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).
Fine linen is veiled!
(Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks)
Please read Revelation 19:7-8. This event in heaven is a time to be glad AND rejoice. The Marriage of the Lamb is important because at it the unveiling of the Bride takes place. Notice here that His wife "hath made herself ready". Salvation, baptism with fire, and baptism with water are all gifts; the receiver simply reaches out and takes the gift that is being offered. A gift is given with no expectation by the giver to receive something in return. Minimal effort is exerted by the receiver to accept the gift. It is free - - - no obligation. The Bride is NOT a gift. Continual choices are made by the candidate to continue having the nature and Name of the LORD revealed and made known personally to him/her. At any given time, a bridal candidate can stop choosing Jesus and His Nature. The Bible says that there will be tears in heaven that have to be wiped away. This proves they are tears of sorrow and sadness; why do they have to be wiped away if they are tears of gladness and joy? When the New City is revealed and members of heaven understand that they forfeited the personal presence of Jesus Christ and the Father for their own headship and authority, sadness will provoke them to weep tears of sorrow. The sadness of missing the New City will be greater than the joy of missing death and hell. Please note in verse 8 that she "SHOULD BE" arrayed in fine linen. In other words, she was NOT. At the beginning of the Marriage she was NOT arrayed in fine linen. If the Mosaic Tabernacle, with its blueprint of how to grow up, and the Bride have been revealed to the human mind, consider them an invitation to be a member of Jesus' Bride. If you have seen, it is an invitation to come!
Please read Luke 14:7-10. A parable is a gate to keep out the wise and prudent and allow the humble, meek, and lowly access. At this wedding there are high seats and low seats. The Bride had learned in her earthly journey, as she took on the nature of Jesus, to seek the low place. She understands the parables spoken by the LORD. She sat in the low spot, waiting for the Bridegroom to reveal her. Notice in verse 10 that there is worship involved with this parable. There is worship given to the Bride because she married a King. Also, a Queen is worshipped (Bride) as a result of her union with the King. She learned the low place by being a teacher to her students (those close to her while on earth) by pointing them to the Bridegroom and the Cross. She did not compete with Him for affection, adoration, and praise. By pointing souls to the Cross, she chose not to be made known and exalt self; she chose the low place. The Bride is used to being low, guiding and pushing others to Him. She preferred and helped others keep their commitments to Jesus and the Cross.
The Bride, in the low place, was veiled. This is not an unusual concept. Mary, in the garden, after Jesus' resurrection, mistook the Risen Savior as a gardener. The diciples on the road to Emmaus also were unable to identify the Risen LORD until He unveiled Himself. He was both LORD and Christ but were incapable of seeing because of a veil. When the Bridegroom invites the Bride to come higher, the veil is removed and others see she arrayed in fine linen. When the Bride is in the low place, she "should be" arrayed in fine linen. When she is exalted with the veil removed, she IS arrayed in fine linen!
Closing comments: This portion of the sermon was directed specially for the men in the congregation. You will not be in the Bride if there is no prayer life. The men were encouraged to diligently seek prayer in the forms of intercession and travail. An urgent call was given by the Pastor for men to intercede and travail much more. The men in the church must come higher in their prayer life. Prayer starts from the belly and either pushes up or down. Going up it is intercession, going down it is travail. The men were exhorted to push from the belly, not squeak and squawk from the throat. Also, to be on time for prayer prior to service. Initial prayer has a dramatic impact on the following worship service and Word.
Building on the craggy point of a rock!
(Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks)
Opening comments: Never scare a child. A child learns to process information through the normal sequence of input, process and analyze, react. When a young mind is scared and frightened, it is forced to delete the process step and go straight to react. Scores or deep marks are left in the mind that cause damage to the normal sequence. If a child is forced to react to input enough, they can grow up without the ability to adequately process information and give a correct response or reaction. This causes the child to immediately react to a situation without formulating a correct response. Scaring a child is wrong in any situaltion, even if the adult thinks it to be amusing.
Opening comments: When Bezaleel was given all the materials to make the Mosaic Tabernacle, the Bible says that he used badger skins for the outer covering of the tabernacle of the congregation. These "badgers" were not actually the animal we think of in modern times. The LORD found no animal on earth that could accurately depict the humility of Christ so He created one that had long, black hair. Their skins were used to make the "badger" skin covering for the Tabernacle. After they were used for this specific purpose, He made no more. There is now no animal on earth that can portray the humility of Christ. They were specially created for a specific purpose, then disappeared.
