Saturday, April 28, 2012
I was the song bird of my three brothers. Looking back on perhaps 50 years, the words to this song give me great insight of what I have experienced over those years, and more importantly, the purpose of many of those experiences.
HE WASHED MY EYES WITH TEARS
" He washed my eyes with tears that I might see,
The broken heart I had was good for me;
He tore it all apart and looked inside,
He found it full of fear and foolish pride."
"He swept away the things that made me blind
And then I saw the clouds were silver lined;
And now I understand 'twas best for me
He washed my eyes with tears that I might see."
"He washed my eyes with tears that I might see,
The glory of Himself revealed to me;
I did not know that He has wounded hands
I saw the blood He spilt upon the sands.
I saw the marks of shame and wept and cried;
He was my substitute for me He died;
And now I'm glad He came so tenderly;
And washed my eyes with tears that I might see."
* Many, many are the afflictions of the righteous, as the Bible says, but rest assured that each and every one serves an eternal purpose. The steps of a righteous person are ordered by God; He does what is necessary to bring us closer to Him. Our revelation of His faithfulness and His great compassion's are evident in our past times of tears. King David cried into the night in his effort to find the heart of God in every circumstance. We are no different. It will be worth it all when we see Jesus!
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Are you being sifted? We, like Peter, have an Advocate with the Father. The sifting of Peter took to pride and arrogance away in short order. I cannot begin to imagine how he must have felt after the rooster crowed three times after he denied that he even knew Jesus. What horror must of overcome him; what terror and shame as he ran to cover his face! Like Judas, I feel that he contemplated taking his own life.
He had been so bold and brazen in his statements regarding his faithfulness to Christ. He even walked on the water! Is it possible that the sifting was necessary to remove the pride, arrogance, self assurance from Peter? If anything was going to do this for Peter, this must have surely done it. He finally realized that he was nothing in himself; he must be totally dependent upon Christ in all things.
Hosea 6:1-3 gives an excellent picture of this process that God uses from time to time; even on a national level. "Come and let us return unto the LORD: for He hath torn, and He will heal us; He has smitten, and He will bind us up. After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight. Then we shall know, if we follow on to know the LORD: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth."
Hosea is saying "do not lose heart or hope!" He will heal for He has torn, or allowed the tearing, like Christ allowed Satan to sift Peter. It all serves a purpose, no matter how painful it is. And do not be deceived, it is very painful. But, it serves an eternal purpose. Hosea also says, "then we shall follow on to know the LORD."
We will know Him in a deeper sense; in a way that could not have happened any other way. "His going forth is prepared as the morning". God does not have to make things up as He goes along; it has been predetermined before the morning breaks what will happen to those who love Him. Never think that He is playing "catch up" on our behalf. Just as Christ told Peter, "after you have repented, go and strengthen your brethren."
We learn through the sifting. We learn about ourselves, the faithfulness of our God, and our total dependence upon God. We learn that no matter how far we think we have come in our knowledge or walk with Him, we will always be totally dependent upon Him. We learn that we cannot go by our feelings; He is always with us, praying for us and giving us strength and hope through the Holy Spirit residing in us.
Isaiah 30:28-30 is an excellent example of those of the nations who do not have our hope in God during the sifting, "And His breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err."
But what of us? "Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the LORD, to the Mighty One of Israel. And the LORD shall cause His glorious voice to be heard, and show the lightening down His arm, with the indignation of His anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones."
Just like a stream of brimstone sets fire to the rebellious ones, His mighty arm is just as capable to save those that are His. We are His! He is with us in the sifting process. Never lose heart; it is serving an eternal purpose. He who has promised to be with us until the very end is faithful and true.
This life is just a dress rehearsal for our station in eternity!
Saturday, April 21, 2012
By Don Finto (excerpt)
In the late 7th century before the coming of Yeshua, Hezekiah was a king that “did what was right in the in the eyes of the Lord” (2 Kings 18:3). When the Assyrians conquered the northern kingdom of Israel and invaded Judah, however, the situation seemed hopeless. Hezekiah cried out to the Lord. God heard his prayers and sent the prophet Isaiah to proclaim the downfall of the Assyrians and the deliverance of Judah.
