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Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Flood

As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be before the coming of the Son of Man. There is a sense in the spiritual world among many Believers that those days approach; if not already here. The Bible speaks of a time when men will be totally consumed with survival, at any cost, that they will consume their own flesh to keep things as they are. They will not offer assistance to those in need, because they have no supply or assistance to give. A fear factor sets into the human equation and they end up consuming themselves, spiritually, mentally and financially.


I think often of the wise and foolish virgins in the parable of Christ. The wise would not share their oil; not out of greed, but because of great fear that they would run out themselves.


What is the purpose of Believer's in these last of days? The Torah portion read in synagogues across the world this Sabbath gives a verse that sheds light on the desire of God. We live in a day when whole nations are in between either mercy or judgment. Israel was in the same position in the days of the Prophet Samuel. Samuel reiterated for Israel the sins of the past and their foolishness of sitting aside God as King and choosing King Saul instead. But, even with this history behind Israel, Samuel said, " Moreover, as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and right way..." (1 Samuel 12:23).


It is a sin before God when one does not intercede for others. No matter their sin, no matter their offense, no matter the number of times, we are to lift up their names before God, who is merciful, forgiving and full of compassion. Perhaps, by His Spirit He will take charge of the person's captivity, sin, and despair and set them free. Some claim the position of being priests and kings before God. The function of a Priest before God is not only to minister unto Him, but to offer intense intercession on behalf of the people. Am I doing this? Do I have a severe burden for the lost in my family, my friends and my nation?


Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before God and interceded for the people who had arrogantly rebelled against their leadership. Is this the intercessory heart that beats within my chest? Or would I rather fight back, justify and defend myself?



" God, forgive me, for not having a full understanding that it pleased You to afflict Your Son with my sins and having a full understanding and comprehension that He poured out His soul, everything that He was on my behalf, even unto death. A cursed death because it was on a cross. If I am also a child of God am I expected to do less? Have I continued in the afflictions of Christ?"


The flood approaches, the Bridegroom has tarried, the oil is running low; do I have enough?
Do I intercede for others? This is the calling of that is acceptable to God. Time has been lost; never to be recovered. My He allow me to redeem the times when I have been unwilling, or to ignorant to interceed.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Learning How To Pray

When issues, testings and problems that seem unsolvable come my way, I usually turn to the Psalms or the Book of Isaiah for comfort, guidance and encouragement. What I am in the process of learning, which may be helpful to other Believers, is finding examples from the Bible that are similar to my present problems that can guide my prayers as I take them to God.


A great example from Scripture regards king Jehoshaphat in the Book of 2 Chronicles (18:31). This king went down in history as having a heart to seek God. Still, he became intertwined in marriage and relationship to the wicked king Ahab of Jezebel fame and sin. When the Syrians were preparing to invade Ahab's domain (Israel) Ahab requested, and received help from Jehoshaphat. Many Believers have become intertwined with the world system of finance.


Although he had to have known better, Jehoshaphat assisted Ahab. It almost cost him his life. In the heat of the battle with the enemy 2 Chronicles 18 says that Syrian warriors compassed about Jehoshaphat's chariot to fight; but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him and God moved the Syrians to depart from him.


How many of us have become entangled with the affairs of this world; especially the financial issues of our capitalist society? How many have fallen into this trap of the enemy? Some have swallowed hook, line and sinker the societal belief that debt is good, things are important, items that are not conducive to Godliness were once in the not to distant past considered necessities?


As the chariots of these our enemies surround us, we, as king Jehoshaphat can cry out to God for deliverance from our foolishness, entanglements and mistakes. I am sure that in the heat of the battle this godly king was sorry he had even heard the name of Ahab! How could he have been so stupid to fall for this wicked kings advice and request for assistance?


If God answered, and delivered Jehoshaphat, will He not also rescue all who cry out for salvation from an enemy? As in the days of old, when one cries out to God, He hears. He has not, nor will He ever change.


There is great comfort from a prayer of Jehoshaphat in 1 Chronicles (16:27) ~
" Glory and honor are in His Presence-
strength and gladness are in His place. "


vs. 32 " Give thanks unto the LORD for He is good-
for His mercy endureth forever."


