#108

                                                                                 (Source of material:  Rev. B.R. Hicks)

Hebrews 9:27 states that "it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment".  There are two men who did not experience death; they experienced translation.  Elijah was taken up before the eyes of his servant Elisha in the throne chariot of God.  Enoch also bypassed death and was translated into the presence of the LORD.  Both must return and experience physical death.  These two men, Elijah and Enoch, had ministries during their sojourn on earth.  Elijah ministered during a time of dead idols and Enoch during a time of living idols.  Both these men will be returned to earth during the Great Tribulation, a time when dead and living idols abound.  

Please read Revelation 11:3-12.  The LORD is the one who gives POWER to these two witnesses.  They do many amazing things but, it is God who gives them the power.  They will be virtually untouchable as they perform miracles in Jerusalem, the very seat of the antichrist.  He will not be able to silence or overcome them until the LORD is ready.  Please note in verse 4 that God calls them "two olive trees and two candlesticks".  In previous lessons, we have learned that the golden candlestick in the Mosaic Tabernacle had 66 bowls, knops, and flowers---a picture of the revealed Word of God given to us in the 66 books of the Bible.  Setting on top of each branch and the central shaft were 7 lamps.  Each lamp had oil, fire, and light.  Psalm 45:7 gives us a clue about what the oil represents:  gladness.  Gladness is defined as delight, mirth, pleasure, joyful, noisy.  The lamp, full of oil, rested on top of the Word.  Gladness comes from being in the Word of God.  When we study the Word, our lamps fill with oil (gladness).  The oil will be partially responsible for the defeat of the antichrist by the two witnesses; they were candlesticks with oil, fire, and light.  Likewise, we can defeat the enemy in our personal lives by filling our lamps with the oil of gladness.  The two witnesses will defy antichrist with gladness and joy!   We can defeat the enemy by staying in the Word of God!  As gladness gave them the ability to withstand antichrist, we can withstand the inward flesh and the outward attacks of the enemy.  Be encouraged to stay in the Word of God as much as possible.  Listen to a CD, read your One Year Bible, read some notes.  Put the oil of gladness in your lamps and experience spiritual victory!

 

                                                                                                  

                                                                                                                #107

                                                                                       (Source of material:  Rev. B.R. Hicks)

Please read Exodus 20:12.  Of all the ten commandments, this is the first one that carries a promise with it.  The word "honor" means to solidify impressions.  This is a capability of the will.  We have learned previously that kabode glory is an impressing, impriniting glory.  The will of man has the capability of imprinting the infallibility of God's Headship and Authority, through the kabode glory, on itself.  When we honor our Mother and Father, we are imprinting the nature of God in the will.  Yes, there is a natural side to this scripture.  It is indeed noble to honor our natural father and mother but, as always, there is a spiritual component that also commands us to honor Mother God and Father God.  

In Genesis 9:20-23, Noah's son's honor him when he was uncovered.  Noah drank too much wine and became drunken.  He ended up uncovered in his tent and his two sons, Shem and Japheth, went into the tent backwards and covered him so his nakedness would not be exposed.  This was an act of honoring their father.  Proverbs 10:12 says, in part, "...love covereth all sins".  Shem and Japheth, in honoring Noah, covered him, as it were, in love with a garment.  

It is necessary to understand that there is much more going on, spiritually, as we walk through this earthly journey.  The Father is doing all He can do to get us back IN Christ (see #106) but He allows us the option of choice which sometimes thwarts His Plan.  Simply put, our carnal thoughts, feelings, and deeds don't want to have anything to do with spiritual goals.  They are feckless in being spiritually minded. We honor the Father by being keenly aware of His sovereign guidance; by looking above and confessing that HIS HEADSHIP allows all things.  He forces us to leave our earthly, carnal thoughts below and pop up into the above and have a spiritual experience.  The Father can be honored in our will if we look above, confess His Headship and Authority, and thank Him for allowing things JUST THE WAY THEY ARE!!!  In honoring God, our will bears the imprint of His lovely nature and we become more convinced that all things DO work together for our good and for His glory.  AMEN!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                           #105

