#143

                                                                                 (Source of material:  Rev. B.R. Hicks)

We have learned in this series of lessons that the Ark of the Covenant represents the Aaronic Priesthood and the Mercy Seat the Melchisedec Priesthood.  The Mercy Seat crowned the Ark with two cheribim facing inward with their wings spread above.  The cheribim are servants to the Headship of God.  This is a picture to us.  As we climb Christ's Stature, we will eventually reach the Mercy Seat where the highest position is that of a servant.  A servant gives---gives what?  A servant gives the nature of the Heavenly Father and His wonderful Name in the form of Mercy, Grace, Love, Light, and Life.  The Crucified Way is not religion but a relationship.  As a servant we choose to give the fruits of our relationship to those around us.  Love is a choice; not a feeling.  We choose to love and give His Name in every situation because our relationship is a part of us; it is who we are and it must be expressed.  Hurt, transgression, and offense will come so I can give away forgiveness and love.  Christians can choose to give away His Nature regardless of how tacky someone is.  The LORD has allowed that person to be tacky for the express purpose of giving away His Nature in return.  It is all about making His Name known, which is the ministry of the Bride.  

Please read John 12:23-24.  When a seed is planted the outer shell dies.  A root goes downward and life goes upward.  Eventually, after the death of the outer shell, one seed of corn can produce 3000 more seeds.  The outer shell (the old man that holds the new man captive) must first die so the light of the new man can shine and make His Name known.  Death and crucifixion precede life and resurrection.  

Please read I Samuel 18:6-7.  David was familiar with this principle of dying first so that new life could emerge.  How could David have slain 10,000's?  He was slaying his old man (the outer shell) out on the hillside attending sheep.  His old nature was dying as he cultivated a relationship with God and repented  of his sin.  As he repented the light of the new man shone forth.  Light shines when the outer shell is gone.  He let his light shine by choosing to do the right thing.  His choice to love and give affected those around him.  A right choice, born out of a love relationship, will cause light to shine and influence others.  He chose to defend the Name when he challenged Goliath because he had an intimate relationship with it. When his right love choice slew Goliath, his light shined out on the armies of Israel.  They fought and caused a great slaughter among the Phillistines.  All that were slain were attributed to David.  David did slay his 10,000's because it was his choice to love God's Name and his influence (light) that got on the Hebrew army.  When the flesh dies the light will shine and influence those around us.  What can we give?- - - the Nature of His Name!

                                                                                                          #142

                                                                                (Source of material:  Rev. B.R. Hicks)

Please read Proverbs 4:18.  The path we are set on is the way of the cross (crucufixion).  The goal is the "perfect day" or peace.  The way of the cross is the only path given to realize and experience peace.  Crucifixion leads to peace.  When the LORD IS my Shepherd, when realization comes of our total dependence of Him, when He is our All in All, peace reigns.   Along the path, we receive light in the form of doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness.  The old man is corrected and reproved, the new man is instructed and given doctrine.  The word "inspiration" is translated "divine breath".  All correction, reproof, instruction and doctrine is given by divine breath.  Leviathan and his hordes help us make a right choice for God; he is God's "gift of resistance".  As a weight-lifter needs the resistance of iron to grow muscle and strength, we need Leviathan to achieve the same result.  The "perfect day" is the full stature of the Tabernacle.  When we are "throughly furnished" (with all seven pieces of furniture of the Tabernacle) peace will rule in our lives.  

During Israel's journey from Egypt to Canaan's Land, they made many stops.  When the Cloud stopped, they erected the Tabernacle, the whole structure.  So there was a full stature at every place they tarried.  They did not partially erect the Tabernacle, they erected the whole thing!  They grew up into full stature in the place where they were at.  Likewise with us.  The LORD wants us to grow into full stature in every situation and stop along the way of crucifixion.  He wants us to aquire the full stature of light in that place; star light, moon light, and sun light.  When we have achieved this, an oasis is the result.  Just as Israel left each stop in the wilderness an oasis, we can travel from oasis to oasis as well.  We can give shelter, life, drink and shade to those around as the full stature comes to fruition in our heart in the present situation.  

Jesus travelled a path of light that ended in peace.  Please read Luke 1:80 and Luke 2:52.  Notice the child grew and waxed strong in spirit.  Also, He increased in wisdom and stature.  Jesus was born in a manger and walked a path of light, where He grew and increased in wisdom and stature for thirty years.  Here we see the purpose of the path of light:  to grow and increase in stature and wisdom.  The last 3-and-a-half years were His good works when He gave fruit and light of His relationship with His Father.  This is also expected of us.  The fruit of full stature is good works (making His Name known).  We are to let our light shine by doing good works (Matthew 5:16).  Having peace does not mean the absence of opposition or an enemy.  We will always have Leviathan with us until the moment we pass but, we don't have to be like him.  We don't have to "own" him.  He is only given to oppose and help us make a right choice.  He is only God's tool to bring us to the perfect day.  It is the presence of opposition, not the absence of it that gives us peace, good works, and an oasis- - - inside and out.  

