#231 (3/17/19)

Source of material:  Rev. B.R. Hicks

Please read Mark 6:43-45.  After feeding the 5 thousand and taking up twelve baskets of fragments and fishes, Jesus constrained the diciples to leave.  Straightway is defined as immediately, no choice, without hesitation or delay.  His instruction was for them to go to Bethsaida, in the ship, without delay.  In verse 46, He sought the solitary place after dispersing the multitudes.  He sent the diciples and the multitudes away and sought solitude in prayer.  He was watching the diciples from a distance on the mountain.  In verse 48, He SAW them toiling in rowing; by this time they had been rowing about 4-5 hours.  After this great miracle and blessing they immediately were plunged into a severe storm.  The diciples were being obedient to travel to Bethsaida in the ship; the wind was coming from the direction of Bethsaida.  They obeyed the LORD and experienced a storm with a strong headwind.  They were rowing against the wind.  

Please read Ephesians 4:14. Wind in this verse is defined as deceitful doctrine of man.  The spiritual counterpart to the sea is the will of man.  So, we see a picture here that is profitable to the Christian right now.  At times, the believer is aboard a tiny ship, as it were, in a raging storm on the shifting and falling sea of his/her own will.  Winds of doctine blow with one objective:  to upset the ship and swallow up the life of the believer.  Opposition, separation, darkness and wind compound the fact that His personal presence is GONE!  This is the way He constrained them to go . . . but . . . He is watching from a distance.  Please read verse 49.  All of them could not discern who He was - - - is it a spirit or is it Jesus?  Why, in verse 50, did He say to them to be cheerful and not afraid?  Because they, at this point, were neither.  In verse 52 the problem is identified.  They considered not the miracle of the loaves (bread).   Bread is the staff of life, it is Love, Light, and Life.  The cause of the storm was identified as the rejection of the bread.  By rejecting the bread they had no discernment when the personal presence of Jesus approached and their hearts were hardened.  What is the cause of darkness, separation, and wind?  Why can't we recognize Jesus in the midst of the storm?  Why the opposition and fear?  What happened to our cheerfulness; why are we afraid?  We consider not the miracle of the bread and harden our hearts. 

Each day we pass through the routine and consider not the greater picture of what is really happening.  We lose sight of the spiritual counterpart and what the LORD wants to make us - - - a Bride.  Sure, we must experience routine, but is the routine contributing to the making of a Bride?  Every day the LORD gives us our daily bread.  In other words, He ordains for us to receive our daily dose of Love, Light, and Life.  Bread comes in the form of the Word of God and daily experiences.  Each day He ordains the spot (sin) in the heart that He wants to convert.  He manipulates the circumstances so that one spot can rise up and be exposed.  Do we consider the miracle of the bread (the circumstance) and allow Him to convert that one spot or do we harden the heart and reject the bread (the circumstance)?  Daily rejection of His Love, Light, and Life causes a lack of proper discernment when Jesus arrives on the scene in His personal presence.  Rejection of the bread was the cause of the effect of the storm, wind, opposition, darkness and lack of discernment.  Rejection of the bread affected the diciples more than what they were experiencing in the  ship. 

He comes daily, through our circumstances, and offers Love, Light, and Life so as to make us His Bride.  May we be more vigilant to accept His offering and humble ourselves at His Lovely Feet.  

#230 (2/27/19)

Source of material:  Rev. B.R. Hicks

The LORD's original intent with his crowning creation, mankind, was to inhabit his/her will in the form of Love, Light, Truth, and Life.  The will of man/woman was purposely made to receive the LORD God and provide a home for His Name.  His Name is Love, Light, Truth, and Life.  Because of His great, unspeakable Master Plan, sin was allowed to temporarily take the place of His Name in the will of man.   His Master Plan has not completely unfolded with regard to the will of man.  The will was made for Him and His Name only.  The original intent has not diminished; His Name will inhabit the will of man.  Through personal experience, man has the privilege of allowing the LORD God to divorce his will from its unholy union with fallen Lucifer and get remarried to the Name.  Why?  So He can reveal Himself and show the man/woman the reality of a loving and compassionate God!  When a believer is familiar with the counterfeit, the truth of what's real is made that much more convincing.  

