Jebus or Jerusalem: which shall my heart be?
(Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks)
Please read Ezekiel 16:1-4. There is a spiritual creation as well as a natural creation. The LORD is creating within us a spiritual kingdom that will fit within the boundaries of the New City. Regardless of the circumstance we find ourselves, there is a bigger picture, a cause, that is trying to produce a spiritual building or creation in our heart. He came to save His people from their sin. He constantly is wanting to create a new portion of Himself, thus, saving us from our sin, throughout our daily lives. The bigger picture is Him designing personal situations with the intent of us seeing our sin. Not so He can point the finger and laugh or put us down; but to save us from it and create something eternal (see sermon #97).
Prior to King David conquering Jerusalem, the city was inhabited by Jebusites and was called Jebus. The Hebrew word for Jebusite translates as hate, trample down, put down, hate for God, hatred to separate unto God. Jerusalem is defined as, founded peaceful. When the Jebusites inhabited Jebus, the city had a hatred for God and an ardent love for the things of the world. Conversely, when David conquered the city (appropriately call the "city of David") and renamed it Jerusalem, the city projected love upward to the LORD, and hatred for sin and the things of the world. The same city that once hated God was renewed into a city that loved God. The LORD is constantly coming to us throughout our daily lives, urging us to give up Jebus, our hatred for the Authority of God and our love for the world. The City of Pride within us (Jebus) causes us to direct our love and adoration toward the things of this world. He wants to convert Jebus into Jerusalem, thereby creating in us a love for Him and a hatred for the world. Jebus blinds us to the bigger picture. Pride causes us to not see God in any situation, while we have the audacity to justify ourselves as guiltless victims!!
What causes a hatred for God? We find the answer in verse 3. Jebus had a momma and a daddy. Daddy was an Amorite and momma was a Hittite. Amorite translates into proud boasting, a sense of being worthy and deserving of more. Hittite is defined as, to terrorize. The paternal Amorite in us has a lofty view of himself/herself and thinks it doesn't deserve any pain whatsoever. In fact, it desires to decide what pleasure it experiences, when it starts and when it ends (if ever). It deserves and is worthy of much more that what the LORD gives. Old momma Hittite will threaten, confront and terrorize God to get her way. With these two actively operating in the human heart, we despise the LORD, religion, and all the blessings Christianity has to offer.
The Crucified Way (appropriately named) is a spiritual journey of the heart. It is THE way through which God creates Jerusalem (founded peaceful) from the hardcore city of Jebus (hatred toward God and His Authority). What made Joseph a candidate to rule Egypt, be second to Pharoah in authority, and be as a father to Pharoah? Did you ever read where Joseph justified himself, lamented that he was a victim, and deserved better because he was worthy of more? Did you ever read where he accused and terrorized the LORD about how he was treated by his brothers? Did he complain how unfairly he was treated by Potiphar and his crazy wife? Of course not---quite the opposite. It was the pit, Potiphar's wife, and the prison (the Crucified Way) that qualified Joseph to be ruler!
Ask the LORD to reveal the Jebusite and his parents (Amorite and Hittite) so he can create in you a new heart and a New Jerusalem!
Our choice determines light or darkness!
(Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks)
Please read Matthew 1:21. "His people" are those that have already given themselves to Him in a salvation experience. This verse is talking about something different than salvation. The word for "sin" in the Hebrew language is defined as follows: to miss the mark, to miss the big picture, to miss the whole reason and cause of all things. Every waking moment we have the awesome opportunity to lay hold of something eternal, divine, and everlasting. By being cognizant of our surroundings and keenly aware of our circumstances, we can transform the earthly, carnal nature into a piece of eternity through Jesus Christ. Additionally, we can be "plugged-in" to the cause, the big picture, the reason for all things. Unfortunately, sin is ever present to lead us into a wrong choice that leads to darkness, thereby missing what our situations are for: to be saved from personal sin. What is the sin that leads us into darkness? Self-justification. We excuse ourselves by exclaiming, "It's not my fault"! "I am just a victim of circumstance"! "I'm not getting involved, this doesn't concern me." So, we miss the big picture: Jesus has come to me to save me from my sin.
After Adam and Eve sinned, the LORD came seeking them as the High Priest. As He drew near, they could hear the tinkling bells along the hem of His garment. They saw the fringe and His priestly robe. He came to save them from their sin but, they stood before Him and justified themselves. Each one pointed to someone other than themselves and established their innocence. A very different story could have played out if they had asked the LORD why He had approached them in these "unusual" garments. They could have been curious about the bells, the fringe, etc. Instead, self-justification caused them to miss the reason, the big picture, the cause.
