#141

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

We have learned in the previous two lessons the Holy of Holies in the Mosaic Tabernacle contained two pieces of furniture---the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat.  The Ark was below with the Mercy Seat resting above.  The Ark, which contained the tables of stone, is a picture to us of the written Law, the Aaronic Priesthood.  The Mercy Seat depicts for us the Oral Law and the Melchisedec Priesthood.  The Law was given to define sin; to illustrate to us what is right and wrong in the eyes of God.  The Law was incapable of forgiving and removing sin.  It was a divine "spotlight" that exposed sin.  Mercy and Grace forgives sin, which is found above the Law at the Mercy Seat.  Jesus, the Melchisedec Priest, the Corn of Heaven, came to prove that Mercy and Grace supersedes the Law.  They forgive sin and renew a person's heart while preserving life.  It is through Mercy and Grace that the 12 parts of the Name LORD are made known.  We can conclude that Jesus came to earth to make the Name known and requests that we do the same.  Additionally, we have learned that the Melchisedec Priest (Jesus) was described in Hebrews 7 as the King of Salem (Peace) and the King of Righteousness Who deals in Love, Light and Life.

Please read Proverbs 4:18.  We have been set on a path of light that grows brighter each day.  The path will terminate at the "Perfect Day".  The word perfect in this verse is peaceful.  Our path will end in peace.  When He is our All in All, peace will rule.  Please read 2 Timothy 3:16-17.  In verse 17, perfect also means peaceful.  "That the man of god may be peaceful".  Notice that it is the man of God (the new man) that is to become perfect/peaceful.  The new man is to grow in stature and become peaceful.  How does this perfection/peacefulness happen?  By using the sin and perverted energy of the old man; "feeding" off the old man and increasing in size and strength unto the perfect/peaceful day!  We can deduce that the new man would not grow if it were not for the "food" that the old man provides.  So, what really is the old man (sin)?  He is a GIFT along with his master Leviathan!  Both have been given to allow us to choose right, to affirm our love for the Saviour, Jesus Christ.  There cannot be a choice unless there are two options.  The old man and Leviathan give the opposite option to Jesus Christ so we can forsake sin and get it converted into righteousness.  As this happens, the light of our path grows more and more unto the perfect/peaceful day!  The old man and Leviathan, that crooked serpent, are GIFTS that allow us to choose Jesus.  We should be thanking God for them both because they allow us to make a right choice.  There are four things that scripture is profitable for:  doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction.  Doctrine and instruction in righteousness are given to the new man.  Reproof and correction are given to the old man.  For what purpose?  That the man of God (new man) may be peaceful and produce good works.  When we have full stature peace and love then we leave an oasis behind us wherever we go. The Name provides drink and shade to those around us as we make it known.  Peace within allows us to give His Name to a thirsty and dying world.  The light shines more and more until we reach perfection or peace at the end of the path.  Peace means we give love, light, life, mercy and grace as a Melchisedec Priest.  We can glister, glimmer, and glow with the light of His Name as we make it known.  Powerful!~

                                                                                                        #140

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

                                                        (This is a continuation of the principle introduced in lesson #139)

