Above Rubies Daily Encouragement Blogs

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Colin Campbell

Colin Campbell

Colin Campbell is an internationally known author, speaker, and authority on Biblical Manhood and Family.


Called to the encouragement and lifting up of men throughout the world Colin is an author of books, teaching CDs and DVD's.


As author of Where Are The Real Men of God? and 21st Century Patriarch DVD studies, Colin often speaks at family retreats  and Men's groups throughout the year also.


Believing God’s plan is "building godly generations" through men and families, he seeks to impart God’s truth to the next generation and their children too.




 

SpeechGraceJohn 1:14: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

Grace is sweet like honey, but grace must also be accompanied by truth which is the salt. Colossians 4:6 says: “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”

Gracious words are not harsh, brash, and cutting. Gracious words are not judgmental, condemning, and cold. Rather, gracious words are sweet, uplifting, and life-giving.

Proverbs 18:21: ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit of it.” Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible says: “Death and life are much determined by the power of the tongue and he that uses this power rightly shall live because of it.”

Proverbs 10:11: “The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life.”

Proverbs 10:20: “The tongue of the just is as choice silver.”

Proverbs 10:21: “The lips of the righteous feed many.”

Luke 4:22: “And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words that proceeded out of his mouth.” Men, grace in itself is a beautiful virtue. It’s nice to be around. It’s not a passive virtue; it not only looks beautiful, but speaks beautifully. It is helpful, loving, encouraging, and healing speech.

Grace also affects our walk. It gets into our feet and takes us to where people sit in darkness to give them the light of Christ. Matthew 4:16 says: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Grace affects our hands. We caress and comfort the wounded souls. We lay hands on the sick n the name of Jesus to bring healing. Grace brings sweet and understanding smiles to our faces to light up the world.

Have you ever wondered why God created beautiful roses in the midst of thorns? Did He do it to protect the rose? Perhaps, but I think here is a deeper and more mysterious answer. Truth can be like thorns that lovingly prick our conscience and expose our sinfulness so that we will repent. We are all attracted to Christ, the beautiful Rose of Sharon (Song of Solomon 2:1), but at the same time we all need to be lovingly pricked by the thorns of truth. We need to be convicted of the sins that hold us back from being like Christ, the beautiful rose. Another wonderful thing about roses is their exotic, sweet, rich fragrance.

Men, it is high time for us to be the strongest, and yet the most sweetest men on planet earth. Surrounded by the thorns of loving truth, sweet graciousness will make others attracted to the Rose of all Roses who lives within us. Ephesians 4:15 says:” “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.”

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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SweetSacrificesToday we return to the theme of SWEETNESS AND SWEET SACRIFICES - GRUDGES AND BITTERNESS AGAINST OTHERS HINDERS OUR PRAYERS

God said to His people in Jeremiah 6:20: “ To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me.”

Having shared about the four compromises Pharaoh tried so hard to get Moses to yield to, let us not forget the main purpose God wanted His people out of Egyptian slavery and bondage. He wanted them to be a sweet people unto Him, using their freedom to offer Him free will sacrifices and offerings from grateful and willing hearts.

They were to demonstrate this through their lives and hearts that were not only willing and sacrificial towards God, but also towards one another. Only then could God accept their offerings and sacrifices as a sweet-smell to His nostrils.

The truth is still the same today. We deceive ourselves if we hold grudges, judgments, and coldness towards our spouse, any members of our family, or friends and neighbors, and at the same time still expect God to have regard to our ever-so-sweet offerings and sacrifices of praise, prayer, and worship. Such prayers and worship are not sweet to God at all.

In fact, such religion smells very bad to God. Frankly it stinks. Malachi 2:12, 13 says: “The LORD will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the LORD of hosts. And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.”

Let’s also read the next verses in Malachi 2:14-16 NLT: “You cry out, ‘Why doesn’t the LORD accept my worship?’ I’ll tell you why! Because the LORD witnessed the vows you and your wife made when you were young. But you have been unfaithful to her, though she remained your faithful partner, the wife of your marriage vows. Didn’t the LORD make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And why does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth. ‘For I hate divorce?’ says the LORD the God of Israel.”