"That night the Angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning - there were all the dead bodies. So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew" (19:35-36).
If God can destroy an entire army and bring a mighty nation to its knees in one night, He is fully capable of meeting all the needs and fulfilling all the dreams that He initiates in our lives. The Bible is a testimony of God’s glory and power. And that same power that King Hezekiah and the people of Judah saw on that great day is available to you today! So let us pray bold prayers and expect the impossible!
Friday, April 20, 2012
let all the people praise Thee.
O let the nations be glad and sing for joy;
for Thou shalt judge the people righteously,
and govern the nations upon the earth. Selah."
"Let the people praise Thee, O God;
let all the people praise Thee."
"Then shall the earth yield her increase;
and God, even our own God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear Him."
I am finding out that praise to God, no matter our circumstance, surroundings or feeling is a key that moves His heart. In these four verses in Psalm 67 the word praise is mentioned four times; blessing from God is mentioned in various ways after we offer praise; we will sing and be glad, the earth will yield her increase and we will be blessed of God.
The key is praise to Him!
"Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah: To Him that rideth upon the heavens, which were of old; lo, He doth send out His voice, and that a mighty voice."
"Ascribe ye strength unto God: His excellency is over Israel, and His strength is in the clouds. O God, Thou art terrible out of Thy holy places: the God of Israel is He that giveth strength and power unto His people. Selah." (Psalm 68:32-35)
Sunday, April 15, 2012
" The name Gethsemane in Hebrew is "Gat Shmanim, meaning "Oil Press." It is the place where olives are brought and crushed; the skin and pit are strained and separated. The result is pure olive oil. Oil is a consistent biblical symbol for the anointing of the Holy Spirit. There is little doubt that Yeshua (Jesus) chose this place with this name on purpose."
"We all want the oil; we want the anointing; the power of the Holy Spirit. The anointing oil brings protection, provision and prosperity (Psalm 23:5), wisdom and authority to rule (1 Samuel 16:13) joy (Psalm:45:7. Hebrews 1:9), healing and deliverance (Mark 6:13, James 5:14), light and revelation (Exodus 25:6, 1 John 2:27, Revelation 3:18); ability to preach and prophecy (Isaiah 61:1) intimacy in worship (Song of Solomon 1:3, Matthew 25:3, Mark 14:3), and much more."
There is a dynamic relationship between the oil and the press. They are opposites that balance out one another. At Gat Shmanim (Gethsemane) Yesuua (Jesus) embraced the cross. He forced His will to submit (Matthew 26:39). It is a place of darkness, depression and difficulty (Matthew 26:37). It is a place of self denial (Matthew 16:24); a place to be crushed; to obey unto death; to be tested; to pass through humiliation and suffering; to intercede to the point of blood, sweat, and tears."
" The oil certainly seems more attractive than the oil press. Yet there is no oil without the press. The oil is produced at the oil press. There is no other way to produce true oil. On the other hand, the purpose of the press is to obtain the oil. To suffer in obedience without obtaining that oil is not according to the heart of God. The press is for the oil. The oil comes from the press."
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Jesus said that as it was in the days of Noah, it would be like that in the days before He returns
Angels disrobed themselves and cohabiting with women in the days before Noah; they produced a strange offspring of giants and men of renown
There were still giants in the land in the days of King David; it is as if Satan was trying to pollute the human gene pool in an effort to prevent the "seed of the woman from bruising his head..." as foretold after the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden
We are not to worship Angels, the good ones are God's messengers
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Isaiah 8: 11-14 says, " For the LORD spoke thus to me and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people....Do not say we will band together and be victorious: do not fear what they fear, do not be afraid. Sanctify the LORD of Host (armies) Himself and let Him be your dread. And He shall be for a sanctuary, but for a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to both houses of Israel."
Chapter 5:18-20 gives picture of a people that have convinced themselves that what they had accomplished would be admired by God. They were in a hurry for His decision of what they had done. " Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope: That say, Let him make speed, and hasten his work that we may see it; and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it!"
What were the thoughts of God? The same as His thoughts are for many today; "Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!"
