My Glory will fill the earth – Numbers 13-14

My Glory





Wednesday 12/12/18 

Series: Thru the Bible

Message – My Glory will fill the earth – Numbers 13-14

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My Glory will fill the earth – Numbers 13-14

Tonight we are covering Numbers 13 & 14, but before we dive into chapter 13 verse 1 I want us to take a look at two key verses in chapter 14.

As I’ve told you before, every so often you run into a passage which unlocks huge portions of scripture and brings to light much of the purposes of God and Numbers 14:20-21 is one of those passages.

Let’s turn there now –

Num. 14:20-21 NKJV “(20) Then the LORD said: “I have pardoned, according to your word; (21) but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.

As I’ve taught you several times, that this creation was not God’s first. Heaven, angels, seraphim, cherubim, archangels and covering cherubs all predate this natural creation in which we live. The creation outlined and described in the first 2 chapters of Genesis.

There are those who disagree with this based upon what I believe to be unwarranted assumptions taken from a few scriptures, but primarily it comes from their belief of the Nephilim (the giants) being the offspring of angels and humans.

If you remember we took quite some time looking at the passages surrounding WHO the “sons of God” were in those passages and who they could not be. Those messages were on March 8 & 15th of 2017.

At any rate we came to what I believe to be the most honest, straightforward and clear understanding of those passages which is that such a notion of spiritual beings mating with humans is not only impossible but entirely un-biblical and unnecessary.

One reason, though there are MANY – is because those who believe the Nephilim are the offspring of angels and humans claim it was because of this unholy union that God judged the angels sighting 2Peter 2:4 & Jude 1:6 as confirming scriptures, and is also why He sent the flood upon the earth. This interpretation has several flaws but that is not the point of this study so I will encourage you to visit our previous studies on this issue as linked to above – especially the link to March 15th 2017

In any case, it is apparent that since the only survivors of the flood were godly and yet the Nephilim still show up after the flood – either these giants were NOT a product of such an impossible union, OR they did it again after the flood and God failed to judge them the second time OR God failed in His judgment the first time since clearly Nephilim survived the flood.

Of course of one simply just read the passage as it is stated, no one would come to the ridiculous notion that the giants were the result of the sons of God mating with the daughters of men regardless of who the “sons of God” were. Let’s read the passage as it appears in Genesis 6:4,

“(4)  The Nephilim (giants) were on the earth in those days and afterwards, when the sons of God came to the daughters of man, who bore children to them. They were the mighty men of old, men of renown.”

Notice that the Nephilim or Giants were on the earth BEFORE the “sons of God” came to the “daughters of men”. It’s pretty obvious then, that the Nephilim could NOT be the result of this union, but existed PRIOR to it!

So…moving on… I’ve taught you concerning our relationship with the angels and cherubs in particular and how Paul brings these things up in Ephesians and Corinthians.

So this is a great opportunity to test what you’ve learned (meaning what you have retained)…

Q. What was special about the teachings and instructions Paul gave to the saints in Ephesus?

A. He did not hold anything back concerning all of the purposes of GodActs 20:27

It was in Ephesians that Paul told them

“(1) For this reason I Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles–  (2) if, that is, you have heard of the work which God has graciously entrusted to me for your benefit,  (3) and that by a revelation the truth hitherto kept secret was made known to me as I have already briefly explained it to you.  (4) By means of that explanation, as you read it, you can judge of my insight into the truth of Christ (5) which in earlier ages was not made known to the human race, as it has now been revealed to His holy Apostles and Prophets through the Spirit–  I who am less than the least of all God’s people has this work been graciously entrusted–to proclaim to the Gentiles the Good News of the exhaustless wealth of Christ, (9) and to show all men in a clear light what my stewardship is. It is the stewardship of the truth which from all the Ages lay concealed in the mind of God, the Creator of all things–  (10) concealed in order that the Church might now be used to display to the powers and authorities in the heavenly realms the innumerable aspects of God’s wisdom. (11) Such was the eternal purpose which He had formed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~ Taken from Eph. 3:1-11 Weymouth  

Q. Also to the Corinthians Paul gave warnings about the need for women to have a symbol of submission to male authority on their heads – especially during times of public worship…why?

