How to have sweet counsel and unity!
(Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks)
In Exodus 29: 10-12, we read that a bullock was slain and its blood was applied to the horns of the Brazen Altar. After the application of the blood the remainder was poured beside the bottom of the altar. The Altar had roots, so to speak, or a foundation of blood. There are four types of offense, directed at the LORD, that mankind exercises in his fallen state: iniquity, transgression, sin, and trespass. Each one of these types fits with a horn on the Altar. As the blood dripped off the end of the priest's finger and made its way toward the base of the horn; when it finally dropped to the bottom of the Altar, it cleansed the offense and deposited it into a pool at the bottom. Thus, Israel's iniquities, transgressions, sins, and trespasses went into a no-form sea of blood. This word "bottom" in verse 12 is a Hebrew word yaw-sad. In English, it is tranlated "counsel".
Please read Proverbs 15:22. Counsel is the same word for bottom in Exodus 29:12. Counsel can or can not be established. It is possible to have counsel but it not come from the bottom of the Altar. Disappointment comes when we counsel ourselves with advise not established in the bottom of the Altar. In other words, counsel that doesn't come from the pool of blood after iniquity, transgression, sin, and trespass has been washed away. Sweet counsel, unity, truth, comes when all offenses are in the no-form sea at the bottom of the Altar. There is no true unity other than at the bottom of the Altar. Desiring unity with the brethren is good and right but, it comes after spending time at the horns of the Altar. Iniquity, transgression, sin, and trespass can be turned into sweet unity and counsel.
Please read Psalm 55:12-14. David is speaking of Ahithophel. When David approached the house of God, being King, he was before everyone else. Being out in front was natural and appropriate given his position. But there was one man who was his equal, guide, aquaintance. In 2 Samuel 15:12 we see that Ahithophel was David's counsellor. Ahithophel walked with David shoulder to shoulder on their way to the house of God. As they walked in tandem they enjoyed sweet counsel. They were able to share and receive the deep revelations of the Word that came from the bottom of the Altar as they walked in unity. Their counsel was established because it originated from repentance of iniquity, transgression, sin, and trespass. 2 Samuel 16:23 gives us another clue about the counsel of Ahithophel: "it was as if a man had enquired at the oracle of God: so was ALL the counsel of Ahithophel". As long as Ahithophel and David regularly visited the Brazen Altar and made their wheels around the horns, the power of the bullock blood cleansed their offenses as they disappeared into a sea of forgiveness. Sweet counsel and unity with each other was the fruit of their repentance.
"Fret not thyself. . . "
(Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks)
(Note: #116 is an expansion of same subject discussed in lesson #115. Please read #115 if necessary.)
Please read Mark 12:28-31. To love is to give self and bring near to oneself. We love our self by giving our exposed flesh to God which, in turn, brings Him near to us. Our flesh is exposed to give us an opportunity to love our self. If we give our sins and failures to the LORD, He will draw near to us and provide redemption. The tendency is to conceal our sin or blame others for its exposure. By doing this we aren't fulfilling one of the two greatest commandments: love thyself! In addition, by blaming and concealing, we forfeit the opportunity to bring God near with His acts of redemption.
Please read Psalm 37:1,7-8. Fret means burn, blaze, kindle. By not giving our exposed sin to the LORD we fret, burn and blaze in our unconfessed state and sinful drama. The human heart can think of a multitude of reasons not to confess sin; pride being among the first. When confession is not made after exposure, we "stew in our own juices" so to speak, and eventually begin to hate. Hate will lead to murder which the human tongue is quite familiar with. Slaying someone physically is remotely possible, but the human tongue routinely kills and murders others' reputations with its words.
Please read I John 1:7-10. The LORD manifested His love by giving us His Son. He GAVE of Himself to draw us NEAR to Himself: this is the definition of love. He gave us His Son in the form of the Mosaic Tabernacle with seven pieces of furniture so we could love self and love God! The SELF is our ticket to love God!! We can climb His Stature and draw near to the Heavenly Father.
Please read Genesis 4:1-6. This is the story of two brothers, Cain and Abel. In verse 5 we see the word "wroth". This is the same word as "fret" in Psalm 37 (#2734 in Strongs Concordance). Cain burned and blazed in his hatred for his brother Abel. Abel was the father of the seeds of mercy and Cain was the father of the seeds of wrath. While Cain was fretting and kindling in his hatred, see what happened? It was an opportunity for the LORD to come down and have a conversation with Cain. God talked to Cain, not Abel. When we fret, God will initiate a dialogue with us and try to reason with our burning heart! Fret leads to hate and progresses to murder if not confessed. The end of the story is that Abel was murdered because of the fretting of Cain's heart.
