Faith allows the LORD to make His Name known!
#226 (2/3/19 morning)
During the great exodus when the nation of Israel was released from Egyptian bondage, the LORD lead his people to the Red Sea. Geographically, they went in a certain direction but had to backtrack a short distance in order to make it to the shore of the sea. Pharoah was in hot pursuit. When he saw Israel turn around and come back a short distance toward him, he determined that he and his army should surround Israel and take them back to bondage. Israel ended up trapped by mountains on either side, the Red Sea in front, and Pharoah behind. Moses lifted up his rod over the Red Sea and an east wind began to blow. On the rod was the Name of the LORD. When the Name is lifted up, the Spirit (wind) began to move. The pillar of fire (the Spirit of God) moved to the rear of the Hebrew nation and provided protection. During the night a strong east wind blew. Notice that it was an EAST wind. They were traveling east. The Hebrew nation moved forward into a headwind that miraculously parted the water as they moved forward. The water wasn't parted all at one time; as they walked east, into the wind, in the night, the water would part as far as they traveled. In other words, the water parted and provided a way of escape as long as they were willing to walk, by faith, in the darkness, battling a strong headwind. When they walked, the water parted. In order for the escape route to be made clear, they had to actively engage themselves in the situation by choosing, in faith, that the LORD was capable enough to get them to safety. They could have chosen NOT to walk forward and NOT witness a great deliverance by the Name of the LORD. They could have had second thoughts about the perils of their night season and surrendered to Pharoah. By choosing to walk forward, in the night, against a strong headwind, they put God to the test. He acted mightily in their behalf because they chose to walk by faith! Against insurmountable odds, they reached safety through faith in the Name of the LORD and the Spirit of God! Sometimes, modern day Christians choose not to walk. They choose to remain in Egyptian bondage rather than experiencing a miraculous deliverance. The night is too dark, the wind is too strong, my faith is too small. . . it's easier to return to Egypt! Faith is never too small. As long as it is as large as a grain of mustard seed, believer's can walk in the night against a strong headwind and see the salvation and deliverance of the LORD. We must be engaged in our circumstances and choose the Name of the LORD and the power of His Holy Spirit! Faith excites the LORD because it is an opportunity for Him to prove Who He Is! Faith allows Him to make His Name and Nature known to the believer. Peter had faith to walk on water and he did . . . for a little while. He presented to the LORD Jesus an opportunity to prove Who He Is!
Leprous judgements are unclean, unclean!
#225 (1/20 and 1/23/19 combined)
Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks
Please read Leviticus 13:40-46. In verse 45, the leper was to cover his mouth with a cloth and proclaim, "Unclean, unclean". Leprosy has the potential to make a person unclean on the outside as well as the inside. The leper was proclaiming his uncleaness inwardly and outwardly. Leprosy on the forehead is invisible to the one infected; they can't see it. It can only be revealed by another person or by looking into a mirror. Leprosy is judgement. The sinful, human race has a tendency to pronounce leprous judgements. When such a judgement is verbalized a spot of leprosy rises on the forehead. Saul is an example of someone with leprous judgements regarding the slaughter of the Midianites. Samuel to told him to execute everything and everybody, but Saul held back the best of the animals and the Midianite king. Uzziah, along with his leprous judgements, intruded into the priesthood by burning incense in the tabernacle. Eighty priests could not withstand him as he pushed and shoved his way into the Holy Place. He became a leper as a result. Lastly, the laborers in the vineyard (according to Jesus' parable) falsely accused the owner for paying the same to them as the 11th hour workers. Their leprous judgements determined they deserved more for working so long in the vineyard even though they agreed on a wage at the outset. It's not how long you work in the vineyard, it's what you accomplish while you're there. Man's sinful judgements shout, "The rules apply to everyone but me!" Leprous, blaming judgements point the proverbial finger at God and reject the truth. Please remember this: everything the believer does comes under the Headship of God or his own headship. We delight (sometimes) in pitting our leprous judgement against God's pure judgements. Please notice in verse 45, the leper was do four things: 1. rend clothes 2. bare head 3. cover upper lip and 4. cry unclean, unclean.
1. Rend clothes. This was an outward act that was an expression of sorrow and an inward rending of the heart. When Job saw his leprous judgements at the end of the book, he rent his heart for sorrow at his hasty accusations against the LORD God.
2. Bare head. This is an act of forsaking earthly headship and leaving it unprotected. This act says, "I am guilty and will not justify myself".
3. Cover upper lip. This provides protection from the spread of disease. Spewing on someone else leprous judgements causes others to be infected with doubt and anger against God. Cover the mouth!
4. Unclean, unclean. This is a proper confession (truthful) that allows healing to come when the truth is spoken.
Please read Hebrews 13:10-12. Jesus suffered "outside the gate" on a hill called Golgatha. We are to confess our uncleaness at the Cross of Calvary where healing comes to leprous judgements.
The Battle of the Soil!
Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks
Reminder: January's Daniel's Fast begins 1/3/19 and ends 1/24/19; everyone please fast from something!
Please read Matthew 13:24-30. A man sowed good seed in his field but soon came to realize that an enemy had sown tares in the same field. When asked by his servants if they should remove the tares, he denied their request and insisted that the good seed and the tares share the same soil. Soil is defined as strength, emotional and mental substance, capacity to absorb. With good seed and tares occupying the same soil, together, there will be a battle for control of the soil. Both will battle for dominance of the strength, the substance, and the nutrients of the soil. At salvation, man receives a new heart that is "planted" (as good seed) in the field of the old heart (tares). There is a constant struggle between the two for dominance and control of the soil. The battle involves who will be dominant over the strength, emotional and mental substance, and capacity of the believer. The man insisted that they grow together. A battle was necessary to get the good seed to grow strong and healthy. The believer has the option (choice) to feed the new man or the old man. He can use his capacity to absorb for evil or for good. The battle never ends: who will dominate the mental capacity and the emotional substance of the mind and heart of man?