Our Christian lives, prayers, offerings, and sacrifices are only acceptable unto God when we have learned to forgive one another, bless one another, pray for one another, and do good to one another, no matter what the cost. Do we want God to answer out prayers?

To be continued.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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NotAHoofExodus 10:24-26: “Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you. And Moses said, Thou must give us also sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the LORD our God. Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not a hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the LORD our God.

The was the fourth and final compromise Pharaoh tried to put on Moses in order to keep the children of Israel under slavery. Their cattle and sheep were their livelihood. Not only were they a source of food for themselves, but also for the sacrifices and offerings to offer to the Lord when they reached a three day journey out of Egypt.

I love the phrase, “THERE SHALL NOT A HOOF BE LEFT BEHIND”! Moses was steadfast in his confession: “We are leaving Egypt “lock, stock, and barrel. You have had more than your “pound of flesh” from us. We owe you nothing. Through slavery we have built your treasure cities, Pithom and Ramses. You have afflicted us with great and heavy burdens. We are leaving Egypt to start a new life of sacrifice to our God who has redeemed us from your bondage and slavery. From now on we serve only the Lord our God.”

Thank God for men like Moses who did not fear the power and glory of Pharaoh. We need more leaders and fathers today who will not bargain and compromise with the pharaohs of this generation.

Colossians 3:17: “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” They could not offer sacrifices and offerings in the midst of Egypt for that was an abomination to the Egyptians ( Exodus 8:26). A life of sacrifice is still an abomination to border line Christians. The world believes that we should please our flesh, not realizing that it leads to bondage and slavery.

One of the greatest addictions of all is the addiction to our self life. There is only one way to break the chain of this addiction--to apply the cross of Christ to our self life. We may live in a Christian country, belong to a Christian family, and attend a Christian church, but still be in bondage and slavery to an Egyptian self life. It is a daily experience to apply the cross of Christ to our lives (1 Corinthians 15:31).

Jesus said in Mark 8:34-35: “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.”

We now gladly offer our lives--our livelihood, our home, family, and everything we possess as a daily free will offering and sacrifice to the One who gave His all for us. If we use these things to only gratify our self nature, we have not yet left Egypt. We are still in bondage.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell.

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LetPeopleGoExodus 8:1: “The LORD spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, LET MY PEOPLE GO, that they may serve me.”

Exodus 9:1: “The LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh, and tell him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, LET MY PEOPLE GO, that they may serve me.”

Hebrews 10:3: “And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? LET MY PEOPLE GO, that they may serve me.” The main purpose for the Israelites to leave the bondage of Egypt was to be free to serve God with sacrifice and offerings, coupled with complete adherence to His laws.

The third compromise that Pharaoh offered Moses was that all of the people of Israel were to remain in Egypt, except the men.

We read about this compromise in Exodus 10:8-11: “And Moses and Aaron were brought again unto Pharaoh: and he said unto them, Go, serve the LORD your God: but who are they that shall go? And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go, for we must hold a feast unto the LORD.”

And what did Pharaoh reply? “Not so: go now ye that are men.”

The problem today is that we Christians have fallen for this compromise with our modern day Pharaohs. Somewhere and somehow we decided that Egypt’s education was better for our sons and daughters than the education God wants for our children. We men have given over ourselves, our wives, and our young and our old, to a humanistic government to look after us and provide for us. This results in our failing to look to God to provide, lead, and guide.

Our state teaching institutions are hot beds for humanism, socialism, agnosticism, and atheism. Moses had it right, no matter how tempting. Egypt had the best education system, outside of God, the world at that time had to offer. But Moses would have none of it. Nor even a bar of it! Even though he grew up in that education system himself. It took 40 years for God to get that education out of Moses in order to prepare him to be one of the greatest leaders in history.

Why would we submit our precious children to have their heads crammed full of humanistic propaganda and ungodly morals? We must never forget the mighty signs and wonders God did in Egypt in order to show that generation, and generations to come, that He wants His people free from all bondage.

God spoke to Moses when he was on his way back to deliver His people from Egypt: “And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn” (Exodus 4:22, 23).

God did not pay such a high price for us so that we could decide for ourselves how close to Egypt (the world) we should live. Or that we should sacrifice our children to “Egyptian” colleges or get caught up in “Egypt’s” worldly system. God wrought mighty signs and wonders in Egypt so that His people would be free to serve Him where He wanted them.