Please read Matthew 12:1-8.  We learned in #139 that Jesus was (is) the Corn or Bread that came down from heaven.  The bread (manna) was inside the Ark of the Covenant in the Mosaic Tabernacle, representing the Headship of God.  Also, we learned that the Ark is a picture of the Aaronic Priesthood, which also contained the written Law on tables of stone.  Furthermore, the Mercy Seat, above the Ark, is a picture of the Oral Law in the form of the Melchisedec Priesthood.  In verse 7 of our text, we read that the LORD "will have mercy and not sacrifice".  All the sacrifices are explained in the book of Leviticus, in other words, in the law.  The LORD "will have mercy above the law".  We can conclude that mercy supersedes the law.  There is something greater than the Aaronic Priesthood:  mercy and grace (the Melchisedec Priesthood and the preservation of life).  So many times we point the finger and demand that others obey the law.  Sometimes we elucidate the shortcomings of family members and illuminate their errors according to the Aaronic Priesthood (the Law).  If we have to follow the Law and do right, then, they better comply as well!  At times we castigate ourselves for being negligent and guilty of the Law.  We get out the whip and give ourselves 40 lashes for doing something wrong.  We can expend much energy fretting about the failures of others and ourselves, arrogantly demanding that the Law be obeyed.  There is a better way.  Lift yourself up to the Mercy Seat and the Melchisedec Priesthood and show the mercy and grace of our Precious LORD Jesus Christ!  The Law is for learning, mercy and grace is for loving.  Give thanks to the LORD for just the way you and your family members are.  Let love, light, and life dazzle your family as forgiveness and grace radiate from the heart.  Be patient with yourself; love yourself by giving thanks for who and what you are.  We are told to love our self---be merciful and kind when sin rears its ugly head and a mistake is made.  Jesus died to preserve your life through mercy and grace.  He is prompt to forgive because He is the Melchisedec Priest.  Try not to judge according to the Law; forgive according to mercy and grace and shine forth love, light and life!

During this season of giving, we can choose to raise ourselves higher to the Mercy Seat.  Through mercy and grace we can make the Name known---all 12 parts of it.  By giving love, light and life we are fulfilling our calling of making His glorious Name known.  If we love unconditionally that means we accept family and people JUST THE WAY THEY ARE!  Likewise ourselves.  The Melchisedec Priest loves his children just for who they are---we can give away His Name for the same reason.  "For God so loved the world that He GAVE". . . !  The Name is made known through mercy and grace as it is freely and unconditionally given to family and self.  

                                                                                                     #138

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

Please read Matthew 8:23-27.  We learned about giving in lesson #137.  All aspects of creation are a stream of revelation meant to increase the comprehension of fallen man about his Creator.  Taking the individual revelation of one member of creation and focusing on its message is the origin of idolatry.  The sun provides rivers of revelation to the earth, enlightening some to the point where they concentrate on its message about God and make an idol of the sun.  ALL creation has a common motive, when combined, that paints a beautiful tapestry of the One True God---the Unbegotten Father and His Begotten Son!  We are not left to wonder Who God is---ALL creation shout His Name loud and clear every day!  By giving to us knowledge about the ineffable Creator, we learn that His Nature is to give.  He intends for us to receive of His Nature that we may, in turn, give it away.  By giving His Nature to those in our sphere of influence, we "create" a capacity to receive more.  

In our scripture reference, we see that there was a storm.  The waves were crashing, the wind was tempestuous to the point where the diciples were convinced they were all going to perish.  They did not reason that the winds and the waves still know His Name.  Their focus was what the creation was going to do to them rather than believing His Name and Nature; that He was the Head of the storm.  Jesus was asleep in the boat.  Was He tired?  Did He need physical rest?  He was not tired and did not need rest.  He was totally unimpressed with natural circumstances; He didn't even recognize there was a storm.  Jesus was asleep because He was resting in the Father's Headship which had everything under control.  We think Jesus should some how be involved in our storm, but He's asleep.  "Why doesn't He do something?"  "Doesn't He know I'm about to perish?"  We don't like the reclined, horizontal position of rest and we especially get angry when Jesus is resting in OUR storm.  We like control, order, arrangement.  We suppose that He should do something, but, He is at peace, knowing the Father is controlling everything.  The storm, wind and waves are streams of revelation to teach us that Jesus is at peace.  Notice that He rebuked the winds and the sea. Did the natural creation need rebuking?  He rebuked the devils in the natural creation that use it to stir us up and get our minds leaning on our own understanding.  The wind and the sea were praising God but He rebuked the devils that were causing the diciples to frantically find some solution.  

