Friendship with the LORD
(Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks)
Please read Canticles 5:16. From this scripture, we can deduce that the Bridegroom can be known in two ways: a lover and a friend. Experiencing Him as a Lover includes the emotion, the romance and the euphoria of this level of relationship. On the other hand, knowing Him as a Friend is simply talking and communicating with Him when all the emotion is gone. On one side we experience emotion and "feeling", on the other side the "feeling" is removed. Along with the emotion comes the glorious influence of His presence. When the influence is taken away, we get to know Him as a Friend we can talk to. When we learn about these two sides of Jesus, when we experience both in prayer, we then can be a friend and a lover to our own spouse. We can be joyful with the shout (emotion), and can know Him in weeping and prayer.
Please read Matthew 11:16-19. Notice here that Jesus was a Friend to publicans and sinners. He was not a respecter of persons. He didn't pick and choose who He wanted to associate with. He was a Friend with the Father in prayer and it influenced His personal relationships with those around Him. His private communication with the Father spilled over into His public handling of the persons around Him. Private is manifested in public. Our affiliation with God in private has leverage with "publicans and sinners" (those who are in the sphere of our daily lives). Being a friend with God enables us to be a friend with humanity. Our bond with the LORD as a Friend gives us power over humanity by being their friend.
Please read Matthew 20:9-13. This man was rejected and accused by those who labored for him in his vineyard. They thought him to be unjust and unfair with their wages. Yet, in verse 13, despite their accusation and displeasure, the owner of the vineyard called one of them Friend. He didn't accept the spirit of accusation and anger. He maintained his courteous demeanor while being attacked. This only happens when a bond with the LORD is cultivated on the Friend side. Be a friend first with Jesus and then be a friend with humanity. We, as Christians, are to lead - - - not follow. It is easy to follow someones bad attitude when it is force-fed along with accusation. Being a friend with the LORD allows us to lead with a pleasant attitude by showing the accuser how to be a friend with humanity. When we are not friendly to others it is because we are not maintaining a friendship with the LORD. We must be steadfast and faithful in prayer and being a friend with God when all the emotion and feeling is gone. Jesus is the Supplier of all true satisfaction. He is fully capable of meeting all the needs of the human heart. He made the heart with all its associated emotions and He can maintain the heart by meeting and surpassing all its complex needs. He is All in All to the emotional needs of the heart. By neglecting our prayer we are not having our emotional needs met. When we are not a friend with Jesus, we turn to others to meet our needs. The speedy consequence of this is anger, dejection, and frustration. Another human was never created to meet and fulfill our emotional needs. Only GOD as a FRIEND can perform this duty. People can't meet our needs; only God can! It all starts by being a friend with the LORD; being faithful to Him when the feeling is missing. When Israel demanded water in the wilderness, Moses took on their attitude and called them rebels. He smote the Rock instead of speaking to it. He wanted to be loved and appreciated by Israel. He wanted them to meet his need of acceptance and self-worth. When he didn't get it he got angry. We can have no friends and be angry about it. We can point the finger and exclaim how much we are not appreciated. Unfortunately, if this is the case, the fault lies with our lack of faithful prayer and being devoted to Him when He has withdrawn the feelings. It all starts with Him - - - our relationship with Him directly influences our associations with humanity.
As the roll unfurls . . . . . . (Part 3)
(Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks)
(Note: This is a continuation of #160 and #159, please read them first if necessary)
Please read 2Samuel 15:24-26. David, fleeing Jerusalem ahead of Absalom, tells Zadok and Abiathar to return to Jerusalem with the Ark of God. David, in verses 25 and 26, does not interfere with the Purposive Will of God. He does not have a controversy with the unfolding events. He is neither complaining nor blaming Absalom for his present situation. His mind is focused on the LORD and what has been written in His roll for him that day. He simply agrees to follow what the roll says and leaves any personal vindication to the LORD. He has tranquil trust that if God wants him back in Jerusalem, it will be revealed in a subsequent roll.
