#178 (5/27/18 morning)

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

Please read Judges 3:12-30.  This is the story of Ehud, God's chosen man to deliver Israel from the oppression of Moab.  Look at verse 12:  "and the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD".  How easy it would be to replace "Israel" with our own name.  We cannot point the finger at Israel; Christians are just as bad and probably worse.  Not only did they sin AGAIN, but they did it "in the sight of the LORD".  Not behind His back, not in darkness or secret, but right in front of His face.  Take note that Eglon the king of Moab was strengthened by God because of the disobedience of Israel.  Moab was not strengthened until Israel sinned.  Through their disobedience, Israel chose Moab to be their enemy; disobedience strengthens our enemies against us!  Moab robs the Christian of two things:  gratitude and thanksgiving.  In verse 14, the word "served" means to be owned, to become an oppressed servant to the point when the oppression is felt.  For 18 years Israel was heavily oppressed, they were owned.  This is the sequence:  Israel sinned, the LORD strengthened Eglon of Moab, they lost their gratitude and praise, then became owned servants of Moab.  The LORD was telling Israel, "If your'e going to sin, then you will become an owned servant to that sin and it will rule you".  Moab means "father" which represents security and protection.  From this definition, we can deduce what the sin of Israel was:  they were putting their need for security and protection in something other than the LORD.  

In verse 15, it took Israel 18 years to produce a certain cry.  This word "cried" means a cry from a disturbed heart that needs help.  Also, a heart that feels oppression and anguish.  We have a need for security that we draw from Moab (father) and the world.  Christians turn to the world to receive protection.  They find security in the familiarity of sin, the flesh, and the devil.  Sin, as it were, becomes a father.  They become owned, oppressed servants to Moab.  If we insist on sinning, then we become a servant to that sin until.......out of anguish and a disturbed heart we cry for help to be delivered!  Deliverance is elusive until the anguish of being an oppressed servant causes our heart to turn to the only one Who can help---our Heavenly Father!  Our REAL Father Who provides our security and protection.  We are to serve NOBODY but the LORD God Almighty!  That includes Eglon, king of Moab.   

In verse 16, Ehud makes a special, two-edged dagger just for Eglon.  Eglon means fantasy, to frisk about in a circle thinking of ways to please self.  Notice Eglon was very fat.  Fat speaks of zeal.  He was zealous about pleasing himself.  He fantasized about how things should favor him.  He plotted and planned about how to make his life pleasurable and easy.  He thought of new ways to eradicate pain and displeasurable circumstances.  He was continually concerned about himself and his pleasure!  Does this sound strangely familiar?  Christians have this same Moabite nature within the heart.  Eglon had a summer parlor (verse 20) just for himself where he could shut the door, feel secure, and fantasize about how to please himself.  His parlor was a refuge to contemplate his delight and pleasure.  

Ehud (meaning unity) cries, in verse 28, "follow after me".  Eglon the fantasizer, the leader, was killed first.  After came the slaughter of Moab.  When the leader (fantasizer) was dead, then the whole nation was subdued (verse 30) and the land had rest for 80 years.  When we put our need for security in the LORD, and let Him be our Father, gratitude and praise return and we find our protection in Him and Him alone.  When our world revolves around self and its pleasure then we are in slavery.  When our world revolves around the LORD and pleasing Him, we enjoy life, joy, freedom, peace, and security.  If we choose the path of personal pleasure (which is the path of least resistance) the end is slavery and oppression.  The path to the New City is one of suffering and refusal of the world and its pleasures.  Jesus said if we suffer with Him we will reign with Him.  Once a Christian chooses a path, he or she cannot swap ends.  Whatever path is chosen the end comes with it.  Believers cannot expect reaching the prize, the New City, when a life is lived pleasing self.  Take the two-edged dagger and slay Eglon.  Join your mouth with the LORD's mouth and shove the Word into the fat belly of Eglon until the dirt comes out (verse 22).  Then, the land will have REST!  Our Father is a HAVEN OF REST!!!

#177 (5/23/28)

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

 Please read Revelation 19:11-16.  Take note in verse 15 that out of the LORD's mouth "goeth a sharp sword".  The purpose of the sword is to "smite the nations".  The sword that destroys the nations is His Name and Word.  The LORD desires our mouth to be the same as His---the Word and the Name issuing as a sword from the heart into our mouth, causing destruction to the nations that inhabit Canaan's Land.  