This portion of scripture teaches us to not concentrate and become fixated on the storm but to rest in His perfect Headship of Peace.  In another gospel He said, "Peace, be still"  Peace is only one word away.  If He wants peace, He will speak, "Peace".  We are to be grateful for everything just the way that it is.  Every "thing" is a stream of revelation that, if handled correctly, will deepen our understanding and allow us to comprehend more about our awesome Creator!  We are not left ignorant regarding the Nature of God---He continually speaks to us about Himself by using His creation!

                                                                                                      #139

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

Please read I Peter 2:9.  The phrase "show forth" means to demonstrate publicly.  We are to demonstrate because we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, and a peculiar people.  We demonstrate in church for these very reasons.  Participation in a church worship service gives the Bride an opportunity to demonstrate her unique status as a holy nation, a peculiar people, a royal priesthood, and a chosen generation.  Why do we demonstrate in church?  Because we are these four things.  

Please read John 6:31-33 and 51.  Speaking to the people that followed Him, Jesus declared Himself to be the Bread of Heaven.  He compares Himself to the bread (corn) that the Father provided in the wilderness during Israel's exodus from Egypt.  You will remember that a jar of this bread (manna) was put inside the Ark of the Covenant.  He was saying that He is the Manna, the Corn, the Provider that satisfies the hunger of Israel. Just as He was in the wilderness to give food for Israel, He had come in flesh to do the same thing.  In verse 58, He goes on further to say that He didn't appear on earth to satisfy the natural hunger of Israel, but to provide spiritual, eternal bread for the soul and spirit of Israel.  

Please read Matthew 12:1-8.  We read that Jesus was in a corn field on the sabbath day.  Why was He in a corn field?  The Father led Him there because He desired to demonstrate a spiritual principle.  Jesus is the Corn of Heaven and wanted the Pharisees to see this.  Where did the Pharisees come from?  They were following Him for one reason:  to accuse Him of violating the law and belittling His declaration that He was (is) the Son of God!  When the diciples began to eat of the corn, the Pharisees pounced on Jesus, pointing with their accusatory fingers, charging Him with violating the law.  The law says, "thou shalt and thou shalt not".  The law is for the purpose of exposing sin;  showing what is right and wrong.  In verse 6 He proclaims that He is greater than the law.  Verse 7 tells us why---because He came to have mercy and show forth love, light, and life so that life could be preserved.  Put another way, mercy and grace supersede the law to preserve life.  He descended from off the Mercy Seat (the Father's Headship) to provide a greater alternative to the law in the form of mercy and grace.  The Old Testament was a dispensation of the Law which had no mercy.  Jesus came to usher in a new dispensation (New Testament) where the emphasis was (is) mercy and love for the purpose of preserving life.  You will remember the woman caught in the act of adultery.  The crowd brought her to Jesus and demanded that she be stoned---according to the law.  Jesus wanted to preserve her life through Mercy and Grace and forgave her sin.  Mercy and Grace always supersede the Law.  He was the Corn that came from Heaven to show  Mercy.  In verse 3 and 4, He explains that it was unlawful for David to eat of the shewbread while fleeing from Saul.  To preserve his life, he ate and was not judged according to the law.  A greater "law" was demonstrated---Mercy and Grace!  

The Old Testament (Mosaic) Tabernacle was a picture and shadow of the more perfect Tabernacle, Jesus Christ.  If you were to superimpose Jesus on the Mosaic Tabernacle,  His Head would be at the Holy of Holies.  Jesus' Head consists of two pieces of furniture:  the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat.  The manna (corn) was in a jar inside the Ark along with the tables of stone (the law).  The Ark is a representation of the Aaronic Law.  The Mercy Seat rested on top of the Ark and is a picture of the Melchisedec Priesthood.  Below is the law, above is mercy.  Mercy "crowns" the Law or Mercy supersedes the Law.  In the corn field, Jesus was demonstrating that He was the Melchisedec Priest that descended from off the Mercy Seat---that He was greater than the Law!   So powerful!!!  Jesus IS the Melchisedec Priest!  The Bible states that "love covereth a multitude of sins".  Mercy, Grace, Love, Light and Life from the Melchisedec Priest has the power to forgive sin and preserve life!  