Please read 1Kings 11:28-31. Jeroboam was apparently minding his own business when Ahijhah, the prophet of God, caught up with him and rent his garment into 12 pieces. Shoving 10 pieces of the garment into the hands of Jeroboam, he explained that they represented 10 tribes of Israel that God had given him. In other words, Ahijah had read the roll for Jeroboam that stated he would be given 10 tribes. The message was clear and concise. This is what has been written in the Plan (roll), and this is how it affects you (Jeroboam). Now read 1Kings 12:25-29. Verse 26 says that Jeroboam "said in his heart". He began to consider what had happened and decided to add to the Plan (roll) given him by Ahijah the prophet. He didn't want the people going back to Jerusalem and potentially becoming allied again with Rehoboam. To keep this from happening, he made two calves and forced the people to sacrifice to them - - - idols. Holding on to his kingdom was more important than leading his subjects into idolatry. He added to the roll by introducing idolatry to Israel. We have to be very careful not to add to the roll with our own headship. Human headship always has a better plan that subjugates God to an irrelevant bystander. Jeroboam made idols. Human headship easily sweeps God out of the way and replaces Him with idols. Instead of blessing, praising and complying with what had been written in the roll (as David did), instead of offering gratitude for 10 tribes, he subordinated God to his own headship and went into idolatry (along with the 10 tribes). Either we are going to embrace the Name and the Plan or we are going to make an idol. Notice where Jeroboam put his calves - - - one in Bethel and the other in Dan. Bethel was a very special place in the days of Jacob. Fleeing his home to get away from his murderous brother, Jacob accepted what was in the roll and surrendered to the Plan. He stopped in Bethel and had a mighty experience with God. While dreaming, he saw a ladder, a way to approach to the glory of heaven. Angels were ascending and descending this ladder bringing and taking messages to God. This was a hallowed place of prayer. Jeroboam desecrated this holy place with his idolatry.
We have a choice. On the one hand, we can praise and bless the Name of the LORD throughout our day as our personal roll unfurls and gives us exactly what we have need of. Or, we can elevate our headship above that of the LORD's and go off into idolatry. By following our own headship, we forfeit the righteousness that is in every situation, thus, we do not fabricate the white linen garment that will be revealed at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. The Wedding Garment is made from righteous works; righteous works come from blessing His Name and making it known in EVERY situation. We must become outstanding blessers and praisers of His Name and Plan!
As the roll unfurls . . . . . .
(Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks)
Please read Psalm 37:5. All theoretical knowledge regarding the LORD will remain on the earth when we, individually, are called home. Only empirical knowledge will be taken with us. The truth that we have made our own, through experience, as a part of our stature, will climb with our soul and spirit upon release of this earthly body. We cannot say that we will know where to go and what to do once we leave the body and enter heaven. This is why it is so very important to experience the Word, gain empirical knowledge, make as much of the theories of the truth a part of our stature as we can. We will know what to do and where to go because we practiced ON EARTH! The Bride at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb went to the low place because she practiced doing so while in the body. She had experience in elevating the Bridegroom and not competing for His praise and adoration by lifting up self. It behooves us to employ the theories of the Word of God and make them our own. The word commit, in the aforementioned verse, means a roll. Please read Psalm 40:7. "Volume" is also defined as a roll. There is a book that has volumes or rolls; a book full of rolls. Each roll is God's Purposive Will for each individual, provided each day. Every day the LORD unravels a roll, a pre-written, pre-determined path that unfolds as we walk through that day. As the roll unravels, things move from the invisible to the visible. One day a roll said that we would receive an invitation to be in the Bride and we would know how to get there through another invitation by seeing the Stature of the LORD Jesus Christ in the Mosaic Tabernacle. The rolls says who we meet, when, and how. As each hour unfolds, the LORD brings to pass what is written on the roll.
Our ministry, our job description, as the roll unfurls, is to make His Name known throughout the entire day. God's Purposive Will, His Way, is a Way of Love. Sometimes His Love is manifested in a form of dicipline. Parents know this; that dicipline is given out of love so the child doesn't grow up to be a monster and menace to society. God's Way has highs and lows, His love, likewise, has highs and lows. Whatever the roll speaks at any given time, whether high or low, we are to bless, praise, and thank His wonderful Name. By doing so we assist Him in fulfilling a debt He owns to Himself: His commitment to make His Name known. By exalting and elevating His Name we are producing righteous works. Said another way, the Bride is embroidering her white linen. Embroidery is produced by the action (piercing) of a needle. When the roll called for dicipline by the piercing of a needle, the Bride performed her ministry and made His Name known. When His Name is exalted, fine linen is being made. Acquiring fine linen is not done by enduring pain, but rather, by what is done in the pain. Commit each day, roll toward the LORD, make fine linen through every event as the roll is opened by proclaiming His goodness, righteousness and lovliness in all things. The Bride hath MADE HERSELF READY! She HATH MADE HIS NAME KNOWN!
As the roll unfurls . . . . . . (Part 2)
(Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks)
( Note: this is a continuation of #159; please read #159 if necessary.)
The Son was truthed-up by the Eternal, Unbegotten Father. This is like saying the Father unrolled the scroll that pertained to the education of the Son. The Son experienced the fulfillment of His own scroll as He accepted the teaching and tutoring of the Father. Man was created after the scrolls were written; we weren't created then given scrolls to fulfill. The Plan, the scroll came first then we were created with specific talents and abilities to help us successfully fulfill the Plan. As the scroll unfurls, we find that personality traits peculiar to ourselves aid us in doing what the LORD has written.