A. Because of the angels – 1 Cor. 11:10

So what does all of this have to do with Numbers 13-14?

Q.What are these chapters about?

A. God bringing Israel to the promised land.

Q. What was Egypt and the promised land symbols of?

A. Being set free from the bondage of the world, sin and death and brought TO freedom in Christ toward righteousness and eternal union with Him.

Q. So what does that have to do with angels & the purposes of God?

A. God clearly states in our key verses here in Numbers 14:20-21 that regardless of Israel’s actions – His Glory is still going to fill the entire earth. The statement points to His agenda…what He is really doing by Choosing the Jews, bringing them into and our of captivity and bringing them into the promised land BY MEANS OF THEIR TRUST AND OBEDIENCE!

So let this “behind the scenes” truth permeate your thinking in regard to ALL of the scriptures and the instructions they give.

God’s purpose in creating Adam & Eve, His calling of Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all of Israel…His bringing Israel into bondage as well as His calling of Moses & Aaron in the deliverance of Israel from bondage. His coming to them on the mountain and then through the priesthood, the law and that tabernacle, His purpose for bringing them to the promised land and how ALL of this points to our being recreated into His image in Christ through obedience and faith – is ALL answering a question…

Q. What question is God answering?

A. Why should God rule supreme? Why must we as the created serve the Creator? Why can’t I exalt my throne above the clouds of God and rule as He does?

Q. What will result in that answer?

A. When mankind willingly – invulnerable trust, surrender to God’s reign, it reveals the rightness of that arrangement through His glory filling the entire earth. Meaning it will reveal His truth, majesty, honor and nobility – His WORTHINESS!

Now let’s look at our first chapter with the awareness that God is bringing Israel to the edge of the promised land VERY SHORTLY after their journey in the wilderness began – knowing His agenda & purpose is to reveal WHY it is right that He rules supreme – WHY He alone is worthy of praise, honor and true worship. What reveals the truthfulness of this claim is the heart of trust His people have towards Him even while facing adversity and impossible odds and the victory that comes as a result.

Numbers 13 – Spy & Report (See & believe)

Spy Vs. 1-26 – Again, God communicates with Israel through Moses telling them to…

My Glory

  • Spy out the land of Canaan beginning from it’s southern most border at Kadesh-barnea in the wilderness of Zin up into the mountain region which Simeon and Judah were to possess.
      • The first land they came to… past the Southern mountains, was Hebron (just south of Bethlehem).
      • This land was developed 7 years BEFORE the land they came out of.
        • Zoan (Hebrew: Tso`an) was, according to the Hebrew Bible, a city of Egypt in the eastern Nile delta. Psalm 78:12,43 identifies the “field of Zoan” as where Moses performed miracles before Pharaoh to persuade him to release Israel from his service.
        • So far as we know after the Valley of Eshcol (which is believed to be just north of Hebron, but before Bethlehem) they continued north to at least where the Jordan meets the Dead Sea. From there they probably retrace their steps, stopping to take some grapes from the Valley of Eshcol on their way back to the encampment in Kadesh.
    • We know that their journey allowed them to spy out the lands of
        • The Amalekites
        • The Hittites
        • The Jebusites
          • The Canaanites
        • The Amorites

My Glory

The Report Vs. 25-33

Num. 13:25-33, HCSB

“(1) At the end of 40 days they returned from scouting out the land.

They took a full 40 days to spy out the land. This is significant on at least 2 levels.

40 is “generally recognized” as a time of testing, trial & temptation. So…

    1. The spies going into the land allowed them to test God’s word.
  1. The same time allowed God to test them, to reveal what was in their hearts, whether they would trust Him or not!