Please read Hebrews 7:1-3.  The Son of God met Abraham when returning from the slaughter of the kings.  He was given two names in these verses:  King of Salem (Peace) and the King of Righteousness.  To be continued in subsequent lessons. . . . . 

                                                                                                         #137

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

Please read Isaiah 26:3.  The nature of the LORD includes being a blessing by giving.  With regard to humanity, He expects us to represent Him through His Name or Nature.  As we studied in #136, Gideon's complaint to the angel was that God had forsaken Israel.  He was not guilty of this; the LORD was waiting for Israel to share His Nature to the nations around her and be an influence for good.  Stated differently, it was time for Israel to give before she could receive more of the Name (nature).  As Christians, we may think the LORD has forsaken and forgot about us individually, but, how much of His Nature have we been giving?  We give by loving, forgiving, being merciful, longsuffering and kind.  He expects us to hear His Heartbeat for humanity and respond by sharing the Truth of Salvation and freedom from the slavery of sin.  He expects us to "tune-in" to the despair and hopelessness of those around us so we can offer another option---Jesus!  

The LORD, as our Master Example, continually gives through natural creation so we can constantly receive more of His Nature (please read Romans 1:20).  The equation is this:  we give to then receive.  The earth, the heavenly bodies, forests, oceans, wind, rain, mountains, etc. give to us His Nature.  All things natural, including humans, are for the purpose of Him giving us His Nature.  Every portion of creation has the spiritual ministry of portraying His Name.  Every situation has been created by Him to give us more of His Nature.  Presently, we are in the season of giving.  What can I give away?  Give away His nature.

It is His Nature to give away peace.  Notice in Isaiah 26:3, only one entity has the capacity to give away peace:  "Thou" or the LORD!   The word "perfect" is also peace.  We can receive "peace-peace".  Peace within from the Son and peace without from the Father.  Unfortunately, under the carnal headship of the old man, we think we know better than God how to achieve "peace".  The old man can conjer up all kinds of devious plans and manufacture odious schemes in an attempt to produce "peace".  "If only this would happen, if only they would shut up, if I could just have that, if I could just escape this painful situation---then I could have peace".  The LORD recorded in Isaiah that HE is the only One Who gives peace!  In the story of Jacob and Esau, when Jacob returned to Canaan after working for Uncle Laban, he knew that he must confront his murderous brother Esau.  Jacob wrestled with an Angel, as the story goes, until his name (nature) was changed.  Said differently, Jacob received peace within to continue his journey and meet his brother.  Jacob also received peace without.  They had a tearful reconciliation when they met.  The Son produced inward peace and the Father gave outward peace with Esau.  Whenever Esau was in the presence of Jacob his nature changed from a murderous vagabond to a peaceful, friendly brother.  There was so much peace radiating from Jacob's heart that it influenced the nature of Esau.  Inner peace is given to have outward peace with your brother or sister.  

The word "stayed" is the same word used when the priest's would lean on the sacrifices in the Tabernacle.  They pushed, leaned, forced their weight on the sacrifice.  The LORD desires us to do the same on His Nature.  We are not to "lean" on our own understanding but on the attributes of His Name.  In every situation we have the choice of life or death.  We can lean on the Tree of Life or bypass life and lean on the Tree of Knowledge (death).  It is our nature to skirt life and go straight to death.  When we lean on our own understanding we bypass life and lose our peace.  In the garden, sin caused a separation which resulted in the pair being cast out of God's Presence.  Leaning on our own understanding has the same ending.  God has made our choice for us at Calvary's Cross.  By becoming poor in our own ability and understanding, and making a proper choice, we can go to Him and receive "peace-peace".

Let us be mindful during this season of giving to freely give away the nature of Christ to a hopeless and dying world who crave to be treated with the precious attributes of the Heaven Father and His Unspeakable Gift, the LORD Jesus Christ!