Please turn to James and read chapter 3, verse 5.  The unconverted tongue is a "world of iniquity" and is "set on fire of hell".  Instead of iniquity and fiery hell proceeding out of our mouth, God wants to convert this "little member" so His Name and Word discharge, gush out, and overflow with truth and blessing.  Please read Revelation 12:11.  They overcame by having their tongue and mouth converted into a sharp sword!  Our journey to the New City began with a confession---we spoke the Word.  We let our tongue become a sharp sword by simply repeating what He spoke in the Word of God.  We joined our tongue to His tongue and experienced, personally, the truth, the life, and the power of His Sword.  He desires for us to continually experience this as we move on in our spiritual journey.  

In John chapter 12, verse 49, the words spoken by the Son were given to Him through commandment by the Father.  The Father gives the script to the Son (repeating what He had been commanded to speak) and then passes the script on to believer's (who also repeat what the Father has spoken).  These repeated words are "life everlasting".  By simply repeating the Word already given, we have a personal involvement, a real encounter with "life everlasting".  The equation is quite simple:  God speaks + we repeat = life everlasting!  

Please read Judges 6 and 7.  This is a familiar story about Gideon vanquishing the Midianites.  As you read, notice the many times that Gideon simply repeats what the LORD speaks to him.  He joins his mouth and tongue to the same of the Father; a sword went out of his mouth to destroy the nations (Midian).  Victory came by repeating what had already been spoken by the LORD.  Gideon had a personal encounter with "life everlasting"!


#176 (5/20/18 evening)

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

Please read 2Samuel 24:18-24.   In verse  18, we see that Araunah the Jebusite had a threshingfloor.  Next, in verse 20, Araunah sees the king coming toward him.  David, in verse 24, offers to buy the threshingfloor and the oxen for 50 shekels of silver.  

Please read 1Chronicles 21:18-25.  In verse 18, Gad tells David to go see Ornan the Jebusite.  Ornan sees, in verse 20, an angel.  David, in verse 25, gives Ornan 600 shekels of gold for the threshingfloor (the future site of the Temple of God in Jerusalem).  Who is who and what actually happened?  We see an apparent contradiction in this transaction of David.  Was it Araunah or Ornan?  2Samuel says one thing and 1Chronicles says another.  How can this be explained?  Was the threshingfloor bought for 50 shekels of silver or 600 shekels of gold?  

Araunah and Ornan are the same person.  Araunah is a picture of the old man.  Ornan is a picture of the new man.  Araunah had his eyes on earthly things as he saw the king and his servants approaching.  Ornan had his vision lifted up and saw the spiritual angel accompanying David.  One looked down (the old man) and the other looked up (the new man).  Take note also, that the money given was silver by Araunah and gold by Ornan.  The old man is bought, as it were, with silver, or redemption.  The new man is bought with the gold of wisdom.  Redemption is for the old man and wisdom is for the new man.  The prices were vastly different.  The old man gets just a portion of redemption but, the new man gets an overflowing amount of wisdom.  What's the message  here?  The LORD wants us to repent because He has the gold (wisdom) for the new man to build a temple on top of Mt. Moriah. 

The  LORD, from His lofty position, beholds the Christian as a dual person.  He sees the old man and the new man inhabiting the same heart.  The old man sees people (the king) while using his eyesight to concentrate on earthly things.  This needs to be redeemed.  Conversely, the new man sees the angel (spiritual things) while using its eyesight to look past the people and see the LORD.  He wants us to build a Temple of praise with the wisdom given us through the new man.  The gold of wisdom enables us to build our own sanctuary of praise in Jerusalem on top of Mt. Moriah!  

#175 (5/20/18 morning)

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

This sermonette is primarily about David, so let's turn to 2Samuel 24:10.  David confessed with his own words to the LORD that he had sinned by numbering the people.  David was the king and leader of Israel.  As such, he had a dual responsibility to repent for sin;  as leader and for self.  A leader's sin effects who he is leading.  In this case, the sin of David redounded unto Israel.  

Please read 2Samuel 24:1.  Here we see why David numbered Israel.  First, God was angry with the nation and secondly, God moved David to do so.  

Going further in the story, please turn to 1Chronicles, chapter 21, verse 1.  The LORD was angry with Israel and had an instrument He could use to judge the nation---Satan.  The LORD moved David through Satan.   Now let's find out why God was angry.  

In 2Samuel 15:1-6, we read about how Absalom, David's son, used his charisma to steal the hearts of the men of Israel.  In verse 6, the word "stole" means to deceive and use deception.  The LORD was angry with Israel because they rejected the anointed king and were willingly influenced by deception.  Absalom leads a revolt against his father and David has to flee Jerusalem.  Please read 2Samuel 16:15.  Look what the verse says:  "and all the people and the men of Israel came to Jerusalem".  Israel made Absalom their king!  They anointed him themselves---never mind there was already an anointed king who was fleeing for his life. 