We know the story of Jonah. In Jonah 4:4 the LORD initiates a conversation with him by saying, "Doest thou well to be angry?" This word "angry" is the same word for "fret". While Jonah was fretting over the repentance and redemption of Ninevah, this invited the LORD to talk with him. God simply asked Jonah (and Cain) a question. Questions pull from the inside out and gives the respondant an opportunity to confess what has been exposed. In the midst of Jonah's fretting, the LORD proved He still loved him by starting a conversation with him. This whole episode with Ninevah was for the purpose of allowing Jonah to love self and love God. There is a higher purpose, an ethereal force, a guiding love that is above all personal events and circumstances. The Love of God entreats us to give our self so He can draw near and provide the remedy and relief of our malady: indwelling sin!
A simple decision is part of the warfare!
(Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks)
Please read Ephesians 1:19-23. The LORD is far above all creation, presiding over the administration of every principality, dominion, name, might, and power. By being above all creation, He has established Himself as the Head of that same creation.
Please read Ephesians 6:10-12. In verse 12 we read of "rulers of the darkness of this world". Darkness comes on slowly, deceitfully. When day is turning to night, there is a transition period called twilight. During twilight, darkness creeps upon the earth in an imperceptible manner. Night does not appear all at once in a sudden, massive shift from light to dark. It does not come in a frontal attack, so to speak. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and his wife had "just a conversation" with the serpent---darkness closed in on them silently and deceitfully. They didn't have to wrestle with any rulers, yet, they didn't perceive the warfare. It is the same with us. We engage in a conversation with the enemy, sometimes oblivious to the warfare that we are in. We say, "it's just a small thing, how can this matter?". Darkness comes deceitfully, imperceptibly, not in a frontal attack.
Iniquity causes a bend or crook in the truth. It means: wiles, deceit, crook, bend. A small (seemingly) crook, many times, seems like no big deal. We are still wrestling with the powers of darkness whose "job" is to creep upon us with silent darkness. Iniquity causes us to change the end. Truth is a straight line where the end is clearly visible in the distance. We can easily see the end of an act, the conclusion, when truth is in our eyesight. A bend or a crook (iniquity) causes the end to be obscure, uncertain, invisible. With the end not visible, we walk into darkness. Through iniquity, we make a choice to step outside of God's Headship.
When Mary approached Elizabeth, John leaped in the womb of his mother at the sound of Mary's voice (Luke 1:41-45). Elizabeth, in verse 44, proclaims that John leaped for joy! He had an experience with the Holy Ghost when his mother was filled and overcome with the Spirit. John, in no uncertain terms, from the womb, knew who the Messiah was! The LORD gave John the ministry of being the forerunner of Jesus Christ. In fulfilling that ministry, he was to introduce the Son of God to those he had prepared through repentance and baptism. John's ministry was to end when the Christ, the Son of God, was fully revealed to Israel. He told his own diciples to follow Jesus, but he failed to follow himself---he chose to continue his ministry (iniquity) outside of the Headship of the LORD. He chose to crook the truth. He offended Herod to point where he threw him in prison. Why did John feel compelled to reveal the sin of a ruler, publicly? He wanted his ministry to continue. Who told him to publicly humiliate Herod and expose his sin? Was it his own headship or the Headship of God? In Matthew 11:1-3, we read that while John was in prison, he sent two of his diciples to Jesus with a question: "art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?". That question was asked by the devil when Jesus was being tempted in the wilderness: "if thou be the Son of God..." (Matthew 4:3). John, because he crooked the truth and did not follow Jesus (putting an end to his own ministry), he doubted and began to question whether or not Jesus was Who He was. John said, "Behold the Lamb of God, Who taketh away the sin of the world". After we make a choice to step outside of God's Headship (crooking the truth), our own headship will cause us to question the credentials and identity of the Son of God. John reaped what he sowed. He eventually lost his own head because he had rejected the Authority and Headship of the LORD. Going under our own headship starts with a simple decision but, in reality, we are being led from light to twilight and eventually into darkness. A simple decision is part of the warfare. What would John have accomplished had he accepted God's Headship, concluded his ministry, and supported the Son of God in His? Would he have shamefully lost his natural head, or would it be recorded that he loved and adored Jesus and helped Him with His message of the Gospel to Israel?