On a daily basis, the LORD is entreating us to separate from the old man. God is working in my enviroment to save me from my sin. Oftentimes, we stumble over the creature as opposed to standing for the LORD and His Holy Word. Our lifes' goal in being a candidate for the Bride, is to gain the Stature of the LORD Jesus Christ and then go to the "above". It is not to miss the big picture and justify myself and how innocent I am.
Light and darkness are contained within every situation. We can speak the truth, gives thanks, praise His Name and cooperate with Him. Doing this sets our feet on a path of Light. Conversely, we can justify ourself and exclaim that we are innocent, which will set us on a path of darkness. Light or darkness comes with one simple choice. In the beginning, at creation, the LORD said, "Let there be Light!" Likewise, we can proclaim the same message in our personal circumstances. Darkness does not reveal, it hides and conceals the big picture. The light reveals and illuminates the cause, the correct path to the above. When we face the light it will reveal the true cause of why we are in a particular situation and then we can exchange carnality for eternity. He endeavors, constantly, to save us from our sin and bring us back to the "above". Pray the LORD to reveal how, when and where self-justification interfers with His Plan!
The Horse of Faith needs a grateful rider!
(Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks)
Please read Psalm 8:1. The "above" is where the Father receives glory. This glory mentioned in verse 1 is "Hod" or gratitude glory. In eternity we will go to the "above" but we can experience this place now. We can have a foretaste of the New City while confined to earthly environs.
Please read Job 39:19-25. The Horses of Faith are getting ready to fight the battle on earth. The glory that comes from their nostrils is Hod glory, gratitude glory. They are grateful to fight against all the hatred and evil on earth. They are unaffected by what is happening on earth. Their focus is to obliterate and conquer, with gratitude, all the evil and sin dircted toward the LORD. They gratefully enjoin the battle to establish God's Authority and Headship in place of the evil. They have gratitude to gratefully fight what is against God.
Please read Galatians 2:20. When we live by the faith of the Son of God, it is the same as saying we are seated on our Horse of Faith. The Bride will gratefully mount her Horse of Faith and gallop into the battle of her own flesh to wipe out the evil and establish His Headship and Authority in its place. Notice this is the Faith of the Son of God---not our own faith. The Bride gratefully fights the battle against her own flesh because she realizes the flesh is against God. We get beter and better in bringing the fight to our flesh because it gives us ample opportunity to do so. Thank Him for the battle---look what it is doing for us! The battle is making us a Bride! Great generals don't become great by sitting behind the battle lines. Their greatness is defined by their ability to wage war! Praise God for the battle against our flesh. We should gratefully desire to establish His Authority and Headship in the old man.
Jesus, while on earth, was in constant contact with the Father in the above. He came to establish His Headship on earth. So, likewise with us. By being lifted up into the above, we establish His Headship in our own earth. The creation is full of FORMS. He severs the connections to this world, its forms, with the intent of lifting us up to the above to reconnect to Him in NO FORM. With no form He wants us to descend back to earth, having no image or expectation of how He should work. Forms conflict with seeing and hearing the LORD.
Praise the battle, praise the conflict because He is establishing His Headship on our individual earth. The Horse of Faith wants to fight against the old man as he paws in the valley, anticipating the conflict, with Hod (gratitude) glory blowing out his nostrils. The Horse of Faith is waiting for a rider, not a whiner. Run into the battle and bring God's Authority! Conquering within qualifies us to conquer without. When the old man is conquered we are candidates to return with Jesus and conquer the evil in the world during the Tribulation. When we return with Jesus on our Horse of Faith we will be convinced of the victory because we have conquered evil in the old heart---GRATEFULLY!!! Praise Him for the battle!
Aaron and Hur can help me lift up the Name!
(Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks)
The result of indwelling sin, in part, is blindness to the spiritual world. The invisible world (spiritual) is all around us but it remains unseen. Sin is a wall of separation, as it were, between the soul and the spirit. A "disconnect" has been temporarily established between these two, causing the spirit to be unaware of its surroundings. Sometimes we get impressions, feelings, or a heightened awareness of spiritual events. These are fleeting and temporary. For the most part, man does not see the spirit world unless the LORD chooses to open his spiritual eyes.