In my opinion, finding an example of prayers of Godly men and women in Scripture, as they compare to our individual circumstances, are an important aspect of moving the heart of our Father. It is His word; He has given these examples of His faithfulness, mercies and kindness to all mankind, who after all, are but made of the dust of the earth. As we grow from day to day in Godliness, into a creation of His making. Our goal must be to bring glory and praise to His name.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST - Leonard Ravenhill

PART ONE





PART TWO









PART THREE






PART FOUR






PART FIVE







PART SIX






PART SEVEN






PART EIGHT







PART NINE


Anquish Of Eli

The Book of Samuel speaks of a Priesthood that had fallen into disarray. Two sons of the High Priest were corrupt; taking the best of the offerings and sacrifice the people were giving to God and consuming them for themselves. The position of the priesthood and the assigned duties had fallen so far that these two Priests were even laying with the young women who made the yearly pilgrimage to the Temple.


Given the condition and scandals of some national ministries in the United States, I thought and compared it with the condition of Israel in Eli's day. The historical facts in the Bible are to be a blueprint and a guide for us. Mankind has not changed; the human willingness to walk away from the things of God has increased.



God sent a small child, Samuel, to correct the condition of the Priesthood. Eli had been warned repeatedly to correct the situation with his two sons. At one time this elderly man had to hear the voice of God or he would not have risen to the Priesthood. What happened?!



Samuel's mother, who was barren for years, asked God for a son. In her sadness and heaviness of heart she promised God that she would dedicate her son to the Temple as soon as he was weaned. And she did. Little Samuel in the middle of such corruption! Laying in bed one evening he heard a voice; he thought it was the voice of Eli, the High Priest. Three times little Samuel inquired of Eli what he wanted. Eli finally realized that it was God calling out to Samuel. If Eli knew it was God calling; that God Himself was in one of the hallways or rooms of the Temple, he did not care enough to rise up out of bed himself to see what He wanted?


Is it possible that Eli already had a sense of what God was going to say? Did he not want to hear it for himself? Was he afraid or did he just not care. I am reminded of the Children of Israel in the Wilderness when God appeared on the mountain and they grew fearful and afraid of His voice and His appearance. They all cried out for Moses to go to speak with Him and to come back and tell them what He had said. Why the fear? What were they hiding? Did they have a sense that God could see through the things they were hiding in their hearts and spirit? They felt comfortable and confident that they could pick apart what Moses said; but they could not face God Himself.



Is there something in my spirit that fears to approach God? When I hear His voice speaking to my spirit do I already know what He is going to say, and roll over in my bed and just fall asleep? I can identify with Eli and his two sons because I am a former ministers son. I can identify with the people coming to the temple to offer sacrifice and being confronted with ungodly, wicked Priests because I have seen it in my lifetime in newsprint and on television and on the news in my day.



Is anyone listening for the still small voice of God? Does anyone hear? Is everyone just rolling over in their place of rest because they already know what He is going to say? Eli confronted Samuel the next morning and demanded from him what God had said. This elder High Priest, who had neglected to discipline his sons told little Samuel that if he did not tell him everything, may the same thing happen to him that Eli knew was going to happen to his household. Eli knew, because he was told that those that honor God would be honored by Him; those who despise Him shall be lightly esteemed.



Soon thereafter, in one hour the house of Eli fell; his two sons were killed in battle, the Ark was captured by the Philistines and Eli fell over from his chair and broke his neck and died. There is no record that Eli cried out to God for forgiveness. There is no record that he ever took his sons outside of the gates of the city to have them stoned because of their rebellion against God and the shame they had brought to God's House. One of Eli's sons had a child born and his wife called the child ICHABOD meaning The Glory Is Departed from Israel. The Eli Priesthood fell, never to arise again.



God is serious about His holiness. He said He is holy, so we are to be holy.


The "not caring" attitude is deadly. Can one become so comfortable in their relationship with God that they take Him for granted? Is it possible to think that He is just like us? Is it possible as it says in the book of Isaiah to kindle our own fire and live by its light; far removed from the light of God?



What was the background of little Samuel? I think the prayer of Hannah, his mother gives great insight. This woman, so distressed, forsaken and barren, in the middle of a Priesthood that was corrupt and full of everything that stood against God, sought after, found, and experienced God for herself. She did not have to have someone do it for her! Her prayer is in 1 Samuel 2:1-10 ~


" My heart rejoiceth in the LORD,
mine horn (strength) is exalted in the LORD:
my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies;
because I rejoice in Thy salvation."


