Craighouse®, our community outreach and fellowship.
We need your help to carry the gospel of Christ, the gospel of the Kingdom of God around the world and across backyard fences. We welcome your generous gifts! You are touching lives through your gifts to Mary Craig Ministries. We sincerely thank you for giving.
Compelled by the love of Christ,
P.S. Go to www.marycraig.org. Order books 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.
For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched…
But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God,
The heavenly Jerusalem…and to Jesus the mediator of
The new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling,
That speaks better things than that of Abel.
See that you refuse not Him…Hebrews 12.18-25
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