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"!
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.
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.
The Bride helps Him pay His debt!
(Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks)
Please read Psalm 111:10 and Proverbs 9:10. We see in these two verses the word "beginning". In Psalm 111, beginning in Hebrew is "ray-sheeth". In Proverbs, it is the word "tek-il-law". Ray-sheeth has to do with theory and tek-il-law relates to experience.
Please read Genesis 1:1. Here we see the word "beginning" again; it is the Hebrew word "ray-sheeth". The LORD is the theory, the declaration, the cause, the seat of movement and motion. He is the beginning, the Eternal Cause of all things Who puts into motion His Plan and Purpose. He is the Head with all creation, natural and spiritual, abiding under His Feet. He is the Author and the Finisher, the Divine impetus propelling His thoughts and purpose into the hearts and minds of His creation. He is the Beginning Cause of all creation through which is displayed His Beautiful Nature. The existence of man is for one purpose: to help Him pay His debt by making His Name known! We have been given a blessed privilege to exhibit and display the nature of God in every situation. If we are caustic, impatient, angry, jealous, cruel, we are displaying the luciferic nature of the carnal, old man. EVERY situation is an opportunity (many times by cold choice) to give His Nature to some grateful recipient who is expecting a raging flood of darkness and death. The Bride chooses to make His glorious, perfect Name known to all, great and small.
The LORD is also the Beginning Power. The power of His Name is unleashed after we acknowledge the Cause. The power will beam out of the heart and cause a change in the behavior of those around us. We have a plan, most times, but we don't have the power to implement it. Anger is the result when we want to control people, places, and things while lacking the power to enforce our carnal plan. He has the Plan and the Power to enforce it in the lives of His people.
The LORD is also the Beginning Strength. Please read Deuteronomy 21:17. The subject in this verse is Reuben, Jacob's firstborn. He was the beginning of strength to Jacob; ruling strength. The LORD rules by His Strength. He has the Strength to maintain what the Power and Cause have made. Through blaming, we elevate a creature to God's Throne by saying they are the cause. We take the Name in vain by not acknowledging Him as the Divine Cause of all things. He knows we will not be able to stand before Him with a heart steeped in carnal sin at the Judgment Seat of Christ. It is His goal to expose this sin in Time, by His Strength, so we can exchange it for His Nature and help Him make His Name known. Internally, we are a 24/7 Halloween party, but by His Strength, we can be transformed into a vessel that shows forth the lovely attributes of His Precious Name. He is the Cause, He has the Power, He has the Strength to finish what He has started in a believers' heart. It can assist Him in making His Name known---that's awesome!