(Source of material: Rev. B.R.Hicks)
Please read Mark 12:29-31. Love means to give oneself and to bring near to oneself. If we give our self to God then He will be brought near to us. Likewise, if we give our self to our neighbor, then we are able to love our neighbor by bringing him near to us. We have nothing to give to God except our body of sin. It causes us to distance ourself from God. Being distant from God causes Him to be distant from us, therefore, we are not "loving thyself". Giving our sin to the LORD is an act of love, which will cause Him to draw near to us. If we want to "love thyself" then we are eager to repent and give our sin to the LORD. By giving we bring Him near---this is loving thyself. Exposure of sin by the Holy Ghost and the LORD is to give us an opportunity to draw near to God by giving it to Him. If we blame people, places, and things for the ungodly behavior we sometimes exhibit, we have forfeited the chance to draw near to God. If we hold on to unforgiveness, anger, or attitudes, we have also missed the purpose for why it was exposed: to bring self near to God and bring near His Holy Presence. Also, we are not loving our self. It is through the act of giving that we love: ourself and God. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He GAVE". He demonstrated this principle through the giving of His Son so we, through Him, could draw near to God. He gave us the tabernacle of Moses so we could climb His Stature and get closer to the Father.
Please read Genesis 16:1-9. This is the story of the relationship between Sarai and Hagar. Hagar conceived and refused to humiliate herself before Sarai. In verse 9 she is told to return to her mistress and submit herself. By submitting she was loving herself. By coming under the authority of Sarai she was committing an act of love. Submissiveness is loving ones self.
The LORD has a Purposive Will and a Master Plan, and many times these are executed through family, the boss, and personal events. Exposure of sin is the objective---to give us an opportunity to love self and bring God near. Painful things (sin) are for the purpose of exposing what we have and what we don't have in God. If the till comes up short, if we have a deficit of love for self and God, then it is time to give and bring near. Giving sin to the LORD is an act of loving thyself because you bring His lovely presence near. Who doesn't want Jesus near? Who doesn't want to smell His sweet fragrance? If He is near, then you become what you look upon. Feeling lonely, distant, detached? Feel like nobody loves you? Give your self to God and He will draw near to you. Feel like you're the same old person and you'll never change? By having Him near you can gaze into His lovely face and become more like Him. Having Him near causes His holy attributes to overpower sin as we take on His loving and kind nature.
Iniquity skews and blurs the eyesight
(Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks)
Please read Genesis 1:2-3. The earth was in a state of no form. It was void and muddled, confusing chaos reigned. The LORD allowed the light to shine upon this swirling situation and things began to change. We can say in our personal situations, "LORD, let their be light"! In Genesis 1:6-8, after the light shone, He made a firmament or a separation. Before the light, the "above" water and the "beneath" water were mingled together, but things got much clearer when the firmament (separation) divided the waters and they retreated to their appointed place "above" and "beneath". The waters knew where to go. They knew which water they were (above or beneath). Clarity came to the situation when all the above water went above and all the beneath water went beneath. Light ruled in the firmament after confusion retreated to their respectful places. After judgment and chaos, the waters were most willing to obey. After judgment and chaos, we find ourselves to be the same way! After we have made our separtion, our willingness to obey is increased.
Please read Colossians 3:2. We have a problem: we need to see what is above and what is beneath. We have a tendency to not see things in their assigned position. After we have made our separtion (from world, flesh, and carnal reasoning) then we have a clearer vision. After our eyesight is cleared, we are to set our affections (desires) on what is above.
Please read Revelation 12:7-12. There was war in heaven. Those on earth overcame the dragon (serpent) by: 1. the blood of the Lamb, 2. by the word of their testimony, 3. loving not their lives unto death. Notice these scriptures don't record how Michael and his angel overcame in heaven. Please read Psalm 104:4. We see that they overcame by the flaming fire of the Torah. In other words, Michael overcame with the fire of the truth.
In any situation, there is a beginning and an end. With the fire of the truth, we can clearly see the end and the resulting conclusion. The serpent invades our situations with iniquity that bends and crooks our vision. With skewed eyesight, we can proceed through the situation for only so long until we reach the crook. His gameplan is to hide the end by subtily causing our vision to look at error rather than truth. We need a separation (see #112) to divide error (iniquity) and truth. We can scream, "Let there be light"! As the "firmament" (separation) appears, confusion ceases and truth is divided from error. We can overcome the intrusions of the serpent just like Michael and his angels did: with the Torah fire of truth that allows us to see the end and its consequences. The fire of truth will separate what is from above (truth) and what is from below (error). Overcome means to cast down, salvation. We can experience salvation by proclaiming the Torah fire of truth in our personal events where the serpent has hidden iniquity. Exclaim His Headship, speak the truth and establish His lofty position and the serpent will be overcome!