We must teach our families that having been delivered out of Egypt, serving God is not optional. Where we camp is not optional. We must keep the three day gap. It is part of our reasonable service as we are exhorted in Romans 12:1: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, ACCEPTABLE UNTO GOD, which is your REASONABLE service.”

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

P.S. One more compromise to go!

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LoveNotWorldThe second compromise Pharaoh offers Moses in order to negate or dilute the three day gap principle is found in Exodus 8:28: “And Pharaoh said, I will let you go, that ye may sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness; only ye shall NOT GO VERY FAR AWAY.” Pharaoh wanted them to stay close to the border of Egypt.

But God who mandated the three day gap principle means exactly what He says. God can only respect offerings and sacrifices of His people who are prepared and willing to serve God the way He wants it done--a three day journey from Egypt.

There are still far too many Christians who want to remain on the border of what God wants. Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom (Genesis 13:12). It was not long before he was actually living in Sodom (Genesis 19:1). Despite Sodom’s great wickedness, Lot and his family were border line in their separation to God. Sodom was hardly the place to offer sacrifices.

Abraham chose to live in the land of Canaan, surrounded by the mountains of God and had respect to His sacrifices (Genesis 13:14-18).

Border line Christians are weak and often defeated. They cannot go far in the things of God because they are too half-hearted, double-minded, and lukewarm. We can only become strong in the ways of the knowledge of God when we place ourselves on Heaven’s side of the three day gap.

Men, we must also teach our families by our example to not live on the border of Egypt (the world). Our responsibility is to live, worship, and sacrifice to God three days away from the border!

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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ThreeDayGapExodus 3:18: “Thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.”

As New Testament believers, we must not forget the mandate God gave to His people when leaving Egypt. God made it very clear to Moses, even in His first encounter with him at the burning bush, that the children of Israel were to put a THREE DAYS’ JOURNEY gap between them and the Egyptians. This was for the specific purpose of offering sacrifices to God.

God did not want to receive sacrifices from His people while they were still slaves to the bondage of Egypt. God wanted His people to offer sacrifices to Him only after they had put a three day gap between Egypt (which is a type of the world and slavery to sin) for this is bondage. This three day gap was an issue that Pharaoh (representing Satan, the god of this world) continually resisted. Pharaoh tried hard to make Moses compromise.

COMPROMISE NO. 1
Exodus 8:25: “And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land (Egypt).”

What did Moses reply? “We will go THREE DAYS’ JOURNEY into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the LORD our God, as he shall command us” (Exodus 8:27). Moses would not compromise one inch.

Far too many Christians want God to accept their sacrifices while they remain in Egypt, caught up with the love of this world, entertainments, lusts, and perversions. They regard themselves as Christians, but have no understanding of God’s three day gap. Even though they belong to the church, to which they occasionally go, they are still in bondage to Egypt.

They may even offer sacrifices to God of tithes and praise and worship, but can God accept their sacrifices without the three day gap principle being applied to their lives?

Husbands and fathers, we must apply this principle to our own hearts and lives and teach it by example to our children.

We will continue to look at the other ways Pharaoh tried to make Moses compromise.

Be encouraged,

Colin Campbell

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OurWholeHeartsRomans 12:1: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

The Old Testament sacrifices were sacrifices that were killed. Of course, the grain offerings and fruits of the harvest that were offered to the Lord still had life in them. All the dead sacrifices pointed to Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who willingly lay down His life so that we who were dead might live. God no longer calls for dead scarifies to be offered for our sins for it was accomplished ONCE AND FOR ALL in the death of His Son (Hebrews 9:28).

There is something very powerful about living sacrifices because they accomplish much more than dead sacrifices. The truth is that just as God was displeased when His people offered up dead sacrifices with the wrong attitude (out of duty, tradition, unwillingly, without due reverence and honor) in the same way God is displeased when we offer up ourselves as living sacrifices without due honor and respect for what He rightfully deserves.

Shallow, half-hearted offerings that contain no true heart feelings will also not be respected by God.

Be encouraged,

Colin Campbell

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AcceptableOfferingPsalm 40:6-8: “Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God, yes, thy law is within my heart.”