                                                                                                   (Source of material:  Rev. B.R. Hicks)

Please read Matthew 4:1-3 and Luke 4:1:3.  These scriptures recount when Jesus was tempted of the devil after He was led into the wilderness by the Spirit.  In Matthew He is tempted to turn "stones" into bread, in Luke just one "stone".  Notice one is plural and the other singular.  The devil tempted Jesus to do a big thing with many stones, but He refused.  Subsequently, He is tempted to turn one stone into bread.  "It won't matter, just one stone won't make any difference, it's no big deal, nobody will ever know".  Jesus refused to give Himself any relief or pleasure in His circumstance in a large way or a small way.  He was hungry but would not intervene in His Fathers' Plan for Him by exercising His own Authority and Headship.  He had a desire to be fed but waited for the Father to satisfy His hunger.  He would not step out and provide His own pleasure.  We are tempted the same way as our Savior.  When the LORD has us in a dusty, parched wilderness of a situation, the devil is there to tempt us in providing our own little pleasure.  We are tempted to escape the pain and make things "better" by providing our own satisfaction.  If we cave under the pressure, we are cheating ourselves of the glory that comes when our sitation is terminated by the Father.  When He is well-pleased, He will step in and say, "Peace, be still!"

When our Wonderful Savior was dying on Calvary's Cross, He was mocked and jeered by the assembled crowd.  "He could save others but cannot save Himself---come down from the Cross and save yourself!"  In other words, pick up this stone and turn it into bread;  provide for yourself some relief and pleasure from your present circumstance.  If He had done so, He would have forfeited the glory that was poised to leap out from the temple.  At the sixth hour the temple veil was rent horizontally and glory rushed out to the horizontal bar of the Cross on Calvary's Hill.  Additionally, at the ninth hour the veil was rent again, vertically, and the glory joined to the vertical bar of the Cross.  He was immersed in glory as the old covenant passed away and the new was introduced to the world. A Roman Centurion exclaimed, "Surely this was the Son of God!"  Jesus is the fulfillment of the old covenant, the Precious Lamb of God given to the world for salvation from sin!  

If we WAIT in our crucifying situations, refusing the temptation to provide our own way of escape, the glory will arrive and surround us when the situation is complete.  "They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength..."  (Isaiah 40:31).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                           #106

                                                                                    (Source of material:  Rev. B.R. Hicks)

Please read 2Corinthians 5:17.  We are promised 3 benefits when we are IN Christ.  1.  We are a new creature.  2.  Old things pass away. 3.  All things become new.  If we are not IN Christ, at any given moment, we are OUT of Christ.  We are:  1.  The same old creature.  2.  Still wallowing in old things.  3.  Bored and indifferent in our spiritual life.  The Hebrew word for new is ke-dem.  Ke-dem has to do with God's Purposive Will and is an eternity of no-form.  When we are IN Christ, not only is there no room for old things, but we enjoy ke-dem formless energy that enables us to praise, thank, bless, and glorify His wonderful Name.  What are the old "things" that pass away while IN Christ?  The old thoughts, feelings and deeds.  The old forms pass away and new thoughts, feelings and deeds take their place.  New, ke-dem, formless, positive energy assists the body, soul and spirit in exclaiming thankful gratitude for things JUST THE WAY THEY ARE!!!  When something is new it did not exist before, it's a new form, a new shape. Old thoughts and feeling can be turned into something new!

We can tell when we are not IN Christ---we spew out our old forms (things).  We voice our disgruntlement, criticism and dislike.  We judge, pick, condemn and censure ourselves and others. At any given moment I can "BE" (present tense) IN Christ and have all these old forms pass away.