It is an awful thought to think that what we have been working out on our own way, with our own will and plans could very well be for nought. If we leave God out of our plans they may succeed for a short season but bear no real fruit. When our nation and the world will finally reach the days of accounting it will be too late and many will be astonished and not know what is happening. We are not to be like that. We are children of the Living God. He is ever ready to comfort and guide us.
Let God be our fear and our dread- acknowledge His power, do His will, His way. Let Him be our protection. We are not to fear as the world fears. Brother David Wilkerson has stated that our response to very bad news or disaster is a sudden tinge of fear; this is human. But we are to recover quickly and realise that God is in control of all events. We are safe in Him. We are secure; do not fear any event that may come upon our nation or the world.
Friday, April 6, 2012
I really feel from the LORD that He has shown me the deeper side of our battles with people we do not particularly care for or even like. They need deep, serious prayer and intercession to God on their behalf. When I remember what God has done with me; His patience, love and mercy, I am humbled. How can God forgive one like me, and not this fellow also?
I was totally honest with God when I prayed about this the first time. I told God that I felt like such a hypocrite! Like I was lying to God when I prayed for this fellow's salvation from judgement. After this honest statement I started to see the eternal state of such people; even people I dislike. The LORD showed me in a real sense in my spirit that time is short. Never another chance after death to make amends, but judgment, never to be reversed.
I watched this fellow when there was an event at our school and although there were dozens of people gathered around eating and having a good social time enjoying each others company, there was this fellow, sitting by himself. Not a soul around him. I started to get offended that he, my supervisor did not tell the rest of the crew that the food was free, to come help ourselves, it did not take long for me to look at my waste line and realize I could do without a meal; do not get mad!
A poor, lost soul that is so miserable that he does not know what to do with himself. Only in Christ is there any comfort or rest. We are all running short on time to make things right in all areas. God is a great God of forgiveness, not willing that any should perish. Jesus died for all; He so love the world, not just us alone.
It does not take me long to think of the one person that I dislike the most; ;it is this fellow. I am getting over this through intercession on behalf of his salvation. God loves him as well as me. Although I was called in front of my superiors because of some of his actions to cause me harm, I pray for him.
Today in prayer before I took a nap, I was led to a passage of Scripture that explained for me what I have been going through. We can all use the concepts therein and apply it to our most difficult circumstances. God's word is eternal; like Him, it never changes. The passage is in Psalm 31:19-24~
" Oh how great is Thy goodness which Thou hath laid up for them that fear Thee; which Thou hath wrought for them that trust in Thee before the sons of men."
"Thou shalt hide them in the secret of Thy Presence from the pride of man: Thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues."
" Blessed be the LORD, for He hath shewed me His marvellous kindness in a strong city (a very difficult place). For I said in my haste, I am cut off forever before Thine eyes. (I felt vulnerable, hung out to dry and on my own until I prayed for those causing trouble)...
"Nevertheless (!) Thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto Thee. O love the LORD, all ye His saints:
for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer (God will eventually take care of our adversaries) Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD."
No matter the issue; Fear God, Hope in God, Cry out and trust Him. Do nothing in haste, He will hide and keep us. He has a pavilion in which we can run. He preserves His faithful because He has said He would. We have an entire Bible of examples of Him doing so; usually at the last minute. Brother David Wilkerson used to say that the hardest part of faith is the "last half hour"!
The Psalmist says "He prepares a table for me in the presence of mine enemies"! A table is for dining and conversation and there is food at a this particular table of enemies that contains a meat we do not usually get to eat! God prepared that table. Do not run, He serves the dish! Oh how much we learn as we go to that table! He is also Master of the occasion and nothing will happen that He would not allow. We learn through the entire meal.
Hope in the LORD, not ourselves, again I say, Hope in the LORD!