2 Corinthians 9:7: “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver.”

It seems a paradox that on one hand God has no desire in sacrificial offering, burnt offerings, and sin offerings, and yet on the other hand, Jesus Christ the Messiah is prophesied as coming into this world to be the ultimate fulfillment of all the Old Testament sacrifices. The understanding of this seemingly conflicting passage is that man’s sacrificial offerings were often tainted with selfish ambitions, religious pride, and coupled with ritualistic religion without heart affection.

Many offered their sacrifices out of duty. Malachi 1:7-9 says: “Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible. And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and ask, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts. And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by our means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts.”

Throughout the entire chapters of Malachi, he speaks about the sacrifices and offerings with which God is not pleased. Malachi 3:4 states: “Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.” This refers to the second coming of Christ as stated in verses 2, 3: “But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers soup: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.”

Men, we must teach our children to “Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this word: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1, 2). We must do this wh

We as husbands and fathers must set this standard in our own lives so they will be an encouragement to our families. As they see us offering ourselves as a living sacrifice each day to the Lord, they in turn will offer up their lives as living sacrifices, wholeheartedly and cheerfully, without any reservation. It is only this type of giving that is acceptable to God.

We must expose and submit ourselves to the refining fires of the Holy Spirit so that all of our giving will be acceptable to God. Let us not forget the offerings of Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:3-5). God had no respect for Cain’s offering. His offering represented the work of his own hands which showed no repentance or humility for his own shortcomings and sinfulness. God hearkened to Abel’s offering for the lamb that he offered as a substitution for his own sins pointed to the coming of Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (1 John 1:29).

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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WillingHeartsNo matter how sweet the spices, the heart must be willing. Men, we must show by example to our families that no offering is sweet to God, no matter how expensive or sweet, if it does not come from a willing heart.

Exodus 25:6 speaks of the oil and incense which were to be made with sweet spices: “Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense.” However, we take note in verse 2 that these spices, along with all the other offerings, could only be received by Moses on the behalf of God from those who gave willingly: “Of every man that giveth it WILLINGLY with his heart ye shall take my offering.”

Exodus 35:5:¨”Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of A WILLING HEART, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD . . .” Once again this speaks of the importance of the attitude of a willing heart in giving an offering to the Lord. God does not want to receive anything from any person who gives out of duty, obligation, or forced against their own will.

Exodus 35:21, 22: “And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made WILLING, and they brought the LORD’S offering to the work of the tabernacle . . . And they came, both men and women as many as were WILLING HEARTED.”

Exodus 35:26: “And all the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun goats’ hair.”

Exodus 35:29: “The children of Israel brought a WILLING offering unto the LORD, every man and woman, whose heart made them WILLING to bring all manner of work, which the LORD had commanded by the hand of Moses.”

We must teach our children that while it is appropriate to worship, read the Bible, and pray as an offering to the Lord, God does not accept it unless it is done with a willing heart. Unless we offer to God with a willing heart, we may as well not do it at all.

Psalm 110:3: “Thy people shall be WILLING in the day of thy power.”

2 Corinthians 9::7: “God loveth a cheerful giver.”

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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LivingSacrifice2We begin this new series today.

Of all the people in the world, God’s people should be the sweetest.

I have been sharing about this amazing subject at recent meetings where I have been speaking. We behold the revelation of the sweetness of Christ and His sweetness to be revealed in us especially in the composition of the anointing oil and the composition of the incense offered at the Gold Alter of Incense. We will look more closely at these in future posts.

God loves the smell of sweet fragrances and has also created within us the ability to love and appreciate beautiful fragrance.

The first mention of God smelling a sweet fragrance is in Genesis 8:20-22: “And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the LORD SMELLED A SWEET SAVOR; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”

It is amazing that a free will offering of a sacrificial nature could have such a softening influence on God. Even to this very day, the fragrance of that sacrifice of Noah has never been forgotten by God, as well as the covenant of restrained judgment God made with man, the earth, and all living things.

Without a doubt God still loves the smell and fragrance that comes up to Him from every man’s sacrificial life and free will offerings offered from humble, repentant hearts that love to please Him.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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Watchman Nee“God has delivered our children's bodies, souls, thoughts, lives and futures into our hands. No persons can influence another's destiny more than parents can their children's. They can almost direct their children to heaven or to hell.”