(26) The men went back to Moses, Aaron, and the entire Israelite community in the Wilderness of Paran at Kadesh. They brought back a report for them and the whole community, and they showed them the fruit of the land. (27) They reported to Moses: “We went into the land where you sent us. Indeed it is flowing with milk and honey, and here is some of its fruit. (28) However, the people living in the land are strong, and the cities are large and fortified. We also saw the descendants of Anak there. (29) The Amalekites are living in the land of the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live by the sea and along the Jordan.”

So they reported to their liaison with God – their leader…Moses.

They were to report on:

  • What the land was like…fertile or not, forested or barren.
  • The strength & numbers of it’s inhabitants
  • The type and fortification of their cities.
  • Bring a sampling of the fruit of their land (it was the time for grape harvest).

Their report was good about the land…and their sampling of it’s produce was impressive.

They returned with:

    • A SINGLE cluster of grapes so large it required two men suspending it on a pole to carry it
      • Eshcol means “cluster”.
    • They also brought back some pomegranates and figs.
  • They agreed to the lands abundance by repeating the Idiom God used regarding it of being a land “flowing with milk and honey”.

My Glory

However, their report about God’s ability to fulfill His promise was – that they did not trust Him. They were still protecting their own hearts and interests. They had not allowed their hearts to fear Him and so they did not truly worship Him.

“(30) Then Caleb quieted the people in the presence of Moses and said, “We must go up and take possession of the land because we can certainly conquer it!” (31) But the men who had gone up with him responded, “We can’t go up against the people because they are stronger than we are!” (32) So they gave a negative report to the Israelites about the land they had scouted: “The land we passed through to explore is one that devours its inhabitants, and all the people we saw in it are men of great size. (33) We even saw the Nephilim there.” (The offspring of Anak were descended from the Nephilim.) “To ourselves we seemed like grasshoppers, and we must have seemed the same to them.”

Many times there is NO safety in numbers. Caleb is the only one who returned with a good report – one birthed from trust in the God of Israel, the rest offered faithless replies filled with unspoken accusation against God.

    • Caleb believed in the strength of God.
  • The other spies believed only in their own strength so when an enemy was too strong – their confidence was reduced to zero.

It is interesting that the Nephilim in the land of Anakim (just east of the Hittites) were still present AND that 1,000 years later, in the same basic location Israel was still trembling at their size, when David (a short man himself) ran at Goliath with confidence.

Numbers 14 – Israel sides with disbelief

Num. 14:1-5, HCSB “(1) Then the whole community broke into loud cries, and the people wept that night. (2) All the Israelites complained about Moses and Aaron, and the whole community told them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt, or if only we had died in this wilderness! (3) Why is the LORD bringing us into this land to die by the sword? Our wives and little children will become plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” (4) So they said to one another, “Let’s appoint a leader and go back to Egypt.” (5) Then Moses and Aaron fell down with their faces to the ground in front of the whole assembly of the Israelite community.”

As I said, HISTORICALLY there is little reason to feel any safety in numbers. The entire Jewish community cried with despair and accused Moses, Aaron and ultimately God for bringing them to the land only to kill them by it’s inhabitants.

Moses and Aaron fall on their face – mostly out of despair at the hearts if Israel.

Two voices out of an ocean of voices:

Num. 14:6-9, HCSB “(6) Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who scouted out the land, tore their clothes (7) and said to the entire Israelite community: “The land we passed through and explored is an extremely good land. (8) If the LORD is pleased with us, He will bring us into this land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and give it to us. (9) Only don’t rebel against the LORD, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land, for we will devour them. Their protection has been removed from them, and the LORD is with us. Don’t be afraid of them! (10) While the whole community threatened to stone them, the glory of the LORD appeared to all the Israelites at the tent of meeting.”

They rightly connected the Lord’s pleasure in His people with their trust in Him. They encouraged the hearts of Israel to turn from fear to trust.

They understood that protection comes from the Lord. “Their protection has been removed from them, and the LORD is with us. Don’t be afraid of them!”

But Israel had no ears to hear their encouragements, so the Lord showed His glory to them before the tent of meeting.

