You give so you may receive more!
(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!
Strife and Bossiness inhabit our hearts!
(Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks)
(This lesson is taken from Judges chapter 6. Please read to familiarize yourself with the story of Gideon and the Midianites.)
Geographically, Israel is the hub of three continents: Europe, Asia, and Africa. They were surrounded by heathen nations. The Light of the Torah and the personal presence of God Almighty was to shine outward from Jerusalem and influence the nations around her. One of Israel's purposes was to touch the hearts of the people (through sharing the nature of the Name) and cause them to relinguish their idols. They were to influence and be an example to those around them. Israel consisted of 12 tribes; each tribe portrayed one of the 12 governmental names. By observing Israel, her neighbors would see the Great and Wonderful Name of LORD. She was to share the glory, light, love and mercy of the God of Abraham, thereby, causing a change in them. By giving, the LORD would continue to pour blessing into her. By giving, she would receive more of the LORD. Look at Judges 6:13. Gideon's main complaint to the angel was that the LORD had forsaken Israel. He certainly had not forsaken them---He was waiting for Israel to give to the nations around her what she had thus far received so He could give her more! By giving the substance of mercy, love, forgiveness, longsuffering, etc. the giver receives more! You can't get more until you give what you've got! Soon, by not giving, Israel picked up the idols of the surrounding nations and brought them within her borders. When a believer stops giving the nature of the Name to those around him or her, the Message becomes old and an idol is embraced. Israel became a land of idols. They opened themselves up to invasion because they stole the idols of the nations. Unfortunately, they became captives and slaves to idols. We can see this progression in the case of Lot. At first, when he separated from Abraham, he chose the plains of Sodom. Then he pitched his tent toward Sodom. Finally, we see him as a resident of Sodom, dwelling within its gates.
In Judges 6, Midian means "strife". As believers of Christ, we strive with the LORD in many ways. Since it is His Headship that determines we don't have something, we strive with the LORD that He give us what we want. We swim to the shore of God's Will, erect a dwelling of ingratitude, and present our striving arguments against His Headship. Notice too, in Judges 6, that the idol was Baal, which means "bossy". With bossy striving we hang out on the bank of God's will, making our carnal case for something God has chosen not to give us. In Judges 6: 25-26, the LORD directs Gideon to first destroy the altar of Baal, then build an altar for Him. The LORD is telling us to get rid of the bossy Baal within us (our own bossy headship) and offer sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving. Stop our bossy striving and get back into the Will of God by thanking Him for things just the way they are! We argue and strive with God because we still have "Bossy Baal" set up in our hearts. We want to determine the "will" and the "do" but these are only found being captured by the current of God's Will. "For it is GOD which worketh in you both to will and to do. . . " This means we must be caught up in the current of His river, being swept ever closer toward our destination, with praises and thanksgiving continually in our mouth for His Powerful and Sovereign Headship! Tear down the altar of Baal and replace it with a sacrifice of thanks toward His Perfect Headship! Goodbye, "Bossy Baal"!
The Sonship of Jesus Christ (con'd)
(Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks)
(Note: This is a continuation of #133, please read #133 if necessary.)
Jesus Christ is a Son in four different ways: The Son of David, the Son of God, the Son of Man, and the carpenter's Son. We will continue with the lesson and begin with the Son of Man.
3. Son of Man
The Son of Man graphically pictures to us the Suffering Servant. Please read Hebrews 4:15. The "feelings of our infirmities" are well known by our Saviour. We are put in sufferings to fellowship His experience with the intent of making His Name known. He was wounded, lashed, scraped, and beaten so that we might crawl into His wounds, as it were, and feel the pain of His suffering. His wounds pour out empathy, concern, and compassion. Mercy and understanding flow out so we can experience His pain and the pain of others. He wounds us so we are prepared to offer the proper reaction when we see another experiencing the same wound. A wound takes time to heal or, can never heal. When a wound heals we can offer mercy and love to someone who is wounded. A wound can also be raw---unable to close because it is constantly opened up. Bitterness and anger will preclude the healing of a wound, consequently, all we have to offer someone is hopelessness and gloom. When we fellowship His suffering and make His Name of Mercy and Love known, our wounds heal so we can share hope and faith to the wounded.
4. Carpenter's Son
A carpenter can make a form out of a formless thing. Jesus Christ makes the true form: the Cross. It is He Who puts the humility, obedience, and surrender of the Cross into our new heart. Through His Cross He builds the form of His Image and Likeness. The Cross constructs an edifice to the glory of His Name in our heart that ascends heavenward in glorious praise to the Master Builder. He is the True Form! Many times we have a different plan and form that contradicts His. We should allow Him to change our forms and determinations of what we think is right. The Cross is both vertical and horizontal. In the vertical position, we act, do, perform according to what He wants. In the horizontal, we rest. We can make His Name known by actively accepting His forms and by surrendering to rest from our own headship and its forms.
How do I stay in God's Will?
(Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks)
Please read I Thessalonians 5:18. This very familiar verse ends with "you". The Spirit, through the Apostle Paul, is conveying a personal message to every believer. At the beginning of the verse, we read, "every thing". These words have the connotation of things not understood. Every event is an opportunity to thank Him; there are no exceptions. What are we to give thanks for? Uppermost, that He is the controlling force behind all people, places, and things. His Ruling Headship is to be thanked for administrating all events!! What is the will of God? It is high and low, successive mountains and valleys, as an undulating wave moving across the ocean. The Bible typifies His Will as a river. There is one characteristic common to all rivers: there is movement, a current. Oftentimes, we fight to stay in the current of God's Will. Why is it difficult sometimes to flow along with the current? Murmuring, complaining, blaming and accusing divert us to the bank of His Will where we take a siesta from doing what we were created to do: give thanks! While we point the finger and accuse others of being the cause and the head, the current of His Will passes us by. We have been known to set up permanent quarters along the bank of His Will, all the while rivers of waters pass us by.
How do we get back into the river? Gratitude for His Headship will pull up the stakes of the dwelling constructed along the bank (a dwelling of ingratitude) and cannonball us back into the moving waters of His Will. Ingratitude is the origin of imperfection, gratitude is the origin of perfection. Where is the river of God's Will flowing? The river terminates at the New City. Standing on the banks of His Will, dwelling in a house of ingratitude, stalls my forward movement toward the New City. In His Will the New City becomes ever more a reality as the believer is pushed along by the current of gratitude. Thanks gets us back into His Will. The Spirit moves in the current as thanks are given for every thing (what is and is not understood). Give Him thanks for the things we cannot do; give Him thanks for failures; thank Him for being such a stinker! All He wants me to be is just ME---with all the faults and deficiencies included. Be grateful for just the way you are and just the way things are! This will plunge the believer back into the current of His Will.
Please read Philippians 2:13. We get the will by thanking God for things just the way they are. Sinful human beings try to "do" without getting the "will". Gratitude comes first; "will" comes when we thank and the "do" follows easily after. This word "worketh" means to show forth self, to be mighty in works. He will show forth His mighty Name and Works over our flesh as we thank Him for all things.
The Will of God is a wave of highs and lows that moves in a straight path toward the New City. The Bible talks about tears be shed in heaven. Why are some redeemed souls crying? When they see the New City, the joy of escaping death and hell will be diminished. They will understand what they forfeited because of unbelief and ingratitude. Ingratitude will keep us from entering into the gates of the New City. With thanksgiving, we will flow through the gates of the New City swimming in the river of God's Will!
The Sonship of Jesus Christ
(Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks)
The LORD swore by Himself (because there was none greater) to make His glorious Name known to His creation. It is His desire for creation to understand Who their Creator is. As His creation, we have the opportunity to assist Him in displaying the attributes of His Name by having our old nature transformed into His. We have been assigned to be emissaries, ambassadors, doorkeepers that project Who He is by having our own fallen nature replaced with His. For the Nature of His Name to be developed in our heart, we need to have an experience. Specifically, our sin requires exposure so it can be seen and taken to the Cross. Sin is the vehicle through which the transfer of His Name is brought to the new heart. As a fireman needs a fire to practice his skills, we need the enviroment to manifest the attributes of His Name. We are the Bride, first and foremost, above everything else, that demonstrates the mercy and grace of the Name. This is what we do, who we are. Displaying His Name should be the primary goal in every encounter that includes human beings. When we give His Nature, He replaces it with more. Giving and receiving His Name should be the "business" of the Bride!
We will be studying the Sonship of Jesus Christ. In the yod corner of the LORD's Name, Jesus is known as the Son of David. At the first hay corner, He is known as the Son of God. In the vau corner, He is known as the Son of Man. Lastly, at the corner of the second hay, He is known as a carpenter's son.
1. Son of David
David was a King over Israel having been given the kingdom after the death of Saul. David ruled and reigned with kingly power and was most noted for his mercy toward his enemies. Please read Mark 10:47-48, Matthew 20:30, and Luke 18:38. In these scriptures we see that mercy was always included in the cry of each person when they addressed Jesus. They knew David was a merciful king. When presenting a request, they called Jesus "Son of David" because they knew He was (is) merciful as well. Mercy means to push back what people deserve. In our darkened understanding, we think many human beings deserve to be tongue-lashed, castigated, and criticised. By withholding our judgement of others, we practice mercy and push back what they deserve. We can choose to show mercy to tacky people thereby displaying the nature of the Son of David, or, kingly power.
2. Son of God
The Son of God is known for His divine grace and power. Grace ushers in what we don't deserve. All benefits given to mankind that emanate from the Son of God are not earned; they are freely given because of His Nature. He is a gracious God, freely giving to a fallen creation what they do NOT deserve. Please read Ephesians 2:8 and 9. Proceeding out of His Gracious Nature is the opportunity to be saved by His Blood. He has given us grace, which we don't deserve and taken away the penalty of Death and Hell, what we do deserve.
This second half of this lesson is discussed in #134.
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