Newsletter from Time Square Church-NYC-Pastor Carter Conlon
“A GREAT MULTITUDE OF ALL NATIONS AND KINDREDS AND PEOPLES AND LANGUAGES” (REV. 7:9). tscnyc.org
VOL VIII / ISSUE 4 / APRIL 2012
HUNTING A PARTRIDGE IN THE MOUNTAINS
by Carter Conlon
Much of the church in our generation seems to have been on a never-ending pursuit of God—only to emerge with little fruit to show for it. As a result, I believe a cry has come into the hearts of many of God’s people today: “I have sought God in the only way that I know, the only way I have been taught. I have tried to find Him in all the places they said He was, but I could never seem to lay hold of Him. I feel like the psalmist who cried out, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?’ (Psalms 22:1–2). I cry, but it is as if God does not hear me. Why?”
Suddenly it seems all our religious activity has come to a screeching halt, and we realize that despite all our seeking of God, we still fail to impact our society the way the church of Jesus Christ ought to. Now we finally have the sense to stop and ask the question: Lord, why have we been seeking You but You have not been answering us? I believe something within the story of Saul and David answers this question. Let’s look at the relationship between them as a type of your and my relationship with Jesus Christ.
SAUL AND DAVID
Although he was king over the nation of Israel and master of his own destiny, Saul eventually came up against an enemy that he instinctively knew was too strong for him (see 1 Samuel 17). He and all the people under his leadership stood trembling before a Philistine giant named Goliath. In the midst of his dilemma, David, a type of Christ, came to Saul with words of courage and faith: “Do not fear. I am going to go fight this battle for you, and I am going to win” (see 1 Samuel 17:32, 37).
Saul ended up embracing what appeared to be a foolish battle plan. A young boy filled with a heart of faith and a desire to see God glorified in the earth went out to fight for him. It was a battle plan that Saul would not have considered had he remained strong in himself. Similarly, if we have the courage to admit it, we would not have considered Christ if we had not eventually come to recognize our inability to win our battles in our own strength.
David went into the valley and decapitated the power of the enemy’s army. Saul soon found himself in hot pursuit of the enemy although he was actually getting the spoils of another man’s victory. When you and I embraced the cross, we too, entered into a power and victory that was not our own. It was Jesus Christ who won the battle over the powers of darkness. It was Jesus who unlocked our prison doors, brought healing to our wounded hearts and gave sight to our blinded eyes.
After this great victory, Saul took David home and made him a part of his household (see 1 Samuel 18:2). Similarly, when we came to Christ, we didn’t leave Him at church. We took Him home just as Saul took David home. David sat at Saul’s table, just as you have Jesus at your table when you open the Bible and spend time with Him.
Saul also benefitted from David’s skillful musicianship (see 1 Samuel 16:16–23). The Bible doesn’t specify, but it is likely that a spirit of worship coming from David’s heart as he played on that harp caused an evil spirit which was troubling Saul to let go of him. Today we have the assurance that the Lord “...will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17). Perhaps there have been days when you felt heavy and oppressed, and your mind seemed to be caught in a tangled web of attacks. Yet after worshiping, you found that your mind was suddenly clear and that this evil had lost its hold.
In many ways, we find ourselves in a place very similar to where Saul was in his relationship with David. Eventually, however, something happened that began to separate the two of them. Likewise, I believe that in our generation, something has begun to separate Christ from His church. If we are wise, we will stop and consider: What happened in this relationship between Saul and David?
THE TURNING POINT
“And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of music. And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? And Saul eyed David from that day and forward” (1 Samuel 18:6–9).
Here is the key: Up until this point, Saul was still in control of his own life, and David was merely a wonderful addition to his kingdom. This is exactly how many people regard Jesus Christ today, which is not surprising since that is the way He has been portrayed in much of the preaching of our generation. Add Jesus to your plans, add Him to your career, add Him to your self-image. Just add Jesus! He is the power of God and will make a wonderful addition to your kingdom.
Things took a turn in their relationship when one day it dawned on Saul: David was increasing and he was decreasing. Remember, John the Baptist said of Jesus, “He must increase, and I must decrease.” Suddenly Saul realized, “Wait, David hasn’t come to be a wonderful addition to my kingdom—he has come to be the next king!” From hat day forward, Saul gathered his men and began to pursue David.