God complains to Moses

Num. 14:11-19, HCSB “(11) The LORD said to Moses, “How long will these people despise Me? How long will they not trust in Me despite all the signs I have performed among them? (12) I will strike them with a plague and destroy them. Then I will make you into a greater and mightier nation than they are.”

God sees this as an issue of trust – but notice that trust is based upon knowing and loving. God accuses Israel of despising Him, His works and words. They are in fact worthy of death!

Moses intercedes again for those who would kill him!

“(13) But Moses replied to the LORD, “The Egyptians will hear about it, for by Your strength You brought up this people from them. (14) They will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that You, LORD, are among these people, how You, LORD, are seen face to face, how Your cloud stands over them, and how You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. (15) If You kill this people with a single blow, the nations that have heard of Your fame will declare, (16) ‘Since the LORD wasn’t able to bring this people into the land He swore to give them, He has slaughtered them in the wilderness.’ (17) “So now, may My Lord’s power be magnified just as You have spoken: (18) The LORD is slow to anger and rich in faithful love, forgiving wrongdoing and rebellion. But He will not leave the guilty unpunished, bringing the consequences of the fathers’ wrongdoing on the children to the third and fourth generation. (19) Please pardon the wrongdoing of this people in keeping with the greatness of Your faithful love, just as You have forgiven them from Egypt until now.”

Moses basis his intercession upon the fame of the Lord through the testimony of Israel AND God’s Own Testimony of Himself.

Moses knew that God had the intent to make His name famous and to display His power back when dealing with Pharaoh, so he knew the testimony of His people was important.

No greater appeal than one to God’s Own great nature and tremendous mercy and kindness could ever be made! Also see that it’s success was based upon the fact that revealing His glory is part of the overall purposes of God – in everything He does!

Moses intercedes again for those who would kill him!

“(13) But Moses replied to the LORD, “The Egyptians will hear about it, for by Your strength You brought up this people from them. (14) They will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that You, LORD, are among these people, how You, LORD, are seen face to face, how Your cloud stands over them, and how You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. (15) If You kill this people with a single blow, the nations that have heard of Your fame will declare, (16) ‘Since the LORD wasn’t able to bring this people into the land He swore to give them, He has slaughtered them in the wilderness.’ (17) “So now, may My Lord’s power be magnified just as You have spoken: (18) The LORD is slow to anger and rich in faithful love, forgiving wrongdoing and rebellion. But He will not leave the guilty unpunished, bringing the consequences of the fathers’ wrongdoing on the children to the third and fourth generation. (19) Please pardon the wrongdoing of this people in keeping with the greatness of Your faithful love, just as You have forgiven them from Egypt until now.”

Moses basis his intercession upon the fame of the Lord through the testimony of Israel AND God’s Own Testimony of Himself.

Moses knew that God had the intent to make His name famous and to display His power back when dealing with Pharaoh, so he knew the testimony of His people was important.

No greater appeal than one to God’s Own great nature and tremendous mercy and kindness could ever be made! Also see that it’s success was based upon the fact that revealing His glory is part of the overall purposes of God – in everything He does!

God reveals His purposes and it is the basis for His judgment:

Num. 14:20-23 HCSB “(20) I have pardoned them as you requested. (21) Yet as surely as I live and as the whole earth is filled with the LORD’s glory, (22) none of the men who have seen My glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tested Me these 10 times and did not obey Me, (23) will ever see the land I swore to give their fathers. None of those who have despised Me will see it.”

IMPORTANT LESSON – The Lord knows those who are His

“(24) But since My servant Caleb has a different spirit and has followed Me completely, I will bring him into the land where he has gone, and his descendants will inherit it.”

This is great reason for confidence among those who love and fear the Lord! Again and again it is mentioned in scripture that God will not judge the righteous with the wicked…and over and over again He demonstrates that He knows all and He sees all – God calls those who love and fear Him to safety and security.

2Tim. 2:19-21, HCSB “(19) Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, having this inscription: The Lord knows those who are His, and Everyone who names the name of the Lord must turn away from unrighteousness. (20) Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver bowls, but also those of wood and earthenware, some for special use, some for ordinary. (21) So if anyone purifies himself from these things, he will be a special instrument, set apart, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.”