Opening commens: The Name of the LORD is referred to as a "secret" Name. The Name LORD is infinite; it can not be understood. We will never know all the attributes of the Name LORD. That's why it is secret - - - it is boundless and limitless.
Please read Matthew 7:24-27. We read about two people who decided to build a house. One was built on rock, the other on sand. The man who built on a rock was wise, the one who built on the sand was foolish. Despite them being very different, they both had similarities. Their first similarity is that they both heard the message to build. They heard "daw-bar" Word. This is Word that is given with no understanding and explanation. A command is given without the reason(s) why it should be obeyed. They both heard. Second, they both saw a need to build. Stated another way, they both obeyed the command to grow and build a stature, as it were. They shared and embraced the truth to grow up. Thirdly, each of their structures was exposed to the test. The rain, flood and wind tested the integrity of each house. Lastly, each builder believed in the house they had built. Both were convinced that they had done the right thing; both believed their house was built right.
The difference between each builder is that one built his house on the rock (selah) and the other on the sand. The one who built on the rock built on the selah rock, Christ, accepting His Headship and Authority. The other built on his own headship and authority pictured by the instability of the sand. The rock is the capstone, the very point of the tower of LORD's Name. The wise man, in reality, built his house on the craggy, point of a rock. God's Headship, many times, is a point, an uncomfortable place. Some times we, as Christians, don't see why we have to go through such uncomfortable circumstances and events. We don't like the craggy point of the rock of His Headship. Yet, that is exactly where He wants us to build our house (stature). Erecting an edifice on the point of a rock is impossible, naturally speaking. A builder normally smooths out a level surface before he builds. Building on a craggy rock is a testament to the miraculous power of God! It is His Headship and Authority that keeps our house (stature) balanced on the pointed rock of Christ. Building on our own headship guarantees failure - - - even though we truly believe in what we are building and its integrity and strength. Christ, the Rock, guarantees success as we are precariously balanced between His Headship and Authority.
The mystery of understanding
(Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks)
Note: This lesson is an extension of the principle introduced in #154. Please read #154 if necessary.
There are two types of understanding. In Hebrew, understanding is "to-boo-naw" and "bee-naw". To-boo-naw is the inner form of truth, the blueprint. Bee-naw is the outward symbolic form of truth. Please read Revelation 22:19. We are given a warning not to alter the inner blueprint of truth, the Word. Adding to or subtracting from the Word would be forms of altering the truth. Adam male and female altered the Word, the inner blueprint of truth. Their glory fire that accompanied the blueprint disappeared and the outward symbol was dramatically changed from its original purity.
Please read Exodus 31:1-5. Bezaleel and Aholiab were given "understanding" to bring the inner blueprint inside them, given by God, to the outward form and symbol. As they labored to produce this transformation from inner to outer, fire and glory guided their hands to ensure the product would be an accurate depiction of the blueprint. Glory and fire are companions to the production of the outward symbol. Adam male and female received a glory fire covering when the blueprint was made manifest in the Garden of Eden. The Father commanded and the Son created man from the blueprint the Father gave Him. When the blueprint was altered, the glory fire disappeared and a new inferior form of man was introduced. The symbol of the blueprint was recast in an inferior form.
Please read Matthew 7:21-23. In verse 23, the LORD reprimands those who claim a relationship with Him by calling them workers of iniquity. Put another way, He is rejecting the ones who used iniquity to alter the truth and the symbol of truth. Iniquity is a small, subtle bending to serve the intents of the heart. He is excoriating those who recast and remade the inner blueprint of truth through iniquity. Separation from God is caused by iniquity.
Please read Matthew 4:3-11. Here we read about the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. What was the temptation? It is revealed in all His answers to His arch enemy. The devil used scripture in subtlely altered forms to tempt Jesus to accept the altered form (iniquity) and be guilty of changing the outward symbol. Jesus was having none of it! He consistently responded to the altered truth with the full, real, and given blueprint of truth. He threw the blueprint right back in the devil's face! What happened? Verse 11 says, "then the devil leaveth him." We can learn a lesson here. By quoting the truth, the scriptures, in their pure form, we can face down the enemy whose goal is to entice us to bend the truth.