There is a battle between David and Absalom and David prevailed.  Please read 2Samuel 19:10.  Because Absalom was killed, Israel reacted (verse 9 of chapter 19).  There was strife throughout all the tribes of Israel.  Someone gets a revelation and says they need to go get David back to Jerusalem to be king.  Later, in chapter 19, Judah brings the king back and Israel gets angry about not being involved with David's return.  In chapter 20, verses 1 and 2, they again reject David and turn to Sheba "a man of Belial"!  They rejected David as king twice!  God was angry because Israel never repented of their sin of rebellion and rejection of the anointed king.  You reap what you sow.  You get whipped by what you sin by.  God used David to bring judgment on Israel because they did not repent.  The very one they twice spurned and repulsed became the instrument to bring judgment on the nation. 

In 2Samuel 24:3, Joab knew it was wrong for the king to number the people, and says so to David.  Verse 4 tells us that the "king's word prevailed against Joab, and against the captain's of the host".  David had a group of very influential diplomats telling him not to number the people but, out of his own pride, being moved by Satan and ultimately God, the event happened.  Seventy thousand men lost their lives to pestilence as a consequence of David's pride (24:15).  Who died?  The ones who rebelled against the anointed king and never repented.  Again, a leader has a dual responsibility to repent for his personal sin and the sin committed as a leader.  


#174 (5/17/18)

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

Please read Exodus 3:1-6.  Moses' attention is drawn to a bush that is on fire but is not being consumed by the flame.  This is curious to him, so he ventures closer.  Notice in verse two the LORD in angelic form was in the midst of the bush.  Also take note that Moses was drawn to the bush, not the angel in the bush, the cause of the flame and light.  In verse three Moses calls the bush a "great sight", why it is not burnt.  The word "midst" in verse two is Labe or worker heart.  So, we can conclude, out of the Labe heart of the LORD a fire burned that caused the "place" (verse five) to be holy ground.  The LORD in the midst of anything makes that "place" holy.  The command in verse five was for Moses to remove his shoes---which he didn't do.  His shoes hindered the fire from the Labe heart of God to reach his feet and move up into his own Labe (worker) heart.  

We find the mystery of shoes and what they represent in the Book of Ruth.  Boaz wanted to redeem Ruth but there was a kinsman nearer to Ruth than himself.  He gathered the elders at the city gate and invited this nearer kinsman to have the opportunity to redeem Ruth or choose not to.  The symbol that explained he could not redeem her was the removal of his shoe.  So, we see that wearing shoes is a symbol of fleshly redemption.  God told Moses to take off his redemption.  The removal of his shoes was to show that he couldn't redeem Israel from Egyptian slavery.  Moses never possessed the fire of God's Labe heart that made that "place" holy ground.  Moses did not possess Canaan's Land because he didn't take his shoes of redemption from off his feet.  Moses was enthralled with the bush, the creation, rather than the angel (the source of fire) in the bush that made the ground holy.  In our personal circumstances and events, it behooves us to keep our eyes OFF the creation and look to possess the fire of the holy ground in that "place".  We can do one of two things in our personal events:  possess the fire from the holy ground by removing our shoes (redemption), or, reject the fire and the movement of the flame into our Labe heart.  Our personal situations are "holy ground".  The LORD wants us to stop redeeming, take off our shoes, and look for the fire (God) in the situation.  

Back to Ruth.  Ruth, the Moabitess widow, walked and possessed Canaan's Land (and the fire) with her shoes off, as it were.  She allowed the flame, with each step, to rise from the ground (her personal circumstance) and make a permanent change in her heart.  She was a complete stranger to the Jewish religion but when she arrived at her destination, with Naomi, EVERYONE knew she was a virtuous woman.  She possessed the land and the fire!  The fire went up into her worker heart and was a witness to all those around her that she possessed virtue.  The fire in her heart spoke in her behalf!  

Samuel's sons were not virtuous men, to the point that Israel rejected them and demanded Samuel give them a king.  Later, in prayer, the LORD told Samuel to go ahead and give them a king; Israel had not rejected Samuel but God.  Israel rejected the fire in that situation and came up with their own redemptive plan (they refused to remove their shoes).  

Joshua, one of the original four that entered into Canaan's Land, let the fire enter his heart as he possessed, with every step, the fire of the holy ground.  He encouraged Israel by causing them to remember what He had already done and that God was well able to help them conquer the promised land.  He had long ago taken off his shoes, stopped rejecting, and found the holiness in every situation.  The LORD would like us to be a Joshua in this regard.