Please read Proverbs 8:22-31.  The Son of God, Wisdom, at the end of verse 31 said His delights (plural) were with the sons of men.  In the Hebrew language men is aw-dam.  All spirits and souls of men (aw-dam) were in the Son of God as He was being prepared by the Father to become Christ.  He was "truthed-up".  It wasn't until after the resurrection "that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36).  All mankind was in the Son as He was being truthed-up and He would share the delight of His Father with us.  This delight was passed on by Him sharing what He had learned from the Father.  Jesus declared Himself to be the beginning and the end.  In the beginning we were IN Christ, by gift, delighting in the Word of God in unity and love.  Now, in the end, the Lord wants us to be IN Christ by choice, experiencing the Word of God through the Cross.  Theory is joined to experience and we return to the unity, love and delight IN Him.  

How do we get IN Christ?  How did Jesus get inside us?  We asked.  To get IN Him we simply ask.  When we are surrounded by our old thoughts, feelings and deeds, we can ask to come inside Him and make us new.  God wants the same delight and love among us, as brethren, in the end, that we had in the beginning IN Him.  He will not reject us when we ask Him to be IN Christ.  The suffering was too great, too much blood was shed, the stakes are too high for Him to reject our request of being IN Him.  Frankly, being IN Him is why He went to the Cross.  He will not say, "No, let me think about it".  His purpose is to bring us all back to the Father, IN Him, as one. 

Please read 1Corinthians 13:4-7.  When we are IN Christ, this is how we should be treating Him and the brotherhood.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                           #104

                                                                                   (Source of material:  Rev. B.R. Hicks) 

Please read Psalm 107.  This is a Psalm that expresses gratitude for 4 things.  Verses 1-8 give gratitude for redemption.  Verses 9-15 express gratitude for longing.  Additionally, verses 16-22 thank the LORD for being needy.  Lastly, verses 23-31 give gratitude for being a traveler.  Let's study a little about gratitude for longing.  

Please read Romans 7:15-25.  The intensely personal character of these verses seems to indicate that this was Paul's own experience as a believer.  He not only is explaining his own battle, but is also defining the same battle in the heart of all believer's.  This is his diagnosis of what happens when one tries to be sanctified by keeping the law.  Even though there is a longing within the regenerated human heart to be obedient to the LORD, the law (the flesh) has a strong opposite influence.  There is a disposition deep within a man's heart that produces acts of disobedience that are contrary to the longing to be like the LORD Jesus.  In verse 24, he exclaims that he is a wretched man whose body is experiencing a "living death".  The body, dominated by sin, much to the dismay of every believer, is a living death!  In verse 25 he thanks God for the turmoil of living in a body of death, at the same time having a longing to serve God in his mind.  

The LORD would like us to be grateful for the longing to be like Him.  As Paul stated, the inevitable result of making promises to God to serve Him "better" is failure.  Many times we determine, under our own headship and authority, to pray more, study more, fast more, attend church more, etc.  In our own flesh, we determine what is a "good" servant and what will satisfy Jesus.  Our own proud image is destined to come crashing to the floor because of the power of the flesh and its contrariness.  Failure is the speedy result when we strive in our flesh to be good.  When Israel was experiencing the exodus from Egyptian slavery, it was the cloud and fire, the Spirit, that got out in front and led the way.  In Romans 8:1-2, Paul declares the same principle:  "for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death".  It is the Spirit of life, the Holy Ghost, that will lead us out of the bondage of the flesh.  Our images of how to free ourselves from sin will not stand.  The Spirit does the work.  The LORD, after we fail miserably, simply asks us to be grateful for the longing to be free from the living death of the body of sin.  To have a desire and longing to be like Him is a street to a need of redemption. He will meet the need and convert the body of sin through the  leading of the Spirit and give us a GREATER longing to be like Him.  No flesh shall boast or triumph in His presence.  He does the work and asks us to simply be grateful for longing to be changed by the Spirit and be transformed into HIS image.