Archive for February, 2008


Moses Parts Red SeaGod is described in the Old Testament as El GibborThe Mighty God. Moses called Him Gibbor as he was encouraging the stubborn Israelites to submit to the God of Gods and Lord of Lords.

“For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty (Gibbor), and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward: He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. (Deut 10:17-18) Moses prefaced this revelation of God’s Might with this exhortation: Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiff-necked (STUBBORN).”(Deut 10:16)

Certainly the Israelites saw His Might and Power when God delivered them from the clutches of the mightiest ruler on Earth – Pharaoh. Not only did God deliver them, but He rescued them by a Mighty Miracle that ended in the destruction of Pharaoh and his mighty army.

Moses had discovered that our view of God’s Might directly influences whether we submit or rebel.

Moses wanted his people to see God’s Power and hopefully soften their stubborn heart towards Him. He assumed that they had seen His power and would submit to God’s commands. He even wrote: “But your eyes have seen all the great acts of the LORD which he did. Therefore shall ye keep all the commandments which I command you this day, that ye may be strong, and go in and possess the land, whither ye go to possess it;” (Deut 11:7-8)

Golden Calf of RebellionWhat is so amazing is how the Jews continued their stubborn, selfish, whining ways. They had witnessed the greatest miracle of all time and still they were stubbornly resolved NOT to submit to God. They were in TOTAL DENIAL of EL GIBBOR. They had to learn a horrible lesson.

When we humble ourselves to the Mighty God, we actually become strong. When we rebel and stiffen our neck to His will, we become weak, we become lost. Just like the Hebrews who wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. They became weak and died off, for God would not allow them to find His rest in the Promised Land.

James reveals this secret to success in these New Testament verses:

Humble before God

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. (Jas 4:7-10)

How do you view God? Is He weak and powerless? Then so will your life be! Is He Strong and Mighty? Then humble yourself before Him and He will make you strong! You shall be as the Gibborim – David’s Mighty Men!
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Gospel is ladder to heavenI’ve always preached that the gospel is the “Good News” of Jesus death, burial and resurrection. This “Good News” brings God’s forgiveness to even the vilest sinner. This “Good News” means we can be born again, born from above, with the promise of “Christ in you, the Hope of Glory”. It is the promise of the “way to Heaven”, our ‘Get out of Hell’ card. But I ran across these verses recently, and they caused me to reflect,

“What is the Gospel Really?”

II Thessalonians 1:5-12 (ESV) This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus Coming with angels

The key phrase that struck me was “that you may be considered worthy of the Kingdom of God.” What does the Kingdom have to do with the “Good News” of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Evidently there is a connection between the Kingdom and the next verse “obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” What could this connection be? Is there something more to the “Good News” of Jesus Christ? Verse 8 doesn’t sound so ‘Joel Osteen’, does it. This is so horrible to think that Jesus will be revealed in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

Doesn’t everyone know God? After all, we were all made in His image.

Romans 1:16-21 (ESV) For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Here is that wrath/vengeance thing again. And it says that we all did know God, but we did not honor Him as God. The key to receiving wrath in these verses has to do with our ungodliness and unrighteousness. Paul begins this passage with “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes… Then he declares “For in it (the gospel) the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith.” This gospel reveals the righteousness of God to those whose foolish hearts have been darkened. How do our hearts become darkened?—by refusing to honor God as God.

By induction I conclude the following observations about the Gospel:

  • The Gospel requires faith to believe.
  • The Gospel is about producing righteous living.
  • The Gospel is about honoring God.
  • The Gospel is about making us worthy for the Kingdom of God.
  • Obeying the Gospel is the only way to know God.
  • Obeying the Gospel requires obedience to the laws of God’s Kingdom.
  • Failure to honor God and obey His Kingdom Laws will result in wrath and vengeance.
  • The Gospel is revealed in every aspect of the death, burial and resurrection of His Son, Jesus the Christ.