Most people do not have a problem adding Jesus to their agenda, but the thought of His becoming king and their becoming His subjects is where the real struggle begins. One day they realize the Lord is asking something of them that does not agree with their plans, and they suddenly find themselves at a juncture. Unfortunately many people, just like Saul, refuse to yield the throne. Of course, very few would have the courage to openly admit, “I am walking away from Jesus,” so they continue their pursuit of Christ. However, the pursuit is now only for the purpose of validating a throne they refuse to yield—an attempt to get the Lord to agree with their own personal agenda.
A FUTILE PURSUIT
“And the Ziphites came unto Saul to Gibeah, saying, Doth not David hide himself in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon? Then Saul arose, and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having three thousand chosen men of Israel with him, to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph” (1 Samuel 26:1–2).
What a classic picture of the type of pursuit of God so common in our generation! Saul would receive a report about where David was, and then with three thousand of his men, he would set off to find him. When the search failed, another report came and off they would go in another direction. Yet in this whole pursuit, he was never able to find David. How frustrating it must have been to always come back empty and seeming like less of a king than when he had set out—a sentiment shared by many today as they return home empty after attending the latest conference or supposed manifestation of Christ.
At one point in the pursuit, David and his servant Abishai had entered the very camp where Saul and his armies were sleeping. “So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul’s bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the Lord was fallen upon them” (1 Samuel 26:12). David took Saul’s spear—a symbol of his strength and ability to make war. He also took Saul’s water bottle, which is the replenishment of God. In the New Testament, this is the spring of living water that Christ promises to those who truly belong to Him.
After they had climbed a hill opposite Saul’s camp and were a safe distance away, David called over to Saul: “Do not let my blood fall to the earth before the face of the Lord. For the king of Israel has come out to seek a flea, as when one hunts a partridge in the mountains” (1 Samuel 26:20, NKJV). David was essentially saying, “You are seeking me, but you cannot find me. It is as if you are hunting a flea or a partridge in the mountains.” Did you know that a partridge can camouflage itself? It may be a foot away from you, yet it can make itself the same color as the leaves and you will easily walk right past it. David continued to call over to Saul, “...Behold the king’s spear! And let one of the young men come over and fetch it” (1 Samuel 26:22). In other words, “We are a mountain apart, but here it is if you want it. Send one of the young men over to fetch it.” If only Saul had possessed a measure of humility in his heart at that point and said, “No, David, I am the one who should have been guarding it. I will come and get it.” It was a wonderful opportunity for Saul to humble himself—a moment that could have made a difference in history. In a sense, he would have been bowing his knee before the real king.
Now consider this scene again, keeping in mind David as the Christ-type and Saul as a type of what the church has become after walking in the stubbornness of our own ways. In our spiritual slumber, the Lord has come and taken our spear and our water bottle. He has taken our ability to conquer and removed what refreshes us. And now, just as David cried out from the hill, Christ is crying out to our generation from Calvary one more time, “Here is your strength to make war; here is the Living Water you are looking for. Come and get it!” Responding to this call requires humility. If you try to go up a mountain standing erect, you will fall over backwards. You must go up in a position of humility.
Saul could not bring himself to lay hold of the spiritual principle in this, just as there are people today who refuse to humble themselves and allow Christ to be Lord of all. Seek Him all you want—travel the world; hear about a revival in some country and get on the first plane over—but if you are not willing to bow and let Christ be Lord of all, your seeking will be in vain and you will constantly come home weak, empty and dry. Eventually you will reach the erroneous conclusion that Christ cannot be found and that revival in personal measure is just an illusion.
THE SEARCH IS OVER
Interestingly, the Scriptures also tell the story of four hundred distressed, debt-ridden men who headed toward where David was (see 1 Samuel 22). The beauty of it all was that they did not have a hard time finding him. Saul with his three thousand men, probably including some of the best spies and scouts in the land, travelled all over the countryside and could not find David. Yet four hundred discontented men just got up one day and essentially said, “Enough of this! We’re going where the anointing of God is.” So they went into the cave where David was, just as we are called in our generation to come outside the gate and join Christ (see Hebrews 13:12–13). They went outside of the system that had rejected Him as Lord, and David became captain over them.
These men did not come in their own strength or with their own resources, for they did not have any left. They did not come with a plan—they went to get the plan. It was as if each of them had concluded, “I would rather die with David than live in the kingdom of Saul with his powerless pursuit. I am going to where the power of God is.”