~ Watchman Nee

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HousePrayerBWGenesis 28:17: “This is none other but the house of God.”

If there is no prayer, or little prayer, is it God’s house? Jesus said in Mark 11:17: “Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.” We then read the reaction to Jesus’ words in verse 18: “And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him.”

I am sure that most Christians would regard their church as a “house of God.” Why then, is so little attention given to prayer in most of our church gatherings? It seems to me that the last thing Christians want to do when we gather together is to pray! Usually the only praying is when the pastor opens and closes with prayer.

Jesus proclaimed that the most defining feature of God’s house is prayer. When we do not pray and give prayer its due diligence we declare before God, and the world, that we really do not need God’s divine assistance in all that we do.

Not only when we gather together should we pray, but prayer should be first in everything. Paul challenges us in 1 Timothy 2:1-4: “I exhort therefore, that, FIRST OF ALL, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

Prayer should also be the foremost force in our own individual lives and our family lives. Is prayer a dominant part of your family life each day? Jesus said to Peter: “What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

To be honest, we have no scriptural right to call ourselves, or our gatherings, a “house of God” if we do not exercise ourselves in real, genuine prayer.

We wonder why our Christianity is not counting for much, why we don’t see many miraculous healings, and why God is not scattering our enemies. I think the answer is obvious.

When we leave serious prayer out, we leave God out!

God’s true house (Bethel) is a house of prayer.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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PurifyOurselvesGenesis 28:17: “And he was afraid and said, How dreadful is this place!”

The fear of God is not a popular subject in many churches these days. If we have no fear of God we will have no sense of the need to repent of our sins. Multitudes of church goers have never felt any real remorse for the sins, nor have they felt they need to repent of the many sins they commit that offend God.

The holiness of God is also not a popular subject in most churches. However, I don’t think it is possible to have a serious encounter with God, even the love of God, without a sense of our own unworthiness. I think many so-called Christians and church attendees have created their own God--a god that fits right in with their liberal lifestyle. But the god they serve is not the true God of the Bible. The god they have created for themselves has no problem with their watching questionable movies or dressing in clothes that promote the lust of the flesh. The god they worship has no problem with people who live in homosexual unions. They even endorse gay marriages by attending their weddings. The tolerance list goes on and on.

However, the true God of the Bible is a holy God. He states in 1 Peter 1:16: “Be ye holy; for I am holy.”

Jacob discovered the holy presence of God at Bethel. Isaiah’s vision and encounter with God caused him to say and feel he was “undone” (read Isaiah 6:1-8). Perhaps for the first time he saw himself for what he really was and cried out: “Woe is me! for I am undone: because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts” (Isaiah 6:5). He felt as unclean as a leper.

True revival can only be measured by the depths of repentance and the depths of the fear of God.

Why did many Christians in America refuse to vote for a God-fearing, constitution loving candidate to be president? Instead, they chose a man who believes he does not need to repent. They think he may be better for their pocket books.

If we want God to bless America, we had better pray that America will repent, including our leadership. Our pocket book is not as important as the state of our souls.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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WhereTwoThreeMatthew 18:20: ”For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

As God’s people, what do we have if we do not have His presence in our lives? We are told by biblical historians, e.g. Josephus, that the Ark of the Covenant was missing in Herod’s temple. It was lost or hidden somewhere during the final Babylonian dispersion of Judah. Therefore, the Shekinah glory of God’s holy presence would not have been in the Holy of Holies between the wings of the cherubim. All those who came to the temple would have been deprived of the great sense of God’s immediate presence. At least some measure of the glory would have departed.

Of course, when Jesus entered the temple and cleansed it, the glory of His presence would have been restored while He was there. However, when He left the temple, the glory of His presence left with Him.

There was no tabernacle or temple in Jacob’s time. Therefore, God chose to reveal His presence to Jacob in this quiet wilderness spot that Jacob called Bethel.