King JesusBottom line, the Gospel of Christ is not just about Jesus, his death, burial and resurrection. It is about the Kingdom of God, one which is both present and future. In fact, the future Kingdom will feature Jesus enthroned on God’s Holy Hill, Jerusalem. But for now, Jesus is enthroned upon our hearts. When one comes to Jesus Christ and confesses Him as Savior, he must also agree to honor God as God, and grow in righteousness. The Gospel throught the power of the Holy Spirit will produce that desire to walk in the truth. If it does not, then perhaps you had a wrong understanding of the Gospel. Perhaps you were deceived.

The Gospel is not the “Good News” of our forgiveness or even our eternal salvation. The Gospel is the “Good News” that we can draw near to God, we can partake of His righteousness, and we can “walk in faith” as we live to honor Him and obey the laws of His Kingdom. The Gospel is all about the Kingdom of God. That is what God is moving toward. He will establish His Kingdom once more, but for now He is content with reigning in our hearts.

The “Good News” should never be ‘man-centered’, but always be ‘God-centered’.

 

   
   

 


Isaiah asks the question: “How can we describe God? With what can we compare him?” (Isa 40:18 Living Bible). He of course, assumes that everyone knows Jehovah of the Scriptures. Today, most people don’t ask such a question, they just assume they know. After all, God is everywhere in the media. He is spoken of in television shows and movies. Politicians proclaim Him. God seems to be everywhere now. Still, the question that Isaiah asked centuries ago, must be answered. I paraphrase the original to this phrase: “How do you describe God?’

Most people let you know what they think of God when they are faced with some hardship, calamity, disease, or a sudden loss of a loved one. I have been with people in the past few weeks that have faced death, cancer, hardship, loss of loved ones-very difficult situations. I have heard questions ranging from “How could God do this?” to “God is sovereign over all”. Yet what puzzles me most is “how do they describe God in the normal humdrum of life?”

God?

The way we view God when life is boring and dull determines how we relate to God when life is tough.

Abraham made a very interesting comment when speaking to the King of Sodom. Abraham and his band of men had just conjured five kings and their armies, rescued Lot and recovered all the goods complete with quite a spoil of riches. The King of Sodom was more interested in the people Abram had rescued (was he that perverse or that caring?), than the spoil. The account goes like this:

The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.” 22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and have taken an oath 23 that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the thong of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ 24 I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me–to Aner, Eshcol and Mamre. Let them have their share.” Genesis 14:21-24 (NIV)

Abraham Views God

The way Abram responded was determined by a commitment Abram had made earlier, during the normal boredom of life. Abram saw God as “El Elyon”, God most High, creator and therefore Possessor of Heaven and Earth. His view of God determined his reaction to a test that would influence the rest of his life. Sure enough, if Abram was having any regrets about his decision, God assured him: ‘After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” Genesis 15:1 (NIV)”.

Whatever Abram had, he considered it owned by God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and Earth. That was why, when God said to sacrifice his son Isaac, Abraham didn’t flinch, he didn’t winch, he did it, because Isaac belonged to God Most High.

Daniel was another person who let the vision of God formed in the humdrum of life determine how he viewed Him in the pressures of life.

Daniel Views GodWhen Daniel was captured and taken to a strange land, he was a young man, probably in his teens. He was put into a special program and ordered to eat the Kings food and wine in preparation to being in the King’s court. However, Daniel had made a decision to view God a certain way earlier on. That view of God framed his reaction to this program:

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Daniel 1:8 (KJV)

Daniel and his companions proposed a test, and they succeeded. Therefore they gained entrance into the King’s court, as an adviser. When another challenge faced them, one which would have meant their death, they turned once more to the God whom they had met in the boring humdrum of life.

Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him. To you, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of you, for you have made known to us the king’s matter.” Daniel 2:17-23 (ESV)

Daniel met this “God of the Heavens” as a young man. He had decided to follow Him as such in the normal “humdrum” of life, not in some foxhole of combat. This Vision of God that had become a possessor of his will and emotions now met him when the pressures of life overwhelmed him. His God had gone before him into the Lion’s den and shut their mouths, preserving Daniel’s life and causing the King to praise Daniel’s God.Daniel

Daniel continued to pray to the God he had met as a youth. He continued to honor Him through the reigns of three Kings. We see him lifting God up in the following prayer recorded in Daniel 9:

Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against you. To us, O Lord, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by walking in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. Daniel 9:3-10 (ESV)

Daniel set his heart to know this God of Heaven. He met this God in the normal course of growing up. He believed He had power over all things, even dreams. Once more, when faced with a dream that had frightened him, he called out to the God of his youth. God knew his heart. God knew of his decision. It is recorded in this verse:

Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. Daniel 10:12 (ESV)

Daniel serves as an example to all those who face pressures of life, the moments when we are faced with faith-challenging situations.