However, that does not mean that like Joshua and Caleb we may have to endure some of the reaping of the wicked.

Joshua and Caleb had to wander with the Israelites for 40 years bearing their iniquity WITH them, BUT God sustained them and they entered the promised land at 80 years of age with the strength of a 40 year old man!

I remember teaching everyone here a number of years ago about how this and how it shows up in the leaders we find ourselves under. I taught you how we should pray for our leaders and submit to them as unto the Lord knowing GOD (not man) placed them in their respective places of authority.

When I taught this, I also taught you that God is NOT judging the earth right now – He is judging His church. So the natural and political climate here on earth is LARGELY due to that! So if we are in a time of judgment by God placing us under an ungodly ruler – we must all repent. When I 1st taught that – I got some kick back from some of you because you were like “But we didn’t do anything wrong! Why do we have to repent…why do we have to bear their judgment?” And I taught  you that just like Daniel and Nehemiah and others…it is our responsibility and privilege to bear the afflictions of the righteous – even if we did not participate in their sin.

Paul said in Col. 1:24  “I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church”

God directs them back into the wilderness

Num. 14:25-38, HCSB “(25) Since the Amalekites and Canaanites are living in the lowlands, turn back tomorrow and head for the wilderness in the direction of the Red Sea.” (26) Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron: (27) “How long must I endure this evil community that keeps complaining about Me? I have heard the Israelites’ complaints that they make against Me. (28) Tell them: As surely as I live, declares the LORD, I will do to you exactly as I heard you say. (29) Your corpses will fall in this wilderness–all of you who were registered in the census, the entire number of you 20 years old or more–because you have complained about Me. (30) I swear that none of you will enter the land I promised to settle you in, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. (31) I will bring your children whom you said would become plunder into the land you rejected, and they will enjoy it. (32) But as for you, your corpses will fall in this wilderness. (33) Your children will be shepherds in the wilderness for 40 years and bear the penalty for your acts of unfaithfulness until all your corpses lie scattered in the wilderness. (34) You will bear the consequences of your sins 40 years based on the number of the 40 days that you scouted the land, a year for each day. You will know My displeasure. (35) I, the LORD, have spoken. I swear that I will do this to the entire evil community that has conspired against Me. They will come to an end in the wilderness, and there they will die.” (36) So the men Moses sent to scout out the land, and who returned and incited the entire community to complain about him by spreading a bad report about the land– (37) those men who spread the report about the land were struck down by the LORD. (38) Only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh remained alive of those men who went to scout out the land.”

God is merciful & just. Those men who were struck down were leaders and therefore bore a greater responsibility not only for the people, but how they led them! These men led them into a lack of trust. PEOPLE ARE SHEEP! If these men had come back with an honest report, but also full of confidence in the ability of God to deliver the land into their hands the people of Israel would have followed!

Even still, Israel’s choice was their own, and they bore their own iniquity for 40 years and died…again pointing to God’s purpose and plan. In order for God’s glory and rightness to be revealed MANKIND must trust Him even in the face of adversity and thereby obtain victory.

Notice God’s take on this event in Hebrews 3:7-19 and how He uses it as a warning for us!

Heb. 3:7-19, HCSB “(7) Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you hear His voice, (8) do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the desert, (9) where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, and saw My works (10) for 40 years. Therefore I was provoked with this generation and said, “They always go astray in their hearts, and they have not known My ways.” (11) So I swore in My anger, “They will not enter My rest.” (12) Watch out, brothers, so that there won’t be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart that departs from the living God. (13) But encourage each other daily, while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’s deception. (14) For we have become companions of the Messiah if we hold firmly until the end the reality that we had at the start. (15) As it is said: Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion. (16) For who heard and rebelled? Wasn’t it really all who came out of Egypt under Moses? (17) And with whom was He “provoked for 40 years”? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? (18) And to whom did He “swear that they would not enter His rest,” if not those who disobeyed? (19) So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.”