Please read 2Corinthians 11:14. The word light is "ore". Satan comes to us with counterfeit ore light to tempt us to vary from the blueprint. He seeks to lead us into a "higher revelation" with this light so we bend the truth, thus recasting it in to another form. Glory fire accompanies the blueprint. From there we are encouraged to do good works . True works include the fire of God's glory that shoots out and affects those involved in the good work. Legitimate works are attached to the blueprint by the presence of the fire. Why do you think Nebuchadnezzar wanted to throw the 3 Hebrew children, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego into a fiery furnace? He wanted to overcome and subdue the fire that was shining off them when they obeyed the truth and refused to bow down to his image. Their fire overcame the natural fire of the furnace and they remained untouched. They produced a work that was attached to the blueprint of truth to not bow down to idols!
The answer is the Cross, the blueprint of Truth. Trying to make sense of outward circumstances is futile. Getting changed is the objective. When we go to the Cross and repent, we are embracing Truth. The natural consequence of that is having light and fire emanating from our being that will consume the wood, hay and stubble in the old man. In addition, the glory will make an imprint on those around us as we perform legitimate good works.
Just like Bezaleel, we can build a Tabernacle!
(Source of material: Rev. B.R. Hicks)
Please Exodus 31:1-5. We read in verse 3 that Bezaleel was given not only wisdom and knowledge to construct the Tabernacle, but also understanding. There are two forms of understanding related to this verse. The first form is the Hebrew word "to-boo-naw". This understanding has an association with the inner form of truth. Great sculptors have experienced the ability to see the form within a block of granite and simply release the form to be viewed by God and man. They have "understanding" to perceive a hidden object in a rough-hewn state. Bezaleel was given this type of understanding regarding the furniture of the Mosaic Tabernacle. The second form of understanding is "bee-naw". Whereas the first type was related to the inner form, this second understanding has to do with the outer symbol. First, inner form of truth (to-boo-naw). Second, the outer, symbolic form of truth (bee-naw). The outward form of truth is an expression, a representation, of the inner blueprint. The LORD gave Bezaleel the inner blueprint, the ability to perceive the shape and form of the blueprint. He was given baskets of gold, silver, brass, and stones and was able to "see" the inner form. Then he was able, through understanding, to fashion, build, and construct a Tabernacle. The Tabernacle was a symbol, a picture, shadow, type of the Son of God.
The LORD wants to build the Stature of the Son of God, our own personal Mosaic Tabernacle within us. To do this we are presented with situations that provide the blueprint. Within every circumstance and personal event there is truth that will allow, if perceived and received, the building of this structure in our hearts. Truth is veiled in any number of situation that have to do with love, loss of love, the house, the car, money, relationships, etc. As Bezaleel looked at all this metal, he must have wondered how he was supposed to build a tabernacle out of all this chaos. Like as we, he might have imagined his own plan and "better way" to produce this stature. He very easily could have added to or subtracted from the blueprint. We do the same thing. If we could build a tabernacle minus any pain and discomfort the New City would have to be increased exponentially to hold all the residents. Our "plans" and "better way" are not part of the inner truth or understanding. When the inner blueprint is altered, the symbolic form is also changed. Try to imagine what the Mosaic Tabernacle would have looked like if Bezaleel struck out on his own, relying on his interpretation of the truth. Would it had been an accurate depiction of the Son of God?-?-? The LORD had a blueprint of truth regarding Adam male and female in the Garden. They added and subtracted and the outer, symbolic truth was vastly altered. They lost their glory and became mortal.
The LORD wants to give us understanding in both forms so we can look at the chaos in our lives, perceive the truth, and build a Tabernacle within our hearts. The objective is to allow the new man (Jesus) to grow in full stature so He can present us to the Father. We must be just like Jesus in order to have a relationship with the Father. No one comes to the Father, except through the Son. This means a Tabernacle (Jesus) must be built out of all the chaos around us. Bezaleel made a Tabernacle out of chaos - - - through understanding we can do what Bezaleel did! He was able to "see" the Tabernacle before it was built. He used the metal in its confused, disorderly arrangement and produced a stunningly beautiful representation of the Son of God. God has the blueprint for how the Tabernacle should be built in each one of our hearts. Through understanding, we can allow the LORD to build that Tabernacle.
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