When we hear we are to die; or we look up and find ourselves in a horrible wreck, or worse yet we lose a beloved wife or young child. Perhaps we are losing our home, struggling with debt, have lost a job, a marriage, a treasured possession. Who will you see when you turn your eyes to heaven? Will you humble yourself before the God of Heaven, creator and possessor of everything on earth? Or will you shake your fist at God and curse His name?

Reactions to the pressures of Life result in four possible views of God:

  1. If there is a God, he is weak and passive, leaving everything to chance. Therefore it is up to me to make my way in life, to overcome or be overcome.
  2. The God of heaven is vengeful and hurls forth His judgments without purpose or love. The pressures of my life are happenstance and I have every right to shake my fist at God and say “What are You Doing?”
  3. The God of heaven is watching as events unfold, but is actually in a battle with Satan and has no power to control events. Therefore I need to view events from the basis of whether Satan is behind it or God. I walk on eggshells, never really knowing who is trying to get at me.
  4. The God of Heaven is “El Elyon”, God Most High, the one whom even Satan must get permission from to do anything to those whom He protects. (see Job 1). He is in control of my life and is actively at work to bring about His Will and Purpose in everything that happens in my life.

Job viewed God as Number Four. That is why, when messenger after messenger delivered crushing news of one loss after another, Scripture records:

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. Job 1:20-22 (ESV)

job get the newsJob had met this God early on in his life, when there were no pressures, no problems. He made a commitment in the boredom of life to worship as God Most High. That is why, when life struck him down, he worshipped this God! God truly was in control. God is worthy of our worship, especially in the hard times of life! Isaiah records God’s Word:

To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:25-31 (ESV)

Have you determined that there is a God Most High? Do you see Him creating and possessing the entire creation? Do you know that not one star travels outside the path that He sets. He knows each and every star by name. He does not faint or grow weary. Jesus said that he knows when a sparrow falls to the ground. He knows how many hairs are on your head. Don’t wait to meet God in the horrors of life. Meet Him now, when life is routine, even boring. For the God you worship in the humdrum, will be the God you raise your fist to when life gets tough. Or He will be the God you bow down to and worship. Who is God to you?

Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? Who has measured the Spirit of the Lord, or what man shows him his counsel? Whom did he consult, and who made him understand? Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding? 15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust. Lebanon would not suffice for fuel, nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering. All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness. To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him? Isaiah 40:10-18 (ESV)

…The people who know their God shall stand firm and take action. Daniel 11:32 (ESV)


About Second John

FIRST, John was concerned for Cyria, that her hospitality was in danger of becoming the unwitting cause of blessing and endorsement for the message of these pretenders.

SECOND, He was concerned that she would lose all that she had accomplished for the Lord, and her reward would be diminished.

I ask the question: How do we learn to walk in the truth. How do we learn to follow God’s prescriptions for our life? How do we keep our reward from being diminished?

1. The easy answer is through prayer and reading God’s word.

2. But the key is seen in Hebrews 4:12

Hebrews 4:12 (12) For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

We will not learn to walk in the truth, to follow God’s Prescriptives for Living;

We will continue to walk a course of compromise; we will continue to be swayed by false teachers, unless we learn to become mighty in Spirit! God’s impact upon our lives is Spiritually discerned. God is Spirit and they that worship Him must worship in Spirit and Truth. We must learn to be impacted by the Spirit of God!

First, We need to let God’s word divide our soul from our spirit.

What does that mean. It means that we read the Bible not with our mind, but with our spirit. The Word of God will reveal to our spirit what He wants, without the influences of our corrupted soul. The soul is where the influence of the pride of life, lust of the flesh and lust of the eyes have their influence. The soul is the seat of our mind, our will and our emotions. God desires that these be under the influence of His Holy Spirit.