How was it that many of these men later went on to accomplish incredible feats—eventually being named among David’s mighty men (see 2 Samuel 23)? I believe it all started in that cave. I can imagine David telling them the story of the day he defeated Goliath. After all, what else was there to do in the cave? The four hundred would say, “David, tell us again. Tell us how you had the courage to go into that valley!”
And so David would rehearse the story over and over again—how he knew it just was not right for the men of God to be cowering on the mountainside while this giant perpetually raised his voice against the glory and honor of God. “Then the Spirit of God came upon me, and I stood there and called, ‘You come to me with a staff and a spear, but I come to you in the name of the Lord God of hosts, the God that you have defied!’”
I can just see courage and strength rising in these men’s hearts day after day until they finally concluded, “If God did that for David, and if that is how He is going to be honored, then I refuse to live in mediocrity any longer!” It is a type of those in our generation who say, “I am not searching anymore. I have found Him, for I am no longer trying to force my agenda into the kingdom of God. I have chosen instead to be abandoned to the will of God and to live for the honor of His name!” The four hundred found strength as they followed in the footsteps of David—just as those of us who are willing to follow in the footsteps of Christ will be empowered to change the course of history.
The Lord will once again take the weak, the discouraged, the disillusioned—the one who is an honest and sincere seeker of God. He will use the one who is not trying to bring any agenda to Him, but rather is seeking and walking in His will. Throughout history we have seen that when ordinary people seek the face of God with honesty, they find the fulfillment of the promise, “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13, NKJV).
I pray that in this hour, God will give us the courage to bend our knee to the lordship of Jesus Christ—that He will give us the power to humble ourselves and stop pursuing Christ for the wrong reasons. No more coming into the prayer closet and presenting God with our own plan, expecting Him to bless it. Instead, let us go in and find God’s plan, for there is no other plan and no other way. One more time, let us yield ourselves to His will, unto the death if necessary. That is how we will be set free from this futile pursuit and truly empowered to influence our generation. Hallelujah!
©2012 Times Square Church
Carter Conlon is senior pastor of
Times Square Church, where he
has been on the pastoral staff
TIMES SQUARE CHURCH
Times Square Church was founded in 1987
by Pastor David Wilkerson, author of
“The Cross and the Switchblade.” It is an
interdenominational church located in the
heart of New York City.
This newsletter is an edited version of “HUNTING A PARTRIDGE IN THE MOUNTAINS,” a sermon given on February 12, 2011 in the sanctuary of Times Square Church in New York City. Other sermons are available by visiting our website at tscnyc.org. You are welcome to make additional copies of this sermon for free distribution to friends. However, for all other forms of reproduction or electronic transmission existing copyright laws apply. This sermon cannot be posted on any website or webpage without permission from Times Square Church. Unless otherwise noted, all scripture references are from the King James Version.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
"Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD'S hand double for all her sins."
We have great comfort in knowing that our great sins are forgiven also. We can cry out to the world that there is forgiveness for sin in the One we go to. "Our iniquity is pardoned!" What an awesome statement. No matter what the devil whispers, our iniquity is STILL PARDONED by the One who rules all; even the devil!
"The voice of Him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God."
We are crying in a wilderness. All we have to do is look around us at the wilderness of rebellion, sin and rebellion; yet we continue to cry out. What do we cry?
That "Every valley shall be exalted, every mountain and hill shall be made low (great obstacles in our life) the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places will become a plain."
When does this happen? When we cry out! The glory of the LORD shall then be revealed and all flesh shall see it. Everyone around us will know something is different about us. Our situation may not change immediately or as fast as we want it to, but in the process mountains are being winnowed to dust and the Spirit of God is preparing to blow on the residue as we make way for our God.
"For the mouth of the LORD has spoken it!"
Sunday, April 1, 2012
This past Thursday, members of 6-7 congregations in Jerusalem met for an evening of joint praise and prayer. Pastors Eddie Santoro and Zvi Randelman led the prayers that concentrated on praise as spiritual warfare. We perceived that as the difficulties surrounding Israel in the end times become more and more intense, we must learn to look to the Lord and praise Him in the midst of difficulties, which will in turn release His power. He can turn what was meant for evil into good. Ultimately God desires for all people of all nations to repent and come to salvation. In the midst of tribulation, Israel will be saved (Jeremiah 30:7).