Notice also how God uses the words disobedience and unbelief interchangeably!

Further proof that the fruit of obedience is produced by TRUSTING RELIANCE – not by self-effort!

More Rebellion!

Num. 14:39-45, HCSB “(39) When Moses reported these words to all the Israelites, the people were overcome with grief.”

Notice their “change of heart” was due to personal grief – NOT remorse!

“(40) They got up early the next morning and went up the ridge of the hill country, saying, “Let’s go to the place the LORD promised, for we were wrong.”

Even in judgment Israel is prideful and presumptuous…and they will NOT listen to counsel!

“(41) But Moses responded, “Why are you going against the LORD’s command? It won’t succeed. (42) Don’t go, because the LORD is not among you and you will be defeated by your enemies. (43) The Amalekites and Canaanites are right in front of you, and you will fall by the sword. The LORD won’t be with you, since you have turned from following Him.” (44) But they dared to go up the ridge of the hill country, even though the ark of the LORD’s covenant and Moses did not leave the camp. (45) Then the Amalekites and Canaanites who lived in that part of the hill country came down, attacked them, and routed them as far as Hormah.”

In closing let’s read a passage in Psalm 107 which perfectly sums up these latter verses and the reason why God did not deliver them.

Psalm 107:1-22, HCSB “(1) Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever. (2) Let the redeemed of the LORD proclaim that He has redeemed them from the hand of the foe (3) and has gathered them from the lands–from the east and the west, from the north and the south. (4) Some wandered in the desolate wilderness, finding no way to a city where they could live. (5) They were hungry and thirsty; their spirits failed within them. (6) Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; He rescued them from their distress. (7) He led them by the right path to go to a city where they could live. (8) Let them give thanks to the LORD for His faithful love and His wonderful works for the human race. (9) For He has satisfied the thirsty and filled the hungry with good things. (10) Others sat in darkness and gloom–prisoners in cruel chains– (11) because they rebelled against God’s commands and despised the counsel of the Most High. (12) He broke their spirits with hard labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help. (13) Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; He saved them from their distress. (14) He brought them out of darkness and gloom and broke their chains apart. (15) Let them give thanks to the LORD for His faithful love and His wonderful works for the human race. (16) For He has broken down the bronze gates and cut through the iron bars. (17) Fools suffered affliction because of their rebellious ways and their sins. (18) They loathed all food and came near the gates of death. (19) Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; He saved them from their distress. (20) He sent His word and healed them; He rescued them from the Pit. (21) Let them give thanks to the LORD for His faithful love and His wonderful works for the human race. (22) Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving and announce His works with shouts of joy.”

Is it possible that if upon hearing the judgment of God, Israel as a whole had repented in sorrow over their unbelief and lack of reverence that God may have had mercy and let them go in with victory. Sure it is possible – but not necessarily since their judgment was due. Mercy is exactly that!

But they unilaterally made the decision to go to battle WITHOUT the ark of the covenant or cloud of God’s presence leading them or the person of their leader Moses. This was Israel saving themselves…and like it does for all of us – it failed!

Blessings! 

 

I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

You have a special place in God’s family & kingdom. If you do not know Him, please use our ‘Contact Us‘ page and reach out so we may have the privilege of introducing you to the Lord. Neither money nor attendance at our church will be mentioned.

If you have been spiritually fed by this ministry and wish to give, we truly appreciate that and you may do so here, but all outreaches of this ministry are FREE for you and anyone to enjoy at no cost.

Blessings!

Hi I am Pastor Mark...

I have been a pastor for nearly 30 years now (2018), though never quite like I am today. (more on that in a moment)

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As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my best friend, greatest personal support and most valued critic.
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As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught. I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled). Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then,

"If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling."

~ Fredrick Buechner

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As I said, as of 2009 I’ve been a Pastor for nearly 20 years. Earlier in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our church was not in keeping with the New Testament. This was a shock to me and it is was a revelation that did not come all at once but over the course of a few weeks.

We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until about 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We believe the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly and though we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me. I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!