But too often our spirit is on a starvation diet from God’s Word, and there is nothing to influence our soul. We let the world have full sway over our thoughts, will and emotions. God’s Word is quick and powerful, and can divide the soul from our spirit, that we might become mighty in Spirit.

But there is a secret to doing so. There is a secret revealed by Peter that reveals the way we can abide in the truth and become mighty in Spirit.

We must allow God’ Power and Presence to IMPACT our lives.

2 Peter 1:12-19 KJV (12) Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. (13) Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; (14) Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. (15) Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. (16) For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming (presence) of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. (17) For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (18) And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. (19) We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

Peter indicates in verse 14 that it is almost time for him to die. But before he goes, he wants his readers to always remember something. Verse 16 Peter reminds them that they do not follow cunningly devised stories, but the truth as witnessed by Peter himself. He wants them to learn of the power and the coming of Jesus Christ. The coming could be better translated presencing, because it refers to physical presence.

We must learn the POWER and the PRESENCING of the Lord, both of which Peter learned when he became an eyewitness of the majesty of Jesus Christ.

We must learn to be impacted with the Power of Christ which is above all, and to be impacted by the presence of Christ, which is in the life of every believer.

Now I wish we could each have been with Peter and James and John and seen Christ transfigured into his Heavenly Glory and Majesty, but we are 2000 years too late. But there is a way you can see His power and David shows us how.

To Learn the Power of God, of our Lord Jesus Christ, we must learn to do something that David learned.

PS 57 (1) <To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave.> Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.(2) I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.(3) He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.(4) My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword. (5) Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth. (6) They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.(7) My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.(8) Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.(9) I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.(10) For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.(11) Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.

1. David found himself in the darkest of moments, the lowest of low, when he had to flee from the wrath of King Saul. As he hid in a cold dank dark cave, with his back to the wall and no way out, with all of Saul’s troops outside sworn to kill him on sight, with all the authority of King Saul, David did something that you or I would have never thought to do.

2. David, trained by the Holy Spirit, put God between him and the soldiers.

3. David looked up out of the darkness of his life, his situation, and saw God exalted, and glorified.

4. David did not cry out to God to honor his promise to make him King, to vanquish these soldiers under his feet, to make him the King. God could have done that, but O what a price it would have cost David. All those lessons that God wanted David to go through, all the character that God wanted to build in David, would have been lost.

5. David was fixed on God’s Glory, God’s Majesty. He was saying, O God, do unto me as you please, but whatever you do, May it be for your glory. David had been trained by the Spirit f God. David had learned to divide his soul and what his mind will and emotions wanted, and to see with His spirit what God wanted.

Whenever we have a severe overwhelming problem, a financial pressure, a sickness, a mechanical problem, a problem with work, (if we don’t try to do it our self) we run to God and say God please, please, please help me. But are we willing to lay aside what we want, what we think we need and say O God, you be exalted in this!

6. David placed God between himself and his circumstances. David was touched by and beheld the glory of God. His Heart was fixed on the glory of God.

a. Was it up to David to exalt God? Was it David who gave glory to God? No! No! No!

b. God is already exalted. God is already in Glory!

Isaiah 40:25-28 NASB “To whom then will you liken Me That I would be his equal?” says the Holy One. (26) Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one of them is missing. (27) Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”? (28) Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.

The problem with Christians in John’s day and in our day as well, is that when it comes to making a choice, we don’t put God’s glory first and above all.

The ones who were a danger to Cyria (I John 2) and her household had come out of the church. They may have been friends. But somehow, some way, the message of Christ had become corrupted in their thinking and in their lives.

The truth is, we all walk a treacherous road, we all face temptations, troubling circumstances, that can affect the way we view things. A young person may start out as a believer, believing in the word of God, in the reality of Jeus Christ. However, that person is confronted with choices as they grow older.

Choices as to Money, Ambition, Career, Pleasures, Certain Behaviors, Dating, Physical Activities, Music, Marriage are made. When we make those choices with no vision of God’s glory in mind, our behavior is impacted. And when our behavior changes, our Morality changes and we have to re-think our theology.

To justify our choice, our behavior, our view of God, God’s word, Jesus Christ is impacted, weakened, watered down and changed.