Today, we like Jacob, have no physical building we can resort to in order to feel His presence, such as the tabernacle in the wilderness, the permanent tabernacle in Shiloh, or the temple in Jerusalem.,

However, Jesus said: “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” This does not mean the denomination, the church building, or the great preacher that guarantees His presence. It is the authority and power of His name--Jesus. The more His name is exalted and lifted up, the more we will experience His presence.

This is our Bethel and this is our Emanuel (God with us).

Be encouraged,

Colin Campbell

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FirstInAllGenesis 2813: “Behold, the Lord stood above it (the ladder), and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac.”

Bethel is a place where God’s preeminence is revealed. It is a place where God speaks to us. Some translations say that God came alongside Jacob or over Jacob. However, most translate the passage as the King James Bible does as “above the ladder.” The Amplified says “And behold, the Lord stood over and beside him and said . . . “

I like the idea that God is preeminent over angels and not in any way compared to, or alongside the angels. Jacob’s faith was not focused on angels. Talking of Christ Hebrews 1:4 states that He is “made so much better than the angels as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” Hebrews 1:6 says: “And let all the angels of God worship him.”

We rejoice that we have ministering angels. Hebrews 1:14 says: “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” However, Jacob’s attention was not centered on the helpful angels, but on the One who was above them and sending them.

Our Bethel is to be a place where there is no doubt that God in Christ is preeminent. Bethel (God’s house) is to be a place where we hear what God says to us. His words have absolute preeminence in our lives. Colossians 1:18 says: “That in all things he might have the preeminence.”

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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TreasuresWisdomGenesis 31:13: “I am the God of Bethel.”

Colossians 2:3: “In Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

Bethel is a place where we can have revelations, visions, and dreams from God. Genesis 28:12 says: “And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.” Dreams, visions, and revelations are mentioned numerous times throughout the Scriptures. They are some of God’s ways of communicating certain truths to His people.

Just because have the Scriptures, does not mean that we do not need these special visitations from God. Jacob’s dream of the ladder set up from earth to heaven with angels descending and ascending on it thrills my soul greatly. This ladder, accompanied by these heavenly messengers is still available to me and all God’s servants who believe in the God of Bethel. It is not that our eyes should in any way be taken off Christ and focused on angels. God forbid.

However, I am greatly encouraged and comforted by one of the great names of God--Jehovah Tsva-ah (Strong’s Concordance 6635). It is the revelation of The Lord of Hosts which is mentioned in Scripture too many times for me to count as I write this post. Although for your interest, this name of God is used 14 times in only two chapters of Haggai. It is used 53 times in the only 14 chapters of Zechariah. And 24 times in only four chapters of Malachi.

It reveals God as the mightiest Warrior and all-powerful King of Israel with His host of angels who surround the throne of God, His ministering angels, His military service. It is always in the context of warfare. If only we had eyes to see this great, powerful, and enormous army that God has at His disposal to help us to overcome all the powers of the evil one.

I love the lines in the beautiful hymn written by John Newton, “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds” which we sang at our Family Devotions yesterday morning. Verse three says:

Dear Name, the Rock on which I build,
My Shield and Hiding Place,
My never failing treasury, filled
With boundless stores of grace!

Jesus Christ is our Treasury! He is filled with boundless stores of grace! Jesus is greater than Fort Knox where the gold of our nation is kept. The Lord of Hosts uses His angelic ministers to take from Heaven’s Treasury (Jesus Christ) and as we lay hold of these treasures, the angels communicate them to us in many different ways. Hallelujah.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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WaitingRushingGenesis 28:11: “He tarried there all night.”

Psalm 62:5: “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.”

Isaiah 40:31: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Our Bethel should be a place where we spend quality time with God, seeking His face and calling on His name. The true Bethel experience is not rushed like a fast food restaurant. So many churches have a program that is so tight. The pastor opens in prayer, we sing a few worship songs, we take up the offering (we must never forget the offering), we make the announcements, the pastor gives his 20 minute message, closes in prayer, and everyone hurries out to get on with the things that “really matter.”

Our 21st century church has no understanding about tarrying or waiting upon God to manifest His presence. Our impatience concerning God “showing up” and downloading to us is as shallow as an empty tin can. If God doesn’t show up on our tight schedule, it’s just too bad. We give Him at least a few minutes once a week. Isn’t that enough? No wonder the church is so impotent, lifeless, and without any great impact upon the affairs of our fellow mankind

When Jacob returned to his own kindred, he wrestled with an angel all night until the break of day (Genesis 32:24). Jesus, the great Shepherd of our souls regularly spent lengthy times to tarry and wait upon God. Luke 6:12 says: “And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” Read also Matthew 14:23.