                                                                                                                  #141

                                                                                         (Source of material:  Rev. B.R. Hicks)

We have learned in the previous two lessons the Holy of Holies in the Mosaic Tabernacle contained two pieces of furniture---the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat.  The Ark was below with the Mercy Seat resting above.  The Ark, which contained the tables of stone, is a picture to us of the written Law, the Aaronic Priesthood.  The Mercy Seat depicts for us the Oral Law and the Melchisedec Priesthood.  The Law was given to define sin; to illustrate to us what is right and wrong in the eyes of God.  The Law was incapable of forgiving and removing sin.  It was a divine "spotlight" that exposed sin.  Mercy and Grace forgives sin, which is found above the Law at the Mercy Seat.  Jesus, the Melchisedec Priest, the Corn of Heaven, came to prove that Mercy and Grace supersedes the Law.  They forgive sin and renew a person's heart while preserving life.  It is through Mercy and Grace that the 12 parts of the Name LORD are made known.  We can conclude that Jesus came to earth to make the Name known and requests that we do the same.  Additionally, we have learned that the Melchisedec Priest (Jesus) was described in Hebrews 7 as the King of Salem (Peace) and the King of Righteousness Who deals in Love, Light and Life.

Please read Proverbs 4:18.  We have been set on a path of light that grows brighter each day.  The path will terminate at the "Perfect Day".  The word perfect in this verse is peaceful.  Our path will end in peace.  When He is our All in All, peace will rule.  Please read 2 Timothy 3:16-17.  In verse 17, perfect also means peaceful.  "That the man of god may be peaceful".  Notice that it is the man of God (the new man) that is to become perfect/peaceful.  The new man is to grow in stature and become peaceful.  How does this perfection/peacefulness happen?  By using the sin and perverted energy of the old man; "feeding" off the old man and increasing in size and strength unto the perfect/peaceful day!  We can deduce that the new man would not grow if it were not for the "food" that the old man provides.  So, what really is the old man (sin)?  He is a GIFT along with his master Leviathan!  Both have been given to allow us to choose right, to affirm our love for the Saviour, Jesus Christ.  There cannot be a choice unless there are two options.  The old man and Leviathan give the opposite option to Jesus Christ so we can forsake sin and get it converted into righteousness.  As this happens, the light of our path grows more and more unto the perfect/peaceful day!  The old man and Leviathan, that crooked serpent, are GIFTS that allow us to choose Jesus.  We should be thanking God for them both because they allow us to make a right choice.  There are four things that scripture is profitable for:  doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction.  Doctrine and instruction in righteousness are given to the new man.  Reproof and correction are given to the old man.  For what purpose?  That the man of God (new man) may be peaceful and produce good works.  When we have full stature peace and love then we leave an oasis behind us wherever we go. The Name provides drink and shade to those around us as we make it known.  Peace within allows us to give His Name to a thirsty and dying world.  The light shines more and more until we reach perfection or peace at the end of the path.  Peace means we give love, light, life, mercy and grace as a Melchisedec Priest.  We can glister, glimmer, and glow with the light of His Name as we make it known.  Powerful!~

                                                                                                        #140

                                                                               (Source of material:  Rev. B.R. Hicks)

                                                        (This is a continuation of the principle introduced in lesson #139)

Please read Matthew 12:1-8.  We learned in #139 that Jesus was (is) the Corn or Bread that came down from heaven.  The bread (manna) was inside the Ark of the Covenant in the Mosaic Tabernacle, representing the Headship of God.  Also, we learned that the Ark is a picture of the Aaronic Priesthood, which also contained the written Law on tables of stone.  Furthermore, the Mercy Seat, above the Ark, is a picture of the Oral Law in the form of the Melchisedec Priesthood.  In verse 7 of our text, we read that the LORD "will have mercy and not sacrifice".  All the sacrifices are explained in the book of Leviticus, in other words, in the law.  The LORD "will have mercy above the law".  We can conclude that mercy supersedes the law.  There is something greater than the Aaronic Priesthood:  mercy and grace (the Melchisedec Priesthood and the preservation of life).  So many times we point the finger and demand that others obey the law.  Sometimes we elucidate the shortcomings of family members and illuminate their errors according to the Aaronic Priesthood (the Law).  If we have to follow the Law and do right, then, they better comply as well!  At times we castigate ourselves for being negligent and guilty of the Law.  We get out the whip and give ourselves 40 lashes for doing something wrong.  We can expend much energy fretting about the failures of others and ourselves, arrogantly demanding that the Law be obeyed.  There is a better way.  Lift yourself up to the Mercy Seat and the Melchisedec Priesthood and show the mercy and grace of our Precious LORD Jesus Christ!  The Law is for learning, mercy and grace is for loving.  Give thanks to the LORD for just the way you and your family members are.  Let love, light, and life dazzle your family as forgiveness and grace radiate from the heart.  Be patient with yourself; love yourself by giving thanks for who and what you are.  We are told to love our self---be merciful and kind when sin rears its ugly head and a mistake is made.  Jesus died to preserve your life through mercy and grace.  He is prompt to forgive because He is the Melchisedec Priest.  Try not to judge according to the Law; forgive according to mercy and grace and shine forth love, light and life!