Who do you think wins when we choose between God and Money? God and Ambition? God and Comfort? God and Career? God and Dating? God and Marriage?

The people John is warning Cyria (In 2 John) about have made their choice, and it was not with God in view. They chose comfort, pleasure, fame, standing and now are out to gather believers to their cause.

Wrong choices are never isolated. They always affect others.

· A choice to light a simple firecracker or pyrotechnic display can result in the injury or even death to others.

· The choice to pursue a career to the neglect of your children effects your heritage.

· The choice to seek personal pleasure will affect your marriage and your love for God as well as your service.

· The choice to love and seek after money will be seen by your loved ones.

· Your choice to put business before faithfulness to God’s church God’s word will result in your children and even neighbors excusing the same attitude in themselves.

After such a change in your thinking, after the continual neglect of God, is it any wonder when a Earth-shattering crisis comes into your life, you look up hoping to find God and you wonder why He doesn’t seem to care.

You never wanted to see His glory in any other circumstance, why should he think you want to see it now? He is not your little lucky charm that you can wave whenever you need it. He is not a genie in a bible sitting on your cofe table that you rub whenever things get really hard.

God wants you to see Him exalted, glorified over every aspect of your life. God is God over all or he is God of Nothing at ALL. God declares that He is a Jealous God, and if we make friends with the world, we will become his enemy.

That is why John warned Cyria not to lose that which she had worked so hard for. When we lose sight of God’s majesty over our daily life, we have lost God’s prescence within us.

But more than seeing God exalted in Power, we need to be impacted by His Presence.

The Transfiguration was not only something BEFORE THE EYES of Peter, it was something that happened TO him, and afterward came INTO him. True, there was the event, the happening, in time, at a certain place.

But that Vision of the Lord’s Power and Majesty was not enough to keep Peter from denying Jesus and running away from the cross. Just as the Hebrews in the wilderness a mere three days after seeing the mightiest working of God returned to their complaining and ungrateful ways.

But, to bring that vision home, something happened IN Peter.

It took the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit to make Christ live within him to transform him into the Priest of the new church.

Paul was stricken on the Damascus road by a heavenly vision of the risen and exalted all powerful Jesus Christ. While we cannot deny the impact of that vision upon the Apostle Paul, that is not what kept him preaching and serving after shipwrecks, stonings, imprisonments.

Paul’s life and living was impacted by the Presencing of Christ within him. “IT pleased God… to reveal His Son IN me” (Galatians 1:15-16). Christ was not only a vision TO him; He was IN him.

The Apostle Paul’s whole life and ministry was based upon and sprang out of that double event, TO and IN.

As the Majesty of the Lord Jesus became an INWARD thing with him, It became a mighty IMPACT upon his life.

Paul declared in Galatians 2:20 KJV “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

It is one thing to be impacted with the Power of God.

David was impacted with the Power of God, but just a vision of Him lifted up could not sustain his faith for the 17 year he was on the run.

When David was forced out of the Philistine army, he and his men returned to Ziklag, only to see all their homes burning and the wives and children taken away. His men cried out in anguish, then took up rocks to throw at David, to kill him.

The Bible doesn’t say that David looked up to see the power of God. NO, that is not what took David through the lowest point in his life. Yes this was lower than when he hid in the cave from Saul.

1Sa 30:6 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.

David did not look outside of himself to see a powerful God. David looked within himself because he knew the reality of God’s Presence. He immediately encourage himself with this truth and then inquired of God!

How is your life impacted by God?

WE NEED TO SEE the King in His glory; WE NEED TO catch a fresh glimpse of the glorified Lord. There will never be an impact until we have seen Him as the glorified Lord. He is the answer to every need, and a vision of Him as exalted and attested by Heaven will bring new impact into our lives, into our ministries, into our churches, upon situations. Does not your heart cry, as mine does, “Oh for a recovery of the Church’s impact upon this world!”