" There is none holy as the LORD;
for there is none beside Thee:
neither is there any rock like our God."


" Talk no more so exceeding proudly/
let not arrogance come out of your mouth:
for the LORD is a God of knowledge,
and by Him actions are weighted."


" The bows of the mighty men are broken,
and they that stumbled are girded with strength.
They that were full have hired themselves out for bread;
and they that were hungry ceased:
so that the barren hath born seven;
and she that hath many children is waxed feeble."


" The LORD killeth,
and maketh alive:
He bringeth down to the grave,
and bringeth up."


" The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich:
He bringeth low and lifteth up.
He raiseth up the poor out of the dust,
and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill,
to set them among princes,
and to make them inherit the throne of glory:
for the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S,
and He hath set the world upon them. "


" He will keep the feet of His saints,
and the wicked shall be silent in darkness;
for by strength shall no man prevail."


" The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces;
out of heaven shall He thunder upon them:
the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth;
and He shall give strength unto His king,
and exalt the horn of His anointed. "



The insight and understanding of Hannah! And the High Priest, one who should be first to hear the voice of God thought she was drunk when she first appeared at the temple.




Do I hear the voice of God for myself; or do I depend upon another? If He spoke to a small child, should He not speak to me? If I hear Him in the still of the night will I arise and listen, or say as the Beloved in the Song of Solomon that I have already retired for the evening and will listen later at a more convenient time? Do I go to a priest, a minister or deacon for a word from God or do I pass through for myself?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Crucified With Christ?

Seed Of David


In the past I have been hindered in my prayer life by thoughts of the promises of God from His Word and whether they were applicable to me personally. Can I claim the fact that God has said He will appoint unto them that are in Zion beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness (Isaiah 61:3)?



I believe this issue has been settled once and for all in my mind! Yes, the promises are also for me; here in the state of West Virginia, thousands of miles from physical Mt. Zion in the land of Israel!



In my prayer time the Book of Psalms comes to the forefront. Passages, prayers, thoughts and promises are embedded in my spirit because of something I previously read in that wonderful book of instruction. Many of the ways of God are revealed in this wonderful Book of worship, singing and revelation of His desires and ways with mankind.


What could motivate our Father more than hearing His own words, as recorded, in the Book of Psalms and other prayers recorded for our instruction? Nothing motivates earthly fathers more than hearing their small children repeat words they parent has spoken in the past. I remember my son sometimes being like a tape recorder while he was growing up, repeating things I had said. Is our Father any different? We are created in His image.



A word that has been going through my mind for quite some time is "seed". The promises to the seed of Abraham - the seed of King David. I was not born in natural Israel; do these promises belong to me? The following passages cleared up this issue for me and I can now pray with great confidence that the promises are for me on a personal level, in everyday life issues.


* Psalm 18~
Great deliverance giveth He to His king, and showeth mercy to His anointed, to David and to his seed forevermore.


* Jesus said ~ the good seed are the children of the Kingdom (Matthew 13:38)


* Luke 1:54,55 says He spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed forever. He hath helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy. Acts 3:25 says that "in thy seed (Abraham) shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed."


* John 7:43 says hath not the Scripture said, that Christ cometh out of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? Galatians 3:29 says, "if ye be Christ'[s - then are ye Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise.


For me to get a clear, personal view and understanding of these facts have greatly enhanced my confidence in prayer; my requests, praise and petitions with an acknowledgement of who I am before the Almighty! I can, as the Apostle said, approach the throne with boldness, through Christ, and make my requests known. The Psalms teach me and give an example of how to make that approach; with thanksgiving and praise as King David so aptly taught us to do.



Romans 4:16,17 assures us that it is of faith ( our knowing and having confidence of our position with the Father)that it might be by grace (favor given only by Him), to the end the promises might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the Law, but to that also which if of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all (as it is written, I (God) has made Abraham the father of many nations), according to that which was spoken, so shall thy seed be.


Precious promises have been sitting on the shelf of our hearts waiting to be fulfilled. Great relief has been there for the taking for all of our circumstances. Only the realization of our position in the heavens, where God dwells, that He hears and answers our petitions, is waiting for our acknowledgement of our position in Him!