Deceit, Death, Darkness, and Hate now inhabit the will of man.  Deceit has a ministry and that is to steal the truth.  When the Mighty LORD God intervenes in behalf of His creation, He leaves behind a token of His beautiful Self in the will.  When the counterfeit is measured against the real, and found wanting, a memorial is raised honoring the Name of the LORD.  Over time, the memory can take the believer back to each memorial to rehearse and relive what miraculous things God has done.  Deceit's objective is to remove these precious memorials that remind us of His Great Love and Goodness.  Please turn to I Kings 20.  Benhadad is a picture of deceit inhabiting the will of man.  It is recommended that the reader read the whole chapter.  In verse 10 of chapter 20 Benhadad (deceit) has a message for Ahab.  Likewise, deceit has a message for the believer.  Benhadad boasted about how many men were following him (thirty two kings and all their hordes) and said if each man took a handful of dust Samaria would be leveled.  Put another way, you're greatly outnumbered so there is no use in resisting.  Deceit tells us to give up, not fight, surrender the LORD's memorials and allow deceit to rule again in the will.  From a human standpoint deceit is a powerful foe.  From God's standpoint deceit "ain't nothin' but a thing"!   

How does the Christian identify deceit?  It builds false roads that lead the believer in search of happiness outside of the LORD God.  The Christian develops the problem of not being able to discern right and wrong.  The truth becomes blurred with no definitive lines.  Deceit creates an illusion, a dream world, of promised pleasure outside of the will of God.  Finally, it overcomes and steals the truth already laid in the will.  Jesus becomes an acquaintance rather than a Bridegroom.  

No covenant is to be made with deceit.  The Name of the LORD must REPLACE deceit.  It is destined to be removed from the will of man and be replaced with His Wonderful, Beautiful, Glorious Name.  

#228 (2/6/19)

Source of material:  Rev. B.R. Hicks

Please read Luke 5:12-16.  A leper beseeches Jesus to heal him of his leprosy.  In verse 12 notice the leper's courtesy and humility.  His faith led him to a true confession that Jesus could make him clean, if He wanted to.  In verse 13, He proved His dominion and superiority over the plague of leprosy "and immediately the leprosy departed from him."  His fame was widespread news because of this healing; so much so, that Pharisees and doctors of the law from Judea, Galilee, and Jerusalem came to listen to Him.  Notice is verse 17 "the power of the Lord was present to heal them."  Heal who and from what?  He wanted to heal the Pharisees and doctors of the law of their leprous judgments.  The power of God was there to heal the leaders of Israel!  Jesus knew if He could heal them they would begin to teach the people the truth.  He had already proven He could heal natural leprosy; now He wanted to heal the spiritual leprosy of the leaders.  

He forgave the sin of a man who was let down through the roof, but hesitated to heal the palsy.  Read verse 21.  He perceived the thoughts of the Pharisees and scribes and their leprous judgments.  He wanted to heal them but because of their unbelief and blasphemy He turned to the stricken man and healed the palsy.  The power of the Lord was their to heal the leaders but because of their rejection and unbelief, the power to heal was redirected to someone else in need.  Many times the power of the Lord is present to heal believer's of their leprous judgments, but rejection and lack faith causes the power to move to someone else.  The power of God WILL heal, faith and belief draws that power.  The power of God is present to heal us of our own rebellious flesh and marry the will to the Will of God.  Rejection and unbelief causes it to bypass the heart and move on to someone else.  

In case of Israel fleeing the slavery of Egypt, death was behind them at the Red Sea in the form of Pharoah and his army.  In front of them was the death of the waters of the Red Sea (a picture of water baptism and its Name, Death, and Life).  Israel had to choose between Pharoah's death or the LORD's death.  The power of God was present to heal them of their leprous judgments to return to Egypt and its slavery.  The nation walked down into the death of the LORD; they had to actively engage themselves into the situation and choose the death of God.  They followed the commandment of Moses, the Word of God.  When the Word comes the power of God is present to heal leprous judgments.  The Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, was present to heal the Pharisees but rejection of the Word caused the healing power to move on.  Where the Word is, so also is the healing power of God!

#229 (2/17/19)

Source of material:  Rev. B.R. Hicks

Note:  Due to several winter weather events, sermons in February have been reduced.