David, when faced with the giant, said, "Is there not a cause?" He was referring to the roll or Plan for that day. This whole event with the Philistines and Goliath was an unfolding of the roll (Purposive Will) and David recognized that. He saw that it was already written that the giant would be disgracefully slain by his hand. He read the roll.
"In everything give thanks . . . ". This is so important because by doing so the righteousness contained within the roll becomes the righteousness of the person giving thanks. As the roll is praised, we help the Father to make His Name known. This is a righteous work that creates white linen for the Bride.
In the book of Esther, Mordecai foiled an assassination plot against the king for which he was never rewarded. One sleepless night, the king calls for the rolls to be read to him to help him pass a long night. A roll containing the events surrounding the plot was rehearsed before the king. After discovering that Mordecai had never been rewarded for saving his life, he amended the roll to contain facts that he had been rewarded. Haman led Mordecai through the streets of the city, robed in the kings garments, on his finest horse, shouting to the people what he had done. Likewise, our rolls can be "amended" by the King if we go back, by the Spirit of Prophecy, and repent of the sins of our past. If we failed to be grateful for a specific event, we can have that roll for that day revised to indicate that gratitude was given (eventually). By going back to situations in our memory, we can pick up the white linen we left behind by not proclaiming the holiness of His Name. White linen is hidden in our memory. Unrighteous works can be transformed into righteous ones by visiting places where we have failed. We can weave the fabric of our white linen through our memory.
We are in places either high or low simply to exalt and make the Name known. Why? So the Name can change us on the inside and we evolve into the likeness and image of Jesus. Joseph, when his brothers came to Egypt for food, was prodding them by his behaviour to go back to the roll when they sold him into slavery and repent. Reuben exclaimed to his brothers that all the evil that had befallen them in Egypt was because they had seen the anguish on Joseph's face but sold him anyway. Reuben went back to the roll for that day but could not find repentance. Joseph wanted them to rectify (amend) the roll and what had been written about their dastardly deed.
This lesson will be continued as #161. In it we will contrast David and Jeroboam and how one acknowledged the roll and what was written, and the other added to the roll and made idols. See you at #161.
Give gratitude for things just the way they are!
(Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks)
Please read Matthew 7:24-27. We have learned in a previous lesson that there are two building foundations: rock and sand. There are four similarities between the wise man and the foolish man who built their homes. First, they heard about building a house. Second, they saw a need to build their respective homes. Third, each of the homes was exposed to the test. Lastly, each man believed in the house they had built. We also learned that the command to build was "daw-bar" word. Daw-bar is a Hebrew word that is defined as word given without understanding, no explanation, a command that is simply to be obeyed. The LORD speaks in this fashion to provoke His creation to investigate and search for the understanding that goes along with the command. He gives us the opportunity to expand our knowledge of Him and grow in our capacity to understand how He operates. He desires for us to expand and develop. Growing in knowledge never stops. Our entire Christian lives should be dedicated to growing in grace and truth. The learning should never cease. Our capacity for Him should always be distending, amplifying, evolving.
The test was the same for each house. The wise man who built on the rock received a blessing when the rain came. Conversely, the foolish man who built on the sand received judgement. The rain is a picture of fruitfulness and prosperity. Both of these can either be a blessing or a curse - - - depending on the foundation of the house. Sand is a picture of building on human headship and authority. Fruitfulness and prosperity were a curse to the one who built on his own headship. They were a blessing to the one who built on the "craggy" point of a rock. Notice that fruitfulness and prosperity are a test, a storm, an opportunity to proclaim His Headship.
Building a home on the point of a craggy rock is a testament to the miraculous power of the Rock. We are given the enviroment to build. Gratitude for things just the way they are is building on the craggy rock. Gratitude and thanksgiving are the ingredients that produce a home that is solid and stalwart in the face of testing and trials. We are given a command (daw-bar) to build. It is up to us to expand our capacity for Him and understand the why's and the wherefore's. By giving daw- bar commands He is giving us the opportunity to increase our knowledge of Him. A blind man came to Jesus desiring to be healed. He annointed his eyes and told him to go wash in the pool of Siloam. He gave a command that was to be obeyed - - - no explanation. The healing of the man's blindness depended upon him simply obeying the command and somehow finding the pool. He had to increase his understanding by figuring out how to get there. It was a long journey from the temple to the pool; even longer for someone blind. But he obeyed and was eventually healed. Many times we don't "understand" and our blindness is a hinderance to our healing. We don't have to understand - - - just obey and the healing will come along by and by. In between the command and the healing, we can increase our capacity for knowledge and give gratitude for things just the way they are. The blind man, all the way to the pool was giving thanks and praising God for his blindness. How do we know this? He made it to the pool and was healed! This is building on a craggy rock: Praising and giving thanks to the LORD for things just the way they are! It is His wonderful, miraculous Headship and Authority that balances our house on the point of the craggy rock (Jesus).
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