Please read 2Corinthians 10:5 and Philippians 4:8. These two scriptures give us examples of how to feed the new man thereby allowing him to dominate the demeanor of a believer. There is only so much capacity to absorb every day. Feeding the new man to "full absorption" should be the goal of every believer on a daily basis. There are many things that can be done to feed the new man. Regretfully, every heart has a tendency to feed the tares. Earthly eyesight and imagination, drawing wrong conclusions from idolatrous images, stymies the growth of the new man and invigorates the tare. Every day is a new day to dedicate mental and emotional capacities and strength to the growth of the new man. When the believer feeds the good seed he/she is justifying the Cross, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and the Will of the Father. The Battle of the Soil!
Jesus shares His coat of righteousness with us!
Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks
Opening comments: Fasting is the same as a 24-hour prayer. Those who fast experience what they will feel in hell. When an evil soul is comdemned to hell, he/she take their wicked desires with them. They still want a cigarette, a shot of whiskey, and any number of vices that carry with it evil desire. They are angry and frustrated because the desire cannot be fulfilled. Those who fast are denying the desires of the body that feels the death and darkness of unfulfilled pleasure. Those in hell will feel what its like to have unfulfilled pleasure.
Please read 2Samuel 22:221-26. Jesus paid a dear price to purchase the old man and his obstinate sin. He purchased sin and the old man; they are His! When the LORD goes through such great pains to expose the sin of a human heart, what is exposed He wants! Sin is legally His - - - He purchased it. By not repenting of what is exposed the human heart becomes a thief and a robber, denying the LORD regeneration of the exposed sin.
In verse 21, Jesus was rewarded for His righteousness. The Father begot His own kind. When the Begotten Son was revealed he was rewarded with righteousness for being Who He is - - - GOD. When Jesus walked the earth, He fulfilled the law with the judgements of the Father always before Him (verse 23). Please read Romans 8:2-4. He received an additional robe of righteousness by fulfilling the law. Please read Matthew 5:16-17. An extra robe of righteousness was given for fulfilling the law that He did not need; He already had one because of Who He is. This "new" robe is a robe of righteous works. This new righteousness He now shares with regenerated man who choose to follow in His footsteps. Luke 3:11 requires the LORD to impart this extra "coat" to us who have none.
Please read Romans 1:17. This imparting of righteousness is done by faith. Likewise, by faith, righteousness is revealed to the believer and those in his orbit through good works. Faith makes the righteousness of good works visible, for all to see. We should not be moved by outward things but by the robe of righteousness and let our works shine before a dead and dying world of sin.
The LORD's Way leads to Truth and Life.
Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks
Please read John 14:1-6. The Father, the Great I AM, occupies eternity and space. Man, bound to the earth, lives out his life in Time. A great chasm divides man from God which is impossible to cross outside of Jesus Christ. The Stature of Jesus Christ spans the gulf, joining man and God in sweet communion. In verse 6, Jesus called Himself the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is the Way as the gate leading to the Courtyard, the Truth as the curtain that leads to the Holy Place, and the Life as the Veil that leads to the Father in the Holy of Holies. He is 3 doors that lead to new experiences in Him.
Jesus walked the Will of the Father from Bethlehem to Golgatha's Hill. Said differently, He walked the Way of the Father. Man needed a Way to return to God so He humbled Himself and gave us a Way through His life and sacrifice; man now can choose to forsake his own way.
Jonah is given to us as an example of what happens when man chooses his own way. Jonah was given a path/way that was to lead to the city of Ninevah. As the story goes, he chose his own way that lead in the opposite direction of Nineveh. First, he embarked on a ship. Soon, a furious storm tossed the ship on the sea. There is nowhere to go when on a ship. The options of choosing another way are gone. God began to constrict Jonah in a rocking, tossing, shaking ship. Then Jonah confessed on the ship that he would rather die than to go to Nineveh - - - the Way of God. His way (Jonah) was still better that God's. When Jonah was tossed overboard, God constricted him even further, narrowing his options. Jonah left land, boarded a ship (constricting pain), and eventually ended up in the belly of a whale (more pain); each time the LORD was slowly narrowing his options. After the whale belched Jonah back on land, his confession was that he should have taken God's Way to begin with (it would have, at the very least, saved him from smelling like the putrid belly of a whale). He accepted the original Way. It behooves the believer to reject his own way and follow the way given by Jesus Christ.
Please read John 17:17 and 8:32. The Way leads to the Truth, which leads to Life (both resurrection and eternal life). Jesus is the "Way" out!
Many are climbing up another way other than the Way given to reach life. Life is at the top of the Stature. Rather than following God's Plan to reach life, the world abounds with alternative ways to find one's own pleasure and life taking another way. Jesus' Way is humility and sacrifice. Man's way is proud and arrogant.
As Jesus was walking the Way of the Father's Will, His purpose was to establish a spiritual kingdom within the heart of man. His own diciples misunderstood His motives. Jesus came with the power and glory of the Father to build inside the heart spiritually, not build an outside, earthly kingdom. The Way of Jesus, and by extension the Father, is to build a beautiful spiritual kingdom within the heart of man, transforming the City of Pride into a breathtaking New City where God, the Lamb, and the Bride dwell. He is the Way!
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