Please read I Kings 20:1-23 (please feel free to read the entire chapter).  The king of Israel (Ahab) and the city of Samaria were being besieged by Benhadad (king of Syria) and thirty two other kings.  Benhadad sent messengers into Samaria demanding four things:  gold, silver, Ahab's wives, and his children.  Astonishingly, Ahab agrees.  After receiving this capitulation, Benhadad further demands that he be allowed to search his houses and take secret things of value from him and his servants.  Incensed at the second demand, Ahab refuses to give him anything.  He refused to give up his gold, silver, wives, and children to an enemy who was sure to annihilate him.  He chose to guard and keep what was precious to him.  Notice throughout this scenario, the Bible does not record Ahab seeking any spiritual direction or guidance from the LORD or a prophet of God.  He did not go pray. He did not fast or go to the house of God.  He simply said, "I will not give them up"!  Look what happens in verse 13.  After he refused to give up these four things, a prophet of God comes to Ahab and explains that the LORD would give the entire host into his hand and cause a great deliverance.  When Ahab refused to give up his gold (the revelation will of God or personal revelation), silver (the redemptive will of God or personal redemption), wives (his personal relationship), and his children (seeds of the truth in his will) God CAME TO HIM with a mighty deliverance.  Benhadad is a spiritual picture of deceit.  Deceit demands the relinquishment of all we hold valuable in the LORD.  When we refuse to hand over these valuable things, God intervenes.  Deceit (Benhadad) and thirty two kings were defeated.  

Going further in the story, in verse 22, the prophet (who is not named) comes to Ahab and tells him to strenghen himself because they (Syria) would soon return.  The Syrians believed the LORD to be a God of the hills and not a God of the plain (valley).  Within a year, they were back to besiege Samaria.  In verse 25, they would return with the same strength as at the first.  Victory was given to Ahab on the hill and was told not to relax because the same battle was returning.  This time it would be in the valley; it would return in the same strength.  In verse 29, Ahab had to go out into the valley, the battle, and engage the enemy.  The Syrians were subdued in the valley.  The LORD provided a great deliverance on the hill, but Ahab had to fight personally in the valley to receive another victory.  On the hill, God gives the victory, in the valley we go out and fight to get the victory.  Victory on the hill is given to strengthen self so victory can be achieved in the valley.  Victory is easily received in the presence of God on the hill, but is more difficult in the humble, dark valley.  To strengthen self (verse 22) means to restrain self and its secret delights, to conquer self.  Victory in the valley is preceded by restraining the fleshly desires of the flesh, conquering its earthly appetites.  Be prepared!  The battle is coming back!  Curtail and restrain the flesh and God will deliver because self has changed, its different.  Lastly, read verse 10 again:  this is what deceit says.  Basically, I am going to annihilate you and your personal relationship.  You will be as nothing!  WOW!!! BEWARE!!!

#227 (2/3/19 evening)

Note:  Please read #226 to get a greater understanding of this lesson.

Source of material:  Rev. B.R. Hicks

Please read Exodus 14:26-30.  Take note of verse 27 how the "Egyptians fled against it".  Instead of fleeing away from the waters as they began to return, they ran headlong INTO them.  Turning and trying to flee back to the Egyptian side of the Red Sea would have been an act of repentance, which Pharoah and his army were not interested in.  Also take note in verse 30 that "Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore".  Now read Exodus 15:5 and 10.  In verse 5, they "sank into the bottom as a stone".  In verse 10, the Egyptians "sank as lead into the mighty waters".  Interestingly, they sank twice, yet, Israel saw them dead upon the sea shore.  The Hebrew word for "sank" is two different words.  They fled against the water as it returned once Israel was on the wilderness side and sank (verse 5) the first time.  The LORD miraculously floated the dead Egyptian army and deposited them on the wilderness side of the Sea where Israel was safely watching.  This is where Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore.  The waters of the Red Sea are a picture of water baptism.  The LORD wanted to baptize the instruments of war and wash them in His Name to sanctify them for another use.  He baptized the swords, shields, spears, etc. first then moved them on to the sea shore on the wilderness side so Israel could retrieve them.  These instruments of war were necessary to have to assist in upcoming battles.  Weapons that were used against them, after baptism, were now weapons to defend them.  The LORD brought the dead Egyptians to the shore so Israel could strip the bodies of these weapons.  After Israel claimed the weapons, the LORD miraculously made them (Egyptians) sink again, this time as lead in the mighty waters.  The waters of the Red Sea had the Name, Death, and Life of the LORD within them.  When Pharoah and his army sank the first time, the LORD put His foursquare Name around each man which caused him to resurface on the wilderness shore.  Israel was a nation of slaves, ignorant of the art of war.  They soon would be needing Pharoah's weapons in the wilderness for not long after the LORD had them fight the Amalakites.  Joshua fought this rebellious nation while Moses was upon a mountain lifting up the rod (the Name) with the help of Aaron and Hur.  Where did a nation of slaves get weapons of warfare?  The LORD provided what was necessary for them to reach the Promised Land; a land flowing with milk and honey!