We who are the seed of Abraham, David and Christ need to remind ourselves daily of who we really are. No power, no principality, no demon or angel can rob us of that position if we have a full understanding that we are to be kings and priests before our God. Kings making righteous decisions in their daily interactions; priests, whose main function was to minister to God first, then to intercede for the lost and dying around them. Just as Christ did and continues to do for us, sitting at the right hand of the Father, we are to do in kind for others.


At the end of the age, all will be presented back to the Father of all! May we be found worthy and not be ashamed at His coming.


What initiated this process are the actions and promises of God in Psalm 18. They set the scene of when God finally becomes fed up with our condition and comes down to answer. He will do this for us ~

He hears our cry.

He becomes wroth at our situation.

The earth (things around us) shook and trembled.

Foundations of the hills (what hinders us) move and were shake.

Smoke came from His nostrils and fire out of His mouth devoured; coals were kindled; He bowed the heavens and comes down on our behalf.

Darkness covered His feet. He made darkness His secret place. Dark waters and thick clouds were His covering. (He is at work, but we cannot perceive it!)

He flew on the wing of the wind on Cherub. He thundered in the heavens and gave His voice - hailstones and coals of fire-He sent arrows and scattered them and shot out lightenings and discomfitted them (the forces that have been hindering our walk with Him.)

Channels of water were seen and the foundations exposed at His rebuke at the breath of His nostrils. (things deeply hidden in our spirit are exposed and need to be dealt with - immediately!)

He sent from above and drew us out - He delivers us.


The results of His appearing on our behalf?
1. By Him I have run through a troop and lept over the walls.
2. As for God His ways are prefect.
3. Who is God, save the LORD?
4. Who is a Rock save our God?
5. He teaches my hands to war - I can bend a bow of iron!
6. He gave me the shield of salvation and His right hand holds me up. (I am never, never independent of His protection, never)
7. Throughout this process, He enlarges my steps and I will not slip.
8. He has girded me with strength for the battle.
9. He has subdued those that rose up against me.
10. It is God that avengeth me and delivers me from my enemies.
11. He lifts me up against those who rise up against me.


THEREFORE!
I will give thanks unto Thee, O LORD, among the heathen! and sing praises unto Thy Name. Great deliverance giveth He to His king; and showeth mercy to His annointed, to David and to his seed forevermore. We are the seed of David through Christ.

PRAY IN GREAT CONFIDENCE OF WHO WE ARE IN HIM.


Friday, June 5, 2009

THE TREE

When Christ was being led to His final destination at Golgotha, the place of the skull to offer Himself up as a perfect sacrificial offering for our sins, a group of tearful women followed Him crying and weeping at even the thought of losing the One they love.


Jesus looked upon them and said, " Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, 'Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed! They they will say to the mountains, 'Fall on us!' and to the hills, 'cover us!'



" For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry? "


From all natural perception the tree is dryer than it has ever been; I would say that regarding the acts of mankind the very roots have withered and are dead. But, through His master plan, in the midst of great darkness their arises a light in the souls of those whose only desire is Him! The darker it gets the more the light of the Spirit shines in our lives. For a natural perception it looks hopeless. And, from a natural perception, it truly is. But those who are of a heavenly mindset and filled with the Spirit of the Living God do not live, thrive and operate in the natural.



He has given precious promises to His own that we need to reintroduce into our spirit on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. He has promised that those who seek Him will be like trees growing by rivers of living waters! The roots run deep and wide!


The drier it gets in the natural the deeper our roots go. There is a "miracle grow" from the Spirit that is available for the taking for all who acknowledge He is needed and makes the request. It will arise so that out of our belly, our soul, will flow rivers of living water. Water that is not polluted by the things of this world. Pure, fresh, living water that satisfy our thirst and brings live and well being to those around us if they so desire.



This is our mission. This is our purpose.



Yes the green tree of this world is dead. But the tree of life is at our disposal for the taking! Ask daily that our roots continue to grow and mature. There is a storm on the horizon.

Monday, June 1, 2009

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS-FAITH

" If faith is to stand us in good stead in the hour of emergency,
it must be regularly nurished by the Word;
if it is not, the terrors of earth will be real to us,
and the comforts of heaven will be unreal. "


" Unless faith appropriates that grand truth, " If God be for us,
who can be against us..."
we shall neither have peace ourselves nor be qualified to quiet the fears of others. "



Author Pink Bible Commentary