Bethel is to be a place of waiting or tarrying on God. Our 21st century is a time of great opportunities and challenges. How sad it is that we are too busy to take the time to wait.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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LearningExperience1. FIND A CONVENIENT PLACE AND MAKE IT YOUR BETHEL

Genesis 28:11: “And he (Jacob) lighted upon a certain place.” We need to look for a suitable place to seek God and pray, a place where we are not disturbed or easily distracted. It needs to be a convenient place.

Jesus Christ found a “solitary place.” “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed” (Mark 1:35).

“And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up pinto a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone” (Matthew 14:23).

“And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God” (Luke 12:6).

When Jesus taught about prayer in Matthew 6:6 He said: “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”

Jacob lay down and went to sleep in his Bethel experience. Sometimes when lying down alone with God you can have great conversations with Him. If you fall asleep, God can give you a dream. What an amazing dream Jacob had!

Acts 10:9-16 tells us how Peter went up on the housetop to pray. “And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, and saw heaven opened . . . “

Your Bethel could be in a nearby mountain, in a closet, in the woods, or on a roof top.

Find a suitable place and make it your Bethel.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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BethelExperienceGenesis 28:19: “And he called the name of that place Bethel (house of God).”

Psalm 27:4: “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.” This was David's No. 1 desire.

Men, we all need to have a Bethel (house of God) experience in our lives. We all need a place where we, like Jacob, actually encounter the presence of our great God. Each one of us has physical feelings for good or bad when we are in certain people’s company. We should also experience spiritual feelings and emotions (because we are both physical and spiritual beings) when we are in God’s presence.

I personally believe it is wrong to discount our feelings and emotions regarding our relationship with God. Of course we do not make feelings our ultimate evidence regarding the will of God, or any given matter, because sometimes our feelings may be contrary to the direct written Word of God. Often people can be deceived because they mistake physical feelings for godly and spiritual feelings. There is indeed a difference.

I am sure that Jacob’s feelings concerning God were deeply and strongly affected by his Bethel experience. I believe that if we do not spiritually feel God in our gatherings, and have not become aware of His presence for some time, then perhaps there is something wrong with us personally or collectively.

Our gatherings, whether it be our own private devotional times, our family devotional times, or our church gatherings need to be a spiritual encounter with God where our emotions are heightened and stirred. Wherever this happens--in our home, in our closet (our secret place), walking in the woods, out under the stars, or inside a church --it becomes our true Bethel (house of God). When we encounter the presence of our most awesome God our whole beings are changed. Our spirit feelings are stirred, which affects our physical feelings too.

God does not want us to be refrigerators without warm feelings, or even hot feelings towards Him! Far too many Christians are almost emotionless and without passion when it comes to their relationship with God. They need a real Bethel experience.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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LadderHeavenJacob realized that the God of his fathers, Abraham and Isaac, was a holy God with an awesome presence that caused Jacob to say: “How dreadful (fearful) is this place” (Genesis 28:17). Perhaps for the first time in his life he was afraid of God. Jacob realized that there was something special about this place where he set up pillars for his head to sleep on. He spoke out and said: “This is none other but the house of God.”

Even though God is omnipresent and the whole of heaven and earth belongs to Him, He chooses certain places to reveal Himself to us. God wanted Jacob to understand that He chooses some places to be more special than others. Some places will be more like God’s house to us than other places. God loves to dwell in houses and He loves to reveal Himself to us in special places.

Jacob honestly felt that God’s presence was in this place far more than any other place he had been. He was so impressed with this place as he realized it was a gateway or an entrance into Heaven itself. This was where angels came down on a ladder to bring answers from Heaven. This was where angels took our requests and needs back into Heaven to God Himself who stood above that ladder.

What a great thing it is when we can find such a place where God’s ministering angels are so active to meet our needs. How blessed we are when we find a place like this where we can lay down our wearied heads at night and have God minister to us through His angels.

To be continued.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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