We NEED THE IMPACT OF the majesty of the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Will you desire to abide in the truth, Will you desire a reward of the Lord, Will you desire your children to walk in the truth? We must continually be on guard to bring the majesty of the Lord into every situation of our lives; We must allow Him to put His power upon it. Do you not agree with me that that secret is what we need? And for that, I repeat, we need a new, mighty mastery, in our inner being, of the greatness of the Lord Jesus. We all agree that He is great; we sing ‘How great Thou art!’; we will not reserve or trim our words about the Lord Jesus in glory: but there is a gap between his Glory and our situations. That is the tragedy and that is the problem and the perplexity of it. HE is like THAT, and yet THIS is like THIS, and the two things are not brought together.

Now, we need more than words, to get us through. Our Christian lives ought to be based upon something like this: ‘I have seen the Lord’. By the operation and activity of the Holy Spirit sent down from Heaven we must have an inward vision of the Exalted Lord. Life that has to go on without that is just a drag; it is an existence. Work or service without that INWARD VISION has nothing in it to lift us, to carry us on.

The choice is yours: As 2 John verse 2 says, You can abide in the truth, you can exalt God over your life and over every situation you encounter, you can focus on Christ within you, allowing Him to abide in you,

Or you can do like verse 7… And go your own way, and make choices that lead you away from the vision of God, cloaking the inner Christ within you.

Then one day you will look for the presence of God in your life, and you will find yourself alone. You will look for the presence of God in the life of your children, and you will find they have become just like you, living their own way, in the absence of God.

We need a fresh, living vision of Power of Christ, Him who is exalted, at the right hand of God, ever living to make intercession for us, ever waiting to come and judge the world.

We need to learn the secret of placing Jesus between us and our problems, to learn that He is alive and living within us, abiding in us, desiring to live through us. He has not left us alone, but has applied all power to every need of our life.

Do you desire to know the Power and Presencing of Jesus? It is your decision. How has He IMPACTED your life?


FOAB On September 11, 2007 Russia successfully exploded what it claims is the largest Thermobaric Bomb ever made, leveling a multi-story block of apartment buildings with a power greater than that of the smallest diallable-yield nuclear weapons at their lowest yield settings. Russia named this particular ordnance the “Father of All Bombs” in response to the United States developed “Massive Ordnance Air Blast” (MOAB) bomb whose backronym is known as the “Mother of All Bombs” and previously enjoyed the accolade of the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in history. Thermobaric: Sometimes called fuel-air explosives, the name comes from Greek and literally means “heat” and “pressure.”
Thermobarics first disperse a flammable mist of underoxidised fuel which ignites to create a gigantic explosion of immense destructiveness. The explosion of the SMAW-NE is effective in three main ways. Firstly, it is accompanied by a massive fireball which incinerates all in its path. Secondly, it creates a massive pressure wave capable of rupturing the internal organs of all those nearby and so powerful that it can reduce load-bearing walls to rubble and bring down buildings. Finally, the explosion also sucks all the
oxygen out of the air, asphyxiating anyone in the immediate vicinity. Basically, if you’re in the building when it hits, it’ll kill you. As a result, a fuel-air explosive can have the effect of a tactical nuclear weaponBomb Detonates without residual radiation.

Bombs for dummies

In Acts 2 God drops the True Father of All Bombs. An explosion so powerful it shook the four corners of the globe. People from around the world were gathered. They all heard the explosion.

BOMBS FOR DUMMIES

Now, as we already learned, with thermobaric bombs, there is an explosion that releases a powerful liquid or powder that is highly explosive. Then another explosion sets off this powder or liquid. The resulting blast creates a vacuum by literally sucking all the oxygen out of the area. There is Heat from the blast and there is Pressure that will kill.

Here at Pentecost we have a very similar situation. A Bomb is detonated in stages. There is both Heat and Pressure. Only the damage that results is the slaying of Satan and Man’s idea of religion.

Now what Detonated this Bomb?

Prayer UnitesActs 2:1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Acts 1:14 says that they were in one accord in prayer and supplication.

Jesus said “I want you to wait and when the Holy Spirit comes, you will receive Power!” So while they waited, they prayed! What did they pray? I think I know.

The disciples had asked Jesus: Teach us to pray. Not Teach us how to pray, but teach us to pray. So I know how they were praying in the upper room. They were praying the following:

6:9 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. Matthew 6:9-13 (NKJV)

The disciples were gathered together before the throne of almighty God. They were Honoring His Name!

hallowed

Holy is your name.

