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NEWSONG VMCT INFO

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The Illinois State guidelines for the COVID situation will still be in place for our December 11th concert at the Marion Cultural & Civic Center. Those obligate the venue to require a mask for entry for public events at the Civic Center.
The doors will open at 6pm and the concert will begin at 7pm.

NewSong’s Very Merry Christmas Tour

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November Newsletter-Third Dimension

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One of the earliest things we learn about God is the Trinity of God. It’s interesting that Trinity, the number three, is used by God to signify God. The Father seems to have a pre-disposition to ‘operate’ in threes: body, soul , and spirit – that which was, is, and is to come – the way, the truth, and the life – death, burial, and resurrection – not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit – Father, son, and Holy Spirit – Faith, Hope, and Love – thirty, sixty, and hundred fold – yesterday, today, and forever, and Revelation’s Holy, Holy, Holy. (All are not only threes but also in a progressive order.) Three in One was used by the Creator Himself to try and teach us of His individual persons and at the same time capture the Unity of God. Each Person in the Trinity is unique, each has their own unique function, but all three agree with one purpose. And while all three exist somewhat separately in God’s teachings, simultaneously they are never separated from one another. Coming into the presence of One is to come into the presence of all three. At the Cross, Father, Son, and Spirit were all three present.

In the Old Testament there were shadows of things that now have come to pass because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Sometimes God has shown us ‘signs’ in the physical world, long before we ever see them in our experience. Moses’ tabernacle is one of those early signs given in the past to teach us about Christ in the present. It was given to us before the life of Christ and yet it is an exact ‘picture’ to help us understand the Kingdom of God and the fullness of our place in Christ. It’s a ‘picture’ prepared for us to physically see helping us learn the ‘process’ and better understand how His Kingdom works with the appearing of Christ. (The tabernacle is so Christ-like that it contains four bleeding spots. Its instruments of service are placed in such a way they represent a cross: outer court- nails in Jesus feet, inner court-nails in his hands, holy of holies- Jesus crown of thorns. Symbolically, a cross was lying within the tabernacle.)

His Kingdom, like Father, Son and Spirit, and like that Tabernacle, is made up of three dimensions. God’s Kingdom contains the outer court, the inner court and the most high place (Holy of Holies). The three represent: new birth, ministry, and relationship. All three are significant and have important roles in our Christian journey. All three are unique and when added together completed the Tabernacle. All three complete the Gospel and create Christ’s New Testament Church. In Moses’ tabernacle the outer court contained two prophetic instruments. First, the bronze altar was for blood sacrifice. Today we know that Jesus’ blood is sufficient. Secondly, the laver for washings represents our New Testament baptism by the Spirit. These two furnishings found in the outer court are the way of entry into the inner court or the second dimension of Christ. This inner court contained (1) the Table of Shew Bread on the right (Jesus is the bread of Life), (2) The Candlestick was on the left (Jesus is the Light of the world). The candlestick was uniquely made in the form of a tree. It was constructed in such a way that the six ‘outer’ branches were all ‘filled’ with oil from the distribution from the single, center candlestick. If the ‘filling’ didn’t come from the center ‘stick’, no light would be present from the other six branches. The New Testament implication: He is the true vine and every branch connected to Him as their source will bear (and I’ll add this for emphasis) His fruit (John 15). The last item found in the inner court was (3) the altar of incense. It stood at the front of a four inch thick veil separating the inner court from the most high place. That altar was present for making offerings to God (today, our prayers and worship).

The third part of the tabernacle, the Most High Place contained the Ark of the Covenant, covered by the Mercy Seat. The ark contained everything that was needed to sustain Life: body (manna), the soul (tablets), and spirit (the budding rod or fruit of the Spirit). There was complete sufficiency there. (Today, Jesus is our Ark of the covenant, providing a new and living way.) Entry into that place was rare in the O.T. The opening was so small that priest had to get down on their hands and knees to enter. According to Jesus’ teaching, entering that third dimension in His Kingdom is still rare today. Back then entering was permitted only by tradition. However, today entering is permitted by our choosing. It was the ‘narrow gate’ and according to Jesus, ‘few are them that find it.’ While that gate is narrow, it can be found and entered into by believers today. The Gospel, the Kingdom of God, is a progression of us toward Him. He is as close as we choose Him to be. And while the O. T. high priest was permitted in on specific occasions, today we stand at that place and are encouraged to enter in by His Grace. We’ve been placed inside. Once there, we’re to be ministered to and then turn around, and offer the Peace and sufficiency of that place to others. We are to look out toward people in both the inner and outer court and encourage them to come further. Today our role as ‘priestly’ believers is to invite believers into the Most High Place by the testimony of Christ’s Grace and His Love. Just as in Moses’ tabernacle, God’s presence in that Holy of Holies was present continually, perpetually. By the Will of God, a Holy place with Him constantly present is the believer’s hopeful destination.

Our Gospel-Kingdom present today is like the three dimensions of Moses’ tabernacle. The Christian Life can experience: the new birth, ministry, and live in the personal. It may not feel like it in our emotions, but it’s a dimension where we experience God all the time, not just once in a while. It’s the Kingdom Jesus said dwelled among us right now, pre-Heaven. The Kingdom is not just an area where God rules from a long distance away. It’s present wherever He is, we’ve been promised that He is present in us here and now; not just a presence we experience after we die. It’s the experienced presence in His Joy, Peace, Rest, Salvation, Fellowship, and Prayer in His Life!

The Holy Spirit of God was referred to by Jesus as a ‘paraclete,’ a Greek word meaning someone Who comes alongside to help. (Jesus was also a paraclete that came to offer us that new way to live.) Jesus offered, in the Holy Spirit, a Counselor, Comforter, Advocate, and Encourager. Those are exactly the kind of things we need today, not something to be anticipated to be needed in Heaven.

Over the years I’ve come to appreciate Jesus’ teaching in the scriptures found in John 8:31-33. ‘If you (1) continue in my word, then (2) you are my disciples indeed; and you shall know the truth, and the truth (3) will make you free.’ (Back to 3’s again and again in a specific order.) If you read John 8:31-33 in the reciprocal it says: ‘If you do not continue in my word, then you will not be disciples and you will not know the truth and you will not be free!’ The Father in His wisdom simply told us how to get to where we should all want to go; we just have to follow those instructions in the order given. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and all these things will be added unto you… (Matthew 6:33).

In Luke 24:1-31, it’s interesting that those that closely followed Jesus did not recognize him after the resurrection. Post-Cross was Christ’s third expression to those that followed Him. They had known him in life. They remembered him in death. (In fact they remembered him too well in death, many thinking that was the end.) However, they failed to recognize him in the resurrection, the third dimension of His ministry. They had no problem with the first two but failed to enter into an understanding of the third expression: a risen Christ. They had stopped at His death. Recognizing it and all it meant was important but there was also a resurrection to embrace. Even after walking with him for 7 miles they still did not recognize Who they were talking with. It’s easy today to stop along the way and settle for yesterday’s Jesus. When that happens, we simply stay in our first or second experience of Christ. In the Gospel it’s declared He is risen and a new Way is available to those that activate it by Trust. We can continue into His Kingdom right now and enter into His Righteousness, Peace and Joy (Rom. 14:17). His Kingdom exists in this mess we find ourselves even today. It’s real in this mess. We can experience it in this mess. I’ve heard people ask why God doesn’t do something about this or that. Bottom line, He has- He sent Jesus!

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