During this season of giving, we can choose to raise ourselves higher to the Mercy Seat.  Through mercy and grace we can make the Name known---all 12 parts of it.  By giving love, light and life we are fulfilling our calling of making His glorious Name known.  If we love unconditionally that means we accept family and people JUST THE WAY THEY ARE!  Likewise ourselves.  The Melchisedec Priest loves his children just for who they are---we can give away His Name for the same reason.  "For God so loved the world that He GAVE". . . !  The Name is made known through mercy and grace as it is freely and unconditionally given to family and self.  

                                                                                                      #139

                                                                              (Source of material:  Rev. B.R. Hicks)

Please read I Peter 2:9.  The phrase "show forth" means to demonstrate publicly.  We are to demonstrate because we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, and a peculiar people.  We demonstrate in church for these very reasons.  Participation in a church worship service gives the Bride an opportunity to demonstrate her unique status as a holy nation, a peculiar people, a royal priesthood, and a chosen generation.  Why do we demonstrate in church?  Because we are these four things.  

Please read John 6:31-33 and 51.  Speaking to the people that followed Him, Jesus declared Himself to be the Bread of Heaven.  He compares Himself to the bread (corn) that the Father provided in the wilderness during Israel's exodus from Egypt.  You will remember that a jar of this bread (manna) was put inside the Ark of the Covenant.  He was saying that He is the Manna, the Corn, the Provider that satisfies the hunger of Israel. Just as He was in the wilderness to give food for Israel, He had come in flesh to do the same thing.  In verse 58, He goes on further to say that He didn't appear on earth to satisfy the natural hunger of Israel, but to provide spiritual, eternal bread for the soul and spirit of Israel.  

Please read Matthew 12:1-8.  We read that Jesus was in a corn field on the sabbath day.  Why was He in a corn field?  The Father led Him there because He desired to demonstrate a spiritual principle.  Jesus is the Corn of Heaven and wanted the Pharisees to see this.  Where did the Pharisees come from?  They were following Him for one reason:  to accuse Him of violating the law and belittling His declaration that He was (is) the Son of God!  When the diciples began to eat of the corn, the Pharisees pounced on Jesus, pointing with their accusatory fingers, charging Him with violating the law.  The law says, "thou shalt and thou shalt not".  The law is for the purpose of exposing sin;  showing what is right and wrong.  In verse 6 He proclaims that He is greater than the law.  Verse 7 tells us why---because He came to have mercy and show forth love, light, and life so that life could be preserved.  Put another way, mercy and grace supersede the law to preserve life.  He descended from off the Mercy Seat (the Father's Headship) to provide a greater alternative to the law in the form of mercy and grace.  The Old Testament was a dispensation of the Law which had no mercy.  Jesus came to usher in a new dispensation (New Testament) where the emphasis was (is) mercy and love for the purpose of preserving life.  You will remember the woman caught in the act of adultery.  The crowd brought her to Jesus and demanded that she be stoned---according to the law.  Jesus wanted to preserve her life through Mercy and Grace and forgave her sin.  Mercy and Grace always supersede the Law.  He was the Corn that came from Heaven to show  Mercy.  In verse 3 and 4, He explains that it was unlawful for David to eat of the shewbread while fleeing from Saul.  To preserve his life, he ate and was not judged according to the law.  A greater "law" was demonstrated---Mercy and Grace!  

The Old Testament (Mosaic) Tabernacle was a picture and shadow of the more perfect Tabernacle, Jesus Christ.  If you were to superimpose Jesus on the Mosaic Tabernacle,  His Head would be at the Holy of Holies.  Jesus' Head consists of two pieces of furniture:  the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat.  The manna (corn) was in a jar inside the Ark along with the tables of stone (the law).  The Ark is a representation of the Aaronic Law.  The Mercy Seat rested on top of the Ark and is a picture of the Melchisedec Priesthood.  Below is the law, above is mercy.  Mercy "crowns" the Law or Mercy supersedes the Law.  In the corn field, Jesus was demonstrating that He was the Melchisedec Priest that descended from off the Mercy Seat---that He was greater than the Law!   So powerful!!!  Jesus IS the Melchisedec Priest!  The Bible states that "love covereth a multitude of sins".  Mercy, Grace, Love, Light and Life from the Melchisedec Priest has the power to forgive sin and preserve life!  

Please read Hebrews 7:1-3.  The Son of God met Abraham when returning from the slaughter of the kings.  He was given two names in these verses:  King of Salem (Peace) and the King of Righteousness.  To be continued in subsequent lessons. . . . .