Elohim – All Powerful Creator

El elyon – God Most High

El Shaddai – God Almighty

Jehovah –The Lord our Covenant Keeper

El Olam– Everlasting God

Jehovah Roi – the Lord our Shepherd

Jehovah-Jireh – the Lord our Provision,

Jehovah Shalom – the LORD our Peace

Jehovah Rophe – the LORD our Healer

Jehovah Tsidkenu -the LORD our Righteousness

Jehovah Nissi – the LORD our Banner

Jehovah Shammah – the LORD is there

Jehovah Mekaddishkhem – the LORD that sanctifies

Then, they were praying:

YOUR KINGDOM COME, YOUR WILL BE DONE:kingdomcome

They were earnestly desiring God’s Kingdom. God’s Will. Before they were quarreling over who would sit at the right hand, who would have this power or that. But not now. Now it was all about God’s Kingdom and God’s Power!

When you are kneeling before the throne, when your heart is focused on how awesome and how mighty He is, You sense how tiny and worthless you are. When all your being is desiring His Will in your life, It’s hard to be mad at Sister Susie who made that snide comment. Its hard to hold something against brother Peter because he forgot your birthday. When your heart is focused on God and what He wants to do in and with your life, those things that use to irritate and get you upset will just roll off your back. When God Ignites us with His Love, it burns away the flesh with all of it’s hurts and resentments and jealousies.prayerignites

  • God used Prayer to Unite these believers.
  • God used Prayer to Ignite these believers.

There have been times in my life when I was discouraged, thinking I was washed up, or unfit for use. I have had a friend since Bible College, that has always been a source of prayer encouragement for me. Our friendship was cemented as we spent hours in prayer-as we preached revivals together, as we held prayer meetings in the dorm. God has enabled me to help him, but I believe he has helped me more. Prayer with Don has more than once ignited me to keep on serving the Lord. Who do you pray with when you are down? Who do you have encouraging you in this Christian walk?

detonator

PRAYER was the DETONATOR

Suddenly there came a Sound from Heaven of a mighty rushing wind.

Normal sound is 70 decibels. Whisper is 40 decibels.

Crank up your stereo at home 117-123 db

128 db the loudest scream measured at 8’

128 db human head hair starts to crawl

133 db average gunshot. 44 mag can be 160

140 is Blast of Wind

143 db Feels like someone just tackled your chest.

145 db human vision begins to vibrate

154 Toy Balloon pops

163 NHRA Dragster 5000 to 7000 horsepower, liquid nitroglycerin fuel

164 Internal Sound level of Jet Turbine motor

174 db Air begins to Heat up due to compression

180 db 1 pound of TNT at 15’

195 db Human eardrums rupture 50% of time

212 db Average Sonic Boom

240 db F5 Tornado with winds of 300mph

310 db Krakatoa Volcano Eruption (cracked 12” concrete 300 miles away)

(Ultimate Sound Pressure Level Decibel Table, William Hamby 2004)

Now there is no scientific proof, but this sound that was heard had to be somewhere between 240 decibels and 174 decibels. I would place it at just under 190 decibels. The sound of a small explosion.! It could have been louder, but I think God wanted to preserve their eardrums.

If Prayer was the Detonator, what provided the EXPLOSION?

Holy Spirit PowerThe Holy Spirit Provided the Explosive Power

Jesus had told them earlier in Acts 1:5 “you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

I can think of no more explosive force on earth or in heaven than the Holy Spirit of God!

When Their Prayer ignited the explosive Holy Spirit, it made a sound so loud that it sounded like a bomb had gone off. The change in pressure filled the entire room. The increased pressure created heat, and we see tongues of fire on each of the disciples. Not on just a few, but on everyone.

2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Now I don’t mean to imply that what happened on Pentecost was an explosion of some sort. I only want you to see how what happened compares to an explosion. What happened that day was actually mightier than any explosion in history.

Even mightier than the Eruption of Mt Krakatoa. With that eruption rock were thrown to a height of 34 miles, dust and debris fell continuously for 10 days. Shock waves “echoed” around the earth 36 times and lasted for about a month!

What happened on the Day of Pentecost was much greater. Praise God!