This prayer meeting took place on the eve of the "Global Million Man March to Jerusalem." This is not the first time that someone has tried to organize a million people to fight against Israel (II Chronicles 14:9). Nor will it be the last. The idea of unifying a worldwide or global effort against Israel will continue to worsen until eventually all the nations of the world will attack Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:2).
The very fact that multiple congregations in Jerusalem can come together on short notice for joint and united prayer is a sign of great spiritual victory. As we stand united in love and faith, the forces of evil will be divided and fall (Luke 11:17).
Nothing could be further from the truth! We must press on. When the lady with a blood issue reached out with all of her might to just touch His garment as He passed by, she was immediately healed. Christ felt it in His Spirit when she touched Him. It was as if power left His body and was transported to her. He has promised us that He feels our infirmities. He is not only with us, but is in us through the Holy Spirit; dwelling in our body.
I am presently suffering from some kind of tick our spider bite. I went to our doctor and have been on antibiotics; the bite looks the same and I have have another spot that has appeared. I go back to the doctor tomorrow. Has God forgotten that I am here? NO!
I have a retired Minister friend I met during one of my hospital stays last year. He is undergoing dialysis for kidney issues. I spoke with him last evening and we encouraged each other in the LORD. He got very ill yesterday at the health care facility and was weak. He said "greater is He that is in us than He that is in the world..." I agree. Are these just words? The Bible says that the words of God are powerful enough that in the very end of time Christ will destroy Satan with the words of His mouth. That is powerful! I believe His word no matter how things look in my life at any given moment.
Just one chapter in the Book of Isaiah gives us an important picture of just how in control God is, yes, even in our life. It is the revelation of God's calling out a Persian king named Cyrus hundreds of years before this man was even born! That is control. The description of this event gives great insight of God's control of all circumstances and events. Chapter 44 ~
" Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, and He that formed thee from the womb, I AM the LORD that makes all things (even ticks!) that stretched forth the heavens alone; that spread them forth by Myself; I frustrate the tokens of the liars and make diviners mad; I turn wise men backward and make their knowledge foolishness."
"I confirm the word of My servant and perform the counsel of his messengers; I say to Jerusalem Thou shalt be inhabited and to the cities of Judah You shall be built and I will raise up the decayed places."
This happened quite a few years later when Cyrus was born, became king and overthrew the Babylonian empire. Cyrus, a king named be God before he was even formed in his mother's womb! God's Words are faithful and true. They will come to pass; in His time.
Zechariah 1:6 says, "But My words and My statutes which I commanded My servants the prophets, did they (words) take hold of your fathers? and they returned and said, ' Like as the LORD of Hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath He done unto us.'
God will do also unto us; He has, does now, and will always keep His word. A further explanation of His mighty actions in times past; He is the One that says to the deep, be dry and I will dry up thy rivers; He is the one that said of king Cyrus that he was His shepherd ( a Persian king!) and he shall perform His pleasure. Through Cyrus God said that Jerusalem would be rebuilt and the foundation of His Temple would be laid. "Thus saith the LORD to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held...(past tense hundreds of years before Cyrus was born!)
God even tells Isaiah how Cyrus would overthrow Babylon; the river would be dried up, the mighty gates would be opened, and the armies would enter. "The gates shall not be shut". God promised to go before and make the crooked places straight and to break in sunder the bars of iron." This is exactly how it happened.
God promised Cyrus, and I believe each of us in whatever difficulty we may be experiencing that there are treasures in the darkness (Isaiah 45:3) and hidden riches of secret places, that we may know that He, the LORD, who calls us by name is our God and the God of Israel. He said that He has carved our name in the palm of His hand! How can He forget us? Impossible!
He has promised that "even to your old age, I AM He, and even to gray hairs will I carry you; I have made you and I will bear, even I will carry and will deliver you." (Isaiah 46:4)
Fear not for He is with us;
do not be dismayed for He is our God and their is no other.
He is in total control!