Please read Exodus 17:8-16. This is the story of Amalek fighting with Israel after their exodus from Egypt. Amalek attacked the old and the feeble from behind. As the weak stumbled and found it difficult to keep up with the main body of Israel, Amalek ruthlessly slaughtered them. The LORD was going to have His revenge, so He instructed Moses to go up on a hill and lift up the rod that had His Name on it. In the valley below, Joshua was to engage Amalek in battle. The rod was a small piece of wood, seemingly unimpressive. This is the same rod that went into the ark, so we know it was small because the ark was small. To this humility piece of wood, God joined His Name. In reality, Moses was lifting up the Name. When his arms were lifted, Israel prevailed in the battle. When he got tired and his hands went down, Amalek prevailed. The Bible does not mention that Joshua got tired in the battle. It clearly states that Moses' hands grew heavy and needed assistance from Aaron and Hur. Moses was doing a spiritual work and Joshua was doing a natural work. We can be in a battle and not grow tired and weary, thinking we are really accomplishing something grandiose. But, have we grown weary and heavy from lifting up the Name in prayer? Prevailing in the battle is directly related to whether or not the Name is being lifted up. We can be in a battle and fight furiously and not grow tired of the battle, but, are we prevailing because the Name has been sufficiently exalted? We can be fighting but losing the battle! We get weary and tired of prayer! We need the brotherhood (Aaron and Hur) to help lift up our hands and praise His great Name. A prayer meeting with other saints is needful to help us prevail in our own personal battles. Winning is dependent upon prayer and lifting up the Name!
The flesh (old man) will prevail against the new man when we duck our prayer closet. We lose the battle without because we have already lost the battle within. Jesus came to Jerusalem and cleansed the temple and said, " my house shall be a house of prayer ". Are we a house (temple) of prayer? With a consistent, daily prayer time we can have a cleansed temple and an entirely different outlook on the battle. When I bless Him, He is then obligated to return that blessing to me. Bless Him, praise His great Name, and His enemies will be scattered: the inner enemies of the sinful, human heart! Set to flight the Amalekites, Canaanites, Jebusites, Hivites, etc. When the Name is lifted up, it is the only way we can prevail.
Are you tired of prayer? Are your hands heavy from doing a spiritual work of lifting up His Name? Meet Aaron and Hur at a brotherhood prayer meeting sometime soon and the battle will turn in your favor. When He is blessed, the blessing will return upon you. When you sow a blessing, you reap a blessing.
Are my images making Him unrecognizable?
(Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks)
Matthew 21:9 and Mark 15:8-13 tells the reader about the multitude in Jerusalem that, on one hand, blessed the LORD by singing "Hosanna", and on the other hand, cursed the LORD by shouting, "crucify Him". Hosanna means "save us now". They strawed their clothes in the way, picturing their livelihood and covering, asking Him to walk on the garments and be a King over them. The crowd was excited about Jesus' coming. They blessed Him which is defined as an increase, to multiply, grow. To receive a blessing is to become a blessing. Blessing the Name of the LORD will become a blessing to those who are blessing. The multitude was blessing the Son of God, so that blessing, in turn, came over the multitude and Jerusalem. Jesus demonstrated this by going into Jerusalem and cleansing the temple. Their blessing was having Him go to the root of their problem and cleasnse the temple. The corrupt temple affected the entire nation. He did not go into Jerusalem to cleanse it from the influence of the corrupt Roman Empire; which is what they wanted. Sometimes we bless the LORD, looking for a particular blessing in return; I want to decide what my blessing should be. He wants to go to the root of my problem, after I bless Him, and cleanse me from the influence of sin and the old man. He wants to provide an inward blessing of liberation and freedom first, then my outward situations will change. After He cleansed the temple, He opened blind eyes. If I bless the LORD, my temple will be cleansed and my blindness will be healed!
In Luke 24 we read about Jesus' Resurrection. In verse 10 Mary Magdelene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and other women ran to tell the apostles that Jesus had risen. Verse 11 says they believed them not and their words were as idle tales. Jesus had just conquered death and it seemed an idle tale to the apostles. In verse 12, Peter finally went to go have a look, wondering in himself about what had happened. He could not make the connection between Jesus' death and His subsequent resurrection. He had an image of what it was supposed to be like and the resurrection did not fit into his image. In verse 13, Peter starts out on the road to Emmaus with a companion. The Resurrected Christ, walking with them, was unrecognizable because their image did not include Him. In verse 18, they accuse Him of being the very thing they, at that time, were: a stranger. Peter was a stranger to the Resurrected Christ! In verse 21 we read what his image was: "that He should have redeemed Israel and he lied about rising on the third day". It does not pay to have an image of what He should do. He can be standing right next to us and we won't recognize Him.
Victory is not the absence of an enemy and no pain. Bless Him in every thing and he will unlock the secret doors in our heart. Out will come spilling sin in its most gruesome forms for the purpose of the Resurrected Christ and the Crucified Christ to set us free. He wants His Authority and Headship to be established in every secret dungeon in the old heart. He has come to set the captive free and liberate from sin! He will open locked doors and clean out the garbage! Images of how He should work obstruct our vision, to the point where He can be walking beside us and we don't see Him for Who He is: the Resurrected Christ!